A handful of marginal seats in each state are set to decide whether Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison becomes Prime Minister. Picture: AAP
A handful of marginal seats in each state are set to decide whether Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison becomes Prime Minister. Picture: AAP

Seats that will decide the election

AUSTRALIA's federal election hinges on just a handful of marginal seats in each state.

More than 16.4 million voters will have their say on who is elected to 151 seats in the House of Representatives and on who will represent them in the Senate.

But tonight all eyes will be on the "must watch" battles which could turn the tide for Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison.

Labor needs to win seven extra seats on top of the 69 they currently hold to form a majority government. They need eight extra seats if they want one of their own MPs to be Speaker.

DON'T MISS OUR ROLLING COVERAGE OF ALL THE LOCAL AND NATIONAL RESULTS IN THE 2019 FEDERAL ELECTION ON SATURDAY NIGHT

 

The Coalition holds 74 seats, meaning they need to pick up three seats and hold all of their current seats to win back government.

Opinion polls in the past week reveal the race will be incredibly tight with seats likely to fall on both sides.

HERE ARE THE SEATS TO WATCH

 

NEW SOUTH WALES

Warringah

Incumbent: Liberal MP Tony Abbott

Margin: 11.5 per cent

Tony Abbott's political future is on the line in Warringah, as betting agencies tip former Olympic skier and barrister Zali Steggall to pick up the seat.

The former PM technically has a 'safe' margin but has been waging the biggest campaign of his political life to win back the Sydney seat he's held for 25 years.

This is a key seat the Liberals must win but its likely to go down to the wire.

Tony Abbott MP and challenger Zali Steggall both spotted at the Brookvale Pre-Polling booth. Picture: David Swift.
Tony Abbott MP and challenger Zali Steggall both spotted at the Brookvale Pre-Polling booth. Picture: David Swift.

Wentworth

Incumbent: Independent MP Kerryn Phelps

Margin: 1.2 per cent

Malcolm Turnbull's former Sydney seat of Wentworth is one of the Liberals' best chances of picking up a seat tonight.

Kerryn Phelps won the electorate at the October 2018 by-election after Mr Turnbull resigned from Parliament.

Her rival Dave Sharma narrowly missed out on winning the seat despite the Liberals suffering a massive 19.2 per cent swing against them as voters vented their anger about the leadership spill.

Tonight, he needs the vote to swing just 1.2 per cent the other way to reclaim the traditional Liberal stronghold.

Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps will have a fight to hold onto Wentworth. Picture: AAP
Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps will have a fight to hold onto Wentworth. Picture: AAP

Gilmore

Incumbent: Liberal MP Ann Sudmalis (retiring)

Margin: Liberal 0.7 per cent

Gilmore on the south coast is one of the most likely seats Labor could pick up in NSW tonight.

A YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday had Labor's Fiona Phillips ahead of Liberal candidate Warren Mundine 52-48 on a two-party preferred basis.

 

Farrer

Incumbent: Liberal MP Sussan Ley

Margin: 20.5 per cent

Farrer, held by Liberal MP on a margin of 20.5 per cent, should be a "safe" seat for the Coalition but recent polling suggests it could be in trouble.

Albury Mayor Kevin Mack is running against Ley as an independent campaigning on putting a pause on the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

It's one of the less likely seats to fall with such a large margin but is worth watching just in case.

 

Lindsay

Incumbent: Labor MP Emma Husar

Margin: 1.1 per cent

Lindsay is one of the most uncertain and crucial seats tonight.

Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten have visited Penrith during the campaign given how close it will be.

The Liberals believe it's their best chance of picking up a seat from Labor in NSW but it's still anyone's game.

Labor's Diane Beamer is up against Liberal candidate Melissa McIntosh.

 

The Liberals are tipped to have a fairly good run in NSW but could see big losses in Victoria and WA. Picture: Alex Coppel.
The Liberals are tipped to have a fairly good run in NSW but could see big losses in Victoria and WA. Picture: Alex Coppel.

Cowper

Incumbent: National MP Luke Hartsuyker (retiring)

Margin: 4.6 per cent

Scott Morrison himself has declared Cowper will be one of the key seats which decides the election.

Independent Rob Oakeshott is trying for the second time to wrest the seat from the Nationals.

His chances against Nationals newcomer Patrick Conaghan are better than against incumbent Luke Hartsuyker, who chose to retire at this election.

 

Reid

Incumbent: Liberal MP Craig Laundy (retiring)

Margin: 4.7 per cent

Reid is Labor's second key target in NSW, with ALP candidate Sam Crosby hoping to snatch the seat after incumbent Craig Laundy quit politics.

A YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday showed the Liberals were still ahead on a two-party preferred vote of 52-48 per cent in Reid.

But it also revealed the party could suffer a significant swing on election night.

Liberal newcomer Fiona Martin has had lots of support from party heavyweights Scott Morrison and John Howard throughout the campaign but may not have had enough time to make her mark.

It will certainly be a seat to watch.

 

Robertson

Incumbent: Liberal MP Lucy Wicks

Margin: 1.1 per cent

Robertson is another seat which could potentially change hands on election night.

Liberal MP Lucy Wicks has a margin of just 1.1 per cent. If she goes, it will further diminish the number of Liberal women in the House of Representatives - potentially shrinking the numbers to their lowest since the 1990s.

Labor's Anne Charlton is hoping to nab the seat.

 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in the political fight of his life in Dickson. Picture: AAP
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton is in the political fight of his life in Dickson. Picture: AAP

QUEENSLAND

Dickson

Incumbent: Liberal MP Peter Dutton

Margin: 2 per cent

Peter Dutton's political future is on the line in Dickson. His electorate is one of Labor's best chances of picking up a seat in Queensland.

A YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday showed the Home Affairs Minister would suffer a swing against him but could narrowly hold on against Labor's Ali France thanks to preferences from minor parties.

It's possible the Dickson result won't be known on the night. In 2016, the result came down to 2911 votes.

 

Capricornia

Incumbent: Nationals MP Michelle Landry

Margin: 0.6 per cent

Capricornia on Queensland's central coast has one of the narrowest margins in the state, so will definitely be a seat to watch on election night.

Labor's Russell Robertson is hoping to snatch the seat from incumbent Michelle Landry but local issues, such as jobs and the Adani mine, might see the National MP narrowly cling on.

Minor party preferences are going to be a wildcard here. It might not be decided tonight.

United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer could re-enter politics if he manages to nab the sixth Senate seat in Queensland. He’ll also be a kingmaker in several lower house seats. Picture: AAP
United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer could re-enter politics if he manages to nab the sixth Senate seat in Queensland. He’ll also be a kingmaker in several lower house seats. Picture: AAP

Herbert

Incumbent: Labor MP Cathy O'Toole

Margin: 0.02 per cent

Herbert is the most marginal seat in the country - with Labor holding it by just 37 votes.

It looks to be the LNP's best chance of snatching a seat off Labor in Queensland.

Minor party preferences will play a massive role in deciding the outcome, with a YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday showing Katter's Australia Party could claim up to 14 per cent of the primary vote.

LNP candidate Phillip Thompson and Labor's Cathy O'Toole were neck and neck on a two-party preferred vote of 50-50 in the YouGov Galaxy poll.

 

One Nation’s preference flows will be crucial in several seats for the LNP in Queensland. Picture: AAP
One Nation’s preference flows will be crucial in several seats for the LNP in Queensland. Picture: AAP

Flynn

Incumbent: Nationals MP Ken O'Dowd

Margin: 1.04 per cent

The LNP is tipped to narrowly hold on in the marginal Queensland seat of Flynn.

But with a margin of just 1 per cent it's still a seat worth watching tonight.

Labor's Zac Beers is hoping to nab the seat from the LNP's Ken O'Dowd but a YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday showed preference flows from right-leaning minor parties could tip the result in the incumbent's favout.

O'Dowd was ahead 53-47 on two-party-preferred terms.

 

Forde

Incumbent: Liberal MP Bert van Manen

Margin: 0.6 per cent

Labor and the LNP are neck and neck in the ultra-marginal seat of Forde.

The outcome is likely to come down to a handful of votes, with a YouGov Galaxy poll on Thursday showing incumbent Bert van Manen and Labor's Des Hardman were neck and neck on a two-party preferred vote of 50-50.

It's one of the seats that could potentially change hands but the result may not be known tonight.

Eva the democracy sausage dog in Boothby. Eva firstly chooses Scott Morrison but after a few bites didn't seem to like his sausage so dropped it and tried Bill Shorten's which she finished off. Picture: Tricia Watkinson
Eva the democracy sausage dog in Boothby. Eva firstly chooses Scott Morrison but after a few bites didn't seem to like his sausage so dropped it and tried Bill Shorten's which she finished off. Picture: Tricia Watkinson

Leichhardt

Incumbent: Liberal MP Warren Entsch

Margin: 3.9 per cent

There's a strong possibility Leichhardt could change hands this election but it's another one that may not be known tonight.

LNP incumbent Warren Entsch was tipped to narrowly hold on in a YouGov Galaxy Poll conducted this week.

But the poll revealed there was a swing against the LNP in the seat, which could potentially see Labor candidate Elida Faith scrape across the line.

 

Petrie

Incumbent: Liberal MP Luke Howarth

Margin: 1.65 per cent

LNP incumbent Luke Howarth has defied expectations twice before to win Petrie.

It's possible he could hold on a third time but Labor's Corinne Mulholland has a strong chance of picking up the seat given the margin is just a slim 1.65 per cent.

Again, the result may not be known tonight.

 

Bonner

Incumbent: Liberal MP Ross Vasta

Margin: 3.4 per cent

Bonner is another Queensland electorate to watch tonight with a margin of just 3.4 per cent.

Labor's Jo Briskey is hoping to pick up the seat from the LNP's Ross Vasta.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the election campaign in Melbourne with Michael Sukkar, federal MP for Deakin. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the election campaign in Melbourne with Michael Sukkar, federal MP for Deakin. Picture: Gary Ramage

 

 

VICTORIA

Dunkley

Incumbent: Liberal MP Chris Crewther

Margin: Notionally Labor 1 per cent after redistribution

Dunkley is the most likely seat in Victoria to change hands tonight after it notionally became a Labor marginal seat in a boundary redistribution last year.

Labor's Peta Murphy is on track to defeat Liberal incumbent Chris Crewther.

 

Corangamite

Incumbent: Liberal MP Sarah Henderson

Margin: Notionally Labor 0.03 per cent after redistribution

Corangamite is also likely to change hands tonight after it notionally became a Labor marginal seat in a boundary redistribution last year.

There is a chance Liberal MP Sarah Henderson could hold on but recent polls in safer Liberal seats in Victoria spell trouble for her.

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Picture: AAP
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Health Greg Hunt. Picture: AAP

Flinders

Incumbent: Liberal MP Greg Hunt

Margin: 7 per cent

Health Minister Greg Hunt is hoping to fend off a challenge from Labor and independent Julia Banks in Flinders.

It's a seat that could potentially change hands tonight but is likely to remain in Liberal hands.

 

Higgins

Incumbent: Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer (retiring)

Margin: 10.1 per cent

This traditionally safe Liberal seat is tipped to narrowly hold on - just.

A YouGov Galaxy seat poll this week showed the Liberal primary vote has dropped 6.6 per cent since the last election and now sits on 45 per cent.

It's likely Kelly O'Dwyer's successor Katie Allen will win back the seat, with the poll putting her ahead of the Greens' Jason Ball 52-48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

But the 2018 state election result will make the Liberals nervous.

It remains one to watch.

Julia Banks speaks to voters in the electorate of Flinders. Picture: David Geraghty/ The Australian.
Julia Banks speaks to voters in the electorate of Flinders. Picture: David Geraghty/ The Australian.

Chisholm

Incumbent: Independent Julia Banks (switching seats)

Margin: Liberal 3.4 per cent

Chisholm is one of Labor's key targets in Victoria after Julia Banks defected from the Liberal Party following Malcolm Turnbull's ousting.

She won't be recontesting, preferring to switch seats to challenge Health Minister Greg Hunt in Flinders, so the battle in Chisholm will be between Labor's Jennifer Yang and the Liberals' Gladys Liu.

It's likely that Labor will be able to pick up the seat, if recent polls of safer Liberal seats like Deakin and Higgins are an indication.

 

La Trobe

Incumbent: Liberal MP Jason Wood

Margin: 3.2 per cent

La Trobe was neck and neck for Liberal Jason Wood and Labor's Simon Curtis in a YouGov Galaxy seat poll this week.

It's a seat that will go down to the wire. The result may not be known tonight.

Deakin

Incumbent: Liberal MP Michael Sukkar

Margin: 6.4 per cent

The Melbourne seat of Deakin could potentially change hands tonight, with a YouGov Galaxy poll this week showing Liberal MP Michael Sukkar could suffer a swing of more than 6 per cent.

Sukkar was narrowly slated to hold on against Labor's Shireen Morrison with a two-party preferred vote of 51-49 per cent.

But Morris had also boosted Labor's primary by 7 points in the poll.

Both parties will be watching this seat like a hawk.

 

Casey

Incumbent: Liberal MP Tony Smith

Margin: 4.5 per cent

Casey is another Victorian seat that could change hands tonight.

Liberal MP Tony Smith holds the seat with a margin of just 4.5 per cent.

It makes him vulnerable if the swing is anything near what it is tipped to be in the neighbouring electorate of Deakin.

 

 

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Boothby

Incumbent: Nicolle Flint

Margin: 2.8 per cent

Boothby will be the must watch seat in South Australia, where Liberal Nicolle Flint holds her seat with a margin of just 2.8 per cent.

But a YouGov Galaxy poll taken this week shows Ms Flint remains ahead of Labor's Nadia Clancy by 53-47 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Attorney-General Christian Porter during Question Time in the House of Representatives. Question Time in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage
Attorney-General Christian Porter during Question Time in the House of Representatives. Question Time in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

P earce

Incumbent: Liberal MP Christian Porter

Margin: 3.6 per cent

Attorney-General Christian Porter is one of the most senior Coalition MPs whose political fates are on the line tonight.

A YouGov Galaxy poll this week showed Labor's Kim Travers was within striking distance of Mr Porter, behind by just 49-51 per cent on a two-party preferred basis in the marginal seat of Pearce. That's a 2.6 per cent swing against the Liberals since the 2016 election.

 

Swan

Incumbent: Liberal MP Steve Irons

Margin: 3.6 per cent

Swan is one of four WA seats that could change hands tonight.

Labor's Hannah Beazley, the daughter of former Labor leader Kim Beazley, is neck and neck with incumbent Steve Irons, a YouGov Galaxy poll this week showed.

It will go down to the wire and the result may not be known tonight.

 

Stirling

Incumbent: Liberal MP Michael Keenan (retiring)

Margin: 6.1 per cent

Liberal newcomer Vince Connelly and Labor's Melita Markey are locked in a tight battle to claim the inner northern Perth suburbs seat of Stirling.

A YouGov Galaxy poll this week showed the Liberal vote had crashed 5.1 per cent since the last election but Connelly was narrowly ahead by 51-49 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

Former Prime Minister John Howard (left) is seen with Liberal minister Ken Wyatt in his seat of Hasluck in Western Australia. Picture: AAP
Former Prime Minister John Howard (left) is seen with Liberal minister Ken Wyatt in his seat of Hasluck in Western Australia. Picture: AAP

Hasluck

Incumbent: Liberal MP Ken Wyatt

Margin: 2 per cent

Labor's James Martin is neck and neck with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt in the marginal WA seat of Hasluck.

A YouGov Galaxy poll this week showed the par were locked at 50-50 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

This seat is likely to go down to the wire. It's another one where the result may not be known tonight.

 

TASMANIA

Bass

Incumbent: Labor MP Ross Hart

Margin: 5.4 per cent

Tasmania had multiple visits from Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten during the campaign.

The Liberals strongly targeted Bass, despite it being held by Labor on a margin of 5.4 per cent.

It's potentially one to watch but is likely to remain in Labor hands.

 

Braddon

Incumbent: Labor MP Justine Keay

Margin: 1.7 per cent

Braddon is held by Labor MP Justine Keay on an even smaller margin than Bass.

It could potentially fall to the Liberals' Gavin Pearce, who had lots of support from party heavyweights during the campaign, but Labor is likely to hold on.