Down to the wire

Five House of Represenatatives seats are still listed as doubtful by the Australian Electoral Commission; no less than three of them are in South Australia, and four are held actually or notionally by Labor. Of these Labor is trailing in two, both being seats that sitting MPs are trying to win for the first time following redistributions. These include the new Queensland seat of Bonner, which looked the better bet for Con Sciacca after his existing seat of Bowman (where the Liberals picked up a 6.1 per cent swing) became notionally Liberal; and Wakefield in outer Adelaide, where Labor’s Martyn Evans is attempting to move after the abolition of his own seat of Bonython. Sciacca trails by 0.17 per cent with 82.7 per cent of the vote counted, while Evans is currently falling short by 0.37 per cent with 84 per cent of the vote counted. Also in Adelaide, Labor member for Kingston David Cox leads by just 0.19 per cent with 84.9 per cent counted. One wonders how far ahead the Liberals’ Andrew Murfin would be in the Perth seat of Swan if he had kept out of the news during the pre-election period. As it stands he trails Labor’s Kim Wilkie by just 0.11 per cent with 79.4 per cent of the vote counted. Labor’s remaining hope to pick up another new seat to add to its meagre haul of Adelaide, Parramatta and Richmond (where Larry Anthony, trailing by 0.65 per cent, is not giving up yet) is Hindmarsh, an Adelaide seat being vacated by retiring Liberal Chris Gallus, where Labor leads by 0.17 per cent with 80.8 per cent counted. If those currently ahead remain so, the Liberals will emerge with 73 seats compared with 68 in the old parliament, with the Nationals down one to 12 (bearing in mind that he said he would resign if any seats were lost, and that their Senate seat in Queensland is also in doubt). Labor is down from 65 to 62 and the three independents have been returned. On the latter point at least the Poll Bludger’s overall prediction was correct, but he short-changed the Liberals by six seats. The Runs on the Board tally to the left now records the actual rather than predicted result. Post-match summaries for every seat will be added to the federal election guide with all possible haste when the figures are finalised.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.