South Brisbane by-election live

# % Swing 2PP (proj.) Swing
McKenzie (IND) 318 1.8%
Panorea (DSP) 662 3.7%
McCreery (FFP) 237 1.3%
Bragg (GRN) 3,602 20.3% 2.3%
Grehan (LNP) 6,549 36.9% -1.2% 48.1% 2.7%
Flenady (IND) 171 1.0% -1.0%
Trad (ALP) 5,860 33.0% -5.9% 51.9% -2.7%
Wardrop (KAP) 368 2.1% -1.2%
TOTAL 17,767
Booths counted 18 out of 18
Votes counted 57.6% of enrolled voters

Late Saturday. I’ve finally added the last two Labor two-party figures, from their strong booths of West End and St Francis, and they have added 1% to the Labor result and brought my figures into line with Antony Green’s. There has also been a second batch of 646 pre-poll votes added, which had the Greens about 4% higher and the LNP about 4% lower than the first batch. My guess is that the first batch came from the Woolloongabba office and the second from the Brisbane CBD office. Unlike the polling booth results, these haven’t come yet with two-party results, but when they do they should cut about 100 from Labor’s 822 vote lead. Presumably that’s it for pre-polls, which should leave about 2000 postals plus a couple of dozen odds and sods, which will need to split implausibly heavily to the LNP (approaching 70-30) to trouble Labor’s lead.

8.34pm. Perhaps I spoke too soon just now – a few more two-party results have dragged Labor’s lead back below 1%.

8.32pm. The last two primary vote results are in. The few remaining two-party results (four booths) are unlikely to make much of a change to the current projection, and I won’t be adding them until later. Nobody would be conceding defeat this evening, but I certainly am expecting Labor to hang on. Before I go, another pointer to an interesting aspect of the rate of exhausted preferences, which has gone from 36.7% to over 50%.

8.01pm. West End and Stones Corner have reported: the former gave Labor a fillip, but the latter took some of it back again.

7.52pm. Still to report: West End, far the electorate’s biggest booth at 2759 at the election; another West End booth, St Francis, 1704 votes; and smaller Brisbane and Stones Corner, 376 and 771 respectively.

7.50pm. Two-party results coming in at a fairly rapid clip, nudging the Labor lead down slightly. Four booths remaining to report primary votes, each one very important.

7.44pm. Big Kangaroo Point booth’s preferences added. Not much regional variation to speak of in the swing.

7.42pm. Three more booths in. I was a bit worried by the discrepancy between my result and Antony’s, but his projection seems to be coming into line with mine.

7.38pm. Another south-eastern booth, Thompson Estate, and it’s another 6% drop in the primary vote for Labor. I see Antony Green’s projecting a worse result for Labor than me.
7.31pm. St Ita’s goes against my hypothesis that West End might go easier on Labor, giving the same 4% swing as the rest of the electorate.

7.28pm. Greenslopes yet another booth from the south-east. West End very unrepresented in the count so far.

7.26pm. Greenslopes booth steadies Labor a little.

7.25pm. Coorparoo has reported its preference count, and a relatively good Labor split there means I’ve got them very slightly back in front.

7.16pm. Big hike in exhausted preferences damaging Labor, such that an extra booth’s 2PP numbers puts my projection back at exactly 50-50. Labor also seems to have shed 6% on the primary vote with the LNP more or less steady.

7.14pm. Booths reporting so far are from the “old Labor” south-eastern part of the electorate. As on election night, I expect the more inner city booths will be better for Labor, improving their position as the evening progresses. Just supposition at this stage though.

7.11pm. Annerley Junction, Kangaroo Point and Dutton Park now added. Picture now is of a swing to Labor, but not quite enough for them to lose, with two quirky results in PA (very good for Labor) and Coorparoo (very good for LNP). Two booths now in on 2PP.

7.09pm. Bad results for Labor from Coorparoo now has me projecting the LNP in front. Annerley not as bad for them: 3.2% swing rather than 13.7%.

7.01pm. I’m leaving it out of my calculation for now because there are too few votes, but the PA booth’s two-party count suggests a big increase in exhausted preferences: from 37% to nearly 50%.

6.54pm. Second booth reports (Mater Hospital), and it cancels out the other booth’s swing by going 3.3% the other way.

6.50pm. Antony Green calculates a 7% swing in PA booth, which is higher than mine. Still splitting hairs over not very much at this stage though.

6.47pm. 689 pre-polls added, and compared with the election pre-poll total they show a big swing to the LNP – but this mean that they may come from an LNP-friendly polling location. I am only using booth results to project primary vote swings and the 2PP, to the current numbers are still based purely on the PA booth.

6.35pm. Tiny P.A. booth (156 votes) swings 4% to Labor. Labor steady, Greens up a bit, LNP well down.

6pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the South Brisbane by-election count. I might also throw in the odd comment about the Brisbane council as well, and I encourage discussion of both events in comments. As results come in, as they should start to do a bit before 7pm, the table above will display the raw numbers and percentages of votes counted; primary vote swings obtained by comparing the booths which have reported with the same booths at the election; and a two-party result and swing likewise obtained by booth-matching. Until the first two-party preferred results are reported (and they generally lag about half an hour behind the primary votes), the preference distribution from the election will be applied: 49% to Labor, 14% to the LNP and 37% exhausted. When such results become available, the preference split will be calculated and projected across the primary vote results of all booths where two-party results have yet to be reported.

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.

79 comments on “South Brisbane by-election live”

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  1. I think it will be closer to 59- 41. Pissing down with rain all day in SEQ has affected voter turnout. My booth at Kallangur in Moreton shire was very busy

  2. I voted at Chermside East in Marchant ward, which was very quiet around lunchtime. There were a LOT of LNP people handing out fliers and only a couple of ALP ones that I saw. According to ECQ, that booth is the friendliest ALP booth in the entire ward, which might account for some of that.

    You’re right that the weather has been really dreadful which will possibly affect turnout enough to have an impact, although I still reckon that Quirk will be comfortably re-elected about 60-40 after preferences.

  3. First time in my life I am not voting in Brisbane Council election and it seems strange. Now in Moreton Bay Div 1.

    Labor should win SB comfortably and LNP mayoral and council in Brisbane equally comfortably.

  4. [Joe6pack
    Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
    What would be the ramification if labor lost SB?]

    The Qld ALP would be reduced to 6 seats out of 89. Although looks like Antony predicts the ALP will scrape in by 1% in the end…

    The Qld ALP could squeeze into a big sedan. GEESSSH!!!!

  5. This is a continuation of the general election, yet in what was thought to be left of ALP heartland.

    Labor down 16% in primary terms on its 2009 result. (Inner city Greens in stasis from 2009). The same as the statewide shift. Only diff is that LNP suck up even more lost Labor votes in city with Katter not seen as an option…

  6. [Although looks like Antony predicts the ALP will scrape in by 1% in the end…]

    In case you didn’t notice, I’m doing the same thing myself at the top of the page. Indeed, I fancy that I’ve been a little ahead of the ABC curve this evening.

  7. I would expect Labor to hang on. Bligh had a large personal vote, but the loss of that is offset by some reaction among former Labor voters against Newman’s huge majority and his already manifest arrogance.

  8. Psephos,
    His manifest arrogance atm is just a shadow of how it will be in 6-12 months when most of them have some idea what they are doing!

    We could be in a bit of strife. Mass land clearing, white shoe brigade resurrection and other unspeakable’s.

  9. [would expect Labor to hang on. Bligh had a large personal vote, but the loss of that is offset by some reaction among former Labor voters against Newman’s huge majority and his already manifest arrogance.]

    What arrogance? He is doing exactly what he said would do, and would not any labor premier do the same thing if they had that huge majority?

  10. This is why labor will lose the next federal election’
    The staffers and so called “political class aka Paul Howes” have no idea about how the average person lives and thinks.
    Labor took south Brisbane as a given. Look at the result

  11. the ECQ 2PP count for the Brisbane Booth is 89 votes ALP 78 votes LNP 43 Exhausted.

    current ECQ 2pp count has LNP in front 5489 to alp 5187 with 1934 votes exhausted.

    that is a 2pp of LNP 51.41 ALP 48.59

  12. that ECQ count i mentioned before does not have a 2pp count for St Francis,West End or Pre-Poll in which the 2 west end booths will go toward the alp and the pre-poll slightly to alp. It will be a close result but the alp will probably just hold on

  13. [In case you didn’t notice, I’m doing the same thing myself at the top of the page. Indeed, I fancy that I’ve been a little ahead of the ABC curve this evening.]

    Oops! I actually didn’t notice that….went straight to AGs as I usually do. I always come to PB whenever there is an important election though William. This site is ACE! (Am I safe now :)?)

  14. * Newman is a naturally abrasive and arrogant man, unlike O’Farrell and Baillieu. He can’t help it, but it will still get up people’s noses.
    * Nobody took S Brisbane as a given, in fact there was a strong fear in Labor that we would lose it.

  15. Another grievous evening for Labor.

    South Brisbane was blue riband. Now, like state as whole, 15-16% down in 3 years. Exhaustion rates up significantly, suggesting once Labor voters not even up to giving it second preference…

    Meanwhile in City Hall, after 8 years of a Liberal mayoralty (only the second in history), and on top of 2098 landslide, the LNP has a swing TO it. Quirk scoring 55 to 80 (!) of TPP in all but one ward.

    No correction, no pendulum.

  16. Unlike Victoria, there is practically no chance of the new conservative Government loosing the next election.

  17. It’s disappointing that the Brisbane City Council voters didn’t see that it is important to have a strong opposition. With the LNP so dominant at state level, even if people wanted them back for mayor they should have put in a decent number of alternative councillors.

    I can understand the backlash against Labor in South Brisbane for Bligh going so soon, but at council level it is a real indication of a lack of concern for checks and balances.

  18. Very disappointing result in Brisbane election. Very good candidate in my ward beaten by your original do-nothing Liberal (who was the incumbent) and a swing against Labor. Also seems a number of wards have been lost. Turnout appears to have been a bit low due to the wet weather – don’t know if that had an effect. Mayor Quirk returned with an increased majority despite being a very lacklustre candidate.

    Someone please think up some way to blast the Liberals out of the water from the national level down – it’s going to need some shock and awe to reset the public perceptions somehow. Surely they’ve done something stupid like taking money from foreign governments for favours or something?

    And no-one suggest Ruddstoration. He may have been (and still be) popular but he failed to keep up with the demands of the job (and apparently wouldn’t let anyone else do it for him while he stuck to flying the flag). If we did get a new leader it would have to be someone as popular as Rudd and as competent as Gillard – any ideas?

  19. [* Newman is a naturally abrasive and arrogant man, unlike O’Farrell and Baillieu. He can’t help it, but it will still get up people’s noses.
    * Nobody took S Brisbane as a given, in fact there was a strong fear in Labor that we would lose it.]

    No is not. He has just crushed labor in qld. and you can.t believe it.
    What does it take ? zero seats./
    Wheather you like it or not labor are on the nose ” witness you losing a labor premiers seat’ and tell me it is the electoreates fault?
    No it is your fault and your mates who thought it was a good idea to sack a first term . pm. * whatever his faults, Do you think the electorate would have cared?”
    So be happy but don,t runaway from what you did

  20. There’s some very weird results in the BCC election – swings include 25.9% to LNP in Jamboree, and 18.4% to Labor in Richlands (huh?), and everything in between. The ABC page is calling some seats as “ALP ahead” when they’ve got smashed, which makes it look even weirder.

    Nicole Johnston (ex-Lib independent) won comfortably in Tennyson. The Greens came second in Walter Taylor and Pullenvale (safe LNP), just like the Walter Taylor by-election a couple of years ago. Meanwhile they went backwards in the Gabba (they had a higher profile candidate last time), with their vote going straight to Labor – that’s where that LNP-to-ALP swing came from.

  21. Psephos, it declined significantly, across Brisbane, whether compared to last month (SB) or, more tellingly, 2008 (BCC). Three lost wards; one in the balance. Sure incumbency in city hall has its charms, but this is an eight year old Liberal mayoralty, which was – in any normal time – wide open to attack for waste (tunnels etc) and cost of living (rates).

    Better recruit from Masochists’ Anonymous; who else would be a Labor candidate or volunteer, at any level, in the prevailing winds?

  22. Yes, Paradoxical Bird. Helen Abrahams in Gabba and Steve Griffiths in Moorooka also registering 6-7% swings. Boundary changes may explain some errant swings?

    But look at the landscape as a whole: LNP up 4 Labor down 4 on 2008, itself a landslide. And these wards are the size of state seats.

    BCC: LNP 17, ALP 7, Ind ex LNP 1.

    Clem 7…

  23. Comparative results with the South Brisbane and Gabba results (since they cover almost the same area):

    South Brisbane: ALP 33.0, LNP 36.9, Grn 20.3, others 9.9.
    0.9% ALP 2pp

    Gabba Ward: ALP 45.9, LNP 37.1, Grn 17.
    8.0% ALP 2pp

  24. According to Antony Green, the final ALP 2CP vote in South Brisbane for the night is 52.4% and predicts it will be 51.9% after counting the pre-polls.

  25. The decline in the Labor vote in S Brisbane compared with March is due to the loss of Bligh’s personal vote. Even an unpopular Premier has a strong local personal vote. If the candidate in March hadn’t been the sitting Premier, the Libs would have won S Brisbane, as they did in 1974 (when it was socially a stronger Labor area than it is now). As I said before, Labor seriously feared losing the by-election for this reason. To retain the seat even by the smallest of margins is thus a reasonably good result. I don’t know enough about BCC elections to make a comment, but given that they are conducted on a partisan basis, you’d expect them to reflect the state election result only a month ago after the election.

  26. Had the Greens vote fallen it would undoubtedly have been reported as the first evidence that the vote was collapsing post Bob. Instead we’re up 2.1% for mayor (possibly to our highest ever, although by a whisker), and 2% in South Brisbane. Councillor vote is down, but only because we ran in fewer wards than last time – we got swings to us in far more wards we contested than we suffered losses.

    I don’t claim this as any huge endorsement – I thought the results last time were disappointing – but given how it would have been reported otherwise I thought it should be noted.

  27. One thing the SB shows us that the people of Queensland aren’t suffering any buyer’s remorse so far.

    I know it’s early days, but as someone above mentions, I think Labor and their diehard supporters need to accept that the “everyone’s wrong but us – just you wait and see” philosophy of politics isn’t going to do them any favours — recall the succession of sour-grapes “the voters were fooled!” concession speeches by the likes of Beazley and Latham?

    Both parties need to know that they aren’t trying to appeal to their own particular set of true believers who will not, under any circumstances, vote against the party. The swinging voter – even the one who is usually pretty solidly in the corner of one party or other – does not have this “the ALP/LNP is absolutely awful by default because of these things they do differently to our lot” emblazoned across its collective souls. They make their own judgements outside the party narrative.

    People don’t want to hear that they got it wrong and shown the right way of thinking.

  28. Stephen: look at the average Green vote across only the wards where you actually ran… that’s probably a better way of comparing 2008 with 2012. That would be affected by the anomalous Gabba result, so maybe take that off the list.

  29. I know it’s early days, but as someone above mentions, I think Labor and their diehard supporters need to accept that the “everyone’s wrong but us – just you wait and see” philosophy of politics isn’t going to do them any favours — recall the succession of sour-grapes “the voters were fooled!” concession speeches by the likes of Beazley and Latham?

    I didn’t see Bligh’s concession speech, so I don’t know whether she exhibited any such sentiment, but I’d be surprised if she did. I’m quite certain that Beazley never did. I wouldn’t vouch quite as strongly for Latham, but I don’t think he did, either. This is a straw man. Of course Labor and Liberal supporters think that their party is superior in its values and policies to the other, so that when they lose elections they must to some extent feel that the voters have made a mistake. How else do you expect party supporters to feel? This is really an argument against having political parties at all.

    Furthermore, Labor supporters got exactly the same lectures after Greiner’s win in 1988, Kennett’s in 1992 and what’s-his-name’s in SA in 1993. In each case, Labor bounced back and was in office again after two terms. Now, I’d be surprised if that happened in NSW or Qld after defeats of this scale, but I would never say it was impossible.

    William, thanks for your excellent service as always.

  30. I am struggling to think of any sizeable, demographically differentiated ballot where Labor has ever gone so low as 25%.

    But that’s the at-large result for the mayoralty, of a big capital, with partisan voting.

    You can’t blame the candidate – a bit Sir Lunchalotty, but an amiable businessman who had a year long campaign.

    Is a quater of the electorate Labor’s irreducible?

  31. An interesting result in the Rockhampton Regional Council Mayoral contest.

    In a field of 5, there were two previous RCC Mayors and the incumbent Regional Council Mayor running.

    A good result for Labor as the previous Labor aligned Mayor, Margaret Strelow is ahead by 5% and should easily win.

    Two Labor aligned Councilors won their Divisions by strong margins so all is not dire for Labor in this neck of the woods.

  32. Bird of Paradox – We had 11 swings to us and 6 against across the wards we contested. Admittedly the against column includes the two largest swings, but both are for obvious reasons and even with those in we are up, leaving aside the wards we didn’t contest last time.

    BTW, can we take it from the big swing against us in The Gabba, countering the trend everywhere else, that the voters or Inner Brisbane really like CIA agents 🙂

  33. I’m just wondering what the difference is between 6/89 seats and 7/89 seats from the POV of your average disengaged voter. If — as seems clear — they were hacked off at the regime, then there’s no reason for RW/apolitical voters not to vote LNP. It’sd not as if that one extra seat makes a qualitatively more effective opposition.

    I know nothing of Ms Trad, but unless she was clearly distinguishable from the ancien regime why would one bother? I understand that Mr Beattie’s partner didn’t do so well in the Council election either.

  34. When I saw that concern over the results for the Gabba Division I thought that Helen Abrahams had been thrashed.

    Seems not to be the case. BTW, I thought she was a Councilor for the Gap. She used to live up that way from memory.

    Anyway, glad she seems to have come through ok.

  35. Fran, perhaps most people don’t see it this way, but to me there is a big difference between each shadow minister having responsibility for 5 ministries or for 4. I don’t think it is really possible for most people to thoroughly address the issues in more than 3-4 without having some things slip through. I think that is the case with the Green MPs around the country – even the best ones struggle with too many portfolios. That’s a bad thing in a third party, it’s appalling in the official opposition.

    To be honest I don’t think you can really do your job as an opposition unless you have an average of no more than two shadow ministries per person, and at least one spot on the backbench for someone to be sin-binned to. Labor’s so far from that it’s not funny.

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