Bennelong by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Bennelong by-election.

Projected ALP swing Projected 2PP ALP win probability
Robinson (ALA)
Folitarik (SPP)
Jansson (FUT)
Alexander (LIB)
Keneally (ALP)
Platter (APEP)
Alick (GRN)
Ziebell (AAHP)
Fels (NCP)
Richa (ACP)
Cao (CDP)
Golding (AUP)
Booths reporting on primary vote (out of 41)
Booths reporting on two-party preferred (out of 41)
Formal votes counted as % of enrolment (106,582)


All I have to add at this stage is the chart below, which seeks to give some insight into how well by-election swings have worked historically as pointers to the next election result – to which the answer is, not very well at all. Featured are all federal by-elections contested by both the Coalition and Labor back to the Whitlam government, with the by-election swing to the government (nearly always negative) recorded on the horizontal axis, and the subsequent election swing (usually negative as well) on the vertical. As such, all by-elections for a given parliamentary term have the same result on the vertical axis. I have also included a line recording the correlation between the two variables, but only for by-elections that were not held in the first nine months of the parliamentary term, which are usually a lot more favourable for the government. However, the predictive power of the underlying equation is very poor (the r-squared result is 0.0655), as it could hardly fail to be, given the government recorded a favourable swing of 7.4% in New England a fortnight ago.

Election night

9.38pm. I believe that’s it for this evening – counting of postals will not begin until tomorrow. I have three polling booths listed as outstanding, but I believe two of them were not in service.

8.41pm. The big West Ryde pre-poll voting centre is in, and its impact is modest, although the Labor swing has at least nudged above 5% now.

8.15pm. And now some other booth has taken it away again.

8.12pm. A booth I suspect to be Gladesville North has ratcheted up the swing to Labor by a bit over half a point.

8.08pm. In my search for something interesting observe, I would note that large additions to the count should occur late in the evening with the pre-poll voting. These might have the effect of nudging the swing a few per cent, in one direction or another. For the time being though, the swing has been stable for some time at a bit under 5%.

7.54pm. Swing steadying at around 5%.

7.51pm. With half the booths in on the primary vote, I’m now projecting a slightly bigger Labor swing of 5.0%.

7.48pm. Not seeing much of a pattern to the swings: double-digit swings to Labor in three booths, Carlingford, Marsfield and Middle Ryde, which aren’t in any particular proximity. Weak results for Labor in Eastwood West, Gladesville and Truscott.

7.39pm. Eleven booths now in on two-party, still only 17 on primary.

7.36pm. Two more two-party results in, and the swing remains settled at 4-5%. Unlike the ABC, I’m projecting two-party totals in the seven booths that have only reported on the primary vote, but it’s not making much difference.

7.34pm. An eight two-party result, and same again: swing now up to 4.5%.

7.32pm. A seventh two-party result is better for Labor, so the swing projection is now up to 3.5%.

7.31pm. A couple more booths on the primary vote, and the Liberals position has strengthened still further, to the extent I’m now projecting essentially no swing at all.

7.30pm. A fairly striking improvement for the Liberals on preference flows. My early prognostications were based on noting the similar primary vote swings, but it turns out 6% movements on the primary are only translating into 2% on two-party.

7.28pm. Twelve on the primary vote, six on two-party, and still looking a disappointing result for Labor. It may be worth noting Tony Burke’s point that Labor is doing better in Chinese areas, including a double-digit swing in Carlingford, and that these tend to be larger booths that will report later.

7.26pm. Tony Burke more or less conceding on the ABC.

7.25pm. Okay, I’ve now got those two-party numbers and I’m seeing what Antony’s seeing — hardly any swing at all.

7.23pm. Antony Green has five results from two-party preferred, whereas I’m only seeing one – so definitely take my projection with a grain of salt so long as it says there’s only one two-party result in the count.

7.19pm. Eight booths in on the primary vote, and Ryde reporting on two-party preferred. By projecting Ryde’s preferences across the booths with primary votes only, I’m projecting Labor with a pretty handy swing. However, this is projecting a lot from a little – I would want more than one small two-party result before I read anything into it.

7.11pm. The AEC is projecting a swing to Labor of 4.7%, which I presume is based off a single booths two-party total that I’m not seeing published anywhere.

7.10pm. Eastwood West slightly reduces Labor swing, but still no two-party numbers.

7.08pm. Carlingord has now reporting, along with Macquarie Park, and it has indeed boosted the swing to nearly 8%, albeit that this would still leave Labor a little short.

7.06pm. Tony Burke talking up Labor’s performance in Carlingford, saying it points to a big swing to Labor in Chinese communities.

7.03pm. The larger Truscott booth is a much better result for the Liberals, suggesting a swing more like 5%.

7.01pm. Primary vote numbers in from Marsfield and Ryde, both consistent with a swing of about 9% to Labor, suggesting a very close result.

6pm. Polls have closed for the Bennelong by-election. This being an urban electorate, we shouldn’t expect any serious numbers for about an hour or so. I will hopefully be offering my own prognosis of the situation in the table above, but it’s all a bit experimental and we’ll have to wait to see if it works.

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.

488 comments on “Bennelong by-election live”

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  1. Mitch Marsh beautiful little century on the WACA, such a lovely area of green, so awful a stadium around it, but if Mitch Marsh can glow in the joy of a century today, surely KK and Bill can too!

  2. Sky News Australia‏Verified account @SkyNewsAust
    5m5 minutes ago
    #BREAKING: Over 13,000 voters cast their ballots early in the Bennelong by-election and another 15,000 applied to receive a postal ballot.

  3. Very few determined-looking faces walking past me, refusing HTVs. That’s always a good sign.

    Then again, it’s hard to ignore someone dressed as a horse wearing a red T-shirt and nothing else.

    Pity help the poor person doing the horse’s arse though. Don’t know how she did it for so long without water.

    Even I was bloody hot.

  4. WeWantPaul @ #6 Saturday, December 16th, 2017 – 6:13 pm

    Mitch Marsh beautiful little century on the WACA, such a lovely area of green, so awful a stadium around it, but if Mitch Marsh can glow in the joy of a century today, surely KK and Bill can too!

    Pardon me, but is this Mitch Marsh the same one that was earlier being ridiculed on PB and his selection attacked?

  5. D&M
    A kilometer from where I lived. A conservative area filled by cashed up tradies and public servants/professionals who could not afford Hunters Hill. Good luck to Jane Jetson in that part of the electorate. Her support will be further west.

  6. Chaperoning my daughter while she visits guy friend in hospital recovering from tonsils removal.

    Boy’s dad arrives, finds an unoccupied bed and flicks cricket on.

    We watch together.


  7. #politerepliesonPB

    I’m very impressed with Zimmerman. He sounds like a normal person rather than the usual shrill, loud and aggressive Liberal MP we usually hear from.

  8. I have only seen 110% fulsome support for the Marsh brothers here on PB, there has never ever even been a hint of that whole NSW they should get there green and gold baggy with the blue toilet cleaning felt they hand out there.

  9. OC, yes, definitely. Old houses being knocked down and rebuilt with McMansions. 4 Utes in every driveway. Australian flags. Very different from even 10 year ago.

  10. People keep talking about how much the votes of the Christian Democrats and the Cory Conservatives will favour Alexander. However, we can’t count out the Greens’ votes helping KK.

    Or the Science Party. (。-_-。)

  11. fess

    Zimmerman comes across as a liberal, not a conservative or nut job. He seemed very sensible throughout the SSM debacle. Must be lonely for him in the party.

  12. zimmerman, possibly the only decent liberal Ive seen, and a relief they put him on the panel and not some arrogant boofhead like Cannavan

  13. D&M
    Mine was pretty ordinary and by no means a McMansion. I sold it for 350K and its value had doubled in 2 years.
    On the House tells me it is now worth 3M

  14. Have just started reading Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind (2nd ed). It’s going to be a good read. I’ve always wondered what it means to be conservative/right wing. He says that basically “right wing” means any strategy to keep those in power in power and reduce the agency of anyone subservient in society. Thus the righties always talk about “freedom” but it is always couched in terms of freedom to keep people in their place and freedom from equality.

  15. mikeh:

    Yes, it must be lonely indeed for him in the partyroom, and not just because he isn’t a loud-mouthed buffoon, but because of his sexual orientation and that so many of this colleagues want to deny his relationships marriage equality.

    I often wonder how Ken Wyatt manages esp in the face of some of the ignorant race baiting of his colleagues.

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