South Australian election live

Live commentary of the counting for the South Australian state election.

10.00pm. ABC now calling King for Labor; Nine now has Labor ahead in Dunstan but the ABC does not concur.

9.20pm. Since next to no attention has been paid to Labor-held seats, it’s worth noting that Leon Bignell has picked up a 13.4% swing in Mawson, and that this maintains an unblemished record of five successive swings since he entered politics in 2006.

9.08pm. Very early days yet with 2.2% counted, but One Nation and the Liberal Democrats look at least competitive for upper house seats. Assuming a starting point of four apiece for Liberal and Labor and one for the Greens, there’s two loose seats available, although presumably Labor will end up in the hunt for a fifth.

8.55pm. The ABC computer is only calling Adelaide, Davenport, Elder and Newland for Labor, but that doesn’t count Florey, so Labor gets to a bare majority on 24 by that reckoning. Labor is now also looking pretty good in King. Gibson is lineball; the Liberals appear to have a slight advantage in Dunstan, Heysen, King, Morialta and Waite.

8.53pm. The independent who by some lights is likely to win Finniss, Lou Nicholson, is actually coming third on the primary vote and will need preferences to run down Labor. Failing that, the Liberals will fairly comfortably win at the final count over Labor.

8.43pm. Labor’s lead in Elder has widened since that previous update, so you can probably call that the magic 24.

8.39pm. In spite of everything, the only Liberal-held seats I would say are nailed down for Labor are Adelaide, Newland and Davenport. Taken together with the easy gain of Florey, this means they need one further seat to close the deal. This could be provided by King, Unley, Elder or Gibson, where Labor is ahead but not it seems to me decisively so, or by Dunstan, Morialta (which I haven’t mentioned yet) and Heysen (where the Liberals’ situation has improved) where they are very slightly behind.

8.24pm. I haven’t mentioned Narungga yet — Liberal-turned-independent Fraser Ellis leads on the primary vote 35.1% to 31.9%, but the count here isn’t very far advanced.

8.16pm. Independent Airlie Keen will be in with a show in Hammond if she can come second, but it seems quite a bit more likely she’ll finish behind Labor.

8.14pm. I hadn’t yet given any thought to Colton, where the Liberals have their nose in front with still only 7.7% of the vote counted.

8.12pm. Labor leads about 55-45 on the raw TCP in King, but the projection has this at 51.6-48.4, which is too narrow to call with only five booths out of 12 in on primary and four in on TCP.

8.08pm. Both the ABC and Nine are calling the election for Labor. The ABC computer is now calling Finniss for the independent, to add to Labor’s four gains in Adelaide, Davenport, Elder and Newland. On top of those, Nine has Labor ahead in Dunstan, King and Unley, plus it seems Geoff Brock is going to win Stuart.

8.02pm. Something I haven’t heard mentioned: independent Lou Nicholson is looking highly competitive in Liberal-held Finniss.

8.01pm. The ABC now calling four seats for Labor: Adelaide, Davenport, Elder and Newland. Which is presumably why Antony is saying he’s almost near calling the election for Labor.

7.56pm. Nine has Labor ahead in the following Liberal-held seats: Unley, Elder, Adelaide, Davenport, Newland and now Black. However, King, one of the four especially marginal Liberal seats, is lineball.

7.53pm. I earlier made the caution there were only three booths in from Stuart and they were all from Geoff Brock’s stamping ground in Frome — now there are 13 booths from a wider sample, and Geoff Brock is still romping in with 42.4% of the primary vote to Dan van Holst Pellekaan’s 34.2%, with preferences sure to go heavily to Brock.

7.51pm. The ABC is no longer calling Dunstan for Labor, but it is calling Elder now, on top of Davenport and Elder.

7.48pm. Early numbers from Adelaide appear to bear out the consensus that Labor will win. King also looks encouraging for Labor, but too early to say. Frances Bedford coming third in Newland, Labor looking good. So while there’s a lot to juggle here, it’s pretty hard not to see Labor gaining four seats. ABC calling Adelaide, well and truly.

7.46pm. For what it’s worth, the ABC computer is calling Dunstan for Labor. But the Nine computer certainly doesn’t agree. It’s also calling Elder on the television, though not on the website — Antony announcing it’s going back and forth.

7.43pm. Overall primary vote swings: Labor up 6.7%, Liberal down 3.7%, Greens up 3.8%. There is a 14.7% SA Best vote that has largely vanished, but much of it has scattered evenly among minor parties (including the Greens, who were subdued last time due to SA-Best’s strength).

7.38pm. The only seat either Nine or the ABC is calling as changing hands is Davenport, called for Labor by the ABC. But the Liberals are at least in trouble in Dunstan, Hartley, Heysen, Elder, Newland and King, and there’s nothing yet from Adelaide which most have pencilled in as a Labor gain.

7.36pm. The view seems to be that Labor have won Elder, but the ABC’s projection looks a bit strange to my eye and is only pointing to a small two-party swing. But the primary swing to Labor is rather a lot bigger than that. Stuart is looking good for Geoff Brock, but I do believe we’re talking three booths and all of them were in Frome before, so this could look very different later in the night.

7.30pm. We’re starting to get advanced enough that I’m trusting what the Nine computer is telling me. Dunstan and Hartley are looking very close, and the Liberals absolutely have to win them both. The system isn’t actually calling any Labor gains, but it has Davenport, Newland and Unley as probable, with seats they will probably win like Adelaide too early.

7.28pm. Antony’s calling a swing of about 8% across the metropolitan area. You could still plot out a worst case scenario there where they get really unlucky and fall short, particularly if they can hold out in King which we don’t know about yet. Against that though, Davenport at least is looking very bleak for the Liberals further up the pendulum, and it’s not the only one.

7.24pm. The most advanced count is Heysen, which looks lineball with a swing of about 7%.

7.21pm. Though better news for the Liberals seemingly from Hartley. The first booth from Dunstan is a little bit less than what Labor would need on my reading.

7.16pm. Two booths in from Davenport — here too a big swing to Labor, around 13%, enough for Labor to win if it keeps up. So there’s definitely a trend emerging and it’s not good for the Liberals.

7.13pm. Three booths in from Unley and the Liberals look in trouble here too — a swing of around 10%, roughly enough to account for the margin. Waite looks complicated with two independents reporting solidly in third and fourth place.

7.07pm. Four booths in now on the primary vote from Elder, and so far at least there seems to be a big enough swing to reel it in.

7.04pm. So far I’ve made it look like a Liberal bloodbath, but the picture is more mixed than that — there are rogue Liberal swings I’m seeing in Enfield, Cheltenham and MacKillop, so overall it’s the usual early count confusion. What is interesting is that Dan van Holst Pellekaan is running third in the first booth in Stuart, which comes from Port Augusta. Again though, small numbers, too early to say.

6.56pm. 173 votes in at Ashbourne in Heysen swing nearly 9% to Labor.

6.49pm. Ottoway booth in from Cheltenham, which is right up near the boundary with (from memory) Port Adelaide. Here there is a 4% swing to the Liberals, who could potentially be above par here because Jay Weatherill was the candidate in 2018. Tom Koutsantonis on the ABC says a booth in Kavel suggests Dan Cregan should beat his Liberal opponent, and that there’s a big swing to Labor in a booth in Lee.

6.41pm. Robertstown booth in from Frome. 10% swing to Labor on the Nine preference estimate. ECSA’s two-candidate count here will be between Liberal and an independent, but the independent is a fairly distant fourth in this booth.

6.36pm. Now a tiny booth in Port Adelaide — Mawson Lakes, 77 votes, similar story in that this is redistributed area. Here too though there’s a huge swing to Labor of over 20% — and the Liberals have come fourth here, behind Family First and the Greens.

6.33pm. The first booth is not in the state is not in the country, as it usually is — it’s Glenunga in Unley, which has been transferred in the redistribution from Bragg. According to the Nine system, it’s swung by 14.5% to Labor — but we’re talking 254 votes here, and the redistribution may have muddied the waters.

6pm. With polls closed, I’m now at liberty to relate the curious decisions the Electoral Commission has made about the two-candidate preferred counts it will conduct this evening, which seem to have been made with a view to testing for surprise independent breakthroughs rather than picking who are objectively most likely to be the two leading candidates. They have been predictably chosen to throw between the Liberals and independent incumbents in Kavel (Dan Cregan), Mount Gambier (Troy Bell), Narungga (Fraser Ellis) and Stuart (Geoff Brock, who is attempting to move to the seat from Frome), but less expected is that they will do the same with non-incumbent independents in Finniss (Lou Nicholson), Frome (Cate Hunter), Hammond (Airlie Keen) and, especially, Heather Holmes-Ross in Waite. The latter will no doubt displease the seat’s actual Liberal-turned-independent member, Sam Duluk.

5.30pm. Half-an-hour until polls close. No exit polls this evening, it seems. I’m spending the evening in the back rooms at Nine, having helped put together the database that will be used for its results projections. As far as I can tell, you can only access Nine’s coverage if you’re in South Australia or able to game the geoblock. How much time I’ll have for commentary as the results come through remains to be seen.

To get the ball rolling, here’s something I wrote in comments on the previous thread regarding how much progress we’re likely to see in the count this evening. It seems to me it may be more than earlier assessments suggested – the increase in pre-poll voting compared with last time ended up being 73%, and not 100% as initially seemed possible.

If the turnout rate is the same as last time, there will be around 1,150,000 votes. There have been 170,081 postal vote applications — if the return rate is the same as last time, there will be around 120,000 of these. There have been 208,136 pre-polls. That leaves around 820,000 election day votes, of which around 85,000 should be absents. That leaves 64% of all votes cast available to be counted tonight, which is higher than some of the earlier estimates – I don’t think pre-polling increased in the final week as much as last time. However, ECSA are apparently pretty strict about ending counting at 11pm, so I’d suggest some of that 64% will remain unreported at the end of tonight.

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.

459 comments on “South Australian election live”

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  1. One thing I am hoping is that, now that the polls are just about closed, that we can go back to COVID restrictions being made on the basis of what’s best, not what will win or lose votes. I know, one can only dream.

  2. I am out of SA at the moment and the link works, but you need to get a (free) sign in to 9Now.

    I am prepared to sully myself.

  3. I hear there are still queues at polling booths because Covid restrictions allow only limited numbers inside at any time. At 6pm a polling official will join the end of the queue to turn away latecomers. These booths will close late. Presumably counting will start late too.

  4. Amusingly, I seem to have predicted Geoff Brock’s imminent demise at every election since I first began commenting during the 2010 campaign. Genuinely hard to see how he can hang on this time, though. All I can say is that if we lose Brock but Sam Duluk retains his seat, my opinion of humanity may well hit an all-time low.

  5. Bellwether, I hope that Marshall HAS written a victory speech ha.

    In all seriousness though, Marshall is probably the least toxic conservative leader in oz. I’m still not sure how much a potential LNP loss affects the looming federal election. This really does seem like a ‘disunity kills’ election, and unfortunately for Marshall, there has been a lot of that.

    Unless it’s a thumping that is…

  6. Quietly confident here, have the fizzy SA wine in the fridge for later, cheesy nibbles and chicken wings on the go and a few starter beers.

    Hopefully a dry run for the federal poll

  7. Mofos,

    My mum’s gut says Labor will form a minority government.

    My ex-girlfriend says that Labor will win 24 seats.

    Just passing on this vital information in case Antony Green needs to plug this data into his computer.

  8. Just back from a long afternoon at the St Peters Girls booth in Bragg. Generally all very civilised but far too slow moving voting lines and long wait times thanks to too few vote registration desks. Computer ID won’t save you if there are not enough queues.

    Labor candidate Rick Sarre dropped by at the end and we had a very civilised chat with the reps from all parties (we never saw Vicky Chapman all day). Sarre was a thoroughly decent candidate. Hard to win Bragg but he got every vote Labor could have gotten.

  9. Outsider says:
    Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 7:08 pm
    It’s always good when the first votes in show a strong swing!

    Really? Which area is showing that?

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