By late on Saturday night, Labor had won at least 25 seats, one more than is required to form a majority government.
Incoming premier Peter Malinauskas thanked the people of South Australia in a powerful victory speech.
“I think sometimes on election nights when governments change hands, that the successful party can confuse the elation of electoral success with an inflated sense of achievement,” he said.
“True satisfaction for us comes in realising our ambition of delivering a fairer, better society and more opportunity for those who need it most.”
He paid tribute to outgoing Premier Steven Marshall — who is at risk of losing his own seat in the election — speaking of a conversation they had after Labor’s victory became clear.
“Steven Marshall’s call was utterly generous, gracious and it was done with the class that we have become incredibly familiar with.
“Steven Marshall has been the leader of the Liberal Party in South Australia for nine years. That includes four as Premier.
“It is a significant contribution to his party and to our state.”
At the current count, Mr Marshall is several points behind his Labor opponent in his seat of Dunstan.
But he declared victory in the seat nevertheless.
Mr Marshall celebrated the people of his state in his concession speech.
“I’m just so proud, so proud, of the way that the people of South Australia have responded to the coronavirus, and not had it break them, not had it destroy them,” he said.
“We come out of this stronger than before and all South Australians must share in this fantastic result.”
He did not say whether he would remain as leader of the Liberal Party.
Mr Malinauskas ran a campaign based on adding funding to the beleaguered health system, which had struggled under the strain of the pandemic.
Mr Marshall meanwhile ran a campaign on economic issues.
Result came quickly after polls closed
In an era where election winners often take days to become apparent, the result tonight came remarkably quickly.
Nine political editor Chris Uhlmann called a Labor victory by 8pm CST, two hours after polls closed.
The polls in the lead-up to the election were close to spot-on, with Labor winning 54 percent of the two-party preferred vote statewide.
Just after 11pm AEDT, this is where the tally stood:
- 25 seats called for Labor, an outright majority
- 12 seats have been won by the Liberals
- Four seats won by independents
- Six seats are still in doubt