The Sunday Mail has a Galaxy poll of South Australian state voting intention (paywalled), which finds that even after 15 years the Liberal Opposition is unable to quite break the back of the Labor government. The two parties are level on two-party preferred, which actually represents a 3% swing to Labor after the result of the March 2014 election, which the Liberals were stiff not to win. Since the boundaries have since been redrawn on terms favourable to the Liberals, this result suggests an election that’s now eight months away could go either way.

However, two-party analysis is gravely complicated by Nick Xenophon’s party, registered locally as SA Best, which is credited with 21% of the primary vote. This leaves the major parties on just 34% for Liberal and 28% for Labor, with respondent-allocated preferences evidently flowing heavily to Labor. Of the other parties, the Greens and One Nation are on 6% apiece, while Cory Bernardi’s overhyped Australian Conservatives is on 3% – potentially enough to be in the hunt for an upper house seat, but less than half what Family First, with which the party has merged, was able to manage in 2014.

Despite Labor’s competitiveness on two-party preferred, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall has opened a clear lead over Jay Weatherill of 39-30 as preferred premier, which compares with 31-all at the last such poll way back before the summer power crisis in September. The poll also finds what might be thought surprisingly strong opposition to the recently announced state bank tax, with 28% in favour and 55% opposed, although this follows an excessively wordy question that identifies its $370 million in projected revenue and the view that “some analysts say the bank will pass this tax on to their customers”.

The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 885.

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