Independent MP Bob Such has raised the ghost of Peter Lewis and the prospect of political uncertainty in the event of a close result in the March State election.
Lewis, an independent and former Liberal, won the seat of Hammond in 2002.
Despite a pre-election statement rejecting a claim that he would support Labor in a hung parliament, Lewis did exactly that, giving Labor’s Mike Rann the nod in exchange for the Speaker’s position and an agreement on proposals for parliamentary reform.
The Liberal Party took the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns claiming Lewis misled voters.
Today, another former Liberal and incumbent independent, Bob Such, floated the idea that he could support Labor despite the party recording just 22 per cent in his seat of Fisher at the last election.
“I’m not committing to either party,” Such told InDaily.
“I can’t give an indication to voters before the election – I’ll look at it after the election based on what I think is best for the seat of Fisher and the State.”
In previous years, Such has said he would make a decision based on the flow of second preferences and a survey of his electorate in the election aftermath.
“I won’t be doing the survey this time, because it’s not very scientific; not everyone replies to the survey,” he said.
“And while I’ll look at the flow of second preferences, I won’t be bound by that.”
Such said he had been annoyed by the extent to which the Liberal Party had been camapaigning against independents.
“They’re having a launch here in Fisher on Sunday with Steven Marshall.
“And in Mount Gambier they’ve got a candidate and they’ve appointed a full-time campaign manager.”
Such is one of three sitting independents.
Former Port Pirie Mayor Geoff Brock has supported Labor since his election in 2009 and Mount Gambier sheep farmer and stud owner Don Pegler is expected to support a Liberal Government.
Such said he hadn’t had any discussions with Labor or the Liberals and wouldn’t be swayed by a plum position.
He was appointed Speaker in 2005 after the Rann Government moved against Peter Lewis after securing the votes of Riverland independent Karlene Maywald and Mount Gambier independent Rory McEwen after appointing them to Ministerial posts.
Lewis lost his seat in 2006, Maywald lost hers in 2010 and McEwen retired.
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