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Xenophon slides into third place in Hartley

Politics

The magnitude of Nick Xenophon’s electoral defeat has become clear, with the former Senator sliding into third place in his own target seat of Hartley behind both Liberal and Labor after the final distribution of preferences.

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Xenophon’s failed bid for election has handed Liberal Vincent Tarzia a thumping victory, with the Electoral Commission data showing he garnered 12,316 votes on a two-party preferred basis compared to Labor’s Grace Portolesi on 9007.

Xenophon shaded Portolesi slightly on the primary vote – gaining 24.9 per cent of first preference votes compared to Labor’s 24 per cent – but the preferences were always going to go against him, with the Greens, for example, placing SA Best below Labor and Liberal on their preference ticket.

The make-up of the Lower House is now clear after the final seat in doubt, Mawson, was decided on the weekend.

Despite a redistribution making the seat nationally Liberal, former Labor minister Leon Bignell has managed to hang on by 115 votes over challenger Andy Gilfillan.

Bignell’s win will leave Labor with 19 seats in parliament’s House of Assembly while the new Liberal government will control 25, and there will be three independents.

With more than one million ballots now counted across the state, the Liberals received 38 per cent of the primary vote compared to 32.8 per cent for Labor.

Xenophon’s SA Best party finished with 14.1 per cent and unable to win a single lower house seat.

Finalising the count in the state’s upper house will likely stretch into April, based on the commission’s timetable.

But the Liberals and Labor are likely to each win four of the 11 seats up for grabs with SA Best taking two and the final seat going to the Greens.

with AAP

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