NSW by-elections live

7.51pm. The NSWEC has all but a few booths in from Port Macquarie, and you can now clearly call it for Peter Besseling, who leads the Nationals candidate 36.8 per cent to 31.9 per cent. Elsewhere it’s clear the results are as expected: a big win for the Liberals in Ryde, and narrower wins for Labor in Cabramatta and Lakemba following swings of over 20 per cent.

7.30pm. With 22.4 per cent counted, Besseling 37.6 per cent and Nationals 31.9 per cent, so Besseling home and hosed unless these are very good Nationals booths outstanding.

7.26pm. Labor’s lead now up to 5.7 per cent in Cabramatta according to the ABC. Still no actual prefernece counts in yet.

7.24pm. Seven booths out of 21 counted on the primary vote in Ryde, and that Taverner poll is looking good: Liberal on 62 per cent of the two-party vote.

7.23pm. ABC computer has Besseling leading by 1.2 per cent in Port Macquarie, but with no notional preference counts in yet this is based on assumptions about preferences.

7.21pm. The ABC computer is now up to speed on the Cabramatta count: Labor is facing a 24 per cent swing, but that leaves them with 5 per cent to spare.

7.14pm. No real trouble for Labor in Lakemba, with 59.2 per cent after a third of the booths counted.

7.11pm. NSWEC has eight booths counted in Cabramatta, Labor leading 48.0 per cent to 40.4 per cent, so Nick Lalich is not actually in trouble. Liberals on 54.9 per cent in Ryde with over a third of the booths counted, so an obvious win for them there.

7.08pm. Comments tells me Cabramatta “tightening”, but ABC computer still only has one booth. NSWEC website most unwieldy (PDFs? Come on …).

7.00pm. Nine booths in and 6 per cent counted in Port Macquarie, and looking ominous for the Nationals, who trail Besseling 35.0 per cent to 32.9 per cent on the primary vote. Still nothing from Ryde.

6.55pm. Labor looking at an ugly swing in Cabramatta of over 20 per cent, but not enough to cost them the seat.

6.50pm. Commenter Oakeshott Country, who knows his Port Macquarie onions backwards, says the three small booths in so far suggest a very close result between the Nationals candidate Leslie Williams and independent Peter Besseling.

6.42pm. Riverwood booth in from Lakemba. Labor vote on 55.3 per cent, which suggests a 20 per cent drop.

6.20pm. Booths closed 20 minutes ago. First results should be in shortly.

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.

206 comments on “NSW by-elections live”

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  1. [ how many seats do the ALP need to lose to lose marjority Government status. ]

    Not 15 seats – before this lot (ie: 2007 election), ALP had 52 out of 93 seats (Lib/Nat 35 and Ind 6) – majority is 47. If Port Mac stays independent and Lakemba and Cabramatta stay Labor, it’s only Ryde that’s changing, so it’s now 51/36/6. They’d need to lose another 5 seats to lose majority. That’d be interesting if that happened, considering one of the independents is the Speaker…

  2. Preference votes are in for 5000 votes in PM Beeseling 55% nats 45% exhausted about 14%. PM people aren’t as easily fooled as some people think

  3. Magpiepete,

    My comment was tongue in cheek.

    It does have a precedent though. In 1988, the newly elected Greiner Government cancelled the Maldon to Port Kembla railway. At that time the project was 60% complete. I’ve heard that the cost of paying out the contractors was more than it would have cost to complete the railway.
    BTW the Chief of Staff to Transport Minister at that time is the same bloke who lead the campaign against building the Epping to Chatwood Railway.

  4. Here’s the ones I can find under 5% for Labor…

    Wollondilly 3.3%
    Balmain 3.7% vs Greens
    Gosford 4.9%
    Camden 3.9%
    Menai 2.7%
    Miranda 0.8%
    Maitland 2.0% vs Ind

    I suppose you could add Cabramatta to that list now, although if it hasn’t gone Liberal now it certainly won’t in 2011. At least, not if Bass Hill / Rockdale are any guide.

  5. Other seats in the same ball park as Ryde (or less) against the Liberals:
    Western Sydney: Mulgoa, Londonderry, Riverstone, Penrith
    Central Coast: Gosford, Wyong
    Hunter: Charlestown; Swansea
    Sutherland: Heathcote
    Inner-Sydney Seats: Coogee, Drummoyne, Rockdale

    There is also Monaro but historically this is a ALP-NAT contest.

  6. Thanks Bird of Paradox.

    So from that list the ALP still have some safety in its margins keeping in mind marginal seats tend to be closer due to be the centre of the campaign.

    Wollondilly 3.3%
    Balmain 3.7% vs Greens
    Gosford 4.9%
    Camden 3.9%
    Menai 2.7%
    Miranda 0.8%
    Maitland 2.0% vs Ind

    I would Imagine the Greens are a real chance in Balmain, and the outer suburban seats would be a worry for the ALP and this will be highten if the Economy tanks and the cost of living continues to increase.

  7. [Rural areas have a long history of electing Independents]

    In NSW the Sydney metropolitan area has also elected quite a few independents over the last few decades.
    For example,
    Clover Moore – Bligh/Sydney since 1988
    North Shore – Ted Mack defeated Lib leader at 1981 election and held resigned in the early 1990s. He was then elected Federal MP for North Sydney
    The seat of Manly has been won by independents at 4 of the last 5 elections.

  8. I can see Western Sydney handing the Liberals government at the next election. With regards to Riverstone and Londonderry, I have some knowledge as I live in the Hawkebury. If this ill-will towards Labor continues to 2011 I can see Londonderry going. The only thing that might save Riverstone is the high profile of its sitting member.

  9. So not much change really after all the hooplah Labor lose 1, Coalition lose 1, Indepentant gain 1
    So much for the Telegraph’s hysterical forcast of 30% swings and Labor losing Cabramatta (still got about 15% margain)
    I mean to say you couldn’t get a govt more on the nose and more critisised by the media and yet O’Farrell’s opposition still manages to lose a seat LOL
    That’s made my night and I won $80 on the horses today!

  10. The Nationals are only on 31% that makes the result worst for if they polled mid forties and fell short you could argue that the Indpendent won on Preferences but too only poll 31% regardless of the number of candidates is a poor result.

    Even the ALP have outperformed that level of support in Sydney and they are said too be on the nose

  11. Grog! That may hurt the Nationals in Northern NSW but I’m not sure if that will hurt the Nationals in Victoria for Peter Ryan is doing a very good job.

  12. The ALP should go round to every Nats held seat (fed and state) and find a strong local personality to run as an independent.

    Grog dear boi what makes you think they don’t do that already?

  13. Well Besseling definitely had no public or private Labor support. In fact the only support he got from any political party was the Liberals. Both the local branch and MP’s.

  14. [pity the electors couldn’t have made their minds up to do so a year and a half ago!]

    The electors DID make their minds up a year and half ago. It’s a pity you don’t want to accept that decision!

  15. A-C and Itep

    It ain’t over until the Fat Barrel sings…

    I was at a booth this arvo with Brad Hazzard. Useless and ineffectual. The Lib booth workers were openly sniggering.

    And as for their thought on the current upper house leadershit errr… ship – well I was blushing.

  16. I preferenced Labor above Liberal in that election. Whilst I have no particular issues with the NSW Government the stench of death coming from them is unavoidable. In many ways it seems better to just get it over and done with sooner rather than later, and it seems silly that all of these people are suddenly changing their votes now when nothing has really changed. Rees is no worse than Iemma (yet), the Liberals have no substantially different policy positions than they did last year.

    If they were that dissatisfied with Labor (and polls indicated they were) they should’ve sucked it up and booted them out last year.

  17. The biggest thing stopping the Libs taking Government in NSW so far, is that their current members haven’t always done well campaigning outside their own seat.

    Seems that what appeals to preselectors and voters in some electorates is electoral poison in marginal seats. The Howard Government was successful in New South Wales because they played to the marginals, rather than the safe seats.

  18. Itep,

    Yeah, you’ve got to marvel at the stupidity of voters in retaining this absolute shambles of a government and voting to kick Howard out instead. Now they’re forced to live with this rabble for another 2.5 years.

  19. So the good news for the ALP tonight is that they still hold Cabramatta and Lakemba albeit with substantially reduced majorities.

    With that being the good news, I can understand why people are so excited that the National Party can’t win seats.

  20. A-C,
    Look on the bright side. Even though we are forced to live with the rabble for another 2.5 years. The rabble is in opposition and can’t cause too much damage!

  21. Well I’m certainly not going to argue in support of the Howard Government. But I think cases can always be made for the ‘refreshment’ of parties that are in power for too long. Let’s just say even half of a 20% swing would result in quite a bit of refreshing in 2011.

    Barry O’Farrell isn’t too repugnant either, but you’d imagine it’d be a good opportunity for the Liberals to actually start selling themselves now, rather than risk people looking at them in 3 years time and thinking there’s not much there to vote for.

    Hopefully the Rees Government will see the writing on the wall and set out to make some changes that, whilst unpopular overall, will be good for the State. Maybe then there’d be a few more positives to look back on.

  22. In Ryde most of the Lib pick up seems to come from their lickspittle running dogs who have persuaded not to show their faces this time: Petch, the God Botherers and people of Asian origin who want to get brownie points from the Liberals, Unity.

  23. “Our” ABC Talking up the Libs in the By-Election result.

    [Labor has suffered dramatic swings in today’s four New South Wales by-elections, losing its first state Sydney seat to the Liberals in 20 years.

    Liberal candidate Victor Dominello has secured the metropolitan Sydney seat of Ryde, showing a commanding lead with all of the primary votes counted.

    Mr Dominello had won a massive 22.9 per cent swing in former deputy premier John Watkins’ seat, as preferences were still being tallied at 8:35pm (AEDT).

    His Labor rival, Nicole Campbell, had won only 30.1 per cent of the primary votes in Ryde, which Mr Watkins retained at the last state election with a 10.1 per cent margin.]


  24. barry99 (62)

    If the aborted Maldon/ Port Kembla railway was 60% completed when Greiner pulled the plug, was it ever used and if so is it still in use today?

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