Northcote by-election live

Live coverage of the count for Victoria’s Northcote state by-election, where Labor is under challenge from the Greens.

Thorpe (Greens)
Lenk (AJP)
Rossiter (LDP)
Burns (Labor)
Booths reporting on primary vote (out of 14)
Booths reporting on two-party preferred (out of 14)
Votes counted as % of enrolment (48,113)

End of night. Postal votes have taken a bite out of the Greens margin; the table above shows a now-redundant booth-based projection that fails to reflect this. So it does not now appear that this will eclipse the party’s 45.6% vote in the New South Wales seat of Newtown as its strongest ever result on the primary vote. Ben Raue at The Tally Room has interactive results maps, which show the Greens did strikingly well in what had hitherto been the best parts of the electorate for Labor, suggesting an expanding domain of the Greens-favouring “latte belt”.

9.19pm. Thornbury now in on the primary vote, so only two two-party results outstanding.

9.08pm. Thornbury South added on primary, leaving only Thornbury; Thornbury West added on two-party.

8.54pm. Northcote South added on two-party. My earlier confidence that other projections would fall into line with mine looks to have been misplaced.

8.46pm. Fairfield and Westgarth in on two-party, producing very strong preference flows to the Greens, giving them a big lift on the projected final two-party preferred (which is now in line with the raw result).

8.40pm. Croxton reports on both primary and two-party. The primaries are relatively good for Labor, but the preference flow is relatively bad, and between the two there is little change.

8.28pm. Thornbury East added on the primary vote, pushing the Greens’ winning margin up to 6.1%.

8.26pm. My projected winning margin of 5.6% is a lot lower than Antony Green’s 9% — I expect his will come into line with mine when Northcote South and Fairfield, which weren’t so bad for Labor, report their two-party results.

8.23pm. Northcote booth added on two-party, pushing up the projected winning margin still further. The Greens have so far received 54.4% of preferences.

8.14pm. Northcote South in on the primary vote, and it’s another relatively good result for Labor. But Northcote North’s just-reported two-party result had a particularly strong flow of preferences to the Greens, so they’re position on the projection doesn’t improve much.

8.08pm. Northcote booth in on the primary vote; a relatively moderate result, but too late to save Labor.

8.03pm. Fairfield and Westgarth in on primary; Westgarth, already a strong area for the Greens, gives them their biggest swing yet. So if there was any doubt before, there isn’t now.

7.58pm. Preston South added on two-party.

7.52pm. Bell now in on two-party. Situation for the Greens getting better, not worse — they are still getting a slight majority of preferences, and are smashing it on the primary.

7.44pm. Northcote North is the first booth from the Greens’ best end of the electorate, and it maintains the overall pattern of a Greens swing of at least 10%.

7.41pm. Preston South in on primary vote; does nothing to improve the situation for Labor.

7.38pm. Alphington North now in on two-party, and you would just about call it for the Greens.

7.35pm. Alphington and Alphington North both in on primary, Alphington also on two-party. Greens getting 53% of preferences.

7.26pm. First two-party count, from Darebin Parklands, has preferences splitting 51-37 in favour of the Greens. I’m currently feeding this through to the Bell result, but it could be unrepresentative, so treat my present two-party projection with caution.

7.20pm. Much larger Bell booth is not as bad for Labor: they’re down 7.8% on the primary, and Greens up 13.6%. But that’s still enough to suggest they’re in trouble.

7.13pm. First booth in is Darebin Parklands. It’s a small booth, but an impressive result for the Greens, who are up 15.0% on the primary vote with Labor down 11.3%.

7pm. No great surprise no results are in yet, this being an inner urban electorate with large polling booths. But for what it’s worth:

6pm. Polls have closed for the by-election in Northcote, where they’re apparently experiencing a spot of rain. The table above will record the results as they come in. All “swing” figures are based on booth matching; the two-party preferred projection will fill gaps in booths where only primary votes have reported using the preference flows from booths that have reported two-party preferred, and use booth-matching to determine an overall swing. So until at least one booth is in on two-party preferred, it will record nothing.

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.

83 comments on “Northcote by-election live”

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  1. Yes she is, briefly. The Greens campaigned heavily on it.

    Interestingly, the Greens now have a 7-1 balance of women vs. men in their party room. Presumably also a record for a parliamentary party?

  2. Pollsters seem to have difficulty getting a good handle on electorate level polling – people looking at Queensland seat polling should take them with a large grain of salt

  3. Doug says:
    Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm
    Pollsters seem to have difficulty getting a good handle on electorate level polling

    It’s inherently inaccurate…just cannot be done!

  4. Inner city seats are particularly terrible because the landline concentration is even worse. I’ve got a landline but it’s an unlisted number for the alarm and I’m unusual in even having that (I’ve got an older alarm system that was here when I moved in so it still uses landline phone home). I did some phone banking and there was only a single landline number and it was marked as DNC.

    Getting representative samples seems to generally be the issue with seat level polling.

  5. I think it was Napoleon who said you should never interrupt an enemy when they’re making a mistake, so I’m loathe to comment on the Liberal threat not to run candidates in inner-city seats. However…

    … it is utterly nuts. Aside from the upper house vote considerations, what signal does that send about the party which once saw itself as the natural party of government?

    That the Liberal Party wouldn’t even bother to sell itself to the knowledge workers etc of these areas, will force their former supporters to make a choice between Labor or Green, perhaps foreshadowing an era where that is the basic choice for the wider electorate.

    Removing themselves from consideration by voters in the influential inner-city is insane. But go ahead Libs, be my guest.

    (Also if they want to cause Labor trouble they always have the option of running and preferencing the Greens. Or do they really believe their nonsense about how dangerous and radical the Greens are?)

  6. I just caught up with this result – ouch! Is this a record primary vote for the Greens in an Australian lower house election? Well done to the Greens, but I feel for Labor. This was only needed due to the untimely early death of Fiona Richardson, who was a fine local MP and skilled Minister.

    This will make Jacky Trad in South Brisbane nervous as well as Don Farrell.

  7. The Liberals not running in Melbourne would be madness because, given the result in Commonwealth Melbourne (where the ALP came third after preferences) and that State Melbourne was only about 4.9% away from a similar result with an incumbent ALP MP (unlike Commonwealth Melbourne where there is was a 2 term Green incumbent (now a 3 term Green incumbent) with a national profile) and an outgoing Liberal Government, it is potentially a candidate for them to fish (almost certainly largely unsuccessfully) for ALP preferences.

  8. TTFAB: The ALP came in third on the primary vote, not on preferences – and that only just. On preferences, they whipped the Liberals handily on two-candidate-preferred, 66%-33%.

    It may seem like madness, but bear in mind that there’s precious little point to the Liberals running candidates in the inner-city districts at all:

    1. Even a minimalistic campaign consumes resources potentially better spent elsewhere;
    2. The flow-on effects to the Upper House are, I suspect, not all that severe – you’ll see a lot of minor-party/major-party split tickets, in a reversal of the traditional split (which is major-party for the lower house, on the grounds that most believe that voting for a minor party in the lower house is throwing your vote away);
    3. Especially for by-elections like this, failing to run a candidate prevents any estimation of a two-party-preferred vote, which is of particular value when you fear that the eventual TCP result will not paint your party favourably.

    It’d definitely be a dubious decision, but perhaps not all bad.

  9. The Liberals beat the ALP to second place in the 3 candidate preferred count by 266 votes.

    1. The state seat of Melbourne has quite a lot of Liberal voters and members (East Melbourne and Docklands in particular) and a significant proportion of those of them who campaign would only campaign locally. Votes also get public funding and no candidate means no votes, which means no funding. Many local Liberals would also be less likely to donate if there was no local candidate (and lots of the inner-city Liberals are very rich).

    2. Each region in the Victorian Legislative Council has 11 Legislative Assembly districts and all 4 of Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick and Northcote are in North Metropolitan and thus make up a significant proportion of the vote in the region and thus the reduced vote from no lower house campaign would remove hopes of a second Liberal MLC in Northern Metropolitan and if ATL preferences are introduced in Victoria, it would mean no how to vote cards to direct Liberal preferences in a sizable proportion of the region, reducing their value for preference deal.

    The Liberals are talking about doing thins at the general election, not a by-election and every vote in the 2PP counts towards the total and a party missing out on seats in a general election does not mean a 2PP cannot be calculated, it only reduces its accuracy.

  10. Congratulation to the Greens.
    Based on the result the Age is predicting a hung parliament after the next state election.

    Andrews does have the problem that both the Age and the Sun are campaigning against him.
    I would not have thought there weren’t that many antivaxers (he has been quite hard on them).
    Personal following of Fiona Richardson lost. That is a standard cause for a swing.
    Mid term election, a standard cause for a swing.
    I’m not sure it means that much for the next election.

  11. Andrews majority is small, and it’s likely off these numbers that the Greens could pick up a couple of other inner city seats. That’s the main reason they are projecting a hung parliament (though practically speaking that result would almost certainly be a fairly safe Labor minority government).

    He could potentially compensate by taking some other seats though.

  12. I’m surprised the betting numbers William shows on the sidebar have the Liberals favourites to win the next Vic election. Are things really going that bad for Labor down here?

    I thought Andrews has been doing really well in most respects.

  13. For some reason, Victoria has become an opinion poll leper colony. Pollsters don’t want to come near the place. We’re lucky if we get one reliable opinion poll per year, so it’s impossible to know how the state government is really going.

  14. Labor should go into opposition rather than working with the Greens in any way.
    If after the next election should the Greens have the balance of power.

  15. The lower Labor’s chance of winning back these inner city seats, the less reason they’ll have to run on a platform that appeals to them such as renewables and public transport.

    They’ll need to make up for it by winning more votes in the outer suburbs and you know what they want? Roads, cheap electricity and immigration controls.

    Every time the Greens win a seat from Labor they set their own cause back by years.

  16. Logic of “coalition’ is that you concede on certain issues to stay in government – the ALP will work that out and Greens will get some issues taken care of. Without the Greens pressing them on the issues the ALP will have little incentive to move.

    Worked in the ACT where Greens pressed the ALP on renewable energy targets & an ALP minister came up with brilliant policy implementation. A win all round – Greens winning seats did to set back their agenda

  17. As soon as Labor go into a coalition with the Greens they lose the outer suburbs “battlers” immediately and for good. It’d be inviting in 20 years of Liberal government.

  18. I’m a bit annoyed that in most parts of Australia, the speculation of coalition governments come long before an election. It’s pretty much the norm in the ACT, New Zealand or most non-Anglo western countries, and the horse trading comes after the elections are held.

  19. The people of the suburbs have got the Tree Hugging Tories pegged. They struggle to get 6% of the vote where ordinary workers live. Hipsters of he world unite, you have nothing lose but your fixed wheel bike.

  20. Not really, just thinking practically about which outcome is most likely to get progressive policies through the parliament.

    I agree with pretty much every Greens policy, but their all-or-nothing “if you don’t agree with us you’re stupid” approach means they’re always going to be hated by 90% of the population.

    Labor work to the same goals but at a pace at which they can take the electorate with them. There’s no point proposing great policies if they’ll get you kicked out of government – you’ll achieve nothing. Better to take what steps you can without racing too far ahead of public opinion.

  21. Without the Greens forcing debate on some issues I am sceptical that the ALP would be moving anywhere fast on them, certainly at a national level. Some ALP supporters I know are extremely thankful that the Greens are there. It give them leverage within the party to push issues along. The “hating’ of the Greens in some quarters (I doubt 90% that would imply all ALP supporters hate the Greens which is nonsense) is a result of a deliberate campaign by the Murdoch Press.

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