Victorian election: late counting

Progressively progressively updated coverage of late counting from the Victorian state election.

Click here for full Victorian election results updated live.

Wednesday night

It is now acknowledged that John Pesutto has won Hawthorn for the Liberals, and Mornington continues to drift away from the only other teal independent in the hunt, Kate Lardner. In the latter case, today’s early votes broke 902-726 to Liberal candidate Chris Crewther, who now leads by 353. In Pakenham, the two-party votes were added for the early voting batch that appeared in the primary votes count only yesterday, and it broke to the Liberals less heavily than I had anticipated — 1135-907, turning a Labor leading of eight votes into a Liberal lead of 220. There’s evidently a complex mix in the race for the final seat in South-Eastern Metropolitan region, because the ABC’s projection now has it going to Legalise Cannabis, overtaking the Liberal Democrats who in turn overtook the second Liberal yesterday.

Tuesday night

I had a paywalled piece in Crikey today noting where the result for Labor in swing terms was particularly good (the same Chinese-heavy eastern suburbs that turned against the Liberals at the federal election) and particularly poor (the party’s northern and western Melbourne heartlands, which likewise were relatively soft for the party at the federal election). I also joined Ben Raue of The Tally Room to discuss the results on his podcast.

Turning to the count: it was a better day for the Liberals in Bass, where Aaron Brown went from 225 behind to 53 ahead after early votes broke 835-663 his way, and Mornington, where Chris Crewther’s lead went from 177 to 337 on a 747-588 break in early votes. The Liberals also got a strong batch of early votes in Pakenham, and while they are yet to be added to the two-party count, the primary vote results have boosted my Liberal two-party projection there from 50.0% to 50.8% and left my system not far off calling it for them. My system also no longer rates Benambra as in doubt.

Labor’s one good show was in Hastings, where the latest early votes batch broke 747-660 to Paul Mercurio, boosting his lead from 470 to 557. The fresh two-candidate preferred counts in Albert Park, Brighton, Melton, Point Cook, and Werribee yesterday caused by projections in those seats to go haywire yesterday, but this is fixed now.

While I still haven’t taken a serious look at the upper house count, I note that the ABC’s projection now has Adem Somyurek taking the last seat in Northern Metropolitan for the DLP ahead of Fiona Patten of Reason, though I have a notion that Somyurek may do less than brilliantly on below-the line votes. David Limbrick of the Liberal Democrats also has his nose in front of the second Liberal now in South-Eastern Metropolitan.

Monday night

There was no significant progress today, which was spent mostly on rechecking. That will continue today, but more interesting will be the addition of as-yet-uncounted early votes that were cast outside the home district. As noted below, new indicative two-candidate preferred counts are being conducted in five seats where the wrong two candidates were picked for the count on election nights, but in no case is the result in doubt. Happily, the Victorian Electoral Commission has a page on its website where such news is related in detail on a daily basis.

Sunday night

I spent yesterday fixing bugs in my results system, and now this is done to a reasonably satisfactory level, it should resume updating promptly, at least when I have an internet connection. Most of today’s activity will involve rechecking, but fresh two-candidate counts will be conducted in seats where the initial counts picked the wrong candidates – Albert Park, Brighton, Melton, Point Cook, and Werribee – although in no case is the result in doubt.

My system is giving away 45 seats to Labor and has them ahead in a further 11, which would result in the extraordinary achivement of an increased majority if it stuck. Seats my system is not yet calling but almost certainly soon will are Bayswater, Footscray, Pascoe Vale, Glen Waverley and Yan Yean, which get Labor to 50; Caulfield, Polwarth and Rowville, which get the Liberals to 12; and Mildura and Shepparton, which get the Nationals to not far behind the Liberals on nine. I still have nothing to offer on the upper house result, but that will hopefully change over the next day or two.

Bass. Labor’s Jordan Crugnale needed an 0.8% swing to retain her seat after the redistribution, and after looking gone on election night, a 5.0% swing in her favour on early votes puts it at 1.4%. However, the early vote count of 15427 formal votes is nearly 6000 shy of the number cast, which presumably means one of the three centres hasn’t reported yet. If the outstanding centre is more conservative than the other two, the swing on early votes — which is not broken down between individual voting centres, as would be the case at a federal election — will drop considerably when it reports, perhaps taking Crugnale’s lead with it.

Benambra. The ABC has Liberal member Bill Tilley marked down as holding off two-time independent challenger Jacqui Hawkins, but my more conservative system only gets his probability to 85.9%. He leads by 1.1% on the raw two-candidate preferred count, which is all you’ll get from the ABC — I’m still using a method that presumes to project a final result, which narrows it to 0.8%. Booth and early votes came in about where Hawkins needed to knock off his 2.6% margin, but he’s picked up a 5.3% swing on 2354 postals, about as many of which are still to come.

Croydon. Liberal member David Hodgett had a slight swing against him on ordinary and early votes in a seat where he was defending a 1.0% margin, but the first half of around 8000 postal votes have swung 4.4% his way and he will more than likely get home.

Hastings. Paul Mercurio looks likely to gain a seat for Labor that had no margin at all after the redistribution, and which was being vacated with the retirement of Liberal member Neale Burgess. Ordinary, postal and early votes have all swung slightly his way, leaving him 470 votes ahead with most of the outstanding vote consisting of around 3000 postals and 2000 absents.

Hawthorn. My projection has John Pesutto’s current lead of 0.7% (480 votes) narrowing to 0.3% at the last, mostly because the Liberals did poorly on absent votes in 2018 (36.5% by my post-redistribution reckoning, compared with 44.7% all told), of which I would expect about 2000. However, his primary vote is up 6.1% on the 3055 postal votes counted, compared with about 3% down on ordinary and early votes, and my projection method doesn’t presume that offers any guide to the 4000 or so outstanding. If it does, he will get home fairly comfortably.

Mornington. The teals could emerge empty-handed after a promising start in Mornington fell foul of a 2635-1553 break in favour of Liberal candidate Chris Crewther on postals, leaving him 177 votes ahead with about 3800 further postals still to come. On the other, the Liberals did poorly in 2022 on absent votes, of which there should be about 2000.

Northcote. The Greens’ lower house performance failed to match expectations set to at least some extent by a media determined to hype any anti-Labor narrative to hand, most notably in their likely failure to win Northcote. The first 1651 postals have broken 1027-624 to Labor, a swing in their favour of 5.7% with about 3500 still to come, but the Greens handily won absents in 2018, of which there should be about 3000.

Pakenham. Labor had a notional 2.2% margin in this essentially new seat, and their candidate Emma Vulin ended Sunday with a lead of eight votes over Liberal rival David Farrelly. Labor lost the first 2121 postals by only 1104-1017, a swing of 4.8% in their favour. The question is likely whether an advantage to Farrelly on 3500 or so remaining postals outweights absents, which on my post-redistribution calculation favoured Labor 1230-828 last time.

Preston. Labor’s 1306 vote lead on the two-candidate preferred count will assuredly be enough to see off the Greens. But at Inside Story, Tim Colebatch offers a “scoop”: the final count will in fact be between Labor and independent Gaetano Greco, and it’s not inconceivable he will win. Labor is on 38.1% of the primary vote to Greco’s 14.9%, raising the question of how many voters for sundry left-wing concerns (Greens, Victorian Socialists, Animal Justice and Reason Australia) moved promptly to Labor after their first preference over Greco, a “long-time Darebin councillor and Labor activist”.

Ripon. Liberal member Louise Staley needed a 2.8% swing here post-redistribution, currently has only 0.7%. Labor’s raw lead is 1358, but there are around 8000 early votes outstanding and Staley won the first batch of postals 1814-1272 with about 4500 still to come.

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.

549 comments on “Victorian election: late counting”

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  1. gollsays:
    Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 6:34 am
    Legalise Cannabis Australian have achieved three members of the LC in Victoria while The Transport Matters Party lost its only member.
    Some are keen to become part of the loop, some are not.
    Does the LCA Party have a transport policy ?

    Is Legalise Cannabis Victoria party progressive?

  2. Ven @ #499 Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 – 6:52 pm

    Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 6:34 am
    Legalise Cannabis Australian have achieved three members of the LC in Victoria while The Transport Matters Party lost its only member.
    Some are keen to become part of the loop, some are not.
    Does the LCA Party have a transport policy ?

    Is Legalise Cannabis Victoria party progressive?

    I think the answer is in the party name.

  3. Kirsdarke @ #498 Saturday, December 3rd, 2022 – 6:37 pm

    I think realistically that nobody will know the results of the upper house until button-push day for each region, whenever that is in the next couple of weeks.

    I don’t like it, but that’s the system. Which will hopefully be reformed next term.

    However, things will be very interesting if the ABC computer is right and Legalise Cannabis gains the balance of power on the crossbench.

    They might help the angry people chill the f out.

  4. Apologies William for continuing a (somewhat) off-topic discussion, but having been involved in internal efforts to push for the full decriminalisation of sex work in Queensland (essentially to bring it in line with the Victorian system, which sex worker advocates here consider to be the gold standard), I feel compelled to respond to Jeremy on this matter.

    There’s a reason sex work is called the oldest profession. That’s probably an exaggeration (historians tend to argue that hunters, farmers, and shepherds came first), but it has at least been around since the beginning of recorded history, and likely a lot longer than that. As with most vices, prohibition does little to stop it happening. What it does do is drive it underground and into the clutches of organised crime.

    The Johns arn’t the ones who suffer from sex work being illegal, nor are the pimps and brothel owners and their backers. The real victims are the workers, who are far more vulnerable to exploitation, sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, and murder in an illegal industry rather than one that is legal and regulated.

    That’s what the decriminalisation of sex work is about. Safety and harm minimisation. It’s not about glorifying prostitution, not about making it easier for horny men to get their rocks off… it’s about ensuring the women (and men) working in this industry have a safe working environment and recourse to the law if something does happen to them.

    Jeremy, you’ve repeatedly brought up the example of how someone might feel if their hypothetical daughter was a sex worker. Well, I am not a parent, but I can imagine I would not be especially thrilled were I in that situation. But if that were their choice and they were set on it, I’d at least want to know that they were as safe as possible while working in that industry, and I’d hope that you would agree with me on that.

  5. “I think the answer is in the party name.”

    Not sure that party names are a reliable guide, Rex.

    Exhibit A: Liberal party.

    I’m sure other counter-examples abound.

  6. Back on the late counting….

    It is looking increasingly likely that Labor will hold Bass, based on the ABC’s figures. Absents counted so far have favoured Labor and a lead of around 200 with not many votes left to count will be hard to overtake.

    Pakenham is also well advanced in counting and effectively both sides are equal – but it appears only a handful of absents have been counted so far. In 2018, the nearest comparable seat (Gembrook) had around 4,000 absents which split around 60/40 to Labor.

    I would think Labor insiders are now quite optimistic about prospects in both seats.

  7. Ven asks a valid question – its not uncommon for cannabis legalisation advocates (at least those that don’t find a home in the Greens or other left party) to have otherwise libertarian/small government views.

  8. If you’re looking for counter examples of party names meaning what they say, just look for ‘People’s Democratic Republic Of …’

    Anyway, Legalise Cannabis was preferenced by Labor ahead of the Greens in several regions. That’s why LC is able to win seats.

    Make of that what you will.

  9. EightESsays:
    Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 9:53 pm
    If you’re looking for counter examples of party names meaning what they say, just look for ‘People’s Democratic Republic Of …’

    Anyway, Legalise Cannabis was preferenced by Labor ahead of the Greens in several regions. That’s why LC is able to win seats.

    Make of that what you will.

    Did LC preferenced Labor ahead of Greens?
    I Remember Victorian Labor once preferenced Family First and DLP above Greens.
    Rex may not like this but in last assembly/ parliament, Victorian Labor(Dan Andrews) preferred to work more with Fiona Patten than with Greens to pass legislation.

  10. Ashasays:
    Friday, December 2, 2022 at 5:50 pm
    A TPP of 54-46 is typically considered a landslide in Australian elections, and winning 55 seats out of 88 is definitely a landslide. (That’s the equivalent of winning 93 seats in a federal election.)

    Just because it’s not as big a landslide as last time doesn’t mean it isn’t a landslide.

    Menzies won seven consecutive elections during his second term, eventually retiring as prime minister in January 1966. In a couple of elections he won with narrowest of margins. He was the main architect to keep ALP out of power for 22 years. So it doesn’t matter how big your win is. The most important thing is how long your party governed. The longer you stay in power the more powerful your narrative becomes. LNP is still underservedly considered by many people and pundits as the natural party of this country. That is reason they get with all the crap they dish out to people.

  11. With the addition of a swag of absents the VEC has the margin in Northote down to 270 votes. At 85% counted this is almost certainly too big a hill to climb for the Greens.

    But it would be hilarious if the Greens candidate, who declared victory on election night in a 20 minute speech, then conceded five days later, ends up winning after all.

  12. I was about to note the same: Kat Theophanous’ lead in Northcote is rapidly getting slimmer at 270 votes now. I’m guessing that was a big pile of absents which favour Greens

  13. The ABC says this, though I confess Im not sure what the latter part of it actually means.

    “Based on their own figures, the Greens have conceded defeat in Northcote with Labor’s Kat Theophanous re-elected. But the count has narrowed dramatically since. The two-candidate preferred percentage shown here is calculated based on preference flow information from data entered ballot paper data. The current two-candidate count provided in the feed from the VEC has 2,000 more votes than the first preference count so preferences are being calculated from the check counted first preferences pending resolution of the differences in the count.”

  14. It looks like the Greens have cut the margin in Northcote dramatically, presumably due to counting of absents. The VEC website seems to be up to date.

    At that rate, if there are still 1000 or so absents to go, the Greens could well win.

    The ABC count (somehow) is narrowly ahead of the VEC in Pakenham, with Labor out to a small lead (13 votes), again presumably due to absents.

    It’s all rather confusing. I should now ignore it and check the final count outcome on Wednesday morning!

  15. Re: Northcote
    As at 5.21am, Sunday the ABC has, with 84.9% counted, The ALP lead Northcote by 688 votes.
    Pakenham, ALP lead of 13 votes, 84.5% counted, too close to call.
    Bass, ALP lead of 189 votes, 87.8% counted.
    Preston, ALP leads by 694 votes, 88.1% counted.
    Hopefully, 3 definite wins and a possible fourth in Pakenham.
    ALP with 55/56 seats, LNP with 27/28 depending upon Narracan result.

  16. It’s possible, even probable, that ALP will fill their second quota in both Eastern and Northern Victoria courtesy of preferences from Legalise Cannabis, whose votes have been largely received ‘above the line’.
    That’s two seats ALP can thank Legalise Cannabis for. So the partnership is mutually beneficial.
    Make of that what you will.

  17. I get that the Liberals are trying to find some consolation in the result, but the fact that they didn’t have a “WA-style wipeout” is slim pickings indeed….especially given their brave predictions of being swept to power on a wave of fury against Dan Andrews:

    “Mirabella said the Coalition avoided a WA-style wipeout with a solid campaign, with both he and McQuestin emphasising the precarious position of the party before the election.”

  18. Apologies William but I feel compelled to respond to Asha.


    No, the gold standard for prostitution reform is not Victoria, it’s Sweden and now Spain. Under their system, prostitutes are left alone. They are not prosecuted. Instead, fines are issued for anyone who pays for sex. Being a prostitute becomes entirely pointless. Surely you can see that separating money from sex results in everyone winning.

    ‘Sex worker advocates’ are not advocates for women, they are advocates for the sex industry. There is a huge difference.

    The sex industry is just the drug industry with a different name.
    “The majority of participants reported starting sex work because they needed the money for drugs, and this was also the main reason for remaining in the sex industry.”

    Australias drug traffickers will certainly applaud the total decriminalization of the sex industry. Under your scheme, how will drug addicted prostitutes be prevented from working? They won’t be. But that’s the point. The best way to deal with being a prostitute is to forget about in a drug induced haze. What does that tell you?

    Saying something is ‘the oldest profession in the world’ doesn’t mean much. Your argument that we should legalize something because it’s been around for a long time is absurd. People keep killing each other. Maybe we should decriminalize murder too. Besides, how does legalizing it prevent it from falling into the clutches of organized crime?

    Surely you must be aware that legalizing prostitution leads to the trafficking of women into Australia for the sex industry? They want and encourage as much sex trafficking as possible. That’s pretty dispiriting don’t you think but that’s what you’re endorsing.
    So what will happen with the ‘pimps, and brothel owners and their backers’ if full legalization occurs? Nothing. Why would they go away? I’m talking of course about all the pimps, people who live off the earnings of prostitution. So that includes, Garion Hall, Michelle Flynn and Anna Brownfield. What is your opinion of these parasites?

    “The real victims are the workers, who are far more vulnerable to exploitation, sexual assault, sexually transmitted diseases, and murder in an illegal industry rather than one that is legal and regulated.”

    For the record ALL prostitutes are sexually exploited and abused, legal or otherwise. They are paid to be humiliated and degraded. You don’t think women would be better off not being sexually assaulted and abused? Has no one told you that your chances of getting an STD are greatly reduced if you are not a prostitute? What about the simple idea that everyone should have sex with anyone they’re attracted to?

    The sex industry goes to great lengths to convince women that prostitution is the way to go. Have you not heard of Sexpo? That is all about ‘glorifying prostitution.’ It’s requires no skills, is extremely lucrative and shows the world how sexually liberated and empowered you are. Seriously. Of course, any women with a shred of dignity would tell these creeps to go and jump in the lake.

    You can’t seem to make up your mind whether you’d encourage your daughter into prostitution or not. It sounds like you would be fine with it. Which would make you almost unique. Maybe I’ll ask my daughters mother if she thinks prostitution is a great career choice? The Libs missed a golden opportunity to crucify Andrews on this issue. Would he want his daughter being a prostitute in Victoria? Simple question. If he says he would it instantly labels him an appalling human being. If he says no, he’s a total hypocrite. How long will it be before pimps appear in schools telling our daughters about the great career in prostitution they could have?

  19. Jeez, Jeremy, let it go, mate, please. I beg you. We know you have a firm view. We even know what it is. Move on! With respect, I disagree. I have absolutely no issue with people selling sex. I want the industry as safe as possible for all participants. Surely you do too, even if you are lucky enough to personally opt out.

    As for the voting, I’m enthralled that the LNP luvvies are now patting themselves on the back for not being wiped out! Rose coloured glasses, bigly! A bit like Jeffrey Dahmer pointing out that at least he cleaned up after himself.

    More self indulgent puff pieces in the age, independent always, about Mr potato head.

    My Greens may be back in the hunt for northcotte. Go Campbell. Better than hereditary peers.

  20. Thankyou MABWM for your generous advice concerning my contributions. I will certainly tailor my responses to your wishes and demands.

  21. Jeremy, your opinion about things you don’t like is not interesting to anyone except yourself and your religious nutter mates, and that includes the law. There’s a reason your lot got spanked at the last Victorian election, and the only thing you’re doing is giving a very detailed expose as to why. Stop obsessing about other peoples private bits, especially the private bits of other peoples children. It’s creepy.

  22. one of the legalize canibas wa mps is a libetairean and is anti vacksination so i think the party is not necesarily progresive

  23. Preston has now moved into the ALP win column on PB. Still in the ALP ahead column in ABC.

    Pakenham has exactly 50% (18,267 votes apiece) for each candidate on PB. Pretty weird. ABC has it at 84.8% counted, PB at 92.1%, but ABC has higher vote counts. I’m sure there’s a logical reason for that in there somewhere.

  24. Jeremy Browne, I don’t agree with everything that you say, but you make me think. Thank you for putting your arguments so cogently.

  25. Jeremy Brownesays:
    Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 10:02 am

    “For the record ALL prostitutes are sexually exploited and abused, legal or otherwise.”

    There is zero evidence anywhere capable of supporting that pathetic statement. And more importantly this is not the forum to issue blanket condemnation of how people choose to live their lives regardless of how you might feel about it. Either post something relevant to the thread or I suggest you find another outlet for your micro aggressive outbursts.

  26. The Lib just went up by 93 votes in Pakenham.

    Each batch of votes there is bouncing all over the place…

    Meanwhile lead in Northcote just got trimmed a little more from 270 to 213..

  27. I don’t have a split personality, unless there’s something going on that personality A does not know about. I am a long time lurker but rare poster. I generally only post when I know an actual fact, which limits my contributions greatly 🙂

  28. Pakenham a real nail biter with no consistency to its latest drops. That said the 2PP is blowing out to almost 55-45. Absolute whiteout.

  29. I’ve noticed in the vast majority of seats the late counting in the last couple of days is favouring Labor: Liberal margins are slightly shrinking while Labor ones are mostly growing.

  30. Aaha, thanks for your calm and considered comment above. You have been posting on this site for a while and I always enjoy reading your perspective, and appreciate your non confrontational tone.

  31. Trent says:
    Sunday, December 4, 2022 at 6:51 pm

    I’ve noticed in the vast majority of seats the late counting in the last couple of days is favouring Labor: Liberal margins are slightly shrinking while Labor ones are mostly growing.

    Trent, with the Lib in Pakenham now ahead by 93, is that the end for Labor or should we expect more twists?

  32. Interesting looking at the vote tally, VEC site not updating as quick as the ABC site which seems odd!!

    Looking at previous election data and current vote tallies, this is how it looks;

    PAKENHAM: Libs lead by 93 but I have still around 2000 votes to be counted. Early absent votes were even and Postals, that initially favoured ALP, was moving more towards the Libs. Looks too close to call, but Libs with their nose in front.

    NORTHCOTE: Another thriller. I have around 1000 votes to be counted, with the ALP lead continually going backwards(now at 194.) Greens need about 59% of remaining vote to win by me, but that is about the % it’s been going. Could be a single figure margin.

    BASS: With around 1200 votes to be counted, the lead is 179. Going to be close, but probably the seat ALP will be most confident on.

  33. Meanwhile, the TPP is now close to 55-45.
    I think Bass, Northcote and Pakenham will all end up in the Labor column for a final result of 56(!)-28-4.
    Dr Bonham seems to think a correction back in Labor’s favour is imminent in Pakenham.
    If Northcote was going to be close we’d be hearing noises from The Greens about retracting their concession (I know it doesn’t have any legal effect either way).

  34. With Preston, It was always going to be the case that voters who voted out of the district were going to vote more randomly in their preferences than those in the seat as they don’t have any who to vote cards. So the Independent was always going to struggle with that.

  35. @B.S. Fairman
    I know concessions have no legal effect whatsoever but I haven’t heard any noises whatsoever from The Greens suggesting they might have been premature to concede Northcote. Suggests their scrutineering is telling them pretty clearly they won’t make it. And at 89.1% counted there can’t be many votes left to count.

  36. Northcote – there is probably only less 1000 votes to go. Many of these are postal votes which favour Labor. The provisional votes will favour the Greens but that is probably in the low dozens of votes, so not enough to impact the race.
    I think the Greens know this and hence why there is no screaming yet.
    Turnout has been fairly consistent in the seat at 91.5% in General elections.

  37. @B.S. Fairman
    Agree with you re Preston. Labor losing was always a long-shot with the vote spread so evenly among the top 3 non-Labor candidates.

  38. Further to what I just said about Preston, there’s also the Victorian Socialists on 6+%. I scoffed at their chances during the campaign but they’ve done quite well and given The Greens a bloody nose.

  39. @Toby

    Well that’s what we thought a few days ago – I’m not so sure now. Would rather be Labor of course, but nobody thought it would be this close with 1000+ to go. I think the large early vote has reduced the number of postals more than the number of absents and here we are.

    As I say, get your hat out, and hold on to it…. 🙂

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