South Australian election minus 11 days

Some more local colour from an otherwise colourless campaign, for an election now less than two weeks away.

A second round-up of local happenings as the sedate campaign for South Australia’s state election crawls to its March 15 conclusion:

Colton (Labor 3.6%): As noted at the tail end of Saturday’s Newspoll post, a Galaxy automated phone poll of 495 respondents published in the Sunday Mail provided Labor with a measure of encouragement by showing Labor incumbent Paul Caica tied with Liberal challenger Joe Barry on two-party preferred, representing a swing to the Liberals of 3.6%. The primary votes were 45% for Labor (46.3% at the 2010 election), 46% for the Liberals (39.9%), 5% for the Greens (8.2%) and 4% for Family First (3.5%). Caica seems to be a very popular and well-recognised local member, recording a 58% satisfaction rating versus 22% dissatisfied, whereas Steven Marshall has a 42-39 edge over Jay Weatherill as preferred premier. Sixty-two per cent of respondents anticipate a Liberal victory against only 27% for Labor.

Lee (Labor 7.7%): Following in the footsteps of Danyse Soester in Wright, another campaigner against the government over its handling of the school sex abuse issue, Mel Calone, will run as an independent under a “put Labor last” banner in the north-western suburbs electorate of Lee. However, Labor has found cause to dispute her bona fides as an independent after the Liberal Party paid for and authorised a radio advertisement in which she states her case. Lauren Novak of The Advertiser reports that Calone is a former ALP member who has worked for the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union and the Australian Services Union.

Hartley (Labor 0.1%): The Liberals have complained to the Electoral Commission over a fundraising letter sent by Labor member Grace Portolesi to a public servant at her Education Department workplace, and queried whether its invitation to purchase raffle tickets amounted to an electoral bribe. Portolesi told Michael McGuire of The Advertiser that the material was being sent to those who requested it at the address they nominated.

Adelaide (Liberal 4.2%): Labor has proposed that the site of the soon-to-be-relocated Royal Adelaide Hospital be converted into a second city high school specialising in health and sciences, with construction to begin in 2017 at a cost of $46.5 million over forward estimates. The Liberals want to keep the site as a privately run medical facility and meet demand for city schooling by spending $75 million on a second Adelaide High School campus on West Terrace, to be linked to the existing campus by a foot bridge.

Mitchell (Labor 2.5%): Labor has promised to spend $2.5 million turning Seaview High School into a specialist manufacturing school with a view to preparing students for employment at the manufacturing hub being developed at the site of the old Mitsubishi plant at Tonsley Park.

Elder (Labor 1.7%): A further Labor plan for the Tonsley Park site, announced last week, is to spend $30 million establishing a resources precinct that will consolidate drill core library facilities which currently store rock samples at various locations around the state. The Liberals, who have been kept well supplied by highly sourced leaks during the campaign, were promptly able to point to a business plan which questioned whether the sale of the existing sites would bring in the money budgeted for, raising concerns about contamination at one of the existing sites in Thebarton.

Kaurna (Labor 8.8%): Kym Richardson, who held the federal seat of Kingston for the Liberals from 2004 to 2007, is running as an independent in the corresponding southern suburbs seat being vacated by the retirement of Labor’s John Hill.

UPDATE: Another Galaxy poll for The Advertiser, this time from the seat of Adelaide, shows on swing at all in the one seat Labor were hoping to snare from the Liberals. The poll has Liberal incumbent Rachel Sanderson leading Labor candidate David O’Loughlin 54-46, with primary votes of 49% for Sanderson, 39% for O’Loughlin, the Greens on 8% and Dignity for Disability on 4%. The poll was conducted on Tuesday night from a sample of 587.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

55 comments on “South Australian election minus 11 days”

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  1. I’m voting Family First!!!

    [Family First wants end to posters on poles

    Family First MLC Dennis Hood will seek a ban on the display of election posters on Stobie poles.

    Mr Hood says the posters are out-dated and are visual pollution.

    He says there are other ways for people to find out about their local candidates.

    “It’s just got to the point of being ridiculous and, to be honest, technology has moved on,” he said.

    “In the day of the internet not many people get their electoral information from posters on the side of the road, they get them from electronic sources typically, whether it be the radio or whether it be the internet or the TV, whatever it is.”

  2. I’m not voting Family First! But they do have a sensible idea. The posters have gotten ridiculous, and the war over their placement keeps the young bover boys in each party with something to do, but bores the rest of us silly. The identical defacement of a lot of psoters for Green LC member Mark Parnell with a moustache etc is particularly childish, and too consistent and widespread not to be organised by someone from one major party. They should get a job, as Keating would say.

    Election campaigns have degenerated from a battle of ideas to advertising spam and gotchas. The leaders have had debates, and they have been reasonable, but the rest has been very lacklustre, with each campaignteam going by the numbers. At least there have not been too many negative attack ads. Most people have made up their minds, so it would be a waste of money anyway.

  3. Independently Speaking:

    Since the lady who declined the opportunity to stand for Labor in Torrens has opted out of the political process, it would not be proper to name her. She is a senior official in a white collar union.

  4. Posters cost a lot of money and generate a fair bit of angst, but apart from possibly adding to the road accident toll they do give the party activists something to do and add a bit of colour. So let them be.

  5. Three years down the track and at least another year to go.

    [STATE MP Bernard Finnigan has won a stay of one of the child pornography charges against him – but will stand trial on the other.

    District Court Judge Steven Millsteed today dismissed Finnigan’s request for a permanent stay of his impending trial on one aggravated count of obtaining access to child pornography.

    However, he ordered there be a stay of the second allegation against Finnigan, that being a charge of taking a step toward obtaining access to child pornography.

    The legal decision means Finnigan will still be prosecuted over materials allegedly found at his home in April 2011.]

    [He said the court was currently listing trials for February of next year.]

  6. Thanks TT for the info. She has probably made a wise choice for the sake of her family and sanity. You’ll be pleased to know I have no idea who it is.

    As far as Bernie Finnigan goes, he just goes and goes and goes…

  7. Meanwhile in Light a Herald newspaper profile of candidates has a picture of Liberal candidate Cossie Costa with a statement that the candidate/representatives did not respond to emails and other attempts to get information. That paper is a free one probably distributed to at least half the households in Light. Not a good look.

  8. Looking at the Legislative Council – looks like contest for seats is between Libs, Labor, Greens, FF, X and Powerful Communities (Mark Henley. Preferences for Fishers & Shooters not good enough.

    Libs 4 certain, Lab 3 certain and Greens plus Labor 4 certain. Powerful Communities easily do best of small groups. Unless D4D do a couple of % better than PC, PC will get ahead with small groups and collect D4D votes.

    Best result for Libs could be 5 Lib, 1FF and 1X and 3 Lab and 1 Green but 6 between Libs, FF and X seems more likely as their best result. Best result for Labor would be 4 Lab, 1 Green and 1 PC with 5 Libs or 4 Libs and 1 FF.

  9. If Labor have no chance in Adelaide as the poll indicates then Labor has no chance of a moajority because there is no way I can see them holding any of Hartley, Bright and Ashford.
    I think they probably will hold Elder, have a good chance in Mitchell, hold Light and Colton is very close.

  10. Just to complete prelim view on Leg Council. With possible 4 Labor, 1 Green and 1 Powerful Communities – rest would be 5 between Liberals, FF and X. Most likely way for this to occur is PC gets ahead of X near the end and X eliminated to elect PC.

    X vote is big unknown – remember in 2002 the X no pokies group got just 1.3% of vote despite the presence of X to work with in campaign and in the Council if elected. Of course since then X vote has been huge – 20% in Leg Council 2010 and 25% in Senate 2013. Little proof yet that it can translate to another candidate who will be independent of any real X involvement. Anybodies guess. But X gets very little help from preferences – same as Senate 2013.

    And best result for small parties would be 1 each for Greens, X, FF and PC and likely 4 Lib and 3 labor for other 7.

  11. The last week should help close the margin for Labor. The Advertiser and most pundits gave the debate to Weatherall.

    Marshall refusing to answer questions about his previous business is odd. It is hard to think of s good reason why he would not explain it. Too many thankyou notes from loyal staff? Too much charity support? A request from the ATO not to pay his tax so early? Or something else?

    Libs are still ahead but it will not be a landslide. Marshall is not sounding like another O’Farrell or Kennett either.

  12. Yes spur, good point, what I can’t get it is what the issue is…Labor isn’t saying what the problem is – and Marshall doesn’t want to talk about it.

    All very odd.

    Anyone know? Even a hint in the form of a question to prevent defamation would help.

    My Liberal friend (who is in Marshall’s branch) won’t say a word to me about it so that is saying something in itself.

  13. [The last week should help close the margin for Labor. ]

    So they said at the federal election – in fact it went the other way. So they said in Qld. So they said in NSW.

  14. The Liberals in SA are not the most professional party going around. Maybe they have improved under Marshal, but the last week of the 2010 campaign featured a couple of big Liberal mistakes. On top of that Marshal is an okay leader but nothing special that can really inspire lots of people change their votes. It is going to be a smaller swing than last time but probably one which will win many more seats. It is not going to be like QLD or NSW.

  15. I agree the SA Libs have a long history of sabotaging themselves. As I noted somewhere a few days ago, there hasn’t been a successful SA Liberal government since Playford (and he was propped up by the Playmander). But I don’t think that’s going to help Labor much this time. I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

  16. Voted yesterday – 63 numbers below the line for the upper house. Two variants of the shooters and fishers, a bunch of ‘multicultural’ independents, and lots of random other independents.

    They were being extra painful about checking the roll etc – I suspect due to the AEC shambles in WA.

  17. I don’t think anybody (except the blind Labor rusted-ons) are predicting anything but a Liberal win. Even if the Libs drop the ball, they’ll still get there because many voters have made up their mind. The question of poll gaps opening or closing is more about asking whether we see a massive landslide win of close to 30 seats (or more) or a smaller one with 25 or fewer.

  18. I’m guessing Vicki Chapman has a gag order on her.

    There has to be some journo just itching to ask her if she can guarantee she won’t challenge Marshall for the leadership.

  19. The Adelaide poll can be read in different ways. No swing there could be good news for Labor members in marginal seats.

    On the other hand, Labor will be unhappy that O’Loughlin ha made no inroads on the lightweight Liberal sitting member, who9 achieved an exceptional swing last time. Even more surprising, her primary vote is up to 49%.

  20. [I’m guessing Vicki Chapman has a gag order on her.

    There has to be some journo just itching to ask her if she can guarantee she won’t challenge Marshall for the leadership.]

    I’d be watching Evans actually. His faction had been shut out of both the leadership and deputy leadership, and he’s been privately boasting about the “dries” doing well in preselections.

  21. TT

    I don’t think Labor would be pleased with the Adelaide poll. That was one they hoped to pinch back. The swing against J Lo was massive (14.5%) and the Libs are doing well to maintain that.

  22. Adelaide is an inner-city seat that went rogue last time with a less-than-popular Lib member. You can’t really read anything from the swing in that seat – except maybe that it actually reflects on Labor’s position that they can’t claw back some significant 2PP votes. Ultimately though, Labor wanted it and they’re not going to get it. Nothing to celebrate.

    If Independently Thinking (someone who, despite my occasional snaps at, I actually respect the insight of) is correct about O’Loughlin’s popularity (or lack thereof) in the inner-north, then that might be a factor too.

    Nevertheless, it’s a seat Labor will have to do without this time and, in 2018, with a reasonable candidate and better conditions for Labor, it should be ripe for the picking.

    *analysis said with the usual caveat that the margin of error on that seat poll is probably significant and the reality could possibly be much better or much worse for Labor than the poll lets on…

  23. That is very kind of you CM, and likewise, I have huge respect for your sensible views. And I probably deserve being snapped at, at times.

    As far as Adelaide goes, I think you will find O’Loughlin will lift the ALP vote in the CBD but will send it down in Prospect Council where he is Mayor.

    I offer a one year subs to Crikey for the first person to bet me that the ALP 2PP will go up in Adelaide as I think it will go down – very slightly.

    And in 2018 Labor will need a decent candidate because by then Mr O’Loughlin won’t be Mayor either I am willing to bet.

  24. I agree the ALP will be disappointed at the Adelaide poll. And the Libs will be delighted that their lightweight candidate is whipping another Labor heavyweight. Maybe today’s Tiser analysis is correct in saying massive demographic change is making the seat very much stronger for the Libs. Without O’Loughlin, there might well be a further swing to them.

    Demographic change is at work in other seats too, not necessarily in the same direction. When the swing’s on, though, it tends to be pretty well one way.

    Against that, the political afficionados seem to think that Weatherill has landed a few hits on Marshall in recent days. Whether the general public has noticed is another matter.

    As for the Tiser, it has had its reporting lapses, such as the lame cover of Labor’s launch, and the failure to expose Marshall’s inadequacies (while giving the pic of him with his sick sister front page billing). But it’s no Daily Terror and Labor can’t complain too much about its cover to this point. That of course may change in the last week.

    Of more concern for Labor is that fact that the Libs have more money for a TV blitz.

    And it’s hard to pick winning issues. I thought the idea of bringing back rego discs was bizarre and out of step with every other state, but it seems to have gone down well with a lot of people and even has the support of the Law Society.

    Such is life.

  25. By the way, Jo Chapley is a terrific candidate in Dunstan and more than the equal of Steven Marshall in every respect, but that doesn’t mean she won’t go down to a thundering defeat.

    Wrong time, wrong place.

  26. Toorak Toff

    Agree on Jo Chapley. If the swing was going the other way, Marshall would be a goner! Might be perfect for Sturt at the next federal election.

  27. [Yes spur, good point, what I can’t get it is what the issue is…Labor isn’t saying what the problem is – and Marshall doesn’t want to talk about it.

    All very odd.

    Anyone know? Even a hint in the form of a question to prevent defamation would help.

    My Liberal friend (who is in Marshall’s branch) won’t say a word to me about it so that is saying something in itself.]

    Basically, he took a successful business and sent it to the wall. My sources tell me there will be more detail to come over the next week.

    Moral of the story: if you are crap at running a business, don’t put it on your resume and don’t try to apply for a job where you’ll be running a whole state 😉

  28. I enjoyed the “political analyst” at the end who didn’t have one single fact to deploy, so he just rolled out standard cliches that could apply to any election anywhere. And people get paid to do this!

  29. Sykesie

    The problem is the gloves were literally off.

    And Adelaide Oval not being ready on time hasn’t helped Labor one bit.

  30. The Advertiser story about Adelaide Oval today looks like a beatup. Matt and Dave on 891 were trying to get Rod Hook to agree that the story was right this morning. Hook swatted them away. Oval will be ready 5 days early because of Stones concert. But there is a payment to contractor to achieve this which means something on the wish list for SACA, SANFL or SMA wont happen.

  31. Re Eddie Hughes: Was he arrested at a demonstration in daylight in 1977, as the photo caption states, or loitering outside a hotel at night in 1983, as the text states, or both? What kind of journalism is this?

  32. Psephos

    He was arrested both in 1977 and in 1983.

    The 1977 one was for protesting about the Queens visit. I don’t think it went to court.

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