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New SA boundaries hand two seats to Libs

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 By Marnie Banger

Two South Australian electoral seats will most likely go to the Liberals at the next election, if changes proposed by the state's Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission go ahead.

The changes, outlined in a draft report released on Monday, intend to address an imbalance that has allowed Labor to win more seats than the Liberals at the past two state elections despite losing the two-party preferred vote.

In 2014, the Liberal Party claimed 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, but won 22 seats while Labor won 23 and sealed their victory by courting two conservative independents.

At the 2010 election the Liberals secured 51.6 per cent of the two-party preferred vote, but won just 18 seats while Labor claimed 26.

The electoral commission is bound by a fairness clause which says it must attempt to ensure the party that wins the highest two-party vote can form government.

Based on 2014 voting patterns, its new drafted boundaries would deliver two seats to the Liberal Party at the 2018 election - Elder, currently held by Labor MP Annabel Digance, and Mawson, held by Labor minister Leon Bignell.

Newland, currently held by Labor MP Tom Kenyon, would also become a very marginal seat.

The Liberal Party says the changes don't go far enough in ensuring the two-party vote will reflect who can govern.

"At the last election we got 53 per cent of the vote, we still didn't form government, and the issue here is we still have genuine concerns that we could have a repeat of that situation," Opposition Leader Steven Marshall told the ABC.

Premier Jay Weatherill told reporters on Monday the Liberal Party designed the rules in the first place, and they shouldn't complain simply because they don't suit them now.

"They're the laziest opposition on the face of the planet and they're always hoping that someone will actually hand it to them on a platter and they whinge when it doesn't happen," he said.

Mr Bignell said he's not worried by the changes that would make his seat of Mawson Liberal-leaning.

"I love meeting new people, so if it turns out that the final report looks how the draft report looks, I'll be just as happy to get out there and doorknock people like I have for the past 12 years," he told reporters.

People will be able to make submissions to the commission on the redrafted boundaries, which will affect 390,000 voters, over the next month.

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