Photo finishes: Brisbane

Friday, August 27

Rechecking of ordinary votes has cost Labor 87, and for the first time a batch of absent votes has favoured the LNP, albeit slightly – 622-613. LNP lead now 839, which should quite comfortably be enough.

Thursday, August 26

7pm. Another 1145 absent votes have gone 599-546 to Labor: very slightly good for them in absolute terms, reducing the margin to 743, but Labor’s 52.3 per cent share compares with 56.5 per cent in the first batch. A better portent for Labor with Antony Green apparent confirmation that today’s LNP-friendly batch of postal votes came from the Enoggera army barracks.

4.30pm. The LNP have moved another 112 ahead with the first 596 pre-polls breaking 354-242 their way: margin now out to 796.

3pm. Lucky I advised that caution yesterday, because a second batch of postals has been wildly unlike the first, favouring the LNP 1686-1384. This has widened the lead from 382 to 684 and slashed the overall ALP share of postals from 56.4 per cent to 47.8 per cent. My projection now has the LNP prevailing by 403, and I suspect that might flatter Labor with respect to the absent votes which are probably unlikely to continue splitting 56.3-43.5 to Labor. Pre-polls remain a wild card, but the LNP are back in the box seat.

Wednesday, August 25

11pm. Hmm. The first batch of 961 postal votes has heavily favoured Labor by 542 to 419, cutting the margin to 382. This is a swing in Labor’s favour of 0.8 per cent against the postal vote total in 2007, compared with a 4.9 per cent swing the other way on ordinary votes. Two questions arise: will this prove typical, and how many postal votes will there be? The scrutiny progress sheet says 602, which is obviously wrong because 961 have just been added to the count and a more typical amount is 5000 (UPDATE: And I now note that informed sources in comments are saying to expect exactly that). If you project Labor’s share of the first batch over the latter figure – which still seems intuitively optimistic from Labor’s point of view – they end up in front. If the 5000 outstanding absent votes also follow the trend of those already counted – ditto – Labor ends up winning quite handily, by about 500 votes. Caution advised at this stage.

5pm. Absent votes continue to flow heavily to Labor, raising their hopes of a late boilover. 1182 were added today, breaking 671-511 in favour of Arch Bevis and reducing his deficit from 657 to 490. My projection is for an LNP win by just 195 votes, but this is based on the AEC’s figure of 602 postal vote envelopes issued which is surely much too low. If you assume about the same many postal votes as last time (about 5500), the LNP winning margin blows out to about 400.

Tuesday, August 24

The first 978 absent votes have split 549-429 in favour of Labor. Comparing relativities of ordinary and absent votes from 2007 and 2010, this is a reversal of nearly 10 per cent. What this probably tells us is that these absent votes are from booths in Labor-leaning areas slightly outside the electorate’s boundaries, and the remaining 5000 or so absent voters are unlikely to be as favourable for them.

Saturday, August 21

This post will be progressively updated to follow late counting in Brisbane, where Liberal candidate Teresa Gambaro finishes the night with a lead of 858 votes (0.68 per cent). This narrows to 0.2 per cent on Antony Green’s projection.

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.

184 comments on “Photo finishes: Brisbane”

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  1. Some pre-poll/postal voting stats (for comparison of these 5 undecided seats, see post #210 in the thread: D-day plus 1)

    First-up, the number of pre-polls in absolute numbers and also as a percentage. The average number of pre-polls in all seats was 6,964

    5,168 5.6% Brisbane

    Next postal votes. The average number of postals in all seats was 6,382
    6,873 7.5% Brisbane

    What is noteworthy on the postals is the percentage that are ALP postals. The first number is ALP postals:total postals (The average percentage in all seats of ALP:total postals was 26% with very wide variance.)

    The second number shows ALP postals:All Party Specific postals (i.e. excluding AEC & GPV)

    35% 65% Brisbane

  2. Hi All. There is only 70% of the vote counted in this seat. That means there are another 30,000 votes in play. Bevis is behind by about 850. I suppose if the trend continues Gambaro’s lead will widen but I am hearing Bevis was getting 2 to 1 for postals or prepolling (not sure which). Maybe this one might come back?

  3. To my mind, this one is gone for Labor. Short of some truly bizarre distribution of the postals, I don’t see how Bevis can claw his way back within striking distance.

  4. LANKIVEIL, I am no expert here but given what I said in my previous post is it unlikely in your experience to make up say 850 votes in 30,000. I find that difficult to understand.

  5. Laocoon, I am a bit thick. I don’t understand your initial post. What does this mean in terms of ALP closing the current gap?

  6. Lynchpin, it’d be more like 20% wouldn’t it given there will not be an 100% attendance rate.

    if there were 30000 postals Labor would need to win around 52% of them to claw back the lead.

  7. OK, thanks Itep. Even if it is 15,000, that would still be possible, given also that Bartlett has polled about 20% for the Greens and I think his pref flow would be quite high,

  8. Lynchpin

    Sorry, the extract is even a bit more obscure than usual

    The positive is that ALP postals are 65% of the total party-specific postals. This is a pretty high proportion. To this should help ALP votes in the postals count.

    In a generally shambolic campaign, the person who ran ALP’s postal vote strategy deserves a gold star

  9. At the last campaign meeting, someone joked that if we could more than 22% at Ascot State School then we would be doing well.

  10. Does anyone have an idea (Antony? William?) what’s the record for the lowest primary vote by a winning candidate?

    Arch Bevis might just beat it.

  11. If Wilkie wins, he’ll have done so with less than 22%

    Cameron Thompson won Blair in Qld for the Libs in 1998 with 21.7% primary vote (overtaking Pauline Hanson whose primary vote was 36%). All it takes is a genuine four way contest – it’s just that these are fairly rare.

    Which reminds me, Adam Bandt’s primary vote for the Greens in Melbourne this election is currently 36.1% – if he can hold at that level, he will will get what I think would be a record primary vote for a non-major party (as opposed to an Independent) candidate, at least since the days of the Labor split.

  12. Mr Bartlett. Off topic, but congratulations on your result and I hope to see you as number 1 Senate candidate in the next election.

  13. HB

    I think what Antony has done is change the data from his Predicted Figures (shown on Sat night) to the raw AEC data. He said something about “don’t get too excited when you see the figures suddenly change”.

    I think that’s what’s changed Hasluck, Dunkley and maybe Boothby from Lib Gain to Lib Ahead as well, but I’m not sure.

  14. Thanks for the reply MDM.

    I found this post on Antony Green’s twitter account that explains the change:

    [Just tweeked [sic] the prediction algorithm and that moved Brisbane from LNP Leading to LNP Gain #ausvotes about 1 hour ago via web ]

  15. There seems to be something seriously wrong with the ABC/Antony Green’s modelling and maybe somebody can help me out here. According to the ABC Brisbane is being slotted as a Liberal gain.

    This is despite the fact that the AEC lists *zero* postal ballots counted with a mere several hundred votes separating the candidates, TPP, and with 65% of party-specific postals being submitted by the ALP, which amounts to about 2,000 votes in its own right before even considering general postal votes.

    The same can be said for several other seats as well, where party-submission of postal ballots just doesn’t seem to be a factor in determining the predicted status of a seat even when it amounts to thousands of votes. Flynn, long-written off, is an example.

    So is there something about the predictive models that I don’t know about or is there a genuine flaw that they may wish to address?

  16. #25

    See my post above. I believe Antony has changed from “predictions” to simply the raw AEC data. If you compare his data with the AEC raw numbers, it looks exactly the same.

  17. Yes, congratulations on a 20%+ primary vote in a house of reps seat Andrew. As an ex-Dem and fan of your hard work in the Senate I salute you!

  18. Ive been saying this all along: I saw Arch survive the wipeout in 1996.

    I know there’s been a redistribution since, but that guy is hard to knock off.

  19. I also wish to congratulate Andrew Bartlett on the Greens vote in Brisbane, and thank him for his efforts, courage, and decency over many years.

    ALP 2PP in Brisbane rose from 49.38% to 49.49% this afternoon when the share of the vote counted went from 70.96% to 72.06%. Should be about 20% – 22% left to count – I am still hopeful and positive about this one.

  20. They start counting the postals Wednesday morning.

    In regard to the good result in the absentees, the redistribution took out some of the area at the Labor end of the area. the good result might have been people voting at Booths in Ryan that used to be in Brisbane (i.e. they live in Brisbane but voted at a booth in Ryan).

    I was on a joint booth which bordered Lilley and Brisbane in an area that was formerly Lilley. It was amazing the number of people that didn’t realise that they were no longer in Lilley.

  21. vox arbor (#32) I was wondering the same thing. The best explanation I think is that the AEC officials in the divisional office have made a data entry mistake or that they haven’t remembered to enter the numbers progressively as they were issued. I’ve noticed some similarly curious figures for other divisions which eventually get caught up. The 512 figure is too low to be believable.

    And a countervailing observation to William’s update today: I notice that Arch Bevis got 58.6% of the pre-poll votes within the electorate. These are recorded as booths on the AEC website. The absent votes counted today may not be unrepresentative. If the absent, pre-poll and postal votes go nearly as well for him as they did last election, he will win the seat.

  22. Yes, the number of postals issued listed has gone from 486 to 511 to 512 to 545. Obviously there’s some progressive data entry. Hopefully we’ll know the real number today! Laocoon, where do your figures come from?

  23. Ok, another question.

    When I look at the polling places, I can see two Prepoll booths: Divisional Office and Brisbane City. This gives 2745 Prepolls. But the Declaration page says 4055 prepolls.

    Where are the other 1300?

  24. Anyhow, it will be exciting. If the remaining absents continue to flow as strongly, Becis will be just in front by the end of them. He won 55.6% of the postals last time, and has had a 5.1% swing against, so if postals do no worse than the average swing (and I have no idea whether this is even a vaguely plausible model!) then he will get a bare majority of postals and win narrowly.

  25. Martin B the two pre-poll booths in the booths list are the pre-poll votes cast in the electorate, which were counted on election night. The pre-poll numbers listed on the declaration votes page are those cast prior to the election outside the electorate. The Brisbane divisional office does not appear to have received any of them yet. On the question of the split in the postal votes, we wait to see what happens. Laocoon’s comment at the top suggests Labor ran a reasonable postal vote effort. The postal vote may not reflect the swing experienced on polling day. I pointed at comment #37 to the high pre-poll vote for Bevis at the pre-poll booths. It’s not over by any means.

  26. HI

    In the CM in Brisbane today, it says there were 1344 provisional votes lodged on Saturday. Please excuse my ignorance, but it says the voter’s name couldn’t be found on the electoral roll or had already been marked off. AEC says there people have until Friday to show id. Getup are starting a campaign today, but is there anything else we could do as it is now so close. Also are these votes already in the count or are they put aside until the id.

  27. The AEC site currently shows 66 458 votes counted, including the first 1023 absentee votes (including 2 that were rejected at preliminary scrutiny).

    With more than 6000 absentee votes to count (which I think it is reasonable to assume will continue to at least slightly favour Arch Bevis), plus 1334 provisional votes (there were only 177 last election, which makes it a bit harder to assume how these might go, but they were more favourable to Bevis than the polling day vote was) plus another 4000 early vote pre-poll from outside the electorate (hard to call) plus postals which will probably be at least 6500 (not sure why the AEC site shows only 545 postal vote envelopes issued, as Laocoon’s comment back @1 shows there were around 6800 (not all of which will come back).

    That’s around 18 000 votes still to count – far too early to call.

    (In 2007 approx 5300 or 5.83% of people enrolled in Brisbane didn’t vote. Assuming a slightly higher degree of slackery/disengagement this time, perhaps that could be 6000 or so not voting, which would mean the final vote tally would be about 86 000. Given there is only 66 458 counted to date (plus the 2 excluded), that also tallies with assuming that there are at least 18 000 votes still to be counted.)

    (and thanks to @21, @31 and @34 for you nice comments)

  28. blackdog (#42) no the provisionals have not been counted. You can see this here and here. The provisional votes are not counted until the AEC is satisfied that the voter is entitled to vote. Very few of them are ultimately counted – at the 2007 election thee were only about 24,000 nationally, or about 160 per seat.

    This explains Andrew (#43) why the number of provisionals lodged in Brisbane this time vastly exceeds those counted last time. Can I add my congratulations on your excellent primary vote. Well done!

  29. Yes, another 1000 absent votes counted this morning and Bevis continues to get over 56% of them. If the absent votes continue running like that, he would close the gap with the 5,000 remaining absents. Pre-poll and postal votes are still imponderables, but as I pointed out last night, Bevis got 58.6% of the pre-polls cast within the electorate.

  30. Yes, I should have made clear that a good chunk of the 1334 provisionals won’t end up being counted – although given the GetUp High Court win, there may still be a few more than the 177 from last time. These split 62.5% – 37.% to Bevis last time, so if we factor in the roughly 5% TPP swing against Bevis this time, that would mean they would break his way about 58% – 42% – or a gain of about 16 votes for every 100 counted. Not heaps, but also not to be sneezed at in such a close count.

  31. Brisbane has been put back in play by the AEC on there close seats list.

    The information published in the Declaration Stats is lacking consistency.
    Eg. The AEC is reporting that it has issued 7,226 Absentee votes and has zero received. Yet they have counted 2,252 Absentee votes.

    There is a surprising small number of Postal votes issued: 596 Not sure how accurate this data is. I am also surprised that the AEC has issued Pre-polling votes and have none returned.

    This is an ongoing issue of concern about the stats provided by the AEC (Something we had previously expressed concern over – Disappointing that the AEC has not paid attention to its data quality.

    Based on the existing number of absentee votes counted the 2PP split is
    ALP: 56.48%

    Assuming this split will hold across remaining Absentee and also pre poll Brisbane should swing solidity to the ALP

    Declaration Vote Scrutiny Progress Absent Provisional Early Vote (Pre-Poll) Postal Total
    Envelopes Issued 7,226 1,334 4,896 596 14,052
    Envelopes Received 0 1,334 0 0 1,334
    Rejected at Preliminary Scrutiny 8 0 0 0 0
    Ballot Papers Counted 2,252 0 0 0

    Two Candidate Preferred Result by Vote Type Candidate Party Ordinary Absent Provisional Early Vote (Pre-Poll) Postal Total
    Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
    BEVIS, ArchPrevious Member Australian Labor Party 31,112 49.39 1,220 56.48 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 32,332 49.62
    GAMBARO, Teresa Liberal National Party of Queensland 31,882 50.61 940 43.52 0 0.00 0 0.00 0 0.00 32,822 50.3

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