Saturday, November 25, 2006

Prahran: Final thoughts

In just a few hours time, the polls will open in Prahran and the 33,000 or so rugged individualists who call this place home will have their say. The more I've watched this campaign, the less I've been certain of the result. Those watching from afar would probably have no difficulty picking it: Lupton's a well-known and well-liked sitting member in an electorate of Doctors' Wives and assorted other progressives, and should be returned easily. On the ground, though, the energy of the Newton-Brown campaign has easily dwarfed his opponents, giving the impression that he might just achieve success.

Ultimately, however, for Newton-Brown the 4.3% swing required is just a tad beyond him. Accepting that the statewide swing to the Liberals will be 2.5%, and that Newton-Brown's personal vote may earn him a further 1%, he's still short of the mark. For most voters, the local battle is a mere sideshow to the heavy-hitters - Bracks and Baillieu - and their efforts will count for far more than that of local candidates.

So for Prahran, my prediction is a Lupton victory, with a decent sized swing against him. As unfashionable as it is to say it, in this battle we've been blessed with two quality candidates, and whoever gets in will be a deserving victor. For the loser, this battle will be but a mere stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Just one sleep to go!

Gary PintoJustin Walker
Clem Newton-BrownTony Lupton
A smorgasbord of candidates awaits Prahran voters.

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