One Nation takes surprise SA seat

·2-min read

Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party has picked up a seat in the South Australian parliament for the first time with the declaration of votes in the upper house after the March state election.

The party's lead candidate, veterinarian Sarah Game, has taken the 10th of 11 seats decided after the final distribution of preferences on Wednesday.

Labor picked up five seats, the Liberals four and the Greens one.

That leaves the 22-seat Legislative Council with nine Labor members, eight Liberals, two from SA-BEST, two from the Greens, and the sole One Nation MP.

It also means Labor will need the support of at least three of the crossbench members to get legislation passed after the party's comprehensive election victory.

Upper house members are elected for an eight-year term with half the council up for re-election at each state poll.

In the lower house, Labor has 27 seats and the Liberals 16, with the remaining four held by independents, giving the new government a clear majority.

Ms Game said her priorities would include advocating for children, for rural and regional areas and for improving health services.

"I'm passionate about improving the lives of children and young people in this state and being a voice for those that are most vulnerable," she said.

Senator Hanson said Ms Game's election was another sign of One Nation's increasing support across the country.

"Sarah will be an excellent representative of the South Australian people," she said in a statement.

"She's been dedicated to contributing to her community all her life and she'll be a strong advocate for the most vulnerable people in the community.

"She's keen to improve education outcomes, which are very much needed in South Australia, and she'll make sure she represents regional communities as well as Adelaide."

Wrapping up the SA poll, the SA Electoral Commission said 1,129,680 people cast a ballot in March, 34,000 more than in 2018.

That included more than 20,000 people who were in isolation because of COVID-19 restrictions who voted using special packs.

"As this was the first South Australian state election since the pandemic, we introduced a raft of measures, including social distance requirements inside polling booths, dedicated hygiene officers and extended operating hours for pre-polling booths to ensure electors could vote and vote safely," Electoral Commissioner Mick Sherry said.

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