South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon Is Resigning From Parliament
Senator Nick Xenophon has announced at a press conference this morning that he will be resigning from federal parliament in order to contest a state seat in the upcoming South Australian election.
Xenophon was elected to the Senate in 2007 as an independent but in 2013 he formed the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT), a centrist political party. The party polled nearly 22 percent of the vote in South Australia at last year’s federal election and currently has four representatives in the federal parliament, including Xenophon.
Xenophon will run for the state seat of Hartley, located in Adelaide’s east. The seat is currently held by Liberal MP Vincent Tarzia by a narrow margin of 2.4 percent. Hartley overlaps with the federal seat of Sturt, currently held by Christopher Pyne. At the last federal election NXT candidate Matthew Wright polled over 21 percent of the vote in Perth.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Xenophon served in the South Australian Legislative Council for 10 years.
In a nine-minute long video released this morning Xenophon declared the upcoming state election campaign would be one of his “biggest challenges” but said he was doing it because he “loved the state”.
In a seperate statement he said, “I’ve decided that you can’t fix South Australia’s problems in Canberra without first fixing our broken political system back home.
Xenophon is one of the most powerful senators in Canberra. His NXT senators have played a crucial role in negotiating key government policies, including the recent reforms to media ownership laws. It’s not clear who would replace Xenophon in the Senate, but under current laws it is a decision for the party organisation.
The South Australian state election will be held in March 2018.