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South Australian state election, 1977

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17 September 1977 (1977-09-17)  1979 →
23 seats  20 seats
4  3
Date  17 September 1977
1 June 1967  1975
27 seats  17 seats
53.4%  46.6%
Winner  Don Dunstan

State elections were held in South Australia on 17 September 1977. All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent Australian Labor Party led by Premier of South Australia Don Dunstan won a fourth term in government, defeating the Liberal Party of Australia led by Leader of the Opposition David Tonkin.

Contents

Background

Parliamentary elections for the lower house of the Parliament of South Australia were held in South Australia in 1977, which saw Don Dunstan and the Australian Labor Party win a fourth successive term, against the Liberal Party of Australia opposition led by David Tonkin. This would be Dunstan's last election before collapsing in parliament and resigning due to ill health.

It was the first time that a Labor government in South Australia had been re-elected for a fourth term, and would be the first nine-year-incumbent Labor government.

This was the first election after the end of Playmander seat weighting where one vote one value was introduced. At the previous election some metropolitan seats still saw more than three times the number of voters than in some rural seats, despite most of the Playmander being abolished nearly a decade ago.

A 1979 Norwood by-election was triggered as a result of Dunstan's resignation. Labor retained the seat on a considerably reduced majority.

The Australian Democrats ran for the first time under a joint New LM-Australian Democrats ticket, winning an average 12.3 percent of the primary vote in the 12 electorates they contested, with former LCL MP Robin Millhouse retaining his seat of Mitcham, which he would hold until 1982. In the South Australian Legislative Council, the sole balance of power was held unbroken by the Democrats from their inception in mid-1970s, until the late 1990s. Though the Democrats would exceed 16 percent of the vote at the 1997 election, during the following term the Democrats would lose the sole balance of power for the first time, sharing the balance of power with independent members, slowly losing numbers and influence, until they were eventually without parliamentary representation as of the 2010 election.

Legislative Council Results

No upper house vote took place at this election.

References

South Australian state election, 1977 Wikipedia


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