South Australian Legislative Council
The Legislative Council, or upper house, is one of the two chambers of the Parliament of South Australia. Its central purpose is to act as a house of review for legislation passed through the lower house, the House of Assembly, it sits in Parliament House in Adelaide. The upper house has 22 members elected for eight-year terms by proportional representation, with 11 members facing re-election every four years, it is elected in a similar manner to the Australian Senate. Casual vacancies—where a member resigns or dies—are filled by a joint sitting of both houses, who elect a replacement; the Legislative Council was the first parliament in South Australia, having been created in 1840, seventeen years before the Assembly. It was appointed by the Governor, only served in an advisory capacity, as the governor retained all legislative powers, it was expanded in 1843, when several prominent landowners were allowed to join. In the same year, proceedings were opened to the general public. Public demand for some form of representative government had been growing throughout the 1840s, this was reflected in a series of reforms in 1851, which created a representative Legislative Council.
After the changes, it consisted of 24 members, four official and four non-official members, both nominated by the governor on behalf of the Crown, 16 elected members. The right to vote for these positions was not universal, being limited to propertied men. In addition, the reforms meant that the Governor no longer oversaw proceedings, with the role being filled by a Speaker, elected by the members. In 1856, the Legislative Council prepared what was to become the 1857 Constitution of South Australia; this laid out the means for true self-government, created a bicameral system, which involved delegating most of its legislative powers to the new House of Assembly. While all adult males could vote in the new Assembly, the Council continued to limit voting rights to the wealthier classes; the entire province was a single electorate for the Legislative Council, electing 18 members. In 1882, the Legislative Council was increased to 24 members by the a special election brought on by the Constitution Act Further Amendment Act 1881, the Province was divided into four districts which each elected six members: Central, North-Eastern and Southern districts.
Women earned the right to vote in the Council at the same time as the Assembly, in 1895, the first Parliament in Australia to do so, under the radical Premier Charles Kingston. In 1902, following the Federation of Australia, the Constitution Act Amendment Act, 1901 reduced the size of the legislative council from 24 back to 18 members - 6 from Central District and four each from Northern, North-Eastern and Southern districts. North-Eastern District was replaced by Midland District from the 1910 election, the restricted franchise was extended to include ministers of religion, school head teachers, railway stationmasters, the officer in charge of a police station. In 1913 the franchise extended to the inhabitant occupier of a house and the council expanded to 20 people, four from each of five districts, with the Central district being replaced by Central District No. 1 and Central District No. 2. "Contingency voting", a form of preferences, was introduced from 1930. The council had its purpose in replicating the British House of Lords as a restricted'house of review' in a colonial context.
When the Province of South Australia received its original constitution in 1857, it was the most democratic in the British Empire, combining a universal-suffrage lower house, with a restricted-suffrage upper house. The purpose of the Legislative Council was, as with the 19th century House of Lords, to safeguard the "longer term interests of the nation rather than just reacting to short term ephemeral issues of the day"; the council's numbers have varied. From inception to 1902 it had 24 members; the electoral districts were drawn to favour regional areas with a 2:1 bias in place, with half of the council being elected each time. From 1915 to 1975, Labor did not gain more than two members at each election, with the conservative parties always holding a sizeable majority. From 1975, the Council was increased with half to be elected at each election; the conservative members in the council were independent, differed markedly from their counterparts in the House of Assembly. During the long reign of Liberal and Country League Premier Sir Thomas Playford, they would prove to be an irritant, Labor support was sometimes required for bills to pass.
When a Labor government was elected in 1965 and began introducing social legislation, anathema to LCL councillors, they would delay and modify such bills. The councillors, saw their actions necessary to "oppose... radical moves that I feel would not be in the permanent will of the people." The House of Assembly contained some progressive Liberals, its membership would abide by the party line. The council contained none, its members rebelled against the decisions of the party leadership and the popular will of the people. After electoral legislation had been implemented in 1967 by Steele Hall that produced a fairer electoral system for the House of Assembly, the council remained unchanged, it was only in 1973 under Don Dunstan that changes were made. Dunstan, a social reformist, tired of the co
1906 South Australian state election
State elections were held in South Australia on 3 November 1906, apart from the Northern Territory, which voted on 10 November. This was a double dissolution election, in the South Australian House of Assembly, all 42 seats were up for election; the incumbent United Labor Party government led by Premier of South Australia Thomas Price with coalition partner the Liberal and Democratic Union led by Archibald Peake, defeated the conservative opposition led by Leader of the Opposition Richard Butler. Each of the 13 districts elected multiple members, with voters casting multiple votes; the ULP became part of a unique "lab-lib" government, the Price-Peake administration minority government, following the 1905 election. The ministry was a coalition between the ULP led by Price, the liberal group led by Peake; the deadlock over the franchise issue continued with the Legislative Council. After yet another attempt at reform, rejected by the Council, Price resigned his ministry, but when Butler, as leader of the opposition, was unable to form a ministry, Price/Peake remained in office.
After more conflict with the Council and Peake obtained an early election, campaigned as a "ministerial alliance". At the same time, Peake agreed to pressure from within his group to form a new party – the Liberal and Democratic Union; this drew its membership from small wheat farmers, at this stage, the LDU was in favour of franchise reform, willing to be in coalition with the ULP, opposed to both the conservative Australasian National League and the Farmers and Producers Political Union. The ULP, on the fewest seats prior to the 1905 election, in just one election became the single largest party, increasing their primary vote to 41.3 percent and increasing their representation from five to 15 seats. After the new lower house first met, the ULP forced the incumbent conservative government to resign with the support of eight liberals, it was the start of the first stable Labor government in the world. In 1906, the ULP as the single largest party increased their primary vote to 44.8 percent with their seat representation increasing from 15 to 20 seats in the 42-member lower house, falling short by just two seats of a parliamentary majority.
The ULP won all 12 city seats from the three city multi-member electorates, Port Adelaide and Torrens, with a policy of development and progress, expansion of business and honest government: "they would not be frightened by the nonsense, talked about socialism". The ULP continued to govern with the support of the LDU until Premier Price's death in 1909, after which Peake formed a minority government until the 1910 election when the ULP formed South Australia's first majority government. Members of the South Australian House of Assembly, 1906-1910 Members of the South Australian Legislative Council, 1905–1908 Members of the South Australian Legislative Council, 1908–1910 History of South Australian elections 1857-2006, volume 1: ECSA Statistical Record of the Legislature 1836-2007: SA Parliament State and federal election results in Australia since 1890 The 13 electorates from 1902 to 1915: The Adelaide Chronicle
Michael David Rann, is an Australian former politician, the 44th Premier of South Australia from 2002 to 2011. He accepted a professorship at Flinders University and a visiting fellowship at University of Auckland in 2012, was Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 2013 to 2014, was Australia's Ambassador to Italy, Albania and San Marino and as Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme from 2014 to 2016. Among several other honours, Rann was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day Honours. Rann succeeded Lynn Arnold as leader of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Labor Party and South Australian Leader of the Opposition in 1994. Rann led Labor to minority government at the 2002 election, before attaining a landslide win at the 2006 election; the Rann Government was elected to a third four-year term at the 2010 election, retaining majority government despite a swing − giving Labor a record 12 years in government.
He resigned as Premier in October 2011 after a year of poor opinion polling saw him lose party support and was succeeded by Jay Weatherill. Rann is the third-longest serving Premier of South Australia behind Thomas Playford IV and John Bannon − the third-longest serving Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 2002 behind Mick O'Halloran and Robert Richards − and served a record 17 years as South Australian Labor parliamentary leader from 1994 to 2011, he was a South Australian MP in the House of Assembly from the 1985 election and Father of the House from the 2010 election until his parliamentary resignation on 13 January 2012. The Labor government Rann led, through Weatherill, became the longest-serving South Australian Labor government and the second longest-serving South Australian government behind the Playmander-assisted Thomas Playford IV. Aside from Playford, the 2014 election was the second time that any party has won four consecutive state elections in South Australia, the first occurred when Don Dunstan led Labor to four consecutive victories between the 1970 election and the 1977 election.
Following the 2014 election, Labor went from minority to majority government when Nat Cook won the 2014 Fisher by-election by five votes from a 7.3 percent two-party swing. Achievements of the Rann Government include job numbers raised and unemployment lowered, funding increased for health and education, the expansion of mining and defence industries, investment in wind power in South Australia making it the leader of wind power in Australia, funding increased for new projects including: the Adelaide tram extension and new vehicle purchase, commencement of the rail electrification of Adelaide's train lines, construction commencement of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, redevelopment of the Adelaide Oval, expansion of the Adelaide Convention Centre, upgrade of the River Torrens Riverbank precinct, construction of the Port Stanvac Desalination Plant, the undertaking of various major road works including major upgrades to the North–South Corridor and South Road, aiming to be stop-free by 2030 for over 100 km from Old Noarlunga in the outer southern metropolitan Adelaide suburbs through to Nuriootpa in the inner northern rural area around the Barossa Valley, such as construction of the Anzac Highway underpass and construction commencement of the elevated North-South Motorway/South Road Superway, construction of the Port River Expressway and Northern Expressway, the upgrade of the Sturt Highway, the duplication and expansion of the Southern Expressway and plans for the construction of the Northern Connector to join up the Superway and Expressway.
His government introduced Adelaide's Thinker in Residence program. South Australia achieved a AAA credit rating under the Rann Labor government, prompting Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan to praise Labor's economic management. Rann was the most popular Premier in the country, with his approach to government moderate and crisis-free. Following the 2006 election landslide where Labor was re-elected with a historic 56.8 percent two-party-preferred vote, Newspoll early in 2007 saw Rann peak at a historic 64 percent Preferred Premier rating with a historic 61 percent Labor two-party-preferred vote. University of Adelaide Professor of Politics Clem Macintyre said that after John Bannon and the State Bank collapse, Rann had to re-establish Labor's credentials as an economic manager as a matter of urgency, "in that sense Rann had a whole lot of priorities to concentrate on that Don Dunstan didn't think about", with a legacy built on economic achievements, achieving the triple-A credit rating, as well as its capacity to deliver infrastructure projects.
Rann was born in Kent. His father was an electrician who had served at El Alamein in World War II, his mother was employed in an armaments factory. Most of Rann's childhood was spent in the care of his father in South London. In 1962, when he was nine, his family emigrated from Blackfen to Mangakino, a small town north of Taupo on the Waikato River in New Zealand, his family moved to Matamata to Birkenhead on Auckland's North Shore where he attended Northcote College. He completed a Master of Arts in political science at the University of Auckland, he was Vice President of the New Zealand Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and editor of the student newspaper Craccum. As a member of Princes Street Labour, he spent considerable time working on New Zealand Labour Party campaigns including that of Mike Moore. After university, Rann was a political journalist for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. Haydon Manning has stated that "it was reported that" Rann "struggled with being an objective reporter".
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Thomas Price (South Australian politician)
Thomas Price referred to as Tom Price, served as the South Australian United Labor Party's first Premier of South Australia. He formed a minority government at the 1905 election and was re-elected with increased representation at the 1906 double dissolution election serving until his death in 1909, it was the world's first stable Labor government. So successful, John Verran led Labor to form the state's first of many majority governments at the 1910 election. Achievements of the government included free state secondary schools, the formation of wages boards and a minimum wage, establishing the Municipal Tramways Trust through nationalisation, the costly administration of the Northern Territory was surrendered to the Federal government, reform of the upper house; the government returned to successive budget surpluses and reduced the accumulated public debt. He was born in Brymbo, Denbighshire and emigrated to Australia with his family in 1883, he was a stonecutter, lay preacher, businessman and clerk-of-works.
Price became involved in trade union activity, was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly for Sturt in April 1893, becoming Labor leader in 1899. He contested the single statewide Division of South Australia at the 1901 federal election as the second of two Labor candidates behind Lee Batchelor; the seat elected seven members, Price finished eighth with a 38.2 percent vote. Price came to power at the 1905 state election in a minority government, the Price-Peake administration, after increasing his party's representation from five to 15 in the 42-member lower house, with a primary vote of 41.3 percent, an increase of 22.2 percent. With the support of eight liberals headed by Archibald Peake, Price forced conservative Premier Richard Butler to resign. Price retained the premiership at the 1906 double dissolution election with an additional five Labor seats in the House of Assembly, just two short of a parliamentary majority in their own right, with a primary vote of 44.8 percent, an increase of 3.5 percent.
It was the world's first stable Labor government, was so successful that, following the 1910 election, led by John Verran, formed the first of the state's many majority governments. On Price's death in 1909, Peake formed a minority government until 1910. Price introduced many reforms, including free state secondary schools, the formation of wages boards, the institution of a minimum wage, the establishment of the Municipal Tramways Trust through nationalisation; the costly administration of the Northern Territory was surrendered to the Federal government, there was limited reform of the Legislative Council. Price obtained a double dissolution on the issue of the reform of the upper house; the Council continued to be intransigent regarding its reform, Price accepted its compromise proposal of a £17 householder franchise. Labor's left wing criticised him for the concession; the Price Government enacted a number of laws relating to social matters: the suppression of brothels and gaming, the control and care of drunkards, the consolidation of legislation on the supply of alcohol and local option in liquor licensing.
The government achieved successive budget surpluses and reduced the accumulated public debt. Price died of phthisis and diabetes at Mount Lofty on 31 May 1909, he was buried at Mitcham Cemetery. An island of the Whidby Group off the south-west coast of Eyre Peninsula had been left unnamed after Matthew Flinders' early explorations, it was named Price Island by the Government of South Australia in Thomas Price's honour after his passing. A guiding light for mariners was erected on the island. Tom Price married Anne Elizabeth Lloyd in Liverpool on 14 April 1881, their children included John Lloyd Price MHA for Port Adelaide 1915–1925 and MHR. Walter Davies Price MC distinguished public servant. Other children were Edward Hugh Price, engineer with the Harbors Board, Arthur Price, a railways employee, Annie Mary "Ann" Price, Florence Gwendoline "Flo" Price married Alfred Charles Clarke in 1920, his widow was in 1915 one of four women appointed a Justice of the first in Australia. Steven Weeks,'Price, Thomas', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, MUP, 1988, pp287–289.
2002 South Australian state election
State elections were held in South Australia on 9 February 2002. All 47 seats in the South Australian House of Assembly were up for election, along with half of the 22 seats in the South Australian Legislative Council; the incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Premier of South Australia Rob Kerin was defeated by the Australian Labor Party led by Leader of the Opposition Mike Rann. Labor won 23 out of 47 seats, secured the one more seat it needed for a majority by gaining the support of independent Peter Lewis; this was the first election since Labor narrowly lost as opposition in the 1997 election, doing much better than most analysts predicted, forcing the Liberals to minority government after their comprehensive loss in the 1993 election where Labor were reduced to just ten seats. Coming into the 2002 election, the Liberal Government had faced a number of scandals including the Motorola affair, over which Premier John Olsen was forced to resign in October 2001, he was succeeded by Rob Kerin, who had less than three months to govern before the election was called.
Independents: Rory McEwen, Bob Such, Peter Lewis Labor won two seats from the Liberals, the districts of Adelaide and Colton. This gave Labor 23 seats, Liberals 20 seats, SA Nationals one seat, three seats to independents. In order to form majority government, a party needed 24 seats out of 47. Most analysts expected Kerin to form a minority government with the support of Nationals MP Karlene Maywald, the three independents, who were all former Liberal party members. On 13 February, one of those crossbenchers, former Liberal Peter Lewis, announced that he had signed an agreement with Labor leader Mike Rann to support a Labor Government in exchange for holding a constitutional convention, making him speaker of the House of Assembly, concessions for his electorate including the phasing out of commercial fishing in the River Murray, prioritising the eradication of the branched broomrape weed, changing water rates for irrigation, fast-tracking a feasibility study for a weir and lock at Wellington, improving rural roads.
This agreement made Rann premier-elect by one seat. However, following parliamentary precedent established by Don Dunstan following the 1968 election, Kerin refused to resign until Rann and Labor demonstrated that they had majority support on the floor of the House of Assembly. Kerin claimed to be within this rights to take this course, as longstanding precedent in the Westminster system holds that the incumbent premier should have the first opportunity to form a government if no party has a majority. After three weeks of stalemate, the House of Assembly was called into session several weeks earlier than usual. With Lewis in the speaker's chair, the Kerin Government was defeated on the floor of the House of Assembly on 5 March 2002, after Kerin moved a confidence motion in his own government and lost. Rann advised Governor Marjorie Jackson-Nelson that he could form a government, duly sworn in the following day. Rann shored up his government's majority by reaching agreements with crossbenchers Maywald and McEwen, giving them cabinet posts in exchange for their support of the government.
In the Legislative Council, Liberal won 5 seats, Labor won 4 seats, Australian Democrats won 1 seat, the formed Family First party won their first seat in an Australian parliament. This left the overall numbers in the Legislative Council at: Liberal 9, Labor 7, Democrats 3, Family First 1, No Pokies 1, 1 independent. Rann Government "Background leading up to the election/Liberals in power". Crikey. Archived from the original on 2004-08-22. "SA Election - The last domino". Crikey. Archived from the original on 2004-08-22. "Labor still a chance to take the final state". Crikey. Archived from the original on 2004-08-22. History of South Australian elections 1857-2006, volume 1: ECSA General informationABC Election Guide - South Australia 2002 ElectionPolitical PartiesAustralian Labor Party Liberal Party of Australia SA Greens Australian Democrats Family First Party The Nationals
Charles Cameron Kingston was an Australian politician. He was an early radical liberal Premier of South Australia serving from 1893 to 1899 with the support of Labor led by John McPherson from 1893 and Lee Batchelor from 1897 in the House of Assembly, winning the 1893, 1896 and 1899 colonial elections against the conservatives, he was a leading proponent of and contributed extensively on the Federation of Australia, was elected to the federal House of Representatives with the most votes amongst the seven elected in the single statewide Division of South Australia at the 1901 election, serving under the Protectionist Party, going on to represent the Division of Adelaide at the 1903 election. A radical liberal in state politics, his government introduced such progressive measures as: electoral reform including the first law to give votes to women in Australia, a legitimation Act, the first conciliation and arbitration Act in Australia, establishment of a state bank, a high protective tariff, regulation of factories, a progressive system of land and income taxation, a public works programme, more extensive workers’ compensation.
Kingston was born in Adelaide, the son of Sir George Kingston, a Protestant Irish-born surveyor and landowner in the early days of British settlement in South Australia and a member of the first Parliament of South Australia. His mother, Ludovina Cameron, was of Portuguese descent. George Kingston boasted that he was "the first Irishman to set foot in the colony" and it is true that the Kingstons were among Adelaide's founding families. Charles was educated at the Adelaide Educational Institution and served his articles with Sir Samuel Way, Adelaide's leading lawyer and Attorney-General of South Australia, he was called to the bar in 1873, despite the objection of the elder brother of his future wife, Lucy May McCarthy on the grounds of Kingston's alleged seduction of her. He became a QC in 1889. In 1873 Kingston married Lucy McCarthy. Lucy was an invalid for much of her life and they had no children. In a remarkable gesture, Lucy took in a child, Kevin Kingston, whom Kingston had fathered with another woman, Elizabeth Watson, in 1883.
As a result of this scandal, Kingston was ostracised by Adelaide "society," his contempt for whom he never troubled to conceal. Kevin died in 1902. Kingston and his older brother Strickland Gough "Pat" Kingston formed a business partnership Kingston & Kingston in 1879 which they dissolved in July 1884. S. G. Kingston unstable, he was jailed for the gunshot wounding of a cabdriver in June 1884 and killed himself after losing an important case in Port Augusta. Kingston had a passion for Australian rules football in South Australia. In April 1881 Kingston was elected to the South Australian House of Assembly as a radical liberal for the seat of West Adelaide, he favoured reform of other radical reforms. He was described by William Maloney as the originator of the White Australia Policy, although this policy was supported by all Australian politicians at the time of federation. Kingston was Attorney-General of South Australia 1884-85 in the government of John Colton and again in 1887-89 in the government of Tom Playford.
In 1893 he succeeded Playford as leader of the South Australian liberals and defeated conservative Premier John Downer to become Premier 1893-99, a record at the time of six and a half years, not to be broken until Thomas Playford IV, as well as Chief Secretary and Attorney-General, Minister for Industry 1895-99. Kingston came to office with the support of a new third party, the South Australian division of the Labor Party led by John McPherson, which held the balance of power. A big, imposing man with a full beard, a booming voice and a violent, cutting debating style, Kingston dominated the small world of South Australian colonial politics in the 1890s, he was a great hero to liberals and working class voters, much hated by conservatives. In 1892, Richard Baker called him a "coward, a bully and a disgrace to the legal profession" in the Legislative Council and Kingston replied by calling Baker "false as a friend, treacherous as a colleague, mendacious as a man, utterly untrustworthy in every relationship of public life".
Kingston arranged for a duel but Baker had him arrested and as a result Kingston was bound over to keep the peace for a year. Kingston had not supported votes for women at the 1893 elections but he was subsequently persuaded by his ministerial colleagues, John Cockburn and Frederick Holder of its political advantages and lobbied by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. Women's suffrage in Australia took a leap forward – enacted in 1895 and taking effect from this election, South Australia was the first in Australia and only the second in the world after New Zealand to allow women to vote, the first in the world to allow women to stand for election. Kingston's government established the state bank of South Australia, regulated factories, imposed death duties and increased land tax and progressive income taxes; when Tom Buxton was appointed Governor of South Australia, Kingston was angry that the government had not been involved in the decision about who should be the new Governor, so made life as hard as possible for Buxton and his family.
The governor's allowance was reduced and customs duty was charged on their household items. A leading supporter of Federation, Kingston was a delegate to the Constitutional Conventions of 1891 and 1897-98 w