Proportional Representation - South Australia Legislative Council

South Australia Legislative Council
Name of proportional representation system Single transferable vote - optional partial preferential
Ballot Paper Ticket Voting Above or beside the line voting No
Rotation of candidate names No. The order of names in each group is determined by the party or group. The order of groups and ungrouped candidates on the ballot paper is determined by random draw.

You are not legally obliged to mark the ballot paper.


Placing the number 1 in the square next to the group of your choice. You can show more choices if you want to by placing numbers in the other squares starting with the number 2.


Numbering at least 12 of these squares in the order of your choice.

After voting, fold the ballot paper and place it in the ballot box or declaration envelope.


Electors cast a formal vote by marking either at least one formal first preference above the line or at least twelve first preferences below the line. There is a savings provision that allows a ballot paper to be formal where it contains at least six consecutive preferences below the line.

If an elector correctly marks both above and below the line, the below the line preferences are counted. If one side is formal and the other side is informal, the formal side is counted. A single tick or cross on a ballot paper is equivalent to the number 1.

Distribution of a Surplus Method of distribution of surplus votes and calculation for new transfer value

If any elected candidates receive more votes than the quota, their surplus votes are distributed. Because it is not possible to determine which votes elected the candidate and which votes are surplus, all the elected candidate's ballot papers are transferred at a reduced value called the transfer value. The transfer value is calculated as follows:


Transfer Value = Number of surplus votes divided by Total number of ballot papers received
Election of a candidate Exclusion of candidates All the excluded candidates' ballot papers are transferred to candidates remaining in the count according to the next available preference marked on them. (Each ballot paper is transferred at the 'value' it was received)
Exclusion of the lowest candidate when two or more are equal Exclude the candidate that had the lowest total the last time those candidates were unequal. If those candidates were equal at all times, exclude the candidate determined by the returning officer.
Casual Vacancies How is a casual vacancy filled? A new member is indirectly elected by a joint assembly of both houses of parliament. If the vacating member was elected as a representative of a political party, the casual vacancy should be filled by a person from the same party. The legislation does not specify who should be nominated if an independent member were to vacate their seat.

Related South Australian electoral information