“Labor is unlikely to form Government if it doesn’t win Australia’s most marginal seat in Corangamite on Saturday” is a quote from Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek earlier this week, which would have made many Labor faithful wince in this 2019 unloseable election.
Add to this ABC’s Barrie Cassidy suggesting a “Coalition victory would be the biggest upset ever” before going on to list Corangamite as a possible win for the Coalition in Victoria, and some might be positively unwell.
One couldn’t blame Shorten if he milks the golden glow of sentimentality of Bob Hawke’s Prime Ministership until Friday night. Little else, including discussion of hung parliament scenarios, would be the fulfilment of his dreams and aspirations offered six weeks ago at the outset of the election campaign.
It begs the question why the most marginal seat should be a bell weather for the election.
While national polling is unlikely to be helpful in determining who will actually win this frightfully competitive election, state polling will likely be more helpful than individual seat polling, and again Newspoll will be getting more than its fair share of attention.
As the leaders flitted around the country in the final days it might partially have been directed by how each state is fairing for each party.
Queensland may turn out to be a massive disappointment for Labor, despite Newspoll indicating a Two-Party Preferred of LNP 50 / Labor 50 with a large swing to Labor of 4.1 per cent since the last election. Labor should pick up Petrie and Forde with seat peculiarities losing it Herbert and Longman. Considering the sizable swing to Labor, if it provides no net gain this will be a long night for Labor.
In Victoria Newspoll indicates LNP 46 / ALP 54 with the all important swing toward Labor of 2.2 per cent since 2016, allowing Plibersek to still be so bullish on Corangamite on Monday. However with Cassidy seeming to reign in Labor’s enthusiasm in this seat, it is left with Chisholm as a ‘should win’, with a big maybe for Deakin. Labor will be hanging for Latrobe as well because other states aren’t looking even this helpful and the Coalition may still gain Indi.
In South Australia the 2PP is LNP 48 / ALP 52 with a 0.3 per cent state swing to the Coalition that may see no seats change hands. Labor will want Boothby.
West Australia was Labor’s other great hope: 2PP of LNP 52 / Labor 48 with the swing to Labor of 2.7 per cent, this should see it pick up at least one seat, presumably Swan.
In Tasmania there is no hope of Labor increasing its seats and may well lose Braddon.
In Northern Territory there is also no possibility of Labor increasing its seat holdings and may lose a seat or in a shocker two.
In the ACT Labor is pretty certain to pick up the new seat, small mercies at this stage.
Which leaves us to the seat rich New South Wales: 2PP LNP 51 / Labor 49 with a possible swing toward the Coalition of 1.1 per cent. This should deliver Lindsay, Page and Wentworth to the Coalition. Labor might still hope for Gilmore but Reid not so much. Robertson seems unknown.
Even if the independent Zali Steggall gets up over Abbott in Warringah, she claims to join Rebekha Sharkie in Mayo and Bob Katter in Kennedy as Coalition supporting independents.
This leaves us with Cowper’s Rob Oakeshott swimming against the state swing, a solid margin left by the retiring Luke Hartsuyker and the NSW Nationals pouring into Cowper this week in an effort to lock it in.
If pre-poll reports are to be believed, Port Macquarie and Kempsey are solidly behind the Nationals’ Pat Conaghan leaving Oakeshott’s greatest hope in the northern end of the electorate around Coffs Harbour.
In the past couple of days we have seen the Nationals’ Director Ross Cadell and Deputy Director Tom Aubert both in and around Coffs Harbour with Senate candidate Sam Faraway. Numerous youthful Young Nats, State member Gurmesh Singh, ex-State member Andrew Fraser, Hartsuyker and the candidate himself have also been everywhere in this end of the electorate this week.
At this stage there is little more to say. Cowper, which has been in the Nationals’ hands almost entirely since Federation, might wake up Sunday morning with Rob Oakeshott as its member. We will just have to wait and see if the federal election really does end up breaking Labor hearts all over the nation or brings home the holy grail of Government.