SA election – Liberals win government in status quo result


There’s been a lot of chatter about SA Best and their impact on the SA election, and I will return to them in my next post, but I wanted to focus here on the actual result. The overall result saw a change of government, but with practically no seats changing hands compared to the notional redistribution analysis.

The last election saw the Liberal Party poll 53% of the two-party-preferred vote, but fall two seats short of a majority, with Labor gaining the support of an independent to take power for a fourth term.

The recent redistribution completely undid the map which had allowed for an even result off such a lopsided result.

The Liberal Party gained four seats off Labor in the redistribution, with others also experiencing quite large changes in margin.

Once you factor in that change, it appears that only one seat has changed hands between the major parties (according to the ABC), with the Liberal Party on track to win the seat of King. King is a successor seat to Napier, and the redistribution reduced the Labor margin from 9.1% to 1.4%.

It’s possible that Labor will retain the seat of Mawson despite the seat being redrawn as a Liberal seat (a notional Labor gain), and could still gain the seat of Adelaide, which did not experience much of a change in the redistribution and remained a marginal Liberal seat.

Each major party also lost one seat each to an independent MP who had been a member of their party at the 2014 election: Labor lost Florey and the Liberal Party lost Mount Gambier.

This adds up to a total result of 24 Liberal seats, 18 Labor seats, 2 more in doubt (with Labor and Liberal leading in one each) and 3 independents.

SA Best is currently in the top two in twelve seats, which could conceivably have massively disrupted the Labor-Liberal contest, but most of these seats are traditional safe seats. SA Best is only sitting in the top two in two marginal seats: the Labor seat of Giles and the marginal Liberal seat of Hartley, where Nick Xenophon is in danger of falling into third behind Labor. So the SA Best threat was mostly focused in traditional safe seats. This could have still had a big impact if the party had won some of these seats, but instead the major parties appear to have been completely successful at locking SA Best out of their heartland seats.

At this point we only have two-party-preferred counts in 31 seats. The ECSA made an incorrect selection in three other seats, so they will need to re-run a Labor-Liberal preference count, while in the other 15 seats an SA Best or independent candidate made the final two. We will eventually have two-party-preferred figures from every seat and every booth, and thus a statewide total, but that might take some time. When that’s available I’ll be sure to put together a map.

Since we lack this complete picture, we can’t precisely say what happened in terms of the contest between Labor and Liberal across the state, but the result in the two-thirds of the state where data is available suggests that Labor did gain ground on the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party gained a positive swing in eight seats, while Labor gained a positive swing in twenty-two seats. There was no swing in the marginal Labor seat of Wright.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back later today with some more analysis of the SA Best vote.

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  1. Yes redistribution of electorate boundaries ensures each electorate is equal in numbers of voters and can see the dominance of one party or another changed as the voters vote differently in the within new boundaries. However the Liberals won because a majority of voters in a majority of seat wanted it that way.

  2. the fairness clause caused the boundary change but with that abolished a subsequent redistribution will improve labor’s position

  3. Kavel is all hills (Mt Barker)
    Heysen is mostly hills (Stirling) but includes Strathalbyn
    Morialta is largely eastern suburbs but picks up a lot of hills as well
    Newland is mostly NE suburbs but includes a bit of hills
    A broader definition of Adelaide Hills will include most of Waite, much of Davenport and some of King

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