The Electoral Commission website is finally publishing two-candidate preferred results, but as ever there remains the South Australian peculiarity that the declaration votes are not being broken down into separate results for pre-polls, postals and absents, so we will have little guidance as to why what’s happening is happening as these results inevitably bounce around over the next week or so. After essentially no progress in the count on Monday, declaration votes started being reported in some seats yesterday.
The ABC rates nine seats as being in varying degrees of doubt, but I’m not inclined to agree with respect to Hammond, where declaration votes can only widen Liberal member Adrian Pederick’s 51.3-48.7 lead over independent Airlie Keen, who seems unlikely to make the final count in any case. That leaves clear results of 26 for Labor, 12 for Liberal and four for independents. Not among the in doubt is one seat I should have mentioned in the previous update: Gibson, where the identification of errors and the allocation of saved informal votes in accordance with registered party tickets on Saturday increased the size of Labor’s lead from 486 to an insurmountable 1055. That leaves:
Dunstan. Early indications are that this is going as I thought it might, with the first batch of declaration votes breaking 924-792 in favour of Steven Marshall, reducing the Labor lead from 143 to 11.
Finniss. Despite 1939 declaration votes breaking 1115-824 in favour of Liberal member David Basham over independent candidate Lou Nicholson on the two-party preferred candidate, it remains clear that he will not close the gap. So the issue remains whether Nicholson will indeed made the final count, or whether it will be a Liberal-Labor contest in which Basham will presumably prevail. The declaration votes so far suggest she won’t make it, as they have reduced her overall primary vote from 23.0% to 21.6% while increasing Labor’s from 23.4% to 23.7%.
Morialta. Liberal member John Gardner seems very unlikely to lose from here, the first batch of declaration votes having increased his margin from 145 to 347.
Unley. Another one that will shortly be off the Liberals’ endangered list if the first declaration votes are any guide: they have broken 680-402 in favour of Liberal member David Pisoni, increasing his lead from 92 to 370.
Waite. Liberal candidate Alexander Hyde needed declaration votes to break perhaps 64-36 in his favour to rein in Catherine Hutchesson’s lead on the two-candidate count – implausible as this seemed, he’s come close on the first batch, which have broken 609-376 his way (so 61.8%). Independent Heather Holmes-Ross nudging her way to the final count on preferences should continue to be rated very unlikely.
The news kept getting worse for the Liberals in today’s counting, thanks to two new two-candidate preference counts in seats where the wrong candidates were picked for the count on the night:
Waite. After conducting a preference count between Liberal candidate Alexander Hyde and independent Heather Holmes-Ross on the night, which made it clear Hyde would lose if Holmes-Ross made the final count, today a new count was conducted between Hyde and Labor candidate Catherine Hutchesson that made it clear he would lose to her too. That seems far the most likely outcome, with primary votes of Labor 27.4%, Liberal 24.5%, 18.9% for Liberal-turned-independent incumbent Sam Duluk and 15.3% for Holmes-Ross. Preferences from the Greens (12.0%) and Animal Justice (1.9%) could theoretically cause either independent to reduce the Liberals to third place and leave Labor and the independent at the final account, but that seems very unlikely. Labor thus looks poised to win the state’s second most affluent seat, which has it has neither won before now, either as Waite or in its previous incarnation as Mitcham going back to 1938.
Flinders. Liberal candidate Sam Telfer has 45.3% of the primary vote here, which in a field of six candidates that includes the Nationals would normally be enough. However, a two-candidate preferred count between Telfer and independent candidate Liz Habermann, which has thus far accounted for 10 out of 27 booths, finds preferences splitting 78-22 in favour of Habermann. According to the ABC, this suggests Habermann is ahead according to a method that matches the 10 booths with their equivalent results from 2018. However, projecting the preference flow so far across the primary votes puts Telfer ahead 51.1-48.9. I would also suggest that postal votes are likely to favour him. Should she fall short, the possibility of Habermann running in Grey at the federal election was canvassed on the ABC’s Insiders this morning.
Dunstan. Labor’s Cressida O’Hanlon trailed here 7191 to 7095 at the close on Saturday, but now leads 7376 to 7233. The ABC site explains: “Greens and Family First votes with insufficient preferences that were saved by SA’s unique ticket voting provision have been added today. Both parties lodged tickets flowing to Labor so that has added around 170 votes to Labor’s total.” That leaves him 0.5% behind, but my judgement yesterday that late counting was likely to improve his position by over 1% isn’t affected by this. It remains uncomfortably close for him, though presumably there is a strong chance of him retiring from politics and O’Hanlon getting a second crack at a by-election if she falls short.
Labor went into the election with 19 seats out of 47, had an easy gain in Florey with the departure of independent Frances Bedford, and have made it to a clear majority with five further gains from the Liberals. I count five potential further gains, including Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan, though I only reckon them to be ahead in one, and a sixth if they win Waite from a Liberal-turned-independent, which is very hard to call.
The Liberals won 25 seats in 2018, which had reduced to 22 by the election with three members moving to the cross-bench. Two of these three have been re-elected as independents while the third has been defeated – as just noted, it’s not clear whether by Liberal or Labor. If that seat remains with the Liberals and the other close races go their way, they will finish on 17. However, there is one further seat that may yet fall to an independent. Geoff Brock has proved net neutral for the Liberals in that the party gained his old seat of Frome, but have now lost Stuart to him. This leaves three or maybe four independents, or perhaps even five if it’s an independent who gets up in the complex race for Waite.
The display on the ABC site rates the most likely outcome as Labor on 28 seats, when they in fact lead in only 27. This would be the result of a probability-based determination that rates Labor as most likely to get over the line in one of the several seats where it is slightly behind, without any commitment as to which one.
The ABC’s system has booth-matching switched off, so the swings it shows are simply the pre-election margins as compared with the current raw totals. The analysis that follows, by contrast, compares election day booth results with their equivalent from last time, those being the only votes counted as of yet. All we will get today is rechecking and perhaps the reporting of a few straggler booths that didn’t get their two-candidate preferred results in from last night – counting of pre-polls, postals and absent votes, which by my reckoning should account for a bit less than 40% of the total, will begin on Monday. A further complication is that I have consistently used the post-redistribution margins calculated by the Boundaries Commission, which differ from those Antony Green has calculated for the ABC.
Adelaide: The election day vote was completed at the end of the night, and showed the 0.8% Liberal margin easily accounted for by a 6.6% swing to Labor.
Davenport: The most impressive of Labor’s gains was its first ever win in Davenport, achieved by Erin Thompson with an 11.8% swing against Liberal member Steve Murray, who went into the election with a margin of 8.4%.
Elder: One of the four easy pickings for Labor with margins of less than 2% — precisely so in this case — swung to Labor by 7.5%, with Labor’s Nadia Clancy gaining the seat from Liberal member Carolyn Power.
King: The Liberals’ hope of toughing it out here on the back of Paula Leuthen’s sophomore surge weren’t realised — against a 0.8% margin, Labor’s Rhiannon Pearce scored a 3.9% swing.
Newland: In the tightest of the Liberal marginals, Labor’s Olivia Savvas did it easily with a swing of 5.0% (one booth is yet to report on the two-candidate preferred count, but this won’t matter much). In her bid to move from Florey, which she held for Labor from 1997 to 2017 and as an independent thereafter, Frances Bedford finished a very distant third with 11.9%.
Down to the wire:
Dunstan: Outgoing Premier Steven Marshall leads after counting of election day votes by 7191 to 7095, a margin of 0.3%. I calculate this as a swing of 6.2%, which given his margin of 8.1% suggests he’s likely to prevail. However, that’s the Boundaries Commission’s estimate of the margin — Antony Green only has it at 7.5%.
Gibson: The election day booths swung 10.7% to Labor, exceeding a Liberal margin of 9.9%, but not by so much that you’d call it.
Morialta: Outgoing Education Minister John Gardner had a 9.9% margin going in according to the Boundaries Commission, but only 9.4% according to Antony Green. On the election day vote he copped a swing of 8.6%.
Unley: This has been a pretty safe Liberal seat since 1993, and while David Pisoni looks like retaining it, he suffered a scare in the form of a 9.8% swing to Labor against a margin of 11.2%.
Waite: This one is very hard to read: the two-candidate preferred count has independent Heather Holmes-Ross leading Liberal candidate Alexander Hyde by 55.3% to 44.7%, but this will only apply if Holmes-Ross makes the final count and she’s actually running fourth. It’s theoretically possible that preferences from the Greens (12.0%) and Animal Justice (1.9%) could help her close the 18.9% to 15.3% gap against Liberal-turned-indepenent member Sam Duluk, and that Duluk’s preferences could then push her ahead of Hyde, although a lot of Duluk’s preferences will presumably go straight to Hyde. In that case, it comes down to a race between Hyde and Labor candidate Catherine Hutchesson that could go either way, with the result depending on the preferences of the nearly 50% of voters who voted for neither, about which we can only speculate.
Notable contests involving independents:
Stuart: I personally didn’t like Geoff Brock’s chances against Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan, to which he moved after his home base of Port Pirie was transferred to the electorate from his existing seat of Frome. So it was a very substantial surprise that he romped home with 65.9% of the vote on the two-candidate preferred count at the end of the night, albeit that postal votes will undoubtedly rein that in a fair bit.
Kavel: Liberal-turned-independent Dan Cregan scored a thumping win with a majority on the primary vote.
Narungga: Another Liberal-turned-independent, Fraser Ellis, has comfortably retained his seat ahead of Liberal candidate Tom Michael with 58.9% on ECSA’s two-candidate preferred count, from primary votes of 32.4% for Ellis, 28.1% for Michael and 20.2% for Labor.
Finniss: ECSA conducted a count between Liberal member David Basham and independent candidate Lou Nicholson in which Nicholson polled 5590 of the election day votes (54.7%) and Basham polled 4625 (45.3%). However, this only applies if Nicholson makes the final preference count, which would seem to be touch and go — Basham is on 36.9%, Labor’s Amy Hueppauff is on 23.5% and Nicholson is on 22.9%, so Nicholson has a gap to close on preferences. Otherwise the final count will be Basham versus Hueppauff, in which case Basham should win fairly comfortably.
Florey: Worth noting as a Labor gain, but with independent Frances Bedford vacating the seat for an unsuccessful run in Newland, this was a mere formality.
Frome: Similarly, this predictably returned to the Liberals with Geoff Brock’s move to Stuart,
Finally, a bit over half of the count for the Legislative Council has been conducted, and the most likely result looks like being five seats for Labor, four for the Liberals and one each for the Greens and One Nation, the latter being in line for their first ever seat in the South Australian parliament. Taken together with the ongoing members elected in 2018, this will mean a chamber of nine Labor members, eight Liberals, two Greens, two from SA-Best and one from One Nation.