It is now almost a year since the last Australian Federal election, which saw the centre-right Liberal/National Coalition defeat the governing centre-left Labor party and take a 90-55 seat advantage into the 44th Parliament of Australia.
Since then things have not gone especially well for the Coalition. By the start of December they had slipped behind in the opinion polls and haven't been back in front since. Polling looked particularly dire in the months following the handing down of a budget that was widely seen as deeply unfair for retirees, students, and low-income earners. Whilst they were successful in repealing the Carbon Tax successive Senates have proven hostile to most other reforms.
In recent weeks a number of overseas incidents have dominated the news and the Government has narrowed Labor's persistent lead in the polls. Nevertheless my modelling gives Labor a 24 seat gain and a 79-66 majority in the next parliament. The model assumes that all five independents/minor party Representatives will hold their seats. The timing of Federal elections in Australia is not fixed so the Government is able to call an early election if they so chose, however a late 2016 election is most probable.
Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.
Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling.
Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green. The percentage is the odds of the Coalition winning the seat. I've dropped the predicted two-party preferred vote for now, it's just a bit cluttery this far out from an election.
In non-federal news my home city of Newcastle has had both its State MP and its Lord Mayor resign over corruption issues (envelopes full of $100 bills) in the last couple of weeks. So that's something.