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Our seats are safe, but will stability be enough?

TODAY Victorians go to the polls to determine who will govern the state for the next four years.

The polls are saying Labor has the numbers to topple a one-term Coalition government, but in recent weeks the margin has narrowed.

The final result may be far closer than expected.

In the North East there is no question Benambra and the new seat of Ovens Valley will both be in Coalition hands at the end of today.

Bill Tilley will certainly have been seen by most within his electorate as having achieved sufficient gains for this region during the Coalition’s at-times difficult tenure in government.

His Labor opponent Jennifer Podesta appears to have found her feet as a Labor candidate after previously giving her support to the Liberals and the Greens outside of Benambra and running as an independent candidate in Indi last year.

But while her profile as a local Labor candidate will help maintain the party’s support in Benambra, it’s not likely to win sufficient votes to make any significant inroads into Mr Tilley’s hold on the seat.

We saw that in 2006 when former Wodonga mayor Lisa Mahood stood for Labor but was unable to turn her significant public profile to sufficient advantage to make headway in the seat, even at a time Labor was in government and Mr Tilley was a newcomer.

In the newly created Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy is another Coalition MP whose opponents are unlikely to be able to capitalise sufficiently on a somewhat lacklustre performance by the incumbent to make some worthwhile gains.

Former councillor Julian Fidge will be able to turn his Wangaratta supporter base to votes as the Australian Country Alliance candidate but outside that city he will find it difficult to win over those who are not keen on giving their vote to a minority party.

In the region’s second new seat, Euroa, it is a contest between Coalition partners who can chalk that one up to helping the Napthine government back into power.

The question of who will govern Victoria will essentially fall to regional areas, but well away from the North East at Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, where margins are slim.

In the city, the Greens will retain their influence and Daniel Andrews’ vow to scrap the East West Link will hold sway with many.

After a long period of instability, Premier Denis Napthine has brought some stability and momentum to the task of leading the state and that may be sufficient to get his government over the line.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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