Senate results finalised

One last indignity for the Coalition as it loses its third Victorian Senate seat to the United Australia Party, while results in New South Wales and Western Australia play according to script.

All three outstanding Senate results were concluded today, leaving us with a new Senate of 32 Coalition members (including six Nationals, two elected on Queensland’s Liberal National Party ticket at one from the Country Liberal Party in the Northern Territory), Labor 26, Greens 12, One Nation two, Jacqui Lambie Network two, United Australia Party one and one independent. Today’s results in descending order of interest:

• Clive Palmer has not emerged completely empty-handed after Ralph Babet of the United Australia Party won the last seat in Victoria, unseating Liberal incumbent Greg Mirabella for a result of Labor two, Coalition two, Greens one and UAP one. I originally thought Mirabella likely to win based on how preferences flowed in 2019, but came to think Babet more likely to after seeing how preferences were flowing in other states. Consistent with the model I produced after using preference flows from the Queensland result, Mirabella actually fell to third place behind both Babet and Labor’s third candidate, Casey Nunn, after One Nation excluded, with Babet on 9.2%, Nunn on 7.9% and Mirabella on 7.2%. Babet’s lead then widened after the exclusion of Mirabella to 11.9% to 9.8%.

• The result in Western Australia was three Labor, two Liberal and one Greens, which always seemed highly probable, although I entertained vague notions towards the end that tight right-wing preference flows might result in Labor’s third seat going to One Nation instead. At the second last exclusion, third Liberal incumbent Ben Small went out with 6.5% of the vote to 10.2% for Labor’s Fatima Payman and 8.7% for Paul Filing of One Nation, but the distribution of his preferences left the gap between Payman and Filing essentially unchanged at 12.2% to 10.6%.

• As always seemed clear, the result in New South Wales was Coalition three, Labor two and Greens one. After the exclusion of Legalise Cannabis, incumbent third Liberal Jim Molan was elected with 12.3% of the vote, ahead of One Nation’s Kate McCulloch on 9.9%.

And for the sake of completeness, a summary of the earlier results:

Queensland returned two Labor, two Liberal National, one Greens and one One Nation Senator, the latter being Pauline Hanson, who won out over the incumbent third candidate on the LNP ticket, Amanda Stoker. When the exclusion of Legalise Cannabis left three remaining candidates chasing two seats, Stoker held 10.3% of the vote against 14.2% for Pauline Hanson and 13.9% for Labor’s Anthony Chisholm, who were duly elected in that order. Hanson substantially outperformed my projection based on 2019 preference flows, which only got her to 12.1% compared with 14.2% for Chisholm, with Stoker on 10.9%.

South Australia returned three Liberals, two Labor and one Green. The third Liberal, Kerrynne Liddle, finished with 12.4%, ahead of Jennifer Game of One Nation on 9.5%. At the previous count, third Labor candidate Trimann Gill was excluded with 8.0% to Liddle’s 9.5% and Game’s 8.7%, though Liddle would have won even if Gill had stayed ahead of Game.

• The result in Tasmania was two Labor, two Liberal, one Green and one Jacqui Lambie Network. Tammi Tyrell of the JLN was elected with a full quota after the exclusion of the incumbent third Liberal, Eric Abetz, whose preferences pushed her to 14.9% ahead of One Nation’s Steve Mav on 8.9%, with another 1.2% of the Abetz vote remaining undistributed at the point where Tyrell passed the threshold of a quota. Abetz was excluded with 6.6% in the previous round, behind Tyrell on 12.7% and Mav on 7.2%. Abetz’s campaign for below the line votes had little impact: he scored 4.27%, whereas the second Liberal, Wendy Askew, had 13.2% after the distribution of the surplus of the first Liberal, Jonathan Duniam.

• In the Australian Capital Territory, independent David Pocock was elected at the expense of Liberal incumbent Zed Seselja with 36.3% at the final count to Seselja’s 28.6%. Labor’s 33.37% share of the vote, fractionally over a quota, ensured there was no chance that Katy Gallagher was going to lose her seat to Pocock rather than Seselja, as one campaign poll suggested she might.

• The Northern Territory had an orthodox result of one seat for Labor and one for the Country Liberal Party, who fell just short of a quota on the primary vote with 32.97% and 31.70% respectively without any other party doing well enough to be threatening.

Late counting: more Senate buttons pressed

Pauline Hanson returned in Queensland, leaving on the Victorian and New South Wales results to be confirmed.

Saturday, June 18

Some discussion on Twitter in the wake of the Queensland result inspired me to consider the possibility that right-wing preference flows might yet deprive Labor of a third seat in Western Australia, a result that would appreciably weaken the new government’s hand in the Senate.

The answer is that they could if preferences indeed behave as they did in Queensland, which I have illustrated with one of two new sheets on my Senate projection spreadsheet, identified as “WA — Qld prefs”. This is because a strong flow of preferences to One Nation would give them an even chance of passing the third Liberal to make it to the final count, at which point One Nation would take the last seat on Liberal preferences. However, since One Nation got less than half the vote share in WA that they did in Queensland, it seems intuitively likely that they will also get a weaker flow. I have also included the same exercise using preference flows from South Australia, identified as “WA — SA prefs”, where the parties’ vote shares more closely resembled Western Australia. This too suggests One Nation has a strong chance of making the final count, but in this case they would fall well short of taking the seat from Labor.

It should be noted here that there is a dramatic difference between the strong preference flow to One Nation upon the LNP’s exclusion in the Queensland example and the weak flow upon the Liberals’ exclusion in South Australia — partly for the reason just noted, but also because the Liberal how-to-vote card in South Australia did not recommend a preference to One Nation, whereas the LNP card had them second. Western Australia is an intermediate case in this respect, since the Liberal card directed preferences to One Nation in nine seats but not in the other six. But in the event that minor party preferences flowed to One Nation only as strongly as they did in South Australia — and assuming this was still enough to put them ahead of the Liberals and into the final count — the flow to One Nation upon the Liberals’ exclusion would have to be fully as strong as in Queensland for them to then overhaul Labor, which hardly seems likely.

Friday, June 17

The fifth Senate button press has just been conducted in Queensland, and it’s the first that relates to a result that I considered in any way in doubt. As I thought highly probable but not quite certain, Pauline Hanson has held her seat at the expense of Amanda Stoker, the incumbent third candidate on the Liberal National Party ticket. The other seats have gone two LNP (James McGrath and Matt Canavan), two Labor (Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm) and one Greens (Penny Allman-Payne). I’ll have more to offer on this when the preference distribution and ballot paper data are published.

Most interesting of those still to come is Victoria, where the last seat promises to be a very tight race between the incumbent third Liberal, Greg Mirabella, and Ralph Babet of the United Australia Party (a lot more on that here), which the AEC announces will happen at 10am on Monday. New South Wales, which looks certain to be three Coalition, two Labor and one Greens, will be conducted half-an-hour earlier. Still no word yet on Western Australia, which looks like Labor three, Coalition two and Greens one. No word yet on when those might be expected.

UPDATE: The Queensland Senate distribution is now up on the AEC site. It turned out that Amanda Stoker was not seriously in contention: when the exclusion of Legalise Cannabis left three remaining candidates chasing two seats, Stoker held 10.3% of the vote against 14.2% for Pauline Hanson and 13.9% for Labor’s Anthony Chisholm, who were duly elected in that order. Hanson substantially outperformed my projection based on 2019 preference flows, which only got her to 12.1% compared with 14.2% for Chisholm, with Stoker on 10.9%. This is perhaps consistent with what was seen in South Australia, where preferences among right-wing minor parties were tighter this time with less leakage to the Coalition. As noted in the previous post, this suggests Ralph Babet has a solid chance of poaching the last seat in Victoria from Greg Mirabella, contrary to what my model was suggesting.

Late counting: first Senate buttons pressed

Final resolutions of the ACT and NT Senate counts imminent, as the AEC also gets to work sorting out the final two-party preferred result.

Thursday, June 16

UPDATE: Tasmanian Senate result confirmed.

The next cab off the rank for the Senate is Tasmania at 3pm today, which should confirm a result of two each for Liberal and Labor and one each for the Greens and the Jacqui Lambie Network. Yesterday’s result in South Australia (see below) did not surprise, but my analysis of the ballot paper data has: the United Australia Party did a lot better on preferences than in 2019, sufficient to suggest that their candidate in Victoria, Ralph Babet, is well in the hunt for a final seat that I had hitherto thought most likely to go to the third Liberal, Greg Mirabella.

On this spreadsheet you will find my determination of how the various minor players’ preferences split between Labor, Liberal, Greens and UAP for the Senate in South Australia at both this election and in 2019. Most notably, the UAP only got 30.2% of One Nation preferences ahead of the other three in 2019, but this time they got 58.3%. The same pattern is evident in lesser degree among most other parties, particularly on the right. The one glaring exception is the Liberal Democrats, the results for which show how important ballot paper order is for this particular party. In 2019 they were well to the right of the ballot paper, polled 0.67%, and sent only 35.4% to the Liberals on four-party preferred. This time they drew the column A, got 2.20% and sent 61.2% to the Liberals, who were right nearby in column C.

To get a sense of what this might mean for Victoria, my Senate projection spreadsheet now contains a new sheet called “Vic 2”, which as much as possible replaces the preference data from Victoria in 2019 with the new results in South Australia. Note that I have left the distribution for the LDP undisturbed rather than swing it dramatically to the Liberals as per the South Australian result. If Antony Green is correct in his assessment that “lockdowns and changes in party registration rules” might mean more LDP preferences for the UAP at the expense of the Liberals, this assessment will actually be conservative with respect to their chances of overhauling Mirabella.

Whereas the existing projection gives the UAP only a 0.2% boost over the Coalition when One Nation preferences are distributed, the new one makes it 2.1% in “Scenario 1”, where Legalise Cannabis are excluded before One Nation, those two parties being closely matched at the previous exclusion. Competition from Legalise Cannabis for One Nation preferences in “Scenario 2” reduces this to 1.6%, but the difference comes back to them when Legalise Cannabis is excluded in later counts.

There are, in effect, three scenarios laid out here, depending on who drops out at close exclusions in the final stages. As noted, one involves Legalise Cannabis dropping out before One Nation, another vice-versa. On the first of these, I now have Mirabella dropping out before both UAP and Labor, and his preferences then deciding the result for the UAP. The second sets up another tight exclusion at the next round, with either Legalise Cannabis or the third Labor candidate going out next.

The former case, Scenario 2a, is essentially the same as Scenario 1, the only difference being the order of exclusion between Legalise Cannabis and One Nation. But in Scenario 2b, Labor’s exclusion unlocks what seems to me a surprisingly strong flow of preferences to the Liberals, precious few for the UAP, and not enough for Legalise Cannabis. On this scenario, Mirabella makes it over the line — just.

Wednesday, June 15

As noted below, the button will be pressed on the South Australian Senate result at 3pm today.

UPDATE: The result in South Australia, as expected, was 1. Simon Birmingham (Liberal), 2. Penny Wong (Labor), 3. Andrew McLachlan (Liberal), 4. Don Farrell (Labor), 5. Barbara Pocock (Greens), 6. Kerrynne Liddle (Liberal). The full preference distribution is here. Liddle ended short of a full quota at the final count with 140,008 votes (12.4%), ahead of Jennifer Game of One Nation on 107,672 (9.5%). At the previous count, third Labor candidate Trimann Gill was excluded with 89,740 (8.0%) to Game’s 97,755 (8.7%) and Liddle’s 107,705 (9.5%), though Liddle would have won at the final count either way.

The AEC now announces the button will be pressed at 3pm on Tasmania, which I consider a foregone conclusion of two each for Liberal and Labor and one each for the Greens and the Jacqui Lambie Network.

Tuesday, June 14

The Australian Electoral Commission has announced the buttons will be pushed on the Senate counts today for the Australian Capital Territory at 10am and the Northern Territory at 11am. There seems little doubt about the former result and none about the latter, but it will be interesting to see exactly how minor party and independent preferences flow through to what I am presuming will be a win for independent David Pocock over Liberal incumbent Zed Seselja in the ACT. It also seems likely that the resolution in South Australia and Tasmania is not far off.

For the lower house, the AEC is now conducting Coalition-versus-Labor counts in the 26 seats where the two-candidate preferred counts include independents or minor parties, a process that is a little over 10% complete. This will finally provide us with a definitive two-party preferred and swing results for the election as a whole. The count so far has been systematically favourably for the Coalition because they are starting with declaration votes, and in particular with postal votes, which account for over 80% of those counted so far. It is for this reason that they point to a collective swing to the Coalition of around 9%, which will assuredly not be the case after the ordinary votes are added.

My displays of the lower house results can be found here, but for the two-party preferred results you will need the AEC site.

UPDATE: Counts for the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory resolved as anticipated. The preference distributions will be published later today. The button will be pressed on South Australia at 3pm local time tomorrow. Liberal candidate Andrew Constance has requested a recount after his defeat by 373 votes in Gilmore.

UPDATE 2: The distributions have been posted for both the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory. The ACT result was not close: at the final distribution, David Pocock had 103,618 votes (36.3%) and Zed Seselja had 81,485 (28.6%).

UPDATE 3: I had made the following calculations using the ballot paper data of how the various candidates’ preferences were apportioned between a) Labor, Liberal and David Pocock, b) Liberal and David Pocock, and c) Labor and Liberal. Since Labor polled almost exactly a quota, the question of preferences either to them or from them was academic so far as the count was concerned, but instructive with respect to voter behaviour.

Rich Liberal, poor Liberal

A beginner’s guide to debate on the conservative side of politics about how the Liberal Party should react to its election defeat, and in particular the loss of its traditional strongholds to the teal independents.

In the wake of the Morrison government’s defeat, a culture war has broken out within the Liberal Party between those who consider recovering the teal independent seats a necessary precondition for a return to power and those who believe they should be abandoned to the political left so the party might pursue different constituencies in seats that have been swinging away from Labor, notably Hunter, Werriwa, McEwen and Gorton. Support for the latter notion has been provided by former Morrison government adviser Mark Briers, who says the party “must move our party’s focus, talent and resources away from Camberwell and Malvern towards Craigieburn and Melton”, and right-wing Victorian Liberal MP Tim Smith, who says his party should “stop obsessing with the woke concerns and obsessions with the inner-urban elites”, and “take the focus off Kew” – his own seat, until November at least – “and focus on Cranbourne”.

Repudiating his soon-to-be-former colleague, former Victorian Liberal leader Michael O’Brien told The Australian there was “no path to 45 seats” at the November state election “that doesn’t run through Malvern, Kew and Hawthorn”, the latter of which was unexpectedly lost to Labor in 2018. Similarly, federal MP Paul Fletcher – who has an interest in the matter as member for the Sydney seat of Bradfield, one of only two out of the ten wealthiest electorates that remain with the Liberal Party – wrote in The Australian on Saturday that he has not heard notions to the contrary “seriously advanced by fellow Liberals”, by which I think he means he has not heard it advanced by serious fellow Liberals. However, his prescriptions for accomplishing took pains to avoid seriously criticising his own party and offered no suggestion of any policy reorientation.

Scott Morrison, who clearly isn’t kept awake at night by jibes about him being “from marketing”, proposes a middle course, seemingly based on the notion that brand damage from the Nationals had a lot to do with his government’s defeat. As reported by Sharri Markson of The Australian, Morrison proposes the solution of a re-forged coalition in which a Queensland-style Liberal National Party serves as the main brand, allied to a distinct “new progressive Liberal movement” to run in the kinds of seats lost to the teal independents.

The loss of those seats has prompted much talk about the demise of the socio-economic cleavage that has historically defined the Australian party system, including a claim in a Financial Review headline that “for the first time Labor voters earn more than Coalition voters” – later amended to “Labor electorates earn more than Coalition seats” after it was pointed out that the initial claim was wrong. The issue with such analyses is known as the ecological fallacy, whereby inferences about individual behaviour are drawn from aggregate-level data — in this case the notion that because the electorates held by the Coalition have declined in income, it follows that their support base has as well.

YouGov data scientist Shaun Ratcliff addressed this issue by drawing on the surveying for the pollster’s multi-level regression and post-stratification poll, which reached 18,923 respondents three to five weeks out from election day. Ratcliff found that while the traditional income cleavage was reduced at this election, it certainly did not disappear. Among home-owners on $150,000 a year or more, 44% voted Coalition, 31% Labor and 10% Greens; among those on $50,000 a year or less who did not own homes, 40% voted Labor, 27% Greens and just 16% voted Coalition. While the effect was somewhat weaker among those under 35, Ratcliff provides a series of charts illustrating the clear tendency of wealthier voters to favour the Coalition over Labor and “others” (Greens support did not appear contingent on income).

This was also true within the teal independent seats, with Kooyong and Goldstein in particular having experienced an influx of apartment-dwelling “young middle-income professionals”, as noted by Remy Vega in The Australian. Data from the YouGov poll suggests the Liberal vote in the twenty seats targeted by Climate 200 was around seven points lower among those on $50,000 or less than among those on higher incomes. More broadly, Ratcliff notes that “renters also swung away from the Liberal and National Party more than homeowners and the young more than the old”.

Late counting: week four

Still more on the progress of late counting, most of it relating to whether the last Senate seat in Victoria will go to Liberal incumbent Greg Mirabella or the United Australia Party.

Click here for full federal election results updated live.

There are only a few driblets of votes still being added to the count, but you can follow what remains of it at the link above. One fact worth noting is that a Twitter user has observed what appears to be an anomaly that has inflated the Liberals’ share of the two-candidate preferred vote at the Beaumont booth in Sturt, the correction of which should knock a few hundred votes from their winning margin.

It appears the final turnout rate will max out at 90% or a touch below, compared with 91.89% in 2019. This is actually a function of a higher enrolment rate, largely due to the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment program. The electoral roll grew by 4.9% between the two elections, where by reckoning the total population grew by around 1.8%. The total number of votes cast, with a handful still to be added, increased by 2.3%.

Now to the genuinely remaining seats in doubt, which are in the Senate. The assessment I posted just under a fortnight still holds, with the remaining points of doubt being who wins the last seat in Victoria out of the incumbent third Liberal, Greg Mirabella, and Ralph Babet of the United Australia Party, and who wins in Queensland out of Pauline Hanson and the incumbent third LNP Senator, Amanda Stoker. This assessment derives from a model that assumed preferences would flow as they did in 2019, based on the Senate ballot paper data from that election, that can be seen in fully updated form here.

Antony Green has now done the same thing with respect to the Victorian count, having calculated how preferences flowed between the Liberals, Labor, the Greens and the UAP. On this basis, he allows that it “can’t be ruled out” that Greens preferences will push Labor’s third candidate, Casey Nunn, ahead of Ralph Babet, resulting in the exclusion of Babet and the election of Mirabella ahead of Nunn at the final count. However, my more elaborate model projects that this will happen, putting Nunn ahead by 7.4% to 6.6% and very nearly overtaking Mirabella on 7.5%. Mirabella would then win the last seat pretty comfortably, since he would benefit from a largely right-wing preference pool upon the exclusion of the UAP.

This is based on how preferences flowed to Liberal, Labor and the UAP in 2019 without the Greens in the equation, something Antony says he hopes to get around to calculating in his post, though it seems he is yet to do so. He ultimately concludes, as I have, that while Mirabella would win if preferences flowed as they did last time, there are reasons to think they will now flow more strongly to the UAP. One is the increase in the party’s primary vote, from 2.48% to 3.96%, which will more than likely be reflected in a better performance on preferences. He also proposes that preferences from the Liberal Democrats, who have polled 2.35%, might not be as favourable to the Liberals this time because of “lockdowns and changes in party registration rules”.

If the UAP indeed gains enough on preferences to make the final count, my projection raises at least a possibility that it could do so by overtaking not Labor but Liberal (whose total vote share has fallen from 33.1% to 32.5% since I last updated the model), or maybe even both. However, this does not entail a path to victory for Casey Nunn – Mirabella would win in any scenario where he made it to the final count, while Ralph Babet would win if Mirabella dropped out. I continue to regard a win for Mirabella as very likely, but upper house preference distributions have been known to surprise.

Other developments of recent counting including a narrowing in the projected winning margin of third Labor candidate Fatima Payman in Western Australia over incumbent third Liberal Ben Small, which has gone from 12.0% to 10.1% to 11.5% to 10.1% – probably not enough for Small to get a look in, but you never know. In Queensland, my projected gap between Pauline Hanson and Amanda Stoker in the race for the final seat in Queensland has widened – 11.9% to 11.1% before, 12.1% to 10.9% now.

SEC Newgate post-election poll (open thread)

A post-election survey finds Labor recovered support among middle-aged men, while women drove the surge to the Greens and independents.

The local branch of international communications firm SEC Newgate has published a post-election survey as part of a regular monthly series that had hitherto escaped my notice. Among its findings are that 28% of Labor voters at the election had voted for a different party or candidate in 2019, and that the party had “regained some traction with its traditional base”, particularly among middle-aged men. Conversely, the flight to the Greens and independents was driven overwhelmingly by women.

The survey also found 54% felt Australia was headed in the right direction post-election, up from 47% in April, and 52% felt the success of independents was good for Australia. Labor was considered the best party to handle housing by 42% to 25%, although its policy for partial government investment in private homes had only 38% support. The Coalition’s policy to allow first home buyers to draw on their superannuation was supported and opposed by 40% apiece, but its “downsizer” reforms were supported by 52% and opposed by 18%. Fifty-nine per cent supported an indigenous voice to parliament, with only 16% opposed. The survey was conducted May 23 to 27 from a sample of 1403.

Note also the post below dealing with the election result in the two Northern Territory seats, in what will be the first of a number of “call of the board” posts. It also marks a new leaf I’m at least planning on turning over in which I will increase the frequency of specialised posts with on-topic discussion threads, distinct from the usual poll-driven open threads like this one. We’ll see if I’m actually able to devote enough energy to the blog to make this viable long term. In any case, the open thread posts will henceforth be designated as such in their titles, as per the above.

Call of the board: Northern Territory

A deep dive into the results for the two seats of the Northern Territory, in the first of many posts that will give the federal election result the attention it deserves.

Over the coming weeks I will be going through the country region by region offering at least some commentary along the way on the result in every seat, a valuable exercise that will undoubtedly pick up a lot of nuances currently still obscure to me. I’m starting with Northern Territory as a target of opportunity, given comments made yesterday by Anthony Albanese brought my attention to the result in Lingiari.

For those not familiar with the situation at the top end, the Northern Territory is divided electorally into Solomon, which neatly accommodates Darwin and its satellite city of Palmerston, and Lingiari, accounting for the remainder. Since the territory’s population leaves it on the cusp of one seat and two when state and territory seat entitlements are determined, these electorates have enrolments of around 75,000, compared with around 120,000 for the average seat in the mainland states.

Not for the first time, Lingiari was perhaps the most under-discussed marginal seat contest in the country at this election. Since the weight of remote indigenous communities in this electorate makes accurate polling essentially impossible, both sides typically make efforts to campaign in the seat but apparently fly blind as to their effectiveness, while the journalistic default is to assume the result will once again be a fairly narrow win for Labor, as has indeed been the case at every election since the seat was created with the territory’s division into two seats in 2001.

Lingiari was of particular interest this time around due to the retirement of Warren Snowdon, who had held it for Labor since its inauguration. How Labor might fare in the absence of a personal vote accumulated through a political career in the territory going back to 1987 was one of the election’s great imponderables. The verdict is now in: Labor’s new candidate, former Deputy Chief Minister Marion Scrymgour, has retained the seat, but by only 0.9% in the face of a swing to the Country Liberals of 4.5%. But there was another aspect to the result: a fall in turnout from 72.8% of enrolled voters in 2019 to 66.8%. Asked about this at a press conference yesterday, Anthony Albanese diagnosed the situation as follows:

It’s not rocket science to know what happened here. They ripped resources out of the Electoral Commission. There was a deliberate policy of the former government to restrict people voting in the territory. They tried to abolish the seat — and we fought very hard to get two seats in the territory — they restricted the numbers of people who were working for the Australian Electoral Commission to get people on the roll. This was straight out of the right-wing Republican playbook. It was an outrage, what occurred. And then there was a lack of resources to enable peeople to vote. We have one vote, one value in this country. It’s an important principle of our democracy. And the fact that 66% of people vote means that one in three people in the electorate of Lingiari didn’t get to vote. That was a part of the former government’s design. It wasn’t by accident, and they should be held to account for it.

The claim that the previous government “tried to abolish the seat” doesn’t seem altogether fair: the seat was set to be abolished because the territory’s population fell below the level required to entitle it to a second seat under the existing formula, and it was a government-sponsored bill that effectively overturned it, although not in terms that formally guaranteed the territory a second seat in all circumstances as per an alternative bill introduced by Labor.

In any case, it’s interesting to observe that it was the remote mobile booths that bore the brunt of the drop in turnout, with the total formal vote down 14.8% compared with 3.3% for the other booths in the electorate, while declaration votes of all kinds were up 4.1%. Labor suffered swings of 1.4% on the other booths and 5.7% on the declaration votes, but of 9.7% on the remote mobile booths. I’m in no position to judge whether the size of the latter swing was fuelled in any way by under-servicing of indigenous communities. I would observe though that Labor had an indigenous candidate and the Country Liberals a white candidate this time, whereas the opposite was true in 2019.

Meanwhile, traditionally marginal Solomon swung heavily to Labor, though here too turnout was down, from 83.1% to 79.5%. The 6.3% swing to Labor member Luke Gosling has left the seat with a margin of 9.4%, comfortably bigger than the seat’s previous record of 6.0% and maintaining a clear break in Labor’s favour over the last three elections. While every booth but one swung to Labor, swings appeared to be strongest around the Darwin central business district, consistent with the broader story of the election.

The same might be said of the fact that the two-party swing was driven by a 13.1% slump in the Country Liberal primary vote rather than a surge in support for Labor, whose primary vote was down 0.6%. Less typically, the slack was taken up by the Liberal Democrats, whose candidate topped 10%. This may have been driven by her position on the top of the ballot paper; the party’s raised profile arising from Sam McMahon running as its Senate candidate after losing Country Liberal preselection; and the absence of any independents to soak up the disaffected conservative vote. For her part, Sam McMahon got 9.2% of the vote for the Senate, which has delivered its usual result of one Labor and one Country Liberal.

Late counting: week three

Progressively updated commentary on late counting of the results from the 2022 federal election.

Click here for full federal election results updated live.

Monday, June 6

In Deakin, some pre-polls broke 53-33 to Labor and some absents broke 13-11 to Liberal, leaving the Liberal lead at 440. It’s the final seat to have dropped from my hyper-cautious results facility’s list of seats in doubt. There are 1033 envelopes awaiting processing, which I would guess will amount to about 800 formal votes. In Gilmore there are just 34 postal vote envelopes remaining to be processed: added today were postals that broke 117-40 to Labor (sufficiently lopsided that I expect there may have been an element of rechecking going on as well), absents that broke 93-63 to Labor and pre-polls that broke 270-235 to Liberal, putting the Labor lead at 348.

Sunday, June 5

The deadline for the arrival of postal votes passed yesterday, leaving the Australian Electoral Commission with only a bit of mopping up to do on a result that very much looks like Labor 77, Coalition 58, independents 10, Greens four and one apiece for the Centre Alliance and Katter’s Australian Party. The only theoretically doubtful seats are Deakin and Gilmore, where perhaps 1000 votes remain to reverse leads of 550 for Liberal member Michael Sukkar and 276 for Labor member Fiona Phillips.

That still leaves the Senate, the resolution of which is likely a fortnight away, and the process of which is helpfully outlined in a video from the Australian Electoral Commission. I have now updated my spreadsheet in which I project a simplified preference count based on flows from the 2019 election. This has not caused me to fundamentally change an assessment I laid it out here in detail on Monday, except that Pauline Hanson’s lead in Queensland over Amanda Stoker has narrowed to the extent that I now have her margin at the final count at 11.9% to 11.1%, in from 12.1% to 10.8%. This is close enough to raise the possibility that changes in preferences flows from the last election will be sufficient to account for the difference, though I personally don’t think it likely.