Groom by-election live

Projected LNP swing Projected 2PP LNP win probability

9.25pm. All pre-poll voting centres as well as election day booths are now in on both primary and two-party, which I presume is all we’re getting this evening. Labor has a 2.8% swing on election day votes, a 4.0% on pre-polls and 3.1% overall.

8.27pm. The South Toowoomba and West Toowoomba pre-poll centres have reported primary votes, and while the former has swung pretty heavily to Labor, the latter was slightly stronger for the LNP than the election day result.

7.43pm. Apart from one straggler on the two-party vote, all election day results are in now. There were 42,483 votes cast at election day booths, compared with 53,943 at the 2019 election.

7.09pm. My coverage is petering out because the booths coming in are merely confirming what was already known. There won’t really be anything worth commenting in until the pre-poll voting centres report, which presumably won’t be for a few hours.

6.51pm. Very quick count with only four candidates: nearly half the booths in on the primary vote already. Swing looks like about 3%, unless there’s a different dynamic on pre-polls, which the LNP would be pretty pleased with after the 5.2% swing in their favour at the 2019 election.

6.48pm. Of the two minor parties, Sustainable Australia is handsomely outpolling the Liberal Democrats. The former have the donkey vote, but the latter have the “Liberal” confusion factor.

6.46pm. Not so sure about that Toowoomba/rural divide now: apart from the 10.2% swing to Labor in the Toowoomba booth of Harristown West, the swings to Labor in Toowoomba booths are modest.

6.44pm. The two-party swing to Labor is settling in at around 4%, and the gap between the reported two-party result and my projection (which makes use of booth results that have only reported the primary vote so far) is narrowing.

6.37pm. Could be seeing a pattern here of a swing to Labor in Toowoomba but not the rural booths.

6.35pm. Some better results for Labor coming through on two-candidate preferred, including a double-digit swing in the Toowoomba booth of Harristown West. Now projecting a 4.6% two-party swing to Labor.

6.31pm. And let it be noted that it’s already got the LNP win probability at 100%.

6.30pm. Three election day booths now in on two-party preferred, which means by two-party projection is no longer going off estimated preference flows. I’m projecting essentially no two-party swing: there’s a slight two-party swing to the LNP just off the two-candidate preferred count, but that doesn’t make use of booths where there are primary votes in but not yet a TCP count.

6.28pm. Five election day booths now in on the primary vote and a small pre-poll booth in as well, the latter with two-party in as well. It actually records a small two-party swing to Labor, which could suggest my preference estimates are a little too favourable to the LNP, although we’re only talking 103 votes here.

6.24pm. The display error is now corrected, although it may take a hard refresh to get it working. Four booths now in on the primary and it’s still looking like a good result for the LNP, with a double-digit swing on the primary vote.

6.21pm. The display above is stuck on 50% for the win probability, which I’ll look into — the results page has it at 87%.

6.19pm. We have 126 formal votes in from Bowenville, and both parties are up on the primary vote with a much smaller field of candidates, though the LNP particularly so, resulting in the projection of a small two-party swing to the LNP. Until we get a non-trivial two-party count, this assumes the LNP is receiving 75% of Liberal Democrats preferences and Sustainable Australia are going 50-50, based on a rough approximation of their historical form.

6pm. Polls have closed. Note that my results display shows daylight savings time, i.e. New South Wales and Victoria rather than Queensland, which is the AEC’s doing rather than mine. Expect to see results from small rural booths start to come in in about 20 minutes or so.

5.50pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Groom by-election. The display featured above is a small sample of what will be available tonight on this site’s results facility. The top half of the display features progress vote totals and booth-matched swings, including a New York Times-style “election needle” recording a probability estimate of the final result. This is based on a projection of two-party preferred that combines estimates of the final primary vote shares and preference flows. The latter is the subject of its own table, which will show how minor party and independent preferences are flowing based on the latest two-party count, and how this compares with the corresponding results from the 2019 election. The bottom half features the clearest and neatest display of the booth results you will find, in the form of a table in which you can toggle between vote totals, percentages and swings. Also featured are separate sub-totals for ordinary election day polling booths and pre-poll voting centres, with swings to match — an increasingly important distinction on election night, when the latter come in quite a bit later than the former and don’t always behave the same way.

Miscellany: Morgan poll, Liberal Senate preselection, etc.

Two polls suggest the federal government’s COVID-19 dividend may be starting to wear a bit thin.

Today is the day of the federal by-election for the Queensland seat of Groom, which you can offer your thoughts on on this post in the apparently unlikely event that you have something specifically to say about it through the course of the day. This site will naturally be all over the count this evening, complete with a live results facility that is fully battle-tested so far as federal elections are concerned.

Other news of note:

• Roy Morgan had a result this week from the federal voting intention series it conducts regularly but publishes erratically. This one credited the Coalition with a slender two-party lead of 50.5-49.5, from primary votes of Coalition 42%, Labor 34%, Greens 12% and One Nation 4%. State breakdowns had the Coalition leading 53.5-46.5 in New South Wales, the reverse in Victoria, the Coalition leading 54.5-45.5 in Queensland, the Coalition leading 51-49 in Western Australia, and Labor leading 52.5-47.5 in South Australia. The poll was conducted online and by telephone over the two previous weekends from a sample of 2824.

• The Financial Review reports on JWS Research polling that shows 20% believe states should close borders to other states that have any active COVID-19 cases, “almost 60%” believe the same should happen if there are 25 active cases, and 75% say the same for 100 active cases. The report further relates that 60% of respondents rated the federal government’s handling of the virus positively, down six points from July, and that 87% of Western Australians, 82% of South Australians and 57% of Victorians (up seven since July) did likewise for their state goverments, with due caution for the small size of the relevant sub-samples. The poll was conducted from a sample of 1035 from last Friday to Sunday.

John Ferguson of The Australian reports on Victorial Liberal Senate preselection contenders for the next election: Simon Frost, staffer to Josh Frydenberg and the party’s former state director (including at the time of its disastrous 2018 campaign); Roshena Campbell, a Melbourne lawyer; Greg Mirabella, Wangaratta farmer and husband of Sophie Mirabella; and Jess Wilson, policy director at the Business Council of Australia. This is likely to amount to a race for the second position on the ticket, with Sarah Henderson to be promoted to first and Scott Ryan not seeking another term. There is contention in the state branch over president Robert Clark’s reluctance to have preselections determined through party plebiscites, with critics accusing him of using COVID-19 to maintain control by the central administration, as it did before the last election. According to the report, “a statewide ballot would favour Mr Frost, while an administrative committee vote would favour those loyal to Mr Clark’s forces“.

Groom by-election minus two days

Two days out, a guide for Saturday’s federal election in the safe LNP seat of Groom in Queensland.

The campaign hasn’t exactly been a barbecue stopper, but we’re two days out from the significant event of a federal by-election. This is to be held in Groom, which is centred upon Toowoomba in Queensland’s Darling Downs region, and will result in the election of a replacement for John McVeigh, who has held the seat for the Liberal National Party since 2016. McVeigh’s winning margin in 2019 was 20.5%, which you would normally think would mean Labor would sit the by-election out, but they have in fact done the election-watching community a solid by fielding a candidate. That’s more than can be said for One Nation and the Greens, with the by-election having attracted a meagre field of four candidates, the other two being from the Liberal Democrats and Sustainable Australia.

While an LNP victory is surely a foregone conclusion, the size of the swing will serve as a real world measure of how well the Morrison government is travelling, a particularly notable fact in these days of skepticism about opinion polls. It is also convenient that it will do so in Queensland, which has so often been the crucible of federal elections over the course of the present century, and which recently delivered Labor a morale-boosting win at state level. For more detail, I now have a complete guide to the by-election in business, and will be doing my live results reporting thing as the numbers come in on Saturday evening.

Opposites detract

As Peter Malinauskas puts the loyal back in loyal opposition, two contenders emerge for the thankless task of leading the WA Liberals to the March state election.

I had a paywalled article in Crikey yesterday that riffed off South Australian Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas’s pointedly supportive approach to the state’s brief COVID-19 lockdown, and the explicit distinction he drew between his own approach and that of Michael O’Brien in Victoria. It was noted that Malinauskas clearly believes the general tenor of polling coming out of Victoria, even if the likes of Peta Credlin do not. This also afforded me the opportunity to highlight a clip from September in which Credlin and two Sky-after-dark colleagues brought their formidable perspicacity to bear on the likely impact of Queensland’s hard border policies on the looming state election.

Speaking of the which, both Antony Green and Kevin Bonham offer extremely detailed post-match reports on the Queensland election, in which both try their hand at estimating the statewide two-party preferred: Antony Green coming in at 53.2% for Labor, and Kevin Bonham making it 53.1%. This represents either a 1.8% or 1.9% swing to Labor compared with the 2017 election result of 51.3%, which was barely different from the 2015 result of 51.1%. Annastacia Palaszczuk can now claim the vanishingly rare distinction of having increased her party’s seat share at three successive elections. For further insights into how this came about, JWS Research has published full results of its post-election poll.

Elsewhere, Western Australia’s Liberal Party will today choose a new leader after the resignation on Sunday of Liza Harvey, who came to the job last June but has been politically crippled by COVID-19 — a no-win situation for the Liberals in the best of circumstances, but one made quite a lot worse than it needed to be by a response that was more Michael O’Brien than Peter Malinauskas. The two contenders are Zak Kirkup, 33-year-old member for the all too marginal seat of Dawesville in southern Mandurah, and Bateman MP Dean Nalder, who unsuccessfully challenged Colin Barnett’s leadership six months before the Liberals’ landslide defeat in March 2017. The West Australian reports that Zirkup has it all but stitched up, since he has the support of Harvey as well as key numbers men Peter Collier and Nick Goiran.

Essential Research state and federal leadership polling

High and improving personal ratings for all incumbent leaders, as concern about COVID-19 eases just slightly.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research survey includes the pollster’s monthly leadership ratings, which find Scott Morrison up three on approval to 66% and down two on approval to 25%, Anthony Albanese down four on approval to 40% and up four on disapproval to 39%, and Morrison holding a 53-24 lead as preferred prime minister, out from 50-25. There was also a six point increase in the government’s good rating on COVID-19 response to 67%, with the poor rating steady on 15%.

As it did a fortnight ago, the poll also asked about the mainland state premiers from the small sub-samples in the relevant states: Gladys Berejiklian was at 75% approval (up seven) and 17% disapproval (down four); Daniel Andrews at 65% approval (up four) and 28% disapproval (down five); Annastacia Palazczuk at 65% approval (steady) and 27% disapproval (up three); Mark McGowan at 87% (up nine) approval and 7% disapproval (down five); and Steven Marshall, who was not featured in last fortnight’s polling, at 60% approval and 21% disapproval. State government handling of COVID-19 was rated as good by 82% of respondents in Western Australia, 76% in South Australia, 75% in New South Wales, 71% in Queensland and 59% in Victoria.

Respondents were asked how much attention they had been paying to recent news stories, with 73% saying they had closely followed the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria, 68% the US presidential election, 36% the allegations of sexual misconduct raised by the ABC’s Four Corners, and 29% Joel Fitzgibbon’s resignation from the shadow cabinet. It also finds an easing in concern over COVID-19, with 27% rating themselves very concerned (down three), 44% quite concerned (down two), 23% not that concerned (up three) and 6% not at all concerned (up two). The peak of concern was in early August, when 50% were very concerned, 40% quite concerned, 7% not that concerned and 3% not at all concerned.

The poll was conducted Wednesday to Monday from a sample of 1010.

On and off again

The 2019 federal election pollster failure gets probed and prodded, as the dust settles on the Queensland election

The site experienced issues yesterday that prevented comments from appearing, which are now more-or-less resolved. However, this involved a lot of plugin updates that might cause certain of the site’s features to misfire for a while. One issue seems to be that comments pagination wasn’t working on the previous thread, hence the need for a new thread despite me not having all that much to relate. Except:

• The Association of Market and Social Research Organisations has published its report into the 2019 opinion poll failure, which is important and a big deal, but such has been the pace of events lately that I haven’t had time to really look at it yet. Kevin Bonham has though, and he elaborates upon the report’s analysis of historical federal poll performance by looking at state polls as well, which fail to replicate a finding that polls have a general skew to Labor.

• Recounts in the Queensland cliffhanger seats of Bundaberg and Nicklin confirmed Labor’s narrow victories, by nine rather than the original 11 votes in Bundaberg, and by 85 rather than the original 79 in Nicklin.

Simon Benson of The Australian reports privately commissioned post-Queensland election polling by JWS Research found 24% rated “economy, jobs and living costs” as the most important issue, with COVID-19 on 15%, the state’s border arrangements in response on 14% (one might well think the results for these two responses should be combined), environment and climate change on 9%, health on 8% and infrastructure on 6%.