With the South Australian Election tomorrow I will make my prediction of Lower House and Upper House seats, starting from the safest Labor seat and working to the safest Liberal Seat. See (1) for the current seat pendulum.
Safe Labor Seats and will hold
Croydon: Labor held currently by nearly 20 percent this seat has been held for Labor by Michael Atkinson since 1989. He has been speaker of the current lower house and is retiring along with partner Jennifer Rankine. The seat is now being contested by Peter Malinauskas who is switching houses from the Legislative Council and he will be a strong leadership candidate if Jay Weatherill decides to not stay in the top job after the election. This seat takes in the Regency Park and Croydon area and is Labor heartland. This will be one of the strongest holds of the Night.
Labor 1 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Ramsay: Formerly held by Mike Rann until he left politics and comfortably held by Zoe Bettinson by 17-18 percent. This seat covers the Salisbury and Paralowie area and is another strong Labor hunting ground. Will be interesting to see if there is any blowback for Zoe’s housing portfolio ministry which would impact on her electorate and I think SA Best will finish second in this seat but another safe Labor hold here.
Labor 2 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Cheltenham: Held by the current premier Jay Weatherill this area takes in the North West area of Findon, Cheltenham and Woodville. This is again Labor heartland and the fact that Jay Weatherill has always been well liked, indeed you could argue his popularity outflanks the popularity of the Labor Party itself, something that you could argue happens in reverse on the Liberal side with at times support for the Liberal Party outperforming the popularity of Steven Marshall. The interesting factor in this electorate is how will the Candidate Had Enuff will go as he has been able to frustrate the Labor Party at times in this campaign with his campaign van and successful protest on the SA Labor Bus. This will be a strong hold for the Labor Party.
Labor 3 Lib 0 SA Best 0
West Torrens: Another safe Labor seat held by the Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis. This area takes in the area of Thebarton and Mile End through to Brooklyn Park. This is the first seat that actually had Liberal voting polling booths at the last election (2). This was always going to be a safe hold for the Labor Party and the lack of an SA Best Candidate makes this an even stronger hold for the Labor Party.
Labor 4 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Playford: An interesting seat in that it’s redrawing to Mawson Lakes and more out into Para Hills has seen the end of the career for a Labor Stalwart in Jack Snelling who has been the at times controversial health minister. The Labor candidate now is Michael Brown a long term Labor backroom dealer. The redrawn seat is still on a healthy 11 percent and while Mawson Lakes may be a more Liberal inclined area the rest of the electorate of Parafield Gardens, Para Hills and Parafield are all strong Labor voting heartland (3) that should more than make up for the loss of the strong Labor voting Pooraka and Ingle Farm area. The one interesting factor here is SA Best, can they make some hay out of Labor maybe taking the northern suburbs for granted for too long, I think that may take the margin under 10 percent but this should still be a strong Labor hold.
Labor 5 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Elizabeth: The seat has regained it’s traditional electoral name having lost the suburb of Little Para to the electorate of King which returns this seat to it’s traditional area of Elizabeth and surrounding areas. Since 2010 the seat has been held for by Lee Odenwalder. This is another seat where the inclination is a safe Labor hold but I am intrigued by how SA Best go in this seat with the recent closure of Holden now leaving a lot of people in the seat with uncertain working futures. Indeed it has been Nick Xenophon who has regularly pointed out the need for more to be done on youth unemployment in this area that has at times neared 30 percent. All that being said I would still rank this as a safe Labor hold.
Labor 6 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Reynell: Another safe Labor seat this one being held by Disability Minister Katrine Hildyard. This is the southern version of some of the northern seats I have been talking about with low socio economic background and typically very safe Labor heartland. This seat stretches from Reynella to Lonsdale and Christies Beach. Again I am slightly intrigued by the SA Best Factor although Kingston the subsequent federal seat was not their strongest result and the other issue that may cut through is some reports of bullying by members in her office (4) but I don’t think that is going to cut through even though for mine it’s a bad look for a bullying culture in the disabilities portfolio. Another safe Labor hold although we are now in the under 10 percent range.
Labor 7 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Kaurna: A rarity in this election in that only three parties are standing members in this seat, namely Labor Liberal and the Greens. The seat is now held by Chris Picton who entered the police ministry in 2017. This seat covers the southern areas of Port Noarlunga to Maslin Beach. While Law and Order is a typically strong area for right of centre parties it’s hard to see Liberal overcoming Labor on a 8-9 percent margin especially when Labor will get Liberal preferences. I expect a safe Labor hold.
Labor 8 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Safe Labor seats that will swing heavily but will still be held
Port Adelaide: A very safe Labor seat at 12.5% that is currently held by Susan Close who is the Higher Education and Skills Minister. Theoretically this should be a Labor hold however the Port Adelaide Mayor Gary Johanson has again entered the political fray as the SA Best candidate having previously run as both an Independent and Liberal in this area. I would note however that despite people being excited about SA Best doing well in the Port Adelaide Federal Electorate they ended up with only 19 percent of the vote. I think the 25 percent that Gary Johnson got in the 2012 Port Adelaide By Election (5) is doable and if the Liberals could then get 15-20 percent it might make things interesting. I am still predicting a Labor hold.
Labor 9 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Taylor: This seat was polled as part of the Mad March polls in the Advertiser on Monday and the 2PP vote was 51-49 in Labor favour. This seat covers the northern parts of Elizabeth all the way up to the more Liberal voting area of Two Wells. The seat is held by John Gee (6) who was in the abolished seat of Napier but has managed to seek a “safer” option in Taylor. The SA Best threat and it seems the outer northern area to rural northern area is part of that which is not necessarily expected at the campaigns start is taking hold in this seat. I think this seat will be line ball on the night of the election but my inclination is that Labor will just hold onto this seat.
Labor 10 Lib 0 SA Best 0
Safe Labor Seats that will swing parties
Florey: Florey is a heavily redistributed seat that once covered the more North East areas of Modbury, Modbury North and Valley View and now extends into the former safe Labor heartlands of Playford which was held by Jack Snelling. Jack Snelling argued that his home now fell into Florey and so he should switch to Florey. This angered Francis Bedford who said she would stand in the seat as an Independent, after a while it looked like Francis would win the seat and so Jack Snelling has announced he will stand aside leaving Rik Morris to stand for Labor. The polling that came out in the electorate in the campaign had Francis up over Labor 57-43 2PP and I can’t see her not winning this seat.
Labor 10 Lib 0 SA Best 0 Independent 1
Enfield: This is a once safe Labor heartland that in 2006 was held by Labor on a 74.5% to 25.5% (7). The seat has gradually been whittled down at the last few elections to the fact that the Enfield, Kilburn and Sefton Park seat now is only held by just under 6%. The reason this seat is at play is that the SA Best candidate Carol Martin has been very popular on the ground while John Rau as Attorney General has seeming made a lot of enemies during his time in the portfolio. This is particularly the case for the Greens who are preferencing Labor behind SA Best (8). It is for that reason that I think the SA Best candidate will cause a slight boilover and take this seat.
Labor 10 Lib 0 SA Best 1 Independent 1
Giles: This is the only non Metropolitan seat held by Labor that stretches up north and west to the WA and NT borders. The seat encompasses Whyalla as the main part of the seat which Labor heartland provides the margin of 5.7 percent that is otherwise is strong Liberal voting ground (9). This seat is another northern Labor heartland area that has been disrupted by a strong SA Best candidate, this time the former Whyalla Deputy mayor Tom Antonio who has been a Liberal in previous times. This seat was also polled in the Advertiser polls with a 2pp of 50-50 between SA Best and Labor, however I think the SA Best candidate will get a large amount of the Liberal preference given his former party ties and so I think SA Best will take this seat.
Labor 10 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Marginal Labor Seats
Wright: The former seat of Jennifer Rankine who was the long standing Education Minister her retirement now brings in the Labor candidate Blaire Boyer. This seat has been majorly redistributed to cover Brahma Lodge north to Salisbury East up to Wynne Vale and Redwood Park. My Inclination of this seat is that while it will be close I can’t see Labor not holding onto this seat, particularly given the voting patterns of people in this seat in 2014 (10).
Labor 11 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Badcoe: The former seat of Ashford this seat is a Labor seat on a margin of 4.2 percent having obtained a slight buffer from the redistribution. The seat encompasses the south west of the outer city going from Keswick to Edwardstown and Ascot Park. My read of this seat is that the seat is made up of more lower socio economic areas that I would be inclined to suggest would favour Labor and so I predict they will hold this seat.
Labor 12 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Light: The Labor seat that encompasses much of Gawler this seat has a growing demographic as the area continues to grow. While that growth may one day favour a Liberal win in this seat at the last election Tony Piccolo was popular enough to get a swing of 3.2 percent to him (11) taking his seat to a not so scary 3.9 percent. Given Piccolo has held this seat since 1985 my prediction is he will continue to hold this seat post election.
Labor 13 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Torrens: Somewhat surprising that this seat is marginal given that Labor have held this seat for all bar one year since it was first created in 1993 (12). This seat is now held by Dana Wortley the wife of Upper House President Russel Wortley. This seat covers mostly Labor strong areas such as Gilles Plains but a redistribution has seen it gain elements of Vale Park which is strong Liberal territory. What will hurt Liberals here is that both the Greens and Dignity Party will give their preferences back to Labor over the Liberals and for that reason I think Labor will hold this seat.
Labor 14 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Lee: Another seat held by a potential Labor future leader in Stephen Mulligan and he would have been worried by an early poll that had this seat on 50-50 2PP. This seat covers a wide range of the political spectrum from a high Labor vote in Semaphore Park to a safe Liberal area of West Lakes. I might of been convinced of this seat falling to the Liberal Party however the Conservatives in return for preferences in the upper house have preferenced Labor ahead of Liberal in this area, as a result my inclination is that Labor will just hold onto this seat. SA Best preferences in this seat will also be key.
Labor 15 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
King: My electorate! A new seat that has been created to replace the abolished Napier that covers a vast amount of the North East of Adelaide stretching from Safe Labor in Salisbury East and Salisbury Park to the marginally Labor bits of Greenwith and Golden Grove to the very safe Liberal areas of Sampsons Flat and One Tree Hill. I have seen correspondence from all 3 major candidates from Liberal Labor and SA Best and they all seem like they would make good members. Labor seem to have gone for a bigger spend in the electorate which will impress some and so while I’m not sure who will win my leaning would be Labor to win this seat although SA Best will play a key in this seat.
Labor 16 Lib 0 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Hurtle Vale: The renamed election of Fisher which was held for many years by the charismatic and popular member Bob Such this seat was won by Labor in the 2014 by election after he sadly passed away from a Brain Tumor. The redistribution has taken what would be a marginal Liberal seat to a very marginal Labor seat (13). You now have the factors of a possible sophomore surge for this seat versus Liberal and SA Best making a serious run at this seat. In the last week of campaigning Liberals have gained some confidence in this seat and as such this is the only Labor seat I am prepared to give as a loss to the Liberals.
Labor 16 Lib 1 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Notional Liberal Seats
Newland: The North Eastern seat that takes in Tea Tree Gully all the way out into the hills of Paracombe has been held by Tom Kenyon since 2010 and he has impressively held this seat when the state swing would suggest he should lose the seat. A further redistribution this time to push some of the more Labor heartland areas of Modbury into Florey has made this seat notionally Liberal. Now if anyone could hold onto this seat then Tom Kenyon would be it but the word on the ground is that the Liberals are increasingly confident of taking this seat and so my thought is they may just take this seat in a result that could play a big role in deciding government.
Labor 16 Lib 2 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Mawson: An interesting seat that now sits on a margin of 3.2% notionally Liberal that is held by Leon Bignall the Tourism Minister. As part of the redistribution the seat gained the rural areas of Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula which are strong Liberal voting areas (14). As Tourism Minister Leon Bignall has been able to pork barrel announcements for the strong tourism areas of McLaren Vale and now KI and that will help him in the seat. He also has been in dire straits in the last two elections but has however managed to hold his seat. This seat was polled in the last week of the campaign with a 50-50 margin and the Greens getting 7 percent in this area in that poll may help him get over the line if SA Best preferences favour Labor like they did in the 2016 Federal Election. My prediction is a lineball Labor hold.
Labor 17 Lib 2 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Colton: Was held by the Labor Party for many years under Paul Caica however his retirement and a strong redistribution has made this a Liberal seat of almost 4 percent. In the wake of that retirement Liberal have favoured a celebrity candidate in Matt Cowdrey Paralympic gold medallist. The seat takes in Fulham Gardens to Glenelg and West Beach which are strong Liberal seats. My inclination is that the Liberal Party will gain this seat.
Labor 17 Lib 3 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Elder: A labor held seat by Annabel Dignance in 2014 after she had 2 failed stints at winning the federal seat of Boothby. The 2014 Contest was controversial after Carolyn Habib had Labor flyers posted out saying no-one can trust a Habib which had clear Muslim slander at them. The seat is situated south of the city going from strong Labor area in Mitchell Park to strong Liberal voting areas of Grange. Annabel Dignance on hearing that this seat would become a strong Liberal marginal of 4.3 percent tried to seat hop but was unsuccessful and so had to return to Elder with her tail between her legs. I would hence suspect that Liberal will take this seat.
Labor 17 Lib 4 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Marginal Liberal Seats that they will lose to Labor
Adelaide: Adelaide is a marginal Liberal seat that was taken in 2010 by Rachel Sanderson a 13 percent swing against then popular Education Minister Jane Lomax Smith. Sanderson was then able to maintain her seat in 2014 and despite a redistribution will still go into this election as favourites. However as the campaign has gone on Labor have put large resources in this seat and Jay Weatherill has announced a further tram extension that will be popular in this seat. Add to that the New RAH, OBahn extension and Adelaide Oval Redevelopment and this is a seat I think the Liberals will lose tomorrow.
Labor 18 Lib 4 SA Best 2 Independent 1
Marginal Liberal Seats that they will lose to SA Best
Hartley: The seat that is the home of Nick Xenophon. An interesting election campaign where the Liberal incumbent has gradually become more confident of their chances of winning the seat. The seat covers the more Labor areas of Hectorville and Campbelltown stretching to the Liberal area of Athelstone and Magill. I think two factors are at play here, one Vincent Tarzia should get a sophomore swing from the electorate and as a rule Candidates who have run before don’t go well on the second time around which I think haunts the Labor Party where Grace Portolesi is trying to get her seat back. The poll published had Liberal ahead of Nick 51-49 but I wonder if there will be a late push to ensure Nick gets into Parliament.
Labor 18 Lib 4 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Marginal Liberal Seats that they will hold
Black: A marginal Liberal seat held by 2.6% by the Liberal party in place of the old seat of Mitchell. The seat of Black stretches along the south beach coast from O’Halloran Hill to Hallet Cove. The Liberal candidate David Speirs has gone from winning the seat in 2014 to already in the Shadow Cabinet and in the wake of no SA Best candidate to split the Liberal and Labor vote suggests to me that the Liberals should keep this seat.
Labor 18 Lib 5 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Gibson: A marginal seat in the south covering Brighton to Oaklands Park this seat was gained by Corey Wingard in 2014 he has previous star recognition from being a sports journalist with Channel 10 and has again gone from being first elected in one election to now being a shadow minister. This seat I think would be a comfortable re hold for Liberals except you have the reentrance of Kris Hanna. Kris Hanna was a Labor member for the former seat of Mitchell that I mentioned above and then a Green before quitting them due to annoyance at not getting the top spot of the legislative council ticket and then becoming an independent member before finally losing the seat to Labor in 2010. He is now the mayor of Marion and so has a local profile which will help him and Labor would help him preferences. This is definitely a lineball seat but my inkling is that Wingard will hold.
Labor 18 Lib 6 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Dunstan: It is an odd peculiarity in SA Politics that the seat named after the best SA Labor Premier is held by the Liberal leader and Playford the longest serving premier from the Liberal Party is a safe as nails Labor seat. Dunstan has previously been called Norwood and was long held by Labor despite being in a rich suburban area surrounded by safe as nails Liberal seats. Steven Marshall was elected in 2010 as a moderate Liberal from the Chris Pyne faction and has had some luck in getting a higher greens preference than most Liberals as a result. The seat was polled on Tuesday and had Marshall holding the seat 53.6 to 46.4 and while that’s closer than you’d want for a leader I think he will win that seat.
Labor 18 Lib 7 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Safe Liberal seats that will fall to SA Best
It wouldn’t surprise me if a seat were to fall to SA Best on the night in this category but my read of the land is that SA Best will just fall short.
Safe Liberal seats that will swing massively but be held
Morialta: Morialta is a traditional Liberal seat that only fell to Labor in the Rann Slide of 2006 before going back to John Gardner. It goes into this election with a rather meaningless 13% margin against Labor. The seat stretches east from Rostrevor to Lobethal and Birdwood in the hills. This seat falls into Mayo heartland and a lot of people thought would be one of the first seats to fall to SA Best at this election from the Liberals. The Liberals however I think have sandbagged their hills electorates well and while the 2PP taken in the campaign is close at 52-48 that is a better position than they were in and so I think they will hold Morialta.
Labor 18 Lib 8 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Heysen: Heysen was held by the former Liberal leader Isobel Redmond who is retiring at this election. Late last year with SA Best polling over 30 percent in polls and Isobel taking her personal vote with her it was thought this would be another hills seat where Sharkie’s federal vote would get another win. The area of Heysen covers Stirling to Strathalbyn and other rural areas surrounding that in the hills. The poll in the campaign had the margin at 51-49 Liberal over SA Best but I think Labor will get second in that seat on Independents and Greens preferences at which point SA Best preferences would get the Liberal Party over the line.
Labor 18 Lib 9 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Narungga: A safe Liberal seat that was held by Steve Griffiths before he retired and now is looking to be won by Fraser Ellis. The seat covers Yorke Peninsula and the area is strongly Liberal voting however the retirement of the member and the fact that Grey swung behind SA Best to the point where Rowan Ramsay nearly lost his seat makes this another seat to watch although I think it will be comfortably held.
Labor 18 Lib 10 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Chaffey: Chaffey is a Conservative leaning seat in the Riverland encompassing Berri Barmera and other surrounding areas. The seat gained notoriety in that from 1997 to 2010 it elected Karlene Maywald (15) who went against the Conservative leaning of the seat to back Mike Rann’s government and indeed became a Minister of the Rann government. In that sense the presence of the SA Best Member being an adviser for Maywald is intriguing in how much of a vote she might obtain. I think though the Liberal margin of 24.4% is too much to overcome although SA Best will far outperform what Labor could ever pull in this seat.
Labor 18 Lib 11 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Finniss: Finniss is a safe Liberal seat that loses it’s Kangaroo Island part of the electorate to effectively become a Victor Harbour and Goolwa seat. Again this seat falls entirely in the area of Mayo and as such there are questions as to whether the SA Best candidate can do damage in the seat. The former member Michael Pengilly retired and his replacement is David Basham who with no challenge from Pengilly who threatened to stand against a Liberal candidate without rural experience (16). I think Victor Harbor as it continues to be a growth for families and less of a retirement hub will change the landscape of the electorate but for the time being it’s hard not to see a Liberal hold here.
Labor 18 Lib 12 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Schubert: Schubert is a safe Liberal seat stretching into the north of Gawler covering Nuriopta, Tanunda and surrounding northern towns. The seat is currently held by Stephen Knoll who has quickly raised from first time candidate to a key part of the shadow ministry with Policing and Corrections. This is another country seat where SA Best will poll well but again I don’t see a circumstance where such a strong local candidate will lose his seat.
Labor 18 Lib 13 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Morphett: Another seat where some shenanigans at the pre selection level have caused what should have been a safe seat into a much tougher contest. Duncan McFetridge was the Liberal member for the seat however he lost preselection to Stephen Paterson a Holdfast Bay mayor and former Collingwood player (17). The seat covers Plympton down to Glenelg, Glenelg South and Somerton Park. The seat was polled during the election and had the seat at 55-45 to Liberals over Labor but the Labor party will probably fall to third and my guess is that Mc Fetridge will drop out first give half of his preferences to Liberal, some to SA Best and some to Labor and then that will push SA Best to 2nd but I don’t think close enough to win the seat. I think therefore Liberal will hold but again it’s a seat that could go either way.
Labor 18 Lib 14 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Davenport: A traditional Liberal seat from 1970 to current this is another Liberal seat that should stay in the parties hands although their current member has jumped across to Waite to try and take what was then Martin Hamilton Smith’s seat who jumped from the Liberal Party to the Independents spot in return for the Labor Ministerial role. Davenport stretches from Bedford Park to Aberfoyle Park in the South and out to the rural zone of Ironbank. SA Best did alright but not so well in the Federal seat of Boothby so my prediction is that Liberal hold onto Davenport with new member Steve Murray.
Labor 18 Lib 15 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Waite: An Interesting seat in that it has long been the hunting ground for Martin Hamilton Smith, a one time Liberal leader who as I alluded to earlier became an Independent in favour of obtaining Labor ministry. Waite covers from the edge of the Adelaide Hills to the south of the city which is nicely shown in a map here (18). Another interesting part of this electorate is that the former member of Davenport Sam Duluk has switched seats to stand for this electorate although in fairness to him he could claim that the redistribution has moved a lot of his electorate to Waite now. SA Best again are a good shot of winning this seat and their candidate is a renewable energy specialist, weirdly with that in mind however the Greens are preferencing the Liberal Party over the SA Best candidate in this seat and for me I think that pushes Liberals over the line.
Labor 18 Lib 16 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Kavel: A very safe Liberal seat that spans Mount Barker, Hahndorf, Nairne and other surrounding areas in the Adelaide Hills. The seat is famous in that it was the home of former Liberal Premier John Olsen who held the seat until he had to resign from parliament in disgrace in 2002 (19). Again this is another seat that falls entirely into the Mayo Federal Electorate and as of last year a seat the Liberal Party were very worried about losing to the SA Best party particularly with Mark Goldsworthy retiring from the seat having held the seat since 2002. I think this will be a close seat back I am backing Dan Cregan to pick up this seat.
Labor 18 Lib 17 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Hammond: Another very safe Liberal seat that covers the region of Mount Lofty to Tailem Bend, Murray Bridge and Mannum and all the way east to the Victorian seat. This has been held by the Liberals Adrian Pederik since 2008 election and so that incumbency will help stave off a SA Best push for this seat.
Labor 18 Lib 18 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Safe Liberal Seats that they will hold
Most of the seats above could end up easily falling in this category if SA Best tank on the night but I’ve classified the following seats as seats where SA Best $5 or worse at winning the seat and Labor will never win these seats
Unley: Unley is a very rich area that has been Liberal held since 1992 where prior to was actually Labor held between 1963-1992 ( I always joked that the union heavies would not be seen dead living in the poorer areas of their constituents were and so they’d live in rich areas and make them more marginal than they’d otherwise be). Unley covers the more Labor areas of Wayville and Goodwood to the high Liberal voting areas of Myrtle Bank and Glenside. Unley is currently on a margin of just a shade under 10%. David Pisoni has held the seat since 2008 and has been in the ministry ever since in first Eduction and then Transport and Infrastructure (20).
Labor 18 Lib 19 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Bragg: Bragg is a very safe Liberal seat held by the longstanding Liberal Deputy leader Vickie Chapman who has become the attack dog who really holds Labor to account allowing Steven Marshall to not always have to attack in Parliament. Bragg covers the south east of the city from Kensington Park to Glen Osmand and out towards the Cleland Recreational Park. Bragg might be a seat that SA Best could have done alright in but for some reason SA Best chose to not contest this seat and as a result this will be a comfortable Liberal hold.
Labor 18 Lib 20 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Stuart: A seat that was once a Labor seat has gradually become more and more safe Liberal terrain until last election it was a 20 percent Liberal hold. The electorate of Stuart covers Port Augusta and then north of there to the NT border. It is that geography that explains why the seat is being contested by only three parties namely the Libs, Labor and Greens. The current member is Dan van Holst Pellekaan who has held the seat since 2010 and has been in the shadow ministry ever since, he has also been touted as a potential leader replacement should Steven Marshall lose the election tomorrow. This will be a comfortable Liberal retain
Labor 18 Lib 21 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Mackillop: (21) gives an idea of just how safe Liberal held Mackillop last election with some booths recording a 2PP result above 90 something that is only repeated in the next seat I am going to mention. Mackillop covers all of the South East of the state save the corner of the state that falls into the electorate of Mount Gambier. SA Best are standing in this seat and Mitch Williams the current Liberal member is retiring but the seat won’t go from a 26.7% Liberal margin to a SA Best seat and so I think Nick McBride will comfortably win this seat.
Labor 18 Lib 22 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Flinders: Flinders is a VERY safe Liberal seat covering the Eyre Peninsula out from Port Lincoln to the Western Australia border. The seat at the last election had polling booths with a 93% 2PP for the Liberals versus Labor and with only 4 candidates standing with no SA Best amongst those 4 seats this will be a very comfortable hold for Peter Treloar who has been in Parliament since 2010.
Labor 18 Lib 23 SA Best 3 Independent 1
Notional Safe Liberal Seats that will return Independents
Frome: Frome is a notional Liberal seat if you looked at a Labor vs Liberal 2PP contest however the seat has long been held by an Independent Geoff Brock who took the seat off the Liberals in 2009. Before then the seat was held by one time Liberal Premier Rob Kerin who had a short stint as Premier before losing the 2002 state election to Mike Rann and then he quit Parliament after losing the leadership following the Rann Slide in 2006. The seat has a very distinct split to it which you can see in (22) where the mining town Port Pirie is very mining dependent and therefore heavily favours the Independent and Labor candidates versus the Claire Valley which is strong as nails Liberal Inclined. Geoff Brock comfortably held his seat at the last election but it is interesting to see how much skin he lost for backing Jay Weatherill in the last election in return for yummy Hawaiian Pizza and a ministerial role. Indeed the polling in the campaign has Geoff Brock leading the race 52-48 with Labor preferences helping him overcome a fairly hefty first preference lead by the Liberals. With all that in mind I think Geoff Brock will hold his seat.
Labor 18 Lib 23 SA Best 3 Independent 2
Mount Gambier: Mount Gambier is an interesting seat in that if it was a 2PP race it would be a comfortable Liberal seat vs the Labor Party but has a tendency to vote in Independent member. Indeed at the last election Troy Bell won the seat as a Liberal with a 24 percent margin over Labor however before then the seat was held by two independents who were screwed over by Liberal nominations (23) firstly by Rory McEwen from 1997 to 2010 who first backed a Liberal Government and then joined Rann’s cabinet from 2002 to 2009. The seat was then won in 2010 by Don Pegler who subsequently lost the seat in 2014. Troy Bell looked like he would get a chance to re contest this seat in 2018 however he is now facing several criminal charges that caused him to resign from the Liberal Party to become an Independent. Somehow despite these criminal charges a poll in the campaign saw him comfortably re winning the seat over the Liberals although I think Incumbency has served him well as was reported in a piece on him in (24).
Labor 18 Lib 23 SA Best 3 Independent 3
So my final Prediction is 18 seats for Labor Liberals to fall one short of majority on 23, 3 SA Best candidates and 3 Independents. That Liberal number could dramatically change depending on how SA Best do in some of the Safe Liberal seats I mentioned but at this point my inclination is that Liberals will win office on the backing of Independent Troy Bell who in the above interview I referenced said he’d never see himself backing a Labor Government. The Liberals would then need a speaker and Geoff Brock or Nick Xenophon could then be used to prop up a majority in order to ensure all votes weren’t deadlocked 23-23.
Upper House Prediction
The Upper House in South Australia has 22 members with 11 members on rotation 8 year terms meaning each election 11 senators are up for re election. At this election 4 Labor, 4 Liberal and an Australian Conservative/ former Family First Party, Greens member and Dignity Party are standing for re-election. Now the Liberal Party have a strong ticket (25) with all of their 4 current upper house members recontesting this election so I’d back them to win re-election, Labor only have one current member re-running but I’d expect them to only drop back one member to 3, I’d predict SA Best will pick up 3 seats and they are running a pretty strong Upper House ticket (26). That then leaves a 3 way battle for the final upper house spot between the Greens, Conservatives and Dignity party. I’d love to see Kelly Vincent get back in as she has done a lot of work for the Disabled community but the Greens are running candidates in all 47 seats and what that allows is for candidates to hand out how to vote cards for the Upper House seats in all of these electorates, something that can’t be done by the other parties and as a result I would think that favours Tammy Franks from the Greens. So to summarise that’s 4 Libs, 3 ALP, 3 SA Best and 1 Greens for the Upper House.