South Australian election minus one week

Preferences, promises and pre-polling, as the South Australian election campaign enters the home strait.

Miscellaneous South Australian state election news:

• I had a piece in Crikey yesterday (paywalled) about the loss of momentum, actual and/or perceived, in Nick Xenophon’s campaign. Among the issues covered are the harsh treatment SA Best has received from preferences, including from the Greens, who have the Liberals ahead of them in 15 of the 36 seats in which they are running. This includes the seat of Waite, where the SA Best candidate is Graham Davies, a former vice-president of the South Australian Conservation Council and chair of the Sustainable Engineering Society. Labor has SA Best behind the Liberals in around half the seats where they are running, although these tend not to be the ones SA Best appears most likely to win. Thanks to South Australian electoral law, you can see all the preference orders that the parties have registered here, for purposes of “saving” votes from ballot papers where not all the boxes were numbered.

• The major point of policy differentiation between the major parties relates to Labor’s proposed tram extensions to North Adelaide and Norwood, for a combined cost of $538 million, and its longer term vision of a network of tram lines through the inner suburbs. The extensions are directly of interest to the seats of Adelaide, which Labor is hopeful of taking from the Liberals, and Dunstan, the marginal Liberal seat held by Steven Marshall. A North Adelaide extension is one of four proposals the Liberals say they will look into in government, the other three of which involve loops within the central business district. Marshall says residents in his electorate fear the loss of street trees and parking from a Norwood line, and the Liberals’ broader position is that trams are “not viable, workable or needed beyond the Adelaide Parklands and North Adelaide, except for the existing Glenelg line”.

• Pre-poll voting has been in swing since Monday, a fact Steven Marshall unusually chose to highlight by casting his own vote on Thursday. The Liberals clearly think they are on to something here, as they have launched a website to publicise pre-poll booth locations and the eligibility requirements (Marshall went with work commitments). By the reckoning of Tom Richardson of InDaily, the motivation is to ensure as many votes as possible are cast before the Oakden nursing home scandal fades from view.

• With the apparent decline in SA Best’s fortunes, betting agency Ladbrokes now has Labor very slight favourites to form government. Its seat polling has the Liberals as favourites in 22 seats, Labor in 20, SA Best only in Hartley and Heysen (just barely in the latter case), and independents in Florey, Frome and Mount Gambier. Aside from Labor’s Tom Kenyon being favourite to retain Newland, which has a 0.1% Liberal margin post-redistribution, no seat is favoured to change hands between Liberal and Labor, although little separates them in Lee and Torrens (Labor-held), Adelaide (Liberal-held) and Mawson (Labor-held, but Liberal post-redistribution). There remains a wide zone of uncertainty in relation to SA Best, who are at $3 or less in Chaffey, Davenport, Finniss, Kavel, Morialta and Colton – all Liberal seats, though Colton is only so on the post-redistribution margin.

• A model for projecting seat outcomes from statewide party vote totals based on Senate preference flows at the 2016 federal election has been developed by Jack Larkin. A similar effort was made before the Queensland election by Alex Jago, and while a thoroughly worthy experiment, it ended up badly overestimating Labor, who did not do nearly as well on One Nation preferences at the state election. The Jack Larkin model’s projections look pretty extraordinary in their expectations for SA Best, who end up with twice as many seats as the Liberals based on their supposedly disappointing numbers from the recent Newspoll.

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.

86 comments on “South Australian election minus one week”

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  1. There is a lot of advertising against SA-BEST. They appear to be the primary target of both the Liberals and Labor, who strangely don’t seem to be focussing on each other. Also, the hoteliers are running strong anti Xenophon campaigns both on TV and in pubs (similar to the anti-Greens campaign in Tassie). This is because SA-BEST have a policy to halve the number of pokies. Curiously, they are not actively campaigning against the South Australian Greens who want to eliminate ALL pokies. The “in pub” posters campaign on the basis of hospitality jobs and music. Odd, as I recall pokies causing the demise of many a live music venue.

  2. If Labor are favoured in just twenty seats, then why would they also be favoured to form government? They would need at least four of the five cross benchers to support them, two of the five maybe being from SA-Best.

  3. I guess given that the Greens are now poling no more than 5-6 percent there would be very little point in the AHA running any sort of campaign against them. They sure aren’t going to win any lower house seats and are pushing just to get Tammy Franks reelected.

  4. I’m sticking close to my original forecast on the numbers, though the seat complexion is slightly different. So:

    Liberal 27
    Labor 16
    Independents 3
    SA Best 1

    Of the Independents, one is a sure Liberal supporter, one leans Labor and the third is up for grabs.

    SA Best might grab two or three seats or finish up with none. Cynical preferencing by the Greens especially, and Labor’s split ticket in Hartley, will help the lacklustre Libs over the line.

    Labor’s a chance for maybe 18 seats, but the It’s Time factor is compelling and the last redistribution delivered the coup de grace.

  5. Bignell always has overperformed on the ground, but adding Kangaroo Island to his electorate may prove the killer. The islanders are conservative to the core and do not budge.

  6. I live in Adelaide- it is weird that after 16 years the one thing this ALP Govt IS NOT is tired, or out of ideas, or no longer delivering….they seem to be chugging along delivering for the people as strong as ever. On renewables, defence procurement, tram and rail, arts, sport, hospitals, new industry etc… they keep producing the goods, and the books are in surplus.
    It makes it a sort of weird campaign – it’s time doesn’t really reverberate as you would suspect after so long. It will be a crime if people throw them out just to give the others a go.

  7. Yes Torchbearer, Labor is looking to the clean energy future and the Libs are just marking time. Labor does campaign well in the seats that matter. The old electorate is jaded, but maybe the youngies will come to the rescue.

    Gibson will be an interesting seat. Kris Hanna, having been a Labor and Independent MP and a member of the Greens, is now standing for SA Best. He’s top of the ticket, and gets preferences from Labor and Dignity. The Greens have not registered a voting ticket. May be a sleeper.

  8. What I have found door knocking is that the so-called “it’s time factor” has really only actually been mentioned by staunch Liberals, not people who have actually wanted to discuss issues. If I had to isolate two issues they would be: hurting Labor, particularly among older voters, is the closure of the Repat. Hurting the Liberals, people just don’t feel they know Marshall or what he’s about and stands for and don’t really trust him. I have also been pleasantly surprised by how many people have mentioned wanting more renewable energy as an important issue for them, and not just younger voters.

    As for Gibson, I suspect the Greens’ decision not to issue a HTV may be to do with the fact that both the Labor candidate and SA Best candidate are former Greens.

  9. The Greens may have HTVs at the Gibson booths (if they have enough volunteers to hand them out), but they’re not registered for this seat and therefore votes not marked in every box bar the last will be informal.

    It’s unlikely they’d direct preferences to ex-Greens anyway.

    Hanna seems to be a popular Mayor of Marion and must have a good show.

    I feel sorry for great Labor candidates like Rick Sarre in Bragg and Geoff Phillips in Unley, who are struggling to find helpers. Many of the members in their sub-branches are stacks, useful for Labor Party elections but nowhere to be seen when there’s work to be done. The active ones rush off to help in the more sexy electorates. Ex-MPs are often among the drones.

    Coupled with Labor’s neglect of country electorates, it’s no wonder the party struggles to win upper house seats these days.

  10. Imagine being such a concern troll that you’re criticising Labor for not spending enough resources in deep blue safe Lib seats.

    Also, consistently getting 4/11 is a pretty good showing for a proportional representation upper house.

  11. It should be noted that Hanna’s support collapsed to 18 percent the last time he ran for Mitchell and that he would have little profile in parts of the Gibson electorate. Expect he will come third, but stranger things have happened.

  12. Hanna’s an odd one. He quit Labor and joined the Greens because Labor were too conservative and then dumped the Greens to be an indie when they wouldn’t preselect him for their #1 upper house ticket spot. Now he’s SA Best and I recall him sending out leaflets explaining how important it is to him to keep Australia Day on the 26th of January (something I cannot imagine Kris Hanna from last decade doing.) I wonder how long before he jumps ship again and decides to join the Conservatives or something!

  13. As for the lower house. I just can’t make any prediction yet because there’s not enough data, nor is there enough of a pattern to be sure how preferences will flow.

    I am a little more confident in predicting the upper house TBH. Right now, I would guess it will be 3 ALP, 3 Lib, 3 SAB, 1 Grn, 1 Con. It’s weird because normally I am slightly more confident with lower house predictions.

  14. Rational Leftist, it’s not a matter of wasting resources in Liberal seats. It’s disappointing to see that we can’t now do the job we used to over the generations.

  15. Anyone know what polls are likely to come out this week in SA?
    I know the ’tiser did the independents seats this week , but other than Florey and Mt Gambier they weren’t very conclusive and didn’t really explain what’s going on broadly.
    They are saying there is another poll due on Wednesday that is covering a few more seats specifically, but has anyone heard of any state wide polling due?
    The fact SA Best are only running in 3/4 seats really messed up the last one. William hasn’t even used it to update his SA poll trends graph.
    ALP seem to be warming up the shredders but where and how it all lands in a week from now is anyone’s guess.,, and this time I really mean guess.

  16. @rational leftist

    Completely agree. Anyone who seriously thinks they have a handle on what’s going to happen in the lower house is kidding themselves. Just as I have to say anyone writing Labor off at this point is really only going on gut feel and the so-called “it’s time factor”. To be honest, I was actually slightly encouraged by Labor only being 2 percent behind the Liberals on the primary vote in the last state poll. But in the end it’s all going to come down to preference flows and nobody seriously knows where they are going to fall.

  17. I agree with the comment that Labor certainly haven’t run out of energy or ideas. If anything, there are too many ideas. $2b of ideas. Where is that coming from?
    I also agree that Marshall has not connected with voters. A problem that the Libs in SA have had for decades. Personality by-pass paperwork required as part of the pre-selection process??
    How the lower house will end up is beyond my pay grade. I understand that Labor has to win seats following the redistribution, and I don’t see a swing towards the ALP. Will the Libs lose seats to SA-BEST? Will Labor? My prediction is yes, a few, but where? It probably won’t be where people expect and it may not include Xenophon himself. How the “established parties” prioritise seats is beyond me!

  18. Rational Leftist, it’s not a matter of wasting resources in Liberal seats. It’s disappointing to see that we can’t now do the job we used to over the generations.

    Oh shut up! You don’t have a bloody clue what you’re talking about!

  19. Have to tell you, I am not sure about the optics of campaigning with Malcolm Turnbull. I would’ve thought, particularly going into the last week, Marshall and the Libs would want to appear independent of their unpopular federal counterparts.

    Similar story can be said of Weatherill and Shorten but they’re not as on-the-nose.

  20. “Liberal 27
    Labor 16
    Independents 3
    SA Best 1″…..

    Ha, ha, ha… Oh dear…. Hey, Toorak, when you do propaganda, to be minimally credible, you have got to be subtle and sound like realistic…. Your alleged “prediction” is just very poorly designed propaganda…. Improve your evil-art, mate!… or just be the subject of well deserved scorn.

    Have the Libs run out of money that they have to employ these kind of sub-standard trolls?

  21. There is an article today in The Guardian by K Murphy which appeared to hint Liberals are confident of victory.
    I think ALP may not form government in SA state election next. I agree with Toorak that ‘its time’ will be a significant factor
    I don’t understand why bookies predict ALP to form government when they are predicted to get less seats than Liberals. They need to get more seats than Liberals to have any chance of forming government
    I think SAB will fizzle like PHONy in QLD state election.

  22. Alpo, with there being little in regards to meaningful polling and little clue about preferencing, TT’s prediction, I’m afraid to say, is possible. As is the exact opposite (a similar landslide for Labor.)

    While there’s a lot of entrail-reading going on here and divination based on the “vibe” or moods of parties (note: all the parties and their members are in buoyant moods right now) the truth is: we just don’t know.

  23. A lot of negative ads on TV news tonight. A Liberal one on Oakden hits hard. Cory Bernardis is silly. It is going to be a depressing week. I can hardly recall Marshall smiling or making a positive comment so far either.

    That being said, I must agree with others here. The Liberal campaign is a deadly dull replay of the same tired old li(n)es – tax cuts and lower costs – while not mentioning too loudly the job cuts, or the fact that only business people with a turnover above $1.5 million get a tax cut. So for 99% of Ssouth Australians it is service cuts and nothing in return. It will be sad if he wins. If his own body language is an indicator, he does not expect to.

  24. The biggest issue I have with a Marshall win, besides the fact that he is clearly in every vested interest’s pocket, is it sends that cynical message out that, in Australia, policies and vision don’t win elections: dirt and personality does. That’s fine when everything is going well but not when you have a state whose future is in limbo. We can’t afford to have four years of doing nothing, shelving infrastructure, privatisation and other nonsense, just because “It’s time!” or Oakden.

    Also, as his policy platform is as vague as, the state would effectively be writing him a blank cheque to do whatever he wants (without having to worry about “broken promises”) and I am certain he’ll give a multi-million dollar sinecure to some Liberal figure (maybe Downer or someone) to pretend to do an audit of the shape of the state’s finances and return with a verdict of “It’s actually a lot more dire than we thought!” so they can backtrack on any spending promises made and instead go for a cutting spending/taxes and privatisation agenda.

    Also, Rob Lucas as Treasurer is an awful idea. He was bad last time round, and it shows that they still live in the 1990s.

  25. In perusing these “The Toorak Toff”, predicting a landslide Liberal win then uses “we” which appears a reference to Labor

    Given that contributors divergent presentations from others, credibility gone

    Then again using the tag “The Toorak Toff” is probably the give away of a died in the wool Liberal, so pass to contributions which are representative of observation, not Party partisan hope of decimation of the other candidates

  26. Having been a regular pollbludger reader for 10+ years, I reckon Toorak Toff has been commenting all of that time. My observation is that the Toff is a pessimistic ALP sympathiser. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I always consider the Toff’s predictions to be the lower bound for ALP performance 🙂

  27. ** It will be sad if he wins. If his own body language is an indicator, he does not expect to. **

    His eyebrows are doing a superhuman effort just keeping his eyes open. He will, literally, fall over the line.

  28. I agree there is not an It’s Time factor, but there also doesn’t seem to be a big push towards Labor. Last time they could just concentrate on holding seats which obviously won’t get it done this time. If you break it down seat by seat it is hard to see them winning any back apart from Newland.

    The only thing that might surprise and get them up would be an unexpectedly high preference flow from Xenophon. Its an alternative way of sending a message without necessarily having to direct your vote to an opposition who you aren’t that taken with.

  29. It is hard to see Labor getting a majority government, I just do see a path with is more than highly unlikely.
    The are favored in the re-distribution in only 20 seats, one which Bedford seems to be winning as an independent. Winning Newland seems quite likely, it is just the type of contest Labor have been winning at previous elections. However Labor would have to win 4 out of Adelaide, Black, Gibson, Hartley, Dunstan, Colton, Mawson and Elder to get to 24. I don’t see any reason to make Labor favourite in any of them and are quite unlikely to almost all of them. Even getting 3 and relying on Bedford seem highly unlikely.

    If they win 2 then it is even possible that the Liberals will get to 23 + Bell to form government although that assumes no SA Best wins which cannot be the most likely result.
    More likely is that 22 seats gives Labor a chance to exercise another one of their strengths in convincing non-Labor members to join them. They could form government with Bedford and either Brock or SA Best support.

    Still I think it is more likely Labor will only win 1 or even none of the seats I listed. Labor will then be relying on SA Best to win seats to keep the Liberals + Bell to below 24 and then convince Brock and SA Best to support them. Certainly possible, especially if SA Best wins more than 1 seat.
    My prediction (wild guess) Labor 21, Liberal 22, Bedford, Bell, Brock and Xenophon. Labor to win Newland and Elder. Elder is a pure guess but it would be typical of Labor to somehow win one extra seat and Elder is my choice.

  30. William, thanks again for providing a reliable, concise, non-partisan, one-stop shop for election updates.

    Reading some of the comments over the past couple of days really highlights SA’s biggest problem: it’s political class are clueless about the dire condition SA is in. Every one of them I speak with (and I speak with quite a few of them) thinks the Weatherill and Rann years have been not just merely competent but as good as government gets. The sad fact is that SA is a moribund, mendicant, parasitic basket case that needs to lean on the rest of the nation to survive. The only way to stop this is to administer medicine that is untenable in a democracy with 4-year terms.

    I’m a Tory so I’m obviously not a fan of Weatherill and friends. However, one cannot help but admire the way they have effectively sustained a narrative that SA’s problems are the result of privatisation and policy coming out of Canberra. This is incredibly smart politics given that SA has always collectively felt that the whole world is out to get them (and I say that as a South Aussie). Meanwhile, the best the Liberals can come up with for an alternative Premier is a guy who has the credentials to be a competent Sport and Youth Affairs Minister. I’ve heard people associated with the SA Liberals say (with a straight face) that Marshall must be doing something right as he’s the longest serving Liberal leader since Playford!

    Next Saturday I suspect the ALP will limp across the line, probably relying on the support of Geoff Brock and Frances Bedford. But it really doesn’t matter… SA is beyond the point of no return. At least on the Titanic, those in command knew they were on a sinking ship.

  31. Chris from Edgecliff:

    We’re not so parasitic.

    Your mob in the east pulled out the props that kept our car industry alive as a key driver of our economy.

    You’re conniving in illegal actions that are robbing us of our River Murray entitlements.

    Labor has acted decisively to save the smelter at Port Pirie and the steelworks at Whyalla.

    It is strongly backing a clean energy future. We’ve had no major blackouts this summer. Port Augusta is on the cusp of renewal through solar power development.

    Labor has a good story to tell – Australia’s most modern big hospital, Adelaide Oval, road and rail infrastructure. And no Eddie Obeid.

  32. Chris I think that is exactly the sort of rhetoric that could’ve gotten the Liberals over the line last time had it not been for Tony Abbott. The Liberal Party were somewhat unlucky that the last election coincided with not quite the height of Abbott’s unpopularity but certainly pretty close to it.

    It doesn’t wash as well this time. Partly for the reasons Toorak Toff mentioned and partly for the fact that Turnbull and co overreached terribly on the power debate. By going so hard they set themselves up for a contest against a much shrewder politicial operator who managed to turn what should’ve been a negative in to somewhat of a strength.

    As you alluded to even if things are as bad as your assessment would suggest (again I disagree as it seems to be more reflective of 4-5 years ago), then it really is hard to see Marshall improving the fortunes of the state in any way.

  33. I don’t know how to post it here, but for those who follow Jay Weatherill on social media, check out the new ad with Bob Hawke. Pretty powerful!

  34. ** But it really doesn’t matter… SA is beyond the point of no return. **
    A lot of Tories say this.

    Quite a few tradies I know say this too. You know the ones, they are doing it so tough that they now have to ski in Wanaka instead of Whistler and have to work so hard they can only take the boat out every other weekend.

  35. Christ we need some substantial polling data soon. Or some interesting news story to distract us. We’re only going off feelings and stereotypes right now.

  36. I agree with Chris that SA is struggling but that is the natural condition of the state. It can’t be left to drift under a lazy Liberal govt. There is enough growth in most other states for them to look after their mates and let the economy meander upward. SA needs an active govt that seeks opportunities. Weatherill seems to have had some key successes. It will be crap for SA if the Libs get in. They are nothing like the Libs of the Playford era

  37. @rational leftist

    I’m not even sure to be honest how far poling is going to take us. We had the statewide newspoll last weekend, and it really took us nowhere. I guess all we can hope for is some poling in genuinely decisive seats, rather than headline grabbers. But even with polls in crucial seats it will still be difficult to interpret anything much due to the fact that unpredictable preference flows will decide most of them this time.

  38. Unless 3CP counts are published on election night, it will be a comparatively uninformative evening.

  39. Matt31

    True but it’s slightly more substantial than making wild guesses about candidates moods, gut feels or the vibes of electorates.

  40. I departed SA some 35 years ago and have since returned periodically

    When I left King William Road was empty shops, boarded up with squatters in residence

    There were Chrysler and Holden and Kelvinator and Lightburn and Simpson and Pope

    SA has lost its manufacture base no doubt and not because of any State government lack of support and endeavour

    Other States have been similarly impacted such as Geelong in Victoria with Ford as but one example

    These days King William Road is a thriving location, as are other locations

    The education industry has expanded – witness the buildings at The University of Adelaide and in other precincts

    SA is a most pleasant place to visit – witness the success of the TDU

    This transition, forced by Global and National factors has been weathered successfully in SA

    The change from 35 years ago has been brilliant, including the Road networks which are easily navigated

    The TDU has been such a success for a reason

  41. luckily I live about as far north as you can get from S A in Australia but have seen elections come & g0 & voted for 65 wears know nothing about s a politics but I am sure the tory mob can find the money to fix things. in the N T they won gov with a i5 to ten majority & were never short of dollars.They sold port in Darwin to CHINA for big dollars & then cut services to most departments, started charging pensioners to what had been free local bus runs they delayed commencement of new hospital, lots of top saving ideas but forgot how good we are at sacking money grubbers & 4 years later are in opposition with only 2 lib members & 5 cross bench ,BUT they knew how to make money to spend up big with nothing to show for it, so I wish you south ( mexicans) lots of luck on saturday

  42. O
    ** These days King William Road is a thriving location **
    But, but, but thats not what Pyne says. City was quiet last time he was there. And what about all the kiddies that leave for Sydney or Melbourne or London or …. That is really bad. It is just so bad.


    Adelaide is in the midst of 3 parallel top shelf festivals. The place is humming. A full house. Will the vibe save Weatherill?

  43. I wish I could just take everyone back in time to 2001 and show them what life in this state was like then. There was zero hope and the exodus out of the state was definitely real. Also the Libs fought amongst themselves and were as incompetent and corrupt as ever.

    Any sign of good news was shouted as if the place wasn’t completely dead. Someone’s holding a cake-baking contest! See, we still get the big events! You wanna talk about an empty Rundle Mall? Back then, go there on a Sunday or after 5pm. Heck, go South from Rundle/Hindley and see how dead the City was. The only thing keeping it alive was the fact the suburbs were even more dead. Wanted to eat somewhere nice (or eat something other than fish and chips or pizza) you needed to go to the City or Glenelg.

    I’m not saying that this is something that should be held against the Liberals forever – just like I think it’s unfair to hold the State Bank collapse against Labor so far after the fact. However, their Shadow Treasurer is the same guy from when they were in last, which says to me they don’t see the state in better shape at all and want to go backwards.

    Obviously, I am biased and I rate it highly unlikely I’d ever vote/preference the Liberals, even in a “baseball bats against Labor” election but what the Libs need, to make me at least not as resistant is to have someone like Dean Brown, David Tonkin or Steele Hall (or even Playford) leading. Someone who actually has a vision for the state and is not afraid to be pragmatic to reach it. Sure, they’ll be conservative but they won’t be extreme in the social or economic sense.

    Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen next weekend. It’s possible Marshall will get over the line, in which case everybody will be saying you can’t argue with results etc. but if he fails to, I hope, for the sake of good opposition, the Liberals start to get their house together and offer an alternative like that, instead of this right wing, entitled mess they are now.

  44. Labor is apparently worried about Giles and northern suburbs electorates falling to SA Best. This is perhaps why they matched SA Best’s commitment to spend 7.5 million dollars on Port Adelaide Football Club’s upgrading of its training facilities. I am not sure which northern suburbs electorates would be concerning them, maybe Enfield where the Greens and Liberals are preferencing SA Best ahead of Labor, but it seems highly unlikely. Taylor winning Taylor has a nice sound to it but is surely not going to happen.

  45. Nick Xenophon says he has stretched himself “too thin” ­during the South Australian ­election campaign with his new SA-Best party fielding too many candidates.

    The former senator and one-time No Pokies MP yesterday conceded he would not fulfil his pre-election promise to door-knock every household in the marginal Liberal-held seat of Hartley, where he is running in a bid to return to state parliament. “I haven’t been able to (door-knock) because I have been stretched too thin, I admit that,” Mr Xenophon said yesterday.

    Mr Xenophon’s SA-Best is running 36 candidates in the 47-seat House of ­Assembly, but as ­revealed by The Weekend Australian, his final week of campaigning will focus on Hartley and the ­regional electorates of Giles, ­centred on Whyalla, and Chaffey, which covers the Riverland; the Adelaide Hills seat of Heysen; the southern metropolitan seat of Mawson; and Port Adelaide.

  46. Like others I cannot see a majority Labor government, and a Liberal or SA Best majority government seems equally unlikely. That leaves a negotiated minority. Which way will SA Best go? If X gets in I would say Liberal, but if Tarzia defeats him it might be a lottery.

    If Labor loses, I would not blame Weatherall or the campaign. The scandals have been squarely in one area: health. Between new RAH delays, “reform”, the repat decision(s), staff scandals and now Oakden, Snelling and Vlahos could well have cost Labor government.

    On the SA evonomy, like others I think it is much better than the often too negative rhetoric. Back in the early 90s unemployment was over 12%. Now it is under 6%. Over most of the city it is more like 5%, with the southern suburbs only 1% worse. The real problem remains in Elizabeth Salisbury, where it is nearly double the state average. But Qld, Tas and ViC all have worse figures. So despite the Holden closure, and a cynical removal of federal financial support, Jay has done OK on the job front. See

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