Xenophon tar­gets 12 SA seats


PO­TEN­TIAL king­maker Nick Xenophon says 12 is the magic num­ber for the up­com­ing state elec­tion.

The South Aus­tralian Sen­a­tor has taunted both ma­jor par­ties by hold­ing off on an­nounc­ing how many can­di­dates will run un­der his SA Best ban­ner next March, but says about 12 can­di­dates will be un­veiled by the end of the month.

“At least a dozen can­di­dates I think is re­al­is­tic, but we’re in it to win,” Sen­a­tor Xenophon said.

We’d rather run fewer can­di­dates with the aim that we know we’ll have a chance of win­ning.”

Sen­a­tor Xenophon con­firmed he’d run can­di­dates in both coun­try and metropoli­tan ar­eas, and tar­get elec­torates held by both ma­jor par­ties.

He re­jected sug­ges­tions that can­di­dates needed more than six months to cam­paign, point­ing to an ex­ist­ing “mood for change”.

“We think a four to five month cam­paign in seats with good, strong can­di­dates is enough and we think there’s a mood for change,” he said.

“All of th­ese pre­dic­tions are go­ing to rely on hav­ing lo­cal can­di­dates and hav­ing a strong al­ter­na­tive and a re­fresh­ing al­ter­na­tive to the ma­jor par­ties be­cause I think peo­ple feel let down.”

SA Best’s polling is par­tic­u­larly strong in coun­try ar­eas and the Hills seats where NXT MP Re­bekha Sharkie holds the Fed­eral seat of Mayo, prompt­ing Op­po­si­tion fears it could strug­gle to hold as many as seven seats at the 2018 elec­tion, as well as fail to pick up in­de­pen­dent-held Waite.

But Sen­a­tor Xenophon’s as­sur­ance his ap­proach would be “bal­anced” opens the pos­si­bil­ity he will tar­get a swag of La­bor seats in the north­ern sub­urbs, as well as Whyalla.

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