The South Australian election guide has now been put to bed with each electorate entry appended with a detailed post-match summary. For the first time, I have taken the effort to carefully scrutinise booth results in each seat. Heavy-duty hair-splitters might care to note that I was compelled to base these comparisons on incomplete election night figures from 2002 as the State Electorate Office did not update the two-party preferred booth results on its website beyond that point. They could only be obtained from the Statistical Returns document which, being a PDF file, could not readily be pasted into Excel. As a result, booth comparisons might be out by 1 per cent or so. As you’re all no doubt aware, the last two seats that were in doubt resulted in the re-election of the Liberals’ Graham Gunn in Stuart and Labor-turned-Greens-turned-independent MP Kris Hanna in Mitchell. To the best of my knowledge, the only observer who publicly predicted the latter outcome was Poll Bludger commenter Dave S.
The upper house has passed without comment on this site since the days immediately after the election, but the final result was as predicted then four Labor, three Liberal, two No Pokies, one Family First and one Greens. The SEO doesn’t have a breakdown of the preference distribution, but we can always plug the results into the election calculator at Upperhouse.Info, bearing in mind that it irons out the complication of below-the-line votes. All but the Family First and Greens candidates were elected off the primary vote, after which Family First had 0.60 of a quota, the Greens 0.51, the third No Pokies candidate (who reportedly promised his wife he had no chance of winning) 0.46, the fifth Labor candidate 0.31 and the Australian Democrats 0.21. Family First were boosted to a quota after distribution of preferences from minor candidates and the fourth Liberal. That left the Greens on 0.56, the Democrats and No Pokies on 0.48 and Labor on 0.41. If the Democrats had been able to persuade Labor to put them ahead of No Pokies, Labor’s subsequent elimination would have put Kate Reynolds ahead of the Greens and subsequently back into parliament with No Pokies preferences. Instead, Labor’s elimination left the Democrats well to the rear of No Pokies and their own preferences delivered victory to Mark Parnell, the first South Australian Greens candidate ever to win a seat at an election.
One day, I will get around to producing retrospective guides to the South Australian upper house and the Tasmanian election. Speaking of Tasmania, the next item of business is the periodical Legislative Council elections for the seats of Rowallan (a lay-down misere for independent incumbent Greg Hall) and Wellington (a taller order for Labor member Doug Parkinson), which will be held on May 6.
UPDATE: If you’re looking for more of a big-picture view of the South Australian election, you could do a lot worse than this paper by Geoff Anderson and Haydon Manning of Flinders University for the Australian National University’s Democratic Audit. Of particular interest is the graph on page three indicating a clear long-term trend of increasing minor party voting in the upper house. Upperhouse.Info sheds more light on this with a table outlining the "desertion rates" of parties’ supporters switching their vote in the upper house. In view of all this, it is clear why Mike Rann would like to abolish the chamber through a referendum he plans to hold in conjunction with the next election. It is equally clear that while The Advertiser might be dopey enough to support abolition, the public will not be.