Coalition to hold 8 of the 10 safest seats in the nation

THE Coalition will hold at least eight of the 10 safest federal seats in the country after its crushing election victory - a complete reversal of the 2010 dead-heat poll.

A look at the nation's safest seats after the September 7 election serves to illustrate the extent of Labor's defeat.

After the 2010 election Labor held the four safest seats in the country and eight of the top 10.

Now, the Coalition holds the seven safest seats in the country and eight of the top 10.

Looking even further up the pendulum, Coalition MPs hold 16 of the 20 safest seats in the country.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Liberal MP Alex Hawke enjoyed the biggest margin in the country, increasing his stranglehold on the seat of Mitchell by more than five points to 22.52%

Nationals MP Mark Coulton was not far behind, with a margin of 22.30% in the seat of Parkes, while veteran Maranoa MP Bruce Scott was third on 21.61%.

Labor's first appearance in the top 10 came at no.7, with Kelvin Thompson retaining the Victorian seat of Wills with a margin of 20.47%.

Meanwhile, it appears only a miracle will stop independent Cathy McGowan being declared the winner in the Victorian seat of Indi.

With just 457 votes left to count, Ms Gowan held a 387-vote lead over Liberal Party incumbent Sophie Mirabella.

Unless just about all of the remaining votes go the way of Ms Mirabella, the Australian Electoral Commission will more than likely declare Ms McGowan as the winner on Friday.

In Fairfax, Clive Palmer's lead over the LNP's Ted O'Brien had fallen to just 122 on Tuesday afternoon.

On current trends Mr O'Brien stands to win by less than 100 votes, setting the scene for a recount and possible court challenge by Mr Palmer.

Such a result would make Fairfax the most marginal seat in the country.



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