The Super Saturday Elections: South Australia
There were two big losers in the South Australian election: SA Best and the Australian Conservatives.
SA Best failed to win a lower house seat, including Hartley which was being contested by their leader Nick Xenophon, however they took Robert Brokenshire’s seat in the upper house from the Australian Conservatives.
This will give them two seats in the Legislative Council and reduce the Australian Conservatives to one.
In the lower house, with 66% of the vote counted, the ABC predicts that the Liberals will win at least 24 seats in the 47 seat Legislative Assembly.
There are two seats in doubt: Adelaide and Mawson.
The Liberal candidate in Adelaide, Rachel Sanderson, looks as if she may hold the seat since she’s secured a 3% swing but, at the moment, the seat is too close to call although Liberal strategists believe that postal votes will fall their way.
In Mawson Labor’s Leon Bignall looks as if he may buck the trend and hold on to the seat.
The final result would then be Liberals 25 and Labor 19 with 3 independents.
The new government will get down to business straight away: Premier-elect Steven Marshall, Deputy Premier Vickie Chapmanand leader in the upper house Rob Lucas were sworn in on Monday.
The incoming Premier said job creation would be a focus. “We will lower people’s taxes, lower the cost of living, create more jobs in this state, get this state back on track,” he said.
Labor leader Jay Weatherill announced his resignation as opposition leader although he’ll remain in Parliament as the member for Cheltenham.
It is likely that he will be succeeded by Peter Malinauskis, the current Minister for Health.
“I’m looking forward to being the state member for Cheltenham. It’s a fascinating seat, it really is, and I’m really looking forward to going around and thanking everybody that supported me over the past 16 years,” he said.
“I’ve been in an unusual position where I’m doing it a bit back-to front. I was a minister before I really was a serious back bencher and I think that they need the attention of their local Member of Parliament.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done locally, but I’m really looking forward to being a good local Member of Parliament.”
Nick Xenophon is now officially unemployed.
He has ruled out shoehorning himself into either the South Australian Legislative Council or the Senate.
It will be interesting to see if his career is sustainable outside the parliamentary institutions.