11.39pm – Today I have removed 4 seats from the list of undecideds.
The 4 seats no longer considered undecided are: Robertson, Batman, La Trobe and Petrie.
Their removal means that the Coalition now has 68 seats, the ALP 66, and Others 5.
Of the 11 remaining seats in doubt, the Coalition is ahead in 5 and the ALP is ahead in 6. If these seats were to stay that way, the Coalition would finish with 73 seats, the ALP 72, and Others 5. The government would be three seats short of an absolute majority and we would have a hung Parliament.
Many media reports say there are only 8 or 9 doubtful seats. I have included Barker and Grey because the Australian Electoral Commission has not finished the reordering of two-party-preferred votes (Labor v. Liberal) to two-candidate-preferred (Liberal v. Xenophon). Both seats are likely to remain with the Liberals.
I have also included Melbourne Ports in the list of doubtful seats. There is a possibility that the full distribution of preferences could see the Greens overtake the ALP and move into second place. ALP preferences could then elect either the Green or Liberal candidate. The incumbent Labor MP, Michael Danby, issued a how-to-vote card that placed the Liberal candidate ahead of the Green. This adds an extra complication to predictions for this seat.
Ten seats in the table all have a margin of close-to or less than 1000 votes. Most have a margin of less than 1%. Experience shows that a margin of 1000 votes is unlikely to be reversed by postal, absent and declaration votes, although this varies widely between electorates.
There is a case to be made that Forde is the only doubtful seat left, but such a judgment is somewhat premature. The picture should be clearer by the end of Wednesday, July 6, after the counting of more postal votes.