How's this for some electoral maths.
There's just one seat between Labor and the Liberals in South Australia -- 22 to the Libs; 23 to Labor but short of a majority. Two independents can give either side government, but one of them, Bob Such, falls sick and may never return to Parliament. As William Bowe writes
, the agonising question for independent MP Geoff Brock was thus:
"... Such’s health issues left the Liberals high and dry, as Labor would have commanded a majority on the floor regardless of whether the Speaker’s chair was filled by a Liberal or by Brock.
"Consequently, the alternatives facing Brock were a Labor minority government, or parliamentary deadlock and a fresh election. Much as opponents of Labor and/or minority government in general might complain that the latter is the preferable option, they have no reason to suppose the result of a second election would be any different from the first."
Good luck with that. Brock's decision -- to accept a cabinet post and award Labor a fourth term in government -- was perhaps the only viable one. A legitimate deal was done and Labor Premier Jay Weatherill wins fair and square.
But the people of South Australia -- a large majority of whom voted Weatherill out -- will feel cheated all the same.
Legitimacy will be Weatherill's biggest challenge over the next four years -- not in the eyes of the Parliament, but in the eyes of the people.