Aston by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Aston federal by-election.

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


7pm. More postal votes have been added, the later ones being weaker for the Liberals than the first, being only 1876-1839 to their advantage and leaving the Labor lead all but unchanged at 6342. The electronic assisted votes have also been added, of which there were a grand total of 22. That should leave us with about 4000 postals and a handful of provisionals, and there’s no reason to think either will change the size of Labor’s lead. I have now cleaned up the remaining bugs in my results, including the one that was preventing a swing on the preference flows from showing. Labor’s share has gone from 60% to 63.6%, reflecting the fact that the United Australia Party and One Nation were in the field last time. It may be noted that Pauline Hanson’s assertion that One Nation was sitting out the contest as a strategic move to harm Labor yielded no appreciable dividend.

11am. The first and biggest batch of postals have broken 3642-3065 to Liberal, and while this is a relatively modest swing of 1.0% to Labor, it only cuts the margin from 6466 to 6124.


End of night. Election day and pre-poll booths ended up producing remarkably similar swings, at 6.3% and 6.5% on two-party preferred and barely less similar on the primary vote. We can seemingly still expect something approaching 20,000 postal votes, which will assuredly bite into the current margin of 6466, but not by nearly enough to overturn Labor’s remarkable win. The only other categories of outstanding vote are provisionals and electronic assisted votes, of which there will be barely more than a few hundred. It was a bit of a horror night for my election results page, partly because my system needs more work before it can handle two elections at the same time — work I haven’t had time to do over the past week. I’ve now patched it up to the extent that it’s more or less doing its job, providing booth results and swings neatly laid out in the table and on a map display you can view by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

9.10pm. Three of the four pre-poll booths have reported their results in quick succession, and they have entirely dispelled the notion that the Liberals could hope for a late miracle.

8.40pm. All the ordinary booths have reported on both two-party and primary, which is pretty fast work. Presumably we’ll be getting big pre-poll results later in the evening. I notice that there aren’t raw two-candidate numbers on the AEC site, so perhaps it’s not just me. The “projections” shown on my results page are actually the raw results, and the zero swings shown for two-candidate preferred and preferences are fudges I’ve put in.

8.19pm. There are still a few issues with my display, notably the swings on the two-party preferred table, but after the insertion of a few fudges it’s mostly doing it’s job. So to finally comment on the actual numbers, what we have here is a grim night for the Liberal Party, who will need something extraordinary on pre-poll votes and postals to pull it out of the fire. It should be noted though that they just about did so in Wentworth after it was called for them quite early on the night, and that last week’s New South Wales election wasn’t as bad for them as it first appeared owing to a better dynamic for them on pre-polls.

8.11pm. I’ve finally ironed out the problem that was producing screwy primary vote swings and projections. Seemingly though there’s some other problem with the swings in the two-candidate preferred table.

7.32pm. It’s not a good night for my live results — bits of it are working but bits aren’t. Just use it for looking at booths results until I advise further.

7.15pm. My Boronia East two-party results aren’t adding up, but this was a booth where there appeared to be little swing on the primary vote.

7.11pm. The Wantirna South booth is now in, and it’s an intriguingly strong result for Labor, but there’s a 10% swing to Labor there, and the ABC TV coverage relates that Kos Samaras is hearing of consistent swings to Labor.

6.55pm. The first result is in from Rowville East, where both parties are up about 5% on the primary vote.

6pm. Polls have closed for the Aston by-election. Through the above link you will find live updated results, including full booth details in both tabular and map display and swing-based projections and probability estimates. This post will offer live commentary as the results come through, the first of which I imagine will be in about 45 minutes or so.

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.

812 comments on “Aston by-election live”

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  1. ajmsays:
    Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 2:50 pm
    Had a look at the census data for Aston. Quite a large Chinese population but against that looks rather middle Australia, and also large car use, hence the Libs emphasising the roads they would have built. Bit of a puzzler but it may well be one of those electorates tracking to Labor long term
    The real demographic change in Melbourne’s east has been the growing Chinese and Indian population but Aston was marginal until about a decade ago before swinging to Howard and has stayed safe ever since.

  2. Looking at the equivalent State seats, Aston roughly covers the seats of Rowville, Bayswater and Monbulk, with the LGA being based on the City of Knox.

    In the 70’s and 80’s, voters in Knox fairly often voted for Labor at both the State and Federal level, but turned hard against them in the 90’s at both levels.

    Federally, they’ve been pretty stable in keeping this a safe Liberal seat, but at the state level, Rowville is safe Liberal, Bayswater is Liberal leaning, and Monbulk is Labor leaning.

    At the state election in November, there was a small swing against the Liberals in Rowville, a decent swing to Labor in Bayswater and about a lineball result in Monbulk (mainly because of the retirement of former deputy Premier James Merlino).

    I don’t know how much of that will be applicable in this by-election, it’s all up in the air, but if I were to guess, I’m thinking there may be a small swing to Labor, but not enough to win the seat. I suppose we’ll see how it plays out.

  3. Howard’s been out of office for over 15 years… I don’t believe the Angel of Death has been deployed in Aston.

    Aston is not the land of the Battlers, lol

  4. MelbourneMammoth says:
    Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 6:34 pm

    It’s the land of the Howard Battlers and Howard Aspirationals.

    Absolutely, thats where I was from, Howard suburbia, true Liberal heartland since 1990s

  5. C@tmomma says:
    Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Would the Howard Battlers be more likely to be found in Narre Warren?
    There weren’t really many Howard Battlers in Victoria. The Liberals only won the 2pp in Victoria in 2004. Must be more of a Sydney thing.

  6. By the time of the 1996 Federal Election, Victorian voters who would have been “Howard Battlers” had already experienced over 3 years of harsh Liberal government at the state level under Kennett so weren’t so enthusiastic about embracing Howard as they would have been otherwise.

  7. I can easily see an ALP victory here.

    For all his issues, Tudge did have a personal vote, which is now gone. The ALP is still flying high on its honeymoon period, and people don’t like being forced back to the polls so soon, which could easily blow back on the Liberals.

    This early in the election cycle there’s more than enough feeling around to give the new guy a go, and no particular reason for the baseball bats to come out.

  8. Random observation: Aston is exactly the City of Knox (no more, no less). There can’t be too many divisions exactly overlapping a LGA like that.

  9. This is not the 2001 election blog. I think we can move on from affixing “Howard” to everything and pretending it still has significant political meaning. The values he stood for aren’t unique to him.

  10. I hope the libs win by enough to keep Dutton as leader of the opposition forever. I suspect this is why labor has not gone as hard as it could have in the seat.

  11. Oh PK, thinks that the cost of living crisis is the “ALP’s”. God everything wrong with the ABC these days is on the tv right now. Just report the news. And if there’s nothing to say talk about the birds like they do at the cricket.

  12. The Greens will be down because they had no skin in the game without a Senator to elect. HTV coverage was relatively poor.

  13. Sustainable Future: “I suspect this is why labor has not gone as hard as it could have in the seat.”

    18 MPs were door knocking. The greens have been meh, but the ALP has been pushing here.

  14. boatswain1025 says:
    Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Guys is it happening?
    In Buddhas’ good time we shall know – but wry smile

  15. Oh if only Speers and Kavalas look totally stupid tonight after they spent the first 30 minutes of their program promoting the Liberal candidate.

  16. Logically the Liberals should win a by election in a formerly safe seat. History averages a 5% swing to oppositions in by elections.

    Holding the current margin would be a great result for Labor, so I will say status quo as my prediction.

    A Further swing to Labor would be brilliant.

    A Labor win and I’ll be popping champagne.

  17. Greens dropping back as expected, to about 10% it seems which is decent for them considering the circumstances. Labor looking very very nice, which is good

  18. ALP candidate will need to be leading by 54-46 at the close of counting to withstand the inevitable Liberal Party Postal vote onslaught.

  19. Wantrina South booth result would make the Liberals nervous because if the ALP start winning in that part of Aston then its hard to see the Liberals winning.

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