Federal election guide

Introducing the Poll Bludger’s guide to the (presumably) 2022 federal election.

The Poll Bludger’s guide to what I hope it is now safe to assume will be the 2022 federal election is open for business. There remain many gaps to fill owing to yet-to-be-declared candidates, and a Senate guide is still a work in progress (by which I mean I haven’t started it yet), but it remains a pretty substantial piece of work as is. If you find it stimulating or useful, you can show your appreciation by throwing some pennies into the collection jar, featured at the top of the site in the shape of the “become a supporter” button.

A bright and colourful front page serves as an entry point to the 151 individual electorate pages, each featuring a write-up based on detail I have accumulated since I first did one of these things way back in 2004, adding up to around 75,000 words all told. These are complemented by a range of charts and tables detailing past election results and demographic indicators, the latter compiled from 2016 census data to reflect the current boundaries (with acknowledgement due to Antony Green’s post-redistribution margin estimates), together with interactive maps showing booth results from the last election, which can be seen in detail by clicking on the booth icons.

Also featured is an overview page that includes, among other things, a summary of the national polling situation that I hope I remember to update nearer the big day. In the likely absence of any new polling this week, and for the sake of something substantial to hang this post off, I hereby repaste this section in full:

The most striking feature of state-level polling over the past term has been a seismic shift to Labor in Western Australia, where the party has not recorded a majority of the two-party vote at a federal election since 1987. This seems intuitively satisfying given the historical scale of the McGowan government’s win at the state election in March, winning 53 of 59 seats in the state’s lower house with a record-shattering two-party vote of 69.7%. At a bare minimum, Labor would seem a very strong chance of gaining the seat of Swan, which has a retiring Liberal member on a post-redistribution margin of 3.2%. Labor should also be at least competitive in Hasluck, with a Liberal margin of 5.9%, and Pearce, where the redistribution has cut the beleaguered Christian Porter’s margin from 7.5% to 5.2%.

In Victoria, the Coalition performed relatively well during the state’s first COVID-19 crisis in mid-2020, but declined sharply as a new outbreak took hold in New South Wales and spread across the border in mid-2021, as Labor appeared to gain traction with its claim that Scott Morrison had acted as the “Prime Minister of New South Wales”. However, the only highly marginal Liberal seat in Victoria is Chisholm in Melbourne’s inner east, a seat notable for its Chinese population. Other possibilities for Labor include neighbouring Higgins (margin 3.7%), an historically blue-ribbon seat with an increasingly green-left complexion; Casey on Melbourne’s eastern fringe (4.6%), where Labor will be boosted with the retirement of Liberal incumbent Tony Smith; and the eastern suburbs seat of Deakin (4.7%), an historically tough nut for Labor.

Conversely, the damage to the Coalition from the mid-2021 outbreak appeared relatively mild in New South Wales itself, to the extent that the Coalition is hopeful of gain to redress any losses elsewhere. One such calculation is that Labor owed its wins in Eden-Monaro in 2016 and 2019 to the now-departed Mike Kelly, and its threadbare winning margin in July 2020 to the difficulty governments typically face at by-elections. Another is that its loss of neighbouring Gilmore in 2019 reflected a problematic preselection process, and that it will now return to the fold. With the retirement of Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon, the Nationals could enjoy a further boost in Hunter (margin 3.0%), whose coal-mining communities savaged Labor in 2019. Labor also has tight margins in Macquarie on Sydney’s western fringe (0.2%), the Central Coast seat of Dobell (1.5%) and the western Sydney seat of Greenway (2.8%), whereas the Coalition’s most marginal seat is Reid in Sydney’s inner west on a margin of 3.2%.

Queensland has been the crucible of Australian federal elections over the past two decades, but the state’s remarkable result in 2019 left the Coalition with imposing margins in most of the state’s traditional marginal seats without quite shaking Labor loose in its strongholds. Labor’s polling in the state surged in the wake of the re-election of Annastacia Palszczuk’s state government in October 2020, though it subsequently moved back in line with the national trend. Labor’s highest hopes are reportedly for the far north Queensland seat of Leichhardt, held by veteran Liberal National Party member Warren Entsch on a margin of 4.2%, which resisted the surge to the Coalition across regional Queensland in 2019. The most marginal LNP seat is Longman on Brisbane’s northern fringe, at 3.3%. Peter Dutton’s northern Brisbane seat of Dickson is the third most marginal at 4.6%.

The sole battlefield in South Australia is likely to be Boothby, a southern Adelaide seat in which long-held Labor hopes have never quite been realised. It will be vacated with the retirement of two-term Liberal member Nicolle Flint, who retained it in 2019 by 1.4%. Greater attention is likely to focus on Tasmania, where the three seats of the state’s centre and north have see-sawed over recent decades. Labor will naturally hope to gain Bass, with its Liberal margin of 0.4% and record of changing hands at eight of the last ten elections, and to a lesser extent neighbouring Braddon, which the Liberals gained in 2019 with a 3.1% margin. However, the Liberals hope to succeed in Lyons where they failed in 2019 after disendorsing their candidate mid-campaign. Labor seems likely to maintain its lock on the five territory seats, although the retirement of veteran Warren Snowdon suggests the Northern Territory seat of Lingiari is less secure than its 5.5% margin suggests.

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.

2,202 comments on “Federal election guide”

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  1. Quoll says:
    Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    It wasn’t just Smoko working to get Cormann to where he is. Albo, Wong and evidently other Labor players were totally onboard.

    Comann running around supporting a price n Carbon underlines the hollowness of Liberals position on the issue, I find it difficult to see your problem.

  2. The Shire Liar is going to have trouble with Marcon…

    When also asked whether Morrison lied, Macron said: “I don’t think, I know.”
    …..lots of it

  3. Observer says:
    Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    The fact the 38 year old has broken the law by driving when over the legal limit (and causing damage) is what it is (and will play out in the Courts, so more publicity)

    What it does do is provide an act upon which he can be attacked politically

    I assume this is an attempt at humor?

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Bevan Shields writes that in Rome, French President Emmanuel Macron says Scott Morrison lied to him over the cancellation of a mammoth submarine contract, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two leaders.
    And Phil Coorey says relations between Australia and France have hit a new low after French President Emmanuel Macron branded Scott Morrison a liar.
    A split among the world’s biggest economies has thwarted a bid for stronger action on climate change ahead of a United Nations summit on Monday, with Scott Morrison joining others in warning against an outcome that would mandate action by other countries, writes David Crowe.
    Sean Kelly says that the Coalition’s magical thinking won’t make the climate crisis go away. He is scornful of Cormann’s hypocrisy and The Plan™ itself.
    Adopting a carbon price while much of the world hesitates over a credible plan for net zero would become Australia’s new competitive advantage, explains the editorial in the AFR.
    Scott Morrison attends pivotal global climate talks today, bringing a weak plan that leaves Australia exposed, opines Frank Jotzo.
    Australia has trashed the Paris agreement and exposed itself as the worst kind of climate hypocrite, declares Thom Woodroofe.
    A new parliament is urgently needed with the ability to act on the climate crisis and this must include young people whose future is at stake, urges medicine professor, David Shearman.
    Without the vision to invest in electric vehicles and transport technology, Australia is setting up its young people for a very limited future, laments Abul Rizvi.
    Ian Nell SC is pleased that the ICAC inquiry has allowed us to hear the truth, at last.
    Finbar O’Malley reports that Dominic Perrottet says he has spoken to cabinet colleagues about the types of relationships they must declare so that conflicts of interest are dealt with appropriately.
    Alan Kohler provides a reality check, saying interest rates and carbon prices are already rising.
    Tom Rabe reports that Sydney’s Inner West light rail network will likely be out of service for several weeks at least, with cracks discovered in every single tram that has undergone recent safety inspections.
    The SMH editorial challenges the federal government to spell out the benefits of its proposed voter ID legislation.
    Law professor Rosiland Dixon declares that the proposed voter ID laws pose a risk to our democracy.
    Andrew Leigh mounts a detailed argument on why the voter ID law is unnecessary. He looks at the government’s motives and inspiration, saying, “The extreme wing of the Liberal Party doesn’t like public education. They don’t like public health. They don’t like public services. And now we’ve learned they just don’t like the public.”
    In this expansive dissertation, David Tyler reckons Berejiklian, Morrison and Joyce have been mugged by reality.
    John Kehoe writes that economists are saying the Reserve Bank could be forced to scrap its multibillion-dollar dividend to the government and may require a capital injection from Treasury.
    If Australia is to have any hope of hitting the government’s net-zero commitment, there will need to be fundamental changes in the giants of the financial system, the big four banks, explains Clancy Yeates. He says they will need to change away from being mortgage factories.
    Yeates also tells us that the Commonwealth Bank and the CSIRO are joining forces to investigate how climate change will affect different sectors of the economy, with CBA planning to use the data to drive down the emissions of large corporate clients.
    These contributors to The Conversation wonder if the national cabinet will survive the COVID ‘opening up’.
    Modelling underpinning the imminent reopening of South Australian borders shows the health system can more than cope with hospital admissions and a predicted 13 deaths across almost a year.
    A report finds the not-so-secret agenda of conservative religious activists is unpopular among many Australians — including the religious mainstream, writes Meredith Doig who says the devil is in the detail of the religious discrimination bill. He contribution concludes with, “Politicians in Canberra and in state capitals would be wise to wake up to the tactics of conservative religious activists. The rest of the country already has. “
    Victorian Liberals are demanding that Coalition MP and leadership aspirant Tim Smith resign from State Parliament after he crashed his car into a house while driving at more than twice the legal blood-alcohol limit.
    New company directors appointed from Monday will have 28 days to sign up for a new lifelong identification number or face penalties under a federal regulatory overhaul aimed at preventing unlawful practices such as phoenixing. Fair enough.
    The growth in the number of homes has pretty much kept up with population growth in recent decades, meaning a shortage of places to live can’t explain rising house prices, writes Ross Gittins. He says it is because policy decisions made by governments – federal and state – over many years have rigged the housing market in favour of people who already own their homes and against those who’d like to own.
    Facebook has banned former president Donald Trump from posting on its platform and he is barred by law from using his current fundraising to finance another campaign for the White House. But Trump has found a way around both barriers as he rebuilds his political operation to clear the way for a potential 2024 presidential campaign.
    “Arsehole of the Week” nomination goes to Jordan De Goey whose groping allegation in the US has put heat on the Magpies and the AFL.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Glen Le Lievre

    Peter Broelman

    Kaye Moon

    Warren Brown

    Mark Knight

    John Spooner

    From the US

  5. Sean Kelly says that the Coalition’s magical thinking won’t make the climate crisis go away. He is scornful of Cormann’s hypocrisy and The Plan™ itself.


    Double backflip with double pike, more like.

    Cormann backflipped on his long held opposition to doing anything about Global Heating and Climate Change so he could get the job at the OECD. Only to backflip again and use his position to prevent the EU from applying Carbon Tariffs on Australia!

  6. Ch10 and Ch9 news last night also pointed out that Morrison was ignored by key G20 members. Looks like the media as a whole has noticed and is reporting.

    What an embarrassment to Australia Morrison is!

  7. Richie Merzian
    For the first time (I can remember), the Australian Gov has splashed out on a big #COP26 pavillion which it will use to spruik its favourite technologies with its favourite friends (Santos?)

  8. Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil have released a new song in time for COP26, ‘Rising Seas’. Here he is being interviewed on The Sunday Project (and putting Morrison apologist, Hamish Macdonald, back in his box):

    The Project
    Midnight Oil’s new song is out just in time for COP26. Peter Garrett joins to the show and explains why Scott Morrison’s climate plan is Un-Australian. Their new song ‘Rising Seas’ is out now! #TheProjectTV


  9. Meanwhile, we have Phil Coorey to the rescue – being the stenographer for Morrison’s increasingly desperate handlers…

  10. Not one but two slogans!

    ‘Positive Energy’ and ‘The Australian Way’.

    What, are we all supposed to gambol about with ‘positive energy’ because our government is embarrassing us on the world stage!?!

  11. @mariewalsh18
    Angela washes hand in Fountain, rather than talk to him; Boris avoids Eye Contact, everyone else, turns their Backs & Ignores Him….
    So Far..It’s going Well

  12. If we are lucky “the Australian way” will come to mean nothing more that “kick the can down the road”, even that is not good.

  13. Well observed by Ronni Salt:


    For those asking, the main reason Morrison is keeping his mask off is so he stands out for photo opportunities.

    These meetings are generally a sea of suits and male grey heads and he wants to maximise every gram of exposure.

    He keeps his mask off so he’s instantly recognisable.

  14. Sean Kelly’s analysis of Morrison seems interesting: a man who is always aware of his image, tries to smooth over mistakes, but when faced with a genuine crisis like bushfires or the pandemic, he fails.

  15. “The Australian Way” just reminds me that “Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck.”

  16. Neil McMahon
    Frankly this seems like a completely logical crisis point for Scott Morrison’s prime ministership given all we know about him.

  17. Can’t help wondering if Labor has some awesome knockout punch planned which I’ll be mightily impressed by, if not moved to tears, once it’s unleashed.

  18. Griff

    Our current leadership (sic) is certainly making us all feel second rate. Many people are now saying they’re ashamed of their country.

  19. Regional travel opens up in NSW today, and with several regions becoming cluster hotspots, how long until we see cases transported to Sydney and spread? I honestly think they should’ve pushed back regional travel until they’d gotten the cases down in those hotspots, and increased vax rates across the regional communities.

  20. Record national debt.
    Record household debt.
    Record temperatures.
    Record fires.
    Record corruption.
    Record division.
    Record bullshit.

    Morrison must resign.

  21. lizzie @ #33 Monday, November 1st, 2021 – 8:12 am

    Sean Kelly’s analysis of Morrison seems interesting: a man who is always aware of his image, tries to smooth over mistakes, but when faced with a genuine crisis like bushfires or the pandemic, he fails.

    Just like a souffle. He looks like he is rising to the occasion but after 5 minutes he collapses into a mess.

  22. France, India and Indonesia to forge ahead with a new partnership in Indo-Pacific based on talks on the sidelines of G20. This appears to be in the backdrop of AUKUS.
    I mentioned earlier that India has its closest relationship with France and Indonesia in Europe and SE Asia respectively.


  23. Those pictures, images and soundbites of Maskless Morrison wandering around the room trying a find a single person to engage with are priceless. It is obvious to all that Morrison is poison on the international stage. Other leaders are clearly turning their backs on him whilst even Cormann doesn’t want anything to do with him. This wasn’t even the first time it happened, Merkel prepared to put her hand into freezing water rather than shake Morrison’s. The fact that this was on Channel 7 means that the thickest among us are being given some facts even if they will not want to believe it.

    Macron is going to take him apart. The rest of the world’s leadership, Johnson excluded, will be standing back cheering. It’s not often that even a lying pissant like Morrison gets called out on the world stage by the leader of a country on the UN Security Council. The Katzenjammer Kids trying to troll their way around this for the rest of the day should be entertaining. But not as amusing as the upcoming Gladys show…

  24. Did anyone else see Christiania Figueres on BreakfastNews this morning? It was a totally damning assessment of Morrison/Australia. No words were minced in the making of this interview.

  25. Morrison must hate not being able to control the narrative such that he is being exposed for the world, and Australians, to see.

    And he keeps getting handsy with world leaders!

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