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South Australian election morning after thread

The South Australian election result remains up in the air after a gravely disappointing night for the Liberals.

A grim night for the Liberals in South Australia, who needing six seats to win have only clearly won two from Labor (Bright and Hartley) and one from an independent (Mount Gambier), and will require sharp late-count reversals to add any more than Mitchell to that list. Labor can yet get to a majority if they can hold on to Mitchell, but the most likely result seems to be a hung parliament with the two returned independents, Geoff Brock in Frome and Bob Such in Fisher, deciding the issue. Another loser of the evening is “electoral fairness”, with the Liberals weak showing coming despite what looks like a win of about 52.5-47.5 on two-party preferred. I’ll have a lot more to say about this of course, but not right now.

318
  • 101
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Leadership – that’s a good point actually, although I think there’s 47 seats, so 23/47 is closer to 49% of the seats, but still in the scheme of things it’s actually a pretty good proportional representation, and of course if you take the 2 independents as being on the LNP side of the ledger they will have 51% of the seats.

  • 102
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    It does seem like looking at both party leaders – anyone decent flees the State or come into it for that matter.
    What a mediocre lot!

  • 103
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    ESJ,

    Then again Wetherill may be SA’s Nevelle Wran; win by a seat first time and then smash the Libs ever after.

  • 104
    peterk
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Re: 101. Frome actually counts as an ALP seat. The TPP there slightly favoured the ALP last time. We don’t know the count there this time yet as the count on the night was conducted between the Lib and the Ind.

  • 105
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Weatherill thanks Tony for helping get him get the late swing.

    Weatherill, the South Australian premier, said a range of factors, including the Labor party’s campaign against penalty rate cuts they say the federal Coalition is planning, contributed to the party’s strong result, but the prime minister’s visit to the state a few days before the election helped boost its vote.

    “I think it was very helpful for us,’’ said Weatherill.

  • 106
    spur212
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Given demographic change in the electorate across the country (the Generation Blue effect) plus the number of marginals the ALP has to target at the next election, they might find 2018 easier to win than 2014.

    Last night’s result could have some rather profound long term implications for politics generally in this state!

  • 107
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Forgive my ignorance: but how much did the presence of the independents distort the TPP> If labor formed govt with the independents, what would their combined TPP be? Isn’t that the important figure for any debate?

  • 108
    Dr Phibes
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Saying the party with 50% FP should govern is too simplistic to be fair.

    I voted in Mitchell, there were all these big smiling Young Libs bouncing around annoying people, the two greens seemed down to earth and you could have a conversation.

    I gave the Greens first preference before Labor with the Libs and FF last. Any objective look at my ballot and it was a clear vote for Labor but would not show up as that in the FP percentages.

  • 109
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Jackol – aren’t you saying that really there has been a fair reflection of the electorates will, if one excludes the independents (who have been empowered by their electorates to form government with whoever they like)???
    Did the independents effectively take two seats off the libs in conservative electorates?????

  • 110
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    K17 – well I’ve been corrected on Frome, which was apparently narrowly in the ALP’s favour on 2PP, although it would be nice to get a source on that information.

  • 111
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Jackol – Thanks. I think I get it. So it may well be that the votes have been fairly distributed among the parties (pro rata to TPP votes), but the joker is how the independents act. I don’t see anything unfair or undemocratic about that.

  • 112
    KEVIN-ONE-SEVEN
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Diog – Having “dealt” with Abbott on Holden, Weatherill must find him a truly revolting man. Must love twisting the knife.

  • 113
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Although, having said that, looking at proportionality of 2PP is a little bit silly. If you’re doing PR properly it should be proportional to FP (and FF and the Greens would have elected members), otherwise 2PP is a bit of an arbitrary artifact of our preferencing system. But I guess it is something of a guide as to which way the majority would lean if forced to make a choice, and if you’re obsessed by majority government I guess looking to the 2PP is as good a way as any of determining a “winner takes all” outcome.

    I maintain that that “winner takes all” obsession with majority government is a result of the immaturity of our media and political debate, but it’s obviously an obsession backed by many.

  • 114
    Swing Required
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s many years now I’ve posted here,
    Just now and then, a bit here and there,
    It’s a little like twitter
    But without a retweet,
    With never a favourite
    Or even a sound.
    Silence.

    I suppose, crap in, nothing back.
    But it must have been crap
    For a long time now.

    A closed shop,
    Regulars only.
    I hope not, but elsewhere seems kinder.

    We can draw some conclusions,
    This proves I can’t write
    I’m not that upset,
    Or even uptight,
    Just a little bemused
    And a tad disappointed,
    That a once friendly place
    Seems no more.

    Never mind,
    I’ll enjoy the rejoinders,
    But I’d rather a welcome
    To encourage us lurkers.

    There’s two things that are obvious
    The first I’m thin skinned
    But I’d rather that Bludgers

    Were a bit more inclusive.

    Thank You :)

  • 115
    spur212
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    To Independently Thinking

    Michael Atkinson via Twitter @MickAtko:

    “My opponent (Glenda Noble, Liberal) had 1000 corfultes on public property. I had none. 4 p.c. swing to me; biggest swing to ALP in State.”

    “And that means today, 16 March, 2014, I don’t have to take down any corflutes.”

    So there you have it! LOL

  • 116
    peterk
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Jackol 110:
    ECSA Website http://www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/elections/state-elections/state-election-reports
    2010 State Election Report. Page 250.

  • 117
    Diogenes
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Swing Required

    I think you should keep posting.

    You’re one of our best pundits IMO.

  • 118
    Frodo Baggins
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    This is a good result for Jay

  • 119
    shellbell
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    GG

    Then again Wetherill may be SA’s Nevelle Wran; win by a seat first time and then smash the Libs ever after.

    That was how Bob Carr did it….hooray

  • 120
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    peterk – thanks, you mean the Election Statistics PDF.

    Ok, 50.1 ALP vs 49.9 LNP in Frome. Fair enough.

  • 121
    Outsider
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    If anyone was scrutineering inMitchell, it would interesting to get any further insights into what is going. From the ECSA website I notice a 380 vote gap between the total number of formal first preference votes and the total 2pp vote count number. Given the election night margin was only 148 it’s got me wondering what this gap might be, and who it might favour?

  • 122
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    HOW FARQING HOPELESS IS THE LIBERAL PARTY (S.A. DIVISION)!?

    AMIRITE?

  • 123
    Mad Dog
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    For: Swing Required

    Very nicely written. You have a real talent, in my view, for what that’s worth.

    cheers, md

  • 124
    Outsider
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Interesting interview with Bob Such: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-16/independents-day-in-the-spotlight/5324224

    Would be making the Libs nervous…. He’s obviously been pretty annoyed by their campaign against him. Interestingly he says he will be looking at where his supporters directed 2nd preferences, not the notional 2pp per se.

  • 125
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    83

    45 seats out of 88 is just under 51.14%, 46 seats out of 88 is 52.27 recurring, and therefore the Coalition got the closest number of seats to their proportion of the vote in the Victorian 2010 election. The Coalition, including the Speaker and Geoff Shaw, won 2 more seats than the ALP. Remember that 88 is an even number.

  • 126
    Oakeshott Country
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I find the argument that the 2PP winner should form government somewhat constructed. It implies that there are only two options and even if these are Buckley’s or None if one of them gets one vote more than the other then it gets all the power of office. Such a construction only exists in Australia because of the STV
    Then we have those who want PR – the result would be that today the Libs would be putting together a coalition with Family First – is that what South Australians really voted for

    I have strong faith in one member electorates because all politics is local – a good candidate who knows and fights for his electorate can win despite state wide swings and party posturing. However, if there is a desire to have a recognition of the two party system , then the French system of 2 stages has much to be said for it. The 2nd stage certainly concentrates the electors minds on the type of government they want without having an artificial construction of 2pp.

  • 127
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Would be making the Libs nervous…. He’s obviously been pretty annoyed by their campaign against him. Interestingly he says he will be looking at where his supporters directed 2nd preferences, not the notional 2pp per se.

    In 2002 Such abstained on the motion of confidence in the existing Kerin government. I was at parliament on that day, as soon as the division was called Such got up and walked out of the chamber.

  • 128
    Raaraa
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    To all those saying that if one were to win the popular vote have to win the election, suppose there is an imaginary state with only 5 seats.

    Imagine if a party (Party A) were to nominate 5 candidates in all 5 seats and a rival party (Party B) were to nominate in just 4 seats.

    If A were to only get 40% of the votes in the 4 seats, and B got 60% in the 4 seats, this would give A a TPP of 52% in the entire election despite only winning 1 seat due to a walkover. Doesn’t sound fair, does it?

  • 129
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    The S.A. constitution needs to be amended to reflect the fact the Liberal Party (S.A. Division) is incompetent.

  • 130
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    OC -

    Then we have those who want PR – the result would be that today the Libs would be putting together a coalition with Family First – is that what South Australians really voted for

    Given that the Libs and FF between them scored 50.4% of the primary vote, it would certainly be one interpretation of the will of the SA people.

  • 131
    Outsider
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    ShowsOn it’s very likely that a clear majority of Such’s voters preference Labor over Liberals. Such is setting the ground for supporting a Labor Government, subject only to the caveat that Labor holds the 23 seats it’s currently projected to have. I note that Brock said something very similar in his interview on ABC TV last night – that he would look to where his own supporters directed their preferences (which again would favour Labor). At least I think that’s what Brock meant!!!

  • 132
    Outsider
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    You will note that Such’s choice of words was very specific: that he was only looking to where his own supporters were directing their second preferences.

  • 133
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Brock said something very similar in his interview on ABC TV last night – that he would look to where his own supporters directed their preferences (which again would favour Labor). At least I think that’s what Brock meant!!!

    Brock votes with Labor in excess of 90% of the time in parliament.

    I just comprehend how he would support a Liberal minority government and then vote against nearly all of their legislation.

    Regarding Such, I think he will become speaker again. He has been deputy speaker and speaker before when Rann was Premier:

    05 Mar '02-04 Apr '05 Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Committees
    04 Apr '05-26 Mar '06 Speaker, House of Assembly

  • 134
    Edi_Mahin
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Given that Family First seem to have a consistent and loyal proportion of the electorate voting for them it would seem fair that they be represented in a system that tries to implement proportional representation.
    However trying to fit a result from the current system into another system is just hypothetical and not really helpful. If there was a proportional system in SA then Family First would suffer from being attacked by the other parties more directly as they fight for that proportion of the electorate.

  • 135
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    As much as I wouldn’t like to see a Liberal government in South Australia, this result is pretty silly, based on the 2PP.

    Go for MMP. Labor should lead the charge on that, lest we end up with something truly awful like FPTP.

  • 136
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    As much as I wouldn’t like to see a Liberal government in South Australia, this result is pretty silly, based on the 2PP.

    No, after you factor in that the S.A. Liberal Party are a bunch of incompetent jerks it makes perfect sense.

  • 137
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    EM –

    However trying to fit a result from the current system into another system is just hypothetical and not really helpful.

    Of course it’s hypothetical and far from accurate. As you point out people will vote differently depending on how their vote might impact the outcome, and that flows on to how the parties campaign.

    I’d say in your example that there are probably more upsides for the smaller parties than downsides (which is the main reason the majors hate thinking about PR) because when votes turn into representation and influence over government then people would naturally feel much more inclined to vote for their preferred minor party. The existing preferential SMD system doesn’t result in wasted votes for minor parties per se, but it certainly doesn’t feel like voting for minor parties in lower houses actually has any meaningful results (apart from Tassie and the ACT).

    Anyway, if we’re having a discussion of alternatives to the current system (and we are) then I think it is helpful to consider those hypotheticals, as OC raised. One of the likely implications of PR is that parties like FF get lower house representation and thus direct influence over the formation of government, whereas at the moment these parties have indirect influence at best, and that is an implication of PR that we need to be honest about if we are advocating it.

  • 138
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    @ Jackol 137

    If 10% of the voting population of South Australia vote for Family First, then Family First should get about 10% of the seats. As much as I abhor their policies, that is the rightful democratic outcome.

  • 139
    Edi_Mahin
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it is highly probable that the majority of Bob Such voters at this election would have had Labor as there second preference.

    Brock’s support base when he was first elected was the Labor section of the electorate in Port Pirie. He has spread that support base more throughout the electorate but he comes from that Labor side of things. He surely will support Labor.

    If Brock goes to Labor and the seats stay as they are Such can become speaker without actually declaring support for Labor and it would be 24-22 on the floor. Such would only need to vote if Brock went against Labor on legislation.

  • 140
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Arrnea Stormbringer @138 – I agree, but it is still a change that would result from moving to PR that as a democracy we would need to accept and I know there are many people who reject this concept.

  • 141
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    @ Jackol 140

    That’s because the political parties here have gotten used to one side or another having a majority (a result helped by the SMD system), negating the need for parties to work together to achieve the desired outcome of the people.

    Contrast some of the proportionally-represented European parliaments, which feature parties often willing to go into coalitions with each other to form stable, representative government, even if they disagree on many issues (see the recent agreement between the SPD and the CDP in Germany).

    You’d never see a grand coalition European-style here, and that’s a problem.

  • 142
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Re: my 141

    Excuse me, that was supposed to be the CDU (Christian Democratic Union), not the CDP.

  • 143
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    141

    I think that a grand coalition is quite possible in Tasmania the next time there is no majority.

  • 144
    Arrnea Stormbringer
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    @ Tom 143

    I honestly don’t think the Liberals and Labor have it in them to get over their inbuilt hatred for each other and form such a coalition, at least not for a full term of office.

    Similarly, I don’t see the Liberals agreeing to form one with the Greens should the latter become the dominant opposition in Tasmania at some point in the future.

  • 145
    absolutetwaddle
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Of course the Liberal line here is that as they won the 2PP they ought to get first dibs on forming government. Behind the scenes I’m sure they’re wallowing in the aftermath of an obviously deeply deficient campaign in the suburban marginals. I bet Tony Abbott is pissed. Which is just fine by me. :)

    How many elections do the SA Libs have to lose before they understand they need to win the unconvinced over to their cause, not the rusted-on bumpkins who haven’t changed their vote since WWII? Labor are no great shakes in the strategy department lately, but one would think they would have at least grasped the importance of marginals several cycles back, had they been in opposition.

  • 146
    Jackol
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Heh. I’m not sure most ALP and LNP MPs hate each other that much. It’s usually the enemies within their respective parties that they hate more than those opposite.

  • 147
    ifonly
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    There is no moral imperative that those elected reflect the popular vote, the senate is a good example that ignores one vote one value. There is however a legal imperative in the case of South Australia.

  • 148
    Oakeshott Country
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Under a 2 round system (barring any late changes) the following electorates would be going back to the polls in 2 weeks:
    Adelaide
    Ashford
    Bright
    Colton
    Dunstan
    Elder
    Fisher lib vs Ind
    Florey
    Frome lib vs ind
    Hartley
    Kaurna
    Lee
    Light
    Little Para
    Mawson
    Mitchell
    Napier
    Newland
    Torrens
    Wright
    20/47. – certainly one way to determine government

  • 149
    Darren Laver
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Why on earth does SA have this obsession with Family First?

    I thought “the City of Churches” thing related to Anglican and Catholic churches, not fundamenalist nonsense one sees in clapped out high school gyms in impovrished suburbia?.

  • 150
    ShowsOn
    Posted Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    There is no moral imperative that those elected reflect the popular vote, the senate is a good example that ignores one vote one value. There is however a legal imperative in the case of South Australia.

    Not true at all. There is simply a provision to redistribute after every election. That says nothing about what will happen at the subsequent election.

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