S.A Political Report,

South Australia has an incumbent ALP Government and has had for the last several years. In modern times the Liberal Party have struggled to put consecutive terms together when they have been elected. It is fair to say that the ALP on a State Basis tends to be more popular in SA. It’s suggested that up until the 1980′s only the ALP made serious investments in infrastructure in SA and it’s often believed that the Liberal Party lack substance and policy direction as they approach elections, not unlike the previous situation in NSW where the ALP was elected for their final term not because they were the best choice, but largely because the opposition struggled to appear credible.

South Australia has both a Lower House and a Legislative Council. The Democrats traditionally did well in the SA Legislative Council until their ultimate demise under Natasha Stott-Despoja’s leadership. The Legislative Council has both Labor and Liberal Representation, yet also has two Independent Senators who were part of the No Pokies Party who began to fill the void in SA post the Democrats led by Nick Xenophon who has since entered the Federal Senate with a very strong margin and endorsement from SA voters. S.A is the home of the “Family First” party who have two elected members in the Legislative Council. The Greens also have two elected members. Family First contest each seat in the state and received their highest amount of votes in the electorates in the Northern Suburbs which is often regarded as the Bible Belt of Adelaide.

Political issues that are focused on in South Australia are the decline of the Manufacturing Industry with many companies moving offshore such as Castalloy at Plympton, or companies simply moving their head offices to NSW. Ageing Infrastructure and poor investment into Public Transport, the lack of a Dual Carriageway highway to Victoria, Public School Closures and Amalgamations are issues discussed regularly in the local media.

There is some discussion at present that perhaps the State Liberal Party in SA should look to the model of the LNP in Qld and seriously consider taking someone from outside the party to bring leadership and direction to them to give them the capacity to mount a serious challenge to the ALP. Ex Federal M.P and current delegate to Cyprus Alexander Downer is one name that has been mentioned on several occasions.

Naturally there are other issues and other minor parties that could be discussed in a more detailed analysis of SA politics, However, as a first introduction and a basic overview this is largely where we stand at present,  … please feel free to add your own imput!

Ben