By RYAN COLSEY
The election is over and the people of South Australia have voted for a change in government.
The House of Assembly vote counting is complete with the Liberals winning 25 seats, Labor 19 seats, and three seats going to independents.
For the Liberals, the election marked a return to power and the validation of Steven Marshall’s bold strategy to rule out any deals with SA-Best.
For Labor it saw the end of a 16-year reign, an end to Jay Weatherill’s leadership of the party, and the beginning of at least four years in Opposition.
SA-Best failed to win any seats in the Lower House and their leader, Nick Xenophon, is now out of a job.
Most of the major and minor parties have put out statements and made addresses following the election, putting their own spin on the results.
These statements are always carefully crafted by media advisors and don’t always reflect the opinion of their supporters.
Behind the politicians and their parties are campaigners who put in countless hours for their respective parties’ causes.
Will Twiss campaigned for Liberal Party candidate Rachel Sanderson in the seat of Adelaide.
Having spoken to hundreds of voters during his volunteering, Mr Twiss was not surprised by the outcome.
“It’s an awesome feeling, but an expected result too,” Mr Twiss said.
“The feeling was for change. People were sick of the cost of living pressures over the last 16 years.”
Mr Twiss also attended the Liberal Party election night function at the Hackney Hotel and celebrated his party’s victory with fellow Liberal supporters.
“Ultimately this result was overdue. Labor had failed too many times and needed to be held to account by the South Australian people. It’s now time for the Liberals to rectify the issues.”
While Mr Twiss and the Liberals were jubilant with the outcome, volunteers for the Labor Party were clearly deflated.
Kayla Dickeson campaigned for Labor candidates Julie Duncan in King and Blair Boyer in Wright.
She too spoke with voters in a bid to get a fifth-term Labor government elected and received indifferent responses.
“It was mixed — there was support for Labor but there were some people who sounded like they were turning to SA-Best. I didn’t expect a Liberal Government,” Ms Dickeson said.
The Labor Party’s primary vote dropped to 32.8 per cent, their worst figure since the 1993 State election.
Ms Dickeson admitted she was not happy with the outcome.
“I was pretty devastated, I think that SA Labor has done a lot for this state,” she said.
“They made progress on renewable energy, hospital upgrades, saving the steelworks industry from collapsing, bringing down unemployment as well as advancing the rights of the queer community.
“It was disappointing to not have that reflected in the election results.”
Both Mr Twiss and Ms Dickeson said the biggest surprise of the election was SA-Best’s failure to win any Lower House seats.
SA-Best supporter Luke Radford disagreed.
“I was not completely surprised. I feel like they spread themselves too thin and complexity neutered their chances of winning the seats they were strong in,” Mr Radford said.
“I also think it’s about time for Xenophon to have a break; it’s been too long and he needs to step back for a while.”
Preference calculations in the Legislative Council are continuing, meaning the exact number of representatives each party will have remains unknown.
Having won nearly 20 per cent of the vote in the Legislative Council though, SA-Best are guaranteed to have at least two representatives.
In the meantime, it is up to the winners to make good on their campaign promises while the losers lick their wounds ready to do it all again in four years’ time.
Image Source: SA Liberal
Edited 28 March 4:17 pm