Clarence by-election live

# % Swing 2PP Swing
Walker 799 2.2%
Ellem (ALP) 10390 28.8% 18.6% 36.0% 17.4%
Scott-Irving 302 0.8%
Robinson (DEM) 233 0.7%
Camac (CDP) 739 2.0% 0.2%
Gulaptis (NAT) 20788 55.4% -7.3% 64.0% -17.4%
Mead (ORP) 901 2.6%
Cavanaugh (GRN) 2654 7.4% 0.6%
TOTAL 36806
Booths counted 44 out of 44
Votes counted 73.3% of enrolled voters

9.34pm. All booths have reported primary vote results: Clarence Village Hall remains outstanding on 2PP, and I won’t be hanging around for it. As usual, by-elections offer something for everybody, but on balance this has to be rated an encouraging result for Labor – in nearly tripling their vote they have demonstrated greater long-term resilience of their support base than they might have feared after a state election that saw the defection of masses of voters who continue to identify with the party. However, a few qualifications need to be added. Labor worked very hard for this morale boost, after wholly neglecting Clarence at a state election which saw all their efforts dedicated to saving as many naturally safe seats as possible. Nationals leader Andrew Stoner has jibed that this is still Labor’s second worst performance ever in Clarence (not counting the one occasion when Labor contested the seat before its temporary abolition in the 1920s), although Labor might yet surpass that: they are currently on 28.82 per cent compared with 28.85 per cent in 1973 and 28.87 per cent in 1991. Antony Green notes this is the fifth biggest by-election swing in NSW since World War II; Labor boasts that it is the biggest by-election swing suffered in the state by the Nationals, although that’s a rather particular record for them to have set.

9.15pm. Fairly similar result to the 2007 election: Nats 52.9 and ALP 30.0, 61.7-38.3 on two-party.

9.02pm. Ten more booths added, only three more to come on the primary vote.

8.50pm. Preference splits better for Labor than at the election (24.2 per cent against 20.7 per cent), and about the same for the Nationals (23.8 per cent against 23.5 per cent).

8.43pm. 4158 pre-polls added.

8.37pm. “Looking like Labor’s 2nd worst result ever in Clarence”, says Andrew Stoner on Twitter. The current Labor primary vote is a fraction behind their vote in 1973 and 1991. They did worse on the one occasion when they fielded a candidate before the seat’s temporary abolition in the 1920s, polling 27.8 per cent in 1913.

8.25pm. Four more booths added.

8.02pm. Ten booths added on primary vote, and an exasperatingly huge number on 2PP.

7.31pm. Antony Green notes the Greens have won the Nymboida booth, which apparently isn’t a shock to those who know the area. Swing in Casino slightly above the average; no results yet from Grafton.

7.29pm. Actually six booths with 2PP results. Preferences are going 18.9 per cent to Labor, 15.6 per cent to Nationals and 65.6 per cent exhaust, compared with 20.7 per cent, 23.5 per cent and 55.8 per cent at the elections.

7.25pm. There are also 2PP results from three booths now, the preference splits for which have been applied across all 15 booths with primary votes recorded.

7.24pm. Thirteen booths irritatingly added all at once. Table updated.

6.51pm. Baryulgil has reported 2PP, and for what very little it’s worth, Labor got three preference votes and the Nationals one, with four exhausting. My 2PP projection continues to be based off the last election’s preference distribution.

6.42pm. The two booths are tiny Baryulgil (48 votes), located deep inland and far from the main population centres, and Brooms Head on the coast (135). The latter was not in operation at the previous election, and its result is derived from hiving votes from the nearby Gulmarrad.

6.40pm. Until we get notional two-party counts, I will be projecting the two-party result as per the result of the previous election. In the above table, primary vote figures are raw, but two-party and both swing measures are derived from booth matching.

6.38pm. Two small booths accounting for 183 formal votes added.

6pm. Welcome to live coverage of the Clarence by-election. Polls are now closed and this being an at least partly rural electorate, I expect the first results will be with us in about half an hour.

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.

101 comments on “Clarence by-election live”

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  1. Just saw Muskiemp’s comment in the last thread – Robinson has put a lot into this – I wonder if a poor result will have implications for him.

    I’ll go 70/30

  2. What result will each party be happy with? I realise that whatever happens Libs, Labs and Greens will claim success. But what are the real lines?

  3. Taking the Independent Williams out who polled 17% last time will make this impossible to read. I guess the telling figure will be the Nat primary.

  4. I agree for Barry the Nats will wont to win easily and I suspect that they will. the only reason why I think the ALP might reach 30% is if for some reason the Government has done something that the locals don’t like.

    Although I am not aware of any such issues so my prediction is very positive for the ALP whom may be lucky to reach 25%

  5. Admittedly I live 200km away but I am not aware of any significant local issues for the Nats – they seem to have ignored Candsell’s indiscretion

  6. ALP are running on a fear campaign of the govt privatising Grafton Gaol and more generally on CSG paranoia. Might provide reasons to vote against the Nats but no reason to vote ALP.

    The cynicism of the CSG backflip by the ALP will be treated with the contempt it deserves.

  7. The cynicism of the CSG backflip by the ALP will be treated with the contempt it deserves.

    As opposed to the (alleged) Coalition backflip on the very same subject?

  8. K

    I am not sure what coalition backflip you are talking about. I am talking about the ALP one, when in govt they covered the state with CSG exploration licences and now in opposition they are calling for a total moratorium on CSG exploration.

  9. Tony Abbott is reported to have on one day remarked that farmers had the right to refuse coal companies access to their land then the next day appeared top change is position

  10. Broom’s Head must be a new booth – ABC has no results from March

    It is famous for the number of people who live in Trailers and a particularly gruesome murder

  11. bg,

    Until recently, the Coalition had no problem with CSG at all.

    Now they are trying hard to show their concern for its impact on their votes communities.

    The ALP are going loud on it (and you’re right, it is cynical politics)- but the levels of cynicism on the Coalition are not lower.

    The Coals are either lying on a grand scale, or they think that they have found a more handsomely upholstered pocket to climb into elsewhere.

    Again, I am not yet ascribing higher ideals to the ALP on this issue (BTW- cynical or not, do you agree with their proposals?), but don’t ascribe lower ideals than the Coalition to anyone…

  12. From Anhtony Green

    18:39 – Twitter report of Nats with 50.4% in new booth at Brooms head. That would be 1.5% down on the result at Fed 2010 and NSW 2007.

  13. OC, Brooms Head was a booth at the federal but not the state election. I’ve given it a state election score to work off which I achieved by hiving votes off from the nearby Gulmarrad booth.

  14. I can’t see John Robertson being in trouble if there is no large swing to Labor.

    It’s only been 8 months since the election, even in the twitter era of politics and considering the size of the defeat that is too short a time for any large leaps forward.

  15. Lot of the small booths just came in ALP ~ 27% – I’d think they could go from conceded pass to pass but a credit is a long way off

  16. What are the effects of drinking battery fluid?

    I think its amazing that little pockets of hippydom ( e.g. Nymboida, Nimbin and Elands in Lyne) have survived up and down the coast

  17. [I think its amazing that little pockets of hippydom ( e.g. Nymboida, Nimbin and Elands in Lyne) have survived up and down the coast]

    Good point OC, why is it that alternative communities sprung up on the NSW North Coast, as say against Nth Qld or NT? I presume such communites prefer the warmer climate.

  18. The only Nat MP who is in a marginal seat is John Barilaro with a margin of 2% in Monaro. The next most marginal seat for the Nats is Tweed at 21%.

    I think we can safely say that the ALP will win Monaro back.

  19. Most of Grafton is in – just looking at the High School – there is a 6% swing away from Nats – less than the average so I guess that both the privatisation scare and carbon tax scare have either had little effect or balanced each other out

  20. [ GhostWhoVotes GhostWhoVotes
    #Clarence NAT Primary after 25 booths: 56.1 (-6.7) #nswpol #auspol
    2 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    #Clarence 2PP after 23 booths: ALP 35.2 (+16.6) NAT 64.8 (-16.6) #nswpol #auspol
    4 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply]

  21. [samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    WOW. Labor looking at over 17% swing towards it. Congrats to the Labor Clarence team and John Robertson! #Clarence
    11 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    No wonder Andrew Stoner was nowhere to be seen today. #Clarence
    12 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    Many voted Labor over CSG issue. RT @AntonyGreenABC #clarence – Green vote pretty static, what happened to CSG? –
    14 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    No wonder Andrew Stoner was nowhere to be seen today.
    16 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    WOW. Labor looking at over 17% swing towards it. Congrats to the Labor Clarence team and John Robertson!
    18 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply »
    samdastyari Sam Dastyari
    Nats facing substantial swing against them in Clarence! Should be an interesting night.

    Here’s how the faceless folk are spinning it.

    The reality is with the resignation of a once popular member and the ALP picking up the ~16-17% that the independent earned last time, its no big deal either way.

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