Stafford by-election live

Ongoing coverage of the count for Queensland’s Stafford by-election, and its aftermath.

# % Swing 2PP (proj.) Swing
Bob Andersen (Liberal National) 7,967 33.4% -18.6% 36.7% -20.3%
Sally-Anne Vincent (Family First) 951 4.0%
Anne Boccabella (Greens) 2,846 11.9% +2.1%
Anthony Lynham (Labor) 12,105 50.7% +17.1% 63.3% +20.3%
FORMAL/TURNOUT 23,869 76.6%
Informal 474 2.2% +0.1%
Booths reporting: 14 out of 14


The table above shows raw figures in the first two columns for the primary vote, then uses booth matching over the next three columns for the primary vote swings, two-party preferred result and two-party swing. However, these figures are entirely derived from the polling day booth results, and are unaffected by the 2742 pre-polls and 2946 postals which have been added to the count, which are included in the first two columns. Here the swing has been slightly lower – respectively at 16.0% and 14.7% by my reckoning, compared with the 20.3% shown based on polling booth results. So it would seem in the final analysis that the swing is unlikely to have a two in front of it. An interesting new feature of the declaration vote breakdowns is “uncertain identity”, which no doubt has something to do with the new voter identification regime. There are as yet no results listed, but presumably this will change over the next week as the ECQ investigates the declaration votes of those who showed up at the polling booth without the required ID.

The map to the right shows booth-level two-party results from both the March 2012 state election and yesterday. The swing was highly uniform throughout the electorate with the exception of the Chermside booth, where it was only about 6%, and the Prince Charles Hospital booth, where it was 31% (not shown because with only 223 votes cast it falls below the 250-vote threshold I use for inclusion). The waters in Chermside may have been muddied by the fact that it attracted voters who at the general election voted in nearby polling booths in other electorates.

The chart to the left offers some historical perspective by detailing polling booth results (so no postals, pre-polls, absents or other declaration votes) in Stafford from this and previous election. I did this half in the expectation of showing that 2012 rather than yesterday was the extraordinary result, but what emerges is that it was a very good result for Labor by any measure. It should be particularly encouraging for them that they were about 6% up on two-party preferred from a winning election in 2009, although I should caution that Labor did seem to suffer a bit of a backlash in Brisbane’s inner north on that occasion.

Another way of putting the result in perspective is offered by the chart to the right, which seeks to illustrate the extent to which by-election swings provide a pointer to the result of the next election. Drawing on federal and state by-election results over recent decades, it shows the government swing (which is usually negative) on the X-axis and the overall swing recorded at the subsequent election on the Y-axis. The linear trendline that runs through the middle is not brilliantly predictive, explaining only 42% of the variation, but the relationship is there, and for a 20% by-election swing it implies a swing of 8.7% at the following election. While this is a seismic shift in absolute terms, it still leaves the LNP out in front by 54-46. If such a swing was uniform, Labor would emerge with a still fairly modest 27 seats in an assembly of 89 – although importantly, one of those seats would be Ashgrove.


7.51pm. Stafford Heights two-party result added.

7.39pm. All that remains for the evening is two-party results from the Stafford Heights booth and perhaps a few pre-poll numbers. The projected swing to Labor is now over 20% – a disastrous result for the LNP by any standard.

7.20pm. All booths now in on the primary vote, and the result is fairly clearly looking worse for the LNP than Redcliffe, which would be gravely alarming for them.

7.03pm. At around the time I thought results would start coming in, they’re actually well on their way to finished. Preference shares: 52.1% to Labor (41.4% in 2012), 14.4% to LNP (20.3%), 33.5% exhausted (38.3%).

7.01pm. Gympie Road booth added, swing now 18.9%.

6.58pm. Stafford West booth has reported, and the swing is staying above 18%.

6.55pm. There are now enough two-party votes that I’m no longer going off 2012 preferences, and the Labor swing is now even higher – over 18%.

6.49pm. I very seriously understimated how fast this count was going to be. Six normal booths in plus a pre-poll, and the result is looking very similar to Redcliffe with a swing of around 16%. It can most assuredly be called for Labor now.

6.48pm. Chermside has reported 2PP: four votes to LNP, nine to Labor, 12 exhaust.

6.45pm. I’m doing some experimental probability calculations for my own amusement, and I presently have Labor’s win probability at 94.05%.

6.42pm. Newmarket booth added on primary vote. Whereas I only had the swing at Chermside at about 6%, being right on what Labor required, here it’s 18.8%.

6.37pm. Two-party result from Prince Charles added: of the non-major party votes, 16 went to Labor, five to the LNP, and eight exhausted.

6.33pm. A far more moderate result from the 382 votes at Chermside, where I’m rating Labor up 9% and the LNP down 3.5% – although a number of booths from 2012 aren’t in use this time, so such comparisons are problematic.

6.23pm. Only 216 votes from Prince Charles hospital booth, so quicker off the mark than I thought. The results are … interesting. My two-party preferred projection is at this stage based on the preference allocation from the 2012 election.

6.10pm. Polls have closed at Queensland’s Stafford by-election and counting is under way. This post will follow the count as the results come in, with the above table showing raw primary votes and percentages, and booth-matched two-party preferred projections and primary vote swings. This being a highly urban electorate, all the booths will be large and take a while to count, so I wouldn’t hold my breath on any results being in before 7pm.

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.

121 comments on “Stafford by-election live”

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  1. Jarod Hitchcock @Jrod59points
    Bob Ellis predicting a Big Swing to Clive in the #staffordvotes by election, Only problem is no PUP Candidate #Auspol

  2. Outsider@3

    Any idea what the biggest ever swing recorded in a state or Federal by election might be?

    Opening bid 26% 2PP Miranda NSW last year but I doubt that’s the highest ever.

  3. [5
    Posted Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 6:27 pm | PERMALINK
    The PUP leader in State Qld said the result would be known by 6.30, wot happened. ]

    He is probably still on QLD no daylight saving time..

  4. Chermside LNP -8% ALP +12 PVs, much smaller as expected since Prince Charles unrepresentative. Still sufficient to flip seat though.

  5. Antony has the 2PP at 33% from the hospital booth, which means they nicked a Family Firster.

    Second booth reporting has the swing down to 17.8% so I wouldn’t hold out for that record.

  6. Absolutely fascinating Green vote, if it’s true.

    Antony Green has his doubts.. “I’m pretty sure the first prefeence votes for Family First and the Greens have been transposed.”

  7. ALP might get over 50 on primaries?

    [@GhostWhoVotes: #Stafford Primary Votes (8 booths): LNP 32.9 (-17.3) ALP 49.8 (+16.2) #qldpol #auspol]

  8. I’m guessing the reason the count is so quick is that optional preferential means the counters don’t have to check if there are errors further down the preferences – as long as there is only one 1 the vote is valid.

  9. 20% swing away from LNP in a Brisbane Middle class seat has Federal implications.

    Abbott might need a war or something…

  10. Wow not a good result for Newman and his govt.

    Federal implications also on the back of a terrible budget for working Australians and a generally poor federal Liberal govt?

  11. [@CliveFPalmer: Goodbye @theqldpremier, goodbye @LNPQLD. Queenslanders have spoken loudly in Stafford today #qldpol #staffordvotes #Staffordbyelection]

  12. Anthony Green’s wise words.

    [ So Stafford now holds the record as the biggest by-election swing since the current Electoral Act came into force in 1992.]

  13. Again it’s timely to ask about Newman’s insistence on recontesting his seat. If things continue for the LNP as they are then it’s an incredibly risky strategy on his part.

  14. Routine mischief from Clive.

    [Clive Palmer ‏@CliveFPalmer 3m
    @LNPQLD backbenchers should desert @theqldpremier now and join @AlexDouglasMP and @PalmerUtdParty #staffordvotes #Staffordbyelection #qldpol]

  15. Yvette put the boot to the groin

    [Yvette D’Ath ‏@YvetteDAth now
    @AnnastaciaMP @Lynham4Stafford Campbell you can’t blame Scott Driscoll for this one. #qldpol #staffordvotes]

  16. Stephen, it’s a good deal shy of the 26.1% at the Miranda by-election. Of course, part of the story here is that the spectacular 2011 and 2012 state election results in New South Wales and Queensland are being followed by similarly extraordinary corrections.

  17. An Anthony Green comment CanJoh might like to read. .
    [19:22 – Swing is still at 19.8% at the moment. On a side note, and perhaps an important one, Campbell Newman’s margin next door in Ashgrove is 5.7%]

  18. [I’m guessing the reason the count is so quick is that optional preferential means the counters don’t have to check if there are errors further down the preferences – as long as there is only one 1 the vote is valid.]

    A field of only four candidates wouldn’t be doing any harm either.

  19. Antony Green ‏@AntonyGreenABC 51s
    #staffordvotes – There have been 3 double digit QLD by-election swing in last 20 years, 2 of them in last 6 months

  20. Wow

    [GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 13s
    #Stafford 2 Party Preferred (all booths): LNP 38.5 (-18.6) ALP 61.5 (+18.6) #qldpol #auspol]

  21. It’d be a brave punter who’d imagine the QLD ALP could win government from this position, but I tell you: its gonna be bloody close.

  22. [It’d be a brave punter who’d imagine the QLD ALP could win government from this position, but I tell you: its gonna be bloody close.]

    The thing about how things are travelling is that the LNP have turned a massive parliamentary majority into a potentially close-run bid for a second term, while at the same time exposing their own leader to losing his seat.

    If Newman is turfed by his constituents, yet the LNP are re-elected, who is the next leader?

  23. That factorwillcertainlyplay on the punters’ minds Confessions.

    Newma hopes of holding Ashgrove are objectively slim. If the LNP dont find him another, this will speak volumes about their attitude to their own leader.

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