Tasmanian election and Dunstan by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Tasmanian state election and the South Australian state by-election for Dunstan.

Click here for full display of Tasmanian results.
Click here for full display of Dunstan by-election results.

End of Saturday night

Labor leads by 6852 to 5875 in Dunstan, with upwards of 7500 votes to come — the Liberals will need about 56.5% of these to overhaul the Labor lead, the chance of which my system puts at 1%.

In Tasmania, contrary to the general assumption of a Liberal minority government, there are still live scenarios where Labor and the Greens get to sixteen with a natural ally in David O’Byrne making it seventeen, making the magic eighteen achievable through a deal with either independent Kristie Johnston or the Jacqui Lambie Network. But perhaps the most likely scenario is that the Liberals get to fifteen and the JLN gets to three, with the latter naturally gravitating to the option with the least moving parts in which the biggest party forms government. My read of the situation is that there is a bedrock thirteen seats for Liberal, ten for Labor, four for the Greens, two for the Jacqui Lambie Network and two independent, to which can be added a likely fourteenth Liberal and a third JLN. In greater doubt are two seats in Franklin, to go between Liberal, ex-Labor independent David O’Byrne and the Greens, and a seat in Clark that could go to Labor or the Greens.

Bass. Despite dropping 21.5% from a Peter Gutwein-fuelled 60.0% in 2021, the Liberals have clearly won three quotas with two for Labor and one for the Greens. Beyond that, the Jacqui Lambie Network has 0.63 quotas, though postals may reduce this, while I’m projecting a Labor surplus of 0.34 above their two quotas. That would seem promising with respect to Rebekah Pentland, the strongest performing JLN candidate. Michael Ferguson and newcomer Rob Fairs are clearly elected of the Liberals — the third incumbent, Simon Wood, holds only the slenderest of leads over controversial colleague Julie Sladden. The two Labor incumbents, Michelle O’Byrne and Janie Finlay, are both returned, and the Greens member will be Cecily Rosol.

Braddon. Other than the JLN gouging 11% out of the Liberals, this was a similar result to 2021. There is no doubt that the Liberals have won three seats, returning incumbents Jeremy Rockliff, Felix Ellis and Roger Jaensch; Labor has won two, returning incumbents Anita Dow and Shane Broad; and the Jacqui Lambie Network has won one, which could be either be Miriam Beswick or James Redgrave. To that the Liberals seem likely to win a fourth seat with a 0.69 quota surplus, barring some impressive preference-gathering from independent Craig Garland on 0.40 quotas or a late-count surprise for the Greens on 0.52.

Clark. The only division without the JLN running, the 4.4% drop in the Liberal vote is perhaps pointing to how the election might have looked in their absence. Also a bright spot for Labor in that their primary vote was up 9.7%, with the independent vote down despite a seemingly strong selection of contenders. The Liberals have a clear two quotas, ensuring re-election for Simon Behrakis and Madeleine Ogilvie, as does Labor, with Ella Haddad re-elected and Josh Willie moving successfully from the upper house, while Vica Bayley of the Greens has been re-elected. The contestants for the two final seats are independent incumbent Kristie Johnston, with 0.64 quotas; the Greens, with a surplus of 0.57 putting former Hobart Lord Mayor Helen Burnet in contention; and Labor, whose surplus of 0.54 gives newcomer Stuart Benson a chance. Johnston will presumably coast home as around 10% for various other independents are distributed, leaving the Greens and Labor vying for the last seat.

Franklin. Labor can also take something out of the result in the other Hobart electorate: the 6.2% drop in their vote doesn’t look so bad when David O’Byrne’s 9.0% is taken into account, and the 8.0% Liberal vote exceeded the JLN’s 4.9%. Eric Abetz and Jacquie Petrusma were closely matched on the Liberal ticket, and both will be elected; Dean Winter is returned for Labor and will likely be joined by Meg Brown; and Rosalie Woodruff was re-elected for the Greens with a quota in her own right. In the race for the last two seats, O’Byrne has 0.72 quotas, and I’m projecting the Liberals to have a 0.74 surplus over their second quota (keeping incumbent Nic Street in contention) and the Greens to have 0.57 over their first (Jade Darko being the leader out of the party’s minor candidates), with preferences likely to favour the Greens.

Lyons. The Liberal vote fell 13.5% here, in part because of John Tucker unproductively draining 3.3%. They nonetheless have a clear three quotas, re-electing Guy Barnett and Mark Shelton and facilitating Jane Howlett’s move from the upper house, while Rebecca White and Jen Butler are re-elected for Labor. For the remaining two seats, the Greens have 0.84 quotas, the Jacqui Lambie Network has 0.67, and Labor has 0.64 over the second quota. Preferences will presumably be unfavourable for Labor, so the situation is encouraging for Tabatha Badger of the Greens and one of two closely matched JLN candidates, Andrew Jenner and Troy Pfitzner.

Election night

9.22pm. I now have a bug-free Dunstan page — all two-candidate preferred numbers are in and it’s calling it for Labor.

9.13pm. Labor’s position in Tasmania, while not great, has looked less bad as the evening has progressed — I now have them holding steady on the primary vote, with the Liberals down by double-digits. The JLN hasn’t matched the polling, but it looks well placed in the three non-Hobart divisions.

9.01pm. Dunstan is looking a bit less dramatic with the latest update, which cuts my projection of the Labor swing from 7% to 3%. I believe my system isn’t making a probability determination because it isn’t sure the Greens won’t make the final count, but I suggest it should be. All the booths are in on the primary vote — the TCP booth results don’t seem to be firing in my results system, so my read is based on preference estimates, which are likely to be pretty accurate.

8.57pm. I’ve found the error that was causing my system to read a Liberal-Greens result in Dunstan. Now it’s pointing to an emphatic win for Labor, erasing the 0.5% Liberal margin with a 7% swing. The Greens are up 8.7% on my reckoning and having a good night in Tasmania, seemingly on track for two seats apiece in Clark and Franklin and one each in Bass and Lyons, while striking out in Braddon.

8.51pm. Franklin also looks three Liberal (Eric Abetz, Jacquie Petrusma and Nic Street, with incumbent Dan Young squeezed out), two Labor (Meg Brown likely joining Dean Winter), two Greens (Rosalie Woodruff plus a lottery for second) and one independent, the independent in this case being David O’Byrne.

8.47pm. Clark looks three apiece for Labor, Liberal and the Greens plus with incumbent Kristie Johnston returned, and none of the other independents in contention unless preferences behave in a manner I’m not anticipating.

8.43pm. Braddon looking like three Liberal, two Labor and one JLN, with the last going to either independent Craig Garland or a fourth Liberal. The three Liberal incumbents and two Labor incumbents are returned.

8.40pm. So then, some overdue commentary on what we’re seeing in Tasmania, starting with Bass. Three Liberal, two Labor, one Greens, one in doubt. Rob Fairs a clear second elected Liberal after Michael Ferguson, open race for the third. Labor’s two seats will stay with the incumbents. Cecily Rosol elected for the Greens. Presumably JLN to take the third, which candidate is unclear.

8.34pm. Continuing to bash away at technical issues, but it looks like a boilover in Dunstan. My projections are seemingly not to be relied upon in that they are pointing to a Liberal-Greens contest, but it seems what we’re actually looking at is a surge to the Greens, a drop in the Liberals and a win for Labor.

8.05pm. My Dunstan display at least seems to be going okay — looking like a big vote for the Greens. My projected TCP has the Liberals ahead, but it’s a bit speculative at this stage.

7.55pm. I’ve been trying and failing to fix an issue that is making the parties in the booth results table appear in the wrong order.

7.35pm The big swing against the Liberals in Bass looks to be extending to Launceston. Perhaps some of this reflects the loss of Peter Gutwein’s vote.

7.31pm. The booth results maps you can find on my Tasmanian election results pages are a good way of discerning regional patterns, and it doesn’t seem the booths around Burnie are doing anything special for the JLN. The main story in Braddon remains that Labor is down more than Liberal.

7.28pm. There are 11 booths and 3.7% of the enrolled vote in from Bass, and it suggests the Liberals have taken a big hit with the JLN in double figures. However, almost all of this is outside Launceston — there the JLN vote may be lower and less damaging to the Liberals as a result. Lara Alexander making little impression so far.

7.23pm. Early numbers are a bit unspectacular for the JLN in its presumed stronghold of Braddon, but it can’t be stressed enough that results will be heavily regionalised here and in Lyons — Burnie booths may bring them up. Similarly, it may be too early to read reach conclusions from John Tucker being outpolled by Shooters in Lyons.

7.18pm. Still a bit busy with bug-squashing, but both major parties looking well down in Lyons, Labor doing badly in Braddon, first numbers (very small in this case) in Franklin consistent with the trend except that the Jacqui Lambie Network is as expected weaker here.

7.08pm. So far, Tasmania looks consistent with the polls in that the Jacqui Lambie Network is on about 10% in the non-Hobart seats which has come at the expense of the Liberals — except in Lyons, where it’s come at the expense of Labor. A few more booths might establish if the latter is an early count anomaly.

7.01pm. I’ve ironed out my Lyons bug, and I believe the Dunstan feed is starting to work.

6.55pm. Not sure why the ABC has numbers for Lyons and I don’t. I do have numbers for Bass and Braddon though, which are obviously from very small rural booths.

6.45pm. For reasons I’m unlikely to be able to solve, my Tasmanian pages are sometimes loading properly but sometimes not, either failing to load the map or falling over altogether. So you will likely need to hit refresh a fair bit to follow them properly. So far I’m unable to upload the feed for Dunstan at all, but that may be because it isn’t live yet.

6.30pm. Polls have closed for South Australia’s Dunstan by-election, which on reflection I think would be best dealt with on the same post as this one.

6pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Tasmanian state election count. Polls are now closed and we should be getting the first results from small rural booths fairly shortly. Through the link above you will find live updated results throughout the night and beyond, inclusive of an effort to project party vote shares in each of the five divisions through booth-matched swings. Also note that coverage of South Australia’s Dunstan by-election will commence when polls close there in half an hour.

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.

611 comments on “Tasmanian election and Dunstan by-election live”

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  1. In relation to Dunstan, I remember the 2023 NSW state election – at the close of counting on election night, Labor was ahead in 6 or 7 Liberal seats. After the counting of all the pre polls and postals, the Liberals had overturned Labor leads and retained all those seats, albeit very narrowly. Moral of the story – postals always favour the conservatives, probably because a lot of older voters vote by mail and they tend to skew towards the Liberal side of the equation. Plus, I wonder how much effort Labor puts into postal vote campaigns in certain electorates, it’s probably a question of money I suppose, and a Liberal sitting member has the advantage too of a postal allowance.
    The upshot of this in NSW was Chris Minns on election night had a bare majority, by 2 or 3 days later it was a minority Labor government.

  2. There is a really interesting bit of data available on the ECSA website which I have not seen elsewhere – and that is the date on which postal vote applications were received by ECSA. Out of 3,829 postal vote applications received, 2,511 were received on the first day for applications – 4th March. So 1,318 applications were received over the remaining 3 weeks.

    My guess is that a substantial proportion of those 2,511 applications received on Day 1 were harvested by the Liberals.

    There is also data on when postal votes were received – which shows that by the end of the second week (15 March), 1622 of the postal votes had already been received by ECSA (out of a total of 2,543 postal votes received before election day).

    This would tend to support the theory that the Liberals do well on postal votes because of the greater effort that they put into the postal vote campaign – I cannot recall seeing data previously which lends weight to that theory (Labor would know itself how many of the 2,511 applications lodged on Day 1 came from them – I suspect not many).

    I know the traditional view in Labor is that the effort spent on postal vote campaigns is better spent elsewhere, such as door knocking and phone banks. I wonder if it might be time for a rethink?

  3. Re Tasmania. I wonder if Rebecca White’s decision to step down is part of Labor’s contingency plan for the scenario where Rockliffe cannot form a Government. Labor seem to be very keen to avoid being seen to be doing deals, in line with its pre-election promises. However, if the Governor asks them to attempt to form Government (in the event Rockliffe cannot), then a new Labor leader may be better placed to explain that Labor is acting on its duty to provide stability and avoid another election which nobody wants. I note that one of the scenarios postulated by Kevin Bonham in his blog is 15 Liberal 11 Labor-5 Greens -2 Lambie -2 Independents. If that were to eventuate (Labor picking up a 3rd seat in Lyons at the expense of the Lambies), the Liberals cannot form Government solely with support of the 2 Lambies.

  4. Even though Labor’s lead in Dunstan has now decreased to only 367 votes, their probability of winning is now probably about 90-95%. The Advertiser says there at least 1790 votes left to count (plus any postals that trickle in), which means the Liberals are almost out of runway. For example, if we assume there are 2000 votes remaining, the Liberals would need 59% of remaining votes. That seems pretty unlikely. Labor are probably going to win by about 150ish votes (barring the discovery of any counting anomalies).

  5. Outsider – there is always a huge dump of postals on day one of applications because they transfer voters on the permanent postal vote roll into the applications total.

    The data is published elsewhere but is not as easily accessible as on the SA site.

  6. Lambie party is going to suffer damage to their independence when they do the deed with the libs.

    Lib bad policies will reflect poorly on so called independence of lambie.

    They will come across as just another mainstream party me thinks will damage them voter wise in the future.

  7. I am getting reports from scrutineering sampling that the Greens are quite alive in the fight with the Liberals in Franklin (not to say they’ll win, just it’s close and needs to be looked at carefully), and also that Abetz is getting poor preference flows within the Lib ticket. Hope to do some scrutineering myself tomorrow.

  8. Mr Bonham, that is extraordinary intel.

    The main blog is almost unreadable, but these specific blogs have gold nuggets everywhere.

    Great work team, and of course, the pollbludger himself. Thank you.

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