Pembroke by-election live

Live coverage of the count for today’s by-election for the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke.

8.16pm. With all the booths now in, and 4539 pre-polls besides, that’s it for the evening. Labor did markedly better on both pre-polls and postals, which increased in number by a third, than election day votes, which were down 13%. Their candidate — whose name, I should observe, is Luke Edmunds — ends the night on 39.5%, with Liberal candidate Gregory Brown on 28.8% and Deborah Brewer of the Greens on 18.7%. I would imagine that Labor’s winning margin after preferences would be pushing 10%, little changed from 8.65% in 2019.

7.30pm. Howrah booth brings the swing against Labor inside 7% and the Greens vote down to 19.3%. This has been by some distance the biggest booth, with 2616 formal votes to Lindisfarne Village’s 1251.

7.27pm. There are also 1447 postals in and they have been strong for Labor, such that I’ve now got their swing down to 7.4% and their projected total to 37.8% with the Liberals on 27.8%. As I suspected, these votes have drawn the Greens back to 21.2%.

7.23pm. Bellerive booth in. Swing against Labor now up to 9.2%, but that’s matched by a continuing rise in the Greens vote, now at 23.3%. Preferences will presumably prevent the Greens finishing second, as they will be from Shooters and an independent with a background in the Liberal Party.

7.15pm. Lindisfarne Village also fails to change the situation, except to note that the Greens vote has crept up to 22.9%. It will probably come down a bit on postals though.

7.10pm. Geilston Bay makes four booths out of ten. I now have the primary vote swing against Labor up to 8.4%, which doesn’t fundamentally change the situation.

6.56pm. The Montagu Bay and Mornington booths are in, making for three out of a total of ten, and I now make it a 1.4% primary vote swing to the Liberals with Labor down 6.6%. The Greens are still riding high on 21.7%, and I’m projecting primary vote totals of 38.6% for Labor and 26.7% for Liberal. That suggests a pretty comfortable win for Labor with a similar margin to last time, regardless of what might happen with the preferences from Shooters and the independent, who are on 3.4% and 9.8% respectively.

6.44pm. The first booth in is Tranmere, and the raw numbers suggest a fairly close race that Labor would be well placed to win on Greens preferences, although it’s still far too early to say. The outstanding fact of the result is that the Greens are on 20.0% with 106 votes out of 529. Labor is duly down 7.3% on its 2019 result, when there was no Greens candidate, while the Liberals are up 5.5%, which is reflected in a lower independent vote — conservative independent Tony Mulder polled 22.8% at this booth in his comeback attempt in 2019, whereas the only independent at this election, Hans Willink, is on 11.9%. However, there are only 529 votes for the booth this time compared with 2063 last time, so it’s probably in a different location and not entirely amenable to swings based on booth-matching.

6pm. Polls have closed; results from the Tasmanian Electoral Commission will be published here. This being an urban electorate with fairly large booths, I would not expect the count to be particularly swift, but there may be at least one booth result along in 30 to 45 minutes or so.

5pm. A by-election is being held today to fill a vacancy in Tasmania’s 15-member Legislative Council for the seat of Pembroke, which covers the eastern shore of Hobart’s Derwent river directly opposite the city centre, from Lindisfarne south through Bellerive to Tranmere. This follows the resignation of Labor member Jo Siejka, who defeated a Liberal candidate by 8.65% to win the seat’s last periodic election in 2019. Unlike a lot of elections for Legislative Council seats, this is a fully partisan contest involving Labor, the Liberals and the Greens, together with Shooters Fishers and Farmers and one independent. Polls will close as always at 6pm local time, followed here by live coverage of the count.

EMRS: Liberal 41, Labor 31, Greens 13 in Tasmania

A poll finds Tasmania’s Liberal government still well ahead of Labor, but no longer by so much as to maintain its parliamentary majority.

The latest quarterly-or-so poll of Tasmanian state voting intention from EMRS records a two-point increase for the Liberals to 41%, with Labor up a point to 31% and the Greens steady on 13%. Preferred premier is all but unchanged with Jeremy Rockliff leading Labor’s Rebecca White by 47-35, out from 47-34. The poll was conducted August 8 to 11 from a sample of 1000.

As well as that, there is a fair bit of significant electoral news to report from the state:

• A well-rounded by-election looms for the eastern Hobart Legislative Council seat of Pembroke on September 10, candidates in ballot paper order being Deborah Brewer (Greens), Gregory Brown (Liberal), Carlo Di Falco (Shooters Fishers and Farmers), Luke Edmunds (Labor) and Hans Willink (Independent) (UPDATE: Kevin Bonham reminds us in comments that ballot paper order is Robson rotation, so this list is actually alphabetical order). The by-election follows the resignation of Jo Siejka, who gained the seat for Labor by an 8.6% margin at the periodic election in 2019.

• The recount to replace outgoing Liberal member Jacquie Petrusma in Franklin was won by Dean Young with 5808 of her preferences (51.1%) to 5281 for Bec Enders (46.5%) with the remainder going to non-Liberal candidates. Young is a Bellerive news agency owner who ran at the March 2021 election as a late substitute for Dean Ewington, was disendorsed early in the campaign after criticising the government’s COVID-19 restrictions on Facebook.

• Tasmanian’s Electoral Commissioner has published advice to the government on its plan to restore the state’s House of Assembly to 35 seats, from which it was reduced to 25 in 1998. It recommends a straightforward restoration of the old system in which five electoral divisions sharing the federal boundaries returned seven members each, rather than an alternative in which seven divisions would return five members each.

Preference flows and by-elections (open thread)

A look at preference flow data from the 2019 and 2022 elections, and the latest on looming by-elections in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and (sort of) Western Australia.

Something I really should have noted in last week’s post is that the Australian Electoral Commission has now published two-candidate preferred preference flow data from the election, showing how minor party and independent preferences flowed between Labor and the Coalition. The table below shows how Labor’s share increased for the four biggest minor parties and independents collectively (and also its fraction decrease for “others”) from the last election to this and, in the final column, how much difference each made to Labor’s total share of two-party preferred, which was 52.13%.

Note that the third column compares how many preference Labor received with how many they would have if preference flows had been last time, which is not the same thing as how many preferences they received. Labor in fact got nearly 2% more two-party vote share in the form of Greens preferences at this election because the Greens primary vote was nearly 2% higher this time.

State and territory by-election:

• Six candidates for the August 20 by-election in the Northern Territory seat of Fannie Bay, in ballot paper order: Brent Potter, described in a report as a “government adviser, army veteran and father of four”, for Labor; independent George Mamouzellos; independent Raj Samson Rajwin, who was a Senate candidate for the United Australia Party; Jonathan Parry of the Greens; independent Leah Potter; and Ben Hosking, “small business owner and former police officer”, for the Country Liberals.

• Following the resignation of Labor member Jo Siejka, a by-election will be held for the Tasmanian Legislative Council seat of Pembroke on September 10. Siejka defeated a Liberal candidate by 8.65% to win the eastern Hobart seat at the periodic election in 2019. There will also be a recount of 2021 election ballots in Franklin to determine which of the three unelected Liberals will replace Jacquie Petrusma following her resignation announcement a fortnight ago. As Kevin Bonham explains, the order of probability runs Bec Enders, Dean Young and James Walker.

• Still no sign of a date for Western Australia’s North West Central by-election.

Sticky wicket (open thread)

Schemes hatched by WA Liberals seeking a quick path out of the wilderness; a new Tasmanian state poll; nothing doing on the federal poll front.

I was hoping Newspoll might be back in the game three weeks after election day, but it seems normal service is yet to resume. Presumably Essential Research will have numbers of some sort tomorrow, but it remains to be seen if they will encompass voting intention. I hope to have more to offer shortly on whether other pollsters are still in the game in the immediate term, or whether they have pulled stumps for the time being. That just leaves me with the following miscellany to relate by way of a new open thread post:

Joe Spagnolo of the Sunday Times reported yesterday on a plan within the Western Australian Liberals to have former test cricketer and national team coach Justin Langer lead the party into the next state election in 2025. The suggestion is that the current leader, David Honey, might be persuaded to relinquish his seat of Cottesloe, one of only two lower house seats the party retained at the 2021 election. It is an any case “widely accepted that Dr Honey won’t lead the WA Liberals to the next election”, with Vasse MP Libby Mettams “his likely replacement” – indeed his only possible replacement out of the existing ranks of the Liberals’ lower house contingent.

Katina Curtis and Shane Wright of the Sydney Morning Herald have taken the trouble to compile the results of the 75,368 telephone votes cast by those in COVID-19 isolation, finding that Labor, Greens or independents candidates out-performed on them on two-candidate preferred relative to the overall results in all but eight lower house seats. Kevin Bonham is quoted in the article noting that infections are more prevalent of left-leaning demographics, namely the young and those employed in exposed occupations, though I also tend to think there may be a greater tendency for those on the right of politics to keep their illnesses to themselves.

• One bit of poll news at least: the latest quarterly Tasmanian state poll from EMRS has been published, the first since Jeremy Rockliff succeeded Peter Gutwein as Premier. It finds the Liberals down two points since March to 39%, Labor down one to 30%, the Greens up one to 13% and others up two to 18%. Rockliff leads Labor’s Rebecca White 47-34 as preferred premier, compared with Gutwein’s lead of 52-33 in March. The poll was conducted May 27 to June 2 through telephone interviews from a sample of 1000.

Lydia Lynch of The Australian reports that Julie-Ann Campbell, Queensland Labor’s outgoing state secretary and now associate partner with consultancy firm EY, is “expected to run for federal politics” – specifically for the seat of Moreton, which Graham Perrett has held for Labor since 2007.

There’s a fair bit going on at the site at the moment, so here’s a quick run-through the subjects of recent posts with on-topic discussion threads, as opposed to the open thread on this post:

• The future direction of the Liberal Party, with debate raging as to whether it should focus on recovering blue-ribbon seats from the teal independents or cutting them loose and pursuing a new course through suburban and regional seats traditionally held by Labor;

• The three state by-elections looming in the Queensland seat of Callide, the South Australian seat of Bragg and the Western Australian seat of North West Central;

• The ongoing count from the federal election, which remains of interest in relation to several Senate contests, with the pressing of the button looking reasonably imminent in South Australia and the two territories.

Tasmanian upper house elections live

Live coverage of the count for elections for three of the 15 seats in Tasmania’s Legislative Council.

8.20pm. All booths are now in from Huon, plus 1511 pre-polls: Labor is on 26.2%, Dean Harriss 23.3%, the Greens 21.9% the Liberals 21.1% and the Local Party 7.4%. I would guess that the Greens will go out after the Local Party and their preferences will increase Labor’s lead. The question will then be if Liberal preferences flow heavily enough to Harriss to overcome it. This being my last update for the evening, I will reiterate that Labor incumbent Josh Willie and independent incumbent Tania Rattray have retained their seats of Elwick and McIntyre. So Huon could either boost Labor to five seats in the chamber out of 15, or leave them on parity with the Liberals at four, and weaken them in that an ex-Labor independent will be replaced with what I presume to be a conservative one, based on his father’s history as a Liberal MP.

7.16pm. All but three of 21 booths in now from Huon, and the results of Labor 26.3%, Dean Harris 24.9%, Greens 22.0%, Liberal 18.9% and Local Party 7.9% are more closely resembling my projections.

7.05pm. Thirteen booths out of 21 in from Huon, the latest batch including the large Cygnet booth. There’s now little to separate the Greens on 25.4%, Dean Harriss on 24.1% and Labor on 23.4%. My previous assessment still holds. To reiterate: Tania Rattray looks set to win McIntyre with between 50% and 60% of the primary vote, Labor’s Josh Willie will hold Elwick with around half the vote and the rest split evenly between an independent and the Greens.

7.00pm. I’d forgotten the fact that the elections in 2020 were postponed from May to August due to COVID. Presumably we will not see a repeat of nearly half the vote being postals. As such, my booth-matched projections in Huon are probably underselling the Greens, whose current 26.0% primary vote may be nearly as impressive as it looks. But I still suspect they will have a hard time staying ahead of both Labor and Dean Harriss, the latter of whom should get a strong flow of preferences from the Liberals, who at present seem likely to go out before the Greens.

6.52pm. The raw results in Huon still look good for the Greens at 26.4% with seven booths in out of 21, after which there’s a crush between Dean Harriss, Labor and Liberal, presently in that order, at around 20%. But there were a huge amount of postals in 2020 — actually slightly more than election day votes, this being the peak of COVID — on which the Greens did not poll well, which is why I’m projecting them to finish third if not fourth. That suggests it will come down to who out of Labor and Dean Harriss, evenly placed on the primary vote, get the most preferences.

6.47pm. Five booths now in from Elwick, with hardly any change: we’re looking at around half the vote for Labor and a quarter each for the Greens and the independent.

6.45pm. Howden booth in from Huon — this booth wasn’t used in 2020 so I have no accommodation for it in my booth matching. But it’s a stronger result for the Liberals, whose candidate has now moved into third place ahead of Dean Harriss. The Greens lead Labor 27.5% to 23.1%, but my booth-matching suggests it will be downhill for them from here.

6.43pm. Collinsvale booth in from Elwick: Labor’s Josh Willie a fraction under 50%, Greens and independent 25.1% apiece.

6.41pm. A very quick count in McIntyre, courtesy of its many small rural booths. Tania Rattray is now a shade below 60%. But nothing yet from Elwick.

6.37pm. Two more booths in from Huon. Greens candidate Gideon Cordover still leads on 29.6%, but I’m now recording his swing at only 2.2%, since the new booths were ones where the Greens did well last time also. Labor’s Toby Thorpe is second on 22.7%, which is a 10.9% swing against, remembering that the Liberals weren’t in the race this time but are now. Dean Harriss’s 20.6% is a swing in his favour of 7.9%. If these swings hold, the result will be Harriss 24.1%, Labor 20.4% and Greens 19.7%. I would guess that Labor and Greens preferences will heavily flow to each other, so it’s likely a question of which one wins. The Liberals on 16.3% and the Local Party on 10.8% are not in contention. I do believe the Greens have never won a seat in the Legislative Council before.

6.34pm. Tania Rattray is down to 61.6% with six booths in from McIntyre; David Downie won the Epping booth, maintaining the pattern of him doing well enough in Northern Midlands but not making much of an impression elsewhere.

6.31pm. Huon is off to an interesting start with two booths in, with the Greens candidate leading on 29.4%. This is a 12.5% swing to them compared with the 2020 election result. Labor is on 22.6%, a 17.1% swing against. Independent Dean Harriss is in the mix with 20.2%, a 5.0% swing in his favour compared with his result in 2020. The Liberals so far seem to be striking out on 16.3% (they did not run in 2020).

6.26pm. Three booths in from McIntyre, and with Tania Rattray on 250 votes out of 359, I think it’s clear already that the other independent, David Downie, won’t threaten her. One of the three is Avoca, from Downie’s turf in Northern Midlands, and while the margin there is a lot narrower, Rattray has still won the booth.

6pm. Polls have closed for the Tasmanian Legislative Council elections for Huon, McIntyre and Elwick, which I name in what seem to be to be descending order of interest. The former pits Labor against Liberal in a Labor-held seat, but also has an independent who could prove competitive. McIntyre pits an independent candidate against what seems a reasonably well credentialed independent challenger. Elwick, unless I’m missing something, seems very likely to stay with Labor. The current numbers in the chamber are Liberal four, Labor four and independents seven. Labor did have five, but the now retiring member for Huon resigned from the party last Augus

Boothby and ACT Senate polls

Labor looking good in Boothby, a promising result for ACT Senate independent David Pocock, and a quick look at today’s upper house elections in Tasmania.

Two bits of private polling to have emerged over the past day:

The Advertiser reports a uComms poll for the SA Forest Products Association finds Labor with a 55-45 lead in the Adelaide seat of Boothby, held by the Liberals on a margin of 1.4% and to be vacated with the retirement of Nicolle Flint. The primary votes are Liberal 32.6%, Labor 31.7%, Greens 10.5% and independent Jo Dyer 5.5% – an element of the remainder would have been undecided and posed a forced-response follow-up, for which the results are not provided. Respondent-allocated preferences among the independents and minor parties flowed over 70% to Labor. The automated phone poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 810.

• The Canberra Times reports a Redbridge poll of the Australian Capital Territory Senate race for Climate 200 had Labor Senator Katy Gallagher on 27% (down from 39.3% in 2019), Liberal Senator Zed Seselja on 25% (down from 32.4%), independent David Pocock on 21%, the Greens on 11% (down from 17.7%), independent Kim Rubenstein on 6% and the United Australia Party on 6% (up from 2.3%). These figures suggest Seselja would lose his seat to Pocock, although the fall in the Labor vote is enough to suggest that any combination of two out of Gallagher, Seselja and Pocock is possible. The automated phone poll was conducted on April 23 and 24 from a sample of 1064.

The Age/Herald had a report yesterday based on a combination of the last two Resolve Strategic federal polls, allowing journalist David Crowe to analyse New South Wales, Victorian and Queensland breakdowns from plausibly large sample size (though only as high as 509 in the case of Queensland). However, since breakdowns for these states are published with each monthly poll, it’s old news as far as I’m concerned.

In other electoral news, today is the day of Tasmania’s periodic Legislative Council elections, which this year encompass the Hobart seat of Elwick, which seems likely to be retained for Labor by Josh Willie; the north-eastern rural seat of McIntyre, where long-serving independent Tania Rattray might or might not be troubled by independent rival David Downie; and what is technically a by-election in Huon, covering the towns south of Hobart, resulting from the resignation of Labor-turned-independent member Bastian Seidel. The latter would seem to be a competitive race involving Labor, Liberal and three other candidates, and constitutes an electoral test of sorts for the state’s new Premier, Jeremy Rockliff. This site will feature live commentary of some description from 6pm.

Peter Gutwein resigns

Tasmania’s Liberals prepare to anoint their third Premier since coming to power in 2014 as Peter Gutwein retires after two years in the job.

Peter Gutwein has announced his retirement from parliament and as Premier of Tasmania, effective immediately. Without knowing an awful lot about the day-to-day of the Tasmanian political scene, my assumption would be that the favourite to succeed him is Deputy Premier and Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff, who has held the deputy position in both opposition and government all the way back to 2006. Rockliff declined to seek the leadership after Will Hodgman retired in January 2020, instead joining a moderate leadership ticket headed by Gutwein.

If the conservatives are willing or able to flex their muscles, other contenders might include Michael Ferguson, who holds the infrastructure and transport, finance, state development and local government and planning portfolios (and was one of the many one-term members for the federal seat of Bass from 2004 to 2007), and Attorney-General Elise Archer. Ferguson and Archer were initially poised to run as a conservative ticket for leader and deputy when Hodgman resigned, but both withdrew when it became apparent they didn’t have the numbers.

Gutwein’s resignation will also result in a vacancy in the division of Bass, which will be filled by a recount of votes from last year’s election. There has already been a vacancy for one of the three Liberal seats, with Sarah Courtney succeeded by Lara Alexander in February. The results of that recount suggest Gutwein’s seat is certain to be filled by Simon Wood, who finished narrowly behind Alexander in the recount and well ahead of the remaining Liberal on the ticket, Greg Kieser.

EMRS: Liberal 41, Labor 31, Greens 12 in Tasmania

A regular Tasmanian state polling series records a narrowing after a long period of Liberal dominance.

EMRS has published its quarterly-or-so poll of state voting intention in Tasmania, which records a sharp downturn for the Liberals after a long period of overwhelming dominance. The party is down eight points on the primary vote since December to 41%, with Labor up five to 31%, the Greens down one to 12% and “others” up four to 16%. Peter Gutwein’s lead over Labor’s Rebecca White as preferred premier has likewise narrowed, from 59-28 to 52-33. The poll was conducted by phone on Monday and Tuesday last week from a sample of 1000.

While on Tasmanian affairs, it’s worth repeating here that Lara Alexander was sworn in last week as one of the three Liberal members for Bass, having won the recount to succeed Sarah Courtney after her resignation last month. This involved counting the ballots that elected Courtney at the election last May, which found Alexander prevailing over rival Liberal candidate Simon Wood by 5671 votes (52.9%) to 5051 (47.1%).