New South Wales election live

Live coverage of counting for the state election in New South Wales.


6pm. The Nationals have roared back into contention in Lismore with the counting of 504 postal votes, 56.9% of which have been primary votes for the Nationals. This is 17.5% higher than their polling booth vote, compared with only an 8.2% difference in 2011. The ABC is saying the Greens are on 50.4% two-party preferred, but I’m presuming this is based on a speculative preference flow – if you’re out there Antony, clarification would be much appreciated. The NSWEC has pulled its original preference count and is telling us we won’t get anything back until “the Distribution of Preferences has been completed for all Districts and candidates have been declared elected”, which strongly suggests to me there’s no new indicative count being done. In any case, if the ABC preference flow is correct, it would seem extremely likely that the postal trend will continue decisively in the Nationals favour.

1am. As best as I can tell, the two-party swing has been 9.4%, suggesting a final result of 54.8% for the Coalition and 45.2% for Labor, with preferences breaking about 33% to Labor and 19% to the Coalition, with 48% exhausting. This compares with 24%, 21% and 55% in 2011 – using those numbers would have caused you to overstate the Coalition two-party vote by a bit over 1%. The change in preference behaviour is roughly half that at the Queensland election, when Labor got 48% (up from 27%), the Liberal National Party got 16% (down from 22%) and the exhausted rate was 36% (down from 51%).


11.31pm. The NSWEC announces counting has completed for the night. So there doesn’t seem to be much uncertainty left, apart from the narrowness of Labor’s leads in Gosford (0.6%), The Entrance (0.9%) and Strathfield at a pinch (1.3%), and maybe whether Liberal preferences flow heavily enough to the independent in Wollongong to endanger Noreen Hay.

11.16pm. Little further progress, except that the tide keeps ebbing towards Jodi McKay in Strathfield, who should now be okay with a 1.3% projected margin.

10.23pm. Not sure exactly why the Upper Hunter 2PP is entering in one surge, but now we’ve got 30 out of 45 and the Nationals are out of the woods.

10.15pm. Upper Hunter 2PP count now up to 16 booths out of 45, and the Nationals lead has dropped from 2.9% to 1.8%.

10.03pm. Earlier I noted the Nationals lead in Upper Hunter snapped from 0.2% to 2.9% — that turns out to have been because the 2PP booth count went from four out of 45 to 13. These are small booths so you wouldn’t want to be too confident, but it would still be a surprise if Labor won. In any case, the swing is a highly notable 20.3%.

10.01pm. Jodi McKay continues edging very slightly further ahead in Strathfield, her lead now 0.9%.

9.59pm. Antony explains peculiarity of Upper Hunter count, with lots of primaries and few 2PPs, and says on his view the Nationals primary vote is low enough that they’re in trouble. So we will keep that on the watch list.

9.56pm. Noreen Hay up a bit in Wollongong to 41.4%. Independent Arthur Rorris leads Liberal 20.9% to 19.4% — I suppose it’s possible he’ll do less well in late counting, which you often see with independents and minor parties, and that he won’t finish second. If he does, he’ll need a very strong flow of Liberal preferences. Whether he’ll get it is a question we won’t know the answer to this evening.

9.54pm. Another booth in Strathfield shifts ALP lead from 0.7% to 0.8%.

9.51pm. And now the lead’s recorded at 2.9%, so not sure what’s happening here.

9.49pm. Surprise late movement in Upper Hunter — 44.2% counted, 22.7% swing, projected Nationals lead 0.3%. However, there’s a big mismatch here between the number of booths reporting on two-party (four) and primary (37), so I suspect we may have an anomaly here.

9.45pm. 13% counted for upper house, and Land Tax Party’s vote has gone down from 1.8% last I looked to 1.6%. Probably nine seat to Coalition with one each as usual for Christians and Shooters, which would get the Coalition what they wanted, namely one cross-bench micro-party to sway rather than two. Too early to say anything with confidence though.

9.44pm. Another booth, another 0.1% on Labor’s projected lead in The Entrance — now at 0.8%.

9.40pm. Gosford right on the line, flipping between Liberal ahead and Labor ahead on the ABC projection with nearly every update.

9.37pm. ABC now calling East Hills after long have Liberal merely “ahead”, with a fairly substantial lead of 2.2%.

9.33pm. ABC now back to Labor gain in The Entrance, but all it’s down to is a shift in the predicted margin from 0.5% to 0.7%. With 56.6% counted, this needs to stay on the watch list. A long history of very close results in this seat.

9.27pm. Other than that, Gosford and The Entrance very much in doubt. But as far as I can tell, all other results are settling in.

9.25pm. Jodi McKay losing ground in Strathfield: projected lead now only 0.6%, and ABC downgrades her from win to ahead. Noreen Hay now down to 40.5% in Wollongong, to the point where she could conceivably be in trouble. Independent Arthur Rorris’s 21.6% to 19.7% lead over the Liberals is narrow, but almost certainly sufficient.

8.58pm. Berejiklian asks a good question about preference exhaustion, but it wouldn’t appear that anyone’s placed to answer that. My vague sense though is that ReachTEL’s projections were about right.

8.57pm. ABC determining no swing at all in Monaro, with Nationals margin of 2.0%.

8.49pm. Antony says Queanbeyan results indicate Nationals to hold Monaro. Labor concedes Newtown, says Chris Uhlmann.

8.48pm. Labor gains Londonderry, vacated by Bart Bassett, with 15.8% swing off a third counted.

8.47pm. Hadn’t mentioned Tamworth – Peter Draper has fallen a bit flat there, safe Nationals retain.

8.45pm. The Entrance very, very close. Ditto Gosford.

8.44pm. Berejiklian points to 12.2% Christian Democrats vote in Granville, up from 5.3% last time, which has evidently not converted into a strong flow of Liberal preferences.

8.42pm. As Antony Green notes, Alex Greenwich’s 44.0% is well clear of Clover Moore’s career best of 39.8%.

8.41pm. Seat projection now closer to the respondent-allocated than the previous-election preference model.

8.37pm. Greens big show looking very much like the luck of the draw — their primary vote is essentially unchanged on 2011.

8.35pm. Prospect has now tipped over to the point where the ABC computer is providing 2PP projections and not just raw numbers (it took me a while to twig that it was working that way), and despite a slow count it’s calling it for Labor.

8.31pm. No Land Tax’s 1.9% suggests they’re a show for an upper house seat, I would have thought.

8.29pm. Long night ahead in Monaro. The ABC had a slight swing to the Nationals before, but now it’s a slight swing to Labor — 1.1%, with a margin of 2%. Slow count, with the picture unlikely to be clear until we see those big Queanbeyan booths.

8.27pm. Very good result for Liberal member Gareth Ward in Kiama, who has worked very hard from what I can tell, and is credited with a 1.4% swing. Nearby, Noreen Hay’s primary vote of 43% plus should see her right, despite the independent finishing second.

8.23pm. ABC calling for Londonderry, adding to Sydney area gains that include Blue Mountains, Campbelltown, Granville, Rockdale and Strathfield. But they don’t include East Hills, which isn’t looking good for them, or Seven Hills and Oatley, where the Liberals have won — never mind Coogee, Seven Hills, Holsworthy, Mulgoa, Parramatta and Penrith (if you were wondering about Jackie Kelly, she’s on 8.3%).

8.19pm. Labor now ahead in Gosford, which if sustained would add to Central Coast/Hunter gains in Maitland, Port Stephens, Swansea and Wyong, to which you could add Newcastle and Charlestown if using the 2011 election as your base.

8.18pm. The ABC computer has demoted Labor to “ahead” in The Entrance.

8.16pm. Antony not entirely convinced by his Strathfield numbers, but it would be very odd for the ABC to be wrong about a 3.7% lead with over 30% counted.

8.15pm. ABC projections filling out. Big Labor-versus-Coalition question marks are East Hills, Gosford, Monaro. Slow count in Liverpool and Prospect. Independent now second in Wollongong, which might be dangerous for Noreen Hay, but you’d think her 44.4% primary vote would be enough.

8.14pm. Despite hopeful talk from Berejiklian, the ABC is putting Labor 3.7% ahead and calling it.

8.11pm. Evenly allocated the ABC’s five undecided seats, result looks somewhere between the 2011 preferences and respondent-allocated preferences projections on my poll tracker — the primary votes of which are basically correct, with Labor 0.9% too low on the primary, the Greens 0.5% too high, the Coalition 0.3% too high.

8.05pm. Looks like a good night for the Greens, who might win as many as four lower house seats. ABC computer confident Labor will win Ballina if they get ahead of the Greens, but that’s not looking likely — Greens 30.0%, Labor 25.7%. The Greens are also well ahead of Labor in Lismore, so I’m guessing that’s looking a close-run thing between Nationals and Greens. ABC computer calling Newtown and Balmain for them.

8.05pm. ABC calling Oatley for Liberal.

7.57pm. I’m now getting that correction I anticipated in Strathfield. Now it’s projected that McKay is 1.7% ahead, although it’s not calling it yet.

7.55pm. Antony crediting Labor’s strong recovery in Hunter and Illawarra to electricity privatisation, and recalling something similar happening in 1991.

7.51pm. Overall, the election is playing very much according to script. Nationals in trouble in Ballina and Lismore, as forecast. Strong performance by Labor in Hunter and Central Coast. But Labor is falling short in Sydney, although an uneven picture with some stronger performances for Labor (Campbelltown, Blue Mountains) and some weaker (East Hills, Oatley).

7.50pm. Berejiklian calling Oatley and getting “positive messages” about East Hills, which would both be demoralising losses for Labor given their 3.8% and 0.2% margins.

7.49pm. But Greens well ahead of Labor for second place in Lismore, and surely looking good to win on Labor preferences.

7.48pm. Ballina on a three-way knife edge. Nothing between Labor and Greens for second place, nothing between Labor and Nationals if it’s Labor who gets ahead. Presumably Greens will win if they finish ahead of Labor.

7.47pm. Central Coast and Hunter going according to script for Labor. Very good result by the looks in Port Stephens; Maitland, Wyong, The Entrance, Swansea look like gains.

7.45pm. Monaro will clearly be close, but hard to pick given its diversity. You’d rather be the Nationals at this stage.

7.40pm. Very early numbers good for Labor in Macquarie Fields, and they’re well ahead in Campbelltown, looking good in Londonderry. Granville being called for Labor. But “Liberal ahead” in East Hills. Strikingly good result for Liberal in Strathfield — too striking I think, will want to see more numbers there. Still too early to say much about Seven Hills. Nothing doing for Labor in Sydney in seats beyond 8% – Holsworthy, Mulgoa and Parramatta looking safe for the Liberals.

7.38pm. Antony’s projected primary vote totals broadly in line with the polls, with the Coalition maybe a big higher than my poll aggregate. I’m not able to get a clear sense though of what preferences are doing in aggregate.

7.33pm. Labor “ahead” in Port Stephens, which is good news for them. ABC calls 49 seats for Coalition, 30 for Labor, one for the Greens (that’s Newtown I guess, but that’s off very early numbers) and two independents, meaning Greg Piper and (I guess) Alex Greenwich.

7.33pm. Seven Hills looking close. Sensing western Sydney slightly better for Labor than some commentary was indicating.

7.29pm. Liberals looking okay in Kiama. Only 3.4% counted in Wollongong, but the mooted independent is third on 18.6%. He’ll first need to overtake the Liberals on 21.4%, then get strong preferences to overtake Hay, who is on 38.4%.

7.29pm. ABC has Coogee called for the Liberals, so I ran down the garden path a little on that one earlier.

7.28pm. Campbelltown looking strong for Labor, despite talk they would struggle

7.26pm. ABC calls Maitland for Labor. Independent Philip Penfold doing well on 22.6%, but still running third. Elsewhere on the Central Coast, The Entrance remains called for Labor, and they’re ahead in Wyong on 4.5%. Liberals ahead in Gosford.

7.24pm. Blue Mountains looking good for Labor.

7.23pm. Greens looking strong on 3.7% counted in Newtown; close on Balmain in 1.4%. Early days yet in both.

7.22pm. Greg Piper returned in Lake Macquarie.

7.20pm. Still only 5.4% counted, but Ballina looking either Labor or Greens, barring a late Nationals recovery. No worries for the Nationals in Clarence though, and likely to get home in Tweed.

7.19pm. Remarkably strong early results for the Liberals in Oatley, with 4.8% counted.

7.18pm. Antony’s display has Nats “ahead” rather than confirmed in Lismore.

7.17pm. Greens matching it with Labor on 2.7% counted in Heffron, but no idea what booth it is — Greens vote is strong here at the northern, city end of the seat.

7.15pm. ABC computer calling Goulburn for the Liberals.

7.14pm. The ABC computer is calling Lismore for the Nationals, but the question is whether a Nationals-versus-Greens result might tell a different story.

7.13pm. Antony talking up the Liberals in a few seats where I’m not seeing numbers yet. Berejiklian says they’re “looking like a chance” in The Entrance, but I’m not sure if she’s actually looked at the figures.

7.12pm. ABC computer calls The Entrance for Labor from 16.3% counted.

7.12pm. First numbers from Tweed have 18.0% swing to Labor with Nationals 3.6% ahead; 4.9% counted.

7.11pm. And Antony cautious says ABC computer “indicative” of Coalition victory.

7.10pm. Antony brings up bad early number for Labor in Monaro, but cautions the seat will be decided in Queanbeyan rather than these rural areas, where things could be very different.

7.09pm. Lineball between Labor and Greens for second place in Lismore, but with Labor looking to be falling short if it’s them.

7.05pm. Not sure what’s going on in Coogee. Antony is obviously seeing something different from me, because I just heard him refer to encouraging numbers for Liberal member Bruce Notley-Smith. And the ABC numbers I was just citing have essentially disappeared – now they’ve got a 2PP with only 141 votes counted.

7.03pm. Encouraging numbers for Labor in Coogee — 6.7% counted, 9.4% swing, Labor 1.1% ahead.

7.02pm. Richo on Sky appears to suggest he’s thinking the Greens will win Lismore.

7.01pm. Antony brings up a Goulburn two-party result that bears out what I just said — big swing, but not big enough.

6.59pm. Very strong looking results for the Greens in Ballina, even taking the booths into account, but unfortunately here too the notional count is Nationals-versus-Labor.

6.56pm. It’s actually looking like Pru Goward is down about 20% on the primary vote with Labor up 4%. That’s still not enough to account for her 26.8% margin.

6.52pm. The most advanced count is in the who-cares electorate of Cootamundra.

6.49pm. Early figures for Goulburn look superficially good for Pru Goward, giving her 53.2% of the primary vote, but there’s nothing in from Goulburn proper.

6.46pm. Greens on 29.9% and Nationals on 40.8% in Lismore, suggesting preferences from the 23.8% Labor vote will be decisive, which is no surprise. Antony appears to be doing an estimated Nationals-versus-Greens throw, but the NSWEC count is Nationals-versus-Labor.

6.40pm. Most a case of primary vote counts in safe Nationals areas at this stage. Still not seeing any two-party counts so I can get a bead on preferences.

6.37pm. Lismore is geared for a Nationals-versus-Greens count, which is good. With 1% counted, there’s a projected Nationals margin of 2.4%, but it’s too early at this point. Meaninglessly early figures for Golburn and Rockdale, both lineball at this very early stage.

6.28pm. A few tiny booths in from around the place. One is Fairy Hill Hall in Lismore, but it only amounts to 62 votes, which seems a bit odd because there were 420 here last time.

6pm. Polls have closed, and we should get the first and smallest booths in in about half an hour or so. There are two exit polls doing the rounds, ReachTEL with 54-46 to the Coalition, Galaxy with 55-45 from primary of 46% for the Coalition, 34% for Labor and 11% for the Greens – so very well in line with the poll tracker, in other words.

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.

649 comments on “New South Wales election live”

  1. PhoenixGreen 237

    I agree that the Greens were much better at targeting their campaign and is a real factor tonight. But I also agree with William that the redistribution that led to the seat of Newtown could allow someone to fairly claim the Greens benefited from “the luck of the draw”.

  2. [Or it means that the Greens are attempting to target their campaigning, which is actually a good thing for them.]

    I don’t really think they were playing pin the tail on the donkey beforehand though.

  3. @ Frickeg, 250

    I’d love to see Tony Abbott upended in his federal seat (it is, after all, the federal equivalent of Manly) by the Greens, just to see the look on his mug when the results come in.

  4. Fessy

    If the Liberals only lose four seats in 2016 in NSW then that would be a good night for them.

    If the polling is correct then NSW might not really matter as the swings in states like Queensland, Victoria, WA and SA look like costing the Liberals over a dozen or so seats

  5. ABC computer has now given Ballina to the Greens. They’re still well ahead of Labor in Lismore as well, but the count is slower there.

  6. ABC’s computer now showing a Greens gain in Ballina with a 30% swing against the Nationals.

    Is that some kind of record?

  7. Let’s see the new motorways map laid over the electoral map, I expect Bairds tax redistribution has shored up his vote.
    Good base for Labor to win next time as Baird will struggle with falling revenue

  8. William Bowe @252:

    [I don’t really think they were playing pin the tail on the donkey beforehand though.]

    No, they were not indeed. But their ability to concentrate their vote in winnable seats has definitely improved!

  9. After the way the libs have screwed us in the hunter no surprises in the result ,worst to come for us now that the libs hold no hunter seats they will screw this area worst and worst

  10. Mexican@261

    Yes – property value increases leads to gentrification – leads to (dare I say it) snobbery and leanings towards the Liberals.

  11. There is a slight demographic shift occurring on the Northern Beaches..there’s always been a hippie element, but it’s definitely increasing…Greens might give that bloke in Warringah a bit of a scare if they play it smart…

  12. zonr@266

    After the way the libs have screwed us in the hunter no surprises in the result ,worst to come for us now that the libs hold no hunter seats they will screw this area worst and worst


    But if you believe the *vibe* bambe baird will be all things to all people.

  13. Note: sarcasm, so sheath claws before lashing out.

    [Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits 8m8 minutes ago
    This was a vote of confidence in and for Abbott, Bolt, Grech, Romney, Windshuttle and, above all, @chriskkenny.]

  14. mexicanbeemer

    About time the term ” working class” was consined to the dustbin of history, along with blue collar.

    There is no manufacturing industry,it’s dead buried & cremated. Many tradesmen are earning very big money.
    The new industry / professions related to IT etc require a well educated work force, in tune with the environment , more left than many Labor voters & likely to vote Green1 Labor 2 Libs last.

  15. Arrnea Stormbringer @260

    [ABC’s computer now showing a Greens gain in Ballina with a 30% swing against the Nationals.

    Is that some kind of record?]

    I think that swing’s off the Nat/ALP TPP vote. If I recall correctly, the (pre-2015) Nat/ALP margin was 24.3%, while the Nat/Grn margin was “only” 17% or so.

    Still a massive swing of about 23% against the Nats.

  16. deewhytony

    Its not so much about snobbery at all, as an area improves due to higher levels of employment, incomes and personal wealth then economics becomes more important as does the need for better quality services.

    Many places like Straitfield usually go with the government, very few places ever really change their voting patterns unless it goes from begin rural to suburban.

  17. I can’t see any alternative to Luke Foley – will he be able to turn things around in 4 years under pressure from both the Coalition and the now grown-up Greens.

    In one way this is the most significant election since 1891 when the Labor Party broke threw to win seats in the house

  18. [ ABC’s computer now showing a Greens gain in Ballina with a 30% swing against the Nationals. ]

    Yet the CSG etc will all still go ahead.

    baird will keep renewing the licenses.

    nyce one.

  19. liyana

    I think what we might be seeing is something similar to Melbourne’s inner east/south where many traditional Liberal voters who wont vote for the ALP are moving towards the Greens.

  20. [GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes 5m5 minutes ago
    #nswvotes Seat of Lismore 2PP (41.6% counted): NAT 47.7 (-26.6) GRN 52.3 (+26.6) #auspol]

  21. dave 278

    Really? The Nationals now have almost half as many seats as the Libs, and are not likely to be happy about what’s happened. We won’t know for a year, but this might be the most important type of political victory for the Greens, the ones where you change the minds of your opponents and thus permanently win the debate.

  22. @ mexicanbeemer, 279

    That’s because after the state of the economy (which voters tend to trust the Libs more on), the most important major issue to these people isn’t workers’ rights or public assets (as it is for most Labor voters), but rather social justice and environmental issues, which leads to the Greens (who focus on exactly these issues) vacuuming them up when they become disaffected with the Liberals.

  23. I hear Fed Lib MP’s are taking heart in Bambi Bairds hard line approach on poles & wires as a sign the electorate want more, oh please let them believe in fairies.

  24. Bit confused by Lismore. Antony has a Nat vs Greens 2PP with actual numbers (9274 vs 10189), whereas I’d only expect to see percentages if it was a projection. But there’s only Nat vs ALP on the NSWEC site.

  25. AS

    Yes they are Liberal minded, it might sound confusing but many of these voters are Liberal as in the traditional sense of the word.

    They are not as interested in workers rights (unions) but are interested in other social issues like the environment and legal issues.

  26. @ NathanA, 282

    The Liberals failing to win a majority in their own right and requiring the support of the Nationals, in addition to the ability of the Nationals to bring down a Liberal government by joining with Labor in the Assembly will give the Nationals a far greater bargaining position on CSG.

    If their grassroots members apply the right pressure to their MPs, it could set up some very interesting political battles in the next term of Parliament – especially if the Liberals also push the Nationals’ buttons regarding the privatisation rural electricity assets.

  27. I would think the Lismore and Ballina counts would have to be estimates, but by the same token I cannot see how the Nationals could hold on to either. I haven’t crunched the numbers but with the CSG campaign and “put the Nationals last”, they wouldn’t have to have an unrealistic flow for the Greens to win.

  28. For the Legislative Council, I’m predicting the new seats as:
    9 Lib-Nat
    7 Labor
    3 Greens
    1 S&F
    1 CDP

    This will make a total of:
    20 Lib-Nat
    12 Labor
    6 Greens
    2 S&F
    2 CDP

  29. In my seat of Parramatta, the sitting Lib has won with a reduced majority and was not troubled in any way as the Labor vote is 28%. This is Labor territory with a majority migrant population and Labor ran a drongo candidate who is a Labor son. He lost badly. I am sure he fitted into the web of the Labor Party neatly but the electorate rejected him.

    Put simply, a party cannot win a migrant “Sth East Asian” seat like this with a yobbo Ocker-looking hack like Shaw. He is symptomatic of the problem with Machine Labor being unable to relate to the electorate. I also suspect they put little effort into the seat.

    From my narrow perspective, there is little good news for Labor in this election. Nothing will change and they will lose Parramatta again next time.

  30. On the numbers, especially with four Greens, Libs can not govern in their own right.

    Even with the belting that the Nats received, their power within the parliament has increased.

    So, who really “won” this election?

    Remember that the Nats refused to allow Essential Energy to be leased off. Said it would lead to higher energy prices and lower service quality.

  31. @ raaraa, 291

    Almost what I figure, but I’ll go with the No Land Tax party picking up a seat instead of a second one for the Christian Democrats.

  32. NathanA@282

    dave 278

    Really? The Nationals now have almost half as many seats as the Libs, and are not likely to be happy about what’s happened. We won’t know for a year, but this might be the most important type of political victory for the Greens, the ones where you change the minds of your opponents and thus permanently win the debate.

    Well it will require baird to change his mind (and the nats) and he has said he won’t.

    Lets see. baird is still comfortably safe, but we still don’t know if voters have defied him in the upper house.

    Probably not given his comfortable win – but we should know soon.

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