11.30pm. The Legislative Council vote has Labor and Liberal a clear three quotas each with SA Best on two, with the remaining three seats likely to land with the Greens and the number four candidates of Liberal and Labor. Remarkably, this means likely defeat for Robert Brokenshire of Australian Conservatives, which has failed where Family First succeeded at four successive elections. The party is on 3.6% of the statewide vote, compared with 4.4% for Family First in 2014, which no doubt reflects the success of SA Best in scoring 19% of the vote. This amounts to 0.43 quotas, and compares with the 0.56 quotas that will be left to Labor after the election of its third candidate. To elevate past Labor from losing twelfth place to winning eleventh, Brokenshire has to close a gap of 1% in late counting and preferences – the most likely path to which is a weak showing for Labor in late counting. Preferences are unlikely to feature, as neither Liberal nor the Greens will be fully excluded at the point where either Brokenshire or Labor’s number four are excluded.
Kelly Vincent of Dignity scored a fairly modest 2.0%, and will not be re-elected. Taking the newly elected members together with those carrying over from 2014, the numbers in the new chamber look like eight each for Liberal and Labor, two each for the Greens and SA Best, one for Australian Conservatives, and former Xenophon member John Darley, whose Advance SA party managed only 0.4%.
10.13pm. A case can be made that Jay Weatherill shouldn’t have conceded. The ABC computer now has Adelaide down as a squeaker, converting their raw 1.4% lead into a 2.4% swing to Labor and a Liberal winning margin of just 0.6%. Given the number of outstanding pre-poll votes that won’t be counted on Monday, this one is certainly in doubt. Beyond that, Labor is certainly unlikely to win King or Newland, where they respectively trail by 1.6% and 1.5%, but neither is an actual impossibility. Nor is SA Best out of the hunt in Heysen. That makes for any 21 seats that the Liberals have bolted down, and only one sure vote on the cross bench. The Liberals are highly likely to make it to 24 if not 25, but the pre-election warnings about the perils of calling the result on election night with so many pre-polls outstanding don’t seem to have been taken to heart.
9.39pm. Michael Atkinson observes that there has actually been a two-party swing to Labor in the order of 1.5%, which still leaves the Liberals with a 51.5-48.5 majority.
9.34pm. Heysen has just tipped from SA Best ahead to Liberal ahead on the ABC computer, and the Liberals have moved further ahead in Newland, where they now have a bigger lead than in Adelaide.
9pm. Slow counts in Black and Dunstan are finally gathering pace, and they have yielded no surprises. The Liberals look like they’ve done enough in Elder and King and have their nose in front in Newland. This collectively gets them to 24 even if they don’t win Heysen, although they’re not home yet in Newland. Beyond that, Troy Bell, who’s looking good in Mount Gambier, would give them any remaining vote they needed.
8.42pm. Waite no longer in doubt, according to the ABC computer.
8.30pm. There are 24 seats where the ABC computer has the Liberals ahead. It’s lineball for them in Elder and close in Newland, but on the other hand they might win Heysen. I’ve also just noticed that they still haven’t shaken Labor in Waite. Other qualifications: only early numbers from Black, although those are looking good for the Liberals; nothing in yet from Dunstan.
8.23pm. Antony Green and ABC panellists suggests Heysen more in doubt that headline numbers suggest, and it’s now clear Nick Xenophon won’t win Hartley.
8.19pm. Lee now not looking so good for the Liberals, but a small booth on two-party preferred suggests they are a chance in Enfield.
8.15pm. I’m seeing 25 seats which the Liberals can feel pretty confident about, and at least one conservative cross-bencher. So it would appear we are looking at a change of government here.
8.08pm. More substantial two-party numbers now in from Heysen, and it looks extremely close. I’m not quite sure what to make of the numbers from Hartley, in that the two-party result looks better for the Liberals than I would have figured from their 41.2% primary vote. Either Xenophon is doing poorly on preferences, in which case he’s toast, or he will lift when a few booths with primary vote numbers also report their two-party preferred.
7.59pm. Despite the fact that Labor looks like winning Mawson, some good news is poking through for the Liberals: they’re ahead in King and Lee, have clearly won Colton, are in no danger in Morphett. A lot may depend on Newland, which is lineball.
Haven’t yet made mention of King, which is looking good for the Liberals — new seat in northern Adelaide with lineball margin and no sitting member. Liberals also looking good in Lee, but not home yet.
7.54pm. SA Best have lost ground on the primary vote in Heysen since last I looked, but are still clear of Labor 24.2% to 19.2%, which should be enough. Liberal candidate Josh Teague is on 38.1%, which presumably won’t be enough if SA Best indeed finish clear of Labor. So that one’s looking good for them. However, Nick Xenophon will need to pick up the pace in Hartley: there’s 15% of the vote in, and the Liberal candidate is on 42.4%, which would likely be enough.
7.51pm. Cross bench watch: Frances Bedford a clear winner in Florey; Geoff Brock looking good in Frome; Troy Bell looking good in Mount Gambier; no results yet from Morphett. So there’s a cross bench of at least three, perhaps four or five if things go right for SA Best, and a potential one extra in Morphett. Labor’s promising early results in Colton have now washed away.
7.40pm. We seem to be looking at a status quo sort of result with both major parties on around 20 to 21. But a big variable is whether the Liberals fight off SA Best in Hartley and Heysen. The two-party count has been stuck in Heysen for a while, but the primary votes look encouraging for SA Best. Still not enough for a read in Hartley.
7.37pm. Good early numbers for Labor in Colton, and they’re looking good in Badcoe as well. Less good in Mawson though, and it’s very tight in Newland. Early alarm for the Liberals in Waite has faded.
7.30pm. Starting to look promising for SA Best in Heysen, where the Liberal vote is a dangerous 37.0%, and SA Best are well clear of Labor. Labor don’t look to be making hoped for breakthrough in the seat of Adelaide. Big swing to Labor in Waite with 15% counted, which would have seemed an unlikely prospect for them.
7.21pm. Another excellent result for Tony Piccolo in Light, where 15% of the vote is counted and he is on track for a big swing. Not looking good anywhere for SA Best that I can see — except perhaps in Hartley, where the very first numbers are lineball. In Labor versus Liberal contests, Mawson looks close; encouraging early for Labor in Newland.
7.09pm. I sadly remain preoccupied with Batman. Still too early to say much with confidence, except that SA Best are not about to do anything remarkable. Antony going through encouraging early numbers for Labor in Light, and for Troy Bell in Mount Gambier.
6pm. Polls have closed for the South Australian election. Very early results from small rural booths should start coming in shortly. For what it’s worth, an exit poll apparently finds 50.5-49.5 to Liberal, but I’m a bit lost here without further detail: sometimes this just means an opinion poll conducted on election day rather than exit polling proper; when it is exit polling, it’s usually from specific marginal seats and thus hard to say what the result means without knowing which ones they are.