Thanks to the inclusion of Nick Xenophon’s South Australian Best Party, the Crow Eaters’ upcoming election is perhaps one of the most talked about votes in recent memory. The state could realistically have any one of three parties elected, although at this stage the Liberal Party is the narrow favourite. With Steven Marshall as its leader, the Libs have been on the charm-offensive and have narrowed in betting to $2.15.
However, the polarising figure of Nick Xenophon has thrown the race wide open. Entering this election with the ambition to hold the balance of power, the former Australian Senator and his SA Best Party have primarily targeted seats held by the Liberal Party, which in turn, has given the incumbent Labor government plenty of hope that they’ll maintain power into a record 5th term. Why? The thinking is that by Xenophon so aggressively chasing seats held by the Libs, Jay Weatherill will able to concentrate his efforts into holding existing seats and winning those that are expected to come down to a few hundred votes.
Still, this theory will be heavily tested as the election nears as recent polls have shown even formerly safe Labor seats are now also at risk of falling to SA Best which announced candidates for these areas at the tail end of January. Amongst those Labor will be concerned about are Playford, Taylor and Enfield. Some of the seats in question have been red for decades and although it’s hard to see them changing over, SA best has momentum, and with voters in general showing a propensity for change at the polling booth in recent times (think Brexit, Trump, postal survey), anything is possible.
In that regard, we believe the very generous $1.85 price on SA Best to win a minimum of 11 lower house seats could well be the bet of the election. As it stands Xenophon has 24 House of Assembly candidates standing (theoretically the number required to form government) and rumours are currently swirling that number may grow further. Even with controversy - one of SA Best’s early candidates stood down after attracting criticism over social media postings – Xenophon’s star has continued to grow and it would seem that SA voters genuinely believe his party offer a workable alternative to the two major players in Australian politics.
In any event, it would already seem that Xenophon has done enough to disrupt the system and in every likelihood South Australia is headed for a hung parliament. Although this option is relatively short in betting markets at $1.33, it may still be worth considering.
SA Best to be the State Election Winner
SA Best to win 11+ lower house seats