Inside Story

Current affairs & culture from Australia and beyond

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The elusive X-factor

18 March 2018

Two political insurgencies — in Batman and in South Australia — failed to live up to expectations this weekend. Peter Clarke talks to political scientist Rob Manwaring about why

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Back to the future? Liberal leader Steven Marshall at the party’s election-night party. Tracey Nearmy/AAP Image

Back to the future? Liberal leader Steven Marshall at the party’s election-night party. Tracey Nearmy/AAP Image


Two closely watched elections this weekend have produced unexpectedly straightforward results. Despite high hopes, the Greens suffered a negative swing against a strong Labor candidate in the inner Melbourne seat of Batman, and in South Australia a longstanding Labor government was unseated by the Liberals, with support for Nick Xenophon’s SA-BEST falling well below early expectations. On the morning after, Peter Clarke talks to political scientist Rob Manwaring about what happened and why.

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Saturday’s two big contests, the morning after

Voters swung to Labor in Batman and South Australia, but with very different results

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Labor leader Bill Shorten and Labor candidate for Batman Ged Kearney celebrate her by-election win in the inner-Melbourne seat of Batman last night. David Crosling/AAP Image

Labor leader Bill Shorten and Labor candidate for Batman Ged Kearney celebrate her by-election win in the inner-Melbourne seat of Batman last night. David Crosling/AAP Image