In a long-awaited poll, Nick Xenophon’s South Australia party become the most popular choice in voting intentions for the state. The party has declared it will reveal new election candidates very soon.
Two months following an announcement by Nick Xenophon that he would leave the Australian Senate to go back to state politics, his party has created a 3-way battle for power in SA for the upcoming March 2018 state election.
In the South Australian newspoll, the Xenophon party took 32% of the primary voting intention, Liberals getting 29% and Labor on 27%. The Greens sat at 6% in the poll.
This is in stark contrast to the polling at South Australia’s last state election in which the Liberals got 44.8% of the vote while Labor got 35.8%.
Despite Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull currently leading as preferred PM, his Liberal-National party is not fairing so well and this can be seen here on a state level.
South Australia clearly prefers Nick Xenophon as their future Premier with 46% of the preferential vote. The current premier Jay Weatherill is sitting on a mere 22% whilst the Labor candidate has only 19%.
The poll was unable to generate numbers regarding a vote for two-party preferred, highlighting that the Xenophon party is shaking up the voting paradigm in South Australia.
Prior South Australian newspolls gave data that showed Liberals ahead of Labor in a primary vote but behind Labor in a two-party preferred vote.
Nick Xenophon stated that the new polls preferring his party and his leadership revealed that South Australian people wanted something different than what the two major parties were offering.
Xenophon went on to say that the polls indicated that South Australia was tired of the “broken state” of politics in the state. He said that the fact that his “fledgling” party was succeeding showed that the advertising and resources of the two major parties was not swaying everyday people who were sick of the political dichotomy.
Xenophon said that South Australians did not want a change from the left or right, but from his political centre. He has so far announced 6 candidates to run in the state election and that more would be announced soon.
The goal was to have a total of 20 candidates if there was not any further surge in interest for the party.
Xenophon was not afraid to admit that his party was running on a small amount of resources compared to Liberal and Labor. He said that they were running a campaign to win seats there was a realistic chance of winning and “causing an upset”.
He cited the fact that Labor and Liberals had the backing of big unions and corporations that his party does not.