Former prime minister Tony Abbott and his right-wing colleague Peter Dutton are in serious danger of losing their seats at next week’s federal election – with the pair firmly behind in the betting markets.
A next generation of potential Liberal leaders are also under threat with Attorney-General Christian Porter and Health Minister Greg Hunt facing the fight of their political lives.
A Newspoll released on Monday showed Labor leading the Coalition 51 to 49 per cent after preferences.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott (pictured with rival Zali Steggall) and Liberal leadership aspirant Peter Dutton could both lose their seats at next week’s federal election
While the polls have tightened during the past four weeks, were that result to be uniformly replicated at the May 18 election, the government would lose at least half a dozen seats – enough to put Labor in power.
Among them would be Immigration Minister David Coleman, his Aged Care colleague Ken Wyatt and the Assistant Minister for Children Michelle Landry, who represent very marginal seats.
In the normally safe Liberal Party seat of Warringah, on Sydney’s northern beaches, Mr Abbott is facing a strong challenge from Winter Olympic medallist Zali Steggall, who is campaigning on the issue of climate change.
Betting agency now has Ms Steggall as the favourite for the first time, with odds of $1.80 compared with Mr Abbott’s $1.90.
Should Mr Abbott’s primary result slip below 50 per cent, which is almost did in 2016, the former prime minister’s 25-year political career could come to an end as Ms Steggall was elected on Labor and Greens preferences.
Should Mr Abbott’s primary result slip below 50 per cent, which is almost did in 2016, the former prime minister’s 25-year political career could come to an end as Ms Steggall was elected on Labor and Greens preferences
Mr Dutton, another Liberal MP from the party’s right faction, is also in a tough race in his northern Brisbane seat of Dickson, which he retained in 2016 with a bare 1.6 per cent margin.
The Home Affairs Minister, who last year unsuccessfully twice challenged Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal leadership, had a bad start to his campaign.
In April, he apologised after he sparked outrage for slamming his Labor rival Ali France, a former journalist who lost her leg in 2011, for failing to find a suitable house in the electorate.
Mr Dutton could struggle to retain the seat he has held for 18 years, with Sportsbet giving him odds of $1.91 against $1.80 for Labor.
His senior cabinet colleague and supporter Mr Hunt is also in trouble in his Victorian Mornington Peninsula electorate of Flinders.
Home Affair Minister Peter Dutton, another Liberal MP from the party’s right faction, is also in a tough race in his northern Brisbane seat of Dickson, which he retained in 2016 with a bare 1.6 per cent margin
His senior cabinet colleague and supporter Health Minister Greg Hunt is also in trouble in his Victorian Mornington Peninsula electorate of Flinders
While his 7.2 per cent margin would normally be considered safe, his electorate overlaps with state seats that swung heavily to Labor at last year’s state election, including Nepean which the ALP picked up with an 8.5 per cent swing.
Complicating the issue is former Melbourne-based Liberal MP Julia Banks, who quit the party to run as an independent in protest at the government’s stance on climate change and the alleged treatment of women in politics.
Her preferences could help Labor win Flinders for the first time since 1983.
Mr Hunt has $1.60 Sportsbet odds against Labor candidate Joshua Sinclair’s $2.10.
Across the other side of Australia, Attorney-General Christian Porter faces losing his marginal Perth electorate of Pearce
Across the other side of Australia, Mr Porter faces losing his marginal Perth electorate of Pearce, with Sportsbet giving him narrow odds of $1.70 odds compared with his Labor challenger Kim Travers, who is on $2.
The former prosecutor and university lecturer has been touted as a potential future leader of the Liberal Party but his dreams of becoming PM could be dashed if he fails to defend his 3.7 per cent margin.
Another Perth-based minister is in trouble with Mr Wyatt facing a loss in his seat of Hasluck, which he holds by a narrow 2.1 per cent buffer.
The Aged Care Minister made history in 2010 as the first indigenous member of the House of Representatives.
Another Perth-based MP is in trouble with Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt facing a loss in his seat of Hasluck
But representing a volatile seat has its risks, with Sportsbet giving Mr Wyatt long odds of $2.90 compared with his Labor challenger James Martin’s $1.33.
Sportsbet odds for Liberal Party members who could lose their seats
Tony Abbott $1.90 versus $1.80 for independent rival Zali Steggall
Peter Dutton $1.91 versus $1.80 for Labor’s Ali France
Greg Hunt $1.60 versus $2.10 for Labor’s Joshua Sinclair
Christian Porter $1.70 versus $2 for Labor’s Kim Travers
Ken Wyatt $2.90 versus $1.33 for Labor’s James Martin
David Coleman $1.50 versus $2.40 for Labor’s Chris Gambion
Michelle Landry (Nationals) $2.30 versus $1.91 for Labor’s Russell Robertson
In Sydney’s multicultural south-west, Mr Coleman faces a tough fight on paper to retain the seat of Banks, which he kept in 2016 with a narrow 1.4 per margin.
Despite the tight margin, the former media executive is the favourite to hold on, with Sportbet odds of $1.50 compared with his Labor rival Chris Gambion’s $2.40.
The electorate also overlaps with the state Liberal seats of East Hills and Oatley, which recorded swings to the Liberal Party at the March election despite their long histories as former Labor seats.
In central Queensland, Ms Landry was the favourite to retain Capricornia for the Nationals, despite her minuscule 0.6 per cent margin.
The race, however, has become more uncertain with Sportsbet is giving her odds of $2.30 compared with $1.91 for her Labor rival Russell Robertson, as Indian coal giant Adani’s proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin antagonises the Greens and environmental protesters and divides regional communities.
In Sydney’s multicultural south-west, Immigration Minister David Coleman faces a tough fight on paper to retain the seat of Banks, which he kept in 2016 with a narrow 1.4 per margin
In central Queensland, Assistant Minister for Children Michelle Landry (right with Prime Minister Scott Morrison) was the favourite to retain Capricornia, despite her minuscule 0.6 per cent margin