9.15pm. To wrap up for the evening, some recent historical perspective. In Queensland last year, Labor lost Chatsworth with a 13.9 per cent two-party swing and Redcliffe with an 8.3 per cent swing. In Chatsworth, Labor’s primary vote was down 13.8 per cent and the Liberals’ up 13.3 per cent. In Redcliffe, Labor was down 10.5 per cent and the Liberals up 5.6 per cent. Of last year’s four New South Wales by-elections, only one was contested by both parties – the safe Labor seat of Macquarie Fields, where they won easily despite an 11.4 per cent swing. Labor’s primary vote was down 10.8 per cent and the Liberals were up 7.1 per cent.
8.53pm. The WAEC has Labor’s notional two-party preferred vote at 61.2 per cent, meaning preferences favoured them slightly more than last time. Presumably some of the 8.1 per cent of the primary vote that went missing came back via minor candidate preferences.
8.45pm. Bug located. In my hurried patch-up job to include pre-polls and postals in the table, the numbers got left out of the total primary vote calculations. So it looks like Labor will definitely have to go to preferences.
8.40pm. The WAEC has the Labor primary vote at 49.4 per cent, so either they know something I don’t or there might be a little bug in my calculations. There are a few smaller deviations in our numbers for the other parties.
8.36pm. And I believe that might be it for the evening. I gather you don’t have absent votes at by-elections (correct me if I’m wrong), which just leaves provisional votes (are these declaration votes?) of which there were a grand total of nine at the 2005 election. Stay tuned though for a bit though, I might find something to write about before 9pm.
8.34pm. Homestead Seniors Centre is in, and Labor’s primary vote is back below 50 per cent.
8.32pm. That’s with just the Homestead Seniors Centre booth and absent votes to go, which as you might expect were slightly less favourable to Labor than others at the last election.
8.28pm. So I guess the big question is – will Labor need to go to preferences? Of only psychological importance, but a nail-biting back-and-forth struggle for those looking for excitement from the count.
8.27pm. East Victoria Park Primary School (9 per cent) is now in.
8.25pm. Special Institutions, Hospitals and Remotes votes (all 84 of them) are now in.
8.23pm. Gibbs Street Primary School (worth 3 per cent) is now in.
8.19pm. The WAEC now has a notional two-party preferred figure with Labor on 61.11 per cent, based on almost as many votes as are included in the table above. So the non-major party preference split was almost identical to last time.
8.16pm. I missed Lathlain Primary School (worth 9 per cent of the electorate total) when the flood came in. Added now.
8.14pm. Table updated to include pre-polls and postals.
8.01pm. As predicted, a big flood all at once lifts the count from 7 per cent to 50 per cent, with just four large booths still to go. The swings haven’t changed much, which shows you what a useful tool booth-by-booth comparison is.
7.51pm. Pre-poll and postal votes, which accounted for about 7 per cent last time, are up earlier than I had reckoned on. Labor are down 57.1 per cent to 45.0 per cent on the primary vote and the Liberals are up from 29.8 per cent to 36.7 per cent. Unfortunately, I can’t factor that into the table at this stage.
7.42pm. Actually, it’s probably more likely the ABC are referring to the primary vote when they say there is a 7 per cent swing. Two-party is looking more like 4 per cent.
7.40pm. Okay, the Queens Park Primary School booth – slightly larger than the Bentley one – is up. The swing against Labor is slightly lower here so presumably the rumoured 7 per cent swing is coming from somewhere else.
7.39pm. The commenter also says there is a 7 per cent swing with 30 per cent counted. I will remember where I heard it first.
7.33pm. Another commenter notes that Ben Wyatt has declared victory on the ABC News, though to be honest that was never in doubt. What matters is the swing and its impact on Matt Birney’s fragile leadership, on which those of us who aren’t in contact with the scrutineers are essentially none the wiser. Ready when you are, WAEC …
7.23pm. Dum-de-dum-de-dum. I had hoped booth results would come in one at a time and not in three or four rushes, as has been the case in NSW by-elections, but it looks like this hope will not be realised.
7.17pm. Vic Park Local notes in comments that turnout in the Bentley booth was down from 661 to 471 – pretty steep even for a by-election.
7.09pm. Still waiting. Daylight saving is evidently an idea whose time has not yet come in WA – the Daylight Saving Party is on one vote out of 463. Also, as Kenny Everett used to say, the revolution has had to be postponed – zero votes for John Tattersall of the Socialist Alliance.
6.57pm. Now I think of it, the 2PP figure would be better off being based on relative booth results as well – this too has been amended. No other booths in yet.
6.49pm. Okay, a bit of a correction is in order – the primary vote swings were supposed to be comparing like booths and not the total result. They are doing so now.
6.45pm. First figures are in from the Bentley Community Centre. This is the smallest and most Labor-friendly booth in the electorate – for the latter reason, the figures above show Liberal well down on the primary vote but improving on two-party preferred.
6.25pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live online coverage of the Victoria Park by-election. Figures in the above table will be updated within about a minute of booth results appearing on the Western Australian Electoral Commission website. The columns show the raw percentage of the primary vote and a two-party preferred figure that will be based on the assumption that non-major party votes will divide the same way as at last year’s election (58 per cent Labor, 42 per cent Liberal) until notional preference figures become available, and swing figures based on comparison of the available by-election figures with those from the same booths at last year’s election. Based on past experience, the first results should be in at around 6.45pm.