The best state to watch on election night without a doubt is Queensland which has 8 seats on a coin toss margin of 2% or less.
Of particular note are the Coalition held seats of Flynn (LNP 1.0%), Capricornia (LNP 0.2%), Petrie (LNP 1.7%), and Forde (LNP 0.6%). Whilst these are all on a knife edge they are unique contests: The MP for Petrie Luke Howarth has built a popular personal brand and this can often be crucial. It was assumed the seat of Flynn was won by Labor in 2016 on election night, but 70% of the postal votes were won by the LNP, and Ken O’Dowd retain led the seat.
These are all on a knife edge and if they fall quickly they should give a quick indication as to how the night might play out in bigger contests with larger margins to overcome, like Peter Dutton’s seat of Dickson (LNP 1.7%) which is facing a major challenge from Labor and GetUp!
And this leads us to the major factor that will decide many races in Queensland: preferences. The Coalition have agreed to give Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party their second preference on all ‘how to vote material’ for the House of Representatives, the Senate and vice versa.
Roughly a third of voters across the nation will not vote for a major party so a preference deal like this is crucial in some races, like Australia’s most marginal seat Townsville, the electorate of Herbert, which Labor won by just 37 votes.
Of course you have the power to quash any preference deal – number the boxes in the order of your choice. 😊