Just whose baby will it be?

Saturday’s State election has been one right out of the box.
Even at this late stage the only certainty about the outcome appears to be uncertainty.
It seems remarkable that Labor is still favored to win the tight contest after 16 years in government while having the putrid carcasses of Oakden, TAFE and the faltering health and education systems still dangling around its neck.
In any other year Steven Marshall and the Liberal Party would be calling in the removalists for their long-awaited shift to the plush government offices overlooking Victoria Square.
But they are far from across the line and there is the real potential they could be staring down the barrel of 20 consecutive years in Opposition.
Yesterday morning an Australian online betting company operating on the election had Labor firming as favorites to retain government coming in from $1.72 to $1.60. At the same time the Liberal Party has drifted to be a $2.40 chance to win.
As coarse and unconventional as it may seem, taking note of where people put their hard-earned is a measure of what they are thinking.
We know people don’t tell pollsters the truth in pre-election surveys (One Nation was about to win big in the last Queensland election, the Labor Party wasn’t supposed to get within a bull’s roar in the last British election and Brexit was never supposed to happen) but when punters put down their money it is done with substantial conviction.
The fly in Steven Marshall’s ointment this election is, of course, SA Best and its leader Nick Xenophon.
This new party has turned what should have been a cakewalk for the conservatives into a dour struggle.
A likely scenario is that one of the major parties will have to form an alliance with either SA Best or independents.
Some say that makes for unstable government.
Others say that’s democracy.
It’s fair to say democracy has many parents and once we’ve had our individual votes on Saturday and metaphorically sown our seeds, we really have no idea what the resulting baby will look like.
And if the newborn doesn’t look like us or behave like us, it’s still our baby and we should love it regardless … just like Barnaby Joyce intends to do.