SA Best’s entry into the South Australian political scene this election has many of the minor parties scrambling to keep their seats in the Upper House of state parliament.
The Advertiser reports, while it doesn’t get the fanfare of the Lower House, the Legislative Council is similarly set to be revolutionised by the entry of Nick Xenophon's party. But the Australian Conservatives remain unfazed.
The entry of a serious third force into the mix has the minor parties spooked. With analysts predicting SA Best could attract about 25 per cent of the primary vote, smaller parties like the Dignity Party’s chances of getting re-elected look seriously slim, while the Greens and Australian Conservatives both say they’re “quietly confident” but they are no guarantees they will keep hold of two Upper House spots.
Flinders University political expert Rob Manwaring said he expected SA Best would win three seats, squeezing out the Greens and the Dignity Party.
He also predicted Labor would lose one of its four seats, reducing its total Upper House tally to seven.
Dr Manwaring predicted Australian Conservatives’ preference deal with Labor —where it preferences the Conservatives third, behind the Greens — might be enough to help MLC Rob Brokenshire secure another eight-year term.
His prediction of a slump in the minor party vote comes as Advertiser polling shows the Greens suffering a 4 per cent reduction in their Lower House vote. Mr Brokenshire said he didn’t know whether the preference deal would boost his chances, but was “quietly confident” the party would benefit from a desire for “principled politics”.
Dr Manwaring said people were more likely to “vote with confidence” in the Upper House than they were for particular candidates in the Lower House,“(The Upper House) fits with their watchdog role… ‘keeping the bastards honest’,” he said.
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