9 December 2019
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Labor will win but by how much?

Malcolm Mackerras
14 May 2019

The time has come for me to put numbers on my predictions for this Saturday. As I did with NSW, I begin by predicting the size of the swing to Labor. That means also a prediction of the overall two-party preferred vote. I am predicting the swing to be 1.7%. Such a swing would raise Labor’s share of the two-party preferred vote from 49.6% last time to 51.3% on Saturday. The Coalition’s figure would, therefore, fall from 50.4% to 48.7%.

I now apply that to my pendulum – this is my really important prediction for the House of Representatives election. The result would be 79 seats for Labor and 72 for all the rest combined. That is an outright Labor majority of seven seats but it is really 81 for the left and 70 for the non-left. That is so because Melbourne and Clark are left-of-centre seats held by Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie respectively.

For the non-left, I divide it this way: 51 for the Liberal Party, 15 for the Nationals and 4 independents. The independents, therefore, would sit in the seats of Cowper (NSW), Kennedy (Qld), Mayo (SA) and Warringah (NSW). Note, here, that I predict Dave Sharma to defeat Kerryn Phelps. Were Phelps to retain Wentworth, then the number of Liberals would be 50 and the independents would be one clearly of the left (Clark), two sitting in seats naturally of the Nationals (Cowper and Kennedy) and three sitting in seats normally won by the Liberal Party, Mayo, Warringah and Wentworth. That total of six is what the betting markets suggest.

As to the seats distributed between the Coalition and Labor, I rely on the deviations from uniform swing as shown on my pendulum to cancel out. On a uniform swing Labor would hold all its seats and gain Capricornia (Qld), Forde (Qld), Gilmore (NSW), Flynn (Qld), Robertson (NSW), Banks (NSW) and Petrie (Qld).

My belief is that Labor will lose Herbert to the Liberal National Party and fail to gain Capricornia, Flynn and Banks. However, Dickson (Qld), Hasluck (WA), Chisholm (Victoria) and La Trobe (Victoria) would fall to Labor by way of compensation. In the unlikely event that Labor lost Lindsay (NSW), then it would be compensated for that failure by the gain of Bonner (Qld).

Turning to the unrepresentative swill of the Senate, I have, from the first of July, 28 Labor, eight Greens plus Jacquie Lambie from Tasmania (those being counted as of the left) adding up to 37. On the right I have 33 for the Coalition plus Corey Bernardi (SA), Pauline Hanson (Qld) and Clive Palmer (Qld). Holding the balance of power, therefore, would be Derryn Hinch (Victoria) plus two senators from the South Australian Centre Alliance, Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff.

(Malcolm Mackerras is Honorary Fellow of Australian Catholic University. malcolm.mackerras@acu.edu.au)

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