South Australia produced the same result at each Senate election from the first six-seat election in 1990 until 2001: three Liberal, two Labor and one Democrats. This reflects what has been a weak period for Labor, whose vote fell below 40 per cent in 1990 and has not since recovered, and the Democrats’ historic strength in the state, which has on occasion brought them close to winning House of Representatives seats. The most shattering of the Democrats’ disappointments in 2004 was their failure to stay afloat in South Australia, their vote plunging from 12.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent. South Australia is also the foundation state of Family First, whose founder Andrew Evans put the party on the map with a surprise state upper house win in 2002. The party’s Senate vote in 2004 was 3.9 per cent, their highest in Australia, but they did not benefit from a Labor preference deal as they had in Victoria, where Steve Fielding was elected from 1.8 per cent.
Of the three Liberals elected in 2001, only number three candidate Grant Chapman is running for re-election. Number one candidate Robert Hill resigned in March 2006 to become ambassador to the United Nations, and his position was filled by Cory Bernardi (left), investment fund manager and former state party president. This marked a victory for the Right over the moderate faction, in which Hill had been a senior figure. Its favoured candidate was Simon Birmingham (centre), former Winemakers Federation executive and narrowly unsuccessful candidate for Hindmarsh at the 2004 election (for which Bernardi had again been a preselection rival). The imbalance was redressed when Birmingham won preselection for the number two Senate position to succeed the Right’s Jeannie Ferris, who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ferris died on April 2, and Birmingham assumed her vacancy ahead of schedule. Grant Chapman (right) is seeking to extend a parliamentary career that goes back to 1975, in which time he has conspicuously failed to make himself a household name. His preselection win over the number four candidate, moderate Maria Kourtesis, was widely criticised due to its failure to redress gender and factional imbalance.
Labor’s ticket is headed by debut entrant Don Farrell (left), powerful state secretary of the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Farrell took his faction’s reserved position from Linda Kirk, the number two candidate from 2001, who fell from favour after backing Kevin Rudd’s leadership bid and defying the conservative union’s opposition to the RU486 abortion pill (though some put the rift down to the dismissal of Farrell’s wife from Kirk’s office). Unfortunately for Labor, Kirk declined to take the offered consolation prize of the Boothby. In second position is the rising star of the Left (centre), Penny Wong, who has been harmlessly demoted from her number one position at the 2001 election due to factional arrangements. Journalist Cath Perry (right) won third position with the backing of the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union.
The race for a minor party seat was blown wide open on October 11 when state upper house No Pokies MP Nick Xenophon (left) announced he would be entering the race. Xenophon achieved one of the most sensational results in Australia’s recent electoral history when he polled 20.5 per cent in his re-election bid at the state election last March, enough to score a wholly unexpected second seat for his running mate Ann Bressington. With Natasha Stott Despoja declining to seek another term, the Democrats have nominated peace activist Ruth Russell (centre), best known for spending three weeks in Iraq as a human shield during the 2003 invasion. The Greens candidate is 26-year-old Sarah Hanson-Young (right), a former University of Adelaide student association president who has more recently worked for Amnesty International. Hanson-Young has been spruiked by Bob Brown as an option for people who perhaps are disappointed to see Natasha go.
A mid-campaign poll conducted by Adelaide University for ABC Adelaide suggests Xenophon will carry over his support into this election, enough to deliver a big surplus to the Greens as preferences. There is a very very high chance that this will put Hanson-Young ahead of one of the major parties’ third candidates, and then on to a quota with their preferences. That would produce a result of two seats each to Labor and Liberal, plus one to Xenophon and one to the Greens. If the Greens fall short their preferences will go to Labor via Xenophon, whereas Xenophon’s preferences will split evenly between Labor and Liberal. There doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a micro party upset, as too much of the micro-party vote will go to the Greens.
Preference tickets when reduced to their essence run as follows:
ONE NATION: Shooters; Family First; LDP; Lifestyle; Nationals; DLP; CEC; Liberal; CDP; Xenophon; Labor; Greens; Democrats; SA; WWW; CCC
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Nationals; One Nation; Lifestyle; Family First; Shooters; DLP; Xenophon; Liberal; Labor; CCC; CEC; WWW; LDP; SA; Democrats; Greens
FISHING AND LIFESTYLE: Family First; Shooters; LDP; One Nation; Nationals; Liberal; Labor; CCC; CDP; DLP; WWW; CEC; SA; Xenophon; Democrats; Greens
SHOOTERS: Lifestyle; One Nation; CDP; Family First; Nationals; DLP; Liberal; CCC; CEC; WWW; Labor; LDP; Xenophon; Democrats; Greens
GREENS: CCC; WWW; Democrats; Xenophon; SA; Labor; LDP; Lifestyle; DLP; Nationals; CEC; Shooters; CDP; One Nation; Family First; Liberal
NATIONALS: Family First; Liberal; Xenophon; CDP; DLP; Shooters; Lifestyle; CCC; Greens; WWW; Democrats; Labor; LDP; CEC; SA; One Nation
DLP: Labor; Liberal; CDP; Family First; Nationals; Xenophon; Shooters; Lifestyle; LDP; One Nation; Democrats; CCC; WWW; Greens; CEC; SA
LIBERAL: Family First; Nationals; CDP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Xenophon; Democrats; LDP; DLP; WWW; CCC; Greens; SA; Labor; CEC; One Nation
WHAT WOMEN WANT: Greens; Democrats; SA; Labor; CCC; DLP; CDP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Liberal; Family First; LDP; Xenophon; One Nation; Nationals; CEC
LABOR: Greens; Democrats; Xenophon; Family First; DLP; Shooters; CCC; WWW; Lifestyle; LDP; SA; Nationals; Liberal; CDP; CEC; One Nation
CLIMATE CHANGE COALITION: Greens; Democrats; WWW; SA; Xenophon 1; Labor; DLP; Lifestyle; Liberal; Nationals; One Nation; LDP; Family First; Shooters; Xenophon 2; CDP; CEC
CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL: Liberal; Nationals; Democrats; CDP; One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; Xenophon; Family First; WWW; DLP; SA; Labor; CCC; LDP; Greens
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE: Greens; WWW; Labor; Democrats; CCC; Xenophon; Liberal; Nationals; LDP; DLP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Family First; CDP; CEC; One Nation
DEMOCRATS: CCC; WWW; Greens; half (Xenophon; Liberal; Nationals; Labor), half (Labor; Xenophon Nationals; Liberal); Family First; SA; One Nation; LDP; DLP; Lifestyle; CDP; Shooters; CEC
FAMILY FIRST: Nationals; One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; DLP; CDP; CEC; CCC; Xenophon; Liberal; Labor; LDP; WWW; SA; Democrats; Greens
LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY PARTY: One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; WWW; CEC; CCC; DLP; Liberal; Nationals; Greens; Democrats; CDP; Family First; Xenophon; Labor; SA
NICK XENOPHON: half (Greens; Democrats; Family First), half (Family First; Greens; Democrats); WWW; CCC; Nationals; DLP; CDP; Lifestyle; half (Labor; Liberal), half (Labor; Liberal); SA; Shooters; LDP; CEC; One Nation.