The 62 Marginal Seats That Will Decide The Election

Get ready for pork-barrel, politicians and press

09/05/2016 4:09 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST
Fairfax Media
Expect a selfie-snapping Malcolm Turnbull in your marginal electorate shortly

If you live in any of these electorates, expect to see the Prime Minister up close at some point in the next few weeks -- or at least, to have your morning commute delayed by a campaign bus of some description.

The Australian Electoral Commission has released a list of the marginal seats around the country, the electorates up for grabs and winnable by either major party. These are the battleground areas, where the Liberal and Labor parties will be focusing their resources to either hang on to a precariously-held seat or to snatch it from their opposition.

These are the seats where we'll be seeing pork-barrel election promises being made, hands being shaken, unsuspecting babies being kissed and traffic held up as politicians in nice suits and journalists lugging cameras pop in for a visit.

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten and all their star players will be spending the most time in these electorates over the next eight weeks, where they'll be trying to win or keep votes through a combination of favourable local press coverage, tempting policy announcements and more than a bit of personal charm.

The AEC defines a "marginal" seat as one where "the leading party receives less than 56 per cent of the TPP vote." Under that calculation, 62 seats of the 150-seat House of Representatives are notionally up for grabs, with a swing of less than six percent required for the seat to change hands. It means 41 percent of electorates are marginal; 18 in NSW, 14 in Victoria, six in Western Australia, four in South Australia, four of the five Tasmanian seats, both Northern Territory seats, and 14 of the 30 seats in Queensland. Of the 62, nine are held by a margin of less than one percent.

An example in action: Prime Minister Turnbull spent his day in the marginal Queensland electorates of Petrie, Bonner and Moreton, wasting no time targeting vulnerable seats in the battleground state.

Of the marginal seats, 31 are held by the Coalition and 27 are held by Labor, with independents holding the remainder. The Coalition currently hold 90 seats in the House, above the 76 needed to form government. Labor, holding 55, need to pick up 21 seats to retake government.

Some big names are under the pump, with the seats of Labor stars including shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus, Joel Fitzgibbon, Wayne Swan, Kate Ellis, Jenny Macklin and Michael Danby currently classified as "marginal" by the AEC. Liberal veteran Warren Entsch is also in a marginal seat, as is Bob Katter.

Fairfax Media
Malcolm Turnbull visits a Brisbane community centre in a marginal QLD electorate

If you live in any of these seats -- especially Dobell, Paterson, McEwen, Capricornia,Petrie, Lingiari, Indi, Fairfax or O'Connor, the seats held by under one percent -- expect to be seeing a flurry of political activity and important visits, as the major parties vie to keep or win your vote.

NSW - 47 seats, 18 marginal
Banks, Barton, Dobell, Eden-Monaro, Gilmore, Greenway, Hunter/Charlton, Kingsford-Smith, Lindsay, Macarthur, Macquarie, McMahon, Page, Parramatta, Paterson, Reid, Richmond, Robertson

VIC - 37 seats, 14 marginal
Ballarat, Bendigo, Chisholm, Corangamite, Deakin, Dunkley, Indi, Isaacs, Jagajaga, La Trobe, Melbourne, McEwen, Melbourne Ports

QLD - 30 seats, 14 marginal
Blair, Bonner, Brisbane, Capricornia, Fairfax, Forde, Griffith, Kennedy, Leichhardt, Lilley, Moreton, Oxley, Petrie, Rankin

WA - 16 seats, 6 marginal
Brand, Cowan, Durack, Fremantle, O'Connor, Perth

SA - 11 seats, 4 marginal
Adelaide, Hindmarsh, Makin, Wakefield

TAS - 5 seats, 4 marginal
Bass, Braddon, Franklin, Lyons

NT - 2 seats, 2 marginal
Lingiari, Solomon

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