Miranda by-election live

Live coverage of the NSW state by-election for the seat of Miranda, located in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney’s south.

# % Swing 2PP (proj.) Swing
Murray Scott (Greens) 1,729 4.3% -4.0%
Lisa Walters (Independent) 825 2.1%
Barry Collier (Labor) 18,504 46.5% 24.1% 55.3% 26.3%
George Capsis (CDP) 2,791 7.0% 3.4%
Brett Thomas (Liberal) 15,567 39.1% -22.0% 44.7% -26.3%
John Brett (Independent) 328 0.8% -3.9%
FORMAL/TURNOUT 39,744 81.7%
Informal 812 2.0% -0.7%
Booths reporting: 18 out of 18


Some morning-after observations on this remarkable result.

• The O’Farrell government appears to have pulled off a worse by-election swing than any suffered by Labor in its final term, the currently projected 26.3% swing comparing with 25.7% in Penrith, 23.1% in Ryde and 21.8% in Cabramatta. In the government’s defence, the comedown from the 2011 landslide is off an enormously higher base than Labor’s modest re-election in 2007. Some insight into this is provided by the 16.3% swing Labor picked up in November 2011, just nine months after the O’Farrell government was elected, at a by-election for the rural seat of Clarence. This passed largely unremarked at the time, as the Nationals retained the seat by a margin of 15.1%.

• It would be fascinating to know the precise impact of Labor’s polling booth volunteers from the Fire Brigade Employees Union, who looked for all the world like they had come direct from the front line but for t-shirts reading “stop O’Farrell’s fire station closures” and “firefighters say put the Liberals last”. The union had been using the campaign to castigate the government over the state of local fire services, so the coincidence of the by-election with the present bushfire emergency was highly inopportune from the Liberals’ perspective.

• Voters’ lack of appreciation at having their weekend interrupted to accommodate an outgoing politician’s career move seems to be intensifying, and is presumably much sharpened if it’s their second trip to the polling booth in as many months.

• Barry Collier may well be very popular, and he certainly gave Labor some name recognition lacking from the Liberal opposite number. However, I suspect this to be the least of the contributing factors listed here.

• Hopefully the result will serve as a corrective to the hyperbole that has been inspired by Labor’s epic defeats of the past two to three years. Labor unquestionably finds itself at a low ebb, which only looks set to get lower when the South Australian and Tasmanian elections are held in March. However, the unprecedented scale of some of Labor’s recent drubbings tells us less about the party’s competitiveness over the medium to long term than it does about the increasing volatility of the electorate. This is a sword that cuts both ways, as state Coalition parties learned on a number of occasions in the early 2000s, and the NSW Liberals were reminded today.

Election night

9.06pm. Two-party results for those pre-polls now added, together with 666 primary votes from “iVotes” for the visually or otherwise impaired.

8.52pm. Primary votes from 5460 pre-polls now added.

8.31pm. All booth results are now in, but I believe we should get some pre-polls and postals counted before the evening is done. The NSWEC’s results reporting improved considerably late in the count, so I’m guessing there were technical problems for the first two hours.

8.14pm. Another seven booths in with two-party results, leaving two to come.

8.06pm. All booths now in on the primary vote, with nine still to come on two-party preferred. The two-party preferred result above projects the preference flow from booths which have reported two-party results on to those that haven’t, so it’s very unlikely to change much.

8.03pm. Another two booths reporting on the primary vote find the Labor margin ticking below 5%, but this race was over a long time ago.

7.57pm. Two more booths have reported two-party preferred, the Labor margin being resolute in sticking between 5-6%.

7.54pm. Big round of applause to the NSWEC, which has finally gotten around to publishing some results.

7.52pm. Four more booths in on the primary vote leave the picture essentially unchanged.

7.45pm. Wasn’t looking hard enough – Antony does have the two-party numbers at booth level, so now my 2PP is based on the four booth results with preference flows extrapolated to booths with primary vote counts only (which has made practically no difference, so my preference modelling was doing its job). On top of which, another two booths have reported primary vote results.

7.39pm. Antony now has two-party results from four booths, but without raw numbers at booth level I can’t put them to use. The NSWEC has … nothing.

7.34pm. Two more booths added, now up to eight, and swing holding firm. All results courtesy of the ABC owing to a spectacularly bad performance by the NSWEC. Two-party projection still based on preference modelling.

7.31pm. I’ve now copied the result over from the ABC site, and it appears the Liberals’ concerns were real – Labor look to be romping it in. So far though the two-party result is based on my own modelled preference distribution.

7.28pm. Loads of results at the ABC, but the digit at the NSWEC remains firmly implanted.

7:26pm. Antony Green is able to tell us that “six polling places have Labor strongly placed to win”. Why the NSWEC is not able to bring us any actual results, I must leave to your imagination.

7:10pm. Someone on Twitter says there are “big swings” at the Kirrawee Primary School booth. Not very helpful I know, but all we’ve got at this stage.

6pm. Polls have closed for the Miranda by-election (full background here), with first results to come through in maybe 45 minutes to hour. Official results will be published here, but the above display will lag only very slightly behind. The table will show raw primary vote numbers and percentages, with all other figures (primary vote swing and two-party numbers) booth-matched against the 2011 election result.

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.

193 comments on “Miranda by-election live”

  1. victoria,

    How have you been?

    Now that I’ve recovered from campaigning for the federal election, a lot better!

    I was given the bum’s rush from The PUB for being too feisty and upsetting the Grand PooBBah. 😉

    So I just thought I’d cool my jets for a while. I’ll probably go back to doing it after tonight as well as it does seem the case that ‘a strong, feisty woman’ (trademark Julia Gillard), rubs some up the wrong way.

    The Victorian scene looks interesting. How much longer can the Liberals can keep covering for Geoff Shaw, in order to cling on to power, I wonder?

  2. kezza2,
    Do you think Deb will get Carr’s senate vacancy. Or will it be Mike Kelly?

    We are hopeful but not confident. Although, now that the Shadow Ministries have been handed out, a return of Mike Kelly to take Shadow Defence seems unlikely if Conroy has gotten it.

  3. C@tmomma

    [I was given the bum’s rush from The PUB for being too feisty and upsetting the Grand PooBBah. ;)]

    I thought you were made of sterner stuff than that, but then again, I didn’t see the exit.

    And sometimes it’s just not worth the effort to re-explain everythang.

    But, I knew you were solidly campaigning with Deb O’Neil in Robertson, and wished you well.

    For what it’s worth, I hope Deb gets the senate vacancy in NSW.

  4. C@tmomma,

    [ I was given the bum’s rush from The PUB for being too feisty and upsetting the Grand PooBBah. ]

    Don’t quite know where you got that idea from, but people there ask about you daily and miss you heaps!

  5. scorpio,
    If I remembered your e-mail addy, mate, I could tell you the whole story, but, suffice to say, believe me, I am persona non grata at The PUB. Frankly, I didn’t think they were capable of such underhanded behaviour towards one of their own, as occurred towards me. Oh well, ‘Such Is Life’.

    Oh, as far as I understand, I could come back as simply a commenter, but no longer as an author or Moderator, and if I got down on my hands and knees and apologised to them for offense caused.

    I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees though. 🙂

    My kids still love me. Which is all that ever counts.

  6. C@tmomma,

    I;m certainly not glued on to any blog now but would love to see you put up a comment or two there every so often.

    As would the many people who lurk & occasionally comment there.

    I know nothing of which you speak & have not seen any adverse comments about you from those whom you feel slighted by.

    Maybe it is time to stick your toe in the water there and find out that the water is warm and inviting.

  7. The average by-election swing is 5-6%.

    A 26% Swing is significant.

    What is telling is that 5eh Greens have gone backwards and if this result is transferred to a Federal Double Dissolution they would be struggling to win a seat.

    What most pundits fail to take into consideration that it is easier for a major party to win seats in a double Dissolution and it does not necessarily mean that minor parties benefit from the lower quota which is 7.7% half senate is 14.3%. Major parties tend to increase their representation in a full senate count.

  8. When Griner won NSW who was in Federally? And who was in Federally when Labor won the State back? How many NSW State governments have held both Federal and State for more than one term?

  9. c@tmomma

    Good to hear that you are doing well.

    I am somewhat surprised fhat you were persona non grata. I was under impression that like me, you were not interested in wallowing about the leadership change at the time.

  10. Loverly people
    Joy ‏@Joy48 1h

    @geeksrulz As I understand it the change has been payments no longer allowed if you have been evacuated and cannot access your home.
    Retweeted by October 19 SIEV X
    View conversation

  11. scorpio,
    You know nothing of which I speak because they don’t want you to know. They would prefer people didn’t know what they did to me. So, no, you won’t be seeing me there, in any capacity.

    I’m thinking of starting up ‘The Whine Bar’ in competition. 😉

  12. C@tmomma
    [I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees though. 🙂

    My kids still love me. Which is all that ever counts.]

    Interesting comment.

    So, rather than apologise for something (who knows what), you’d rather give up the “power” of judging others, even though you’ve been essentially judged by the same criteria, apparently, than comment on a blog where you once had power to decide who was fit and who was not fit to comment.

    And I wondered why you didn’t back my protestations about the wielding of power prior to that.

    I see now. You were consumed by power. It’s heady when in the right hands.

  13. Thanks Psephos i didn’t know the NSWEC had all those old maps, wonder if any other electoral commissions do, i know the AEC has CD’s with the old maps and reference results.

    That Wranside much have been massive with three or four seats going to the ALP in North Sydney including two state seats in the PM’s area.

    Interesting by-election, middle class areas which gave Scott Morrison 60s and 70s on the TPP.

    It might have been Ruawake that summed up the result nicely.

  14. kezza2,
    FYI, I was the only one who stood up for you, but I was only 1 vote out of 4.

    As for that other crap about power going to my head, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I just didn’t think I should capitulate for the sake of still being allowed to be part of the group in a much-reduced capacity. Is that wrong?

  15. outside left,

    Don’t worry. There are heaps of people around now writing blogs with good & worthwhile things to say. The blog world can continue to function successfully without any more of my input. 🙂

    Honestly, I just seem to upset people. Or rub them up the wrong way.

  16. c@t

    Must say i am surprised. As i said earlier, i was under impression you opted out cos you were not interested in supporting those mourning the change of leadership.

  17. victoria,
    It had nothing to do with my opinion about the change of leadership. You may say it had more to do with others’ opinions about the change of leadership & the fact I wouldn’t go along with that. 🙂

  18. Miranda – The ALPs best by election result in years and the general drift of the conversation on PB about the result… Blame, recrimination and loathing … In a funny way that is what so great about the ALP …. No self delusional ‘tow the party line’ and all sing together crap that we see in the LNP, but passionate argument and debate about what the result means. … Whatever …. Miranda gives us all hope and congrats to the ALP campaign team!

  19. c@t

    Thaf is what i mean. The others were not going along with the change of leadership, and did not tolerate those who had accepted it and moved on, such as moi

  20. [Miranda gives us all hope and congrats to the ALP campaign team!]

    Good… now tell us what the ALP getting it’s lowest primary vote in 100 years at the Fed level means

  21. Sean T I suggest it tells us that politics today is extremely volatile … And that no party however commanding its performance at an election, can rest on its laurels. It does so at its peril.

  22. [ Good… now tell us what the ALP getting it’s lowest primary vote in 100 years at the Fed level means ]

    You’re the smart arse, how about you tell us if you think we don’t know?

  23. Woah! 26% swing??

    Whatever and why ever, Well done to the ALP in NSW. 🙂

    Interested in a comment upthread that the pre-poll votes swung 24% in the ALP’s favor??

    That’s gotta be worth some analysis. Working out the why of that may tell more of a story than the swing on the day since i suspect the Fire people handing out HTV’s would account for a slice of that.

  24. Once a party wins power federally it becomes much harder for them to win seats at state level. That wouldn’t have caused this result but may well have thrown a few points into it. The party that wins a federal election will historically shed seats at state level until it loses office federally, and then the recovery commences. That’s a big part of the pattern D@W mentions above. The pattern isn’t cast-iron but would explain a huge %age of state swing variations.

  25. I don’t know if the pre-poll vote has been discussed. There were 5,539 prepoll votes lodged and even though the firies may have made a difference on polling day, the swing was already happening.

    Primary swing -24.3%, TTP -27.4 against the Liberals.

  26. Kevin Bonham @134

    My thoughts exactly.

    The Dutch were around before Cook. Not sure what that matters we have only had a federal government since 1901

  27. The ALP are a corrupt party made up of ex-union heavies who have never worked a real mans job in their lives. Working their way up on the coat tails of poorly represented union members these heavies then using their factional power(and money ill gotten from them union heavy endeavors) parachute themselves into Parliament.

    Once in parliament they play every divisive card at their disposal, playing ideological games and trying to pull at the heart strings while being completely wreckless with policy. In the ALP world number 1 comes first which means using the same factional power that got you parachuted in the parliament to summarily executing any opposition to your rightful place on top, and so any nasty backstabbing, conniving or generally unethical behaviour goes in your rise to the top of the party.

    Think I just about covered it..

  28. One day Shorney, you will go just that little bit too far and live to regret it. Your last comment is most definitely pushing boundaries!

    Ease up a bit buddy!

  29. According to Shorn its evil to work for a Union. And while a couple of ex-Union Officials have been found to misuse Union member money, they have never sent a Union into bankruptcy, never have they destroyed lives by taking peoples life savings and leaving them broke and loosing their homes. While the CEO etc continue to live millionaire life styles.

    That sort of behaviour is left to the CEO/Corporations, all the LNP mates and supporters.

  30. I’d like to see Shorn’s list of Liberal/LNP/National MP’s who have done what is a real job.

    Lawyers, journalists, policy advisors, political advisors make up the majority of the Coalition-of-4

  31. Shorn – you mean Labor behave like this?

    Towke won easily. On the first ballot, he polled 10 times as many votes as Morrison, 82 votes to 8, who was eliminated in the first round. His victory meant that a Lebanese Australian would represent the Liberal Party in the seat where the Cronulla riot and revenge raids had taken place 18 months earlier, in December 2005. ”The campaign against me started four days after preselection,” Towke said.

    Two senior people within the Liberal Party, whose identity is known to a widening circle within the party, went through Towke’s nomination papers to find every possible discrepancy and weakness. Then they started calling selected journalists to tell them Towke was a liar. The first story appeared in The Daily Telegraph on July 18, 2007, under the headline, ”Liberal ballot scandal in Howard’s backyard.” Three days later, on July 21, a second story appeared in the Telegraph: ”Towke future on hold.” The next day, in The Sunday Telegraph, a third story: ”Party split as Liberal candidate faces jail.”

    ”That was the story that sent my mother to hospital,” Towke told me.

    Then came a fourth story in the Telegraph, on July 25: ”Towke lied, but just by degrees.” Four different Telegraph journalists, two of them very senior, wrote those four stories, so the campaign of leaks and smears was assiduous. There is insufficient space to detail all the claims made and disputed. Towke was portrayed as a serial liar, an exaggerator. He disputed every such imputation with factual evidence. After it was obvious his political credibility had been destroyed by these stories, he started defamation proceedings.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/nasty-saga-you-nearly-missed-20091025-hem5.html#ixzz2iB2VdbsX

  32. You mean the Labor Party MP’s behave like this?

    This interview with the ABC’s Fran Kelly took place on November 24, 2009.

    On 26 November, 2009, just two days later, Tony Abbott resigned from Malcolm Turnbulls cabinet in protest against Liberal Party Policy.

    One week later, on 1 December, 2009, Tony Abbott challenged Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership of the Liberal Party and won.

    The following are some quotes from this interview.

    No, look, I am not challenging the leader. I can’t say whats going to happen tomorrow, but I am not challenging the leader. I want the leader to continue in his role.

    You’re asking me…if you’re asking me do I never want to be the leader ever ever, look, of course, I want to serve the party and I’m not going to say never to these things, but, but, Malcolm Turnbull was elected as the leader about a year ago, we all expected him then to lead us to the election. I want that to happen.

    I want, I want Malcolm to continue. He’s a good man and he’s doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

  33. Jackol

    Posted Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    What is gained by responding to ST’s trolling?

    it amuses me after a few “Jacks”.

    and tends to shut him up when it is shown that for all his ranting his idols are no different and just as corrupt

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