Swimming 40:00  1.0 km (40:00 / km)
Felt tight through the hips this morning so decided to take to the water instead - not taking chances with a race weekend this weekend (including one of my increasingly rare NOL appearances). It felt like a slow and floundering swim, and the clock suggests that it was.
Hard to get a handle on this election (and the passing of Bob Hawke throws in another wildcard at the last minute). I find it hard to see the Liberals winning a majority, but am not totally confident that Labor will do so either. Since Labor will not win any seats from minor parties and independents and probably won't lose any to them either, they need to win a net 4 seats from the Liberals (after redistribution; I'm already counting Dunkley and Corangamite as Labor seats), with Liberal-Independent/Green contests mattering only in as much as they might give more options for Labor to form a government if they fall a bit short of the magic 76. Seat polls badly underestimated the Labor vote in 2016 (and in Victoria last year), but the ones that came out today are reasonably consistent with the national polls, so might be more reliable this time (although I think that the assumptions that are being made on Palmer/One Nation preferences are too favourable to the Liberals on past experience).
Another broad trend to note: last time the Liberals did anomalously well in the inner and middle suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and anomalously badly in western Sydney, both of which I attribute to reactions to Turnbull relative to Abbott. I expect these anomalies to unwind this time (at least to some extent).
Anyway, my tips:
NSW: Sydney doesn't seem to be swinging much (if at all). No net change ALP/Lib (gaining Gilmore but losing Lindsay). Might be a chance in Reid. Banks (a part of Sydney that seems to be trending demographically to the Liberals) seems unlikely to me, and I'd be surprised with Robertson too. Page might be a chance. I expect a swing against Labor in western Sydney but Lindsay is the only seat at risk there. Lots of independent action here: I think Tony Abbott will lose, think Kerryn Phelps has a decent chance of holding Wentworth (experience is that sitting Independents are hard to dislodge unless the party challenging them is doing well), and there are good chances in Farrer and Cowper too. Prediction: IND +2, LNP -2.
Victoria: there will be a big swing which will probably get bigger the closer you get to Melbourne, the question is what will it yield? Chisholm certainly, but there's not a lot of other low-hanging fruit. I think La Trobe and Deakin are toss-ups, and Casey and Aston possibilities. Of the group of normally safe Liberal seats, I think they will lose Higgins (more likely to the Greens than Labor), but will most likely hold on in Kooyong, Menzies, Flinders and Goldstein. The Greens are struggling in our part of town and I think Cooper and Wills are safe (this time). Decent chance of an independent win in Indi; I think the Nationals will hold on in Mallee, but not by much. Prediction: ALP +3, GRN +1, LNP -4.
Queensland: statewide polls consistently show a 3-4% swing to Labor statewide but little change in central/north Queensland, which suggests a big swing is on in Brisbane (again perhaps more the inner than outer parts). I see Forde, Dickson, Petrie and Bonner as excellent chances for Labor - probably won't win them all but will assume 3/4. Brisbane, despite its bigger margin, is one I see as a wildcard (and perhaps Ryan, either to Labor or the Greens, if a swing is really on in inner Brisbane). Leichhardt, not a mining seat, also can't be assumed to behave the same way as the other north Queensland seats. I suspect Herbert will just be lost but haven't written it off; people tend to forget that Adani was very much on the agenda in 2016 so there may not be many new votes to be won on the issue. Prediction: ALP +4, LNP -4.
SA: no change. I expect the Liberals to hold on in Boothby, and Rebekha Sharkie to hold Mayo easily. I think the best chance for an upset anywhere is Centre Alliance knocking off the Liberals in Grey.
Tasmania: no change. Not so confident about this, but I think Labor will hold their northern Tasmanian seats. One thing to note here is that seat polling has a history of badly underestimating Labor votes there.
WA: all of Hasluck, Swan and Pearce are a chance for Labor, but none are a sure thing. Will give them 2/3. ALP +2, LNP -2.
NT: there will be big swings against Labor here (from a vote inflated last time by protest votes in the dying days of the atrocious Giles government), but I still expect they will hold their seats - more confident about Lingiari than Solomon.
ACT: no change, although the new Canberra is a seat that the Greens may be competitive in in a worse year for Labor than this.
This all ends up with ALP +9, GRN +1, IND +2, LNP -12. This would give a Parliament with ALP 81, LNP 62 and a crossbench of 8 - a modest but workable majority.
A possible omen: I was at exactly the same place on election day 1993 as I will be this year - an orienteering event at Wyangala Dam. In 1993 I found what turned out to be the one Labor pub in Cowra to watch the results come in (apparently the publican at Woodstock shouted the bar when Paul Keating gave his victory speech). Not sure what we'll do this time but I'll be doing my best to channel my inner Antony at whatever gathering happens.