The saga surrounding the South Australian state election is finally over. After polling split results about as cleanly down the middle as you could ever get, the incumbent Labor party today announced a partnership with Independent member Geoff Brock to form a minority government, and prevent us from having a completely Liberal blue country for the time being.
The election result comes on the heels of a landslide victory for the Liberal party in Tasmania, and comes ahead of a state election in Victoria later in the year. After polling closed, the election results had Labor retaining 23 seats, one short of the 24 required to form government, and the Liberal party sitting on 22; an overall swing of 3.5% to the boys in blue. So to actually win the election and get back to the business of running the state, it was necessary for a coalition to be formed; a situation similar to that of the Gillard federal government, or the outgoing Labor/Greens alliance in Tasmania.
Though many expected Labor to lose its 12 year grip on the South Australian parliament, the numbers fell just short of fulfilling that. Today, Premier Jay Weatherill, perhaps relieved that he’s somehow managed to pull one from completely out of his own arse, announced the coalition with Independent member Brock, with Brock telling press that he accepted the role of Regional Development Minister in the new government cabinet.
Among the many challenges faced by the new minority government now, is tackling Labor’s $1billion state deficit, as well as the second highest unemployment rate in the country. This alongside, naturally, the usual political tasks such as mild benefits misuse, wildly inappropriate texting of office assistants, minimal actual working, maximum petty bickering, and the occasional social oppression of sexualities because different things make them uncomfortable.
Photo: Morne de Klerk for Getty Images.