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South Australian election late counting

A progressively updated post following the counting of over a quarter-of-a-million outstanding votes in South Australia's cliffhanger election.

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5.3pm. Further counting in Elder reversed the trend just noted, breaking 1485-1254 Labor’s way and putting the lead at 757, which is very likely more than the number of votes still outstanding. Counting also favoured Labor today in Ashford (347-287, increasing the lead to 820) and Newland (671-652, putting it at 656).

Noon. Declaration votes are flowing fairly strongly the Liberals’ way in Elder, a second batch breaking 528-429. That reduces the Labor lead to 526, and could send it below 300 if the trend continues.


8.30pm. The final score for the day from Colton shows Labor gained 1196-1078, putting Paul Caica’s lead at an unassailable 570 with perhaps 1000 votes remaining to be counted. The tide of late counting continued to flood the Liberals’ way in Hartley, today’s batch favouring Liberal candidate Vincent Tarzia over Grace Portolesi by 1685-1204, pushing his lead out to 1131.

5pm. A big addition of votes in Newland breaks 1426-1332, putting Labor’s Tom Kenyon 637 ahead and confirming his victory. In Mitchell, Labor clawed back 39 votes out of 3203 added, but it’s too little too late. Pretty much impossible now not to see a result of Labor 23, Liberal 22, independents two.

4.30pm. Labor has pulled a further 107 ahead with the addition of 1415 votes in Ashford, where Steph Key’s lead is now at 760 and unlikely to change much with perhaps 1000 votes still outstanding. Sykesie reports Labor now 588 ahead in Colton, with postals favouring the Liberals by an insufficient 52-48.

1.30pm. Well-informed commenter Sykesie relates that the morning’s counting in Colton has broken Labor’s way 349-262, putting Labor 539 votes in front and making life all but impossible for the Liberals. Their only hope of making it a twenty-third seat is an unlikely late reversal in Newland, where Labor leads by 543 with declaration vote counting still at an early stage, with about 4000 votes still to count.


11pm. It appears a move from postal to pre-poll counting also staunched the flow in Ashford, where Labor’s Steph Key now looks home and hosed after today’s batch broke only 728-720 to Liberal. This leaves Key 653 in front and projected to win by about 500. Nothing today from Elder or Newland.

6pm. Labor nerves will have steadied considerably with the addition of 970 votes in Colton, which I understand to be pre-polls. These have broken 491-479 in their favour and held their lead at 452. Projecting the existing declaration vote shares over an assumption of about 3000 outstanding votes, Labor emerges over 250 votes in the clear.

1pm. Mitchell continues to trend the Liberals’ way, 980 newly added votes breaking 563-417 and pushing the margin out from 373 to 519.


6pm. It appears the votes counted today were mostly if not entirely postal votes, and they are playing according to the script of favouring the Liberals by virtue of not reflecting the move back to Labor in the final week. On top of what was mentioned previously, today’s counting favoured the Liberals 808-634 in Ashford and 888-767 in Elder, and while that’s likely to be too little too late in Elder, the projected Labor win in Ashford comes down to double figures if the final declaration vote total is presumed to be 6000.

5pm. Encouraging first set of declaration vote numbers for the Liberals in Colton, breaking their way 556-425. If that trend were to play out over a total of 5000 declaration votes – 4000 having been the norm last time, but many more pre-polls apparently having been cast this time – the Liberals would finish about 100 in front. However, it may be that these are absent votes cast over the boundary in a Liberal-leaning part of the electorate, or representative of a particularly strong result for the Liberals on either postals, absent or pre-poll votes that won’t be replicated among the other vote types. UPDATE: I’m told on Twitter that these are postal votes. ECSA doesn’t do breakdowns of declaration votes, but in the corresponding federal seat of Hindmarsh, the Liberal two-party vote in September was 55.4% compared with 53.9% for pre-polls. Absent votes favoured broke 52-48 to Labor, but that’s unlikely to be instructive with respect to Colton.

4pm. The first 1424 added in the only seat that might get Labor to a majority, Mitchell, have broken 782-642 the Liberals’ way, increasing their lead from 233 to 373. If that keeps up, their winning margin will be around 800.

2pm. 1218 votes have been added in Newland, breaking 632-586 to the Liberals and reducing the Labor lead from 589 to 543. If that trend continues, the Liberals will only be able to wear away about 200 votes. However, trends in late counting can be variable, particularly in relation to pre-poll and absent votes which might be cast in particular parts of the electorate or neighbouring electorates. Unfortunately, ECSA doesn’t distinguish between different types of declaration vote in its published results.

Monday night

This post will follow the crucial late counting for the South Australian election, which has so far only dealt with re-checking of the polling booth votes counted on election night. Counting of an estimated 260,000 pre-poll and postal votes begins today, with the Liberals needing multiple miracles to boost them from their likely total of 22 to a majority of 24, and Labor hoping they might yet get there through what presently seems an unlikely win in Mitchell. Labor’s narrowest leads are of 571 votes in Colton (1.6%) and 589 votes in Newland (1.8%), while the Liberal lead in Mitchell is 233 (0.7%).

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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390 thoughts on “South Australian election late counting

  1. Everything

    In my view the Habib pamphlet has delivered re-election to the ALP :devil:

  2. Diogenes


    Such has prostate cancer so that’s a bit of an unknown. He wasn’t impressed by the lack of sympathy he got from the Libs.

  3. Psephos

    What about Marshall urging people to vote Labor? I think that have persuaded quite a lot of people that he’s not ready for prime time.

  4. Darn


    I think these situations bring out the best in you.Your in depth analyses are always appreciated.

  5. Psephos

    Someone here said Such and Brock are both over 60 and won’t be standing again, so they probably don’t care what anyone thinks.

  6. Psephos

    [In my view the Habib pamphlet has delivered re-election to the ALP]

    Just as well Labor persuaded Nigel Bin Laden not to run.

  7. Everything

    I actually screwed up though as the ALP would be 23 not 24….but I think everyone got the general message (just subtract 1 from what I said!! :devil:)

  8. Psephos

    [just subtract 1 from what I said!]

    We usually do.

  9. Diogenes

    [ In my view the Habib pamphlet has delivered re-election to the ALP

    Just as well Labor persuaded Nigel Bin Laden not to run.]

    It could have been worse. There is a Hitler, A in the phone book in NSW.

  10. Everything

    I should be angry, but I am finding you quite funny tonight Psephos! :devil:

  11. Diogenes

    Actually if your name is Hitler, A you probably deserve everything you get.

  12. Wakefield

    I’m not sure who does the maths in the electoral office. This morning the Commissioner was saying there were 280,000 then 320,000 votes to count. If 770,000 is 69% then 1,090,000 is 100%. It has never occurred to get anywhere near 100%. About 92 or 93% is about average so likely about 240,000 votes all up counting todays c32,000.

  13. Diogenes


    Perhaps they were talking about potential votes, as they couldn’t know exactly how many postal votes will come in over the next week (I think they get two weeks to arrive).

  14. Kevin Bonham



    I did a quick and dirty analysis of remaining vote as well. I assumed the final total will be the final total from 2010 (I couldn’t find the total number of declaration votes per seat listed anywhere).

    Are you assuming the same vote total as 2010 or the same %age turnout?

  15. Everything

    The 2010 total of valid TPP votes (as per the ABC elections page- down the bottom of each electorate page).

  16. Kevin Bonham


    The 2010 total of valid TPP votes (as per the ABC elections page- down the bottom of each electorate page).

    Isn’t that a risky assumption then, if there has been enrolment growth arising from past population growth and/or net inwards migration?

    To take Colton as an example, enrolment is 25512. But in 2010 Colton’s turnout was 22144 which was 94.2% of enrolment, implying c. 23507 enrolment. So the final formal vote total should be larger.

  17. Wakefield

    106 KB – quite right. And projecting on initial trend is also risky as there are different groups of votes involved.

  18. Everything

    Well thats true but for some reason the ECSA doesn’t report the number of declaration votes sent or received like the AEC does so I just had to use the previous total valid votes.

    Another 1000 voters in Colton (assuming unchanged declaration vote patterns) would tip it into the Lib column though- I just tried it- so it is particularly important for that electorate.

  19. William Bowe

    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes
    #Galaxy Poll SA Seat of Fisher Which party should Bob Such IND support for Govt: ALP 27 LIB 66 #savotes

    GhostWhoVotes @GhostWhoVotes
    #Galaxy Poll SA Seat of Frome Which party should Geoff Brock IND support for Govt: ALP 35 LIB 53 #savotes

  20. enjaybee

    At the present rate of counting a result won’t be known until the end of the month.

  21. Kevin Bonham


    106 KB – quite right. And projecting on initial trend is also risky as there are different groups of votes involved.

    Yes. And we saw in the federal election that even different groups of the same kind of dec vote behaved very variably. Not just absents (which can come from locations with a political slant) but also postals.

    Probably room for some kind of multi-source analysis that weights the dec vote trend in a seat so far, the dec vote trend from last time, subjective estimates about how much swing back to the government there was (etc).

    Under normal circumstances leads >1% 2PP wouldn’t get pulled back very often.

  22. Everything

    OK…OK….I decided to play with Kevin’s method. So we are assuming the same turnout as 2010, and using the total number of electors on the roll in 2014, and assuming all declaration votes behave the way they did on day 1 of declaration vote counting…..

    Ashford: ALP by 290 votes (Lib TPP 49.3%)….becomes 49.6%
    Elder: ALP by 394 votes (Lib TPP 49.0%)…….becomes 49.4%
    Newland: ALP by 438 votes (Lib TPP 49.0%)..becomes 49.2%
    Light: ALP by 711 votes (Lib TPP 48.3%)……becomes 48.4%
    Colton: ALP by 128 votes (Lib TPP 49.7%)…becomes 50.5% and flips
    Florey: ALP by 591 votes (Lib TPP 48.6%)…becomes 48.9%

    So with the new analysis, it would become 22 ALP – 23 Lib – 2 IND
    (Colton flips to Libs with no other changes. I haven’t bothered looking at Adelaide or Mitchell as they won’t flip even if there are more declarations).

    Indeed, what Kevin said actually makes a big difference as it would mean the Libs would be well favoured to form a minority government.

  23. Everything

    i.e. same turnout percentage

  24. tomd

    FWIW I’m told that the counting in Colton today was all postals, which have also previously favoured the Libs. Pre-polls and absentees in 2010 were apparently much closer to the vote on the day, and those are what remains to be counted.

    The X-factor is the apparently late swing, so will pre-poll votes be weighted more to the Libs due to being cast before opinions changed? There was a poll a week out showing Colton as 50-50, so if that was accurate at the time, Caica is probably safe. I guess we’ll see in the next couple of days.

  25. Greensborough Growler

    The big question is “Does the late swing actually exist”?

  26. Diogenes

    [The big question is “Does the late swing actually exist”?]

    I’m pretty sure it was there but it was only about 2% at most.

    The worst polls had the Libs at about 55% and it looks like ending up 53%.

  27. Diogenes

    [There was a poll a week out showing Colton as 50-50, ]

    The polls were actually pretty bloody accurate.

    The betting market was a shocker.

  28. Wakefield

    I don’t know that much good evidence exists that shows late swings in campaigns. It seems mostly chatter about campaigns from people who get funded to campaign or jounos paid to cover campaigns.

    A fair few people make up their mind at the time of voting although often this will be non-consequential decisions eg to Vote Family First then Liberal as compared with Liberal then Family First.

    For people doing pre-poll and postal voting the decision is brought forward. The polls were fairly consistent with about a 53/47 2PP preferred to Libs across the State but that failed to account for where the swing of about 1.5% cf 2010 was occurring.

  29. Socrates

    Even if Colton flips, I still cannot see any way the Libs can get to a majority. Am I kissing something? If not, they must win the hearts of the independents, and Such seems unlikely to vote for them. I am having trouble seeing how Marshall can be premier.

  30. Socrates

    Doh! Missing something…. Stupid fingers 🙂

  31. Wakefield

    The difference if Colton flips is Libs only need 1 indie to support them. Or both Indies to say – let Libs form a minority govt and we will vote for legislation on its merits and then Libs just need 1 indie each time to support them.

  32. Socrates

    So how likely is Brock to vote for the Liberals?

  33. Swing Required

    The Galaxy polls are one thing, but without checking the figures, I’d say the ALP vote in Such’s electorate was extraordinarily low, as Labor voters went for Such, knowing Labor wouldn’t win the seat.

    Brock also depends totally on Labor preferences, I think.

    I’d say both independents future survival would be more assured electorally by supporting Labor, but that might not be a consideration to them due to age or health.

    Haven’t had time to check that, but perhaps others have?

  34. edward o

    If Such wanted another term, and he went in with the Liberals, what would all the Labor voters do? Vote Liberal ahead of him in 2018? I doubt it, they’d want to keep him, rightly. Independents keep “talent” from the other side out of parliament and make that other party have to spend resources in otherwise safe seats. Also, they might change their mind at the next election, rather than be someone who will definitely vote for the other side. Such is damaging to the Liberals by occupying their seat, ALP voters would be mad to retaliate even if he comes down against them this time.

  35. Patrick Bateman

    I haven’t had time to keep up with things due to work –

    Can anyone give me a 2 line summary of where things appear to be heading?

    Or is it genuinely unclear what is going to happen?

  36. Edi_Mahin

    If Such goes Liberal and that makes him unpopular with Labor then they might run a strong campaign. If the Liberals also run a strong campaign then there would be some chance of Such falling to third and then his preferences electing one or the other side.

    Last election the 2PP was only 52.9 – 47.1 to the Liberals.
    This time that will blow out as the Liberals ran very strongly and Labor put very little effort into the seat.

    One fact that Such has continually mentioned is that Fisher has the highest amount of public servants. If Marshall reduces the public service then that might hurt the Liberals a lot in Fisher.

  37. Independently Thinking

    Sorry haven’t responded as my computer had home had been lent out to my wife’s friend for some unfathomable reason and the kids had taken their laptops out with them until late…then still wouldn’t let me use them! Thanks…

    Anyway, regarding the late counting and Everything’s and KB’s comments; I have info to indicate that prepolls in Colton will favour the Libs comfortably despite the late swing back to the ALP – and that the postals may fluctuate a bit but they did not come from a particular area or anything – it was random. With the absentees expected to break close enough to 50-50 I think Colton will flip, and the Libs are quietly confident of it too.

    Now what that means is that the seat total become Lib 23 ALP 22 Ind 2 – that set of numbers combined with the Liberal 2PP of around 53%, the poll showing most people in both Independents’ seats want a Liberal Government and Such saying he would look at where his voters put their 2nd preference – it all adds up to the Liberals. However, that is not necessarily how the Independents may choose. They could split.

    Fat lady ain’t singing yet.

  38. sykesie

    My attempt at a summary:

    Whilst the outcome of Colton, and to a lesser extent Ashford may be still somewhat uncertain (but certainly both more likely to stay Labor), I think the outcome will be either one of three scenarios, in increasing order of likelihood:

    1)Libs win both Colton and Ashford and have a majority. Seems incredibly unlikely.

    2) Libs win Colton or Ashford. Not especially likely. This would mean LIB 23, ALP 22, IND 22. Liberal minority government.

    3) ALP hold Ashford and Colton. ALP 23, LIB 22, IND 2. Labor minority government. This option is probably twice as likely as option 2 and several log orders of magnitude more likely than option 1.

    Quite simply, in my opinion, the party with more seats will form government.

  39. sykesie

    IT – the ALP scrutineers are still cautiously optimistic in Colton. One suggestion was between 75-150 votes in favour of Caica based on their modelling. It will obviously be close though.

  40. Edwina StJohn

    Paradoxically it seems like a good one for labor to lose. Better to go out with 22 seats and maybe come back in four years (Victorian style) then cling on and get thumped for a minimum of 2 terms ( NSW style) in four years or less.

    Besides look at how much of labors team are has beens whose best years are behind them.

  41. Patrick Bateman

    Thanks sysksie.

  42. Kevin Bonham

    I’ve seen people getting this wrong so just to be clear about it: in, say, Colton, there are not 6000 votes to throw. Yes there is 76% showing counted with 19.5K but the 76% is of total enrolment not of total actual votes. c. 6% won’t have voted meaning that the remaining vote number is probably c. 4500 of which 100 or so will be informal.

  43. argyface

    “The betting market was a shocker”

    not for the bookies 🙂

    backed in from $1.30 to $1.01 means some will punters will be sweating up quite badly this month

  44. Edi_Mahin

    Kevin is right, there is no way there is more than 5000 votes to be counted in Colton, and it highly unlikely to be much more than 4500.

    With Caica leading Barry by 440 votes, Barry needs to get 54.9% of the remaining votes if there 4500 votes left to count.
    He is doing much better than that but if the absentee votes break at 50-50 then it will depend on how many of them there are.

    IT do you have any information on how many absentee votes there are in Colton?

  45. Ekigozan

    Can anyone explain the huge 20%+ swings to Liberal in Port Augusta and Stirling North? eg. the Port Augusta booth had a 55% ALP 2PP in 2010, but in 2014 it was 68% Liberal 2PP!?!

    This is what has caused the state-leading 13% swing to Liberal in Stuart, the swings in the non-Port Augusta booths were much smaller on average.

  46. Psephos

    [in, say, Colton, there are not 6000 votes to throw.]

    We don’t say “throw” here on the North Island. We say “distribute.”

  47. Independently Thinking

    Sorry EM I do not – nor does my contact. I have been told to expect about 1,500 postals for Colton, about 2,000 prepolls but no idea about absentees.

    I agree with KB that the total number of votes will add up around the 94% mark and there will be some informals in there too as part of that 94%.

    I am told to expect that Barry will get 57% or a little higher of the postals and prepolls but closer to 50% of the absentees. It wouldn’t surprise me if the absentees went slightly ALP but that is my gut feel.

    Adding in all those figs assuming Libs stick to 57% on the postals and prepolls and 50/50 on the absentees then the ALP will win by about 40-50 votes, which is what Sykesie seems to suggest the ALP number crunchers feel.

    My Liberal contact swears the votes counted yesterday in Colton were postals.

  48. William Bowe

    New batch of votes added for Mitchell, where it’s pretty clear the Liberals are home.

  49. savemejeebus

    Kevin Bonham and Edi_Mahin. According to figures from 2010, there was a turnout of 22,000 in Colton with an informal vote of about 1000. Redistribution has added 1000 potential voters from West Torrens. Using 2010 turnout as a guide, this year’s turnout will be about 22,500 which means there would not be more than 3,000 votes to count. Given that the ALP’s lead is a little more than 400 votes and we have only seen a slight advantage to the Libs with pre-polling and postals, I think it is a safe bet that the ALP will retain the seat. The remaining votes will need to be over 57-43 to the Libs.

  50. Frodo Baggins

    I can’t see the Indies going with Labor, not after 12 Years of a Stale Labor Government and especially not after what happened to Oakeshott and Windsor(onto the Dole Queue)

  51. Toorak Toff

    Does anyone know at what stage the ‘informals’ which have only one box marked are included in the count?

    These, plus the donkey vote, will help Labor in the vital seats.

  52. Edi_Mahin


    If the figures of 1500 postals and 2000 prepolls include what has already been counted and the total number of declaration votes is going to be about 5500, a figure Kevin and I both agree with, then there would be about 2000 absentee votes to be counted.

    That would imply that Barry would need to make up 440 votes out 2500 and that leaves Caica with just under 100 vote lead if those votes break 57% to Barry.

    Still very much in doubt as those figures do not have to be far off for Barry to win.

  53. Edi_Mahin

    Yes Mitchell is definitely over although many have said it has been over since quite early in the counting in the seat on Saturday night.

  54. spur212

    Mitchell was a goner on the night for the ALP

    Just down to Colton. My gut says Caica will hold on even though it’s tight

  55. Independently Thinking


    Put simply, yes.

    But it would also mean Barry needs to gain about 52.5% of the absentee split which I can’t see him doing. Even the Libs are not saying that is going to happen but it is possible that when things are this tight a rogue batch can throw the result one way or another.

    I hope they don’t lose any ballot papers like in WA.

  56. sykesie

    Toorak, the ALP scrutineers tell me that those “informals” with only one box filled in were added in on Sunday.

  57. Edi_Mahin

    All we need now is some more results from Colton but I have to go to work extremely shortly.

  58. Kevin Bonham

    Re #139 we actually know the enrolment in Colton; it is 25512, up from 23517; the enrolment increase is more like 2000 than 1000. In Colton in 2010 there were 21118 formal ballots so if that proportion holds true there should be 22909 this time. There are so far 18860 formal so on that basis 4049 to go.

    However, there is a small catch here which is that for whatever reason the informal rate thus far is 2.8% compared to 3.7% in 2010. If we assume the new informal rate holds for the rest of the count then projected formal voting increases to 23201 leaving 4341 formal votes to be received.

    So assuming the end %age turnout is the same as 2010 and the lower informal rate holds then the Liberal target is marginally over 55%.

  59. enjaybee

    This is how I see it. In 2010 there were 23,517 voters enrolled in Colton. 1,373 didn’t vote. This election there were 25,512 enrolled. If we deduct say 1,400 non-voters this election, the total votes cast would be approx 24,112, say 24,000. 19,409 have been counted, leaving 4,703 to be counted. Some of these but probably not many would be informal. So say 4,700 in round numbers. If these on average break 55-45 Barry’s way he would pick up 470 votes thereby winning by 20 votes. If they break 54-46 in his favour he would only pick up 376 (not enough to win).

  60. Kevin Bonham

    On informal dec vote vs booth vote rates in Colton, in 2010 booth votes were 3.9% informal and dec votes 3% informal. So it could be that we’ll see an informal rate more like say 2% in the remaining dec votes, but this only increases the number of votes very slightly (I get 4377). There is no way there will be only three informal dec votes. 🙂

    I’ve just had a look at Ashford and the thing to note here is that final turnout in the seat in 2010 was very low at 91.8%. If that repeats then the Liberals need over 60:40 which is surely not happening. If turnout goes up to say 94% they might have a shot.

  61. Diogenes

    It’s Wednesday. Why haven’t they counted all the prepolls yet?

  62. sykesie

    I’m hearing whispers today’s prepoll count in Colton is only breaking 50.2% to the Libs. Around 850 prepolls counted.

  63. Independently Thinking

    If Sykesie is correct then it’s all over Red Rover (and I can’t see why he wouldn’t be).

    They need these to go minimum 55-45. I will admit the later prepolls would favour the Libs less, but the Libs need 55-45 overall in prepolls in Colton.

    Probably explains why Libs in HQ weren’t getting excited.

  64. spur212

    Apparently the local Channel 9 political reporter earlier said the same thing to what Skyesie @152 is saying. If that’s right, I’d say that’s pretty much it unless there’s a late shock.

    Superb effort by the ALP to hold onto 23 seats in this situation given how bad things have been over the last few months and years.

    Can’t see Marshall influencing both Independents. He might get Such, but Such and Brock, can’t see it … And even if he did manage to pull it off, I can’t see it working

  65. Wakefield

    Not sure why people are talking about 450 vote gap in Colton. Current gap from yesterday is 340. Libs need a bit over 53.5% of remaining c 4500 votes to get up. Very pleased to here Syksies input – assuming it is right.

    Some of the other seats are trending more poorly for Labor but as usual it is variable and the postals are likely to be the worst lot apart from hospital votes.

    Van Pellekan in Stuart seems to be very popular – for him to be winning in Port Augusta by clear margins is extraordinary. Don’t know anything about Labor candidate.

  66. sykesie

    Hi Wakefield, my understanding was Caica’s lead was 440 at the close of yesterday. According to the ALP scrutineers, the 850 prepolls counted have reduced that by 4 to 436. I don’t know how many prepolls are left to count.

  67. Aaron Vines


    Josh Vines, born Port Augusta but has lived in Adelaide since he was 4. Most of the swing is attributed, by Pt Augusta’s local press, to the fact that Josh wasn’t selected as candidate until only a few weeks before the election after the original candidate pulled out.

  68. Aaron Vines

    Disclosure: Josh is my brother.

  69. Wakefield

    Sykesie (spelling right this time) – quite right – the ECSA figures are 9650 to 9210. Dyslexia must have set in – come to look at it thats a bit like your name as well!

  70. sykesie

    You wouldn’t be the first person to spell my name that way Wakefield!

  71. Scott

    I suspect whichever party gets 23 seats will be the one to form Government.

  72. Outsider

    Colton just updated by ECSA. Caica’s lead now 452 votes.

  73. Independently Thinking

    So Caica went up 12 on Prepolls.

    Can’t see how Libs can pull 452 back on some postals and absentees. Would have to get miraculous 2PP flow, and I still think absentees will favour Caica regardless.

    Fat lady warming up.

  74. Outsider

    Colton. Labor 10,141 Lib 9689 2PP. 80% counted. Total votes (including informal) 20,404. Enrolled 25,512.

    Rough estimate based on 93% turnout (an educated guess) would be 23,700 votes cast, therefore 3,300 to go. Libs would need 1875 to get to even ie, 56.8%. Possible but not likely

  75. sykesie

    Labor minority government is now the firm favourite.

  76. Outsider

    Actually nearer 57% once informals taken into account

  77. Wakefield

    It looks like about a 57/43 split to Libs required now in Colton with about 3300 or so votes to count.

  78. Outsider

    Other close seats

    Ashford (77% counted) Labor ahead by 661
    Elder (75%) Labor ahead by 625
    Newland (76%) Labor ahead by 543
    Mitchell (79%) Lib ahead by 519

    If Labor ends up with 23 seats, it will hold 4 by margins around 1% or less. A bit of boundary tweaking could make each of them notionally Liberal at 2018 after boundaries are reset.

  79. Kevin Bonham

    I get c. 56.7% required in Colton now.

  80. Carey Moore

    Someone mentioned earlier that Marshall’s finished. If he fails to get a deal with the indies, that is true. He lost the unlosable election. The Liberals can sulk all they want about popular vote and ECSA not gerrymandering enough for them but the fact is they failed to take marginals – plenty of which were within grasp.

    Some might like to think of Marshall being a “Premier-in-Exile” like Abbott was after 2010 but that’s not going to happen. Marshall lost that election – and it was his ineptitude and overcautiousness that did it.

    So, if the indies support Labor, he’ll be less like Abbott in 2010 and more like Hewson in 1993. He might stick around for a little longer but I can guarantee that, if he’s not Premier after all this, he will not be leading the party to the next election.

    And one person who knows this is MHS. It’s no coincidence that, in the last few days, MHS has made himself more visible. The guy wants another tilt at the job and I don’t think it might be that silly of an idea. The ALP have shown that, regardless of how good the initial situation is for them, the Liberals will have to fight for government and need someone who is willing to fight.

    Also, unlike other Liberal figures, despite his conservative demeanour, MHS is for growing the city and building things, so he’s not going to meet too much resistance from people who like the long-term economic direction of the state. The only problem he faces is that he is a bit headstrong, Chris and Vicki would it difficult to pull the strings.

    But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We have no idea how which way those indies are going to go. And I couldn’t really make a solid prediction, except to say that whoever has 23 seats will have more chance, mathematically speaking (although it’s not a given) and that using opinion polls and newspaper editorials to bully them into supporting a side is only going to push them the opposite way.

  81. sykesie

    If MHS was the leader running into the election period, the libs would have had a majority of 5 or 6. He is the only liberal in the last 5 or 6 years who has really made any effort on policy development (he certainly had Rann and Foley on the run for a period there). Problem is he is well and truly despised by a fair number of his colleagues.

  82. Kevin Bonham

    My election post-wrap. Embarrassing as it is to be doing anything other than hiding in my hole on this one, having considered a Liberal win likely, I thought I should have a look at what happened anyway:


  83. Swing Required

    Many thanks to posters on this thread for the work they’re doing in updating seat figures and calculating votes remaining and percentages. It makes PB the first port of call to be kept informed on this.

    Conventional wisdom has been set aside in this election, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility for Weatherill to improve Labor’s vote at the next election (which he will need to do, obviously, after a redistribution).

    He’ll need economic luck, which is hard to see happening, but anything’s now possible.

    If Dan Van Holst(?) Pelikaan was called Smith, he’d bolt in, wouldn’t he? Can’t see too many of the others worrying the scorers much.

  84. spur212


    For someone outside the state, you did an excellent job. No one could have predicted this result off the publicly available data

  85. spur212

    I reckon the mortality of the grey vote could see the ALP potentially win all four Liberal marginals at the next election as well as retain all the seats they currently hold. Bit early to tell at this point but 2018 is when it’s predicted that this will have become a major problem for the Liberal Party nationwide let alone state by state …

    Think this point needs to be made just to emphasise how badly the Liberal Party have blown it this time!

  86. Independently Thinking

    Following on from Carey, unless I am monumentally wrong, the Indies will go with Labor and the Liberals will again be plunged into internal warfare.

    As much fun as that may be for political spectators, it isn’t good for the health of the state, which is one reason why Labor has done an appalling job on so many fronts yet got away with it: we need a strong opposition. NSW & Queensland also need them, but for different causes and reasons.

    How long will Marshall last? Who knows? He may stay on as the Libs seemed united under him for the first time in, well, decades, and he can improve. What they need is someone with the skills to devise some decent policies – the Libs mangled it badly this time, and someone to work on Marshall to make him media savvy.

    I am still going to be fascinated to see what happens in Caucus when the ALP sit down to it. Everyone knows it was Tom K who was leaking like a sieve to the Libs. Will Jay sack him from Cabinet? Will he let it be? I am guessing it will be Susan Close and Stephen Mullighan to be promoted to Cabinet to replace the hapless Portolesi and Fox.

    And how long before Don Farrell can wait before he can’t resist to scratch the itch of Jay Weatherill having the balls to stand up to him?

    Who said SA politics was boring or predictable?

  87. Jackol

    And how long before Don Farrell can wait before he can’t resist to scratch the itch

    I was wondering about that – I would have thought that Marshall wasn’t the only one who needed to win government to survive as leader. Surely Farrell and co have the knives out for Weatherill that only the possibility of forming government is staving off for the time being?

  88. Carey Moore

    [Conventional wisdom has been set aside in this election, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility for Weatherill to improve Labor’s vote at the next election (which he will need to do, obviously, after a redistribution).]

    Well, firstly, if he’s still there. He has a few fences to mend this time – the dynamics of which can be seen in IT’s post.

    Also, defending a 16-year-old government is a monumental task. We’ve seen the state of affairs after 16 years with NSW and Tas Labor and the last QLD Labor Govt wasn’t that much different. Coupled with the fact that Labor would have to gain at the next election to win, I really could not foresee any realistic way of it happening, barring the opposition leader being caught with a dead body in their car on the final week of the election.

    If Labor get a fourth term, the question will be: can the Liberals take advantage of the state being well past ready to dump its government in 2018 and clean up seats, giving themselves at least two terms, or will they just tumble over the line and get a majority of a couple of seats. That will depend on whether the ALP Government can keep its shit together and whether the Liberals can get theirs together and realise that wins don’t just get handed to them.

  89. Carey Moore

    Weatherill was never going to stay on as leader if Labor had lost. Even if he was Don Farrell’s best friend, it was not going to happen.

  90. Carey Moore

    And I agree on Mullighan and Close. I had said before the election that the Right and Left should get those two some front bench experience and then make them Leader and Deputy, respectively later on (when in opposition.)

    If Weatherill is dumped during this term (in government), it will probably be for Rau or Snelling – although the latter will see a lot of resistance from the left and the soft right.

  91. pedant

    Carey Moore @ 181: What is it about the ALP that it could even think about dumping a winning leader if it manages to stay in power? If the ALP gets back into power at this election, it should open up the caviar and say thank God, and not even think about leadership changes.

    On the broader question about winning the next election, while you are probably right about it being a long hard pull, it’s worth just remembering that the Coalition’s biggest federal win, ever, was in 1966, when they’d been in power for 17 years. Certainly the circumstances were distinctive, but such things can happen.

  92. Outsider

    This was posted on Dr Bonham’s website:

    “Thanks Kevin for all your efforts and comments in regard to South Australia. Always outstanding observations. I can tell you one thing, Kevin, that not too many public servants voted Liberal in SA last Saturday. People have observed what has happened to the public service in the other states and I know in my workplace many people changed their votes from Liberal to Labor, especially in regard to job security and penalty rates. The SA public service is the most aged in the country and workers were terrified of ending their last few pre-retirement years on the dole. I hope the Independents back Labor!”

    When viewed in light of Dr Such’s comments about the number of public servants in his electorate, it is an illuminating thought. Especially when seen in the light of other comments made by both Dr Such and Mr Brock, that they would take into account where their own supporters directed 2nd preferences, a point the media have either overlooked or misinterpreted. Neither has talked about a putative 2PP outcome. It is almost certain that amongst voters who gave Dr Such and MR Brock a first preference, a majority have directed second preferences to Labor. We shall see….

  93. Wakefield

    If the Indies happened to give Libs a go then I think Labor would retain Weatherill as leader because there would be a very good chance of the indies dumping the Libs at some stage and putting labor back in.

    Weatherill has done exceptionally well regardless of indies choice and the public wouldn’t be happy to see him deposed if he wanted to carry on – he hasn’t been leader for long and has changed the political scene a lot.

  94. Darren Laver

    So it looks like SA is still burying its head in the sand re: its electoral system.

    Only a handful of commenators here have dared to call for meaningful reform, but the focus in SA still seems to be on the whims and fancies of a couple of ageing independents.

    Sure, they will determine who forms government, but if SA won’t have a discussion about a new electoral model now in the aftermath of Saturday’s result, they never will.

    Democracy isn’t just about having a vote, it is also about how you count them.

  95. Carey Moore

    Well then talk about it, instead of trying to be the conversation police, you smug bore.

  96. Psephos

    Are you advocating PR? That would produce either a Labor government dependent on the Greens – and we’ve just seen how successful that was in Tasmania – or a Liberal government dependent on Family First. Or perhaps a Xenophon bloc would hold the balance and refuse to support anyone. You think this is a good idea?

  97. michael Quinlivan

    The sa system does not have rigged boundaries…..there is an attempt within the electoral act to make the boundaries fair based on the result of the previous election. But if the 2pp is a fair measure then they are not able to do that.
    maybe there is no way of doing so without pr.

  98. Darren Laver

    I am not going to demand SA adopt a particular model, but I think both sides of politics in SA should be giving reform serious thought and coming up with something that SA voters would be prepared to support in a referendum.

    If SA thinks its system is just fine, and does not wish to even discuss it, then be it on their head if their parliaments become increasingly unrepresentitve and unrepsonsive to their electors.

  99. Independently Thinking

    CM @ 185


    OK, I believe in multi-member PR. I would be happy with 9 x 5 or 7 x 7 and if that went into the Constitution would be happy to get rid of the Upper House, but I am dreaming.

  100. Psephos

    [The sa system does not have rigged boundaries…]

    Yes it does. The boundaries of Bright were changed at two successive redistrictings to put more Liberals in the seat so that Fox would lose. She was punished for being a successful and popular marginal seat MP. That is gerrymadering, or rigging. The “fairness” provision forces the public servants at ECSA to make political calculations in drawing the boundaries – which Labor MPs do we need to defeat so that the Liberals can win a majority of seats?

  101. Outsider

    Kevin Bonham’s blog post really explains the problem. Metropolitan Adelaide has a slight Labor leaning majority. The far less populous rural parts of SA have a strong Liberal leaning. This is what is producing the skewed outcome. The only solution, in light of these demographics, would be a move from single member electorates. Take your pick of systems. Each has its idiosyncrasies.

    It would be interesting to see, for example, what the outcome might be with a 7×7 Hare Clark system. Maybe Dr Bonham could model that for us if he has the time? It would dilute some of the demographic bias in favour of Labor we see at the moment. It may be the end of majority government in SA, except in very extreme scenarios

  102. Aaron Vines

    I believe the word Michael Q was looking for was ‘rigid’ not rigged.

  103. Outsider

    Of course in SA no referendum is needed to amend the constitution. Bi-partisan support for electoral reform would ensure its implementation. If pushed, I would go for a 7×7 Hare Clark model. It would occasionally deliver majority government but we would end up with a fair share of coalitions. And get rid of the Upper House at the same time…

  104. Frodo Baggins

    The question the Independents Bob Such and Geoff Brock will be asking themselves is do they want a job in 4 years. If they do they will back the Libs. If they don’t the Conservative electorate Indepedents will back a stale 12 Year old Labor Government and go the way of Oakeshott and Windsor.

  105. Independently Thinking


    Are you sure? I know we had one back in 93 about the electoral system that caused this mess we’re in now (the process of the trying to fiddle boundaries to fix the unfixable) – I am sure I voted at a Referendum for that.

  106. Darren Laver

    [ The question the Independents Bob Such and Geoff Brock will be asking themselves is do they want a job in 4 years. ]

    They are ageing. Surely retirement beckons?

    I doubt they will be running again in 2018.

  107. swamprat


    [Are you advocating PR? That would produce either a Labor government dependent on the Greens – and we’ve just seen how successful that was in Tasmania – or a Liberal government dependent on Family First. Or perhaps a Xenophon bloc would hold the balance and refuse to support anyone. You think this is a good idea?]

    Psephos is such an aristocrat, pointing out the horrors, with appropirat hypotheticals, of having a Parliament actually reflecting voters WISHES. God forbid!

  108. Carey Moore

    The Fairness Clause was indeed passed by referendum, meaning a referendum is needed to repeal or amend it. Therefore, any meaningful change (which would override the clause) would need a referendum to pass.

  109. Psephos

    [The question the Independents Bob Such and Geoff Brock will be asking themselves is do they want a job in 4 years. If they do they will back the Libs. If they don’t the Conservative electorate Indepedents will back a stale 12 Year old Labor Government and go the way of Oakeshott and Windsor.]

    The answer to that question is almost certainly, no. Both are over 60, Such has cancer and Brock has 12 grandchildren. I expect both will retire in 2018, so they are free to make their decision without any thought of electoral consequences.

    (Furthermore, Oakeshott and Windsor would have made exactly the same decision in 2010 even had they knew for a certainty they would lose their seats as a result, because they acted out of principle (and because they hate the Nats) rather than self-interest.)

  110. Aaron Vines

    Bob Such has already indicated that he turned down the possibility for a lot more money by retiring before this election, but stayed on to do his share to help his constituency. Personally, I think he won’t be too concerned about his re-election chances next time.

  111. Lev Lafayette

    “3000 astounding votes”

    They certainly are.

  112. Psephos

    The Libs should have learned from the Oakeshott-Windsor experience that the way to deal with independents is not to bully and threaten them. Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.

  113. Carey Moore

    [Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.]

    Nor have the Advertiser.

  114. Psephos

    What is the Advertiser saying?

  115. Darren Laver

    [ The Libs should have learned from the Oakeshott-Windsor experience that the way to deal with independents is not to bully and threaten them. Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.]

    Apparently a Murdoch rag in Adelaide had a huge headline screaming “We want Libs”…

  116. Carey Moore

    [What is the Advertiser saying?]

    Basically a headline saying “We Want Libs” with a story about those Galaxy polls, pushing the “respect the will of the people!” angle.

  117. William Bowe

    I meant, needless to say, “outstanding”. It’s been a long day.

  118. Carey Moore

    Well, William, your work covering this all has been outstanding.

  119. Darren Laver

    Yes, William’s coverage has been excellent.

    SA elections are normally a fairly dull affair, but with William’s work I have found this one most interesting!

  120. William Bowe

    Thank you Darren, and props for the apparent thickness of your skin.

  121. Outsider

    IT @ 196. I was in error. See section 88 of the Constition Act, which if I read it correctly, would need a referendum to move away from single member electorates. My memory from first year constitutional law in 1979 has faded!

  122. Carey Moore

    I must apologise to Darren. I misread post 185 and thought he was berating us on the thread for not talking about electoral reform.

  123. Kevin Bonham

    Oh dear this is good. Typically when you post a link to an article on Twitter you get a URL that includes a random string of letters. My article “SA Election: Libs Fall Short Of Majority, Again” has been assigned the following Twitter URL:


    (My bold for emphasis)

  124. Kevin Bonham

    (Don’t click on the link in #214; adding bold means it doesn’t work anymore. Direct link http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/sa-election-how-libs-fell-short-again.html)

  125. Darren Laver

    [I must apologise to Darren. I misread post 185 and thought he was berating us on the thread for not talking about electoral reform.]

    No worries, I have been called a lot worse here!

    And yes, I was referring to the SA political elite, media and general SA public rather than this site, which is the only place I have seen some ideas for reform.

  126. Wakefield

    Quite a few more counts gone up tonight. Ashford – Labor lead about 650 with probably 2500 votes to go – over 60% needed by Libs – no chance.

  127. Edwina StJohn

    Yes the “fairness” clause clearly worked as intended. Maybe South Australia could send some of its fairness experts to help out with future Russian referenda ?

  128. lefty e

    [Basically a headline saying “We Want Libs” with a story about those Galaxy polls, pushing the “respect the will of the people!” angle.]

    Well, I saw the gentlemen in question interviewed this evening, and if the seats stay at 23-22-2, it seems most likely Weatherill will remain Premier and ther will be an ALP minority admnistration.

    Brock’s big on 23+2 = stability. Which is hard to argue with.

    In that happy event, the Advertiser can go poll itself.

  129. spur212

    Some people on here might remember a user on here named “Bright Ideas” from awhile back.

    Surprise, he’s the new member for Bright, David Speirs!

    Had some interesting things to say a long time ago about the Liberal Party in SA a long time ago on here. The words “pie-in-the-sky” featured a lot in relation to Martin Hamilton Smith …

  130. spur212

    Repeating myself a bit. It’s been a long day

  131. Psephos

    [es the “fairness” clause clearly worked as intended. Maybe South Australia could send some of its fairness experts to help out with future Russian referenda ?]

    Maybe Putin can send the SA Libs a division of OMON Militsiya to help your hopeless colleagues seize power.

  132. Edwina StJohn

    Will you be moving to Adelaide Adam ? The last refuge of labor staffers ?

  133. Socrates

    Brock was reported to have had a second meeting with Weatherall yesterday. On top of the steadying in Ashford and Colton this looks to be decided. Certainly no happy dances in the Liberal camp. Another hamfisted attempt to bully independents has failed.

    Thanks to William and Kevin. B for the excellent coverage of an interesting election. I see in his article Kevin makes the point that proportional representaion on regional lines would not have helped the Libs – their problem is the skew of voters on geographic lines in a State where most of the people, and seats are metropolitan.

  134. Outsider

    It’s interesting to reflect on the city v country divide in SA, which is what underpins the disparity between 2pp statewide and seats won. Looking at the likely 2014 outcome:

    Of 13 country seats, the Libs hold 11, Labor 1 and Geoff Brock 1.

    Of 34 Metropolitan seats, Labor holds 22, Libs 11 and Bob Such 1.

    Going into the election, Labor had 11 seats on margins under 5%, the Liberals only 4. Therein lies the disparity. The Liberals could only win 3 of those Labor marginals. Its not really fair to blame the boundaries commissioners for the outcome. But with a constitutional fairness requirement for re distributions, given the state’s demographics, a move to a Hare Clarke system would go some way to redressing the balance.

  135. Outsider

    Correction. The Libs only had 3 seats on margins under 5% going into the election.

  136. Simon Katich

    @205 “What is the Advertiser saying?”

    I have 2 things to say –

    1. Who gives a F’ing Rats Ass what the Advertiser says, and
    2. Who gives a F’ing Rats Ass what the Advertiser says.

    Advertiser – by name and nature. Pages open for highest bidder. Damn one paper town. Shame the Independent didnt work out, but hey, who gives a F’ing Rats Ass about the Advertiser!

    Rough night.

  137. sykesie

    Re the fairness clause, I’d like to make a number of points (some of which have been made in here before):

    1) The fairness clause should never have to account for liberal incompetence in having previously lost Frome and Fisher. I mean losing Frome?? … when an ex-Liberal premier retired?? People might also remember Martin Hamilton-Smith hilariously proclaimed victory in that by-election a little too early … So there’s 2 seats that should be theirs.

    2) As Tom Koutsantonis pointed out on ABC radio on the election night, if the libs want the election decided on 2-party preferred vote, the ALP will actually bother to campaign in places like Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor!!

    Unrelated to the above, rookie leaders just don’t take their parties out of opposition to form government in this country. Marshall’s best hope is to hold out another 4 years as opposition leader and then transition to premier. His problem, however, is his life expectancy in his current job is now more likely to be 4 months than 4 years. MHS redux here we come.

  138. Simon Katich

    As far as those on the right saying its a rort and Libs should be ‘allowed’ to form government then thats fine, so long as we can have back those 9 long years of Howard rule post 1998. We can start from today if you like.

  139. Outsider

    On balance, I would like to see Hare Clark 7×7 implemented for 2018. Add Light to the list of “country” seats and there would then be 2 non-urban electorates and 5 urban. The contest for seats would then be very real, state wide.

  140. Simon Katich


    you think MHS? Not one of the others? Maybe even Alexy doing a Newman from outside the Parliament?

  141. Simon Katich

    [Key independent Geoff Brock might be leaning toward Labor to form next government]


  142. sykesie

    I think MHS would be the best leader for the liberals. He is the most policy focused and he deserves credit for some of his activities when he was leader. Marshall is a lightweight in comparison. As I mentioned in an earlier post, his problem, however, is he is despised by a number of his colleagues. Another bludgerite also pointed out that suddenly since the election MHS has become visible in the media, particularly commenting on the “unfairness” of the current electoral situation in SA. This was pretty obvious leadership posturing if you ask me.

    I expect Marshall will limp on as a leader for a while and then get nobbled.

  143. Ross

    If anyone has wondered why the declaration votes have taken so long to be counted, this extract from Antony Green’s blog of the Frome by-election in 2009 explains why:

    …..South Australia has a unique provisoon in its electoral act (yes, yet another one) that says declaration votes cannot be counted until the electoral lists from polling day have been scanned. This catches a tiny tiny number of people who lodged both a polljng day and a declaration vote…..


    ‘Vote early, vote often!’ Now where have we heard that before?

    Incidentally, Such is aged 69, but Brock seems to be hiding his age. I gave up after a quick google search of his bio. Does anyone know?

  144. johncanb

    Hare Clark works well enough in the ACT. Currently we have 1×7 and 2×5 and we are about to move to 5×5. It does mean Labor almost never has majority government, so has to depend on Greens or independents to get stuff through. But it works. At present we have a Greens Minister, and previously under Kate Carnell as Chief Minister the Libs had an Independent (Michael Moore) in her cabinet as Health Minister. I personally think it makes it more difficult for their medium-term political survival if the Greens/Independents choose to be part of Cabinet, but they seem to like the power it gives them for a short time.
    If the ACT was single member electorates, the ALP would be in power almost all the time, which would result in bad decisions. No party should have almost total dominance.

  145. Wakefield

    You would think it would be workable today for voters to be checked off on a central voters roll at the same time as being checked off at the polling booth or checked in as a postal vote. That would alert anyone who had already voted (most of which will be people with memory difficulty)and allow the pre-poll votes to be counted on the night of the election. People voting outside their electorate would still be a delayed count, but only for a couple of days while the location transfers occurred. No answer for postals but it would reduce the unknown factor by a lot.

  146. Diogenes


    Why is MHS despised by some in his party? I see him often at school drop off and he seems like a nice guy.

  147. Ross

    Yeah, Such is 69, but does anyone know how old Geoff Brock is? I’m just asking to ascertain how likely it is that both may retire at the 2018 election – whatever the consequences are of supporting labor. Such already qualifies for a generous pension, but I’m not sure if Brock does. That could be a decisive factor. Sorry if I’m too cynical.

    If Brock declares for Labor, then Such needn’t choose any side as his vote is purely academic. He can maintain his independence. Besides, if he becomes Speaker again, he will only need to vote if Brock votes with the Libs.

  148. Independently Thinking

    My mate in Port Pirie tells me Brock is either 68 or 69 this year, but I have asked him to check his medical records to make sure.

  149. Aaron Vines

    Just in:
    Labor SA just tweeted some of todays’ Colton count: 248 Labor to 173 Liberal. It could almost be a convincing win, if those numbers continue.

  150. Independently Thinking

    I was joking about checking Geoff Brock’s medical records @ 240.

    Port Pirie mate says Brock is turning 65 this year – the confusion was I had asked him what age would Mr Brock be at the next election. Sorry.

    Relatedly, both Such and Brock have succession plans with their policy advisor primed to run to take over from each at the end of their term.

  151. Ross

    Thanks. Retirement in 2018 could well be on his mind. If so, he may not care about the ‘Tiser’s polls. Besides, doesn’t ‘We Want Jay’ as the preferred Premier cancel out “We Want Libs’? The cheek!

  152. sykesie

    Diogenes – I was at a function a number of years ago and had a long conversation with a current opposition frontbencher about the whole wets v drys battle in the SA Libs. Lets just say Hamilton-Smith was certainly not a passive participant in this whole saga.

  153. sykesie

    Lunchtime at the Colton count today and the fat lady is warming up:

    Score at lunch
    ALP: 349. 57.1%
    LIB: 262. 42.9%
    Caica 539 in front.

  154. Independently Thinking

    It just occurred to me that the Galaxy Poll in Newland just before E-Day saying Labor 51-49 was pretty accurate (I think ALP will win 52-28) but in Mitchell it said the same result but the Libs look like winning 52-48.

    I wonder why the discrepancy? Did Hanna’s preferences in Mitchell throw things out?

  155. Independently Thinking


    At that rate the fat lady is about to burst forth on stage.

    Any changes to Ashford or Elder that might cheer up the Libs?

    I hear that the liquor store on Unley Road had ordered in a pallet of Veuve Cliquot in anticipation of a big delivery.

  156. mari

    @sspencer_63: SA confirmed at 23 ALP, 22 Lib, 2 Ind RT @JustinDiLollo Liberal Party can’t win Colton from here. ALP best part of 600 in front now.” Great news

  157. Ekigozan

    IT: I presume that the margins of error of those Galaxy polls were quite large, and the Hanna factor would have increased the variability as well, so a 3% difference between the poll and the final result is not particularly surprising to me.

  158. crikey whitey

    Spur212 @ 220 ‘Some people on here might remember a user on here named “Bright Ideas” from awhile back’.

    Posted Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    This is a much deserved poll for the SA Government, a terrible do-nothing government which will be plunging down the path taken by the WA Government if they are not careful!

    In WA the most powerful election ad run was one which asked views to name three things the Carpenter Government had delivered, you’d have just as much trouble doing this for the Rann Government.

    The Rann Government’s motto is ‘if we can spin it once, we will spin it a thousand times.’

    The government does nothing, it’s bullying and arrogant and refuses to create an ICAC because it has things to hide.

    Senior positions in government are stacked with Labor stooges and backbench MPs are ineffective (look at Bright, the local MP talks about cakeage fees and little else).

    The Opposition isn’t perfect and has a lot of work to do to form itself into an alternative government (particularly keeping Hamilton-Smith’s random and pie-in-the-sky ideas out of The Advertiser!) but we’ve just seen a largely dysfunctional opposition elected in WA, so Rann should be very fearful.

    His government is dull, he is boring and his Cabinet is arrogant and ineffective.

  159. Diogenes


    Sounds pretty spot on actually.

    Replacing Rann with Weatherill turned it all around.

    By the way, I have yet to meet anyone who gives a shit about whether Labor or the Libs form government (outside of the PB parallel universe).

  160. crikey whitey


    Your contributions (not least) feature on Frome by-election.

    A very interesting read.

  161. Diogenes

    The EC says prefs will be fully distributed on Sunday afternoon so we can probably put down the glasses then.

  162. Diogenes


    I was pretty spot on looking back.

    We got rid of The Marj name and Sherbon got the boot.

  163. crikey whitey


    ‘By the way, I have yet to meet anyone who gives a shit about whether Labor or the Libs form government (outside of the PB parallel universe).’

    I know lots of interested people.

  164. crikey whitey

    Oh and my thanks too, William.

    On your work on Election night and before and since.

    The Pollbludger is far and away the go to site for information.

  165. Diogenes


    The plane, the Stones and the footy are waaaaaay ahead with the people I talk to.

  166. Psephos

    To the well-known saying “Happy the country that has no history,” we can add, “happy the country than can afford to think about football rather than politics.”

    (The saying derives from Carlyle’s 1864 life of Frederick the Great: “Happy the people whose annals are blank in history.”)

  167. Diogenes

    [To the well-known saying “Happy the country that has no history,” we can add, “happy the country than can afford to think about football rather than politics.”]

    There’s a lot of truth in that.

    Things must be pretty good in general if the footy rates as more important than an election.

    Fran would no doubt disagree and say it’s a reflection of the systematic disempowerment of the downtrodden classes by the political elites.

  168. lefty e

    [sspencer_63: SA confirmed at 23 ALP, 22 Lib, 2 Ind RT @JustinDiLollo Liberal Party can’t win Colton from here. ALP best part of 600 in front now.” Great news]

    And thats the ball game punters.

    I wouldnt give the LNP 1 in 5 of negotiating minority govt from this position.

    Odds on, therefore: ALP holds in SA.



  169. Antony GREEN

    On scanning the rolls in SA, the Electoral Act has been amended since the Frome by-election so that the counting of declaration votes can begin before the rolls have been scanned. However, the Commission still scanned the rolls for all the closest seats on Monday, the data being available for use in scrutiny of declaration votes.

  170. Psephos

    [Odds on, therefore: ALP holds in SA.]

    Yes, but let’s not get carried away. The SA House of Assembly was the last chamber in any Australian parliament in which the ALP held a majority of seats. We are now in a minority in all 15 chambers. Also, we have polled a minority of the two-party vote at the most recent election in every jurisdiction (except Tas and the ACT, which have lower house PR).

  171. lefty e

    Indeed, Psephos. I celebrate relative to comparable disasters.

    It was an unexpected bonus, though, presuming the likely does occur from here. And its a real rib-tickler too,with strong elements of farce provided by the SA LOTO.

    More broadly, one has to look at the big picture: its not just the ALP, the Tories are coming up short a lot too. One bedeviled by declining voter affilation and socio-economic changes, the other by the rise and rise of rural independents.

    The old order is dying and the new is not yet born etc.

  172. Psephos

    It’s also often argued that long-term demographic trends are favouring Labor. The Liberals’ core constituency is middle-class Anglo Protestants, who are declining steadily as a proportion of the electorate. On top of that, young voters of all classes are strongly libertarian, and the Liberals are alienating them over symbolic issues like same-sex marriage and “asylum seekers.” I’m not sure I entirely accept this, since most voters become more conservative as they get older, acquire property and have children. But I think there is something in it.

  173. Psephos

    Next test of the theory that Abbott is dragging down the Tory vote all over Australia: Blain by-election, 5 April. Let’s have a thread for this earth-shattering clash, William!

  174. lefty e

    Thats true, and I agree it isnt all bleak. I have a feeling climate action will be a no-brainer for Gen Next, as SSM clearly is already.

    Which reminds me: didn’t Rudd bring back a focus on cities not seen since Whitlam, in the fleeting moment of the 2nd Rudd govt?

    Bloody good idea that, even if the execution was brief and poor. ALP could really steal a march there if they work that one up properly.

    Lessons from SA,and elsewhere: rural Indies will hand the LNP a headache in the regions, without the ALP spending a red cent. Battles are to be won in the cities.

    I guess Weatherill already figured this. Top makrs to the SA ALP on campaign strategy.

    But urban policy is there to be owned by some party. Who wants it? The GRNs will have a bloody good go at it if the ALP dont.

    Im of the view that much of the heat about asylum seekers is really about mounting traffic, eg.

  175. ShowsOn

    [By the way, I have yet to meet anyone who gives a shit about whether Labor or the Libs form government (outside of the PB parallel universe).]
    Get out more and talk to more people.

  176. Wakefield

    More votes up in Ashford – total vote count now 21,647 so less than 1000 votes to count and Labor lead out to 850. I guess mostly postals still to come so lead might retreat a bit.

  177. ShowsOn

    [More votes up in Ashford – total vote count now 21,647 so less than 1000 votes to count and Labor lead out to 850. I guess mostly postals still to come so lead might retreat a bit.]
    1/3 of voters in Ashford were new to the electorate. The fact the Liberals couldn’t win this seat should be a major embarrassment to them.

  178. sykesie

    Latest report from Colton scrutineers:

    ALP: 703. 55.35%
    LIB: 567. 44.65%
    Caica 588 in front.
    Postals just started, they are trending 52/48 to Libs.

  179. Wakefield

    Looks like more votes up in Light as well. Labor lead now 810 with about 22-2300 votes to go.

  180. sykesie

    Further Colton update:

    ALP: 824. 54.3%
    LIB: 693. 45.7%
    Caica 583 in front.

    About 500 postals left. 1000 prepoll/absentee etc

  181. Wakefield

    Now the Newland gate is closed – 21,400 counted so maybe 1300 more to count and Labor lead is 637.

  182. Wakefield

    Mitchell also all over – maybe only 200 votes to come and Lib lead is 480.

  183. spur212


    The Liberals major constituency are the over 65 cohort. Many of these voters are, how shall we say, mortal. It’s not that younger voters are somehow more libertarian in their views, it’s more that the over 65’s dominant phase politically was the period between 1949 and 1972. Their partisan ID was shaped by that period. When that group starts shuffling off their mortal coil, the Liberal Party’s grip on that age group will have been loosened significantly as the people coming into that age group missed most of the Menzies years. Possum wrote a series of posts about this phenomenon in 2009. It got covered over by the Rudd/Gillard split but now it’s come roaring back again federally (the Coalition couldn’t even get a honeymoon period)


    How this works out at state level is another story but I’m guessing it’s pretty much the same deal. Will be interesting to see what happens in SA because the next election is 2018, which is around the time this is meant to really come into play

  184. Psephos

    Yes, I remember Possum’s postings on this. I’m a little sceptical. It’s true that the “Menzies generation” is disappearing from the electoral rolls. (The youngest person who voted at the last Menzies election in 1963 is now 72.) But people get more conservative as they get older. There will be a lot of people who voted for Whitlam, or even for Hawke, who now vote for Abbott, and but very few who will have moved the other way. I think the changing class and ethnic composition of the electorate is more important. Both the old unionised Anglo-Irish working class and the old Anglo-Protestant professional and business class are disappearing. They are being replaced by not just one “new class”, but several – a non-Anglo low-skilled working-class; a low-paid non-unionised service industry working class; a highly-educated multi-cultural inner-urban middle class; an ex-working-class small-business class (the “white van” class); etc. Some of these trends favour Labor, some don’t.

  185. Simon Katich

    The way these postals/prepoll/absentee votes are breaking, does anyone think Hartley can come back into play?

    600 lead, >6000 to count. Oh, they would have to break 60-40. Scrap that.

  186. sykesie

    Close of proceedings for the day in Colton:

    ALP: 11,337. 51.2%
    LIB: 10,767. 48.8%
    Caica 570 in front.

    With roughly a little less than 1000 left to count tomorrow, libs would need to win the day with approx 78.5%.

  187. Simon Katich

    Oh, and the latest Hartley counting firms it up for Lib.

  188. lefty e

    I think there’s a feminised low-paid class in there as well, the post-materialists, the relatively unionised low-status professionals (eg teachers, nurses); a welfare class; etc but yes its a different terrain.

    Which presumably calls for new policy fronts that can link disparate interests.

    There’s no doubt others, but I think quite a few of these fit in to “comfortable, but pissed off about cities not being like the one the grew up in”, annoyed by the difficulty of getting around, parking, picking up kids, especially combined with working longer hours. Population growth and just standard skills immigration combined with poor plannning is behind a lot of this.

    For all his faults, Shorto is the type of guy that can do this sort of policy work (eg disability) and I just reckon the future of cities has a lot of votes in it.

  189. Kirky

    Interesting listening to talk back how trying to spin it so Libs can form government. Hello, the most stable is ALP with 23 seats and one of the independents as speaker and the other independent the swing vote. Pretty simple media. Deal with the result and let’s move on.

    And bless my mother, lives in Bright electorate near Brighton HS and said yesterday she voted for Chloe Fox, didn’t like the look of Steve Marshall and she can’t stand Abbott. Smart woman, my mother!

  190. Edwina StJohn

    Katy Gallagher must be very very cross tonight!

  191. lefty e

    Yeah, and if 2PP is going to be the big issue, let parties know beforehand, so they can:

    – campaign in their opponents safe seats, just for the losing vote share
    – forget intensive marginal seats campaigns, waste of time
    – The Greens, Nats, PUP, FF, Sex and everyone else can stay home on the day: no longer relevant to Australian democracy except as preference detours.
    – In fact lets just have two parties listed to save the hassle.
    – Ban indies. They only delay the relevant calculations.
    – Hell, ban electoral districts. Who gives a crap who won what bit – its the big game!

    Congratulations! Youve just invented the world’s first ‘two-party proportional’ system. Duverger is dead.

  192. Everything

    Well, not much chance of anything other than 23ALP-22LIB-2IND now.

    For some reason Elder hasn’t been updated since 18th….but the rest are based on a guess of remaining votes (2010 % turnout with 2014 roll) and (current Lib declaration %):
    Ashford: ALP by 700 votes (50.9%)
    Elder: ALP by 625 votes but declarations not updated
    Newland: ALP by 600 votes (49.4%)
    Light: ALP by 800 votes (48.8%)
    Colton: ALP by 570 votes (50.0%)
    Florey: ALP by 900 votes (52.7%)

    Adelaide and Mitchell will be clear Lib wins.

    So a 1 seat win with 6 seats within 1000 votes!


  193. johncanb

    Psephos and Lefty e are spot on in highlighting the disparate nature of the electorate and the fact that different trends affect different groups. I think the overseas born are not analysed enough. I think they generally are a conservative influence as migrants are looking for a better life so they are the classic ‘aspirational’ voter. But migrant groups are not all the same. The Anglos, Kiwis, Chinese, Middle Eastern, other Asian, former refugees etc are all different.

  194. shellbell

    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm | PERMALINK
    Next test of the theory that Abbott is dragging down the Tory vote all over Australia: Blain by-election, 5 April. Let’s have a thread for this earth-shattering clash, William!]

    Followed by the mayoral by-election in Willoughby on 12 April which will be fought out between candidates of shades of blue or green

  195. Carey Moore

    I can’t wait to see the Abbott effect on the election for Treasurer at the next Enfield Rugby Club AGM.

  196. Socrates

    I suppose it is all over now but at what point do some of these losing candidates concede defeat?

    At what point does Marshall concede defeat?

  197. Outsider

    The interesting thing about Mod Lib’s analysis at 286 is that it shows how well Labor’s vote has held up through the declaration vote counting in the 5 key Labor marginals which Labor looks to have held. 50% or better in 3, and not far off 50% in the other 2. This points to a remarkably effective campaign effort in those marginals. Federal Labor could learn a few lessons from the SA Branch I think!

    I just wonder why there have been no further updates from Elder?

  198. Outsider

    Update on Elder: http://www.ecsa.sa.gov.au/elections/2014-state-election-results-summary/house-of-assembly-district-results/pollingboothsummary/711

    79% counted. Labor ahead by 526. Declaration votes running at 54.2/45.8 in favour of the Libs. At that rate it will end up desperately close, with around 3,000 votes left to count.

  199. Scott

    @Outsider, I can see it becoming closer but not enough.
    Hypothetically, say 3000 votes left breaking at 57% for the Liberal’s. (1710 for Liberal and 1290 for Labor)

    ALP 9364+1290 = 10654
    Liberal Party 8838+1710 = 10548

  200. matt31

    Listening to the Spin Cycle on 891 this morning reminded me so much of the last three years. Everything from the journalists openly pushing for the indies to side with the Liberals, through to questions about Such’s health and whether he will be around for the next four years, through to talk of chaos if they side with Labor. Here we go again!

  201. Outsider

    Of course ECSA doesn’t tell us what type of declaration votes have been counted. The Libs would need to get close to 59% of the outstanding votes to win. I don’t really see that happening. On current trends Labor would still win by 200-250. Whether that is desperately close is a matter of perspective!!!!

  202. tomd

    Just thought I’d share a photo of the local corfluting a friend took while campaigning up in Whyalla: http://imgur.com/5jbp6V9

  203. Patrick Bateman

    [Indeed, Psephos. I celebrate relative to comparable disasters.]

    It is a remarkable result considering the national trend in the last few years. There was every reason at a macro level to think that the Libs would get in comfortably.

    I am still working out what it means. My current impression is that it is a combination of:

    – smart marginal work by Labor

    – our weird redistributing rules

    – dissatisfaction with Abbott

    – perception that SA is at risk re job losses

    – people actually quite liking the new hospital and Adelaide Oval (the latter is really great)

    – the SA Libs once again running a substance free campaign where their main policy seems to be to assume that they will definitely win and act accordingly

    IMHO, assuming it stays this way, it’s a great outcome for SA. Our economy is not strong, and simply could not afford to have another “small government” revolution where half the public service gets sacked. It could push a weak economy into a full blown depression.

  204. Patrick Bateman

    tomd – that is gold!

  205. Michael Cooper

    tomd – I think I know who would have won this poll!

  206. Jackol

    IMHO, assuming it stays this way, it’s a great outcome for SA. Our economy is not strong, and simply could not afford to have another “small government” revolution where half the public service gets sacked. It could push a weak economy into a full blown depression.

    While this is probably true, the other issue is Abbott. We know he’s a vindictive man leading a vindictive federal government. I doubt very much that it will not cross the Federal government’s mind to “punish” SA for not electing an LNP government, or at the very least assistance from the Feds that might have been forthcoming if Marshall had gotten up will be absent under Weatherill.

    Of course they have to be careful not to threaten Federal LNP seats in SA, but if they think they can blame Weatherill and/or the carbon tax I’m sure they’ll think they’re onto a winner.

  207. johncanb

    As you say Outsider, LP would need to get 59% of outstanding votes to win Elder and that is unlikely. In a SA seat I would have said victory by 200 to 250 votes is ‘very close’ but not ‘desperately close’. I reserve desperate for less than 100.
    Does look like the ‘Can you trust Habib’ flier made the difference. Playing on fear makes a difference with a significant portion of the electorate. I think Labor made a mistake with the brick wall background, as that really was racist. ‘Can you trust Habib’ would have been sufficient. Interestingly if they had said ‘Can you trust Carolyn Habib’, the fact that women are trusted more would have counteracted the Habib Muslim reference.

  208. Wakefield

    On current trend Labor win Elder by about 260.

    I see someone (and it was sort of suggested the Electoral Commission) feeding the Advertiser today that donkey vote is 1-2% and might be deciding Colton.

    Humbug. Once namse for parties were included on ballot papers the donkey vote droppped from around 2% or more to about 0.5-1% depending on demography (a bit like informal demography but not quite the same).

    So in Colton the donkey vote might be 0.75%. Thats say 165 votes. If the donkey vote didn’t exist then Caica is still 400 in front. And if the Libs had the donkey vote instead then the margin is still about 240.

  209. Swing Required

    matt31, I totally agree. I regularly tweet Matt and dave about their overt support for the Libs, even to the point of arranging ‘leaks’ known to Marshall beforehand, but presumably not to Weatherill, in their debates.

    It’s constantly Liberal talking points and their approach to the different sides is remarkable, with gentle questioning rarely interrupting speeches by Liberal guests, contrasting with aggressive, rude and constant interruptions with Labor guests. This isn’t a case of listener bias, it’s just too obvious 100% of the time.

    On top of that, we get ‘best mate’ Michael Owen from News, who has never had a god word to say about Labor.

    It didn’t work, though and it’s rather enjoyable listening to the numb reaction from them to their defeat.

    Then again, when you have an interviewing style where they questioned the Christmas Pageant Director as if he was a criminal, you’ve got a problem, as many listeners pointed out.

    I would have thought Matt Abraham would have learnt from his negative ruling over the Kevin Foley business, but he’s gone the other way. Says a lot.

    Does anyone have any info on his previous work before Adelaide 891?

  210. Swing Required

    Re Habib, how does the swing in Elder compare to the surrounding seats?

  211. Wakefield

    I think it is arguable that the Habib leaflet would cost Labor votes. See earlier post. Habib’s name is on the ballot paper – if there is a Habib name reaction that occurs anyway. The Labor leaflet quite likely to create an anti-Labor vote among quite a few voters given Habibs publicity in the papers

    There certainly is no evidence that it changed any significant number of votes.

  212. Patrick Bateman

    [Of course they have to be careful not to threaten Federal LNP seats in SA]
    I think that’s the problem they have.

    If they punish SA, then Labor will be all over it.

    Anyway, I will take the risk of Abbott-based punishment for the state over the certainty of Tea Party loonies pushing a Marshall government to sack everyone but themselves and the police.

  213. Edi_Mahin

    http://www.abc.net.au/profiles/content/s2185718.htm gives some of Matt Abraham’s background. What is not clear in that is he has had two stints with 891. I believe the Southern Cross editorship came in between the two stints.

  214. Edi_Mahin

    Elder is bordered by Ashford, Bright, Mitchell, Davenport, Waite and Morphett. So it has two Liberal successes on one side and Liberals greatest failure on the other plus some safe Liberal seats.

  215. sykesie

    It’s purely academic of course, but Caica is now 604 ahead in Colton after the first batch of votes this morning. 169 ALP, 135 LIB so far.

  216. Independently Thinking

    Great article


    but I seem to recall some other Independents wanted a stable government too and said if you replace the leader the deal is off.

    The Opposition managed to paint the Government as unstable and the whole thing came crashing down.

  217. sykesie

    Colton lunchtime update:

    Counted today ALP 417, LIB 370.

    Caica 617 in front.

  218. Carey Moore

    Looks like it will be a race between Croydon and Ramsay to determine the safest Labor seat, with the former having the edge.

  219. Wakefield

    Looks like the ECSA must have found a few Labor votes or miscounted last time. Labor lead back to 645 with about 2500 to go. Dec votes now averaging 48.5 ALP to 51.5 Lib so if that keeps up it might only reduce Digance lead by 100 at the end?

  220. Wakefield

    And Tony Piccolo in Light showing how it is done. Now winning Dec votes 54.3 to 45.7 with maybe 300 to count. Increased margin from 52.3 to 47.7 on election night to 52.8 to 47.2 – not many Labor candidates will have that result.

  221. Ron Tishler

    Digance now (3.29 pm)leads by 757.

  222. Outsider

    Today’s counting has reinforced my sense that Labor has performed exceptionally well on declaration votes in key marginals. Mitchell being the exception…

  223. Ekigozan

    Outsider 316: A lot of this can be deduced from the location of pre-poll centres and booths neighbouring the electorate where absentee votes are likely to be cast. If you have a good understanding of where and when people vote in an electorate it isn’t hard to deduce the likely flow of the dec votes.

  224. Psephos

    [Habib’s name is on the ballot paper – if there is a Habib name reaction that occurs anyway.]

    No, because on the ballot paper she’s Carolyn Habib, which is not nearly as scary as “HABIB.” “HABIB” could be Yasser Habib or Osama bin Habib. Whoever designed this flyer knew exactly what they were doing.

  225. Ekigozan

    Wakefield 314: That’s likely to be because the pre-poll centre in Light was in the more Labor leaning part of the electorate (Evanston).

  226. Wakefield

    Elder now all over – maybe 300 to count and lead 757.

    23/22/2 now definite

  227. Wakefield

    316 – Mitchell is not an exception Outsider. Labor went backwards in Mitchel 0.4% only. Compare with Ashford 0.6, Bright 1.2, Colton 0.3, Hartley 1.5, Newland 0.3, Florey 1.2, Elder 0.6.

    And marginals not much different to other seats – Labor Cheltenham 0.0, Enfield 1.0, Croydon 0.8. Lib seats Lab backwards Chaffey 0.2, Schubert 0.1, Stuart 0.4.

    Also Dunstan 0.9 and Adelaide 0.7.

    So generally small reduction in Labor% but hard to see a pattern unless position of booth as Ekigozan suggests. And in Light Evanston booth was only 54.3 to Labor so not sure that explains Piccolo standout of a 0.5% gain in declaration votes to date

  228. Wakefield

    And I think the declaration vote differentials in 321 put to rest any argument about a significant late swing to Labor given an expected gain for Libs from postal votes.

  229. Diogenes

    When do Brock and Such have to make a decision? Is it just before parliament sits?

  230. Outsider

    All in all Wakefield Labor put in an exemplary marginals campaign. Agree my call on Mitchell was a bit harsh. I was hoping against hope the declarations would favour Labor there but sadly not.

  231. Outsider

    Diogenes. There is no compulsion on Such and Brock to do anything should they so wish. Following the Dunstan/Kerin precedent, Labor would continue as the Government until the House first sits, albeit in caretaker mode. After electing a speaker, it’s first action would be to seek a vote of confidence. Assuming a rock and Such had chosen the do nothing option, neither would be speaker, so Labor would have to nominate one of their own, making it 22 all on the floor. If Brock and Such chose to abstain from the confidence motion, as Such did in 2002, it would be carried 23/22 on the speaker’s casting vote. Weatherill could then seek a new commission from the Governor. This option would give Such and Brock the capacity to bring down the government at any time. Politically, for them, it might not be such a bad approach. Maintaining true independence on individual votes and not being locked in to one side or another, whilst still delivering government to Labor, at least for the time being.

  232. Socrates

    Interesting that counting of the larger than usual number of early votes has not favored the Libs at all. Normally they tend to, but I think that assumes they tend to be particular demographics (that favor Liberals). As a larger number of people seek to vote early, it seems logical to expect that the early votes will tend more to match the overall voting pattern. This seems to have been the case.

  233. Wakefield

    Last big dump of votes in a marginal has improved Labor vote in Hartley – drop from election night back to 1.1 from 1.5%.

    So ECSA has done its job in getting the votes counted for House this week. At 91% counted that mostly just leaves some postals to come in, although after a week there can’t be too many of them.

  234. Everything

    Interesting factoid about SA Libs having votes in the wrong places:

    Libs have 5 seats with margins under 5% (1%, 2%, 3%, 3%, 3%)
    ALP have 9 seats with margins under 5%
    Ashford 1.9%
    Elder 1.8%
    Newland 1.5%
    Light 2.8%
    Colton 1.5%
    Florey 2.5%
    Wright 3.0%
    Lee 4.5%
    Torrens 3.2%

    Libs have 14 seats with margins over 10% (i.e. nearly 64% of their seats!)
    ALP have 5 seats with margins over 10% (i.e. only 22% of their seats)

    Libs have 3 seats with margins over 20%
    ALP have 0 seats with margins over 20%

    So even with a 2% swing NEXT election, the Libs would only just fall over the line into government with 24 to 26 seats!


  235. Swing Required

    The problem the Liberals have is that their really safe seats are mostly in the country. THis makes it difficult under the ‘fairness’ provisions, as there are few Labor country centres and those that are have already been absorbed into those country seats, in general.

    That leaves the city seats and we’ve almost got ot the stage where the only way to ‘fix’ the problem is an actual minor gerrymander, or a return to the bad old days of weighted country electorates.

    In 2018, the extremes are that the Libs will sweep in with 55% (something they’ve never done in SA?) or perhaps a mild swing of (say) 2 or 3% back to a popular Weatherill will see an election on new boundaries as tight as this one.

    One thing I’ve learned. Predicting the next election in Australia is purely a guess and rarely follows logic.

  236. Scott

    Wow, this is surprising. If he does not turn up to Parliament and Mr Brock supports the Liberal Party, we effectively have a dead heat.

    ALP Appoints a Speaker, 22 vs 23. Falls. Liberal’s then try and form a Government, appoint a speaker and the same happens. Surely Dr Such cannot leave us like this if Mr Brock does not support the ALP.

  237. Independently Thinking

    I am not so sure this makes much difference.

    I think it is clear Brock is going to back the ALP but I felt that Such was going to abstain. He certainly won’t be backing the Libs. And if there was ever a vote of confidence in the government, then both Indies were to back the government (unless something really awful was going on a la NSW Labor).

    So, that meant Labor and others = 25 (take away Speaker -1) = 24 and Lib = 22 in confidence motions.

    Now, with Such away (and non-paired) it is going to be Labor and other = 24 (take away Speaker -1) = 23 and Lib = 22 in confidence motions.

    Even if an ALP member or Brock was off sick, the Speaker (who is likely to remain as Mr Atkinson) would obviously give a casting vote to the government.

  238. Edi_Mahin

    Yeah this leaves it at the point that only Labor can form government.

    Or we have another election.

    We could be headed to a by-election in Fisher anyway, which the Liberals should win. However the SA Liberals are making an art form of losing everything.

  239. Greensborough Growler

    Another election on the current boundaries would likely produce the same result.

    Brock may end up Deputy Premier in the short term.

  240. Edi_Mahin

    What happens if Brock backs the Liberals, Atkinson resigns as speaker so there and no one accepts nomination as speaker?
    Or does Atkinson stay as speaker until there is a confidence motion passed in a government?

  241. Carey Moore

    I do wish Such a speedy recovery and hope this is not the first step to something worse (no, I am not going to speculate on a Fisher by-election right now.)

    If Brock backs the Liberals, it could trigger a constitutional crisis, leading to another election (which Brock will be in no interest to have – especially as the Libs will double their efforts to unseat him and will be able to more convincingly hammer their point home about hung parliaments.)

    I suspect he is going to back Labor anyway but this will just firm his resolve to do so.

    However, what is most important is Dr. Such’s health and I sincerely hope that journalists, politicians and staffers do not harass him too much.

  242. Independently Thinking

    I am getting a little tired of The Advertiser’s carping on the result and pressuring the Independents. If they think this will help the Libs – they’re wrong. Dr Such’s health will not make a difference to the running of the state and their reporting is starting to border on shrill.

    Like Carey, I wish Dr Such a speedy recovery and perhaps everyone involved should spend more time on policy development – Labor need to in order to get the state out its mess, and the Libs sure need to as they have less policies than most micro-parties.

  243. crikey whitey

    Independently Thinking

    It will not be only the Advertiser carping now.


    Back to their old favourite must have description.


  244. Scott

    Maybe there will be a By-Election in Fisher, with Dr Such endorsing a candidate 😀

  245. Scott

    If Dr Such’s health was an issue, why did he nominate for Re-Election?

    It’s not as if a hung parliament was out of the realm of possibility, with the Liberal’s needing 6 seats and the Government only able to lose two.

  246. Carey Moore

    Frankly, the Advertiser is one of the losers from this election. They completely read the pulse of the state wrong and their attempts to compensate for the egg on their faces with bullying headlines is just making them even bigger losers.

  247. Independently Thinking

    Scott @340

    I understand that when nominations closed he was not aware of the extent of his illness, awaiting medical advice.

    Like, I think I am safe to say, most of us, he did not abandon ship upon a possibly bad diagnosis but chose to go on, hoping for the best and knowing with modern medical practices he may well recover after a short break.

    (EG My father in law who was diagnosed with cancer in his 50s and after 6 or so months off work, with approved leave, returned and retired when 65 fit as a fiddle – and still going strong many years later.)

    Dr Such could have asked for a delay to the election but I doubt Mr Weatherill or Ms Mousley of ECSA would have been able to accommodate him.

    As I have posted previously, Dr Such has annointed a successor from amongst his staff but I would be very pessimistic that any Such protege, however well supported by Dr Such, would struggle against the Liberals: unless the By-Election occurred whilst the SA Liberals were in the middle of another one of their legendary blood baths – now, that would be ironic.

  248. Independently Thinking


    Do you recall the ’93 election? The Sunday Mail didn’t know how to tell SA Keating had won/Hewson had lost.

    I am told the then editor slumped into his office chair that night with a bottle of scotch and left everything to his staff.

    I was also told by a prominent Advertiser journo after the ’93 State Election that Labor would never again run this state – when I reminded him of his comment in 2003 he muttered an epithet and walked off.

    You’d think they’d move to the Daily Telegraph or something.

  249. Psephos

    There’s no “chaos”, Murdoch press. The Weatherill government stays in office unless and until it loses a vote of confidence when the House meets. If there are only 46 members present then Labor + Brock is a majority. If Atkinson is Speaker then the floor vote is 23-22. Even if the Libs win a Fisher by-election, Labor will survive with Atkinson’s casting vote.

  250. Independently Thinking

    If Brock says he will go Labor only if the ALP keep Weatherill as Premier then I think Don Farrell will be the first Senator to give birth to kittens.

    Not only that, Turbo Tom for all of his white-anting of Weatherill during the campaign could be given a blood nose by Jay – say a portfolio he really hates – and the Right couldn’t move on sufferance of losing government on the floor of the house.

    Geoff Brock can have a lot of fun, and do a lot of good for regional SA, at this rate.

  251. Psephos

    [If Brock says he will go Labor only if the ALP keep Weatherill as Premier then I think Don Farrell will be the first Senator to give birth to kittens.]

    A completely un-called-for remark. Farrell has shown admirable discipline and loyalty to Labor. He has twice given up positions he could have secured if he had been prepared to insist, in the interests of the party. Others could learn from his example.

  252. Diogenes

    My guess, with no insider knowledge, is that Such has a bony metastasis which will require surgery and radiotherapy.

    There would have to be a very high chance there will be a by election to whoever forms government is pretty irrelevant.

  253. Patrick Bateman

    What is actually wrong with Such?

  254. Diogenes


    We don’t know officially. He has prostate cancer and had a prostatectomy about nine years ago. He is in Flinders at the moment on extended leave.

    We don’t even know if it is related to the prostrate cancer.

  255. Psephos

    [prostrate cancer.]

    Nice to see even doctors make this common mistake.

  256. Patrick Bateman

    Cheers Diog.

    This might sound terrible – but if he could make it through the campaign, surely he could tell us who he’ll back before disappearing?

  257. Psephos

    [This might sound terrible – but if he could make it through the campaign, surely he could tell us who he’ll back before disappearing?]

    It doesn’t matter who he backs unless he’s in the House to vote. The Libs won’t give him a pair.

  258. Diogenes

    When does a decision have to be made? When parliament sits?

  259. Diogenes

    The Libs can’t possibly form government so Brock has to back Labor and make the best of it.

  260. Edi_Mahin

    Brock does not have to back Labor for Labor to form government. He could abstain like Such did in 2002 and it looks like Such is being forced to do this time.

  261. Psephos

    If neither indy votes, the numbers will be 22-22 assuming Labor provides a Speaker. So long as Such is absent, Labor will stay in office unless Brock defects.

    Question: Can the House give Such indefinite leave by resolution, or does the state Constitution say his seat will be declared vacant after a set period of non-attendance?

  262. Diogenes


    Finnigans has to turn up occasionally to avoid being tossed out so I imagine its the same for Such although hes in the Lower House.

  263. Diogenes

    In the Constitution, parliament can grant leave.

    [Vacation of seat in Assembly
    31. (1) If any member of the House of Assembly—
    (a) for twelve sitting days consecutively of any session of the House of Assembly without the permission of the House entered upon its journals fails to give his attendance in the House; or]

  264. Psephos

    OK, so he can spend the next four years in hospital if he wants without losing his seat, although I imagine the voters of Fisher will get a bit snippy about not having an MP after a while.

  265. Diogenes

    Presumably permission of parliament involves a vote which Such would win. But to vote indefinite leave to someone potentially not intending on coming back would be highly questionable and the Governor might step in.

  266. Psephos

    I don’t think the Governor has any grounds for stepping in unless the Constitution is being breached. But it would certainly look bad for someone who is too ill to attend Parliament to be given leave for more than, say, three months. I think the general view would then be that he should resign.

  267. Carey Moore

    Such seems like a classy fellow and if, after this leave, he decides he can’t return to normal duties, I think he’d do the right thing and resign.

  268. Diogenes


    The Governor could argue that the intention of the Constitution is being breached. The leave clause appears only intended as a temporary measure, not an indefinite leave.

  269. Wakefield

    ECSA has put up the figures for Legislative Council for 92% counted – so just about final apart from some postals amd maybe some odds and ends. The split of votes between all the parties looks remarkably consistent with the original poll booth vote even with almost a third of the votes were counted this week eg the X team had 12.9% on election night and still has 12.9%.

    Antony Green calculator result same as election night – 4 Lib, 4 Labor, X group, FF and Greens.

  270. crikey whitey

    Bob Such is quite a lot classier than others.

    It appears that his affliction is prostate cancer.

    Which would be ‘fine’ in itself, contained at a certain point.

    The ongoing danger is that it may metastise. Into bone and other parts of the body.

    I think someone mentioned bone, possibly that is the case.

    Sudden pain happens.

    Which calls for decisions. Chemo, for one. And pain medication.

    I presume, with no knowledge whatsoever, that Dr Such is suffering to the degree that he is unable to go on. At the moment.

    My thoughts are with him, his wife and his family.

  271. spur212

    Weatherill’s about to hold a press conference. Some are saying if could be a decisive one

  272. Swing Required

    Brock has decided to support Labor.

    All over, red rover.

  273. spur212

    Done deal. Amazing result for the ALP against all odds. Now let’s hope the situation makes them get their act together!

  274. SoulmanZ

    Dio –

    9 year lag time for new mets would be unusual. Surgery for bone mets would be unusual, pretty much only happening for a fracture or cord compression, both of which unlikely with prostate ca.

    Unless there is a solitary liver met for resection the weight of probability is against the prostate being the issue, right?

  275. Diogenes


    I think solitary liver mets are very rare in prostate cancer. It’s normally disseminated by the time you get liver mets.

    Could have a local recurrence of the prostate cancer though.

    Of course it could be completely unrelated.

  276. lefty e

    Its Labor in SA. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-23/sa-to-form-minority-labor-government/5339398

    And so the LNP dream of ‘wall to wall’, just as the ALP had not so long ago, dies in a ditch in Adelaide.

    I never did work out the SA LNP leader’s name. Guess it doesnt matter now.

  277. Edwina StJohn

    So who will get the 2 cabinet vacancies? (Assuming the 3rd is Brock’s and Jai doesn’t expand the size of cabinet).

  278. Carey Moore

    While Weatherill will probably give the entire cabinet a reshuffle, rather than just fill the gaps (the current cabinet was a war cabinet to prepare for the election), the cabinet members who will not be returning to parliament are Michael O’Brien (Right), Chloe Fox (Right) and Grace Portolesi (Left). I and a few others have been saying that Stephen Mullighan (Right) should be fast-tracked to cabinet as he has future leadership potential. Susan Close (Left) should also be brought up too – I personally see her as a potential Deputy Leader.

    As for other people who aren’t in cabinet right now: Caica might get a return and possibly some northern suburb talent, such as Lee Odenwalder, Zoe Bettison or Leesa Vlahos (the latter two might be preferable on the grounds that female representation in cabinet is down 2, with the loss of Fox and Portolesi)

    We shall wait and see.

  279. Edwina StJohn

    Does that mean Carey , Jai will expand cabinet given he has given Brock a spot ?

  280. Carey Moore

    [Does that mean Carey , Jai will expand cabinet given he has given Brock a spot ?]

    No idea. The current cabinet has 13 members. I actually don’t know if that’s on par with an average SA cabinet or if it’s larger/smaller.

  281. Psephos

    Why don’t you make yourself useful and find out who the next SA Liberal leader will be, Edwina?

  282. Martin B

    On LE’s note, just FTR the conservatives last held coast-to-coast power between 26 May 1969 (when the Libs came to power in Tas) and 2 June 1970 (when the ALP came to power in SA).

  283. ShowsOn

    I’m loving the fact the Liberals won 22 seats in the House.

    This means their next leadership ballot will be tied 11 – 11.

  284. Carey Moore

    [I’m loving the fact the Liberals won 22 seats in the House.

    This means their next leadership ballot will be tied 11 – 11.]

    MLCs get a vote too. So it would be 30 total votes and a tied room would be 15-15

    But really, so what? Any even number can lead to a tie and this is the largest the Liberal party room has been since the 2002 election.

  285. ShowsOn

    [MLCs get a vote too. So it would be 30 total votes and a tied room would be 15-15]
    Untrue. The S.A. Liberal leader is chosen purely by a vote of House of Assembly MPs.

  286. Carey Moore

    [Untrue. The S.A. Liberal leader is chosen purely by a vote of House of Assembly MPs.]

    Oh, right you are.

  287. Independently Thinking

    It would be funnier if there was an informal vote.

  288. Elvis

    Decent bloke, Weatherill. Good on him.

  289. crikey whitey

    Posting these two links for future reference.
    Both contain commentary on SA Election results.

    Labor to form government in South Australia

    Premier Jay Weatherill announces the independent MP Geoff Brock has given his support and will receive a ministry.

    The Guardian.com, Sunday 23 March 2014 14.01 AEST
    Jump to comments (801)


    Seat of the week: Adelaide
    William Bowe | Mar 23, 2014 4:41AM | EMAIL | PRINT


  290. Leroy Lynch

    [Tips and rumours
    Mar 25, 2014 12:38PM


    Oz journo misses his chance. Which journalist at The Australian was in line for a position in Steven Marshall’s office had he become South Australian premier, but instead is left venting in the pages of the national broadsheet instead? As sympathetic as we are to employees desperate to leave the Oz, it prompts this thought: why no disclosure from journalists in such circumstances?

    Perhaps there are even grounds for a cooling-off period. Matthew Franklin, for example, hadn’t worked at The Australian for several months before turning up as Kevin Rudd’s chief spinner in the brief Rudd Mark II era. But when journalists seamlessly transfer from reporting to spinning for those they reported on the day before, it doesn’t look quite as clean-cut. Discuss …]

  291. crikey whitey

    ‘Which journalist at The Australian was in line for a position in Steven Marshall’s office had he become South Australian premier,…’

    Don’t know who that would be. Pray tell.

    Same deal as MP’s ‘moving on’ to private enterprise.

  292. crikey whitey

    Hope I have the right link. If fails, pasting the content.\


    Kevin Naughton | 27 March 2014 Jassmine Wood

    While the state Liberal Party bemoans the way the numbers fell on March 15, it might want to re-visit the way it did its own numbers in pre-selecting a candidate in Colton, the seat that ultimately cost it government.

    The pre-selection hit the headlines a couple of times: in late 2012 when it was delayed and re-opened in controversial circumstances, and again in 2013 when the decision was appealed.

    When the Colton branch eventually had its say on who would run in the 2014 state election, the result was 25 votes to 21 in favour of former Federal Police officer Joe Barry.

    Party insiders have told InDaily that unsuccessful candidate – and frontrunner before the re-opening of nominations – Jassmine Wood had scored the most personal votes, but lost after preferences were cast by the remaining three candidates, none of which went Wood’s way.

    The Colton stoush started in late 2012 when then leader Isobel Redmond joined with left faction leader and federal MP Christopher Pyne to reopen nominations in the seat.

    Up until that decision, the favoured nominee was Wood, who had previously bloodied Labor’s Tom Koutsantonis in the 2010 state election with an 11.7 per cent swing against him in the Labor stronghold of West Torrens.

    In that 2010 result, Koutsantonis won 56.7 per cent to 43.3 per cent – a margin he rebuilt at this year’s election, winning 60.8 per cent to 39.2

    Jassmine Wood’s reputation was riding high and she was considered a “shoo-in” for the Colton pre-selection – a winnable seat.

    The 33-year-old local business owner declined to talk to InDaily today about the pre-selection, but her supporters remain outraged at her treatment.

    Their main beef is that “factional meddling” to secure the left’s numbers in the party was placed above the “need to actually win an election”.

    Wood also had her own beef which came to light in February 2013, when The Australian reported details of a statement she made as part of an appeal to the Liberal Party disputing the integrity of pre-selection for the seat.

    Wood had alleged unfair treatment and grave irregularities in the ballot – a claim that was rejected by the party’s appeals committee.

    Wood was a member of the party’s right faction, but her supporters says she had angered some when she backed a failed bid former State Director Bev Barber for a Senate vacancy spot in 2012.

    On the day of the pre-selection vote in February last year, the Left had two players in the race. They placed Scott Young at the top, Joe Barry second and Wood at the bottom.

    Inexplicably, the Right went for Joe Barry at the top and Wood below him, leaving her stranded unless she gained a majority of first preferences.

    InDaily understands she fell two votes short.

    The tight numbers game had some risks, party insiders say.

    “The Right got so wrapped up in trying to keep out the Left’s top candidate, they ensured that their own best prospect got rolled,” a senior party insider told InDaily.

    “Jassmine Wood was a good looking candidate, had a profile courtesy of her runs in West Torrens and Hindmarsh and had official links with key ethnic groups.

    “So while the factional power players complain about unfair electoral systems depriving them of Government, they actually deprived themselves because their need to meddle got the better of them again.”

    And when the votes were cast two weeks ago, Labor’s Paul Caica defied expectations and retained the seat of Colton – the crucial 23rd seat that gave Labor the edge.

    The finger pointing has already started in the Liberal Party and this result will be key among the decisions made that may have back-fired.