Fisher by-election live

Live coverage of the count for South Australia’s Fisher by-election.UPDATE: Which Labor has won by 23 votes at the final count.

Heidi Harris (Liberal)
Jeanie Walker (Independent)
Nat Cook (Labor)
Rob de Jonge (Independent)
Bob Couch (SPGN)
Dan Woodyatt (Independent)
Malwina Wyra (Greens)
Dan Golding (Independent)
Counted (of 25,829 enrolled):
Booths reported out of 9:

Monday 9.30pm. The indefatigable Tom Richardson relates that the final margin in favour of Labor after the preference distribution came down to just nine votes: 10,284 to 10,275.

Monday 7.30pm. Tom Richardson tweets that the conclusion of adjudication of informal votes has ended, and that the result after finalisation of the preference distribution will be a 13-vote win to Labor. There would appear to be a good chance of the Liberal Party will seek to have the Court of Disputed Returns revise the ballot paper rulings that went against them.

Monday 2.30pm. The recount that was granted to the Liberals, somewhat surprisingly, is now under way. Nine’s Tom Richardson relates on Twitter that reassessment of informal votes has caused nine formerly informal votes to be admitted, resulting in the Labor margin to narrow from 23 votes to 20, with the “validity of several to be adjudicated”.

Saturday 7.30pm. ECSA has published the preference distribution. Woodyatt needed a 24.75% greater share of preferences than Labor in the three-party preferred count, but could manage only 16.92%. The differentials at the Greens and Democrats exclusions were actually 17.04% in Labor’s favour, compared with 27.26% in Woodyatt’s favour among the other candidates. Slightly less than a quarter of the preferences went to the Liberals.

Saturday 2pm. The ABC reports that Labor has secured its parliamentary majority of 24 seats out of 47, having somewhat outperformed expectations in the preference distribution. Labor’s victory over the Liberals on the two-party count will take effect after its candidate Nat Cook survived the last exclusion ahead of independent Daniel Woodyatt by, according to Tom Richardson on Twitter, 226 votes. It appears the preference distribution process turned up another two votes for the Liberals and one for Labor, such that the latter’s winning margin at the final count is now 23. Hopefully the full preference distribution should be published shortly on the ECSA site. I’ve changed the time stamp on this post to bump it to the top of the page.

Friday 4.30pm. Rechecking ends with Labor 24 votes in the clear, so the Liberals are out. The issue between Labor and Dan Woodyatt will be decided at the preference distribution to commence from 9am tomorrow.

Friday 1pm. It seems the preference distribution will be conducted tomorrow. Well-connected observer Independently Thinking relates in comments that Labor appears pessimistic about its chances of staying ahead of Woodyatt, although clearly there will be very little in it. He also passes on an entertaining account of the Liberals’ confusion on election night by Nine Network reporter Tom Richardson at InDaily.

Friday 12.30pm. The last postals have been counted, of which there were only 30, and they have made no difference at all to Labor’s 21-vote lead. So unless anomalies emerge in the preference distribution or any recount that might be conducted, we can now say that the Liberals have not won the seat. Rather, the issue is whether it’s Labor’s Nat Cook (5501, 26.7%) or independent Dan Woodyatt (4794, 23.3%) who survives at the last exclusion. This is down to the 2861 votes cast for other candidates, how they split between Liberal, Labor and Woodyatt, and whether Woodyatt’s share of that total is 708 votes (24.75%) more than Cook’s. Woodyatt’s observation of the count has reportedly been that a “conservative” projection would bring it down the wire, suggesting he rates his own chances as better than even.

Wednesday 4.30pm. ECSA advises it will knock over whatever postal votes arrive in the available time frame of the next two days on Friday. These votes will be small in number, but given the lateness of their arrival they will almost certainly be coming from overseas, so it should not be assumed they will follow the same pattern as today’s batch which came in on Monday and Tuesday. The provisional votes have already been counted, contrary to what I stated earlier, so Labor is not awaiting upon the small boost that such votes invariably provide it.

Wednesday 11am. I should probably know better than to find anything about this count surprising by now, but that is undeniably where I stand after today’s batch of 194 postals behaved very unlike those that preceded in breaking 113-75 to Labor and putting them 21 votes ahead. As related on Twitter by Haydon Manning, today’s primary votes are 52 each for Labor and Liberal, 47 for Woodyatt, 17 for Golding, nine for the Greens, seven for De Jonge, four for Couch and nothing for Walker. By my reckoning, Labor’s two-party lead is now 10,282 to 10,261. The numbers are yet to be updated to the ECSA site, but it’s all accommodated in the table above (UPDATE: ECSA now updated).

Part of the surprise of the Liberals’ late count recovery was a dramatic improvement in their preference share, which was 34.6% on ordinary votes, 43.9% on the first batch of postals and 44.9% on pre-polls. But on this batch of postals, it was 27.4%. On this form, you would suggest that the late-arriving postals are behaving very differently from the early ones, and that the wind should stay at Labor’s back for the rest of the count, particularly if provisionals await to be added. But by this stage, the only thing it would seem prudent to expect is the unexpected.

Tuesday 4pm. The shocks keep rolling in: pre-polls, while slightly less favourable to the Liberals than postals, have gone to them with sufficient strength (2519-2051) to give them a 17-vote lead. Since there will presumably be about 200 postals still to trickle in, the likelihood now is that the Liberals will pull the iron out of the fire, unless a distinct trend in outstanding postals together with provisionals can yet save the day for Labor. Then there’s the fact that Dan Woodyatt’s deficit compared with Labor is down to 3.4% – probably bigger than he can overcome on preferences, but not definitely.

Tuesday 11:30am. Daniel Willis of The Advertiser tweets: “Told early indications from small sample of Fisher pre-polls shows same trend as ordinary ballots cast on Sat. Labor position strengthens.”

Monday afternoon. Things have taken another turn with the first 1217 postal votes flowing very heavily to the Liberals, to the extent of offering them a glimmer of hope. The votes have split 679-504, or 57.4-42.6, and in doing so cut the lead from 626 to 451. If all of the declaration votes were to divide thus, the Liberals would end up winning by around 250 votes. However, it’s all but certain that they will do less well on the pre-polls, of which around 4650 will be counted tomorrow. Of postals, there should be perhaps around 300 more to come in through the rest of the week. Kevin Bonham has been holding on to the idea of Dan Woodyatt still taking the seat after getting ahead of Labor in late counting, but suggests this is conditional on the 5.4% gap on polling booth votes being narrowed to around 3% on late counting. So far he’s pared it back to 4.6%, and if that trend continues it would fall below 2%. In short, a lot of election night prognostications were premature, although the likelihood still remains that Labor will win the seat. Tomorrow’s counting should clarify the situation.

Sunday evening. The recheck indeed confirmed the anomaly in Aberfoyle Park, which together with other rechecking puts Labor’s lead at a formidable 7614 to 6988, or 626 votes (1.2%).

Close of the evening. Multiple reports are circulating to the effect that there is an anomaly in the published numbers detailed above, and that its correction will confirm a stunning result that tips Labor over the line to a parliamentary majority of 24 seats out of 47. The ECSA score has Labor’s lead at 7384-7115, giving them a fragile margin of 269. But it seems there is an anomaly with the Aberfoyle Park High School result, where Labor has received only 48% of minor party and independent preferences compared with a fairly consistent 65%-67% elsewhere. Two stories have emerged on Twitter as to what has gone wrong here: David Washington of InDaily relates via an unnamed source that the two-party result from a booth was entered the wrong way around, and Kaurna MP Chris Picton indicates that 200 votes have been assigned to the wrong pile. In either case, Labor’s preference share from the booth would be well in line with the overall trend. Their lead would be 599 votes (2.1%) on the former scenario, or 669 (2.3%) on the latter. Nine Network reporter Tom Richardson splits the difference by tweeting the word from a “VERY seasoned” Labor source that their lead is in fact at 638.

Whichever it might be, it would take something quite miraculous to reverse the result in late counting. The check vote will be conducted tomorrow, which will presumably get to the bottom of the Aberfoyle Park anomaly. There will follow counting of postals on Monday and pre-polls on Tuesday.

9.00pm. All primary and 2PP booth counts are in, and that’s apparently it for the evening – except there is talk that ECSA has the 2PP numbers in the wrong way around for one booth, for which the likeliest candidate is Aberfoyle Park High School. If that’s the case, Labor’s lead is actually 7549 (52.1%) to 6950 (47.9%), in which case they’re pretty much home and hosed. Will keep you posted on that one. I’ve rejigged the chart to feature the Labor-versus-Liberal 2PP result.

8.37pm. The outstanding booth on 2PP, Aberfoyle Park North, was mid-range in terms of primary vote swings, so presumably won’t make difference to the knife-edge 2PP projection.

8.34pm. All booths now in on the primary vote.

8.18pm. Two more booths reporting on two-party, and Antony’s projection now has Labor 0.8% ahead. A big week of pre-poll and postal counting awaits.

8.06pm. There’s now a sixth booth in on the Liberal-versus-Labor 2CP, and whichever one it’s been, it’s a bad result for Labor, such that Antony now has the Liberals nudging into a 0.3% lead on his projection. But it looks to me like Reynella East was a particularly good result for Labor in a very large booth, so my feeling is that that will put them back in front when it reports.

8.01pm. Reynella East has now reported, and it’s left that last entry of mine looking pretty good. Woodyatt now well behind Labor, who would probably be getting a bit excited around about now.

7.57pm. The two booths outstanding are Aberfoyle Park North, which was a good booth for Such (45.9%), and Reynella East, a bad one (30.0%). But the Woodcroft booth, which was Such’s worst (22.2%), isn’t in use this time, and the nearest booth is Reynella East, so expect that booth to hit pretty Woodyatt hard.

7.53pm. And sure enough, the Happy Valley West booth puts Labor ahead of Woodyatt on the primary vote.

7.48pm. Interestinger and interestinger. A big fly in Woodyatt’s ointment is that the outstanding booths were far Such’s weakest part of the electorate, and if that flows through to him he has little chance of finishing ahead of Labor. And according to Antony’s projection, Labor now have a 1.3% lead on the Liberal-versus-Labor two-party count with five booths counted. So it appears a gravely underestimated their chances a few posts ago.

7.38pm. Aberfoyle Park booth added. With each booth my projection continues to look better for Woodyatt, who has also inched further ahead of Labor on the raw primary vote. I’ve just fixed a bug in my primary vote percentages.

7.33pm. I should observe that my primary vote swings are based on booth matching, so this looks a rather poor result for the Liberals, who are hardly making any headway in Such’s absence, whereas Labor are up around 10%.

7.30pm. Antony projecting 2.2% Liberal lead on the Liberal-versus-Labor count, based on three booths. A Labor win is thus not impossible if they indeed finish second, but the odds appear against them on both counts.

7.13pm. Aberfoyle Park Central booth pushes projected Woodyatt lead out to 4.5%, but he’s only just clear of Labor in second place.

7.10pm. Aberfoyle Park South puts Woodyatt’s nose in front. But I must again stress that this is based on a highly speculative preference allocation.

7.09pm. According to my calculations, Clarendon implies a Liberal win probability of 68%, but in Cherry Gardens it’s 26%.

7.07pm. I’ve cleaned a bug that was causing my 2PP projection to be based entirely on the Clarendon result. Revised verdict: very interesting.

7.05pm. Raw results suggest Woodyatt should finish ahead of Labor. Using the Such-versus-Liberal preferences from March, I’ve got an 11.9% swing to Liberal compared with a 9.6% margin from Clarendon, but a 6.4% swing in Cherry Gardens.

7.00pm. Mixed signals coming through. Labor MP Michael Atkinson pessimistic, but Daniel Wills of The Advertiser apparently hearing Woodyatt looking good. Both booths in so far are very small, so the the later results might change the picture.

6.57pm. Second booth in, Cherry Gardens, and it looks like this was the one Antony was referring to. So we’ve now got two unexpectedly good results in from the Liberals, who I’m projecting to win quite comfortably.

6.53pm. The Clarendon booth primary votes are in – I’ve been a bit slow passing it on because I’ve had bugs to iron out. Antony reckons the Libs vote is up 6.8% but my output says higher, so I might have to look at this.

6.40pm. There’s quite a bit coming through on Twitter about how the count is progressing. My live coverage will be strictly concerned with published results, but you’ll find the diligent PB community relating the Twitter info in the comments thread.

6.38pm. A further point of explanation: the swing figures shown for Woodyatt will be compared with the result for Such at the election. Sorry if this seems to suggest that I’m buying into Woodyatt’s campaign pitch, but it does seem the most instructive way of going about it.

6.30pm. ECSA will be conducting a Liberal-versus-Labor two-party count. Here however you will find something different – a Liberal-versus-Woodyatt count based on the assumptions that preferences will split between the two in the same way as they did between Liberal and Bob Such in each individual polling booth at the elections.

6pm. Polls have closed in South Australia’s Fisher by-election, which you can read all about in the post below. This being a suburban seat with large booths, I’m guessing we won’t see any numbers for about an hour or so.

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.

265 comments on “Fisher by-election live”

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  1. Well, there can be little doubt that Abbott was the deciding factor here (and Johnstone of course).

    Thanks Tones for delivering the ALP yet another victory!

    On another note: what does Lyons have to do to get an LBW?

  2. WB

    [The silver lining for the Liberals is that Labor will be easier to beat at the next election than Woodyatt would have been.]

    Woodyatt might stand another chance if he runs again.

  3. Full distribution of preferences here:

    Its been a great couple of weeks for election purists, first with Prahran, now with Fisher. I am hard pressed to think of 2 better 3-way contests!! I know Geoff Brock’s come from behind win in Frome was remarkable, but I don’t think Labor was ever in with a shot in that contest. With Prahran and Fisher, right up to the finish, any of the 3 main candidates were still in the race.

  4. So David Johnston has delivered Jay Weatherall majority government! Thanks Dave 🙂

    I take it there is little ground for a recount with Nat Cook 226 ahead of Woodyatt?

    You do have to feel a little sorry for Woodyatt given the rather nasty Liberal smear campaign in the final weeks. He might well have a chance in four years time.

  5. Also, hats off to SA Lsbor for the pre-selection of Nat Cook as the candidate.

    With her strong community links and high profile, she now has a real opportunity to make Fisher a defendable seat. It will take a lot of work, but she has over 3 years to establish herself. I am not convinced Fisher was ever the “safe” notional Liberal seat others thought. It has more of the characteristics of a mortgage-belt seat where elections are traditionally won and lost – as with its neighbours. Its the addition of semi-rural areas like Clarendon and Cherry Gardens that provide the balance.

    Bob Such had a unique personal following, and his sad loss has returned Fisher to true marginal seat status.

    For what its worth, the Liberals will find it to be (yet another) tough marginal to crack in 2018.

  6. Outsider

    Agreed, Labor ran a good campaign, unlike the dogs breakfast AKA the State/Federal Liberal tag-team effort.

    More importantly than the seat itself, this gives SA a stable majority government for four years. It gives Weatherall a chance to shape his own agenda for the state. There is a need for renewal in the public service, a transition away from manufacturing, and continuation of local initiatives like renewable energy and sub building, Federal Liberal spoiling not withstanding. Of course, if the Federal Liberals do continue with their current attitude, they will have plenty to answer for in SA at the next Federal election. Jamie Briggs does not have a large margin for one.

  7. @ Socrates, 208

    Actually, Briggs’ margin in Mayo is a handsome 12.51%. There are three South Australian Liberal seats more marginal than it:

    * Hindmarsh, held by Matt Williams (1.89%) – gone at this polling certainly.
    * Boothby, held by Andrew Southcott (7.12%) – a possible loss, but don’t bet the House on it.
    * Sturt, held by Christopher Pyne (10.08%) – given Pyne’s profile, might fall, but I’d say it’s unlikely.

  8. South Australia is a state of sharp swings. Large margins don’t always protect MPs. Especially if that large margin is, itself, a product of a large swing. Although Mayo is probably too big an ask.

  9. I think the Liberals should also avoid the temptation of laying the blame of this loss solely on Johnston’s remarks. While it makes a politically convenient scapegoat, it is ignoring deeper problems that they need to address if they don’t want to be slaughtered at the next fed election and severely underperform at the next state one.

    Of course, I know that advice will fall on deaf ears and they’ll run under the lazy beliefs that gaffes and supposedly-unfavourable electoral boundaries are the only things stopping them from winning elections.

  10. Good news for the progressive side of politics in South Australia. How demoralizing it must be for the SA Liberals to lose four general elections in a row and then lose a byelection in a seat where the political fundamentals broadly favour them.

  11. William or Kevin

    How does this result affect Labor’s overall TPP in SA? Does it make the 47% TPP figure change much at all?

    I just wonder because it was a bit naughty of Labor forming government off such a low TPP figure, so I am wondering just how cheeky it is now to have majority government off say 47.5% TPP? Or is it worse than that?



  12. Thanks Carey.

    So majority government off 47.2%?

    A little less naughty then, I suppose. But SA democracy still in need of serious reform.

    These electorates of just 20,000 voters are just tiny. That’s the population of the city of Goulburn NSW for example!

  13. Average populations for lower house state electorates:

    New South Wales 74,243
    Victoria 60,510
    Queensland 48,536
    Western Australia 37,821
    South Australia 33,904

    Interesting that Queensland doesn’t break the overall trend despite it not having an upper house.

  14. DL – the problem is – how can this be changed so that this sort of imbalance doesn’t happen?

    It is very hard when so many Liberal votes are “locked in” to the rural electorates. You would need to “gerrymander” in the true sense of the word (ie make very strange geographical shapes) to include some heavily Liberal areas in more Labor urban seats.

    And as someone pointed out here, that sort of redistribution would in the case of Fisher make it “more” Labor because you would be trying to not “waste” Liberal votes in a seat like that.

    I would think that the only realistic way of doing it would be larger multi-member electorates (micro-party funnelling – come on down!) or else state-wide proportional representation or maybe MMP like NZ with “list” candidates to rebalance.

    When Playford ruled SA he didn’t seem to keen on changing the system, and I suppose Labor would not be too keen now!

  15. [These electorates of just 20,000 voters are just tiny. That’s the population of the city of Goulburn NSW for example!]

    Smaller electorates actually more accurately the overall vote, all else being equal.

  16. and These electorates of just 20,000 voters are just tiny.

    Our electorate of Wanguri in the Northern Territory Assembly election in 1997 –

    enrolled = 3902
    voted = 3320
    formal = 3170

    Bailey (Labor) = 1649
    Styles (CLP) = 1521

    I think there was only one polling booth which was Wanguri Primary or Pre-School – talked to both candidates who spent the whole day at the booth I think.

  17. I enjoyed the “local” feel of NT politics – would have met at least 10 MPs (25 in Assembly) I think in our time there. They were sort of like local councillors in terms of coming to school events etc. – which you miss a bit with more “dispersed” systems like Tas and ACT.

  18. NT is very naughty in terms of its electorate sizes. But SA should not use them as an excuse for reforming their over politicianed and largely undemocratic system.

  19. Local councils have even smaller electorates. The issue is not the population per seat (which I add was higher in March than it had ever been before)

    The problem is most of SA’s population is concentrated in Adelaide. Meaning that most of the electorates are small geographical carve-ups of the metro area. So, you have these borders drawn in under the pretence that the issues of, say, Little Para and Napier, or West Torrens and Croydon are different enough from each other that they separately need their own representatives.

    I favour a PR system similar to Hare-Clark, so that the electorates are more broader, such as one representing the interests of the North of Adelaide, one the West, one the South East of the state etc. represented by multiple members, as larger districts do represent a significantly different enough portion of the population.

    And it’s not just SA. I think all states should adopt such a system.

  20. The SA Laborites I know are looking forward to a good campaign in Boothby at the next election – the challenge is finding a good candidate, after Digance was lobbed into state parliament last year as a reward for toiling in Boothby for so long.

    If Abbott stays on the nose, it’s definitely in play, but it’ll take a lot of work.

  21. SA Labor would be better off trying to win more than one Senate seat in 2016 rather than going after Liberal seats it could not even win in 2007!

  22. 226

    Enlarging the ALP numbers in the Senate is more crucial, than adding seats not won in 2007, because of the likely tighter numbers. However the ALP would need a big swing to gain a Senate seat compared to 2010, the half up for reelection, because they got 2 Senators and there was also a Green. Defeating a Green does little for the ALP in the Senate as well. I do not think that SA will go 3 ALP, 2 Green unfortunately.

  23. Carey

    Thanks, I got my Federal seats mixed up. Briggs is not in Hindmarsh. That being said, the point is still the same – this result must have some SA federal Libs nervous.

  24. DL 222, If you think the tiny size of NT electorates is a bit naughty, compare that to the gargantuan size of parli house (Haddin’s Haunted House, Perrin’s Palace or CLP Central) for just 25 members at a cool $170 million. Naturally, the CLP charged the lot to bankcard as its legacy for future generations. (Besides, the air con was always too bloody cold to stay longer than a few minutes!) The moral of the story being never allow MPs to drive the political agenda without some form of vigourous public oversight. A compliant Murdoch newspaper and an election every 4 years is not enough.

    [Independent Dan Woodyatt considers appeal to Court of Disputed Returns as Labor claims win in Fisher by-election
    The Advertiser
    December 14, 2014 11:00AM

    INDEPENDENT Dan Woodyatt is taking legal advice over a possible court challenge to the Fisher by-election result, but says he may not even run if a new vote were triggered.

    Labor’s Nat Cook won the seat after the detailed counting of preferences yesterday, finishing with a 23-vote margin over Liberal candidate Heidi Harris on a two-candidate basis.

    Mr Woodyatt finished 226 votes behind Labor when preferences were allocated.

    If he had been able to edge ahead of Ms Cook, her preferences would likely have seen Mr Woodyatt elected.

    Mr Woodyatt today told The Advertiser he believed negative and dishonest campaign material released by the Liberals had cost him enough votes to change the election outcome.

    They include material claiming he wanted to tax people’s super and a letter from a neighbour advocating a vote against him.

    Independent Robert de Jonge also released how-to-vote cards on polling day that preferenced the Liberals but had not been previously registered.]

  26. What’s the penalty for handing out an unregistered how to vote? Throw the book at him!

    Labor will be happy enough to hold their two seats in the Senate at the next election, but their third candidate only lost to the Liberals at the final exclusion in 2010. I wouldn’t completely rule out that swapping in 2016, especially if Senate voting reform gets done to make preference harvesting less effective and there’s a big anti-Abbott swing.

  27. Ross 229 – the best was one day when we went on the guided tour. When we got to the library in NT Parliament House, the guide pointed out the “galleries” around the lower flat area, saying without a hint of irony –

    “And this will be able to be converted into the Upper House Chamber when the Northern Territory gains statehood”

  28. RR, That takes me back. I recall the failed ‘Stonehood’ referendum of 1998 and that first fine careless rapture on receiving the great news. The ALP wasn’t game to say a single word against statehood for fear of being branded as ‘anti-Territorian’, yet 51% of us were game enough to shove it right up a succession of CLP carpetbaggers. What a victory it was over the political class!

  29. Ross – I think I wrote to Steve Vizard in the Australian Republican Movement after this to basically tell him that the “model” thing would be their undoing. That there would be a concerted campaign by people saying “We’re not against a Republic, just this model” – Arise Dame Kerrie Jones and Dame Sophie Panopoulos (Mirabella)!

  30. The Liberals are lodging a request for a re-re-count.

    Given the 23 vote margin they say that now every vote should be re-rechecked to ensure formality.

  31. Actually, Antony Green has already pre-emptively warned us about getting our hopes up for a recount. He says that the ballots are rechecked (both on the Sunday after polling day and to check preference flows) and that, to be approved for a recount, you need a more compelling reason than just “it’s a close result”.

    As for Woodyatt’s possible legal challenge. I don’t know about the legal solidness of it but, politically, it seems like a daft idea and won’t win him any favours with Fisher voters.

  32. [Actually, Antony Green has already pre-emptively warned us about getting our hopes up for a recount. He says that the ballots are rechecked (both on the Sunday after polling day and to check preference flows) and that, to be approved for a recount, you need a more compelling reason than just “it’s a close result”.]
    But what the hell else are the Liberals going to do? They have been in Opposition for 12 years. They need to do something with their time.

  33. [But what the hell else are the Liberals going to do? They have been in Opposition for 12 years. They need to do something with their time.]

    Try and win Davenport?

    I dunno, maybe actually craft a cohesive strategy to get out of opposition at the next election and develop a plan for government, if they do win. Maybe also a strategy to start clearing out a bit of the dead wood from the safe seats?

  34. [Try and win Davenport?]

    Oh wait, that candidate’s from the Lib Right. What are members of the Left going to do over the next month? Maybe they can start on that second thing 😉

  35. Considering all the rechecks that have happened, I doubt anything will change but there are only 23 votes in it. If just 12 of those were wrongfully preferenced to Labor over Libs, then it would change the result.

  36. The ABC news just had a long segment explaining why Hockey is in budget trouble, with a in depth look at the mining slow down, the effect on jobs and local mining town businesses, and how the loss of the carbon tax, plus the cost of Direct Action the lump sum given to the Reserve Bank is going to blow out the budget. The analysis also had visuals to reinforce the points, including that a surplus is unlikely for ten years.

  37. Ross 233 – sit down, take a deep breath, have a stiff drink on hand…..After much to-ing and fro-ing I actually voted for Statehood. It was because I felt that long-term this would increase Australia’s chances of becoming a republic:

    There have been a few federal referendums where the overall majority was achieved, but they failed because they passed in NSW, Vic and SA, and failed in Qld, Tas and WA – leaving a 3-3 deadlock. I felt that a Republic Referendum could be headed the same way and that NT being a state could help such a referendum get over the line (and in all future referendums the NT could break a 3-3 deadlock, though not overcome a 2-4 loss).

    So for probably the first time ever, I and non-Labor spouse voted the same way. And probably the only other time we have was the actual Republic Referendum the year after!

    If I remember rightly Shane Stone thought this was home and hosed, then he went to the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur for two weeks and by the time he came back there had been a bit of a “seachange” with lots of people unhappy with the model. To which he said “Like it or lump it” or words to that effect.

    In the end I was a bit surprised it didn’t get up, but I then also saw the writing on the wall for the Republic Referendum. And of course this whole thing led to Shane Stone’s end as Chief Minister, and probably ultimately helped Labor finally win government in 2001.

  38. enjaybee – I don’t think NXT can get a candidate up in time, but Davenport does have a history of giving minor party candidates a good run. The Democrats used to poll in the high teens before they imploded. Most of that support’s probably already gone to the Greens, though.

    Either way it’d be surprising if the Liberals even needed preferences to hold it, unless the Federal Libs feel like doing Weatherill another favour.

  39. 246

    The Whitlam Government tried to overcome the 4 state requirement. They put a referendum to give territories the vote and reduce the states requirement to 3. It failed. What they should have done is make the combined totals of all the territory referendum votes count as a state, allowing 4-3 victories. It would have allowed the question on the ballot paper to be only about territory representation, not about changing the mode.

    The current system, introduced by the Fraser Government at the 1977 referendum, of allowing the territories a vote only in the national total is almost entirely a waste of money. No referendum has even been lost only on the national vote (a few have come close though). I suspect that now that that system is in place, there is unlikely to be the vote to change it.

  40. 249

    And the ACT has more than to thirds of the voters, so the combined territories “state” would be dominated by Commonwealth power expansion friendly voters.

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