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. Further to A R:
    Or is not provided with a pair in the case of a wedding or funeral or death of family member, as happened when TA was PM.

  2. Main post

    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.

    Just making sure I understand this. Up to now I assume the 2CP totals would have been done by assigning every formal vote to Labor or the LNP according to which was given the higher preference. Therefore, all else being equal, the full distribution of preferences should produce the same result because that process amounts to the same thing as long as they correctly identified the eventual two surviving candidates at the outset. So the only reason to do this is to put beyond the merest puff of doubt who the final two candidates standing are.

  3. Well, looking at the washup now: 76 is a shocking result for the LNP after one term. Needing the speakers vote, and worst of all: every single fruitloop LNP backbencher has an effective veto over policy.
    Talcum will have no opportunity at all to establish himself as a moderate. Ill be amazed if he lasts a year.

  4. Lefty E, they don’t need the Speaker’s vote with 76, but it would mean for some procedural votes they won’t have the needed absolute majority without a cross-bencher.

    I believe the Speaker only votes in the event of a tie, say 74-74, with someone not voting.

  5. sonia kruger should resign. why? because she has sat on hands on public issues until this one, (unlike radio jocks) and gained a middle oz audience partly for thisreason, but now she has let side down with random politicised comments – and a dogwhistle to many including pauline. i am so tired of half baked journalism – right and left – in this country. what entitled her to speak “as a mother” in this way.

  6. Meanwhile, back at the Brisbane Times
    Real Time Donation Disclosure Coming to Queensland

    Can only be a good thing – can we get it at the Federal level?

  7. Therefore, all else being equal, the full distribution of preferences should produce the same result because that process amounts to the same thing as long as they correctly identified the eventual two surviving candidates at the outset. So the only reason to do this is to put beyond the merest puff of doubt who the final two candidates standing are.

    The reason to do it is that it’s how the preferential voting system works, and what the legislation has always provided for. The two-party preferred count we’ve been obsessing over for the past fortnight is a contingency that was put in place in the 1980s so we can be confident what the final result will be well ahead of time.

  8. This is rather bizarre. There are now reports from a few media sources that the AEC is going straight to a recount starting either Wednesday or Thursday in deliberate variance with its own policies and presumably on the assumption that the margin isn’t going to shift outside the automatic recount margin during the preference process. That makes it a discretional fast-forwarding of an assumed automatic recount, if confirmed.

    It also loosely matches what the person I blocked on Twitter last night was saying, except they were saying the recount would begin this morning.

  9. So, William, does the “re-examination of informal votes” include a re-examination of ALL votes / envelopes including those rejected in the first count, or does it just apply to those the rest of us?

  10. lefty e @ #1753 Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Well, looking at the washup now: 76 is a shocking result for the LNP after one term. Needing the speakers vote, and worst of all: every single fruitloop LNP backbencher has an effective veto over policy.
    Talcum will have no opportunity at all to establish himself as a moderate. Ill be amazed if he lasts a year.

    A win is always better than a loss, so while it might not be great for the LNP, it is certainly worse for Labor.

  11. As counting is completed over the next week or so, and full distributions of preferences are made, it will be interesting to see how some of the potential 3 way contests end up. For example, in Sturt, both Christopher Pyne and Matt Loader for Labor have lost ground, whilst the NXT candidate has gained – and is now less than 900 votes behind Labor with 11,000 odd “other” preferences to allocate. Pyne’s PV has now dropped to 44.5% – enough to win, but if NXT gets ahead of Labor, by a much narrower margin than the current 55/45 2PP split.

  12. lefty e @ #1753 Tuesday, July 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Well, looking at the washup now: 76 is a shocking result for the LNP after one term. Needing the speakers vote, and worst of all: every single fruitloop LNP backbencher has an effective veto over policy.
    Talcum will have no opportunity at all to establish himself as a moderate. Ill be amazed if he lasts a year.

    A win is always better than a loss, so while it might not be great for the LNP, it is certainly worse for Labor.

    That’s a matter of opinion Albert.

    A number of PBs, including me, have said that this would not have been a good time for Labor to just fall over the line. Better for the Libs to win a narrow victory (preferably in minority government, which unfortunately didn’t quite happen) and have all the problems of trying to balance the budget with a split party, a disappointing leader and policies that simply will not work. (not to mention a senate that will block a lot of the stuff they want to do anyway).

    By the time of the next election (in 2019 or sooner) they will have been exposed as the frauds that they really are and I expect Labor to have a resounding victory.

  13. Albert Twoman @ 11:59

    “A win is always better than a loss, so while it might not be great for the LNP, it is certainly worse for Labor.”

    Hmmm, OK, but if the two choices are:
    (1) A smashing 80 seat plus victory for the LNP, with a friendly Senate; OR
    (2) The LNP just scraping over the line by an extremely narrow 1 seat margin, and a hostile Senate;
    then the ALP would choose (2).

    No first-term Australian government has been denied a second term since 1931, so an ALP win was not really a likely option.

  14. Questions for William and Kevin about Herbert:
    In the past, has the AEC ever not reported the result of a final count, even if it is within the margin for an automatic recount?

    Will party scrutineers know the result of the final count?

    I feel uneasy that we are not being told the result of the final count – assuming the +8 to O’Toole was the result of the progressive count before the final count was done.

    It does not give me any confidence that the process of deciding who wins the seat is being done honestly and transparently.

  15. Scrums of scrutineers would be all over every vote, wouldn’t they, given the stakes? I wouldn’t have thought there’s anything to be concerned about, but I have no expertise in vote counting.

  16. I am still keeping a wheather eye on Melbourne Ports. There has been no update so quite some time. My calculations make it very close or at least arounf the 500 votes mark. in the unlikely even that the greens did receive 70% of all preferences against Danby on 15% then it would be a Green or Liberal win

    Actually the preference break is 60% Greens 21% Danby ie a difference of 39%

  17. I agree Darn @10:50,

    76 seats is certainly a lot worse than the 80-85 seats the commentariat expected on Election Day (90+ according to Dennis Atkins), and the ALP oblivion expected in January is all but forgotten.

    Without the #leadershit, a minority ALP government might have worked this time, given they have a better policy position and a better track record of negotiation, they might have done a Bob Carr or Steve Bracks and come out quite well. And the L-NP would have been a rabble 🙂

    A L-NP government in a hung parliament would also have been amusing, but while cross bencher’s revel in the limelight, for that reason they also want the parliament to last as long as possible, so I don’t think a slim majority helps much beyond a brief post election boast. Ministerial controversies, by-elections and internal disputes will still be in the context of a tight parliament, without the cover of a minority government for an excuse.

    The idea that the L-NP can “do a Bracks” is laughable. There is a electoral pattern where incumbency is first an advantage, and gradually becomes a disadvantage after a few elections. Bracks got in from opposition against the odds, proved the voters hadn’t taken a risk, and got the advantage of incumbency. The same happened when Bob Carr won by 1 seat in NSW.

    In this election some of the L-NP incumbency advantage has been depleted. If they manage to do better next time it will be for reasons outside the natural flow of voter sentiment, and it certainly won’t happen if they continue the way they have been.

    A remarkable turnaround from the previous election, from when Turnbull became leader, and even from what the commentariat expected on Election Day.

  18. douglas and milko @ #1768 Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Questions for William and Kevin about Herbert:
    In the past, has the AEC ever not reported the result of a final count, even if it is within the margin for an automatic recount?
    Will party scrutineers know the result of the final count?
    I feel uneasy that we are not being told the result of the final count – assuming the +8 to O’Toole was the result of the progressive count before the final count was done.
    It does not give me any confidence that the process of deciding who wins the seat is being done honestly and transparently.

    On the assumption that both leading candidates (or their scrutineers) agreed with this course of action, I can’t see a problem. Any further count now will be rendered obsolete by the recount. To the extent that ballot papers have already been very heavily scrutinised, it is hard to see what can be gained by going through to the end of the first count process if it can be legally bypassed on the way to the recount.

    I’m happy that, with so much at stake, scrutineers from both sides will make this the most accurate result of the election.

  19. “A win is always better than a loss, so while it might not be great for the LNP, it is certainly worse for Labor.”

    Well not really. Its why we have the term “comfortable majority”. 76 is far from comfortable.
    Lets put to one side the Senate, and the Turnbull’s lack of options in getting almost anything that isn’t populist through it.
    If the whole point of the election was to ensure Turnbull would receive a great enough endorsement by the electorate for him to to have the authority within the Coalition (and it was) to enact the kind of policies that polling shows a majority of Australians want (and STILL think he believes in) then the whole process is a failure.
    Example: the recent cabinet reshuffle and the outlining of his agenda on 730. That Turnbull had to throw pounds of flesh to the “conservatives” in the shape of extra Cabinet positions shows he is NOT in control of the party, and therefore not in control of the parties agenda. On 730 the only Turnbull government agenda for the next three year term he could name was defence. That was it. That is a far cry from what he outlined on taking the PMship from Abbott last year. That tells me he has no chance in enacting ANYTHING significant. He also signaled he was pushing our the SSM plebiscite till next year, but NOT the Indigenous recognition referendum (which is in reality far more contentious and fraught within the Coalition than SSM). This is all without considering just how bad the Senate has become.
    What we see is a wounded PM limping into a new term with no authority within his party and an agenda that is unlikely to be passed without significant changes, if at all, at a time when if anything the economic and political situation of the country has worsened.
    In converse, being in opposition in such a situation, being this close, is a wonderful place to be.

  20. I know first term governments are normally returned. But if the Coalition retain their TPP lead this will be the first time since 1984 that the ALP has not won the TPP at the re-election of a government for a second term, and only the third time since 1946 (or 1943 depending on which election you think marked the start of the ALP’s second term).

  21. No win was more remarkable than that of Steve Georganas in Hindmarsh.

    A decent, modest bloke, former taxi driver Steve has made Labor success in Hindmarsh his life’s work. He’s been beaten there a couple of times and now has three wins under his belt.
    It’s no longer the working class stronghold from which Norman Makin and Clyde Cameron launched their formidable careers. With pensioners en masse at Glenelg and the wealthy middle class on the rise across the electorate, it is now a marginal Liberal seat.

    The Libs threw everything at Steve (not to mention the $50 billion promise to build 12 submarines in SA). All to no avail. At one Greek booth, Steve polled 85%.

    Perhaps his greatest triumph was to defy the Hagar curse. The Hagar Society consists of a group of mainly Labor-minded blokes (and a few ‘honorary blokes’) who lunch once a month and pay a small levy on the cost of their meal. This goes into a fund to support a male candidate in a marginal seat at the next South Australian or federal election.

    Hagar’s record is abysmal. It’s only success was in backing Leon Bignell in the state election ten years ago. It voted to support Tony Zappia in Makin but was one election too early. It declared Mia Handshin to be an honorary bloke and supported her when she so nearly toppled Christopher Pyne in Sturt in 2007. Male chauvinists protested the decision to support a woman and it nearly tore Hagar apart.

    This time it voted to give Steve the kiss of death (with a small peck for Mark Ward in Boothby).

    Steve defied all odds. He has broken Hagar’s curse .

  22. I have just caught up with William’s Crikey article on counting in Herbert (paywalled): https://www.crikey.com.au/2016/07/20/poll-bludger-herbert-recount-continues/


    …. Clive Palmer’s victory in the Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax by an initial margin of 36 votes, which was revised to 53 by a recount conducted amid ongoing bluster from Palmer about AEC corruption.

    The AEC sought to place itself at arm’s length from future suggestions of partiality by publishing a recount policy in April 2014, “to ensure recount requests are determined in accordance with the Electoral Act and recommendations contained in the Henderson Report” (the latter having been conducted after the McEwen recount in 2007).

    With such high aims in mind, it’s striking to observe that the AEC has abandoned the policy when given its very first opportunity to follow it.

    Had it been observed, the Herbert count would now be proceeding to a formal distribution of preferences, in which last-placed candidates are progressively eliminated until only two remain — something that can only begin when there is a completed primary vote count.
    …….

    Starting tomorrow, the AEC will be back at square one, conducting a primary vote recount alongside an indicative two-party count, finally to be followed by the preference distribution — a process it says is “expected to take approximately two weeks”.

  23. Starting tomorrow, the AEC will be back at square one, conducting a primary vote recount alongside an indicative two-party count, finally to be followed by the preference distribution — a process it says is “expected to take approximately two weeks”.

    As someone who has steadfastly defended the AEC against the attacks on it over the alleged slowness of the count, I think two weeks is just ridiculous. In 1992 in the Division of Wills I organised and conducted the preference throw involving twenty two candidates (a world record for a single seat electorate at that time ) and we got it done in about a day and a half. And I can’t see why a full recount would take any more than about the same time.

    The only thing I can think of is that they are basing the estimate on the Fairfax situation that occurred in 2013 where Palmer’s antics made it virtually impossible to complete the job in a timely manner. He may well have set a precedent which will now be the modus operandi in all similar situations in the future.

    But with “only” nine candidates you would think it shouldn’t be taking two bloody weeks.

  24. If they’re worried about how long it’s taking, why bother doing “a concurrent two-party count” with the recount? That’s going to just take extra time to no particular purpose.

  25. The count itself shouldn’t take too long. It’s the scrutineering that greatly adds to the time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  26. No doubt there will be a few diehards following events in Herbert over the next werk or two. Maybe William could create a new thread for us. There might also be some other interesting news coming out of the late counting eg, the NXT close seats in SA and Melbourne Ports

  27. Outsider

    I agree Melbourne Ports is one to watch. it is amazing it is getting NO attention because it will probably be the second closest in the country, closer than Hindmarsh. The thing is that it is the difference between 2nd/third that is close.

    I ahve not been looking at SA. What is happening there. but a quick look tells me Boothby and Sturt are not entirely out of the woods

  28. A Letter to the Editor in today’s Crikey, from the AEC, discussion the decisio to go straight to a recount in Herbert:

    On vote counts in Herbert

    The Australian Electorate Commission writes: Re. “What the hell is going on in Herbert?” (yesterday). Section 279 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 provides clear legislative capacity for the AEC to commence a recount at any point prior to the declaration of the result. The decision to move to a recount was based on the DRO’s judgement that a full distribution of preferences would not obviate the need for a full recount.

    The policy document is predominately intended to guide AEC staff in responding to requests by candidates for a recount. The AEC is confident that the recount will be completed before the last date for the return of the writs for this election.

  29. Joe

    I am not sure you can call anything over while there are still a lot of votes to be counted as there are in MP.

    However if preferences from minors flow at the same rate as in Batman, Danby will be ahead by 500 votes. However there are still 4500 votes to count.

  30. Gary
    So I assume that Danby knows something we do not. However there are still 4600 unopened ballot papers. This is way way more than the difference between Greens and Danby.

    So unless there is information not available Danby is engaging in a touch of bravado. Mind you he will almost certainly win, but it is probably a tad premature to say it is definite.

    Now it is more that possible that Danby really went to town on the provisionals so that these will heavily favour him. This seemed to be the case for Feeney too. If he is sure he has say 300 provionals in the bag then he is home and hosed.

    However if the Greens by any chance get more than the usual share of late postals and provisionals then it is not so clear cut.

    However while I have read of the KB scan I do not know its contents

  31. Libs back to their usual tricks. Now they claim that 85 servicemen based in Townsville couldn’t vote due to a military exercse. If they are still behind on recount they want to go to CDR for a byelection.

  32. robert lynch2
    Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Libs back to their usual tricks. Now they claim that 85 servicemen based in Townsville couldn’t vote due to a military exercse. If they are still behind on recount they want to go to CDR for a byelection.
    ————–

    I very much doubt those 628 soldiers, mostly from Darwin, were not able to vote. The military exercise are generally 6 week exercises at most – we had an 8 week election period and most important is the fact all of those 85 servicemen from Townsville {Herbert had the option of doing a postal vote BEFORE they went on the exercise.

    No doubt the Fibs will try anything , they have no moral fibre at all. I can not see the Court accepting this BS claim that these servicemen and women could not vote and therefore grounds for a by-election- I am no expert on this stuff . Perhaps William or Kevin can fill in the dots ?

  33. Rogue Scholar @ 5.00pm

    A challenge would run into difficulties in the light of this provision of the Electoral Act:

    COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 – SECT 367
    Evidence that person not permitted to vote

    On the trial of any petition the Court shall not admit the evidence of any witness that the witness was not permitted to vote in any election during the hours of polling on polling day unless the witness satisfies the Court:

    (a) that the witness claimed to vote, in the election, pursuant to that provision of this Act under which he or she was entitled or might be permitted to vote; and

    (b) that the witness complied with the requirements of this Act and the regulations made thereunder relative to voting by electors in so far as he or she was permitted so to do.

  34. After finally having some more votes counted in MP, I think now that the seat is decided or at least 95% decided. There are still 3,000 votes but the gap widened a little today.

  35. Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of the voter to make his own arrangements to vote ?

    If the soldiers failed to make arrangements to vote by post, or vote early, then that’s purely their own fault.

    Thankfully, Australia isn’t a military dictatorship & a serving solider has the same rights & obligations as a civilian.

    The LNP’s demand to invalidate an election just because a few soliders failed to vote is utterly ridiculous.

  36. Might depend a bit on what representations were made to them about voting. Some are suggesting an AEC mobile booth was made available, but left before all had an opportunity to make use of it. Some were then transported to a nearby town to vote, but others missed out. No idea if these claims are true.

    If there IS a by election the ALP might want to consider what they can offer the people of Palm Island. Less people voted there in 2016 (under 500) than in any election since 2000, despite the fact that the number of people of voting age is now over 1500. It is always a hugely pro ALP Herbert booth. Even simply getting the same number voting there as did in 2013, 2010 or 2007 would dwarf any gains the Libs might gain from a handful of soldiers!

  37. Rod Hagen

    I think it would be a terrible precedent. It would open the way to have very close contests replayed almost every time, on the basis that the AEC somehow did not operate as it should. Further, as you say, the result could impact quite adversely on the Coalition if Labor can put all its resources into getting every single vote possible actually cast. Especially since the Government will have shown how well it can govern in its second term.

  38. Sorry if already covered previously somewhere in this thread, but why after so long are there still unprocessed envelopes in seat like Griffith? Or any seats, for that matter?

    Are all envelopes to be processed in one location with a reduced staff now? I’m not concerned about a slow count per se, just trying to understand how counting operates procedurally.

  39. daretotread @ #1788 Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Gary
    So I assume that Danby knows something we do not. However there are still 4600 unopened ballot papers. This is way way more than the difference between Greens and Danby.
    So unless there is information not available Danby is engaging in a touch of bravado. Mind you he will almost certainly win, but it is probably a tad premature to say it is definite.
    Now it is more that possible that Danby really went to town on the provisionals so that these will heavily favour him. This seemed to be the case for Feeney too. If he is sure he has say 300 provionals in the bag then he is home and hosed.
    However if the Greens by any chance get more than the usual share of late postals and provisionals then it is not so clear cut.
    However while I have read of the KB scan I do not know its contents

    What it was was an actual three-candidate-preferred count of all votes available at the time, conducted by the AEC, and showing that based on those votes Danby got over the exclusion point by 802. Now, sure, there are more votes than that left to count and that margin will move around a little bit, but the Greens’ gain on Danby has not exceeded a few percent of a vote per vote on *any* postcount category. On that basis, the 3CP count was absolutely game over in the seat.

  40. wombat @ #1797 Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Sorry if already covered previously somewhere in this thread, but why after so long are there still unprocessed envelopes in seat like Griffith? Or any seats, for that matter?
    Are all envelopes to be processed in one location with a reduced staff now? I’m not concerned about a slow count per se, just trying to understand how counting operates procedurally.

    They’re very slow in polishing off seats that have been decided. In 2013 counting to produce the final 2PP figures stretched on for over two months, though the WA recount was a big distraction there.

  41. douglas and milko @ #1768 Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Questions for William and Kevin about Herbert:
    In the past, has the AEC ever not reported the result of a final count, even if it is within the margin for an automatic recount?
    Will party scrutineers know the result of the final count?
    I feel uneasy that we are not being told the result of the final count – assuming the +8 to O’Toole was the result of the progressive count before the final count was done.
    It does not give me any confidence that the process of deciding who wins the seat is being done honestly and transparently.

    What would normally be the “final count” before the recount isn’t being hidden – it simply hasn’t been done yet, at all – they’ve gone straight to the recount, and will issue the distribution of preferences afterwards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *