I don't think that I am alone in saying that I find the current marginal seat focus annoying. I find it especially annoying because there is no focus on New England. But, then, New England does not exist!
The following table lists New England Federal seats by the swing required to change party. Of the eleven seats, six are Labor, two each independent and National, one Liberal. Three of the eleven seats are marginal.
Looking at the list, its hard to believe that New England outside the Lower Hunter and Lake Macquarie was once National Party heartland. Indeed, one of the strongest ALP arguments against self-government at the 1967 plebiscite was that it would leave the ALP as a permanent minority party within New England!
The problem with the marginal seats approach is that it means that those who stay loyal are in fact penalised. The problem with the lack of formal structure for New England means that there is no mechanism for looking at or forcing consideration of broader issues. Tasmania's five seats, South Australia's eleven seats, get far more attention than New England's eleven seats. Further, New England has no senators, so instead of attracting attention here, the New England vote just gets subsumed in NSW.
You can see these things work themselves out all the the time. New England is resource rich, but this is largely ignored. Key issues such as decentralisation are largely ignored.
The one sleeper this election is the possibility that the three amigos, the three independents in the House of Representatives, may end up with the balance of power either alone or in conjunction with the Greens. Two of the three independents are from New England, while the third (Bob Katter) is a strong New States supporter