At the moment, it appears that the Coalition parties have won or are ahead in 73 seats, Labor in 72, Independents in four, and the Greens in one.
It appears that five seats are yet to be decided. In the Hobart seat of Denison, former Greens member and independent candidate Andrew Wilkie can be expected to get a strong preference flow from the Greens and Liberals, but this is still unclear, and Possum believes that he will not be able to win the seat.
In the seats of Corangamite, Lindsay, Brisbane, Boothby and Hasluck, the result will not be known for several days:
- Corangamite – Western Victorian seat, sitting ALP member Darren Cheeseman is leading by 1189 votes.
- Lindsay – Western Sydney seat, sitting ALP member David Bradbury is leading by 1017 votes.
- Brisbane – Inner Brisbane seat, sitting ALP member Arch Bevis is trailing Liberal National candidate Teresa Gambaro by 858 votes.
- Hasluck – Eastern Perth seat, sitting ALP member Sharryn Jackson is trailing Liberal candidate Ken Wyatt by 363 votes.
- Boothby- Adelaide seat, sitting Liberal member Andrew Southcott is leading over Labor candidate Annabel Digance by 814 votes.
If all five of these seats go to the Coalition, it will produce a result of 75/70/4/1 in their favour. Alternatively, if all five go to Labor, it will produce a result of 75/70/4/1, or possibly 76/70/3/1 if Andrew Wilkie is defeated in Denison.
So while it is a possibility that either party could win half the seats in the House, there is no possibility of a party winning the 76 which guarantees a majority, short of an extremely good performance by Labor in Brisbane, Hasluck and Boothby, which would be very unlikely.
In two other seats apart from Denison, we’ve seen major parties lose seats to smaller parties:
- Melbourne – Greens candidate Adam Bandt has won with 36.1% of the primary vote and 55.7% of the two-party preferred vote.
- O’Connor – This seat has been radically redrawn to cover a massive area in Western Australia. Sitting Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey has been defeated by Nationals candidate Tony Crook. Crook polled 29.7% of the primary vote to Tuckey’s 37.6%, and he won 54.2% of the two-party preferred vote on Labor and Greens preferences.
It’s worth noting that the Western Australian branch of the Nationals currently holds no federal seats, and has a tradition of independence from the Liberal Party. They have previously said that they would not sit in the joint party room, and Crook cannot necessarily be counted as another Coalition seat, even though he is counted amongst the 73 Coalition seats.
The ALP won two seats off the Coalition last night, both in Victoria:
- La Trobe – Eastern outskirts of Melbourne. Sitting Liberal MP Jason Wood has been defeated by Labor candidate Laura Smyth, who is on 50.8%.
- McEwen – Northern Victoria. After narrowly losing the seat in 2007, Labor candidate Rob Mitchell has won the seat with 55.3% of the two-party preferred vote.
The Coalition has retained all five seats that were made notionally Labor in the redistribution, namely Gilmore, Macarthur, Dickson, Herbert and Swan.
They also gained nine seats won by the ALP in 2007:
- Solomon – Darwin. Sitting Labor MP Damian Hale has lost to Country Liberal Party candidate Natasha Griggs, who is on 53.2%.
- Bennelong – Northwestern Sydney. Sitting Labor MP Maxine McKew has lost to Liberal candidate John Alexander, who is on 53.8%.
- Macquarie – Outer Western Sydney. This seat was redrawn to include the Hawkesbury area. Sitting Liberal Member for Greenway has gained the seat, defeating Labor candidate Susan Templeman and winning 51.1% of the two-party preferred vote.
- Bonner – Brisbane. Sitting Labor MP Kerry Rea has lost to Liberal National candidate (and former Member for Bonner) Ross Vasta, with Vasta polling 53.1% of the two-party preferred vote.
- Dawson – Central Queensland. Labor candidate Mike Brunker defeated by Liberal National candidate George Christensen, who is on 52.2%.
- Flynn – Central Queensland. Sitting Labor MP Chris Trevor has lost to Liberal National candidate Ken O’Dowd, who is on 53%.
- Forde – Southern fringe of Brisbane. Sitting Labor MP Brett Raguse has lost to Liberal National candidate Bert Van Manen, who is on 51.6%.
- Leichhardt – Far North Queensland. Sitting Labor MP Jim Turnour has lost to Liberal National candidate Warren Entsch, who held the seat from 1996 until his retirement in 2007, and is on 54.5%.
- Longman – Sunshine Coast and Caboolture. Sitting Labor MP Jon Sullivan has lost to 20-year-old Liberal National candidate Wyatt Roy, who is on 52.4%.
Six of these nine seats were in Queensland, along with two in New South Wales and one in the Northern Territory.