Counts and recounts

The Labor leadership contest is approaching the end game, which is more than can be said for the election counts for Fairfax and the WA Senate.

Developments of various kinds in the field of vote-counting:

• Labor’s month-long leadership election campaign is finally drawing to a close, with caucus having determined its 50% share of the total vote yesterday and around 25,000 rank-and-file ballots to be counted on Sunday. Reports suggest that Bill Shorten has won at least 50 out of the 86 votes in the party room, receiving the undivided support of a Right which had been polarised during the Gillard-Rudd stand-off. By contrast, David Crowe of The Australian reports that Left members including Warren Snowdon, Brendan O’Connor, Kate Lundy, Laurie Ferguson, Maria Vamvakinou, Julie Owens and newly elected Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters have failed to fall in behind Albanese. Tea-leaf reading from party sources quoted around the place suggests Bill Shorten will do best if a large number of votes are received from his relatively strong states of Victoria and Western Australia, with most other states (together with the ACT, which punches above its weight in terms of ALP membership) considered strongholds for Albanese.

ReachTEL published a poll yesterday of 891 respondents in New South Wales and Victoria showing Anthony Albanese favoured over Shorten by 60.9-39.1 in New South Wales and 54.0-46.0 in Victoria. Each had slight leads over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister in Victoria and slight deficits in New South Wales. Results on voting intention confirmed the general impression from the limited national polling in finding no honeymoon bounce for the new government.

• Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn has ordered a recount of above-the-line votes for the Western Australian Senate, which will change the result of two Senate seats if a 14-vote gap between the Shooters and Fishers and Australian Christians parties is reversed. Also under review are votes declared informal the first time around, which is always a grey area. Tireless anonymous blogger TruthSeeker has performed good work in identifying count peculiarities potentially significant enough to turn the result, including a popular favourite known as the “Waggrakine discrepancy”.

• The Fairfax recount limps with the Clive Palmer camp apparently challenging any vote that doesn’t go its way, thereby requiring it to be sent for determination by the state electoral officer in Brisbane. AAP reports the result “won’t be known for at least another week”.

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes relates that ReachTEL has let rip with its first post-election poll of national voting intention, and it continues an unbroken run of such polling in plotting a position for the Coalition south of what it achieved at the election, however slightly. Coming off a large-even-for-ReachTEL sample of 3600, it shows the Coalition with a two-party preferred lead of 52.1-47.9, compared with roughly 53.5-46.5 at the election, from primary votes of 45.4% for the Coalition (45.6% at the election), 35.3% for Labor (33.4%) and 8.6% for the Greens (unchanged). Tony Abbott’s performance is rated good by 40.5% and poor by 40.2%.

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.

1,614 comments on “Counts and recounts”

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  1. Given the damage the right has done to the labor party, members have just been handed a pretty good reason to vote for Albanese, in numbers that make it clear the right faction no longer has power to sell to the highest bidder.

  2. badcat
    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Motoring Enthusiast Party goes after senator-elect Ricky Muir
    THE jilted Victorian arm of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has hired a private investigator to dig up senator-elect Ricky Muir’s past.
    Why bother, he is only going to be their for one term.

  3. Morning all. I find it hard to feel sorry for mcro parties like the Vic motoring enthusiasts. A small group of individuals with no real structure who have gamed he system and won, they cannot be surprised if their candidate then games them. Once people like Muir realise what being a Senator entails, they know they need support.

  4. The unemployment figures out yesterday were actually bad, with the participation rtate down. This was partly due to a slowdown caused by Swan’s budget cuts. While hardly a recesion, I believe this hurt Labor at the polls, contributing to a negative overall mood.

    Certainly in my field things have picked up in the weeks since. A lot of private investors were sitting on their hands waiting for the election result.

  5. badcat
    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Abbott warns of conflict risk in South China Sea

    Risking the ire of Beijing, Mr Abbott repeated his statement that Japan was Australia’s best friend in Asia, and appeared to back moves by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to expand Japan’s defensive forces through changes to its pacifist constitution.

    “I’m a new prime minister. We will say our piece when there are major human rights abuses taking place, but generally speaking, it’s not the job of the Australian Prime Minister to stand up and give lectures to the wider world.”


    Is this guy for real ?????

  6. mari
    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink



    Keep those laughs coming Mari 🙂

    Hope BK gets back soon – its a tough gig he has !!

  7. badcat

    [Abbott warns of conflict risk in South China Sea
    The headline should be….
    [Warning of conflict risk in South China Sea if Abbott is in any way involved.]

  8. poroti

    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink


    Abbott warns of conflict risk in South China Sea

    The headline should be….

    Warning of conflict risk in South China Sea if Abbott is in any way involved.


    poroti —— are you up early ???? – or just a late owl who has not yet gone to bed – seeing you are a day or so behind the rest of us ???? 😉

  9. A new movie for you, poroti :

    Move over Sharknado … trailer for Avalanche Sharks released ( looks like an intellectual masterpiece )

    After the success of Sharknado, the world’s greatest worst movie, everyone knows the following equation: sharks + location where sharks usually aren’t = internet love and cash.

    Enter Avalanche Sharks, presumably some relation to Sand Sharks (yes it’s a real thing, and the posters look curiously similar), the trailer for which was released this week

  10. mari

    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink


    30th October BK said keep eating those weekbix to keep up your stamina

    I’m worn out already – and he’s only been gone a day !

    All this *extra* time on here – My OH thinks I have a secret internet lover

  11. Victoria 30

    They will agree to a resolution in the US before the external debt limit is reached, because while the shutdown is embarrassing, the US defaulting for even a few days would be permanently damaging of its reputation and credit worthiness.

  12. [
    The Labor leadership contest is approaching the end game, which is more than can be said for the election counts for Fairfax and the WA Senate.

    And to think, people like Stephen Conroy were declaring Labors month long leadership campaign a farce that would leave them helpless and a laughing stock.

    The final election outcome still hasn’t been declared and Labor will have it’s new leader next week. Great insight there Conroy.

  13. poroti

    Posted Friday, October 11, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Abbott doing looking weird as only he can. This time the victim is PM Shinzo Abe.


    Abe looking aprehensive with Abbott being so close – thinking I hope the Abbott Derangement Syndrome is not contagious …..

  14. It’s really too early to tell if Conroy’s criticisms have been borne out.

    Although the process itself has run more smoothly than I expected, due to good will on all sides, there have been hiccups which would not have occured had the idea gone through the proper channels in the first place – for example, any Labor member from outside the capital cities could have told them that it would take more than thirty days to run a postal ballot.

    We’ve also yet to see the proof of the pudding. There’s already some disconcerting signs that if Shorten wins, large slabs of ordinary Labor members will be reluctant to get behind him (I haven’t advocated a vote for Shorten anywhere, but suggestions that whoever wins should receive support has led to me being blocked by some on twitter and abused as a ‘bitch’ by others). If the party does not unite behind the chosen leader, whether it’s Albo or Shorten, then this process has not solved the problem it was supposed to.

    We also haven’t seen the final outcome of the process – whether a leader selected in this fashion is ‘better’ than one selected by caucus. If Albo gets up (for example) on the basis of the popular vote but is incapable of uniting the team, then (again) it hasn’t worked.

    I’m not saying it won’t. I hope it does. I hope every party member, regardless of who is elected, accepts the result. I hope whoever is elected is capable of leading the party well.

    I’m just saying it’s too early to declare that the new process has been successful or that those who have criticised it have been wrong to do so.

  15. Conroy couldn’t have known that Abbott would fill the weeks with his gaffes. 🙂

    Cassidy on 24 this morning said that there might be some problems with votes that did not have the extra verification (can’t remember the term he used), if its close.

  16. I’ll also add this bit of musing – isn’t it funny how the Left, who portray themselves as the bleeding heart types, are so personally nasty? (Gross generalisation, lots of lovely Lefties, of course).

    My twitter stream is full of ALP members calling Shorten a ‘maggot’ and abusing anyone who supports him (or even, in my case, who objects to either candidate being abused in that way).

    Basically, (some on) the Left seem to be saying that if Albo doesn’t get up, that’s proof that the process is corrupt.

    It’s really disappointing to see this attitude – this process gives candidates like Albo and the Left in general at least some chance to gain power. It should be given a chance to work.

    It can’t do that if people decide beforehand that they’re not going to accept any outcome except the one which suits them.

  17. Morning all.

    Thanks everyone for the links in BK’s absence.


    Like zoomster I think it’s too soon to tell whether Conroy’s concerns have validity. Personally I think Rudd’s absence overseas and the silence from his idiot followers like Fitzgibbon has helped the process appear smooth and professional rather than wracked with tension and in-fighting.

    Although some of the leaking yesterday is of concern, as it implied that if Shorten wins the ballot the Albo/Rudd camp will continue whiteanting and undermining.

  18. [My twitter stream is full of ALP members calling Shorten a ‘maggot’ and abusing anyone who supports him (or even, in my case, who objects to either candidate being abused in that way). ]

    I noticed that a while ago. I think it’s sad that there are people who clearly won’t accept the ballot result unless it’s the one they want.

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