State election: the week ahead (Feb 13-19)

Monday, 13 February 2006

In the leadup to the State Election on Saturday, March 18, Senior Lecturers in Politics at the University of Adelaide, Dr Clem Macintyre and Dr Greg McCarthy, will examine the political week ahead. Who's performing well? Who needs to lift their game? What are the major issues on the campaign trail this week? Dr McCarthy and Dr Macintyre will offer their thoughts on these topics and other election issues on a weekly basis.

The following comments can be attributed to Dr Greg McCarthy, Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Politics, University of Adelaide. For further comments about any aspect of the forthcoming election, please contact Dr McCarthy or Dr Macintyre on their contact details listed below.

Having taken the initiative in the election campaign and gained media traction, Opposition Leader Rob Kerin will be keen to win the media headline war again this week with another set piece performance. But the Opposition will need to give some substance to "It's a Con" claim in respect of the Government's economic performance and offer some substance that would show the Liberal Party is a credible alternative to the current Government.

The Rann Government will be tempted to have a set piece of its own to capture the attention of an electorate yet to be engaged with the electoral contest. Labor has to perform a balancing act of pre-empting Mr Kerin and yet holding to its own electoral timetable.

For the Government, the question is do they release some of the election 'goodies' now to gain media space at the expense of a package campaign much closer to 18 March poll?

The minor parties are also so in the media with the defection of Kris Hanna from the Greens to become an independent. Last week we also witnessed the Greens' Party launch which sought to broaden its social justice appeal. The Australian Democrats have revealed their campaign strategy as defenders of the Legislative Council against the power of the Executive. Then there was the irrepressible Nick Xenophon and his sandwich-board politics, whose wide public recognition will not guarantee him re-election. However well he performs, his fate will depend on backroom preference deals.

So we can expect a fascinating week of move and counter move, stunts, and set piece performance by the parties and the independents. We can also expect Premier Rann and Opposition Leader Kerin to have prominent roles in Week Two of the contest.


Contact Details

Dr Greg McCarthy
Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Politics
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4735
Mobile: 0419 809 938

Professor Clem Macintyre
Head, School of History & Politics
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5601
Mobile: 0432 977 055

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762