SA: Election shows voters stand for life

The loss for the one-term Liberal Party in South Australia has delivered a clear message to both major parties, that Christian and conservative voters are willing to switch their votes on the basis of issues of life and truth.

Writing in The Australian on Sunday morning, Australian journalist David Penberthy said that conservatives attribute the massive loss to Christians deserting the Liberals over abortion to birth and euthanasia.

Abortion to birth was the issue that ACL has highlighted ever since that brutal piece of legislation was passed by the SA Parliament in February 2021.

ACL’s campaign in the SA election highlighted the abortion to birth legislation which was pushed through against the wishes of the majority of South Australians by the ex-Liberal Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Vicki Chapman with the support of Premier Stephen Marshall. It cannot be overstated that the new Labor Premier voted to restrict abortion to birth, while Vickie Chapman with the support of Stephen Marshall was the promoter of the Bill.

ACL told MPs before they voted on the bill that if abortion to birth legislation was passed, the ACL would remind people from that time to the election, how MPs voted. With the support of thousands of supporters, we did that.

From soon after the passing of the Bill in February 2021 to election day, ACL held forums across the State, made about 20,000 phone calls, direct mailed the seats of Newland, Adelaide, Mawson and Elder, letterboxed about 100,000 flyers, put up corflutes and advertised on social media.

I want to thank all the volunteers who worked so hard. And especially, in a first for ACL, those who made calls to the general public on the issue of abortion to birth. You deserve a big "well done!" So do all the Local Campaign Organisers who arranged for the 100,000 Upper House scorecards to be letterboxed. The scorecard was featured on ABC online and in two articles. My wife Amanda saw a lady walking into a polling booth holding one!

I also want to thank our Field Director Sandra Karlin and her team, and particularly Sarah Heys the SA, Tasmanian and NT State Coordinator for a lot of great work.

In terms of results this is what we know:

  1. The new Premier voted against abortion to birth and also against the decriminalisation of prostitution: that is a good thing;
  2. A number of the likely new Labor front bench also voted the same way, including the only woman who voted against the abortion to birth Bill itself Andrea Michaels;
  3. Two of the MPs in the 3 seats in which we ran an information campaign advising voters that their MPs voted against restricting abortion to birth, lost their seats. They were both Liberal MPs. In the third seat, the Labor MP increased his vote on the back of the big swing, but that was in one of the areas where ACL’s supporter base is weakest;
  4. The evidence suggests that conservative and Christian voters, many for the first time voted for the Labor Party because of the abortion to birth issue;
  5. In the Upper House the 3 minor parties who expressly identified as pro-life to date have won about 8.3% of the vote, which is similar to the Greens, who have won 9.8% of the vote. It seems likely that at least one of these parties will gain a seat in the Upper House, and God willing there would be two. That will be significant.

The message to the conservative parties from this election is that the Christian vote is willing to and will shift if the conservatives push anti-life and anti-truth legislation: they are not rusted on. The message to the ALP is that it can gain that vote, if they support life and truth in legislation. For Christian voters “it’s [not] just the economy stupid” (adapting President Bill Clinton).

Please continue to pray, as many seats and good candidates are in doubt.

Finally, may I thank all the donors whose generous giving enabled ACL to run this campaign. May God richly bless you.