Late counting: rolling coverage

Progressively updated commentary on late counting of the results from the 2022 federal election.

Click here for full federal election results updated live.

Saturday, May 28

As I should have noted yesterday, the AEC has published all-important three-candidate preferred counts for Brisbane and Macnamara, where the results hinge on who will finish second and third out of the Labor and the Greens. With “88% of the total expected ballot papers” accounted for in Brisbane, the Greens lead Labor by 29.55% to 28.56% (with the LNP on 41.89%), which is sufficient for the ABC to have called the result.

Macnamara on the other hand is exquisitely close three ways, with the Liberal candidate on 33.56%, Labor member Josh Burns on 33.50% and Greens candidate Steph Hodgins-May on 32.93%. This suggests 46.9% of minor candidate preferences are going to Liberal, 35.9% are going to the Greens and only 17.2% are going to Labor. For the Greens to win, two things need to happen after the remaining 6500 or so outstanding votes are counted: they need to close their 495 vote deficit against Labor, and the Liberals need to not fall to third.

The first of these seems entirely possible. If the outstanding batches behave like those already counted, they should make up around 200 out of 3300 pre-polls and 100 out of 1100 declaration pre-polls. If the 300 or so provisionals behave like they did in 2019, they should make up a further 40 or so. Then there’s the COVID votes, of which there are about 1000, and which are apparently also expected to favour the Greens. Postals are diminishing in number, but each batch continues to be better for the Greens than the last, to the extent that today’s was the first on which they gained on Labor.

As for the Liberals, the 3CP count has them 545 ahead of the Greens and 50 ahead of Labor. There seems no particular reason to think they will either gain or lose in large degree relative to Labor out of any of the remaining vote types, so everything that was just said about the Greens relative to Labor applies to the Greens relative to Liberal as well. The question is whether the chips just happen to fall in such a way that Labor gains 50 votes or so at their expense. I am flying blind here with respect to the COVID votes, and also with how many postals can be expected – postals can arrive until Friday, and I can’t really tell you how many tend to trickle in in the second week.

All of this amounts to bad news for Labor in its quest for 76 seats, with Brisbane now out of the picture and the odds most likely leaning against them in Macnamara, which I for one thought they had in the bag earlier in the week, and which my results system is continuing to call as Labor retain due to its inability to think in three-party terms. The likely retention of Lyons only gets them to 75: they now need a late break in their favour in Gilmore or, less likely, Deakin. A great deal hinges on the absents, declaration pre-polls and COVID votes in these seats, on which we remain none the wiser, with no progress in either count today.

Friday, May 27

My results system is now registering Ryan as a Greens gain from the LNP, as the fresh two-candidate count finally advances enough to tip the probability dial over 99%. Similarly, Wannon has been restored to the Liberals after further booths were added in the Liberal-versus-independent count that was begun yesterday, and Nicholls is now being called for the Nationals as Rob Priestly’s independent bid falls short.

Labor aren’t dead yet in Deakin, where rechecking today gained them 138 on postals and 37 on ordinary votes, while costing the Liberals 169 and 30. However, there was little in it in today’s batches of absents, which broke 236-232 to Labor, and declaration pre-polls, which broke 463-462 to Liberal. Labor will perhaps need about 55% of what’s outstanding to reel in a Liberal lead that today shrank from 1032 to 655.

The contention related yesterday by Antony Green that late counting would favour the Greens in Macnamara was borne out in that the latest batch of 1951 postals were much stronger for them than earlier batches and they also performed well on the first 965 declaration pre-polls, particularly relative to Labor. Their situation will apparently continue to improve from here, but the secret of the final result remains hidden in the preference flows, on which I can offer no hard information.

It seems rechecking of ordinary and postal votes turned up 157 extra ordinary votes for the Liberals in Lyons, but little else. The first absents from the seat broke 696-621 to Labor. That leaves Labor’s lead at 678, down from 784 yesterday. For the second day in a row, the only progress in Gilmore was rechecking, which cost the Liberals 41 votes and Labor five. Counting will continue over the weekend.

Thursday, May 26

The ABC is calling Lyons for Labor after the correction of errors gave Labor a 582-vote fillip on ordinary votes. My system isn’t quite there yet though, in part because each batch of postals so far has been better for the Liberals than the last, the latest breaking 1508 (56.1%) to 1178 (43.9%). However, it may also be because the ABC has formed a more considered view than I have as to how many outstanding votes remain.

I have been assuming for some time that Labor will win Macnamara, which together with Lyons would put Labor over the line to 76 seats and a majority. However, Antony Green has dropped by in comments with an account of his own decision to hold off on such a call, informed by Labor member Josh Burns’ own lack of confidence. Specifically, both Labor and the Greens believe the Greens will enjoy a surge when absents and “an estimated 1000 COVID votes” are added to the count. On top of anything else, this is the first intelligence I have received as to how many COVID votes might be expected, here or anywhere else.

The very first absent and declaration pre-polls were added to the count today, mostly in Deakin, which respectively got 455 and 449 (there were also 787 absent votes added in Lingiari). The absents in Deakin broke 251-204 to Labor, but the pre-polls went 249-200 against. However, there was a turn in Labor’s favour on postals, which broke only 1493 (51.1%) to 1427 (48.9%) in the Liberals’ favour, compared with 58.8% to 41.2% on the previous batches. With the Liberal lead at 1032, Labor will need everything to go right on the remaining postals (perhaps about 3000), outstanding absents and declaration pre-polls (seemingly around 3500 apiece), COVID votes (around 1000, I guess) and provisional votes (a couple of hundred).

I’m not sure of the details, but rechecking of ordinary votes in Gilmore today was to the advantage of Andrew Constance, who gained 25 while Labor lost 149. No new postal votes were added to the count. Another 4095 postals in Brisbane didn’t fundamentally change the situation described here yesterday, with Labor continuing to hold a 0.7% lead over the Greens on the primary vote that I don’t think will be quite enough for them when preferences are distributed. Liberal member Celia Hammond conceded defeat to independent Kate Chaney in Curtin, perhaps because the latest batch of postals sharplhy reversed earlier form in breaking 1955 (52.3%) to 1780 (47.7%) to Chaney.

My system has withdrawn Wannon as a confirmed Liberal retain, not because such a result has become objectively less likely, but because the AEC has concluded Labor will run third and begun a fresh two-candidate count between Liberal member Daniel Tehan and independent Alex Dyson. This has so far accounted for only about 10% of the vote, and is presently giving Tehan a fairly modest lead of 52.2-47.8. Based on the relationship at polling booth level between the Liberal primary vote and the share of preferences, I am expecting this to inflate quite substantially and do not believe Tehan is in trouble.

Wednesday, May 25

My results system today called Dickson for the Coalition, bringing them to 51 seats, to which I think it more than likely that Casey, Menzies, Cowper, Nicholls and Moore will shortly be added. Labor remains on 74, and I don’t think there is any real doubt they will further gain Bennelong. Batches of postal votes are being added to the count in diminish number, but we still haven’t seen any absents or declaration pre-polls, which we can at least make broad guesses about based on past performance, or the COVID-19 electronic assisted voting results, which are anyone’s guess.

Here’s the latest from the seats that may add further to the Labor count, any one of which will get them to a majority:

Brisbane. The result remains at the mercy of unavailable information on how minor candidate preferences are flowing between the Greens, Labor and the LNP. A source familiar with the matter has passed on an informal tally based on observation of pre-poll and postal vote counting that suggests around 50% of preferences are flowing to the LNP, 32% to the Greens and 17% to Labor. If this is accurate, Labor will need a primary vote lead of about 1% when all the votes are in to remain ahead of the Greens during the preference distribution. Currently the gap is 0.7%, having increased today from 34 votes to 528 following a batch of postal votes that was actually weaker for Labor than the previous. However, that’s likely to be sent down rather than up by absent votes, on which Greens do well. So it would appear the Greens remain favourites.

Gilmore. Labor had a better batch of postals today, which only favoured the Liberals by 754 (51.3%) to 715 (48.7%) compared with 5895 (54.5%) to 4913 (45.5%) from the previous batches. With further unfavourable adjustments from ordinary vote rechecking, that increased Andrew Constance’s lead only from 104 to 112, with postals now set to slow to a trickle. This isn’t quite the lead Andrew Constance would have wanted ahead of what’s likely to be a Labor gain when absents are added.

Lyons. There seems to be an improving trend here for the Liberals on postals, the latest batch of which broke 1103 (55.6%) to 882 (44.4%) their way compared with 2966 (50.9%) to 2857 (49.1%) against them previously. If the remaining postals break the same as this latest batch, there’s going to be next to nothing in it.


Curtin. Liberal member Celia Hammond has brought Kate Chaney’s lead on the raw count inside 1%, but today’s postals were actually a bit weaker for her than previous batches, favouring her by 1075 (55.3%) to 868 (44.7%) compared with 6729 (59.4%) to 4605 (40.6%) previously. They were also notable fewer than number, and have still left her 1640 behind. As noted here yesterday, the 2019 result suggests absents are unlikely to favour her. The dynamic may be a little different this time given the redistribution has pushed the boundary substantially northwards, and many absent votes are cast just outside an electorate’s boundaries, though I can’t specifically think why this would make them a whole lot more favourable to the Liberals.

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.

397 comments on “Late counting: rolling coverage”

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  1. Some more votes to Constance in Gilmore. Maybe that’s the Postals all done? Smarter heads than me can crunch what’s left.

  2. I reckon we might see some absents added in Gilmore quite soon. Based on the AEC website, 569 envelopes have been returned to the Division but not counted. Constance currently leading by 241. So postals today have definitely helped him


    There has certainly been a noticeable swing to the ALP in the postal vote (compared with other voting categories), given that the number of postal votes has substantially increased, it is likely that a significant part of that swing came from voters who voted at some form a polling booth (whether pre-poll, absent, ordinary, etc). I have seen some suggestion that the ALP has run a better postal vote operation this time. These thing lead me to suspect that a greater proportion of the ALP vote is postal vote this time because a noticeable percentage ALP voters have switched to postal voting. There is a reasonable chance that that previously absent voting ALP voters have switched to postal and therefore a weaker swing to the ALP or even a swing against the ALP on absents, and out of division prepolls and thus Greens` voters may be a even higher percentage of absent voters than if no increase in postal voting had occurred.

  4. These numbers in Gilmore aren’t really clear where they’re coming from. The number of postals still to count hasn’t changed.

    Perhaps another booth was out?

    This is closer to where I was thinking Constance was going to end up on postals.

  5. “sprocket_says:
    Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 3:35 pm
    Antony would have a long wait calling any seat Fiona Kotvojs was a candidate…”

    If he was in America, he would have been compelled to call the 2020 US election for Trump on election night

  6. ” There is a reasonable chance that that previously absent voting ALP voters have switched to postal and therefore a weaker swing to the ALP or even a swing against the ALP on absents, and out of division prepolls and thus Greens` voters may be a even higher percentage of absent voters than if no increase in postal voting had occurred.”

    Why would they more likely have come from absentee rather than ordinary or prepolls?

  7. If he was in America, he would have been compelled to call the 2020 US election for Trump on election night

    You may not agree with it, but there is a clear difference between not calling it because the apparent winner has not claimed the win, and calling it because the apparent loser has claimed the win.

  8. ratsak @ #54 Thursday, May 26th, 2022 – 4:12 pm

    These numbers in Gilmore aren’t really clear where they’re coming from. The number of postals still to count hasn’t changed.

    Perhaps another booth was out?

    This is closer to where I was thinking Constance was going to end up on postals.

    Yes, the changes seem to be coming from individual booth recounts.

  9. “cafsays:
    Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 4:31 pm
    If he was in America, he would have been compelled to call the 2020 US election for Trump on election night

    You may not agree with it, but there is a clear difference between not calling it because the apparent winner has not claimed the win, and calling it because the apparent loser has claimed the win.”

    Clearly I was jesting

    I suspect burns is not claiming it because the green is , absurdly, not conceding it

  10. Wannon is only showing up because they are rethrowing the count to Lib vs Ind.

    There is (unfortunately) no doubt that Tehan has been returned.

  11. Constance now over 300 up in gilmore….seems like some wonky counting going on there!

    They’ve started counting absents in Deakin which are breaking 55-45 Labor… where near enough

  12. Some booths being counted at Wannon finally;

    Alex ahead on 52.75%, with 6.11% counted.

    Biggest booth was Anglesea, 1000 votes, bad on primaries for Libs, Alex Dyson getting 87% of preferences.

    (Im getting screenshots so i have something to look at after it changes);

  13. Sukkar is doing alright on the Declaration votes again like 2019. But Antony Green just said Labor are still a chance in Deakin so we will see what happens.

  14. The reality is that postal votes will continue to arrive and be added to the count. Presumably thats what happening now. Some will be coming from overseas

  15. I’ve set up my Wannon page now to handle the fresh LIB-IND TCP count. The fact that Dyson got 78.5% of preferences on the first five booths counted made me sit up and take notice, but what we’re seeing is a very strong correlation between the Liberal preference (y) and primary vote (x) shares of y = 1.2506x – 0.206 with an R-squared of 0.8959. Extrapolate that over the whole and Tehan wins 57-43.

  16. Seems odd in Macnamara not being called by the ABC as seat #76

    Josh Burns is + 2,123 over the Lib
    Josh Burns is + 2,211 over the Green

    Votes remaining (of which 10%+ will be thrown out)

    Postals received – 2,991
    Other categories – 5,906

    So about 8, 000 to count.

    Current % are:

    Josh Burns – 32.19
    Lib – 29.49
    Grn – 29.38

  17. Antony says he’s not calling Macnamara because Burns isn’t claiming victory, but I think Burns is just being magnanimous. If Labor have indeed won Lyons, I would say that they’re there.

  18. If it was not for the bloody mistake in Lyons, Mitchell would now be sweating. For some reason the late postals are stronger in Lyons and everywhere else the postals are going down the tube for the Libs and more favouring Labor.


    Yet to be counted absents are highly to help the ALP in Lyons, Gilmore, etc., because the 3CP is not close.

    In Macnamara they historically favour the Greens on and before the 3CP, with the possibility that the non-Green 3CP vote has been disproportionately more soaked up by postals and prepolls this time, a very strong Green 3CP flow on absents is not entirely out of the question, even if it is not likely to be enough.

    On the other hand, ALP scrutineers in Macnamara could just be more cautious in the 3CP front after loosing from second twice in a row to the Greens in overlapping Prahran.

  20. WB: ive forgotten too much maths to make sense of that, but i notice more than a third of postals are included in current total, and they where strongly favoring Tehan.

    Dyson was strong in Warrnambool, won on primaries, the AEC seems to be counting alphabetically so it might take a while.

  21. The late postals in Gilmore have been very friendly to Constance. I was hopeful for Phillips yesterday when the lead was down to around 100, but it is now back nearer to 300. It is going to be difficult for Phillips to claw back that lead, although it will be very close in the end.

  22. Tom, almost certainly William is right. Burns is being magnanimous and the greens candidate is not.

    There is not a remotely plausible advantage that the greens could get over Labor in the absentees that would put them in with a chance

  23. I expected absents/declarations to pull back 500+ for Phillips in Gilmore and the Constance lead is still inside that. We’ll see.

  24. @sprocket: Votes remaining other than postals in Macnamara are over 11,000:
    -5461 absent
    – 5184 dec prepoll
    – 1067 provisional

    Also most of the postals left were only received this week so they are most likely to be Covid postals. I certainly wouldn’t be modelling projections on them based on the current postal rate, because many of these will mostly be voters who intended to vote on the day.

    The more recent postals have been closer too than the early batches; 8% gap between ALP & Greens compared to 19% in the early batches so I’d say that’s already the Covid factor in later postals taking effect.

    Kevin Bonham also writes scrutineers report that minor preferences are roughly around:
    – 48% Liberal
    – 34% Greens
    – 18% Labor

    Thats almost exactly what I was predicting the other day (roughly 50/35/15) but it is a bit better for Labor than I expected.

    Bonham’s modelling suggests all 3 parties will be between 32.4% and 33.8% at the 3PP stage and my projection is similar. I do have the Greens finishing third, behind Labor second.

    Don’t get me wrong. Burns is still easily the favourite (over 95% chance) but I’d say the reason it hasn’t been called is simply because if the modelling shows potentially only 500-1000 votes separating 2nd and 3rd after minor preferences, with still nearly 15,000 votes to count and no indication yet of how absents and dec prepolls will break, then while Burns certainly seems to have it in the bag, there is still enough mathematical uncertainty to not call it with 100% confidence.

    At least until absents and dec prepolls start being counted to get an idea of how they are breaking. Once that happens, if they aren’t breaking strongly enough for the Greens, I’d say it’ll be called for Labor shortly after.

    Before anybody jumps on me and calls me a conspiracy theorist again, let me be extra sure to just reiterate that yes Labor will win, I’m just saying why I think it hasn’t been called.

    I have roughly LIB 33.8%, ALP 33.3%, GRN 32.9% as my projected 3PP; and put simply I just think 15,000 votes left to count with results that close and no indicatation yet of how most will break is why nobody wants to call it yet.

  25. Trent, the reason it hasn’t been called is almost certainly because the Greens candidate lacks the magnanimity to concede (or has been directed not to) and the Labor candidate possesses the magnanimity not to claim victory until the Green concedes.

    Ultimately if you stretched your credulity as far as it could go on assumptions about how the remaining postals, absentees, and preferences will break, you could not get the Green in front of Labor at the 3CP stage.

    The problem with “only 800 votes” where I suspect there is a bit of wishful thinking already is under what scenarios could those 800 votes be made up? An extra 5% differential (highly improbable) between Green and red in absentees compared to relative to swings and last time (about 6%) is worth about 270 votes. Similar if you assume your differential in preferences is like you had hoped for rather than what has been communicated by scrutineers.

    Other candidates, including Tim Wilson and Josh F, conceded at points where they were much much higher chances of winning than the Greens here. It is just a lack of magnanimity that this hasn’t been conceded.

  26. Revisionist, glad you agree with my summation of the seat this time, I 100% agree with you 🙂

    The only part of your post I don’t agree with is the assertion that media outlets will only call a seat after a candidate has conceded. A number of outlets called Goldstein & Kooyong before Wilson & Frydenburg conceded.

    As I said in my post, I think the reason it hasn’t been called is simply due to media outlets being overly cautious due to the massive number of votes left to be counted, and that there’s no data yet from counting those categories for them to base their projections on with 100% confidence. Not because they have a policy about not calling a seat until victory has been claimed by a candidate.

    But I agree 100% with your assessment of the results. It’s exactly what I said too.

  27. No one wants an unexpectedly strong Greens vote in absents and declarations to ruin a call for Labor. Or corrections in counting. That tiny unknown is all that is needed for the seat to not be called by Antony Green etc. As soon as some numbers get seen then it’ll be called quickly.

  28. Adda I agree. Even WB’s model only calls a seat when it’s >99% certain, and Macnamara is currently at 99% which I agree with.

    But when the expected final result after minor preferences is likely to be around 1000-1500 votes between #1 and #3 and there are 15,000 votes left to count without really any current data yet to punch into the modelling, I can understand why analysts would want to wait for just that little bit more data – a few more votes counted, and some absent/dec percentages to work with, before they make the call.

    And like you say, and like I said in my post too, once that little bit more data comes in I think it will be called quickly. It will have nothing to do with when the Greens candidate concedes; in fact it’s probably the other way around and she’s waiting for a couple of outlets to call the seat before she concedes, which is far more common than media outlets waiting for a concession before calling a seat.

  29. Trent, that is the reason Antony Green has given. I.e. Josh Burns hasn’t claimed victory yet …..the implication being that he might have better information about preference flows leading him to be more cautious.

  30. Re sprocket at 3.35 pm and the unlamented Fiona Kotvojs

    Kotvojs is never likely to luxuriate with magnanimity like Burns in Macnamara (WB 6.21 pm).

    Kotvojs was always behind, and Antony called her defeats well before she could publicly admit them.

    The difference at the Bateman’s Bay pre-poll between Constance (54.4% of 9204 votes) in May and Kotvojs (44.6% of 3255 votes) in February was about 10%.

    In Gilmore Constance did 3.4% better on pre-polls than on Sat votes, a similar gap to Eden-M (3.2%).

    The gap was larger in Hasluck (4.8%), but a lot smaller in Tangey (1.6%), Pearce (1%) & Swan (0.8%).

  31. @Trent

    Has the AEC been conducting a 3 Candidate Preferred count in Macnamara, like they have been in Brisbane?

    Or are your minor party preference assessments based purely on scrutineer observations?

  32. Thanks Revisionist. That’s an interesting point.

    I do agree with you though that even in the best case scenario for the Greens they will still fall short despite those preference flows (in fact after updating my modelling with recent corrections I now have LIB 33.7, ALP 33.4, GRN 32.9 in a “best case scenario” for the Greens with everything going their way).

    But from Burns’ perspective – and especially after Prahran counts in both 2014 and 2018 when the Greens overtook Labor – I can understand his possible caution if he is hearing about the sort of preference flows that Kevin Bonham reported from scrutineers (via Antony Green) which are almost 2-1 Greens to Labor. That’s enough to plant a seed of doubt.

    I also can’t see how that would still be enough to erase the nearly 3% lead he has over Hodgins-May. But, if I was in Josh Burns’ shoes too, I’d probably be cautious too just to make sure there’s zero chance of having egg on your face by calling the seat too early and then it going back in doubt (even if he will still end up winning it).

  33. @Andrew, this is Antony Green’s update, I assume by “an AEC preference throw” (and the quite precise figures) they have been conducting one like in Brisbane:

    “Scrutineer figures based on an AEC preference throw for the five lowest polling candidates produce preference flows of 18% to Labor, 34% to the Greens and 48% to Liberal. Applying those puts the final three candidates within a thousand votes of each other. If the Green or Liberal candidates are third, Labor wins. If the Labor candidates is third, the Greens win. For this reason Macnamara is being left in doubt.”

  34. @Andre Bartlett. The numbers are from Antony Greens notes on the ABC website:

    “Scrutineer figures based on an AEC preference throw for the five lowest polling candidates produce preference flows of 18% to Labor, 34% to the Greens and 48% to Liberal. ”

    Presumably that is what you mean by the “AEC conducting a 3 Candidate Preferred count in Macnamara”?

  35. Two things are for certain in Macnamara anyway:

    1. It will be the lowest LIB 2PP since 1984, which is before Caulfield was added to the seat prior to the 1990 election;

    2. It will be the lowest LIB PV since 1966 when the boundaries were radically different prior to the 1968 redistribution, and Melbourne Ports included some of the industrial inner-west.

    The Liberals have monumentally tanked here.

    The other thing I think is very likely, is that if last year’s redistribution proposal (swapping the Caulfield area for the Chapel St Precinct) had taken place, this would have been called a GRN Gain on the night. I’d be interested to run the numbers on that.

    Labor successfully objecting to that boundary change not only saved them from losing this seat, it also gained them Higgins which they wouldn’t have won on those boundaries.

  36. Thanks to you both.

    Yes, that’s precisely what I meant by an AEC conducted 3 Candidate Preferred count.

    A count actually conducted by AEC staff, as they always do these days with a 2 Candidate Preferred count.

    A lot of scrutineers take samples of minor party preference flows as the count is being conducted and extrapolate from these. While some people are very good at it, it will never be as accurate as an actual AEC count, which very rarely happen for contests where the outcome is dependent on who comes 2nd & 3rd, rather than who comes 1st & 2nd.

  37. Three days ago I briefly declared Josh Burns the winner in Macnamara. I was rung immediately by Burns and was told my call was premature and unsound. He proceeded to state his reasons, and with him being better informed about the count than me, I accepted his position and reversed my call.

    A lot of discussion here about motive is by people who clearly haven’t spoken to the participants. I’ve had four conversation with Burns in three days and two with the Greens’ chief scrutineer. The preference estimates were provided by both and based on an AEC preference throw. Both sides speak of an expected high Green vote on both the Absent vote and an estimated 1,000 Covid votes. Magnanimity on conceding defeat or claiming victory has nothing to do with why neither side is taking a position on who wins. Both sides talk simply of the maths and uncertainty about the votes to be counted.

    I suppose I could ignore those arguments and just call Macnamara on less information than the participants have. My call would cause the ABC to give the call of majority government major coverage, coverage then repeated across the rest of the media, probably quoting me as having made the call. Wouldn’t I look stupid if, having been warned not to make a call by the participants, their warnings proved correct.

    In the UK there is something that election commentators call Payne’s Law, named after Nuffield political scientist Clive Payne. It states “No one remembers your last correct election call, but no one ever forgets an incorrect call”. The rule applies equally in this country.

    There will be Absent vote counting tomorrow which may or may not remove final doubts.

  38. Hi Antony, thanks so much for the information! That clears it up a lot, appreciate it.

    I think you’re right not to call it either based on the maths, and I hadn’t considered the wider implications of calling the seat that makes it a majority either. That’s a great point and extra reason for caution.

    What you describe as the participants’ expectations regarding absent & Covid votes is also what I expect to be the wild card that could make it a nailbiter (Burns still being the favourite obviously) should those votes be favourable to the Greens.

    I’m also wondering if the last batch(es) of postal votes could break very, very differently if they are mostly people who tested positive between the Saturday and Tuesday prior to the election. That’s extra reason for caution in my view because those votes may not even extend the Labor lead over the Greens at all, before the absent/decs are likely to reduce it.

  39. I was all set to do a comment praising Trent’s analysis and understanding of why it would be premature for Mr Green to call Macnamara and pouring cold water on people complaining about the Greens not conceding yet, and then here comes Mr Green himself to confirm. Kudos Trent, and entirely agreed Mr Green – maybe Macnamara is 90 or 95% in the bag for Labor but on a call with this much riding on it why take even a 1 in 20 chance of burning your reputation? For what?

    A call is meant to be a sure thing. Antony is an institution because people have been able to rely on him for 30 years not to get overexcited and make wrong calls, a bloody rare reputation in public life and journalism.

    The estimated 1,000 Covid votes is I think new information not really noised around prior to this. We’ve been wondering about that in the context of other seats as well as Macnamara. My view prior to the election was that COVID votes would be predominantly progressive (which doesn’t narrow things down terribly in Macnamara) as at this point my opinion is most people are not getting tested for COVID – just the very conscientious, those who need testing because they’re ill enough to go to hospital, and those who must be tested for purposes like travelling. Surely the people most conscientious about COVID at this point after restrictions lifted are not voting Liberal.

    That would also presumably add to the rationale for not calling Deakin for Michael Sukkar yet?

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