ID 1638

Commonwealth Parliament, Senate election in South Australia

(for more information on this election see national summary for the Senate)

Election of 2 July 2016

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Senate votes and seats won, and seats held in South Australia

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Election held on 2 July 2016
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

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Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won by ticket n Seats won by ticket % Seats won by party n Seats won by party % Seats held by party n Seats held by party %
Liberal Party  346,423  32.65  +5.19  33.33  33.33  33.33 
Australian Labor Party  289,942  27.32  +4.66  25.00  25.00  25.00 
Nick Xenophon Group  230,866  21.76  -3.13  25.00  25.00  25.00 
Australian Greens  62,345  5.88  -1.21  8.33  8.33  8.33 
Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party  31,681  2.99       
Family First  29,187  2.75  -1.01  8.33  8.33  8.33 
Australian Sex Party/Marijuana (HEMP) Party (joint ticket)  12,102  1.14           
Liberal Democratic Party  6,924  0.65  -2.88       
Palmer United Party  782  0.07  -2.57       
Australian Sex Party    -1.00       
Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party         
Votes for other than listed parties 50,913 4.80 -0.61             
Totals 1,061,165  100.00    12  100.00  12  100.00  12  100.00 

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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.


See the Glossary of this website for information on Senate elections and details of the distinction between Seats won by ticket and Seats won by party, and between Seats won and Seats held.

Electoral system: In an attempt to reduce the number of parties elected to the Senate with less that 5 percent of the primary vote in any state, the Electoral Act Amendment Act 2016 made changes to the requirements for voters to complete a valid Senate ballot (for context, see 'Other parties' in the notes to the national summary of the 2013 Senate election). For Senate elections from 1984 to 2013, voters had been required to rank all the candidates listed on the ballot paper or choose a single party list (group voting ticket) by voting above the line on the ballot paper. For the 2016 election, voters needed to rank only 12 candidates but, if voters chose to vote above the line, they were required to rank six party lists (group voting tickets).

To reduce the number of informal (invalid) ballots that might have followed from these changes, provision was made in the Act for ballots with only a single choice of party list above the line (as required by the former rules) to be a valid vote for that party list only. A similar provision was made for some ballots that listed fewer than 12 candidates below the line. These saving clauses appeared to have had some success since the rate of informal (invalid) voting for the Senate in 2016 increased by less than 1 percent over the 2013 figure.

Nick Xenophon Group: Nick Xenophon was an Independent member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1997 to 2007. At the 2007 Senate election, Xenophon ran in South Australia as one of two candidates in a group without a party name (group S on the 2007 South Australian Senate ballot paper) and was elected as an Independent senator. At the 2013 Senate election, he formed a registered party called the Nick Xenophon Group, and won a Senate seat with the second highest share of primary votes for any party in South Australia. At this Senate election (2016) he registered the party name Nick Xenophon Team but the name Nick Xenophon Group has been retained in this database to permit comparison over time and between states.

Although contesting Senate seats in all states in 2016, the Nick Xenophon Group only won seats in South Australia but, in that state, it gained three senators, as many as were won by the Australian Labor Party at the 2016 Senate election.

Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party: Since cofounding the original Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party in 1997, Pauline Hanson has contested elections in Queensland under various party names, and a number of parties using Pauline Hanson's name or One Nation have contested state and federal elections in all states and territories at various times since 1998. The Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party gained enough votes to elect a senator from Queensland in 1998 (Len Harris) and to qualify as a listed party in this database at Senate elections from 1998 to 2004. The election of Pauline Hanson and three other members of her party to the Senate in 2016 marked the first time that the party had won senators from a states other than Queensland.

Family First: The Family First party was founded in 2002 in South Australia and has policies which support traditional family values. It ran candidates in all states at the 2004 federal election and was successful in winning a Senate seat in Victoria (Steve Fielding). It contested the Senate elections of 2007 and 2010 without success but gained representation in 2013 from South Australia with the election of its candidate, Bob Day, who was reelected to the Senate at this election (2016).

Australian Sex Party/Marijuana (HEMP) Party (joint ticket): The Australian Sex Party had contested the 2013 Senate election in the Northern Territory as a separate party, but chose to combine its candidates with those of the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party in a joint ticket for the 2016 Senate election in the Northern Territory. The Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party had been a listed party in this database for the 2013 Senate election in Western Australia. As a joint ticket, the two parties are also listed separately in the table above even though, at this election the ticket did not win a seat.

Liberal Democratic Party: After some difficulty with registering its party name over objections from the Liberal Party, the party was registered for Senate elections from 2010. The party believed in small government and traditional libertarian principles. The party was successful in electing a senator (David Leyonhjelm) from New South Wales in 2013 who was returned at the 2016 Senate election.

Palmer United Party: The Palmer United Party was formed in 2013 by mining businessman Clive Palmer, who had been previously associated with the Queensland National Party and its successor, the Liberal National Party. At the 2013 election, the Party won Senate seats in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia but disagreements within the Party and financial controversies surrounding Clive Palmer led to the Party's collapse.

Other parties: The Australian Electoral Commission listed 14 registered party groupings for this Senate election in South Australia whose votes are not separately listed in the table above. None of these parties gained 1 percent of the first preference votes at this election, had a candidate elected or met any of the other criteria for listing in this database for the state summary for this Senate election in South Australia (see listed party). For details of the votes won by these parties, see the reference in 'Sources', below. Note that some of these parties may have qualified for listing in other state summaries for this election.


Voting figures were taken from the Australian Electoral Commission website 'First preferences by Senate group', online: here [accessed 22 June 2017]