Taiwan presidential election live

Live commentary on today’s Taiwan presidential election. Also covered: US primary polls and upcoming US and UK by-elections.

Live Commentary

9:25am Sunday Final results: Lai defeated Hou by 40.1-33.5, a 6.6% margin, with 26.5% for Ko. However, the DPP lost its majority in the 113-member legislature, with the KMT winning 52 seats (up 14 since 2020), the DPP 51 (down ten), the TPP eight (up three) and others two (down seven). The DPP will need support from either the KMT or TPP to reach the 57 votes needed for a majority.

11:07pm With 95% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 40.3-33.4 with 26.3% for Ko. Although his lead has slipped with counting of final votes, Lai has still clearly won. A reminder that this election is by First Past the Post, so there’s no runoff.

10:24pm With 76% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 41.1-33.2 with 25.7% for Ko.

9:11pm With 16% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 43.1-33.6 with 23.4% for Ko. Looking very likely Lai will win a record third consecutive term for the DPP.

8:33pm With 3% reporting, Lai leads Hou by 43.2-35.6 with 21.2% for Ko.

7:30pm Bloomberg says the first results from Taiwan should be out after 8pm AEDT.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 7pm AEDT today for Taiwan’s presidential election, in which first past the post is used. There are three candidates: William Lai of the centre-left and pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Hou You-ih of the more pro-China and conservative Kuomintang (KMT) and Ko Wen-je of the populist Taiwan People’s Party (TPP).

The DPP holds the presidency, with incumbent Tsai Ing-wen elected for two terms since 2016, but she can’t run again owing to term limits. There had been speculation that the KMT and TPP would form a joint ticket before nominations closed on November 24, but this fell apart.

Publication of polls has not been permitted since January 3. The final polls released before this date showed Lai leading Hou by two to five points, with one poll giving Lai an 11-point lead. Ko’s support was in the low 20’s. If Lai wins, it would be the first time the same party has won the presidency for three consecutive terms. This election is likely to be the first since 2000 when the winner did not receive a vote majority.

Trump set for big win in Iowa caucus

The first US presidential nominating contest will be Monday’s Iowa Republican caucus (Tuesday AEDT). The FiveThirtyEight aggregate of Iowa polls shows Donald Trump way ahead with 51.3%, followed by Nikki Haley at 17.3% and Ron DeSantis at 16.1%. I will have a separate post on Iowa on Tuesday.

The New Hampshire primary follows Iowa on January 23. Trump is leading in NH with 41.4%, followed by Haley at 30.0% and DeSantis at 6.1%. There has been a surge for Haley since December. She should be helped by the withdrawal of anti-Trump candidate Chris Christie on Wednesday; Christie had 11.6% in NH polls.

In national Republican polls, Trump is far ahead with 60.4%, followed by DeSantis at 12.1% and Haley at 11.7%. On Super Tuesday March 5, many states will vote, and Trump and Joe Biden will probably be close to clinching their parties’ nominations after this date. No high-profile Democrat has challenged Biden for the Democratic nomination.

I covered the US presidential election for The Conversation on December 13. I said that while Trump was leading Biden, there were two main chances of a Biden recovery: an improvement in economic sentiment and a Trump conviction. But Biden will be almost 82 by the November election, while Trump will be 78.

Upcoming US and UK by-elections

Republican George Santos was expelled from the federal House on December 1 by a 311-114 vote (a two-thirds majority was required). Santos was facing 23 indictments when expelled. A by-election will be held on February 13 in Santos’ former seat (New York’s third). In 2022, Santos gained this seat from the Democrats by a 53.8-46.2 margin. According to Daily Kos elections, Biden won this seat in 2020 by an 8.2% margin. A late November poll gave the Democrat a three-point lead.

In most midterm elections, the non-presidential party has won easily. Democrats did well in 2022 to keep Republicans to a 222-213 federal House majority, a Republican gain of nine seats on 2020. But Democrats lost four seats in New York.

Republicans currently hold a 220-213 House majority after former Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy resigned on December 31. McCarthy’s seat is safe Republican, so this by-election is unlikely to be competitive. A Democratic win in New York’s third would reduce the Republican majority to 220-214 until McCarthy’s seat is filled.

By-elections will occur on February 15 in the UK Conservative-held seat of Wellingborough and Kingswood. In Wellingborough MP Peter Bone was recalled following a six-week parliamentary suspension, while in Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore resigned in protest over more oil and gas licenses. In 2019 Bone won Wellingborough by 62.2-26.5 over Labour with 7.9% for the Liberal Democrats, while Skidmore won Kingswood by 56.2-33.4 over Labour with 6.9% Lib Dem. The Conservatives have lost safer seats at by-elections this term.

NZ Port Waikato by-election live

National very likely to win today’s by-election as new New Zealand government formed. Also covered: a far-right party wins the most seats at the Dutch election.

9:57am Sunday With all election night votes counted, National won 76.9% in the by-election with NZ First a very distant second on 15.2%. Animal Justice was fourth with 1.6%.

5:31pm This is likely to be my last article for the year for this site. I will see you next year when the US presidential primaries start in January.

5:15pm Over 6,800 votes have been counted in Port Waikato, and National has over 5,400 or 80%. So this one’s over already. Of the 123 total seats, National will hold 49, and there will be 34 Labour, 15 Greens, 11 ACT, eight NZ First and six Māori. So National and ACT add to 60 seats, two short of the 62 needed for a majority.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 5pm AEDT today for a New Zealand by-election in Port Waikato. A candidate’s death after nominations closed caused the postponement of the Port Waikato election from the October 14 general election. National held this seat at the 2020 Labour landslide, so they are expected to easily win the by-election. National’s only significant opposition will come from NZ First, as none of Labour, the Greens or ACT are contesting.

The winner of this by-election will be seated in addition to the 122 elected on October 14. The October 14 results were 48 National, 34 Labour, 15 Greens, 11 ACT, eight NZ First and six Māori. National and ACT combined had 59 seats, short of the 62 needed for a majority. A National win in the by-election would still leave these two parties two short of a majority. So National needed NZ First as well as ACT to form a government. On Friday, three weeks after election results were finalised, these three parties agreed to form a governing coalition.

For the general election, recounts were conducted in three seats, with the winning candidates unchanged. The most important recount was in a Māori-roll seat, which the Māori party had won by four votes over Labour. On the recount, they extended their winning margin to 42 votes. The overall results of the October 14 election were unchanged, with Māori winning six electorate seats, causing a two-seat “overhang” (as there are 122 total seats, not the normal 120).

Far-right party wins most seats at Dutch election

The 150 members of the Dutch lower house are elected by national proportional representation without a threshold. Wednesday’s election was held over a year early owing to a collapse in the previous governing coalition that was led by the conservative VVD.

The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) won 37 of the 150 seats (up 20 since the March 2021 election), an alliance between Labour and the Greens 25 seats (up eight), the VVD 24 (down ten), the socially left but anti-immigrant NSC 20 (new), the centrist D66 nine (down 15), the agrarian BBB seven (up six), the Christian Democrats (CDA) five (down ten) and the Socialists five (down four). D66 and the CDA were part of the last government.

While the PVV easily won the most seats, they have under half the requirement for a majority (76 seats). They are not at all guaranteed to be part of the next Dutch government. It took ten months after the 2021 election to get a new government. This is the first time the PVV has won the most seats. There was a surge to the PVV in late polling, but polls still understated them.

Poland, the US, Switzerland and Israel

Polish President Andrzej Duda is aligned with the Law and Justice (PiS) party. He was re-elected in 2020 for a five-year term in a runoff by a 51.0-49.0 margin. By initially selecting the PiS parliamentary leader as PM-designate, Duda delayed the formation of a non-PiS government until early December following the October 15 parliamentary election that PiS lost. Polish presidents can veto legislation, and it requires a 60% majority to override this veto, which the parties opposed to PiS don’t have.

A US by-election occurred last Tuesday in Utah’s second federal House seat. With 83% counted, a Republican held by a 56.9-33.9 margin over a Democrat. In 2020, Donald Trump beat Joe Biden in this seat by a 56.7-39.5 margin. The previous Republican member won by 59.7-34.0 in 2022.

I previously covered the October 22 Swiss election, in which the right-wing SVP gained nine lower house seats at the expense of the Greens and Green Liberals. After November runoffs, results for the malapportioned upper house are 15 of 46 seats for the conservative Centre (up two since 2019), 11 Liberals (down one), nine Social Democrats (steady), six SVP (steady), three Greens (down two) and one Green Liberal (up one).

Since the current war began, support for Israel’s right-wing government has crashed into the low-40s out of 120 Knesset seats, down from the mid-50s before the war and 64 seats at the 2022 election. But the next election isn’t due until late 2026.

Argentine presidential runoff election live

Live commentary Monday morning on the Argentine runoff that could be won by the far-right Javier Milei. And should US Democrats replace Biden as their presidential nominee?

Live Commentary

9:18am Tuesday Milei will be inaugurated on December 10 for a four-year term. This is the second time the centre-left party has lost an Argentine presidential runoff after leading in the first round; this also occurred in 2015.

2:17pm With 99.3% counted, Milei has defeated Massa by 55.69-44.31, an 11.4% margin.

11:13am Legislative results: The better news for the left in Argentina is that, because of a system similar to first past the post for the Senate in the October 22 legislative and first round presidential elections, they still hold the Senate.

Massa’s Union for the Homeland (UftH) won 13 of the 24 senators elected, Milei’s Liberty Advances (LA) won seven senators and Bullrich’s Together for Change (TfC) two. UftH has a total of 35 of 72, while TfC and LA combined hold 31 seats. Five of the six others are formerly from the centre-left.

Proportional representation was used in the Chamber of Deputies, and UftH holds 108 of the 257 seats, with 93 TfC and 38 LA, giving the combined right (131 seats) a majority in the Chamber. 130 of the 257 Chamber seats were up at this election, and 24 of the 72 senators. The next Argentine legislative election is in late 2025.

An aside here: the Spanish Wikipedia page on the Argentine legislative results is better than the English page as it gives total numbers of seats, not just those elected in 2023. I use Google translate.

11:12am Over 96% counted, and Milei leads Massa by 55.8-44.2.

10:43am Bullrich voters swung behind Milei. In the first round in Buenos Aires city, Bullrich won 41.2%, Massa 32.2% and Milei 20.0%. In the runoff, Milei is winning this city by 57.3-42.7 with 93% in.

10:34am With 88% of precincts reporting, Milei leads by 55.9-44.1. The poll that gave Milei a 12.8-point lead will easily be the best.

10:14am Massa has conceded before official results are released at 11am. 80% has been counted already.

9:35am According to Bloomberg, Milei is probably winning according to leaked results.

9:11am Monday Bloomberg’s live blog is here and their results page is here. They expect results at 11am AEDT.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 8am AEDT Monday for Argentina’s presidential runoff election. Argentina doesn’t release results until a substantial amount has been counted. In the October 22 first round, the first results were released about 11:20am AEDT. I expect faster counting with only two candidates and no other contests.

In the first round, the centre-left Sergio Massa won 36.8%, the far-right Javier Milei 30.0% and the conservative Patricia Bullrich 23.8%. A centrist candidate won 6.7% and the far-left 2.7%. Bullrich endorsed Milei on October 25. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Voting is compulsory. Polls mostly have Milei leads by mid-single figures, but a few have narrow Massa leads. One poll though gave Milei a 12.8-point lead. In a TV debate on November 12, Milei praised former British PM Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher went to war with Argentina in 1982 over the Falkland Islands; the British sank an Argentine warship, killing 323 people on board.

The only province out of 24 won by Bullrich in the first round was Buenos Aires city (note: this isn’t part of Buenos Aires province). Massa will hope that the higher-income and better-educated people in the city who supported Bullrich can’t stand Milei.

At the previous Argentine presidential election in 2019, the centre-left Alberto Fernández ousted conservative Mauricio Macri after one term by a 48.2-40.3 margin (a runoff isn’t needed if a candidate achieves over 45%). In 2015, Macri had a 51.3-48.7 runoff win. In 2011, current vice president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who is now hated by the right, won a massive landslide with 54% in the first round; her nearest opponent (a socialist) got 17%.

Despite being eligible, Alberto Fernández did not contest this election, and his party nominated Massa as its candidate. Had Fernández stood, he would have been blamed for the over 100% inflation. I believe Massa has a much better chance to win than Fernández would have.

Should Biden follow Fernández’s example?

Joe Biden will turn 81 on Monday. Since March this year, his ratings in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate have worsened, and he’s currently at 55.5% disapprove, 39.0% approve (net -16.5). Most national polls now show Trump ahead, with or without third party candidates, and recent Siena polls for The New York Times gave Trump four-to-ten-point leads in five of the six closest 2020 Biden-won states.

While Trump led overall by five points in the Siena polls, an unnamed generic Democrat would lead Trump by eight. In a similar exercise a year before the 2020 election, Biden led Trump by two and a generic Democrat led by three. This suggests replacing Biden with a far younger Democrat would enhance Democrats’ chances of defeating Trump.

Pro-Biden Democrats argue that the November 7 off-year elections were great for Democrats, and therefore the polls showing Biden losing are wrong. There are two objections: first, that the off-year election polls were OK and polls for next November are measuring a completely different election.

Second, legislative elections were mediocre for Democrats. The celebrated victories in the Virginia legislature were by bare majorities in both chambers – 21-19 in the Senate, 51-49 in the House. This implies a Democratic lead by low single digits in Virginia overall. If Biden only wins Virginia by two points after winning by 10.1 in 2020, it’s very likely Trump wins the election overall.

Spanish Socialists form government

On Thursday, four months after the Spanish election that right-wing parties had been expected to win easily, current Socialist PM Pedro Sánchez won an investiture vote by 179 votes to 171. The Socialists made a controversial deal with the regionalist Junts party, which was the kingmaker after the election. This will be a second term for the Socialists.

No government has yet been formed in New Zealand, with National, ACT and NZ First still negotiating. During the next week there will be a US federal by-election in a safe Republican seat and a Dutch election. I will cover these elections in a post on next Saturday’s NZ Port Waikato by-election, which National should win.

US off-year elections live

Live commentary on Wednesday of a few US state elections and a federal by-election a year before the next US presidential election.

Further analysis Thursday morning

While these elections were good for Dems, New York Times analyst Nate Cohn says they were low-turnout affairs. The types of voters that didn’t vote yesterday, but are likely to vote in a presidential election, are much more anti-Biden, and more motivated by economic factors than abortion.

Furthermore, the legislative elections, where voters don’t know so much about candidates so they vote for parties more than for candidates, were mediocre for Dems compared with Biden’s margins. In Virginia, Dems won the Senate by 21-19 and the House by a likely 51-49. But Biden won Virginia by 10.1% in 2020. In the close seats, Reps ran well ahead of Trump.

In New Jersey, Dems won the Senate by 25-15 and the House by 51-29. But if they’d won the NJ popular vote by close to Biden’s 15.9 point margin in 2020, the single-member system should have produced a bigger blowout. In Mississippi, Reps won the Senate by 36-16 and the House by 79-41 with two others. That suggests a blowout; it was Trump by 16.5 in 2020.

Republicans also far exceeded their governor candidate’s performance in other statewide races in Mississippi and Kentucky.

Live Commentary

5:37pm Overall, today was decent for Dems. They gained full control of the Virginia legislature after Reps won the House in a big swing two years ago. They held the federal Rhode Island seat in a by-election by a bigger margin than in 2022. They held the Kentucky governorship despite it being a very Republican state at presidential elections. And two referendums supported by Dems passed in Ohio.

However, Biden remains unpopular, and today’s results are not good predictors of the outcome of the November 2024 presidential election. But they’ll mean Biden is less likely to face a real challenge to his re-nomination as 2024 Dem presidential candidate.

5:13pm Rep Reeves has been called the Mississippi governor winner, defeating Dem Presley by 51.6-46.6 with 94% in.

4:15pm Dems have now been called the winners of both chambers of the Virginia legislature, gaining control of the House and maintaining it in the Senate. Nate Silver says that, since 2917, Dems have done well in US elections when Trump isn’t on the ballot paper with the exception of November 2021.

3:57pm In Mississippi, Reps have easily retained control of both chambers of the state legislature, while Dems are on track to retain control in New Jersey.

3:40pm In Mississippi, with 86% in, Rep Reeves leads by 52.3-45.8 and Wasserman has called for Reeves. Dems have won the Virginia state Senate 21-16 with 3 uncalled, and lead in the House 48-42 with 10 uncalled. Dems have also won a state Supreme Court judgeship in Pennsylvania, where a Dem defeated a Rep 54.1-45.9.

2:10pm Mississippi looks very likely to be held by the incumbent Rep governor Reeves, with Wasserman pointing out a disastrous result for the Dem challenger.

2:07pm In Virginia, Dems lead the state Senate in called races by 18-14 with 8 still undecided. They lead the House by 42-32 with 26 undecided.

1:46pm Over 95% reporting in Rhode Island, and the Dem wins the by-election by 64.8-35.2. That’s slightly better than the 64.0-35.8 margin Dems won by in 2022, and much bigger than the poll that suggested only an 11-point Dem win.

1:42pm In Ohio, both the pro-abortion and the pro-marijuana amendments have been called for “yes”. However, the pro-abortion amendment is doing much less well than polls suggested (winning 56-44 when polls had it up by over 20 points).

1:20pm Media have now called Kentucky governor for Dem incumbent Beshear, who leads by 52.7-47.3 with 86% in.

1:17pm With 12% counted in Mississippi, the incumbent Rep Reeves leads the Dem Presley for governor by 56.0-42.5.

1:12pm Wasserman says Dems have retained control of the Virginia state Senate. With 41% counted in Ohio, the pro-abortion amendment wins (current lead 57.4-42.6).

12:55pm With 33% counted in Ohio, the pro-abortion measure is winning by 59.1-40.9 and the pro-marijuana one by 55.7-44.3.

12:22pm Fast counting in RI, where polls closed at 12pm. Dem now leads by 63.4-36.6 with 75% in.

12:16pm In Rhode Island, the Dem has been called the winner of the federal by-election, and currently leads by 62.4-37.6 with 58% in.

12:10pm In Virginia it’s a 6-6 tie in the Senate in called races; 21 needed for a majority. In the House, Dems lead by 24-19; 51 needed for majority.

11:51am Both Ohio referendums, one on a right to abortion and one on legalising marijuana, are far ahead, abortion by 66-34 and marijuana by 57.5-42.5. The NYT prediction is both will win easily.

11:31am Wasserman has CALLED Kentucky governor for Dem Beshear. He currently leads by 56.6-43.4 with 31% in.

11:19am US analyst Dave Wasserman is tweeting the results as counties complete their counts, and these are so far looking good for Beshear (Dem) in Kentucky compared to 2019, which he won.

10:58am 12% now reporting in Kentucky, and Beshear leads by 60-40. This reflects early votes from the Kentucky cities of Louisville and Lexington.

10:40am Wednesday The first results from Kentucky from rural counties have the Rep Cameron leading the Dem incumbent Beshear by 53-47.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

While the next US presidential election will occur in November 2024, there are a few US state elections and a federal by-election today. There will be gubernatorial elections in Kentucky and Mississippi and legislative elections in Mississippi, Virginia and New Jersey. A federal by-election for a safe Democratic House seat will occur in Rhode Island, and there will be a referendum on a pro-abortion measure in Ohio.

Elections in Louisiana (Donald Trump by 18.6 in 2020) occurred on October 14, with runoffs if needed on November 18. In a “jungle primary” in which all candidates run on the same ballot, Republican Jeff Landry won the governorship with 51.6%, above the 50% required to win outright, with a Democrat at 25.9%. Including minor candidates, Republicans defeated Democrats by 65.5-28.5. This was a Republican gain, with the current Democratic governor term limited. Republicans extended their state Senate majority from 27-12 to 28-11 with the House to be decided after runoffs.

In Kentucky (Trump by 25.9 in 2020), incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear led Republican Daniel Cameron for governor by 49-33 in an Emerson poll in early October, but this became a 47-47 tie in the final Emerson poll last week. In Mississippi (Trump by 16.5), a mid-October poll by a Democratic pollster had incumbent Republican Tate Reeves just one point ahead of his Democratic challenger, but an early October poll gave him an 8-point lead.

Republicans hold big majorities in the Mississippi legislature, while Democrats have clear majorities in the New Jersey legislature (Joe Biden by 15.9 in 2020). The most interesting legislative election is in Virginia (Biden by 10.1), where a big swing to Republicans in 2021 gave them the governorship and a 52-48 majority in the House. The Senate was not up for election in 2021, and Democrats hold a 22-18 majority.

Polling shows the pro-abortion measure in Ohio (Trump by 8.0) winning by at least 20 points. Past votes on similar measures in various states have far exceeded Biden’s performance in 2020, but they don’t imply smashing Democratic victories any more than the big defeat for Australia’s Voice referendum implies a smashing Coalition victory. State gubernatorial elections are poorly correlated with presidential elections.

A mid-October poll for the federal by-election in Rhode Island gave the Democrat a 46-35 lead. This would be a poor result for Democrats, as Biden won 63.8% in 2020 and Democrats won by 64-36 in 2022.

Polls close at 10am AEDT Wednesday in Kentucky’s eastern time zone, 11am in Virginia and western Kentucky, 11:30am in Ohio, and 12pm in Rhode Island, Mississippi and New Jersey. I will start commenting from about 10:45am.

Despite unpopularity, Biden and Trump cruising to nominations

The Democratic and Republican nominating contests begin in early 2024, with the Iowa Republican caucus on January 15 the first contest. There are several other contests in February before many states vote on “Super Tuesday” March 5.

Trump is dominating Republican national primary polls in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate, winning 58.4%, to 13.6% for Ron DeSantis and 7.9% for Nikki Haley. He also has a big lead in Iowa. Biden hasn’t been challenged by another important Democrat. Federal Minnesota House member Dean Phillips launched a presidential campaign on October 27, but is so far not registering in Democratic national polls.

Biden and Trump’s likely nominations come despite their unpopularity with the general electorate. Biden’s ratings are currently 55.0% disapprove, 38.8% approve in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate (net -16.1), while Trump is at 54.6% unfavourable, 40.8% favourable (net -13.7).

Robert F. Kennedy Jr campaigned for the Democratic nomination, but his anti-vaxxer views were unsuitable for Democrats. He has launched an independent presidential campaign, and polls currently have him in the double digits. Biden and Trump’s unpopularity could benefit third party candidates. By the November 2024 election, Biden will be almost 82 and Trump 78.

Siena polls for The New York Times of six close 2020 Biden states were released Sunday. They gave Trump four-to-ten-point leads in five of these states, with Biden only ahead by two in Wisconsin. By 59-37, voters trusted Trump over Biden on the economy.

Meanwhile in Argentina, there will be a November 19 presidential runoff between the centre-left Massa and the far-right Milei. The three most recent polls, conducted after the conservative Bullrich endorsed Milei, suggest a close contest.

New Zealand election results finalisation

National likely to need NZ First as well as ACT after final NZ results released. Also: results of the Argentine legislative elections.

4:06pm I’ve done an article for The Conversation on the final NZ results that also includes swings from the 2020 election result and a look at the polls.

1:39pm A National win in the Port Waikato by-election would give Nat + ACT 60 of the now 123 seats, still two short of the 62 needed for a majority. So National will definitely need NZ First.

12:14pm National have dropped two seats and the Māori party have won two electorate seats in which they narrowly trailed Labour on election night. This means an overhang of two seats, with the combined right of National and ACT getting 59 of the 122 seats, three short of the 62 needed for a majority. One win by the Māori party was by just four votes.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

The New Zealand electoral commission said on election night there were an estimated 567,000 “special votes” remaining to be counted or 20.2% of all votes. Unlike Australia, no counting updates are provided after election night until final results are released at 12pm AEDT Friday, three weeks after the election.

On the preliminary figures, National won 50 of the 121 seats and ACT 11, with National and ACT at 61 seats, enough for a majority. In my article Tuesday for The Conversation previewing the final results, I expect National and ACT to fall below a majority, meaning that National would also need NZ First to form a government.

Final results should be posted here when available. The winner of the November 25 Port Waikato by-election, expected to be National, will also be seated in addition to those elected on October 14.

Mike Johnson elected US House Speaker

Right-wing Republican Mike Johnson was elected US House Speaker by a 220-209 party-line vote on October 25, with all Republicans in favour and all Democrats supporting their leader Hakeem Jeffries. This vote concluded three weeks of chaos after Kevin McCarthy’s ouster, in which Republicans had unsuccessfully nominated Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer.

While the US presidential election is not until November 2024, there will be a few state elections and a federal by-election next Tuesday. I will cover these elections then and provide live commentary as results come in Wednesday AEDT.

Combined right wins Argentine lower house, but fails in Senate

In the October 22 Argentine presidential election, the centre-left Sergio Massa won 36.7%, the far-right Javier Milei 30.0% and the conservative Patricia Bullrich 23.8%. A centrist candidate won 6.8% and the far-left 2.7%. The runoff between Massa and Milei will be held November 19. Bullrich endorsed Milei on October 25.

Despite the 53.8% combined right vote, Massa is ahead in early runoff polls, although they were taken before Bullrich’s endorsement. Massa is the candidate of the incumbent Union for the Homeland (UftH) coalition.

In concurrent legislative elections, 130 of the 257 Chamber of Deputies seats were elected by proportional representation in multi-member electorates based on the 24 provinces. UftH won 58 seats (down six since the last time these seats were contested in 2019), Milei’s Liberty Advances (LA) 35 and Bullrich’s Together for Change (TfC) 31 (down 25). The other 127 seats were elected in 2021. Total seats are 108 UftH out of 257, 92 TfC, 39 LA and 18 others. The combined right of TfC and LA has a majority.

In the Senate, eight provinces held elections with the winning party taking two senators and the second party one. This is more like first past the post, and UftH benefited from the right split, winning 13 of the 24 seats (up one since the last time these seats were contested in 2017) to seven for LA and two for TfC (down ten). A regionalist party won the remaining two seats. The other 16 provinces held Senate elections in 2019 and 2021. Total senators are 36 UftH out of 72, 23 TfC, seven LA and six others.

Switzerland and Slovakia

Switzerland uses PR in multi-member electorates based on the cantons (states) to elect its lower house. At the October 22 election, the right-wing SVP won 62 of the 200 seats (up nine since 2017), the Social Democrats 41 (up two), the Centre 29 (up one), the Liberals 28 (down one), the Greens 23 (down five) and the Green Liberals ten (down six). The upper house is heavily malapportioned, with runoff elections in November to fill 15 of the 46 seats.

Instead of a single PM or president, Switzerland has a seven-member federal council, which is currently two SVP, two Social Democrats, two Liberals and one Centre. This composition is likely to be retained when the full parliament votes on December 13.

I covered the September 30 Slovakian election in early October. On October 25, the pro-Russia but economically left Smer formed a government with the support of Hlas (a breakaway from Smer) and the nationalist SNS.

Two UK by-elections and Argentine election live

Two UK by-elections today in Conservative-held seats. Also covered: Argentina likely to elect a far-right candidate president.

Live Commentary

4:55pm I’ve found the official results here. It’s currently 36.7% Massa, 30.0% Milei and 23.8% for the conservative Bullrich. A centrist alliance has 6.8% and a far-left alliance 2.7%. So Milei and Bullrich combined have 53.8%. That’s with 98.5% of precincts reporting. You can also see the parliamentary results at that link. The presidential runoff between Massa and Milei will be on November 19.

1:12pm With 95% counted, Massa leads Milei by 36.4-30.1. Despite Massa’s stronger than expected performance, I still think Milei is the favourite in the runoff given the 23.6% for the conservative candidate, whose votes are likely to go to him.

11:57am I’m not sure where the official results are, but Wikipedia now shows 85.7% counted and Massa leading Milei by 36.2% to 30.3%.

11:25am First official results, with 76% counted, centre-left Massa (36%) leads far-right Milei (31%) and conservative Bullrich (24%). Massa and Milei likely to go to a runoff, although if remaining votes pushed Massa over 40% he would win outright by exceeding 40% and getting at least 10% more than the runner-up.

9:49am According to Bloomberg, partial results that have been leaked show the centre-left incumbent Economic Minister Sergio Massa doing “better than expected”, perhaps leading the presidential vote count.

8:57am Monday: According to this Bloomberg live blog, no official Argentine results are likely until 10:30pm local time (12:30pm AEDT).

1:24pm I’ll put this live commentary to sleep until Monday morning, when the Argentine results come in.

1:22pm Labour won Mid Beds by 3% despite a 23% vote for the Lib Dems.

1:18pm Labour GAIN Mid Bedfordshire from the Tories. Details to come.

1:15pm In Tamworth the three candidates behind Labour and the Tories were all far-right, and got a combined 9.4% of the vote.

12:50pm 20%+ gain for Labour in Tamworth and drop for the Tories, with far-right Reform getting 5.4%.

12:47pm Friday: Labour GAINS Tamworth from the Tories. Vote details to follow.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 8am Friday AEDT for two UK by-election in the Conservative-held seats of Mid Bedfordshire (MBeds) and Tamworth. MBeds MP Nadine Dorries announced she would resign after Boris Johnson quit parliament in June, but delayed this until late August. Tamworth MP Chris Pincher was accused of sexual misconduct and resigned before a recall petition.

At the 2019 election, the Conservatives won MBeds by 59.8-21.7 over Labour with 12.6% Liberal Democrats. They won Tamworth by 66.3-23.7 over Labour with 5.3% Lib Dems. A mid-September poll had MBeds tied at 29% each between the Conservatives and Labour, but a high Lib Dem vote of 22% could allow the Conservatives to win.

Most UK national polls give Labour a 14-20 point lead over the Conservatives. There has been a recent slight narrowing in Labour’s lead. At the 2019 election, the Conservatives defeated Labour by 11.5% nationally.

Far-right candidate likely to win Argentine presidential election

Legislative and presidential elections will be held in Argentina on Sunday, with a November 19 presidential runoff if no candidate wins at least 45%, or at least 40% and is at least 10% ahead of their nearest opponent. Primary elections to choose the parties’ candidates occurred on August 13. As voting is compulsory, the overall vote shares for the parties are seen as good guides to the outcome of the October vote.

Far-right candidate Javier Milei’s party topped the primary poll with 30.0%, followed by the conservative Together for Change (TfC) with 28.3% and the centre-left incumbent Union for the Homeland (UftH) with 27.3%. Milei is an admirer of Donald Trump and has called climate change a “socialist lie”.

Argentina has been suffering from over 100% inflation. Polls suggest that TfC is now running third behind UftH and Milei. While Milei is unlikely to win on Sunday, he should get TfC support in the runoff, and win the runoff. If UftH is eliminated on Sunday, the runoff will be between two right-wing candidates.

In legislative elections, 130 of the 257 members of the Chamber of Deputies are up for election using proportional representation in 24 multi-member electorates based on the provinces with a 3% threshold. In the Senate, 24 of the 72 are up for election, with eight provinces holding Senate elections. The party winning the most votes in a province wins two senators and the second party one.

Argentine polls close at 8am Monday AEDT. I believe this Reuters article implies that local media need to wait until 11am AEDT before projecting winners.

Polish election final results, Ecuador and US House Speaker

I covered Sunday’s Polish election on Monday. Final seat results gave the coalition led by Law and Justice (PiS) 194 of the 460 seats in the Sejm (lower house) (down 41 since 2019), the liberal conservative Civic Coalition 157 seats (up 23), the centrist Third Way coalition 65 (up 35), the Left 26 (down 23) and the far-right Confederation 18 (up seven). An alliance between Civic Coalition, Third Way and Left would have 248 seats, above the 231 required for a majority.

The 100 senators are elected by first past the post, but parties opposed to PiS agreed to run only one candidate per marginal seat. This “Senate Pact” gave the opposition 65 seats to 34 for the PiS coalition, out from 51-48 to the opposition in 2019.

At last Sunday’s Ecuadorian presidential runoff, Daniel Noboa, the son of a banana tycoon, defeated the left-wing Luisa González by a 51.8-48.2 margin. As these elections were called early by the previous conservative president who faced impeachment, Noboa will serve only until early 2025 when a regular election is due. At a referendum held with the August 20 general election, voters approved a ban on oil drilling in a national park by 59-41.

It’s two weeks since Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted as US House Speaker. Republicans nominated right-winger Jim Jordan for Speaker, but in two rounds of voting on Wednesday and Thursday AEDT, he won 199-200 votes while Democrat Hakeem Jeffries had 212 votes. With both short of the 217 needed to win, voting will continue.

New Zealand and Polish elections reviewed

National and ACT likely to fall below a majority once special votes counted in New Zealand, while exit polls suggest PiS likely to lose in Poland.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

I covered Saturday’s New Zealand election for The Conversation early Sunday morning. While the right coalition of National and ACT has 61 of the 121 seats on the preliminary results, enough for a bare majority, special votes have favoured the left in past NZ elections.

I expect the right to lose one or two seats after special votes are included, in which case National will depend on NZ First as well as ACT. But we’ll have to wait until November 3 to see the final results including special votes.

There are other factors that could help or hurt National. National should win a November 25 by-election that would give them an extra 122nd seat after a candidate died before the election. And will the Māori party’s overhang be extended or curtailed? Polls understated the right, though not to the extent they understated the left in 2020.

There are two UK by-elections on Thursday in Conservative-held seats and Argentine presidential and legislative elections next Sunday, which a far-right candidate is expected to win. I will have more on these elections on Thursday.

Polish election: PiS likely to lose

Poland uses proportional representation in multi-member electorates to elect its 460 members of the Sejm (lower house), with a 5% national threshold for single parties and 8% for coalitions. The 100 senators are elected by FPTP.

Poland does not have a major centre-left party. The governing Law and Justice (PiS), which was seeking a third successive term, is socially conservative, authoritarian and anti-immigrant, but economically left. The main opposition Civic Platform (KO) is socially liberal, but economically right.

Exit polls for Sunday’s election have PiS with the most seats but well short of a majority, with a potential alliance of KO and two other parties above a majority. Counting has been slow, with just 0.7% of booths counted at 11:30am AEDT, 5.5 hours after polls closed. I will update this section when there are more results.

Update 9am Tuesday: With 99.5% of precincts reporting, PiS has 35.6%, the coalition led by KO 30.5%, another liberal conservative coalition 14.4%, the New Left 8.6% and the far-right Confederation 7.2%. I don’t know the outcome in seats, but this would result in PiS losing its majority and a potential alliance of liberal conservatives and left having a majority. So the exit polls were right this time.

Strong results for far-right AfD in German state elections and national polls

German state elections in Bavaria and Hesse were held October 8. In Hesse, the AfD surged 5.3% from 2018 to 18.4%, and in Bavaria it was up 4.4% to 14.6%. These gains and other gains for right-wing parties came at the expense of the centre-left SPD and the Greens.

In national German polls, the conservative CDU/CSU is in the high 20s and AfD in the low 20s, while the governing coalition of SPD, Greens and pro-business FDP is in the mid 30s combined. The next German federal election is due in late 2025.

Canadian provincial election and Thailand

The left-wing NDP ousted a Conservative government at the October 3 Manitoba provincial election in Canada, winning 34 of the 57 seats to 22 Conservatives and one Liberal, on vote shares of 45.5% NDP, 42.1% Conservative and 10.6% Liberal. However, in Canadian federal polling the Conservatives lead the governing Liberals by double digit margins. The next Canadian election is due by late 2025.

At the May Thai election, the left-wing Move Forward won 151 of the 500 House seats and originally formed an alliance with Pheu Thai (141 seats). However, a majority of both the House and Senate was needed to become PM, and the Senate’s 250 members are military appointees. Move Forward’s leader was unable to become PM, and Pheu Thai dissolved its alliance with Move Forward to ally with the military. On August 22, Pheu Thai’s nominee was elected PM.

New Zealand election live

Limited live commentary on today’s New Zealand election. Guest post by Adrian Beaumont

Live Commentary

9:42pm Nat and ACT combined have dropped to 61 of the 121 seats with 93% counted. “Special votes” that are counted in the three weeks after the election night count is complete will favour the left and probably cost the right a majority, meaning they will need NZ First to govern. Also Maori is just behind Labour in two seats; if they won both there would be a bigger overhang. But Nat will almost certainly win a by-election that was postponed from Saturday after a candidate died.

9:16pm Had to work on the Voice article. With 88% counted in NZ, National and ACT are down to 62 of the 121 seats. The election day vote has been worse for National than the advance vote.

7:11pm National may be doing worse on election day votes than advance, and have dropped back to 52 seats, with Nat and ACT at a combined 64 of 123 with 38.0% overall counted including 86.4% of advance votes.

6:15pm Nat and ACT keep climbing and are now at 65 of the 123 seats with 27% of overall votes and 73.5% of advance votes counted. It’s looking like the late polls badly understated the right this time after understating the left in 2020.

6:02pm With 66% of advance votes and 24% overall counted, Nat and ACT are now up to 64 of the 122 total seats.

5:50pm With 56% of advance votes counted and 21% overall, Nat and ACT combined are still holding at 63 of the current 122 seats.

5:35pm Maori now winning just three electorate seats, down from six previously. That means total number of seats falls back to 120, and Nat and ACT are currently winning 63 combined.

5:28pm Results so far reflect advance or pre-poll votes, of which 32% has been counted. Percentage counted is of the total number of polling places, so the left parties will hope the current count is skewed to smaller booths that count quickly in rural areas.

5:18pm With 5% counted, Maori party is winning six electorate seats, causing a three-seat overhang. However, Nat and ACT are still winning 63 of the 123 new total seats.

5:11pm First results, with 2% counted, would give the right 63 of the 120 seats.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 5pm AEDT for the New Zealand election. As in Australia, early voting has been available since October 2. However, I believe early votes are counted in NZ on election day, and so they will be released fairly quickly. Results from the NZ Electoral Commission will be available here.

I had a final preview for The Conversation on the NZ election on Thursday. There was a late Morgan poll, conducted September 5 to October 8, that showed the left parties (Labour, Greens and Māori) leading the right parties (National and ACT) by two points, but with 7.5% for NZ First it would make NZ First the kingmaker. 

In other news, it may well be the case that no Republican candidate for US House Speaker can win the 217 Republican votes needed to become Speaker without any Democratic support. It’s now ten days since Kevin McCarthy was ousted, and there’s no resolution in sight.

I will be writing about the Voice and the NZ election for The Conversation, so I won’t be following the NZ election throughout the night.