South Australian state redistribution finalised

As South Australia locks down, its boundaries for the next state election are unveiled.

Among other things, South Australia has this week finalised its boundaries for the next state election in March 2022. The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission does not publish the boundaries in a form that makes them easy to analyse, but it does calculate its own two-party preferred margins as a hangover from the days when it was required to observe an “electoral fairness” clause (as well as publishing a file that helpfully breaks down its two-party vote estimates by SA1, for those on top of ABS geography). These establish that the impact of the redistribution has been fairly minor, no doubt reflecting the fact that the redistribution before the previous election did its job in delivering a majority to the Liberals after two elections at which it was locked out despite winning the two-party vote.

Accordingly, none of the electorates has been moved to the other party’s column. However, the significant changes in the most marginal seats to be in Labor’s favour, with the Liberal margins pared back in two seats where they had redistribution-assisted wins in 2018: the inner southern Adelaide seat of Elder, where Carolyn Habib’s margin has been cut from 4.4% to 2.0%; and the north-eastern Adelaide seat of Newland, where Richard Harvey’s margin has been cut from 2.0% to 0.2%.

Of greater narrative interest are the cancellation of some fairly substantial changes that have been made from the draft boundaries, which proposed to transfer Mount Barker from Kavel to Hammond, a chunk of rural territory from Schubert to Kavel, and Gawler from Light to Schubert. This inspired Labor’s member for Light, Tony Piccolo, to secure preselection in Schubert, whose Liberal member Stephan Knoll has been on the back foot since losing his job as Transport Minister to an expenses scandal – a bold move, since it involved abandoning his 9.9% margin (boosted to 12.8% in the draft redistribution) to pursue a seat that still had a 5.4% Liberal margin on the draft boundaries, reduced though it was from 14.3%. The unwinding of this pulls the rug from under Piccolo’s endeavour to continue representing Gawler, leaving him pursuing a seat with a clearly insurmountable Liberal margin of 14.7% on the finalised boundaries.

In other South Australian news, Labor leader Peter Malinauskas has offered a response to the state’s six-day lockdown that suggests he’s been paying attention to the Queensland election result and Michael O’Brien’s approval rating. A poll would naturally be interesting to see, but until then, readers are encouraged to use this thread for general discussion relevant to South Australia.

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.

6 comments on “South Australian state redistribution finalised”

  1. I think Peter Malinauskas is wisely playing it safe. What’s the point of going off half cocked at the government especially as he is not likely to have the Murdoch media supporting him. There will be time enough to attack the government if the deaths rise sharply. If they don’t he can claim to be part of the solution.

  2. The six day extreme lockdown across the whole state seems excessive. Why impose such stringency on Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier or Renmark when there are no cases (or hints of cases) outside of Adelaide – and even then it seems only a segment of Adelaide.

    The NT and Qld only classify Adelaide as a hotspot.

    Marshall may get away with this for 6 days, but for the subsequent 8 (with only severe restrictions) I presume that there will be a more differentiated strategy – as occurred in Victoria.

  3. I think, right now, if the lockdown is just for six days, even with restrictions after that, most people will treat it as a necessary evil to stop an outbreak. Malinauskas would absolutely be an idiot to not 100% support things right now. The public have shown, across the board, they support our leaders (regardless of political stripes) doing whatever it takes to stop the spread of the virus. And, as put elsewhere, any opposition would be done so without any popular media support (not to mention that anti-government crankpots aren’t really a natural voter base for Labor to go after.)

    That said, I’m of the opinion that Malinauskas is a useless opposition leader. He has absolutely zero media presence, except for the obligatory word he will get in a news story. He is a dull, myopic conservative who lacks any of the vision of his predecessors, and comes across as more of a Des Corcoran type figure, than a Dunstan, Bannon, Rann or Weatherill. Sure, he’s good at retail politics but he’s not going to meet enough voters in the shopping centres. In another state or federally, he’d struggle to make it to the election (let alone win it) but he’s fortunate that the SA Liberals are ridiculously tone-deaf and bad at keeping it together, in an electorate that already has a Labor bias where it counts – making it a non-zero prospect that they will be a one term government, regardless of Labor’s actions, and that he only needs to worry about the support of one man who has likely already struck the deal to guarantee him at least two terms as leader.

  4. I wonder if the Murdoch beast will be prosecuting “madman Marshall” with the same vigour as ” dictator” dan? Is Peta Credlins on her way to Adelaide? Will Scomoe and our Glad be singing from the same LNP hymn book they dipped into when The Premier of my state Palaszczuk was trying to control C19. All questions I know the answer to. Hopefully the lockdown will be short and free of the immature schoolyard shenanigans the LNP and Newscorp media inflict on the ALP.

  5. The leaders of France and Belgium are urging the European Union to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit at the end of the year in case negotiations with the UK fail to yield a last-minute breakthrough.

    The warning came as the negotiations between the UK and EU were roiled by the disclosure that a Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator, has tested positive for COVID-19. Face-to-face negotiations have now been suspended and Barnier was to go into quarantine, adding a complication to the discussions as time to reach a deal runs out.

    At a virtual summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Brussels time, French President Emmanuel Macron and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo both called on their colleagues to make contingency plans in case talks to sign a trade and security agreement failed, according to two people with knowledge of the discussion.

  6. So …. the lockdown is over.

    Despite there still being a Covid-19 outbreak in Adelaide and while some restrictions are still in place, I sit here in a bar as I write this. No masks, no obvious restrictions (except you must be seated to drink). Still too complacent?

    At midnight the severe restrictions were lifted. Apparently people were queueing outside bars waiting for the clock to tick over. Lockdown was only for 3 days. Wow!

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