Like wow — wipeout

Surveying the damage region by region:

  ALP L-NP GRN 2011 2007 2003
Inner Sydney 29.3% 36.9% 21.2% 47.4% 59.6% 64.1%
  -12.9% 12.0% 0.0% -12.2% -4.6%
Northern Sydney 12.2% 67.6% 14.0% 19.2% 35.5% 42.3%
  -8.8% 16.2% 2.5% -16.2% -6.9%
Western Sydney 41.3% 40.4% 6.9% 50.6% 68.3% 71.5%
  -16.3% 16.2% 0.9% -17.7% -3.2%
Southern Sydney 35.1% 49.6% 8.7% 42.5% 56.7% 62.2%
  -12.1% 13.6% 1.5% -14.3% -5.4%
Outer Sydney 24.7% 53.0% 8.1% 34.2% 57.8% 60.8%
  -23.5% 17.3% 1.3% -23.6% -3.0%
SYDNEY 28.5% 50.7% 11.1% 37.9% 55.3% 59.9%
-14.5% 15.7% 1.6% -17.5% -4.5%
Central Coast 28.7% 51.5% 12.0% 37.6% 51.9% 57.5%
  -12.9% 12.9% 4.8% -14.3% -5.6%
Hunter Region 30.9% 36.1% 8.8% 47.0% 59.8% 60.5%
  -12.9% 12.6% -0.3% -12.8% -0.7%
Illawarra 35.2% 34.5% 12.3% 51.5% 68.7% 69.6%
  -19.0% 12.0% 1.7% -17.2% -0.9%
North Coast 12.7% 60.7% 13.1% 22.9% 35.9% 41.5%
  -11.7% 12.4% 2.6% -13.0% -5.6%
Regional 16.5% 59.7% 6.1% 25.8% 36.8% 40.6%
  -11.0% 29.5% 0.5% -11.0% -3.8%
NON-SYDNEY 22.7% 50.8% 9.1% 34.2% 46.1% 48.5%
-14.5% 15.7% 1.6% -11.9% -2.4%

Inner Sydney (6 seats). All seats had been held by Labor except Sydney; now they have lost Drummoyne and Coogee to the Liberals and are tussling with the Greens for Balmain and Marrickville (though they are probably home and hosed in the latter). Labor got pummelled by a 23.9 per cent swing in Drummoyne, and in the mid-teens in Heffron and Coogee. However, their vote held up a lot better where the campaign had been framed in the Labor-versus-Greens terms. The method I’ve used for approximating Labor-versus-Liberal two-party results doesn’t work so well when non-major parties take a big share of the vote, which applies to most of this area.

Northern Sydney (15 seats). By this I mean “the Liberal area” (albeit that it includes Ryde, which Labor won in 2007 – but which now has a Liberal margin of 26 per cent), and to this end I’ve stretched the definition of northern Sydney to include Vaucluse. This area recorded Labor’s lowest primary vote swing simply because they had the least to lose here – a swing as big as in outer Sydney would have sent them beyond the twilight zone and into negative territory.

Western Sydney (19 seats). All were held by Labor going into the election: now they’ve lost Camden, Campbelltown, Granville, Londonderry, Parramatta, Smithfield and Strathfield, and are going down to the wire in East Hills. The two worst swings were in seats they retained: Cabramatta and Lakemba. The 9.1 per cent swing in Macquarie Fields was about 5 per cent better than anything else in the region, and probably has something to do with the unusually big swing last time.

Southern Sydney (6 seats). This includes Liberal-held Cronulla and five Labor held-seats in the St George/Sutherland/Maroubra area. Labor has lost Miranda, Rockdale and probably Oatley. Swings in the Labor seats were in the 13 to 15 per cent range except Miranda, where a very slight margin was annihilated by a 21.8 per cent swing.

Outer Sydney (6 seats). The new suburbs are always the most volatile, and the 23.6 per cent two-party swing reflects this. Four of the seats recorded swings in the 20s, peaking with Riverstone at a giddy 29.9 per cent. Labor won all six seats at the 2007 election – now there are Liberal margins ranging from 4.7 per cent in Blue Mountains to 24.8 per cent in Menai.

Central Coast (4 seats). Featuring Terrigal, which the Liberals already held, and Gosford, Wyong and The Entrance, which they didn’t before but do now. Labor suffered a tellingly smaller swing in Wyong (9.5 per cent), where member David Harris stood and fought, than in Gosford (16.5 per cent) and The Entrance (17.1 per cent) which were vacated by sitting members.

Hunter Region (8 seats). Previously six Labor seats, one Liberal seat and an independent seat, now five Liberal seats, two Labor seats are an independent. Newcastle, Charlestown, Maitland and Swansea went Liberal, while Cessnock and Wallsend stayed Labor. None of the independents who were being touted proved a serious contender: Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate managed less than half what he scored when he nearly won the seat in 2007 to finish in fourth place.

Illawarra (5 seats). All Labor before, now two Labor (Shellharbour and Keira), two Liberal (Kiama and Heathcote) with one going down to the wire between Labor member Noreen Hay and independent challenger Gordon Bradbery, who is the only potential new independent.

North Coast (7 seats). Six Nationals seats have become seven with Peter Besseling’s defeat in Port Macquarie.

Regional (17 seats). Previously accounted for two Labor (Bathurst and Monaro) and two independent (Tamworth and Dubbo) seats, now a conservative clean sweep. All four gains have been by the Nationals, most memorably Bathurst with its 36.3 per cent swing. Liberal held seats in this group are Albury, Bega, Goulburn, South Coast and Wagga Wagga).

The 2011 results in the table are based on almost the entire polling booth count, with a couple of booths still outstanding here and there. The swings are in comparison with the comparable figures from the last election. The two-party figures presented above are based on estimates in the many cases that were not Labor-versus-Coalition two-party contests, and are perhaps a little lacking in finesse. I have basically extrapolated the preference flows for the seats where there are Labor-versus-Coalition on to the ones where there aren’t. Independent and minor party preferences appeared to have divide about 24 per cent to Labor and 20 per cent to the Coalition, with 56 per cent exhausting. This compared with 30 per cent to Labor, 20 per cent to the Coalition and 50 per cent exhausting in 2007. The 2011 figure was determined with reference to 63 electorates where there were a) complete polling booth counts, and b) Labor-versus-Coalition preference figures available.

The upper house looks like 11 seats for the Coalition, five for Labor, three for the Greens and one each for Shooters and Fishers and the Christian Democratic Party, although Labor could perhaps yet poach the third Greens’ seat. If not, the numbers in the chamber will be Coalition 19 (12 Liberals and seven Nationals), Labor 14, Greens five, Shooters and Fishers two, Christian Democratic Party two.

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.

945 comments on “Like wow — wipeout”

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  1. Then there are the Fitzgibbons in the Hunter first Eric then his son Joel!

    I hope no one is getting the idea that the preselection ballots in the Labor Party are a closed shop!

  2. Gough Whitlam’s son Anthony had a very short stint in federal parliament.

    The Liberal (Sir) Keith Wilson was succeeded in Sturt by his son Ian, who lost the seat in 1969, won its back in 1972, and finally was undermined by the wonderful Christopher Pyne in the spirit of true comradeship.

  3. The Greens have not done nearly as well as they should have in vote terms in this election. They need a leader and better campaigning. NSW was also the Greens worst state in the Commonwealth election last year.

    The Victorian Greens had the Liberal preference decision which took some of the wind out of their sails and they still did better on both vote and swing.

  4. James J

    You have to love Keating! Never once supported him in a vote during the years I was a delegate to NSW Annual Conference but I grew to love the man’s style.

    Oh! How we could all do with some passion flair and colour these days!

    So much better than being bored to death!

  5. confessions

    I had forgotten the Jenkins but I do like Harry’s style and sense of humour in a difficult position.

  6. Hatton`s vote was surprisingly low.

    He had advertising, having backed the Coalition between 1991 and 1995 and a government with a strong perception of corruption (which he has a history in fighting) in his favour.

    The general “vote for the Coalition to get change” bandwagon effect is probably the major factor.

    2007 probably would have been the election for him to run successfully.

  7. Poor lower Hunter:
    Federally in Hunter: Rowley James 1928-1958 and then Bert James 1960-1983
    While in the state in PR/Kurri Kurri/Wallsend: George Booth 1925-1960 and then Ken Booth 1960-1988

    People debate who of Rowley and Bert was the dumber and while it is true that Rowley used to make dental appointments through the parliamentary broadcast (when it had big ratings) it is also true that when Bert left the NSW Police Force and joined caucus the average IQ of both organisations increased by 5%.

  8. Yes, from memory he read out an article from The Kings Cross Whisper. Bert was used as the chief muck thrower for many years. Amongst others he attacked were John Maddison, the Barton crooks and the guy who kept tying up the courts with claims that Whitlam was part of some giant conspiracy. I remember hearing him attack W C Wentworth IV – I don’t know if any of it was true but it was certainly a hilarious speech.

  9. Eddie Obeid has written a column in today’s SMH. The take-away: the factions really haven’t done anything. Indeed, at the end of it I started to wonder why anybody bothers to attend their meetings. Can anybody fill me in???

  10. Yes, it’s the old “Oh look the finances are so unexpectedly awful I have to break all my election promises, what a pity!” ruse. Not very original Barry.

  11. PSEPHOS – Considering that governments are basically a ravenous beast, I would have thought that forward projections are always in the red.

    Pretty low rent sending the head of the department on gardening leave though. What is he supposed to have done wrong?

  12. rosa

    Nobody is attending meetings the process has almost become redundant! ALP members are hard to find these days. They have been treated as fodder and they don’t like it!

  13. MYTWO – I was referring to “factional” meetings. Eddie seems to be saying they’ve been moribund for years and everybody is to blame expect him.

  14. [“Factionalism should play no role in selecting the frontbench and in decision-making by the state caucus,” Senator Arbib said.]

    The man has the hide of an elephant!

  15. rosa

    He would say that wouldn’t he! He may be right to a degree there is really no need to have a “meeting” of the few who have been running the show for years now when a couple of phone calls can do the job.

  16. MYTWO – Agree.

    I wonder where Arbib will be on the Senate ticket next time he’s up for election? One? two? I’m not holding my breath.

  17. ROSA – I think PJ is on 7.30 report tonight. I understand that Robertson is going to be taping it and sending it out to his mates.

  18. Rosa

    You woudn’t miss the Keating interview for quids! Paul is in a class of his own for mine!

    Arbib et al may well decide to give it all away once Paul is finished! One can only hope!

  19. If it were up to me, I’d sack every department head, and probably 50,000 regular public servants. After 16 years, a purge is necessary.

  20. GP

    Hmmmmm. Why has no one bitten on your last comment?

    Have you ever sacked anyone in your life or restrucutured a department or even been part of a restructure?

  21. I think one of the reasons we’re seeing so much about BOF and so much commentary about the implications for federal ALP, as opposed to nothing much said about Baillieu’s victory, can perhaps be put down to the Sydney-centrism of our msm.

  22. Could be confessions but Victorian election was almost a draw compared to NSW.

    A good poll or at least a poll question directed to whether NSW voters connect last Saturday with Federal issues would be preferable to the boring and predictable Liberal/Labor/Green take on the issue.

  23. Yes, I agree.

    Sky News usually do an exit poll and ask respondents to rank the issues that were important in their vote. I don’t know if they did this for this election, or if they did what the results were.

  24. So the Shooters and Fishers party (which is likely to have the BoP with the CDP) want target practice introduced to all schools.

    Good luck getting your agenda through parliament, BOF!

  25. Confesssions, it is all puff and wind – none of these blokes are going to align with Labor/Green on a vote unless Lib and Nats too


    It did not take long for Robertson to have his first lie

    He later repeated his assertion to The Daily Telegraph, saying: “I am not just an electrician, I have been to university, I have co-authored a book.”

    When told Ms McKenna’s name was the only one on the book’s cover, Mr Robertson said it was “true” that Ms McKenna had written it, but said he had “co-edited” it.

    Mr Robertson also told The Daily Telegraph he had gone to the University of Technology, Sydney but could not remember what his graduate diploma was in, although he thought it was human resources.

    At least the ALP is not wasting a leader with any talent

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