News

Xenophon just wants SA balance of power

by
October 08, 2017

There's a small possibility Nick Xenophon could find himself premier of South Australia after that state's election next March, ABC election analyst Antony Green says.

But the man himself says he's only interested in winning the balance of power.

Senator Xenophon announced on Friday his intention to quit the Senate and stand for the state's lower house, hoping to return to SA politics after a decade in federal parliament.

His SA-Best party intends to stand candidates in up to 20 of the 47 lower house seats as well as in the upper house.

Mr Green suspects the party will do very well.

"There's also deep discontent with the major parties and I don't think anyone could discount the fact that he may do spectacularly well and his party could finish in second place or even equal to one of the other parties," Mr Green told ABC TV on Sunday.

"I don't want to make people think it is a real possibility he could be premier but it is the sort of thing you shouldn't discount."

Asked directly if he was running to be premier, Senator Xenophon insisted he was only seeking to hold the balance of power.

"Just to make this clear to both the premier and opposition leader: I'm running because I don't think either side offers a clear vision and a good path forward for South Australia," he told Sky News.

Should SA-Best win enough seats to be in a position to decide which party forms government, it would consider who won the popular vote and the most seats as well as "which side will be fair dinkum on issues of transparency".

Senator Xenophon wants to reform SA's freedom of information and whistleblower protection laws, and strengthen the powers of the auditor-general, the coroner's office and the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption.

SA-Best would not seek any cabinet positions.

Mr Green said recent history had shown Labor around the country had been able to do deals with smaller parties to govern, while the SA Liberals had already ruled out any coalition with Senator Xenophon's team.

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