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Nervous Labor edges closer to power

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Labor appears to be edging closer to a fourth term in power as numbers in key marginal seats continue to go its way – but the result remains uncertain with thousands of votes yet to count.

Today is the decisive day as thousands of pre-poll, postal and absentee votes are finally counted in marginal seats across Adelaide’s suburbs.

There was little counting yesterday, but what there was went in Labor’s favour.

The Liberals will need a substantial majority of the remaining votes to go their way in order to snatch a majority.

However, with so many votes to be counted – about a quarter of the total electorate – Labor strategists are not making confident predictions.

Check back here through the day for updates as new numbers come in.

This afternoon, the most likely result remained a hung Parliament, with 23 seats to Labor, 22 to the Liberals, with the independents Bob Such and Geoff Brock holding the balance of power.

On counting so far today, the tight contest in Colton, held by Labor MP Paul Caica, has again swayed in Labor’s direction. A count of some 900 votes yesterday was split almost exactly 50/50, with the Electoral Commission recording Caica’s lead as 452 votes at the end of the day. Labor reported this afternoon that Caica’s lead had increased by 130 votes so far on today’s counting.

Labor also held its own in the Gawler-based seat of Light yesterday, with minister Tony Piccolo now ahead by 766.

Labor scrutineers expect 4000 votes to be counted in the marginal seat of Elder, where Labor’s Annabel Digance is hanging on to a lead of 625 votes. Labor is leading in other marginals including Newland (543) and Ashford (653).

The Liberals lead in Mitchell and Hartley and are expected to win these seats.

Brock, the member for the Port Pirie and Clare-based electorate of Frome, gave a strong indication yesterday that he would use his vote to support stability – a position that appears to favour the party that wins the most seats on the floor of the house.

Brock told the ABC that stability was crucial.

“Stability, that’s right. That would give the Government – that would give the Labor Party one buffer in the Parliament,” he said.

Asked if he would be likely to back a scenario with the Liberals to govern, Brock said: “Not at this stage … I need to go and delve into it a bit further”.

 

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