Call of the board: part one

Short and sharp reflections on some of the more interesting electorate results, starting with New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

What follows is a brief overview of the results in electorates I felt worth commenting on for one reason or another, together with projections of state vote shares based on ordinary votes results (which are not quite fully accounted for in the count, but close enough to it) and the extent to which postals, pre-polls and absent votes shifted the totals in 2010. New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory are covered herein, with the others to follow.

New South Wales

		%	Swing	Projection
Coalition	47.3	+2.6	47.2
Labor		34.9	-2.8	34.5
Greens		7.7	-2.2	8.1
Palmer United	4.3
Others		5.8

Two-party preferred

Coalition	54.2	+3.2	54.3
Labor		45.8	-3.2	45.7

Banks. The 3.3% swing which ousted Daryl Melham was almost exactly equal to the state total, which followed an 8.9% swing in 2010. An increase in the number of candidates from four to nine restricted the Liberal primary vote gain to 1.7% and contributed to a halving of the Greens vote, down from 9.6% to 4.7%.

Barton. The seat vacated by former Attorney-General Robert McClelland is going down to the wire, the 6.9% margin exactly matched by the swing on ordinary votes. This was the second biggest swing against Labor in Sydney after Macquarie. Barton was another seat that witnessed a dramatic proliferation of candidates, from three to eight, with the five minor party and independent newcomers collectively drawing 11.3%. The Liberals nonetheless increased their primary vote slightly, the balance coming off Labor and the Greens.

Blaxland. Reports on the eve of the election suggested Labor had grave fears for Jason Clare’s hold on Paul Keating’s old seat, despite its 12.2% margin. This proved entirely unfounded, with Labor up 5.4% on the primary vote and holding steady on two-party preferred.

Charlton. For some reason, the seat vacated by Greg Combet gave the Palmer United Party what was comfortably its highest vote in New South Wales at 11.3% (UPDATE: Frickeg in comments reminds me the belated disendorsement of the Liberal candidate probably had something to do with it). The party’s second best showing in the state was 7.8% in neighbouring Hunter. That aside, Combet’s departure did not cause any disturbance to Labor, the two-party swing being slightly below the state average.

Dobell. Craig Thomson managed 4.0%, which was at least better than Peter Slipper and contributed to a double-digit drop in the Labor primary vote, their worst such result in the state. Also contributing was former test cricketer Nathan Bracken, running as an independent with the backing of John Singleton, who managed 8.3%. The Liberal primary vote was up slightly, and its 5.9% swing on two-party preferred adequate to account for the 5.5% margin.

Eden-Monaro. Mike Kelly appeared to be well placed early in the count, but the larger and later reporting booths, including those in Queanbeyan, tended to swing more heavily. Kelly is presently sitting on a swing of 4.8%, enough to account for his 4.4% margin barring late count peculiarities and maintain Eden-Monaro’s cherished bellwether record. This was higher than the state average, part of a pattern in which swings in the state’s regions were actually slightly higher than in Sydney, contrary to all expectations.

Fowler. After all the hype about Labor’s looming collapse in western Sydney, a seat in that very area produced the most anomalous swing of the election in Labor’s favour. The 9.0% swing to Chris Hayes was 12.2% above the statewide par for Labor, and was fuelled by an 11.2% drop in the Liberal primary vote and swings approaching 20% in Cabramatta, the very area the Liberals had hoped to target by picking a Vietnamese candidate in Andrew Nguyen. However, look at the seat’s behaviour over longer range suggests this to have been a correction after an anomalous result in 2010, when Liberal candidate Thomas Dang slashed the Labor margin by 13.8% and picked up swings ranging from 16.5% to 23.1% in the Cambramatta booths.

Gilmore. The south coast seat was one of three in New South Wales to swing to Labor, presumably on account of the retirement of long-serving Liberal member Joanna Gash. Her successor, Ann Sudmalis, has emerged with 2.6% remaining of a 5.3% margin.

Grayndler. The Greens vote fell only modestly, by 1.2% to 22.8%, but it looks enough to have cost them a second place they attained for the first time in 2010. With primary votes generally fairly static, the change in Liberal preferencing policy would presumably have inflicted a hefty two-party swing if they had made the final count.

Hunter. Joel Fitzgibbon was down 10.1% on the primary vote, and while this was partly on account of the Palmer United Party’s second best performance in the state, he also suffered Labor’s biggest two-party swing in the state at 8.9%.

Kingsford Smith. One of a number of pieces of saved furniture for Labor in Sydney, Kingsford Smith turned in a largely status quo result in Peter Garrett’s absence, outgoing Senator Matt Thistlethwaite easily defending a 5.2% margin against a swing of 1.9%.

Lindsay. The swing that unseated David Bradbury was slightly on the high side for Sydney at 3.5%, more than accounting for a margin of 1.1% without meeting the more fevered expectations of a western Sydney disaster.

Macarthur. Liberal sophomore Russell Matheson picked up the second biggest two-party Coalition swing in New South Wales, up 6.8% on the primary vote and 8.4% on two-party preferred.

Page. The expectation that Labor would perform better in regional New South Wales than in Sydney was most strikingly defied in Page, where Janelle Saffin unexpectedly fell victim to a 7.2% swing.

Parramatta. Julie Owens’ seat produced a fairly typical result for Sydney in swinging 3.4% to the Liberals, which hasn’t been enough to account for the 4.4% margin. (UPDATE: I speak too soon. In keeping with a general trend of late counting away from Labor, postal votes are flowing heavily to the Liberals and putting Owens at very serious risk.)

Robertson. As expected, the seat Deborah O’Neill did well to retain in 2010 with a margin of 1.0% was an early election night casualty for Labor, the swing of 4.0% being perfectly typical for non-metropolitan New South Wales.

Throsby. Gary “Angry” Anderson managed 10.5% as candidate of the Nationals, nearly doubling the party’s vote from 2010 despite the number of candidates being up from five to 11. The Greens conversely were well down, by 6.5% to 5.3%.

Werriwa. Frequently written off during the campaign, Laurie Ferguson is set to retain about 2.2% of his 6.8% margin from 2010.


		%	Swing	Projection
Coalition	45.3	-1.9	45.5
Labor		30.1	-3.9	29.7
Greens		6.1	-4.7	6.2
Palmer United	11.3
Others		7.2

Two-party preferred

Coalition	56.0	+1.1	56.3
Labor		44.0	-1.1	43.7

Blair. One Labor MP with good cause to feel glad about Kevin Rudd’s return was Shayne Neumann, who picked up a 1.4% two-party swing and held firm on the primary vote in the face of 12.8% vote for the Palmer United Party. Here as elsewhere in Queensland, the Greens crashed in the absence of the Kevin Rudd protest vote in 2010, dropping 6.9% to 4.2%.

Brisbane. While Labor had much to be relieved about in Queensland, its high hopes for recovering Brisbane were not realised, with Liberal National Party member Teresa Gamabaro up 1.8% on the primary vote, Labor steady. A 6.9% drop in the Greens vote to 14.3%, coming off Andrew Bartlett’s high-profile campaign in 2010, produced a significantly weaker flow of preferences to Labor.

Capricornia. The central Queensland seat vacated by Kirsten Livermore is going down to the wire after a heavy 8.9% drop in the Labor primary vote. This was mostly down to the competition from the Palmer and Katter parties, the former outscoring the latter 7.9% to 5.3%. With the Liberal National Party vote little changed, Labor suffered a 4.4% swing on ordinary votes off a margin of 4.6%.

Fairfax. Clive Palmer seems to be fighting to hold on to a 1411 against a strong trend in late counting towards Liberal National Party candidate Ted O’Brien. However, O’Brien’s current vote count looks to have been inflated by a discrepancy you can read about here. As things stand, the key to Palmer’s potential victory is his clear success in outpolling Labor 27.3% to 18.1% on ordinary votes, with LNP candidate Ted O’Brien’s 41.0% below the safety zone with Labor and Greens preferences flowing strongly against him.

Fisher. With Palmer United Party candidate Bill Schoch apparently primed to overtake Labor on preferences, despite trailing them 21.0% to 18.3% on the primary vote, Mal Brough’s 43.8% share of the vote was an uncomfortably long distance from the 50% mark. Nonetheless, Brough appears to be gaining about a quarter of the overall preferences on offer, enough to get him over the line with a few per cent to spare.

Griffith. Kevin Rudd suffered Labor’s equal biggest swing in Queensland of 5.2%, with Bill Glasson’s 5.9% lift on the primary vote the second highest achieved by an LNP candidate.

Kennedy. Bob Katter emerged a big loser of election night with a 17.1% slump in his primary vote, reducing him to 29.5%. Liberal National Party candidate Noeline Ikin was the beneficiary of a 14.0% spike that put her well in front on the primary vote count with 40.6%, but preferences are flowing solidly enough to Katter to leave him with a margin slightly below 3%.

Leichhardt. There was strong movement to Labor in Aboriginal communities, doubtless reflecting the background of Labor candidate Billy Gordon. This briefly created the illusion of a potential Labor victory as the first booth-matched results came through on election night, but that was negated by a strong performance by LNP member Warren Entsch in Cairns and the electorate’s rural areas.

Lilley. The 1.6% swing against Wayne Swan was well in line with the statewide norm, and if anything a little above it. Given the pre-election publicity though, Swan’s success in retaining almost all of his 2010 primary vote was among the results that lifted Labor’s spirits on an otherwise grim evening.

Petrie. Kevin Rudd’s election night boast of having defended all of Labor’s Queensland seats to the contrary, it appears that Yvette d’Ath has been unseated by a swing of 3.0% on the ordinary votes, compared with her pre-election margin of 2.5%.

Northern Territory

		%	Swing	Projection
Coalition	41.2	+0.8	41.6
Labor		38.3	-0.2	37.7
Greens		7.7	-5.0	7.9
Palmer United	4.6
Others		8.2

Two-party preferred

Coalition	49.7	+0.9	50.1
Labor		50.3	-0.9	49.9

Lingiari. As usual, swings in the extra-Darwin Northern Territory electorate were all over the shop, the general picture being of a slight swing to Labor in remote communities blunting the swing against Labor to 2.7%, short of Warren Snowdon’s 3.7% margin. This followed a 2010 result which delivered huge swings to the Country Liberal Party in remote communities but partly balanced them out with strong swings to Labor in the major centre, specifically Alice Springs.

Solomon. Natasha Griggs, who unseated Labor’s Damien Hale in 2010, notably failed to enjoy a sophomore surge, Solomon delivering a rare 0.7% swing to Labor to reduce the CLP margin to 0.9%.

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.

1,311 comments on “Call of the board: part one”

Comments Page 27 of 27
1 26 27
  1. pedant

    If I just want to vote for a micro-party, any micro-party, I will go above the line. So the samples don’t come from the same population.

    They *may* not. After all, that is the contention, that some people voting above the line do have a some intention, however vague, and have been misled.

    But I would guess that a lot of people who voted for minor parties in, say, Victoria would now have a sense, if it’s of any interest to them, that they have helped to elect Mr Muir.

    How would they know this? They voted for some other party above the line that didn’t get elected. Another party that they would have preferenced didn’t get elected but for all they know that’s because insufficient *other* people didn’t vote for them. Meanwhile some other guy they wouldn’t preference was elected but for all they know that’s because sufficient people did vote for or preference him. Yet that’s the guy their vote went to in the end.

    In other words, they can’t just *sense* what’s going on because people were or weren’t elected, they actually have to follow where the preferences went.

    I accept that it’s inconclusive but as others have pointed out you’re making your own assumptions.

  2. In fact, guessing where your preference went from the final result without following it directly requires knowing how everyone else voted. A little more difficult than simply following your own :P.

  3. I was planning to vote below the line (something like Greens, Labor, lefty micros, miscellaneous nutters, Libs, crazy godbotherers and racists) but due to being called into work early I was pretty pressed for time at the polling booth and just went 1 Green.

    So, yeah, I may have contributed to Senator Brick being elected in QLD. Sorry.

  4. It appears Sean has called me little mexi a dickhead.

    Because i was not discussing the annihilation of the ALP.

    Okay, lets take a big look.

    -For two years, maybe three i was predicting a Liberal Party victory
    -Two main reasons
    (a)The economy was growing slowly and people were longing for a boom
    (b)The ALP were dis-unified and prone to silly political games and poor message i.e we will deliver a surplus despite unfavorable trade conditions

    So lets look at the result.

    Lets start with Victoria

    In recent elections the Liberals have underperformed and this was largely corrected last Saturday as i and several others here saw coming.

    Lets take the Liberal heartland, seats like Kooyong and Higgins saw the best Liberal result in many years.

    In Kooyong, the Liberals had their highest swing to them since 1984 (according to local paper) Josh now has a margin close on 11% and Kelly in Higgins now has a 10% margin, both these two MPs were highly visible and good local MPs whom ran strong local campaigns which mirrored what could be expected in a marginal seat, even Andrew Robb scored a solid double digit margin in Goldstein.

    The Liberals also achieved solid swings in ALP seats like McEwen, Bendigo, Bruce, Issacs which saw those seats now with more normal looking margins.

    While sitting Liberal MP’s like Smith in Casey, Tudge in Aston and Billson in Dunkley won solid wins.

    So Victoria without the local factor of Gillard and an improved Liberal Party saw three/four Liberal gains.

    So is that an annihilation, okay its a very good result for the Liberals but the Victorian division will be disappointed that it didn’t win seats like Bendigo, Bruce, Melbourne Ports, Chisholm, Issacs and Ballarat


    One Liberal gain


    So is that an annihilation, No, the Liberals will be very happy with the results in Boothsby and Sturt but considering during the Howard years the Liberals held, Adelaide, Makin, Kingston & Wakefield there will be some disappointment.


    No change, yep what happened to the massive anti-mining tax swing, it hardly happened, earlier in the year the ALP were expecting to be wiped out.


    Wilkie easily held Denison, the Liberals picked up Bass, Braddon and Lyons

    So is that an annihilation, Yes this the only state where the claim can be made.


    NSW may well be considered an annihilation but if the pre-election polling was accurate the Liberals will be somewhat disappointed and there appears to be some disquiet over the performance in Western Sydney.

    In many ways the NSW result was typical of a change of Government with the seats we would expect to see change did, there are no major shocks.

    Well actually the shocks are where the Liberals failed rather than where the ALP failed.

    Lets take Dobell, considering the carry-on it should have seen a 10% swing.

    Fowler, Blaxland, Watson, Chifley all forecast as going or gone either didn’t move or went against the swing.

    Yes the Liberals have won a swag or Sydney seats but they are all seats which historically have changed when government changes (Lindsay & Reid)or demographically should be winnable for the Liberals (Banks)

    Then there is Barton & Parramatta which are still too close to all but both should have been won by the Liberals as they fall into either the usually change seats when government changes or demographically were winnable for the Liberals.

    The there is Greenway.

    The Makin of the 2013 election, the Liberals should be embarrassed by this result.


    The other anti-mining tax state and just like WA all the talk was of a wipe-out.

    Well Capricornia was an open contest with no sitting MP factor and Petrie was Liberal during the Howard years

    So is that an annihilation

    NO, yes the Liberal Party scored an impressive win, it has a solid first term majority, it should be able to win a second term but there are a number of seats which voted for Howard which did not vote for Tone.

    That list is longer than the number of seat which voted Liberal this time but did not vote for Howard.

    This brings me to Indi.

    Cathy McGowen ran on a policy platform which could be viewed as making her a moderate conservative, the majority of the Liberal/National Party base is moderate, this is why Tony Windsor was so successful in New England.

    Sophie Mirrabella was a flag barer of the Right faction and was seen as not being an active local MP unlike the likes of Josh and Kelly

    So my point is simple yes the Liberals scored a good win, could it have been better, yes there is plenty of room for a pro-swing.

    But the message from Indi is clear.

    Now Sean if you are still reading this.

    I have repeatable outlined what was wrong with the ALP and how it governed.

    Did the ALP lose touch with its base, too right it did, lets take the 10% Liberal swing in Craigieburn (McEwen).

    For months i was saying that places like it were not experiencing a boom, the carbon tax was hurting jobs, and youth unemployment was excessively high.

    Sure enough it swung hard.

  5. WW Paul 1251

    #WASenate If RUI out polls SPRT and WikiLeaks out Poll AJP then 2 LIB 2 ALP and 1 LDP are elected. Greens miss out. Fold up at work

    Try excluding SPRT before RUI and then AJP before WIKILEAKS. Count the vote and the results change

    This highlights the flaws in the way the vote is folded up, segmentation and the calculation of the surplus transfer value

    I am saying that if you exclude SPRT just before RUI is excluded and AJP before Wikielaks then them Louise Pratt is elected. It is one of those strange fold-up segmentation outcomes. All candidates are excluded but it is all about the order of exclusion. Or if wikileaks pick up 600 more vote to overtake AJP and SPRT fall over the yes the ALP wins the last spot and the Greens fall over. A hood reason for the ALP to seek copies of the BTL data file and scrutinise the count.

  6. Adam Carr 1255
    No I am saying that the ALP wins if the order of exclusion changes. RUI before SPRT and AJP before wikileaks

    Its one of those quicrky things that arises from the distortion of the count and the order of exclusions. It demonstrates just how close the count is at this point in WA

    You really need to monitor the BTL preference flow more closely and this can on;y be done if you have progressive access to the BTL data file during the count. All I did was count it using current ATL group ticket preference data and altered the order of exclusion slightly, realistic A what if…

  7. William 1263

    I have come to the point of agreening with the need for a 4% representation threshold BUT it very much depends on how it is implemented. It needs to noted that the ALP and LNP secondary candidates have less people voting for them the come of the micro party candidates also.

    In some cases the Below the line votes may bring a secondary candidate above a micro party and as such they will not survive the count in the same order as indicated by group ticket votes.

    I am also supportive of increasing deposits to try and reduce the number of micro parties and excessive number of candidates running. (The Greens are never in the run for more then two yet they stand six candidates) adding to the size of the ballot paper by padding out candidates 0 I am yet to see a group try nominating more candidates then positions but it is possible).

    I can see no reason why a group can not submit group tickets that change the order of within its own group

    It will be reformed. Agreement will be reached in how to do it, Question is how. The minor parties will have no say in it.

  8. Sean Tisme @1273

    The micro parties were set up to harvest votes. they all have catchy theme names, no campaign and no real support. They are exploit a weskness of the ATL voting system that magnifies and concentrates the vote, Yes i the past HTV cards achieved the same but not to the same extent and intensity.

    It is also effected by the order of exclusions which changes the fold up. Votes skip continuing candidates and the segmentation changes the order of distribution. Wshihc is why I advocate a reiterative count not a segmented distribution. A count where on any exclusion the count is reset and all votes redistributed. This means all votes attributed to an excluded candidate(s) are distributed as if that candidate had not stood. It would not skip and jump candidates that are continuing in the count. A redistributed full value preference will form part of a candidates primary vote tally.

    There is a single transaction transfer (No segmentation) for each candidate using a weighted Surplus transfer value

    The Wright System

  9. deblonay @ 1299

    The “vibe” seems to be Cosgrove but I prefer Schnappi’s suggestion of Angus Houston.

    As a matter of interest, since we stopped appointing British Hooray Henry’s, what has been the break-up of the position as in political, military, legal. I’m not including Isaacs in this as he was a bit of an aberration in between all the lesser aristocracy and one Royal from the UK.

    I’m thinking Politicians 3 – Casey, Hasluck, Hayden
    Law 5 – Cowan, Stephen. Kerr, Deane, Bryce
    Religion – Hollingsworth
    Military – Jeffery

    Would I be correct? I’ve probably missed one.

Comments Page 27 of 27
1 26 27

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *