At the start of the campaign I predicted the shape of the Senate and broad numbers for the House. Now, I'll be specific about which House seats I expect to change hands.
When I say "change hands", I actually mean that the member will be from a different party to the incumbent. Parramatta NSW is "notionally" a Liberal seat according to psephologists, but it's actually held by Labor and will continue to be held by Labor after the election. Other seats are "notionally" this way or that, but I say: "notionally" my arse.
Where I make no reference to the Labor candidate below, you can assume they are barely competent and thus able to surf the Rudd wave all the way to Canberra.
- Bass (T): the ultimate weather-vane seat swings back. When Labor start to fade it will go Liberal again, but not this time.
- Bennelong (NSW): people want a local member and the incumbent can't offer that. The Koreans and Chinese are concerned about health and education, and the local member isn't really. Nobody wants a byelection in 2008 which is all the incumbent has left to offer.
- Bonner (Q): the incumbent is a dunce, hasn't achieved anything and you won't miss him once he's gone.
- Bowman (Q): see Bonner.
- Cook (NSW): the Liberals in that area are riven and the incumbent MP is retiring, leaving a candidate who can only deal with voters in the abstract. Labor have chosen an aspirational local who'll win the seat.
- Corangamite (V): suburbanites have tipped the balance away from graziers, and the Liberals would not dump the wizened and inert incumbent, thus the Libs will lose this seat for probably the first time since Scullin.
- Deakin (Vic): No reason not to vote Labor, really.
- Dobell (NSW): Water. Wrong move to have poor old Ken Ticehurst play political hardball with water, and any political party that tries to do this aywhere else will cop the same fate.
- Eden-Monaro (NSW): the rest of the country needs Mike Kelly more than it needs Gary Nairn and Peter Phelps.
- Fadden (Q): Possum says: "Fadden has a large number of new residents, pretty rotten housing affordability and is low-to-middle ranked in the other categories". And the sitting MP is retiring.
- Flynn (Q): It's there for the taking.
- (Nat) Gippsland (Vic): Two coal/ electricity/ welfare hubs moving into the electorate, the botched post-mortem treatment of local boy Jake Kovco, and repeated vision of the local member on TV looking hapless on horse-flu should see Peter McGauran on his way back to the farm for good.
- Grey (SA): The hub of Australia's nascent nuclear industry may vote against its own future - or will it?
- Hasluck (WA): this seems convincing.
- Herbert (Q): members of the armed forces and Aborigines to use this as a referendum on Howard.
- Hughes (NSW): Bye bye Danna.
- Leichhardt (Q): Rising interest rates, the country's best-run Aboriginal community are going to give the seat to Labor and A Girl Called Charlie just can't reverse it.
- Lindsay (NSW): the Libs have nothing to offer these people any more. Jackie Kelly's journey to becoming the Jeanette Howard of the lower Nepean is almost complete, and the replacement is a nobody like her opponent so Labor will get the benefit of the doubt.
- Macquarie (NSW): Rural farmland redistributed out, two coal towns distributed in, and a Labor warhorse keen for one last challenge.
- McEwen (Vic): Fran Bailey has been swanning around like Lady Muck on tourist junkets and her own constituency has become estranged.
- McPherson (Q): Demographic change and a sitting MP asleep at the wheel, Labor build on state gains to sneak this one.
- Moreton (Q): Gary Hardgrave should've been turfed by the Liberal Party, but he hasn't so the voters will do it for him.
- (Nat) Page (NSW): Demographic change, retiring Nat, benefit of the doubt goes to Labor and so will he seat.
- Paterson (NSW): Thanks Bob. The Hunter ALP is the laziest in the land but they will still take it from you. You wouldn't want to hang around in Opposition anyway.
- Petrie (Q): No reason not to, really.
- Ryan (Q): classic small-l liberal seat, tired of Howard and the spiv manning the branch office.
- (CLP) Solomon (NT): Tired of being treated like dills, Darwinites? Stop voting for one.
- Stirling (WA): Labor have chosen the right candidate, the incumbent is a hack who should go into state politics.
- Sturt (SA): Having worked really hard to drop his small-l liberal credentials and snuggle up to Howard to get a ministry, Chris Pyne will find it too hard to un-snuggle.
- Wakefield (SA): 'cause there's a swing on, that's why.
- (Nat) Wide Bay (Q): One of the poorest electorates in the country, held by a flat-footed goober from the Nationals. Labor might be on the nose over water, but this will be another of those that sneaks past the pundits.
Calare (NSW). That's it. Massive seat redistribution, popular sitting member passes away. The exception that proves the rule of decline.
Forrest (WA). Not quite ready to embrace Rudd, and the Liberals have chosen the wrong candidate, so step up Noel Brunning and hope you like all that travel.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda ...
- Berowra (NSW): Like Bennelong, the rusted-on Liberals are in decline as young families move in with big mortgages and few facilities, with both love for and fear of the natural environment. The sitting member is an absolute certainty to retire during the coming Parliamentary term. Had Labor picked a hardworking local, or a Maxine McKew, Whispering Death would be gone. The swing will surprise pundits.
- Boothby (SA): Andrew Southcott is a duffer but Labor managed to find a bigger one.
- (Nat) Cowper (NSW): potentially a real bolter, but Labor chose the wrong candidate.
- (Nat) Lyne (NSW): see Cowper. Coulda knocked off a Deputy Prime Minister! Never mind, if Labor reopen the AWB they could pick this up at the byelection.
- Mitchell (NSW): I really hate Alex Hawke, because he hates Australia and he hates the Liberal Party and liberalism, and yet the Liberal Party of Australia chose him to contest their safest seat. An independent with guts and a longterm perspective could take that seat next time.
- Robertson (NSW): Labor chose the wrong candidate. Belinda Neal is just not the sort of person that people want representing them. Barry Jones knew her better than most and when he was presented with her, he flinched and shuddered, as did many Robertson voters. I don't care who she's married to: no more of this person, no more.
- Wannon (Vic): Malcolm Fraser's old seat, now held by the Speaker who won't stick around. One to watch at the inevitable byelection.
- Wentworth (NSW): this time last week it would've been "bye bye Malcolm", but while Wentworth people are notorious flirts they'll take pity on their incumbent. George Newhouse has stumbled a bit, and frankly, he's a bit of a loser! We can't have that, can we? A Labor government won't be that much better on immigration, and Newhouse will be far more effective as some latter-day Rumpole than he ever would as an MP. Besides, the Liberals need Malcolm, and darling simply everybody is voting Labor.