5.05am. Looks like the Coalition vote continued to build as upper house voting continued into the wee hours, probably putting the final seat beyond the reach of the Democrats, AAFI and Fishing Party. Likely result: Labor 9, Coalition 8, Greens 2, CDP 1, Shooters Party 1.
2.05am. A considered assessment of the upper house from Stephen L in comments.
1.38am. Apologies, I had not noticed other developments in the upper house count: Labor is now looking at nine seats, not eight; and the Liberals’ eighth candidate is currently leading the Democrats, AAFI and Fishing Party in the hunt for the final place. The other seats have gone two Greens, one CDP, one Shooters Party.
1.28am. In fact, the Fishing Party has fallen behind Australians Against Further Immigration, on 45,817.
1.16am. The gap between the Democrats and the Fishing Party has increased to 49,320 to 44,677. May it ever widen.
12.55am. Did kind of okay with my predictions: wrong about Camden, Murray-Darling, Pittwater, Tweed and Wollondilly, the latter two of which I foolishly changed at the last minute. Goulburn, Lake Macquarie, Dubbo, Newcastle, Port Stephens and Maitland are still up in the air.
11.05pm. A little critique of the media coverage. I have been flicking between ABC Television and Sky News, trying to favour the latter because I know most of my audience is watching the former. I wished this had not been necessary because the ABC was greatly superior, despite some very good talent on Sky. No prize for guessing what makes the difference: Antony Green. His presence and authority keeps the coverage focused on the actual election, whereas Sky was forced to fall back on tedious big-picture chat. If Sky hopes to establish its brand among political bigwigs – which seems to be the rationale behind things like NSW Votes 2007 and interactive election night coverage – it should appreciate that such people tune into election coverage for election results.
I got a bit cranky earlier on at the NSWEC for what I falsely diagnosed as a slowly updating XML feed and a "virtual tally room" that did not provide booth results. It turns out there were booth results, but to get them you had to click on a link identified as "Election Night". Why? As for the XML feed issue, this turned out to be limited to one page on the ABC website. So qualified apologies are in order.
Finally, bouquets to my spendid web hosts, Unlimited Space, who got an undeserved cranky email from me this morning and subsequently shamed me with the quality of their response. I am entirely lost for words in attempting to compare their performance with the incompetent scumbaggery I had to suffer from Lycos.
10.38pm. Tony Burke’s guess is that the Fishing Party and the Democrats, but not the Shooters Party, will win upper house seats.
10.29pm. Upper house count trending in favour of the Democrats. Please let it be …
10.26pm. Reader John Thompson, who seems well on top of the Newcastle count, says: "A few more preferences from Newcastle must have come through and put Gaudry ahead of Tate for 2nd place. And therefore Labor will retain. Assuming the indicative count is correct".
10.18pm. The Democrats and AAFI can by no means be ruled out for that last upper house seat; the Fishing Party have slipped a little with another 150,000 counted.
10.10pm. My hurried initial upper house assessment: Labor 8, Coalition 8, Greens 2, CDP 1, Shooters Party 1, Fishing Party (please, no …) 1.
10.04pm. Nearly 1 million votes counted in the upper house, and my prediction of an AAFI win is not looking good: they’re on 1.5 per cent.
10.01pm. Lot of talk still about Port Stephens – they lead 14,118 to 13,610 on the two-party count with two booths to come, but one of them is Tea Gardens, which is a weak booth for Labor.
9.53pm. News flash: Pru Goward now leads in Goulburn on the notional count with only one booth to go, 14,619 to 14,309. And shouldn’t she do well on pre-polls and postals?
9.50pm. Debman is trumpeting swings that have reduced margins to winnable levels, which is true up to a point, but there were also swings to Labor in important seats: Monaro, Penrith and Keira.
9.45pm. Peter Debnam isn’t talking like a man who’s about to surrender the leadership, or who in any way has anything to be ashamed of.
9.29pm. The invaluable Oakeshott Country in comments tells us that Labor’s vote "shot up with last booths to 40%". With Peter Blackmore on 27.1 per cent, he would need an extremely strong flow of preferences to get up.
9.25pm. Kerry Chikarovski’s observation just now of a 9.0 per cent Liberal swing in Lane Cove is not an isolated case. 8.1 per cent in Cronulla; 10.5 per cent in Epping; 10.6 per cent in Hawkesbury; 13.3 per cent in Hornsby; 10.2 per cent in Ku-ring-gai; 7.2 per cent in North Shore; 9.1 per cent in Vaucluse; 8.8 per cent in supposedly endangered Terrigal. These are incredible results, exactly where the party needed them least. Could it be that the Labor’s success in painting Peter Debnam as a Vaucluse toff prevented similar results elsewhere?
9.22pm. Nationals look to be recovering from their scare in Barwon.
9.18pm. Reader John Thompson has emailed me with an extrapolation from the Newcastle preference figures provided earlier by Anthony Llewellyn, which have Tate winning over Labor 13651 to 12695. But as Llewellyn himself notes in comments:"Word is the booth I was at is at the more conservative end of electorate. Pref flows better for alp elsewhere. In which case I may be vindicated in predicting alp retain. Still early days."
9.15pm. Actual two-party figures from Goulburn, with about 15 per cent of the booths still to come, including a few from Goulburn: Stephenson 7955, Goward 7791.
9.10pm. Looks like Pru’s stuffed, if talk on the ABC about a big flow of Greens preferences to the independent is anything to go by.
9.06pm. Geoff Provest credits his win in Tweed to the Casino to Murwillumbah rail closure. Yeah, I remember now, Charles Richardson – that was why I backed him.
9.05pm. Sorry, that Epping swing was based on the premise that independent Martin Levine would run second, which is way off the mark.
9.02pm. Some laughably big swings to the Liberals in their safe Sydney seats: 7.9 per cent in Castle Hill, 9.4 per cent in Cronulla … 16.8 per cent in Epping! Labor now home in Balmain.
8.58pm. ABC computer has independent Greg Piper 0.2 per cent ahead in Lake Macquarie, but there seems to be a perception preferences to Piper will be stronger than this assumes. Several days of fun await us from Goulburn: a double contest, with Labor threatening to beat the independent to second, and a tight contest between Goward and the independent.
8.57pm. Raw figures from Dubbo: Dawn Fardell 14,128, Nationals 14,655, Labor 3,819, CDP 726 votes, Greens 789 votes. Surely Fardell will get up on preferences.
8.55pm. Haven’t said anything about Dubbo for a while. The ABC computer 1.2 per cent ahead, but that may be based on speculative preference predictions.
8.51pm. Some Broken Hill booths finally in from Murray-Darling, and just looking at raw figures it appears the Labor vote has plunged here also (and the population of Broken Hill seems to have gone down by a third).
8.49pm. Nick Greiner on Sky News says he will “take a punt” on independents winning Maitland and Lake Macquarie. Bit of a repeat of 1988 with respect to the Hunter, if nothing else.
8.43pm. More from Leopold on Goulburn in comments: "Goward still 251 votes behind in Goulburn. Two very good booths for Goward, Bowral (3,200 votes) and Moss Vale Central (2,300 votes) yet to report 2PP. On the other hand, Goulburn High (2,500 votes) is very good for Stephenson and is also yet to report. May well not be decided tonight".
8.41pm. Was off line for about six minutes. What did I miss?
8.37pm. Tony Burke on Sky News observes that state Liberal governments have suffered from Coalition control of both houses at the federal level, leaving voters searching for other ways to redress the power balance.
8.30pm. Star comments performer Oakeshott Country says: “The Marrickville and Lewisham Booths are still out. I think Labor will be safe in Marrickville.”
8.27pm. The assessment on the ABC just then didn’t look so good for Labor in Marrickville, but we all know that the ABC computer is less reliable with no Labor-versus-Coalition contests.
8.25pm. Liberals definitely home in Pittwater, almost definitely in Manly.
8.22pm. ABC computer says Labor retain in Maitland, but it might be underestimating Liberal preference flows to Peter Blackmore. It seems Newcastle is down to who finishes second out of John Tate and Bryce Gaudry; if it’s Tate he’ll win, if Gaudry Labor will win.
8.20pm. Thanks to Adam for pointing out that the Nats are under the pump from independent Tim Horan in Barwon.
8.19pm. Big lead for the Nationals in Murray-Darling, but no Broken Hill booths in yet.
8.18pm. I came into Pru Goward on the ABC half way through.
8.16pm. Big reverse in Labor’s favour in the previously interesting Riverstone.
8.15pm. Leopold on Goulburn in comments: “a whopping booth in from somewhere – maybe Bowral, though for all I know it was a bunch of small booths. Unless the trend turns around later in the count, Goward should get home. Anything above 40% primary will be hard to beat under OPV.”
8.13pm. Anthony Llewellyn in comments: “Just finished scrutineering in a newc booth. Pref flows for libs 56 Tate 24 gaudry 16 exhaust 4 mckay. Greens 9 m 8 t 50 g 34 e. Gaudry 15 m 32 t 53 e. Tate 40m 25 g 35e””. Make of that what you will.
8.11pm. Returning to earth now with aggregate vote figures: Labor now down 4.8 per cent. Conspicuously lower lift for the Liberals than the Nationals. Other parties’ gains lower than I would have expected.
8.09pm. Andrew Stoner has conceded defeat.
8.09pm. Labor by no means out of the woods in Port Stephens, only 0.6 per cent ahead with 35.6 per cent counted.
8.07pm. Thanks to Rebecca in comments for calling attention to Lake Macquarie – drat, Antony’s discussing it now. Independent Greg Piper might get up, but it depends on unpredictable preferences. And as Antony says, booths to come are mining areas, so who knows.
8.06pm. Do I have this right – that the independent might lose in Goulburn because Labor might get ahead of him into second place on Greens preferences?
8.04pm. ABC computer’s call of Camden as a Labor gain looks bold – only 0.9 per cent ahead.
8.02pm. But the notional two-party count, which I don’t think you can argue with, shows the slightest narrowing the margin in Goulburn, in absolute if not relative terms – from 303 votes to 294 votes (comparing 4813 votes counted with 8308)
8.01pm. Too much chat on Sky News and not enough results.
7.59pm. Talk in comments about Pru Goward’s primary vote edging upwards. What was that Barry O’Farrell was saying about the Labor exhaustion rate? I only caught the odd phrase here and there.
7.58pm. Big swing still there in Riverstone, Labor leading to 2.6 per cent.
7.54pm. Goulburn notional two-party count has Goward trailing 2,558 to 2,255.
7.51pm. ABC computer has Newcastle down as a gain for John Tate.
7.49pm. No trouble in any of the other Liberal-held seats like Lane Cove, South Coast and Terrigal.
7.47pm. Interesting early figures from Riverstone – a huge swing to the Liberals. The booths are Marsden Park, Schofield and Vineyard. Anyone know about them?
7.44pm. Looking very grim for Pru Goward in Goulburn. I am greatly surprised. Barry O’Farrell pretending to be unhappy.
7.42pm. 4.4 per cent swing to Labor in Penrith, a correction after a big swing in 2003.
7.38pm. New figures at the ABC site: Close in Balmain, but Labor should get over the line. The computer has Labor winning Camden, Keira, Kiama, Menai, Miranda, Monaro and The Entrance. Liberals down as winning Pittwater.
7.38pm. Liberals well ahead in Wollondilly but only 3.0 per cent counted.
7.38pm. Liberals home in Hawkesbury.
7.37pm. Liberals looking pretty good in Manly.
7.36pm. STILL no new results on the ABC site. Liberals apparently home in Pittwater.
7.34pm. Aggregate figures are interesting: Labor down 7.0 per cent on the primary vote with 12.7 per cent counted, although there are a lot of rural booths here and it has been coming down.
7.33pm. Labor doing better than expected in Newcastle, but preferences are wildly unpredictable.
7.32pm. Turns out you can see booth results on the NSWEC site by clicking on “Election Night” on the electorate page.
7.26pm. Nationals chap (only listening, couldn’t see who it was) disagrees with Antony, talking of “a lot of seats that are coming across”. But he might be seeing a better performance from the Nationals than the Liberals, consistent with the Victorian election.
7.24pm. Sky News says the Nationals are well ahead in Monaro, though only from 2 per cent of the vote.
7.23pm. “No signs of Labor losing any seats at all, says Antony, whose figures are half an hour ahead of anything I have access to.
7.22pm. “Menai looking better than Miranda”, says Barry O’Farrell. Antony calls the election. Says Labor have lost Tweed, which is the first I have heard of this. Curse you, Charles Richardson …
7.21pm. Still no new results on the ABC site. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the fault of the NSWEC XML feed? If so, they are doing an extremely poor job.
7.20pm. Labor in front in Miranda.
7.19pm. With 10 per cent counted, Pru Goward looks to be in trouble; but this is from Goulburn. I expect the northern areas to do better for her, and ABC talking heads concur. But a downcast Barry O’Farrell is talking of disappointing results at the other end of the seat. This is a big surprise for me.
7.19pm. Peter Blackmore looking very good in Maitland from about 4 per cent of the vote.
7.18pm. First booth in Pittwater has a massive Liberal primary vote; God knows where it is.
7.17pm. Nick Greiner says a booth in Miranda shows an 8 per cent swing with a “good” preference flow and high rate of Greens exhaustion, suggesting a close result perhaps favouring Liberal.
7.15pm. John Gatfield on Sky News is talking about Liberal confidence in Pittwater and a better than expected performance in the Hunter Valley.
7.14pm. Adam Carr hears the Greens are not as doing as well in Balmain as the first booth suggested.
7.13pm. Listening to Sky News now. Liberals looking very good in Miranda; 49.1 per cent on the primary vote from 5.9 per cent.
7.12pm. Slender lead to the Nationals in Tamworth, according to the ABC computer. Primary figures looked okay for the independent though.
7.10pm. Looks like the NSWEC have a slow-updating XML feed, and a website that doesn’t give booth results. The only way of knowing what’s going on is to watch ABC TV.
7.09pm. Chris Hartcher looking okay in Terrigal.
7.08pm. ABC site hasn’t updated for a while; I gather the XML feed is updating in fits and starts.
7.06pm. Early figures from Balmain looking almost interesting for the Greens, though we’ve been here before.
7.04pm. Very early booth in Hawkesbury has Pringle better than I would have expected.
7.02pm. As always, the first booths to come in have mostly been small rural ones; they point to swings to the Nationals in the 3 per cent to 4 per cent range.
7.01pm. Small early swing to the Nationals in independent-held Dubbo; on this indication, it should be close.
6.59pm. Apparently Antony said Labor looking good in Monaro.
6.58pm. Someone on Sky News was talking up Orange. God knows why; Nationals looking safe from independent John Davis.
6.57pm. The Murray-Darling swing to the Nationals is 16.1 per cent, though only from 1.5 per cent. “No particular swing in Lismore”; yeah, Labor looking okay in Bathurst.
6.56pm. General early impression is of small swings, consistent with the exit poll.
6.55pm. Also looking better for Labor in Bathurst.
6.54pm. Looking better for Peter Draper in Tamworth now.
6.53pm. Antony Green has called The Entrance for Labor. Slowly getting back into the loop here …
6.52pm. Sorry, offline for a while there.
6.50pm. Early figures from Murray-Darling look very good for the Nationals.
6.48pm. First very small booth in Camden has the Liberals slightly ahead – I’m just seeing this from Sky News though and it might be a raw figure.
6.44pm. Stephen Loosley talking about losing five seats on Sky News.
6.43pm. First booth in from Tweed, worth 0.9 per cent, shows 6 per cent swing to the Nationals, enough to cost Labor the seat.
6.39pm. Early swing to the Nationals in independent-held Tamworth. Most of the other seats with results in are not of interest.
6.37pm. A very early result from Murray-Darling shows a very small swing, enough to make it lineball.. Labor guy not sounding optimistic.
6.36pm. Antony discussing Goulburn on ABC TV. One very small booth in, and a great result for Pru Goward. Their Liberal talking head (can’t see him) saying another booth is also good. I can’t say I’m surprised.
6.33pm. ABC2 no good to me in Perth – apparently it’s delayed two hours, like everything else they broadcast. But as Adam tells us in comments, you can see it online here.
6.30pm. Bloody hell, no individual booth results from the NSWEC. There’s a tiny country booth in from Murrumbidgee, but no way of knowing which one.
5.38pm. The poll covered Oatley, Riverstone, Wyong, Londonderry, The Entrance, Miranda, Menai, Camden, Port Stephens, Monaro, Tweed and Penrith. The Coalition would have wanted to be looking at a 54-46 lead here to be on the track for a majority, but it’s actually the other way round. The primary vote was Labor 46 per cent, Coalition 41.1 per cent, which sounds disappointing from the perspective of the non-major parties.
5.30pm. Hawker Britton exit poll announced on Sky News, based on polling in 12 key seats, says a 5 per cent swing against Labor.