Sunday, March 20, 2022

South Australia 2022: Messy Postcounts (Waite, Finniss, Hammond)

Expected final result LABOR 27 LIBERAL 16 IND 4

On this page: Waite (assumed Labor win vs Holmes-Ross (IND), exclusion order issues.)

On this page: Finniss (Liberal expected to defeat IND, either by exclusion order or on 2CP. )

On this page: Hammond (assumed Liberal win)

On this page: Flinders (assumed Liberal win)


General update 30/3: All seats have been determined now with the result at 27-16-4.  As Hammond is now showing as a 2PP I am assuming it as well as Waite finished as 2PP contests while Finniss and Flinders did not, but I am awaiting confirmation of that.  


Welcome to my SA 2022 post-counting coverage.  The result of the election was a win to Labor with about as many seats as polling-based seat models predicted, but the downside for the Liberals in terms of losses to independents appears to be on the high side.  As well as the expected wins by Dan Cregan in Kavel (a massive win) and Fraser Ellis in Narungga, they have lost to Geoff Brock in Stuart.  That leaves two seats that are the subject of this thread - Finniss (where they may lose to a new independent) and Waite, where the ex-Liberal independent Sam Duluk seems to be doomed but it's not at all clear that the Liberals will get the seat back.  This is the thread for messy, interesting post-counts, and I also have one up for the vanilla postcounts and the Legislative Council (which currently seems to be tracking towards 5 Labor, 4 Liberal, 1 Green and a battle between One Nation and the reborn Family First for the final seat (or maybe LDP but they have form for dying on preferences.))

I should briefly mention Hammond.  In this seat ECSA counted a notional count between the Liberals and Airlie Keen (IND) and for a while Keen was ahead.  In current counting she is very marginally behind (50.3-49.7).  But (i) independents tend to do poorly on prepolls and postals, so the Liberal lead will probably increase (ii) even if it doesn't, Keen faces a difficult task to get into second from 5.2% behind Labor.  Greens preferences may assist but the gap is not much smaller than the Greens vote, so they probably won't make much of a dent in that gap.    So I don't see Hammond as being in significant risk at the moment, but will keep an eye on it and add a more detailed secton if it becomes interesting.  (NB re Hammond: the ABC is showing the Nationals on 14% but it is actually 3%).

Tuesday: As expected the Liberal lead in Hammond has grown with Adrian Pederick now on 51.3 and will retain.

Sunday: Note also added re Flinders.  This didn't appear close on the night but the Liberal primary came down enough to make Liz Habermann (IND) a significant challenger.  As Antony Green notes, preferences are thus far flowing 78% to Habermann, meaning that based off current total primaries the Liberal candidate Sam Telfer projects to only 51.1%.  I expect Telfer will be fine as his position should improve in the postcount.  As the ABC notes the ECSA figures are bouncing around during realignment and will eventually settle down.  I am unable to check the ABC estimates because ECSA has not published booth by booth 2CPs and they are not available elsewhere.

Monday: ABC projection now at 51.8.

Tuesday: Flinders now at 52.1.

Waite (Liberal 7.4%, IND occupied)

Waite is the seat of Sam Duluk, who has been on the crossbench since being ousted from the party over his behaviour at a  2019 Christmas party.  He was found not guilty of assaulting SA Best MLC Connie Bonaros but was nonetheless excoriated by the magistrate who described him as behaving like a "drunken pest" and being "rude, unpleasant, insensitive and disrespectful." Despite this Duluk was $1.21 in seat betting but the count has not gone well for him so far.  

The current figures with 61% counted are Hutchesson (Labor) 27.4%, Hyde (Liberal) 24.5%, Duluk (IND) 18.9%, Holmes-Ross (IND) 15.3%, White (Green) 12.0%, Freeling (AJP) 1.9%.

The Greens preferenced Holmes-Ross.  Some of their voters will preference Labor anyway, but it is rather likely on current numbers that Holmes-Ross's share of their preferences will be 30 points higher than Duluk's (or if a little short of that, that the AJP preferences will be enough to make up the difference).  So on current numbers Holmes-Ross could be getting over Duluk into third, though this is not certain as the numbers may drift with more counting.

If Duluk is excluded in fourth, his how-to-vote card (displayed in booths) preferences the Liberals, making it hard to see that Holmes-Ross would do well enough on his preferences to catch them (EDIT: but she might catch Labor instead, see below).  If Holmes-Ross is excluded in fourth, her preference ticket was open and it is again hard to see the split to Duluk being strong enough to put him over the Liberals while some of her vote is going to Hutchesson.  That said, it's not completely unimaginable that such an IND to IND transfer might occur.  

I think the most likely outcome though is that the two indies are excluded in some order and the seat finishes up as a classic 2PP contest.  If this does occur, then the ABC's numbers (currently showing Hyde just behind) are estimates only - but it would not surprise me if the flow from Duluk to the Liberals was less than stellar, nor if the flow from Holmes-Ross to Labor was reasonably strong.  So I think Labor are rather competitive here and on current numbers may win.  However, against that there is the possibility of drift in the post-count as prepolls and postals are added.  This could see the Liberals improve their position.  I do not know at what point a 2PP realignment might be available.  

If Holmes-Ross makes the final two, the 2CP count available so far suggests that she wins (now 55.3-44.7) so this could be a really wacky case of a Condorcet winner (the candidate who defeats any other candidate head to head) finishing fourth on primaries as well as being unable to make the final two.  It's a possible preview of the strategic voting arguments we are already seeing in "climate indie" seats for the federal election, as is Finniss below.

Sunday: One scrutineer has told me that Holmes-Ross after getting over Duluk gets enough Duluk preferences to on current numbers almost overtake Labor (presumably the Liberals overtake Labor on Duluk) and that in either case the Liberals are losing.  To the best of my knowledge there has never been a case in a state or federal election of a candidate winning from fourth.  

Sunday 4:00: A realignment of the count to 2PP is underway and while it is incomplete at this stage Labor's 2PP lead is large (hovering around 55-45) and the Liberals have been defeated in their bid to regain Waite.  It remains to be seen whether Labor or Holmes-Ross is the winner.

Tuesday: Tom Richardson relates: "Heard from two different sources at the Waite count, of the around 1000 new votes added today the preference flow from Sam Duluk voters to Heather Holmes-Ross has dried up, which makes it very unlikely for her to take the seat. Looks like Labor."

Wednesday: Current primaries Labor 26.4 Liberal 25.7 Duluk 20.3 Holmes-Ross 14.7 Greens 11.0.  If this blowout continues it may be too hard for Holmes-Ross to get over Duluk.  

Finniss (Liberal 14.5%)

With so much focus on the many existing independents it has been hard for new independents to get much attention in this election, but a few of them have still done pretty well.  One such is Lou Nicholson, an allied health professional whose campaign references those of federal MPs Cathy McGowan, Helen Haines, Zali Steggall and Rebekha Sharkie.  Finniss finished Liberal vs SA-Best in 2018 (one of three seats to do so) and this should have been a wake-up call to the Liberals but they may not have listened (too many other fires to put out, etc).

At present with a mere 40% counted, Basham (Liberal) has 36.9, Hueppauff (Labor) 23.5, Nicholson (IND) 22.9, Bourne (Green) 7.9, Quaremba (One Nation) 5.4, Carli (FF) 2.8, Ienco (Nat) 0.6% (hmm not sure the Nats will be running again here any time soon).  We know that if Nicholson makes the final two, she is currently way ahead (54.7-45.3), a margin I'd think too large to fall over on even Finniss's vast prepoll count.  

The core question is whether Nicholson can make the final two after minor party preferences.  Currently she is in striking distance (usually an indie within 3% has good chances to pass Labor in these counts).  It may assist her that all of the Greens, One Nation and Family First have preferenced her above Labor, so at present she has good chances, something that should only change if she falls significantly further behind Labor in the huge prepoll count to come.

This may be one of these counts where we are waiting for the distribution of preferences to find out who has won.  

Sunday night: Nicholson's position is at least not getting worse so far, she is currently 0.4% behind Labor.  

Tuesday: Another 7.4% has been counted and this has done severe damage to Nicholson's position, cutting her 2CP lead to 53.1-46.9 but also increasing the primary vote gap to Labor to 2.1%.  I believe the votes added today have been early postals, which are especially good for the Liberals, but the tendency of independents to do badly on prepolls as well means Nicholson's position is dicey.  

Thursday: In a remarkable sign of how badly postcounts can go for independents, Basham is now slightly ahead on 2CP and very likely to win the seat (even if Nicholson makes the final two.)

Friday: Basham forges further ahead (50.7) and has clearly won the 2CP and the seat.


  1. Re Waite: I'd be curious what the record for the lowest ever primary vote for a winning candidate is.

    Whoever wins, it will be with ~25-26% of the vote at most

    1. I don't know the SA record but the federal record is 16.6% (Arthur Hewson, Country, McMillan 1972). For states I believe it is 12.0% (Louis Manton Shoobridge, IND, Queenborough Tas LegCo 1968) but that's a bit different because Tas LegCo contests often attract large fields of independents.

  2. What has led everyone to decisively call Waite for Labor? A Holmes-Ross snowball still seems possible considering reports of strong Greens and Duluk flows to her, right?

    1. It's been difficult to find information but I believe the distribution has been done, just not posted yet because the ECSA site is hopeless. Also scrutineers reported the flow off Duluk was not sustained in the post-count. But the level of communication has been so poor it is hard to be certain of anything!

    2. It's available now. Holmes Ross didn't get enough Green preferences to overtake Duluk, with Labor getting almost as many Green preferences as her. She was 178 votes short of Duluk when she was excluded.