Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch)

The Australian Labor Party (South Australian Branch), commonly known as South Australian Labor, is the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party, originally formed in 1891 as the United Labor Party of South Australia. It is one of two major parties in the bicameral Parliament of South Australia, the other being the Liberal Party of Australia (SA Division).

Australian Labor Party
(South Australian Branch)
LeaderPeter Malinauskas
Deputy LeaderSusan Close
PresidentRhiannon Pearce
SecretaryAemon Bourke[1]
Founded1891 (1891)
Headquarters141 Gilles Street, Adelaide
Youth wingSouth Australian Young Labor
Women's wingLabor Women's Network
LGBT wingRainbow Labor
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionCentre-left
National affiliationAustralian Labor Party
House of Assembly
27 / 47
Legislative Council
9 / 22
House of Representatives
6 / 10
(SA seats)
Senate
4 / 12
(SA seats)
Website
sa.alp.org.au

Since the 1970 election, marking the beginning of democratic proportional representation (one vote, one value) and ending decades of pro-rural electoral malapportionment known as the Playmander, Labor have won 11 of the 15 elections. Spanning 16 years and 4 terms, Labor was last in government from the 2002 election until the 2018 election. Jay Weatherill led the Labor government since a 2011 leadership change from Mike Rann. During 2013 it became the longest-serving state Labor government in South Australian history, and in addition went on to win a fourth four-year term at the 2014 election. After losing the 2018 election, the party spent 4 years in opposition before leader Peter Malinauskas led the party to a majority victory in the 2022 election.

Labor's most notable historic Premiers of South Australia include Thomas Price in the 1900s, Don Dunstan in the 1970s, John Bannon in the 1980s, and Mike Rann in the 2000s.

Formation

ULP parliamentarians following the 1893 colonial election.

A United Trades and Labor Council meeting with the purpose of creating an elections committee was convened on 12 December 1890, and held on 7 January 1891. The elections committee was formed, officially named the United Labor Party of South Australia (unlike state Labor, prior to 1912 their federal counterparts included the 'u' in their spelling of Labour) with John McPherson the founding secretary. Four months later, Labor enjoyed immediate success, electing David Charleston, Robert Guthrie and Andrew Kirkpatrick to the South Australian Legislative Council. A week later, Richard Hooper won the 1891 Wallaroo by-election as an Independent Labor member in the South Australian House of Assembly. McPherson won the 1892 East Adelaide by-election on 23 January, becoming the first official Labor leader and member of the House of Assembly.

Prior to party creation, South Australian politics had lacked parties or solid groupings, although loose liberal and conservative blocs had begun to develop by the end of the 1880s. The 1893 election was the first general election Labor would stand at, resulting in liberal and conservative leaning MPs beginning to divide, additionally with unidentified groupings and independents, as well as the subsequent formation of the staunchly anti-Labor National Defence League. The voluntary turnout rate increased from 53 to 68 percent, with Labor on 19 percent of the vote, and 10 Labor candidates including McPherson and Hooper were elected to the 54-member House of Assembly which gave Labor the balance of power. The Kingston liberal government was formed with the support of Labor, ousting the Downer conservative government. Kingston served as Premier for a then-record of six and a half years, usually implementing legislation with Labor support.

Thomas Price formed the state's first Labor minority government and the world's first stable Labor Party government at the 1905 election with the support of several non-Labor MPs to form the Price-Peake administration, which was re-elected at the 1906 double dissolution election, with Labor falling just two seats short of a majority. So successful, John Verran led Labor to form the state's first of many majority governments at the 1910 election, just two weeks after the 1910 federal election where their federal counterparts formed Australia's first elected majority in either house in the Parliament of Australia, the world's first Labor Party majority government at a national level, and after the 1904 Chris Watson minority government the world's second Labor Party government at a national level.[2][3][4]

Known as the United Labor Party of South Australia until 1917, the Australian Labor Party at both a state/colony and federal level pre-dates, among others, both the British Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party in party formation, government, and policy implementation.[5]

Premiers

Parliamentary Party Leader
Incumbent
Peter Malinauskas
since 9 April 2018
Inaugural holderJohn McPherson
DeputySusan Close

Thirteen of the nineteen parliamentary Labor leaders have served as Premier of South Australia: Thomas Price (1905–1909), John Verran (1910–1912), Crawford Vaughan (1915–1917), John Gunn (1924–1926), Lionel Hill (1926–1927 and 1930–1931; expelled from party but continued as Premier until 1933), Frank Walsh (1965–1967), Don Dunstan (1967–1968 and 1970–1979), Des Corcoran (1979), John Bannon (1982–1992), Lynn Arnold (1992–1993), Mike Rann (2002–2011), Jay Weatherill (2011–2018) and Peter Malinauskas (2022–Present) . Robert Richards was Premier in 1933 while leading the rebel Parliamentary Labor Party of MPs who had been expelled in the 1931 Labor split; he would later be readmitted and lead the party in opposition. Bannon is Labor's longest-serving Premier of South Australia, ahead of Rann and Dunstan by a matter of weeks. Every Labor leader for more than half a century has gone on to serve as Premier.

Deputy Premiers

Since the position's formal introduction in 1968, seven parliamentary Labor deputy leaders have served as Deputy Premier of South Australia: Des Corcoran (1968 and 1970–1979), Hugh Hudson (1979), Jack Wright (1982–1985), Don Hopgood (1985–1992), Frank Blevins (1992–1993), Kevin Foley (2002–2011), John Rau (2011–18) and Susan Close (2022– Present). Foley is the state's longest-serving Deputy Premier.

List of parliamentary leaders

List of deputy parliamentary leaders

  • Robert Richards (1933–1938)
  • Andrew Lacey (1938–1946)
  • Mick O'Halloran (1946–1949)
  • Frank Walsh (1949–1960)
  • Cyril Hutchens (1960–1967)
  • Des Corcoran (1967–1979)
  • Hugh Hudson (1979)
  • Jack Wright (1979–1985)
  • Dr. Don Hopgood (1985–1992)
  • Frank Blevins (1992–1993)
  • Mike Rann (1993–1994)
  • Ralph Clarke (1994–1996)
  • Annette Hurley (1997–2002)
  • Kevin Foley (2002–2011)
  • John Rau (2011–2018)
  • Susan Close (2018–present)

Current federal parliamentarians

Lower

  • Matt Burnell – Spence MP since 2022
  • Mark Butler – Hindmarsh MP since 2019, previously Port Adelaide MP from 2007 to 2019.
  • Steve Georganas – Adelaide MP since 2019, previously Hindmarsh MP from 2004 to 2013 and again from 2016 to 2019.
  • Louise Miller-Frost – Boothby MP since 2022
  • Amanda Rishworth – Kingston MP since 2007
  • Tony ZappiaMakin MP since 2007

Upper

  • Don Farrell – Senator since 2016
  • Karen Grogan – Senator since 2021
  • Marielle Smith – Senator since 2019
  • Penny Wong – Senator since 2002

Historic party officials

  • Elizabeth Rose Hanretty

State election results

Election Leader Seats won ± Total votes  % Position
1893 John McPherson
10 / 54
10 16,458 18.8% Third party
1896
12 / 54
2 39,107 24.3% Third party
1899 Lee Batchelor
11 / 54
1 40,756 25.4% Third party
1902 Thomas Price
5 / 42
6 48,515 19.9% Opposition
1905
15 / 42
10 148,550 41.3% Minority government
1906
20 / 42
5 143,577 44.8% Minority government
1910 John Verran
22 / 42
2 197,935 49.1% Majority government
1912
16 / 40
6 253,163 46.7% Opposition
1915 Crawford Vaughan
26 / 46
10 153,034 45.9% Majority government
1918 Andrew Kirkpatrick
17 / 46
9 145,093 44.7% Opposition
1921 John Gunn
16 / 46
1 179,308 44.6% Opposition
1924
27 / 46
11 192,256 48.4% Majority government
1927 Lionel Hill
16 / 46
11 243,450 47.9% Opposition
1930
30 / 46
14 102,194 48.6% Majority government
1933 Edgar Dawes
6 / 46
24 48,273 27.8% Opposition
1938 Andrew Lacey
9 / 39
3 57,124 26.1% Opposition
1941 Robert Richards
11 / 39
2 56,062 33.3% Opposition
1944
16 / 39
5 105,298 42.5% Opposition
1947
13 / 39
3 133,959 48.6% Opposition
1950 Mick O'Halloran
12 / 39
1 134,952 48.1% Opposition
1953
14 / 39
2 166,517 50.9% Opposition
1956
15 / 39
1 129,853 47.4% Opposition
1959
17 / 39
2 191,933 49.3% Opposition
1962 Frank Walsh
19 / 39
2 219,790 53.9% Opposition
1965
21 / 39
2 274,432 55.0% Majority government
1968 Don Dunstan
19 / 39
2 292,445 51.9% Opposition
1970
27 / 47
8 305,478 51.6% Majority government
1973
26 / 47
1 324,135 51.5% Majority government
1975
23 / 47
3 321,481 46.3% Majority government
1977
27 / 47
4 383,831 51.6% Majority government
1979 Des Corcoran
20 / 47
7 300,277 40.8% Opposition
1982 John Bannon
24 / 47
5 353,999 46.3% Majority government
1985
27 / 47
3 393,652 48.2% Majority government
1989
22 / 47
5 346,268 40.1% Minority government
1993 Lynn Arnold
10 / 47
12 277,038 30.4% Opposition
1997 Mike Rann
21 / 47
11 312,929 35.2% Opposition
2002
23 / 47
2 344,559 36.4% Minority government
2006
28 / 47
5 424,715 45.2% Majority government
2010
26 / 47
2 367,480 37.5% Majority government
2014 Jay Weatherill
23 / 47
3 364,420 35.8% Minority government
2018
19 / 47
4 343,896 32.8% Opposition
2022 Peter Malinauskas
27 / 47
8 436,134 40.0% Majority government

Note: Following the 2014 election, the Labor minority government won the 2014 Fisher by-election which took them to 24 of 47 seats and therefore majority government. Prior to the 2018 election, a Labor MP became an independent, reducing them back to a minority 23 seats.

See also

References


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