Stretton by-election live

Live coverage of the count for today’s state by-election in Queensland.

Click here for full display of latest results.

Live commentary

10.04pm. The pre-polls are now in on two-party preferred, and the LNP ends the night with a 1.6% two-party swing. Diminishing batches of postals will be added over the coming week or so, together with a small number of provisional votes, but I’d say that’s it for this evening.

9.14pm. The main source of pre-polls has reported on the primary vote, accounting for 7507 votes with very little swing.

8.06pm. The addition of the postal votes on two-party preferred has pushed the LNP swing back over 2%.

7.52pm. The only outstanding results on the primary vote are a big set of pre-polls (maybe 6000) plus late postals; no TCP yet from the 5402 postals counted so far plus the Stretton polling booth. My two separate projections are now in close alignment, one crediting the LNP with a 1.6% swing, the other (which makes use of the booths that have so far only recorded primary votes) with 1.1%.

7.47pm. 5402 postal votes have been added on the primary vote — they have swung to the LNP by about 5%, though this may reflect a tendency of early arriving postal votes to be more conservative than later ones. In any case, it hasn’t changed by final projection too radically, which continues to show very little swing.

7.38pm. Four election day booths are now in on the primary vote, including three that are in on two-party preferred. My vanilla projection of the swing is 2.1% to the LNP, but after factoring in the booth that’s yet to report the TPP and crediting Labor with a higher share of preferences than last time, I’ve actually got a very slight swing to Labor on the overall projection. Maybe that won’t stick, but it’s clear that the LNP has picked up a small swing at best.

7.21pm. Small primary vote swing to the LNP at Runcorn East booth, where 1293 votes were cast.

7.18pm. The Kuraby booth, with 2076 primary votes, is better for the LNP — they’re up by 7.1%. My projection hasn’t changed much though, which I think is because another of the minor booths has reported on TPP and it’s given them a less good preference flow. This projection leans heavily on a preference estimate based on, at this stage, not enough minor party TPP votes (76 in all). The primary votes suggest an LNP swing of 3%-4%.

7.14pm. And with that, my projection is definitively calling it for Labor.

7.13pm. The first major result in is 2344 primary votes from the Sunnybank Hills booth, which record very little swing.

7.11pm. Still no election day results, which could well prove very different — but the three booths we have so far, of which two have TPP as well as primary vote results, suggest a swing to the LNP of insufficient size to put the result in doubt.

7.01pm. Actually, I think my primary vote projections are okay — Antony Green’s are identical.

6.59pm. ECQ booth now in on TPP, which I make to be a 2.1% swing there to the LNP, keeping in mind that this is their strongest result of the three sets of primary vote numbers so far. So it seems pretty clear that Labor aren’t in trouble. I believe there’s a problem with my primary vote projections, which I’m looking into.

6.49pm. The ECQ headquarters booth is in now on the primary vote: 154 votes, swinging slightly to the LNP. Still nothing on two-party preferred.

6.35pm. Now we’ve got “Telephone voting – early voting” as well. The distinction between this and the other telephone voting is unclear to me, but there’s 250 votes’ worth of these and they record a 6.4% drop on the primary vote.

6.15pm. “Telephone voting” is in: only 79 primary votes, little change since the election.

6pm. Polls have closed. I’m not sure when we will be seeing the first results — presumably the five election day polling booths will take a while, and the pre-poll booths still longer. However, the ECQ Headquarters booth in Brisbane will only account for a few hundred votes and shouldn’t take long to knock off if those votes are indeed being counted right away. There’s also telephone votes, which I can’t tell you about; a space for “mobile polling” results is listed, but I suspect there won’t actually be any.


Welcome to the live count thread for today’s by-election in the Queensland state seat of Stretton, which you can read all about here. The action will as ever commence with the close of booths at 6pm, with the first results presumably to follow an hour or so later.

The displays at the top of this post offer a glimpse of my full live results facility, which neatly lay out booth results and the swing calculations being used to project the result. It should be noted that the COVID-19 situation is making booth-matching an ever more fraught exercise: the number of election day polling booths has been cut from an already modest eight to an unheard-of low of five. For this purpose I have folded results from the decommissioned Calamvale booth into Stretton, Eight Miles Plains West into Runcorn East and Runcorn into Sunnybank Hills. We can presumably also expect to see a repeat of the state election when over third of the votes cast were postals.

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.

33 comments on “Stretton by-election live”

  1. AL

    It is wise to go on proven achievements.

    That said, he is probably better suited to being the father of the tribe but with no real power, IMO.

  2. I thought it was only delegates that attended conventions anyway. While non-delegates can watch the proceedings but its not a huge number that do.

    Its likely there is isn’t alot enthusiasm in the LNP ranks handing out how to votes cards for the bye-election and the convention is a cover. The expectations won’t be high for a win or a significant swing as been previously mentioned the sad circumstances surronding a very popular member that a bye-election was needed.

    “Meanwhile, the LNP is on the backfoot, with the government scheduled poll on the same day of the party’s annual state convention.

    LNP figures are frustrated many grassroots members won’t be able to man the booths for Mr Bellos.”

  3. HiT:

    I would say so. Between the loss of a popular incumbent and the usual by-election effect, a bit of a swing against the government was probably a given.

    Doubt there’s many conclusions either way that can really be drawn from this result, though. It’s a very safe seat deep in Labor heartland, and we’re over three years from the next state election.

  4. In PV, QLD Labor lost 1.2 %. But the Greens lost 2.1% .
    And PV swing to LNP is 3.3 % .
    So 2/3 of swing to LNP is from Greens

  5. Wise words from Antony Green:

    If you stare at the result for a long time you’ll probably see something, but it’s probably caused by staring for too long.

    The Greens would’ve lost a fraction of their vote to the AJP – the same thing happened at the state election last year (to either AJP or Legalise Cannabis). Not all the AJP voters are ex-Greens, though – Green prefs went 81% to Labor, AJP only 56%. One Nation sat this out, so the Libs and anti-vaxxers would’ve picked up some of their vote.

    But, yeah. What Antony said. It’s a bit of a nothingburger.

  6. You would expect a significantly larger swing in a by-election, especially in a safe seat where punters usually take the opportunity to keep the government on their toes.

    But if this swing was replicated, QLD Labor would lose three seats and still have a healthy majority.

    This is a very poor result for the LNP and the smart people in their room probably realise this.

  7. Yet another election in which the Greens surge has not eventuated.
    Bandt needs to have a good hard look at what he is about.

  8. Pretty much no change. Meanwhile the Borg is back as LNP President. At some point something is going to have to move in Queensland politics.

  9. Result: “ALP wins the Stretton by-election with 63.9% of votes”

    Tomorrow news headlines: “Swing of 0.9% against Labor at the Stretton by-election”


  10. “Historyintime says:
    Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 8:10 pm
    Is this a good result for the ALP in the circumstances.?”

    Winning with a 63.9% 2PP is a good result in any circumstance….

  11. Bird of paradox says:
    Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 9:10 pm
    Like a cracked record…

    *shakes head*

    The only beneficiaries of a rise in the Green vote are the reactionary Parties. The single best thing that can happen in Australian politics would be the election of a strong reforming Labor Government with a secure majority. The Greens do whatever they can to prevent this. They are instruments of reaction.

  12. I think that all else being equal there should have been a much larger swing to the LNP and that this is a good result for Labor and poor for the LNP. Candidate factors on both sides inflated the 2020 margin and the pandemic was already present in that baseline. Swing should have been at least average. Sympathy vote perhaps, but sympathy vote is not historically a thing (on average) at federal by-elections. Olympics 2032 announcement – no, or the prepolls should have been better for LNP. The current NSW outbreak news cycle etc – maybe, but I’m not convinced that’s all.

  13. Vensays:
    Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm
    In PV, QLD Labor lost 1.2 %. But the Greens lost 2.1% .
    And PV swing to LNP is 3.3 % .
    So 2/3 of swing to LNP is from Greens

    At the end of day’s counting things look ever more bad for Greens than my above post. So PV 3/4 of swing to LNP (2.8%) is from Greens.
    So it appears soft right LNPers, who wanted action on Climate change are going back to LNP.

  14. Great result for Q . ALP. It has to remembered the parochial and anti intellectual Courier Mail up here is vehemently opposed to the Labor party and uses every opportunity to highlight minor issues as a reason to resort to LNP rule. I’m a public servant who survived the maelstrom of Cando Newmans weird and”outre”vendetta driven regime. Throughout though CM gave strong support with even occasional supportive tweets from aged RW warrior in NYC. Anyway well done ALP. No swing at all and in some ways CM is Labors best friend by keeping them on the straight and narrow.

  15. The Borg is back but is this a good thing. To most city voters he reeks of country slowness and time standing still in a paddock somewhere ( crow noises optional). LNP has succeeded elsewhere with moderates like Marshall in SA even” Teflon Glad” in NSW. Qld. LNP will struggle to find these types as they are dominated by country party religious types. The Borg who on the surface at least seems like a reasonable guy has been rejected by mainstream city voters on several occasions and will probably not prove to be their saviour. ALP will be in forever barring some sort of NSW style corruption scandal.

  16. I wouldn’t be reading much into the swing against the Greens. Stretton isn’t an area they do well in at the best of times.

  17. PP:

    To be fair to Springborg, he pretty much is a reasonable moderate by the standards of the modern-day LNP. His challenge will be to wrest control of the SEQ branches from the loony Christian right and reign in the Canavan and Christensen types in the rest of the states – not sure he has much hope in succeeding in this task, but I imagine he’s savvy enough to realise it’s the only way they’ll be escaping the wilderness anytime soon.

  18. Campbell Newman has come out and slammed the LNP for the result. It’s an interesting tweet considering I’m pretty sure Newman wanted David Crisafulli not Deb Frecklington to be the QLD state opposition leader.

    I think Newman was part of the old Gary Spence/ Bruce McIver/Dave Hutchinson group who wanted to retain some influence in the LNP. That may be part of the motivation for the tweet. The new LNP reforms have been driven by the parliamentary section to limit the power in the executive wing.

    Former LNP premier Campbell Newman blasted his former party on social media over the result, saying it had missed an opportunity.

    “Jim Bellos is an excellent candidate who should be in Parliament but was let down by a party and leadership that never stands up for anything,” Mr Newman wrote on Twitter.

  19. Ven:

    So it appears soft right LNPers, who wanted action on Climate change are going back to LNP.

    It isn’t that simple. Apart from the three parties that contested both 2020 and the by-election, there’s two new parties who didn’t run in 2020 (AJP and IMOP), while One Nation ran in 2020 but not yesterday. Movement on primary votes would’ve been some Grn-AJP, some ON-LNP, and some random scattering of minor party votes. (The kind of people who vote ON 1 and Grn 2, against both major parties on principle.)

    All of it adds up to a 1% swing on 2pp… you’ve really gotta read some tea leaves to get anything out of that.

  20. In hindsight, the LNP would probably have been better off just sitting this one out. They were never going to come close to winning anyway, at least they would have spared themselves some embarrassment.

  21. BoP:

    Spot on. Only four parties ran in 2020: Labor, LNP, Greens, and One Nation. This time One Nation were absent, but we had another left-wing minor in Animal Justice as well as the anti-vaccination outfit IMOP, the latter of which probably attracted some of the Greens’ small but notable anti-vax fringe. I think that would have accounted for most of the movements we saw last night.

    Only real conclusion I can draw from these results is that State Labor’s support in South East Queensland probably hasn’t changed since the 2020 poll.

  22. ‘Asha Leu says:
    Sunday, July 25, 2021 at 12:57 pm

    I wouldn’t be reading much into the swing against the Greens. Stretton isn’t an area they do well in at the best of times.’
    In isolation, no.
    The pattern, with the odd outlier, is that the Greens are getting poor electoral results and that their polling is not all that flash either.
    Part of that pattern, IMO, is that single issue protest parties are leaching some of the Greens’ older appeal. It is an irony that the Greens are being out-extremed by fanatics such as those in the animal rights space.
    Other than that, I suggest that Bandt’s extremism is less palatable than Di Natale’s centrism. Naturally the Greens’ revolutionary ideologues could not bear the latter and went for the former.

  23. BW:

    I think you’re seeing what you want to see, to be honest. The Greens vote has been fairly static for nearly a decade now, sometimes with swings towards them, sometimes against, but generally wobbling around 10% nationwide.

    One area where things have changed is just where their vote is concentrated, as they increasingly court the inner-city and leafy suburbs vote. This has led to lower house gains, but may well come to bite them in the Senate and state upper houses if the trend continues.

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