Nick Xenophon has officially resigned from the senate, changed the name of his party and named senior adviser Rex Patrick as his replacement.
Xenophon announced in a statement on Tuesday that he was “now Citizen X, not Senator X,” in a statement on Tuesday.
The former senator was only last week cleared by the High Court of any dual citizenship issues, but had previously announced his intention to step aside and return to state politics in South Australia.
Xenophon will now contest the seat of Hartley in the South Australian election in March next year, with some polls having him comfortably ahead as the preferred premier of the state.
A privately commissioned Galaxy poll recently had the Liberals on 31 per cent for the state election, with Xenophon’s newly-named SA Best party a close second on 30 per cent and Labor on 26 per cent.
The state-wide poll of 806 voters had Xenophon as the preferred premier with 41 per cent support, compared with the Labor premier, Jay Weatherill, and the opposition leader, Steven Marshall, both on 21 per cent support.
Xenophon’s replacement in the Senate, Mr Patrick, has caused plenty of controversy in his time as an adviser to Xenophon.
The Turnbull Government was forced to review Mr Patrick’s security clearance after revelations he told the media about a massive security breach at the French firm building Australia’s new submarines.
That leak triggered an international furore that embarrassed India and the French government-owned submarine builder DCNS.
What do you think of Nick Xenophon’s time in parliament? Do you think he could get enough support to become the next South Australian Premier? Would this be a good thing?