Premier-Elect Steven Marshall Promises a Bright Future for South Australia

THE Liberal Party has ended 16 years of Labor rule and also dismissed any challenge from Nick Xenophon and his SA-BEST Party.

It is estimated the Liberals will win at least 24 seats in the 47-seat parliament in South Australia, enough to give the opposition some serious push in parliament and govern in their own right.

Labor will likely take 18 seats and three should go to independents with two seats remaining in doubt.

Counting is expected to continue throughout this morning with those seats still too close to call to come down to postal and absentee votes.

Mr Xenophon failed to win his own seat of Hartley with Vincent Tarzia retaining it for the Liberals.

SA-BEST Leader Nick Xenophon was defeated in yesterday’s election results. Picture: AAP Image/Kelly Barnes

SA-BEST also polled well below expectations in the 35 other seats the party contested, failing spectacularly in its attempt to seize the balance of power.

Mr Marshall said it had been “way too long between drinks” for the Liberal Party in South Australia.

“Now, we have been given a wonderful opportunity by the people of South Australia,” he told the jubilant party faithful on Saturday night.

Outgoing premier Jay Weatherill thanked South Australians for the “extraordinary privilege of being your premier.”

“It’s been one of the great joys of my life,” he said.

Former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill concedes defeat against Liberal leader Steven Marshall during the South Australian election. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz

 Mr Xenophon said he was beaten by “negativity” and the “big money” spent by the Australian Hotels Association to derail his campaign.

“But it’s not over and I’m not giving up,” he said.

SA-BEST should have at least some representation in the next parliament with the party a chance of claiming two seats in the upper house.