Senate – South Australia – Australia 2019

Incumbent Senators

Term due to expire 2019Term due to expire 2022
David Fawcett (Liberal) Cory Bernardi (Conservatives)
Alex Gallacher (Labor) Simon Birmingham (Liberal)
Lucy Gichuhi (Liberal)1 Don Farrell (Labor)
Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens) Stirling Griff (Centre Alliance)
Anne Ruston (Liberal) Rex Patrick (Centre Alliance)3
Tim Storer (Independent)2 Penny Wong (Labor)

1Lucy Gichuhi replaced Bob Day on 19 April 2017 following the High Court ruling that Bob Day was ineligible to sit.
2Tim Storer replaced Skye Kakoschke-Moore on 16 February 2018 following the High Court ruling that Skye Kakoschke-Moore was ineligible to sit.
3Rex Patrick replaced Nick Xenophon on 14 November 2017 following Nick Xenophon’s resignation.


South Australia was represented by five Labor senators and five Liberal senators from 1951 until the 1961 election, when the ALP managed to gain a 6-4 majority. A 5-5 balance was restored in 1967.

Former Liberal premier Steele Hall was elected in 1974 on the ticket of the Liberal Movement, taking a seat away from the Liberal Party. Hall was re-elected in 1975, while the Liberals regained their fifth seat at the expense of the ALP. Hall retired in 1977 and was replaced by Janine Haines of the Democrats. The 1977 election saw the Democrats lose the seat, with the Liberals winning six seats to the ALP’s four.

Haines was returned to the Senate for the Democrats in 1980, alongside five Liberals and four ALP senators. The 1983 double dissolution saw the ALP win a fifth seat off the Liberals. In 1984, the Democrats won a second seat while each major party held five seats. This pattern continued until 1993, when the Liberals won a sixth seat off the ALP, producing a 6-4-2 pattern which was maintained until the 2004 election.

The 2004 election saw the former Democrats seat (belonging to Meg Lees) lost to the ALP, producing a 6-5-1 split. In 2007, Natasha Stott Despoja’s seat was lost. The Liberal Party also lost one of their six seats. The ALP and Liberals each now hold five Senate seats, along with independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Sarah Hanson-Young of the Greens.

In 2010, the ALP lost one of their three seats to the Greens’ Penny Wright, producing an overall split of 5 Liberals, 4 Labor, 2 Greens and one independent.

2013 was a low-point for Labor, falling into third place behind the Nick Xenophon group. Sarah Hanson-Young, Nick Xenophon and the two Liberal senators were re-elected, but Labor only retained one of their two seats, with the final seat falling to Family First’s Bob Day.

The Liberal Party and the Greens both lost seats in 2016. The Greens lost one of their two seats, while the Liberal Party dropped from five seats to four. Both of these seats went to the Nick Xenophon Team, who won a second and third seat.

2016 result

Liberal 345,76732.6+5.14.2358
Labor 289,90227.3+4.73.5515
Nick Xenophon Team230,70321.7-3.12.8262
Greens 62,3295.9-1.20.7636
One Nation31,6213.0+2.70.3874
Family First30,4642.9-0.90.3732
Marijuana (HEMP)/Sex Party12,0911.1+1.10.1481
Animal Justice8,9810.8+0.20.1100
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers7,8150.7+0.20.0957
Liberal Democrats6,9130.7-2.90.0847

Preference flows
Nine seats were won on primary votes – the Liberal Party won four seats, Labor won three and the Nick Xenophon Team two.

Let’s fast forward to the last ten candidates competing for the last three seats. Most candidates haven’t advanced much since the primary vote counts, although the Greens had done the best. Kakoschke-Moore had actually lost ground compared to the NXT primary vote total, suggesting quite a few NXT votes had leaked away.

Hanson-Young and Kakoschke-Moore were both close to a quota, but the twelfth seat was wide open

  • Sarah Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.8827 quotas – up 0.1191 compared to primary vote
  • Skye Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.8190 – down 0.0072
  • Anne McEwen (ALP) – 0.5575 – up 0.0060
  • Steven Burgess (ON) – 0.4449 – up 0.0575
  • Bob Day (FF) – 0.4451 – up 0.0719
  • Sean Edwards (LIB) – 0.2574 – up 0.0216
  • Ryan Parker (HEMP) – 0.1869 – up 0.0388
  • Tania Noble (AJP) – 0.1528 – up 0.0428
  • John Hahn (SFF) – 0.1245 – up 0.0288
  • Roostam Sadri (LDP) – 0.1033 – up 0.0186

LDP preferences scattered, but particularly favoured the Liberal Party and Family First. This pushed Day ahead of Burgess.

  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.8878
  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.8333
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.5643
  • Day (FF) – 0.4675
  • Burgess (ON) – 0.4532
  • Edwards (LIB) – 0.2840
  • Parker (HEMP) – 0.1908
  • Noble (AJP) – 0.1549
  • Hahn (SFF) – 0.1303

Shooters preferences favoured HEMP, One Nation and Family First:

  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.8898
  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.8487
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.5722
  • Day (FF) – 0.4886
  • Burgess (ON) – 0.4793
  • Edwards (LIB) – 0.2981
  • Parker (HEMP) – 0.2210
  • Noble (AJP) – 0.1637

Animal Justice preferences particularly favoured the Greens and HEMP, but this still left HEMP in last place:

  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.9291
  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.8692
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.5877
  • Day (FF) – 0.5103
  • Burgess (ON) – 0.4964
  • Edwards (LIB) – 0.3087
  • Parker (HEMP) – 0.2509

HEMP preferences flowed to most candidates, but particularly favoured the Greens and One Nation:

  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.9758
  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.9069
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.6188
  • Day (FF) – 0.5501
  • Burgess (ON) – 0.5392
  • Edwards (LIB) – 0.3258

Liberal preferences strongly favoured Family First, pushing Day ahead of McEwen into the key twelfth place. NXT also did well, with Hanson-Young and Kakoschke-Moore very close to a quota.

  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 0.9998
  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 0.9944
  • Day (FF) – 0.6740
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.6564
  • Burgess (ON) – 0.5627

One Nation was then excluded, favouring Family First and NXT. Both Hanson-Young and Kakoschke-Moore were pushed over quota:

  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 1.1694
  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 1.0315
  • Day (FF) – 0.8350
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.7393

The distribution of the NXT and Greens surplus favoured McEwen, but Day won the final seat by a margin of about 0.04 quotas, which is equivalent to about 3500 votes:

  • Kakoschke-Moore (NXT) – 1.0000
  • Hanson-Young (GRN) – 1.0000
  • Day (FF) – 0.8868
  • McEwen (ALP) – 0.8434

No information.

The Centre Alliance (formerly the Nick Xenophon Team) does not have any senators up for election at the next election. There will be three Liberals, and one each from Labor, the Greens and independent Tim Storer.

The ALP would be hoping to win at least a second seat, while the Liberal Party will have an uphill battle to hold all three of their seats.

The Centre Alliance won’t have any senators up for election. If Nick Xenophon decides to return to the Senate, he would have a strong chance of winning a seat. If he does not run, it’s not clear how well the party will do in his absence, but they’d have a real chance of at least one seat.

The Greens and Tim Storer will be squeezed on all sides. They will likely have a better chance of holding their seats if Centre Alliance does poorly, but the Greens have struggled to reach a half-Senate quota in South Australia, while Tim Storer has a low profile and not much of an organisation.
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