Archive for February, 2010

Seat profile #66: Richmond

Richmond covers the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, including Tweed Heads, Mullumbimby, Murwillumbah and Byron Bay. The seat has a long history of being held by the Country/National Party, including three generations of the Anthony family. The ALP won the seat for the first time in 1990, and it has gone back and forth between the ALP and National Party since, being won off Larry Anthony Jr in 2004 by Labor candidate Justine Elliot, who built up her margin to 8.9% at the 2007 election.

The seat is also one of the strongest for the Greens in regional Australia, with the Greens polling over 30% in Byron, although polling much less in the more populous Tweed Heads area. The seat will also see possibly the first Labor-Liberal-National three-cornered contest between three women, with the Liberals attempting to replace the Nationals as the primary conservative party in the area, which has seen tremendous demographic changes since the heyday of the Anthony family.

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Greens surge in Tasmanian poll

The Tasmanian campaign has kicked into gear today with a poll from pollsters EMRS showing a surge in support for the Tasmanian Greens. The poll has shown statewide results of 39% for the Liberal Party, 31% for the ALP and 27% for the Greens.

EMRS has also published breakdowns for the five districts, which shows the Greens polling 40% in Denison, although sample sizes of less than 200 per seat make these unreliable in measuring each seat’s vote. All the same, the statewide figures would suggest vote levels in each seat similar to those shown in the breakdown.

If these figures were translated at an election it would produce a result of 10 Liberals, 9 Labor and 6 Greens, with the Greens gaining a seat in Braddon and a second seat in Denison. A 2-2-1 split in favour of the ALP and Liberals would be produced in the four regional electorates, with the ALP losing two of their three seats to the other parties, producing a 2-2-1 split favouring the Liberals and Greens.

This is likely a high watermark for the Greens and it would be a surprise if they polled this strongly, but it suggests the Greens could be in with a shot in Denison, where they are running Deputy Lord Mayor of Hobart Helen Burnet alongside sitting MP Cassy O’Connor, although it seems unlikely that Burnet will make up for the loss of high-profile former MP and Greens leader Peg Putt, who retired in 2008.

Elsewhere: Pollbludger and Antony Green.

Seat profile #65: Barton

Barton is a Labor seat in southern Sydney, covering Rockdale and parts of Canterbury and Kogarah. The seat is held by federal Attorney-General Peter McClelland, who has held it since 1996. It was previously a marginal seat although it has became safer in recent elections. The seat was previously held by Labor leader H.V. Evatt from 1940 until 1958. It was also held by Thomas Ley from 1925 to 1928, who was suspected in the murder of both his predecessor in Barton and a rival in state Parliament.

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Seat profile #64: Kingsford Smith

Kingsford Smith is held by former Midnight Oil frontman and Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett. The seat is a safe Labor seat, and has been held by Labor since its creation in 1949. It covers southeastern suburbs of Sydney including Sydney Airport and Port Botany, as well as Mascot, Maroubra and Coogee. The seat is a prize seat for the ALP, and this isn’t likely to change in the near future.

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Seat profile #63: Wright

Wright is a new electorate created due to Queensland gaining a thirtieth seat in the House of Representatives. Wright covers rural areas to the south and southwest of Brisbane, stretching from the Gold Coast hinterland to close t Toowoomba. The seat has a notional margin of 4.8% for the Liberal Party, although the Liberals lost both Blair and Forde in 2007. Those two seats covered almost all of the territory in the new Wright. The Liberal National Party has preselected former National and Logan City councillor Hajnal Ban.

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Altona by-election day

I haven’t really been covering the campaign for the Victorian state electorate of Altona before today’s by-election. Altona is a safe Labor seat in the Western suburbs of Melbourne, sitting on Port Philip Bay.

Altona is going to the polls to elect a successor to former Education Minister and Transport Minister Lynne Kosky. The Liberal Party has bucked the tradition of major parties not contesting by-elections in another party’s safe seat, running a candidate in the by-election. It seems extremely unlikely the Liberals could win, but this will be seen as a barometer of support in Victorian politics leading into a state election year, with a state election scheduled for late November 2010.

I will be participating in a liveblog at independent news site theangle.org tonight as the results come in. You can expect coverage elsewhere from Antony Green at ABC Elections and William Bowe at the Poll Bludger. You can read more about the by-election at ABC ElectionsThe Angle and Poll Bludger.

State electoral district of Altona, indicated within Melbourne’s electoral districts, showing results of the 2006 election.

Seat profile #62: McMillan

McMillan is a swinging seat in south-eastern Victoria, stretching from the fringe of Melbourne to the Latrobe Valley and the Bass Strait. McMillan covers towns such as Moe and Pakenham as well as South Gippsland and parts of the Bass Coast. It reaches as far south as Wilsons Promontory. The seat has been held by Russell Broadbent since 2004. Broadbent also held a seat in Parliament twice in the 1990s, losing the seat both times after a single term. Broadbent developed a reputation for independence in the final years of the Howard government as part of a group of Liberals who rebelled against the Howard government’s refugee policies. He holds the seat by 4.8% after suffering practically no swing at all at the 2007 election.

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Guide to the Tasmanian election posted

I have now posted a guide to the Tasmanian state election, which will be held on March 20, 2010. This includes profiles of Tasmania’s five state electorates.

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New pages on the blog

I have now posted a page on the blog profiling the upcoming South Australian election, which you can read here.

I have also now posted a tutorial explaining some of the ways you can use the Google Earth maps posted on this blog to make your own maps by overlaying maps and changing colours  and styles.

Have a read of those, and the flow of federal election seat profiles will resume shortly.

Seat profile #61: Bonner

Bonner is a marginal Labor seat in eastern Brisbane, covering the area from Wynnum on Moreton Bay to Mount Gravatt. The seat was first created in 2004 named after former indigenous Senator Neville Bonner. It is held by Kerry Rea by a 4.5% margin, after she defeated the Liberal Party’s Ross Vasta in 2007. Vasta is running again in 2010 for the Liberal National Party.

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