ID 0261

State Government of South Australia beginning 4 December 2002 - period in office of Premier Rann, Michael David ending on 21 October 2011

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Rann, Michael David
Date of beginning of period in office
4 December 2002
Date of end of period in office
21 October 2011 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Change of partisan support for premier/PM (see notes) 
Reason for end of this government
Change of party leader
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
Australian Labor Party
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
23 July 2004
Gain in parliamentary support
If further change during period
25 March 2010
Result of general election

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
SA 20 March 2010Michael David RannAustralian Labor PartyMichael David RannAustralian Labor Party
SA 18 March 2006Michael David RannAustralian Labor PartyMichael David RannAustralian Labor Party
SA 9 February 2002Robert Gerard KerinLiberal PartyMichael David RannAustralian Labor Party

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Change of partisan support for premier: Rann's second period in office; After the March 2002 general election, the Rann Australian Labor Party minority government had been formed with the support of Independent Peter Lewis who became Speaker of the House of Assembly (see previous period in office for South Australia).

On 4 December 2002, Independent member Rory McEwen was sworn in as a minister in a Rann Australian Labor Party and Independent coalition government. The willingness of McEwen to become part of the government while remaining an Independent transformed the government from a minority government relying on the casting vote of the Speaker to a coalition government with majority support on the floor of the Assembly. This change in the party composition of the parliamentary support for the premier meant that a second period in office had commenced for Rann.

Gain in parliamentary support: The Rann government's position was further strengthened on 23 July 2004 by the addition of Karlene Maywald, the sole National Party member of the Assembly, to the coalition government. The conditions under which Maywald joined the ministry while remaining a member of the National Party were set out in a formal agreement which permitted her to vote against the government in the Assembly on some issues.

Continuation of Labor coalition after election of March 2006: Although the Australian Labor Party under Premier Rann won a majority of seats at the March 2006 general election for the Assembly, Rann and the Labor Party parliamentary members (the Labor caucus) chose to keep the reelected Independent member McEwen and National Party member Maywald as ministers in the government under the same conditions negotiated at the time when these two non-Labor Party members originally joined the government in 2002 and 2004 (see previous note). This arrangement made Rann premier of a Labor Party, Independent and National Party coalition government, a continuation of the pattern of parliamentary support which had preceded the election.

Change to majority party government: After a closely contested general election for the House of Assembly held on 20 March 2010, the Rann government was returned as an Australian Labor Party majority government, and a new ministry was sworn in on 25 March 2010.

Change of party leader: After the election held in March 2010, the Rann Australian Labor Party government was returned with a majority of seats even though it won fewer first preference votes than the Liberal Party. Over the months following the election, pressure grew to replace Premier Rann in response to declining popular support of both the Labor Party and Premier Rann. At a confidential meeting in February 2011, Premier Rann agreed with senior party members to resign in March 2012 if the party agreed on a successor. During 2011, pressure mounted on Premier Rann to resign in favour of Jay Weatherill, a minister in the Rann government. An arrangement was finally struck that Rann would resign on 20 October 2011; see Michael Owen, 'Mike Rann to walk but not happy, Jay', The Australian, 9 August 2011. For a survey of the political context of this change of party leader, see Haydon Manning, 'South Australia', Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Political Chronicle, July-December 2011, 58 (2) June 2012: 314-321 at 314-317.

References: For survey of the early years of Rann's period as Premier, see Hayden Manning, 'Mike Rann: A Fortunate "King of Spin"', in John Wanna and Paul Williams (editors), Yes, Premier: Labor Leadership in Australia's States and Territories, pp 197-224, (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2005).