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South Australian election minus three weeks

An assortment of electorate-level news snippets as the March 15 South Australian state election moves closer into view.

There are now less than three weeks to go until polling day in South Australia (and indeed in Tasmania, which I’ll get around to eventually), which is around the time I start to take state election campaigns seriously. The all-important television advertisements can be viewed here for Labor and here for the Liberals. As is usually the case when a party has been in government for over a decade, it’s the opposition’s advertisements that pack the greater punch.

What follows is a quick review of noteworthy local developments, which have been drawn upon to update the relevant entries in the Poll Bludger election guide:

Napier (Labor 16.1%): Labor’s candidate to replace Michael O’Brien in its second safest seat is Jon Gee, secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union’s vehicle division. Gee prevailed in a vote of the party’s state executive over Dave Garland, a factionally unaligned official with the National Union of Workers. Following the collapse of O’Brien’s plan to relinquish his seat to Senator Don Farrell, Gee’s endorsement was described by David Washington of InDaily as “another assertion of Premier Jay Weatherill’s authority over the party’s dominant Right faction”. While Gee’s union is aligned with the Right in South Australia, it is not part of the bloc associated with Farrell and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association. Lauren Novak of The Advertiser reported that Weatherill was keen to see the seat go to Gee due to his “close connections with the northern suburbs and Holden”.

Wright (Labor 4.6%): Danyse Soester, who has gained a high media profile as a parent concerned with the school sex abuse scandal and its handling by the government and the Education Department, has announced she will run as an independent against Education Minister Jennifer Rankine. Soester has won backing from Nick Xenophon, and has ruled out directing preferences to Labor or supporting them in government in the event of a hung parliament. Her announcement scored her a front page photo story in The Advertiser, although it was soon followed by a column in which the paper’s Amanda Blair dismissed Soester as “a poster girl for the conspiracy theorists”, and “a blow-up doll inflated at every media opportunity by the likes of Nick Xenophon and shadow education minister David Pisoni”.

Ramsay (Labor 17.8%): Anthony Antoniadis, the Liberal candidate for Labor’s safest seat, has gone to ground following the emergence of Facebook posts in which he made unflattering reflections on residents in the area he aspires to represent. The comments generally related to his experiences as manager of a news agency at the Parabanks Shopping Centre, a typical example reading: “Welcome to Salisbury. A mother speaking to her 6-year-old son: ‘Get out of my f*@%ing way and sit down. I want to play Keno.’”

Reynell (Labor 10.5%): Daniel Wills of The Advertiser reported on Thursday that multiple local residents had been left with “sorry I missed you” messages in very different styles of handwriting, all purporting to be from Labor candidate Katrine Hildyard.

Legislative Council: Liam Mannix of InDaily reports that the man who made preference harvesting a household name, Glenn Druery, is on a retainer from the state branch of the Shooters & Fishers Party. However, his endeavours might be complicated by a rival alliance based around the Liberal Democratic Party, with which Druery was once associated. The latter grouping has dubbed itself the Fair Minor Party Alliance, with Liberal Democrat principal Michael Noack claiming it encompasses five of the 11 small parties planning to run. Druery accuses it of running “front groups in the form of Smokers Rights and Hemp”. The distinction between the rival groups appears to be fairly loose, with most if not all micro-parties likely to preference each other ahead of the major and established minor parties.

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30 comments

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Rational Leftist
Guest
Just been looking at the Party tickets for the Legislative Council. Most are pretty much what you’d expect. Xenophon group give their first preferences to D4D and then an independent group and the multicultural party. After that, it’s a split ticket with one favouring the Libs then Family First and another doing so for the ALP then the Greens. While I haven’t really seen any polling to suggest how people might vote for the Legislative Council, I decided to do an estimation of what the result would be if the state voted more or less like they did for the… Read more »
Toorak Toff
Guest
This a pretty dead site considering the election is only a couple of weeks away. Guess one side has given up and the other is flat chat on the hustings. IMHO Labor has no hope in Bright, Hartley, Ashford, Colton and Newland. It will be lucky to hang on to Lee, Elder and Mitchell. It is seriously at risk in Wright, Giles and Reynell. It cannot be complacent about Florey, Light, Torrens or Mawson. Given that it will certainly lose five seats, it needs to hang on to every one of its slightly less vulnerable seats (and hope that independents… Read more »
Toorak Toff
Guest

Elder is possible for Labor as:

1. There was a big swing against Conlon last time.

2. Labor has a strong candidate who has run for Boothby at the past two federal elections.

3. The Liberal candidate is a local councillor who, some say, is not that popular.

Rational Leftist
Guest

[Pretty sure I just heard Ch 9 saying there was internal ALP polling showing Labor retaining Elder, which would be quite a surprise.]

Yeah, I tend to take that “internal polling” kind of reportage with a grain of salt – similar as I do the reports that Liberal internal polling shows them winning all but a couple of seats, or whatever it is…

Diogenes
Guest

Pretty sure I just heard Ch 9 saying there was internal ALP polling showing Labor retaining Elder, which would be quite a surprise.

Diogenes
Guest

My favourite candidate name is Terina Monteagle, who sounds like she would have been accidentally engaged to Bertie Wooster in a previous life.

Wakefield
Guest

Hopefully the other micros are alert to Druery working for Shooters – guarantees fiddling of preferences to try and suit Shooters. I’d be sitting in the room with Druery helping fill out the forms if I was a micro rep!

With X in the Senate – voters had no problem finding him well down the list – but when the candidates are Darley etc not X then many will have other priorities.

Toorak Toff
Guest

On another rare occasion when Labor drew first position for the Legislative Council, the artful Peter Duncan remarked: “What happened to God?”

One good thing this time is that Ann Bressington is not standing for re-election. She came in on Nick Xenophon’s coat-tails but quite soon fell out with him and demonstrated that he is not too good at picking quality running mates.

As for Giles, at least one Labor guru has expressed unease because the party’s new candidate has been unwilling to visit Roxby Downs where there’s a bundle of votes to be won.

Wakefield
Guest

IT 20 The Leg Council draw is amazing – 4 of the 6 parties with MLCs currently in the top 5 spots – FF and X left down the line. And good to see none of the preference harvesters got top spot – thats one of the major advantages of the mulriple tiny groups – bigger chance of harvesting donkey 1% as well which is 1/8 of a quota. And ALP getting No 1 spot just carries on their luck.

Socrates
Guest
The media coverage has been pretty mixed for the government this week. InDaily has been running a series of stories on the dodgy Gillman land deal (I do not know for sure if there is corruption but cronyism is alive and well in Adelaide politics and business). It smells bad. The rail line to Seaford opened on time. Some media bagged the “slow” trains. This is quite ignorant – a new more frequent train timetable will start mid year when all the new trains have arrived. Meanwhile most of the user comments seemed very polsitive. I attended the opening and… Read more »
Independently Thinking
Guest
Independently Thinking
Wakefield @ 13. I agree with you now, the draw is very bad for the Xenophones and I think 1 it will be. Until the preference deals come out I am not willing to have another guess! I thought your comment @14 [Kooks like 63 candidates for Leg Council] was a fair comment on some of the candidates. In Lee, Johanson is doing a double sided HTV card – or so he tweeted. Johanson will get more Liberal leaners to him than Labor leaners and I suspect the preferences will go back whence they came, if it comes to that… Read more »
Psephos
Guest

I was wondering about Giles, too. It’s just the kind of seat Labor tends to lose when a sitting member retires.

Rational Leftist
Guest

I wouldn’t mind X group getting two at the expense of Family First 😛

Diogenes
Guest

Wakefield

I think X group will get two with prefs.

Rational Leftist
Guest

Just adding to Wakefield’s reporting: Johanson is above Labor in Lee but below the Liberals. So a donkey vote would help him in a v. Labor 2CP race but not a v. Liberal one.

Also, Bob Such got top draw in Fisher but he’s not really under threat at all.

Rational Leftist
Guest

So, does anybody think Giles will flip? Or will it be very close? Or is it just Liberal Party bluster?

Wakefield
Guest

Bad slip. Make that “Looks like 63 for Leg Council”.

Wakefield
Guest
IT 5. There is no way X group will elect 2 LC members – they will be lucky to elect 1. There just wont be people handing out leaflets when X is not a candidate. Not sure what sort of arm twisting might occur with other independents re HTV cards – wait and see. ALP has done very well on HA ballot draw. It will get donkey vote (probably worth around 1% of vote in elections with a bit of disillusionment around) in Ashford, Colton, Elder, Florey, Light, Mawson, Newland, Reynell, Torrens and Wright. Libs in Adelaide, Bright, Giles, Hartley,… Read more »
Rational Leftist
Guest

Labor, Liberals and Greens are the only parties that will be contesting all 47 House of Assembly seats + the Legislative Council. Family First will only be contesting 42 House seats + the LC (every seat except Adelaide, Bragg, Dunstan, Heysen & Unley)

More info, courtesy of Antony Green, here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/sa-election-2014/guide/candidate-summary/

Rational Leftist
Guest
I think Lee will go Lib, TBH. I think Johanson will have a presence but not enough. His preferences will decide things and I predict they’ll favour the Libs. The problem with the sex abuse activists is their cases are actually valid and serious, and no politician is going to call them a stooge or an idiot for obvious reasons. However, it does muddy the issue right up when it’s turned into a partisan one. And the problem is, once the election is passed, many of these candidates will suddenly find that a lot of their backers suddenly stop caring… Read more »
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