Counting of votes for the South Australian state election was completed on Monday, which leaves two milestones outstanding: the full preference distributions, which Antony Green relates will be published “at some time in the next week”, and the resolution of the Legislative Council count, which ditto for “around the Anzac Day weekend”. Some summary observations:
• Labor went from 19 seats in 2018 to 27 after recovering Florey from an independent and gaining Newland, King, Adelaide, Elder, Waite, Davenport and Gibson from the Liberals. The Liberals went from 25 at the 2018 election to 16, losing the aforementioned seven seats to Labor, recovering Frome from independent Geoff Brock but losing Stuart to him, and failing to win any of the three seats whose members moved to the cross-bench mid-term, with the incumbents re-elected in Kavel and Narungga and Waite going to Labor. This leaves a cross-bench of four, up from three after the 2018 election but down from six immediately before the election.
• The last in-doubt seat late in the count was Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan, where he held out against a 6.9% swing by 0.5%. Contrary to the usual expectation that leaders will abandon parliament in the wake of an election defeat, InDaily reports that Marshall is publicly resolved to serve out a full term on the back bench. For what it’s worth, former Labor Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has related a suggestion that David Pisoni might not stick around in Unley.
• Antony Green relates that Labor won the two-party preferred by 54.6-45.4, entailing a swing to Labor of 6.5%. However, this is presumably an estimate, since to my knowledge there have been no Labor-versus-Liberal results published for six seats where the Electoral Commission’s notional count was between Liberals and independents.
• The Legislative Council result will clearly see the election of the top four candidates on the Labor and Liberal tickets and the lead Greens candidate, leaving the last two seats as a race between One Nation on 0.51 quotas, Labor’s fifth candidate on a surplus of 0.42 quotas, the Liberal Democrats on 0.39 quotas and Family First on 0.37 quotas. It is hard to see the One Nation candidate losing from here, which raises the question of who she is exactly – I included no biographical details of Sarah Game in my election guide since there were none to be found. What’s known is that Game is the daughter of the much higher profile figure of Jennifer Game, who will be the party’s Senate candidate for the federal election, ran in Mawson at the state election, and is active on social media. Antony Green’s assessment is that it’s within the realms of possibility that mutual preference flows between the Liberal Democrats and Family First could push whichever one survives longest ahead of Labor and into the last seat, but a fifth seat for Labor seems the more likely outcome. This would produce a chamber with nine Labor members, eight Liberals, two Greens, two from SA-Best and one from One Nation.
• The result provided the new YouGov-administered Newspoll with a third solid showing at a state election, with the election eve poll recording Labor at 41%, Liberal at 38%, the Greens at 9% and others at 13%, with two-party preferred at 54-46. This compares with final results of Labor 40.0%, Liberal 35.7%, Greens 9.1% and others 15.2%. Another YouGov poll conducted in the second last week of the campaign for The Advertiser had it at Labor 41%, Liberal 33%, Greens 11% and others 15%, with two-party preferred at 56-44. While this is obviously encouraging with respect to the pollster’s credibility ahead of the federal election, Armarium Interreta finds little evidence of a past relationship between Newspoll’s performance at federal and proximate state elections.