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Electoral historyEdit

Prior to 1995, a very small local Green party not connected to the emerging Australian Greens contested a number of State and Federal elections. This party was more or less non-functioning by the time Mark Parnell called the first meetings to establish a new Green Party in 1995. It took a number of attempts to get the new party off the ground, however a visit to Adelaide by Bob Brown in late 1995 provided the necessary impetus to register the new party.

The Australian Greens (SA) first ran in the 1996 federal election and the 1997 state election. In both elections they received around two percent of the statewide upper house vote.

Since that time, the Greens SA have steadily built up a support base at state and federal elections, partly due to the demise of the Democrats. The Greens SA now have two MLCs and two Senators, with polling for the 2013 federal and 2014 state elections by Newspoll showing the Green vote consistently above 10 percent. The Greens SA lost their second Senate seat in the 2016 federal election, following a 1.22% decline in the Greens' Senate vote.

2002 Labor defectionEdit

Kris Hanna, the member for Mitchell, was elected as a Labor member in 1997, but changed to The Greens in 2003. Hanna left the party in February 2006, citing constituents' wishes for him not to be bound to any party.[2]

2006 state electionEdit

At the 2006 state election, Environmental lawyer Mark Parnell became the first Green candidate to be elected in South Australia, securing a position in the Legislative Council on a primary vote of 4.3 percent. A vote of 6.5 percent was achieved in the House of Assembly.

The best lower house result was in the electoral district of Heysen, on a primary vote of 17.7 percent. Heysen was also the Democrats closest lower house win, coming as close as 1.9 percent at the 1997 state election on a primary vote of 29.2 percent, finishing at 48.1 percent after preferences.

2007 federal electionEdit

Fourth on the 2006 state ticket, Sarah Hanson-Young was first on the ticket at the 2007 federal election, and became South Australia's first Greens Senator. She won the sixth and final South Australian Senate position with a primary vote of 6.5 percent. The strongest Green votes in the Senate came from Adelaide, Boothby and Mayo.[3]

2008 Mayo federal by-electionEdit

Sparked by the resignation of Liberal Party MP Alexander Downer, a Mayo by-election was held in 2008. Labor chose not to contest the by-election. Greens candidate Lynton Vonow finished second, on a primary vote of 21.35 percent amongst a field of 11 candidates, a swing of 10.39 percent, and finished on a final vote of 46.97 percent after the distribution of preferences, falling narrowly short of taking the seat from the Liberals.

2010 state electionEdit

Prior to the 2010 state election, the Greens had gone from four to ten percent and above in state Newspolls.[4] In the lower house, the vote increased to 8.1 percent, with the upper house vote to 6.6 percent which elected Tammy Jennings (now Tammy Franks).

2010 federal electionEdit

At the 2010 federal election, polls showed a similar substantial increase. The Greens SA received a swing of 6.8 percent in South Australia for the Australian Senate, to finish with 13.3 percent of the statewide vote. Penny Wright was subsequently elected, joining Hanson-Young and 7 other Green Senators from July 2011.[5][6]

2013 federal electionEdit

Hanson-Young was re-elected at the 2013 federal election with a statewide primary vote of 7.1 percent. The Greens polled strongest in the seat of Mayo with over 14 percent of the primary vote.

2014 state electionEdit

15 of 47 electorates in South Australia had a Green vote of above 10 percent at the 2014 state election. At the 2013 federal election, of 11 seats, the Green vote was above 10 percent in Adelaide, Boothby and Mayo.

Parnell was re-elected at the 2014 election with the upper house statewide primary vote at 6.5 percent. The lower house statewide primary vote was 8.7 percent.

Lynton Vonow contested the seat of Heysen for the Greens and came second after preferences with a 39 percent two-candidate preferred vote from a 19.7 percent primary vote. The Greens have consistently polled strongest in Heysen but with preferences overtook the Labor candidate. The Greens also polled well in seats such as Kavel and Davenport with primary votes over 15 percent.

2015 Senate casual vacancyEdit

Penny Wright resigned from the Senate due to family reasons in September 2015. Later that month, Robert Simms was appointed to the casual vacancy by a joint sitting of the Parliament of South Australia.[7]

2016 federal electionEdit

When Prime Minister Turnbull announced in March 2016 that a double dissolution would be taking place in May and an election in July,[8] the party was forced for the first time to choose between their two senators, and preselected Sarah Hanson-Young to the number 1 preference on the Senate ballot, with Robert Simms at number 2.[9] Only Hanson-Young was reelected, being assigned a 3-year term.

State election resultsEdit

Legislative AssemblyEdit

Election Seats won Total votes % Position Parliamentary Leader
0 / 47
1,910 0.21% Not in chamber
0 / 47
22,332 2.36% Not in chamber
0 / 47
60,949 6.49% Not in chamber
0 / 47
79,535 8.11% Not in chamber Mark Parnell
0 / 47
88,600 8.70% Not in chamber Mark Parnell
0 / 47
69,826 6.66% Not in chamber Mark Parnell

Legislative CouncilEdit

Election Seats won Total votes % Position Convenor
0 / 22
15,377 1.72% Not in chamber
0 / 22
25,725 2.8% Not in chamber
1 / 22
39,852 4.3% Crossbench
2 / 22
63,358 6.6% Crossbench Mark Parnell
2 / 22
65,215 6.5% Crossbench Mark Parnell
2 / 22
61,610 5.86% Crossbench Mark Parnell


State CouncilEdit

The party's State Council meets once a quarter to deal with the party’s administrative matters. The party also has a Policy and Campaigning Council, which includes representatives from branches and member action groups and meets every two months to shape the party’s strategic priorities


Branches are where new members first meet other Greens, talk politics and policy, get involved in local campaigning and fundraising, and find out about what else is going on.

Member action groupsEdit

A variety of member action groups have been established by the State Council, which are directly accessible to all Greens members. Working groups perform an advisory function by developing policy, conducte issues-based campaigns, or by performing other tasks assigned by the State Council. These groups include:

  • Indigenous Issues
  • Animal welfare
  • Greenhouse, energy and nuclear
  • Queer Greens
  • Young Greens

Members of ParliamentEdit

Federal ParliamentEdit

Former federal membersEdit

State ParliamentEdit

Former state membersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Hanna leaves Greens to run as independent. 08/02/2006. ABC News Online". 8 February 2006. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  3. ^ "Graph 12, Page 10". Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  4. ^ Greens gain from protest over climate: The Advertiser 18 December 2009[dead link]
  5. ^ "SA Senate 2010 results". AEC. Archived from the original on 23 September 2010.
  6. ^ "SA Senate 2010 seats". ABC. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
  7. ^ "Adelaide City councillor Robert Simms to take Greens Senate seat". ABC News. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Malcolm Turnbull recalls Parliament for April 18 sitting ahead of early election". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Greens senator Simms faces election fight". SBS News. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2016.

External linksEdit