Saturday, May 21, 2022

The seats to watch at your 2022 election party

I know, you are busy, and it is too hard to get your head around the intricacies of 151 electorates. But here’s the secret: Most seats in the Australian Parliament are unlikely to change hands. This is my pick of the seats you should keep an eye on. By just watching a few seats, and ticking them off as they are decided, you should be able to get a good idea who is winning early in the evening. 

The baseline

The Australian Parliament has 151 seats. For majority government a party needs to win 76 seats. In the most recent parliament, the Coalition had 77 seats. Coming into the election (with seat boundary changes) it has a notional 76 seats. Similarly, while Labor had 68 seats in the last Parliament, coming into the election it has a notional 69 seats. And there were 6 seats for the crossbench.

The headline message is that Labor must win seven additional seats to achieve majority government, without losing any of its existing seats to the Greens on its left flank, or the Coalition on the right.

The Coalition cannot afford to lose any seats if it is to retain majority government. The Coalition faces tough fights from Labor, which is well ahead in the published opinion polls. It also faces challenges from the (so called) Teal independents in several inner-city seats.

If neither the Coalition nor the Labor Party can achieve majority government, one of these parties will need to negotiate with the crossbench for their support before that party can form government. This process last happened in 2010, and it took 17 days after the election before the Government was settled.

Most pundits expect all six of the existing crossbench seats will be retained by their current occupants. Many pundits believe there is a reasonable prospect of the crossbench being increased at the 2022 election.

The seven (or more) seats Labor would be looking to win

Note: if a big swing against the Coalition occurs, many more seats would be won by Labor. This list should give you a sense on Saturday night as to whether Labor can form majority government or not.

  • Bass (Tas) – Coalition held – 0.4% -
  • Chisholm (Vic) – Coalition held – 0.5%
  • Boothby (SA) – Coalition held – 1.4%
  • Higgins (Vic) – Coalition held – 2.6% – the Greens also have a slim chance with this seat
  • Braddon (Tas) – Coalition held – 3.1%
  • Reid (NSW) – Coalition held – 3.2%
  • Swan (WA) – Coalition held – 3.2%
  • Longman (Qld) – Coalition held 3.3%
  • Leichardt (Qld) – Coalition held – 4.2%
  • Robertson (NSW) – Coalition held - 4.2%
  • Casey (Vic) – Coalition held – 4.6%
  • Dickson (Qld) – Coalition held -4.6%
  • Deakin (Vic) – Coalition held – 4.7%
  • Lindsay (NSW) – Coalition held – 5.0%
  • La Trobe (Vic) – Coalition held – 5.1%
  • Pearce (WA) – Coalition held – 5.2%

The seats Labor needs to hold on to (but also see Green possible wins below)

  • Macquarie (NSW) – Labor held – 0.2%
  • Lilley (Qld) – Labor held – 0.6%
  • Cowan (WA) – Labor held – 0.9%
  • Eden-Monaro (NSW) – Labor held – 0.9%
  • Corangamite (Vic) – Labor held – 1.1%
  • Blair (Qld) – Labor Held – 1.2%
  • Hunter (NSW) – Labor Held – 3.0% – Fitzgibbon has retired – a coal seat

Where independents have some chance of picking up another seat from the Coalition

  • Goldstein (Vic) – Coalition held – 7.8% – Tim Wilson is the incumbent and Zoe Daniels is the independent challenger
  • Kooyong (Vic) – Coalition held – 6.4% – Josh Frydenberg is the incumbent and Monique Ryan is the independent challenger
  • Wentworth (NSW) – Coalition held – 1.3% (TCP vs Ind.) – Dave Sharma is the incumbent and Allegra Spender is the challenger
  • North Sydney (NSW) – Coalition held – 9.3% - Trent Zimmerman is the incumbent and Kylie Tink is the challenger
  • Curtin (WA) – Coalition held – 13.9% – Celia Hammond is the incumbent and Kate Chaney is the challenger
  • Nicholls (Vic) – Coalition Held – 20.0%  – Because the former incumbent retired, Nichols is a rare three-way contest between Steven Brooks (Liberal), Sam Birrell (National) and Rob Priestly (independent)

Where the Greens have some chance of picking up another seat

While I think an additional Green seat is semi-unlikely, they may prove competitive in one of these seats.

  • Brisbane (Qld) – Coalition held – 4.9%
  • Ryan (Qld) – Coalition held – 6.0%
  • Griffith (Qld) – Labor held – 2.9%
  • Macnamara (Vic) – Labor held – 4.9%
  • Wills (Vic) – Labor held – 8.2% (TCP vs Green)

Links to useful sites


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