Late counting: week four

Still more on the progress of late counting, most of it relating to whether the last Senate seat in Victoria will go to Liberal incumbent Greg Mirabella or the United Australia Party.

Click here for full federal election results updated live.

There are only a few driblets of votes still being added to the count, but you can follow what remains of it at the link above. One fact worth noting is that a Twitter user has observed what appears to be an anomaly that has inflated the Liberals’ share of the two-candidate preferred vote at the Beaumont booth in Sturt, the correction of which should knock a few hundred votes from their winning margin.

It appears the final turnout rate will max out at 90% or a touch below, compared with 91.89% in 2019. This is actually a function of a higher enrolment rate, largely due to the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment program. The electoral roll grew by 4.9% between the two elections, where by reckoning the total population grew by around 1.8%. The total number of votes cast, with a handful still to be added, increased by 2.3%.

Now to the genuinely remaining seats in doubt, which are in the Senate. The assessment I posted just under a fortnight still holds, with the remaining points of doubt being who wins the last seat in Victoria out of the incumbent third Liberal, Greg Mirabella, and Ralph Babet of the United Australia Party, and who wins in Queensland out of Pauline Hanson and the incumbent third LNP Senator, Amanda Stoker. This assessment derives from a model that assumed preferences would flow as they did in 2019, based on the Senate ballot paper data from that election, that can be seen in fully updated form here.

Antony Green has now done the same thing with respect to the Victorian count, having calculated how preferences flowed between the Liberals, Labor, the Greens and the UAP. On this basis, he allows that it “can’t be ruled out” that Greens preferences will push Labor’s third candidate, Casey Nunn, ahead of Ralph Babet, resulting in the exclusion of Babet and the election of Mirabella ahead of Nunn at the final count. However, my more elaborate model projects that this will happen, putting Nunn ahead by 7.4% to 6.6% and very nearly overtaking Mirabella on 7.5%. Mirabella would then win the last seat pretty comfortably, since he would benefit from a largely right-wing preference pool upon the exclusion of the UAP.

This is based on how preferences flowed to Liberal, Labor and the UAP in 2019 without the Greens in the equation, something Antony says he hopes to get around to calculating in his post, though it seems he is yet to do so. He ultimately concludes, as I have, that while Mirabella would win if preferences flowed as they did last time, there are reasons to think they will now flow more strongly to the UAP. One is the increase in the party’s primary vote, from 2.48% to 3.96%, which will more than likely be reflected in a better performance on preferences. He also proposes that preferences from the Liberal Democrats, who have polled 2.35%, might not be as favourable to the Liberals this time because of “lockdowns and changes in party registration rules”.

If the UAP indeed gains enough on preferences to make the final count, my projection raises at least a possibility that it could do so by overtaking not Labor but Liberal (whose total vote share has fallen from 33.1% to 32.5% since I last updated the model), or maybe even both. However, this does not entail a path to victory for Casey Nunn – Mirabella would win in any scenario where he made it to the final count, while Ralph Babet would win if Mirabella dropped out. I continue to regard a win for Mirabella as very likely, but upper house preference distributions have been known to surprise.

Other developments of recent counting including a narrowing in the projected winning margin of third Labor candidate Fatima Payman in Western Australia over incumbent third Liberal Ben Small, which has gone from 12.0% to 10.1% to 11.5% to 10.1% – probably not enough for Small to get a look in, but you never know. In Queensland, my projected gap between Pauline Hanson and Amanda Stoker in the race for the final seat in Queensland has widened – 11.9% to 11.1% before, 12.1% to 10.9% now.

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.

30 comments on “Late counting: week four”

  1. Crossing my fingers that UAP doesn’t get a seat in the Senate…. It’s important that the despicable Palmer gets only a big waste of money (whose money?) out of this election and no mates in government to recoup it in the coming 3 years via mining leases and other tricks….

  2. William Bowe @ #1 Friday, June 10th, 2022 – 4:04 am

    It appears the final turnout rate will max out at 90% or a touch below, compared with 91.89% in 2019. This is actually a function of a higher enrolment rate, largely due to the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment program. The electoral roll grew by 4.9% between the two elections, where by reckoning the total population grew by around 1.8%. The total number of votes cast, with a handful still to be added, increased by 2.3%.

    Mr Bowe, could you explain how this works? The only way my admittedly thick head can get around it is if a larger percentage of new enrolments don’t vote. Is that how it works?


  3. $180 million for a single senate seat (counting last election and this election’s $$) doesn’t seem like value. I hate the idea Palmer’s $$$ get a seat at the table but having another crossbench senator isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Labor.

  4. I find the prospect of Mirabella being rewarded with a Senate seat for services rendered to the Liberal Party at the expense of Australians more revolting than a random Palmer senator who will probably ditch the party within a couple of years.

  5. William re UAP/ON Senate preference flows…

    There have been some comments on other threads about the chaotic nature of UAP/ON preference ‘patterns’ in House seats: flowing more strogly to Greens than the majors, for example. Any evidence of such ‘up yours major parties’ behaviour in Senate voting?

    I guess I’m hoping for such chaos that Vic Labor squeaks into 6th spot!

  6. I think a random Palmer person would be much preferable to an evil Mirabella. Lambie was once a random Palmer person and on balance she has ended up being a fairly reasonable senator once she ditched him. The Mirabellas on the other hand are just evil and the country would be far better off without their representation in the parliament.

  7. I can’t think of any EX One Nation people who turned out like Lambie. The likes of Culleton, Roberts and Anning don’t inspire confidence. Tbh I don’t know much about Greg Mirabella other than that he’s married to the much-loathed Sophie… Amanda Stoker has earned her stripes to be considered so bad that Pauline Hanson is actually the lesser evil, I don’t think Mirabella has.

  8. Yeah, Mirabella vs UAP … it’s definitely a lose-lose for the Parliament. At least with the UAP candidate I know without even checking that they will be a complete loose unit that wears their (probably cruel) heart on their sleeve. The only question is how much of a unit. Hmm but no right thinking person wants to reward Palmer in any way. It’s a tough one…

  9. I’ve heard Sophie is on pretty decent coin as a government appointee and now the husband is a senator which has a pretty lucrative remuneration package. Talk about doing well off the government purse. You would think as ideologically right wing people they would be philosophically opposed to this sort of caper and try and get something in their beloved private sector.

  10. Autocrat

    Mr Bowe, could you explain how this works? The only way my admittedly thick head can get around it is if a larger percentage of new enrolments don’t vote. Is that how it works?

    I think what he’s saying is that while the size of the electoral roll has grown significantly due to automatic enrolment, the number of people showing up to vote hasn’t changed that much. As a result, we see a smaller percentage of people on the (now larger) electoral roll voting. People who are added automatically don’t have a good track record of turning up to the polling booth.

  11. The turnout rate of auto enrolled voters appears to increase at the second election after they have been enrolled, presumably largely due to interaction with the enforcement of compulsory voting.

  12. Hi William, do you think the final SA senate seat is now fairly certain to go Liberal or do you think Labor and One Nation are still a chance?

    Also Nick Xenophon isn’t that far back and initially snuck into parliament with a pretty low primary vote. I guess preferences are probably a lot less favourable to him these days though to give him any chance?

  13. Speculation: UAP senate candidate in Victoria wins, but resigns after a short period in favour of … Fatty McFuckface.

    The then former UAP Senator receives a mysterious $10 million gratuity from … some mysterious Foundation registered in the Caymans.


  14. Maxxy: Nick X originally got into the SA upper house thanks to the GTV fruit machine, and the quota was a lot smaller than in the federal senate (8.3% instead of 14.3%). Less than 3% doesn’t get you far in the senate these days.

  15. Counting-related question: does anyone know where the figures are for Exmouth PPVC and Newman (in Durack)? Both PB and the AEC are showing them as blank.

  16. Group Ticket Voting. Just put a 1 above the line, and the pre-programmed senate snowball elects whichever micros Drury has set up. Such as Ricky Muir etc. And Xenophon back in the day.

    Dead everywhere except Victoria’s upper house, so doesn’t happen anymore.

  17. Oh, and any discussion of what happens if the UAP candidate in Victoria gets up needs to take into account that the guy (Deej “Ralph” Babet) is an absolute Majorie Taylor-Greene level nutjob.

    Pre-election, he had no expectation of getting elected, as he believed the election was rigged anyway. Then when it looked like he had a shot at the last senate seat, he quickly deleted all his social media, which was a grab-bag of conspiracies, ranging from the usual anti-vaxx ravings to things like the Australian government wanting to impose a Chinese-style social credit system, to “left wingers drink blood.”

    So yes, as bad as Mirabella is, Babet is significantly more dangerous.

    If he does bail on the UAP, don’t expect a new Lambie-figure. At best, it’d be a loopier version of when Fraser Anning or Bernardi going rogue.

  18. For anyone interested, the full distribution of preferences for the seat of Brisbane has now been concluded. As part of that process, a few minor additions were made to Labor’s primary vote due to corrections in counting & most parties got a small boost when a small batch of 21 votes from the West End prepoll booth were found which had somehow managed to escape being added to the count at all up until that point. This all left Labor in second place ahead of the Greens on primary votes by 11 votes.

    After all the micro parties had been excluded and all their preferences distributed, the Greens were ahead of Labor by 1811 votes (or 1.66%) at the final exclusion. My understanding is this seat was the one Labor put most energy/resources into trying to win (in Qld) – which they hadn’t done for a while – so it will be interesting to see what approach they take to it in 2024/25.

    Final winning 2CP margin over the Libs was 3.73%

  19. I don’t see much value for Labor in diverting campaigning resources to Green-held seats. The horse has bolted for now, and the Green-held seats provide Labor with a useful Parliamentary buffer.

    Labor’s future campaign focus should be on marginal seats elsewhere to grow its majority, and the LNP held seats in Queensland are a far higher priority than trying to snag back a Greens seat or two.

    It will be a while yet before Labor comes under any serious threat from the Greens as the major party of the Left in Australian politics, but at some point in the near term it must reconcile itself to an on-going Greens lower house presence, and that this will only increase over time.

    The only medium-term risk I can see for the Greens is if they push too hard to the Left, and alienate their significant centrist-environmentalist constituency.

  20. @outsider Obviously it’s Labor’s call not mine, but I’d tend to agree they’d be better off going for some of the now quite marginal Liberal seats in SEQ rather than chasing Greens seats (although I could understand if they wanted to assess the prospects of winning Griffith back, but history suggests that’s a long shot). As you say, while they’d love to have any of those Greens seats, they know they are all a buffer against the Libs.

    I think all the next House of Reps targets for the Greens in Brisbane/Qld are 2 election cycle prospects – Moreton seems the next most likely, esp with long-term incumbent rumoured to be retiring. Maybe Bonner at a stretch.

    Richmond in NSW & Macnamara in Melbourne seem the obvious best next chances for them. Cooper could also come back into the mix next election or the one after.

  21. Carbon Tax at 12.27

    Looks like the AEC are beginning to count the theoretical 2PP (ALP vs LIB/NAT) for non-classic divisions (i.e. those divisions where INDs/GRNs/CA/KAP made the final count). Looks like Warringah is currently leading the charge.


    Just had a look at Warringah. Swing is 26.68% – I assume to the Liberal. Would it be the case that Steggall preferenced Liberal ahead of Labor AND Labor PV may have declined due to ‘tactical’ ALP voters supporting Steggall? This may be an ingredient in Labor receiving ‘only’ 51.7% of 2PP federally, yet the Coalition only gaining 58 of 151 seats (worst proprtion in Liberal history.)

  22. Snappy Tom says:
    Monday, June 13, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    I don’t think so in regard to those propositions you have laid out.

    1) I believe Zali Steggall ran an open ticket, meaning she did not recommend an order in which voters should preference the remaining candidates.

    2) The Labor & Greens primary vote has definitely declined as a result of tactical voting in Warringah as has been the case since 2019. However, my understanding is that this doesn’t mean the national nor divisional TPP is affected, as the 2PP is just a count of whether voters preferenced Labor ahead of Liberal or vice versa. For Zali Steggall voters and anyone else who didn’t give Labor or Liberal their first preference, I assume the AEC then looks down each ballot paper to see which of Labor or Liberal was preferenced above one another and counts this. This means the final national 2PP figure will not be depressed, only the primary votes of parties whose voters voted strategically.

    Looking at some of the figures for non-classic divisions at the moment, it seems the 2PP is skewing heavily in favour of LNP/NAT as in Warringah currently (LNP 79%, ALP 21%). I would assume this will even out by quite a margin as more votes are counted.

  23. That 2PP count in Warringah is off a small sample. 7% or so. You would need to know where the votes are from. Let wait and see. Last I saw the ABC had Labor had 52% 2pp nationally and expect that to grow.

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