10.28pm. The Nationals look to have gone off the boil in Lismore, in another turn in fortunes for that seat. By this I mean they are trailing Labor in the two-candidate preferred count. But Labor are still coming third behind the Greens on the primary vote, and I think you can give it to the Greens if they stay there.
10.25pm. I’ve been casting around for information on the below-the-line upper house voting rate at past elections. I’ve come up with a figure of 2.1% at the 2011 election, which is lower than I would have thought. If we bump that up to 3%, which is two-thirds of a quota. That leaves well over two quotas for parties whose vote totals we have no idea about. If any one of them — David Leyonhjelm, say, can get about a quarter of that, they should be in business.
10.21pm. Gladys Berejiklian victory speech concluded.
10.16pm. The Legislative Council count is 18.45% through, and while this is completely unmatched and might swing around, we’ve got seven quotas for the Coalition, six for Labor, two for the Greens, one apiece for One Nation and Shooters, and four to be accounted for. The Coalition has enough of a surplus to be in the hunt for one of those; Labor doesn’t, at least on the current numbers. One Nation is in the hunt on the current numbers, but I guess they will fade as more big booths in Sydney report. Ditto Shooters. The Christian Democrats and Animal Justice look possibilities, but I wouldn’t go any further than that. The big wild card is that 2.93 quotas are identified by the Electoral Commission as “others”, that includes not only the outstanding parties, but all below-the-line votes. There is plenty of room in that for David Leyonhjelm, but since it also includes all below-the-lines, we really need more information.
9.46pm. The Nationals now have a handy looking lead in the two-party count against Labor, but the Greens are ahead on the primary vote, and will probably win if they stay there. One way or another, this one’s staying on the watch list.
9.41pm. Michael Daley has conceded to Gladys Berejiklian and will shortly give his concession speech.
9.32pm. The view around the room is that East Hills is falling out of Labor’s reach.
9.18pm. Upper Hunter is very close – I’ve been leaving it off my potential list of Coalition losses. That list has fairly consistently been four or five seats, with its composition changing over time.
9.16pm. Labor have fallen behind in East Hills according to the Nine count, but not the ABC’s (yet). I think you would rather be the Nationals than the Shooters in Barwon at this stage, but nor would you call lit.
9.04pm. Another seat you can’t give away if only because of the slow count is Penrith, where the Liberals are ahead but not by ahead to be definitive about it, with only 22.6% counted on the primary and 12.8% on two-party. Pre-polls could transform the situation here, one way or another, and we may have to wait beyond this evening for a meaningful picture there.
8.58pm. Finally, an update in Auburn, and it’s looking better for Labor now, but will still require monitoring.
8.52pm. Other than that, there have been a number of dogs that haven’t barked. The count in Kogarah is painfully slow, but Labor is in front, and that’s the only evidence of a Chinese backlash effect – Labor has a fairly solid swing in the other supposedly endangered seat, Strathfield. The Nationals have done okay on the northern coast, contrary to expectations. And the Liberals have held up in their south-eastern seats of Goulburn and Bega.
8.50pm. Antony is calling Dubbo as lineball, whereas my sense was that the Nationals were doing okay. So there’s a fifth seat the Coalition might potentially lose.
8.40pm. Hard to identify the six seats that would cost the Coalition its majority. All I’m seeing is East Hills and Coogee to Labor, both only maybes (particularly East Hills). Barwon, under threat from Shooters, is looking better for the Nationals now, but the Shooters continue to look strong in Murray. I would also note that in Auburn, where the count is particularly slow, the very early numbers have the Liberals in the lead.
8.31pm. Labor look like they might win East Hills and Oatley, but beyond that gains for them are hard to identify. Lismore remains a very confusing picture, but the Nationals have strengthened there. Shooters look good in all three of their target seats. Other than that, it looks like a remarkably stable result. The Greens look like retaining their three seats; the two independents have retained their seats, but don’t look like being joined by any new ones. The Nationals have not suffered as expected on the northern coast: Tweed and Upper Hunter look good for them.
8.16pm. I’m painting a somewhat less favourable picture for the Coalition because I’m focused only on seats where the count is seriously advanced, of which there are remarkably few. But the Nationals look okay in Tweed and Upper Hunter, which Labor seriously needed to win.
8.14pm. Antony Green says he thinks the government has been returned, and the only question is majority or minority.
8.12pm. General consternation at the slow speed of the count, or at least the slow rate at which results are being uploaded to the media feed, which also seem to contain some anomalies.
8.05pm. The surprisingly good picture for the Greens seems to be holding: they look like they’ve retained Balmain and Newtown, it looks very encouraging for them in Ballina, and the picture in Lismore remains as before – the Nationals struggling, and an open question as whether it would fall to the Greens or Labor.
8.02pm. Looking very close in Upper Hunter. I’m currently seeing a 1.7% swing to Labor, with a Nationals margin of 2.2%. They
7.52pm. And Labor look to be ahead in Kogarah, although there is a swing against them. Labor’s Chris Minns is down about 4.4% on the primary vote and the Liberals are up 2.5% – not enough for Labor to lose given their 6.9% margin. This is from six booths out of 28 on the primary vote and 13.3% counted.
7.51pm. Right on cue, Chris Uhlmann just said Labor scrutineers say they believe they will win Strathfield.
7.50pm. Encouraging numbers for Labor from Strathfield, given this was expected to be part of any Chinese backlash. Jodi McKay is up about 3% on the primary vote, and the Liberals are down about 4.5%, with seven booths in on the primary vote and 18.8% counted.
7.41pm. From what we’re seeing so far, the Greens seem to be doing surprisingly well. The first numbers in Ballina show a strong swing in their favour; they are in the hunt in Lismore; and Antony called Newtown for them, although perhaps too early.
7.38pm. Really tight three-cornered contest in Lismore. The Nationals are down nearly 5% on the primary vote, on which they will need to improve. Lineball based on current numbers as to whether Labor or the Greens will make the final count against them. Unless the Nationals improve – which they certainly may – the seat will go to whoever wins the Labor-Greens race.
7.32pm. Talking Blue Mountains a lot because the count is progressing particularly well there. It does look like there’s a modest swing to Labor of 3% to 4%, based on eight booths on the primary vote and 17.4% counted.
7.24pm. That big swing to Labor in Blue Mountains has disappeared, but they are still on track to retain their margin of 8%.
7.20pm. Early primary votes looking good for Shooters in Murray, although this could be missing geographic variability.
7.17pm. Antony says the Greens will win Newtown very easily. Latest numbers from Upper Hunter look less good for Labor than the ones I’ve counted earlier — no swing projected on the two-party figures that I’m seeing.
7.14pm. With 5.4% of the primary vote counted in Lismore, the Greens are down about 3.4%, the Nationals are down about 2.5%, and Labor are unchanged. That would get Labor into the final count ahead of the Greens, which they narrowly failed to do last time, and then to narrowly defeat the Nationals.
7.07pm. Based on five booths and 3.1% of the electoral roll counted, Philip Donato has a clear primary vote majority in Orange.
7.01pm. Good early results for Labor in Blue Mountains, with three booths in on the primary vote — Labor is on 48.5%, which compares with 38.4% in the same booths in 2015.
6.58pm. With 4% of the primary vote counted in Upper Hunter, the Nine system is projecting a 3.5% two-party swing to Labor in Upper Hunter, which would be sufficient to get Labor up by 1.3%. However, this is based on speculative preference flows.
6.31pm. First booth from Orange is 288 votes from Spring Hill Public, and there’s a good sign for Shooters member Philip Donato, who is up from 41.1$ to 57.3% on the primary vote.
6.25pm. Mulgoa Electorate Manager’s Office wins the prize for first booth to report. Splits 120-31 to the Liberals, which is a big swing in their favour for what that’s worth (i.e. nothing).
6pm. Let the record note that polls have closed.
5.25pm. The YouGov Galaxy exit poll for the Nine Network has primary vote numbers very similar to Newspoll’s, with the Coalition on 41% (the same), Labor on 36% (one point higher) and the Greens on 9% (one point lower). Two-party preferred is 50-50, compared with Newspoll’s 51-49 to the Coalition. However, the poll is from the state’s 16 most marginal seats, rather than statewide. A set of numbers from the 2015 election is provided for purposes of comparison, so the precise way to read this is to compare the results just noted with the following set of numbers: 53.1-46.9 to the Coalition on two-party preferred, and primary votes of Coalition 45.9%, Labor 36.1% and Greens 9.7%. In other words, the poll suggests a 3.1% swing to Labor, which is almost identical to Newspoll’s 3.3%.
Two-party breakdowns are provided for western Sydney and “regional” – I’m not sure of the precise dimensions of the latter. These have it at 50-50 in western Sydney, a 2.7% swing to Labor since 2015, and 51-49 to the Coalition in regional New South Wales, a swing of 3.5%, which is one point more favourable to the Coalition than the Newspoll result. The sample for the poll is 1666.
5.04pm. The Coogee exit poll has the Liberals crashing from 46.6% to 31% and Labor up from 32.5% to 41%. It does not appear there is a two-party figure, but with the Liberal margin at 2.9%, you can take it for granted that this points to an emphatic win for Labor. The poll was conducted by Lonergan Research for Greenpeace and the Nature Conservation Council from a sample of 1482.
5pm. One hour until polls close. I’m behind the scenes at Channel Nine’s election night coverage – they have YouGov Galaxy exit polling that will go live in 15 minutes. I have it in my hands right now, but I’ll spare you the “wow” routine. Greenpeace has put out a Lonergan Research exit poll of Coogee that apparently shows Labor set to gain the seat from the Liberals, in line with expectations. I’ll have a summary of that poll with you very shortly.
To get the ball rolling, I’ll repaste what I posted last night about how the NSWEC is approaching the count. We will not be privy to as much counting of pre-poll results on election night as we have lately grown accustomed. All we are promised is incomplete progress counts of the primary vote from pre-poll voting centres, which will presumably posted quite late on the night. That means no pre-poll results on two-party preferred, which could well leave us hanging in more seats than usual at the end of the night. Some postals will be counted on the night – I can’t tell you if this will just be primary votes or if it will include two-party totals as well.
The Legislative Council count on the night will be unusual, in that the only things that are specifically being tallied are above-the-line votes for the Coalition, Labor, the Greens, Shooters, the Christian Democrats, Animal Justice and One Nation. Beyond that, an “others” total will be published that will include above-the-line votes for everyone else, and below-the-line votes for all and sundry (including votes that will prove, on closer inspection, to be informal). Among other things, this means those of you hanging on the electoral prospects of David Leyonhjelm will go to bed disappointed.