The last votes from the 2019 federal election are yet to be counted, but the Coalition seems set for a majority government after a hard-fought battle for the Victorian seat of Chisholm.
Citing the latest tally from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), The Australian reports that Liberal Party candidate Gladys Liu has the numbers over Labor’s Jennifer Yang.
The margin is small. At time of writing, and with roughly 80% of the vote counted, Liu leads by 964 votes. Still, that difference was enough for the AEC to say the Coalition is leading, likely pushing them to the magical 76-seat threshold required to form a majority government.
That’s huge news for the Coalition, who won’t be required to kowtow quite so obviously to minor parties in order to pass new legislation if they confirm that lead in the House of Representatives.
It’s also huge news for Labor, who probably got this close to winning the seat left vacant by former Liberal MP Julia Banks, who announced her plans to contest Flinders as an independent after former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s axing.
FWIW, Banks did not succeed in that goal.
There’s a lot going on here, and it feels telling that this tumultuous seat is likely the one to hand Prime Minister Scott Morrison a tight grip on the Lower House.
For what it’s worth, the Coalition lead in two more tightly contested seats, but those fine margins could be erased once the counting is done. In the Tasmanian seat of Bass, the Libs’ Bridget Archer leads Labor’s Ross Hart by 453 votes; in NSW‘s seat of Macquarie, Coalition candidate Sarah Richards has just 50 votes over Labor’s Susan Templeman.
As for everyone else: Labor seems set to secure 67 seats, and the Greens’ Adam Bandt is safe in the seat of Melbourne. Bob Katter is home and hosed in QLD’s Kennedy, again; Zali Steggall did the unthinkable by toppling Tony Abbott in Warringah; Rebekha Sharkie returns to action in SA’s Mayo; and Tassie independent Andrew Wilkie looks like a shoo-in to represent Clark.