On Saturday night you can be ahead of the game in understanding who will win the election. There are a few signposts that will help you call the result first in your house!
The 2013 redistribution altered the boundaries of some ALP seats, in effect they became Liberal seats (based on 2010 election results).
If early results indicate the ALP is on track to win Monbulk (Lib 1.1%), Ripon (Lib 1.6%) and Bellarine (Lib 2.5%), then it’s probably time for the ALP supporters in your household to think about opening a nice bottle of red.
Prahran (Lib 4.7%) is an interesting electorate, and political insiders are talking about it.
With a very mixed demographic, local factors play a unique role and if early results suggest the Liberal Party is losing Prahran, then it might be time for ALP households to place the unopened red back on the rack and open the champagne.
Those looking for signs that the Liberal Party will win need to keep an eye on some different seats.
In addition to holding all their sandbelt seats (Carrum 0.3%, Frankston 0.4%, Bentleigh 0.9% and Mordialloc 1.5%) the Liberal Party needs to pick up a couple of others. Which ones?
The three most marginal ALP seats are spread widely across Melbourne (Eltham 0.8%, Albert Park%, 0.9% and Cranbourne 1.1%) so local factors will be more significant than usual in trying to reclaim these seats.
Like Prahran, Ivanhoe (ALP 1.8%) has its own unique demographic complexities, and with a twist.
The former ALP MP, who has also served as the local Mayor, is running as an Independent preferencing to the Liberal Party.
And then there is Macedon (ALP 2.3%).
After ongoing negative publicity surrounding its pre-selection process, a parochial community may deliver a protest vote against a perceived head office imposed candidate. If Macedon does comes into play for the Liberal Party, it could indicate a win is on the cards, but there can’t be any slippage in the sandbelt seats.
A Liberal win? Well maybe not so much a time to open a bottle, but rather a huge sigh of relief before asking, somewhat incredulously, ‘how did we do that?’
The Independents are not without chances either.
There will of course be the usual focus on whether The Greens can snatch Melbourne or Richmond off the ALP, but there might be a couple of others worth a quick look too.
Shepparton (Nat 25.9%), Mildura (Nat 14.5%) and Morwell (Nat 13.3%) are all safe or very safe seats.
A high-profile Independent candidate is running in Morwell, capitalising on the government’s handling of the Morwell mine fires and Independent candidates in the northern seats are working to replicate Cathy McGowan’s success in Indi at the 2013 federal election.
With a variety of local and regional factors coming into play, it is not inconceivable that Independent candidates might cause some nervousness in the National Party on Saturday night.
 The seat of Frankston was won by Geoff Shaw as a Liberal Party candidate at the 2010 election.