Daly by-election live

Live coverage of the count for the Daly by-election in the Northern Territory.

7.51pm. Mobile Team Daly 3 is in, and Labor ends the night with an insurmountable lead of 1856 to 1424, a margin of 6.6% from a swing of 7.8%. CORRECTION: Mobile Team Daly 3 is not so much in, as removed from the NTEC’s list of booths. In any case, we’ve seen everything we’re going to see this evening.

7.31pm. 104 votes from pre-poll and election day centres in Darwin don’t change anything. Apart from declarations and postals, we’re still just waiting on Mobile Team Daly 3.

7.15pm. Now we’ve got Berry Springs EVC and all booths reporting so far in on the two-party, and all of a sudden it looks a great night for Labor. Jennings did better at Berry Springs EVC as expected, but it amounted to little — she’s still on only 15.1%. That reduces it to a traditional CLP-versus-Labor contest, on which Labor leads 56.4% to 43.6%. I’m only projecting that to narrow slightly, with Labor winning by 5.3% from a swing of 6.5%.

7.12pm. Another twist in the tale from two Mobile Team booths that have reported. They account between them for 1807 votes with one of three results still outstanding, whereas the two Mobile Team booths in 2020 totalled only 1651. So clearly these have had more use this time. The results are a body blow for Jennings, who now looks certain to finish third, and a giant fillip for Labor, who got fully 64.5% of the primary vote from the two between them. They have now bolted to a lead of 45.8% to 33.9% over the CLP. Still waiting on the two-party results from the two booths.

7.02pm. It’s pointed out in comments that Jennings’ home town is Berry Springs, where she got 39.1% compared with about 21% elsewhere. One of the outstanding booths is the Berry Springs pre-poll centre, but it should only account for about 20% of the outstanding total. That presumably shortens the odds for the CLP. If the 2020 results are any guide, the one we’re waiting for is Mobile Team Daly 1, which should account for nearly half the outstanding votes. This happened to be a strong booth in 2020 for the Territory Alliance, for which Jennings ran as a candidate in a different seat.

6.52pm. A much better result for the CLP from the Coolalinga early voting centre leaves them with 44.8% of the primary vote, and also narrows Jennings’ lead over Labor to just 12 votes. This is a particularly strong booth for the CLP: they got 56.9% last time and 52.9% this time. Since they remain down on the primary vote on a booth-matched basis, and their primary vote was only 35.8% last time, they remain in trouble if Jennings can stay ahead of Labor. Otherwise, it looks clear now the CLP will retain the seat, as they have a two-party swing of 5.9% against Labor.

6.50pm. The issue for Jennings is whether she stays ahead of Labor to take second place. She currently leads them by 156 votes to 128. The 22 votes of the other independent, Wayne Connop, would presumably widen that. But later reporting votes may be stronger for Labor. If Jennings does drop out, it seems likely the seat will stay with the CLP: they lead the two-party count 267 to 214. This amounts to a 1.4% swing to the CLP, from which a 3.2% winning margin can be projected. There are so many votes outstanding though that that could not be thought decisive. So at present, the only candidate who can be ruled out is Connop.

6.40pm. The CLP has pulled ahead on the primary vote with the other election day booth in the electorate, Wagait Beach, reporting. These are small numbers of votes though so presumably the pre-poll voting centres did very good business. As things currently stand, Jennings still looks well placed to win on Labor preferences.

6.35pm. The Berry Springs booth, one of only two operating on election day, has recorded a rather spectacular result for independent candidate Rebecca Jennings, who has 116 votes to the CLP’s 113 and Labor’s 50. The CLP is down 6.6% on the primary vote and Labor is down 10.4%. Unless this is a local peculiarity, it suggests Jennings will win comfortably on Labor preferences. Results from the NTEC here.

6pm. Polls have closed for the Northern Territory by-election for the seat of Daly, covering pastoral areas to the south of Darwin. The by-election is being held after Country Liberal Party member Ian Sloan, who won by a 1.2% margin at the election last year, retired due to ill health. The candidates are Kris Civitarese of the CLP, Dheran Young of Labor and two independents, Wayne Connop and Rebecca Jennings.

Northern Territory election live

Live coverage of the Northern Territory election count.

Results

The links below lead to full displays of results for the 25 seats, updated live. Please excuse a few bugs that may still be evident, and also note that the calculations of booth swings and preference flows in cases where two-candidate preferred counts are not available are rather unscientific.

Arafura Braitling Fannie Bay Karama Nightcliff
Araluen Brennan Fong Lim Katherine Port Darwin
Arnhem Casuarina Goyder Mulka Sanderson
Barkly Daly Gwoja Namatjira Spillett
Blain Drysdale Johnston Nelson Wanguri

Thursday night

Robyn Lambley’s ever-precarious lead in Araluen ended the day at 13 votes, down from 17 yesterday. The NTEC says there are still 205 postals and 59 declaration votes outstanding, although not all of these will end up in the count. No new counting today in Namatjira and Barkly, and still nothing new in Blain.

Wednesday night

The CLP has hit the lead in Namatjira, where a strong trend on postals pushed them from 15 behind to six ahead, and slashed Labor’s lead in Barkly from 72 to 23, where both absents and postals added today favoured the CLP. All that would remain is a few dozen postals tops, which are unlikely to do Labor any favours, and maybe a dozen or two provisional votes, which might. In Araluen, what Robyn Lambley’s lead in Araluen has lacked in size it has made up for in consistency: extra postals and absents today left it at 17, to which it has progressed from 13 on Saturday to 26 on Sunday to 21 on Monday. Still no further counting in Blain, where Labor leads by 21. This leaves Labor with 13 confirmed wins and leads over the CLP in another two; the CLP with six confirmed wins and leads over Labor in one; and the Territory Alliance with a lead over Labor in another. Antony Green notes Labor’s primary vote is down 2.5% on the last election but the CLP’s has hardly changed, and that the CLP picked up only a small two-party swing and that even part of that could be accounted for by the switch to compulsory preferential voting.

Tuesday night

Everything that was in doubt yesterday remains in doubt today, although Labor’s 21-vote lead in Blain is handier than I thought it was: yesterday I said it would come down to the Coolalinga pre-poll booth, but Antony Green points out in comments that the votes here will have been entered as absents. No counting was conducted today for Blain or Araluen, where Robyn Lambley leads by 21. I’m not sure exactly what was counted in Namatjira today, but it has reduced Labor’s lead from 19 to 15.

Monday night

The five new two-candidate preference throws conducted today confirmed Labor wins in Fong Lim, Arnhem and Johnston and a CLP win in Katherine. They did not resolve the situation in Blain, where the distribution of Terry Mills’ preferences shows almost nothing between Labor’s Mark Turner and Matthew Kerle of the Country Liberals, with the former leading 2023-2002. This will be decided by the Coolalinga pre-poll booth, which recorded 148 votes from the electorate and still hasn’t reported for some reason.

Further counting today looked to confirm CLP wins in Braitling and Brennan, and they moved into a probably decisive lead in Daly, one of two seats they held in the previous parliament. In Barkly, Labor’s Sid Vashist’s held his lead at 72 votes, presumably thanks to rechecking, since absents broke 109-86 to the CLP. However, Namatjira is still up in the air, with Labor still holding on to a lead of 19 votes, although the strong trend to the CLP in postals seems likely to determine it in their favour. Robyn Lambley is clinging on to a 21-vote lead in Araluen, with absents breaking 142-131 but rechecking presumably cancelling it out, since she led by 26 votes yesterday.

This leaves Labor assured of a majority with no fewer than 14 seats, the CLP home in six and independents on two. The CLP could potentially win a further three, but those seats might equally go to Labor in two cases and Robyn Lambley in one.

Sunday night

The Northern Territory Electoral Commission will today conduct two-candidate preferred counts in five seats where its election night counts picked the wrong two candidates. This could potentially settle doubts about three close races: Arnhem, where the preferences of the CLP candidate and an independent will decide the result between Labor incumbent Selena Uibo and independent Ian Mongunu Gumbula, and Fong Lim, which looks a tight race between Labor and the CLP based on the primary vote, but where defeated Territory Alliance incumbent Jeff Collins was included in the preference count conducted on Saturday night; and Blain, where Terry Mills’s preferences will decide the result between Matthew Kerle of the Country Liberals and Mark Turner of the CLP. The other two seats are Katherine and Johnston, which will clearly be won by the CLP and Labor respectively.

Today’s counting widened Labor’s lead in Barkly from 71 to 102, which will probably be decisive — there are at most 600 votes outstanding for the CLP to turn the margin around. Braitling is now looking good for the CLP, as 108 postals split about evenly, leaving the 105 vote CLP lead looking too big for the outstanding votes to overhaul. The CLP has also taken the lead in Namatjira, where postals broke 81-26, turning Labor’s 30 vote lead into a 25 vote deficit, and they would also be hopeful that the trend on postals will deliver them Daly, where Labor’s lead has been cut from 28 to seven. Very much still in doubt are Brennan, where the CLP’s lead narrowed from 59 to 48 with the counting of 251 postals, with at least 400 votes still out there; and Araluen, where 179 postals increased Robyn Lambley’s lead from 13 to 26.

Barkly would give Labor a twelfth seat, from which it can hope to make it to a majority if either or both of the counts in Arnhem and Fong Lim go their way today. However, Braitling, Namatjira and probably Brennan and Daly are more likely to go to the CLP, adding to their clear wins in Spillett, Nelson and Katherine, with Fong Lim and Araluen at least potentially getting them to nine. There will be two independents from Goyder and Mulka, potentially a third from Arnhem, and perhaps also Robyn Lambley as a sole survivor of the Territory Alliance.

Continue reading “Northern Territory election live”

Northern Territory election minus one day

No polling to report, but some general musings on the state of play ahead of tomorrow’s count for the Northern Territory election.

Tomorrow is the big day of the Northern Territory election, which these days has to be regarded as the day when the votes are counted rather than cast. The campaign has been largely free of incident — certainly it’s been free of opinion polls, to which the closest approximations are betting odds (Labor at $1.35, CLP at $4, Territory Alliance at $8.50) and Burt the psychic crocodile (CLP to win). Today’s Northern Territory News editorial endorses the CLP in a roundabout sort of a way, but whatever extent that might have mattered has diminished almost to zero given that 47% of enrolled voters have already voted, and barely more than a quarter can be expected to do so tomorrow.

One point of interest is what will happen in the event of a hung parliament, which no Northern Territory election has yet produced, but is a substantial possibility tomorrow. The Territory Alliance goes into the election with three MPs, including two who started their careers with the CLP and one with Labor. It presumably says something that they are directing preferences to the CLP ahead of Labor in all but two seats, although players in their position have certainly surprised before.

Two independent incumbents are seeking re-election: Yingiya Guyula in Mulka (formerly Nhulunbuy) and Kezia Purick in Goyder, whose seats would be expected to be won by Labor and the CLP respectively in normal circumstances. It might be thought that Labor had won Purick over when they kept her on as Speaker after the 2016 election, but that calculus may have changed when she resigned after adverse findings against her by ICAC in June — as may her chances of defending the seat. Another independent, Gerry Wood, is retiring as member for Nelson, but he has endorsed a new independent, Beverley Ratahi, whose chances are rated very highly.

My trusty election guide remains in action here, and I will have a paywalled piece on the election in Crikey later today. I hope to have a live results facility tomorrow, but I’ll be very pleasantly surprised if it operates at 100% efficiency. This is a distinctly challenging election to be doing this with, given the huge shift from election day to pre-poll voting, large number of seats that will not have straightforward Labor-versus-CLP counts easily comparable with equivalent counts from last time, the emergence of a substantial new party on the scene, and a move from optional to compulsory preferential voting.

Northern Territory election minus one week

Six more shopping days left of the Northern Territory election campaign, which has so far proceeded in a generally uneventful manner.

One more week to go until the Northern Territory election, which from this remove seems to be proceeding uneventfully, unless you count the Northern Territory News’s targeting of Michael Gunner with a trademark News Corp Photoshop job after he confusingly asserted the territory would have “hard border controls in place for at least the next 18 months”.

The only whiff of polling that I’m aware of is a report in the Northern Territory News ($) last week that said MediaReach polling for the Territory Alliance had “Labor and Territory Alliance nearly neck and neck and ahead of CLP” in Drysdale and Braitling, respectively held by Labor on margins of 5.2% and 3.0%. These are the only two electorates in which the Territory Alliance is directing preferences to Labor ahead of the CLP apart from Port Darwin, where the party has had a late change of heart owing to its candidate Gary Strachan’s opposition to fracking. It has Labor last in all the other seats it is contesting, which is most of them.

Northern Territory election guide

Introducing the Poll Bludger’s seat-by-seat guide to the Northern Territory election, to be held a fortnight from Saturday.

With polling day a fortnight from this Saturday, I finally have a guide to the Northern Territory election in business, consisting of an overview and guides to the 25 electorates. An except from the former:

The changes in the composition of parliament leave Labor in a position where it can lose no more than three of its existing seats without losing a majority, although it is presumably hopeful of recovering Fong Lim from Jeff Collins. Its position has been further weakened by a redistribution which, though generally limited in its effects, has caused the formerly remote electorate of Namatjira to absorb suburbs in largely conservative-voting in Alice Springs, turning it into a notionally CLP-held seat. However, the CLP’s cause has been gravely hampered by the emergence of the Territory Alliance, which demonstrated its potency by outpolling it at the Johnston by-election.

The next milestone on the road to polling day is the closure of nominations at noon today, to be followed by the draw of ballot paper positions.

Miscellany: NT poll, federal parliament seat entitlements, 2019 election book

Various recent electoral news happenings, including a new poll that suggests the looming Northern Territory election will be, if nothing else, more competitive than the last.

The Eden-Monaro by-election has naturally consumed my energies of late, and I’m continuing to follow the late count through the post below, although the result is no longer in doubt. There appears to be no Essential Research poll this week, which leaves me with the following to hang a new open thread off:

• A local environmental concern has published results of a uComms robo-poll of the Darwin area ahead of the Northern Territory election, to be held on August 22. Including responses to the forced-response follow-up for the 13% who were initially undecided, the poll records Labor on 39.3% and the Country Liberal Party on 31.0%, compared with 47.9% and 33.6% respectively in Darwin seats last time. The new Territory Alliance party of former CLP Chief Minister Terry Mills is on 13.7% and the Greens, who only ran in three seats last time, were on 7.2%. The poll was conducted on June 29 from a sample of 699.

• The determination of state and territory seat entitlements for the next parliamentary term was reached on Friday, with a conclusion that was long known in advance and discussed here at length: namely, that Victoria will gain another new seat while Western Australia and the Northern Territory will each lose one, bringing the total number of House of Representatives back to a more typical 150 from its current 151.

• The Australian National University’s regular post-election review of the federal election, entitled Morrison’s Miracle: The 2019 Australian Federal Election, contains 24 chapters of analysis of every facet of the campaign and result, and is available as a free download.

Democracy in the time of COVID-19

Queensland council elections and state by-elections to proceed in spite of everything; two polls on attitudes to coronavirus; and Josh Frydenberg off the Section 44 hook.

I had a paywalled article in Crikey yesterday considering the implications of coronavirus for the electoral process. For what it’s worth, the New York Times today reports that research finds no evidence that elections act as vectors for disease. Apropos next Saturday’s local government elections and state by-elections in Queensland, my article had this to say:

According to Graeme Orr, University of Queensland law professor and a noted authority on electoral law, it is still within the power of Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to postpone the council elections. The byelections for the state seats of Currumbin and Bundamba could also theoretically be called off if the speaker rescinded the writs. Since a state election will be held in October in any case, it might well be argued that filling the latter vacancies for a few months is not worth the bother. However, the official position is that neither pre-poll nor election day booths will experience activity amounting to a gathering of more than 500 people, as per the latest advice of the chief medical officer — advice that will surely be showing its age well before next Saturday.

In other by-election news, the Liberal National Party has put Labor last on its how-to-vote cards in Currumbin and Bundamba, and thus behind One Nation, a move that has evidently lost its taboo since the issue of One Nation preferences tore the state’s Coalition parties apart around the turn of the century. This could potentially be consequential in Bundamba, where it is conceivable that One Nation could outpoll the LNP and defeat Labor with their preferences.

Elsewhere:

• The Federal Court has dismissed a Section 44 challenge against Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s eligibility to sit in parliament on grounds of dual Hungarian citizenship, to which he was allegedly entitled via his Hungarian-born mother. The petitioner, Michael Staindl, initially pointed to Australian documentation suggesting her family arrived in Australia in 1950 with Hungarian passports, having fled the country the previous year as the post-war communist regime tightened its grip. However, it was established that this arose from loose definitions used at the time by the Australian authorities, and that what the family actually had was “a form of single use emigrant exit passport”. This led Staindl to twice reformulate his argument, eventually settling on the contention that Frydenberg’s mother was left with the “shell” of a citizenship that had been emptied only by the communist regime’s arbitrary and capricious “pseudo-law”, a factor that ceased to apply with its demise in 1989. This did not impress the court, which dismissed the petition and ordered Staindl to pay costs.

• The Age/Herald has polling results from Newgate Research on which aspects of coronavirus are of greatest public concern. The results are reasonably consistent across the board, but top of the list is “the overall economic impact”, with which 41% express themselves extremely concerned, 36% quite concerned, 19% slightly concerned and 4% not at all concerned. “Regular health services not being available” produces similar results of 35%, 32%, 25% and 8%. There are slightly more moderate results for other questions on health impacts and “shortages of food, toilet paper and other essentials”, although in all cases the combination for extremely concerned and quite concerned is well above 50%. The poll is an “online tracking study of more than 1000 Australians, taken between Wednesday and Saturday last week”.

The West Australian ($) also has a WA-only coronavirus poll, which finds 66% supporting cancellation of large sporting events, 45% for night venues, 35% for cinemas and theatres, 34% for gyms and leisure centres, 29% for schools, 28% for universities, 22% for shopping centres and 16% apiece for restaurants and cafes and public transport. Fifty-one per cent of respondents agreed the government had been fully open and honest about the risks and implications of the virus, with 25% disagreeing. The poll was conducted Friday and Saturday by Painted Dog Research from a sample of 890.

• The count for the Northern Territory’s Johnston by-election was finalised on Friday, with Labor’s Joel Bowden winning at the final count over Steven Klose of the Territory Alliance by 1731 votes (52.6%) to (47.4%), in the absence of any surprises in the full preference count. With no candidate polling more than 29.9% on the primary vote, the latter was always an abstract possibility, but the result after the previous exclusion was not particularly close, with Bowden on 1275 (38.7%), Klose on 1110 (33.7%) and Greens candidate Aiya Goodrich Carttling on 907 (27.6%). It seems unlikely that preferences would have favoured the Greens even if it had been otherwise. My live results facility now records the final numbers – there will be more where this came from on this site with the Queensland elections on Saturday week, certainly with the state by-elections, and perhaps also for the Brisbane City Council elections, depending on how things go.

Note also two new posts below this one, one dealing with a new poll of state voting intention in Tasmania, the other being Adrian Beaumont’s latest contribution on the Democratic primaries in the United States.

Two things

Some rare insights into how preferences behave in unusual circumstances courtesy of the Johnston by-election, and yet more data on issue salience, this time from JWS Research.

Two things:

• At Antony Green’s prompting, the Northern Territory Electoral Commission has published breakdowns of the various candidates’ preferences flows at Saturday’s Johnston by-election, providing measures of the impact of highly unusual preferencing behaviour by the Greens and the Country Labor Party — remembering that the Northern Territory prohibits dissemination of how-to-vote cards is the immediate vicinity of polling booths. Having done the unthinkable and put Labor last, the Greens’ preferences split 56.9-43.1 between Labor and the Territory Alliance, compared with my own rule of thumb that Labor gets 80% of Greens preferences when they are so directed and 75% when no recommendation is made. Note that this is the Territory Alliance rather than the Country Liberal Party, and that Labor’s flow would presumably have been somewhat stronger had it been otherwise. The CLP no less unusually put Labor second, and their preferences went 52.9-47.1 in favour of the Territory Alliance.

• JWS Research has released its latest quarterly True Issues report, confirming the impression of other similar polling that the salience of the environment and climate chnage spiked over summer. Respondents were separately asked to name three issues off the tops of their heads and to pick the five most important issues out of a list of twenty, with confusingly different results – environment reigned supreme in the first case, but in the second it trailed cost of living (which ranked low when unprompted) and health (second in both cases). Perhaps the most revealing point is that environment increased in the prompted question from 33% a year ago to 42%, while immigration and border security fell from 36% to 25%. The federal government was reckoned to be performing well by 28% of respondents, down two since the November survey, and poorly by 35%, up two. The survey was conducted online from a sample of 1000 from February 20-24.