New South Wales election live

Live coverage of the counting for the New South Wales state election. One exit poll for starters shows Labor set to gain Coogee from the Liberals.

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.

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.

689 comments on “New South Wales election live”

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  1. What about the ramifications federally?

    Would Scomo be emboldened to call a general election without parliament resuming?

    Dodge any flak in the chamber and charge on with a unhealthy dose of overconfidence.

  2. It will interesting to see what implications this result has for internal tensions within the Liberal Party. The contrast is striking between Victoria, where the hard right dominated the party and the campaign and they got thrashed, and NSW, where the moderates dominate and the party did a bit better than people had expected. If this strengthens the hand of the moderates within the Liberal Party – and one would think it should – then that may be bad for the ALP in longer term, but will be good for the country.

  3. Perrottet keeps mentioning Gladys being the state’s first elected woman premier and it’s starting to sound patronising and desperate. Like, ‘We don’t really have women problems in our party, look at our first elected woman premier!’.

  4. There could be only 2 seats change hands at this election. This is an amazingly small number of seats. It would be a massive win for the Coalition if they get to 50 seats. Even it ends up being only 48 it is a remarkable result.

  5. Joe McGirr’s primary vote in Wagga Wagga increased from 25% at the 2018 by-election to 44% at this election.
    The seat is his for as long as he wants it.

  6. Obeid’s main trial, the dodgy coal mine, will start in the next 2 months. It was due to begin in early March but fortunately for Labor was delayed.
    If convicted it is likely he will die in jail

  7. I note that the most vindictive poster is busy posting against anyone who has bested them on these pages – taking advantage whilst William is busy elsewhere…..

  8. Well there must have been an almighty collapse in the last week, because it looks like Labor will only win one extra seat. Earlwood where are you?

  9. Without prepoll counts and with a number of seats without indicative 2PP, I’m amazed anyone is either depressed or elated about the results so far. It seems to me it will be sseveral days before everything becomes clear.

    Then there will be much to learn but just about every prognostication I’ve seen both here and on TV seems to me to be so much whistling in the dark.

  10. KB

    9:40 Labor’s Janelle Saffin is catching the Greens in Lismore, so this is a very exciting three-cornered contest (again!)

  11. I said months ago that I hoped the NSW ALP would (just) lose this election to limit their ability to screw up Federal Labor’s longer term prospects.

    So, yeah, while a bit disappointing (and if the conservatives are returned in their own right, particularly disappointing), I think this result is for the bigger-picture best.

    And, yes, Daley never really stepped up to the plate – maybe he was hamstrung by the Foley palaver and not having enough time as leader, but really, this was his one shot and he blew it. No idea who they can turn to; the NSW ALP talent pool does seem quite bare at the moment.

  12. “Although voting in the Upper House is still in early stages, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has picked up enough of the vote for at least one seat and Mark Latham is at the top of their ticket. The former Labor leader will return to politics”

  13. With three days to go, Earlwood was calling it…hmmm. Oh look Morrison was in witness protection, now he is on stage shouty and pointy as ever. What a mindless tool he is.

  14. nath @ #450 Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 – 9:40 pm

    ALP still a chance to beat Greens for Lismore. Looks like Janelle Saffin might overcome her haters in the ALP and get a seat.

    Talking out of your arse as usual I see. I happen to know Janelle Saffin, her campaign manager and her campaign manager’s partner and the LAST thing they are is hated by the ALP you complete and utter poltroon!

  15. Dave from Wagga –
    Re Joe McGirr being returned and rewarded by the community. That’s the biggest worry parties have with Independents, they can be virtually impossible to move.

  16. Hilarious. Scott Morrison was banished from the NSW Liberal campaign, yet is first at the podium when the Berejiklian govt is returned to mansplain the win.

  17. The Liberal Democrats have done extremely poorly. No more David Leyonhjelm.

    They really do much better when they get a ballot draw which confuses Liberal voters (those with bad eyesight in particular and those that are stupid).

  18. I am so glad Morrison is jumping into the limelight. Keep it up Scott.

    He simply has no idea. He was not even invited to speake at the state liberal launch.

    Go you good thing, Scott.

  19. And never let a Green come here and say that Greens 1, Liberals 2 is not a thing. I have seen it with my own eyes tonight.

  20. It’s very difficult to get a sense of finalish numbers given the pre-poll factor. It shouldn’t change anything fundamentally but I’m concerned it might still snag a few seats the coalition’s way.

    A useful consequence of this result is that people may be much less complacent about the Federal election outcome. For those who attribute this result to a fierce resistance by media and other corporate interests to the ALP (not an explanation I find particularly compelling) – as if those interests are going to be any less vigorous in campaigning against a change of Federal government in a few weeks’ time?

    A coalition government in NSW may prove to be the major centre of opposition to a Shorten government.

    On the other hand a 3rd term NSW State Government is likely to become deeply unpopular. Antipathy to Gladys, or her successor, may help Shorten in NSW in 2022.

  21. C@tmomma
    . I happen to know Janelle Saffin, her campaign manager and her campaign manager’s partner and the LAST thing they are is hated by the ALP you complete and utter poltroon!
    I was talking about these haters:

    Oakeshott Country
    Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm
    Labor calling Janelle Saffin and Ursula Stephens out of retirement to run and lose in marginal seats indicates the lack of talent in NSW ALP.
    Ditto Diane Beamer in Lindsay federally

    Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    I was shocked to see Janelle Saffin as a candidate on the coverage tonight.

    Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm
    Saffin scarcely set the world on fire in her last incarnation.

  22. Daley said he ran a positive campaign. Is he serious. The only policy of his that I know is no stadium …. every ad was the same every time we saw him on tv was no stadium …. I do not think anyone in NSW did not get sick of it

  23. G

    Daley says he sought to run “a positive campaign in an era of politics where all too often negativity reigns”. He says he is concerned “it really hasn’t been all that great a night for the major parties”.

    “Being someone who believes in the political stability that the two-party system does and has delivered toAustralia and New South Wales is that it really hasn’t been all that great a night for the major parties,” he says.

    “And we do have more work to do if we’re not going to see a continual erosion of public confidence in the political system.”

  24. Have they seriously only counted 29% of the vote in Sydney at 9:45 pm?

    Re Federal implications. First thing, as per Bludgertrack, the swing against the Feds in NSW is not as great as forecast in Qld, Victoria or WA. Any of those 3 States can wipe out the Morrison government (given its in minority anyway). Also, some issues like climate change could be expected to bite harder for the coal fetishists.

    It has provided a salutary reminder the polls can be wrong either way though.

    Morrison won’t go before May 11/18. He wants to announce lots of spending in the Budget, along with associated coverage and advertising. He won’t be keen to give that up for a bit of a warm glow in one state.

  25. LibDem votes are not being posted tonight they are in the 12% other so hard to say what their vote is. At this stage 5% of LC ballots are blank

  26. For those who didn’t get to enjoy popcorn tonight, save it for the Hanson-Latham public brouhaha/meltdown that is as inevitable as day following night.

  27. Confessions @ #478 Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 – 9:56 pm

    Daley wants to stay as leader. Surely that is untenable.

    He has only been in the job for 3 months!

    Liberals have performed much worse and said many, many things that are worse than anything Michael Daley has done but they are always given a second, a third, a fourth chance to get things right. You only have to look at Scott ‘Murderers, Rapists and Paedophiles’ Morrison to see that. But apparently Labor leaders get one chance and one chance only. How is that fair?

  28. Again, I wouldn’t be getting too far ahead of ourselves on the a lot of these close seats. The prepolls are likely to bring changes.

    Gladys minority govt is pretty obvs the most likely result, but this count still has days to go.

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