SA election still too close to call

By Tim Dornin
About one million people are set to cast their ballots to decide the next state government of SA.

The South Australian election is neck and neck with almost a quarter of the vote counted, as swings varied widely across the state.

The early results had both Labor and Liberals winning 19 seats each in the 47-seat parliament with two others also likely to remain in the hands of independents.

That left seven in doubt with opposition leading in several of those but Labor looking set to win the inner suburban seat of Adelaide from the Liberals.

On the primary statewide vote the swing to the opposition was three per cent with the swing away from Labor 1.6 per cent.

Going into the election the Liberals needed to pick up six seats to govern in their own right or at least three to have any chance of forming a minority government.

Labor held six of its seats on a margin of 2.7 per cent or less.

Despite the result remaining in doubt, Labor looks set to lose a number of ministers even if they can hang onto government.

Transport Services Minister Chloe Fox in Bright and Employment Minister Grace Portolesi in Hartley were both in trouble while Manufacturing Minister Tom Kenyon was behind early but could hang on.

Labor was also trailing in a number of other seats including the seat of Ashford, but was leading in Elder where the Liberals accused the government of a racist slur against their candidate Carolyn Habib by distributing a pamphlet which just featured her surname on the cover.

Earlier today Premier Jay Weatherill said he expected the result to be close with the election to be decided in a number of key seats.

"Obviously there are a range of seats that are going to be battleground seats. A large number of them this time," he said.

With the count so close a hung parliament also remained on the cards.

Mr Weatherill said he was focussed on winning a majority of seats, while Liberal leader Steven Marshall said the opposition had not ruled out forming a minority government.

"I've never ruled that out but I do say that it would be great for a government to govern in their own right here in South Australia," Mr Marshall said.

Just over 1.1 million South Australians were enrolled to vote.

About 70,000 of those cast their ballots early at voting centres across the state with about 86,000 people also expected to lodge postal votes.

Those votes could ultimately prove crucial.