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Boundaries favour SA Libs for 2018 poll

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016

Almost 400,000 South Australians will vote in different seats in the 2018 state election, with a major shift in boundaries putting the Liberal opposition in the box seat to win office.

The revamp has notionally handed four more seats to the opposition, putting it in a strong position to win 25 in the 47-seat parliament for a clear majority, based on its level of support at the 2014 poll.

The opposition could also grab two more seats held by independents, including that held by Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith who defected from the Liberals to take up a cabinet post with the Labor government.

The redistribution of boundaries is meant to reflect the fairness provisions in electoral laws designed to ensure the party that wins the popular vote also wins enough seats to form government.

In 2014 the Liberals won 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote but failed to pick up key marginal seats it needed to take office.

The opposition was further stymied by independents who sided with Labor.

The revamp also means Labor would need a swing of more than three per cent in 2018 to secure an historic fifth term.

But an unknown factor, which the redistribution cannot consider, will be the likely support for candidates run by the Nick Xenophon Team after its strong showing at this year's federal election.

Senator Xenophon says his party will run candidates in a number of SA seats and if it performs as it did at the federal poll, it will be serious contender.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the boundary changes were a matter for the party office.

"My focus is on the big issues," he said.

"If you deliver on things South Australians are concerned about, elections look after themselves."

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