Heffron by-election thread

Polls have closed in the Heffron by-election, where Labor’s Ron Hoenig presumably stands poised to succeed Kristina Keneally as member in the absence of a Liberal candidate, and despite the best efforts of the Greens, Christian Democrats and Australian Democrats candidates. My attention will be elsewhere this evening, but here’s a thread for discussion of the results as they come to hand. These will be available on the New South Wales Electoral Commission site.

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.

17 comments on “Heffron by-election thread”

  1. 61 is about Ron Hoenig’s age.

    NSW ALP needs to turf its benchwarming veterans in Lalich and Hay to give it something more than its meagre presence in the lower house.

  2. Two party preferred is 71.4 – 28.6 Labor/Greens so far.

    I’m surprised that Labor managed to get over 70%. It looks like most of the last election’s Liberal votes went to Labor here.

  3. No, I think the Lib voters just didn’t vote. No-one has much boast about here. Kenneally got 18,870 votes at the election. Tonight Hoenig has 16,583. The biggest losers were the Greens, who went from 8,681 to 6,156.

  4. Also, the turnout for these by-elections keeps getting lower and lower. It looks like turnout will barely get over 60%.

    Honestly, all you have to do is turn up to a booth, put a ‘1’ on a piece of paper, or even a rude illustration if you don’t like any of the candidates, then go home.

    However, are people generally notified by mail about by-elections? If they don’t, that could solve the turnout problem by sending people a bill-like notice about them with a big bold $55 penalty threat to catch their attention.

  5. Breaking a habit of many years, I decide to comment. Looking at the numbers for the night (ie, off the booths themselves, not including prepoll/postal/absent etc) and we do indeed find that there’s been a drop in turnout – of about 12% (from 34112 to 30011). The big difference is the lack of absentee voters – 7212 at the last election – and postals are yet to be counted (4217 in 2011). So in terms of votes cast on the day, Hoenig received some 3000 more than last time, and Faruqi about 500. From being on St Martins Hall all day then scrutineering, I can tell you that while turnout was close to 2011 (2222 compared 2285), but Lib voters were very angry at not having a candidate to vote for – they were left with the CDP and Democrats – thus the inflated votes for those two parties and the rise in informals on the booth from 60 to 222 – lots of rude comments about no Lib etc.

  6. Elections NSW sent postal vote forms to my address, and I guess most others in the electorate’s too. I got a voter registration card, but maybe not everyone would have got one of those. My mailbox also got a steady stream of Greens campaign material throughout the campaign (despite my mailbox clearly bearing a sticker requesting no un-addressed mail, tsktsk) and in the last week two things from Ron Hoenig whose size made up for their comparatively modest quantity (again, tsktsk).

    I have to admit I was quite surprised that the Democrats got 10%. I know there was no Liberal candidate, and with 33% of the vote was up for grabs it wasn’t a fantastic result in terms of what was possible for a non-major, but if you compare it to their last couple of by-elections in the absence of one of the majors, they actually substantially increased their vote. I’m guessing this is a one-off due to the unusually small field and lack of an independent candidate is responsible there – wonder what a good indie might have polled actually…

  7. [ Note the 33% turnout. A lot of Labor’s base vote is still not willing to vote for it.]

    I live in the heart of Heffron, and I would have preferred not to have voted at this by-election (and I say that as a Labor voter). Firstly, we have to vote at pesky council elections next weekend. Secondly, the result was a foregone conclusion. Thirdly, I was wretchedly hungover after tying one on the night before.

    I noted the turn-out at my local polling station was poor. At the state election, there was a long line out the door. This time round, I walked straight in, voted, and walked straight out again. Went back home, and doused myself with more panadol…

  8. I voted at about 9.30am and the how-to-vote peeps (four each from Labor and Greens) handily outnumbered the people voting – there was just me.. and about 10 booth workers! If there hadn’t been the CDP to put last I would have considered it a waste of time too.

  9. Labor how-to-vote peeps were everywhere, with their bright red T-shirts. Like on their how-to-vote cards, the Labor branding was very prominent. At my booth too, voters were outnumbered by booth workers and how-to-vote greeters.

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