In the last seven elections, the party with the largest two-party preferred vote and the largest primary vote has formed government only three times. Most recently, the 2014 election left Labor forming government with only 47% of the two-party preferred. This is the smallest percentage since the ‘Playmander’. Therefore, the party a majority of the voters of South Australia wished to form a government did not form a government.
South Australia has had a past of unfair and bias electoral outcomes. These issues have been previously solved by electoral reform. Some commentators have stated that the bias has returned though and that further reform is needed. This report seeks to uncover which electoral system the State should move towards to combat this issue.
This report reviews the benefits and consequences of several electoral systems and how they may function in South Australia. It identifies the most appropriate and most promising systems that will create a greater likelihood of a government being formed with at least 50.1% of the two-party preferred. Additionally, a history of House of Assembly electoral reform is compiled. Electoral systems reviewed include proportional representation, Tasmanian Hare-Clarke, New Zealand mixed member proportional, the Jenkins Commission’s alternative vote plus and DeGaris systems.