South Australian state election, 1997

South Australian state election, 1997

=Legislative Council Results=

In the Legislative Council, voter disquiet was reflected in the fact that 3 of the 11 candidates were from minor parties, with the Australian Democrats having two MLCs elected for the first time. Elected were 4 Liberal, 4 Labor, 2 Australian Democrats, and No Pokies candidate Nick Xenophon. Carrying over from the 1993 election were 6 Liberal, 4 Labor, 1 Democrat; leaving the numbers at: 10 Liberal, 8 Labor, 3 Democrats, 1 No Pokies.

Both on 1.72%, the HEMP Legalise Marijuana party received 15432 votes and the SA Greens received 15377 votes.


The 1997 result put Labor within striking distance of winning government at the next election in 2002. John Olsen was left with internal disquiet over the leadership challenge and poor election result while his opponent, Mike Rann was seen to have 'won' the campaign despite losing the election.

On February 6, 2007, Mike Rann told parliament that some in the Liberal party had leaked information to him before and during the election campaign. The following quote by Rann is from Hansard on 6/2/2007 [] :

:"You asked me a question and I will give you a 55-minute answer, because you will remem­ber one day when I came into this place and I had, I think, 880 pages of cabinet and other documents... I remember being telephoned and told to go to a certain cafe, not in a white car but in a taxi, and then to walk in a zigzag fashion through the streets of a suburb, where I was to be handed cabinet documents. So much for their cabinet solidarity and cabinet confidentiality! There was a queue on the telephone telling us what had happened the day before. It was the same during the 1997 election campaign. People thought, `How does this guy (the leader of the opposition at the time) know intuitively exactly what John Olsen is doing the next day?' It was because I was being phoned and told! So, do not talk to me about cabinet solidari­ty lest I come in here and start naming names, which will set off another generation of disputation on the other side of the house. Anyway, cabinet approved, among other things, on 20 December 2006 minister Lomax-Smith's proposed statement and approved her to announce publicly that she opposed the proposal in cabinet. She did so because we agreed that she should be able to do so. Somehow I do not think that John Olsen agreed to what happened when I was getting the phone call at 6 o'clock in the morning and at midnight, and walking in a zigzag pattern through suburbs to be handed a cabinet bag and cabinet documents. We have a different approach. We agreed to it. It was a cabinet decision to agree to it. So, please, ask me some more questions, because there were two different camps involved in this leaking to the then poor unpopular leader of the opposition, and I am more than happy to name names."


* [ State Electoral Office - 1997 results]
*cite web |archiveurl= |archivedate=2008-06-29 |title=Background leading up to the election/Liberals in power |publisher=Crikey |url=

;Political Parties
* [ Australian Labor Party]
* [ Liberal Party of Australia]
* [ Australian Greens]
* [ Australian Democrats]
* [ The Nationals]

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