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Pundits predict Liberal win - but no landslide

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Political experts are tipping a Liberal victory in tomorrow’s state election and an end to Labor’s 12 years in power.

The Liberals need to win six seats to govern in their own right, and that goal appears well within their grasp, despite last minute polling indicating a slight tightening of the race.

Labor has all but written off the seats of Bright, Ashford and Hartley, while the Liberals are confident of picking up the seat of Mt Gambier from independent Don Pegler. That leaves just two seats for the Liberals to gain and there are numerous possibilities in Labor’s large collection of marginals.

InDaily will be blogging live from Labor and Liberal HQs during tomorrow night’s count.

A factor in the Liberals’ favour might be the record numbers of pre-poll votes that have been cast. The Electoral Commission estimates that the number will finish at about 160,000 – 14 per cent of voters. Those early votes are likely to run against Labor, according to party insiders.

Political analysts Clem Mcintyre and Haydon Manning expect a change of government.

Adelaide University-based Mcintyre said he expected the close seat of Mitchell to fall into Liberal hands after a three-way contest that features a sitting MP (Alan Sibbons), the previous sitting MP (Kris Hanna) and a high-profile Liberal candidate (Corey Wingard).

He also expects the key marginal of Hartley, Bright and Ashford to fall the Liberals way along with Mount Gambier where sitting independent Pegler is not expected to hang onto the conservative seat.

“That leaves a swag of close-call seats where Labor has to win every single one and the Libs just one or two to govern in their own right,” he said.

Mcintyre said the Upper House may well be electing MPs for an eight-year term for the last time.

“I think both major parties have an appetite for change and the next election may see a move to four year terms and optional preferential voting.

“This election, meanwhile, could throw up a surprise micro-party win for a candidate from the Powerful Communities group or the Multicultural Party.

“I expect X-team candidate John Darley will also be returned.”

Flinders University’s Haydon Manning said he also expects a change of government.

“The Liberal Party primary vote is a solid enough foundation to gain enough seats,” he said.

“But there will be a surprise or two on the night as we often see big swings in some seatsand little movement in others.”

ABC election expert Antony Green said today that a Liberal win tomorrow was likely, but it wouldn’t be the kind of landslide that Labor endured in the most recent Queensland and NSW state elections.

“It’s very hard to see how Labor would win in South Australia,” Green told ABC news radio.

Betting agencies have the Liberals as a firm favourite.

– additional reporting by David Washington

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