A grim night for the Liberals in South Australia, who needing six seats to win have only clearly won two from Labor (Bright and Hartley) and one from an independent (Mount Gambier), and will require sharp late-count reversals to add any more than Mitchell to that list. Labor can yet get to a majority if they can hold on to Mitchell, but the most likely result seems to be a hung parliament with the two returned independents, Geoff Brock in Frome and Bob Such in Fisher, deciding the issue. Another loser of the evening is electoral fairness, with the Liberals weak showing coming despite what looks like a win of about 52.5-47.5 on two-party preferred. I’ll have a lot more to say about this of course, but not right now.
South Australian election morning after thread
The South Australian election result remains up in the air after a gravely disappointing night for the Liberals.
318 comments on “South Australian election morning after thread”
Or maybe it was 1984 🙂
Psephos 243: Good point about Frome and Stuart. They replaced the safe Lib seat of Eyre (northern outback)and Stuart (Port Augusta & Port Pirie. The new seats were both highly marginal Liberal seats but the ALP has not been able to win them once, in the 20 years since they were created.
What happened to the ALP’s much touted “superior campaigning ability” in the Iron Triangle?
Btw, your international election archive is fantastic!
do you know a marginal seat campaign is? it about holding the seat not swing for or against and yes labor has superior marginal seat campaign and that reason why they we end up for more seat then libreals
Yes, it was 1984. The Commissioners said that the seat of Phillip doesn’t conform to the requirements of the Act, but it’s impossible to make it do so, so that’s that.
The 2PP construct sometimes comes down to whether the disengaged elector puts ALP last or second last. The beauty of a 2 round system is that the elector’s mind is focussed on who will form government and the preferance then has some meaning.
[What happened to the ALP’s much touted “superior campaigning ability” in the Iron Triangle?]
I just said what happened. The Labor voting towns of Port Augusta and Port Pirie were split between two seats, where they are outvoted by the rural areas. That was done quite deliberately to give the Liberals a seat – Frome, which they’ve now contrived to lose.
Thanks re archive.
Stuart have been highly marginal for two election now and in the case frome it never been highty marginal
Have to disagree with 246. If it’s impossible, whats the whole point of Gerrymanders? Why do parties go to the trouble of making detailed submissions setting out proposed boundaries each time there is a redistribution?
Actually the 10% clause is far more onerous that the fairness clause and that has been in place for more than 30 years federally, though I believe in NSW it was recently relaxed for state elections.
Just with a cursery glance at the map i can suggest possible changes that would fix the SA problem.
1. Exchange of populations between Ashford / Elder and the safe neighbouring Liberal seats of Unley, Waite and Davenport.
2. Extend Light & Mawson further in to surrounding rural territory and remove some of the urban areas to compensate. Of course this will have knock on effects but the rural seats can be accomodated by expanding into Heysen which will then be compensated by itself encroaching further into the metro area. This is easy in comparison to the 10% variance in 7 years requirement.
3. Split up Morphett (this could be harder) Its certainly an anomally though to have such a blue seat surounded on all sides by marginals.
Speaking of Frome, I think I’m right in saying that over the past decade six safe non-Labor seats – Frome, Hammond, Fisher, Chaffey, Mr Gambier and McKillop – have elected members who have at various times been willing to support Labor governments. That’s quite a lot in a house of 47, and is a large part of the explanation for why the SA Libs haven’t been able to win government.
From memory Frome was marginal when created and went into the 2002 election with a margin of around 3%. I agree a massive stuff up for the Libs to cause the by-election in 2009 and clever, but predictable of ALP to play dead.
257/ Yes it explains 2002. But even with all four independents the Liberals only won 24/47 with 50.9% – From government!!
Can’t think of any other recent cases of a government winning just a 1 seat majority with 51% given the usual advantage that accrues to both overall TPP winners and incumbents in the single member system.
Back to results for a second. I am looking at the 5 seats that the ABC are currently calling “in doubt”. I’ve noticed that Labor are leading in the seats where they were listed higher on the ballot than the Libs, while the Libs are leading where they were listed higher.
It might just be a coincidence but it could well be true that the donkey decided the result of this election.
TPP is an intersting but useless construct when it comes to the application of the constitution
And the likes of Pyne and Abbott should know that!
Peterk, Why not just amalgamate the ten safest Labor seats into one seat? It would achieve the same effect with less fuss, and is no more undemocratic than your suggestions.
[And the likes of Pyne and Abbott should know that!]
All politicians will spin anything to make the other side look more negative. I expect the Liberals to take a few swipes at Labor (if they’re returned) for not winning the popular vote, just as I’d expect Labor politicians to do the same if the reverse were true.
As long as it isn’t taken too far and people are not led to believe it was an illegal or unconstitutional outcome.
Typical anti-democratic b.s. from the Liberal Party this morning.
Very reminiscent of the epic tantrum after the 2010 federal election.
These people know full well how our system works and that whatever happens, they have stuffed this up well and truly.
Someone should ask one of them if they support the Greens getting 10% of the seats in parliament given that the popular vote is apparently supposed to directly correlate to the seat outcome.
[As long as it isn’t taken too far and people are not led to believe it was an illegal or unconstitutional outcome.]
In the ’tiser this morning Downer is calling it illegitimate.
[All politicians will spin anything to make the other side look more negative. I expect the Liberals to take a few swipes at Labor (if they’re returned) for not winning the popular vote, just as I’d expect Labor politicians to do the same if the reverse were true.]
My recollection of the aftermath the 1998 federal election (in which Labor won the 2PP) was that Beazley didn’t complain about the result at all. Some Labor and left people in the media did complain, and Howard said (approximately): “The rules are that you have to win a majority of seats, so we campaigned to do that. We won, you lost, suck it up.”
[In the ’tiser this morning Downer is calling it illegitimate.]
Downer is a moron.
Psephos, I honestly barely remember the political aftermath of 1998. It doesn’t surprise me that Beazley didn’t make an issue – he’s a bit classier like that.
My point was that I can tolerate a little bit of rhetoric because politics is politics – as long as it doesn’t go too far.
[Downer is a moron.]
Nevertheless, it is obvious that the LNP strategy is going to be the same as in 2010 – if Labor forms government, we will have a relentless campaign based around the idea that it stole the election and is not legitimate.
This bugs me. Seeing as the Independents have retained two seats, how does this calculate into TPP? You can’t say these votes are delivered to Labor or Liberal. They should just do away with TPP and mark votes to two major parties and “Others” which sums up to 100%.
[Nevertheless, it is obvious that the LNP strategy is going to be the same as in 2010 – if Labor forms government, we will have a relentless campaign based around the idea that it stole the election and is not legitimate.]
You’re probably right. One problem with that approach is that the SA Libs are hopeless. They may want to take that approach but they’ll end up screwing it up.
And I am not speaking out of fancy either. They thought they could try it after 2002, it got them nowhere. They tried it after 2010, it also got them nowhere. Heck, this was supposed to be the unloseable election for them and it looks like they’ve still lost it.
I predict that they’ll push such a strategy for a few months, notice it’s not yielding the anger they were expecting and then just drop it completely, chasing some other line of attack, no doubt under yet another leader.
From the SMH: Arguing with a Liberal is like playing chess with a pigeon. Every time you defeat it, it knocks over the pieces, craps on the board and struts about like it won.
I know people won’t agree with me on this but I think it will make bugger all difference to the state who ends up forming government.
If you read all of Downers article, it isn’t that bad. He concedes that the Libs should never have lost Frome and Fisher years ago and if you include those two as Liberal seats, the seat count is about right.
He also seems to be happy with MMP saying we would either have a Labor/Green or Lib/FF coalition leading us.
Seconding Psephos’ whole line of argument here. It is about winning seats and if anyone wants it to be about winning the 2PP or the primary vote or whatever then they should campaign for a totally different system and stop trying to bash round objects into square holes. This is not comparable to malapportionment or gerrymandering; it is just reflecting that the SA Labor Party is good at playing a generally fair system as it exists and not wasting effort chasing irrelevant votes.
Psephos @ 273: Sounds like a good description of Senator Brandeis’s reaction to the Timor case in the ICJ.
Corey Moore is on to something. If Labor wins, it will be through destiny – in the form of the donkey vote.
In seats considered most vulnerable for Labor, it is leading in Ashford, Colton, Elder, Florey, Light, Mawson, Newland, Reynell, Torrens and Wright. In every one of seats it had the advantage of the donkey vote and drew top spot in all except Florey and Wright.
In the three seats Labor appears to have lost, Bright, Hartley and Mitchell, the Liberals benefited from the donkey vote.
Labor would have gone very close to winning Adelaide and Dunstan if its candidates in those seats had the donkey vote.
Labor won Giles and Lee despite bad positions on the ballot paper.
If Labor returns four members to the Legislative Council, it will be largely because it drew A position on the ballot paper (plus a bit of country campaigning for the first time in a long while).
Thank Spur for the comment re Michael Atkinson and corflutes but I don’t for a second think that is why he gained such a big swing.
It is a seat he has worked to death (especially since he is no longer a Minister) and the Libs did SFA work in the electorate to boot.
Now to the matter at hand re the 2PP vote and fairness and all that: I am hardly an ALP fan but they have done nothing illegal or unethical by doing a better job in marginal seats than the Libs.
The Liberals in South Australia manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time and time again by simply expecting swinging voters to vote for them like osmosis.
It doesn’t work like that.
Even though it must be said the calibre of candidates this time around was much better, they still had some appalling choices such as the Cosie Costa in Light, Damian Wyld in Florey and Glenn Docherty in Newland.
They also managed to unnecessarily distract themselves by bankrolling a working prostitute in Lee (which wasn’t even a winnable seat for them) as an Independent for Child Protection. We all know how well that went.
Their leader was, fairly accurately, portrayed by Labor as a bit of a lightweight, and to emphasise that he disappeared or looked like a rabbit in the spotlight when interviewed on TV.
Also Liberal HQ decided to keep their policies under wraps for so long that when I asked one of their campaign heavies in the last week what their policies were, she had to respond with “A strong plan”. Huh? I still don’t know what they were apart from removing the March public holiday to suit the racing industry and some others which matched ALP policies. So why vote for them?
Geoff Greene should be sent by the Libs to a safe place where he can’t lose another unlosable campaign – perhaps Manus Island.
This would be a very good election to lose. Labor has a lot of infrastructure in place or in the pipeline and there’s nothing left in the kitty. A beaten Labor would come back strongly next time. A victorious Labor will be on a hiding to nothing (and the electoral boundaries will be even tougher in four years).
On the other hand, the Liberals did not deserve to win. They played safety first and their new chum leader did not inspire confidence. People know when they’re being conned.
[This would be a very good election to lose. Labor has a lot of infrastructure in place or in the pipeline and there’s nothing left in the kitty. A beaten Labor would come back strongly next time. A victorious Labor will be on a hiding to nothing (and the electoral boundaries will be even tougher in four years).]
I’m sure you could find pretty much this exact quote from last election, yet here we are.
Serial Failure Tony Smith on Lunchtime Agenda carrying on like a spoilt little child regarding the “53% travesty” of the SA election.
What a giggle all these disgruntled Libs whinging about the result being “illegitimate”.
What would be illegitimate, unacceptable and completely hypocritical would be for the Libs to seek to form a minority government, after having banged on and on federally and in a number of states about having a policy of refusing to deals with minorities.
If Marshall does form a minority government with the independents (and I reckon there’s a reasonable chance they’ll go with him), then this would be a case of misleading advertising on a part of a political party which has established a national “brand” of refusing to do deals with minority groups in parliament.
I think SA Liberal voters would be within their rights to go to the ACCC about it.
I notice that Hartley is still listed in doubt on the ABC website but I am don’t believe there is any doubt because:
1: There was a (busy) early voting centre on Magill Rd which is in the more Liberal part of the electorate, so comparatively more Hartley Liberal voters would have voted early than Labor voters.
2: There would be more Liberal absentee votes than usual because the part of the electorate that was redistributed was in the south too, so for example I presume there would a significant number of Liberal voters around Rosslyn Park/Auldana who went to their closest booth at Wattle Park to vote even though Wattle Park is in the neighbouring electorate of Bragg (this is 70+% Liberal territory)
3: In 2010 the non-election day 2PP was also much more in favour of Liberal (4.3%, one of the highest discrepancies in the State)
4: The supposed late swing back to Labor across the state
5: By my calculations the election day average swing at Hartley booths (ignoring the numbers who voted there…) was around 5%. This supports the above theories too.
So I expect the final 2PP in Hartley to be much higher than the current 51.4%, maybe around 54%?
I don’t know enough about the other marginal seats, but if there were similar issues there, this might suggest that some of those with Labor margins around 2% are still in play?
[If Marshall does form a minority government with the independents (and I reckon there’s a reasonable chance they’ll go with him), then this would be a case of misleading advertising on a part of a political party which has established a national “brand” of refusing to do deals with minority groups in parliament.]
Exactly what Bartlett did in Tasmania in 2010, when he said he wouldn’t go into coalition with the Greens and then did so. We saw on Sunday where that led Tas Labor to.
Regarding the donkey vote.
Bob Such got a large swing against him despite getting the donkey vote.
It appears Sam Duluk is a Liberal candidate who actually did his job whereas a lot of other marginal candidates were total failures. It is now a pity he did such a great job because it has annoyed Such so much that he might support Labor, but if the rest of the Liberal team had done their job properly it would not have mattered.
[Bob Such got a large swing against him despite getting the donkey vote.]
Only on 2CP. He got a swing towards him on primary votes (although I am not saying they were all due to first place on a donkey ballot.) The 2CP fell because the ALP primary had a drastic fall.
[Seconding Psephos’ whole line of argument here. It is about winning seats and if anyone wants it to be about winning the 2PP or the primary vote or whatever then they should campaign for a totally different system and stop trying to bash round objects into square holes. This is not comparable to malapportionment or gerrymandering; it is just reflecting that the SA Labor Party is good at playing a generally fair system as it exists and not wasting effort chasing irrelevant votes.]
Well said. Despite getting a lower 2PP than the ALP, John Howard won the 1998 federal election based on a (extremely successful) strategy of sandbagging Lib marginal seats, and letting the safe seats soak up the anti-government swing.
Not saying the current boundaries are gerrymandered. I agree the bias is naturally occuring, but the effects are the same as if it were a gerrymander. There is an approx 2-4% skew to one side over the long term, which it will take a gerrymander to correct, as is constitutionaly mandated.
You can argue the Constitution is wrong, but that dosent change the fact that the law was not adhered to.
291/ And if Howard had won 3 of his 4 elections that way I suspect we would have been hearing about it. As it is I think his claim of a “mandate” for the GST was bogus after that result. SA Libs will end up with a higher 2PP than Kevin’07. Dosent that concern you?
Given all the criticism here appearing about the 2012 redistribution, here’s the link to the relevant report:
[There is an approx 2-4% skew to one side over the long term, which it will take a gerrymander to correct, as is constitutionaly mandated.]
So a gerrymander to correct… a gerrymander?
While we’re gerrymandering, why not put all the Greens and Family First voters in their own electorates?
There is an appeal mechanism under the SA Constitution for any elector who believes that a report of the Boundaries Commission is inconsistent with the terms of the Constitution.
The only problem is that any such appeal must be lodged within 1 month of the date of the report. (The most recent report was 21 August 2012).
I note that no elector chose to avail themselves of this appeal mechanism in August/September 2012.
[SA Libs will end up with a higher 2PP than Kevin’07. Dosent that concern you?]
I’m a little concerned, yes. Personally, I don’t think SA Labor should try and form government, solely because I suspect a minority ALP govt would be annihilated at the next go-round (after 16 years).
But I don’t think the system is to blame. Every party campaigns disproportionately in marginal seats. This time round the ALP were extremely successful at it. The Libs dropped the ball.
Has there been any counting in the close seats today?
The only new vote results we’ll be hearing about yesterday/today are rechecking of booth results. Pre-poll and postal counting starts tomorrow.
BTW I missed out on seeing your sterling performance on Saturday night due to a problem with my new TV. I hope I’ll get the opportunity again some time.