SA election proving to be tight contest

By , 25/04/2020 19:38

SA-BEST Leader Nick Xenophon may not know if he’s won a South n seat until next week. Voting is underway in the SA election, with Jay Weatherill philosophical about Labor’s chances.

Counting in the South n state election is showing an extremely tight race, with it unlikely there will be a clear winner on Saturday night.

With just nearly 23 per cent of the vote counted at 8pm, the ABC has given the ALP government 18 seats and the Liberals 19.

At least 24 seats are needed to form a majority government in the 47-seat parliament.

Sky News and Nine have Labor on 16 and the Liberals with 20 seats.

ABC election analyst Antony Green said at the moment, there was not much change happening making it hard to call.

“Not much happening probably means a Labor government will be short of a majority,” he said.

The Labor government, led by Premier Jay Weatherill, went into Saturday’s election with 23 seats, while the Liberal opposition held 19 and there were five independents.

The Channel 9 Galaxy poll says the Liberals are ahead on a two-party preferred basis with 50.5 per cent of the vote, compared to Labor’s 49.5 per cent, giving them a bare majority of 24 or 25 seats.

But Labor internal polling, reported by Sky News, showed Labor and Liberal on equal footing, meaning the parties would have to negotiate with minor parties or independents to form a minority government.

Nick Xenophon, whose SA-BEST party has complicated the election, said he wasn’t expecting any negotiations to start on Saturday night.

“I don’t know if anyone is calling anyone tonight. I think it will pretty tight, the number of seats.”

Mr Xenophon is standing against Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia in the seat of Hartley, and is tipped to miss out.

“Don’t write me off quite yet. It’s going to be tough. I’m trying to defy political gravity by standing in a lower house seat where both major party are going hell for leather in the seat.”

Troy Bell, a former Liberal MP standing as an independent in Mt Gambier, said his support would come down to fracking policy.

“There would have to be a 10-year ban on fracking before I enter any conversations with either side.”

Labor is bidding to win a record fifth term in a row, while the Liberals are hoping to seize power after falling just short in 2014.

Power prices, energy security and jobs have been the key issues while Labor is battling the “it’s time” factor after 16 years in office.

The government has also been hit by fall-out from the Oakden nursing home scandal and problems over the protection of vulnerable children in state care.

Despite positive polling results, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall says he’s not about to start writing a victory speech.

“I’ve enjoyed every second of this campaign, and overall I think the people of South will make a solid decision,” he said earlier.

Premier Jay Weatherill said he wasn’t nervous about the result, confident in the knowledge he had done everything he could to get Labor across the line.

“You put your best foot forward, you tell your story, especially a story you’re proud of,” he said.

“I’m just very philosophical about the result.”

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