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).

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.

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

Australian Labor Party
(South Australian Branch)
Leader Peter Malinauskas
Deputy Leader Susan Close
President Katrine Hildyard
Secretary Reggie Martin [1]
Founded 1891
Headquarters 141 Gilles Street, Adelaide
Youth wing South Australian Young Labor
National affiliation Australian Labor Party
SA House of Assembly
19 / 47
SA Legislative Council
8 / 22
Australian House of Representatives
(SA seats)
6 / 11
Australian Senate
(SA seats)
3 / 12
Website
sa.alp.org.au

Formation

SAULP1893.jpeg
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
Peter Malinauskas
Incumbent
Peter Malinauskas

since 9 April 2018
Inaugural holder John McPherson

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) and Jay Weatherill (2011–2018). 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) and John Rau (2011–present). Foley is the state's longest-serving Deputy Premier.

List of parliamentary leaders

Current federal parliamentarians

Lower

Upper

Historic party officials

State election results

Election Seats won ± Total votes % Position Leader
1893
10 / 54
Increase10 16,458 18.8% Third party John McPherson
1896
12 / 54
Increase2 39,107 24.3% Third party John McPherson
1899
11 / 54
Decrease1 40,756 25.4% Third party Lee Batchelor
1902
5 / 42
Decrease6 48,515 19.9% Opposition Thomas Price
1905
15 / 42
Increase10 148,550 41.3% Minority government Thomas Price
1906
20 / 42
Increase5 143,577 44.8% Minority government Thomas Price
1910
22 / 42
Increase2 197,935 49.1% Majority government John Verran
1912
16 / 40
Decrease6 253,163 46.7% Opposition John Verran
1915
26 / 46
Increase10 153,034 45.9% Majority government Crawford Vaughan
1918
17 / 46
Decrease9 145,093 44.7% Opposition Andrew Kirkpatrick
1921
16 / 46
Decrease1 179,308 44.6% Opposition John Gunn
1924
27 / 46
Increase11 192,256 48.4% Majority government John Gunn
1927
16 / 46
Decrease11 243,450 47.9% Opposition Lionel Hill
1930
30 / 46
Increase14 102,194 48.6% Majority government Lionel Hill
1933
6 / 46
Decrease24 48,273 27.8% Opposition Edgar Dawes
1938
9 / 39
Increase3 57,124 26.1% Opposition Andrew Lacey
1941
11 / 39
Increase2 56,062 33.3% Opposition Robert Richards
1944
16 / 39
Increase5 105,298 42.5% Opposition Robert Richards
1947
13 / 39
Decrease3 133,959 48.6% Opposition Robert Richards
1950
12 / 39
Decrease1 134,952 48.1% Opposition Mick O'Halloran
1953
14 / 39
Increase2 166,517 50.9% Opposition Mick O'Halloran
1956
15 / 39
Increase1 129,853 47.4% Opposition Mick O'Halloran
1959
17 / 39
Increase2 191,933 49.3% Opposition Mick O'Halloran
1962
19 / 39
Increase2 219,790 53.9% Opposition Frank Walsh
1965
21 / 39
Increase2 274,432 55.0% Majority government Frank Walsh
1968
19 / 39
Decrease2 292,445 51.9% Opposition Don Dunstan
1970
27 / 47
Increase8 305,478 51.6% Majority government Don Dunstan
1973
26 / 47
Decrease1 324,135 51.5% Majority government Don Dunstan
1975
23 / 47
Decrease3 321,481 46.3% Majority government Don Dunstan
1977
27 / 47
Increase4 383,831 51.6% Majority government Don Dunstan
1979
20 / 47
Decrease7 300,277 40.8% Opposition Des Corcoran
1982
24 / 47
Increase5 353,999 46.3% Majority government John Bannon
1985
27 / 47
Increase3 393,652 48.2% Majority government John Bannon
1989
22 / 47
Decrease5 346,268 40.1% Minority government John Bannon
1993
10 / 47
Decrease12 277,038 30.4% Opposition Lynn Arnold
1997
21 / 47
Increase11 312,929 35.2% Opposition Mike Rann
2002
23 / 47
Increase2 344,559 36.4% Minority government Mike Rann
2006
28 / 47
Increase5 424,715 45.2% Majority government Mike Rann
2010
26 / 47
Decrease2 367,480 37.5% Majority government Mike Rann
2014
23 / 47
Decrease3 364,420 35.8% Minority government Jay Weatherill
2018
19 / 47
Decrease4 343,896 32.8% Opposition Peter Malinauskas

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

  1. ^ Owen, Michael (17 July 2015). "Labor's South Australian candidates line up for preselection". The Australian. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ History of South Australian elections 1857-2006, volume 1 - ECSA
  3. ^ Sound of Trumpets: History of the Labour Movement in South Australia - By Jim Moss
  4. ^ Why did a 'labour movement' emerge in South Australia in the 1880s? - By Nicholas Klar
  5. ^ "Australian Labor Party". AustralianPolitics.com. 6 October 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2014.

External links

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