Less than a fortnight to go in what’s been a fairly subdued South Australian election campaign, which has struggled for media oxygen in the face of international events. Early voting is under way as of yesterday, with record numbers of voters assuredly set to avail themselves of that option. A leaders debate will take place on Wednesday, although these tend not to generate a huge amount of public interest these days.
Recent news of note:
• The Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association has been hawking small-sample seat polls by Labor pollster Utting Research, the more notable of which shows Steven Marshall trailing 51-49 in his seat of Dunstan, amounting to a swing against him of over 8%. Primary votes are Liberal 44%, Labor 37% and Greens 12%. The other poll, from the western suburbs seat of Colton, is more in line with expectations: first-term Liberal member Matt Cowdrey leads 55-45, suggesting a very slight swing to Labor, from primary votes of Liberal 47%, Labor 34% and Greens 9% in a three-horse race. Both were automated phone polls with samples of 400, and duly wide margins of error.
• Conservative minor parties are directing preferences to Labor in two of the three most marginal Liberal seats. One Nation, Bob Day’s Australian Family Party and Family First are all directing preferences against Liberal member Richard Harvey in Newland, which he holds on a margin of 0.2%, based on how he voted during the passage of abortion laws last year. The two family parties are likewise directing preferences against Liberal member Paula Leuthen in King, where she is defending a margin of 0.8%.
• Without a huge amount of data to work on, a newly published election forecast model at Armarium Interreta credits Labor with a 64% chance of a parliamentary majority and Liberal with 18%.