The best coverage is being provided by Antony Green.
This is the problem with having so many elections in short order. It’s election morning and only now am I getting around to covering what will finally bury the legacy of the Iemma years in NSW.
Ryde is a north-west Sydney seat, covering the westernmost parts of the Lower North Shore close to Parramatta and Hornsby. Previously a marginal seat, it became safe under John Watkins, former Deputy Premier, whose resignation triggered the end of the Iemma government. A Taverner poll in last Sunday’s Sun Herald predicted a Liberal victory with 64% of the 2PP vote, up from 40% in 2007. Duh. I doubt anyone is expecting a Labor victory in this electorate. It’s a pity Taverner didn’t poll the other three races, which should be more interesting. Prediction: Liberal win.
Cabramatta is Labor’s second-safest seat in New South Wales. It’s also Labor’s second-safest seat going to a by-election on Saturday. While it is incredibly safe by normal standards, it’s going to be an interesting contest tomorrow night. Cabramatta is one of the most diverse communities in Sydney, and indeed Australia. With a large Vietnamese population which exercises a lot of influence over local politics, Cabramatta should favour Liberal candidate Dai Le, a Vietnamese refugee and ABC documentary-maker. The ALP candidate is recently re-elected Fairfield Mayor Nick Lalich. The Taverner poll in Ryde showed a 24% swing to Labor, which would fall short of unseating Labor in Cabramatta, where a 29% swing is needed. On the other hand, Watkins was seen as a strong local member, while “the grim” Reba Meagher lived in Coogee for her 14 years as the local MP. Could this be enough, in combination with the general terribleness of Meagher, Iemma and the whole gang, to see a 29% swing? Maybe. Prediction: an incredibly narrow Liberal win.
Lakemba is in the inner south west of Sydney, previously held by Morris Iemma, is held by a 34% margin. It should be enough to hold on, but there’ll be a big swing. Prediction: a huge swing, maybe over 20%, but it shouldn’t be enough.
Port Macquarie was vacated by sitting independent MP Rob Oakeshott with his election to federal parliament in the over-lapping electorate of Lyne. The Nationals are trying to win back the seat, that they lost to Oakeshott when he defected from the Nationals in 2002. His chosen candidate is former staffer Peter Besseling. Also running are the Greens, a former ALP candidate as an independent, and three independents who were previously councillors in Port Macquarie-Hastings prior to the council’s sacking earlier this year. Prediction: Besseling continues the Independent hold.