Pundits including Australia’s most respected election analyst, the ABC’s Antony Green, said on Wednesday that after the latest counting, the Coalition would definitely win at least 73 seats and could secure the 76 seats needed to form a majority government.
With postal and absentee votes still being painstakingly counted, a final result in the Australian federal election is dependent on a handful of seats where the count has been too close to call.
Latest reports predict two of those seats – Petrie and Grey will fall to the Coalition and that the Government has a very strong chance of picking up Chisholm, Dunkley and Gilmore.
If that is the case, it is likely that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will have gathered enough votes to be in poll position to broker a deal with independents to form a minority government at the least, if not form a majority government.
By Wednesday morning with 80.6 per cent of the votes counted Labor remains on 67 seats with the Coalition on 70.
Swings and roundabouts for Greek Australian candidates. Latest update:
Julia Banks tightens hold on Chisholm
With 74 per cent of the votes counted in the Melbourne marginal seat of Chisholm, Julia Banks, the Liberal’s Greek Australian candidate, by late Tuesday had extended her lead to 360 votes over her Labor opponent Stefanie Perri.
Enrolment for the Chisholm seat, which stretches from Box Hill to Clayton, is more than 97,000. The latest figures show Ms Banks on 33,354 votes compared to Ms Perrie on 32,994 votes. Chisholm looks likely to be one of the only seats in the country to go to the Coalition from Labor.
Georganas neck and neck in Hindmarsh
With a 2 per cent swing to Labor by Wednesady, and 83 per cent of the votes counted, former Labor MP Steve Georganas is banking on absentee votes votes to get him over the line against the Liberal’s Matt Williams.
Speaking to Neos Kosmos, Mr Georganas, who led by 347 seats on Tuesday said: “”We’re still in front, and while the postal votes don’t usually favour us the absentee votes should counteract that, I’m in a good position.”
With the vote so close, a final result might not be declared in Hindmarsh until next week.
Bye bye Nic Varvaris
A 4 per cent swing against Liberal incumbent Nicolas Varvaris has ended his one term as Barton’s MP in south Sydney, with Linda Burney, the first the Indigenous lower house MP winning for Labor.
No way back for Mirabella
Sophie Mirabella’s political career may have finally run its course, with ¬independent MP Cathy Mc¬Gowan -strengthening her hold on the former Liberal frontbencher’s seat of Indi. Ms McGowan scored a 4.5 per cent swing against her, according to the 82 per cent of votes counted.
Team Xenophon set for Senate threesome
Nick Xenophon’s NXT party is now expected to pick up three seats on the Senate crossbench and in the Lower House, NXT’s Rebekha Sharkie has unseated former Liberal minister Jamie Briggs in the seat of Mayo.
Meanwhile talk of NXT holding the balance of power in the next government may be premature. Downplaying earlier expectations Senator Xenophon said yesterday: “There will hopefully be three senators from the Nick Xenophon Team, as well as Rebekha Sharkie in the seat of Mayo, and that’s a pretty good set of numbers for (me) to have a fairly powerful say (in parliament).”
Vamvakinou retains Calwell
Veteran Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou has easily retained her seat of Calwell with a 4.5 per cent swing. By Wednesday with 75 per cent of the vote counted Ms Vamvakinou held 69.1 per cent of the preference count compared to the Liberal’s John Hsu on 30.9 per cent.