Bragg by-election live

Live coverage of the count for South Australia’s Bragg by-election.

Click here for full Bragg by-election results updated live.


4.50pm. A large batch of 4356 formal declaration votes just got unloaded into the count, and it’s caused my Liberal win probability to go from a shade under 95% to 100%. As compared with the total declaration votes from March, these have actually recorded a 0.6% swing to the Liberals. However, that might well be because these are largely or entirely postals rather than pre-polls, and that the declaration vote swing will move around quite substantially as different types of vote are added to the count.

End of Saturday

Liberal candidate Jack Batty ends the night with a lead of 6531 (50.9%) to 6289 (49.1%), which should be enough — it amounts to a 6.0% swing to Labor on the election day vote, whereas the overall margin is 8.2%. Rechecking will be conducted tomorrow, with the counting of the declaration votes — 5377 pre-polls and what will eventually be about 3500 postals — to begin on Monday. Declaration votes at the March state election favoured the Liberals by 60.1-39.9, compared with 57.0-43.0 for polling booth votes. This included absent votes, which are not a factor at a by-election, but their exclusion isn’t likely to make them any more favourable to Labor. South Australia uniquely does not report different types of declaration vote separately, one of many ways in which its electoral arrangements are badly in need of an overhaul. Another is that pre-polls are still counted as declaration rather than ordinary votes, which is why none of them could be counted this evening.

Election night

8.53pm. All booth results are now in. The swing to Labor is now up to 6.1%, but the Liberals have a raw lead of 0.9%, which will almost certainly increase on postals.

8.09pm. A sixth TCP booth result, not sure which, has nudged the raw Liberal vote up to 51.1%, a little closer to my projection.

8.03pm. All eight booths are in on the primary vote, with three more to come on two-party, which should be all we get for the evening.

7.57pm. Now the projection is behaving as it should be, but a flurry of new results has meant the Liberal scare has passed, at least so far as my projection is concerned. They have their nose in front on the raw count, and postals should increase it.

7.55pm. My projection is still stuck, but the raw TCP result has the Liberal margin down to 0.7%, where is about where it should be.

7.48pm. I believe I’ve worked out the problem, and it should fix the next time I get a results update. For the time being, whereas my projection has the Liberals ahead by 3.2%, it should have them ahead by just 0.4%.

7.45pm. There’s now a TCP result in from Burnside, and whereas I was projecting Labor to get 69% of all preferences, here they have landed 77%, such that Labor has very narrowly won the booth. Unfortunately, my projection is still working off my estimates for some reason. I’ll look into this.

7.30pm. Rose Park now in on the primary vote, making it six out of eight, with the situation otherwise unchanged. The Liberal win probability is creeping up towards 90% as the vote count increases, without the projection of a 3.2% winning margin changing.

7.24pm. Linden Park is the fifth of eight booths in on the primary vote, and it hasn’t changed my projection. Still waiting for a two-party result to give some indication of how accurate my preference estimates are.

7.14pm. Burnside and Glen Osmond primary vote results moderate my projected swing to 5.0%. This is still based on preference estimates though, which are giving the Liberals 20% from the Greens, 70% from Family First, 75% from the Liberal Democrats and 50% from an independent who I don’t know anything about. These will continue to be used until one of the booths reports at two-party preferred result.

7.06pm. Second primary booth result in from Tusmore, and it’s a bit better for the Liberals, with their primary vote down 6.8%.

7.03pm. The Wattle Park booth is in on the primary vote, and the result is big enough to make things interesting: I have the Liberals down 10.5% on the primary vote, which translates to a 7.0% swing to Labor off an 8.2% margin assuming my preference estimates are correct. The Greens are well up on the primary vote, and the other candidates are barely registering.

6pm. Polls have closed for South Australia’s Bragg by-election. Results will appear as they come in on the page linked to above, which features neat and tidy tables and charts, exclusive booth-level swings and a booth results map. There were only eight polling booths in operation today, with three from the March election that were split booths with neighbouring elections out of commission. Since these are all suburban booths that will have traded in large numbers of votes, it will probably be an hour or so before we start to see results. I also have a guide to the by-election profiling the electorate and main candidates and outlining how the by-election came about.

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.

37 comments on “Bragg by-election live”

  1. A bridge too far for Labor, I think, but if it is remotely close it signals more trouble for a floundering Opposition. I don’t think we will see much of a swing away from an incumbent Government in a by-election

  2. I was doing HTVs at St Peters Girls this afternoon. Just warming the frost bitten fingers!

    Overall numbers seemed down vs March, not sure if that is due to pre-polling.

    Attitude of passing voters to Labor seemed good. A couple of abusive comments were made to Greens volunteers regarding Adam Bandt’s flag photo op.

    Heaps of Liberal volunteers on hand, one lady I spoke to had come from the Barossa Valley to volunteer for them. Someone said that Lib candidate Jack Batty was still in London(!)

    I doubt Sturt will flip but I perceived absolutely no anti-Labor sentiment in five hours.

  3. @socrates – Jack did well to be in London and also vote in person at the same time. A man of such ability must be the future.

  4. I think the swing at the State Election was 8% or so and here comes another 6 or 7%. This is the bluest of blue ribbon seats, amazing days!! A bridge JUST a bit too far!

  5. Looks like a referendum on the early days of the State Labor government….and to a lesser extent the Albanese government….even the bluest of the blue are giving their tick of approval

  6. I didn’t really think Bragg would flip but even taking it to preferences is a great result in context. I’ll take another -5% off the Lib margin in a bi-election.

    I’m enjoying some brandy now 🙂

  7. The voters are never happy going back to the polls so soon when someone pulls the pin for selfish reasons (like not wanting to sit on opposition bench for 4 years). Things are different if someone is sick, dies, etc.

  8. BS Fairman

    No doubt Chapman quitting was a factor. This is the third election Bragg residents have had to do in three months.

  9. I wonder if the strong Greens vote is simply a reaction/alignment to the federal result, or something deeper?

    Further –– the booth in Beaumont will be the saving grace of Batty.

  10. So the Liberals have hung on, and they have elected the young Jack Batty who looks like a Young Liberal.

    It could have been much worse for them and I bet there were a few restless minutes there. It is never wise to go to a by-election at the best of times and certainly not after two disastrous elections. The SA liberals should consider themselves very lucky.

  11. I expect that the sales of Marx and Engels will be booming on the Norwood Parade Official Party bookshop and Chairman Mao Green Caps will be selling at a premium.

  12. @ Barney in Cherating at 8:58 pm

    Looks like a lot of the swinging vote in Glen Osmond went to the Greens.

  13. I’m more of a Burnside Popular Front man myself.


    “ wonder if the strong Greens vote is simply a reaction/alignment to the federal result, or something deeper?”

    Interesting question. Bragg is well educated – more Wentworth than Cook as Liberal electorates go. Maybe this helps with the Green vote.

    Anecdotally from my time handing out HTVs in all three elections here, I would say that any swing to the Greens in Bragg is heavily based on younger voters.

    There is a large cohort of millennial children of boomer parents in Bragg. Their parents are still taking Liberal HTVs as always. But you often see the children following behind taking the Green HTVs. Most of the Greens booth workers here today were young – under 30.

  14. It should also be noted that there was 12,833 votes today versus 23,719 votes at the general election. The swings are not necessarily reflective of major changes in how people are voting but who has bothered to turn up.
    So yes, the greens got a larger percentage this time, but they have got 2,282 votes versus 3000 votes.

    What is evident is that lots of the 1,175 Family first voters stayed home.

  15. Still all prepolls and postal to count – but time for David Speirs to quit as Liberal leader. The ratbag far left voters of Burnside have spoken.

  16. A strong swing to Labor (& the Greens). A narrow miss for Labor, but in a seat where the Libs were always (almost) dead-set certs No longer!

    This on top of a big swing at the SA state election!

  17. Impressive stuff. The new Opposition Leader has been strange- he went from a youthful, fresh faced dynamo, to an embattled looking, scruffy old man in the space of two months. He really looks unwell, and the Liberals of course are now just baying at the moon for four years.

  18. @ B.S. Fairman at 9:20 pm

    I believe that difference can be attributed to postal/prepoll votes which are treated as declarations in SA. Not that the Greens will do crazily different on postals although there will be a dip. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  19. I’m not a fan of reading too much into by-election results but, regardless of what the final numbers are, this is not a good result for the Liberals. This seat is traditionally as blue ribbon as they get, even as recently as the state election. This should have been nothing more than a boring formality, with an easy Liberal win.

    While, unless things go so badly for the state government that it becomes a drover’s dog situation, I don’t think Speirs has what it takes to become Premier (he seems too much like a Young Lib candidate for Student Council with Matthew Guy energy), I don’t think this result is necessarily a reflection of his leadership. The Malinauskas Government has only been in power for a few months and, along with the Albanese Government, is enjoying a honeymoon at this time. Right now is a good tie to be Labor in SA – the Liberals, not so much. This is not an enviable time for a state opposition leader of any political persuasion.

    That said, Chapman’s resignation was, in part, driven by distaste of the rightward shift the party is taking (as reflected by Speirs himself – an image he’s desperately trying to cover up, as he tries to reinvent himself as a consensus leader), so perhaps the voters share that distaste and are expressing it at the ballot box. Perhaps places like this are the next location for the “teal” seeds to be planted. Who knows?

    Although, as I said, I am not a big fan of reading too much into by-election results.

  20. I should also add that election fatigue and resentment towards the Liberals in general (not just Chapman) for making them have to go back to the polls so quickly probably also added to this.

    This is why good party players who plan to resign after being relegated to the opposition benches usually wait at least until the end of the year before quitting (e.g. Weatherill and Rau in 2018.)

  21. “Wat Tyler says:
    Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 10:47 pm

    … so perhaps the voters share that distaste and are expressing it at the ballot box. Perhaps places like this are the next location for the “teal” seeds to be planted.”

    I agree. The Teals are just getting started. They are expected to become more ambitious at coming state and of course federal elections, contesting more Liberal/LNP/Nationals seats around the country. The process will be fast and it’s unlikely that the traditional parties of the Coalition will be able to keep up with the pace of change, especially under the federal leadership of Peter Dutton.

    Very interesting times ahead…..

  22. “PaulTu says:
    Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 9:36 pm
    A strong swing to Labor (& the Greens). A narrow miss for Labor, but in a seat where the Libs were always (almost) dead-set certs No longer!

    This on top of a big swing at the SA state election!”

    …. and a swing against the Liberals in SA at the Federal election of: -5.3%…..

  23. Jan 6 above…you would think so, but here we are talking about “shoring up” the bluest of blue-ribbon seats in S.A. This is a shocking result for the Libs. Kicked to the curb after one term and another 12 year reign is looking likely for Labor.

  24. Rod Harradine @ #31 Sunday, July 3rd, 2022 – 12:39 pm

    Jan 6 above…you would think so, but here we are talking about “shoring up” the bluest of blue-ribbon seats in S.A. This is a shocking result for the Libs. Kicked to the curb after one term and another 12 year reign is looking likely for Labor.

    Yes indeed-e-do. Batty was the poster boy for the new libs. But Spiers is dog whistling a lot like the old Morrison. Will Dutton take note?

  25. Re: Alpo @ 3/6 12:30 pm aest

    I think the teals’ chances at future state elections are being overrated. Anecdotally speaking, I think a lot of the drive to vote teal at the last federal election was because of Morrison’s unpopularity, as well as the fact that there was inaction on a lot of the ‘big issues’ associated with federal government, i.e. climate change, domestic violence, federal Icac. Speaking for NSW, I think the biggest problem for the Perrottet government probably won’t be climate policy or integrity but the issue of how the COVID-19 lockdown was implemented disparately across Sydney, which certainly will be less of an issue where the teals do well. However, there is a very high chance that I will end up eating my words come election time … I never foresaw the teal candidates doing as well as they did federally, I only thought they would get Wentworth and Kooyong – certainly not Curtin. I just think teal independents will have to really pivot to state issues, in the vein of a Clover Moore or an Alex Greenwich, rather than a Kylea Tink, if they want to win. Larissa Penn’s red-hot go in Willoughby, who campaigned on those really state-governmenty issues, strongly local issues, is a good example, and if the corresponding Voices group is clever they will preselect her again.

  26. @Mick Quinlivan

    No. Bragg was the last safe-ish one left, on just over eight percent TPP before the by-election. Their safe_st_ seat in town is Colton, from the airport to the beach, which is on 4.8%. Federally, Adelaide was within just over a thousand votes of liberating itself from the Liberal Party entirely; Sturt is the only seat they kept.

    Of course, if you were to look at just about any other election going back to WWII things would be very different, and all this may be an aberration. But _what_ an aberration…

  27. Re: Mick Quinlivan @ 3/7 10:22 pm aest

    Apart from Bragg, the safest metro Liberal seats would be seats like Morphett and Colton, which from memory barely hang around 3–4 point margin.

  28. Oh well. I am not really surprised at the final result from Bragg pre-polls.
    Still, its the closest Labor has come in the time I’ve lived in the seat.

    It makes me wonder how a well funded Teal would go in Bragg?

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