Photo finish: Dickson

This post will not be further updated. Results below are not final. For up-to-date results visit the AEC’s Virtual Tally Room site.

2007 2004
Booths 34,395
Pre-Poll 1,916
Absent 3,025
Postal 2,240
Provisional 37
Total 41,613 49.87 41,834 50.13 31,258 40.90 45,170 59.10 8.97
ALP (adjusted) 49.9
LIB (adjusted) 50.1

Sunday evening. Dickson was being called for Labor on election night, but Liberal member Peter Dutton is not out of the hunt yet. The counting of just over 2000 pre-poll votes has cut the Labor lead from 466 votes to 389.

Monday 11pm. No more votes added at this stage, but I’ve done a table providing vote estimates by type of vote. This indicates that Labor has had a below-par swing on pre-polls so far, but this might be to do with the location of the pre-poll centres that have been counted.

Tuesday 5pm. Peter Dutton has made up 112 votes with the counting of 1478 postals, breaking 795-683 in his favour and cutting the Labor lead to 232 votes. So far both pre-polls and postals are swinging beneath the 9.1 per cent margin.

Tuesday 11pm. Dutton has now hit the lead after receiving another fillip from 1478 postal votes, which have favoured him 862-616.

Wednesday 6pm. Another 1661 postal votes have behaved much like the last batch, going 953-708 Dutton’s way and increasing his vote from 14 votes to 259.

Wednesday 11pm. Another batch of votes where the swing to Labor was nothing like as big as in the booths: 1064 absent votes that have split 542-522 to Dutton, boosting his lead to 268.

Thursday 6pm. First good news in a while for Labor’s Fiona McNamara, with 1226 extra absent votes breaking 647-579 her way. This narrows the gap from 268 to 211. Reportedly still to come are 4000 more absents, which is good news for McNamara, and 1000 pre-polls and 600 postals, which is good news for Dutton.

Friday 3pm. Another 2851 absent votes have boosted McNamara a further 71 votes, cutting the lead to 141.

Friday 10pm. A further 982 pre-polls has bucked the earlier pre-poll trend and cut the Liberal lead by 29 votes. There has also been slight alterations in the booth counts, which taken together leave Dutton with a lead of just 106. Provided there aren’t too many other votes to come, which it doesn’t look there will be, provisionals just might be enough to close the gap.

Monday 3pm. A double dose of good news for Dutton: a further 765 absent votes have gone against their earlier trend to boost his lead by 21 votes, while 487 pre-polls have added 33. That puts his lead at 160.

Monday 8pm. Another 392 postal votes have gone 208-184 Dutton’s way. Adjustments to ordinary votes have added six for Dutton and 10 for McNamara. Dutton now leads by 188.

Wednesday 8pm. An extra 244 pre-polls, 53 postals and 35 absents have each given Dutton a small boost, totalling 40 in all, while gaining another three for good measure from booth re-checking. Provisional votes have favoured McNamara 37-31. Dutton now leads by 231, with only a few hundred absent votes to come.

Friday 9pm. Turns out there weren’t so many absent votes to come. After a small trickle of postals, absents and pre-polls, the AEC’s declaration vote scrutiny progress has all votes accounted for, leaving Dutton 221 ahead. This post is now closing for business.

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.

42 comments on “Photo finish: Dickson”

  1. It is a very tight race. If Dutton wins, it is going to be a very uncomfortable 3 years in what could be one of the most marginal seats in the country.

    Personally I hope they send him packing.

  2. why do you hope he loses? obviously frightened about the propsect of so much talent on the opposition benches

    if he does lose, hopefully somylay and/or slipper do the most useful thing either of them have done in their entire parliamentary careers and make way for dutton and brough

  3. I remember Dutton’s spiteful comments about Kernot,when he defeated her.I was never a supporter of Kernot,but she deserved a little graciousness on her defeat.He gave her nothing but bile.
    I hope he goes DOWN!!!!!!!!

  4. AEC now showing:
    D’ATH, Yvette Australian Labor Party 36,045 52.30
    GAMBARO, Teresa Liberal 32,873 47.70

    Which is a big change. However, these percentages not showing as updated on Closest Seats page.

  5. Alphacoward, the pre-poll swing they are giving is Dutton’s 2007 vote minus zero, because no 2004 figure exists to subtract from his current vote to produce a swing. Essentially the AEC has erred in extending its swing calculation formula below the point at which the polling booth figures stop.

  6. Do any of you that are ‘really, really hoping’ Peter Dutton loses even live in Dickson? If you do it suprises me that you can be so Labour biased that you cannot even give due to a representative who has done great things for this district over the past 6yrs. It’s sad really to be so sucked in by a media frenzy that you would target any person – despite talent or dedication – connected to the coalition as an easy target for basic, low-brow negativity. I guess it is easy to gloat and be vicious now that you feel validated in the polls.

  7. Well Sandi, I don’t live anywhere near Dickson but I’ve been interested in the seat since prior to the election when it looked like it may fall to Labor. Dutton comes across as an ex elite private school boy who’se full of himself and obviously from the far right of the Liberal Party. He reminds me alot of Ross Cameron, former member of Parramatta who I can’t stand and was ever so pleased to see go in 2004 against the trend. Dutton and his kind are unrepresentative of the broader Australian community. It is time for him and his ex-elite private school boy mates to enter the corporate world of pretensiousness where they belong.

    I think those of us from the reasonable end of the political spectrum have had enough over the past 11 & 1/2 of viciousness and gloating from the other side that we deserve to give a bit back. But the difference is, we will get over it shortly and move on.

  8. Sandi – i have lived and still do live in Dickson, and have observed Dutton over many years.
    He is the worst of the worst. I have a lot of time for some liberals such as mal brough and joe hockey – who are respectful and polite. But watching Dutton, who has done nothing for the pine rivers and esk communities, get on his high horse, especially his thuggish behaviour towards bob brown and other antiware protestors during the iraq war, was enough to make wish for his loss.

  9. I don’t live in Dickson, but live next door. Dutton is a clown. He has spent most of his time trying to get the state’s double jeopardy laws changed and playing up the fact that he was ex policeman.

    I would love to see him go under.

    The people of Dickson are going to be a lot better off being a marginal govt seat.

  10. This will come down to the absentees. Dutton will pull further ahead on the rest of the postals.

    It will depend on whether the absentees reflect the booth results and whether there are enough to peg back whatever postal lead Dutton amasses.

  11. I really hope Dutton goes down. I have followed his career closely from a distance and I do find him to be one of the most repulsive MPs in the Liberal Party room -and that’s saying something.

    The fact that he’s edging ahead in the count does not look good though

  12. looking at the primaries where Dutton leads by 1800, and there are 4400 Green votes, 600 Dem votes and 1800 FF votes, there must be substantial leakage from the green vote to give Dutton the lead

  13. Dutton should run for Deputy. He is bright and quick and given half a chance will wipe the floor with the Kevinator’s light-weight front bench.

  14. According to the AEC they have counted the bulk of Pre-poll and postal’s for Dickson .. hardly any of the absent votes.

    Left to count (of what’s recieved) are 5069 absent, 954 Pre-poll and 601 Postal (they split for Dutton in 04 : 48%, 54% and 56% respectively). Counted out at those splits would recover 54 votes for the ALP .. not enough given Dutton’s current lead of 268.

    However, this election (as you’d assume) the splits so far are 45% for absent, 49% for Pre-poll and 54% for Postal.

    Extrapolating those figures gives a vote turn around of 478.

    I think Dutton only overtook Fiona because they counted a large batch of Postal’s first.

  15. Dutton 200 in front.

    McNamara 51-49 on Absents. If there are 5000, then its going down to the wire.

    I’m hoping a couple of bundle of 50’s have been put on the wrong pile.

  16. The percentage of postal votes going to Dutton is 6.85% higher than the average and Dutton says that he is quietly confident that postal votes will get him over the line.

    Postal votes in adjoining seats which had sitting Lib members are between 5% and 6% – yet in seats which had sitting ALP members there was less than 1% variance.

    What can this mean?

  17. AEC update, Dec 3rd, 12:25 pm

    Dutton (Liberal) now leading by 127 (up 21 from 106).

    This increase from counting of another 765 absent votes which split 393:372 to Dutton. This was against the trend of previous counting of absent votes which have slightly favoured McNamara.

    I would really like to see the process around postal votes cleaned up. These have heavily favoured Dutton. Perhaps a formal inquiry?

  18. Well it was a good ride while it lasted.

    Still, it would’ve been good for Dutton to get one more bad news phone call telling him the morning batch of absentees had cut his lead further.

  19. I would like to see random checks of postal votes. People don’t have to say how they voted – just visit them at the registered and/or requested address and check that the postalvoters actually requested the postal vote, received it, voted and posted the form back to the AEC themselves.

    How easy would it be to apply and vote on behalf of people who had died but whose names hadn’t been removed from the roll?

  20. lets do it for every seat in the nation and we might even overturn the election in 2010. May be you can bank roll it too

    If I was Kevin Rudd, that would be the first thing I do when I am in Parliament …. you are a genius

  21. You don’t need to do it for every seat – just those that show postal votes that give vastly different results to the other methods of voting in the same electorate.

    Can anyone give a plausible reason why postal votes should vary from the overall vote in Dickson by such a degree?

  22. YOu are all paranoid, tyhe only reason postals favour the liberal party is due to only peiople wqho dont like leaving their homes who use them, (ie old people, also known as the only demographic that didnt swing strongly to rudd, and in rural seats farmers.)

    Plus most people who voted by post, voted before the lindsay flyer incident, when opinion had finally begun to trend to the liberals.

    another point, people who care about voting request postals, and because they care about their country, and think clearly about the future they vote liberal

    any of these points could explain the postal trend

  23. Not paranoid at all – just asking questions that should be asked.

    Your points don’t explain anything at all.

    People request postal votes for sorts of reasons – like travelling, work reasons, illness/incapacity (people of all ages and political persuasions get ill and have accidents), family commitments, etc. The rural factor also doesn’t fit in Dickson – or in Bennelong or Wentworth which had similar patterns.

    The Lindsay flyer incident wouldn’t have made any difference to undecided voters in Dickson. It’s a long way away.

    As for your third paragraph, people who care about their country and think clearly might vote – but who they vote for is a matter of opinion. Some would say they vote Liberal, others would say ALP, others would say Green.

    So, any plausible reasons?

  24. from a Bowman interloper – the major parties work hard to maximise these votes by making sure they get to them first either by past knowledge or an early all electorate direct mail and other targeted mail. Once you know someone has requested a postal vote you can target them with your how to vote (remember the other side doesn’t know that a postal vote has been requested) and its not likely they will them vote for your opposition.
    All that being said large variations from the general trend in an electorate is worth investigating, even if only from a psephological viewpoint

  25. what? living there for 17 years is an interloper?? how long has laming resided there ? lets continue this discussion on the Bowman blog and not bother the dicksonites

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