A POLITICAL analyst has declared that member for Indi Sophie Mirabella is in “a spot of bother” as she fights to hold off independent challenger Cathy McGowan.
Swinburne University of Technology politics Professor Brian Costar, who has spent decades assessing election contests, said the Liberal Party incumbent faced a battle.
“I think Sophie (Mirabella) is in a spot of bother,” Professor Costar said.
“You’d have to say that she’s the favourite at this stage, but I could see her getting beaten.”
Just a day before the election Indi is seen as the Coalition’s only possible loss in Victoria.
A recent opinion poll showed the Liberal Party would claim Victoria’s three most marginal seats, Corangamite, Deakin and La Trobe, with a two-party preferred vote of 47-53 per cent.
Other Labor seats like Bendigo, McEwen and even Ballarat could also be threatened.
A JWSResearch poll published last weekend showed Labor nearly 10 points behind on a two-party preferred basis in McEwen, which they hold by 9.2 per cent, and only just ahead in Bendigo.
In a sign of the Liberals’ growing confidence, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has visited McEwen where he offered money to upgrade a football club in the semi-rural seat.
Mr Abbott has also spent time in Deakin where he slammed Labor’s fringe benefits tax changes.
Corangamite, which Labor holds by just 0.3 per cent, was visited by both leaders in the same week.
Labor’s only realistic gain seems to be the seat of Melbourne.
A decision by the Liberals to preference Labor ahead of the Greens makes Melbourne a line-ball call between the Greens’ Adam Bandt and Labor candidate Cath Bowtell.
The battle in Melbourne aside, Monash University political academic Nick Economou believes Labor will be punished by regional and rural Victorians for being too close to the Greens.
Dr Economou believes when voters cast their ballots there will be one issue that will decide many votes.
“They don’t vote oppositions in, they vote governments out,” he said.