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The Independent Weekly
Neither candidate appeared
concerned by the change of Labor
leadership, with Zanker maintaining
the Liberals were "well-placed" and
Rishworth mirroring her electorate s
"They ve really welcomed Julia. I
don t know if it s improved -- they were
giving a lot of positive feedback about
Kevin as well," she said yesterday.
Psephologist Malcolm Mackerras
told The Independent Weekly:
"Kingston is Labor s most marginal
seat, yet I confidently predict Labor
will hold it.
"Why? Because the voting at the
recent state election was so strong for
Labor there. Federal Kingston is made
up of the whole state seats of Kaurna,
Mawson and Reynell. All three were
easily won by Labor on March 20.
"Parts of Bright, Finniss, Fisher and
Mitchell are also to be found in federal
Kingston. Labor performed reasonably
well there, also. So, on the state figures,
Kingston is a solid Labor seat."
Tony Zappia rode into Makin like
Ivanhoe into the lists. Discredited
Liberal member Trish Draper had
announced her retirement, and can-
didate Bob Day was ready to take her
place. He spent a not-inconsiderable
fortune to hold it for Howard, but the
anti-Liberal mood fell over Makin like
a dark cloud.
Enter Tony Zappia, a former bank
johnnie, an ex-Labor staffer, an
Australian power-lifting champ and
accredited fitness and weight-training
instructor. And, more to the point,
the 10-year mayor of Salisbury, in the
Zappia won with an 8.5 per cent
He will hold it against a challenge
from Liberal candidate Liz Davies.
Makin has gone to the nationally
winning party at every election since
it was created at the 1984 general
The Liberals Jamie Briggs won Mayo
in the 2008 by-election, following
Alexander Downer s decision to enter
the lucrative world of lobbying. Briggs
had a tough fight, with 11 anti-Liberals
standing against him. He won with
41 per cent of the primaries, down
almost 10 per cent from the 2007 result
when Downer campaigned as foreign
minister in the disintegrating Howard-
This time, Briggs s win is a lay-down
mis re. He may not even have to go to
preferences. Labor did not field a can-
didate against him in the by-election; it
may be futile to bother this time.
Port Adelaide is Labor s only safe-as-
houses seat -- all the others have been
held by Liberal in recent times.
One-time Left faction leader Mark
Butler won the seat in 2007. There was
a huge state swing against Labor in
suburbs which make up the federal
seat, but Butler should not be worried.
Labor has abandoned its traditional
heartland there, sold Cheltenham
to developers, despoiled the area s
maritime heritage and bulldozed a
working port, flogged off public land
for private gain and allowed the erratic
Michael Atkinson to scratch the
Croydon barnyard, but at least Mark
can say the Butler didn t do it.
Christopher Pyne s enemies know
it s no use voting against him in Sturt
-- they ve tried before and he s always
risen vampire-like from the dead.
Labor would win this eastern sub-
urbs seat with a 1 per cent swing, but it
would be easier to make a bushranger
swing from the end of a rope.
Pyne s essential charm is that
he is charmless. While claiming to
be a moderate, his words mirror a
reactionary. He wants people to work
for the dole rather than for wages if
they can t find a job, advocates turning
back boats which bring asylum seekers
and claims his party is "the only major
political group with a clear policy to
address climate change", which must
be something of a surprise to the
Pyne cannot bring himself to men-
tion the name of his Labor candidate,
but we can.
It s 54-year-old father-of-four and
University of SA law professor Rick
Sarre s task is to test whether the
2007 result -- when Pyne faced Labor s
effective Mia Handshin and the margin
was cut to one from its normal 5 to
8 per cent -- is an abnormality or a
Pyne will hold on by the skin of his
Labor s Nick Champion won Wakefield
by 6.6 per cent three years ago, and
was a rock-solid Kevin Rudd supporter
three weeks ago.
Now he says that having a PM who
"radiates strength" will improve
Labor s position in the marginal
"I think it will have a positive
effect -- having the first female prime
minister and someone of such great
quality. She is strong and charismatic
and Australians generally appreciate
those qualities," he said.
Loyalty, it just can t be bought.
Liberal candidate David Strauss
could not be reached for comment.
This is because he is in Iraq. RAAF
flight lieutenant Strauss is a currently
serving combat officer and sensor
employment manager on an Orion
State Liberal Party president and
senate aspirant Sean Edwards
Party, who was seen to push for
Strauss s pre-selection, is now being
blamed by some for installing a
candidate who lives on the other side
of the globe.
Strauss may be doing his best
in Iraq, but victory in Wakefield is
beyond his grasp.
AND IF IT GOES PEAR-
Anything can happen in an election
campaign, and the campaign really
started last week with Gillard s
There can still be bungles on both
sides -- as Labor proved in 2004.
And they re the things that make
election campaigns a spectator sport.
But as for the result, we ll stick with
what we said in December: Labor six,
Liberal five in South Australia, and
the narrow return of a federal Labor
And Mr Pyne may smirk less
-- With Danielle Forsyth and Melissa
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