This election is proving it might make a precedent, neither side reaching a 40% primary vote, and minor parties getting over 20% of primary vote for the third time (2013, 2016, 2019-25%?).
Only twice in history has a Government won office with a primary less than 40% (1998 – Coalition) (2013 – Labor).
At this point national primary votes and national two-party preferred votes matter very little, this is now a slugfest for individual seats.
This slugfest gets interesting when we approach it with an informed view beginning with the start-state. Looking at the final breakdown at the end of the 45th Parliament there were:
Coalition 73 / Labor 69 / Cross-bench 8
Nationals 1; Greens 1; Centre Alliance 1; Katter’s Australia Party 1
Julia Banks; McGowan; Phelps; Wilke
In this slugfest, as most commentators will tell you, seats are going to change both ways.
Coalition Possible Wins
It feels pretty safe to assume the Liberals will regain their seat that went to the crossbench with Julia Banks as will the Nats with Kevin Hogan, making 75/69/6.
It wouldn’t be too surprising to see two independent seats return to the Coalition, McGowan in Indi and Phelps in Wentworth are the most likely, making 77/69/4.
Add in at least one seat in the Northern Territory, one in Tasmania, Herbert in Qld, and Lindsay in NSW, it makes 81/65/4 if Labor were to win none.
Labor Possible Wins
Four from Petrie, Brisbane, Forde, Fisher, Capricornia, Leichhardt and Flynn in Qld.
Two from Robertson, Reid, Farrer, and Gilmore in NSW.
One from Latrobe, and Chisholm in Victoria.
Add in independents for Cowper and Warringah making 72/72/6 with a likely Labor Government.
Of course Labor doesn’t want to admit it’s this close because it is the unlosable election and they don’t want to scare the horses, while the Coalition are happy to remain as the quiet underdogs.
Which is why some are even saying it could come down to Cowper. Lucky for the readers of this blog, you all have possibly the best seats in the house (I mean really, who else is providing Hollywood glamour).
As the Coalition and Labor apply the blowtorch to each other for those remaining seats, we have seen real star power enter the Cowper campaign, even if our Rusty actually lives in Woolgoolga, north of Cowper in the seat of Page.
In a tweet more partisan than politically savvy, unlike the readers of this Cowper Blog Series, (who have a greater appreciation of the politics of the Coffs Harbour Bypass tunnels) saw none other than Russell Crowe supporting the independent Oakeshott.
Slightly down the scale of star power saw the Member for New England visiting Nambucca Heads.
And just to confuse things a little more, ex Labor staffer and astute political commentator Sean Kelly admitted in his column this week that it doesn’t feel like a Government changing election, something this column will discuss later this week failing a major incident turning all seats on their head.