The membership of the South Australian Democrats have made their choice to fill the Upper House vacancy caused by the retirement of the party’s sole remaining MP. The vacancy is being filled by David Winderlich.
I first met David quite a few years ago through his work supporting refugees. He was one of a number of effective refugee advocates in the Adelaide area, and he always struck me as someone who had a genuine belief in the importance of working with people at community level.
With South Australia electing 11 candidates at each Upper House poll, that does give a relatively low quota of 8.33%, so there is can be an outside chance of someone managing to get elected with a fairly small vote if they get the right preference flows. Given the extraordinary popularity Nick Xenophon now has in that state, it is worth remembering that when he first got elected in 1997, he had a primary vote of less than 3 per cent, so upsets are always possible.
However, as David himself acknowledges, it will be “very tough” for him to get re-elected when the SA election comes around next year. I can’t disagree with him on that, but I wish him well with his challenge. Whether or not he turns out to be the final Democrat in any Parliament, as is widely predicted, given his experience I am sure he’ll do worthwhile work in the time he’s in the Parliament, however long that turns out to be.