September 09, 2006

Seats to watch

This list is distilled from what the parties are telling us, or others, are the seats that are in play. Mark may have some additions, and we'd also be interested in comments from others:

Some comments on these possibles. The inclusion of Aspley and Clayfield reflects an assessment by the parties that Labor is travelling worse on the north-side of Brisbane than elsewhere. Indooroopilly, which ought to be safe Liberal is conceded as likely to stay with Labor. Seats like Mansfield and Springwood are also apparently safe for Labor.

The two seats won in by-elections by the Libs - Redcliffe and Chatsworth - are on the line. History suggests that the Liberals will be lucky to hang on to Chatsworth because it has always been a strong Labor seat, but might have some prospects of hanging-on in Redcliffe which has been represented by both Nationals and Liberals. Gaven should also probably be on this list.

The Liberals are also supposed to be doing better on the Sunshine Coast than elsewhere, giving them a chance in Kawana and Noosa. Noosa is almost a certainty because of the failure of Labor, Greens and Independent Cate Molloy to swap preferences. This means that the Liberal candidate, Glen Elmes is in with a good chance if he polls one-third of the vote or better.

Liberal gains on the Gold Coast seem unlikely, with the possible exception of Mudgeeraba where Ros Bates has worked hard. One seat to watch will be Robina, the seat of retiring former member, Bob Quinn. The Liberals have a high profile candidate, but could still lose it.

Things also appear to be travelling OK for the Liberals in North Queensland where Steve Welsh is tipped to have prospects on his second attempt at this seat. Cairns would seem less likely, but with the huge demographic changes up there, anything is possible.

A couple of National Party seats are rumoured to be at play, including Hinchinbrook where sitting member Marc Rowell is retiring. However, the Nationals also expect to pick up some seats and rate themselves as chances in Hervey Bay, Keppel and Mulgrave. They also think they might do OK in Toowoomba North (also not on the list above).

Whitsunday appears to be a long shot, but anything could happen in a seat which is essentially four radically different areas ranging from the northern suburbs of Mackay, through cane fields to Airlie Beach and finally to Bowen. Labor incumbent Jan Jarratt has a great website (well, I would say that, wouldn't I?).

I've put Pumicestone in because the Liberal candidate Shane Moon is a hard-working guy with a theoretically small margin to over-come who has been doing some effective advertising.

Incumbency seems to count for a lot this election, which is why Capalaba is on the list as well.

Posted by Graham at September 9, 2006 02:04 PM

Good thing you left it off! Very big win to Kerry Shine.

Posted by: William Bowe (The Poll Bludger) at September 9, 2006 11:50 PM

Actually meant to put Toowoomba North on the list, but for whatever reason I missed it. Perhaps just as well when it comes to reputation as it looks like Shine is improving his margin, but I have no idea where the votes are coming from, so could be illusory.

Posted by: Graham Young at September 9, 2006 07:52 PM

I'm intrigued that you've left Toowoomba North off the list. I've just gamely changed my assessment of it to Nationals Gain, whereas I'm taking an overall skeptical view of the Coalition's prospects.

Posted by: William Bowe (The Poll Bludger) at September 9, 2006 05:41 PM

Two points on Mt Cootha. The first is that it’s always been one of the two seats in Brisbane (the other being South Brisbane) with the highest Green vote - above 20% in a couple of elections. The second is that Green voters are the most likely of any under optional preferential not to “just vote one”.

So I don’t think you’ll need to be drowning your tears tonight, but it will be worth watching to see what the Green vote is. I’d be very surprised though if Labor don’t hold it.

Posted by: Mark Bahnisch at September 9, 2006 05:03 PM

The feeling I get off the booth (Mt Cootha) during the day is that there is a big Green vote and they are not preferencing Labor. Other booth workers I spoke too had the same feeling. They just might succeed in delivering it to the Liberals.

Posted by: Tyro Rex at September 9, 2006 04:34 PM

I largely agree, Graham. It would be worth keeping an eye on the seats you list as Nationals chances - though I do not expect them to pick up any of them - my mail is Toowoomba North is looking ok for Labor, and so is Hervey Bay. I have also argued before that one reason why Keppel was a Labor gain last time was its changing demographics as a coastal seat - whether or not the incumbent member has performed I do not know, but I think the Nats are being hopeful. Gympie is probably their best bet for a gain.

The vociferous nature of their campaign against Cleary in Bundaberg suggests they are not all that confident of being able to take it. The Rod Messenger antics, and the dumb new hospital promise, and the attempted stitch up of the Patel survivors group which backfired can't have done them any favours.

There is a slight chance that the Nats might lose Gaven, but not much of one. I think the Nats will end up largely where they are now

Posted by: Mark Bahnisch at September 9, 2006 03:21 PM
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Graham Young
John Black
Mark Bahnisch
Michael Lee