Saturday, August 28
Corangamite is back on the AEC undecided seats list (a list of one), but given not much has actually changed, this suggests the current margin is right on their dividing line. 1877 abent pre-polls have gone 996-881 the way of the Liberals, but 1299 absents have favoured Labor 697-602: a net gain for the Liberals of only 20 votes. Labor leads by 884, while my projection has it at 644.
Thursday, August 26
6pm. Absent votes continue to flood Labor’s way, a batch of 924 going 557-367 and blowing the lead out to 895.
12noon. The first 938 absent votes have been added and they’re a good batch for Labor, breaking 535-403 in their favour and widening the lead from 573 to 705. However, I’m told Labor are worried about what the remainder of the absent count might have in store much of it might come from the snowfields and Queensland, producing a different absent vote trend from what might be expected at a summer election. The expectation was that Labor would still slip over the line, but only just. I was told this before this present batch of absents was added possibly it has soothed nerves a little.
Wednesday, August 25
2pm. Another 1466 postal votes have been added, and while they have split 766-700 in favour of Liberal and narrowed the Labor lead to 571, they have reduced the overall Liberal share of the postal votes counted from 57.67 per cent to 56.19 per cent. This means my projection of the final Labor margin has increased from 240 to 315.
Tuesday, August 24
11pm. I had not previously been considering absent pre-polls, which unlike ones cast within the division remain to be counted. The AEC says there are 3508 of these, and if they behave as pre-polls overall did in 2007 my projection of Labor’s winning margin narrows to 240.
7pm. Another 1960 postal votes haven’t favoured the Liberals to quite the same extent, although they have narrowed the margin in absolute terms by 280 to 637. The Liberal share of the postal vote has dropped from 58.2 per cent to 57.7 per cent.
4pm. A surprise from the first batch of postals, with 1955 votes favouring the Liberals even more heavily than in 2007: 1134-821, closing the gap from 1237 to 917. If the trend continues, the gap could narrow by maybe another 700 or 800. However, absent votes are likely to favour Labor, and none have been added yet.
Sunday, August 22
Special hospital team votes have cut 99 votes from Cheeseman’s lead, now at 1189 (0.76 per cent).
Saturday, August 21
This post will be progressively updated to follow late counting in Corangamite, where Labor member Darren Cheeseman finishes the night 1288 votes (0.83 per cent) ahead of Liberal challenger Sarah Henderson. Owing to the extraordinarily strong performance by defeated Liberal member Stewart McArthur on postal votes in 2007, which is used as the benchmark for the projection, the ABC computer has it at 0.0 per cent.