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Seat of Brisbane will decide government, says mathematician

Victoria University mathematician and electoral analyst Professor John Zeleznikow says the seat of Brisbane is likely to hold the key to the outcome of the election.

"The Australian Electoral Commission lists three undecided seats as close – Brisbane, Hasluck and Corangamite," Professor Zeleznikow said.

 "The numerical factors that form the basis of my calculations are: the total vote cast, the existing margin between candidates and the number of votes yet to be counted.

"The problem with the predictions of most analysts is that they are looking at the percentage difference between the two candidates, not the percentage of the remaining vote that a candidate needs to secure victory.

"But the number of votes yet to be counted provides the key to the likely result.

"If we examine each of the factors in turn, about 90 per cent of those on the roll are likely to cast a formal vote.

"Next we need to look at the margins between the parties in each seat.

"Percentage-wise, Corangamite is closest at 0.34 per cent, but in this seat 85.95 per cent of votes are counted. The difference is 571 votes. To win, the Liberals need 1800 of 3000 remaining votes, about 60 per cent, which is unlikely.

"In Brisbane the margin is 0.38 per cent, but only 73.40 per cent of votes have been counted. The difference is 490 votes. To win Labor needs 6250 out of 12,000 votes: about 52.5 per cent. This is possible if the sitting ALP member polls well in postal votes and other outstanding votes.

"Based on my calculations, I believe Corangamite will stay Labor and Hasluck will go to the Liberals.

"The make-up of the Parliament would then be Labor 72 seats and the Coalition 71 seats with six others: three country Independents, one Green, one WA National sitting outside the Coalition, and one Independent from Hobart.  

"The undecided seat of Brisbane will be the closest fought and could decide who forms government."


Professor Zeleznikow is available for interview: 0432 154 217


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Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University

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