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South Australian election minus one week

Introducing a guide to the election for the Legislative Council, plus some updates from around the grounds.

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With exactly a week to go, two general matters to relate:

• The Poll Bludger state election guide now comes equipped with a comprehensive review of the Legislative Council.

• Jay Weatherill and Steven Marshall squared off for the Advertiser/Sky News People’s Forum debate on Tuesday night. One hundred undecided voters chosen by Galaxy Research, as per the much-complained-about Rooty Hill RSL event during the 2010 federal election, had 38% rating Jay Weatherill the winner compared with 28% for Steven Marshall, the remaining 38% being uncommitted. All three of The Advertiser’s commentators concurred that Weatherill had the edge, although Daniel Wills’ analysis piece was headlined “Premier fails to deliver a knockout”.

And six electorate-level campaign updates:

Adelaide (Liberal 4.2%): A Galaxy automated phone poll of 587 respondents conducted on Tuesday evening for The Advertiser had Labor trailing 54-46 in the one seat which they had entertained hopes of poaching from the Liberals. The primary votes were 49% for Liberal incumbent Rachel Sanderson, 39% for Labor candidate David O’Louglin, 8% for the Greens and 4% for Dignity for Disability. Sanderson had an approval rating of 51% and a disapproval rating of 26%, closely reflecting the ratings for Labor’s Paul Caica at a similar poll conducted last week in Colton. The poll also inquired about the parties’ competing plans for the future of the Royal Adelaide Hospital site, with 38% favouring Labor’s idea of a new public high school and 35% preferring the Liberals’ idea for a privately run medical facility.

Giles (Labor 11.9%): The Advertiser reported yesterday that Eddie Hughes, Labor’s candidate for the Whyalla-based seat of Giles, was given a seven-day suspended jail sentence in 1983 for assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and loitering, following an incident which occurred “in the early hours outside a Whyalla hotel”. As the Liberals accused Labor of having concealed the fact from voters, Labor said it was aware of the arrest but not the specific court outcome.

Torrens (Labor 8.2%): Labor hit back with the revelation that Liberal candidate for Torrens, Michael Manetta, had a criminal conviction from 1997 for driving three times over the blood alcohol limit, leaving Steven Marshall to tell journalists he was “not aware of that”.

Lee (Labor 7.7%): Electoral Commissioner Kay Mousley has ordered the Liberal Party to withdraw and air a retraction for a radio advertisement it paid for and authorised which was voiced by Mel Calone, an independent who is campaigning against the government over its handling of the school sex abuse issue. Calone said Jay Weatherill “chose not to tell parents” about the rape of a seven-year-old school student, which was at odds with the findings of the Debelle royal commmission.

Hartley (Labor 0.1%): Nick Xenophon has provided Labor’s Grace Portolesi with a message of support to distribute to voters in her knife-edge marginal seat, in which she is describing as “an outstanding local member in getting things done”.

Colton (Labor 3.6%): The Liberals have promised to spend $6.8 million on a science centre for Henley High School, to be completed in 2018.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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78 comments

78 thoughts on “South Australian election minus one week

  1. It is all a bit crazy, people not liking the majors, looking for someone to vote for, deciding they like Nick Xenophon and therefore voting for Darley. Makes total sense.
    These are people who probably would not even vote if there was not so-called compulsory voting.
    What would the turn out be at this election if it was voluntary voting?
    A nightmare for the lovers of democracy is my guess.

  2. I’m not sure the lovers of democracy are swooning over the current state of things as it is. I suspect a senate with Xenophon in it is more democratic than one without.

  3. Surprised to receive a union robo-call in just about the safest Liberal seat in SA.

    In other news:

    – Labor has promised a $6 million update for the Henley Beach Police Station (in Colton).

    – Kris Hanna has exposed and the Electoral Commissioner apologised for gibberish masquerading as Arabic in more than a million voting ‘information’ pamphlets distributed across the electorate. As Hanna points out, they only had four years to get it right.

  4. I see Labor have released their costings and are touting smaller costs than the Liberals and a return to surplus in a few years… how long before there’s another leak that contradicts that?

  5. CM @ 55

    The move of the public holiday back to May was announced by Marshall at a press conference on Friday (I think) – I saw him on the Channel 9 news saying it would be better for Racing SA.

    My wife said at the time something about, “Good for racing – f*^% the Festival” which is pretty much what Labor has retorted with.

    Dumb idea I thought, a policy gaffe.

  6. There is waaaay too much on in Adelaide in March.

    That’s part of the reason noone gives a shit about the election.

    It’s great is you are the incumbent and want to fly under the radar and point to all the shiny things in SA.

  7. Diogenes, are you going to tell us before Saturday who you will be voting for? You don’t have to, of course, but I’m genuinely curious. After several years of sparring with you here I still have no idea what political principles, if any, you adhere to.

  8. Psephos

    I will be voting Dignity for the Disabled in the Upper House.

    I really don’t care who wins the election but I will be voting Labor in the lower house.

  9. Alleged racist dog-whistling pamphlet in Elder: CAN YOU TRUST HABIB?

    Pyne says Labor’s always up to dirty tricks and the Libs are squeaky clean. No memory of federal Lindsay in 2007?

  10. Occasional PB contributor still fighting the fight

    [A STATE election candidate from the northern suburbs is facing court on a gun charge and plans to sue the State Government for up to $100,000 over what he claims was a false arrest.

    Independent Legislative Council candidate Mark Aldridge — son of Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge — will face the Elizabeth Magistrates Court next month to defend one count of breaching the conditions of his gun licence.]

  11. D4D preferences go to a variety of minor parties with no hope of winning.
    Powerful Communities and then Multicultural Party if either are still in the count when/if D4D are excluded.
    Eventually the Greens before any of the other main candidates.
    They have Family First last.

  12. Thanks for the confirmation IT. I had seen reports of it all over Twitter from Labor and Labor supporting commentators but nothing from the Liberals. No wonder; it wasn’t exactly a bright idea.

    As for the anti-Habib pamphlet. I can very clearly see the racist subtext of the design of the pamphlet… mainly the wall design which looks like it’s from a warzone – which, with a middle-eastern candidate name, has very obvious implications.

    However, it’s vague enough that it can’t be definitely called racist either and many voters will probably just see that complaint as over-sensitive “political correctness gone mad”, so it don’t think it will backfire on Labor.

  13. Dignity for Disabled are a progressive party and their upper house preferences flow progressively too. I don’t know how their lower house how-to-vote cards (if they have any) guide voters but I daresay they generally recommend a left to right flow and probably Labor over Liberal.

  14. This is only peripherally related to the election but ….

    My octogenarian friend took his visiting older brother to the Torrens Weir Restaurant last night. They drove across a bridge over the Torrens but couldn’t get out the other end and had to turn around and come back to the Adelaide Railway Station.

    Yes, my mate is the first motorist to drive across the famous $40 million footbridge to Adelaide Oval!

    Hilarious.

  15. This pamphlet thing is a classic example of what’s wrong with the Liberals in this state. They’ve decided it’s a major embarrassment for the ALP and so they’ve tried to make the big play on it but it’s ended up in a discussion about whether the pamphlet was or wasn’t racist and suddenly they’re divided again.

    This happens again and again and again over here. It’s both funny and sad.

    And people wonder why conservatives in this state frequently split from the party and become Family First or Independent or even god forbid Democrat!

  16. David Speirs is on the same council as Carolyn Habib.

    Why haven’t we seen a ‘Can we trust Speirs?’ leaflet?

    One answer is that the battle for Bright is all over and Chloe Fox has lost.

  17. Edi

    I live in Bright. Most of the communication down here from Chloe Fox is very personalised and friendly, reminding the electorate of her achievements. I’d say from the tone of them she thinks she’s a goner. Hardly attacked Speirs.

  18. I do not see the Labor pamphlet against Habib as obviously racist, but that is why they call it dog whistle politics. At best it is a nastily personal smear/fear campaign, that blames Habib for something she had little control over. So, racist or not, the pamphlet is tacky desperation politics – a sure sign Labor knows it will lose.

    End result: Habib will romp in on the sympathy vote alone. That also makes it dumb politics.

    I predict Labor will lose 6 or 7 seats and Marshall will have a majority of 5 or 6, depending on how the independents fare.

  19. I’ve had some interesting feedback today about certain electorates, in no particular order:

    * Jay Weatherill campaigning in the seat of Torrens – which should be safe Labor – is something going on there?
    * The Habib leaflet – the ALP have faced internal dissension over this leaflet going out – some on their campaign team are deeply ashamed at the dog whistling. So much for the Premier’s weak denials. As far as Cory Bernardi goes, the sooner someone mails him one way to postcode 7151 the better.
    * One of Portolesi’s (ALP, Hartley) campaign team last night injudiciously spilled the beans to a friend in a public place that she was f*&^%ed and they were only going through the motions.
    * Internal ALP polling allegedly has them hanging on by their fingernails in some seats the Libs need to pick up to win outright, yet a feeling of a big swing on in some non-marginals – a repeat of 2010?
    * General feeling in Mt Gambier is that the Libs will take back the seat of Mt Gambier from Independent Conservative Don Pegler, but it will be tight.
    * My best friend who lives in a very safe Labor seat has received 1 Labor leaflet and nothing from anyone else. He is voting informal in protest.
    This might be tighter than we thought after all.