Victorian election: photo finishes

BENTLEIGH (Margin: 6.20%)

ALP LIB Swing 2006 votes
Ordinary 12,650 50.11% 12,595 49.89% 7.12% 27,106
Postal 1,491 45.28% 1,802 54.72% 4.45% 2,785
Early 1,857 47.04% 2,091 52.96% 3.25% 2,223
Provisional 109 60.22% 72 39.78% 20.73% 21
Absent 1,062 50.26% 1,051 49.74% 7.68% 1,643
TOTAL 17,169 49.36% 17,611 50.64% 6.84% 33,778

ELTHAM (Margin: 6.41%)

ALP LIB Swing 2006 votes
Ordinary 12,382 50.83% 11,980 49.17% 5.94% 27,530
Postal 1,262 46.59% 1,447 53.41% 2.87% 2,497
Early 3,209 50.45% 3,152 49.55% 6.01% 3,266
Provisional 96 51.89% 89 48.11% 14.78% 6
Absent 1,234 56.68% 943 43.32% 4.05% 1,775
TOTAL 18,183 50.80% 17,611 49.20% 5.61% 35,074

BALLARAT EAST (Margin: 6.81%)

ALP LIB Swing 2006 votes
Ordinary 13,288 51.49% 12,521 48.51% 5.35% 26,866
Postal 1,331 48.84% 1,394 51.16% 3.23% 2,026
Early 2,315 48.55% 2,453 51.45% 5.28% 2,268
Provisional 158 54.30% 133 45.70% 2.51% 0
Absent 1,576 57.94% 1,144 42.06% 5.88% 2,236
TOTAL 18,668 51.41% 17,645 48.59% 5.40% 33,396

MACEDON (Margin: 8.17%)

ALP LIB Swing 2006 votes
Ordinary 15,671 51.21% 14,930 48.79% 7.48% 28,429
Postal 1,505 48.44% 1,602 51.56% 6.47% 2,455
Early 3,351 50.04% 3,346 49.96% 2.43% 6,245
Provisional 139 62.61% 83 37.39% -12.61% 16
Absent 1,315 57.73% 963 42.27% 3.27% 1,910
TOTAL 21,981 51.23% 20,924 48.77% 6.94% 39,055


Eastern Metro 2 3
Northern Metro 2 (-1) 2 (+1) 1
South-Eastern Metro 3 2
Southern Metro 1 (-1) 3 (+1) 1
Western Metro 2 (-1) 2 (+1) 1
Eastern Victoria 2 2 1
Northern Victoria 2 2 1
Western Victoria 2 2 1 (+1) 0 (-1)
TOTAL 16 18 3 3 0 0

Tuesday, December 14

The button was pushed today on the count for the Legislative Council, securing the Coalition its 21 seats out of 40 and wrapping up the election count as a whole. Key to the Coalition triumph was Liberal candidate Craig Ondarchie’s victory in Northern Metropolitan from the second position on his party’s ticket, producing a result of two Labor, two Liberal and one Greens. His win came at the expense of Stephen Mayne, who in the event finished fairly solidly behind the second Greens candidate (2.6 per cent to 1.6 per cent) at a point where he had hoped to stay in contention by absorbing her preferences, and the Sex Party, who with 7.4 per cent failed to stay ahead of third Labor candidate Nathan Murphy on 9.1 per cent at the second last count. At that point the second Ondarchie was far enough ahead of Murphy that there was no prospect of preferences closing the gap, with the former sneaking over a quota on preferences from Mayne. In Western Metropolitan, below-the-line votes made the difference by heavily favouring the Greens – largely because below-the-lines for right-wing minor parties who had put Labor ahead of the Greens on their preference ticket tended to exhaust. The rate of exhaustion was such that Colleen Hartland won election with slightly under a quota, finishing on 16.6 per cent to Labor candidate Bob Smith on 16.2 per cent.

Saturday, December 11

As you may have noticed I’ve been less than vigilant in following the count, but those with an interest will be aware that Stephen Mayne continued to fade in late counting in terms that will almost certainly deliver the final Northern Metropolitan seat to the Liberals, securing the Coalition their upper house majority. The only remaining point of curiosity is whether Colleen Hartland of the Greens can secure re-election in Western Metropolitan, thereby achieving a status quo result for a party that had hoped for so much better. Antony Green reports all will be revealed when the button is finally pushed on Tuesday. Hopefully there will be no repeat of the 2006 error in which the Democratic Labor Party was wrongly credited with a second seat.

Monday, December 6

Stopped paying attention there for a while after the VEC started re-checking and took their existing results offline. Antony Green offers a thorough update, noting that recounting in Northern Metropolitan is proceeding slowly due to intensive scrutineering of the result that could deliver the Coalition an upper house majority. In Western Metropolitan, the tide seems to be favouring the Greens’ Colleen Hartland, who might yet retain her seat at the expense of Labor’s number three. UPDATE: Kevin Bonham in comments still rates her the underdog.

Wednesday, December 1

Stephen Mayne has discussed his prospects at length in his email newsletter, noting he has two hurdles to clear: first to stay ahead of the Greens at what appears as count 8 in the ABC’s projection, where he is currently on 1.54 per cent to the Greens’ 1.22 per cent, and then for the below-the-line count to not upset his applecart by putting him behind Liberal and Labor at the second last count. Mayne rates himself only a 50-50 chance of clearing the first hurdle as he expects the Greens to surge as absent votes are added. I’m not sure what was added today, but the addition has seen the Greens lose ground – possibly too much for Mayne, as Kevin Bonham argues in comments, because it will mean fewer of their preferences for him if he can stay ahead. Bonham reckons Mayne will need to significantly outperform Labor in preferences from the 3170 below-the-line votes which are recorded as going to him on the ABC projection, which treats all votes as above-the-lines. Bonham, who has learned a thing or two about preference behaviour from analysis of Hare-Clark elections in his home jurisdiction of Tasmania, reckons this unlikely, and that the most probable result would indeed be a twenty-first seat for the Coalition.

In the lower house, addition of absent and other votes have seen Labor pull further ahead in Eltham and Ballarat East, to 546 and 510 votes respectively, which puts these seats and the final result beyond doubt: the Liberals have won 35 seats and the Nationals 10, with Labor on 43. I will continue updating my tables as new figures come in, but I won’t be offering any further commentary on the lower house unless something unusually interesting happens.

Tuesday, November 30

Long past time I had something to say about the upper house, with the Coalition on the precipice of majorities in both houses. The Liberals have gained a seat from Labor in Southern Metropolitan and the Nationals have gained the DLP’s seat in Western Victoria. They also look likely to win seats from the Greens in Western Metropolitan and to hold off a challenge from the Country Alliance in Northern Victoria, where their second seat had been under threat. That puts the Coalition on 18 seats out of 40 with a likely extra two to achieve a blocking majority, and the chance of getting over the line for an absolute majority of 21. The decisive factor in Northern Metropolitan will be the second last count, at which the Labor number three, Liberal number two and Stephen Mayne appear to be at almost level pegging. Mayne will win the seat if he finishes ahead of either or both, and the current ABC projection has him finishing ahead of Labor after soaking up the Greens’ surplus and an eclectic range of preferences from the Sex Party, DLP and Family First. Should he finish behind the seat will almost certainly go to the Liberals, although Labor remain at least a mathematical possibility.

In continuing lower counting, Labor’s lead has more than doubled in Ballarat East, from 166 to 343, with the addition of 657 more postals and the first 766 absents. It was the latter which made the difference, breaking 60-40 their way – not unpredictably given that most would be sourced from town voters who cast their ballots in Ballarat West. Eltham too has become slightly firmer for Labor with 795 more pre-polls gaining them a handy 53 votes, but losses on rechecking have pared back the overall improvement in their lead, which goes from 245 to 267. Bentleigh and Macedon have drifted out of the doubtful column. Rechecking and a highly unfavourable batch of 819 absent votes has further increased the Liberal lead in Bentleigh from 460 to 559. In Macedon, the addition of 419 postal votes has cut Labor’s lead from 498 to 419, but it’s probably too little too late.

Monday, November 29

9pm. Another 605 postals in Bentleigh have broken 321-284 the Liberals’ way, increasing their lead from 423 to 460. In Eltham the addition of 5730 pre-polls and 600 more postals has increased Labor’s lead from 225 to 245. I’m not sure on what basis Labor sources quoted in the ABC yesterday were expecting to lose this seat – I would rate them better than even. Another 416 postal votes have been added in Ballarat East and have broken perfectly evenly, with Labor continuing to lead by 166.

4.30pm. Labor has had a disappointing result from 2268 pre-polls in Ballarat East which have cut their lead from 388 to 166. The addition of 5111 pre-polls from Macedon has also cut their lead from 719 to 498. However, absent votes remain to be added, and in both cases they favoured Labor heavily in 2006.

Sunday, November 28

11pm. Bob Katter’s Hat in comments relates that according to an ABC report, “Labor sources expect to lose Eltham but are ‘hopeful’ on Macedon”.

6.41pm. If there are the same number of absent votes as last time, and if anything there are likely to be fewer, they would need to defy every trend going by swinging to Labor by 5 per cent to overturn the Liberals’ lead.

6.34pm. The VEC site has now updated, and it has the Liberal lead at 15,667 to 15,244. The Herald-Sun’s assertion that only “some postal votes” remain to be counted is at best imprecise, as no absent votes have been added – and there were 1643 of these in 2010. So what we have today is the addition of 3130 pre-poll votes which, as stated in the previous entry, have broken 1670 to 1460 in favour of the Liberals and increased their lead from 213 to 423. The table at the top of the post has now been amended to reflect this. As you can see, the notion that there would be more of these than last time and that they would be relatively favourable to Labor was quite correct, but not nearly to the extent they required. So it’s fair to say that the ABC computer, which has copped some flak over this, was right all along.

6.12pm. Boerwar in comments reports postals have favoured 1670 to 1460 to the Liberals – I’m not sure if this includes or is in addition to those counted last night, which favoured the Liberals 1072 to 1050. An update on the VEC tally room site would be nice.

6.09pm. The Herald-Sun reports that there are now merely “some postal votes” remaining to be counted, so obviously absent votes as well as pre-polls have been counted (although I fail to see how absent votes could have been assembled so quickly from every corner of the state). In any case, a very clear impression emerges that barring counting errors, the Liberal lead of about 400 is insurmountable, ending any doubts about the overall result.

5.45pm. Rod Hagen in comments hears from Twitter that pre-poll counting in Bentleigh is trending against Labor, increasing the Liberal lead from 213 to 430.

5pm. By popular demand, the VEC have announced they will be counting the pre-poll votes from Bentleigh today. In what promises to be the television event of the year, this will apparently be broadcast live on Sky News.

Saturday night

This thread will be used to follow late counting in the Victorian election, which – for those who have just joined us – promises to be a focus of fierce interest due to the possibility of a 44-44 tied parliament if everything falls Labor’s way. For now you’ll have to look elsewhere for a summary of the situation. However, below is a table which will hopefully shed some light on a few important aspects of the situation. Four must-win seats are identified in the table, of which Labor currently leads in three while trailing by 213 votes (0.38 per cent) in Bentleigh. The first row of the table shows two-party results from ordinary votes, thus excluding the postals that were added last night. To give an idea of how the remainder of the count might go, the next five rows show Labor’s two-party results on the various types of vote in 2006. The story goes that a large number of pre-polls might offer salvation here for Labor in Bentleigh, but that would seem very unlikely indeed going on the precedent of last time. However, Labor is doing slightly less poorly on postal votes than last time — their primary vote is only 1.5 per cent lower — so there might be at least something in the idea that votes cast earlier would not have copped the effects of the late swing to the Coalition. The left column shows the percentage of the statewide vote accounted for by each vote type in 2010. The bottom half of the table shows the ordinary vote turnout in each electorate, which as you may have heard was substantially lower than last time.

% Bentleigh Eltham Macedon Ball. East
2010 Ordinary ? 50.0% 50.8% 51.2% 50.9%
2006 Ordinary 78.0% 57.2% 56.8% 58.7% 56.8%
2006 Pre-Poll 9.0% 50.3% 56.5% 56.2% 53.8%
2006 Postal 6.5% 49.7% 49.5% 54.9% 52.1%
2006 Absent 6.5% 57.9% 60.7% 61.0% 63.8%
2006 Declaration 0.1% 81.0% 44.4% 50.0%
Ordinary votes as percentage of enrolment
2006 75.5% 74.3% 69.1% 73.9%
2010 68.0% 64.3% 67.4% 66.5%

Finally, can we please keep this thread specifically for discussion of the count. If you would like to discuss the Victorian election in more general terms, the election night thread is still open below.

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.

292 comments on “Victorian election: photo finishes”

Comments Page 6 of 6
1 5 6
  1. note the Bendigo West redistribution of prefs after the recheck has now occurred.

    As expected, the Nationals beat the Libs to 2nd spot…so instead of a 58% 2pp to the ALPusing the Libs as 2nd spot (as occurred up until the recheck), it has now come down to just under 53%.

    That adds to the very large number of marginals (less than 4% margins) the ALP will be defending at the next election…from memory it is about 14 or 15 compared to just 6 or 7 for the Coalition.

  2. Kevin,

    It’s not a bug in the calculator. Those votes are never distributed because they are at a reduced value and not distributed until after the full value votes. The Liberal is elected on the full value preferences distributed and the count ceases at that point. If there is a bug, it is that the last table should include a third line which contains the residual votes remaining with the Sex Party at the point when the Liberal is elected. Under the counting rules, those votes are not required and therefore not distributed.

  3. thanks Rod

    seems its too close to call for the last seats in north and west metro and it won’t really get much more certain till the buttons pressed before the 14th.

    I’ll relax and be patient, then.

  4. Northern Vic looks interesting,
    If the Sex party had preferenced the Greens instead of the Country Alliance then Country Alliance would have won on ALP preferences, then the Greens would have won on the remainder of the ALP preferences and the Final count would have been 1 Lib, 1 Nat, 1 ALP, 1 Country Alliance, and 1 Green.
    Instead of that there will be 2 libs, 1 nat, and 2 ALP.
    As noted by Andrew Bartlett, if the Libs keep going on about the Greens and putting them last, they should ask themselves if there is any room for ethics in these dealings, the Greens must have been tempted to put the Libs last everywhere after the announcement by the Libs re the 4 inner melbourne seats. Obviously there was at least one person in the Greens who kept thier head and decided that decency should persist.
    Whilst I see no hope of these ATL deals ending soon, they are making a mockery of the democratic process. At the very least the ATL votes should be distributed as the voters voted BTL. This would end the ridiculous position where a side deal between the Country Alliance and the Sex party for one to run in Northern Metro to support the other in return for the other to run in Northern Vic to return the favour, looks like deciding the whole balance of power in the Upper House.
    Sidepoint, the Greens preference team should all do the honourable thing and fall on their sword. Both the ALP and the Sex party are stating privately that the Greens refused to even take calls. this then lead to the Country Alliance/ALP/Sex party deal in afore mentioned Northern Vic.
    The final part of this deal was Country Alliance preferencing the ALP in both Bendigo East (Part of the save Jacinta Allen deal) and in West Bendigo. One of the reasons why the Nats got closer here is that the Country Alliance deal allowed for a split ticket by CA which had one side going to the ALP before the Libs but the other side going to the Nats then the ALP before the libs.

  5. My bug comment in 250 was indeed incorrect and Antony at 252 has correctly corrected me. The votes in question are only *potentially* available to Labor should the Liberals somehow not have already reached quota. So the race for the final seat is closer than the figures at the bottom indicate, but so long as the Liberals get quota that’s irrelevant.

    N Metro Greens vote continues to swell, now out to 18.93% and a notional lead over Mayne of 2500+.

    No update in West Metro yet today.

  6. I see in N Metro the Greens vote is now up to the point that the Sex Party almost notionally beat Labor. However this seems a remote prospect since they are receiving BTLs from CA, Group C, Greens and Group A to get there (Group C in particular is a problem), so even if they are shown as outlasting Labor at some point it isn’t likely to actually happen.

  7. Barking

    LOL, the “ethnics” of putting the green’s last? LOL, the Greens seem to have a born to rule mentality, where they believe that they are so pure that everyone should put them 2nd. Quite simply, the Green has always put the Liberal’s last in almost every election, and I could not remember one, where the Greens put the Liberals above Labor, yet the Green has the hide to claim that it is unethnical to put them last!!!!

    Quite simply, if the Greens wants Liberal preference …. start earning them …. there is no free lunches in the world. The Greens seem to think they deserve special treatment for doing nothing.

    The other point is that there are a lot of policies that the Greens have that really concerns “Conservative” and should concern ALP voters…. like policies on Drugs, high taxes, death taxes etc, it is the will of the majority of conservative voters to put the Greens last …. nothing unethnical about it

  8. Dovif

    Creating a straw person on Greens attitude on preferences – if it makes you feel good fine – but it does not add to the sum of human wisdom or sensible analysis of counting in the Legislative Council

  9. dgh1

    In my opinion, the Greens and One Nation are really the same party on different end of the political spectum. Both have policies that offend a great majority of moderate (swing) voters. Whether it is Phobias, Death Tax or drug policy.

    The Liberals stood up to One Nation, highlighted their extreme view and preferenced them last, and One Nation has pretty much disappear. If the ALP have any conviction, they would do the same.

    The Election turned when the Liberals announced their decision of putting the green last, that was part of the reasons there was a late swing to the Liberals. As for the Legislative Council, this late swing means the Liberals might capture an outright majority, as they are likely to win 2 marginal contests.

    If the Liberals had not preferenced the Green last, the Liberals probably losses the last 2 seats and the Greens would hold the balance of power and side with the ALP per norm…. I know what I prefer

  10. Dovif

    Looked at in terms of socio-economic composition the two parties can hardly be more different. Their trajectory and history as political movements is also radically different as is their time orientation – Greens forward looking, One Nation focussed on the past.

    The merits of Green specific policies,as for any other polticial party are worth a debate but need to be dealt with one by one on their merits or otherwise.

  11. Dovif – I won’t bother arguing with your political views, I doubt I’d change them any more than you’d change mine. But you are simply wrong to state that “the Greens has (sic) always put the Liberal’s (sic) last”.

    As my comment @248 noted, the Liberals would not have won the final seat in the North Victoria region if the Greens had put them dead last – and this would not have got control of the Upper House. Instead the Greens (rightly in my views) put the Libs ahead of Country Alliance – Country Alliance would almost certainly have won this seat if the Greens had preferenced them first.

    From memory, the Greens normally put the Liberals ahead of most of the far right parties like the Christian (sic) Democrats (sic), DLP, Family First, One Nation, Shooters and Fishers in their Upper House preference allocations. I think that is the way to go, but if the Liberals continue with an approach of putting the Greens dead last regardless of who else is running, I wouldn’t blame the Greens if they reconsidered their approach.

  12. …. and Dovif’s statement that “If the Liberals had not preferenced the Green last, the Liberals probably losses (sic) the last 2 seats and the Greens would hold the balance of power and side with the ALP per norm” is also wrong.

    There is no seat – Lower or Upper House – that the Liberals would have lost if they had preferenced the Greens higher. Whether it is a single or multi-member electorate, the preferences of any party only get counted once they are out of the contest. Every party’s or a candidate’s preferences only affect who else might win, once that party or candidate has been excluded/removed from the count.

  13. Andrew

    In response to 255, My point is in relation to ALP vs Liberal and the fact that if Green wants Liberal preferce they will need to negotiate for them, why should the Liberals just give it to them when they would have just in the end supported an ALP government

    In response to 256, It is my believe that the Liberals putting Greens last, help swayed a lot of the undecided (who are afraid of certain green policies) from voting for the ALP to the Liberals, While this cannot be proven, I believe it changed the election in both the Lower or Upper house, by moving the primary vote from the ALP to the Liberals. And was probably the difference in a few seats in the lower house, and could definitely changes the 2 close seats in the upper house

    Like it or not, there are a lot of swing voters, who are afraid of the policies of the Greens, be they workers in the mining industry, people who worries about youth and drugs, people worried about death taxes etc

  14. Dovif,
    It was a simple matter of putting the Libs last in northern vic and Donna Petrovich would have lost to the ALP strawmen of the Country Alliance.
    You are making a very simple mistake of thinking that you have something to offer. The Libs Nats have now shown that there is nothing they can offer the greens.
    Good luck with that.
    In future you may consider a simply historical fact. 12 years ago I was at a rally, standing next to a Greens campaign co-ordinator, who happened to be married to an Asian wife,. the One Nation candidate for the 1998 election turned and with venom said, ‘In 15 years time, One Nation will be a power and the Greens will be gone!” With credit to the Greens gentleman, he did restrain himself pyhsically, but the tirade of abuse was something I treasure to this day. And whats more he was right. Just a small point here, I’m a Green because the Worlds scientific community are predicting that the burning of fossil fuels will ruin our grandchildrens future and cause untold suffering. What your excuse for being here.
    To Andrew Bartlett, thankyou for your comments, and can I join you in congratulating the person who put the Country Alliance below the libs,. For whilst our friends here think this is a game, its far from it.

  15. Hartland notionally 288 over quota in W Metro. It’s very hard to say if that’s enough or not. The main question is: just how strongly will the Sex Party below-the-line voters preference the Greens over Labor?

  16. Barking

    Please save your preaching for another time, that is why I always consider the Greens and God-botherer the same extremists. They both think they are superior to other people, just because they believe in something. It seem to the virtue of the people who “thinks” they are righteous. The funniest thing is that they hate each other, because they are so similar!!!!

    The funniest thing is that I have been asked by God-botherers why I am here…

    If the Greens are so protective of the environment, they should make Nuclear a central issue, but that would cause them to lose the one selling point of the “Green” brand.

    That is also the central reason why the Green will never negotiate meaningfully with the ALP on the ETS, because that would make them obsolete.

  17. dovif
    Commentary on the count is what this thread is about. Discussion about your perceptions of the statement of mind of Greens, should really be on some other thread. William I suspect is moderating with a very light touch.

    On the issue of the count – no further commentary from Anthony yesterday. Guess we now just have to wait for the final button push on Monday.

  18. Antony Green posted on his ABC election blog, that the LC recheck is complete and that the button will be pressed on Tuesday.
    There will be no more updates for his calculators.

  19. [Antony Green posted on his ABC election blog, that the LC recheck is complete and that the button will be pressed on Tuesday.]

    That would seem to be the end of the line for Northern Metro then. The gaps seem too large for anyone but the Liberals to conceivably win the seat.

    West Metro who knows.

    I reckon the Greens will not do better than 3:1 over Labor on the Sex Party BTLs even assuming no exhaust (and there will be some since some SP voters will go to other parties then exhaust). And they might do significantly worse.

    This has some very weak support from the 2010 senate results (looking at Sex Party BTL distributions there) but that is confounded by those results involving BTLs that reached the Sex Party from a variety of sources, and that were distributed (in NSW and SA, or in cases involving leaking votes) in cases where there were other parties besides the Greens and ALP still in those races. Rather than rely on that I’ll just say that in my experience a split greater than 3:1, when the two target parties aren’t at completely opposite ends of the “likemindedness” scale when compared to the source party, would be quite odd. Especially when exhaust is still an option.

    If the Greens get 3:1 with negligible exhaust, which is optimistic for them, then that wipes out Labor’s “secure vote” lead as per Antony’s piece and leaves the questions of: Labor gain on the BTLs of their feeders (if any), and comparative leakage results at within-party exclusions and surpluses.

    If the Greens do worse than that then they start behind before those things are considered.

    On exposure to leakage (votes failing to flow within a party ticket): The Greens are exposed to leakage from the BTLs of their minor candidates. In 2006 these were about 5% of their total and if this is the case this time they will have about 2500 votes that can leak.

    Labor have 5354 BTLs. Some of these will be for their #3 candidate and can’t leak. Some of these will be for their #1 and #2 candidates and can leak, but because their #3 candidate was only expecting them at 29% value, this is less damaging when it happens.
    Still Labor is a bit more exposed to leakage and this might cost them 100 votes or so.

    I think the chances are very close to even. Maybe Hartland’s higher profile as an incumbent ticket leader will tip it just in the Greens’ favour, I have seen that sort of thing happen pretty often.

  20. The Labor ticket is more exposed to exhausted preferences than leakage. Labor has to win election on the Liberal surplus. Every DLP or Family First or Liberal vote that exhausts or leaks before the second Liberal cuts the size of the Liberal surplus, and every exhausted vote beyond the second Liberal also cuts the flow of preferencs to Labor, though at a reduced rate.

    In 2006, on the exclusion of the final DLP and Family First candidates, around 1,000 votes exhausted rather than flow to the second Liberal. 300 of those exhaistion were first preferences for the DLP and FFP lead candidates. If that were to occur again in 2010, Labor would struggle to win as that would cut 1,000 votes from the Liberal surplus and Labor needs those votes to catch the Green. As most votes in the Liberal surplus will be FFP/DLP/LIB tickets, every below the line vote missing from the Liberal surplus deprives Labor of a guaranteed ticket preference.

    Ignoring exhausted preferences, Labor starts in front, but as Labor will have to come from behind, exhausted preferences are the real danger for Labor.

  21. I recall on election night people saying that Labor was being hurt hurt by low turnout, and debating whether this was due to the weather or Labor abstentionism. Now that the votes are counted, we find that turnout actually went up, from 92.7 to 93.0. The informal vote rose only slightly, from 4.6 to 5.0. The Greens improved on the late counting and finished with 11.2, up 1.2. So none of these things determined the result. There was a straighforward swing from Labor to Liberal, most strongly in the middle and outer eastern suburbs where Labor took 8 of its 12 losses.

  22. Ah, I get it now with the exhausted preferences (at least the DLP/FF ones).

    I was only looking at it not being such a big deal if these exhaust *when* the Lib surplus is distributed, since they are worth less than a tenth of a vote anyway at that stage (c. .085 last time we had a notional figure for it and probably less than that in reality). So I was saying, even assume the lot exhaust at that stage, it can only do so much damage.

    But I hadn’t considered what happens if they exhaust without ever getting to that stage, and that’s a much bigger issue because those that do knock the Liberal surplus down by a whole vote instead of a small fraction. That makes Labor’s exposure to BTL issues (outside their own party) much greater than the 450-odd votes that I calculated back in #241. It means they are really exposed to the FF and DLP below-the-lines (2061 of them) at full value from the perspective of whether they exhaust or not. Only if those votes reach the second Liberal does their impact should they leak or exhaust become small. And the FF and DLP BTLs weren’t the lions’ share of the exposure in the surplus so that is likely to take hundreds off Labor compared to what I had previously.

    As for the 700 votes exhausting that weren’t #1 FF or DLP, those would most likely have been leakage from all over the show so I’m not sure whether they should count against Labor’s position, since they might not have been included in it in the first place (or might have been already included, eg as leakage from Labor in my version). But even if we only include the 300, that’s a big difference. And with the DLP having 1236 BTLs and being the party that fielded five candidates, I won’t be surprised if it’s actually more than 300.

    That all added to the mix Hartland must have the better chance now, unless the Sex Party preferences are exceedingly useless to her.

  23. That should have been “9 of its 12 losses.” Since the Bracks landslide of 2002, Labor has lost 19 seats, of which 14 have been in the eastern suburbs, one in the inner suburbs and only four outside Melbourne. This reinforces the fact that swing voters in the affluent eastern suburbs rule Victorian politics. Governments which displease these voters lose elections. That’s the real reason, for example, why all recent state governments have neglected public transport – these voters drive to work, and want more freeways, not more trams and trains they don’t use.

    Labor losses since 2002: Bayswater, Bentleigh, Burwood, Carrum, Evelyn, Fertree Gully, Forest Hill, Frankston, Gembrook, Hastings, Kilsyth, Mitcham, Mordialloc, Mount Waverley (eastern suburbs), Prahran (inner suburbs), Morwell, Narracan, Seymour, South Barwon (outside Melbourne)

  24. 281

    The trains were a major issue in the election. Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Carrum and Frankston are on the Frankston line and the problems on this line are generally considered to have been a major factor in the ALP loosing government. The cumulative effects of the lack of spending on suburban PT (and a few other PT decisions) in the 1st 2 terms of the Bracks Government are partly to blame for this.

  25. ALP may be done in by Optional Preferential voting: Working one to five
    The Australian Labor Party may be done in by the system of optional preferential voting that they introduced for the first time this election. Under previous elections voters had to preference all candidates, under the new rules voters had to only number one to five. The instructions on the ballot paper stated number one to five.

    There is no logic behind the new rules. Why just allow five If a large number of voter’s preferences stop at five then the ballot paper exhausts and many voter’s unknown to them will be throwing way their ballot paper.

    If everyone or a large number of people preference just five candidates our system of voting will be come a de facto first-past-the-post voting system or a party list system. by default

    The VEC should have issued a statement that you should number five or more preferences and that in order to maximise your vote you should number every square.

    In Western Metropolitan there is now concern that a large number of ballot papers will in fact exhaust. Sex Party and Family First had nominated only two candidates so their voters will have to make a choice as to who they will vote for beyond their Party. Evey other party including the Liberal Party, the DLP, Greens and Labor all stood a full team of five candidates. This means that most of their voters could opt to just preference their party and no more. Analysis of the August Victoria Senate election indicates that the number of Sex Party below-the-line voters who preferenced the ALP directly after was less then 14%. The number who preferences the Greens directly after Sex Party was 27%. The remaining 59% had opted to preference another party before either the Greens or the ALP. This will most certainly add to the unknown in Western Metro where every preference will count. What is in ALPs favour is that it is the group to the right and many Sex Party voters will tend to preference the ALP next before stopping at five. This could be the ALP best chance at surviving the optional preferential count

    UPDATE: Further Analysis in existing data indicates that Bob Smith will fall short by 50-300 votes mainly due to the optional preferential voting. It is anticipated that many FF/DLP and Liberal votes will exhaust before being transferred to the ALP. Whilst the ALP will pickup the lions share of SexParty Below the line Preferences it is insufficient to make up the short fall that is needed from FF, DLP and the Liberal Party transfers. To have a chance of winning Bob Smith will need 50% of Sex Parties 3,4 and 5 preferences before the Greens to make up the short fall from FF/DLP and Liberal optional prefernital votes. This may be to much to achieve. The ALP will live to reget its decsion to introduce optional prefernetial ballots. Its woprst then issuing a split ticket above the line.

    Tthe winning candidate will have less then a quota. creating another distortion in the way the ballot is counted. In a more accurate proportional system system the quota would be adjusted to accommodate the dropping quota as ballot exhaust through-out the count. with a reiterative count model the ballot is reset and all votes are redistributed after any exclusion as if the candidate excluded had not stood.. A new quota is calculated at the end of the primary distribution in each iteration of the count automatically adjusts as the count as it progresses. It is much more accurate and better reflects the voters intentions.

  26. Looks like Colleen Hartland has been elected in Western Metro. I don’t have the numbers yet, though.

    And Zelony Chai, I believe four years ago below the line ballots with 1-5 in them were valid. Not sure what changed this time around.

  27. 1-5 below the line votes were formal in 2006. There has been no change to that provision in the electoral act.

    Hartland won because, as I said on my blog earlier this week and pointed out in comment 278 above, every exhausted vote cost Labor part of the Liberal surplus, and that’s what happened. Exhausted preferences flowing through the Liberal ticket prevented Labor catching Hartland and Hartland won with a lead over Labor’s Smith of 2,035. Hartland filled the final vacancy 103 votes short of a quota.

  28. Just double checking, I’m not quite right. Hartland almost got there on below the line preferences, helped by a few reduced transfer value votes originally from the lead Labor and Liberal candidates that were distributed after the second Liberal was elected, and so were not part of the Liberal surplus.

  29. Congrats to Colleen Hartland – whi did it tough last time too. Shame about the coalition upper house majority.

    Psephos at 279 offers a sensible summary.

    (Although at 281 – it’d have to be noted that only improved public transport CAN improve traffic flows at this point. Ive never understoodwhy the car/ freeway lobby doesnt get this. Put light rail down the median of the eastern freeway and guess what? it’ll ALSO be easier to drive to work. Car owners win too.

    Mind-blowing I know, but check the way-out logic I employ: people who take public transport that day arent driving there.

  30. I expected Hartland to win after I finally got the point re how big a problem exhaust was over the weekend, but not by that much.

    Looking at the line in W Metro where each party had one candidate left, by this stage the following changes had occurred from the primary total:

    FF + 390, Green + 155, ASP +84, DLP – 48, Liberal -325, Labor -769 Exhaust/Loss +513.

    These changes occurred entirely on BTL leakage because a BTL vote that goes through all candidates of the party of the first candidate voted for hasn’t been distributed at this stage.

    So that’s 924 votes that Hartland gained – net – as a result of a better performance on BTL leakage. Much more than I think anyone expected.

    Labor lost 388 votes off the Pakula surplus and 75 off the Eideh surplus. That’s acceptable. But when Spinner went out they lost another 229 including 147 of 652 primaries. That’s a hold of only 77%, and worse for Labor most of it goes to Rees and not to Smith.

    When Rees went out the hold of Rees’ primaries to Smith – the only candidate left from his party on the paper – was only 65%. In all of Rees’ 1534 votes, 523 left the party (though with those that arrived as preferences a lot of them were probably leaks anyway).

    All up Labor dropped 1165 votes during their own distributions.

    The Greens also had quite high leakage rates but not as high, probably in part because their candidate still in the running was their ticket leader. But something else that helped them was that the number of primaries for their minor candidates was small – only 1428 – so in the end they ended up much less exposed to the problem and only dropped 642 votes during their own distributions (and that would have included votes picked up on leaks from other parties).

    Looking just at leakage directly off surpluses and primaries, Labor dropped 862 of which 252 went directly to Hartland while the Greens dropped only 354 of which just 38 went direct to Smith. Each leak to an opponent counts double so that’s 722 votes of Hartland’s margin right there and shows that leakage was a major contributor to the margin in its own right. But even if it hadn’t been, she would have won anyway.

    It is a bit similar to Bass (Tas state election 2006) – profile is a big advantage for a Green ticket leader in a notionally tight situation.

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