1899 South Australian colonial election

Elections were held in the colony of South Australia on 29 April 1899, except for Albert, where the incumbent members were elected unopposed on 12 April, and Northern Territory, which voted on 6 May.[1] All 54 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election. The incumbent liberal government led by Premier of South Australia Charles Kingston in an informal coalition United Labor Party (ULP) led by Lee Batchelor defeated the conservative opposition led by Leader of the Opposition John Downer. Each district elected multiple members, with voters casting multiple votes. Although the conservatives won more seats, the liberal government retained power until later that year, when new conservative leader Vaiben Louis Solomon forced the government to resign, but only held office for one week. The liberals held government until the next election through leaders Frederick Holder and John Jenkins.

1899 South Australian colonial election

← 1896 29 April 1899 (1899-04-29) 1902 →

All 54 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly
28 seats were needed for a majority
  Second party Third party
  Lee Batchelor - Swiss Studios (cropped).jpg John Downer (Australian politician).jpg
Leader Lee Batchelor John Downer
Party United Labor Australasian National League
Leader since 1897 -
Leader's seat West Adelaide Barossa
Last election 12 seats 18 seats
Seats won 11 seats 14 seats
Seat change Decrease1 Decrease4
Percentage 25.4% 18.4%

Premier before election

Charles Kingston

Elected Premier

Charles Kingston


The 1899 election was a contest between three increasingly dominating groups – the ULP, the conservative National Defence League (NDL) which renamed to the Australasian National League (ANL), and the Kingston liberals. It was also dominated by one issue – the restrictive franchise for the Legislative Council. The Kingston government, which had secured a majority with the strong support of the ULP, had attempted to broaden the franchise in 1898, but the ANL and conservative majority of the Council had rejected the Bill. Kingston took the Assembly into the 1899 election with this issue dominant. The seat contest was particularly intense between the conservatives and the Kingston liberals. There was no "Liberal" or "Kingston" party, but there was a relatively cohesive Kingston group among both independent members and candidates. The Liberal and Democratic Union would not be formed until the 1906 election.


House of Assembly (FPTP) — Turnout 62.9% (Non-CV) — Informal 1.3%
  Party Votes % Swing Seats Change
  United Labor Party 40,756 25.4 +1.1 11 –1
  Australasian National League 29,460 18.4 –12.2 14 –4
  Independent 90,042 56.2 +11.1 29 +5
  Total 160,258     54
  Liberal/Labor coalition WIN
  Australasian National League

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Statistical Record of the Legislature, 1836-2009" (PDF). Parliament of South Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2016.