He’s known as the king of the Australian political stunt – but with his party’s zany new election ad, SA-Best leader Nick Xenophon may have outdone himself.
Featuring a cheesy rap, catchy chorus and Bollywood-style dancing, the TV spot was released on Tuesday ahead of the South Australian election on March 17.
Dressed in a black T-shirt, the veteran politician appears on camera to clumsily rap the song’s verses, which includes lines such as: “We’ll work in your best interests, bring pollies to account, bring back power to the people, yeah, that’s what we’re about.”
In a nod to Labor’s iconic 1972 ‘It’s time’ ad which helped propel Gough Whitlam into The Lodge, SA-Best candidates serve as a backing choir during the chorus.
Viewers were split on the cheesy two-minute TV spot, with some enjoying its lighthearted nature, but a number asking on Twitter: “What did I just watch?”
You owe me back two minutes of my life.
— Scott Rhodie (@ScottRhodie) February 20, 2018
Nick Xenophon’s SA Best drops a woeful cheesy ad. Everyone cringes, but also shares it, saving SA Best some pennies on the ad buy.
— Adam Spence (@AdamSpenceAU) February 20, 2018
After quitting the Senate last year, Mr Xenophon is hoping to shake up the two-party dominance in South Australia by snaring the balance of power in the lower house.
The former Senate crossbench kingmaker is renowned for his crazy and colourful media stunts.
While a member of the South Australian upper house, he once walked a cow, known as ‘Daisy the Cash Cow’, to state parliament in protest against gambling machines.
During this election campaign, he has already donned a sandwich board to greet voters in the Adelaide seat of Hartley, which he is trying to win from the Liberals.
A shock poll in December found SA-Best winning 32 per cent of primary vote, compared to 29 per cent for the Liberals, with Premier Jay Weatherill’s Labor on 27 per cent.
That poll, published in The Australian, also found 46 per cent of voters choosing Mr Xenophon as preferred premier, well ahead of Mr Weatherill on 22 per cent.
But due to financial constraints, SA-Best is only running 30 in of the 47 lower house seats, and more recent polling has shown the fledgling party falling behind Labor and the Liberals.