CANBERRA, March 18 (Xinhua) -- The conservative Liberal Party has won the election of South Australia state, ending the Australian Labor Party's streak of 16 years in power in the state.
Liberal leader Steven Marshall claimed victory for his party on Saturday night after his party was projected to win the 24 seats in the lower house of parliament required to form government.
"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," he told his supporters in Adelaide.
Marshall's campaign was built on promising to cut payroll tax for small businesses and, critically, scaling back the Australian Labor Party (ALP)'s approach to renewable energy which he described as reckless.
Speaking from Sydney, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Federal Liberal Party, said the result was an endorsement of his government's national energy policy.
The Liberals were projected to receive 37.4 percent of primary votes, 7.4 percent less than the 2014 election but 3.5 percent better than the ALP.
Jay Weatherill, who served as the state's premier since 2011, on Sunday morning visited Government House to tender his resignation, saying he would also step down as leader of the party.
"I'm proud of what we've done locally, but I'm really looking forward to being a good local member of Parliament," he said.
In his concession speech on Saturday night, Weatherill said he was "sorry" that he "couldn't bring home another victory" but was proud of what the party had accomplished in its four terms in government.
Despite being the main focus during much of the campaign, the recently formed centrist SA-BEST party, led by former Federal Senator Nick Xenophon, failed to make a splash at the polls, receiving just 13.7 percent of the primary vote.
"This is, this is not the beginning of the end, it's actually the end of the beginning. Because I think we're going to see some very interesting things happening," Xenophon said.