Federal election photo finishes

A progressively updated review of late counting, as the Coalition’s parliamentary majority hangs in the balance.

Tuesday night

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Australian Electoral Commission has announced it will proceed immediately to a recount in Herbert, despite its own policy saying it should first conduct a formal distribution of preferences to confirm that the margin is below the 100-vote threshold that triggers an automatic recount. According to the AEC press release, the decision was made “after judging that the margin between the two leading candidates, after a full distribution of preferences, would remain firmly in the scope of a requirement for a recount”. Criticism of the slow pace of the count may well have influenced the decision, with the press release hinting that its August 8 deadline for returning the writ may also have been a factor. There will now be another primary vote count with a concurrent two-party count, followed at last by the full distribution of preferences that will formally decide the result. The AEC says this will start tomorrow and “is expected to take approximately two weeks”.

Monday night

There was a remarkable turn of events in Herbert as the final declaration votes were mopped up, with Labor’s Cathy O’Toole drawing to an eight-vote lead over LNP incumbent Ewen Jones at the conclusion of the indicative two-party preferred count. This included 76 provisionals breaking 40-36 to Labor, 63 absents breaking 34-29 to Labor, 57 out-of-division pre-polls breaking 36-21 to Labor, and 28 postals breaking 16-12 to the LNP. Fairfax reports an AEC spokesperson saying a decision will now be made “whether to have a recount or a distribution of preferences”, but the AEC published a recount policy two years ago that makes it rather clear that it should follow the latter course. The next stop would thus be the exclusion of last-placed candidates and the distribution of their preferences until only two are left standing, which will surely mean O’Toole and Jones.

In theory, this should conclude with O’Toole eight votes ahead, but it may be that the process turns up anomalies. If a final margin of less than 100 votes is confirmed, as seems all but certain, the entire process will be repeated with a full recount (although it would certainly be a lot quicker than the first count, since we are no longer awaiting late-arriving votes and processing declaration votes). It’s entirely possible that one of the two processes could switch the result. A recount after Clive Palmer’s win in Fairfax at the 2013 election increased his winning margin from 36 to 53; at the 2007 election, in the seat of McEwen at Melbourne’s northern fringe, a seven-vote winning margin for Labor on the first count flipped to a 12-vote win for the Liberals on the recount, which then became a 27-vote win after the Federal Court adjudicated on disputed ballot papers in response to a Labor legal challenge.

Sunday night

The AEC says yesterday was spent checking declaration votes in Herbert against the electoral roll, allowing for all outstanding votes to be counted tomorrow. So I’ve marked the occasion by bumping this thread to the top of the page. Presumably there’s longer to go in Hindmarsh, where the number of unprocessed declaration votes is much higher. The chart below projects the results for both seats based on estimates of the outstanding number of formal votes and the existing two-party vote shares for each vote type. The “conversion” column refers to the rate at which processed declaration votes ended up in the tally as formal votes, and this is applied to the number of unprocessed votes to estimate the number of formal votes outstanding, which is displayed over the next two columns. On this basis, Labor stands to claw back two votes from its 12-vote deficit in Herbert, while increasing its margin in Hindmarsh (note I have had to work off 2013 numbers here for provisionals, since none have been counted yet). Very clearly though, Herbert could go either way, and we will have to await the preference distribution and a recount to be clear one way or the other.

Meanwhile in Melbourne Ports, Kevin Bonham relates he has been “sent a scan of an indicative 3CP throw which shows Danby outlasting Hodgins-May by 802 votes”. This all but confirms that the Greens will be excluded before Michael Danby, who will go on to overtake the Liberals on Greens preferences and retain the seat.

2016-07-17-late-count

Friday night

The number of votes left outstanding is small enough that there is probably not much to be gained from maintaining the projections. Herbert is still as tight as can be, and the count in Hindmarsh remains painfully slow, with hardly anything of substance having happened since Monday. In Herbert today, the first counting of provisionals favoured Labor 93-60, and a small batch of postals favoured the LNP 84-76. Overall, the LNP lead was cut from 44 to 12. “Envelopes awaiting processing” include 446 provisionals, 399 out-of-division pre-polls, 200 absents and 44 postals. That won’t necessarily amount to that many votes being admitted to the count, particularly in the case of provisionals. It would seem that 100 provisionals are likely to be added, which on past form would give Labor a net gain of 20. The LNP has had 53.6% of out-of-division pre-polls and 56.6% of postals so far, and Labor 51.6% of absents, suggesting the other outstanding votes are more likely to favour the LNP. Ultimately though, there is little enough in it that anything could happen, including the result coming out differently when the distribution of preferences is conducted, or in the recount that is likely to follow.

Thursday night

For the second day in a row in Herbert, a big correction in Labor’s favour on pre-poll voting centre rechecking — this time from the Townsville centre — delivered a boost for Labor (Labor up 10, LNP down 101) that almost compensated for ongoing tide to the LNP on postals (554-460, although the last batch added favoured Labor 143-129) and out-of-division pre-polls (232-204). The combined effect was to stretch the LNP’s lead from 34 all the way out to 44. Based on the rate at which declaration votes issued translated into formal votes cast in 2013, I can’t see there’s much counting left to be done apart from late-arriving postals and, in the big hope for Labor, provisionals. Provisionals are few in number, with only 289 entered into the count in 2013, but almost invariably favour Labor. It’s probably discouraging for Labor that only 1134 provisionals have been issued compared with 1720 in 2013, but there may be a different dynamic this time for whatever reason. Still slow progress in Hindmarsh, with pre-polls favouring the Liberals 351-318, which does little to disturb a projected Labor winning margin of around 600.

2016-07-15-late-counting

Wednesday night

The LNP finally hit the lead today in Herbert, and in doing so have brought the “total ahead” tally in line with “total projected”. This happened despite a revision of the total at the Kirwan pre-poll centre putting Labor up by 83 and the LNP down by 65. The LNP lead is at 34, which is projected to increase by 100 or so in what remains to be counted. It was another slow day of counting for the second tightest seat, Hindmarsh, where rechecking cut the Liberals by 60 votes and Labor by 14.

2016-07-14-late-counting

Tuesday night

The only seats still of interest are Herbert and, arguably, Hindmarsh — the table below will continue to follow all designated counts, but the commentary will stick to those two. Labor’s raw lead in Herbert wore down from 178 to 66, with absents breaking 811-787 to Labor and out-of-division pre-polls going 423-329 the other way. The model’s projected winning margin for the LNP is up from 103 to 230. All that happened today in Hindmarsh was ordinary vote rechecking that cost the Liberals 30 and Labor 31.

2016-07-13b-late-counting

Monday night

The ABC computer rang up a seventy-sixth win for the Coalition today in Capricornia, while Labor claimed victory in Cowan. Labor also looks increasingly likely to take Hindmarsh, and increasingly unlikely to take Forde. That just leaves Herbert, which continues to go down to the wire.

Capricornia. The LNP’s grip strengthened today, to the extent that the ABC today credited as the decisive seventy-sixth seat confirmed for the Coalition. Added to the count today were 2434 postals and 1485, both of which were in line with a projection that points to an LNP winning margin approaching 1000 votes.

Cowan. Labor claimed victory today after rechecking apparently turned up a pile of Greens preferences misallocated to the Liberals at the Tapping booth. Labor also got 55.8% from a batch of 2127 absents, although the first 1004 out-of-division pre-polls went 54.9% the other way. Labor’s raw lead has blown out to 946, which comes down only slightly on the projection.

Flynn. I’m now projecting an LNP winning margin of 0.85%.

Forde. The LNP winning margin is 0.57%, which I project to come down to 0.37%.

Herbert. The LNP continues chipping away at Labor’s raw lead, which is down from 302 to 178 after postals went 561-435 to the LNP, and the first out-of-division pre-polls went 287-277.

Hindmarsh. A big batch of 3781 absents gave Labor an anticipated fillip by breaking 54.7% their way, while another 1032 postals broke almost evenly. Labor’s lead has pushed out from 273 to 583, and looks unlikely to be reversed.

2016-07-11b-late-counting

Sunday night

Only a small amount of counting conducted today:

Cowan. The odds of a Labor victory shortened a little further with 573 postals reversing the earlier trend in breaking 53.6% to Labor. The raw lead is now 513, which if anything seems likely to widen after the remaining absents are counted. That leaves the Liberals banking on a better-than-expected result on out-of-division pre-polls.

Flynn. Just ordinary vote rechecking today, but it turned up a significant anomaly at the Wondai booth, where the LNP gains 54 votes and Labor loses 71.

Hindmarsh. Not sure why, but the absent count went backwards today. I haven’t incorporated the change in the result published below.

2016-07-11-late-counting

Saturday night

The Coalition moved into the lead on the raw count today in Capricornia and Flynn, which the projection has long tipped them to win. That just leaves Herbert with Labor ahead on the raw vote and behind on the projection, and the result there looks tighter than ever after today’s counting.

Capricornia. The LNP has hit the lead on the raw count following a particularly good day today on postal votes, gaining 62.5% out of 1273. The first 1185 absents were lineball, in line with the projection. Very hard to see the LNP losing from here.

Cowan. A second batch of absents calms Labor nerves by breaking 54.3% in their favour, having evidently been drawn from a more favourable area than yesterday’s batch. Ordinary vote recounting has results in a net loss to Labor of 27.

Flynn. The first 776 absents break 54.6% to Labor, but they continue getting crushed on postals, the latest 1561 of which broke 61.7% to the LNP. That turns yesterday’s seven vote deficit into a 266-vote lead, although their projected winning margin is to three figures.

Forde. The LNP scored 56.6% out of 1268 postals and 55.9% from the first 918 out-of-division pre-polls, although Labor continued to dominate absents on a second batch of 2311, breaking 57.3% their way. The ABC is now calling this for the LNP.

Herbert. A slightly better day for Labor, who got 53.3% from the first batch of 885 absents, and had their lowest losing margin so far out of five days of postal vote counting, with the LNP getting 54.8% out of 970. However, both results were right on a projection that has the LNP headed for a winning margin of around 300.

Hindmarsh. A second batch of absents has followed the first in going heavily to Labor, who score 59.1% out of 528. The only other change today was ordinary vote rechecking, which gives Labor a net loss of 26.

2016-07-10-late-counting

Friday night

Of the four lineball seats in Queensland, the Coalition continues firming steadily in Capricornia, Forde and especially Flynn, while Herbert seems very slightly more likely to land their way as well. They have also had a fillip from the first absent votes in Cowan, but caution should be taken in extrapolating from this. The most likely Coalition total is 77, but Herbert could potentially lower it to 76.

Capricornia. Today’s batch of 1464 postals went 60.1% to the Coalition, making them more like yesterday’s 59.2% than Wednesday’s 54.4%, and bringing the total postals counted so far right in line with the projection. While Labor retains a raw lead of 175, that’s not going to be nearly enough to withstand 4000 outstanding postals breaking at least 57-43 to the LNP. There are still no absents or out-of-division pre-polls in the count, but the 2013 precedent suggests they will be respectively neutral and favourable to the LNP.

Cowan. The Liberals had a boost when they scored 56.2% out of the first 1108 absent votes, but the behaviour of absents can be highly variable between batches, and it may be that this one simply came from booths just outside the boundary at the seat’s Liberal-leading western end. Certainly Labor would hope so, because the Liberals will be on track for a win by about 350 votes if this result was borne out over the remaining 4500 or so absents. Ordinary vote rechecking gave Labor a net benefit of 31 votes. Nothing else added today.

Flynn. What I suggested might be a trend of diminishing returns on postals for the Coalition has proved not to be, with today’s batch of 1954 going 67.1% their way, and around 3000 still outstanding. Labor’s raw lead is now just seven votes, and the projected Coalition winning margin is in four figures. Still no absents or out-of-division pre-polls though.

Forde. The first batch of 1331 absents broke heavily to Labor, by 775-556, but not to an extent wildly out of line with the projection. Today’s batch of 3113 postals, which leaves at most around 2000 outstanding, also behaved predictably in breaking 55.0% to the Coalition. The Coalition’s raw margin was up from 687 to 783, which the projection has coming down to about 500 due to the trend to Labor on absents.

Herbert. Another 962 postals behave similarly to previous batches in breaking 56.8% to the Coalition, leaving their projected winning margin at a fragile 211. Still no postals or out-of-division pre-polls, so this one is still very much up in the air.

Hindmarsh. The only new counting today is the first batch of absents, and while there are only 402 of them, they bear out the notion that absent votes will settle the deal for Labor, breaking 64.4% in their favour.

2016-07-09-late-counting

Thursday night

Now that postals are in in very substantial numbers, I’ve tweaked the model so that outstanding postals are determined half with reference to the count so far, and half from the difference between postals and ordinary results from 2013, rather than just the latter as before. This makes a substantial difference in only one seat, but the exception is important, as it pushes the Coalition up to 77. That seat is Herbert, where the strong show from the Coalition on postal votes had worn the projected Labor margin down to 54 before the adjustment was applied. The first absent votes have begun being counted, but so far not in any of the seats that matter.

Capricornia. Yesterday I noted that the first batch of 1948 postals from Capricornia was the first I’d observed in which the Coalition fell below the projection. That hasn’t been repeated in today’s batch of 1484, which in breaking 59.2% to the Coalition have brought the overall postals total to exactly where the projection had it. Ordinary vote rechecking added 40 votes for Labor and 24 votes for the Coalition. The overall picture is little changed on yesterday, with the LNP projected to win by between 500 and 600. The raw vote is catching up with the projection, with Labor’s lead down from 732 to 476.

Cowan. Good news and bad news today for the Liberals. The bad news came from ordinary vote rechecking, which knocked 112 from the Liberal total and 30 from Labor’s. The good came from a second batch of 1367 postals, which cut the raw Labor lead from 701 to 534 by breaking 59.1% in the Liberals’ favour. This compares with 53.9% from yesterday’s batch of 1386 and 54.8% as credited to them in the projection. However, there are too few postals outstanding for this to constitute a trend that might offer them encouragement, and Labor remain favoured to win.

Flynn. I’ve been a bit cautious in my commentary about Flynn, given the mismatch between the raw results and my projected totals. But the longer the count goes on, the better the projection of an LNP victory looks. A third batch of postals was added today, this time accounting for 1949 votes, and the LNP received 62.8% of them, cutting Labor’s lead on the raw count from 927 to 646. However, there’s at least some encouragement for Labor in that the Coalition has trended downwards over the three batches added so far, from 65.3% to 64.2% to 62.8%, with around half still outstanding. Even so, the projection leaves the Coalition with a final lead of 970 — a fair bit higher than yesterday due to an error I made when increasing the projected total number of postal votes.

Forde. A big batch of 3905 postals were added today, and they continue to land bang on the projection, in this case at 55.5%, increasing the LNP’s raw lead from 265 to 687. I’ve also revised upwards the anticipated number of postal votes up fairly substantially, which increases the projected LNP winning margin from 164 to 552.

Herbert. A second big batch of postals, this time 4247 of them, wasn’t quite as good for the Coalition as yesterday’s, but still caused Labor’s raw lead to come down from 620 to 449. As noted in the introduction, the methodological tweak now results in the LNP making it over the line, such that Labor will need above-projection results on absents and pre-polls to stay in front.

Hindmarsh. The Liberals poked their nose in front for a brief time today on the raw count, but the projection continues to take the view that absents will bring home the bacon for Labor, having favoured them by 4.0% relative to ordinary votes in 2013. The Coalition is slightly outperforming the projection on postals, today’s batch of 1443 breaking 55.0% in their favour, but not by enough to do the job for them without a substantially above-projection result on absents. Rechecking of ordinary votes also caused the Liberals to suffer a net loss of 60.

late-count-2016-07-08

Wednesday night

I’ve scratched Petrie, Gilmore, Dunkley, Chisholm and Grey from my watch list, with all of them called for the Coalition. Cowan and Hindmarsh appear likely to be won by Labor, but they are still on the watch list for now. That leaves four seats that are highly doubtful, all of them in Queensland — Capricornia, Flynn, Forde and Herbert, suggesting a range of possible final outcomes for the Coalition from 74 to 77. I’ve changed the estimated number of postal votes cast based on the AEC’s data for number of votes cast, with the adjustment in each case being upwards. Since postal votes favour the Coalition, this has been to their advantage in each case, though not to the extent of changing any leads. Knowing how variable the daily pattern of postal vote counting can be, I am continuing to estimate that outstanding postal votes will differ from ordinary votes as they did in 2013, rather than projecting them off the postals count so far at this election, which might be thought a little generous to Labor.

Capricornia. The first batch of postals was finally added today — 1948 out of what should be around 9000 — and they are the first lot where the Coalition has underperformed the projection, breaking 54.4% rather than 57.6%. Since I’m continuing to use projections based on the 2013 pattern for uncounted postals, this is one seat where the projection might well be too favourable to the Coalition. In short, this is very much too close to call.

Cowan. Postals are still closely matching the projection, today’s batch of 1386 breaking 731-655 to Liberal. Both the raw and projected Labor winning margins have consistently been at around 700, so there will need to be surprises in store on absents and out-of-division pre-polls for Labor to lose.

Flynn. The LNP continues storming back here on postals, with today’s batch breaking 1748-989 their way, slicing the raw lead from 1686 to 927, and maintaining the projected LNP winning margin of over 500. Labor nonetheless maintains a raw lead of 927, and thus certainly shouldn’t be written off. The seat is now finally on the ABC’s seats in doubt list.

Forde. This one remains lineball, with the first 2543 postals well in line with the projection, with 56.1% going to the LNP. There remain an estimated 5000-plus postals to be counted, so a change in the trend would make a substantial difference to the final result. Rechecking of ordinary votes has delivered Labor another hit, for a net loss of 60.

Herbert. The second batch of postals is much like the first, breaking 1261-940 in favour of the LNP, so the presumption that outstanding postals will follow the 2013 pattern is probably flattering Labor. Since the projection credits them with a fragile lead of 272, this seat remains very much in play.

Hindmarsh. The second batch of postals consisted of 1426 votes, of which 54.2% went to the Liberals, in line with both the previous batch and the projection. Further counting of postals could well put the Liberals into the lead, but Labor will do a lot better on absents and look likely to gain the seat.

late-count-2016-07-07

Tuesday night

The first day of post-election counting in earnest has brought slow and patchy progess, but such news as there has been has been uniformly good (or at the very least, better) for the Coalition. In the seats on my watch list, batches of postals have been added for five seats, and in each case they find the Coalition outperforming the projections I published yesterday. The final seat projection now has the Coalition inching over the line to a majority, thanks to a subtle change caused by rechecking in the lineball seat of Forde, although obviously there’s still nothing in it. Furthermore, Grey is now a firm inclusion on the list, and I’m less inclined to hedge the inclusion of Flynn with qualifications. In turn:

Capricornia. Rechecking of ordinary votes turned up nothing of consequence.

Chisholm. Already a likely Liberal gain, the Coalition received 57.3% from the first 1956 out of what should be about 11,000 postals, compared with my projection of 55.2%. Nothing of consequence on rechecking of ordinary votes.

Cowan. No new counting.

Dunkley. A slight change was made to the result from one of the pre-poll voting centres, but otherwise nothing doing.

Flynn. There are only 766 of them, from what should be a total of about 8500, but the LNP outperformed a postal vote projection I was wary about crediting yesterday — 16.8% better than ordinary votes, compared with 14.5% in 2013.

Forde. Rechecking produced a net gain of 51 for the LNP, which wouldn’t ordinarily amount to much, but this one is so close it’s caused the projected winner to change.

Gilmore. One bit of good news for Labor is that rechecking gave them a net improvement of 52, although they’re still behind on both the raw and projected results.

Herbert. The LNP’s chances of chasing down their deficit look to have improved after they picked up 58.2% from the first 1333 out of what should be about 6500 postals, compared with the 52.2% projected yesterday. What looks to have been partial rechecking of ordinary votes turned up nothing of interest.

Hindmarsh. Good progress here in counting of postals, accounting for 4294 from what should be a total of around 7500. The result is the closest of the bunch to yesterday’s projection, coming out at 53.5% compared with 53.1%. A very small amount of ordinary vote rechecking was also done.

Petrie. The Special Hospital Team votes were added to the count, which is something my projections yesterday didn’t account for in any way, and they’ve broken 1265-797 in favour of the LNP. Given the ordinary vote total is used as the baseline for calculating declaration vote, this also causes the latter to shift in the LNP’s favour. The LNP also got 56.8% from 683 out of what should be around 8000 postals, compared with yesterday’s projection of 53.1%.

Grey. The NXT needed about 75% of preferences to overhaul the Liberals here, but with two-party counts now conducted in 34 out of 124 booths, they’re only getting 58.3% of them. I expect I’ll be taking this one off the watch list pretty soon.

Melbourne Ports. No new counting.

Fully updated accounting below — click on image to enlarge.

late-count-2016-07-06

Sunday

With counting of postal votes finally set to crank up today, this thread will be used to crunch the numbers and project results in the crucial late phase of the count. Below is a detailed accounting of how the situation will look if the various types of declaration vote behave as they did in 2013, relative to the ordinary vote results. Some guess work has also been required to estimate the total numbers of each type of vote cast. The relevant data from the AEC is patchy at present, but from what’s available I’ve estimated that out-of-division pre-polls will be up 44%, postals down 6% and absents unchanged. For reasons stated in the previous post, I’m a little more dubious about this exercise in Flynn than I am in the other electorates, so I’m not willing to state with confidence that Labor’s current 2058 vote will indeed disappear there – but nor do I think Labor is anything like as comfortable there as that total suggests. With Flynn currently included in a projected total of 75 seats, this is no small matter. Click on the image below to enlarge.

late-count-2016-07-05

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.

1,818 comments on “Federal election photo finishes”

  1. Really great work William. Sets out very clearly the baseline for what trends we might observe today.

    It confirms my view that Labor are in pretty good shape in Cowan, Hindmarsh and Herbert, but have virtually no chance in Dunkley and Petrie (both of which should drop off the list of seats in doubt as soon as some more votes are counted). Gilmore should also eventually be confirmed as a Liberal win, but might take a bit longer. Likewise Chisholm, where the only interesting feature is the large number of votes still to be counted..

    That leaves 3 really interesting seats: Forde, which Labor will win if the post-poll count doesn’t break more to the L-NP than occurred last time; and Capricornia and Flynn, where Labor will lose unless they do a little better in the post-poll counting than they did last time.

    I make it that Labor needs to lift its share of the post-poll votes in Capricornia from around 45.3% to 46.7% and in Flynn from 42.8% to 44.2%: this requires less than 200 of these voters in Capricornia and less than 250 in Flynn to vote differently than was the case last time.

    It’s going to be a fascinating day or two.

  2. Re the interesting nature of Chisholm, and Dunkley to some extent as well, is the high number of postal votes in those seats. I don’t understand entirely why this is: it if is that there are more elderly people in those seats (which seems the most likely explanation) then they will be easy wins for the Libs. If, however, some of this reflects people going away on holidays, then the result might be tighter.

    I have to say that I think the whole system of postal voting is long overdue being significantly reformed. Labor should make sure they look at this next time they have an opportunity (eg, if they are in majority government some time soon and have the ability to pass legislation through the Senate with the support of Greens and NXT).

    The involvement of politicians in the chain between the voter and the AEC should be stamped out: this has always seemed to be to be completely outrageous. Secondly, I think some sort of census should be done of people who vote by post and why they do so. It’s counter-intuitive to me that the numbers of postal votes should have gone up so significantly in an election in which people have never had a better opportunity to vote at a polling booth.

    BTW, if you think I’m making the suggestion that the current system is open to manipulation (and worse) by the major parties, you bet I am! In particular, I’d be really interested to find out how many people contacted in a survey about why they voted by post would respond: “I didn’t vote in the last election”, or turned out to have been in a coma, or profoundly intellectually disabled or whatever.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that there are people in both of the major parties who wouldn’t like those questions to be answered.

  3. Meher, I completely agree that political parties should not be allowed to send out postal vote forms. We get sent them by Hartsuyker, presumably because we’re a decent drive to the nearest polling place, accompanied by all manner of National paraphernalia (I binned it, but now wish I’d kept it for reference). It seems anti-democratic to provide a voter with a voting form and, effectively, a single HTV card.

    As for the postal count, I do wonder how the timing of the elections with the school holidays will affect how postals break. Those extra postals compared to last time may be far closer to the booth split than those of habitual postal voters. We’ll see, I guess.

    I wonder what the outcome would be if this year’s 44% increase in postals were projected using the same TPP as the already counted in-division pre-polls. Might be an interesting exercise in, say, Capricornia, which would be the first seat to flip if postals don’t go as strongly for the Coalition as last time.

  4. Why do people think elderly people are going to be so happy to vote for the LNP – right after the LNP has explicitly targeted pensions and superannuation?

    I don’t think the postal votes are going to be biased as heavily towards the LNP as last time.

  5. So as the count progresses both projected and raw tables will change in the chart above, not just the raw table. Is that right?

  6. Thanks for this table, William – and indeed for all the work you’ve done for this blog. We all appreciate having some real information and rational analysis on which to base our judgements.
    Of most interest to me is whether Grey and Flynn behave as 2013 voting behaviour would suggest, so thanks in particular for laying out your projections for those two seats. As someone hoping for a Labor govt I hope they go NXT & Labor, but we’ll see very soon!

  7. Hi William, thanks for this.

    I would hazard a guess that the election being held during university/school holidays means that a lot more young people (18-23 on university holidays, either overseas or back with the parents and 26-48 with school age children) will be in the absentee, postal and pre-poll votes this election compared to last. With a lot less people above this age bracket, because who goes on holiday during the school break when everything is expensive, unless they have school age kids at home? This means the votes still to be counted would be more much Labor’s main demographic, and much less the Coalition’s than in previous elections.

    The decline in FIFO work might also have an impact, particularly in Grey and the WA seat?

    Am I right in thinking that (assuming the above are true), your numbers are likely to be more pro-coalition than the final numbers?

  8. Yes the projections are good, thank you William
    Forde projected to be a 18 vote Labor win, that is the difference between majority and minority government on the projections.

  9. scott bales @ #8 Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Hi William, thanks for this.
    I would hazard a guess that the election being held during university/school holidays means that a lot more young people (18-23 on university holidays, either overseas or back with the parents and 26-48 with school age children) will be in the absentee, postal and pre-poll votes this election compared to last. With a lot less people above this age bracket, because who goes on holiday during the school break when everything is expensive, unless they have school age kids at home? This means the votes still to be counted would be more much Labor’s main demographic, and much less the Coalition’s than in previous elections.
    The decline in FIFO work might also have an impact, particularly in Grey and the WA seat?
    Am I right in thinking that (assuming the above are true), your numbers are likely to be more pro-coalition than the final numbers?

    Some of these effects might be countered a little if there are more of these types of votes but you are right there could be some variance caused by the issues you raise.

  10. I have a day of marking exam papers ahead of me. With plenty of breaks for AEC website visits! It will be an interesting day. (Not the exams…)

  11. Kewley Andrew: “Why do people think elderly people are going to be so happy to vote for the LNP – right after the LNP has explicitly targeted pensions and superannuation?”

    The way politics has generally worked in the Anglosphere in recent decades is that a large – possibly growing – segment of old people who are largely dependent on welfare and state services have become increasingly right wing. They make up a large component of the audience for Fox News in the US, Alan Jones and other shock jocks in Australia, etc. They totally buy the argument that their nation is being ruined by the growing size of government and the failure of people to fulfill their moral obligation to fend for themselves, but they never even think that this argument is at all applicable to themselves or to the welfare/social services bureaucracy on which they depend. If you ask they why, they’ll say something like “I worked hard all my life, it’s not my fault I ended up with no savings, that’s because of all those taxes I had to pay to support those bludgers in the lap of luxury.”

    On the other side of the fence, there is a growing population of younger, affluent voters living lavish inner city lifestyles with lots of expensive restaurant meals, overseas trips, etc, etc. who believe they are dead keen on higher taxes on the wealthy, a more even distribution of income, etc, etc. Again, they probably don’t necessarily think in terms of these changes being applied to them. If you ask them, they probably wouldn’t agree that they were affluent or rich: that term should be applied to shadowy others with lots of negatively-geared properties and money stashed away in the Caymans.

    There’s none so queer as folk sometimes.

  12. @ Albert – it is my understanding that William’s analysis is making the assumption that the postal etc will all be better for the coalition by the same ratio that they were in the previous election, but then he is using the new (estimated) count of how many postal etc votes there will be, so I don’t think that will partially counter what I mentioned?

    Unless I am missing something in how WIlliam is doing the analysis.

  13. William the table is excellent and much appreciated
    I hope the guesstimate for Gilmore proves out by more than 700 votes. {I know of two postal votes from the UK falling towards Labor…}

  14. Kewley Andrew:
    > Why do people think elderly people are going to be so happy to vote for the LNP – right
    > after the LNP has explicitly targeted pensions and superannuation?

    Older people are also a lot more reliant on Medicare, and this factor could also shift some postal votes to the ALP.

  15. Seat of Forde, percentages expected from the projected numbers William has posted above.
    Absentee: Labor: 56.6% of 4361 votes
    Pre-Poll: Labor: 50.1 of 3173 votes
    Postal: Labor: 45.0% of 7794 votes
    Provisional: 62.3% of 265 votes

  16. scott bales @ #14 Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 9:31 am

    @ Albert – it is my understanding that William’s analysis is making the assumption that the postal etc will all be better for the coalition by the same ratio that they were in the previous election, but then he is using the new (estimated) count of how many postal etc votes there will be, so I don’t think that will partially counter what I mentioned?
    Unless I am missing something in how WIlliam is doing the analysis.

    Fair point

  17. Chris Hobson: I would expect the count to be painfully slow in the key seats, with scrutineers poring closely over every ballot paper as it is opened.

  18. Great analysis, if it was correct the libs would loss a majority by 18 votes! I guess this is why the libs still have some hope of just scraping through.

  19. Isaac Logan,

    If I am reading this correctly then William has Flynn in the Lib column, even though the projection is for Lib to lose it by 18.

    So with Flynn Lib get 75, and if they lose Flynn then 74.

  20. Liking this on the Guardian blog

    “13m ago
    10:21
    There are a number of staffers milling around the building. As my Aussies cafe correspondent reports that quite a number have come back to parliament because they have nowhere else to go. Usually the winners go into immediate briefings in rooms around the building, including the Monkey Pod room. The losers start renegotiating jobs in the short paid period before the guillotine comes down. Within this vacuum, they can do neither.”

    What a humiliation for the Coalition staffers

  21. question @ #29 Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Isaac Logan,
    If I am reading this correctly then William has Flynn in the Lib column, even though the projection is for Lib to lose it by 18.
    So with Flynn Lib get 75, and if they lose Flynn then 74.

    William has the LNP winning Flynn, but Labor holding onto Forde by 18 votes. So Forde is a projected for Labor and if it is won by the LNP, ie they do at least 19 votes better than projected, then they will have majority government, assuming all the other seats go as projected.
    Even if the 10 LNP – Labour battles go as projected by William, Grey could change that if NXT win or even Melbourne Ports has a slim chance of going to the LNP.

  22. I was actually halfway through doing a similar analysis to this when this post came up, and came up with mostly similar results – but with the important difference of Forde going the way of the LNP, giving them 76 seats.

    I’ve assumed that: all ordinary votes are in (only non-ordinary votes left), the proportion of formal votes remains the same as in 2013 for all electorates, the number of non-ordinary votes all increase proportionally with each other, and the changes in 2CP between voting types in each electorate stay the same between 2013 and 2016.

    Capricornia LNP +547
    Chisolm LNP +1230
    Cowan LNP -580
    Flynn LNP + 1469
    Forde LNP +86
    Gilmore LNP +713
    Herbert LNP -315
    Hindmarsh LNP -786
    Melbourne Ports LNP -1224 (I didn’t do 3CP analysis though…)
    Petrie LNP +1447

  23. Oops!, sorry wrong blog – just in addition to what others have said about why the 2013 postal/declarations may favour Labor more, there is a distinct “put Turnbull last” element from the Bolt/Hadley/RWNJ crew.

    The fact that One Nation was preferencing ALP ahead of LNP in Qld is indicative of this, so we cant expect their 14% to break as per 2013. The 4 QLD seats of Flynn, Capricornia, Herbert and Forde may bring home the bacon for Labor.

  24. The Libs made plenty of mistakes in this election. But Labor was not perfect either. Two glitches will cost Labor dearly:

    1. The Victorian Premier’s failure to keep the firies’ dispute under control. This will cost Labor Chisholm and any chance in Dunkley and La Trobe.

    2. Labor’s deal with the Lib s not to preference NXT. This will cost NXT in Grey.

  25. SPROCKET – The idea that one nation voters (who would love Medicare and hate Mr Harbourside mansion) will vote as they did at the last election must be wrong, particularly after boats didn’t play much part in this election.

  26. Re what sort of swing we will see in the non-ordinary votes: you would think we should see some sort of swing to Labor compared to these types of votes last time in the seats where Labor gained a big swing in the ordinary votes: Flynn, Hindmarsh, Forde, Cowan and Herbert fall into that category. Just about any sort of swing at all will get Labor over the line in all these seats.

    Capricornia is harder because Labor will need to get a swing of about the same size in the non-ordinaries as it got in the ordinaries. And then the problem gets worse when you look at the seats where the Libs are already ahead.

  27. TT: “The Libs made plenty of mistakes in this election. But Labor was not perfect either. Two glitches will cost Labor dearly:
    1. The Victorian Premier’s failure to keep the firies’ dispute under control. This will cost Labor Chisholm and any chance in Dunkley and La Trobe.
    2. Labor’s deal with the Lib s not to preference NXT. This will cost NXT in Grey.”

    Exactly what I posted last night, except that I had Corangamite rather than Dunkley (they got a really big swing to them in Dunkley).

    It didn’t go down very well.

  28. This table is the best analysis of the situation I have seen anywhere. Even the ABC with all of its election resources have not been able to come up with something so clear and easy to understand.

    One thing I am curious about though – do we know if the 2013 declaration votes are a good basis for extrapolation? I would be interested in how they compare to the 2010 flows. I many ways 2010 was a more similar election to this one than the 2013 election.

  29. I thought there was a poll during the election campaign which showed that Labor was getting good prefs from one nation in Northern Queensland. Forgotten who did it.

  30. guy @ #40 Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

    This table is the best analysis of the situation I have seen anywhere. Even the ABC with all of its election resources have not been able to come up with something so clear and easy to understand.
    One thing I am curious about though – do we know if the 2013 declaration votes are a good basis for extrapolation? I would be interested in how they compare to the 2010 flows. I many ways 2010 was a more similar election to this one than the 2013 election.

    I am sure Antony Green could come up with the same sort of analysis but you are right it has not been presented on their website.
    I had a quick look at the difference between the advantage to the LNP on declaration votes in the results of close results from the last 4 elections. There was variation but I don’t think there was a great amount of difference between 2010 and 2013, although I was not really looking for it. However that might be because both elections had the vote changing in the LNP direction, where as this election is heading in the opposite direction.

  31. The involvement of politicians in the chain between the voter and the AEC should be stamped out: this has always seemed to be to be completely outrageous.

    I agree entirely MB. This practice started while I was working for the AEC and I have always felt it was an unacceptable intrusion on the democratic process.

  32. And Boothby has had an update to the Marion booth. Boothby is not really in doubt, but there is an extremely slim chance it could get interesting

  33. The decision by the ALP, and also the Greens, not to only direct preferences to NXT, in otherwise safe Liberal seats, may cost NXT not only Grey but also Barker, Boothby and Sturt.

    The Liberal primaries are over 46% in Baker and the Family First vote is over 5%, making it unlikely that strong ALP and Green preference direction would put NXT over the line there.

    However the Liberal primaries in Boothby and Sturt are only 41% and 44% respectively, with Family First results of 2.5 and 3% respectively, meaning the Liberals would be in very serious danger, rather than the a bit of danger they currently are in (the Liberals there should be on edge until the full distribution of preferences), there if there were strong preference flows from the Greens (not via the ALP so that NXT can pass the ALP) and ALP. Boothby and Sturt are strong arguments in favour of requiring the AEC to conduct 3CP counts on election night in seats where there is doubt as to the final 2.

  34. Tom The First And Best, you are absolutely correct re Boothby, Sturt, and Grey. I think the SA ALP were sh*t scared that they might be in danger in Port Adelaide etc.

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