Warrandyte by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Victorian state by-election for Warrandyte.

Click here for full display of Warrandyte by-election results.

Live commentary

End of Saturday night. By-elections with major party forfeits are always hard to read, particularly when, as in this case, the absent major party had accounted for nearly a third of the vote last time. Even so, the 8.9% hike in the Liberal primary vote seems respectable enough, having been scored from a field of twelve candidates compared with six last time. The Greens, who often struggle at by-elections, can likewise take something out of a 7.4% gain despite competition from the Victorian Socialists, who are on 3.9%. The only smaller party in the field both times was Family First, who struggled against a bigger field and a religious Liberal candidate. The DLP would owe a fair bit of their 5.7% to the name “Labour”, and Sustainable Australia some of their 2.7% to the donkey vote. The Freedom Party’s 2.2% was a bit below their average at the state election, and five independents managed less than 7% between them, more than half of which went to former Liberal Democrat Maya Tesa.

9.53pm. Sure enough, about 7000 early votes have just reported on the primary vote. These are very strong for the Liberals — about as much so as the postals, in swing terms. Presumably the corresponding TCP result will be along a bit later, and that will be it for the evening.

9.34pm. All election day booths are now in on primary and TCP, although there may be a large dump of early votes still to come this evening.

8.40pm. The preference flows table on my results page is back in business. It now shows the Liberals getting more than half, but I suspect that’s inflated by it being dominated by postals.

8.37pm. Out of 11 booths, seven are in on primaries and four are TCP. My projections are doing what they’re supposed to do, in that they’re remaining fairly steady while the raw totals fluctuate — raw TCP has blown out to 74.5-25.5 because the postals have now reported and dominate the total, but that will come down when we get the TCP results from the three booths that have so far only reported on primaries.

8.18pm. Now we’ve got five booths in on primaries and three on TCP. The Liberals are on 60.9% of the primary vote, but I’m projecting that to come down to 57% as the count becomes less dominated by postals. I’m less clear on how sticky the nearly 70-30 result on TCP will be, because it hasn’t been reported on postals yet. I’d be interested to know what the 42 absent votes are.

8.15pm. On the booth that’s in on the TCP, the Greens received 55.2% of minor party and independent preferences — which is what the preference flows table should be showing.

8.12pm. So now I’ve rubbed out the contents of the preference flows table.

8.09pm. Projection error rectified. However, the “preference flows” table is not behaving as it should.

8.04pm. Two booths in, one on primary votes only, the other on both primary and two-party. My projection has gone awry, and should not be allowing for the remotest possibility of Liberal defeat. Even so, the Liberals are doing less well on polling booth swings than on postals.

7.48pm. Results at last — and very curiously, it’s a huge batch of 5580 postals (primary votes only), on which the Liberal vote is up 13.8%. More than enough for my system to call it.

7.09pm. On what basis I’m not sure, but Simon Love of Sky News tweets: “Early pre-poll and postals strong so far – Lib primary vote up”.

7.04pm. Still nothing. The VEC results page confirms there will indeed by a Liberal-versus-Greens TCP count.

6.34pm. Results are only being refreshed every 15 minutes. Another update came through just now, but still nothing.

6.06pm. I’m assuming the TCP count will be between Liberal and the Greens, but won’t actually know until some numbers come through.

6pm. Polls have closed. Given the large field of candidates and the lack of small rural booths, I don’t imagine we will be seeing any results for at least a quarter of an hour.


Today is the day of Victoria’s Warrandyte by-election, occasioned by the resignation of Liberal member Ryan Smith. As detailed in my by-election guide, this seems likely to result in an easy win for Liberal candidate Nicole Werner, with Labor forfeiting and no obviously threatening independent or minor party challenger emerging. As usual, this site will feature a results page including projections and tabular and mapped displays of results at booth level, to be updated live from the close of voting at 6pm, together with live commentary to be added to this post.

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.

89 comments on “Warrandyte by-election live”

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  1. Spence says:
    Saturday, August 26, 2023 at 10:16 pm

    63% turnout so far is a huge drop. Makes the swing pretty meaningless with many Labor voters “out of town”.

    Pay the fine instead of voting for a ratbag, seems like an option.

  2. MAWBM:

    @nixon did nothing wrong – I really hoped you were a satirical poster – sadly you’re not. Which Nixon are you referring to: Richard, Ricky or Christine. Only one of them did nothing wrong!,

    I reckon he’s just a huge fan of Miranda from Sex and the City.

  3. But, in all seriousness, I’m pretty sure NDNW is a new iteration of intermittent Poll Bludger jester Sean Tisme / True Blue Aussie / Nostradamus, who periodically turns up under a new pseudonym to entertain us for a little while until he is inevitably banned again, usually for saying something shockingly racist. (Last time I believe it was a remark about Clarence Thomas being “one of the good ones.”)

  4. When even Rita Panahi who is cooked in every which way, thinks the libs are delusional!

    Rita Panahi

    Love the hyperbole. Labor didn’t even run a candidate. There’s no new dawn.

  5. BoP:

    Actually, while I did read a lot of Paul Jennings when I was a kid, I never saw more than a few snippets of Round of Twist. We didn’t actually have access to TV reception at our place until around 2000 (and even after that only Ten and ABC could be turned into with any reliability), so before then my television viewing was pretty much restricted to what was available at local video store and whatever happened to be on when I went to a friends’ place.

  6. Turnout’s up to 76% now – another big block of early votes dropped. Still low, but not NW Central-style low.

    (What was up with those 15 early votes that came in before most regular booths? (Along with 42 absent votes.) 15, then 7000-odd… seems a bit random.)

    Maya Tesa did well out of those early votes – scraped over to 4.1%. Meanwhile, Vic Soc are on 3.9%, just 30 votes adrift. Carrn Vic Soc. You can do it. (A silly thing to get interested in I know, but it’s about the only interesting thing about this by-election.)

  7. Asha: I didn’t watch TV much when I was a kid (growing up with a violent Christian fundamentalist for a father is fuuun), but I did have a teacher in year 5 who made last period every Friday “Round the Twist” (put it in the timetable and everything). Wheeled in the old-fashioned TV trolley we watched “Behind the News” on. Same teacher made our art / English project writing our own Mr Men books, and writing sympathy cards to the grumpy old library teacher when his team lost the WAFL grand final (trololol). Weird, the things you remember almost 30 years later.

    More recently than that: I was on a summer school thing at Monash Uni in Melbourne for a month, and the locals took the non-Victorians on a bus tour down the Great Ocean Road. Driving past the little town near Torquay with THAT lighthouse, half the bus just started singing “Have you ever… ever felt like this?” The other half (international students) stared at us like we’d grown two heads. Yeah… sorry internationals, that one’s hard to explain. Nostalgia doesn’t always translate well.

    (And… this happened in Polwarth. Which also had a by-election in 2015. Hence relevance to this thread. 😛 )

  8. My view is the Liberals are the only winners here – Labor will be relieved they gave this one a miss. Votes could have easily sprayed a lot more to non-Liberal candidates than they did but aside from the Liberals and the Greens the rest have got nothing to speak of. (The DLP vote was probably confusion-inflated as usual.)

    The Greens result is a pass but I cannot consider it good. With no Labor candidate and VicSoc not polling that much (and also no Legalise Cannabis) there’s a case they should have got at least 40 2CP – especially given the state the Vic Liberals have been in. Granted this isn’t an easy area for them but there have been way better Liberal vs Green by-election results around the country in the past.

  9. Unless the circumstances of the by-election are exceptional then major parties should put up candidates even if they don’t campaign*

    By not putting up candidates you are basically saying “we don’t care about out voters” and you then can’t rely on them coming back to vote for you in the next election wether it be federal, state or for local council.

    * this has happened recently in the UK when the other major parties didn’t put up candidates following the assassinations of Jo Cox and David Ames due to the circumstances of their deaths.

  10. Someone on PB posted that if Liberals don’t hit 70% on 2PP, then it is not a good result for them because Labor is not contesting.
    They exceeded 70%. So this is a very good result for them especially with an evangelist competing on Liberals ticket.
    IMO, Labor did not contest because of various things that went pearshaped and they cannot blame anybody else except themselves for that.

  11. “They have said loudly, enough is enough.”
    Apparently a 57% primary is the new dawn. 43% of the electorate would rather vote for an also ran third party than the obvious winners..

    “Someone on PB posted that if Liberals don’t hit 70% on 2PP, then it is not a good result for them because Labor is not contesting.”… “So this is a very good result”.
    If sub 70% was bad, then hitting 70.3% is surely “acceptable middle” rather than “good”?

  12. I actually think this election result should be counted as a Greens win. When you factor in the fact that the liberal candidate got less than a quarter of the labor vote, it seems clear to me that either the Greens or labor would win this seat at a general election.

  13. Bob

    To use your own logic 63.3% of Victorians did not want to vote for the ALP and Daniel Andrews in the 2022 election.

  14. A swing of about 9% in a by-election in a blue-ribbon Liberal seat in which Labor didn’t stand a candidate doesn’t seem like a big deal, in spite of the elation at the Herald Sun. If I were eligible to vote, I would have put Green above Liberal in my preferences but many Labor voters*, given that choice, would have preferred Liberal.

    Bottom line:
    – No change to the composition of the House
    – A safe Liberal seat became safer
    – Bigger than normal by-election swing of ~5%, but not by a huge margin. Could be explained by lack of a Labor candidate

    Next election is over 3 years away, so this by-election is just a footnote.

    * including a few here on PB.

  15. Hello, I just spoke to my friend Willy about what happened at this by-election. He says he is pretty sure the mutant elf sh*t himself because he knew the baseball bats werre starting to come out for him in Vic and he didn’t run a candidate so people would not know and it would give him time to think about how to counter Victorians really turning on him and his. He calls Dan Andrews the mutant elf. It’s disrespectful but what can I say. i love Dan and are his biggest fan. Does anyone here know if this is true? And my friend Willy thinks everything in the whole country has started turing on the left of politics and they’re buffing up their baseball bats. Has things all started changing? We were having such a good time. Is Willy right? I pray it is not so. xo

  16. @Jean

    Well, the latest Resolve Strategic poll had Labor up 2% from last year’s election (39% compared to 37%) and the Coalition down 6% (28% compared to 34%), and Daniel Andrews’ net approval seems to be -7 (compared to -2 at the last Newspoll before the election) while Pesutto’s is -9, so it seems that those who seem to despise him that much are those that already hated him.

    Also it’s not so unusual for a major party not to run in by-elections for safe seats in Victoria. Labor didn’t run in Narracan 2023 (technically a supplementary election), South-West Coast, Polwarth or Gippsland South in 2015, and the Liberals didn’t run in Northcote 2017, Lyndhurst 2013, Melbourne 2012, Niddrie 2012 or Broadmeadows 2011.

    The last by-election contested by both major parties was Altona 2010 when the Brumby government was starting to get on the nose.

  17. Dear Kirsdarke, thank you. Willy also says Dan Andrews is intending to quit politics in the next year. He seems to be going the same way as Peewee McGowan in WA. Willy calls Mark Peewee. Willy doesn’t like lefties. It’s funny we get along so well. But I love my Willy. And we saw the wipeout in a poll and by-election in WA just recently. Mark seems to have seen the writing on the wall and quit. Potential disaster looms in WA now. And Vic seems to be heading the same way, and now Dan is planning to go before the sh*t hits the fan. Rumours are swirling that our glory days are numbered. I hope not but Willy says the whole country is undergoing a seismic shift towards the centre right, and it’s happening worldwide too. What do you and the others here think? Is Willy right on all this? I think it’s early days and the verdict is still out on Willy’s theories. But he may just be right. Seems to make sense. xo

  18. Given that Daniel Andrews has been used to a toxic hostile media from the start, by now it might just all be water off a duck’s back for him.

    People can speculate all they want, but nobody knows when he’s going to retire until he makes the decision to personally, or if the Parliamentary Labor Party decides for him. That’s how it is and always has been in Australian politics.

    I’m sure many people in Victoria felt the same way about Henry Bolte when he was Premier for over 17 years from 1955 to 1972, but the Liberals under his leadership won 6 elections in a row and that’s how democracy works in the end I suppose.

  19. Also as for the “seismic shift towards the centre-right”, well if that was true I doubt that the NSW Coalition would have been defeated in March, or that Bolsonaro would have been defeated last year in Brazil, or that the Democrats would have been able to hold the US Senate.

    Yes, local political things are happening, but not necessarily all in one direction. New Zealand might look like it’s about to elect a hard-right government in October, but after that the UK looks like it’s going to elect a centre-left government in a landslide, so, there’s that for a start.

  20. Dear Kirsdarke,

    The seismic shift might be new here and happening diff times and rates globally. It’s only getting underway here the last few weeks, and building up. Willy insists he’s right. As to the rest of the world it has been building up at diff times and places at diff rates. I should point out Willy comes across like a conspiracy theorist too. And he claims lots of cheating has been done by the left and extreme manipulation of the people, but the proverbial is starting to hit the fan and all their chickens are coming home to roost. Willy thinks the baseball bats are coming out and leftist blood will line the streets – politically speaking. Scarey stuff. I’ve seen it just beginning – maybe? I get it but not sure if it’s just a lot of coincidences. And I’ve been around long enough to know conspiracies are real and not all just nutty. Ask police, courts, military, intelligence etc if conspiracies occur. We’ll have to see if Willy is right. God bless my Willy, i love him, but he’s been wrong before. xo

  21. Dear Kirsdarke,

    hehe not quite. He’s not quite that rabid. He’s not too thick but is a real stickler, if you know what I mean. Willy doesn’t play by the rules of polite society and has a mind of his own. He’s a good old stick though. I hope he’s wrong on all this. Got me spooked. Time will tell. The proof is in the pudding as they say. xo 🙂

  22. Your Willy certainly sounds like he’s the very image of a Liberal party supporter!

    Do you think he will stand firm in his beliefs or go limp before the next election?

  23. Dear Asha,

    That’s enough about Willy. Do you or any of the good folks here know when Newspoll will be back in action? Someone said we may get one this day. Heard anything anyone? xo

  24. With yet another Pentecostal in the Party Room, here comes the leader of that faction on the Stokes News Service making an accident from years ago an issue once again

    Bye, bye IPA faction

    And scanning here, perhaps “Jean” should remove Willy from …. well, you can speculate on that noting that God makes babies so Willy serves no purpose other than splashing a urinal

  25. Here We Go Again, If Dan had a little accident rest assured it happens to all of us, especially as we age. He’s no longer in his prime and accidents will happen. I love him but we must be realistic about all this. xo 🙂

  26. Dearest friends, I am very sorry to have to tell you this. Lo these days you have comne to know Willy, and to know Willy is to love Willy. It is with a very sad heart that I tell you Willy robbed a bank when he was younger. And to those mockers, no it was not a sperm bank. But jokes aside Willy has always protested his innocence. Willy is an Angel I should say, but a bit of a rough diamond. Willy did his time and has never been the same. Pray for my Willy please. xo 🙁

  27. No matter what the percentage turnout was, the Liberal party primary vote did not improve that much from last years state election , shows there wasnt really any protest vote against Labor

  28. Jean says:
    Monday, August 28, 2023 at 3:21 am
    Dearest friends, I am very sorry to have to tell you this. Lo these days you have comne to know Willy, and to know Willy is to love Willy. It is with a very sad heart that I tell you Willy robbed a bank when he was younger. And to those mockers, no it was not a sperm bank. But jokes aside Willy has always protested his innocence. Willy is an Angel I should say, but a bit of a rough diamond. Willy did his time and has never been the same. Pray for my Willy please. xo

    Jean, Jean roses are red,
    Come out of your half-dreamed dream
    and run if you will,
    to the top of the hill
    and put your Willy to bed.

  29. As I informed previously, the “Liberal” Party “Leadership” battle between the Pentecostal God Botherer’s and the IPA is in full swing, the Pentecostals making their move (and having the numbers as I am informed by exasperated Old Guard figures – who control the money!!)

    It is really time for the “Liberal” Party to formally split into the Pentecostal God Botherer’s , the IPA and the Old Guard

    Then you have the National Party!!

    The National Party using the Senate to attack Andrews over the reneging of the Commonwealth Games, an issue which only has traction among those whose only relevance is 12 years of attacking Andrews for no result

    And still they try!!!

  30. IPA vs Pentecostals, hard to imagine two more insufferable groups. United by their hatred of the poor, just split on if it’s god punishing the poor or the ‘free market’.

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