|State election major party leaders|
|< 1962 1965 1968 >|
Liberal and Country League
Australian Labor Party
State elections were held in Australia on 6 March 1965. All 39 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent Liberal and Country League led by Premier of South Australia Thomas Playford IV, in power since 1938, was defeated by the Australian Labor Party led by Leader of the Opposition Frank Walsh.
|Australian Labor Party||274,432||55.04||+1.06||21||+2|
|Liberal and Country League||179,183||35.93||+1.43||17||-1|
|Democratic Labor Party||21,679||4.35||-3.40||0||0|
|Australian Labor Party||WIN||54.30||+0.00||21||+2|
|Liberal and Country League||45.70||-0.00||18||-2|
Independent: Tom Stott
Even though Labor won multiple elections on the two-party preferred vote against Thomas Playford IV and the Liberal and Country League (LCL), the electoral rural overweighting known as the Playmander did not ensure one vote one value. The 1965 election saw Frank Walsh of the Australian Labor Party obtain government for the first time since 1933 after gaining a 2-seat majority on 55 percent of the primary vote. Electoral reform occurred after 1968 election which was won by LCL Steele Hall on 46.7 percent of the two party preferred vote, the 1975 election where Labor Don Dunstan won on 49.2 percent, and the 1989 election where Labor John Bannon won on 48.1 percent.
Walsh’s term as Premier was marked by increased spending on public education and the implementation of far-reaching social welfare and Aboriginal Affairs legislation, although many of these changes were spearheaded by Dunstan, and the socially conservative Walsh may well have personally opposed some of these moves.
Walsh was never comfortable dealing with the media, particularly television, and his ascension to the job of Premier only exacerbated these problems. A master of malapropisms and using complex words in the wrong context, Walsh regularly had journalists, Hansard reporters, and political ally and foe alike bewildered by his statements. To give but one example, Walsh once said in parliament "In this manner, Mr Speaker, the government has acted as if this were a diseased estate. It's not sufficiently elasticated... The government is suffering from a complete lack of apathy in the case."
His unease with the media was seen in stark contrast to his Attorney-General, Dunstan, who would prove to be a media relations master throughout his later terms as Premier.
Walsh's awkwardness with the media was further highlighted after 1966, the year Playford retired as Opposition Leader and the 37-year-old Steele Hall took his place. A sagging economy and poor polling figures combined with Steele Hall's advent to convince local ALP heavyweights that Labor could not win the next election with Walsh as Premier. Things came to a head in early 1967, when South Australian Labor power-broker Clyde Cameron publicly thanked Walsh for making the noble decision to retire to make way for a younger person. This was news to Walsh, who had made no such decision. After initially digging in his heels, Walsh eventually announced his retirement two weeks later, but not before attempting (without success) to manoeuvre his protégé Des Corcoran into the Premiership ahead of Dunstan.
|Lower house percentage and seat results|
|% (seats)||ALP||LCL||IND||OTH||ALP 2PP||LCL 2PP|
|1962||53.98% (19)||34.51% (18)||3.15% (2)||8.37%||54.3%||45.7%|
|1959||49.35% (17)||36.95% (20)||5.93% (2)||7.77%||49.7%||50.3%|
|1956||47.37% (15)||36.69% (21)||7.34% (3)||8.60%||48.7%||51.3%|
|1953||50.84% (15)||36.45% (20)||11.10% (4)||1.60%||53.0%||47.0%|
|1950||48.09% (12)||40.51% (23)||10.07% (4)||1.34%||48.7%||51.2%|
|1947||48.64% (13)||40.38% (23)||6.20% (3)||4.77%|
|1944||42.52% (16)||45.84% (20)||6.64% (3)||5.00%|
|1941||36.27% (13)||39.13% (21)||24.60% (5)||0.00%|
|1938||26.16% (9)||33.44% (15)||39.73% (14)||0.66% (1)|
|1933||27.78% (6)||34.62% (29)||13.41% (3)||24.20% (8)|
|Source: Australian Government and
Politics Database (1890 onward)
Rural overweighting known as the Playmander resulted in LCL lower house minority and majority governments for decades. Upper house elections since 1941 have held 16 LCL and 4 ALP; voting rights were limited to the wealthier classes; suffrage was dependent on certain property and wage requirements. The electoral districts were drawn to favour regional areas with a 2:1 bias in place.
In the 2006 election,
metro Adelaide held 35 metro districts representing 1.1 million
people, with 12 rural districts representing 0.4 million people. In
the 1965 election, 13 metro districts represented 0.7 million
people and 26 rural districts represented 0.4 million people.
|1965 Legislative Council Result|
|Australian Labor Party||50.6%||2|
|Liberal and Country League||42.2%||8|
|1965-1968 Legislative Council|
|Liberal and Country League||16|
|Australian Labor Party||4|