SA 2014 – The close races


There are six seats that sit on margins of less than 2% at the current point in the counting, I will run through each of these electorates and summarise the situation.

In short, the results suggest that it is not possible in five of these six seats for the declaration votes to swing sufficiently to change the current lead. Only in Mitchell is it conceivable, but the most likely outcome is that the Liberal Party will win in Mitchell.

SeatLeadDec votes 2010Dec votes 2010 marginMargin needed for lead to changeSwing needed for lead to change
AdelaideLIB by 3685,129LIB 55.5%ALP 53.5%9.0%
ColtonALP by 5214,041ALP 52.7%LIB 56.5%9.2%
ElderALP by 5714,703ALP 53.2%LIB 56.1%9.3%
HartleyLIB by 4154,761LIB 51.0%ALP 54.4%5.4%
MitchellLIB by 1484,700ALP 52.5%ALP 51.6%-0.9%
NewlandALP by 5644,241ALP 51.8%LIB 56.7%8.5%


Held by the Liberal Party’s Rachel Sanderson by a 4.2% margin, Adelaide was the only Liberal seat with a serious effort from the ALP to win. At the moment, Sanderson leads by 1.2%, or 368 votes.

At the 2010 election, 5129 declaration votes were cast, and Sanderson won this sample by 563 votes. If you apply a 3% swing to the ALP, this would result in the Liberal Party gaining 255 additional votes, which would solidify Sanderson’s lead.

For the ALP to gain a lead, assuming that the same number of declaration votes are cast as in 2010, they would need to poll 53.5% of the vote in declaration votes, compared to 44.5% in 2010. This seat is likely to stay Liberal.


Sitting Labor MP Paul Caica leads in Colton by 521 votes, or 1.52%. This was a 2.08% swing away from Caica’s 3.6% pre-election margin.

At the 2010 election, 4041 declaration votes were cast, and Caica won by 52.7%, or 221 votes.

For the Liberal Party to gain a lead in Colton, they would need to win 56.5%, a swing of 9.2% compared to 2010. This seat is likely to stay Labor.


Labor candidate Annabel Digance leads in Elder by 571 votes, or 1.89%. This is a 0.1% swing away from Labor’s previous 2% margin.

At the 2010 election, 4703 declaration votes were cast, and 53.2% of these flowed to the ALP. For the Liberal Party to gain the lead in Elder they would need to win 56.1% of these votes, a swing of 9.7%.


Sitting Labor MP Grace Portolesi is trailing Liberal candidate Vincent Tarzia by 415 votes, or 1.5%. This is a 1.6% swing away from the ALP.

At the 2010 election, 4761 declaration votes were cast, and 51% of these votes went to the Liberal Party.

For the ALP to regain the lead in Hartley, they would need 54.4% of the declaration votes, which would be a swing of 5.4%.

While this is more modest than in other seats, it runs against the flow in the rest of the electorate.


Sitting Labor MP Alan Sibbons trails Liberal candidate Corey Wingard by 148 votes, or 0.5%. This is a 2.9% swing away from the ALP.

At the 2010 election, 4700 declaration votes were cast, and the ALP won 52.5% of these votes.

For the ALP to regain the lead in Mitchell, the would need to win only 51.6% of the declaration vote, which would be a swing of 0.9% against the ALP.

So it is conceivable for the ALP to win in Mitchell, but would require a much smaller swing on declaration votes than was seen in ordinary votes.


Sitting Labor MP Tom Kenyon is leading by 564 votes, or 1.7%. This is a swing of 0.7% towards the Liberal Party.

At the 2010 election, 4241 declaration votes were cast, and the ALP won 51.8% of these votes.

For the Liberal Party to regain the lead in Newland, they would need to win 56.7% of the declaration vote, a swing of 8.5%.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!


  1. Postals and pre-polls starting to come in. Hard to see any changes from 23/22/2.

    Libs look pretty sure to pick up Mitchell. I wonder how Kris Hanna feels about that.

    All in all, a remarkably good result for Labor, far exceeding expectations. I thought the Premier spoke very well at the presser yesterday and pretty much nailed it when he said that the Libs were expecting to just sail into power without putting up much in the way of policy or agenda. Nice to see that that can still backfire in this day.

  2. Pretty sure Pat Conlon was still the member in Elder, so postals may not have the sitting member factor for Annabel Digance.

    Conversely, Alan Sibbons won 52.5% of the declarations in 2010, despite not being the sitting member (Kris Hannah was). So it’s not totally inconceivable that he might do better enough on declarations this time to get over the line. Mitchell is definitely the interesting one.

  3. One group of people who will be happy are the book makers. Had Libs at $1.01 to win and Lab at about $10-$15.

    I am sure this is the first election that the very very very short priced favorite ($1.01) has lost an election (certainly this century). Others will have views on the effectiveness of of betting odds to predicting election results but this is a clear example of where they are not effective.

    That said, there were a lot of gloomy labor faces on the TV at the start of counting (and lots of happy liberal faces) so the odds are not inconsistent with the odds.

    Does anyone have access to internal polling that suggested the hung parliament result?

Comments are closed.