Cheltenham by-election, 2019

Cause of by-election
Former Labor premier Jay Weatherill resigned from Cheltenham in December 2018.

MarginALP 15.9%

Northwestern Adelaide. Cheltenham covers the suburbs of Alberton, Albert Park, Athol Park, Cheltenham, Findon, Hendon, Pennington, Queenstown, Royal Park, Woodville, Woodville North, Woodville South, Woodville West and parts of Port Adelaide and Rosewater. Most of the electorate lies in the Charles Sturt council area, as well as a small part of the Port Adelaide Enfield area.

Cheltenham has existed since the 2002 election. Cheltenham was a new name for Price, which had existed since 1985.

Murray De Laine won Price at the 1985 election. When the electorate was renamed Cheltenham, De Laine was challenged for Labor Party preselection by Jay Weatherill.

De Laine resigned from the ALP in 2001, and contested the seat as an independent, polling 9.7% and losing to Weatherill.

Weatherill was appointed to the ministry following the 2002 election, and served in the ministry through the 2006 and 2010 elections.

After the 2010 election, Weatherill challenged ALP deputy leader Kevin Foley unsuccessfully.

Weatherill replaced Mike Rann as Premier in 2011. He led Labor to a fourth term at the 2014 election, and continued as Premier until his party’s defeat in 2018. He retired from parliament in late 2018.


  • Steffi Medrow (Greens)
  • Joe Szakacs (Labor)

Labor should easily retain this seat.

2018 election result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Jay Weatherill Labor 11,661 52.4 -2.9
Penny Pratt Liberal 4,954 22.3 -7.2
John Noonan SA-Best 3,369 15.1 +15.1
Steffi Medrow Greens 1,403 6.3 -2.5
Madeline McCaul Dignity 537 2.4 +2.4
Vincent Scali Independent 337 1.5 +1.5
Informal 1,195 5.1

2018 two-party-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Jay Weatherill Labor 14,662 65.9 +1.5
Penny Pratt Liberal 7,599 34.1 -1.5

Booth breakdown

Booths in Cheltenham have been divided into three parts: central, north and south.

Labor won a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in all three areas, ranging from 63% in the centre to 70.7% in the north.

Voter group SAB prim % ALP 2PP % Total votes % of votes
North 14.5 70.7 7,167 32.2
Central 15.7 63.0 6,079 27.3
South 14.6 63.9 3,837 17.2
Other votes 15.8 64.0 5,178 23.3

Election results in Cheltenham at the 2018 SA state election
Click on the ‘visible layers’ box to toggle between two-party-preferred votes and SA-Best primary votes.

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  1. The liberals were foolish not to contest, of course they woukdnt win! But it could at least give an electoral test for the Marshall goverment, and prove if the goverment is unpopular lime reported, Labors primary vote will be up her but that will only be because no liberals, if they had contested then it would have been interesting to see, They didnt even contest enfield which is like half of this margin

  2. The Liberals aren’t officially contesting but an “independent Liberal” is running and remains a party member, so never say never!?!

  3. Allot of people seem to miss Jay now, I saw a Bulletin poll somewhere that has Labor 55-45 ahead in the state, I will try and find it again. (This was a few weeks ago), I think its obvious why the polling is like this, not the federal government, But because Steve Marshall has to be the worst premier the state has ever had since Thomas Playford (Who Illegally agreed to election boundaries that went against democracy (The electoral boundaries were against democracy because they were so favourable to the LCL (Liberal party at the time) Even though the Independent liberal isn’t officially a member of the party, They stand no chance under a toxic environment under this premier.

  4. This is the biggest by election defeats in decades, Labour has increased its primary vote quite a bit. The Marshall goverment has lost the MORAL authority to govern and should resign in Favor of a Labour goverment, biggest by election losses for a governing party.Marshall is the worst premier since Sir Thomas Playford.

  5. Daniel – pull your head in mate.

    I don’t like Marshall either, but seriously? Single digit swings towards the Opposition, in Opposition held electorates, where the Government isn’t even standing? That’s par. A couple of percent of that swing is just Liberal voters staying home.

    As for resignation – WTF? The Libs still hold 25 of 47 seats, a clear majority.

  6. Barring the Illegal redistribution that should never have happend, Under the 2014 Boundaries Labour would have still been in power had they been in place last year. And Labour even got a swing TOWARDS them in the election

  7. Because it moved some territory of some marginal Labour seats, Into Liberal leaning seats which made notionally new Liberal seat’s. It seems that the gerrymander was benefiting the Liberal’s. Obviously no where near as bad as the Playmanderism that was in the 30’s to 60’s. Even though the Liberals won the TPP. They gained seats when less people voted for them than 2014, Which doesn’t reflect on what the state voting for as a whole, Should have been a hung parliament at least.

  8. Daniel
    Assuming what you say is correct this makes the process flawed but still legal.
    Liberals should have contested. I saw photographs purporting to be Enfield with Liberal blue colours and then writing I could not read. Did Lib Dems attempt to confuse electorate with Corflutes that made them look more liberal than they really were. Once again this tactic may be in-ethical but it is quite legal.
    Part of the problem with major parties not contesting elections is money. Individual candidates are now expected to cough up most of money for campaign leading to selection by hip pocket nerve. No chance of winning leads to un-willingness to spend.Therefore no candidate. With a swing to ALP of 6.5% it means at least some Liberal voters will switch directly to ALP. A similar swing in Federal election will wipe out Liberals.
    The frightening thing for Liberal MP’s is that some Liberal voters will NOT switch directly to ALP but will switch to alternative Conservative parties not running in this SA by_election if given the opportunity to do so. Let’s assume this group is 2% therefore swing against Liberals May be in vacinity of 8.5%.
    At 2016 minus 6.5 % Coalition lose 12 seats
    At 2016 minus 8.5%!this loss goes to 22 seats.
    Morrison now has 104 days or less as PM. Liberal MP’s turfing Morrison now is a high risk strategy but about 28% of you are about to lose your seats. You need a uniting figure or a massive change of strategy to save your seats. A return to Menzian economics is your only hope.

  9. It’s funny that we talk about gerrymandering… because Labor solidly LOST the TPP in 2014, 47% to 53%. Despite this, they held onto government (admittedly in very awkward circumstances).
    Allocating the two independent seats to their TPP winner makes the result a bit closer; under such a measure Labor got 23/47 which is 48.9%.

    Meanwhile in 2018, the overall TPP was 51.94 Liberal to 48.06 Labor. Allocating the three independent seats to their 2PP winners (2 to Liberals, 1 to Labor) gets a seat result of 20/47 for Labor; about 43%. So I can see why Labor people are mad, but that’s what happens when you have a bunch of marginals – the winning party usually wins all of them and therefore gets a bit more than would be proportional.


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