NXT Rises in South Australia

Elections are coming up in Australia and outsiders are poised to peel off support from the main parties. The NXT, or Nick Xenophon Team, is the creation of Senator Nick Xenophon, a pragmatic populist who often focuses on local or less ideological issues such as gambling. The party's main support is in South Australia, with low single digit support nationally.

Federal Election Preview - South Australia
Since 2013 opinion polls have indicated a new volatility in state's voting patterns. So volatile that they played a part in the downfall of Tony Abbott as prime minister, and the recent awarding of a massive submarine contract to a French company with construction to take place in Adelaide.

The source of this new volatility has been Nick Xenophon. First elected to the state's Legislative Council in 1997 with 2.9% of the vote, he developed such a personal profile that he was re-elected 20.5% in 2006. Switching to contest the Senate, Xenophon polled 14.8% to win election in 2007, and polled an extraordinary 24.9% on re-election in 2013, pushing the Labor Party into third place and recording the highest vote for a third-party candidate in Senate history.

Based on 2013 Senate results, the Nick Xenopon Team outpolled at least one major party in 10 of the 11 South Australian seats. A repeat of those results would see Xenophon's party with a strong chance of winning lower house seats and three or four Senate seats at a double dissolution election. The Nick Xenophon Team will contest all lower house seats in South Australia, as well as seven interstate lower house seats plus Senate in every state.

South Australia has suddenly become important to the nation because success for the Nick Xenophon Team at this year's double dissolution will deliver it a powerful position in the Senate, and potentially a say in a finely divided House of Representatives.
Until social mood rebounds, we should expect the continued rise of outsiders, anti-establishment politicians and victories by out-of-power parties.

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