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Seat of the day #21: Batman

Batman is a Labor seat in the inner north of Melbourne, covering Fairfield, Northcote, Thornbury, Preston, Reservoir and Kingsbury.

Batman is a traditional Labor seat, although the Greens have been making significant inroads. Labor MP David Feeney won the seat in 2013, moving from the Senate.

The Greens have come second in Batman at the 2010 and 2013 election. The Labor margin in 2013 was 10.6%, but that was with beneficial Liberal preferences. That margin would have been entirely wiped out if the Liberal Party instead preferenced the Greens. If the Greens gain Liberal preferences in 2016, Batman will be a very close race.

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Seat of the day #20: Wills

Wills1-2CPWills is a Labor seat in the inner north of Melbourne, covering Brunswick, Moreland, Coburg, Pascoe Vale, Oak Park, Glenroy, Hadfield and Fawkner. It is held by Kelvin Thomson, who has held the seat since 1996.

Wills was traditionally considered very safe for Labor, although Labor had previously lost the seat to left-wing independent Phil Cleary at the 1992 by-election following Bob Hawke’s retirement. The Greens vote has grown in the area, with the Greens overtaking the Liberal Party on preferences to come second in 2013.

Labor holds the seat by a 15.2% margin, thanks to favourable Liberal preferences. If the Liberal Party reverses that decision, that margin would be cut significantly. Thomson is retiring in 2016, and the Greens are hopeful of winning Wills.

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Seat of the day #19: Higgins

Higgins1-2PPHiggins is a Liberal seat in the inner east of Melbourne, covering Toorak, Prahran, South Yarra, Malvern and Glen Iris.

Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer holds the seat by a 9.9% margin. The seat is reasonably safe for the Liberal Party, but the Greens have ambitions to challenge the Liberal hold, running a high-profile candidate in former AFL footballer Jason Ball, but they are a long way away from winning Higgins.

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Seat of the day #18: Melbourne Ports

Melbourneports1-2PPMelbourne Ports is a Labor seat in the inner south of Melbourne, covering St Kilda, Caulfield, Albert Park, Middle Park and South Melbourne.

Labor’s Michael Danby has held Melbourne Ports since 1998, but has seen an erosion of the Labor vote as many Labor voters have switched to voting Green, and the Liberal vote has grown. In 2013, Labor relied on a large Green preference flow to overcome a Liberal lead of 9.4% on primary votes.

The Greens have expressed some hope of closing the 11.5% gap between Labor and Greens, and thus winning the seat on Labor preferences.

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Seat of the day #17: Mayo

mayo1Mayo is a Liberal seat in South Australia, covering the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Mayo is held by Liberal MP Jamie Briggs by a 12.5% margin. In normal circumstances the seat would be considered safe for the Liberal Party, but there is a history of minor parties challenging for the seat. The Democrats came close in 1990, and the Greens came close at the 2008 by-election.

In 2016, the Nick Xenophon Team, who polled very strongly in the area in the 2013 Senate election, are challenging for Mayo, and will be hoping to drive down the Liberal vote and win on Labor and Greens preferences.

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Seat of the day #16: Durack

Durack1-2CPDurack is a Liberal seat covering a huge area in northern Western Australia, including Geraldton, Broome and Port Hedland.

The Liberal Party’s Melissa Price won the seat in 2013. The main rival for the seat is the Nationals, who came within 3.9% of winning in 2013.

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Seat of the day #15: O’Connor

OConnor5-2CP-southwestO’Connor is a Liberal seat covering the vast bulk of southern Western Australia, including Kalgoorlie, Albany and Esperance.

The seat is held by Liberal MP Rick Wilson by a 1% margin over the Nationals. The Nationals won this seat off the Liberal Party in 2010, and lost narrowly after a 4.5% swing after preferences to the Liberal Party in 2013.

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Seat of the day #14: New England

Newengland1-2CPNew England is a Nationals seat covering parts of northern NSW including Tamworth, Armidale, Glen Innes, Scone and Inverell.

New England was held by independent MP Tony Windsor from 2001 until his retirement in 2013, when the seat was won by Barnaby Joyce, then Nationals deputy leader and Senator for Queensland, and now leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister.

In 2016, Windsor is challenging Joyce for his former seat. The two have both won landslide victories in New England, but have never faced each other in an election.

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Seat of the day #13: Dobell

Dobell is a knife-edge marginal seat covering northern parts of the NSW central coast, including Wyong, Bateau Bay, The Entrance and Toukley.

Liberal MP Karen McNamara won Dobell in 2013 by a 0.7% margin, but the recent redistribution tipped the seat to be a notional Labor seat with a 0.2% margin.

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Seat of the day #12: McEwen

McEwen1-2PPMcEwen is a marginal Labor seat covering the northern outskirts of Melbourne, including Sunbury, Craigieburn and Whittlesea, and areas further north, including Gisborne, Seymour and Wallan.

Labor MP Rob Mitchell won McEwen in 2010 after missing out by a handful of votes in 2007. He currently holds McEwen by a 0.2% margin after winning a second term in 2013 by just over 300 votes.

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