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”

Comments Page 3 of 4
1 2 3 4
  1. That’s 78.5% of enrolled people. Turnout in 2007 in Brisbane was 94.17%.

    If turnout is the same as 2007 there are ~14400 votes to be counted, but I suspect turnout may be a little lower due to the apathy towards this election.

  2. triton
    Optional voting would be the worst thing that could happen to democracy in this country. About 6 people (not related to the candidates) would vote. We just wouldn’t leave the bbq, turn off the tv or get off the couch to do it.

  3. Brisbane. There may be about 5000 pre-polls but about 3300 have already been
    counted. See the polling places Brisbane City BRISBANE PPVC and
    Divisional Office (PREPOLL). So that’s why 1700 are still to go.
    ALP is ahead on these on average. They will make up about 150 votes margin if
    they keep going as before.

    Provisionals usually go well for ALP but only a few get accepted
    as valid votes. Maybe +40 to ALP.

    Postals. 4000 counted. We may expect about 6000 in all
    (judging on 2007). That’s 2000 to go. Libs lead on those say 53%-47%.
    This is -40 to ALP.

    Finally, absents. May expect about 8000 (as last time there
    were 6585 but this time 2000 people less
    voted ordinary). 2000 have already been
    counted. So that’s 6000 to go. ALP get 56%-44%. If that
    rate continues that is worth +720 to ALP.

    Thus ALP could make up 870 margin on remaining votes.

    Current margin 800 to Libs.

    Maybe, just maybe, ALP to get there??

  4. The thing about the first 621 pre-polls is that they are even more suspiciously skewed than the early postals. Very hard to tell what they mean, but it certainly doesn’t help Bevis.

  5. You are very optimistic Dr Good, I think your desire to see Labor win is conjuring up a possibility that is becoming more and more impossible as the count progresses. This one is as good as gone to the LNP.

  6. [Maybe, just maybe, ALP to get there??]
    Dr Good, I hope you are right. All these will probably get recounted at least once, I assume.

  7. Using current numbers that are on the AEC for remaining votes to count and current trends, the LNP will extend their lead by a further 189 without considering provisionals. Giving the LNP a lead of 985. The only hope for Labor is that the first batch of pre-polls were horribly skewed to the LNP. Bevis will need to reverse a ~40% split to around a ~0.51% split just to come close to the LNP.

  8. Given that the general scrutiny accounting details for Brisbane have continuously been a mess, I guess we also need to consider the possibility that errors have been made elsewhere here. It really does remind me of McEwen last time around in all too many ways.

  9. Now that we can with reasonable confidence foresee the seat count, I suspect we are in for a strong dose of legitimacy/illegitimacy garbage from the MSM and the Libs around the idea of Labor forming a minority government. This is of course arrant nonsense. But, in preparation for the arguments ahead with LNP supporters:

    Let’s say the numbers were, under a PR system (the Greens number being close to what it would have been under PR):

    LNP – 64
    ALP – 63
    Greens – 18
    Independent Group – 5

    Would it then be rational to say the Greens would be obliged to form a coalition with the LNP because it had one more seat than Labor? That if they supported Labor to form a minority government that would be somehow ‘illegitimate’?
    Of course not.

    The same principle applies in the current situation, with both majors short of a majority. It is who supports whom on the floor of the HoR.

    To suggest some moral obligation to combine with a party that does not have an outright majority but has more seats than the others is to totally misunderstand the nature of parliamentary representation.

    It’s the total number of members prepared to get together to form a majority that decides the issue – nothing else.

  10. @111

    I would regard the Independents backing the party with 73 seats as more about “stability” than about any sort of “moral right”.

    Ignoring all the partisan bluster and BS from all sides for a second:

    On paper at least, 73 + 3 Indies is inherently more stable than 72 + Green + Indies or 72 + Green + Wilkie + 2 Indies.

    Or if all all 4 Indies chose to vote as a block, 73 + 4 still looks more managable than 72 + Green + 4.

  11. Antony Green suggesting on twitter that first group of pre-polls could be the military batch. Would make sense that they would get them in early and in one batch. On the other hand I am losing objectivity and clinging to hope.

  12. From Antony Green’s Twitter feed:

    #ausvotes last Brisbane update was around 600 pre-polls – LNP 59.4%. Was this the military batch?

  13. MDMConnell@112


    I would regard the Independents backing the party with 73 seats as more about “stability” than about any sort of “moral right”.

    Ignoring all the partisan bluster and BS from all sides for a second:

    On paper at least, 73 + 3 Indies is inherently more stable than 72 + Green + Indies or 72 + Green + Wilkie + 2 Indies.

    Or if all all 4 Indies chose to vote as a block, 73 + 4 still looks more managable than 72 + Green + 4.

    I don’t see how you reach any of those conclusions from the raw data. It is random baseless speculation.

    The parliamentary system was designed simply to provide a mechanism for representation. It is then up to the elected members, all of equal status and value, to work out a majority between them. I look forward to that happening.

    The misconceptions and armchair pontificating on which particular agglomeration forming a majority might prove more ‘stable’ is just noise. I hope that remains so in the face of the News Ltd etc. onslaught we will observe.

  14. Dan – if that batch as indeed enoggera military barrcks then forget the trends from it. Wont be represnetative. need to see the wider trend settle a bit befor any models will be useful. There’s wild swings going on batch by batch – the first ridiculously ALP heavy, the 2nd ridiculouly LNP heavy.

    I think they need to count some more before predictive models will be much good!

  15. Well, there is certainly an argument that the more different factions and groups you try to pull together, the greater the potential for instability.

    I agree that it’s not anyone’s “moral right” to demand government, and that the Independents can side with whoever they like. But if the Coalition does end up on 73, I would think it is more likely than not that the 3 rural Indies, after much huffing and puffing and chest-beating, would back them.

    Not certain by any means, but more likely than not.

  16. MDMConnell
    Remember, once a formal agreement is made at the beginning of the 3 year term for the independents/Green/’whoevers’ to support one of the larger parties, then its open slather on individual issues. The independents all have different views and will be voting and introducing legislation according to those views, as will the Green.

    But that doesn’t mean ‘instablity’. It will be the same whichever larger party forms the minority government. It means members of parliament voting on issues on their merits. We haven’t seen that for a long, long time in the Hor, and what a wonderful prospect it is.

  17. @lefty e – Yeah I was thinking Enogerra, it’s a big base, people don’t realize how big it is from the outside, but it stretches from Ashgrove to the back of Mitchelton. One of the biggest in the country, personnel wise, I believe.

  18. Sorry to add something to this grossly off-topic discussion, but remember the only thing the 5 (6 if you include Crook) cross bench members will be doing is guaranteeing supply and confidence. It will have the same stability no matter who they support. There is nothing unstable about some of your legislation not passing from time to time. This is just normal in a parliamentary democracy.

  19. Not really too off topic Itep and I agree. Hopefully it would also imply that we are unikely to see any ideologically extreme legislation attempted by either party (such as work choices). I’m loving the idea that the crossbenchers will be able to make it difficult for either to get a DD trigger also.

  20. can ppl pls stick to chat about Brisbane in this thread and not national issues…go to the general thread for those. kthx.

  21. OK.

    Margin now down slightly to 743 votes.

    A new batch of absentees broke for Bevis but apparently not as strongly as before.

    Absentees now flowing 55-45 to Bevis.

  22. It is a pretty suspect number on the pre-polls though, Dan. Pre-polls from an overseas Australian defence base, perhaps?

    Certainly not good for Labor, but I wouldn’t necessarily be getting too excited about it.

    Bevis is still looking very, very, strong on the Absentee votes, and in fact has picked up around 313 votes on the 3,446 Absentee votes counted so far alone (compared to the original loss of around 790 on the 63,000 ordinary votes.). There are still nearly 5000 more Absentees outstanding on the current count.

    If the pre-poll votes start trending back to something closer to normality (as they almost certainly will) this seat is going to be very, very, tight.

  23. You’d have to say Andrew Bartlett’s performance on the absentees is mighty impressive!

    He’s in front of Bevis! If Bevis does manage to scrape in here he is going to have to send one heck of a thank-you note to Andrew and the Greens this time around for all those preferences!

    Wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Andrew “does a Bandt” next time around,in fact, if he stands in Brisbane again.

  24. I wish I was as confident as I was the past few days. The remaining absentee votes (4663) will probably include about 191 informal votes, based on the current absentee informal rate of 4.09%.

    Also, there seems to be roughly 1800 votes unaccounted for. This is 1.97% of the enrolment figure, and the explanation may be that that many extra have actually not voted in 2010. Is there another possibility?

  25. Hi David

    Rightly or wrongly, from this page… by subtracting the counted and rejected votes from the issued votes (although my record indicates that when I did it there were only 8118 not 8208 displaying as issued.

    I ignored the received figure as it appears to be a nonsense.

    The 3446 includes 141 informals (4.09%) hence the prediction re the number of likely informals in the remaining absentee votes….

    Happy for anyone to correct me if necessary!

  26. If there are indeed 8205 absent votes to be counted and the ALP, Liberal and informal shares stay the same, I make it that the absent tallies end up ALP 4331, Lib 3538, Informal 195. an ALP lead of 793 on the absents which wipes out the Lib lead on ordinary votes almost exactly. The winner would therefore be the candidate who won the total of pre-polls, postals and provisionals.

  27. @134

    Where do you get ~8200 absent votes to be counted from?

    I see 8271 issued and 3455 counted/rejected, so about 4800 to be counted if you’re using those figures.

    Though the total issued seems to be regularly going up.

  28. @138, sorry, I wasn’t clear – 8205 meant the total of all absent votes including the ones already counted. The total figure has since gone up to 8271 as you say.

  29. From my man on the ground:

    [It was a bad day for the ALP in Brisbane today. We started the day just 382 behind, but finished it 743 behind for a combination of reasons, including over 50 votes being put in the wrong pile on Saturday night, the pre-poll from Nundah being counted (primarily people from Clayfield, Wooloowin, Ascot, Hamilton, Hendra) and the fact we lost by a couple of hundred votes on 3000 postal votes.

    In terms of what’s left, there are 1500 postal votes (these are ones which arrived since Saturday, but were posted in time), 1300 provisional votes (of which only about 200-300 will actually turn into real votes at all), 4,400 absentee pre-polls (ie people voting before polling day outside the electorate) and 4,700 absentees. That makes over 10,000 votes still to be looked at for the first time.

    My belief about those (and note that many of my predictions have been way off the mark!):

    The postals – who knows, we won round one comprehensively and lost round two comprehensively.
    The provisionals – traditionally favour us, but there are very few of them.

    The absentee-pre-polls – a mixed bag, including the people who did an absent pre-poll in Chermside or Ryan, which should be good for us, but also people like miners out in WA and regional QLD, which will likely be less good for the ALP.

    The absentees – ditto above. ]

  30. [triton
    Optional voting would be the worst thing that could happen to democracy in this country. About 6 people (not related to the candidates) would vote. We just wouldn’t leave the bbq, turn off the tv or get off the couch to do it.]

    Then that’s what the vast majority wants. What could be more democratic than that?

    Since you only have one vote out of about 20 million, why should we get only what you regard as an acceptable outcome?

  31. [Iltep#142: so that means that Gambaro needs to only get around 47% of the remaining vote to take the seat?]

    Yes, that’s pretty close to the mark, Nearlythere. She is only on 46.3% of the Absentees at present, though, and too few of the Pre-poll absentees have been counted to be able to tell reliably how they will break. Bevis will need around 53% of them to win, by the looks of it, and the first few hundred actually broke the other way.

    Remaining postals may help her a little, too, though whatever gets counted of the provisional will probably go the other way.

    Still too close to call (until more of the pre-poll absentees are counted), but Gambaro is certainly deserving of mild favouritism at present.

  32. The vaguely comedic aspect of this situation is that the Independents clearly do not want to support the Coalition, and the Coalition clearly do not look forward to relying on the Independents. I think they would all be happy with a new election – or with any solution that did not require them to deal with each other. Windsor seems to want to postpone any decision, probably in the hope that some other events occur that will mean he will not need to choose.

    It may also turn out that one or more Liberals may not be comfortable with a campaign of de-stabilisation by Abbott, especially if this means action on CC will be indefinitely deferred. Could it be possible that some Liberals may be willing to offer support to Labor in return for a revival of the CPRS/ETS bills? It is probably too much to hope for.

  33. Thanks for the updates. I was relying on the ABC election website for my updates, but for some reason they have stopped updating Brisbane. Could that be a show of sour grapes?

Comments Page 3 of 4
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *