Liberals’ Adrian Pederick pulls ahead of independent Airlie Keen in Hammond
Pre-poll and postal votes are falling in the MP's favour with about two thirds of votes counted after Saturday's state election.
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Liberal MP Adrian Pederick has promised to fight hard for Hammond from opposition if his re-election is confirmed in the coming days.
About 10,000 votes were yet to be counted on Thursday morning, but Mr Pederick remained the man to beat.
He led independent candidate Airlie Keen 52.4 per cent to 47.6% after the distribution of preferences.
About 60% of pre-poll and postal votes were breaking in his favour, even though the Liberals recorded their lowest primary vote in Hammond for at least 25 years.
Australia’s best-known election analyst, the ABC’s Antony Green, had seen enough to call it for Mr Pederick on Wednesday night.
Mr Pederick said he had been quietly confident he would win a fifth term in office, despite having to fend off six challengers from across the political spectrum.
He attributed the swing against him to statewide factors – including Labor’s “scare campaign” on ramping and people’s frustration with COVID-19 – rather than local ones.
He feared that the Murraylands would miss out on funding under a Labor government, compared with the millions of dollars that had been invested in local hospitals and schools during the past four years.
But he promised to keep doing his best for the region if his re-election was confimed.
“Sadly I’ve been in opposition for three terms before, I’ve got some experience,” he said.
“I was quite successful pushing back on initiatives like the Wellington weir.
“I think there’s still a lot of force you can do locally, protecting your local interests (from opposition).”
His priorities would include making sure Murray Bridge and Strathalbyn got their fair share of the health funding Labor had promised, he said.
He hoped to play a more prominent role in the Liberal opposition, having served as a party spokesman and whip before.
But he declined to say whether he would support Nick McBride – the MP who now represents the Coorong district – or another aspirant in the upcoming Liberal leadership ballot.
Voters remain keen for change, independent says
With all that said, Mr Pederick’s main challenger is not counting herself out yet.
Independent candidate Airlie Keen said she had had a few nervous moments during the vote count – and, she expected, so had her opponent.
“This is uncharted territory for the Liberals in Hammond,” she said.
“It really sends a message to the sitting member that … his support base has dissapated.
“We’ve certainly given him a fair nudge.”
She believed her candidacy had pushed the Liberals and Labor to make local funding commitments around school upgrades, public housing and Murray Bridge’s new basketball stadium.
She had also learned a lot, she said, about the “stranglehold” the political parties had on elections at a state level, and how difficult it was for a self-funded independent candidate to draw voters’ focus to local issues rather than the big picture.
“If it was a clean race between candidate A and candidate B in your local patch, it would be different,” she said.
“Anyway, until the final result is in … I’m not out of the race.”
Asked about her future ambitions, she said she would take stock once the final election result was known.
She would certainly resume her role as a Murray Bridge councillor if her campaign fell short.
Labor promises more public housing, Ngarrindjeri treaty
Meanwhile, Labor’s statewide win will have consequences in the Murraylands.
We’ll get more public housing, for one thing, as promised by Mr Malinauskas during the campaign.
Negotiations towards a treaty between the state of South Australia and the Ngarrindjeri people, abandoned in 2018, will also be able to restart.
The process of reconciliation was the first thing the Premier-elect spoke about when he took to the microphone on Saturday night.
More information: result.ecsa.sa.gov.au.
Liberal MP Adrian Pederick is edging ahead of independent candidate Airlie Keen as vote-counting continues in Hammond after Saturday’s state election.
Pre-poll and postal votes accounted for about half of the votes cast in Hammond; and so far about 60 per cent of those votes are going to Mr Pederick, after distribution of preferences.
A final result remained unclear early on Wednesday, but Mr Pederick led Ms Keen 51.5% to 48.5% on a two-candidate-preferred basis with about 11,400 votes left to count.
Meanwhile, as South Australia’s upper house of parliament takes shape, it is obvious that Murray Bridge local Lisa Sherry’s campaign will fall short.
The Nationals won just 0.7% of the statewide vote in the Legislative Council.
It looks like Labor and the Liberals will each win four of the 11 upper-house seats that were up for grabs, and the Greens one, with Labor and One Nation most likely to take the last two.
We may soon find out whether long-serving Liberal MP Adrian Pederick or independent challenger Airlie Keen will represent Hammond for the next four years.
Mr Pederick led Ms Keen after all election-day votes were counted and preferences distributed, just barely: 50.1 per cent to 49.9%.
However, pre-poll and postal votes – about half of the total for the electorate – were yet to be counted on Monday night.
Electoral commission staff will begin that job on Tuesday.
Ms Keen told Murray Bridge News she had been humbled by the level of support shown to her by voters, and was proud of what she had achieved.
But she expected pre-poll votes would favour Mr Pederick and keep her from pulling off the upset.
A Liberal Party scrutineer suggested Ms Keen might not even overtake Labor candidate Belinda Owens in the preference count.
Labor leader Peter Malinauskas will be South Australia’s next premier, but it is still unclear who will represent Hammond for the next four years.
A preference count will be needed after the Liberals’ share of the local vote fell to its lowest level since at least the 1990s.
Liberal MP Adrian Pederick remains the candidate to beat with all election-day votes counted, but Labor’s Belinda Owens and independent Airlie Keen are still in the race.
Pre-poll and postal votes will not begin to be counted until Monday.
The table below shows booth-by-booth results; click for a larger version.
For the first time in 16 years, the vote count in Hammond looks likely to go to preferences after a swing against Liberal MP Adrian Pederick.
At 8.30pm, with 19.5 per cent of votes counted, Mr Pederick had attracted the most first-preference votes, as usual.
However, his share of first-preference votes sat at just 39.8%, well below the totals he had recorded at the past four elections.
If those figures hold steady, the Electoral Commission of South Australia will need to distribute voters’ other preferences, at which point things could get uncomfortable for the long-serving MP.
Labor’s Belinda Owens has the next-most votes, with 23.4% of the total; but independent Airlie Keen could gain preferences from the Nationals, the Greens and One Nation.
Each of those three minor parties recommended that their supporters preference Ms Keen ahead of either Labor or the Liberals.
The final result will depend heavily on the order in which the parties finish, and on pre-poll and postal votes.
But in any case, Hammond looks likely to become a more marginal seat than it has been in some time.
Earlier on Saturday
Liberal MP Adrian Pederick is seeking a fifth term in office at today’s state election – will he get it?
And if he does, will he spend the next four years in government or opposition?
Those are two of the questions we’ll look to answer as the results of the 2022 South Australian election roll in on Saturday evening.
History is well and truly on Mr Pederick’s side.
At each of the past three elections, he has won more votes than every other candidate for Hammond put together.
Still, if he wins less than 50 per cent of votes this time around, it is mathematically possible that another candidate could overtake him on preferences.
The Nationals’ John Illingworth might be one to watch if that scenario eventuates, as all parties except Family First suggest preferencing him above Mr Pederick on their how-to-vote cards.
How-to-vote cards are just a suggestion, of course, but about 40% of voters follow them, according to ABC election analyst Antony Green.
Labor’s Belinda Owens and independent Airlie Keen could also be mathematical chances.
Murray Bridge News will report on local results throughout Saturday evening, and keep an eye on the state-wide race as well.
Polls close and vote-counting will begin at 6pm.
See below for a reminder about who the candidates are and how they would approach some of the big issues facing our region.
Tim White (Greens)
Tonya Scott (One Nation)
Airlie Keen (independent)
John Illingworth (National)
Belinda Owens (Labor)
Cameron Lock (Family First)
Adrian Pederick (Liberal)
Nick McBride (Liberal)
Mark Braes (Labor)
Dayle Baker (Family First)
Jonathan Pietzsch (National)
Pam Giehr (One Nation)
Murray Bridge’s Lisa Sherry is also a National Party candidate in the Legislative Council.
More information: www.ecsa.sa.gov.au.
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