8.10pm. All the polling booths have reported, but I gather we’ll get some postals or pre-polls before the night has done. The current Labor primary vote of 40.5% is south of home-and-hosed territory under some circumstances, but here the minor vote is divided enough between left and right candidates that he will almost certainly get over the line. His primary vote position should also improve in late counting. Nonetheless, it’s a much closer result than Pakula and Labor would have liked.
7.50pm. All but three booths now in on the primary vote and the situation is little changed, with Labor remaining stuck on 40.1%, Family First second on 16.6% and a crowded field jostling for third: Hung Vo on 10.5%, the DLP on 9.5%, the Sex Party on 9.2% and the Greens on 8.9%. The VEC is conducting a Labor-versus-Greens preference throw, which is unlikely to prove too illuminating.
7.40pm. Antony Green: “Labor needs only half of Green and Sex Party preferences to win, and that is much much more likely than the preferences of both reaching Family First. So Labor looks set to win. I would also expect Labor’s vote to increase on pre-poll and postal votes, areas where minor parties and independents traditionally poll poorly.”
7.35pm. The Greens, who don’t seem to have much luck in Victorian by-elections, are now in sixth place, behind the DLP and the Sex Party as well as Pakula, Vo and Family First.
7.30pm. The Lyndhurst booth is another very poor one for Hung Vo, who is now on 12.5% to Family First’s 16.4%. Martin Pakula’s vote is little changed.
7.20pm. Five more booths have reported on the primary vote, and Labor has struggled up to 40.1% (down 17.9% on a booth-for-booth basis) still short of what would assure Martin Pakula of victory. However, Hung Vo’s vote turns out to be wildly variable through the electorate, and he’s now fallen behind Family First on 14.9% to 15.3%. My best guess is that Family First and other conservatives would get Pakula over 50% if a left candidate finishes second, and left preferences will do so otherwise.
7pm. Very strong result for independent Hung Vo at the Southvale booth, accounting for 472 votes. Vo has polled 21.6% of the vote against 35.6% for Pakula, compared with 4.7% for Vo at the 2010 election and 59.6% for Labor. If the Labor vote stays that low, Pakula could well be in trouble. The Greens are up 6.2% to 12.3%, and Family First 5.4% to 11.4%. The Sex Party, which didn’t run last time, is on 11.9%.
6pm. Polls have closed for the Lyndhurst state by-election in Victoria, wherein Labor’s Martin Pakula is expected to be confirmed in his move from the upper to lower house following the retirement of Tim Holding. There are seven other candidates, none of whom are from the Liberal Party. First results should probably be in in an hour or so.