The by-election in Cheltenham follows the announcement of former Premier Jay Weatherill's retirement on December 6, eight months after the defeat of the government he led from October 2011. It will be held concurrently with a by-election for the seat of Enfield, to be vacated by former Deputy Premier John Rau, who announced his retirement three days after Weatherill. Neither by-election is being contested by the Liberals.
Centred around eight kilometres north-west of central Adelaide, Cheltenham has been safely held by Labor since it was created as Price in 1970, with the name change to Cheltenham taking place in 2002. I is bounded Bounded the north by Great Junction Road, Cheltenham extends from Cheltenham proper to Woodville and Findon in the south, and Royal Park in the west.
Labor's new candidate is Joe Szakacs, the secretary of the state's peak union body, SA Unions. While his preselection maintains the Left's hold on the seat, Tom Richardson of InDaily noted Szakacs had been a “ thorn in the former Premier's side on several occasions, including attacking his leadership over his push to progress community consultation for a nuclear waste dump”.
Other candidates include Steffi Medrow of the Greens and Peter Miller of the Liberal Democrats, and two independents: Rob de Jonge, a real estate agent and former Onkaparinga councillor; and Mike Lesiw, who failed to crack 1% as a candidate for Croydon at the March 2018 state election.