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South Australian election minus one week

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

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

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

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

And six electorate-level campaign updates:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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