Barton Deakin Brief: 2022 Federal Election Snapshot

Date: Apr 2022

Barton Deakin Brief: 2022 Federal Election Snapshot


The Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP today announced that he has advised the Governor General, General David John Hurley, AC, DSC, FTSE to dissolve Parliament and half of the Senate and call an election. The 2022 Federal Election will see the incumbent Liberal-National Coalition Government seek a fourth term in office against the current Opposition, the Australian Labor Party. To form government, a party or coalition must command a 76 seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Opinion polls have consistently shown the Government to be behind Labor. However, the Government hopes recent budget measures and heavy campaigning in marginal seats may secure it victory. It will campaign on the Government’s handling of the economy, national security, and the
COVID pandemic. Labor is likely to focus on perceived Government shortfalls in sectors like aged care, wage growth, childcare, and the handling of the COVID pandemic.


  • Issue of the writs. 11 April 2022.
  • Close of the rolls. 18 April 2022.
  • Close of nominations. 21 April 2022.
  • Polling Day. 21 May 2022.
  • Last day to return writs. 28 June 2022.

Caretaker Period

Under Caretaker Conventions, once an election has been called and the House of Representatives has been dissolved, the business of Government continues, and ordinary matters of administration are addressed. However, ‘caretaker conventions’ are observed to ensure that incoming governments are not limited in their freedom of action. These conventions involve the cessation of major policy decisions, significant appointments and entering major contracts or undertakings. Furthermore, advertising and information campaigns are halted to avoid the incumbent government receiving advantage from Commonwealth resources.

House of Representatives

There are currently 151 seats in the House of Representatives. The coalition holds 77 seats, Labor holds 68 seats, and independents hold 6 seats. Redistributions have abolished the notionally Liberal seat of Stirling in Western Australia and created the notionally Labor seat of Hawke in Victoria. This results in a pre-election net loss of 1 seat for the Government.

The Senate

The 21st of May will also be a half senate election. The Senate has 76 Senators, half of whom are continuing through their six-year term.
The current senate consists of 36 Coalition senators, 26 Labor senators, 9 Greens senators, 2 One Nation senators, Jacqui Lambie, Rex Patrick from the Centre Alliance, and Sam McMahon from the Liberal Democratic Party. Predicting Senate seats is difficult, but independents/minor parties are likely to have enough numbers to continue to play a critical role in passing, voting down or shaping legislation, whether the government is Coalition or Labor.

Labor seats targeted by Coalition

Retiring MP Warren Snowden (Labor) has been the local member for Northern Territory seat of Lingiari since the electorate was created in 2001. The seat covers the entirety of the Northern Territory except Darwin. Damien Ryan will contest the election for the Country Liberal Party, against
Marion Scrymgour for the Labor Party and Allan McLeod for the United Australia Party. The electorate is held by a margin of 5.5 per cent and is therefore considered marginal. Warren Snowden has enjoyed a strong personal vote in the area, having contested every election since 1987.

Tasmania’s largest electorate by area has been held by incumbent Brian Mitchell (Labor) since 2016. He will recontest the seat at this election against Susie Bower (Liberal), Emma Goyne (One Nation), Liz Johnstone (Greens), Rohan Peterson (United Australia), and Troy Pfitzner (Jacqui Lambie Network). Although the seat is considered relatively safe for Labor, the Nationals candidate consumed a large portion of the vote in 2019. After the distribution of preferences, Brian Mitchell retained the seat with a 5.2 per cent margin (an increase of 1.4 per cent). There is no candidate for the Nationals in this election.

Liberal incumbent Ken Wyatt will contest his fifth election in the seat that covers the eastern fringes of Perth. The recent redistribution of the electorates in Western Australia has seen Hasluck move further north and capture a small increase in Liberal support, taking the 2019 margin of 5.2 per cent to a notional margin of 5.9 per cent. Ken Wyatt will face off against Tania Lawrence (Labor), Will Scott (United Australia), Brendan Sturcke (Greens), and Jeanene Williams (Independent).

The division of Goldstein has been held by the Liberal Party or one of its predecessor parties since the creation of the seat at Federation. Tim Wilson won the seat in Melbourne’s south-east after the retirement of Andrew Robb, a Minister in previous Coalition Governments. The margin after the 2019 election is 7.8 per cent. Tim Wilson is facing a strong challenge from the ‘Voices of’ candidate Zoe Daniel, a former ABC journalist.

First term incumbent MP Bridget Archer (Liberal) will contest the election against Ross Hart from the Labor Party. Hart was the Member for Bass prior to Bridget Archer. The north-eastern Tasmanian seat has been held by both Labor and Liberal MPs and has not returned an incumbent member for 21 years. The electorate is currently held by a margin of 0.4 per cent.

Incumbent Liberal MP Nicolle Flint will not be contesting this election, with Liberal candidate Rachel Swift running instead. Swift will be running against Louise Miller-Frost from the Labor Party, Jeremy Carter from the Greens and Jo Dyer an independent candidate. Located in the south-eastern suburbs of Adelaide, Boothby has traditionally been a Liberal stronghold.

Incumbent Liberal MP Gladys Liu will be running against ALP candidate Carina Garland. Chisholm will be notable due to the demographic composition of the seat where one in five people have Chinese ancestry (according to 2016 Census data). Liu currently holds the seat by a margin of 0.57 per cent.

Corangamite is currently held by Labor MP Libby Coker. She will be contesting the seat against Stephanie Asher from the Liberal Party. Asher is the current Mayor of Greater Geelong. Croker currently holds the seat by a margin of 1.07 per cent.

Incumbent MP Anne Aly will contest this seat against Vince Connelly from the Liberal Party. Aly holds the seat by a margin of 0.83 per cent. It is interesting to note that Vince Connelly is currently the Member for Stirling. Stirling is being abolished through a redistribution.

In Dunkley incumbent Labor MP Peta Murphy will be running against Liberal candidate Sharn Coombes. Coombes is a former Crown prosecutor in Victoria, and has twice been on the TV show Australian Survivor. Currently, Murphy holds the seat by a margin of 2.74 per cent.

Incumbent Health Minister Greg Hunt will be retiring from Parliament at this election. The Liberal Party has preselected Zoe McKenzie to run in his place. Surbhi Snowball will be running for Labor. Greg Hunt currently holds the seat by a margin of 5.64 per cent.

Incumbent MP Ken O’Dowd will be retiring from the Parliament at this election. The LNP has preselected Colin Boyce and the Labor Party has preselected Matt Burnett. The LNP currently holds the seat by a margin of 8.7%. Major election issues are likely to be cost of living, climate action, and the ongoing impacts of COVID.

Incumbent Labor MP Fiona Phillips will be contesting this seat against the popular former Liberal State MP Andrew Constance from the Liberal Party. Phillips currently holds the seat by a margin of 2.6 per cent.

Current Labor member Joel Fitzgibbon will be retiring at this election. Consequently, the fight will be between Labor candidate David Repacholi and Nationals candidate James Hunter. Fitzgibbon currently holds the seat by 2.98 per cent.

Incumbent Labor member Susan Templeman will be challenged by local Councillor Sarah Richards from the Liberal Party. With a margin of 0.19 per cent it is the most marginal seat in the nation.

North Sydney
North Sydney is usually a very safe liberal seat, with incumbent MP Trent Zimmerman currently holding the seat with a margin of 9.27 per cent. However, the ‘Voices of’ candidate Kylea Tink is likely going to gain some substantial support. Zimmerman will also be running against Labor
candidate Catherine Renshaw.

Christian Porter MP will be stepping down at the next election to be replaced as the Liberal candidate by Linda Aitken. The Labor candidate will be Tracey Roberts. Porter currently holds the seat with a margin of 7.52 per cent.

Incumbent Liberal MP Fiona Martin will run against Labor candidate Sally Sitou. Martin currently holds the seat with a margin of 3.18 per cent.

First term incumbent Liberal MP Dr Katie Allen will compete against Labor candidate Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah and Greens candidate Sonya Semmens. Traditionally a blue-ribbon Liberal seat, shifting demographic-political trends have led to the seat being considered “marginal”, with a
margin of 3.7 per cent leading into the upcoming federal election. In 2019, the Greens commanded a strong primary vote of 22.5 per cent, compared to Labor’s 25.4 per cent, so it remains unclear who would be Allen’s primary challenger (under a TCP vote).

Incumbent MP Lucy Wicks from the Liberal Party will compete with Labor challenger Dr Gordon Reid. Currently, Wicks has a margin of 2.24 per cent.

Incumbent MP Steve Irons will be retiring at this election to be to be replaced by Kristy McSweeney as Liberal candidate. McSweeney will be challenged by Zaneta Mascarenhas from the Labor Party. Currently Irons holds the seat by a margin of 2.69 per cent.

First term incumbent MP Zali Steggall (Independent) will contest the election against Liberal Katherine Deves. Traditionally a blue-ribbon Liberal seat, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was the local member between 1994 and 2019.

Incumbent MP Dave Sharma will be running against Allegra Spender, another Voices Of candidate. Spender is the daughter of prominent Liberal supporter Carla Zampatti and former Liberal Member John Spender. Sharma currently holds the seat with a margin of 9.85 per cent.