Penrith by-election live

UPDATE (FRIDAY): At a safe distance, here is my Crikey piece on the by-election which was originally subscriber only.

By-elections have been a feature of Australian political life since the first democratically elected colonial parliaments were established in the mid-nineteenth century.

Compiling a comprehensive set of historic by-election results at state as well as federal level would involve painstaking research through the archives of various electoral authorities and newspapers-of-record.

It is possible that, buried in some such dark and dusty place, there might be found details of a by-election defeat as bad for a major political party as the one suffered by New South Wales Labor in Penrith on Saturday.

However, the lack of any such precedent in recent memory, together with the trend towards greater electoral volatility over time, suggests it isn’t very likely.

We do know that Labor has suffered the worst by-election swing recorded in the long history of New South Wales, thanks to exhaustive historical results compiled for the New South Wales Parliamentary Library by Antony Green.

The closest historical parallels that spring to mind are indeed from the Premier State: Bass Hill in 1986, when Neville Wran’s previously safe seat fell to the Liberals upon his retirement, and — distressingly close at hand as far as the government is concerned — Ryde and Cabramatta just after Morris Iemma’s departure in September 2008.

With respective two-party swings of 22.2%, 22.9% and 22.0%, Penrith looks to have surpassed all three, recording an election night swing of 25.5%.

One result that has its measure is the 1991 by-election for Geraldton in Western Australia, held as Carmen Lawrence’s Labor government groaned under the weight of revelations from the WA Inc Royal Commission.

On that occasion Labor’s primary vote fell from 47.6% to 16.6%, while the combined Liberal and Nationals vote went from 43.5% to 66.5%. Labor finished third behind the Nationals and thus did not even make the final two-party cut, making it impossible to determine a two-party swing.

It might also be worth mentioning Labor’s forfeit last year in the Tasmanian upper house seat of Pembroke, which the party was too scared to contest after the resignation of its sitting member Allison Ritchie.

(It should be stressed that this is limited to two-party contests, and thus excludes the fairly common occurrence of major party support being gouged by the emergence of popular independents. And while I’m making asides, it’s interesting to note that the by-election hall of shame is dominated by Labor).

In Penrith, Labor finished the night on 24.4% of the primary vote, losing almost exactly half of their 48.7% from 2007.

Three-quarters of the dividend was collected by the Liberals, up from 32.6% to 50.9%, while the Greens vote more than doubled from 5.5% to a still quite modest (for a by-election) 12.8%.

While the result has never been in doubt since former member Karyn Paluzzano announced her resignation in May, Labor might initially have hoped for something a little less bruising.

At the time of the 2008 by-elections the then Premier, Nathan Rees, had a Newspoll approval rating of 39%, which — mediocre as it was — proved to be a honeymoon peak. It clearly says something very alarming about the state of the Labor brand that Kristina Keneally has been able to do even worse with an approval rating of 47%.

Several factors suggest themselves as explanations for Labor’s ability to plumb new depths, of which the most newsworthy is the decline in Labor’s federal fortunes since Ryde and Cabramatta. Evidence of Rudd Government policy failures feeding into a general questioning of Labor’s competence in the electorate might be anecdotal, but it’s substantial in volume.

Of course, those rushing to judgement on the Prime Minister need to recall that the by-election follows a horror stretch for the State Government, even by its own abysmal standards.

There is also reason to think Penrith was especially unfavourable terrain for Labor to face a by-election.

As the experience of the corresponding federal electoral of Lindsay has shown, this is an area of fickle political loyalties which never fails to jump on the bandwagon when a swing is on.

The electorate’s outer suburban location also places a premium on transport issues, with local voters having suffered the worst of freeway gridlocks and a creaking public transport system.

A somewhat more nuanced picture of the result can be gained by comparing the two distinct parts of the electorate: Penrith and its surrounds, which account for about 80% of the voters, and the very different electoral terrain of the Blue Mountains, which the electorate touches upon at Blaxland, Glenbrook and Lapstone.

Labor was hit hardest in the former, down by about 26% compared with 21% in the Blue Mountains, and the dividend there more heavily favoured the Liberals.

There have been suggestions the Greens could have hoped for more from a Labor collapse on this scale, but the distinction between the two areas suggests their failure to do so says as much about Penrith as the state of the parties at large.

Penrith boasts slightly above average incomes but below average educational attainment, making it weak territory for the Greens. By contrast, the Blue Mountains has almost double Penrith’s proportion of professionals, and is thus a lot more representative of the kinds of seats where the party will be hoping to defeat Labor.

It is thus highly significant that the Greens outpolled Labor in every one of the four Blue Mountains booths, polling a collective primary vote of over 23% compared with about 11% in and around Penrith.

Accordingly, the result holds little comfort for Labor in the Greens targets of Balmain and Marrickille, and suggests they will struggle to stay ahead of the Greens in the neighbouring seat of Blue Mountains — academic though that may be, given the near certainty of it falling to the Liberals.

And while federal implications of state by-elections should generally be treated with caution, the scale of the overall result gives Labor ample reason to be nervous not only Lindsay, but also the other nearby marginals of Macquarie and Macarthur.

UPDATE (MONDAY): I have a subscriber-only article on the by-election in Crikey today.

My earlier preference projections proved too optimistic for Labor: with all the two-party booth counts conducted, the swing at the close of play is 25.5 per cent. This is a result without any precedent I’m aware of, at least as far as two-party contests are concerned. The swings in Ryde (22.9 per cent) and Cabramatta (22.0 per cent) in September 2008 were presumed at the time to show Labor as low as they could go, but tonight’s result is measurably worse.

The result comes despite an improvement in Labor’s leadership position since September 2008 – at state level, at least. According to Newspoll, Nathan Rees achieved the earlier swings on a honeymoon approval rating of 39 per cent, while Kristina Keneally has suffered Penrith on 47 per cent. However, Kevin Rudd’s approval rating in that time has dropped from 54 per cent to 36 per cent. Talk of federal connections to state election results can usually be taken with a grain of salt, but in this case it’s hard to believe Labor’s federal collapse has played no role in giving state Labor new depths to plumb. It certainly doesn’t bode well for them in Lindsay.

Swing 2PP/Swing
Thain (ALP) 8200 24.4% -24.4% 33.7%
Wright (GRN) 4221 12.6% 7.3% -25.5%
Saunders 724 2.2%
Ayres (LIB) 17067 50.9% 18.3% 66.3%
Leyonhjelm (ORP) 638 1.9% 25.5%
Sanz (DEM) 297 0.9% 0.0%
Green (CDP) 1516 4.5% -1.8%
Selby (IND) 884 2.6%
Blaxland 20.4% 45.7% 37.3% -22.0%
Blaxland East 14.0% 51.8% 29.1% -21.9%
Braddock 29.4% 45.9% 41.2% -25.3%
Cranebrook 24.2% 52.2% 34.3% -28.4%
Emu Heights 23.0% 52.2% 33.4% -23.9%
Emu Plains 23.5% 55.6% 32.5% -20.8%
Glenbrook 15.9% 48.4% 33.1% -19.1%
Jamisontown 22.8% 52.7% 33.2% -27.5%
Kingswood 27.5% 43.7% 41.0% -26.1%
Kingswood Park 30.8% 46.7% 41.6% -25.3%
Kingswood South 29.2% 45.6% 40.7% -24.2%
Lapstone 16.0% 50.9% 32.4% -17.2%
Leonay 17.0% 65.2% 24.3% -20.4%
Nepean High 22.3% 55.5% 30.2% -25.4%
Penrith 27.9% 46.2% 40.0% -24.4%
Penrith North 28.2% 51.7% 37.9% -25.1%
Penrith South 27.8% 49.9% 37.8% -21.3%
Stuart Street 25.8% 51.2% 35.5% -19.1%
York 25.7% 53.0% 34.8% -25.5%

8.44pm. Penrith High is the final booth to report primary votes.

8.31pm. Kingswood Public School pushes swing up from 23.4 per cent to 23.6 per cent.

8.18pm. I suppose federal Labor can argue this result is no different from the Ryde by-election of September 2008, at which time it held an enormous lead in the polls – though I’m not sure how many will listen (it would be useful for them if late counting pulled the swing below 22.9 per cent). The riposte would be that Labor had a popular state leader this time and should have done better.

8.15pm. Labor haven’t come within cooee of winning a booth. The Greens have more than doubled their vote, but to still modest levels – Penrith not exactly being the latte belt. There’s a six point gap between the pro-Liberal and anti-Labor swings, which is reasonably good work for the Liberals.

8.12pm Jamistown Uniting Church Hall added. Two to go.

8.04pm. Cranebrook booth added – one of Labor’s worst results, but no real difference made.

8.02pm. So at this stage Labor seems to have suffered a slightly worse result than Ryde (22.9 per cent) and Cabramatta (22 per cent), and a good deal worse than Lakemba (13.5 per cent).

7.52pm. Another two booths added, five more go, and the swing continuing to settle at 23 per cent. I’m using real world 2PP figures now.

7.43pm. Jamistown Public and Penrith South results added. NSWEC link working now, BTW.

7.40pm. Three more booths including very large Jamison High School booth see the swing settle at about 23 per cent. Antony Green has 2PP counts and I don’t.

7.35pm. Stoopid NSW Electoral Commission PDF now points to wrong link.

7.33pm. Lapstone, Leonay and Emu Heights very slightly reduce the size of the swing.

7.31pm. St Dominic’s College booth added.
7.28pm. Kingswood Park booth keeps the picture consistent.

7.24pm. Blaxland High and Penrith PCYC booths very slightly improve the picture for Labor, the two-party swing now looking at 25 per cent. The Greens outpolled Labor at Blaxland High.

7.08pm. Preference distributions are guesses at this stage.

7.06pm. Swing of about 30 per cent against Labor at small Nepean Hospital – 267 votes all up. Not a good start for them, you would have to say.

6.15pm. Welcome to live coverage of tonight’s bloodbath in Penrith. I guess we should get first figures in about 20 minutes. In the meantime, enjoy this illuminating booth results map for the 2007 election.

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.

238 comments on “Penrith by-election live”

Comments Page 5 of 5
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  1. I declare mithrandir the best predictor, from the previous thread (s)he predicted:

    TPP: 58-42 to Libs.
    ALP: 32%
    Libs: 47%
    Greens: 14%
    Others: 7%

    Got the 2PP wrong and under-estimated the Other primary, but other than that, pretty good.

  2. Peter at 163:

    [ With a 24% 2PP margin in Heffron, a swing against her of Penrithian magnitude (25.5%) at the 2011 general election, will see her out job hunting. ]

    A couple of points which crash into each other:

    (a) It’s a by-election, there won’t be a 25% swing at the general election. However…

    (b) Heffron doesn’t need anywhere near a 25% swing to be lost by Labor. If their vote crashes by that much in that seat, they could end up third, with their preferences deciding it between the Greens and Libs (who both got about 20% in 2007). Their vote dropping by a much more believable amount puts it below 50%, and then it’s game on. With the coming apocalypse for Labor, I’d say Heffron is winnable by the Greens, although Labor would probably win it back in 2015.

    The Greens aren’t assured of taking out the premier next year, though, for a cynical reason. Who’s to say Keneally will have the job by then? 😉

  3. Kennelly just said on 10 news said the trouble with federal Labor is at least partly to blame for the Penrith result

  4. [I declare mithrandir the best predictor, from the previous thread (s)he predicted:

    TPP: 58-42 to Libs.
    ALP: 32%
    Libs: 47%
    Greens: 14%
    Others: 7%]

    No Supun47 at the start of this thread had the best prediction:

    [Im tipping

    Labor 24%
    Liberal 54.5%
    Greens 10.5%
    Others 11%

    Labor 34%
    Liberal 66%]

  5. #202 – Bird of paradox

    I agree with your comments whole-heartedly. I deliberately framed my post on the basis of a Lab vs Lib contest. Heffron is vulnerable to the Greens, although until the Penrith by-election result I didn’t seriously consider it as “in play”. NOW it clearly is.

    From the 2007 election first preference count was:-

    Keneally (Labor) 56.45%
    Liberal – 21.75%
    Greens – 19.65%
    Other – 2.14%

    Unfortunately, realistically the pre-conditions I see for a Greens win in Heffron in 2011 are:-
    a. Greens finishing 2nd to Labor on the first count, AND
    b. Liberals acting strategically and preferencing Greens instead of exhausting.

  6. More on the dirty tricks :-

    ” Meawhile, Ms Wright is angry a non-Greens pamphlet was handed out at polling booths yesterday telling people to vote for her first, then Labor second.
    The material was authorised by a Labor councillor who also authorised the ALP’s how-to-vote cards.
    Ms Wright says Labor did not ask for permission to use her name on the pamphlet and she is writing to the Electoral Commission about to matter.
    “I would have liked to be consulted because I think it is a Green grab. They are trying to get the Greens preferences without actually talking about it to anybody,” she said.

    Penrith result highlights Labor’s struggle

    It will be interesting to see what the Electoral Commissioner has to say in response to the complaint.

  7. I think Heffron will be similar to Coogee next door… something close to a three way tie, all parties between 30% and 40%. That sort of situation, who comes third would decide who wins, so it’s impossible to read. I would imagine the Greens are preparing for the campaign of a lifetime – if they win more seats than (the expected) Balmain and Marrickville, they’ll blow the system wide open and semi-permanently change the way politics works in NSW. For an example of the same thing, look at Qld… a decade later, the effects of One Nation winning big in just one election are still washing out of the system. That sort of thing could cripple NSW Labor for years, in the same way that the Qld LNP are a permanent disaster area even though they really shouldn’t be.

    Couple of other things I was thinking of at work tonight (yeah, my job is boring enough to ponder unrelated things): firstly, if Keneally loses Heffron, that’ll be in the case of such an extreme extermination of Labor that they possibly won’t even be able to be the official opposition. That’d be the Greens, considering if they won Heffron (it is still a long shot, although nothing in NSW surprises me any more) they’d have half a dozen seats, and… uhhh… so would Labor. Poor them. In any case, the opposition after the election is gonna look pretty strange.

    Secondly, one of the seats that I guess couldn’t possibly fall is Fairfield – that’s why Joe Tripodi is where he is. (I wonder where that guy actually lives.) After the slaughter, that dude ain’t hanging around to sob about no longer having Real Ultimate Power, so ➡ Fairfield by-election, sometime about May 2011. May be yet another opportunity for a new record for a by-election swing… then again, could be something like this. The SA seat of Torrens was safe for Labor apart from their greatest ever destruction in 1993, and only half a year later they won it back. There’ll be a few by-elections like that in 2011, and they’ll give a few hints to how Labor will do in 2015.

  8. Realistically, the state wide swing on election day will be more toward the 12-13% mark. The only reason the swing was so big was because it was a by-election. More specifically, the Liberals were campaigning on ending this tired old government, whereas Labor were trying to distance this from the gov and make it just about the cabinet. While still a huge defeat for the government, it will still eave them with about 24-26 seats. Most of their big hitters will stay (for better or worse) so it probably won’t be a “Labor is the 3rd party in NSW” situation.

    I think, if she survives, Keneally will probably stick on as leader. Labor will have some rebuilding to do and will require stability. Also potential future ALP premiers may think the leadership is a poisoned chalice after the defeat. Also the party may want to try and bank on Keneally not being that personally unpopular to help them.

  9. Don’t NSW have fixed terms?

    Yep, and at the request of the Premier the Governor can call an early election.

    Yes, in an emergency such as loss of confidence, failure of supply etc. Not when the Premier feels like it. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fixed terms.

    That or a vote of no confidence in parliament which Labor could also support.

    Pure bullshit. The governor can and will refuse an election request if it is an obviously manufactured emergency, such as Labor voting no confidence against itself.

    OK, imagine an alternative universe, where instead of Labor sinking in the polls, it is actually soaring to unprecedented highs. They know it’s just temporary and it might go down by next election. Would you support them pulling a “government with no confidence in itself” maneuver just to get an early election to take advantage of their high numbers? Of course you wouldn’t… So why is this legit? Unless you think there is a clause in the electoral acts that say “unless it benefits the Coalition.”

  10. The ALP in Penrith were actually handing out 4, yes four, different HTV’s

    Along with the 3 different officially endorsed ALP HTV’s,
    Labor party dirty tricks department posing as ‘Your Rights At Work’ were handing out HTV’s with ‘Your Rights At Work’ telling voters to vote ALP 1.

    4 different HTV’s is that a record?

  11. #208

    I respect your confidence in the ability of the Greens to substantially improve their vote in 2011. However, maybe it’s the pessimist in me, but I don’t share the same ebullient attitude to Heffron that you do. Greens campaigns depend on foot soldiers on the ground (c.f. the big 2 partys who just throw $’s at advertising). Both Marrickville and Balmain have dedicated, active and numerically strong groups. I’m not sure that applies in Heffron. The result in Penrith may offer incentive for progressive minded people in Heffron to jump on board, and my pessimism may be misplaced.

  12. I don’t know how well the greens will do in the lower house. They may make a few Labor candidates sweat but probably won’t convert it into seats. They will probably make a killing in the upper house though.

  13. #213

    I don’t “know” either. However, I am predicting the Greens will win Marrickville and Balmain. It seems they also have chances in Heffron and Coogee.

  14. Peter: I’m not going out of my way to be ebullient. Just figuring, if Keneally loses 12-15% of her primary vote (my pick for a NSW swing), she’d be getting uncomfortable no matter which way that swing goes, and it’s got to go somewhere. If it goes largely to the Greens (more likely in inner suburbs than outer suburbs – I think Heffron kinda straddles that divide), that’s worse for her; meanwhile, she could get a better result due to being personally popular, or a worse one due to not being so. I guess we have to wait and find out. Like I said, there’s half a dozen better chances for the Greens than Heffron, and half of them usually fall into the ‘you’re dreaming’ category. Next year, though, anything’s possible. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for anyone who isn’t Labor (or the CDP, the other party which went backwards yesterday), so I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a bandwagon building up a head of steam for the Greens.

    TSOP: I reckon the lower house will be better for the Greens than the upper, considering everything in the lower will be a breakthough win. The upper house is proportional, so it’s easier to read: two seats (status quo) should be a shoo-in, a third is possible (3 quotas = 13.6%), a fourth (4 quotas = 18.2%) is unlikely. My tip is three. Whatever they get, they’ll continue to share the balance of power and not much will change. Not knowing much about NSW microparties, my only prediction is that Gordon Moyes will hang in there.

  15. #215

    I think a swing “against” Labor of 10-15% is a fair enough assumption. So for Heffron, Keneally drops from 56 to say 41%. If it all goes to Greens (and none to Liberal) then Greens are 35% (20 + 15) and Libs are 21%. Greens can only win then if Libs don’t exhaust and preference Green. More likely the swing against Keneally will be shared between Libs and Greens. Greens need to get ahead of Libs to be a chance.

    However, if the swing against Keneally is 20%, then she is 36% and say Greens are 31% and Libs 30%, it creates an extremely interesing situation. If the whole 20% went to Greens, it would put them on 39% – and a certainty of winning the seat.

  16. PeterYoung @ 205
    […Liberals acting strategically and preferencing Greens instead of exhausting.]
    Are you expressing scepticisim that they would do so?

    If the choice were between Labor and Greens, wouldn’t Liberals chose to do more damage to their more likely durable competitor, Labor. If the Liberals are in this position in certain seats, this would tend to suggest that they would have a pretty comfortable lower house majority (so their “support” for the ideologically more distant Greens would have little practical impact).

    BoP @ 208
    […they’ll blow the system wide open and semi-permanently change the way politics works in NSW. For an example of the same thing, look at Qld… a decade later, the effects of One Nation winning big in just one election are still washing out of the system.]
    What are you thinking of being the Greens’ semi-permanent impact?

  17. We know this much: at the 2007 election, all non-major party votes went 26.4 per cent Labor, 23.0 per cent Liberal and 50.5 per cent exhaust. This time it was 16.7 per cent, 21.7 per cent and 61.5 per cent. This is despite the Greens share of the non-major party vote going from 29.6 per cent to 50.9 per cent. So it’s pretty clear there has been a marked deterioration in Greens preferences to Labor.

  18. Psephos,

    I can only comment on the Blaxland High booth, but out of the 137 primary votes for the Greens (which meant they finished second), they broke:

    Lib – 16; Lab – 44; Exhaust – 77

    Given that there are now well over 200 posts looking at possible implications from the by-election, I think it’s only right that a word of congratulations goes to Stuart Ayres in all of this, who for a 29 year old with the spotlight well and truly on him for the first time did an outstanding job. Perhaps just a smidgeon of the 25.5% was down to his hard work!

  19. Thanks for that, Michael. If that result was borne out throughout the electorate, preferences for all minor candidates other than the Greens would have to have gone 67.1 per cent exhausted, 32.0 per cent Liberal and 0.8 per cent Labor.

  20. [ So it’s pretty clear there has been a marked deterioration in Greens preferences to Labor. ]

    The official Greens HTV card at the by-election was 1 Greens then exhaust.

    A dodgy HTV card was being distributed by Labor’s dirty tricks department, with a Greens 1, ALP 2 preference.

  21. This web poll from the Newcastle Herald tickled my funny bone.

    [ Q: Who’s most to blame for Labor’s loss in the Penrith byelection on Saturday?

    Disgraced former MP Karyn Paluzzano (13.1%)
    A shoddy NSW Labor Government (76.6%)
    Barry O’Farrell’s Liberals who deserve to govern (1.6%)
    Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (8.7%)

    Total Votes: 321 ]

    Obviously not rigged by either Labor (they’d go with option 1) or the Libs (option 3), so somewhat believable for a web poll. Main story there is that Barry O’Farrell’s about to become premier purely by default, not by anything he’s good at himself (only 1.6%? jeez…). If the Libs’ right-wing faction get that feeling and are feeling suicidally stupid, they might still try to knock him off.

    Also, can anyone tell what this twit is on about? Apparently, a reading of the primary votes shows the result really wasn’t that bad… or something. Huuh?

  22. #228

    I think the answer lies in this:-

    There was a 24% swing against Labor, but the Libs only got a 19% swing to them. The ultimate 2PP preferred vote of a swing against Labor of 25.5% exaggerates the swing to Liberals because of the exhaust factor and is not a good basis for comparison in other seats because the non-major party votes in such seats might by preferences flow to Labor.

    I think that is what he is saying. 😆

  23. Obviously not rigged by either Labor (they’d go with option 1)

    I, and every other Laborite I know, would’ve voted for the bad NSW government option. Seriously, outside of NSW, the government is dead to most of us. It’s funny, they’re asking people to go over there next year to help with the election and nobody wants to! Nobody wants their fingerprints anywhere near that train wreck!

  24. Over the last few months I have been hearing a number of people, with diverse backgrounds, describing Kristina Keneally as Mr Magoo. I hadn’t really clicked to what they were saying. Apparently Mr Magoo was a cartoon character, often in dangerous situations, but unable to see the danger and oblivious to it or stubbornly refusing to admit there was a problem, and who just continued on blissfully.

    The Illawarra Mercury reporting on the Cabinet meeting held in Wollongong on the Monday following the Penrith by-election says:-
    Premier Kristina Keneally had a giggle aboard the free Gong Shuttle bus with Wollongong MP Noreen Hay this afternoon despite the weekend’s disastrous by-election result for the ALP in western Sydney.
    Transport at the top of Keneally’s list
    The photo accompanying the article says more than the text.

    Whether the characterisation of Keneally as Mr Magoo is a result of a directive issued by the devil (no doubt an explanation favoured by Conspiracy Theorists) or is simply an observation arrived at independently by many people is for others to decide.

  25. The Daily Telegraph’s Andrew Clennell examines the wash-up to the Penrith by-election and suggests:-
    There are two things Labor needs to do if they have any chance of “saving the furniture” in a large defeat – announce at least one big transport project like the M4 East or Epping to Parramatta rail line and show that they are cleaning up the party by forcing the retirement of Messrs Obeid and Tripodi.
    How Labor let the Liberal bluebloods win the West

  26. #233

    The report is that he will take a seat in parliament on Thursday. It means he won’t be there for Question Time today, which has the potential to be an exciting bit of theatre.

  27. #231

    The Mr Magoo image of Kristina Keneally, continues to be re-inforced by Ms Keneally.
    [ IT was the caucus meeting that at least some Government MPs say shows Premier Kristina Keneally and her team are “delusional” and living in “fantasy land”.
    The Premier strode in to front her caucus immaculately styled, in a grey suit, on level 12 of Parliament and told her MPs that, despite the Penrith by-election result, she led a good administration.
    It was just that the message of all the good work the Government was doing wasn’t getting through, she said, according to caucus sources.
    One MP said: “They are in fantasy land.”
    Another said of the way Ms Keneally spoke: “She’s absolutely delusional. She’s in … cuckoo land.”
    What life’s like on Planet Kristina

  28. Fake Keneally’s tweet on the Penrith by-election:

    [ KKKeneally Head office can’t keep forcing dud candidates like Paluzzano onto safe seats – we’re out of safe seats. #Penrith
    8:31 PM Jun 19th via web ]


  29. Psephos

    If you are lurking about…On the Greens’ preferences flow in the Penrith by-election.

    The NSW Electoral Commission has uploaded its “Preference Count” [sic] onto its website:

    However, it is completely useless – it’s blank!!. Since Ayres was elected on the primary vote, it does not distribute the preferences!!

    Maybe they are going to upload the data tomorrow (as originally scheduled).

    Or maybe they are taking a very strict interpretation of their definition and role of a preference count:

    [A candidate is elected when they have accumulated more than half the votes remaining in the count. If no-one achieves this on first preferences, other candidates are progressively excluded and their votes transferred to remaining candidates.]

    Or maybe the NSW EC has the same sense of openness of public administration that we in Soviet NSW have come to become accustomed over the last few decades.

    I know which of the options my money is on.

    You may have to search for that info – which is a real pity. My own theory was that most of the increase in Greens vote was disaffect Labor who could not come to vote Liberal, and hence exhausted.

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