Steven Marshall

Steven Spence Marshall (born 21 January 1968) is an Australian politician who served as the 46th premier of South Australia between 2018 and 2022. He has been a member of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia in the South Australian House of Assembly since 2010, representing the electorate of Dunstan (known as Norwood before 2014).

Steven Marshall
Marshall in 2018
46th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 2014, 2018, 2022
In office
19 March 2018  21 March 2022
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorHieu Van Le
Frances Adamson
DeputyVickie Chapman
Dan van Holst Pellekaan
Preceded byJay Weatherill
Succeeded byPeter Malinauskas
Leader of the Opposition in South Australia
In office
4 February 2013  19 March 2018
Preceded byIsobel Redmond
Succeeded byPeter Malinauskas
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in South Australia
In office
23 October 2012  4 February 2013
Preceded byMitch Williams
Succeeded byVickie Chapman
Leader of the South Australian
Liberal Party
In office
31 January 2013  19 April 2022
DeputyVickie Chapman
Dan van Holst Pellekaan
Preceded byIsobel Redmond
Succeeded byDavid Speirs
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Dunstan
Assumed office
15 March 2014
Preceded byDistrict established
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Norwood
In office
20 March 2010  15 March 2014
Preceded byVini Ciccarello
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Steven Spence Marshall

(1968-01-21) 21 January 1968
Woodville South, South Australia, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia (SA)
SpouseSue (divorced)
EducationEthelton Primary School
Immanuel College
Alma materUniversity of South Australia

Marshall became the leader of the South Australian Liberal Party in February 2013, and was the leader of the opposition between 2013 and 2018. He had previously been the party's deputy leader from October 2012 to February 2013. Initially unsuccessful at the 2014 state election, Marshall led the opposition into government at the 2018 state election and on 19 March was sworn in as Premier by the governor. His government was defeated at the 2022 state election, and Marshall's premiership ended on 21 March. Following the defeat, he announced his resignation as party leader, which took effect upon the party's election of David Speirs as new leader on 19 April 2022.[1]

Early life and education

Marshall was born in Woodville South, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. He attended Ethelton Primary School and Immanuel College, before studying business at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia).[2] He completed an MBA at Durham University in the United Kingdom.[3]

Early career in business

In 1997, his father retired from running the family business, Marshall Furniture, and Steven Marshall took on the role of managing director.[4] While acting as managing director, the company won the South Australian small business prize in the national 2001 Employer of the Year awards, due to the company's commitment to hire people with disabilities.[5] He continued running the firm until 2001, when mounting pressure from imports forced the family to sell the business to Steinhoff International.[4] This led to a role on the Steinhoff Asia-Pacific board, which he then left in order to take on a number of different positions in the South Australian business sector, including chairman of Jeffries and general manager of Michell Pty Ltd.[2]

Marshall served on the South Australian Manufacturing Industry Advisory Board prior to entering politics in 2010.[6]


Marshall entered South Australian Parliament at the 2010 state election, winning the seat of Norwood as a candidate for the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia. He defeated Labor incumbent Vini Ciccarello.[6] In December 2011, Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond promoted Marshall to the front bench, assigning him the shadow portfolios of industry and trade, defence industries, small business, science and information economy, environment and conservation, sustainability and climate change.[7]

Marshall said in August 2012 that he would be willing to sign a pledge that he would not challenge Redmond for the Liberal Party leadership or Mitch Williams for the deputy leadership.[8] On 19 October 2012, Martin Hamilton-Smith and Marshall declared a leadership spill against Redmond and Williams.[9][10] In a partyroom ballot occurred on 23 October 2012, Redmond retained the leadership by one vote; however, Marshall was elected to the deputy leadership.[6][11][12] Marshall was denied his preferred treasury portfolio by Redmond,[13][14] but instead was given the health and economic development portfolios, while retaining his roles in industry and trade, defence, small business and science.[15]

Leader of the Opposition

On 31 January 2013 after Redmond resigned as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the SA Liberals, it was speculated that Marshall would succeed her. At the ballot on 4 February 2013, Marshall was elected unopposed.[16]

2014 state election

The 2014 state election was held on 15 March. Marshall contested Dunstan, a reconfigured version of Norwood. He faced Labor leader Jay Weatherill, who had replaced Mike Rann in 2011. Leading up to the election, the SA Liberals had led Labor in every recorded Newspoll since 2009. The election resulted in a hung parliament with 23 seats for Labor and 22 for the Liberals with the Liberals winning a majority of the two party preferred vote. The balance of power then rested with the two crossbench independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock. Such did not indicate who he would support in a minority government before he went on medical leave for a brain tumour, diagnosed one week after the election. With 24 seats required to govern, Brock provided support to the incumbent Labor government, allowing Weatherill to continue in office as head of a minority government, with Brock given a ministry portfolio.[17]

The day before the election, Marshall made a political gaffe, saying by mistake "If people in South Australia want change, they want a better future, they want to grow our economy then they need to vote Labor tomorrow".[18][19][20] Marshall contested Dunstan, essentially a renamed version of Norwood, and suffered a 1.7% two-party (2PP) swing. A swing against the Liberals occurred in seven of the nine Liberal-retained metropolitan seats.a

After the election, Marshall continued to lead the Liberals in opposition.[21] Former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent two months after the election and indicated his support for the government.[22] Following the death of Such and the subsequent 2014 Fisher by-election which Labor won by five votes from a 7.3% 2PP swing away from the Liberals, Labor went from minority to majority government. Brock and Hamilton-Smith maintained their confidence and supply support for the government which provided a 26 to 21 parliamentary majority.[23]

2018 state election

The 2018 state election was held on 17 March. The July to September 2014 Newspoll had seen Labor begin to lead the Liberals on the two-party-preferred vote for the first time since 2009.[24] The October to December 2015 Newspoll saw Marshall's leadership approval rating drop 11 points to 30%, the equal lowest Newspoll approval rating in history for a South Australian Opposition Leader since Dale Baker in 1990.[25][26][27] At the election, Marshall again faced Weatherill and Labor which were seeking a record fifth term in office and the "wild card" centrist party, SA-Best, led by former Senator Nick Xenophon, who was seeking the balance of power in the Assembly. The 2016 electoral redistribution had given the Liberals an advantage of 27 seats to Labor's 20 seats heading into the election.

Four hours after the close of polls on election day, at approximately 10pm ACDST, Weatherill telephoned Steven Marshall and conceded defeat. Marshall was introduced to the election day function by former Liberal Premier John Olsen and claimed victory. The SA Liberals had won the election with 25 seats to Labor's 19, a bare majority of two – the first time the Liberals had won a state election since Olsen's victory in 1997.[28][29][30][31] Despite the outcome, there was actually a state-wide two-party-preferred swing away from the Liberals toward Labor.[32]

Premier of South Australia

Two days after the election, with the result beyond doubt even though counting was still under way, Marshall had himself, deputy leader Vickie Chapman, and Father of the South Australian Parliament Rob Lucas sworn in as an interim three-person government by the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le. Marshall became Premier, Chapman Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, and Lucas Treasurer. Lucas had previously served as Treasurer in the last Liberal government.[33] The full ministry was sworn in on 22 March.[34] In addition to serving as Premier, Marshall retained responsibility for portfolio areas of The Arts, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Defence and Space Industries, Veterans' Affairs and Multicultural Affairs, although these were no longer named as ministries.[35]

In late 2018, Arts South Australia was dismantled and its functions transferred to direct oversight by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.[36][37][38] On 11 January 2020, Marshall assumed[39] the responsibilities of the Tourism ministry when he relieved David Ridgway of the role in the immediate aftermath of the devastation of key South Australian tourist areas during the 2019–20 bushfires.[39]

Marshall led his government into the 2022 state election, becoming only the second Liberal Premier since the end of the Playmander to serve a full term and take the party into the next election.[40] At that election, the Liberals were heavily defeated on a swing of over six percent. Marshall himself was nearly defeated in his own seat of Dunstan, suffering a swing of almost seven percent. This left Dunstan as the most marginal seat in the chamber, with Marshall now sitting on a paper-thin majority of 0.5 percent. His premiership formally ended on 21 March when the new cabinet led by Peter Malinauskas was sworn in at Government House. The day after the election Marshall announced his resignation as party leader,[41] which took effect on 19 April 2022 when the party room elected former Environment Minister David Speirs his successor on 19 April 2022.[42]

Other roles

As of 2017, he was an ambassador for scosa, having previously served on the board for five years.[43] He was a board member for Reconciliation SA for some years[44] and has been a White Ribbon ambassador.[45] He is the founding chairman of Compost for Soils, a program started in South Australia that has subsequently been implemented nationally.[46]


In 2001, he received a Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the disability sector.[47]

Personal life

Marshall has lived in the Dunstan electorate for his entire adult life.[48]

Marshall is divorced and has two adult children.[49][50] In January 2022, he had to isolate for a week due to having had dinner with his daughter just before she tested positive to COVID-19.[51]

Marshall is a supporter of the Port Adelaide Football Club.[52]

See also


^a : Per Results of the South Australian state election, 2014 (House of Assembly), a swing against the Liberals occurred in seven of the nine Liberal-retained metropolitan seats despite the statewide swing – in Dunstan, Adelaide, Unley, Bragg, Heysen, Waite, Davenport.


  1. Romy Gilbert (20 March 2022). "Outgoing South Australian Premier steps down as Liberal leader after election defeat".
  2. Russell, Christopher (31 January 2012). "Board blue-blood to build policy change". The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p. 31. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  3. "The Premier". Department of the Premier and Cabinet. 28 March 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  4. "Securing the future" (12 April 2011). The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p.11.
  5. Fewster, Sean. (12 January 2002). "All part of same team on the job". The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p.32.
  6. McGuire, Michael. (24 October 2012). "He is South Australia's latest Liberal deputy leader, but who is Steven Marshall?". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2013. Archived 22 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Owen, Michael (8 December 2011). "South Australia Liberal Party reshuffles shadow cabinet". The Australian. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  8. Wills, Daniel (7 August 2012). "Liberal MP Steven Marshall backs Isobel Redmond to stay as leader". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  9. Marshall, Steven (19 October 2012). "Statement regarding Liberal Leadership" (PDF). Liberal SA.
  10. "Ex SA Liberal leader wants top job back". ABC News. 19 October 2012.
  11. Wills, Daniel (23 October 2012). "Daniel Wills analysis – Isobel Redmond wins battle against Martin Hamilton-Smith, but at what price?". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  12. Crouch, Brad (25 October 2012). "SA Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond sits down to lunch with Christopher Pyne and new deputy Steven Marshall". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  13. Martin, Sarah (5 November 2012). "Isobel Redmond to snub deputy Steven Marshall in reshuffle". The Australian.
  14. Wills, Daniel (5 November 2012). "Isobel Redmond to unveil new frontbench – but Steven Marshall set to miss out on prized treasury role". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  15. "Mr Steven Marshall". Members of the Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  16. Wills, Daniel; Novak, Lauren; Crouch, Brad (4 February 2013). "Steven Marshall and Vickie Chapman to lead SA Liberal Party". The Advertiser. Adelaide.
  17. By-election for Bob Such's seat of Fisher expected to put pressure on Weatherill Government: ABC 13 October 2014
  18. "Campaign gaffe as Liberal leader Steven Marshall urges vote for Labor in SA election". Australia: ABC News. 14 March 2014.
  19. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall's state election slip of the tongue: Vote Labor!". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 14 March 2014.
  20. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall tells South Australians to 'vote Labor tomorrow'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 March 2014.
  21. Re-elected SA Labor Government gets down to business: ABC 27/3/2014
  22. "Martin Hamilton-Smith quits Liberals to back South Australian Labor Government". ABC News. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  23. Fisher by-election win for Labor gives Weatherill Government majority in SA: ABC 13 December 2014
  24. Newspoll: 51–49 to Labor in South Australia – Crikey 29 September 2014
  25. SA electors searching for proof of Liberal life: InDaily 15 January 2016
  26. Mr Unpopularity's poll dip laid bare: InDaily 14 January 2016
  27. South Australian Newspoll archive
  28. Griffiths, Luke; Owen, Michael (17 March 2018). "South Australia election: Liberals win, Xenophon and SA-Best fail". The Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  29. Keane, Daniel (18 March 2018). "SA election: Liberals claim victory as Labor's Jay Weatherill concedes". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  30. Thorne, Leonie (18 March 2018). "SA election: Liberal leader Steven Marshall claims victory in SA election". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  31. Remeikis, Amy (17 March 2018). "Liberals triumph in South Australian election – as it happened". The Guardian. Australia. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  32. "Notional two-party preferred results". ECSA. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  33. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall sworn in as new South Australian Premier". ABC News. Australia. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  34. MacLennan, Leah (22 March 2018). "SA election: Who's who in the new South Australian Liberal Government?". Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  35. "Steven Marshall MP". Steven Marshall | Premier of South Australia. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  36. "State Budget Sees Cuts to the Arts and Significant Changes to Arts South Australia". AICSA – Arts Industry Council of South Australia. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  37. Brooker, Ben (3 October 2018). "Arts South Australia: Bleeding in the dark". Witness Performance. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  38. "About arts and culture". South Australia. Dept of the Premier and Cabinet. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  39. "SA Premier will head tourism-led recovery in fire-ravaged Kangaroo Island and Adelaide Hills". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  40. Antony Green (21 February 2022). "2022 SA Election Preview". ABC News.
  41. "Outgoing SA Premier Steven Marshall to step down as Liberal leader after election defeat". ABC News. 20 March 2022.
  42. "SA Liberals elect former environment minister David Speirs as new party leader". ABC News. 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  43. "About Steven Marshall". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  44. "Board members". Reconciliation SA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  45. 2015 bulletin: Edwardstown Rotary Club
  46. "Off Topic: Steven Marshall – The Adelaide Review". The Adelaide Review. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  47. "It's an honour". Australian Government. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  48. "Steven Marshall at Steven Marshall". Steven Marshall. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  49. Noble, Kelly (4 September 2017). "Interview: Steven Marshall on fatherhood, raising teens & the perfect risotto". Glam Adelaide. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  50. Debelle, Penelope (10 January 2014). "State Liberal leader Steven Marshall on fatherhood and politics". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  51. "South Australian Premier Steven Marshall isolating after daughter tests positive for COVID-19". ABC News. 9 January 2022. Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  52. Bednall, Jai (30 September 2013). "Times change and State Opposition Leader Steven Marshall is a Redlegs fan now". The Advertiser. Adelaide. Retrieved 12 October 2021.


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