YouGov Galaxy: 52-48 to Liberal in South Australia

The first polling test of Steven Marshall’s Liberal government in South Australia offers a mix of primary vote swings and two-party preferred roundabouts.

NOTE: The main discussion thread has fallen down the page a little, to here, below the latest New South Wales election post and Brexit update from Adrian Beaumont.

Today’s Sunday Mail (the Adelaide one) brings the first published poll of state voting intention in South Australia since the election of Steven Marshall’s Liberal government last year, courtesy of YouGov Galaxy. It produces a status quo result on two-party preferred, with the Liberals leading 52-48, compared with an election result of 51.9-48.1, but shows considerable movement on the primary vote thanks to the collapse of Nick Xenophon’s SA Best: the Liberals are on 42%, compared with 38.0% at the election; Labor is on 37%, compared with 32.8%; the Greens are on 7%, compared with 6.7%; and SA Best are on 7%, compared with 14.1%. Steven Marshall holds a 46-26 lead over Labor’s Peter Malinauskas as preferred premier. The poll was conducted Tuesday to Thursday from a sample of 844.

South Australia: Cheltenham and Enfield by-elections

By-elections today to pick successors for Jay Weatherill and John Rau, and a general opportunity to discuss South Australian matters if that takes your fancy.

Live commentary

Cheltenham live results page
Enfield live results page

10pm. Final Enfield booth now in on primary and two-party. I gather there are no declaration votes counted on the night.

9.14pm. Back online now. Still one laggard booth in Enfield, but all done in Cheltenham; no declaration votes yet (which are reported as a single lump sum by ECSA, and not broken down by pre-poll, postal and absent).

8.08pm. All booths reported in Cheltenham, but still a bit to come from Enfield. There will be a delay of half an hour or so before I next update the results pages.

7.43pm. Most booths in on the primary vote in Cheltenham, half still to come in Enfield. The situation seems to be that much of the SA Best vote has gone to Labor and the Greens rather than independents, except to an extent in Enfield where Gary Johanson is on nearly 20%.

7.32pm. Three booths in now from Enfield, where Labor’s projected primary vote swing has moderated to 3.9%.

7.24pm. Five booths in now on the primary vote from Cheltenham, still only one from Enfield.

7.19pm. Clearly not going to be much to report here. Labor are looking at primary vote swings of 5% to 10% based on five booths that are in, and have a 75-25 lead over the Liberal Democrats from three booths in Cheltenham.

7.15pm. Results pages are looking good now. There are four booths in on the primary vote in Cheltenham, and Labor’s vote is well up in all of them. One booth in from Enfield, ditto.

7.05pm. Now there are actual results in, I’ve hit a glitch where my booth results display isn’t working. Should be fixed soon enough. The rest of it is working though, and it suggests Labor is handsomely up on the primary vote in both electorates and shouldn’t be troubled in either.

6.40pm. No results yet, but my election results pages are open: Cheltenham and Enfield. ECSA is conducting two-candidate preferred counts between Labor and the Liberal Democrats in Cheltenham, and Labor and independent Gary Johanson in Enfield.

6pm. I have posted profiles for the two by-elections: Cheltenham and Enfield. Live results will be posted on the site from about 6:30pm Adelaide time, which should be good enough since these are suburban electorates with no small booths that report early. My results reporting facility will be drawing the results from the ECSA media feed and calculating booth-matched primary vote swings for Labor and the Greens, which are the only apples-for-apples comparisons that are available in the context of by-elections being forfeited by the Liberals.

Earlier

There are two state by-elections for traditionally safe Labor seats of Cheltenham and Enfield in South Australia today, following the resignations of former Premier Jay Weatherill and Deputy Premier John Rau. I haven’t been following any of this too closely, but I will have live reporting of the results this evening, and will knock up some electorate profiles later today if I can find the time. The candidates in Enfield include former Port Adelaide Enfield Mayor Gary Johanson, who has made a number of runs for seats in Adelaide’s inner north as an independent, and came within 2.9% when he ran in Port Adelaide at a by-election in February 2012. Labor’s candidates are Joe Szakacs in Chelthenham, secretary of SA Unions, and Andrea Michaels in Enfield, a commercial lawyer, who respectively won preselection with the backing of the Left and the Right.

Other than that, it’s been a long time since there was a thread on South Australia, with Steven Marshall’s government still waiting for its debut published opinion poll almost a year after it came to power at the state election last March. So feel free to use the opportunity of this post to weigh in on state political matters more generally. One point worth discussing might be the question of the looming electoral redistribution – always a matter of great sensitivity in South Australia, particularly with the Labor government’s abolition last term of the contentious “fairness clause”. Daniel Wills of The Advertiser offers an overview of the situation.

Once more with feeling: Batman, SA, Tasmania

One last look at last month’s two state elections and one federal by-election.

Now the dust has settled, a considered review of the three big electoral events of March.

Batman

Labor’s win was ultimately more comfortable than it appeared on election, which has fed into the post-election speculation as to what it all means. For what it’s worth, a ReachTEL poll commissioned by a timber industry lobby group two days out from the election came within one point of accuracy on the two-party vote, and found Adani, health and education each recording about 20% on the question of most important campaign issue.

First the basic results:

A table further below zeroes into the count’s two curiosities, the first of which is the extent of Labor’s surge on late counting. The result is broken down into polling day votes, namely ordinary election day votes, provisional votes and (in the case of the 2016 election, to derive the swing) absent votes; pre-poll, which includes both the pre-poll voting centre booths and declaration pre-polls; and postals, which is just postals.

The fact that Labor didn’t do so well on the day has led suggestions that something must have happened late in the campaign to blunt Labor’s momentum, with the most obvious culprit being Labor’s dividend imputation policy. There may certainly be something in this, but the same pattern was evident in lesser degree at the Northcote by-election, at which the Greens’ swing was 1.9% weaker on pre-polls and 4.4% weaker on postals as compared with polling day votes, with the equivalent differences in Batman being 3.6% and 5.8%.

The second notable feature of the result was the disparity between the Labor-loyal northern end of the electorate and the Greens-leaning south. The former area did actually deliver the Greens the gentle swing they needed to win the seat, while the latter swung solidly to Labor – although there remains a 15.1% differential between the two, compared with 21.5% at the 2016 election. The table separately records votes cast north and south of Bell Street, and excludes votes where this cannot be discerned (postals and such).

South Australia

Continue reading “Once more with feeling: Batman, SA, Tasmania”

South Australian election: late counting

Post tracking the progress of late counting in the South Australian state election.

Thursday

Pardon me for missing an exciting day’s count in Mawson, where Leon Bignell appears to have held on – since my last update two days ago, the votes have broken 1003-909 his way, increasing his lead to 184. Only a small trickle of postal votes should be outstanding at this point.

Tuesday

Labor’s lead in Mawson now down to 90, as today’s update breaks 536-437 to Liberal, in near identical proportion to the first batch of 1940 declaration votes yesterday.

Continue reading “South Australian election: late counting”

Third time lucky

The cards finally land in the right places for the Liberals in South Australia, despite an overall swing in Labor’s favour.

The Liberals have finally managed to piece together a victory in South Australia, at the third successive election at which they won the statewide two-party vote. The election was actually won for them in the redistribution, which made four seats won by Labor in 2014 notionally Liberal, with only one going the other way. If the 2014 election had been held under the new boundaries, the Liberals would have made it to 25 seats out of 47 (albeit with a 0.1% margin in Newland), which as likely as not is where this election will leave them when the dust settles.

The Liberals only went into the election with 20 of the 22 seats they won in 2014, having suffered two defections to the cross bench: Troy Bell in Mount Gambier, who was re-elected yesterday as an independent, and Duncan McFetridge in Morphett, whose seat has reverted to the Liberals (UPDATE: Make that 19 – I forgot about Martin Hamilton-Smith, whose seat of Waite went back to the Liberals with his retirement). To the resulting base of 21 seats, the Liberals have certain gains in two of the four notionally Liberal seats, Colton and Elder. They are ahead in a third, Newland, and are likely to go down to the wire in the fourth, Mawson. With a further gain likely in the new seat of King, they appear all but certain of making it to a majority.

However, the Liberals have once again struggled to gain decisive swings against sitting Labor members. The three actual or potential Labor casualties were all in notional Liberal seats, and there were swings in favour of two of them, albeit insufficient ones. The other very likely gain, the northern Adelaide seat of King, was a new electorate contested by a neophyte Labor candidate. Furthermore, Labor may make a gain in the seat of Adelaide, where Liberal member Rachel Sanderson ended the night 67 votes ahead.

Continue reading “Third time lucky”

South Australian election live

Live coverage of the count for the South Australian state election.

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.