Federal election live: day two

An explanation of the Poll Bludger results system’s reading of the situation, and some observations on the likely make-up of the Senate.

Click here for full federal election results updated live.

Sunday updates

4pm. I gather that in seats where the AEC deemed it had picked the wrong candidates for the TCP count, it has picked new candidates and is throwing to those with the postal vote counts it is conducting today. Presumably it will do new TCP counts for the ordinary votes in these seats in due course, but for now the only TCP figures in these seats are for postals.

That at least is the situation in Bradfield, and I’ve rejigged everything for that seat so the page shows whatever results are available from the fresh TCP count rather than the redundant Liberal-versus-Labor one. The independent contender, Nicolette Boele, hasn’t done nearly as well on the postals (13.8%) as the pre-poll (24.6%) and polling booths (23.1%). She has however received nearly three-quarters of the preferences from the postals, which leave her short by around 52-48 if applied to the overall results. However, she will presumably lose further ground as more postals are added.

I’ll now to through all the other seats where I’d have thought this might be happening and will add commentary as I go.

End of election night

A lot more naturally remains to be said, but as was the case with the commentary I offered here last night, I’ll let my results system do the talking and mostly limit myself to explaining what it’s up to. First, I should note that my reading of the national two-party preferred – 52.8-47.2 in favour of Labor – is 1% stronger for Labor than the ABC’s, which is quite a lot closer to Nine’s projection, and I’m not going to pretend you should take my word for it over theirs. I’ll have a closer look at this tomorrow, but given the state of the primary votes and the large number of votes still outstanding, a lot of this is necessarily based on projection.

As you can see at the top of the entry page, I’m currently calling 71 seats for Labor, 46 for the Coalition, two for the Greens, three for independents and one for Katter’s Australian Party. However, this largely reflects the fact that the system is very cautious in making calls in most of the seats where independents and the Greens are looking formidable, for reasons that will be explained shortly.

Bennelong, Gilmore, Deakin, Menzies, Bass, Lyons, Sturt, Lingiari, Moore and — to stretch the elastic a little — Monash, Casey and Dickson are the old-fashioned kind of in doubt, with close races between Labor and Coalition candidates that could go either way on late counting. Projections here are based on comparison of how the votes in so far matched up with the equivalent votes last time, and an assumption that postals, absents and out-of-division pre-polls will record broadly similar swings (there are also a fair few pre-poll voting centres around the place that didn’t complete their counting last night, despite the head start they had for the first time in sorting their envelopes from 4pm).

However, it’s possible that postal votes in particular will behave quite a bit differently this time in swing terms due to a roughly 70% increase in the application rate. If that results in the postal voter pool being more demographically representative, these votes could be less conservative than usual. For the time being though, this is only a hypothesis.

Most of the seats that are listed as in doubt are ones where there is no historic data by which this result can readily be compared with the last, as is the case in the many seats where non-incumbent independents are in the race. My system applies a wider margin of error in these cases, meaning a fairly substantial lead is required before the 99% probability threshold is crossed and the seat is deemed to be called. For example, no human observer doubts that Allegra Spender has defeated Dave Sharma in Wentworth, but my system isn’t all the way there yet.

The AEC has pulled its two-candidate preferred counts in 15 seats where it deems it picked the wrong candidates, although it seems this hasn’t caused the results to disappear from my pages, which I believe is a happy accident. My two-party projections in these seats work off my estimates of how preferences will flow to the candidates deemed likely to finish first and second. There are a few here that warrant explanation or discussion:

Brisbane. While it is clear LNP member Trevor Evans will lose this seat, it is not clear to whom he will lose out of the Labor and the Greens candidates. The AEC conducted a traditional two-candidate count between the major party candidates, but has discontinued it because Labor is running third. However, it’s far from clear that it won’t prove to have had it right the first time after all the votes are in. There would not be much point in a fresh two-candidate count here as it is already clear who would win between the Greens and the LNP. It would be more instructive to determine how many preferences from the minor candidates are going to Labor and how many to the Greens. Most likely we will not be sure of the result here until the full preference distribution is conducted, which can’t happen until all the votes are in.

Griffith. Here too Labor is running third, but in this case it’s the Greens first and LNP second rather than vice-versa. Labor’s Terri Butler could theoretically make it over the line on preferences if she moved in to second, but the flow of One Nation and United Australia Party preferences to the LNP are likely to put paid to that.

Ryan. My projection of a 52.6% Greens two-party vote over the LNP is based on an estimated 85-15 split of Labor preferences, which the ABC seemingly expects to be even wider, because it has it at 53.7-46.3.

Macnamara. Labor, the Greens and the Liberals are very close on the primary vote, and to the extent that the Liberals are slightly behind, I’m projecting them to make up most of the gap on late counting. So any three of them might end up being excluded before the final count. I would have thought Labor would win on either scenario where it clears this hurdle, since Liberal preferences favour them over the Greens fairly solidly when they direct their preferences that way. However, the ABC is projecting a lineball Labor-Greens result, so perhaps I’m wrong. If so, a fresh two-candidate count between Labor and the Greens would be instructive, but it would only apply if the Liberals did indeed go out before either of them. Certainly the Greens will win if it’s Labor that gets excluded.

Cowper. Independent Caz Heise landed well clear of Labor, and with Nationals member Pat Conaghan well short of a majority at 40.4%, my projection is that she will take it right up to him after preferences. We will need a two-candidate count to see exactly how accurate that is, which presumably the AEC will be forthcoming with fairly shortly – perhaps as soon as today.

Bradfield. A similar story here, with yet another independent, Nicolette Boele, outpolling Labor to finish a clear second, while Liberal member Paul Fletcher is on less of the primary vote than he would like. My preference estimates suggest Boele won’t quite get there, but here too we will need a new two-candidate count to see if I am right.

Now for a very quick look at the Senate before I collapse altogether. It seems to me there is a fairly strong possibility of what Labor would regard as a rather happy result where they and the Greens between them have half the numbers, and can get the extra votes needed to pass legislation from two Jacqui Lambie Network Senators or ACT independent David Pocock. Each of the six states seem to be looking at results where the first five seats have gone two Labor, two Coalition and one Greens, with the last seat up for grabs. To deal with the latter situation in turn:

New South Wales. Most likely a third seat for the Coalition in New South Wales, unless right-wing preferences lock in strongly behind One Nation.

Victoria. Probably the United Australia Party unless preferences flow strongly to Legalise Cannabis, a possibility I hope to be able to shed more light on after running an analysis on past ballot paper data.

Queensland. Probably Pauline Hanson but possibly Legalise Cannabis, who have been something of a surprise packet across all Senate races but particularly here at 6.7%. Neither Clive Palmer nor Campbell Newman are in contention.

Western Australia. The strongest possibility would seem to be a third seat for Labor, something it has never managed before in Western Australia and indeed hasn’t managed anywhere at a half-Senate election since 2010. However, I will also investigate the possibility that One Nation and Legalise Cannabis might be in contention instead.

South Australia. Very likely One Nation’s Jennifer Game, whose daughter Sarah Game won the party’s seat in the state Legislative Council in March, and has quickly emerged as something of a surprise packet. Out of contention is Nick Xenophon, whose “Group O” managed only 2.7%.

Tasmania. A second seat for the Jacqui Lambie Network, whose Tammy Terrell is on 8.1%, almost matching the 8.3% the party managed with Lambie at the top of the ticket in 2019.

Then there’s the Australian Capital Territory, where in yet another triumph for teal independence, David Pocock seems assured of unseating conservative Liberal Zed Seselja. The ABC projection says otherwise, but it seems to me that Seselja will assuredly be buried by the flow of preferences to Pocock from the Greens and Kim Rubenstein.

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.

1,705 comments on “Federal election live: day two”

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  1. Congratulations Albo and the ALP and thank you William for the great blog!

    Now to business. Forget “enough’s enough”, Julian Assange shouldn’t have had even a finger laid on him. The prosecutions of David McBride and Bernard Collaery also need to be called off and justice sought against those who brought about these gross abuses of power. And that’s just the start, get ASPI out of the ABC, they’re nothing but warmongers.

  2. Labor and the Greens got smashed in QLD in 2019 after Bob Brown rolled into town and told them what to do.
    This time Scummo, the PM for Sydney, paid the price for telling Sandgropers what to do.


  3. Thanks William for a great job last night.

    What a night! Senate looks a bit wild, but looks like Abetz is finally gone so that’s good news.

  4. What is left of the Liberal party now? They really are just a party of ideologically radical reactionaries now. This all started with Howard and his war on the moderates and culminated with Morrison and his war on women, truly ensuring the party is now one for old white men.

  5. Anthony Albanese bet everything on a Scott Morrison failure, and his bet has paid off handsomely.

    Morrison has delivered for Labor. He has not only lost power. By surrendering all traditional Liberal values, he has cost the Liberal Party its bedrock support base. He was a bulldozer, all right. He bulldozed his party into electoral oblivion.

    The Liberal leader became so poisonous to traditional Liberal voters that he dared not show his face in traditional Liberal heartland. He single-handedly turned blue-ribbon Liberal seats teal.

    The Liberals have long been a “broad church” of conservatives and liberals, but Morrison was a self-described pragmatist. He didn’t believe in government living within its means, he didn’t believe in free markets, and he was not interested in integrity. So he lost the conservatives.

    But neither did he care about liberalism and its tenets. He was baffled by women’s demands for respect and justice, hostile to the rights of people on welfare with Robodebt debacle, and thought that dog-whistling against transgender kids was political genius.


  6. William

    Thanking you very much for all your hard work and all the interesting data and links you supply, time for some sleep.

  7. Morning all, hope those of you who partake in alcoholic beverages aren’t too hung over. Looking forward to the opportunities the next few years afford.

    Senate result is looking quite interesting in a number of states.

  8. And congratulations also need to go to the Greens. Adam Bandt is most definitely not my cup of tea, but clearly Greens and would-be Greens voters see something in him that appeals to them.

  9. Barrie Cassidy@barriecassidy·
    Disappointed the ABC could not even congratulate Tanya Plibersek for Labor’s win but instead they should be embarrassed about the greens winning a couple of seats. Reset guys. You don’t have to be cowed anymore.

    Tanya told members she would be on the ABC commentary last night, but would attend her election night party arriving somewhere between 8 and 9pm. I’m kind of annoyed I didn’t go now.

    I was disappointed with the ABC coverage, I think next time I’ll be watching another channel.

  10. It looks like the poll adjustments have worked reasonably well. Looks to within the margin of error.
    The flow of votes to Teal Independents on one side & Greens in the other is a lesson for the Major parties.
    Whereas Labor under Albanese can easily move left I don’t think the same is possible for the Libs under Morrison or Dutton (or whoever gets the poisoned chalice this time). Primary because the Liberal moderates are now gone.
    I’m hoping Albo will be inclusive enough with the Teals that they’ll sit more comfortably with Labor than the LNP.
    My expectation is Murdoch & MSM will now go fully feral. A Media RC into foreign ownership & concentration within markets is critical as is implementation oof recommendations.
    The Senate makeup is now critical.

  11. William,

    Thanks for the great site and your ongoing commitment to the tried and trusted old school discussion boards.

    Unless I am foolishly missing something obvious, why do your projections have the LNP winning in Gilmore despite the Labor candidate Philips being almost 1400 votes clear ahead? Cheers LB

  12. Itep you were a buzz killer early in the peaceonce first results started to trickle lol- this will bleed out to an 80 odd seat majority early next week

  13. Just watching a recap of last night on ABC24 and a replay of Josh’s speech. A terrible concession speech from him, whiny, indulgent, disbelieving that he has lost his seat, an indication of the entitlement mentality of many Liberals.

  14. When the first green candidates were successful in the western world it was 1981 in West Germany when a couple of them entered the Bonn federal parliament. The green phenomenon has been a constant and consistently growing and evolving feature among all legitimate western liberal democracies including Australia.

    Systems like ours need to accept the fact that it is the political power of the future as more and more conventional citizens prioritise environmental concerns. The big question to be answered is just how much it will impact two party systems like ours

  15. There is still a possible upset in Wannon, the three parties who’s HTVs went against Dyson didn’t have much (or any) booth coverage, so the PHON, UAP, LD preferences might still go reasonably well to Dyson as a protest vote.

  16. Finally we will get action on AGW after the coalition dismantled the last effective policies we had on reducing GHGEs.

    We will also get a federal ICAC which should have real teeth, esp if the cross bench helps shape it.

    And importantly the Indigenous Voice is finally a reality. Bandt said before the election that the Greens would not oppose a Labor govt on this front, even though Greens position is quite different. Let’s hope this happens.

    The Senate outcome notwithstanding, by their own intransigence and obfuscation the Liberals and Nationals have dealt themselves out of the picture on all three issues, and will now be bystanders to the process.

  17. Queensland NOT giving Campbell Newman another suck at the sauce bottle? We CAN learn, up here north of the Tweed!

    Thanks to William as ever, and thinking of Zoe/Lizzie and KayJay, who would have loved this.

  18. In defeat, Frydenburg and Wilson showed their absolute born-to-rule attitudes.

    How dare the peasants toss us off the gravy train!

    They did not see that they could have in anyway contributed to their own demise. It was all due to conspiracies against them.

    Timmy of the IPA was particularly aggrieved and angry! 🙂

  19. leftieBrawler

    “ Systems like ours need to accept the fact that it is the political power of the future as more and more conventional citizens prioritise environmental concerns. The big question to be answered is just how much it will impact two party systems like ours.”

    Plus one. Welcome to the new world.

  20. The result followed recent election trends

    Lib/nats combined primary vote declines they will lose seats

    Labor primary vote remains stable they gain seats

  21. Morrison showed his true colours during his “concession” speech which ran more like a call to arms, rich in self delusion and false narratives.

    As a born and bred Labor man John Howard was the enemy, but as one grows older you tend to feel a sense of misplaced nostalgia and respect toward a formerly failed Polly who was not only able to reinvent himself and knock off Keating ( the best political animal we’ve seen)-but also was the last of the pre news cycle leaders. A time of stability and self discipline among a party room. While he almost brought down our IR system and declared war on the union movement I give him credit for his consistent style and how he stood up to the gun lobby.

    So to see Morrison not once but TWICE attempt to jam Howard’s somewhat reformed good name as an elder statement into his rambling cluster phuk was just pathetic. I don’t think Johnny would have been very impressed at all with that cheap trick!. Morrison is no John Howard and his attempts to distribute the blame was a disgrace

  22. We’ll who could’ve imagined, the most amazing result. I sense genuine political change in Australia in a multi-party system. If anyone can make this work, Albo can. Conservatism is now cornered but wounded and angry so we need to be aware and very cautious of Dutton pretending to be a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

  23. Morrison showed his true colours Olin his “concession” speech which ran more like a call to arms rich in self delusion and narrative.

    There was suggestion on social media that SfM didn’t prepare a concession speech. If that’s true then it might explain the deluge of Liberal faithful truisms through his speech.

  24. The clearer these results become the more I become VERY proud of being Australian. After 9 years of feeling we were heading down the same regressive path as the US, I finally find hope for the future.

    If, as Albo says, we can become a renewable energy superpower. And if we can become a leader in protecting the rights and voice of women. Then I feel Australia can define itself beyond the America 2.0 label often assigned to us.

    I am very excited for the future! Here’s hoping these – relatively – modest dreams can be achieved. And if we can go beyond, then here’s hoping to that!

  25. On the QLD Greens, my vote was not for Adam Bandt, but more influenced by the likes of Jonno Sri, Michael Berkman and Amy McMahon. They are all very good down to earth communicators and come across as having an earnest passion to do the right thing. Sri in particular is a machine. Never stops working, really puts his money where his mouth is etc etc. I don’t know if the Green’s presumptively elected here last night will be as good, but they do feel like a more human class of Pollie.

  26. People can say labor primary vote was low , no arguments

    But it shows Labor can form minority or majority governments with primary vote that low

  27. Will Dutton be elected leader? I know the cupboard is pretty bare, but surely if the aim is to win back those Liberal heartland voters, the party needs to embrace real change. And that starts with a move away from the reactionary ideologues and back to the sensible centre.

  28. Here is a remarkable stat

    The Lib/nats primary vote fell 10% 2013-2022
    Lib/nats won the 2013 federal election with combined primary vote 45.5% – 2022 Federal election 35.5%

  29. Thanks William for the fantastic results board: I loved how few clicks it took to get me exactly to the information I was looking for.

    Waking up with a bit of a sore head (and sore legs and feet from standing up for much of the day handing out HTVs), the election results still look pretty strange to me. I did not expect the Greens to do so well, although I suspect what this was about was not so much an endorsement of their entire suite of policies as it was a strong statement by many voters about their concerns regarding climate change, which was even more strongly reflected in seats where Teal candidates were running.

    Having said that, it would also seem to be the case that the Millenials and those a little younger still are a more radical bunch than we have seen in that age group since the 1970s. The strong votes for Legalise Cannabis in some states are pretty extraordinary. A marijuana party in various guises ran in several Federal elections in the past, but seems to have been less visible in recent years. But, even in the 1970s, when dope culture seemed to be stronger than now, the marijuana candidates only received small handfuls of votes.

    The Liberals (but not, it would seem, the Nationals) have experienced a substantial collapse in their vote, although I suspect some of that will be clawed back when the postals are counted. As William has said, it would appear that a broader cross-segment of the population will have used postals this time due to COVID restrictions, and this will probably work to reduce the extent to which they favour the Coalition. But, on the other hand, the many voters in nursing homes and hospitals who would normally have access to mobile booths on election day are going to be voting by post this time. (And, as others have suggested, some will have missed out altogether, but I think sitting Coalition members will have been doing their best to make sure their supporters in this situation will have completed postal votes.)

    I think the consequence will be that postal votes will still favour the Coalition, and definitely won’t help the Teals and the Greens so much. And Labor will claw back its position to one in which there was no nationwide swing against them or perhaps even a slight swing towards them. It’s still a bit difficult to predict what Labor’s final seat tally will be: presumably somewhere in the mid-70s.

  30. @GoldenSmaug
    ‘My expectation is Murdoch & MSM will now go fully feral.’

    How much more feral can they get? I mean, short of actually flinging their excrement at Labor pollies, what more can they possibly do?

  31. And does that make Brisbane the Green Capital of Australia? Just incredible. The slight downside will be the extreme divide within Qld worsening the SEQLD/Regions split. This won’t be an easy evolution but it’s necessary and good Albo leadership can help slowly break down the conservative hold on this state.

  32. Albo’s inspiring pitch to make us a renewable super power brought me back to the excitable Rex Connor and his great visions for our resources sector during the Whitlam days. Rex would be proud!.

    With so many teals in the parliament and the progressive tilt the electorate just demonstrated if I was Albo I’d strike while the irons hot and legislate a Scandinavian style sovereign tax on the mining sector and have a 50/50 profit split with the miners on a take it or leave it basis

  33. BiltongCinematicU says:
    Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 7:02 am

    “I would add women to that!”

    Absolutely +1 and so should it always have been. The addition of so many brilliant women into our parliament should hopefully put this nation on the path to equity but also see us reach our true potential. And smarter and fairer and more forward looking.

  34. Federal icac, family home to Biloela, indue card scrapped, action on climate change and fixing the nbn.

  35. Cronus @ #46 Sunday, May 22nd, 2022 – 7:09 am

    And does that make Brisbane the Green Capital of Australia? Just incredible. The slight downside will be the extreme divide within Qld worsening the SEQLD/Regions split. This won’t be an easy evolution but it’s necessary and good Albo leadership can help slowly break down the conservative hold on this state.

    Blows away the disparaging comments about Queensland and Queenslanders often made, including on PB. There are a few specific regional issues but in general there is not ll that much difference from the rest of Australia.

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