SA 2022 – Legislative Council Result Finalised

The last count for the South Australian election was finalised today with the distribution of preferences for the Legislative Council.

Several weeks of scanning and data entry have turned all the LC ballot papers into electronic records. Today the records were fed into the SA Electoral Commission’s preference distribution software to determine the winning candidates.

Details on the count are provided in the post.

Update: – some overall numbers on how voters completed their ballot papers.

  • Above-the-line with only a first preference – 62.7%
  • Above-the-line TL with preferences – 31.1%
  • Below the line – 6.2%

The above figures are derived from batching for ballot paper scanning. The detailed table of results below has 6.1% for below the line votes. The discrepancy is due to below the line votes that were informal or reverted to above the line votes after applying formality checks.

Elected, Defeated and Retiring Members

Candidates listed in order of election

  • 1Re-elected – Kyam Maher (Labor)
  • 2Re-elected – Michelle Lensink (Liberal)
  • 3Re-elected – Robert Simms (Greens)
  • 4Re-elected – Tung Ngo (Labor)
  • 5Re-elected – Dennis Hood (Liberal)
  • 6Elected – Reggie Martin (Labor)
  • 7Re-elected – Nicola Centofanti (Liberal)
  • 8Re-elected – Ian Hunter (Labor)
  • 9Elected – Laura Curran (Liberal)
  • 10Elected – Sarah Game (One Nation)
  • 11Re-elected – Russell Wortley (Labor)
  • Retired – Rob Lucas (Liberal)
  • Retired – John Dawkins (Independent, ex-LiberalLiberal)
  • Defeated – John Darley (Advance SA, ex-Xenophon Team)
SA2022 Election – Old and New Legislative Council
ALP LIB GRN SAB ONP OTH
Continuing members 4 4 1 2 .. ..
Retiring members 4 4 1 .. .. 2
New members 5 4 1 .. 1 ..
Old Council 8 8 2 2 .. 2
New Council 9 8 2 2 1 ..

Note: – ‘Other’ candidates departing are John Dawkins (Independent, ex-Liberal, retiring) and John Darley (Advance SA, ex-Xenophon Team, defeated). Note that in 2014 the Liberal Party elected four MLCs and Dennis Hood was elected for Family First. Hood joined the Liberal Party in 2018 after the demise of the Australian Conservatives. The Liberal positions facing election were reduced back to four when John Dawkins was expelled.

If a Labor member takes the chair as Council President, Labor will have eight members out of 21 on the floor of the Legislative Council and need three extra votes to pass legislations from amongst the two Greens, two SA Best and single One Nation MLCs on the cross bench.

Note: - Above table has been changed since first published. It now uses final first preference figures by party.

More to come on the results - check back later

The picture of the eleven elected members published on Twitter by InDaliy's Tom Richardson had Labor's Russell Wortley and One Nation's Sarah Game elected at the same count. That suggests that both were elected with less than a quota after all other candidates had been excluded and had their preferences distributed.

Also, it is being reported that One Nation won the final seat. This is not correct. One Nation won the 10th seat as they had more votes than the fifth Labor candidate. Labor won the final seat.

2022 Legislative Council Election - Result by Candidate and Party

Party/Candidate (Group) Votes Pct Quotas % ATL
Labor (K) 402,441 36.96 4.4352 96.30
ATL Votes 387,570 35.59 4.2714
Kyam MAHER (Re-elected 1) 9,831 0.90 0.1083
Tung NGO (Re-elected 4) 860 0.08 0.0095
Reggie MARTIN (Elected 6) 689 0.06 0.0076
Ian HUNTER (Re-elected 8) 813 0.07 0.0090
Russell WORTLEY (Re-elected 11) 597 0.05 0.0066
Meagan SPENCER 2,081 0.19 0.0229
Liberal (E) 374,289 34.38 4.1250 97.47
ATL Votes 364,802 33.50 4.0204
Michelle LENSINK (Re-elected 2) 6,304 0.58 0.0695
Dennis HOOD (Re-elected 5) 1,135 0.10 0.0125
Nicola CENTOFANTI (Re-elected 7) 951 0.09 0.0105
Laura CURRAN (Elected 9) 307 0.03 0.0034
Kathleen BOURNE 247 0.02 0.0027
Tania STOCK 543 0.05 0.0060
Greens (I) 98,324 9.03 1.0836 87.25
ATL Votes 85,792 7.88 0.9455
Robert SIMMS (Re-elected 3) 10,279 0.94 0.1133
Yesha JOSHI 1,274 0.12 0.0140
Malwina WYRA 979 0.09 0.0108
One Nation (M) 46,051 4.23 0.5075 87.43
ATL Votes 40,262 3.70 0.4437
Sarah GAME (Elected 10) 4,921 0.45 0.0542
Bob COUCH 868 0.08 0.0096
Liberal Democrats (A) 36,445 3.35 0.4017 89.17
ATL Votes 32,497 2.98 0.3581
James HOL 3,242 0.30 0.0357
Peter McMAHON 706 0.06 0.0078
Family First (F) 33,342 3.06 0.3675 88.06
ATL Votes 29,361 2.70 0.3236
Tom KENYON 3,294 0.30 0.0363
Deepa MATHEW 345 0.03 0.0038
Craig BOWYER 342 0.03 0.0038
Legalise Cannabis (H) 22,731 2.09 0.2505 89.10
ATL Votes 20,253 1.86 0.2232
Damon ADAMS 2,046 0.19 0.0225
Tyler GREEN 432 0.04 0.0048
Animal Justice (N) 16,299 1.50 0.1796 89.91
ATL Votes 14,654 1.35 0.1615
Louise PFEIFFER 1,456 0.13 0.0160
Tracey NEWMAN 189 0.02 0.0021
SA BEST (L) 11,392 1.05 0.1255 86.40
ATL Votes 9,843 0.90 0.1085
Ian MARKOS 1,413 0.13 0.0156
Keyvan ABAK 136 0.01 0.0015
Real Change SA (C) 9,417 0.86 0.1038 71.03
ATL Votes 6,689 0.61 0.0737
Stephen PALLARAS 2,583 0.24 0.0285
Tony TONKIN 145 0.01 0.0016
Aust Family Party (J) 9,315 0.86 0.1027 81.47
ATL Votes 7,589 0.70 0.0836
Bob DAY 1,598 0.15 0.0176
Sue JARMAN 128 0.01 0.0014
Nationals (B) 7,363 0.68 0.0811 83.78
ATL Votes 6,169 0.57 0.0680
Gary JOHANSON 876 0.08 0.0097
Lisa SHERRY 220 0.02 0.0024
Emmalene RICHARDS 98 0.01 0.0011
Independent (O) 4,841 0.44 0.0534 88.02
ATL Votes 4,261 0.39 0.0470
Kieran ROCHE 439 0.04 0.0048
Deborah DAVIES 141 0.01 0.0016
SA Party (G) 3,871 0.36 0.0427 81.97
ATL Votes 3,173 0.29 0.0350
Elise MICHIE 629 0.06 0.0069
Jack George DUXBURY 69 0.01 0.0008
Advance SA (D) 3,623 0.33 0.0399 72.40
ATL Votes 2,623 0.24 0.0289
John DARLEY 774 0.07 0.0085
Paula GUST 167 0.02 0.0018
Linda CHENG 59 0.01 0.0007
Independent (R) 3,237 0.30 0.0357 82.11
ATL Votes 2,658 0.24 0.0293
Colin SHEARING 463 0.04 0.0051
Carol HASLAM 116 0.01 0.0013
Independent (P) 2,461 0.23 0.0271 78.55
ATL Votes 1,933 0.18 0.0213
Amrik Singh THANDI 482 0.04 0.0053
MJ THANDI 46 0.00 0.0005
Independent (Q) 1,508 0.14 0.0166 74.27
ATL Votes 1,120 0.10 0.0123
Belinda VALENTINE 357 0.03 0.0039
Steven HARVEY 31 0.00 0.0003
Independent (S) 1,359 0.12 0.0150 78.22
ATL Votes 1,063 0.10 0.0117
Annabel DIGANCE 273 0.03 0.0030
Greg DIGANCE 23 0.00 0.0003
Independent (T)
Graham PHILP 531 0.05 0.0059
Total ATL votes 1,022,312 93.89
Total BTL votes 66,528 6.11
Formal votes 1,088,840 96.38
Informal votes 40,840 3.62
Total votes / Turnout 1,129,680 89.18
Enrolment 1,266,719
Quota 90,737

Summary of preference distribution

The tally of first preference votes and then the initial trickle down of preferences through the candidates on the Labor, Liberal and Greens tickets elected nine candidates on filled quotas. These were four Labor MLCs, four Liberals and one Green.

At this point no candidate in the count had a quota. The highest party totals after excluding filled quotas were -

  • 0.5075 quotas One Nation party total
  • 0.4352 quotas Labor total beyond four filled quotas
  • 0.4017 quotas Liberal Democrats party total
  • 0.3675 quotas Family First party total
  • 1.2881 quotas distributed across 16 other groups

The next highest partial quota at this point was Legalise Cannabis with 0.2505, too far behind Family First to catch up.

The exclusion of the lowest polling candidates and distribution of voter preferences now began. By Count 617, there were two remaining Labor candidates, Russell Wortley with 35,764 votes and 6th Labor candidate Megan Spencer with 2,698. The Ungrouped Independent had been excluded, and only one candidate remained from the other 18 groups on the ballot paper. At this point the leading groups were -

  • 0.5080 quotas One Nation party total
  • 0.4239 quotas Labor total
  • 0.3986 quotas Liberal Democrats party total
  • 0.3689 quotas Family First party total
  • 1.2962 quotas distributed across 15 other groups

During the continuing distribution of preferences, Family First passed the Liberal Democrats. At count 5608, only four candidates remained.

  • Russell Wortley (Labor) now lead with 54,631 votes, 0.6021 quotas having attracted 16,169 preferences, 13.7% of votes distributed
  • Sarah Game (One Nation) with 53,542 votes, 0.5901 quotas having attracted 7,450 votes as preferences, 6.3% of votes distributed
  • Tom Kenyon (Family First) was now in third place with 42,982 votes, 0.4737 quotas having attracted 9,505 votes as preferences, 8.1% of votes distributed
  • James Hol (Liberal Democrats) was now in fourth and last place with 40,331 votes, 0.4445 quotas having attracted only 4,166 preferences, 3.5% of votes distributed
  • To this point 68.3% of preferences from excluded parties had exhausted their preferences for not choosing between the four remaining candidates. Exhausted preferences represented 0.88 quotas.

James Hol (Liberal Democrats) was now excluded with only three candidates remaining in the count. Of his preferences, 72.6% exhausted, 12.6% flowed to Family First, 10.6% One Nation and 4.3% to Labor. This put One Nation back ahead of Labor. The totals now stood at

  • Sarah Game (One Nation) with 57,806 votes, 0.6371 quotas having attracted 7.6% of votes distributed since Count 617
  • Russell Wortley (Labor) with 56,358 votes, 0.6211 quotas having attracted 11.6% of votes distributed since Count 617
  • Tom Kenyon (Family First) 48,047 votes, 0.5295 quotas having attracted 9.5% of votes distributed since Count 617
  • To this point 71.3% of preferences from excluded parties had exhausted their preferences. Exhausted preferences represented 1.21 quotas.

Game and Wortley could have been declared elected at this point, but the exclusion of Tom Kenyon went ahead to determine the order of election. Of his preferences, 70.2% exhausted, 17.0% flowed to One Nation and 12.8% to Labor. The final totals were -

  • Sarah Game (One Nation) Elected 10 with 65,950 votes, 0.7268 quotas having attracted 10.6% of votes distributed since Count 617
  • Russell Wortley (Labor) Re-elected 11 with 62,500, votes, 0.6888 quotas having attracted 12.8% of votes distributed since Count 617
  • To this point 76.6% of preferences from excluded parties had exhausted their preferences. Exhausted preferences represented 1.58 quotas.

Once again, the new voting system demonstrated its underlying property of favouring candidates and parties that start the count with a higher quota, or remainder quota for parties that elected more than one member. Despite a good ballot draw and finishing in third spot, the Liberal Democrats failed to attract preferences. There was no exclusions where the Liberal Democrats attracted more preferences than other parties, and conservative preferences that did flow favoured One Nation and Family First.

Green surplus preferences were crucial for Labor staying ahead, with only 30% exhausting on the exclusion of the final Green candidate, the lowest exhaustion rate at any exclusion. Labor also benefited from positive flows from Animal Justice and Legalise Cannabis.

Once again the new system demonstrated that parties can no longer leap frog from low votes on preferences. With preferences now determined by voters themselves, it is clear that voters tend to gravitate towards parties they know over other alternatives on the ballot paper.

When left to complete their own preferences, voters do not complete long strings of preferences to smaller parties before moving on to the better known parties. What voters do with their preferences look nothing like the chains of preferences that used to be lodged by parties as group voting tickets.

In the post-group voting ticket world, parties need votes to get elected. They can no longer rely on preferences to overtake competitors.

7 thoughts on “SA 2022 – Legislative Council Result Finalised”

  1. The result of the election is the most left-wing Legislative Council in South Australia’s history.

    Though arguably not Labor’s best-ever result – the ALP held ten seats much of the time between 1975 and 1993 – the Council’s new makeup including nine ALP members, two Greens, and two SA-Best, neither of whom would be considered right-of-centre, probably creates a more left-wing environment in the Upper House overall than between 1975 and 1993.

    I base this claim on the fact that 11 votes are needed for a floor majority (i.e. to pass legislation), and, assuming that one of Labor’s members is elected president, after assigning all members ordinal numbers from 1st (most left-wing) to 21st (most right-wing), the crucial ’11th vote’ is an SA-Best member, and probably Connie Bonaros.

    Bonaros is – and I realise this is subjective – probably more left-wing and willing to support much of the ALP’s agenda than the ’11th vote’ between 1975 and 1993, which was the more right-wing of the two Liberal Movement/Democrat MLCs during that period. I think she, and possibly Frank Pangallo, based on their voting patterns in the last parliament, are also less right-wing than the ’11th vote’ during the Rann and Weatherill era.

    I appreciate also that ‘left-‘ and ‘right-wing’ is sometimes apt to mislead – e.g. Michelle Lensink (LIB) is certainly more progressive on social issues than some of the Labor moderate MLCs – however whichever way one slices and dices it, I think the chamber overall is more left-wing – or at least is less likely to obstruct a progressive agenda – than at anytime in the past.

    This is not to say that the Legislative Council is particularly – or even slightly – left-wing. Indeed the Liberal MLCs in particular are on average to the right of their lower house counterparts (i.e. even accounting for Lensink). However, given its historic rightward lean – assisted considerably by malapportionment and property qualifications in order to vote – this chamber was always, until reforms in the 1970s, well to the right of the average South Australian.

    However, on the back of a very good result for the ALP in the House of Assembly, the Legislative Council election has delivered for the first time an Upper House which is, if anything, slightly left-of-centre.

    COMMENT: I’m sure some of the SA Best MLCs you mention would disagree with your characterisation of their political position. SA Best is much more like the old Australian Democrats than the Greens, so it is the presence of the two Greens that is responsible for any leftward shift.

  2. Hi Antony

    Thanks for your analysis. Could you please clear up one question arising from this ? In the Senate, the President has a deliberative vote as opposed to the Speaker in the House, who has a casting vote if the vote on the floor is tied. Is this the same case in the SA Parliament in respect of the LC and House of Assembly ? That is Labor would have 9 votes irrespective of who is President. Usually tied votes are resolved in the negative.

    COMMENT: The President of the Legislative Council only has a casting vote. The Senate rule was put in when the Constitution was drafted because the structure if the Senate meant it would always have an even number of members.

  3. Did I read this correctly and it took 5608 counts to determine the result? Surely there must be a simpler system!

    COMMENT: There is. You can do counts where distribution is my amalgamated transfer value which would wipe out 80% of “counts”. In SA, all excluded candidates have votes distributed in the order they were received. Towards the end of the count, with dozens of candidates excluded, you get more and more counts. Each count may involve only 1 or 2 votes, but usually one count involves first preferences which is where most of the votes are.

  4. A very different scenario from the 1965 election, when with very unfair boundaries and built in Liberal bias, Labor won over 50% of the votes and 4 members of the Legislative Council, and the Liberals with just 42% support ‘won’ 16 members out of 20. Some things have improved in the last 60 years!

  5. Excellent analysis Antony. Where we can find the preference/exclusion count data? Thanks

    COMMENT: It doesn’t appear to have been published. My summaries were derived from a set of count by count tallies. The eventual preference distribution will be more useful.

  6. Is it true Anthony that you can cast a Langer vote in the half Senate election?

    Does that mean I can vote above the line…say 1,2,2,2,2,2 and its a legal vote?

    COMMENT: If you vote above the line the instructions say to number a minimum 6 preferences. The savings provisions say any vote with a valid ATL first preference is formal. So 1-only counts, 1,2 counts and so on as long as there is a valid first preference. There is no reason to bother with a Langer vote as your vote is valid for as many or as few ATL numbers as you mark.

    If you vote below the line the instructions are for a minimum 12 preferences. The savings provision is that the first six numbers must be formal, dealing with the case where a voter uses the ATL instructions when voting below the line. So 1,2,2,2,2,2 would be informal as it does not have six preferences. Beyond 6 there is no need to bother with a Langer vote as your vote simply stops where you stop numbering.

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