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Ballarat region seats of Ripon, Wendouree and Buninyong crucial to Daniel Andrews or Denis Napthine winning Victorian state election

With the margin in Wendouree just 0.1 per cent after a redivision, victory in the seat for the Liberal Party is seen as crucial to the Coalition’s chances of remaining in power.

The Coalition is expected to take Ripon, also a marginal seat, from Labor but the ALP is favoured to win Buninyong, which takes in the majority of the former seat of Ballarat East held by Labor member Geoff Howard since 1999.

The Courier will have live coverage of the election tonight from 6pm – concentrating solely on ourlocal seats -with video streaming and crosses to both the Ballarat Labor and Liberal Party functions.

TODAY’S THE DAY: Ballarat residents are flocking to voting centres to cast their vote in the 2014 Victorian state election.

On a state level,the latest Fairfax Ipsos Victorian State Poll shows Labor still in front.

The poll of 1236 Victorians, conducted between 25-27 November 2014, shows the primary vote for Labor at 35 per cent(down 4) and the Liberal-National parties on 42 per cent(up 3). The Greens continue to lead the minor parties with a 15 per centshare of the vote (down 1) and other parties are on 8 per cent(no change).

“On a two-party preferred basis, Labor leads the Liberal-National parties by 52 per cent, down 4, to 48 per cent, up 4, based on respondent preferences, that is, how respondents said they would allocate preferences,” Ipsos Director Jessica Elgood said.

“The poll results show the Coalition regaining ground – in terms of leader approval, preferred Premier and positive perceptions of Dr Napthine as a leader – but it looks like it will not be enough for them to close the gap on Labor.”

The result may not be decided tonight however, with almost one million people have voted at pre-polling centres or by postal votes.

The majority of these votes will not be counted until Monday.

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