Why only a few seats really matter in an election

Why only a few seats really matter in an election
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Some votes are more important than others, and that boils down to how safe electorates are.

So what makes a seat safe or marginal? Any seat held by less than six per cent is considered marginal. Due to our system of voting in the House of Reps, those last two people standing are mainly Labor or Coalition candidates. So the major parties throw a lot of coin at winning marginal seats. Pork barrelling is common practice – that’s using Government money on local projects designed to win votes. Swing determines the popularity of a party. If a party is shedding popularity, then there’s a swing away from them. And safe seats don’t always stay safe – boundary changes and the retirement of a long-time MP is sometimes enough to see a safe seat change hands.

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