New South Wales election: final score

The finalisation of the upper house count has delivered a surprise win to the Animal Justice Party, but the Coalition has nonetheless achieved its aim of needing only Christian Democrats support to pass contentious legislation.

The New South Wales election was finalised today with the pressing of the button for the Legislative Council count, which turned up a surprise win for Mark Pearson of the Animal Justice Party. It had been clear that the last seat would go to a micro-party, but the expectation was that the winner would be Peter Jones of the No Land Tax Party, who had made a very considerable investment in his party’s campaign and won the ballot draw lottery by securing first place.

Despite that unanticipated win for what might broadly be defined as the Left, the Coalition has achieved its objective of an upper house in which it requires only one out of the Christian Democrats and Shooters & Fishers to win votes. In a chamber of 42 members, the Coalition has secured 20 by adding nine to their total of 11 from 2011, amounting to a net gain of one given they won eight seats in 2007. The Christian Democrats and Shooters & Fishers have as usual won a seat each, leaving them with two apiece. Despite their triumphs in the lower house, the Greens have been chastened in only winning two seats compared with three in 2011, leaving their total unchanged at five. Labor won seven seats for a total of 12, a net loss of two given they won nine seats in 2007.

Pearson’s win over Jones for the last position was achieved when the third Greens and tenth Coalition candidates were excluded, at which point five candidates were chasing four seats – Pearson, Jones, Robert Borsak of Shooters & Fishers, Fred Nile of the Christian Democrats, and seventh Labor candidate Courtney Houssos. Jones led Pearson by 2004 votes prior to this point, but the Greens exclusion boosted Pearson by 4887 relative to Jones, perhaps reflecting a surprisingly low rate of exhaustion among Greens voters. Furthermore, Pearson made a further net gain of 294 with the Coalition exclusion, which might also have been thought a bit of a surprise. That left Jones in last place with a 3177 deficit compared with Pearson, causing him to be excluded and the final seats to be allocated to Pearson, Borsak, Nile and Houssos.

In the Legislative Assembly, the final scores are 54 for the Coalition (the Liberals down 14 to 37 and the Nationals down two to 17), 34 for Labor (up 14), three for the Greens (retaining Balmain and further gaining Newtown and Ballina), and two re-elected independents (Alex Greenwich in Sydney and Greg Piper in Lake Macquarie). A quick round-up on how the close seats played out, seeing that I dropped the ball in following the late count:

Lismore. After an early scare, Thomas George ended up retaining the seat for the Nationals with a margin of 2.9%. The Greens were looking good on election night with 29.2% of the primary vote to 39.8% for the Nationals, but they got poleaxed on postal votes which favoured the Nationals by 53.7% to 16.6% (although iVotes, which bit into the postal vote total compared with 2011 and were recorded separately of them for the first time, were more like polling day votes), and absent votes were not more favourable for the Greens than polling day votes, like they had been in the past. The Greens were able to make it to the final count after finishing 417 votes clear of Labor, but by this point they needed a preference share exceeding that of the Nationals by an unlikely 52.7%, but were in fact able to manage only 35.5%.

Ballina. Tamara Smith has won Ballina for the Greens in convincing style, finishing 2258 clear of Labor at the second last count and winning ahead of the Nationals by 3.1%.

Gosford. Labor’s Kathy Smith eked out a 203-vote victory over the Liberal candidate, for a margin of 0.2%.

The Entrance. Labor candidate David Mehan’s long quest for a parliamentary career finally paid off with a 338 vote win over the Liberal candidate, a margin of 0.4%.

East Hills. Liberal member Glenn Brookes finished 372 votes clear of Labor’s Cameron Murphy, a margin of 0.4%.

New South Wales election late counting

Progressive coverage of late counting in close seats for the New South Wales election.

Monday night

It’s looking increasingly like the Greens will win Ballina but Lismore will stay with the Nationals, while Labor appears to believe it has won Gosford and The Entrance. That suggests a final score of Coalition 54, Labor 34, Greens three and independents two.


A commenter at Antony Green’s blog, whom I take to be Graham Askey of Help End Marijuana Prohibition, says based on his observations from scrutineering that the Greens stand to receive 65% of Labor preferences with 6% goign to the Nationals, while other minor candidates’ preferences are going 20% Greens and 30% National. This suggests a Nationals win by about 51-49. Furthermore, Nationals scrutineers reportedly put the Labor flow to the Greens quite a bit lower, at around 55%. Absent votes have been bit better for the Nationals than I was budgeting for, resulting in current primary vote totals of Nationals 42.6%, Greens 26.4% and Labor 25.6%, compared with my earlier projections of 42.2%, 26.7% and 25.6%.


The aforementioned blog post also relates from Greens scrutineers that they are getting 63% of Labor preferences with barely over 5% going to the Nationals, which is easily enough for them to win the seat. As in Lismore, the Nationals have done better than projected on counting of absents so far, but not by so much as to disturb the general impression.


A very strong performance by Labor on the batch of absents added on Friday has caused them to pull into the lead by 51 votes. Kevin Bonham relates that Labor tweeted on Friday that it had won by 76 votes, which is puzzling because it is not reflected in the results on the Elections NSW website.

The Entrance

Labor has claimed victory here as well, with a current lead of 145 and presumably few if any votes outstanding.

Wednesday night

In The Entrance, the first batch of absents has gone 171-153 in favour of Liberal. You would expect absents overall to be more favourable to Labor, but the counting of them tends to proceed erratically as batches from different places are added to the count. Together with other increments of votes, mostly postals, the Labor lead has worn down from 157 to 74, with a large number of outstanding absents to decide the issue. In Gosford, there were 864 absents and 196 postals added to the count, and the absents are perhaps surprising a little in failing to give Labor the fillip they needed, thus far breaking 500-459 in favour of Labor. Nothing today in Ballina, and only 191 postals in Lismore. In East Hills the Liberals lead by 768, which I’ve got coming down to 638 after plugging the gaps between the primary and two-party counts. There should be at least another 3500 absent votes to come, but clearly Labor aren’t going to get there. I’m projecting the Liberal winning margin at 0.9%.

Tuesday night

I’m still behind the eight-ball on The Entrance, which is unfortunate because Ben Raue is projecting there’s three votes in it. Will get some modelling of my own done on that tomorrow. In Lismore, the Nationals had another big fillip courtesy of the Tenterfield pre-poll booth, where they scored 797 out of 1313 formal votes (60.7%). On top of that another batch of 253 postals were roughly as favourable as those previously. The Greens’ lead over Labor has narrowed still further, from 1.04% to 0.54%, but I’m projecting final primary vote totals of 42.2% for the Nationals, 26.7% for the Greens and 25.6% for Labor, factoring in a strong performance for the Greens on absents. Only a trickle of postals were added to the count in Ballina, but here I’m projecting Nationals 36.9%, Greens 26.7% and Labor 24.9%, which still looks like a Greens win to me. In Gosford, Labor still has its nose in front by 37 thanks to a 394 gain from the 5603 votes at the Woy Woy polling booth, which all but cancel out 1922 postals which favoured the Liberals by 442. However, the trend on postals is menacing for Labor, with at least 1000 more likely to be outstanding. Against that are about 3500 outstanding absent votes to add to the small sample of 307 accounted for already, which were very strong for the Greens but otherwise only slightly favourable to Labor. Nothing new in East Hills.

Monday night

Kevin Bonham and Ben Raue are doing more and better work than me here. I don’t have time to account below for The Entrance, which still looks very close, or Gosford, where the Liberals have firmed. I should start to get on top of things from tomorrow evening. The quick takeout is that late counting has transformed the situation in Ballina and especially Lismore, and while they’re probably still to be favoured in the former, the latter is a three-way bet. The Liberals should get home in East Hills.


The Greens (26.3%) are falling so far back on late counting in Lismore that it’s no longer clear they’ll finish second ahead of Labor (25.3%). Should Labor pull ahead, it will then be a hard-to-call race between the Nationals (41.1%) and Labor, rather than Nationals and the Greens. Antony Green observes that on election night, “the flow of Green and minor party preferences was 8% to National, 62% to Labor and 30% exhausted”. But given the later counting has much fewer Greens votes, it would probably be a bit flattering to Labor to project those totals across them. If you do it anyway, Labor end up 0.6% ahead. With respect to how preferences might flow between the Nationals and the Greens, we’re completely flying blind. For what it’s worth, Antony calculates that using the Greens are 0.7% ahead if Labor preferences happen to behave the same way as Greens ones. Today we had nearly 10,000 pre-polls added, together with 2578 iVotes and 1588 of late-reporting election day votes. The disparities between each vote type continue to astound, with the Nationals scoring 56.9% on postals, 47.1% on pre-polls, 42.4% on iVotes and 39.8% on ordinary booth votes. The Greens scored 29.2% on the day and 27.1% on iVotes, but 21.4% on pre-polls and just 13.7% on postals. The remainder of primary vote counting should be a see-saw between about 3000 absents and 2000 postals, which were respectively run heavily in favour of the Greens and the Nationals.


All the trends noted above for Lismore apply in Ballina too, and here also they’re sufficient to place the Greens’ presumed win in doubt. But as Kevin Bonham notes, the trump for the Greens in comparison with the Lismore count is that they’re likely to score well from the preferences of independent Jeff Johnson, an ex-Greens councillor.

East Hills

There are no 2PP updates on non-booth votes, so I’m going to have to extrapolate booth vote preferences on to primary votes for late counting. The Liberals had a 352 vote lead on booth votes, and 2466 postals have added another 454 to that. Labor clawed back 135 on 5400 pre-polls, but they’re 537 in arrears all told, and the record of absents in 2011 provides no indication Labor can expect them to ride to the rescue.

Sunday night

This thread will progressively be updated over the coming week or two to follow the progress of late counting in close seats for the New South Wales election. It seems the Coalition has won a clear 52 seats, with the Liberals on 36 and the Nationals on 16, with Labor on 32, the Greens on three and independents on two (Greg Piper in Lake Macquarie and Alex Greenwich in Sydney). That leaves a fairly short roll call of four seats in doubt – the Central Coast seats of Gosford and The Entrance, where Labor respectively leads by 0.5% and 0.6%; East Hills in southern Sydney, where the Liberals are 0.6% in front after a very strong result in a seat where their existing margin was just 0.1%; and Lismore, where the flow of preferences from a 25.3% Labor vote will decide if the Greens can overhaul a primary vote deficit against the Nationals of 29.2% to 40.1%.

Due to the other distractions, Lismore was the only seat I looked at closely yesterday, as an apparent Greens win had been thrown into doubt by the counting of 886 postal votes, 56.9% of which were for the Nationals. This was 17.5% higher than their polling booth vote, compared with only an 8.2% difference in 2011. No indicative Nationals-versus-Greens preference count is being conducted in this seat – the lineball result on the ABC site is based on Antony Green’s guesstimate of likely preference flows. The NSWEC has pulled its original Nationals-versus-Labor preference count and is telling us we won’t get anything back until “the Distribution of Preferences has been completed for all Districts and candidates have been declared elected”.

New South Wales election live

Live coverage of counting for the state election in New South Wales.


6pm. The Nationals have roared back into contention in Lismore with the counting of 504 postal votes, 56.9% of which have been primary votes for the Nationals. This is 17.5% higher than their polling booth vote, compared with only an 8.2% difference in 2011. The ABC is saying the Greens are on 50.4% two-party preferred, but I’m presuming this is based on a speculative preference flow – if you’re out there Antony, clarification would be much appreciated. The NSWEC has pulled its original preference count and is telling us we won’t get anything back until “the Distribution of Preferences has been completed for all Districts and candidates have been declared elected”, which strongly suggests to me there’s no new indicative count being done. In any case, if the ABC preference flow is correct, it would seem extremely likely that the postal trend will continue decisively in the Nationals favour.

1am. As best as I can tell, the two-party swing has been 9.4%, suggesting a final result of 54.8% for the Coalition and 45.2% for Labor, with preferences breaking about 33% to Labor and 19% to the Coalition, with 48% exhausting. This compares with 24%, 21% and 55% in 2011 – using those numbers would have caused you to overstate the Coalition two-party vote by a bit over 1%. The change in preference behaviour is roughly half that at the Queensland election, when Labor got 48% (up from 27%), the Liberal National Party got 16% (down from 22%) and the exhausted rate was 36% (down from 51%).


11.31pm. The NSWEC announces counting has completed for the night. So there doesn’t seem to be much uncertainty left, apart from the narrowness of Labor’s leads in Gosford (0.6%), The Entrance (0.9%) and Strathfield at a pinch (1.3%), and maybe whether Liberal preferences flow heavily enough to the independent in Wollongong to endanger Noreen Hay.

11.16pm. Little further progress, except that the tide keeps ebbing towards Jodi McKay in Strathfield, who should now be okay with a 1.3% projected margin.

10.23pm. Not sure exactly why the Upper Hunter 2PP is entering in one surge, but now we’ve got 30 out of 45 and the Nationals are out of the woods.

10.15pm. Upper Hunter 2PP count now up to 16 booths out of 45, and the Nationals lead has dropped from 2.9% to 1.8%.

10.03pm. Earlier I noted the Nationals lead in Upper Hunter snapped from 0.2% to 2.9% — that turns out to have been because the 2PP booth count went from four out of 45 to 13. These are small booths so you wouldn’t want to be too confident, but it would still be a surprise if Labor won. In any case, the swing is a highly notable 20.3%.

10.01pm. Jodi McKay continues edging very slightly further ahead in Strathfield, her lead now 0.9%.

9.59pm. Antony explains peculiarity of Upper Hunter count, with lots of primaries and few 2PPs, and says on his view the Nationals primary vote is low enough that they’re in trouble. So we will keep that on the watch list.

9.56pm. Noreen Hay up a bit in Wollongong to 41.4%. Independent Arthur Rorris leads Liberal 20.9% to 19.4% — I suppose it’s possible he’ll do less well in late counting, which you often see with independents and minor parties, and that he won’t finish second. If he does, he’ll need a very strong flow of Liberal preferences. Whether he’ll get it is a question we won’t know the answer to this evening.

9.54pm. Another booth in Strathfield shifts ALP lead from 0.7% to 0.8%.

9.51pm. And now the lead’s recorded at 2.9%, so not sure what’s happening here.

9.49pm. Surprise late movement in Upper Hunter — 44.2% counted, 22.7% swing, projected Nationals lead 0.3%. However, there’s a big mismatch here between the number of booths reporting on two-party (four) and primary (37), so I suspect we may have an anomaly here.

9.45pm. 13% counted for upper house, and Land Tax Party’s vote has gone down from 1.8% last I looked to 1.6%. Probably nine seat to Coalition with one each as usual for Christians and Shooters, which would get the Coalition what they wanted, namely one cross-bench micro-party to sway rather than two. Too early to say anything with confidence though.

9.44pm. Another booth, another 0.1% on Labor’s projected lead in The Entrance — now at 0.8%.

9.40pm. Gosford right on the line, flipping between Liberal ahead and Labor ahead on the ABC projection with nearly every update.

9.37pm. ABC now calling East Hills after long have Liberal merely “ahead”, with a fairly substantial lead of 2.2%.

9.33pm. ABC now back to Labor gain in The Entrance, but all it’s down to is a shift in the predicted margin from 0.5% to 0.7%. With 56.6% counted, this needs to stay on the watch list. A long history of very close results in this seat.

9.27pm. Other than that, Gosford and The Entrance very much in doubt. But as far as I can tell, all other results are settling in.

9.25pm. Jodi McKay losing ground in Strathfield: projected lead now only 0.6%, and ABC downgrades her from win to ahead. Noreen Hay now down to 40.5% in Wollongong, to the point where she could conceivably be in trouble. Independent Arthur Rorris’s 21.6% to 19.7% lead over the Liberals is narrow, but almost certainly sufficient.

8.58pm. Berejiklian asks a good question about preference exhaustion, but it wouldn’t appear that anyone’s placed to answer that. My vague sense though is that ReachTEL’s projections were about right.

8.57pm. ABC determining no swing at all in Monaro, with Nationals margin of 2.0%.

8.49pm. Antony says Queanbeyan results indicate Nationals to hold Monaro. Labor concedes Newtown, says Chris Uhlmann.

8.48pm. Labor gains Londonderry, vacated by Bart Bassett, with 15.8% swing off a third counted.

8.47pm. Hadn’t mentioned Tamworth – Peter Draper has fallen a bit flat there, safe Nationals retain.

8.45pm. The Entrance very, very close. Ditto Gosford.

8.44pm. Berejiklian points to 12.2% Christian Democrats vote in Granville, up from 5.3% last time, which has evidently not converted into a strong flow of Liberal preferences.

8.42pm. As Antony Green notes, Alex Greenwich’s 44.0% is well clear of Clover Moore’s career best of 39.8%.

8.41pm. Seat projection now closer to the respondent-allocated than the previous-election preference model.

8.37pm. Greens big show looking very much like the luck of the draw — their primary vote is essentially unchanged on 2011.

8.35pm. Prospect has now tipped over to the point where the ABC computer is providing 2PP projections and not just raw numbers (it took me a while to twig that it was working that way), and despite a slow count it’s calling it for Labor.

8.31pm. No Land Tax’s 1.9% suggests they’re a show for an upper house seat, I would have thought.

8.29pm. Long night ahead in Monaro. The ABC had a slight swing to the Nationals before, but now it’s a slight swing to Labor — 1.1%, with a margin of 2%. Slow count, with the picture unlikely to be clear until we see those big Queanbeyan booths.

8.27pm. Very good result for Liberal member Gareth Ward in Kiama, who has worked very hard from what I can tell, and is credited with a 1.4% swing. Nearby, Noreen Hay’s primary vote of 43% plus should see her right, despite the independent finishing second.

8.23pm. ABC calling for Londonderry, adding to Sydney area gains that include Blue Mountains, Campbelltown, Granville, Rockdale and Strathfield. But they don’t include East Hills, which isn’t looking good for them, or Seven Hills and Oatley, where the Liberals have won — never mind Coogee, Seven Hills, Holsworthy, Mulgoa, Parramatta and Penrith (if you were wondering about Jackie Kelly, she’s on 8.3%).

8.19pm. Labor now ahead in Gosford, which if sustained would add to Central Coast/Hunter gains in Maitland, Port Stephens, Swansea and Wyong, to which you could add Newcastle and Charlestown if using the 2011 election as your base.

8.18pm. The ABC computer has demoted Labor to “ahead” in The Entrance.

8.16pm. Antony not entirely convinced by his Strathfield numbers, but it would be very odd for the ABC to be wrong about a 3.7% lead with over 30% counted.

8.15pm. ABC projections filling out. Big Labor-versus-Coalition question marks are East Hills, Gosford, Monaro. Slow count in Liverpool and Prospect. Independent now second in Wollongong, which might be dangerous for Noreen Hay, but you’d think her 44.4% primary vote would be enough.

8.14pm. Despite hopeful talk from Berejiklian, the ABC is putting Labor 3.7% ahead and calling it.

8.11pm. Evenly allocated the ABC’s five undecided seats, result looks somewhere between the 2011 preferences and respondent-allocated preferences projections on my poll tracker — the primary votes of which are basically correct, with Labor 0.9% too low on the primary, the Greens 0.5% too high, the Coalition 0.3% too high.

8.05pm. Looks like a good night for the Greens, who might win as many as four lower house seats. ABC computer confident Labor will win Ballina if they get ahead of the Greens, but that’s not looking likely — Greens 30.0%, Labor 25.7%. The Greens are also well ahead of Labor in Lismore, so I’m guessing that’s looking a close-run thing between Nationals and Greens. ABC computer calling Newtown and Balmain for them.

8.05pm. ABC calling Oatley for Liberal.

7.57pm. I’m now getting that correction I anticipated in Strathfield. Now it’s projected that McKay is 1.7% ahead, although it’s not calling it yet.

7.55pm. Antony crediting Labor’s strong recovery in Hunter and Illawarra to electricity privatisation, and recalling something similar happening in 1991.

7.51pm. Overall, the election is playing very much according to script. Nationals in trouble in Ballina and Lismore, as forecast. Strong performance by Labor in Hunter and Central Coast. But Labor is falling short in Sydney, although an uneven picture with some stronger performances for Labor (Campbelltown, Blue Mountains) and some weaker (East Hills, Oatley).

7.50pm. Berejiklian calling Oatley and getting “positive messages” about East Hills, which would both be demoralising losses for Labor given their 3.8% and 0.2% margins.

7.49pm. But Greens well ahead of Labor for second place in Lismore, and surely looking good to win on Labor preferences.

7.48pm. Ballina on a three-way knife edge. Nothing between Labor and Greens for second place, nothing between Labor and Nationals if it’s Labor who gets ahead. Presumably Greens will win if they finish ahead of Labor.

7.47pm. Central Coast and Hunter going according to script for Labor. Very good result by the looks in Port Stephens; Maitland, Wyong, The Entrance, Swansea look like gains.

7.45pm. Monaro will clearly be close, but hard to pick given its diversity. You’d rather be the Nationals at this stage.

7.40pm. Very early numbers good for Labor in Macquarie Fields, and they’re well ahead in Campbelltown, looking good in Londonderry. Granville being called for Labor. But “Liberal ahead” in East Hills. Strikingly good result for Liberal in Strathfield — too striking I think, will want to see more numbers there. Still too early to say much about Seven Hills. Nothing doing for Labor in Sydney in seats beyond 8% – Holsworthy, Mulgoa and Parramatta looking safe for the Liberals.

7.38pm. Antony’s projected primary vote totals broadly in line with the polls, with the Coalition maybe a big higher than my poll aggregate. I’m not able to get a clear sense though of what preferences are doing in aggregate.

7.33pm. Labor “ahead” in Port Stephens, which is good news for them. ABC calls 49 seats for Coalition, 30 for Labor, one for the Greens (that’s Newtown I guess, but that’s off very early numbers) and two independents, meaning Greg Piper and (I guess) Alex Greenwich.

7.33pm. Seven Hills looking close. Sensing western Sydney slightly better for Labor than some commentary was indicating.

7.29pm. Liberals looking okay in Kiama. Only 3.4% counted in Wollongong, but the mooted independent is third on 18.6%. He’ll first need to overtake the Liberals on 21.4%, then get strong preferences to overtake Hay, who is on 38.4%.

7.29pm. ABC has Coogee called for the Liberals, so I ran down the garden path a little on that one earlier.

7.28pm. Campbelltown looking strong for Labor, despite talk they would struggle

7.26pm. ABC calls Maitland for Labor. Independent Philip Penfold doing well on 22.6%, but still running third. Elsewhere on the Central Coast, The Entrance remains called for Labor, and they’re ahead in Wyong on 4.5%. Liberals ahead in Gosford.

7.24pm. Blue Mountains looking good for Labor.

7.23pm. Greens looking strong on 3.7% counted in Newtown; close on Balmain in 1.4%. Early days yet in both.

7.22pm. Greg Piper returned in Lake Macquarie.

7.20pm. Still only 5.4% counted, but Ballina looking either Labor or Greens, barring a late Nationals recovery. No worries for the Nationals in Clarence though, and likely to get home in Tweed.

7.19pm. Remarkably strong early results for the Liberals in Oatley, with 4.8% counted.

7.18pm. Antony’s display has Nats “ahead” rather than confirmed in Lismore.

7.17pm. Greens matching it with Labor on 2.7% counted in Heffron, but no idea what booth it is — Greens vote is strong here at the northern, city end of the seat.

7.15pm. ABC computer calling Goulburn for the Liberals.

7.14pm. The ABC computer is calling Lismore for the Nationals, but the question is whether a Nationals-versus-Greens result might tell a different story.

7.13pm. Antony talking up the Liberals in a few seats where I’m not seeing numbers yet. Berejiklian says they’re “looking like a chance” in The Entrance, but I’m not sure if she’s actually looked at the figures.

7.12pm. ABC computer calls The Entrance for Labor from 16.3% counted.

7.12pm. First numbers from Tweed have 18.0% swing to Labor with Nationals 3.6% ahead; 4.9% counted.

7.11pm. And Antony cautious says ABC computer “indicative” of Coalition victory.

7.10pm. Antony brings up bad early number for Labor in Monaro, but cautions the seat will be decided in Queanbeyan rather than these rural areas, where things could be very different.

7.09pm. Lineball between Labor and Greens for second place in Lismore, but with Labor looking to be falling short if it’s them.

7.05pm. Not sure what’s going on in Coogee. Antony is obviously seeing something different from me, because I just heard him refer to encouraging numbers for Liberal member Bruce Notley-Smith. And the ABC numbers I was just citing have essentially disappeared – now they’ve got a 2PP with only 141 votes counted.

7.03pm. Encouraging numbers for Labor in Coogee — 6.7% counted, 9.4% swing, Labor 1.1% ahead.

7.02pm. Richo on Sky appears to suggest he’s thinking the Greens will win Lismore.

7.01pm. Antony brings up a Goulburn two-party result that bears out what I just said — big swing, but not big enough.

6.59pm. Very strong looking results for the Greens in Ballina, even taking the booths into account, but unfortunately here too the notional count is Nationals-versus-Labor.

6.56pm. It’s actually looking like Pru Goward is down about 20% on the primary vote with Labor up 4%. That’s still not enough to account for her 26.8% margin.

6.52pm. The most advanced count is in the who-cares electorate of Cootamundra.

6.49pm. Early figures for Goulburn look superficially good for Pru Goward, giving her 53.2% of the primary vote, but there’s nothing in from Goulburn proper.

6.46pm. Greens on 29.9% and Nationals on 40.8% in Lismore, suggesting preferences from the 23.8% Labor vote will be decisive, which is no surprise. Antony appears to be doing an estimated Nationals-versus-Greens throw, but the NSWEC count is Nationals-versus-Labor.

6.40pm. Most a case of primary vote counts in safe Nationals areas at this stage. Still not seeing any two-party counts so I can get a bead on preferences.

6.37pm. Lismore is geared for a Nationals-versus-Greens count, which is good. With 1% counted, there’s a projected Nationals margin of 2.4%, but it’s too early at this point. Meaninglessly early figures for Golburn and Rockdale, both lineball at this very early stage.

6.28pm. A few tiny booths in from around the place. One is Fairy Hill Hall in Lismore, but it only amounts to 62 votes, which seems a bit odd because there were 420 here last time.

6pm. Polls have closed, and we should get the first and smallest booths in in about half an hour or so. There are two exit polls doing the rounds, ReachTEL with 54-46 to the Coalition, Galaxy with 55-45 from primary of 46% for the Coalition, 34% for Labor and 11% for the Greens – so very well in line with the poll tracker, in other words.

NSW late polling: Newspoll 55-45, ReachTEL 54-46, Morgan 57.5-42.5 to Coalition

Newspoll, ReachTEL and Morgan close their NSW election campaign accounts with polls showing a substantial victory for the Coalition.

Final polls in the reverse order of their publication:

• Thanks to James J in comments, I can report that Newspoll’s final result for The Australian has come in at 55-45 – but that there’s encouragement for Labor in a further result on respondent-allocated preferences, something we haven’t seen from Newspoll since 2004, which has the lead at only 52-48. The previous Newspoll at the start of the campaign had a Coalition lead of 54-46 on previous election preferences. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up a point to 44%, Labor is down two to 34%, and the Greens are steady on 11%. Personal ratings tell a somewhat better story for Labor than we’ve seen in other places, with Mike Baird down two on approval to 57% and up three on disapproval to 29%, while Luke Foley is respectively up two to 38% and six to 37%. Baird’s lead as preferred premier has narrowed slightly, from 55-25 to 54-27.

We also get a Sydney/non-Sydney breakdown which is in line with other pollsters in recording a big disparity between the swings. With my own calculations of swings in brackets (no doubt we’ll see Newspoll’s own soon enough), the results for Sydney are Coalition 48% (-2%), Labor 34% (+6%) and Greens 11% (+1.5%), while elsewhere it’s Coalition 38% (-12.5%), Labor 35% (+10.5%) and Greens 11% (+3.5%). The swing to the Greens is interesting, given talk of the gains they stand to make on the north coast, perhaps to the extent of snaring the seat of Lismore. The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday from a sample of 1596.

• The final ReachTEL poll of the New South Wales campaign for the Seven Network is a bit at the low end of the Coalition’s recent form, crediting them with a lead of 54-46 on respondent-allocated preferences, up from 53-47 in their last poll three weeks ago. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up 1.5% to 45.5%, with Labor down 1% to 33.8% and the Greens up 0.3% to 10.5%. I don’t normally dwell on ReachTEL’s personal ratings because I don’t care for their five-point scale, but there’s a big ouch there for Luke Foley, whose disapproval rating (meaning very poor plus poor) has spiked 11.4% to 35.2%, with approval down 0.4% to 23.2%. Mike Baird is up 7.0% on approval to 48.8% and 4.4% on disapproval to 23.3%. The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 1549. Full results, including their very helpful state breakdowns, here.

• We have also had the last Morgan SMS poll of the campaign, and it’s a forceful participant in the end-of-campaign Coalition surge, having their lead out from 56-44 earlier in the week to 57.5-42.5. Primary votes are 49% for the Coalition (up 3.5%), 29% Labor (down 3.5%) and 12.5% Greens (up 0.5%). The poll was conducted last night from a sample of 1086.

UPDATE (28/3/2015)

There is now a guide to the Legislative Council. I have also updated the poll tracker on the sidebar, which has made essentially no difference to the primary vote and previous election preferences, but Labor has clawed back 0.6% and one seat on respondent-allocated preferences. Preferences are very much the thing at this election – I’ll be surprised if the poll tracker is more than a point out on the primary vote, but we’ve now got two pollsters, Newspoll and Ipsos, with respondent-allocated results that suggest Labor will yield as much of a dividend from changed preference flows as they did in Queensland. However, my own respondent-allocated measure is based entirely on the more moderate results from ReachTEL, simply because ReachTEL was the only pollster that provided detailed breakdowns of preference flows. Last night’s ReachTEL poll means I’ve now got two of their polls to work with instead of one, and a better preference flow for Labor in the more recent result is behind the limited shift in the latest update. If you’d prefer to take Newspoll’s word for it you can factor in a bonus 1% to Labor on the respondent-allocated result, but that would only deliver them a further seat or two.

• Andrew Clennell in the Daily Telegraph:

The Greens are set to snatch a shock win in the seat of Lismore based on anti-coal seam gas sentiment, internal party polling from both major parties shows. A win to Greens candidate Adam Guise against veteran Nationals MP Thomas George comes with a loss in Ballina also likely for the Nationals, this time to Labor. The Nationals could lose as many as four seats statewide, with Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson under threat to independent Peter Draper and Monaro, held by small business minister John Barilaro, said to be lineball yesterday … Seats expected to fall from the Coalition to Labor, other than Ballina, were Swansea, Prospect, Londonderry, Granville, Wyong, Maitland, Blue Mountains, Rockdale and Strathfield … Both major parties expect Liberal MP Mark Coure to hang on in Oatley, despite just a 3.8 per cent margin. Labor also hopes to win Monaro and The Entrance and is expected to win Balmain and Newtown from the Greens.

Mark Coultan of The Australian likewise says Labor is “expected to win Ballina” and has “high hopes in neighbouring Lismore, although Labor is in a battle with the Greens to finish ahead on primary votes”. However, the Liberals are “hopeful of retaining Oatley”.

• The Sydney Morning Herald‘s seats-to-watch list rates Wollongong as “one of the few seats Labor could lose, due to the South Coast Labor Council’s Arthur Rorris running as an independent, backed by the Wollongong mayor” – a prospect I’ve not previously seen discussed.

Galaxy: 55-45 to Coalition in New South Wales

The one-way traffic of New South Wales election polling continues with the final Galaxy survey of the campaign crediting Mike Baird’s Coalition government with a commanding lead.

The final Galaxy poll of the campaign, courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, lands bang on trend in having the Coalition with a two-party preferred lead of 55-45, up from 54-46 in its last poll a week earlier. The primary votes are 45% for the Coalition (steady), 34% for Labor (down two) and 11% for the Greens (up one), and Mike Baird’s lead as preferred premier has widened from 49-24 to 53-25. The poll was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from a sample of 1300. The results have been added to the poll tracker on the sidebar and it’s made a slight addition to the late-campaign Coalition uptick, boosting them by one on the previous-election preferences seat projection and two on respondent-allocated preferences.

Today’s news reports point to two dark horses coming down the home strait:

James Robertson of the Sydney Morning Herald reports a claim by Labor that “new polling shows it within a whisker of defeating Planning Minister Pru Goward in the seat of Goulburn”. The source is quoted saying: “We’re on [a two-party-preferred vote of] between 48 and 52. It’s 50-50 depending on preference flow.” The margin in the electorate is 26.8%, but Labor believes that to be a distortion caused by the redistribution. The western end of the heavily redrawn electorate is drawn from the abolished seat of Burrinjuck, where the Coalition stands to lose the substantial personal vote of long-serving Nationals member Katrina Hodgkinson. Unlikely as the prospect may nonetheless sound, Labor has enough belief in it to have sent Luke Foley to the electorate yesterday to promise $270 million in funding for a new hospital.

Andrew Clennell of The Daily Telegraph reports that Labor sources say the party “did not even expect to win East Hills, which is held by the Liberals by just 0.2 per cent”.

New South Wales election minus two days

Lonergan and Essential Research add their voices to the New South Wales election polling throng, as the poll tracker continues to record momentum to the Coalition

Don’t have much to offer you today unless you’re a Crikey subscriber, in which case you can enjoy a review of the election’s federal implications in the daily email, assuming it gets a run. However, there were two polls published yesterday that I can tell you about:

• The Guardian has a second Lonergan automated phone poll for the campaign, this one with a heavy-duty sample of 3215, and it’s a strong result for the Coalition. Based on previous election preferences, the Coalition’s lead is at 57-43, from primary votes of 47% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 11% for the Greens. Mike Baird holds a 52-25 lead as preferred premier, and there are numerous further questions on electricity privatisation and other campaign issues.

• As in Queensland, Essential Research has bundled together state voting intention results from the regular polling it conducted during the campaign period. The result is slightly more useful than its Queensland counterpart in that the bigger samples from the state allow it to limit it to the last two weeks, but that still leaves it with a modest sample of 659. In any case, the poll offer no surprises, with the Coalition on 44% of the primary vote, Labor on 36% and the Greens on 9%, with the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred.

The Lonergan result has been added to the poll tracker on the sidebar – Essential’s hasn’t because I don’t know how much use a poll conducted over two weeks is for purposes of poll tracking during the sharp end of an election campaign. The Lonergan poll adds further impetus to an ongoing trend to the Coalition, who are up one on both seat projection measures.

New South Wales election minus three days

Some dispatches from the late stages of a campaign that looks to be going the Baird government’s way.

Morgan had one of its SMS polls yesterday, and it had the Coalition with a two-party lead of 56-44, up from 55.5-44.5 in the previous week’s poll. Both parties were down a point on the primary vote, the Coalition to 45.5% and Labor to 32.5%, while the Greens were up half a point to 12%. The poll was conducted from Saturday to Monday with a sample of 1211. Adding that to the poll tracker featured on the sidebar contributes to what’s now an observable uptick for the Coalition, although it hasn’t made any difference to the seat projection.

Some further campaign factoids:

James Robertson of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that Labor “believes it will win” in Ballina. Some account of the feel of the local campaign is offered by Ean Higgins of The Australian:

On the front page of Thursday’s edition of the Byron Shire News, the Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith, had an advertisement with just one message: “Only the Greens will ban coal-seam gas mining across all of NSW.” On page seven, Labor had a full-page, one-message advertisement: “Labor’s policy is to BAN coal-seam gas mining from our region … the National Party’s gas plan is about expanding harmful CSG mining, not stopping it.” On page nine, Ballina Nationals candidate Kris Beavis – chosen by his party to replace MP Don Page, who is retiring after 27 years in the seat – had his one-message advertisement, under the headline “Actions, not words, on CSG.” Mr Beavis’s ad had two maps of the electorate, one showing Ballina almost completely covered with CSG exploration licences issued by the previous Labor government, and one showing the electorate almost totally free of them under a Coalition government today. The Beavis advertisement goes to the issue driving Nationals strategists spare: it was Labor that welcomed in CSG exploration, and it was the Coalition that has mostly bought back or suspended the licences over its four years in government. But the message is just not getting through to voters …

• The Australian’s report further relates that “after Ballina, the seat thought most likely to change hands is Lismore, where Labor and the Greens are mounting spirited campaigns against incumbent Nationals MP Thomas George. Private polling suggests Greens candidate Adam Guise may have a slightly better chance of taking the seat than Labor’s Isaac Smith.” It presumably follows that the Nationals are better placed in Tweed, the region’s other swing seat.

• Today’s Daily Telegraph front page lead runs “Kamikaze Kelly” to match a Photoshop job on former federal Liberal MP Jackie Kelly, who is directing preferences to Labor in her independent bid for Penrith. Kelly’s concern in running is her opposition to the proposed new airport at Badgerys Creek, to which Labor at least proposes to attach more strings than the Baird government, with a requirement that the developer build two train connections to the airport and keeping open the possibility that a curfew might operate. By way of spelling out where Kelly has gone wrong, the Telegraph’s editorial states: “Loyalty is a great and rare quality in politics. Prime Minister Tony Abbott sets a brilliant example, standing by colleagues and constituents through all types of conflicts.” In other Penrith news, Mike Baird targeted Penrith and the Blue Mountains as first cab off the rank for the policy to roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme a year ahead of schedule, which was unveiled at Sunday’s campaign launch.

• Reporting on Galaxy’s Coogee poll on Monday, Andrew Clennell of the Daily Telegraph related there was “talk, too, the Libs can hold onto Granville and Oatley, despite their margins being 3.8 per cent each”.

UPDATE (Essential Research): As in Queensland, Essential Research has bundled together state voting intention results from the regular polling it conducted during the campaign period. The result is slightly more useful than its Queensland counterpart in that the bigger samples from the state allow it to limit it to the last two weeks, but that still leaves it with a sample of 659. In any case, the results offer no surprises, with the Coalition on 44% of the primary vote, Labor on 36% and the Greens on 9%, with the Coalition leading 53-47 on two-party preferred.

UPDATE 2 (Lonergan): The Guardian has a second Lonergan automated phone poll for the campaign, this one with a heavy-duty sample of 3215, and the news here for the Coalition is even better: a 57-43 lead on two-party preferred, from primary votes of 47% for the Coalition, 31% for Labor and 11% for the Greens. Mike Baird holds a 52-25 lead as preferred premier, and there are numerous further questions on electricity privatisation and other campaign issues.

Fairfax-Ipsos: 54-46 to Coalition in NSW

The latest New South Wales state poll records something of a Coalition blowout on the primary vote, but it’s cancelled out by a strong flow to Labor on preferences.

The Fairfax papers have a new Ipsos poll for New South Wales, and while the headline two-party result of 54-46 is well in line with other pollsters, it’s based on a respondent-allocated preference flow that goes remarkably heavily to Labor. The Coalition lead on the primary vote is a highly pronounced 47% to 32%, with the Greens at an uncommonly high 13%. Based on 2011 election preferences, the Coalition lead blows out to 58-42. The two distinguishing traits of the poll – stronger results for the Coalition than other pollsters, and a big gap between the two preference methods – have also been evident in Ipsos’s federal polling. The accompanying report in the Australian Financial Review seems to have gone offline, but it’s a safe bet the poll was conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1000 (UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes reports in comments it was a bigger-than-usual pre-election sample of 1233).

UPDATE: Sydney Morning Herald report here. Mike Baird’s approval is steady since the previous poll of February 5-7 at 60%, with disapproval up four to 22%. Luke Foley’s undecided rating is down from 49% to 32%, with more breaking the way of disapproval (up 11 to 32%) than approval (up seven to 37%). Baird’s lead as preferred premier is little changed, shifting from 54-24 to 56-27.

UPDATE 2 (Galaxy electorate polls): The Daily Telegraph has Galaxy automated phone polls from three electorates, conducted on Thursday from samples of around 550, which show the following:

• The Liberals with a 51-49 lead in Campbelltown, where their margin is 6.8%. The primary votes are 45% for the Liberals (45.5% in 2011), 41% for Labor (34.0%) and 7% for the Greens (6.4%). My poll tracking model, which starts from an assumption of uniform swings in metropolitan and non-metropolitan seats based on breakdowns for such results from Ipsos and Lonergan, has the Liberals at 49.3% in this seat on previous election preferences, and 47.9% on ReachTEL’s respondent-allocated flows.

• The Liberals with a 52-48 lead in Coogee, where the margin is 8.3%. Primary votes are 46% for the Liberals (47.6%), 35% for Labor (25.8%) and 17% for the Greens (21.4%). The BludgerTrack model rates this one as lineball, the Liberals at 50.8% on previous election preference and 50.2% on respondent-allocated.

• The Liberals with a 51-49 lead in The Entrance, where the margin is 11.8%. Primary votes are 46% for the Liberals (50.6%), 40% for Labor (29.8%) and 10% for the Greens (10.8%). That sits well with BludgerTrack’s reading of 51.1%, but that turns into 49.2% on respondent-allocated preferences.

UPDATE (24/3): No surprises in the latest Morgan SMS poll, which has both major parties down a point on the primary vote, the Coalition to 45.5% and Labor to 32.5%, and the Greens up half a point to 12%, for a Coalition two-party lead of 56-44, up from 55.5-44.5. The poll was conducted from Saturday to Monday with a sample of 1211.