Key seats – SA 2018

Following the recent redistribution, the Liberal Party notionally holds 26 seats, to Labor’s 20 and one independent (Geoff Brock in Frome).

This means that Labor needs to gain four seats off the Liberal Party to maintain a majority.

There are nine Liberal seats held by margins of less than 5%.

There are four seats close to the centre of Adelaide: Adelaide, Colton, Dunstan and Hartley.

The southern Adelaide seats of Black, Elder and Gibson are also very marginal.

The seat of Mawson, which has shifted from the southern fringe of Adelaide out to the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, is also held by a margin of 3.2%. The seat of Newland, in the north-east of Adelaide, is held by the Liberal Party by a slim margin of 0.1%.

Four of these nine seats (Colton, Elder, Mawson and Newland) are held by Labor MPs, but have become notional Liberal seats thanks to the redistribution.

There are seven Labor seats with a margin of less than 5%.

Three of these seats are in a cluster at the northern end of the Adelaide urban area: King, Light and Wright.

There are another three scattered around the Adelaide centre: Badcoe, Lee and Torrens.

Labor won the southern Adelaide seat of Fisher at the 2014 by-election after the death of the sitting independent MP. That seat has been replaced by Hurtle Vale, which is considered a marginal Labor seat.

There are five independents currently sitting in the House of Assembly. Only one of these five was elected as an independent in 2014.

Geoff Brock holds Frome by a 9.5% margin, and his seat should be considered reasonably safe.

Three independents were elected as Liberals in Mount Gambier, Morphett and Waite. Former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith (Waite) quit the party shortly after the last election to serve as an independent minister in the Labor minority government. Mount Gambier MP Troy Bell left the Liberal Party over accusations against him at the state Independent Commission Against Corruption. Duncan McFetridge (Morphett) quit the party after losing Liberal preselection in 2017.

Labor MP Frances Bedford became an independent after losing preselection for her seat of Florey to a fellow Labor MP in 2017.

It’s hard to predict how these four MPs will do without their party endorsements, but they are all worth watching.

The X factor in this election is Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party.

The party has done very well at recent Senate elections all across SA, with a vote exceeding 20% in every single seat. In the House of Representatives at the 2016 election (the first time the party had run a full ticket of lower house candidates who were not Nick Xenophon himself) the party polled over 15% in all but one seat – it does appear that their vote is very uniform.

At the 2016 Senate election, the party did best outside of Adelaide: particularly in the seats of the Adelaide Hills and to the south of Adelaide.

The top seats are Heysen, Kavel, Finniss, Chaffey and Mawson. Four of these seats would normally be considered safe Liberal seats.

Party leader Nick Xenophon is running in the marginal Liberal seat of Hartley, so you’d expect the party to also do well there.

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  1. Do you have any opinion or polling data about seats Elizabeth, Taylor and Ramsay? These are “safe Labor” seats, surrounding the recently-closed Holden factory and the SA-BEST candidates are saturating roadside advertising along with the ALP candidates.The boundaries have moved so the three sitting ALP members may not have the local effects of incumbency, and two out of three have not been ministers.


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