After independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott announced they would not be contesting their seats earlier today, we now have answers from all 150 members of the House of Representatives as to whether they are running for re-election.
Twenty members of the House of Representatives are not running for re-election. This includes seven Labor MPs, three independents (including Peter Slipper) and ten Coalition MPs (six Liberals, two Nationals, two Queensland LNP members).
This is interesting in the context of an election where the Coalition is expected to do well: normally parties on an upswing experience less retirements. This correlates with anecdotal evidence that Labor MPs have been pressured into not retiring in order to give the party a chance of holding their seat.
Of course, these numbers may change if a challenge to Julia Gillard sees Kevin Rudd take over as Labor leader.
Overall, my list of candidates now has 550 candidates for the House of Representatives, and sixty-two lead candidates for Senate tickets.
The Coalition has now announced 151 candidates overall. Four seats (all safe Labor seats in Melbourne) do not yet have any Coalition candidate. There are five seats where the Liberal Party and the Nationals are both running: Bendigo and Mallee in Victoria, Barker in South Australia, Throsby in New South Wales and O’Connor in Western Australia. The Liberal Party is currently without a candidate in Durack, where the Liberals hold the seat and the Nationals have already announced. The Nationals are expected to run candidates in four regional Western Australian seats, which will increase the number of three-cornered contests to eight.
There are twenty-five seats where the ALP is yet to announced a candidate. The only Labor-held seats on this list are Dobell and Batman: respectively held by Craig Thomson and Martin Ferguson.
The ALP is yet to announce candidates for the seats of Canning, Hughes and Stirling, all Liberal seats that have been traditionally considered marginal and are held by margins of less than 6%.
The Greens have announced 107 candidates, and the Palmer United Party has announced 71. The Australian Christians have announced 21 candidates, twenty-two including a CDP candidate in Mackellar.
There are eight electorates where only one candidate has been announced. Seven of these are Coalition-held seats, and the eighth is New England, where Barnaby Joyce is the only candidate so far to announce.
At the other end, the seats of Throsby and Riverina have now notched up seven candidates.
The average number of candidates running in each electorate is currently sitting on 3.6.