QLD 2015 – close seats to watch

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I’ve identified seven seats that I think are close enough to be worth discussing. Excluding these seven, Labor holds 42 seats, the LNP holds 37, and three are held by KAP and an independent.

In order to win a majority, the ALP would need to win three out of these seven seats.

At the moment, Labor leads in two of these seats (Ferny Grove and Maryborough) – the best shot for Labor to win its majority is to win in Whitsunday, where the LNP leads by only 84 votes. If they can turn around that lead in Whitsunday, and hold on in Ferny Grove and Maryborough, Labor will win a majority.

  • Ferny Grove – Labor’s Mark Furner leads by 577 votes. The first batch of postal votes broke in favour of the LNP’s Dale Shuttleworth, narrowing the gap by 98 votes, but there should be at least 1000 more postal votes yet to be counted, along with large batches of pre-poll and absentee votes. Definitely too close to call.
  • Glass House – On election night, the LNP’s Andrew Powell led Labor’s Brent Hampstead by less than 500 votes, but an addition of postal votes increased this lead to 756 votes, or 51.53% after preferences. We should expect more postal votes, along with pre-poll and absentee votes. Absentee votes should help Labor, but pre-poll was also helpful to the LNP in 2012.
  • Mansfield – Labor’s Adam Obeid led by only eleven votes on ordinary votes, but a batch of postal votes and declared institution votes heavily favoured the LNP’s Ian Walker, who now leads by 495 votes. So far 2000 postal votes have been counted, compared to a total of 3000 postals in 2012. In 2012, Walker’s postal votes were only 1.4% better than election-day votes. So far, postal votes are breaking towards Walker by more than 10% above his election-day vote. It will be hard for Walker to keep up this strong lead once pre-poll votes are added, but he is probably a slight favourite.
  • Maryborough – The ECQ has conducted a count between Labor’s Bruce Saunders and sitting LNP member Anne Maddern has Saunders on over 53% after preferences. As long as those two candidates are in the top two, Saunders will win. However, Saunders is only 1054 votes ahead of independent ex-MP Chris Foley, who lost to Maddern in 2012, and there is over 6000 votes with minor candidates, a majority of which was for the Palmer United candidate. In 2012, both Labor and Foley did better on special votes, but Foley did so by more. However, since then the Labor vote has grown substantially, so overall it’s unlikely that special votes will shift the balance, and the result will depend on how strongly PUP preferences flow.
  • Mount Ommaney – The LNP’s Tarnya Smith leads by 425 votes. The first batch of 889 postal votes favoured Smith. We’re yet to see pre-poll or absentee votes, which are easily enough to shift the seat in either direction.
  • Redlands – The LNP’s Matt McEachan leads by 974 votes. In 2012, the LNP did substantially better on postals and pre-poll, but didn’t do as well on absentee votes.
  • Whitsunday – The LNP’s Jason Costigan leads by only 84 votes, with 50.2% of the vote after preferences. With about 9000 special votes yet to be counted, this seat is definitely up for grabs. In 2012, the Labor candidate did 1.4% better on special votes than on ordinary votes, which could well put Labor in the lead.
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