Steven Marshall

Steven Spence Marshall (born 21 January 1968) is an Australian politician serving as the 46th and current Premier of South Australia. He has been a member of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia in the South Australian House of Assembly since 2010, representing the electorate of Dunstan (known as Norwood before 2014).

Steven Marshall

46th Premier of South Australia
Elections: 2014, 2018
Assumed office
19 March 2018
MonarchElizabeth II
GovernorHieu Van Le
DeputyVickie Chapman
Preceded byJay Weatherill
Leader of the South Australian Opposition
In office
4 February 2013  19 March 2018
PremierJay Weatherill
DeputyVickie Chapman
Preceded byIsobel Redmond
Succeeded byPeter Malinauskas
Deputy Leader of the South Australian Opposition
In office
23 October 2012  4 February 2013
Preceded byMitch Williams
Succeeded byVickie Chapman
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Dunstan
Assumed office
15 March 2014
Preceded byDistrict created
Member of the South Australian Parliament
for Norwood
In office
20 March 2010  15 March 2014
Preceded byVini Ciccarello
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Steven Spence Marshall

(1968-01-21) 21 January 1968
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Political partyLiberal Party of Australia (SA)
EducationUniversity of South Australia

Marshall has been the Leader of the SA Liberals since February 2013, and was the Leader of the Opposition between 2013 and 2018. He had previously been the party's deputy leader from October 2012 to February 2013. Initially unsuccessful at the 2014 state election, Marshall led the opposition into government at the 2018 state election and on 19 March was sworn in as Premier by the Governor.

Early life

Marshall lived in the Norwood area for most of his adult life before entering parliament. He attended Ethelton Primary School and Immanuel College, before studying business at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now the University of South Australia).[1] He completed a MBA at Durham University in the United Kingdom.

In 1997, Marshall's father retired from running the family business, Marshall Furniture, and Steven Marshall took on the role of managing director.[2] While acting as managing director, the company won the South Australian small business prize in the national 2001 Employer of the Year awards, due to the company's commitment to hire people with disabilities.[3] He continued running the firm until 2001, when mounting pressure from imports forced the family to sell the business to Steinhoff International.[2] This led to a role on the Steinhoff Asia-Pacific board, which he then left in order to take on a number of different positions in the South Australian business sector, including chairman of Jeffries and general manager of Michell Pty Ltd.[1]

Marshall served on the South Australian Manufacturing Industry Advisory Board prior to entering politics in 2010.[4]

Personal life

Marshall has lived in the Dunstan area for his entire adult life.[5]

He is currently an Ambassador for scosa, having previously served on the Board for five years.[6] In 2001, he received a Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the Disability Sector.[7]

He has been a board member for Reconciliation SA for a number of years[8] and is also a White Ribbon Ambassador.[9]

He is the founding Chairman of Compost for Soils, a program started in South Australia that has subsequently been implemented nationally.[10]


Marshall entered South Australian Parliament at the 2010 state election, winning the seat of Norwood as a candidate for the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia.[4] In the December 2011 reshuffle of the opposition's front bench, Marshall was moved from the back bench to take on the shadow portfolios of industry and trade, defence industries, small business, science and information economy, environment and conservation, sustainability and climate change.[11]

Marshall said in August 2012 that he would be willing to sign a pledge that he would not challenge Isobel Redmond for the Liberal Party leadership or Mitch Williams for the deputy leadership.[12] On 19 October 2012, Martin Hamilton-Smith and Marshall declared a leadership spill against Redmond and Williams.[13][14] A partyroom ballot occurred on 23 October 2012, Redmond retained the leadership by one vote, however Marshall was elected to the deputy leadership.[4][15][16] Marshall was denied his preferred treasury portfolio by Redmond,[17][18] but instead was given the health and economic development portfolios, while retaining his roles in industry and trade, defence, small business and science.[19]

Leader of the Opposition

On 31 January 2013 after Redmond resigned as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia, Marshall was speculated to succeed her. At the ballot on 4 February 2013, Marshall was elected unopposed.[20] A record, Marshall was the fifth consecutive Leader of the Opposition from the same party.

2014 state election

The 2014 state election was held on 15 March. Marshall faced Labor leader Jay Weatherill who had replaced Mike Rann in 2011. Leading up to the election, the SA Liberals had led Labor in every recorded Newspoll since 2009. The election resulted in a hung parliament with 23 seats for Labor and 22 for the Liberals with the Liberals winning a majority of the two party preferred vote. The balance of power then rested with the two crossbench independents, Bob Such and Geoff Brock. Such did not indicate who he would support in a minority government before he went on medical leave for a brain tumour, diagnosed one week after the election. University of Adelaide Professor and Political Commentator Clem McIntyre said the absence of Such virtually guaranteed that Brock would back Labor – with 24 seats required to govern, Brock duly provided support to the incumbent Labor government, allowing Weatherill to continue in office as head of a minority government with Brock given a ministry portfolio.[21]

The day before the election, Marshall made a political gaffe, saying without realising at the time "If people in South Australia want change, they want a better future, they want to grow our economy then they need to vote Labor tomorrow".[22][23][24] Marshall contested Dunstan, essentially a renamed version of Norwood, and suffered a small 1.7% two-party (2PP) swing − a swing against the Liberals occurred in seven of the nine Liberal-retained metropolitan seats.a

After the election, Marshall continued to lead the Liberals in opposition.[25] Former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith became an independent two months after the election and indicated his support for the government.[26] Following the death of Such and the subsequent 2014 Fisher by-election which Labor won by five votes from a 7.3% 2PP swing away from the Liberals, Labor went from minority to majority government. Brock and Hamilton-Smith maintained their confidence and supply support for the government which provided a 26 to 21 parliamentary majority.[27]

2018 state election

The 2018 state election was held on 17 March. The July to September 2014 Newspoll had seen Labor begin to lead the Liberals on the two-party-preferred vote for the first time since 2009.[28] The October to December 2015 Newspoll saw Marshall's leadership approval rating plummet 11 points to 30%, the equal lowest Newspoll approval rating in history for a South Australian Opposition Leader since Dale Baker in 1990.[29][30][31] At the election, Marshall again faced Weatherill and Labor which were seeking a record fifth term in office and the 'wild card' centrist party, SA-Best, led by former Senator Nick Xenophon who was seeking the balance of power in the Assembly. The 2016 electoral redistribution had given the Liberals an advantage of 27 seats to Labor's 20 seats heading into the election.

Four hours after the close of polls on election day, at approximately 10pm ACDST, Weatherill telephoned Steven Marshall and conceded defeat. Marshall was introduced to the election day function by former Liberal Premier John Olsen and claimed victory saying, "A massive thank you to the people of South Australia who have put their trust, their faith in me and the Liberal team for a new dawn, a new dawn for South Australia!" The SA Liberals had won the election with 25 seats to Labor's 19, a bare majority of two–the first time the Liberals had won a state election since Olsen's victory in 1997.[32][32][33][34][35] Despite the outcome, there was actually a state-wide two-party-preferred swing away from the Liberals toward Labor.[36]

Premier of South Australia

Two days after the election, with the result beyond doubt even though counting was still underway, Marshall had himself, deputy leader Vickie Chapman, and Father of the South Australian Parliament Rob Lucas sworn in as an interim three-person government by the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le. Marshall became Premier, Chapman Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, and Lucas Treasurer. Lucas had previously served as Treasurer in the last Liberal government.[37] The full ministry was sworn in on 22 March.[38] In addition to serving as Premier, Marshall retained responsibility for portfolio areas of The Arts, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Defence and Space Industries, Veterans' Affairs and Multicultural Affairs, although these were no longer named as ministries.[39]

In late 2018, Arts South Australia was dismantled and its functions transferred to direct oversight by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.[40][41][42]

See also


^a : Per Results of the South Australian state election, 2014 (House of Assembly), a swing against the Liberals occurred in seven of the nine Liberal-retained metropolitan seats despite the statewide swing – in Dunstan, Adelaide, Unley, Bragg, Heysen, Waite, Davenport.


  1. Russell, Christopher (31 January 2012). "Board blue-blood to build policy change". The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p. 31. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  2. "Securing the future" (12 April 2011). The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p.11.
  3. Fewster, Sean. (12 January 2002). "All part of same team on the job". The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. p.32.
  4. McGuire, Michael. (24 October 2012). "He is South Australia's latest Liberal deputy leader, but who is Steven Marshall?". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  5. "Steven Marshall at Steven Marshall". Steven Marshall. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  6. "About Steven Marshall". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  7. "It's an honour". It's an Honour. Australian Government. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  8. "Board members - Reconciliation SA". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  9. 2015 bulletin: Edwardstown Rotary Club
  10. "Off Topic: Steven Marshall - The Adelaide Review". The Adelaide Review. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  11. Owen, Michael (8 December 2011). "South Australia Liberal Party reshuffles shadow cabinet". The Australian. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  12. Wills, Daniel (7 August 2012). "Liberal MP Steven Marshall backs Isobel Redmond to stay as leader". Adelaide Now.
  13. Marshall, Steven (19 October 2012). "Statement regarding Liberal Leadership" (PDF). Liberal SA.
  14. "Ex SA Liberal leader wants top job back". ABC News. 19 October 2012.
  15. Wills, Daniel (23 October 2012). "Daniel Wills analysis - Isobel Redmond wins battle against Martin Hamilton-Smith, but at what price?". Adelaide Now.
  16. Crouch, Brad (25 October 2012). "SA Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond sits down to lunch with Christopher Pyne and new deputy Steven Marshall". Adelaide Now.
  17. Martin, Sarah (5 November 2012). "Isobel Redmond to snub deputy Steven Marshall in reshuffle". The Australian.
  18. Wills, Daniel (5 November 2012). "Isobel Redmond to unveil new frontbench - but Steven Marshall set to miss out on prized treasury role". Adelaide Now.
  19. "Mr Steven Marshall". Parliament of South Australia. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  20. Wills, Novak, Crouch, Daniel, Lauren, Brad (4 February 2013). "Steven Marshall and Vickie Chapman to lead SA Liberal Party". The Advertiser.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  21. By-election for Bob Such's seat of Fisher expected to put pressure on Weatherill Government: ABC 13 October 2014
  22. "Campaign gaffe as Liberal leader Steven Marshall urges vote for Labor in SA election". ABC News. 14 March 2014.
  23. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall's state election slip of the tongue: Vote Labor!". The Advertiser. 14 March 2014.
  24. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall tells South Australians to 'vote Labor tomorrow'". The Sydney Morning Herald. 14 March 2014.
  25. Re-elected SA Labor Government gets down to business: ABC 27/3/2014
  26. "Martin Hamilton-Smith quits Liberals to back South Australian Labor Government". ABC News. 28 May 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  27. Fisher by-election win for Labor gives Weatherill Government majority in SA: ABC 13 December 2014
  28. Newspoll: 51–49 to Labor in South Australia – Crikey 29 September 2014
  29. SA electors searching for proof of Liberal life: InDaily 15 January 2016
  30. Mr Unpopularity's poll dip laid bare: InDaily 14 January 2016
  31. South Australian Newspoll archive
  32. Griffiths, Luke; Owen, Michael (17 March 2018). "South Australia election: Liberals win, Xenophon and SA-Best fail". The Australian. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  33. Keane, Daniel (18 March 2018). "SA election: Liberals claim victory as Labor's Jay Weatherill concedes". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  34. Thorne, Leonie (18 March 2018). "SA election: Liberal leader Steven Marshall claims victory in SA election". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  35. Remeikis, Amy (17 March 2018). "Liberals triumph in South Australian election – as it happened". The Guardian. Australia. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  36. "Notional two-party preferred results". ECSA. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  37. "Liberal leader Steven Marshall sworn in as new South Australian Premier". ABC News. Australia. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  38. MacLennan, Leah (22 March 2018). "SA election: Who's who in the new South Australian Liberal Government?". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  39. "Steven Marshall MP". Steven Marshall | Premier of South Australia. 3 May 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  40. "State Budget Sees Cuts to the Arts and Significant Changes to Arts South Australia". AICSA - Arts Industry Council of South Australia. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  41. Brooker, Ben (3 October 2018). "Arts South Australia: Bleeding in the dark". Witness Performance. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  42. "About arts and culture". South Australia. Dept of the Premier and Cabinet. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mitch Williams
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
in South Australia

Succeeded by
Vickie Chapman
Preceded by
Isobel Redmond
Leader of the Opposition of South Australia
Succeeded by
Peter Malinauskas
Preceded by
Jay Weatherill
Premier of South Australia
South Australian House of Assembly
Preceded by
Vini Ciccarello
Member for Norwood
District abolished
District created Member for Dunstan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Isobel Redmond
Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia (South Australian Division)
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