Photo finishes (lower house) – take two

NOTE: I’m reposting this in the hope the thread in the hope it might be used specifically for commenting on the results. More general discussion can be directed to the other threads.

EXPLANATORY NOTE: Assuming no late-count surprises (which do happen), Labor needs to win four out of these five to be in a position to form a majority if John Bowler and Carol Adams support them. Morley might be a wild card, as it is probable that absent, pre-poll and postal preferences are behaving differently to the booth votes.

Riverton 8002 8034 16036 9247 9297 18544
Wanneroo 7299 7293 14592 10044* 10170* 20214
Albany 8182 8065 16247 9169 9096 18265
Forrestfield 8177 7935 16112 9307 9192 18499
Collie-Preston 8299 7883 16182 9499* 9120* 18619
* Projected vote used as two-party count progress is significantly behind primary count

Tuesday 11pm. The West Australian provides “how the parties are tallying the votes” figures from both parties. Shtuwang’s figures are the Labor ones: the Liberals think themselves 99 rather than 73 behind in Albany, 112 rather than 115 behind in Forrestfield, 29 rather than 50 ahead in Riverton and 89 rather than 93 ahead in Wanneroo. Liberals only 20 votes behind in Alfred Cove.

Tuesday 6.30pm. More count updates from Shtuwang included in the table above (the ones without asterisks). The Liberal lead in Morley has narrowed from 523 to 396 since the close of count on Saturday.

Tuesday 5pm. Shtuwang in comments says Labor leads by 151 (8673 to 8522) in Forrestfield, although this doesn’t account for the 18,444 primary votes in the count.

Tuesday 4pm. The trend seems to be running to Labor in Riverton and to Liberal elsewhere, although progress is painfully slow. Labor has had a very bad batch of 285 votes in Forrestfield go 134 Liberal and 77 Labor on the primary vote – I have their lead at 186, but apparently it’s narrower than that. The addition of 246 votes in Riverton gives McRae 116 primary votes against 90 for Nahan. My preference calculation gives Labor a slight lead, but my sources tell me they are in fact 50 votes behind. Only 156 votes added in Albany, producing essentially no change. 277 votes in Wanneroo include 134 Liberal and 99 Labor: Liberal candidate Paul Miles all but claimed victory today. Labor leads by 379 in Collie-Preston. For some reason a lot of seats have reset their absent counts to zero and started again: where applicable I am using the older figures. I am told rechecking of ballot booth votes will not be conducted until the weekend, whereas it is normally the first order of business.

Tuesday 2am. The West Australian reports a “notional two-party preferred count (which the WAEC apparently isn’t providing us with) shows Labor 57 votes behind in Wanneroo, 111 ahead in Albany, 165 ahead in Forrestfield and literally dead level in Riverton.

Monday 11pm. I’ve changed my way of doing this, so the results have been knocked about a little. To clarify: the columns on the left show the notional two-party counts from the close of election night, which disappointingly will not be further updated by the WAEC. The columns on the right convert the latest figures using the preference ratios from the notional count, notwithstanding that these might not be entirely accurate. Changes in Riverton since election night: Labor down 0.11 per cent to 40.18 per cent; Liberal down 0.19 per cent to 41.53 per cent; Greens up 0.21 per cent to 10.24 per cent.

Monday 4.30pm. 807 new votes in Wanneroo break almost exactly evenly; 619 votes in Collie-Preston narrow the margin by about 35 votes.

1.30pm Monday. New primary votes added (table above not updated). In Riverton, 603 votes likely to split 312-291 to Labor. In Wanneroo, 837 votes to split about 460-413 to Liberal; in Albany, 337 votes to split 177-160 to Liberal; in Forrestfield, 391 votes to split 208-183 to Liberal.

3pm Sunday. This post will be used to follow developments in the late count. Labor can still form a minority government if it wins four out of the above five seats, remembering that in 2005 they generally did about 2 per cent worse on absent and postal votes than on booth votes. Going on the 2005 result we could expect each to seat to have about 400 postal and 2000 absent votes outstanding, although I hear there was an unusually high number of absent votes due to confusion over the new boundaries.

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.

602 comments on “Photo finishes (lower house) – take two”

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  1. 10pse, for the Nats to achieve a 2% swing overall and overtake the Libs, means a +10% swing in the remaining roughly 2700 votes that (we can assume) will go to either Libs or Nats…

  2. The Liberals, as they have done in every election. As William has pointed out.

    More than enough to hold this gain.

    I suspect Cautious and Sniff put everything on the table for the chance to govern again today.

  3. ah that makes more sense…

    you may be right… they may not make up the 200 votes to overtake… equally the Libs may not close the gap to Labor even if they stay ahead of the Nats… I was just pointing out that North West is not as certain as people think. Particularly as the 2pp notional on the website is not necessarily right anyway…. seems very odd distribution of preferences. but we will all see in the days ahead

  4. Glen,
    That’s true, but we still don’t know what proportion of pre-polls and postals will go to D’Orazio, and whether those that do will ultimately flow to Whitby or Britza.

  5. Glen, thus far that is not the case. Whitby already has a lead on the postals and the preferences from the other candidates cannot be accurately predicted at this stage. Also, it would be prudent to remember there are 17% electors from maylands and 19% from yokine in Morley now, the absentee votes from these typically Labor seats may well flow heavily to Whitby

  6. Anyway, I guess my point is if Fullarton voters preference Labor or Greens, Nat preferences are barely required anyway if at all, and even 100% of them couldn’t give the Libs a win in North West…

  7. one other interesting point – i dont see why people are so confident labor will retain albany.

    on the notional 2pp the lead pre today was 117 votes (0.35%).

    and prefs were running about 60/40 to Libs.

    based on today’s count, despite higher total vote, the primary lead is marginally smaller…. once preferences are factored in, if u assume a similar ratio to that on election night the albany lead would be down to about 85-90 votes.

  8. Glen, thus far that is not the case. Whitby already has a lead on the postals and the preferences from the other candidates cannot be accurately predicted at this stage. Also, it would be prudent to remember there are 17% electors from maylands and 19% from yokine in Morley now, the absentee votes from these typically Labor seats may well flow heavily to Whitby

    And as I noted before, the Bulk of the old Ballajura which included D’Orazio’s powerbase of support and Branches have now moved to West Swan.

  9. Vitap. I agree, even though I think its still likely the Libs will win Morley, I still consider Labor a half decent chance, especially the D’Orazio voters who werent able to have a HTV card when voting by absentee at nearby booths. Most would flow to Labor.

  10. having said that, if Morley does fall liberal its Libs/Nats by 1 seat, and about 10 votes. Literally the skin of their teeth.

  11. Average Joe,
    No, William’s analysis at the top of the page assumes a Liberal victory in Morley. So, if the Liberals do win Morley then the ALP needs four out of the five listed in this post.

    If the ALP wins Morley then the ALP needs three out of the five on this page.

  12. The absentee line at the Venville Centre, Maylands was out the door. Very quick for Maylands voters – no queue.

    I wonder how big the absentee vote was in areas where the Targa West Rally took place ?

  13. I think some of the comments re the WAEC here are unfair. In Nedlands, the WAEC – like the AEC in Federal elections – makes a guess about which 2 candidates will be the final two. They then do a preliminary 2PP distribution based on this. If this turns out to be incorrect, it is not their fault that what everyone expected to happen didn’t happen.

    Someone else commented that WAEC were basically responsible for comments made by TV presenters which are conclusions. The WAEC provides the figures and the commentators use them.

    THe ABC computer and dare I say it, Saint Antony of the Split Booth, for having a programme that was way too early to call some of these seats. At times, it was like watching Florida in 2000. They were calling seats too early in the call.

    I was listening on radio and following on the net and the WAEC figures were way ahead of the ABC figures at all times. Usually they are very similar but not on Saturday.

    It seems as though we all expect elections to be counted straight away. The Federal election result was clear on the night but the counting was not until 10 days later. This is the same here. All the booth votes are counted on the night, but the 1000s of non-booth votes are counted later. It is only because the election is so close that now (less than 2 days after voting ended) we think that there is something wrong with the process.

  14. Just on Collie Preston – the trend on primaries suggests this one is closing up too.

    The notional 2pp pre today was about 460 vote lead.

    Based on changes in 2pp percentages that could already be down to about 375

  15. William, in your post you mentioned late-count surprises. is reporting that Stephen Smith (who apparently as Foreign Affairs Minister has plenty of time on his hands) has uncovered an error in the WAEC’s data in North-West which would put that seat back in Labor’s hands

  16. The Electoral Commissioner says the North West turnaround was not an “error in the data” – it was one late-reporting booth that turned the result around. Though I concur with those who suggest it’s conceivable the Nationals could beat Labor on preferences if they get ahead of the Liberals, unless those with knowledge of the preference count know better.

  17. There was a big absent vote in Cannington at Seven Oaks – they ran out of envelopes at about 1pm. I can only assume that would be riverton and belmont voters.

  18. There still seem to be a substantial number of seats that could change hands depending on how strong Greens preferences flow to Labor. This is how I see it:

    Pilbara: An outside chance, but if the Nationals stay ahead of the Liberals, which is quite possible, and receive 50% of Greens preferences, they may well be able to snatch the seat. An open Greens ticket should help them.

    Wanneroo: Liberal party should win this one after postals etc.

    Southern River: Almost certainly a Liberal win

    Riverton: Hangs in the balance. Liberal party by the skin of their teeth.

    North-West: If the Nationals overtake the Libertals (needing about 140 votes to go their way) they should get elected on the back of Liberal preferences. Will depend on how independent preferences are directed.

    Morley: Liberals are ahead on D’Orazio preferences, but hey, anything could happen. Except the Godfather winning.

    Jandakot: A Liberal win almost certainly

    Forrestfield: A close one, Labor might just beable to stay ahead

    Eyre: Could in theory fall the Nationals way, but the Liberal primary vote is almost certainly too high

    Collie-Preston: One for the ALP I think

    Nedlands: Despite the strong Libs vote, Walker’s still in the hunt. If enough Green and minor party preferences leak to her, she can stay ahead of Labor and win the seat. I must say I hope she does – the Libs are desperately in need of lawyers.

    Alfred Cove: Greens preferences will probably flow strongly to Woollard and keep her ahead of the Labor candidate, meaning we shall have to put up with her for another term. Hopefully she won’t become speaker…

  19. Seven Oaks i think is normally about 60/40. I voted there because its near Carousel and you can only assume a few other people did too.

  20. Hi all,

    This is very, very interesting. I do believe that this whichever way things fall, it will be the first minority Government in WA history (at least since the two-party system firmed up).

    Quite frankly, I’m not sure I’d want the Premier’s seat right now.

    If I was Barnett, I’d take the pats on the back for achieving the nearly-impossible, start thinking, and realise that even with Nat support, governing is difficult. ABC projects 19 + 1 “in doubt” (Albany, which they will probably lose) + 3 Indie (Constable, Woollard and Walker) + 3 “Libs ahead” (Morley, Riverton and Southern River) makes 26. Add the Nats 4 and this becomes 30 – with much stretching. But even this number is high, because Albany is, ATM, significantly ALP in front, and while Woollard and Constable can probably be relied on the vote Lib on the floor, Walker is a question-mark due to the circumstances under which she left the party. Even assuming that Diane Guise becomes a casualty in Wanneroo (higly likely), this still leaves a Premier Barnett scrabbling for votes. Add to this the twin facts that he wants to retire and that he, personally, does not get along with the National Party (remember the Court Government, anyone?), and you have the makings of a very unpleasant (and probably very short) Premiership, ended by an equally unpleasant confidence vote.

    On the other side of the equation, there’s no questioning that Carps is now badly damaged goods. If he had a gram of sense, he’d resign as leader, resign his seat, and recommend to the ALP that they clean out their frontbench – Ripper, McGinty, Logan and Roberts in particular, but certainly the others aren’t far behind. Even if the ALP keeps all 25 of “their” seats that the ABC calculator gives them, and adds the 4 seats in which they are presently in front (not good, as Guise is unlikely to survive in Wanneroo, and Adams will probably win Kwinana), that still leaves them begging for Indie votes on the floor, or Nats support. Given the likely losses of Wanneroo and Kwinana, that leaves the ALP with 27 seats, and reliant on either 3 indies or the Nats. Not a comfy situation, and not one which I think Ripper (for example) will be able to handle, given the 8 years of absolute majorities they’ve enjoyed.

    Further, given the likely downturn of the WA economy, it is a bad time to be in government (and hence accountable for the problems), esp. when the real economic power is in Rudd’s hands in Canberra.

  21. i think if walker did win she would be fine for the libs she is good friends with colin and she will demand and proably get attorney general then christan might end up as education minister or even take sniff’s job

  22. southernboy #94

    Perhaps – all I’m saying is that she’d have to be tempted to play hardball with the Libs after all that’s happened.

  23. Sniff will be treasurer in a Lib administration, he’s competent at what he does, he just likes a whiff now and again. Walker wont win and i dunno if she’ll back Colin when he’s put Sniff in such an important role.

    The way to stop this is make Sniff leave the room first.

  24. Glen: surely even a proud conservative as yourself would concede Troy Buswell shouldn’t be in anyone’s cabinet! His behaviour disqualifies him from any sort of high office(and I’d say the same if he was a Labor Party member).

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