Regional seats prove critical
REGIONAL Australia has changed the rules for the country's next election, with seats outside capital cities driving the knife-edge poll result and drawing focus away from metro areas.
Analysis of poll results show two thirds of the seats that swung to Labor or are in doubt were outside capital cities, destroying the Coalition's winning margin from 2013.
If Malcolm Turnbull is able to form a majority government the regional seats of Capricornia, Herbert, Forde are crucial but were still too close to call yesterday afternoon.
Has Longman sent a message to the LNP this election?
This poll ended on 14 July 2016.
Maybe it's not the party, it's the candidate.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Regional Australia Institute CEO Jack Archer said those living outside metropolitan areas had sent a strong message to the major parties.
"Regional seats and areas which have the real economic challenges are where the swings and move away from Labor and the Coalition have occurred," he said.
"Whoever forms government will need to listen to the message being sent by regional Australia.''
That message aligns with the Fair Go for Regional Australia that the Sunshine Coast Daily has been running along with other Australian Regional Media and NewsCorp titles.
"If (the Government) don't listen we'll end up in a situation where a really big number of people will not have confidence in the way government is working,'' Mr Archer said.
"If we don't do something we'll have more elections like this ... that's a real risk and won't do as much good in the longer term."
Mr Archer said both sides had failed to build an economic message outside capital cities.
"The thing that's missing is a real narrative about what happens in places like Townsville, Rockhampton or Geelong with big economic issues," he said.
"Overall the economy might do okay but if most of the gains go to the big cities then regional people won't be any better off."
Regional Capitals Australia chairman and Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said while the major parties had focused on Western Sydney, regional Australia had become the real battleground.
Independent regional MPs will also be crucial no matter what the result, with Andrew Wilkie and Bob Katter set to play crucial roles in the next parliament.
SEATS WHICH SWUNG AGAINST THE COALITION
Bass - Regional
Braddon - Regional
Burt - Metropolitan
Eden-Monaro - Regional
Lindsay - Metropolitan
Longman - Regional
Lyons - Regional
Macarthur - Metropolitan
Macquarie - Regional
Mayo - Regional
Solomon - Regional
Capricornia - Regional
Cowan - Metropolitan
Flynn - Regional
Herbert - Regional
Hindmarsh - Metropolitan