Full house?

The Poll Bludger’s lower house predictions left a bit to be desired – I underestimated the Nationals, failed to spot Labor’s troubles in Gippsland, missed Russell Savage’s defeat in Mildura, punted on some roughies that failed to come home (Eltham and South West Coast) and got suckered in by some faulty conventional wisdom (South Barwon and Melbourne). However, I can claim to have salvaged some pride with my upper house predictions, all of which are looking good except my call of three Liberal and two Labor in Western Victoria, which will likely be the other way round (UPDATE: See below). Given that my prediction was for a total of 20 seats for Labor, the Western Victoria bonus would give them the magic 21 seats and an absolute majority in the 40-seat chamber. Bearing in mind that the VEC still only has results in from 1744 out of 2416 voting centres, the picture appears as follows in the eight regions listed in rough order of interest (if any).


1. David Davis (Liberal)
2. John Lenders (Labor)
3. Andrea Coote (Liberal)
4. Sue Pennicuik (Greens)
5. Evan Thornley (Labor) leads David Southwick (Liberal)

Labor is coming perilously close to having its star candidate Evan Thornley lose to the third Liberal. The Greens have a quota without much room to spare after preferences from the Democrats boost them from 15.64 per cent to 17.31 per cent, above the magic number of 16.67 per cent. Similarly, Evan Thornley starts out with Labor’s 14.98 per cent surplus over the first quota and just gets there with preferences from independent Rita Bentley (0.38 per cent) and People Power (1.37 per cent), boosting him to 16.73 per cent. He will further get the Greens surplus if he needs it, which on current figures will boost him 0.60 per cent to a total of 17.33 per cent. That gives him an uncomfortable lead of 0.66 per cent; if this lead evaporates, Family First preferences will put the Liberals’ David Southwick over the line. It is interesting that Rita Bentley is giving Thornley such a valuable boost, as her preference ticket singles him out for special treatment – Thornley is in third place behind Bentley’s running mate Geoff Taylor, while the other Labor candidates are behind the Liberals.


1. Jaala Pulford (Labor)
2. John Vogels (Liberal)
3. Gayle Tierney (Labor)
4. David Koch (Liberal)
5. Elaine Carbines (Labor) leads Peter Kavanagh (DLP)

With Labor and Liberal winning two seats each, the final seat has emerged as a contest between Labor and the Greens with the tide continuing to flow to Labor. At the critical point of the count, Labor leads 9.13 per cent to the Greens’ 8.46 per cent (their 8.17 per cent primary vote plus preferences from the Socialist Alliance). Whichever of the two emerges in front will get to a quota on the preferences of the other, leapfrogging either the Nationals or the DLP. (UPDATE: The previous statement was based on the erroneous assumption that Labor preferences would go to the Greens rather than the DLP. In fact, if Labor falls behind the Greens – which is reckoned to be at least possible by those in the know – their preferences will deliver the seat to the DLP).


1. Justin Madden (Labor)
2. Khalil Eideh (Labor)
3. Martin Pakula (Labor)
4. Bernie Finn (Liberal)
5. Henry Barlow (Labor) leads Colleen Hartland (Greens)

After the first four seats go three Labor and one Liberal, Labor is leading the Greens in the race for the fifth seat. Labor has 9.31 per cent over the third quota against the Greens’ total of 9.14 per cent. Labor is then boosted by preferences from People Power (1.24 per cent) and the DLP (0.99 per cent), while the Greens get preferences from the Democrats (0.94 per cent) – leaving Labor with a lead of 11.54 per cent to 10.08 per cent at the critical point of the count. Whichever of the two ends up behind here will propel the other over the second Liberal candidate (7.80 per cent boosted to 11.72 per cent after Family First preferences).


1. Richard Dalla Riva (Liberal)
2. Shaun Leane (Labor)
3. Bruce Atkinson (Liberal)
4. Brian Tee (Labor)
5. Jan Kronberg (Liberal) leads Bill Pemberton (Greens)

After the election of two Liberal and two Labor candidates, the fifth place emerges as a close contest between Liberal and the Greens. The Greens appeared to have the edge earlier in the count, but the tide has continued to flow in the Liberals’ direction. The Liberals are currently on 11.72 per cent above their second quota, with the Greens on 10.30 per cent. With the Liberals further boosted by 4.36 per cent from the strongly performing Family First, the current result at the final count is Liberal 17.48 per cent and the Greens 15.86 per cent – surely an unbridgeable gap.


1. Theo Theophanous (Labor)
2. Jenny Mikakos (Labor)
3. Matthew Guy (Liberal)
4. Nazih Elasmar (Labor)
5. Greg Barber (Greens)

The remarkable thing about the DLP’s near-miss was that it was not entirely down to the strength of their preference arrangements, which were inferior to those of People Power and the Democrats. Their vote of 4.85 per cent may well have been boosted by their position on the far left of the ballot paper, echoing their strong 2.3 per cent Senate vote when they were similarly placed in 2001. It was suggested on that occasion that they had benefited from confused Labor voters. However, the miracle ultimately failed to eventuate because the Greens vote has steadily increased to 16.09 per cent as counting has progressed, lifting them above a 16.67 per cent quota with the addition of 1.13 per cent from the Democrats as preferences.


1. Candy Broad (Labor)
2. Wendy Lovell (Liberal)
3. Damian Drum (Nationals)
4. Donna Petrovich (Liberal)
5. Kaye Darveniza (Labor)

The collective Coalition vote was 50.54 per cent, or a clear three quotas. With the Liberal vote on 28.65 per cent (11.98 above the first quota) and the Nationals on 21.89 per cent (5.22 per cent), these seats went two Liberal and one Nationals. Labor polled 30.05 per cent (13.38 per cent over a quota) to the Greens’ 6.86 per cent; to that the Greens could add only a tiny Coalition surplus plus further preferences from some surprising sources, with the Christian Democratic Party and the DLP both putting the Greens ahead of Labor. That still left them well short of a quota, with Labor coasting home on preferences from Family First (3.66 per cent) and the Country Alliance (2.32 per cent).


1. Philip Davis (Liberal)
2. Matt Viney (Labor)
3. Edward O’Donohue (Liberal)
4. Peter Hall (Nationals)
5. Johan Scheffer (Labor)

A straightforward result with a clear two quotas to Labor (35.36 per cent) and three for the Coalition after the addition of Family First preferences. The Nationals polled 9.70 per cent against the 4.65 per cent Liberal surplus over the second quota, and thus emerged with the third Coalition seat.


1. Gavin Jennings (Labor)
2. Adem Somyurek (Labor)
3. Gordon Rich-Phillips (Liberal)
4. Bob Smith (Labor)
5. Inga Peulich (Liberal)

Another refreshingly straightforward outcome with Labor on just over three quotas (50.72 per cent) and the Liberals just over two (33.50 per cent).

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.

274 comments on “Full house?”

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  1. In Western Victoria, if the Greens vote passes the ALP, the ALP vote elects a DLP candidate.

    However if the Nationals pass the DLP at a key exclusion then it is possible for the Greens to win.

  2. Western Victoria: At 81% of the vote counted I have teh DLP ahead of teh Naotional Party. They npick up from all qaurters. mainly from Family First.

    Yes it is tight in two places the DLP either goes out before the NP nor the ALP wins over the Greens…

    DLP order of foldup goes..

    Primary 2.58%
    They pick up from PP 0.75% sub total 3.34%

    They the pick up 0.95% from CA sub total 4.29%
    Family First is on 4% which goers to the DLP now 8.29%

    The DLP is above the Nationals who are on 7.15%
    DLP sub total is now 14.09%

    DLP then picks upo the Lib surplus (1.35%) via the NP vote (Vote inlcuded in above 7.15% data)

    DLP now on 15.44%

    Greens 9.16% ALP 8.73%

    ALP excluded an gos to the DLP who are thne on 24.17% and elected.

    Not a close margin I am afraid. The Greens polled to high

    Re;South Metrio… I need to correct my earlier preiction as the Democrats will most likely see Thornley well and truely over the line. Southwick would need to pick up over 75% of the pre-polls which is unlikely We estimate teh spilit to be 5000 to 2000. Thorney wins by a comfortable margin

  3. ALP 42.06%
    LIB 34.68%
    DLP 2.58%
    GRN 8.84%
    NP 5.80%
    LIB 0.00%
    CA 0.95%
    FF 4.00%
    PP 0.75%
    SA 0.32%

    Put this in to the upper-house calc and you get….

    Elected Candidates
    Vogels John (LIBERAL)
    Koch David (LIBERAL)
    Kavanagh Peter (D.L.P. DEMOCRATIC LABOR PARTY)

    The same as my calcs. Based on data as of 8:00PM last night. 81% of enrollment counted

  4. There is no close margin in Western Victoria any more. Most below the line votes will get locked in under the party vote and in fact when distributed the BTL vote decreases in value and the ABTL vote increases in value (This is because of the paper based surplus calculations used.) As the rest of the BTL votes have little value they can not bridge the gap

    The closest conjunction points are DLP/FF Family First would need to pickup over 0.29% (Over 1000 votes) of the over all vote.

    The gap between the Nationals and the DLP (1.14% over 4000 votes) is too great. The Greens are above the ALP surplus buy 0.43% (1500 votes).

    Sorry but the Gap is too big to bridge… Unless the VEC have hidden away a few bundles of postal votes they did not tell us about…

  5. I will go out on a limb here and call it a win for the DLP… main problem is I do not have polling both data and whilst the VEC is reporting 81% of enrollment counted and 100% of lower house booths the upper house reports booths are still to be entered. I think their booth summary data is wrong as 81% of enrollment is already high.

    I say the DLP come up the middle and win… (Subject of course to the VEC pulling a few undisclosed bundles from the postal ballot box under the table which might explain why they did not want to report how many postal votes had been issued. 🙂

  6. Seriously, I’m sure Labor will win the 3rd place in Western Victoria.

    I just can’t bring myself to the conclusion that the DLP will get there.

    I can’t explain the maths side of it – but all this DLP talk sounds too crazy to happen.

  7. Hi I have just implemented a new way to deal with below the line votes in analysising the potential outcome. I do not knwo way I did not do this before. The results are more accurate but the outcome is the same. Western Victoria goes to the DLP…

  8. The only thing that could change the results is the BTL optional preferential system but i do not think it would effect the outcome. Not sure as I have not seen optional voting in Victoria before and I am not sure if the public is fuly aware of the fact that they only need to number five boxes.. anyway most BTL stay within teh group just reorder the votes and that is easy to cater for. If votes exaust on a surplus trabsfer the value of picked up I think by the continuing ballots. again due to the fact that the formula used is the number of ballot papers not the value of the vote…

  9. Have a look at the analysis conducted by Gary Morgan on which opinion poll was most accurate for this election. He claims his poll was the most accurate but has used the first figures Galaxy poll taken and not the last of the campaign. Had he done so he would have found that the last Galaxy Poll was in fact the most accurate. Mistake or omission?

  10. Melb City: Where are you getting your WV figures from ? The website doesn’t show what you are saying, but it’s close and the Greens have yet to receive their dose of “backpacker” vote.

    Maybe I should jump on the VEC ftp site..

  11. So just to summarise:

    ALP: 18
    Liberals: 14
    Greens: 2
    Nationals: 2

    Four uncertain:
    E. Metro: Libs v Greens
    S. Metro: Libs v Labor
    W. Vic: Labor v DLP
    W. Metro: Labor v Greens

  12. And the points in each count to watch:

    Western Victoria:

    If DLP wins first and Greens win second, DLP wins.
    If DLP wins first and Labor wins second, Labor wins.
    If Nats win first and Greens win second, Greens win.
    If Nats win first and Labor wins second, Labor wins.

  13. Good summary Ben.

    Also the current situation is:
    DLP ahead in first
    ALP ahead in second

    ALP in box seat, DLP needs one piece of luck, Greens two.

    However if the DLP goes out behind the Nats, does that unlock some prefs from someone like PP that can push the Greens ahead of the ALP ? ie maybe the Greens just need one piece of luck instead of two.

    My site is down at the moment because my web hosts database has crashed again.

  14. Do I gather that Melbcity is saying that the DLP will get the last spot, while Antony Green is saying that Labor will get it? Whom to believe??? Do they at least agree that ET will beat Southwick in South Metro, and that Labor will get 4 spots in West Metro?

  15. cheers the speaker – i wondered why – the dlp better not get ahead – dont want a party of has-beens being re-elected

  16. What a weird contest.

    It’s like a clash of the 21st century and the 1950s.

    If someone suggested we’d see a seat being seriously contested by both the DLP and the Greens, you’d think they were insane.

  17. I am just reporting tyhe results as they unfold. We do not know waht ad from where votes are still to be counted. But I have cheched my votes recorded and they tally with the VEC site. Lateste results are now up a I will re calc.

  18. On the current count, Labor wins the last spot in Western Victoria, as long as Labor stays ahead of the Greens in the battle for 2nd spot behind the DLP. I would expect that to happen, as Labor will probably do better than the Greens with the declaration vote. However, the wild card is the Nationals getting ahead of the DLP. If this happens, the Greens pick up People Power preferences, Labor picks up half of the Country Alliance, but the Nationals fall short of the vote the DLP would have accumulated. In this case, if Labor stays ahead of the Greens, Labor wins the last sport, if the Greens pull ahead, the Greens win.

  19. Anthony. Just a warning. I found a data-entry/data-quaility issue with the VEC data in relation to the DLP… You should check you are not filtering out some of the information. I notified the VEC of this error but it is still showing up in their data. Call me if discuss if you like… Latest update 5:00PM will rerun count.

  20. Well, if it is like the AEC, the numbers will go up and down erratically for the next few days as below the line (BTL) votes are entered. All below the line from a booth are entered as a total, and then the ‘batch’ sent off to data entry. I’ve just been using the totals for each group. The Labor Party and the Greens will have an advantage over the DLP as their totals during the count will not ‘lose’ votes from other groups that are actually BTL votes rather than ticket votes. The same reason that Family First did not win the final Senate seat in Tasmania at the 2004 Federal election. Nice for Labor that the highest below the line vote is for Carbines. Minimizes the number of votes that might leak out of the ticket.

  21. Sorry Antony not Anthony.. Just checked agin the VEC data-entry problem is still showing showing up. be cafeful. I have to correct it every time I down load the data. And uess what it is the DLP that is effected… Anther reason why the VEC MUST ensure that its data is open top the public for independent analysis

  22. I’m at home so don’t have my xml tools. I’ve been using the web page totals. Using tonight’s update, I get exactly the same result as published in my distribution of preferences at the ABC Elections site.

  23. Just updated my data to the 17:00PM data and teh same results DLP wins the fifth… William I can send you my detailed count sheet but to post here would look very messy….

  24. Um, I still get Labor winning if you treat all the votes as ticket votes. I have the detailed distribution published on the ABC website. You tell me what’s wrong with those calculations. Are you making some assumptions about the votes yet to be counted?

  25. If you can give me a site where I can FTP down my web data and distibution count I will be happy to make it available

    Here is the main conjunction points as I see it…

    DLP Primary 9158 (2.50%)
    DLP collects from PP now on (3.31%)
    DLP collects from CA now on (4.26%) FF 4.0%
    DLP collects from FF now on (8.26%) NP (7.34%)
    DLP collects from NP now on (16.60%) ALP (8.62%) GRN (9.13%)
    DLP collect from ALP and is elected…


  26. I will email my count sheet and dicuss in detail off line you can phone me… I do a slightly different distribution of teh BTL data but effective the same as a full blown tciket asumption. the gap is too wide.

    be carefull there is a VEC data-entry problem associated with the DLP…

  27. By the way Melb City, your assumption that there are more Green votes below the line locked into the ticket total is incorrect. Most of Labor’s below the line votes are with Elaine Carbines or the first two candidates on the Labor ticket. There will be more Green votes leak out of the ticket than Labor votes.

  28. A majority of BTL votes stay within teh group and only when they leave the group do they break ticket and even them a majority follow the brao thrust and direction of the ticket. I treat all the Below the lines as 1. Goring down teh goup list then back up the list so that the head of the list is last (With the exception of the lead candiadte of course). There is logic in this but I wont go throught it now as it does not effect the outcome as I see it. My fold upo is as outlined above where do we differ??

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