The 2019 NSW election is on a knife-edge, with the polls showing Labor and the Coalition tied at 50-50 two-party-preferred. Although Premier Berejiklian maintains the lead as preferred leader, Labor’s Michael Daley has closed the gap as the campaign grinds on.

What makes this election stand out is that whatever the state-wide swing ends up being, it’s unlikely to impact the result. Instead, the election is set to be a seat-by-seat slugfest, with the result effectively coming down to a series of by-elections.

The Coalition only needs to lose six seats to face governing in minority, while Labor needs to pick up 14 seats to govern in its own right, and around eight or nine to have any hope of ruling in minority

So what are the crucial seats to watch on election night?

East Hills

East Hills is one of the most marginal seats in NSW, balanced precariously on 0.4%, or about 400 votes. With the incumbent Liberal MP retiring, this is a seat Labor is confident of snatching, so much so that the Party launched its campaign there in early March

Advoc8 prediction: Labor win.

Coogee

Half of Coogee sits in the federal seat of Wentworth where voters are still cranky over the ousting of the former Prime Minister. Coogee is a socially progressive Coalition-held seat, with issues such as climate change and same-sex marriage a high priority to voters. On a margin of just 2.9% it will be a hard one for the Liberals to hold.

Advoc8 prediction: Labor win.

Lismore

The North Coast of NSW is increasingly moving to the left, as issues like renewable energy, climate change and opposition to fracking bite. This has prompted Labor to roll out a relatively extreme mandate that 50% of NSW’s energy must be provided by renewables in just 11 years. Originally the seat was slated to go to the Greens, however internal ructions within the Party have seen their prospects dwindle, paving the way for Labor to take the seat

Advoc8 prediction: Labor win.

Tweed

Many of the same issues will make Tweed difficult for The Nationals to hold. Add to this a high-profile Labor candidate in Craig Elliot, husband of the Federal Member for Richmond, Justine Elliot, and the seat is all but guaranteed to go to Labor.

Advoc8 prediction: Labor win.

Barwon

Barwon should be a Nationals stronghold, but with the relatively popular local MP retiring and a strong minor party candidate, the seat is ‘in play’. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party has worked hard in Barwon and picked a good candidate. The million-dollar question is whether or not they will receive Labor preferences flows and whether they have enough steam to get across the line.

Advoc8 prediction: Too close to call.

Upper Hunter

Set in the heart of coal-mining country, the seat of Upper Hunter has always been a Nationals stronghold. Successive popular local Labor candidates and the rise of activists has whittled away the Nationals’ lead and the seat hangs in the balance.

However, Labor was forced to find a replacement after their original candidate stood down, and the seat’s 6,000 resident miners won’t be happy that Labor is directing votes to the Greens in the Legislative Council.

Advoc8 prediction: Nationals hold.

Outside of these key seats there are four others that Labor has an outside chance of snatching from the Coalition: Penrith, Heathcote, Goulburn and Murray, albeit with the need of preferences from the SSF.

For the Coalition, the pickings are slim, with The Nationals a chance in Ballina and the Liberals an outside shot in Granville and perhaps The Entrance.