New South Wales election late counting (part two)

A regularly updated post following the progress of late counting for the New South Wales state election.

Click here for full NSW election results updated live.

Saturday morning

If I understand the situation correctly, yesterday saw only check counts conducted of votes that had already been reported on the initial count – the check count results will not be published in the media feed, which is the source of the data in my results system and those of other media outlets, and have not yet been published on the Electoral Commission system either. However, Antony Green reports checking unearthed a fairly substantial error at the Mittagong Public School booth in Wollondilly, discovery of which has boosted independent candidate Judy Hannan’s lead by 450 votes and dispelled any lingering doubt as to whether she will win.

Tomorrow, entirely new batches of postal, absent and enrolment/provisional votes will be counted and added to the media feed – the expected number of which and the order in which they will be conducted by seat are available here. As before, these will include two-candidate preferred results for the postal votes, but not for the absents and enrolment/provisionals.

Friday morning

A fresh post on the New South Wales election count, the earlier instalment of which can be found here. The Electoral Commission spent today tackling absents and enrolment/provisional reasons — for whatever reason, it only counts primary votes during the first of the two counts it conducts of these votes, so we will be flying blind on this front for the time being at least. The additions to the count yesterday were not huge (and there was no progress at all in Oatley or Pittwater) — the absent vote tallies noted below accounted for at most around a quarter of what’s likely to be their total, and absents have a way of varying from batch to batch depending on where they come from.

I haven’t been following the upper house count, but I’m told that here too things are improving for the Liberals, meaning a likely result of Labor eight, Coalition seven, Greens two and one apiece from One Nation, Legalise Cannabis, Liberal Democrats and Shooters Fishers and Farmers, resulting in a chamber in which the left and right have 21 seats apiece.

Holsworthy. No one’s holding out much hope for Labor here, with a 526 vote Liberal lead before yesterday’s additions and postals likely to widen it decisively. Labor would have clawed back about 50 votes on yesterday’s 766 formal absents, but they gained little advantage on the 263 enrolment/provisionals.

Ryde. Labor leads by 235 on the two-party count, which doesn’t include today’s 949 absents, on which I imagine they would have gained about two dozen, and 708 enrolment/provisionals, which broke pretty evenly. Labor’s gain on absents was rather weak in swing terms, which may be because they come from a relatively strong area for the Liberals. If not, the odds on the Liberals chasing Labor down on the many thousands of outstanding postals (2064 have been counted and the NSWEC has received nearly 9000 of them) will have shortened.

Terrigal. I would estimate that Labor gained about 40 on 839 absents and 90 on 670 enrolment/provisionals, but here too the swings to them were relatively weak, which reduces the chances of them wearing down a 237-vote Liberal lead that will surely increase on outstanding postals, of which the Electoral Commission has received 5288 and counted 615. If Labor has a hope, it’s that the remaining absents come from stronger areas and that postals sent closer to election day are more favourable to them than the earlier ones.

Wollondilly. Today’s additions were modest in number, but Judy Hannan did remarkably badly on the 305 absents, scoring only 37 (12.1%) to the Liberals’ 103 (33.8%) and failing to improve on her performance in 2019. I suspect these came from a weak and probably rural area for her, but they nonetheless fortify me in my decision to not call it for her yet despite her 1350 lead on the two-candidate count.

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.

268 comments on “New South Wales election late counting (part two)”

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  1. any news on minns parliamentary secretaries apart from daley aterney general a good cabenit suprised about catley getting polece

  2. Is is unfathomable that in the only remaining seat in doubt there has been no update on the figures in 3 days

  3. Oakeshott Country says:
    Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Is is unfathomable that in the only remaining seat in doubt there has been no update on the figures in 3 days

    Electoral Commission ‘green ban’?

  4. Tiny update from Ryde, Jordan Lane 238 votes ahead, likely Liberal hold you’d think, although the ABC hasn’t called the seat yet.

  5. The NSW late vote count (after election night) was one of the most depressing that I can remember. It seemed that all of the doubtfuls broke to the Coalition and some seats thought won from the Coalition by Labor or Independents were snatched back.

    While the Labor vote is always eroded after election night, with more doubfuls going to the Coalition than to Labor, this was very unusual, a worst case scenario, a bit like the “one in N years” storm. As far as I can see, all the pundits got it wrong, including the sainted Antony Green, not to mention our sainted host.

    Was there something unusual here, like a late swing to Labor not reflected in prepolls and postals? Or are my perceptions wrong?

    P.S. The most depressing election night ever was of course 18 May 2019.

  6. @Steve777

    Partly. I think this was a case of a combination of a very late swing to Labor (Election day votes were likely 55/45 to the ALP, while prepolls and postals were only 52/48 as earlier polls had predicted), a poor postal vote campaign by NSW Labor, and a very unbalanced pendulum that resulted from the 2019 election.

    The pendulum in particular was a big problem because there were so few Coalition targets for Labor to pick off that it allowed them to sandbag them enough to minimize the swing. For instance, East Hills and Penrith swung only 2% because the Liberals knew Labor were targeting them and ran strong counter-campaigns. And then you get totally unexpected results like South Coast and Camden where the Liberals thought their margin was strong enough to absorb a possible swing, but they weren’t.

    And on Labor’s side, they certainly weren’t expecting to come as close as they did in Terrigal, Drummoyne and Miranda, with seats like Oatley, Holsworthy and Winston Hills seeming more likely, but the Liberals managed to hold on in all of them, with them actively defending the latter three and Labor not properly targeting the former three.

    However, this goes the other way for the next election. Labor only has 6 marginal seats under 6% to defend, while the Coalition has 15 seats. And going by past voting patterns (the 1976 and 1978 campaigns, then the 1995 and 1999 campaigns), NSW Labor governments tend to win more seats after their first term.

  7. Steve777 8.00pm

    Thanks. 53.6% makes sense. Final figures when late votes even from seats not in doubt are included may perhaps have it ending up more like 53-47% on 2PP.

  8. There is no such thing as a good postal vote campaign. There is no such thing as a poor postal vote campaign. These concepts are political myths.

  9. I did read somewhere that Labor doesn’t do postal vote campaigns because there’s no upside. Postals are bad for Labor full stop. I can’t remember where so no link. If postals had favoured Labor as much as in the real World they favour the Coalition, they would have been suppressed long ago. That is not acceptable, its something Labor has to deal with.

    However, are there any demographics likely to be unable to attend a polling place on election day who might be likely to vote or preference Labor who could be targeted? Young people travelling or studying away from home, for example?

  10. @AE

    I suppose that’s right. In principle, it would be more difficult for an opposition to win in postal votes than the government, when the government has the extra money to splash around on sending out pleasant letters from the local MP complete with instructions for how to register to vote by mail to avoid having to stand in line for the polling booth, from the fact that as the government they have more MP’s in the first place.

    As I mentioned before, it feels just so bitter as a Labor supporter seeing a seat like Terrigal being like “Oh wow, Labor are 52-48 ahead!” then the prepolls come in and then it’s like “oh, it’s 50-50”, then the postals come in and then it’s like “welp, Liberals hold it by 52-48.”

  11. In my case, I don’t vote postal because of advice given by Antony Green. If there is a single error on the envelope and document, the vote is rendered invalid, and you wouldn’t even know. The best way to vote and make sure it counts is to show up in person in order to do it.

    Of course I’d want to make sure my vote counted, and I don’t want it lost in the mail. I’ve worked in a retail shop that relied on postal deliveries and I’ve had enough experiences to know exactly how it can go wrong.

  12. Kirsdarke: As I mentioned before, it feels just so bitter as a Labor supporter seeing a seat like Terrigal being like “Oh wow, Labor are 52-48 ahead!” then the prepolls come in and then it’s like “oh, it’s 50-50”, then the postals come in and then it’s like “welp, Liberals hold it by 52-48.”

    Perhaps if you replace Terrigal with, say, Wisconsin and amplify the shift a few times over, you can see how conspiracy theories about stolen elections can take hold.

  13. With the final result in all seats now pretty clear, it’s interesting to see how the betting markets performed. They got the government party right, and type of government right (Labor minority). They weren’t too bad on seats-they got the Labor expected gains of East Hills, Parramatta, Penrith and Riverstone right, plus the Liberal holds of Holsworthy and Winston Hills, and Ward winning Kiama. They had Labor narrow favourite for Camden at one point, but that changed to a Liberal hold in the final week, so that was wrong. They also failed on Labor picking up Monaro and South Coast, and the Indy gains of Wakehurst and Wollondilly. So 5 fails out of 93. The polling companies were all pretty close to the mark, at least on the state-level 2PP of about 53.5% ALP, so they deserve credit for that.

    It’s good to see that the Hunter has strong representation in the new ministry-5 ministers in total from Newcastle, Maitland and Port Stephens.

  14. Yeah, I am still mildly pissed off about Terrigal and Miranda, in both cases two rather mediocre Liberal MPs got home on the back of postal votes, the over 50s never let the Liberals down. Terrigal was heartbreaking, the Labor candidate ran a terrific campaign without much help from Head Office.
    As noted above, the Coalition will have a heap of marginal seats to defend next time without the benefit of being in government, so if Minns governs wisely for the next 4 years, Labor can increase its numbers in 2027.

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