Thursday, March 28
I’ve been getting my head together the past few days, and have just checked the count for the first time in a while, specifically for the Legislative Council, where the votes are now being counted properly after the election night “initial count” that only gave us a clear sense of above-the-line votes for seven parties. With about 9% of the vote counted on what’s called the “progressive check count”, you would think we were looking at seven each for the Coalition and Labor, two for the Greens and one apiece for One Nation, Shooters, Keep Sydney Open and the Liberal Democrats, with the last seat a toss-up between Animal Justice, the Christian Democrats and Sustainable Australia. However, Kevin Bonham is doing a far better job than I am of keeping score, particularly in adjusting for the fact that the counts in some electorates are more advanced than others. His projections seem to suggest that the Coalition are going to take an eighth seat and that Labor is only assured of sixth; that Animal Justice, the Christian Democrats and Sustainable Australia are all unlikely to win a seat; and that the last three seats are a game of musical chairs between Labor’s #7, One Nation’s #2, Keep Sydney Open and the Liberal Democrats (i.e. David Leyonhjelm).
Tuesday, March 26
Whatever doubt remained about Dubbo, and by extension the government’s majority, was laid to rest yesterday by the 12,319 votes at the pre-poll voting centre in Dubbo, which broke 5493-4728 for Nationals candidate Dugald Saunders over independent Mathew Dickerson. With a further 4581 votes from smaller pre-polls, iVotes and postals breaking almost perfectly evenly, Saunders’ lead has increased from 186 to 960.
Sunday, March 24
I don’t have much of substance to offer yet, but this post will feature regular updates over the next week or two to follow the late counting in New South Wales. The Greens conceded defeat in Lismore yesterday, which surprised me a little, but obviously they would know things I don’t. Clearly then they will drop out at the last count and leave the final count as a race between Labor’s Janelle Saffin and Nationals candidate Austin Curtin (the Nationals incumbent, Thomas George, is retiring). On the notional two-candidate preferred count between the two, Saffin has a surely decisive lead of 3.9%.
Another seat where a Nationals incumbent is retiring, Dubbo, remains in doubt between Nationals candidate Dugald Saunders and independent Mathew Dickerson, with Saunders holding a 0.6% lead. Past history strongly indicates the independent will lose ground on late counting, so this seems very like to remain with the Nationals, but I will continue following the count. A Nationals win would ensure a majority for the government, assuming it stays ahead in East Hills, as it almost certainly will. I will also continue following Coogee, although Labor looks to have that in the bag, one of its only two gains.