Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten
Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten

The eight seats that will decide the Federal Election

THEY'RE the seats that swing the way of the election and with the polls indicating this year's Federal ballot will be tight they could well end up deciding who's in government after July 2.

Since 2001 when John Howard was returned for his third term as Australian Prime Minister these eight seats have repeatedly been won by the party which ended up taking government. 

There is only one in Queensland, Petrie in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and it's therefore unsurprising to see that PM Malcolm Turnbull made a beeline there today to hold a press conference with Petrie's current Liberal MP Luke Howarth. 

In 2013 Mr Howarth rested the seat from the hands of Yvette D'ath - now Queensland's Attorney-General - in a photo finish poll which separated the pair by by just 871 votes.

Prior to that Ms D'ath won the seat from the Coalition's Teresa Gambaro in the election which led to Kevin Rudd being swept to power in 2007. 

And cementing the seat's status as Queensland's only bellweather the LNP held it in 2001 and 2004 - the last of the Howard years - meaning the seat has gone to the government in each of the past five elections.

The same is true of five seats in New South Wales - Robertson and Dobell just noth of Sydne on the Central Coast, Lindsay in Penrith, Eden-Monaro which stretches from the Victorian border to Queanbeyan and Page in the Northern Rivers. 

Eden-Monaro is often referred to as the quintessential bellweather seat as it has been held by the government since 1972. 

Page in the Northern Rivers had traditionally been National Party heartland, however it has since become a marginal electorate.

This year it will be contested by Labor candidate Janelle Saffin who lost the seat the National MP Kevin Hogan at the 2012 election. 

Prior to that Ms Saffin took the seat from Nationals in the 2007 election as Australia returned the ALP to government. 

In Victoria the division of Corangamite is presently held by Liberal MP and former broadcast journalist Sarah Henderson who won the seat in 2013 as the government changed power - it too has gone to the government since to 2001 election and the same is true of Deakin in Melbourne's eastern suburbs. 

Finally there are two seats in Tasmania which just miss out on making the grade but come very close to the title - Braddon and Bass. 

Both of these seats have gone the way of the government in every election since 2004 but were held by Labor in 2001 when the Coalition was in power. 


Australia's Bellweather Seats















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