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Here's What Happened In South Australia And In Batman (The Electorate)

And Nick Xenophon's tilt at taking over South Australia is not going well.

Originally posted on
Updated on
SA Liberal leader Steven Marshall.
Morgan Sette / AAPIMAGE

SA Liberal leader Steven Marshall.

The Liberal party is set to form government in South Australia after 16 years of Labor rule, with former federal senator Nick Xenophon failing to make a splash in the state with his SA Best party.

And Labor has come out on top in a bitterly fought by-election against the Greens in the inner Melbourne seat of Batman.

In South Australia, Liberal leader Steven Marshall will be the new premier, with a projected Liberal victory bringing to an end 16 years of Labor government in the state.

The ABC has projected the Liberals will win at least 25 seats, one more than the 24 needed to secure a majority government.

Marshall took the stage at the Liberal election party on Saturday night to the sound of "The Man" by The Killers.

He said it had been "too long between drinks" for the Liberals in South Australia and that his government would be a "new dawn" for South Australia.

Marshall thanked the people of South Australia for their votes.

"I give you my commitment that I and every single person in the team will be working diligently every day over the next four years so that we can build a brighter future and a better future for South Australia," he said.

South Australian Labor leader Jay Weatherill said earlier on Saturday that he had called Marshall to concede and wished him all the best in taking on the role of premier.

"I am sorry I could not bring home another victory," he told supporters. "I do feel like one of those horses who has won four Melbourne Cups and I think the handicap has caught up to us on this occasion. We’ll just give you one pledge – we’ll be back."

Weatherill said being premier had been one of the "great joys" of his life and, smiling, promised his family that he'd be a better husband, son, brother and father.

SA Best leader Nick Xenophon.
Kelly Barnes / AAPIMAGE

SA Best leader Nick Xenophon.

Xenophon's SA Best was considered a wildcard factor in the election, but by 9.30pm on Saturday, the ABC's election analyst Antony Green said the contest had settled into a two-horse race between Labor and the Liberals.

Xenophon resigned from the federal parliament last year to contest the South Australian election after he was caught up in the citizenship scandal (but was ultimately cleared by the High Court).

He is not expected to win Hartley, the seat he was contesting at the election.

Meanwhile, in Batman...

Australian federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten and successful Labor candidate for Batman Ged Kearney.
David Crosling / AAPIMAGE

Australian federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten and successful Labor candidate for Batman Ged Kearney.

The by-election in Batman was triggered when former Labor MP David Feeney resigned from parliament after he could not produce proof he wasn't a dual citizen.

Labor feared it would not be able to hold on to the seat, but former ACTU president Ged Kearney beat the Greens' Alex Bhathal, who was running for the seat for a sixth time.

Kearney told a room of cheering Labor supporters it had been a campaign for "true Labor values" and that they had campaigned on national progressive issues such as workers' rights.

"I'm finally on my way to Canberra and Labor is on its way to a Shorten government," she said.

She thanked the people of Batman "for putting your trust in me and I won't let you down".

Labor politicians celebrated Kearney's victory on Twitter, some deploying the hashtag #ReddyForGeddy.

Congratulations to @gedkearney on running a principled and effective campaign for #BatmanVotes - Canberra is #ReddyforGeddy

Trying not to get excited but failing miserably. The greatest woman around might be joining me in Parliament and I am #reddyforgeddy big time.

Congratulations Ged! You’ve been an outstanding candidate - and you’ll be an even better MP.

Bhathal congratulated Kearney in her concession speech at the Greens election party.

She said the result was "not what any of us would have wanted tonight" but added she was proud of the campaign the Greens had run.

"You're the future of progressive politics in our party," she told the Greens members gathered at the event. "You're the reason we pushed this contest right down the wire."

The Greens were mired in internal infighting during the Batman campaign, with a series of leaks against Bhathal alleging she had bullied Greens members and engaged in branch stacking.

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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