Today has brought a fascinating development in the battle for control of the Senate, with South Australian Legislative Council No Pokies member Nick Xenophon throwing his hat into the ring. Xenophon pulled off one of the most sensational achievements in Australia’s recent electoral history at the election last March, when his ticket polled 20.5 per cent of the statewide vote only 5.5 per cent less than the Liberal Party. As well as getting himself re-elected (he first snuck in with 2.9 per cent at the 1997 election), this also secured election for running mate Ann Bressington, who believed she was only there for moral support, and came within a hair’s breadth of putting into parliament John Darley, the number three candidate who had assured his wife he had no chance of winning. Given the Greens’ historical weakness in South Australia and the probable demise of the Democrats, the most likely outcome in South Australia had been a three-all split between Labor and Liberal. The smart money would now be on the Liberals losing their third seat to Xenophon, meaning an end to the long and not terribly eventful parliamentary career of Grant Chapman. In other words, the Coalition now appears all but certain to lose its absolute majority. PortlandBet has smartly removed South Australia from its newly launched Senate betting market.