We will presumably be seeing a Newspoll this evening, which will be the third test of the poll’s form since the YouGov takeover and the industry-wide failure in 2019. Apart from that, I have devoted a few idle hours this week to fleshing out and prettying up my state election guide, so do take a look if you haven’t already, or another look if you have, and perhaps throw some pennies in the tip jar if you like what you see.
• David Penberthy in The Australian reports the Liberals remain hopeful, if not confident, that strong local campaigns may yet get them over the line in the four seats the party holds by margins of 2.0% or less: Newland (0.2%), Adelaide (0.8%), King (0.8%) and Elder (although Penberthy also writes in The Advertiser today that “it looks like Steven Marshall is gone”). Conversely, Michael McGuire in The Advertiser says “both sides expect Adelaide to fall to Labor”, and the view in media-land is that the Liberals are vulnerable in such seemingly safe seats as Davenport (8.4%), Black (9.3%), Gibson (9.9%) and Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan (8.1%).
• Peter Malinauskas scored an unusually clear win among the 98 undecided voters subjected to the Advertiser-Sky News leaders’ debate on Wednesday, 66 of whom emerged saying they would vote Labor compared with 21 for Liberal and 11 remaining undecided. Some measure of the clarity of Malinauskas’s dominance is provided by the fact that conservative commentator Chris Kenny of Sky News rated that it was “obvious” Malinauskas had won, and that he’d “never seen a better political performance in one of these forums, state or federal”.
• Troy Bell, the once Liberal and now independent member for Mount Gambier, wrote a letter to the SE Voice newspaper earlier this week castigating the Liberal Party for making only $2.7 million in promises for the electorate, and suggesting the party would not have his support to form a government if it did not offer more in the final days of the campaign.
• If the Marshall government does lose tomorrow, it will become the fourth Australian state government to have been voted out after one term since 1990 out of 22 starters, the others being Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party government in Queensland in 2015, Denis Napthine’s Coalition government in Victoria in 2014 and Rob Borbidge’s Coalition government in Queensland in 1998. All these governments have been conservative, though perhaps the more salient fact is that governments of the same stripe were in power federally at the time. Nine of the 18 re-elected first-term governments increased their shares of the two-party vote, none of which were so encumbered.