Oz Blog News Commentary

SA election the next day

March 20, 2022 - 18:53 -- Admin

I drafted this blog post this morning but unfortunately due to some technical problems the website has been down most of the day. I’ve tried to update all the data but the map is based on this morning’s data and I may have missed some updates.

The Marshall Liberal government lost power last night, the third conservative state government in the last decade to lose power after just one term.

The ABC is currently projecting at least 26 seats for Labor, which would equal the best result of the last Labor government, in 2006, when Mike Rann won a second term. They are also leading in Dunstan and Waite, and narrowly behind in Hartley, Heysen, Morialta and Unley.

In addition to the six Labor gains and two others where Labor is leading, the Liberal Party looks set to barely hold on in a bunch of other seats.

The Liberals also suffered from serious challenges on their flank from independents. They lost two seats to former sitting Liberal MPs who defected to the crossbench in the last term. A number of other new independents made serious challenges. Lou Nicholson in Hammond looks likely to win, while Airlie Keen in Hammond and Heather Holmes-Ross in Waite polled over 15%. Liz Habermann is just a bit behind in the two-candidate-preferred count in Flinders.

This may be a preview of the federal election, where a conservative government will be facing down a Labor challenge in traditional marginals while also facing challenges in their traditional heartland from independents. It’s also notable that all four of these newcomer independents are women.

This map shows the two-party-preferred swing to Labor in each electorate. We have two-party-preferred figures in 38 out of 47 seats, so the rest are greyed out. Labor gained a swing in 37 seats, while the Liberal Party gained a 1% swing in the very safe seat of Playford, where the sitting Labor MP had moved to a different seat. This is based on data as of Sunday morning.

Labor got large swings in most areas, but there does seem to be a trend of smaller swings in the stronger Labor-voting northern suburbs and bigger swings in the southern suburbs.

Since I finished my election night liveblog, we saw a small amount of counting in lower house seats and a lot more upper house counting.

The first nine Legislative Council seats have been decided: four Labor, four Liberal and one Green. The last two are in play.

One Nation is in the lead for the tenth seat, on 0.5 quotas, with Labor’s fifth candidate just behind on 0.45 quotas, followed by the Liberal Democrats on 0.42 and Family First on 0.39. On those numbers it seems likely that Labor will win one of those seats and one of the conservative minor parties will win the other.

If this is the result, it will leave Labor on nine seats in the Legislative Council, up one from their current numbers, and they will require three out of the four Greens and SA-Best members to pass legislation. It’s worth mentioning that the SA-Best upper house vote has dropped from almost 20% to just over 1%.

Finally, I want to run through the state of the lower house races.

Independents have been re-elected in Mount Gambier, Narungga, Kavel and Stuart. Narungga and Kavel were Liberal wins in 2018, and the sitting MPs subsequently became independents. Stuart is Geoff Brock’s new seat, but it contains a majority of his former seat of Frome so I consider it to be a re-election.

Independent MP Frances Bedford came a distant third in Newland, with 12.0%, after shifting from Florey following a redistribution. This was the only chance of an independent win in a seat with a Labor two-party-preferred majority – every other independent race is in a right-leaning seat.

In Finniss, independent Lou Nicholson is easily winning the two-candidate-preferred vote. She is 0.5% behind Labor on the primary vote. She may well close that gap, but if she doesn’t it seems likely she’ll overtake them on preferences, having gained Greens preferences over Labor.

In Hammond, independent Airlie Keen was on 49.7% of the two-candidate-preferred vote before ECSA stopped counting, but is polling 5.2% behind Labor. She does gain Greens preferences ahead of Labor but I don’t think that will be enough to push her in front, so it looks likely the Liberal Party will win here.

In Flinders, we have the two-candidate-preferred count between Liberal and independent Liz Habermann in 10 out of 27 booths and Habermann is on 48.9%.

In Waite, the two-candidate-preferred vote was easily won by independent Heather Holmes-Ross, and the two-party-preferred vote was easily won by Labor. So if Holmes-Ross makes the top two, she’ll win, but otherwise Labor will win. The Liberal Party and the incumbent independent are both out of the race.

Labor has gained Adelaide, Davenport, Elder, Gibson, King and Newland for a total of 26 seats. They are narrowly leading in outgoing premier Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan and are in a strong position in Waite, so that’s a lead in 28 seats.

Then there are another four Liberal seats that are all very close with the Liberal in the lead:

        • Unley – 0.3%
        • Morialta – 0.5%
        • Heysen – 1.6%
        • Hartley – 1.7%

Most of these should go to the Liberal Party but I couldn’t rule out one of them flipping.