New South Wales election: late counting

A regularly updated post following the progress of late counting for the New South Wales state election.

Click here for full NSW election results updated live.

Monday morning

No counting was conducted yesterday, but today we can expect to see progress on the pre-poll voting centres that are yet to report, which is the majority of them; a smaller number of election day stragglers; and the postal votes received up to Friday in seats where they were not reported on the night, of which I count 36. The Electoral Commission has pulled the two-candidate count between independent Alex Greenwich and the Liberals in the seat of Sydney, having determined that Labor rather than the Liberals will finish second. A new count will be conducted, but I’m not clear when the results will be published – clearly it’s academic because Greenwich has easily been re-elected. I have cleared a blockage that was preventing my results system from calling Newcastle for Labor, for whom it is now calling a definite 45 seats.

Sunday morning

My ever cautious results system* is currently giving away 44 seats to Labor, placing it three short of a confirmed majority, but leading in another seven. So the likeliest outcome is that the incoming government will indeed hold a majority. I spent the evening as part of a six-member decision desk at the Nine Network calling seats the hard way, and by the close of business we had it down to nine in doubt: the Labor-versus-Coalition contests of Winston Hills, Goulburn, Holsworthy, Miranda and Oatley; Willoughby, Wollondilly and Pittwater, which are Liberal-held seats that might go independent; and Kiama, where ex-Liberal independent Gareth Ward effortlessly saw off his Liberal opponent as expected, but might fall foul of the swing to Labor. Immediately before it turned off booth matching and switched to raw results, the ABC was calling Winston Hills for the Liberals, but concurred with my system in not yet calling Ryde for Labor, Drummoyne for the Liberals or Balmain for the Greens.

The situation in the Legislative Council is always obscure on the night, with only a third of enrolled voters’ first preference votes counted, all of which are above-the-line votes. For what it’s worth though, Labor is currently clear of eight quotas, the Coalition six, the Greens two and One Nation one. Legalise Cannabis, the Liberal Democrats and Shooters Fishers and Farmers also look to be doing well enough to each win one of the four remaining seats, with the final seat perhaps going to the Coalition or Animal Justice. If that’s the case – and it must be stressed at this early stage that it may not be – that would result in the final seat deciding whether a broadly defined left has a majority with 22 seat out of 42, or if left and right are tied at 21 each.

* If you’re finding it of any value, donations are gratefully received through the “become a supporter” button at the top of this page and in the right-hand corner of the results page itself. Between the scale of an election for 93 seats and the confounding extra layer of complexity entailed by optional preferential voting, this involved a rather considerable expenditure of effort on my part, for which I am only rewarded to the extent that my kind donors see fit.

Not the New South Wales election thread (open thread)

A discussion thread for anything other than the New South Wales election count.

A new post for the site’s comments thread barflies to argue the toss about whatever, the previous open thread having almost dropped off the front page. Presumably we won’t be getting much in the way of new polling this week, owing to the black hole of the New South Wales state election. There will of course be the Aston by-election on Saturday, which has gone scandalously under-discussed on this blog for the same reason – a situation that will hopefully be addressed in due course.

Adrian Beaumont update: There was actually a Resolve Voice poll published on Saturday in The Age that had Voice support at 57-43, down from 58-42 in February.  This poll was taken before Anthony Albanese announced the question wording for the referendum.

New South Wales election live

Live commentary on the NSW election results. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont

Click here for full NSW election results updated live

Live Commentary

11:10 Labor is still leading in 51 of the 93 seats. They would need five leads to fall over to be short of a majority. It’s now 40 minutes after the 10:30pm close of counting, so presumably we’ll have to wait until Monday for more.

19% of enrolled has been counted in the upper house, and it looks as if Labor will win eight of 21 up at this election, the Coalition six, the Greens two, and one each for One Nation, Legalise Cannabis, the Liberal Democrats, the Shooters and Animal Justice. This would give the left-wing parties the 12-9 win they need to take control of the upper house, but the current count is probably skewed to the left.

And with that, it’s time for bed. William Bowe will take over.

10:29 Here’s my Conversation article on the NSW election results. With nearly 48% overall counted, the ABC’s 2PP estimate is 55.1-44.9 to Labor, a 7.1% swing since 2019.

9:36 I’ve been doing a Conversation article. In East Hills, Labor is getting a 9.7% swing on postal primaries counted so far and the Libs a negative 3.4% swing. That’s worse for the Libs and better for Labor than overall in that seat.

8:05pm PB results have Labor on 50 seats, Coalition 30, Greens 3, indies 10 with 19% overall counted. So Labor would need to lose four leads to be short of a majority.

7:46 PB results now giving Labor an overall majority with 8.6% overall counted. 47 Labor, 32 Coalition, 3 Greens, 9 indies. Seats with nothing counted are Liverpool and Manly. Liverpool is safe Labor, so Labor effectively on 48.

7:36 With 6.6% overall counted, ABC’s 2PP estimate up to a 54.7-45.3 margin for Labor. If that holds, Newspoll looking pretty good.

7:30 With 2.1% counted in Monaro, massive 16% swing to Labor where they flopped at byelections in February 2022.

7:22 2.9% overall counted, and PB results have Labor leading in 45 seats, the Coalition in 32, the Greens two and indies in nine. With five seats still to report any numbers, Labor will probably get a majority now.

7:18 With 2.1% overall counted, the ABC is estimating a Labor 2PP win by 54.2-45.8, a 6.2% swing to Labor since 2019.

7:12 1.4% overall counted; Labor ahead in 39 seats, Coalition 34, Greens two and indies eight. Looking harder for Labor to win an overall majority.

7:06 0.9% overall counted, and Labor now leads in 36 seats, the Coalition in 33, Greens in one and indies in seven.

7:02pm 1.1% counted in Riverstone, and Labor gaining that with a massive 19% swing. However, there are some swings to the Coalition.

6:53pm With 0.2% counted, the Poll Bludger results have Labor ahead in 26 seats, the Coalition in 18, the Greens one and independents two.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

William Bowe is working for Channel Nine tonight, so I will provide live commentary on the NSW election results.  I will need to take a break to write an article for The Conversation.

The final NSW Newspoll gave Labor a thumping 54.5-45.5 lead.  Previous polling had not appeared strong enough for Labor to win a lower house majority (47 of 93 seats), but if this poll is correct they would be a good chance of winning a majority in their own right.

From my article for The Conversation today: Votes cast on election day should be counted quickly, but large pre-poll booths are likely to take until late at night or next week.

ABC elections analyst Antony Green said that as of Friday, 28% of enrolled voters had voted early in-person and a further 10% had applied for a postal vote. All election day votes, some postals and some early votes will be counted by the 10:30pm close of counting on Saturday night. Counting will not resume until Monday.

There has been little attention on the upper house, which has 42 members with 21 up every four years, so members serve eight-year terms.  To take control of the upper house, left-wing parties need to win the 21 seats up at this election by 12-9.  I covered the upper house in a preview article for The Conversation last week.  It’s likely to take until at least next week to get a clear picture of the upper house result.

From William Bowe: The results system is up so you at least can see what the entry page looks like, although the seat pages won’t be accessible until 6pm – let’s hope it more or less works as it should, but given all the complications involved in adapting it to optional preferential voting, we’ll have to see how we go. I am holding off including a statewide two-party estimate on the entry page until I’m entirely confident it’s working as I should be. A point to remember about the seats summary on the entry page: if the system is not satisfied that it has the right two candidates for the two-party preferred count, or that it won’t make any difference to the result (requiring a manual update that I may not be all that timely with), the “assessment” will not go beyond identifying a candidate as “ahead” and the “probability” columns will not be populated.

Donation drive

On the eve of the Premier State’s big day, now would obviously be an opportune moment to lay on the site’s more-or-less bi-monthly appeal for donations – and while I’m about it, to promote the live results feature that will be in business tomorrow evening and beyond, which will follow the same format as the one for the Victorian election. For election wonks especially, this surpasses all its rivals in offering neatly displayed tables showing results and swings at booth level, together with projections, probability estimates and map displays of booth results updated live at the bottom of each seat page. I should also give one last plug for my state election guide, with its feature-packed pages for all 93 electorates plus overview page and guide to the Legislative Council.

Newspoll: 54.5-45.5 to Labor in NSW

Newspoll concludes the NSW election campaign with a poll suggesting Labor well placed to form government with a majority in its own right.

The Australian reports the election eve Newspoll finds Labor on track for a comfortable win in tomorrow’s New South Wales state election with a two-party lead of 54.5-45.5, out from 52-48 in its poll at the start of the campaign. The primary votes are Labor 38% (up two), Coalition 35% (down one) and Greens 11% (down one), beyond which there is only a combined result of 16% for independents and other parties. The poll also finds Chris Minns leading Dominic Perrottet 41-39 as preferred premier, which reverses Perrottet’s solid 43-33 last time and looks to be the first time a Labor leader has led on this measure in Newspoll since the Coalition came to power in 2011. Exact numbers on approval and disapproval are not yet provided, but we are told Perrottet’s net rating has dived from plus 9% to minus 3%, while Minns is up from plus 8% to plus 14%. The poll was conducted Saturday to Thursday from a sample of 1205.

UPDATE: Samantha Hutchison of the Financial Review reports marginal seat polling conducted for the Liberals by CT Group is consistent with Newspoll, but that sources have nonetheless “not given up hope and noted the swings in some seats were within a margin of error, suggesting the Coalition could defy the odds and hang on to power”.

New South Wales election minus one day

Campaign scuttlebutt and private polling snippets as the finishing post comes into view.

Newspoll will presumably be with us later today – for now, the news media relates the following:

• The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Coalition “has all but written off the prospect of forming a majority but sees a best-case scenario where it wins the new seat of Leppington in south-west Sydney, fends off the teals in the north and can cobble together enough support from independents to form minority government”. Labor sources are “bemused by the government’s campaign tactics in the final days, with Perrottet visiting reasonably safe Liberal seats such as South Coast, Camden, Ryde and Drummoyne”. Both parties consider the situation unclear due to “a large cohort of undecided voters, a degree of ‘softness’ among those who are leaning one way or another, and the unpredictability of optional preferential voting”.

• As reported on Sky News yesterday, the day before and on Tuesday, polling that was apparently conducted for the Minerals Council Australia shows the Liberals leading 51-49 ahead in Penrith and 59-41 in Winston Hills; Labor leading 52-48 in Leppington and 53-47 in Goulburn; a 50-50 contest between the Liberals and independent Michael Regan in Wakehurst; teal independent Helen Conway leading the Liberals 54-46 in North Shore; and Liberal-turned-independent Gareth Ward leading Labor 53-47 in Kiama (which probably should be higher going off the primary votes), with the Liberals a very distant third. Some issues with the polling should be noted: parties who weren’t running in the seats in question were offered as response options, and respondents were seemingly primed to respond negatively on Matt Kean’s performance by being asked if they “agree that (he) is responsible for pushing up energy prices”. The result in Kean’s own seat of Hornsby had him leading just 53-47, a swing of 14%. One Nation were consistently credited with strong results, peaking at 17% in Penrith and 15% in Hornsby, where they respectively polled 7.2% and 4.5% in 2019. The polls seemingly covered several other seats as well, so there may be more to come.

Stephen Rice of The Australian reports Liberal sources believe the party’s determination to bar Gareth Ward from parliament if he retains Kiama as an independent has boosted his local support, with one quoted citing resentment at being “told what to do or who they can vote for”.

New South Wales election minus three days

A summary of recent horse race commentary, plus some minor opinion poll findings.

UPDATE: The Financial Review today brings a Freshwater Strategy poll showing Labor leading 53-47 on two-party preferred, unchanged from the start of the campaign, from primary votes of Coalition 37% (steady), Labor 37% (down two), Greens 10% (steady) and independents 16% (up two) – I assume all respondents were given the independents option, as distinct from the ballot paper-based approach of Resolve Strategic. Dominic Perrottet’s lead over Chris Minns as preferred premier 45-40, in from 46-34 last time. The poll was conducted Sunday to Tuesday from a sample of 1100.

Some notable observations from news coverage over the past few days:

Troy Bramston of The Australian reports there is “deep fear within (Labor) party ranks that the contest is perilously close, and many expect only the narrowest of wins or a minority Chris Minns-led government when it should be a landslide”. While Chris Minns is rated highly, the article lays out a list of perceived organisational deficiencies at the heart of a low-impact Labor campaign. Several teal independents are rated a show, but the Nationals “could regain Barwon or Murray” from ex-Shooters independents, though seemingly not Orange.

Alexandra Smith of the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that the Liberals were “increasingly confident that they will be able to stave off a teal wave, however Lane Cove, held by the Planning Minister Anthony Roberts, is seen as the most at-risk”. Labor is said to be at least hopeful of recovering Balmain from the Greens.

• The Daily Telegraph has an instructive heat map illustrating which electorates have been most visited by the leaders during the campaign. Parramatta, Riverstone and Penrith have seen the most action; the Liberals have put more effort into East Hills, and Labor more into neighbouring Oatley; the Liberals would seem to be concerned about Drummoyne; and neither side is taking Leppington for granted.

Further opinion poll findings:

• The latest Essential Research poll posed questions relating to state politics to its cohort of 708 New South Wales respondents, finding Dominic Perrottet with a 36-33 lead over Chris Minns as preferred premier. Forty-one per cent expected Labor to win, against 35% for the Coalition. Thirty-six per cent said Labor’s promise of no future privatisations made them more likely to vote for them, against 10% for more likely to vote Coalition; 31% said they were more likely to vote Labor due to its promise to scrap the public sector wages cap, against 13% for the Coalition; 16% said they were more likely to vote Coalition due to their promised savings fund for children, against 26% for Labor; and 16% said they were more likely to vote Labor due to the Coalition’s commitment to a cashless gambling card, against 31% for Labor (findings I find highly unintuitive in the latter two cases).

• The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday had further results from its Resolve Strategic poll found 43% in favour of the proposed children’s future fund and 30% opposed, while 50% backed Labor’s promised Energy Security Corporation with 14% opposed. Labor led 35% to 29% as best party to handle cost of living, while the Coalition led 38% to 33% on the economy and 36% to 32% on infrastructure. Labor as usual had strong leads on health (39% to 29%), education (40% to 31%) and climate change (30% to 18%).

• A Roy Morgan SMS poll of 844 respondents credited Labor with a 53.5-46.5 lead, from primary votes of Labor 34%, Coalition 34% and Greens 13%, with Chris Minns leading Dominic Perrottet 52-48 as preferred premier. The poll was conducted over a week ago, from March 10 to 14.

Federal polls: Resolve, Essential and more (open thread)

Multiple new polls defy emerging talk of an end to the Albanese government’s honeymoon.

Two new federal opinion poll results today:

• The long-awaited set of voting intention numbers from Resolve Strategic finds Labor down a point on last month to 39%, the Coalition down one to 30%, the Greens up three to 13% and One Nation steady on 5%. The Coalition gets a particularly bad set of numbers from Queensland, where they are down 11 points to 24% with Labor steady on 39%. No two-party preferred is provided, but I make it at close to 60-40 in favour of Labor. Anthony Albanese is down one on approval to 55% and up one on disapproval to 31%, while Peter Dutton is up three to 32% and down one to 44%. Albanese’s lead as preferred prime minister is in from 55-23 to 51-22. The poll was conducted Sunday to Thursday from a sample of 1600.

• The fortnightly voting intention numbers from Essential Research, which include a 5% undecided component, have Labor up two to 34%, the Coalition down one to 31%, the Greens up two to 14% and One Nation down two to 5%. Labor’s lead on the pollster’s 2PP+ measure widens from 49-44 to 52-43, the balance being undecided. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1124.

As was the case with the Resolve Strategic poll with numbers published on Saturday, the Essential Research poll featured further results on AUKUS, finding 40% agreement with contention that the submarine agreement would “make Australia more secure” (down four from November) versus 21% for less secure (up five) and 40% saying it would have no impact (up one). Respondents were also less inclined to rate that China was a threat needing to be confronted than in November, down six to 20%, and correspondingly more favourable to the alternative view that it was a “complex relationship to be managed”, up six to 67%, with an unchanged 13% considering it “a positive opportunity to be realised”. Twenty-six per cent considered the purchase worth the expense, 27% felt the submarines were necessary but the expense too great, and 28% believed the submarines were unnecessary.

An occasional series of questions on leaders’ attributes, the first such since February last year, found Anthony Albanese’s biggest strength to be that he was in control of his team (59%), while 54% felt he changed his opinions too much and 49% rated him out of touch with ordinary people. Peter Dutton scored weak results across the board, his strongest being that 47% felt him in control of his team, and his weakest being 61% for out of touch and 34% or 35% for visionary, understanding of women’s issues and more honest than other politicians.

In other poll news, JWS Research finds 42% favouring a yes vote in an Indigenous voice referendum, down one since August, with 28% for no, down five; and the latest Roy Morgan voting intention results, conducted from March 6 to 12, have Labor leading 56.5-43.5 from primary votes of Labor 37%, Coalition 34% and Greens 12.5%.