Live publication of results, updated by the minute with full booth results, swings and probability estimates, can be found here. Commentary of the progress of the count follows below.
12.50pm. John Pesutto now leads by 53 votes in Hawthorn, and I’m also now projected the Liberals to hold Caulfield. So without wishing to take anything away from the scale of Labor’s win, a big part of the election night story is that Liberal voters voted early. I’ve now got Sandringham back down as a confirmed Labor gain, but with no pre-polls or postals there yet, I certainly wouldn’t take that for granted. I will be off line for the next half an hour, and my results won’t be updating in that time.
12.18pm. Things continue to look less bad for the Liberals. My model now has the Liberals with their nose in front in Mount Waverley and Nepean, and is no longer giving away Sandringham, Bayswater and Hawthorn — though it’s still calling it for Labor in Ringwood, Caulfield and Box Hill. Over the past hour, the statewide Labor swing has come down from 3.7% to 3.2%.
11.35pm. The notion that some of the more freakish results would be overturned on late counting is looking good. The Liberals are now home in Brighton, after hardly any swing was recorded on pre-poll and postal votes. My seat projection has come down over the last few hours from 59 to 56 (which really means 60 to 57, because a bug is awarding Preston to the Liberals — though equally, it may be wrong about the Greens winning Prahran).
9.30pm. The Greens, as ever, are living on a knife edge — they could win four, they could win nothing. The ABC projects them with leads of 2.2% in Melbourne and 1.0% lead in Brunswick, while they’re 1.0% behind in Northcote. The only thing the Prahran two-party count tells us is that they will definitely beat the Liberals if that’s what it comes down to, but with nothing to separate Labor, Liberal and the Greens, they may drop out in third, or lose to Labor if it’s the Liberals who do so. The one thing that is clear is that they have not won Richmond, despite the Liberals’ decision to give them a leg-up by not fielding a candidate.
9.07pm. Plenty to feast on in the ABC’s seats in doubt list, on which twelve seats are listed. Labor has only the gentlest of leads in Brighton, which one suspects will not stick; they are slightly further ahead in Sandringham, which remains very much in doubt; a Labor win in either would be astonishing. Both were vacated by sitting members, and male candidates (a conservative young turk in the case of Brighton) were chosen for both of them.
9.02pm. There are nine seats listed on the ABC’s “changing hands” list – Bayswater, with a 2.0% Labor lead and 42.8% counted, may not be nailed down yet, but the others look fairly solid. The only ones that were widely thought a shot for Labor in advance were Bass, South Barwon and maybe Burwood. The others are remarkable for being affluent and historically blue-ribbon Liberal seats: Box Hill, Caulfield, Mount Waverley and Ringwood. Then there is Nepean, which is a semi-rural seat neighbouring Bass, where the Liberals had a retiring sitting member and may, as in Bass, have been hampered by the retirement of the sitting member, not to mention the party’s uninspired choice for his successor.
8.24pm. Rather extraordinarily, the ABC computer has Labor ahead in Brighton and Sandringham. Either the backlash against the Liberals by well-heeled voters has taken on hitherto unanticipated dimensions, or the high pre-poll vote is turning up static.
8.08pm. Labor has retained Richmond, where the Greens showed characteristic persistence with a dud candidate, but the ABC has the Greens retaining Melbourne and Northcote. Brunswick has been going back and forth — currently it’s down as Labor retain. Prahran is a three-way contest that will be determined by the candidate who drops out in third.
7.53pm. Burwood took a long time to report a result, but not it has, it’s looking like another possible gain for Labor … and indeed has been called for Labor by the ABC as I type.
7.49pm. Ringwood and Mount Waverley looking very solid for Labor now, and Labor looks to have gained South Barwon. The ABC calling Box Hill and Nepean for Labor, but I wouldn’t give those away yet. Less unexpectedly, Labor to gain Bass. Looking close in Ripon, which was thought a lot more likely to go to Labor than the aforementioned.
7.48pm. The ABC computer is now calling Mildura an independent gain, but it shouldn’t be because it’s far too close.
7.38pm. Independent Suzanna Sheed comfortably returned in Shepparton. The ALP is calling Mildura a Nationals retain, but it looks close to me, with independent Ali Cupper a show. The ABC computer apparently doesn’t expect Darryn Lyons to get very strong preferences in Geelong, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it. Ditto Benambra, where Jacqui Hawkins looks competitive against Liberal Bill Tilley. Independent Tammy Atkins is running second behind beleaguered Nationals member Tim McCurdy in Ovens Valley, but his primary vote of 43% looks high enough.
7.36pm. The ABC computer has wound Forest Hill back from Labor gain to Labor ahead, but the Labor leads in Mount Waverley and Ringwood look rather formidable.
7.34pm. Prahran now looking a near three-way tie on the primary vote, as it was in 2014. The Greens are struggling to hold Northcote; still early days in Melbourne and Brunswick; nothing yet in Richmond.
7.32pm. The ABC computer is calling Benambra Liberal retain, but this assumes a Liberal-versus-Labor contest, and independent Jacqui Hawkins is well ahead of Labor in second place. With a primary vote barely north of 40%, Liberal member Bill Tilley is another in trouble.
7.31pm. Small swing to the Greens from the first booth in Melbourne.
7.30pm. Antony Green picking three unheralded Labor gains in the eastern suburbs: Forest Hill, Mount Waverley and Ringwood.
7.27pm. The ABC guesstimate says Labor shouldn’t be troubled by Darryn Lyons in Geelong, but the primary vote numbers look pretty soft for them to me, being just north of 40% and with Lyons clearly placed to finish second.
7.24pm. I’ve been tending to focus on boutique regional contests, but the big story is of overwhelming success for Labor in eastern Melbourne. They’re bolting it in the sandbelt seats, and putting the Liberals under pressure in normally solid seats. Though I reiterate the note of caution that there may be a lot of Liberal vote outstanding in the pre-polls, which will come through later in the night. Even so, it’s clearly a question of how far Labor.
7.18pm. Labor’s good early figures in Ringwood, which I found hard to credit, appear to be sticking.
7.16pm. One bit of good news for the Liberals is there’s an early swing to them in the endangered country seat of Ripon.
7.15pm. The Liberals look like they will run third in Prahran, rendering the notional Liberal-versus-Greens preference count academic. So the result will come down to the flow of Liberal preferences between Labor and the Greens.
7.13pm. The second booth in Brunswick is better for Labor than the first – there is now a 1.0% swing in their favour. Nothing else in from the other potential Greens seats.
7.10pm. The ABC is covering Geelong, where it actually seems to me that independent Darryn Lyons is doing a lot better than he deserves — he’s matching it with the Liberals on the primary vote, and Labor is only on 36.2%. However, the primary vote swing to Labor is 3.5%, which would keep them safe if consistent.
7.07pm. An interestingly huge swing to Labor in the first booth in from Albert Park, whose Wentworth-ish demographic might not be too thrilled with the Liberals right now. The Liberals came close to knocking it over in 2010 and 2014, but not this time by the look of it.
7.06pm. First booth in from Brunswick is a 3.7% swing to the Greens, which exceeds the 2.3% Labor margin.
7.04pm. Independent Jacqui Hawkins polling strongly in Benambra with 25.1%, and Bill Tilley’s 43.1% is low enough to make it touch-and-go for him after preferences.
7.03pm. Early days, but Nationals member Peter Crisp is under pressure from independent Ali Cupper in Mildura.
7.00pm. The first electorate with over 10% counted is Gippsland South, with a 3.7% swing to Labor. It should be cautioned here that the dynamic in play may be that the upsurge in pre-poll voting has disproportionately involved conservative voters. If so, some of these swings will come back later in the evening.
6.58pm. The ABC election results page (they need to make this stuff easier to locate) paints an impressive picture of across-the-board swings to Labor in all those electorates where two-party votes are in.
6.56pm. Russell Northe, the Liberals and the Nationals are almost exactly level in Morwell, all on around 17%, with Labor on 28.3%. Only a few small rural booths, 1.5% counted.
6.53pm. James Purcell, the upper house micro-party member trying to win South-West Coast as an independent, trails Labor 21.2% to 17.2% with 4.3% counted. The Liberal is on 42.0%, so he might be competitive if he closes that gap.
6.50pm. The ABC’s booth-matching is picking up a 6% to 7% drop in the Coalition primary vote, although there is only 0.6% counted.
6.35pm. A few peculiarities with the VEC’s approach actually, such as media feed updates only coming through every five minutes. However, they have picked the notional two-party counts I would have expected, having been guided entirely by what happened last time. So Nationals versus independent counts in Shepparton and Mildura, Nationals versus Labor in Morwell and Liberal versus Greens in Prahran.
6.25pm. An unforeseen peculiarity in the way the AEC does its media feeds means I won’t be able to get my results reporting facility to work until every electorate has a two-party preferred result in, which should take a while.
5.30pm. Half an hour before polls close, a YouGov Galaxy exit poll gives Labor a lead of 55-45. While exit polls don’t have a brilliant record in this country, this does add to a formidable picture of a strong result for Labor. For my part, I’m currently sweating over how my live results reporting and projection facility is going to operate in a real world environment, so stay tuned for that. It should be up in one form or another at about 6:15pm, with the first results to come through shortly after.