SA-BEST, formerly known as Nick Xenophon's SA-BEST is a political party in South Australia. It was founded in 2017 by Nick Xenophon as a state-based partner to his Nick Xenophon Team party (renamed to Centre Alliance in early 2018). In 2018, deputy leader of NXT Stirling Griff said that SA-Best is "a separate entity, a separate association, a separate party" from NXT.
|Founded||4 July 2017 as Nick Xenophon's SA-BEST|
|National affiliation||Centre Alliance|
|Colours||Orange and black|
|Slogan||Real change you can trust|
|SA Legislative Council|
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The party was registered on 4 July 2017. John Darley had been the sole Nick Xenophon Team member in the South Australian Parliament until he left the party to become an independent on 17 August 2017. Darley was elected to the Legislative Council in 2014, and his term does not expire until 2022.
On 6 October 2017, Xenophon announced that he would be leaving the Senate to contest the state seat of Hartley at the 2018 state election. Xenophon resigned from the Senate on 31 October 2017. At its 2018 annual general meeting, the South Australian party officially changed its name from Nick Xenophon’s SA-Best to SA-Best. In December, Xenophon resigned as a party member.
|Election year||# of
overall seats won
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2018 South Australian election
In the March 2018 South Australian election, SA-Best contested thirty-six seats in the South Australian House of Assembly and put forward four candidates for the upper house. The party charged candidates $1,000 to be considered for pre-selection, and a further $20,000 for running in the lower house, or a further $40,000 in the upper house, as well as fund their own local campaign. Any successful candidate would have been compelled to pay five per cent of their salary to the party.
The thirty-six House of Assembly seats contested were: Badcoe, Chaffey, Cheltenham, Colton, Croydon, Davenport, Dunstan, Elder, Elizabeth, Enfield, Finniss, Gibson, Giles, Hammond, Hartley, Heysen, Hurtle Vale, Kavel, King, Lee, Mackillop, Mawson, Morialta, Morphett, Mount Gambier, Narungga, Newland, Playford, Port Adelaide, Ramsay, Reynell, Schubert, Taylor, Unley, Waite, and Wright. Antony Green of ABC News noted that Labor needed a notional swing of 3.1 percent to win a majority, since the Liberals held a bare notional majority after the redistribution. However, Green speculated that if SA-BEST repeated Xenophon's past performance at Senate elections, it could do well enough to make those calculations (and presumably any effort to calculate a statewide two-party vote) meaningless.
The party failed to secure any lower house seats, although there was a close contest in the historically safe Liberal seat of Heysen. Xenophon unsuccessfully contested Hartley and although he came second on the primary vote ahead of Labor's Grace Portolesi by 202 votes, the preference distribution of the eliminated fourth-placed Greens candidate turned Xenophon's 99-vote lead over Portolesi into a 357 vote deficit. Third-placed Xenophon was therefore eliminated, with Hartley reverting to the traditional Liberal vs Labor contest. The party came second on primary votes in ten seats; the strongest results were in Chaffey, Finniss, and Hartley, where the party received over 25%. SA Best did, however, secure two upper house positions, with the successful election of Connie Bonaros, the campaign manager, and Frank Pangallo, Xenophon's former media advisor.
According to NXT deputy leader Stirling Griff, the infamous "Bollywood ad" was his idea and actually improved private opinion polling. The polling also showed that Australian Hotels Association advertisements lost SA Best 5 per cent.
It was reported by Buzzfeed in January 2018 that other parties have been registered interstate, including NSW-BEST, VIC-BEST, WA-BEST, QLD-BEST and NT-BEST. Notwithstanding, Xenophon resigned as a party member of SA-Best in December 2018.
- Opie, Rebecca (5 March 2017). "Nick Xenophon launches SA Best party for 2018 South Australian election". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "Fran Kelly interview with Stirling Griff". Radio National - Breakfast. abc.net.au. 20 March 2018.
- "Register of political parties". Electoral Commission of South Australia. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
- "MLC John Darley quits Nick Xenophon Team in South Australia". ABC. 17 August 2017.
- "Nick Xenophon to return to South Australian politics". ABC News (Australia). 6 October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
- Griffiths, Luke (26 December 2018). "SA-Best left alone as Nick Xenophon departs". The Sydney Morning Australian. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
- "Labor accuses Xenophon of failing to declare donations". The Australian. - Article is behind a paywall.
- "Xenophon candidate Connie Bonaros can't repay $13k debt to MP". The Australian. - Article is behind a paywall.
- "House of Assembly candidates". Electoral Commission of South Australia. 26 February 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
- House of Assembly, sabest.org.au. Accessed 24 February 2018.
- Electorates, sabest.org.au. Accessed 24 February 2018.
- SA-Best announces candidates for Wright and Newland, 15 February 2018, sabest.org.au
- SA-Best announces candidates for King and Croydon, 17 February 2018, sabest.org.au
- Respected educator announced as SA-Best's candidate for Reynell, 21 February 2018, sabest.org.au
- Antony Green (16 February 2018). "SA 2018 Election Preview". ABC News.
- "SA Results". SA Election 2018. ABC News (Australia).
- "Heysen". SA Election 2018. ABC News (Australia).
- 2018 Hartley final distribution of preferences: ECSA
- Hartley election results: ABC
- "Chaffey". SA Election 2018. ABC News (Australia).
- "Finniss". SA Election 2018. ABC News (Australia).
- "Legislative Council results". SA Election 2018. ABC News (Australia).
- Kathryn Bermingham (13 July 2017). "Former Today Tonight journalist Frank Pangallo to take up role as media adviser to Nick Xenophon". The Advertiser. news.com.au.
- Workman, Alice (18 January 2018). "Nick Xenophon Is Quietly Expanding His Party Into Victoria And NSW". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 31 March 2018.