The Advertiser has sprung into action after Nick Xenophon’s announcement he would contest the eastern Adelaide seat of Hartley for his SA Best party at the March state election, by commissioning a Galaxy automated phone poll of 516 respondents in the electorate. This has Liberal incumbent Vincent Tarzia on 38%, Xenophon on 35%, Labor on 17%, Greens on 6% and Australian Conservatives on 3%. On respondent-allocated preferences, this translates into a 53-47 lead to Xenophon. As I noted in Crikey on Monday, Hartley was only the Nick Xenophon Team’s thirteenth strongest of the 47 state seats at last year’s federal election, based on Senate voting patterns.
Also from The Advertiser’s report:
Major party sources have told Advertiser.com.au that polling shows the Liberals vulnerable throughout the Adelaide Hills and country, with seats including Mount Gambier well in play. There are fears that the Hills seat of Heysen, held by retiring former Liberal leader Isobel Redmond, could fall to SA Best. It is also believed that Opposition education spokesman John Gardner is at serious risk in Morialta and Chaffey, a Liberal Riverland seat, is vulnerable.
Also related is a snippet I missed from last week concerning another poll, also from Galaxy but conducted privately by the Australian Bankers Association, which made the perhaps not surprising finding that Martin Hamilton-Smith, the former Liberal leader who quit the party to take up a position in Jay Weatherill’s cabinet, has no chance of retaining his seat of Waite. Liberal candidate Sam Duluk, who is moving from his existing seat of Davenport due to the redistribution, was on 41%, Labor and SA Best on 21% apiece, the Greens on 10%, and Hamilton-Smith on just 5%.