After one of the longest campaigns in modern times, the 2016 Federal Election is finally here. As we did with the 2016 Queensland Local Government elections, our Gravis Insights Australia team publishes its predictions. What to watch for, which seats could be the boil-overs, which seats are safe and which seats are on the board to change hands.

With such a long campaign, which started with the announcement of a bought-forward budget, a special Parliamentary sitting to consider (and ultimately reject) the bill to re-create the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) to create the Double Dissolution (DD) election trigger and then the subsequent dissolution of both houses of Parliament and the July 2 election.

We also need to note not only the DD rules; we also need to note the effects of redistributions in NSW, WA and ACT and the impact that's going to have on margins in key seats in those states.

According to Anthony Green; in summary, the redistributions reduce the Coalition from 90 to a notional 88 seats, while Labor increases from 55 to a notional 57 seats. Assuming a uniform swing, the Coalition can retain office despite losing 12 seats on a swing of 3.2%, while Labor need to gain 19 seats on a uniform swing of 4.0% for majority government. Both of these figures would change if any of the five cross bench members were defeated by Labor or the Coalition or if new third party or independent members were elected (eg. if Fairfax or Kennedy went to the LNP in Queensland, Cowper or New England were to go Independent, Indi were to go away from Independent, the Greens were to beat Labor or vice versa or finally, if NXT were to win lower house seats in SA).

It should also be noted that there is an incredibly high undecided vote late in this campaign. As of Monday 27.6 in GIA samples taken in multiple seats, there was still a 10% undecided vote. We see this as one of the main reasons that the 'Other' votes in public polling is so high and indicative of the highly boring (and drawn out) election campaign.

This is why we expect to see the Jacqui Lambie Network get 2 Senators in Tasmania, the Nick Xenophon Team get 3 in South Australia, Pauline Hanson win in Queensland and expect to see the 12th seat in Queensland get tight.

Seats to watch:

New South Wales

  • Paterson goes from being a Liberal seat with a margin of 9.8% to being a marginal Labor seat on a margin of 0.4% thanks to the redistribution.
  • Dobell goes from 0.7% into a notional Labor margin of 0.2% thanks to the redistribution
  • The bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro loses the areas around Batemans Bay to Gilmore while gaining Yass from Hume and Tumut from Riverina. The electorate now surrounds the ACT and its Liberal margin increases from 0.6% to an estimated 2.9%. The bellweather nature of the seat makes it worth watching.
  • Macarthur moves north, losing Liberal voting Camden and Narellan while gaining Labor voting territory from Werriwa. The Liberal margin is cut substantially from 11.4% to 3.3%.
  • The Cook change has a massive impact on Barton, which shifts north as far as Marrickville Road in Sydney's inner-west and is transformed from being a Liberal seat with a margin of 0.3% into a safe Labor seat with an estimated margin of 4.4%.
  • The margin in the Liberal seat of Reid rises from 0.9% to 3.4%
  • Parramatta goes from a 0.6% to 1.3% to Labor. The margin alone makes this a seat to watch.
  • Greenway holds at 3% at the redistribution. Margin makes this a seat to watch.
  • Grayndler and Sydney are both Green targets to win from Labor. Both are to be watched.
  • Cowper and New England are to be watched as Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor attempt to win these seats from the Nationals.

Western Australia

  • Cowan goes from a 7.5% Liberal margin to a 4.5% notional Liberal margin. Through the redistribution the seat gains Whiteman and Bennett Springs from Pearce, and Beechboro, Kiara and Lockridge from Perth. Loses Kingsley and Woodvale to Moore. 

  • Burt is a new seat

  • Perth has seen the Labor margin halved from 4.45 to 2.2% thanks to the redistribution which gains West Perth and parts of Leederville from Curtin. Loses Dianella to Stirling and Beechboro to Cowan. Leederville Weakened for the Labor Party as a result.


All of the races to watch in Queensland will be defined by the following factors:

  • Queensland vacant seats have the capacity to do the 'unpredictable'. (See Brisbane, Fisher, Wide Bay, Groom, Maranoa, Oxley)
  • Marginal seats in seats that traditionally are 'government' seats are worth watching (see Moreton)
  • Big LNP margins in non-traditional LNP seats will see corrections. (See the reason why 50-50 polling isn't translating to seat by seat swings in public polling)

Therefore, we see all the following seats to watch are:

  • Brisbane: Vacating Teresa Gambaro leaves the seat vulnerable. Pat O'Neil (Labor challenger) has launched a strong campaign to win the seat. Trevor Evans has also launched a solid campaign in the circumstances to hold for the LNP.
  • Moreton: Should have been won by the LNP in 2013. Local MP is Graham Perrett who is well liked in the seat. Rudd carried Perrett over the line in 2013. LNP challenger is Nic Monsour who is Campbell Newman's Brother in Law. He has not run the strongest camaign to win the seat the margin and the popularity of Turnbull versus Shorten in the seat makes this  tight one.
  • Oxley: The LNP hasn't won this seat in a long time. However, the seat is vacant. Vacant seats in Queensland have the tendency to swing strangely. Milton Dick for Labor is trying to win the seat after long term sitting MP Bernie Rippoll retired. Bibe Roadley for the LNP has put up the strongest campaign the LNP has put up in the seat for a long time. 
  • Griffith: This seat is the former seat of Kevin Rudd. Terri Butler holds this seat with a 1.9% margin after a tough byelection campaign against Dr. Bill Glasson. LNP Candidate for Griffith, Fiona Ward is trying to take the rest of the margin and be the first L/NP MP for the seat since 1996.
  • Capricornia: Michelle Landry won the set for the first time since 1996. She is only the third non-Labor MP to hold the seat since it was created in 1972. Michelle is on a 0.8% margin seat. Leasa Neaton is the Labor challenger who's campaign is being run by former ALP Minister, Robert Schwarten who tried to unsuccessfully unseat Mayor Margaret Strelow (who lost ALP preselection). This would be historic if the LNP held.
  • Petrie: This is the most marginal LNP held seat in the country that hasn't been redistributed. The margin makes this a seat to watch.
  • Flynn: This is a seat that sits on Gladstone; an economically depressed town that has swept out its council in March and is hurting economically. 
  • Forde: This is a marginal seat. Always has been for the LNP. Bert van Manen defended against Peter Beattie in 2013; now trying to defend against Des Hardman who was removed as the Labor candidate for Beattie in 2013.
  • Dickson: The attempt at a Lavarch come back (Linda former Kurwongbah State MP, her husband was former Dickson MP) makes this one to watch.
  • Kennedy: Anything involving Bob Katter is worth watching! LNP came close in 2013 and will be trying hard to win again. 

Western Australia

  • Perth: With a 2.2% margin for Labor, one to watch as possible spoiler. The Liberals have been eyeing this seat off for years, especially without Stephen Smith there. 
  • Burt: New seat created in the redistribution.
  • Cowan: Margin cut in redistribution to 4.5%. Labor target in the West. 

Northern Territory

  • Solomon: This is always a CLP marginal. Considering the issues in the NT with the CLP, this is a seat that will be one to watch on the night. Definately a Labor target. 


  • The Liberals won Lyons, Braddon and Bass in 2013 in a Northern Tasmanian sweep. Because of this, all three of these seats are seats to watch.


  • McEwan: This is always a marginal seat for whoever holds it. Labor currently holds it by 0.2%. 
  • Melbourne Ports: Competitive 3-way makes this interesting to watch. Green target to win from Labor.
  • Deakin: 3.2% margin for the Liberals. Labor target after the Daniel Andrews State Election win. CFA crisis has halted momentum for Labor in Victoria. One to watch.
  • Corangmite: Based on Geelong, Labor were shocked to lose this one and are putting up big fight to win it back. 
  • Melbourne: Labor fighting hard to win this back from Green MP Adam Bandt
  • Batman: This is a seat that the Greens see as the top target to win from Labor. Labor MP has had a scandal with local MP David Feeney. Competitive race, definately one to watch.

South Australia

South Australia has only 11 seats in the House of Representatives. The Liberal Party holds six seats to Labor's five, and just one seat was gained by the Liberal Party on victory in 2013, reversing Labor's one-seat advantage on winning the 2010 and 2013 elections.

Based on 2013 Senate results, the Nick Xenophon Team outpolled at least one major party in 10 of the 11 South Australian seats. A repeat of those results would see Xenophon's party with a strong chance of winning lower house seats. The Nick Xenophon Team will contest all lower house seats in South Australia, as well as seven interstate lower house seats plus Senate in every state.

Mayo: The most likely see to be won by the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) as voter anger is concentrated on Jamie Briggs after his resignation from the Turnbull Ministry. The NXT Candidate is a former Briggs Staffer. Mayo is a seat where the Australian Democrats used to poll well, and the party came close to defeating former member Alexander Downer on preferences in 1998.

Hindmarsh: This is the most marginal seat in SA. This alone makes it a seat to watch. 

Grey: Traditionally safe Liberal seat. However, considering that on June 10 reachTEL had NXT winning the seat 54:46 on 2PP; this is one worth watching. 

GravisPolitics predictions:


Capricornia: This is a seat that no L/NP member has ever won re-election in. Michelle Landry has history and demographics against her for re-election. Newspoll on June 17 had the seat as a 50:50 race and our GravisPolitics sources on the ground tell us that there is not a major swing to Labor on the ground. Also, considering the Schwarten performance with Team McMillan in the March Local Government elections, the fact that Labor aren't well ahead in this seat is proof of a poor Labor campaign. This is a traditional Labor seat that has only been won 3 times by non-Labor MPs since 1972 when the seat was formed. If Michelle Landry won this seat, it would truly be historic. On June 17 Newspoll had this seat at 50:50 on 2PP. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Probable ALP gain but if its a good night for the LNP dont be surprised if this seat holds out possibly for days after.

Flynn: This a very young seat and a seat Labor have had their eyes on for a long time. Initially won in 2007 the LNP with Ken O'Dowd have held it ever since. Labor's strength is in Gladstone which is a strong Labor town. However, considering the recent clean out of the Gladstone Regional Council in the March elections and the election of Mayor Matt Burnett, the town has shown that it is angry. Labor Candidate Zac Beers is also a younger candidate (26) and an AWU organiser. No public polling is on the record here.

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible ALP gain 

Longman: This has been the home of some political upsets in recent times. In 2007 former Howard Government Minister Mal Brough lost this seat in what was seen as a major upset.

At the 2004 election, the Coalition's campaign against Mark Latham on interest rates paid dividends in seats like Longman as Brough took his margin out into double figures. However, a redistribution and a 10.3% swing in 2007 revealed the true marginal seat status of Longman, Brough becoming the highest profile ministerial defeat of the election, apart from John Howard's own defeat in Bennelong.

In 2010 Wyatt Roy winning the seat at such a young age was also seen as an upset in a seat that has a much older age set (Bribie Island) and some much more 'working class' set (Caboolture and Morayfield). A poor Labor campaign coupled with the 2013 election win saw Wyatt extend his margin. 

It should also be noted in this seat that all of the major parties as preferencing Labor ahead of the LNP (or are running split tickets). This includes ONP and FF. As it stands this is a 6.9% LNP seat. However, public polling has shown that the LNP is vulnerable here. No MP in Longman has ever won the seat with a primary vote below 43%.

A Reachtel poll conducted for 7 News on 2 June recordeded first preference votes of LNP 42.5%, Labor 35.9%, Greens 7.4%, Nick Xenophon Team 3.7% and others 10.5%. Minor party voters were asked about their second preferenced, producing a dead heat two-party preferred vote of 50%. It should be noted that there is no Xenophon candidate in the contest.

On June 23 Galaxy had this seat as a 53:47 2PP win for the LNP, however, we question what preferencing assumptions has been put into these numbers considering the HTVs being distributed in Longman. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible ALP gain 

Petrie: Petrie has been won by the party that formed government at every election since 1987. It was gained by Labor's Gary Johns in 1987 and was retained the seat until swept away by a 10% swing on the defeat of the Keating government in 1996. The Liberal Party's Teresa Gambaro then held Petrie until defeated by Yvette D'Ath at the 2007 election. D'Ath was re-elected in 2010, an election at which Gambaro returned to Parliament by winning the inner-city seat of Brisbane. D'Ath could not withstand the anti-Labor swing in 2013 as the LNP's Luke Howarth continued the Petrie tradition of being won by government. Sitting MP Luke Howarth is a former Liberal Party Candidate for Sandgate. 

Being the most Liberal held seat in Australia makes this seat one to watch. One June 24, Galaxy had this seat as a 52:48 2PP win for Labor. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible ALP gain 

Dickson: This seat has a notable history in the short time it has been a seat. At Dickson's first contest in 1993, the election had to be deferred for a month following the death of a candidate. Before the election could be held, Labor candidate Michael Lavarch was plucked from backbench obscurity by Paul Keating to serve as Attorney General, though he was not sworn in until after his re-election. Lavarch had previously represented much of the electorate as MP for Fisher 1987-93. Lavarch was one of the Keating government's ministerial casualties in 1996, defeated by the Liberal Party's Tony Smith. Smith was disendorsed over a domestic matter before the 1998 election. Instead the Liberal Party endorsed high profile former radio broadcaster Rod Henshaw, hoping to counteract the profile of new Labor candidate, former Australian Democrat Leader Cheryl Kernot. This did not work at Kernot became the MP. However, after much troubles publicly and internally, she lost the seat to Peter Dutton who held on by 217 votes in the Rudd-slide of 2007. 

This is now a 6.7% seat for the LNP which is trying to be unseated by Linda Lavarch for Labor. Lavarch is a former state MP for Kurwongbah and was previously married to former Federal Attorney-General Michael Lavarch. First elected to the Queensland Parliament at a 1997 by-election, Lavarch was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary by Peter Beattie after the 2004 election and was elevated to Cabinet in the July 2005 as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, a position she held until October 2006. She had been re-appointed after the 2006 election, but her last public appearances as Attorney General was at a press conference where she was forced to answer hostile questioning over her decision to decline a deal that would have brought surgeon Dr Jayant Patel back to Australia to face charges without the need for an extradition hearing. Lavarch resigned shortly after citing depression, Patel was brought back to Australia via other legal pathways, and Lavarch announced in 2008 that she would not contest the next state election. Since then, she has been working for the Queensland Nurses Union and not-for-profit organisations.

We note that despite our wonderful GravisPolitics shirts that we have designed and printed for Linda Lavarch, this is a tough ask for the veteran former MP.

GravisPolitics prediction: LNP retain 

Brisbane: This is currently a 4.3% seat for the LNP with retiring MP Teresa Gambaro. The LNP has preselected long time party stalwart and current CEO of the National Retail Association. Evans worked previously as Chief of Staff for Peter Dutton, before going on to become a director at the Queensland water authority in 2012. His earlier occupational background was as economist with the Queensland Competition Authority and an investigator with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. 

The Labor challenger, is Pat O'Neill (who went to school with our Director Ben at Downlands) who is a gay (now former) army major who grew up in a small town in Central Queensland. He has spent the past seventeen years as an officer with the Australian army, serving two tours of Iraq. He holds a Masters of Defence and Strategic Studies from the Australian National University. Campaign Manager for now Brisbane Central MP Grace Grace and has been a candidate since Tony Abbott was PM and Teresa Gambaro was running again. 

Being a vacant seat and not a traditional LNP seat makes this one to watch. The LNP have only won it in 2010 when the boundaries east of Breakfast Creek for the first time in many years, bringing in strong Liberal voting areas around Ascot and Hamilton.

On June 24 Galaxy polling had this seat at 52:48 as a 2PP lead for the LNP and on June 17 Newspoll had this as a 2PP lead of 51:49 to the LNP.

GravisPolitics prediction: Slim LNP retain

Moreton: Existing since Federation, Moreton has had only six members since 1922. Best known amongst these was Jim Killen (1955-83), who served as a senior minister in the Fraser government. It was Killen's narrow re-election in 1961 that delivered Menzies a narrow parliamentary majority, though the victory was not, as is commonly repeated, achieved on Communist Party preferences. This is a seat that the LNP expected to win in 2013 and failed to do so on the back of some local failings but also a culmination Graham Perrett's electoral resilience and Tony Abbott's unpopularity with the diverse set of multicultural voters in the seat. 

This election the LNP has preseleted Nic Monsour. Nic Monsour only narrowly lost a bid to join the LNP Senate ticket (which was won by Jo Lingren) and is the Brother In Law of Campbell Newman (former LNP Premier). Monsour is a senior professional and management consultant with sixteen years corporate and executive management experience who ran for the Liberals in Mount Gravatt in 2006.

This is a seat that no one is looking at and the ALP think is safe. However, our GIA polling over the 3 weekends going into this election has shown a 10%+ undecided vote, a solid holding of the primary vote position for the LNP, a drop in the primary vote for the ALP and slender 2PP leads to the LNP (all by 1.6% or less).

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible LNP gain. Expect this not to be decided on the night. 

Nic Monsour with LNP Candidate for Rankin Freya Ostapovich and former LNP Minister for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes (Director Zach's former boss) and former LNP MP for Algester (and GIA friend) Anthony Shorten.

Nic Monsour with LNP Candidate for Rankin Freya Ostapovich and former LNP Minister for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs Glen Elmes (Director Zach's former boss) and former LNP MP for Algester (and GIA friend) Anthony Shorten.

Oxley: Vacant seats in Queensland have a funny way of doing funny things. This seat being vacant make it one to watch despite the 3%+ margin to Labor.

Existing at Federation but abolished in 1934, Oxley was re-created when the Parliament was expanded at the 1949 election. It is named after colonial explorer and surveyor John Oxley. 

In 1961 the Labor Party defeated the Menzies government's Health Minister Donald Cameron, much to the surprise of Labor's candidate, little known Queensland Police Constable Bill Hayden. Hayden held the seat until 1988, serving as Health Minister 1972-75, Treasurer 1975, Opposition Leader 1977-83, Foreign Minister 1983-88, resigning to take the post of Governor General, which he held from 1988 to 1995. 

Oxley was the only Queensland electorate retained by Labor at the 1975 election, but was lost to Pauline Hanson at the 1996 defeat of the Keating government. Hanson appeared on the ballot paper as a Liberal, but had been disendorsed by the party during the campaign for remarks she made concerning aborigines. Hanson achieved the country's largest anti-Labor swing of more than 19%. After forming her own political party, Pauline Hanson's One Nation, Hanson contested and lost the newly created seat of Blair at the 1998 election. 

Oxley was won by Labor's Bernie Ripoll in 1998, and the seat has since moved away from its traditional base in Ipswich. It now mainly covers south-western suburbs of Brisbane, but has returned to being a traditional Labor seat.

This seat is one of those seats that if the LNP don't win this time it will be decades before they get another real shot at it (pending redistributions). LNP Candidate Bibe Roadley has put down probably the best local campaign the LNP has run in the seat since 1996. 

Milton Dick is trying to hold the seat for Labor. Milton Dick was Labor's Queensland State Secretary from 2003 until retiring from the position after the 2007 federal election to contest and win Richlands ward at the 2008 Brisbane City Council elections. He served as Leader of the Opposition on Council from 2012 but retired at the 2016 election after winning pre-selection for Oxley (after agitating for the seat  for a number of years internally) He is the brother of state MP and Minister for Health Cameron Dick.

GravisPolitics prediction: Labor retain

Kennedy: Welcome to Katter country! This seat was held by Katter Senior from 1966-1990 and Bob won the seat in 1993 after in 1990, the seat voted in a Labor MP (Rob Hulls).  

71 year-old Katter is a former state member for Flinders and served as Minister for Northern Development in the Bjelke-Petersen government. A real maverick in the National Party, he was widely known as 'mad Bob' and his gift for an outrageous quote was the saviour of many journalists on a slow news day. 

The effort Bob Katter devoted to setting up Katter's Australian Party may have backfired against him in his own seat in 2013. His first preference vote fell to 29.4%, down 17.4 percentage points, and his vote after preferences was only 52.2%, down 16 percentage points on 2010. Katter has spent more time in Kennedy and less time spruiking in the rest of the country since the 2013 election (which explains in many ways the KAP organisational issues going into this campaign). 

Bob's son Robbie is the MP for Mount Isa in the Queensland Parliament. 

The LNP has preselected Jonathan Pavetto for the seat. As an openly gay candidate that has spent much time in Brisbane, this has been a risky choice for the LNP. Pavetto grew up on a sugar cane farm in Ingham that his ancestors began five generations ago in 1892. He has most recently been working for the Alliance of Electricity Consumers as well as a government PR consultancy firm. 

GIA polled Kennedy and received 1189 responses to that poll last weekend. In this poll we found a small 2PP lead to the LNPc(1.74%) and a 42.74% LNP primary vote (Katter was at 26.83%).

However, in this poll when we asked people to nominate their preferences, the Labor/Greens to LNP vote spiked over 20%. In the elections since Katter has been an Independent/KAP MP; this number has always been in and around the 80% mark. If this held up again, Bob Katter will win the seat with a margin much like he has now. 

Galaxy on June 24 has the seat at 58:42 2PP for KAP. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Katter retain

New South Wales

Before we go into the ALP v Lib and ALP v Green battles; we need to deal with the battles for Cowper and New England. Both of these are Nationals seats and both are under threat from Independents. Tony Windsor is trying to win his old seat of New England back from Barnaby Joyce and Rob Oakeshott is trying to win the seat of Cowper which he has been redistributed into. It is our view at GIA that neither seat will change hands. However, there has been 50:50 polling in Cowper so we are not prepared to rule out  Palmer-type situation where the Nationals get rolled from a position of leading the primary votes. This is also the same situation that the LNP had in Kennedy against Bob Katter and failed to win. 

Paterson: A massive redistribution and the retirement of Bob Baldwin has made this as a marginal Labor seat. Covering only one-sixth of its former area, the new electoral boundaries contract Paterson into the lower Hunter Valley. Dungog, Forster, Tuncurry, Hawks Next and Tea Gardens have been transferred into Lyne, while Maitland and Kurri Kurri have been transferred in from Hunter and Tarro and Woodberry from Newcastle. Taken together these changes radically alter the political complexion of Paterson, the former Liberal margin of 9.8% replaced by a notional Labor margin of 0.3%.

Labor Candidate Meryl Swanson is a former Joel Fitzgibbon staffer (MP for Hunter) and the Liberals have preselected former Baldwin staffer Karen Howard. All of these factors make this one to watch

GravisPolitics prediction: Labor gain

Dobell: This was a 0.4% seat for the Liberals which has been redistributed down to 0.2% to Labor. This is the former seat of disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson. Thomson was the centre of on-going controversy during the Gillard government due to his past work with the Health Services Union. His mis-use of a union supplied credit card, in particular over allegations of its use to pay for the services of prostitutes, led to his leaving the Labor caucus and came close to threatening the Gillard government's majority. Thomson re-contested the 2013 election as an Independent and fell a few votes short of the 4% required to refund his deposit. The swing to the Liberal Party in 2013 was 5.8%.

Sitting Liberal MP needs a swing to her to hold the seat. 

Galaxy on 24 June had this seat as a 51:49 win to the Liberals.

Emma McBride is re-contesting as the Labor candidate. She is a former Wyong Shire councillor and works as Deputy Director of Pharmacy for the Central Coast Local Health District at Wyong Hospital. McBride was also the unsuccessful candidate for this seat at the 2013 election. She is the daughter of Grant McBride who was the member for the local state seat of The Entrance from 1992 to 2011.

GravisPolitics prediction: Liberal retain

Eden-Monaro: The bellwether seat loses areas with a fine political balance around Batemans Bay to Gilmore, replaced by strongly Coalition voting areas around Yass and Tumut from Hume and Riverina respectively. This increases the seat's margin from 0.6% to an estimate 2.9% for the Liberals.

Eden-Monaro has existed since Federation and has been held by all parties over the years. The seat has always had a tendency to be won by the party that forms government, but this tendency has assumed 'litmus test' proportions since 1972, the seat having been won by the party that formed government at every election since 1972. 

The Liberal Party's Peter Hendy won Eden-Monaro with a margin of just 0.6% in 2013, narrow enough that it could have been won by Labor in 2016 even if Labor did not achieve a large enough swing to achieve government. This threat to Eden-Manor's iconic litmus test status has been 'addressed' by a redistribution that has notionally increased the Liberal margin to an estimated 2.9%.

Mike Kelly is trying to win the seat he once held for Labor. 56 year-old Dr Kelly is a former Colonel in the Australian Defence Force first elected 22in 2007. Kelly has worked as a military lawyer in a string of the world's more intractable trouble spots including Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, East Timor and Iraq. His service includes considerable work in investigating and prosecuting war crime and genocide cases. In Somalia Kelly was responsible for the case against murderous warlord Hussan Gutaale Abdul. The warlord was executed, Kelly feeling no regret about the execution despite his own opposition to the death penalty. In Iraq he was seconded to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority. Kelly won Eden-Monaro at the 2007 election and was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary, becoming Minister for Defence Materiel in February 2013. He was defeated by a 4.8% swing at the 2013 election, losing to his opponent Peter Hendy by less than 1000 votes.

On 22 June reachTEL released a poll which saw a 55:45 result 2PP to Labor.

GravisPolitics prediction: Labor gain

Macarthur: Liberal held seat since 2010. Macarthur loses most of its area in Camden Council to Hume and becomes a predominantly Campbelltown Council based seat. It loses Liberal voting Camden, Narellan, Mount Annan, Appin, Douglas Park, Badgerys Creek and Kemps Creek to Hume, replaced by Labor voting Minto, Ingleburn and Claymore. Together the changes slash the Liberal margin from 11.4% to an estimated 3.3%. The new boundaries more than halve the area of the electorate.

This electorate has been represented by some high profile members, including Liberals Jeff Bates 1949-1972, Michael Baume 1975-1983 and John Fahey 1996-2001, as well as Labor's John Kerin 1972-1975, Colin Hollis 1983-4 and Steve Martin 1984-1993. Bates and Fahey also served in state Parliament, Baume in the Senate, and Kerin, Hollis and Martin also represented other seats in the House of Representatives. 

Matheson increased his margin with an 8.3% swing to the Liberal Party at the 2013 election. That gain has now been largely wiped out by the redistribution.

A Newspoll published in The Australian on 18 June reported first preferences of Liberal 43%, Labor 42%, Nick Xenophon Team 7%, Greens 3% and Others 5%, resolving to Liberal 50% Labor 50% based on past preference flows.

GravisPolitics prediction: Wont have a result on the night but with Labor paying $1.65 on SportsBet v Russell Matheson's $2.10 you would have to lean towards a Labor gain. 

Parramatta: The redistribution has extended the electorate northwest to take in more of Pendle Hill and Toongabbie from Greenway. The southern boundary is also altered with parts of Granville gained while much of Merrylands is absorbed into McMahon, and parts of Northmead and Old Toongabbie are transferred to Mitchell. The Labor margin rises from 0.6% to an estimated 1.3%.

This seat has been held by Julie Owens since 2004 who was one of the few to win seats during the Latham leadership. A redistribution ahead of the 2007 election meant Owens needed to increase her vote to retain Parramatta in 2007, something that was easy to achieve as the Rudd government swept to office. Another redistribution ahead of the 2010 election further boosted Owens' margin, but a 5.5% swing to the Liberal Party that year returned Parramatta to marginal seat status. Owen was narrowly returned at the 2013 election despite a further 3.8% swing to the Liberal Party. 

This is a seat that did not swing as hard as its neighbours as polling showed reluctance to embrace Abbott. GIA sources say Turnbull is much more popular here than Abbott was in 2013.

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible Liberal gain despite the $8.50 on offer on SportsBet for this prediction.

Greenway: Defending a seat with a margin of just 0.9% going into the 2013 election, it was widely accepted that Rowland would struggle to retain Greenway. Instead, the choice of local branch power broker Jaymes Diaz backfired spectacularly in several disastrous media appearances, most notably being unable to name the Liberal Party's key talking points for the 2013 election. The 2013 result saw a 2.1% swing towards Labor, at odds with the result in marginal seats across the rest of NSW. This is also a seat that Abbott was not popular in. The turn to Turnbull makes this a competitive seat despite the 3% margin. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible Liberal gain despite the $3 on offer on SportsBet for this prediction.

Western Australia

Burt: This is a new seat where the indicative numbers don't mean a hell of a lot. They are based on a former MP that passed away and a controversial byelection.

A Newspoll published in The Australian on 18 June reported first preferences of Liberal 40%, Labor 44%, Greens 5% and Others 11%, resolving to Liberal 48% Labor 52% based on past preference flows.

GravisPolitics prediction: Labor gain

Cowan: Gains Whiteman and Bennett Springs from Pearce, and parts of Beechboro, Kiara and Lockridge from Perth. Loses Kingsley and Woodvale to Moore. These changes see the loss of Liberal voting suburbs in exchange for Labor voting suburbs, the net result being a big decline in the Liberal margin from 7.5% to 4.5%.

This seat sees halal certification critic Luke Simpkins against Egyptian born Anne Aly is a professor at Edith Cowan University and adjunct professor at Curtin University and is a specialist in terrorism studies. She chairs a not-for-profit organisation that works to combat violent extremism and is a board member on the Council for Australian Arab Relations. 

GravisPolitics prediction: Possible Labor gain. Sportsbet dead heat


This is a state that Labor was looking at to make gains against the Liberals and fight the Greens in. However, with the Andrews Government launching the fight with the CFA the momentum has come out of the state for the ALP. The Greens are looking to expand here and the Liberals see opportunities. 

McEwan: This is the most marginal seat in Victoria and a seat the Liberals should have won in 2013. Rob Mitchell (ALP) since gaining this seat for Labor at the 2010 election.

A Galaxy poll published in NewsCorp Sunday papers on 26 July reported Labor leading 52% to 48%, a swing of around 2% towards Labor since 2013.

All of today's +2% primary swing as indicated by Ipsos would need to come through for the Liberals to win here.

GravisPolitics prediction: Should be a Liberal gain but we doubt it will happen. Labor hold. 

Corangamite: This is a historically Liberal seat and was won in 2013 for the Liberals. This is the most marginal Liberal seat in the state so needs to be watched. 

A Channel 7-Reachtel poll reported on 27 May showed little change since 2013 with the Liberal Party leading 54% to 46% after preferences. The first preference results were Liberal 48.3%, Labor 27.1% and the Greens on 15.0%. 

A Newspoll published in The Australian on 18 June reported first preferences of Liberal 45%, Labor 36%, Greens 12% and Others 7%, resolving to Liberal 51% Labor 49% based on past preference flows.

A Galaxy poll published in NewsCorp Sunday papers on 26 July reported the Liberal Party leading 53% to 47%, a swing of around 1% since 2013.

GravisPolitics prediction: Liberal hold

Melbourne Ports: This has been a Labor seat for 100 years. Melbourne Ports has become more middle class in recent years with accelerating inner-city gentrification and high density housing developments. This is a seat where Labor has usually trailed on first preference votes in recent years, relying on Australian Democrat and more recently on Green preferences to come from behind and win.

This gentrification has made this seat a solid Green target seat. A Green victory in Melbourne Ports requires the Greens to pass Labor on first preferences and then receive strong flows of Labor preferences. 

A survey by Lonergan Research commissioned by the Greens found its candidate, Steph Hodgins-May, had narrowly overtaken Labor to push Mr Danby to third.

The fly in this ointment is the deep antipathy towards the Greens by sitting Labor MP Michael Danby. Long a staunch defender of Israel, Danby is a significant critic of Green support for Palestinian causes. He has threatened to put the Liberal Party ahead of the Greens on his how-to-vote material, a threat for which he has been chided by the Victorian Labor Party. 

This poll and the preference issue puts this seat in a 3-way toss up.

Batman: The Greens have now finished second to Labor in Batman at the last two elections. In 2010, the Liberal Party recommended preferences for the Greens, and preference flows were 19.1% to Labor and 80.9% to the Greens. With the reversal of the Liberal preference recommendation in 2013, Liberal preferences flowed 67.4% to Labor and 32.6% to the Greens. 

If the 2010 flows applied at the 2013 election, then the Greens would have won Batman with a margin of 0.2% versus Labor.

46 year-old David Feeney is one of the Labor Party's machine men, having started as an Industrial Officer with Transport Workers' Union, and served as Labor State Secretary and Campaign Director in both Victoria and South Australia. He was ALP Assistant National Secretary before his election to the Senate in 2007, and also served as Director of Strategy for then Victorian Premier Steve Bracks. Feeney was one of the factional leaders who helped Julia Gillard become Prime Minister in 2010, and he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Defence after the 2010 election. After being selected in the hard to won third spot on Labor's 2013 Senate ticket, Feeney put his name forward as candidate for Batman when Martin Ferguson announced his intention to retire. Feeney is currently the Shadow Minister for Justice and Veterans’ Affairs.

GravisPolitics prediction: Labor hold

South Australia

South Australia has only 11 seats in the House of Representatives. The Liberal Party holds six seats to Labor's five, and just one seat was gained by the Liberal Party on victory in 2013, reversing Labor's one-seat advantage on winning the 2010 and 2013 elections.

Based on 2013 Senate results, the Nick Xenophon Team outpolled at least one major party in 10 of the 11 South Australian seats. A repeat of those results would see Xenophon's party with a strong chance of winning lower house seats. The Nick Xenophon Team will contest all lower house seats in South Australia, as well as seven interstate lower house seats plus Senate in every state.

Mayo: The most likely see to be won by the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) as voter anger is concentrated on Jamie Briggs after his resignation from the Turnbull Ministry. The NXT Candidate is a former Briggs Staffer. Mayo is a seat where the Australian Democrats used to poll well, and the party came close to defeating former member Alexander Downer on preferences in 1998.

GravisPolitics predition: NXT gain

Hindmarsh: This is the most marginal seat in SA. This alone makes it a seat to watch. This was the only seat in SA to change hands in 2013. June 24 Galaxy poll showed this as 50:50. This will come to NXT preferences. Steve Georganas is the Labor candidate. Georganas was born within the electorate at Mile End, where he still lives today. Having previously worked as a taxi driver and in the insurance industry, Georganas worked on the staff of Senator Nick Bolkus and later as an adviser to the state government before his election to Parliament in 2004. He has strong links with the local Greek community in Adelaide's western suburbs, an important voting block in this marginal electorate. In 2013, Georganas lost his seat to his Liberal opponent Matt Williams.

GravisPolitics predition: Liberal hold

Grey: Traditionally safe Liberal seat. However, considering that on June 10 reachTEL had NXT winning the seat 54:46 on 2PP; this is one worth watching. 

GravisPolitics predition: NXT gain



Originally known as Wilmot, this electorate was re-named Lyons in 1984 in honour of Joe Lyons, Premier of Tasmania 1923-28 and Prime Minister of Australia 1932-39. The name also commemorates his wife Dame Enid Lyons, who served in the House of Representative 1943-51, and was the first woman to reach cabinet rank, serving in the Menzies Cabinet, 1949-51. 

Sitting MPs have a long history of becoming entrenched in this seat, being represented by only three members between 1946 and 2013. Wilmot was held by Labor's Gil Duthie from 1946 until defeated following the demise of the Whitlam government in 1975. That election saw the Liberal Party win all five Tasmanian seats, and the subsequent Franklin Dam dispute saw the Liberal Party retain a strong grip on Tasmania into the 1990s. Quirky local Liberal Max Burr was elected for Wilmot in 1975, retained the seat through its change of name in 1984 and retired at the 1993 election. 

On Burr's retirement Lyons was won by Labor's Dick Adams, the backlash against the new state Liberal government and the Federal Liberal Party's Fightback! policy seeing Labor win four of the state's five electorates. Adams was only narrowly re-elected on the defeat of the Keating government in 1996, sufferred another close shave in 2004 in a backlash against Mark Latham's forest policy, but was comfortably re-elected until the 2013 election saw him become only the second member defeated in the seat in more than six decades.

A Reachtel poll published in the Sunday Tasmanian on 15 May reported a two-party preferred Liberal lead of 51% to 49%.

A Reachtel poll on June 25 however showed a 55:45 2PP lead for Labor.

Northern Territory

Solomon: This seat has been marred by the lease of the Port of Darwin, instability in the CLP and an ascendant ALP in territory politics.

This seat was a tight tussle at its first contest in 2001, the CLP at one point coming close to disendorsing its candidate Dave Tollner, while the Labor Party was disadvantaged when its strong candidate withdrew and took a senior position in the newly elected Martin Labor government. In the end Tollner was elected by just 88 votes, but he won with more ease in 2004 after a 2.7% swing against Labor. In 2007 Tollner was narrowly defeated and in 2008 was elected to the Northern Territory's Legislative Assembly as member for Fong Lim in 2008. He is currently Treasurer of the Northern Territory. 

Tollner was defeated in 2007 by Labor's Damian Hale by just 196 votes, but with a swing against Labor in 2010, Hale was unable to withstand a challenge from the CLP's Natasha Griggs. Griggs had a second narrow victory in 2013.

Luke Gosling is the ALP challenger. Gosling is the eldest of eight children and has spent more than a decade in Timor-Leste and the Top End. He started his working life with Defence, spending 13 years in the Army with leadership roles in Parachute Infantry, Commandos, Defence Cooperation Programs, the Territory’s Norforce, as well as overseas service in PNG, Malaysia and Timor-Leste. Since leaving Defence Gosling has worked in community development and in 2002 co-founded Life, Love and Health, an Australian volunteer charity for Timor-Leste. For his work helping in Timor-Leste, Gosling was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2006 and Timor-Leste Presidential Medal of Merit in 2009. In 2007 Gosling started up the Remote Area Health Corps – a Territory based, federally funded program to prepare and provide GPs, Nurses, Dental and Allied Health professionals to remote NT health centres. He has also worked as an advisor to Labor Senator Trish Crossin and as CEO of the NT St Vincent de Paul Society. Gosling was the defeated Labor candidate for this seat in 2013.