Cheltenham and Enfield by-elections: Labor expected to retain safe seats
Labor is claiming victory in the Cheltenham by-election in Adelaide’s north-west, in the seat previously held by former premier Jay Weatherill.
- Cheltenham and Enfield by-elections were sparked by resignations of Jay Weatherill and John Rau
- Both are considered safe Labor seats and the party is expected to retain both
- The Liberals did not select a candidate for either seat
The by-election is one of two being held in safe Labor seats in Adelaide today, which have been prompted by the resignations of former ministers, with Labor also expected to retain Enfield in Adelaide’s north.
SA Unions secretary Joe Szakacs was selected by the party as its candidate for Cheltenham, and there has been a strong swing towards him in early counting.
But the count in Enfield so far shows a slight swing away from Labor and its lawyer candidate Andrea Michaels.
The elections were sparked by the resignations of Mr Weatherill and former attorney-general John Rau.
In the lead-up to the ballots Labor faced criticism over the by-elections, which come less than a year after the party’s defeat at the March 2018 state election, which ended 16 years of ALP rule.
More than 50,000 people were registered to vote in the two seats, but the Liberals decided not to run candidates in either.
Earlier today, Labor leader Peter Malinauskas acknowledged the ballots were a “little inconvenient” and said he was not taking the results for granted.
“We’ve seen these by-elections as an opportunity, an opportunity to continue our path of renewal as a party and get some fresh faces into the Parliament,” he said.
A short time ago, SA Labor tweeted to congratulate Mr Szakacs, declaring him the new member for Cheltenham.
More to come.