Swings and roundabouts

UPDATE: A seat I had initially overlooked in the summary below, Morwell, has undergone a very interesting turn in late counting. Where the ABC’s end of night figure had Labor 2.2 per cent ahead, the current VEC figure has them 2.4 per cent behind. Unless I am mistaken, this is because a notional Labor versus Liberal two-party count was conducted last night when in fact it was that Nationals that came second; a Labor versus Nationals count was conducted today, and the Nationals did considerably better on preferences than the Liberals. With Morwell, Mildura and three upper house seats in the bag, the strength of the Nationals’ performance has possibly been the election’s biggest surprise.

A quick whiz through noteworthy seats in the short time available before my internet allocation expires. A similar effort for the upper house will hopefully follow later today.

Bayswater (Labor 2.8%): Clear Liberal win with a 5.7 per cent swing.

Bentleigh (Labor 4.8%): Outstanding result for Labor member Rob Hudson, who picked up a 2.4 per cent swing.

Eltham (Labor 4.8%): Contrary to the Poll Bludger’s prediction, Steve Herbert picked up a 1.9 per cent swing and won easily.

Evelyn (Labor 0.3%): Liberal Christine Fyffe, who lost her seat in 2002, returns to parliament after picking up a 3.1 per cent swing.

Ferntree Gully (Labor 2.3%): At the end of last night, the Liberals led by 0.3 per cent; the latest figures have it at just 0.1 per cent, or 75 votes.

Gembrook (Labor 1.6%): Labor’s Tammy Lobato doggedly holding on to a narrow lead, which has widened fractionally from 0.3 per cent to 0.4 per cent (251 votes).

Hastings (Labor 0.9%): A Liberal gain with a 2.5 per cent swing.

Kilsyth (Labor 2.1%): Still very much in doubt, with the Liberal candidate leading by 0.2 per cent (139 votes).

Melbourne (Labor 1.9% versus Greens): I believe the ABC computer’s early prediction of a clear Greens win here last night was due to the fact that it was unable to account for the influence of new voters in the Docklands; older booths that came in first swung to the Greens, and the projection was extrapolated from these swings (UPDATE: A more considered analysis from Anthony van der Craats in comments). Now that the dust has settled, Bronwyn Pike has in fact picked up a 0.5 per cent swing and is well and truly out of the woods.

Mildura (Independent 18.5% versus Nationals): Russell Savage’s vote fell from 52.1 per cent to 34.2 per cent; Nationals up from 25.3 per cent to 40.3 per cent; Liberals up from 10.0 per cent to 11.5 per cent; Labor down from 9.2 per cent to 6.5 per cent. Nationals win by 6.1 per cent on two-candidate preferred.

Mount Waverley (Labor 2.3%): This seems to have swung the Liberals’ way in recent counting – after narrowly trailing late in the evening, they now lead by 0.2 per cent (104 votes).

Narracan (Labor 6.8%): A clear and unexpected win to the Liberals following an unheralded revolt against Labor in Gippsland, perhaps due to water issues. Liberal candidate Gary Blackwood leads by 1.8 per cent on two-party.

Prahran (Labor 4.4%): The ABC computer shifted this back into the doubtful column at one point fairly late in the count, but current figures indicate there has been no swing at all.

Richmond (Labor 3.1% versus Greens): Richard Wynne has widened his margin over the Greens to 6.4 per cent.

Rodney (Nationals 10.0% versus Liberal): Labor preferences helped deliver the Liberals a 5.9 per cent swing, but not enough to cost Paul Weller the seat.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

46 comments on “Swings and roundabouts”

  1. Any idea what happened to savage? I was having dinner with friends from Mildura last night (I’m in Adelaide) and they checked in with their family in Vic to check the overall election result. I asked them what the result was in their seat and they said that they didn’t bother to check because Savage would be an MP ’til he was carried out of Parliament House in a box! The revolt was seemingly unpredicted by everyone.

  2. In Gippsland,especially Narracan,the antiLabor swing was due to the activities of the CFMEU ,hostile to Labor policies on the timber industry.A former ALP activist ran as an independent with the backing of such groups in narracan and her prefs. will determine the result.

  3. The defeat of Savage was due to the Brack’s decision to put a toxic waste dump in the Mallee outside Mildura,which caused great local outcry…and Savage was seen.despite his opposition,as close to the Brack’s Govt in it’s first term,as he was.
    The National’s waged a clever campaign in what is a very conservative seat.
    Savage was a good member,but the Nats will win on the Lib preferences.He was the first victim of the toxic waste dump!!

  4. The high CEC vote in Broadmeadows (4.5%) seems to be due to the fact that the candidate had his large Arabic-speaking family manning most booths, probably picking up a lot of the Arab vote.

  5. And by electing a Nat the yokels of Mildura have made sure they get the “dump” (actually its a facility). Long may they enjoy it.

  6. The VEC have 2PP for Nat v. Labor in Morwell with Labor well ahead. As the votes to come will mostly have been cast without reference to the HTVs of the Independent they should drift more to Labor than those so far (same happended in 2002). I can’t see Labor losing from here.
    On the Council note the personal vote for Carbines in Western Victoria which is interesting, there was a campign for this.
    In Warrnmabool the Nats and People Power paid their campign workers!

  7. Still puzzeled by Naracan and lets not forget Caulfield..

    William I think you are wrong with your assessment in relation to Melbourne. Its way to simplistic to place blame on the docklands regions most who are not Labor voters any way. You need to lok historically booth by booth and calculate the booth swing and off set that with local knowlege about the area. Bronwyn did well in Kensington and Cartlton. The liberal vote was down and those Liberal voters that wanted to vote against labor proberly jumped ship early leaving Bronywn with over a third of the liberal preferenecs. Also many early and pre-poll and postal votes would hav been cast prior to the Liberal Parties about face on preferences which added to Bronwyns success coupled all that with teh fact that the Greens do not do too well with postals, the excellent campaign run in the last week and everything was heading up not down.

  8. ‘Doctor’ Adam and Paul are mendacious little twerps.

    Perhaps the pair of you would rather live in a one-party State.

    Attacking the people of Mildura as yokels/hicks for daring to vote against a puppet of the ALP because they don’t want a toxic waste dump in their backyard is a low act that says plenty.

    What would the good ‘Doctor’ say if we, for example, called voters in Prahan ‘silly faggots’ for re-electing Tony Lupton?

    He would be the first to squeal like a bitch.

    Hyprocrisy is thy name ‘Doctor’.

  9. I am puzzled the VEC has recorded all polling places recorded for the lower house but 25% of the upper-house is still remaining. The VEC computerised system has little to desire. The more I give thought to it the more I think that we should not have two public authorities doubling up on each other and that we would be better served if we had one single independent electoral authority. With the introduction of fixed term a single electoral commission is highly feasible. Victoria’s electoral Commissioner should be under the auspice and control of Victoria’s surveyor General would have a executive review role. there is millions of dollars of waste and duplication in maintaining two electoral commissions which essentially double up on the same function. Whilst i understand their is a degree of cooperation each authority never the less maintains separate offices an facilities. Now is the time for a review.

  10. Its interestig to look at the statewide data for teh upperhouse and the lower house with very little differnec between them +/- 1%. If the DLp had run candidates in the lower house they mioght have secured a better vote. People Power receivd the lower end of expectation having fallen below 1%. At $350 per nomination somone lost a lot of money.

    The Democrarts droped from a 2.5% to less then 1% also. presumable People Power picked up most of the Democracts vote with some leaking to the Greens. In the end they were just feeders for the Greens.

    The overall winner was ACNeilson and Newspoll who were spot on the mark. the biggest loser was Galaxy and to a lesser extent Morgan poll.

    Its very diappointing that the VEC did not publish polling place statistics as is normally the case in both State and Federal elections. The VEC has not even provied a breakdown of the upper-house results.

  11. Melbcity is on the ball as far as the Docklands goes – I was there handing out for a lot of the day and saw the results afterwards. The Greens lost out to the Libs and Labor there, but with preferences won out on 2 party preferred. Scrutineering in Flemington showed a LOT of Libs preferencing that didn’t follow the card (a substantial amount) still preferencing Di Natale in front of Pike.

  12. I make definite Labor losses Bayswater, Evelyn, Hastings, Morwell and Narracan, probable losses Ferntree Gully, Kilsyth and Mount Waverley, and the only other possible loss Gembrook. That makes a maximum eight losses to the Libs (seven if Gembrook is retained) and one to the Nats. Before the election I said the Libs needed a minimum ten gains to claim a respectable result, and to keep Toorak Ted in the leadership until 2010. They haven’t achieved that.

  13. Melbcity, you are giving Labor 21 seats in the Council. This must be West Metro 4, Southeast Metro, North Metro and Western Vic 3, and South Metro, East Metro, North Vic and East Vic 2, correct? Are you confident that Labor will get 2 in South Metro? – it looks very close to me. And also 3 in Western Vic?

  14. At this stage of the count yes. It is difficult to say for certain as teh upper-house data does not tell you which polling boothd have been counted. (This is withouty a doubt onoe of the worst conducted counts I have experience in in many yeras in terms of accessibility of information).

    I have teh following results:

    Region, ALP, LIB, NP, GRN
    Eastern Metropolitan, 2, 3, 0, 0
    Eastern Victoria, 2, 2, 1, 0
    Northern Metropolitan, 3, 1, 0, 1
    Northern Victoria, 2, 2, 1, 0
    South Eastern Metropolitan, 3, 2, 0 0
    Southern Metropolitan, 2, 2, 0, 1
    Western Metropolitan, 4, 1, 0, 0
    Western Victoria, 3, 2, 0, 0
    Sum, 21, 15, 2, 2

  15. Which brings it the results very much in line with my first analysis based on the earlier news and ACNielsen poll.

    I think Victoria made a big mistake with its appointment of VEC commissioner. I certainly will be discussing various issues around the traps with many of my colleagues.

  16. Results are starting to look almost respectable for the Libs. Its very hard to do well against first term sitting members who defeated their opponent at the previous election as you have the double whammy of the loss of the previous members support plus the new personal support for the incumbent that wasn’t there last time. Combined this has to be worth at least 2-3%. I think this explains the results in Bentleigh where Inga Peulich the previous Lib member was well regarded (I lived there at the time).

    So the Libs ability to come back fighting in the outer east, especially in seats like Bayswater, FTG & Kilsyth, which are / were regarded as litmus seats, held by the ALP all during the Cain/Kirner years – needs to be explained. Did the Scoresby Freeway count after all, is it changing demographics (the Libs have also improved there federally) or good targeting. The Libs now hold or are within 2-3% in all the seats making up the eastern metro region. Given their statewide vote of only 45% 2PP this is remarkable.

    On the flip side, they failed to make significant inroads in the Geelong/Ballarat/Bendigo triangle and had dissapointing swings in the western suburbs and Dandenong area. Could it be that Workchoices is biting? Or was Bracks just travelling well overall but hurt in two specific areas (Eastern Suburbs over the tolls promise?) & Latrobe Valley (over the ALP’s anti-coal bias)

    As I mentioned yesterday, I think the big news federally, is that the coal communities of the LaTrobe Valley may have dumped on Labor over the Greenhouse issue. This could have major implications for the NSW and Federal elections. Watch John Howard try to repeat the 2004 Timber wedge on a magnified scale, and lets see if Beazley takes a lower profile &/or more balanced approach to this issue now.

    Finally the Nationals have also significantly improved vs the Libs. This should also (but probably won’t) have federal implications, providing another demonstration that the way forward for them is to fight for their constituency rather than be the Liberals lapdogs.

  17. IMPORTANT UPDATE: (Sunday Novmber 26, 8:00PM)

    Further analysis of the results as published by the VEC 8:OOPM Sunday indicates that postal, absentee and below the line votes will play a crucial role in the outcome of Western Victoria with a strong possibility of the DLP with the assistance of Family First could win the firth seat as as such deny the ALP absolute control in the Legislative Council

    Again it is difficult to make any accurate assessment due to the refusal of the Chief Commissioner Steve Tully to ensure that the counting of the election is open and transparent and subject to detailed independent analysis. His refusal to provide postal vote statistics on the number of postal votes issued further complicates independent analysis.

    With the results of the election determined by computers it is essential that this information and detaqls of the recorded prefenec allocatons are readily available and that our election system is open and transparent. Mr Tully’s refusal to provide this information, as requested, in a timely fashion brings the conduct of state election count into disrepute.

    Analysis of a theoretical distribution of below the line preferences. Click on my name above

  18. Analysis. What’s happening is that the Greens have a high below the line vote in Western Victoria and that puts them above the ALP surplus and when the ALP’s third candidate is excluded the ALP preferences flow to the DLP ahead of the Greens and push the DLP who also pick up preferences from the Liberals and Family First, over the line.. Labors vote would need to increase significantly with the allocation of postals, absentee and prepolling votes and a significant drift of BTL preference to produce a different outcome.

    I can not overstress the importance for the Electoral Commission to ensure that information and preference data is made available to the public for independent analysis. It is fundamental that our election process is open and transparent.

  19. I tip my hat to “the speaker”. (Upper-house.info) He picked Western Victoria before anyone. His upper-house calculator has become a fortune telling machine :))

    Well done “The Speaker”. (Should he not be called “The President” if its the upper-house)

    I would not have picked Family First reaching 4% (3% maybe)
    It just goes to show its all in the order of election/elimination, the formula to calculate the surplus and the system of segmentation used.

    This will be one for the class room and the history books..

  20. Further analysis of Western Victoria and the allocation of below-the-line-votes will result in this seat being won by the DLP.

    The Greens have received a large below-the-line vote which is locked in under the Greens group ticket. This puts the Greens (9%) ahead of the ALP surplus (8.78%). When the ALP’s third candidate is excluded from the count it will top up the DLP (4.27%) who also receive votes from Family First (4%), the Liberal Party surplus (1.4%) and the National Party (5.7%) seeing the DLP win comfortably. If the ALP can top the Greens as counting continues then the ALP will win the fifth seat. At this stage of the count the DLP are in front.

  21. New news at hand Evan Thorneley may miss out on a seat in the upper house. he is currently winning against the Liberals with a margin of around 1000 votes but I am told there is over 7000 prepoll votes to be counted that are against the ALP. This could ery well see teh liberals take three seats and the ALP one only.

    Millionair loss to the ALP.

  22. MelbCity,
    In Western Victoria, you have double counted the Greens BTL vote. They had 7.12% ATL, and 1.02% BTL, but on the VEC site they aggregate those in bold at the bottom of the group, so it’s an aggregate of 8.14 not 9.16 as you seem to have assumed. Had the ALP vote been considerably less, so that Elaine Carbines was eliminted early in the fight for the 5th seat, it might have had some interesting implications. She has had a 0.71% personal vote, which one suspects is largely composed of people hostile to the ALP’s pre-selection shenanigans. Those votes might have been s[rayed anywhere, and are unlikely to have been close to the official ALP ticket. However, Elaine will be at worst third last candidate, and so her individual preferences will not be relevant. In my assessment, she’s virtually certain to claim the last spot.

  23. The VEC being majorly slack today – no updates at all on the lower house numbers – surely there must’ve been some votes counted today?

  24. With Morwell, Narracan, Mildura and three upper house seats in the bag, the strength of the Nationals’ performance has possibly been the election’s biggest surprise

    Agreed. Except that Narracan – whilst certainly a surprise result – was won by the Liberals, not the Nationals.

    And what did Malcolm Mackerras know that the rest of us didn’t when he tipped the Nationals to win Morwell?

  25. Regarding Morwell, I posted a comment previously about the defection of senior ALP figures in Traralgon, including a former Labor MP, to run an independent and direct preferences to the Nationals.

    I’ve just looked at booth figures, and the interesting thing is that the Nats out-polled the Liberals at all of them. I doubt that has ever happened before in that electorate.

    Traralgon, which used to be marginal Labor, has totally deserted the ALP. The combined Nat/Lib vote at some booths was double the ALP.

  26. The combinations of circumstances in which Evan Thornley will miss out, are:
    a. David Southwick’s vote continues to improve markedly from current 12.90% to greater than 13.50%;
    b. If FF (+ DLP prefs) currently 3.15% falls below Democrats (+ People Power) currently 3.02%.
    Then FF would be eliminated before the Democrats and their prefs would elect Southwick.
    If Thornley (plus those who have preferenced him – group C Independent, People Power and Greens whose surplus after Sue Pennecuik is elected 4th, becomes Evan’s lifeline) – falls away by about 0.55% in the remaining count, then he’ll fall short of a quota.

    Given that only 73% of the count has been posted and the trend during the count, 1a is feasible and 1b highly unlikely; 2 is unlikely.

  27. Peter I agree with your assessment with 7000+ votes outstanding (Its hard to tell because the VEC has not pulished the number of votes it issued before Saturdays poll. – An Auditor and scurtineer’s nightmare)

    It is close. If Southwick crosses the line first then Thornley or teh Grens could be the loser..

    Its close and much depends on the order of elimination.. as it stands Thornley is up BUT…

  28. Western Victoria is showing a less then expected Green vote and a Stronger ALP vote with Family First dropping below 4% a down ward track.

    Without knowing the polling both break-down and the fact that the VEC is reporting booths still outstanding. (They have in all the lower house data I fail to see why they have not updated the upper-house unless they have a few mysterious undisclosed bundles of votes) preliminary progressive count should have been completed by now. This is the first election in recent times where this information is not known. A seriously flaw and and poor reflection on Victoria’s new Chief Commissioner.

  29. RE Morwell
    the combined alp/green & ind labor(Proctor) was enough to win the seat narrowly
    in Traralgon there were 12000 voters & the Nats won by 3000
    a closer to 50/50 split say 60/40 would change things arround without
    a single other vote being changed in the electorate

  30. bmwofoz, The coalition beating Traralgon has been marginal until the last federal election and this state election. When I was handing out how-to-vote cards for the Nationals in the late 80s we were pleased to pick up 10% and the Libs were around 35%.

    Russell Northe’s election is a great achievement.

    I’m out of touch now, but I think the Nationals would be disappointed with the results in Benambra, South West Coast and Gippsland East.

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