Key seats to watch that could decide the Australian federal election

Pollsters and punters agree Labor has the edge in Saturday's federal election.

A string of national opinion surveys have the ALP ahead with a two party preferred vote in a range between 51 and 52 per cent. But an upset Coalition victory is possible, as is a hung parliament. It all hinges on one decisive number: 76. That's how many seats are required to win a majority in the 151-seat House of Representatives and form a government. A total of 77 seats would allow the governing party to appoint a speaker from within its ranks.

ACT and NT

In the Northern Territory, the Liberals have targeted the Darwin electorate of Solomon but it will have to overcome a solid 6.1 per cent margin in Labor's favour.

The new seat of Bean has been added in the ACT this election, lifting the territory's total to three. All are expected to be won by Labor.


Ever since the Andrew's Labor government trounced the Coalition in last November's state election, Victoria has been cast as a crucial electoral arena.

If the state election results were to be repeated, Labor would pick up a clutch of seats in Melbourne's east including Chisholm, La Trobe and Casey. It has gained the new seat of Fraser and boundary changes in two marginal Liberal-held electorates - Dunkley in Melbourne's southeast and Corangamite in the Geelong hinterland - mean both are now notionally in the ALP's column.

The Liberals are favoured to win back the regional electorate of Indi following the retirement of two-term independent Cathy McGowan.


A string of contests involving independents have grabbed the limelight in NSW.

In Warringah the former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, is under siege from independent, Zali Steggall. Independents may also prevail in the Coalition-held regional electorates of Cowper and Farrer.

Labor MP Emma Husar's seat of Lindsay may be at risk.

Labor MP Emma Husar's seat of Lindsay may be at risk.

But Dave Sharma looks set to take back Sydney's eastern suburbs electorate of Wentworth from independent Kerryn Phelps. The Liberals also have a strong chance of snatching the marginal western Sydney electorate of Lindsay from the ALP. Labor is favoured to win Gilmore on the state's south coast and has a strong chance in the inner-western Sydney seat of Reid along with Robertson on the central coast.


It is hard to overstate the importance of Queensland for the Coalition.

It holds five of its electorates on wafer-thin margins of 2 per cent or less. Another three Liberal National Party MPs are defending margins of less than 4 per cent. A clutch of LNP seats in Brisbane's outer suburbs are in play including Forde, Bonner, Petrie and Dickson, the electorate held by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton. The LNP-held seat of Flynn, which takes in Gladstone, is also under threat.

Peter Dutton's seat of Dickson may be under threat for the Liberals.

Peter Dutton's seat of Dickson may be under threat for the Liberals.

The Coalition is hopeful of regaining the Townsville electorate of Herbert lost to Labor. But the electoral politics in the state is complicated by the popularity of Clive Palmer's United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson's One Nation in some regions.

Western Australia

The Liberals hold 11 of WA's 16 seats but support for the party has declined amid a prolonged downturn in the state economy. Four Liberal-held seats in suburban Perth are in play - Swan, Hasluck, Stirling and Pearce. The ultra-marginal Labor-held electorate of Cowan will also be tight.

Clive Palmer, whose United Australia Party may limit Labor gains.

Clive Palmer, whose United Australia Party may limit Labor gains.


The Liberals are to snatch back two of the seats it lost in 2016 - Bass and Braddon. The Coalition's narrow pathway to an election success probably requires gains in Tasmania.