8.02pm. Newnham’s in, so we’re done for the evening. It wasn’t a great result for Dean, bringing his primary vote projection down to 43.0% and Labor’s required preference share to 75.4%. But Scott McLean (16.7%) has more votes than the Greens (11.2%), and not a few of them can be expected to go to Dean.
8.01pm. I had that wrong about the Ravenswood booth not being in use. Now that I have it right, it’s Dean 44.0%, Labor required preference share 78.3%.
7.52pm. I hadn’t been accounting for the fact that the Ravenswood booth isn’t in use this time; doing so increases Labor’s required preference share to 80.5%.
7.47pm. Dilston (628 votes) and Mowbray (783 votes) leave the situation unchanged, Dean at 44.3%, Labor needing 78.7%. Only outstanding booth is Newnham, which with 2235 votes comfortably the biggest booth in 2010.
7.37pm. 1183 pre-polls push Dean’s primary vote projection back up to 44.5%, and Labor’s required preference share to 79.0%.
7.32pm. A weak result for Dean from George Town (1540 votes) brings his primary vote projection down to 43.9% and Labor’s required preference share down to 76.9%.
7.30pm. Inveresk (953 votes) added to the count, leaving the situation unchanged.
7.28pm. Elphin (809) and Hillwood (426) added for Windermere, leaving six booths outstanding, and I have Dean back up to 46.1% – the projections and the raw result (45.8%) having pretty much converged now – and Labor’s required preference share up to around 85%.
7.17pm. Three more booths from Windermere, including 1006 votes at Invermay, 966 at St Leonards and 745 at Waverley, put Ivan Dean at 43.8%. Labor, on around 28%, would need about 78% of preferences to win, which is very hard to see. But Dean’s margin will be much smaller than first indicated.
7.06pm. Mike Gaffney polling about three-quarters of the vote in Mersey, Craig Farrell on 63.9% in Derwent.
7.03pm. 579 votes from Rocherlea brings Ivan Dean’s primary vote projection down still further, to 44.4%. If Scott McLean hadn’t run, it’s possible you wouldn’t be writing Labor off at this point, although they would still have been needing a very large share of Greens preferences.
6.57pm. Biggest booth in from Windermere yet is George Town South, which is slightly less good for Dean and reins his projection back to 46.4%.
6.50pm. 544 votes from Norwood plus 251 from the mobile booth bring Ivan Dean’s primary vote projection down to 49.6%, but with none of the other candidates clearing 20%, we certainly have enough in now to call today’s proceedings an easy clean sweep for all three incumbents.
6.49pm. A second booth in Mersey, at Forth, favours Mike Gaffney 451-152, so you can put down your glasses there if you haven’t already.
6.48pm. A second booth in Windermere, 248 votes at Pipers River, causes me to reel the Ivan Dean primary vote projection in slightly to 51.2%.
6.45pm. Eleven booths now from Derwent, Labor’s own all of them easily, and I’m projecting it at 68.6-36.7.
6.41pm. The first booth from Windermere, 103 votes from Weymouth, is good for Ivan Dean. He’s up 15.4%, from which I’m projecting a primary vote total of 54.6%.
6.38pm. Four booths in now from Derwent, and I’m projecting a 68-32 Labor win.
6.34pm. Mike Gaffney wins the first booth in Mersey 100-47, so no indication of any surprise there either. Nothing yet from Windermere.
6.31pm. To booths in Derwent that gave Labor 39.0% of the vote in 2009 have given them 63.4% now, so clearly there are no surprises in store there.
6.20pm. Polls closed 20 minutes ago. Now I’ll get my act together for live coverage.
Today’s the day for the annual periodical elections for Tasmania’s Legislative Council, in which either two or three of the chamber’s 15 electoral divisions go up for election over a six-year cycle. The peculiarly low-key nature of the elections that result cause the chamber to be dominated by independents, with Labor and Liberal each having only one seat apiece (UPDATE: I beg your pardon – Leonie Hiscutt also won Montgomery for the Liberals in 2013). Among the seats in play this year is the Labor-held electorate of Derwent, while the other two, Windermere and Mersey, find independents seeking re-election. Labor is running a candidate in Windermere but the Liberals have reverted to type in declining to field any candidates, after disappointing performances in the elections held in the wake of Will Hodgman’s landslide win last year. The elections are held under a system of semi-compulsory preferential voting, with voters required to number at least three boxes.
The most interesting of the three contests looks to be Windermere, which covers the eastern bank of the Tamar River, from the mouth through Bell Bay of Gunns pulp mill fame on to the northern and eastern suburbs of Launceston. It has been held since 2003 by Ivan Dean, whom the Liberals once hoped might run as their federal candidate for Bass, and who served concurrently as mayor of Launceston from 2005 until his defeat in 2007. Dean had a fairly modest victory when re-elected in 2009 over former Labor MP Kathryn Hay, in a field that also included now Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson. He is now 70 years old, and as Kevin Bonham notes, his re-election would make him the oldest successful Legislative Council candidate since 1965. Labor’s candidate is Jennifer Houston, a project officer with the Department of Community Services. Bonham observes the seat has been heavily targeted by Labor, but they may have been done a disservice by the independent candidacy of Soctt McLean, a former forests division secretary of the CFMEU (now listed as an industry and community liaison officer) who ran unsuccessfully for Labor in Bass at the 2001 state election. Also in the field is Greens candidate Vanessa Bleyer, a lawyer.
Derwent extends from Hobart outskirts for about 100 kilometres through the Derwent Valley. Labor’s only remaining member in the chamber, Craig Farrell, is seeking re-election, having succeeded former Treasurer Michael Aird on his retirement in 2009. He has an independent opponent in Alan Baker, an IT consultant whom Kevin Bonham rates as low profile and unlikely to cause Gaffney serious trouble.
Mersey covers Devonport and its immediate surrounds, and is held by independent Mike Gaffney, who succeeded independent Norma Jamieson on her retirement in 2009. He is opposed by one other independent, business owner Vivienne Gale, who gets the same assessment from Kevin Bonham as Alan Baker in Derwent.
I’ll be conducting live commentary on the count from the close of polls, as will Kevin Bonham, who as you may have gathered is more on top of all this than I am.