Narracan supplementary election

Commentary and live coverage for the Narracan supplementary election, which will put in place the final piece of Victorian state election result.

Click here for full results updated live.

Live commentary

End of Saturday night. My system is probably showing its limitations by projecting the Greens to finish second, as independent Tony Wolfe has a bare lead over them on the primary vote and I imagine will do better on preferences. So the 12.7% Liberal margin on the Liberal-versus-Wolfe two-candidate preferred count, which will likely increase a little on postals, is probably more meaningful than my projection of 17.9% over the Greens. Certainly it’s an easy win for Liberal candidate Wayne Farnham, although the 11% drop in their primary vote in the absence of competition from Labor, who polled 35.5% in 2018, is an uninspiring result.

7.36pm. The preference split is now looking more like what I would expect, or at least less unlike, favouring the independent 58-42. But it’s an academic point with the Liberals leading the TCP count 65-35. I notice my booth results map isn’t firing – I’ll look into that after all the results are in for the evening.

7.21pm. I think my results feature is behaving as it should now, with Wayne Farnham and Tony Wolfe set as the TCP candidates, although my projection says the Greens are more likely to finish second. It turns out preferences are splitting about evenly between Farnham and Wolfe, where I had earlier assumed they would flow massively to Wolfe. So this looks like the anticipated walkover for Farnham, though with a rather soft primary vote.

7.05pm. Nine booths in and I’ve got the projected Liberal primary vote up to 42.9%, which is more like it for them. The TCP count clearly isn’t Liberal versus Greens – the lower end of my results display won’t work until I rejig it to accommodate this.

6.56pm. This is a pretty steep drop for the Liberals in the three booths concerned compared with where they were in 2018, such that I’m presently predicting them to end with a primary vote of 37.8%, which would be dangerously low for them.

6.50pm. Three booths in on the primary vote, Liberal primary at 44.8%, Tony Wolfe looking clearly the strongest independent and slightly outpolling the Greens. Still don’t know what’s happening with the TCP count.

6.30pm. The VEC feed is updating every 15 minutes. The 6:30pm update is through but there are still no results in it. My results page says the latest update is 6pm – I believe this will remain unchanged until there is actually a result in (UPDATE: I’ve fixed this). I’m assuming for the time being that the two-candidate preferred count will be Liberal versus Greens, but won’t actually know until there are results to report.


The Victorian state election reaches its denouement today with the election for the seat of Narracan, which was unable to proceed on November 26 due to the death of Nationals candidate Shaun Gilchrist six days earlier. Narracan was never a target for Labor, but with the retirement of incumbent Gary Blackwood, who had held it for the Liberals since 2006, the seat appeared to be a possibility for the Nationals, who ended up with a notably better story to tell about their election result than the Liberals. However, the Nationals have decided not to put forward a candidate for the fresh election, which together with Labor’s more predictable forfeit make the contest look like a walkover for the new Liberal candidate, Wayne Farnham.

There is nonetheless a field of eleven candidates, and the possibility one of the independents may have enough critical mass to become competitive with the help of strong flows of preferences. The most outwardly promising of the three would appear to be Annemarie McCabe, the mayor of Baw Baw Shire. Also in the field are Tony Wolfe, a former Baw Baw deputy mayor who describes himself as a “coal worker advocating for renewable energy”, and Ian Honey, a project facilitator and former Bairnsdale councillor.

If only for the sake of completeness, I have put together a profile page for the seat. Live results will be published on this site following the usual format from 6pm.

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.

24 comments on “Narracan supplementary election”

  1. Most interesting detail will be whether the final two will be Lib vs Wolfe or Lib vs the Greens. Other than that, really not much for us to learn from this.

  2. Well, I’d say 50/50 chance of guessing which of the two it’ll be. But it doesn’t really matter anyway, as the Lib will have over 50% of first prefs.

  3. What to watch for is how low or high the Liberals Primary vote is and who gets the Labor vote. The VEC will probably go for a 2CP between the Liberals and Greens as this is still the most likely outcome unless one of the Indies has really cut through.
    If Greens primary is up above 20% there is little chance of someone else catching them.

  4. Disappointing Labor did not put up a candidate.
    With places like Warragul and Drouin now in commuter distance to Melbourne the name of the electorate is quaint.
    Narracan used to be a place at the end of a spur railway line from Moe.
    I would have thought the there might have been enough Labor voters now in the bigger towns for Labor to give it a shot.
    Having said this, what with farming for spuds and dairy cows, I guess the Nationals are kind in the box seat.

  5. Warragul and Drouin are certainly growing fast but the new population is not as Labor friendly as other areas of growth in the state. I am not sure why – most other areas which have grown quickly in Victoria have been Labor friendly such as the Melbourne growth corridors, Torquay and growth areas of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.

  6. I know why Labor didn’t run but with this result, in hindsight, it probably would have been better to run and knock a few percent of the margin. The Liberals having another 5% seat to back up next time would have divert much needed resources compared to what would be needed to defend a seat being on 10%.

  7. Proof that when there is an election for only one seat the Liberals win in a canter. Yet when it is a general election, Labor somehow win a landslide despite being an 8 year old government, now I don’t wish to spread conspiracy theories, but this election I think is proof that Labor and the left are able to rig elections at will when they want. Come on Victorians, time to take back your democracy.

  8. Nixon Did Nothing Wrong
    Proof that when there is an election for only one seat the Liberals win in a canter. Yet when it is a general election, Labor somehow win a landslide despite being an 8 year old government, now I don’t wish to spread conspiracy theories, but this election I think is proof that Labor and the left are able to rig elections at will when they want. Come on Victorians, time to take back your democracy.
    Narracan is a solid Liberal seat.

  9. Frankly it says something somewhat negative to the Victorian Liberal Party that they seem to have failed to achieve at least 50% of the primary vote in this particular district, with no Labor or National candidates.

    So far only 45%. Yes, pretty much enough to get their candidate up after preferences, but if anything it looks like they’ve actually fallen backwards from 2018 in this district.

  10. Nixon……..Surely this is a leg-pull on your behalf, though I am happy to laugh at your attempted joke.
    The reality is that when you put a horse is a one horse race, against a lot of donkeys, the one horse is likely to win even if it is a hack.
    Currently, Australia wide, the Liberal Party struggles to get more than 3 in 10 people to get a primary vote (slight exaggeration of course) but what it does mean is that there is no need for any vote “rigging” as the majority of the electorate prefers other political parties – that is, other than the Liberal Party.

  11. 75% turnout isn’t that flash either (although better than North West Central a few months ago). I guess a lot of Labor voters just stayed home, and plenty of Lib voters would’ve gone for other candidates now that the chance of winning government isn’t there. It might not technically be a by-election, but it might as well be one.

  12. Jeepers… If the Libs fail to get 50% of first prefs without any real opposition, that’s actually pretty dire for them.

    This was the Liberal party’s safest seat after the 2018 election…

  13. And of course, channel stokes reports it as a late vote of last year’s election* by just reporting
    “Liberals win last seat in election” on their news service with no reporting on the context at
    all unlike here… 😡

    * match break on the bbl last night

  14. >Expat says:
    Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 11:06 pm

    But how many people are voting this way becuase they know it will not change the goverment.

    Still this is a bad result for them.

  15. Hello, Narracan voter here.

    The result was always utterly inevitable, and the ALP not running was a smart decision by them. Why waste a cent on this when there’s only downside?
    Not sure how Tony Wolfe funded his campaign but he won the corflute battle, he was more visible than the Lib.

    Interesting that the Lib still ran on building the West Gippsland hospital. The one that the ALP committed to during the main election.

    Five far right candidates seemed a bit much to me, it’s hard to rank Family Fist, One Nazi, the FreeDum Party and the DLP against each other down the bottom of the ballot.

    Glad nothing was riding on the results, the explanatory pieces by city journalists who’d just discovered West Gippsland would have been terrible.

  16. I’m not sure where Tony Wolfe’s funding is coming from, but he’s got some interesting connections and seems to be a pretty switched-on guy.

    This is his writing >

    As a former Gippsland coal industry worker, but also a social progressive who says they need to move on from all that, he ticks a few boxes in the electorate for people who wouldn’t normally vote Green or even Labor, but also don’t really want the Libs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *