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. Firefox, in the north I’d say news of Greens demise was regarded as BS and the Labor shit-posting flyers mocking and attacking the Greens, from Sussex St, around those seats probably boosted the Green vote to my mind
    I wouldn’t take the MSM or PB commentary for the reality out there. I long ago gave up trying to change many or any minds around here.
    Being a grass roots locally based party, individual seat Greens results vary considerably depending upon local matters and candidates
    AJP (1.4%) and KSO (1.3%) probably account for some changes in Greens PV as well. Sustainable Aust? Some votes gone all over the place. Majors together still only ~75%

  2. The results clearly demonstrate that Daley’s (regrettable) comments about Asians made sweet FA of a difference to the overall result.

  3. “Personally I prefer our leaders don’t get caught on tape saying racist things.”

    you wouldn’t have read it in any murdoch rag, but the full transcript was that Daley sees “Asian PhDs” coming here as “a good thing” – but he was making a point about crowding and people getting priced out of the housing markets, and chose a stupid example. He wasn’t dog whistling like the federal libs like to do.

    This was an orchestrated propaganda campaign by a media group – we should all be concerned about such media bias.

    that said, labor were unlikely to win this

  4. Mr Squiggle

    The result is not final. And there was a major LA campaign in NSW by the AJP that would soak up some Green vote growth.
    Where the Greens focussed their campaigns, where they have members or were in with a chance, their results have grown. Looks like good strategy by the Greens.

    And despite those claiming the NSW Greens would disappear and with internal disputes going public, they held their own.

    If not Lismore this time, next time. ✔️

  5. It’s really no different to the ALP and the press doing a number on Mr Morrison for the things he said in the shadow cabinet in 2010.

    Actually it’s substantially different given there is actual footage of Daley making those comments whereas the ScoMo race baiting is on he-said-she-said third party accounts.

  6. KB

    10:25 Legislative Council – people have been quoting some high figures for One Nation and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, but these were from unrepresentative rural booths that favoured both parties. One Nation are now just below 6% and the Shooters on 5.18%, so currently each is on for one seat with One Nation some chance of two. Even off half their current vote they would still win, so I’m confident each has one seat. We still don’t know what the breakdown of other parties looks like and who else might be in the mix.

  7. Douglas and Milko,
    Congratulations on your sterling effort today! I imagine you are feeling as buggered as I am. It was a loooong day, eh?

    However, Labor had better be ready for a similar campaign at Federal level – support in the MSM, looking very positive, and some real dirt in the last week and the MSM suddenly turning.

    Yes, if nath’s contributions are anything to go by you have to think that a rabidly partisan media will be scouring every last millisecond of footage of Bill Shorten and every answer he has ever given in his Town Hall meetings for that same sort of Gotcha! moment to fling at Labor just when it suits them to. For maximum effect.

  8. I don’t think it reaches the level of ‘racist’, quite frankly.

    Actually you’re right, my mistake. Not racist so much as a misstep.

    You get caught on tape saying things about people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it’s a small step for your opponents to make hay with it. Look at that freshman Congress woman in the US who unwittingly misspoke and set off an anti-semitic debate in her party that sucked away valuable media focus at a time when Trump was melting down over North Korea?

  9. Ben Raue

    Let’s have a quick look at the upper house. We’ve got less than 20% of the vote counted, so it’s quite early, but we do have a sense of how the bigger parties are performing.

    The Coalition is sitting on 7.3 quotas, with Labor on 6.2 quotas. The Greens are just over two quotas, with One Nation on 1.4 quotas and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers on 1.3 quotas. That adds up to 17 out of 21 seats decided on primary votes, assuming the percentages don’t change dramatically.

    Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party is on 0.45 quotas while Animal Justice is on 0.37 quotas.

    But there’s over 13% of the vote in the ‘others’ pile. This includes all below-the-line votes, above-the-line votes for other groups, and informal votes with markings on the paper.

    We don’t have a sense of the primary vote for Keep Sydney Open, Sustainable Australia, Liberal Democratic Party or Jeremy Buckingham.

    We do get a little bit of a sense by looking at the lower house primary votes. Sustainable Australia, who ran in 58 out of 93 seats, are on 1.5% of the vote. Keep Sydney Open are running in 42 out of 93 seats and have polled 1.3% so far. It seems entirely possible that either party could poll over 2% and have a chance at winning one of the final upper house seats.

  10. Looking at it from a longer term perspective, given that the last Labor Government in NSW was so disastrously corrupt and was recorded the lowest 2PP on record in 2011, it’s not surprising that the coalition is proving difficult to dislodge. In retrospect, the coalition did quite a lot worse than might have been expected in 2015 so maybe this election outcome is about what you’d expect over two terms from 2011.

    The coalition seem to have entrenched themselves in parts of the State that were traditionally strong for Labor. Monaro is just one example but there are many Sydney seats in the same position. It will probably take a landslide coalition loss at some point in future to break that pattern.

  11. sustainable future @ #554 Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 – 10:27 pm

    “Personally I prefer our leaders don’t get caught on tape saying racist things.”

    you wouldn’t have read it in any murdoch rag, but the full transcript was that Daley sees “Asian PhDs” coming here as “a good thing” – but he was making a point about crowding and people getting priced out of the housing markets, and chose a stupid example. He wasn’t dog whistling like the federal libs like to do.

    This was an orchestrated propaganda campaign by a media group – we should all be concerned about such media bias.

    that said, labor were unlikely to win this

    Exactly. To believe the Murdoch media’s interpretation of events is to want to believe. Rather than getting the complete picture.

    Jeez, you’d think people would be smart enough to realise the damage that can be caused with a carefully edited piece of footage of a politician. But no, people fall for it hook, line and sinker every time.

  12. I wonder if Labor may now try for a Dan Andrews in NSW

    You mean in terms of having a detailed, visionary transport policy? I hope so.

  13. sf:

    I didn’t comment about the Daley revelations here at the time because I didn’t have the full context. Yes in hindsight it was obvious he was trying to draw inferences to the housing and jobs markets and young people being driven out of their communities due to high income investors with the capital and income security to buy into those suburbs.

    There, I just said what Daley was alluding to without mentioning any specific cultural group. That said, the one comment I did make in the wake of the Daley reports was to note that Bushfire Bill said precisely the same thing Daley said about Asian property buyers in Sydney at the time he was selling his home, yet I can’t recall anyone scorching him over it.

  14. Confessions @ #559 Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 – 10:31 pm

    I don’t think it reaches the level of ‘racist’, quite frankly.

    Actually you’re right, my mistake. Not racist so much as a misstep.

    You get caught on tape saying things about people of diverse cultural backgrounds, it’s a small step for your opponents to make hay with it. Look at that freshman Congress woman in the US who unwittingly misspoke and set off an anti-semitic debate in her party that sucked away valuable media focus at a time when Trump was melting down over North Korea?

    Exactly. When one is a politician of the Left, up against the behemoth media supporting the Right and the Elites of which they are a part which profits handsomely from that support of the Right, you have to be very, very, very careful with every word joined to every other word that you say, in public especially.

  15. Confessions @ 10.28pm

    I take your point, I was more trying to emphasise that politicians shouldn’t claim to be hardly done by when their words come back to bite them. (Personally I don’t think the Morrison case is much different; it’s just that in relation to him, the evidence is circumstantial rather than direct, but almost as compelling, for mine.)

    Lee Kuan Yew, interviewed back in the 70s on the old Monday Conference program on the ABC, responded to what his interlocutor thought was a “gotcha” question with a Chinese proverb, which he translated as “One word goes out, four horses can’t drag it back”. Good advice to political leaders, from one of the very best.

  16. Remember the Liberals had 10 mps who were found to be getting illegal donation, who knows what has happened since, as the Liberals neutered ICAC.
    The liberals are just as corrupt, but you just don’t hear about it.

  17. Fascinating to compare the vituperation that prevails in online political forums with the way real world political opponents and journalists behave towards each other when the cameras stop rolling.

  18. C@tmomma
    Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 10:43 pm
    You went from saying everyone in the ALP seemed to hate Janelle Saffin, to saying they didn’t!
    No, I just said that some on here were doing that.

  19. Good to see Gladys is still the premier but what a disappointment that it’ll be with either a very large minority or slight majority. Let’s hope we have a strong upper house result to demand some forward thinking social policies from the government. If Daley wanted to win outright he needed a proper infrastructure policy, not just to point out the obvious flaws in the government’s.

  20. This is my guess for how the 21 LegCo seats will be divvied up this election. Some wishful thinking involved in not giving a seat to LDP/CON/Sustainable or a second seat to ONP. Party totals with 2015 added in parentheses.
    LNP 8 (17)
    ALP 6 (13)
    GRN 2 (4)
    SFF 1 (2)
    ONP 1 (1)
    Keep Sydney Open 1 (1)
    AJP 1 (2)
    CDP 1 (2)

  21. Pedant – I agree. If people here think Daley’s comments were sensible, and that it’s OK, when talking about a problem in the community to associate it even obliquely with a particular ethnic group – then I’d suggest they can look forward to many more election results like this one. One of the most satisfying aspects of the Victorian election result was that the African gangs thing (out and out racism rather than racialised commentary a la Daley) came back to bite the Liberals in the arse. They played the race card and their vote sank like a stone. Daley’s comments were offensive and stupid and left him vulnerable to the charge of dog whistling. BB’s invocation of Asians – he used the expression invasion last week- was also facile and offensive – more so than Daley’s

  22. Pedant:

    That quote applies equally to social media!!


    As ratsak said, Daley gave the material to those media outlets himself by making those remarks. If he didn’t want to send a racist message he could’ve just as equally found other words that would’ve had just as much resonance. As I did: first home owners vs high income property investors says exactly the same thing without the racial undertones.

  23. If Daley said exactly what he said without specifically mentioning “Asians with PhDs” it’d be a total non-story imo, yeah.

  24. I doubt Daley’s comments were that decisive in the outcome. Truth is ALP should have known they will have a hostile media. In Victoria Labor has got a very strong social media game. Having progressive policies also help with increasing social media engagement.

    This is much harder from the opposition, especially when Daley took the rains after Foley’s fuck up. Damn, what a missed opportunity.

    Still, if Gladys falls into minority government it is not a terrible outcome as Labor majority was a tall order even on a good night. I have to say I was hoping for Labor to win but results show my observation from Victoria was out of line with the lived experience of NSW people.

  25. William Bowe
    Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 10:42 pm
    Fascinating to compare the vituperation that prevails in online political forums with the way real world political opponents and journalists behave towards each other when the cameras stop rolling.
    Although isn’t it a truism that pollies usually get along better with opponents than most on their own side. Simply because they are not really competitive with each other. I recall that Graham Richardson didn’t speak to his ALP neighbour in the next office in Parliament for over 13 years. Not one word.

  26. William:

    Is there any insight as to why the count is so slow? It’s nearly 11pm Sydney time and not even 60% of the vote counted.

  27. What are you trying to say William? That the pollies are civil? I hope not. I don’t want my Labor MP to get all warm and fuzzy with the likes of Dutton, Tudge and co. I want them to be more from the Eddie Ward school.

  28. In 4 years. There will be a new stadium or 2. Some people might have just played footy at the new stadium before they vote. There will be brand new roads and brand new rail lines people took to voting. Let’s just say the Obeid-Tripoli -MacDonald -Carr government lasted 16 years……

  29. Academics often get along better with academics from other universities than their own department colleagues. Simply because they are not in direct competition with each other for promotions etc.

  30. Btw, whatever pelican was telling me this morning that Granville was going to fall to the government, I haven’t even heard it mentioned once!

  31. Can’t believe Labor people are still defending the Asian comment. It was a stupid, stupid way to say what Daley was trying to say and if roles were reversed a Labor would have used it in exactly the same way.

    Yes, the media sucks. So Labor simply cannot give them that kind of ammunition.

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