Darling Range by-election: June 23

A date is set and the main starters confirmed for the challenging by-election faced by Western Australia’s McGowan Labor government.

While we remain in suspense as to the timing of the federal by-elections, which appear likely to be held on either June 30 or July 7, we at least have a date for the Darling Range state by-election in Western Australia, for which a date of June 23 was confirmed on Friday. The major party candidates are now in place, with Labor last night endorsing Colleen Yates, former chief executive of Regional Development Australia Perth. The Liberal candidate is Alyssa Hayden, who held a Legislative Council seat in East Metropolitan region from 2008 to 2017, when she unexpectedly lost her seat to One Nation. Hayden reportedly had a narrow victory in the local preselection over Rob Coales, police sergeant and Serpentine-Jarrahdale councillor. Her backers included Christian Porter and Ken Wyatt, while Coales had the support of Tony Simpson, who held the seat for the Liberals until his defeat by outgoing Labor member Barry Urban last year. Nathan Hondros of Fairfax reports the party’s state council may have insisted on Hayden even if she lost the vote. The Poll Bludger’s guide to the by-election may be viewed here.

Darling Range by-election guide

Mark McGowan’s government faces its first serious by-election test as Barry Urban calls time in troubled tenure as member for Darling Range.

A difficult by-election looms for the Labor government in Western Australia in the seat of Darling Range, which was among the 20 seats it won as it swept to power in March last year. The outgoing member is Barry Urban, whose career unravelled last November when it emerged a decoration he wore for police service overseas, which he originally claimed to have received for war crimes investigations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, had actually been bought online, and that two British universities he claimed had awarded him degrees had no record for him. He resigned from the ALP shortly after the story broke, and has announced his intention to resign from parliament a day before the privileges committee brings down a report into the matter. I have posted a preliminary guide to the by-election, although there are no details to offer at this stage on the timing or who the candidates might be.

Monday miscellany

Passing observations on the Batman by-election, the Cottesloe by-election (look it up), and the state of the Senate after Section 44.

I don’t believe we’ll be getting any sort of a federal opinion poll this week, with Newspoll presumably holding off through South Australian election week to return before the resumption of parliament next week, and Essential Research having an off-week in their fortnightly schedule. You can find a post updating progress in late counting in South Australia here; other than that, for the sake of a new general post, I relate the following:

Ben Raue at The Tally Room has a very illuminating map showing the pattern of swings within Batman, showing a largely status quo result north of the Bell Street curtain, but a quite substantial swing to Labor in the presumed Greens stronghold area in the south. I’ll have more on the Batman by-election in today’s Crikey, if you’re a subscriber.

• Lost in the excitement, the weekend’s other by-election has entirely escaped mention on this site. It was held in the blue-ribbon Western Australian state seat of Cottesloe, to replace Colin Barnett. This produced the predicted walkover for Liberal candidate David Honey, an 59-year-old Alcoa executive and former state party president. Honey finished the night on 59.8% of the primary vote, and 70.2% on two-party preferred over the Greens. At the time of Barnett’s resignation in January, it was generally assumed the party could not let pass an opportunity to add a woman to a parliamentary ranks, but Honey nonetheless won a preselection vote by twenty to eight ahead of BHP Billiton lawyer Emma Roberts. The Liberals elected only two women out of thirteen to the lower house in 2017, along with one out of eight to the upper. At the 2013 election, the party’s lower house contingent included only four women out of thirty-one in the lower house, along with five out of seventen in the upper house, two of whom suffered preselection defeats going into last year’s election.

• A reallocation of Senators’ three-year and six-year terms has been conducted after the Section 44 disqualifications, affecting every state except Victoria. This involved allocating six-year terms to the first six elected candidates in the recounts conducted to fill the vacancies, and three-year terms going to those elected to positions seven through twelve, who will be facing re-election (almost certainly) at the next federal election.

There are two pieces of good news for the Liberals, who gain a long-term seat in New South Wales at the expense of the Nationals, and in Tasmania go from two long-term and two short-term seats to three and one. Fiona Nash’s long-term vacancy in New South Wales goes to Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, whose short-term vacancy has been filled by splashy newcomer Jim Molan. The vacancies in Tasmania, Stephen Perry of the Liberals and Jacqui Lambie of Jacqui Lambie, were both long-term, and have both gone to lower order Liberals, Bushby and Duniam. The one short-term Liberal position goes to Richard Colbeck, returning to parliament after his (provisional) defeat in 2016.

In Western Australia, the Greens order shuffles after Scott Ludlam’s departure with Rachel Siewert taking his long term, and Jordon Steele-John filling Siewert’s short-term vacancy. The loss of Skye Kakoschke-Moore in South Australia has cost the Nick Xenophon Team a seat because the successor to her short term, Tim Storer, has become estranged from the party since the election. It’s a similar story for One Nation in Queensland, where Malcolm Roberts’ short-term vacancy has been filled by the party’s number three candidate, Fraser Anning, who has eventually resolved to sit as an independent after a dispute with Pauline Hanson.

Vasse by-election live

Live coverage of Western Australia’s Vasse by-election, where the Nationals are vaguely hopeful of poaching Troy Buswell’s old seat from the Liberals.


The table below summarises the results for the Busselton booths, the non-Busselton booths, and the current total inclusive of postals and pre-polls with swings calculated off the final result from 2013.

Clearly Peter Gordon’s local recognition in Busselton stood him in very good stead, the increase in the Nationals’ vote being 10% higher than elsewhere. I don’t find it quite as easy to explain why the swing to the Greens was substantially larger outside Busselton – certainly not because of homeless Labor voters, there being quite a few more of them inside Busselton than out. The biggest swings to the Greens were in Dunsborough and Yallingup, which are chiefly notable for having a large number of surfers. So perhaps it reflects a hostile reaction to shark culling from those it presumes to protect. The Liberal vote also held up relatively well in these booths, with a smaller swing to the Nationals.

All told, the Liberal vote was entirely in line with what I’d been told during the week the party’s internal polling was saying. However, the Nationals did quite a bit better, and the Greens quite a bit worse. The Greens can and will point to the fact that their vote was up by 8%, but the absence of Labor means their 2013 result is not a realistic baseline. Their vote was below the 21.7% combined Labor and Greens vote from 2013, and they would have hoped for better than that. Of the other candidates, Rebels bikie identity did okay to score 4.4% (853 votes), and can draw some amusement from outpolling Australian Christians on 3.5% (680 votes), who had the advantage of the donkey vote. Teresa van Lieshout’s bikini-wearing wasn’t able to boost her any higher than 1.4% (265 votes).

Election night

9.37pm. Final 2PP for the night: Liberal 10,435 (53.45%), Nationals 9,088 (46.55%). The WAEC has published booth-level 2PP on its media feed but not its website, so Antony Green has those numbers and the WAEC site does not.

9.24pm. That tweet being, as you might have expected, a claim of victory. The pre-poll primary vote have been added to the WAEC site, and the 2PP will apparently show them breaking 56-44 to the Liberals. The final two-party preferred looks like it will be about 53-47.

9.15pm. 4750 pre-polls will shortly be added to the count, and indications are that they’re favourable to the Liberals. From the WA Liberal Party’s Twitter account: “With Vasse early in person votes counted, we will make an announcement shortly about the overall result of this by-election.”

7.58pm. The WAEC have blurted out a single two-party result in one hit, and it has the Liberals on 7855 (52.7%) and the Nationals on 7038 (47.3%). Which is closer than I was expecting at the start of proceedings, but no, as they say, cigar. Preferences split 67.3%-32.7% in favour of the Nationals, so I was right to think Warren-Blackwood wasn’t going to be much of a guide. We can still expect maybe 2000 pre-polls to come in this evening, and further postals over the coming days, but with the Liberal lead now established at 817 votes, the only issue is the size of the margin.

7.44pm. 1335 postals added, and the Liberals get 55.2% of them to 22.0% for the Nationals, which is obviously very good news for the Liberals. Now things start getting difficult in doing projections off the 2013 results, as there won’t be any absent votes and there were only 521 postal votes last time. So the raw primary votes are as good a guide as any, and they have the Liberals on 43.3%, which should be more than enough. But it would still be interesting to see some two-party results.

7.30pm. All booths now in. The last Busselton booth was very much like the earlier ones, so nothing I said in the previous entry seriously needs to be revised. Apparently we’ve still got some pre-polls and postals to come. More to the point, we still don’t have any two-party preferred results, apparently because the WAEC wanted to be sure who the top two candidates were before they proceeded. The preference flow is very much a wild card here, but it would have to be very strong indeed to give the Nationals a shot. They would also have to do well on pre-polls and postals. They’ve given it a good shake though, and defied Colin Barnett’s suggestion that the contest was in fact between the Liberals and the Greens.

7.23pm. Two big booths in from Busselton (quick count, BTW), and it’s now more interesting still. In Busselton itself, Liberal are down 19.4% and the Nationals are up 24.6%. My regionalised projection is 41.7% Liberal, 28.4% Nationals, 19.5% Greens. In neighbouring Warren-Blackwood last year, preferences only favoured the Nationals 54-46. If that’s any guide, the Liberals will still get home with a margin of 6%. However, my intuition is that the Nationals should do better than that.

7.15pm. Things have taken a turn for the interesting again with the first two Busselton results (if you count Vasse Primary School, which I do), together with Cowaramup. The Busselton booths have the Liberals down 18.2% and the Nationals up 23.9%. Based on a projection that gives appropriate weight to Busselton and non-Busselton results, I have the Liberals at 42.5%, the Nationals at 28.0% and the Greens at 19.4%. So the Nationals look set to clear the first hurdle of outpolling the Greens, although they would still have to do extremely well on preferences to be seriously in the hunt.

7.06pm. Yallingup and the two Dunsborough booths are now in, and while there’s still nothing from Busselton, I think we’re past the point that the Liberals are actually in danger. The booth-matched swing against them is about 7%, coming off a 2013 vote of 57%. The Nationals are up 14%, putting them on course for a bit over 21%, and the Greens are up 10%, suggesting they’ll get to about 20%.

6.59pm. Projecting booth swings on to the 2013 totals, I get 44.2% for the Liberals, 23.6% for the Nationals and 23.1% for the Greens — remembering that half the battle for the Nationals is to finish ahead of the Greens. However, it must also be remembered that we don’t have anything in yet from Busselton, and you would not intuitively expect the swings away from the Liberals to be of the size we’ve been getting from the rural booths, notwithstanding the size of Troy Buswell’s personal vote there.

6.57pm. Yallingup supports the trend of the huge swing being rurally specific: here the Nationals are up 11.6% and the Liberals down 6.1%. A great result here for the Greens, up 36.3%. Their overall swing on ordinary polling booths is 15.3% (UPDATE: Belated correction – those were their total votes, not their swings, which were actually 10.3% in Yallingup and 11.3% overall)

6.47pm. At Rosa Brook Hall, the Liberals and Nationals are both up by 9%, whereas the other three booths have the Liberals down by between 15.4% and 26.5%. So we may be seeing a big shift to the Nationals that’s specific to the more agricultural areas of the electorate.

6.45pm. Another two small booths, rural Carbunup and Rosa Brooks Hall just north of Margaret River, have slightly modified the situation, but in the ordinary polling booths so far there’s a 20.5% swing to the Nationals and a 21.3% swing away from the Liberals. If that’s maintained, it will be very close. But Busselton might well behave differently.

6.38pm. Very similar story at the similar booth of Yoorangillup Hall.

6.36pm. The first ordinary booth result is from rural Acton Park Hall, and while it’s only 249 votes, it’s very interesting: the Nationals vote is up from 6.1% to 35.3%, and the Liberals are down from 75.4% to 51.0%. If those swings are in any way reflected in Busselton, we’ll have a contest.

6.24pm. 118 Special Institutions and Hospitals votes are in. These were unusually strong for Labor at the election, so Liberals, Nationals and Greens are all up. However, the Liberals are up most of all, by 14.1%, which would be very encouraging for them.

6pm. Polls have closed, and since a few of the booths are of a small and rural nature, we would should get our first results in reasonably shortly.

Vasse by-election: October 18

A brief introduction to Saturday’s by-election to fill the vacancy caused by Troy Buswell’s resignation from the WA state seat of Vasse, which looms as a contest between the Liberals and the Nationals.

Western Australia’s Vasse by-election will be held on Saturday, to choose a replacement for troubled former Treasurer Troy Buswell. In the absence of a Labor candidate, the by-election looms as a contest between the Liberals and Nationals in which the Liberals start short-priced favourites, having outpolled the Nationals 57.3% to 7.3% at the March 2013 state election. Curious as it may seem to outsiders though, Buswell did have a very strong personal vote in his home base of Busselton especially, and the Nationals had no cause to mount a strong campaign against him. This time the Nationals are targeting the seat with a fair amount of gusto, and at the very least it will be interesting to see the kind of inroads they can make. In the last two elections before Buswell’s arrival on the scene in 2005, the Nationals polled just over 23%, having a locally well-connected candidate in Beryle Morgan, who was Buswell’s predecessor as Busselton shire president. Morgan made waves at the time by expressing her admiration for Pauline Hanson, and had views to match on immigration, foreign aid and public displays of affection between gay people.

The electorate draws around two-thirds of its voters from Busselton, from which it extends westwards along the Geographe Bay coast to Dunsborough and Cape Naturaliste, then south of the cape along Caves Road to encompass Yallingup and Gracetown. Outside of Busselton, the voter base is roughly evenly divided between the Caves Road coast, which is an extension of the Margaret River region in terms of being noted for tourism, surf beaches and viticulture; and more conventionally conservative beef and dairy farming territory further inland. Support for the Greens in the former of these regions has approached 20% in recent elections, while being less than half that in Busselton. The Nationals, predictably enough, are strongest in the latter area. Troy Buswell’s vote was 7% higher in Busselton than the Liberals managed at the federal election, but slightly lower in the Caves Road region.

The Labor primary vote last year was a meagre 12.4%, so their absence from proceedings this time around is a fairly minor factor. Presumably though the resurgent Greens can expect to benefit; beyond that, the main question is how much of the vote the Nationals can secure.

Candidates in ballot paper order:

Wayne Barnett (Australian Christians). Works in horticulture and a regular candidate for the party regionally.

Peter Gordon (Nationals). Owner of the Equinox café on the Busselton foreshore, along with a beach bar and restaurant at the town’s Broadwater resort. Also a former president of the Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Peter Johnson (Independent). Breaking the election candidate mould somewhat, Johnson is a former state president and life member of the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

Libby Mettam (Liberal). A former Channel Nine and ABC journalist and media adviser to South West Liberal MLC Barry House, who won preselection without opposition.

Michael Baldock (Greens). A structural engineer, and also president of Dunsborough Primary School parents and citizens.

Teresa van Lieshout (Independent). A recurring independent candidate who also ran for One Nation in 2005, and was initially endorsed as the Palmer United candidate for Fremantle at last year’s federal election, before her stern views on asylum seekeers caused a falling out with the party. Van Lieshout caught the feel of the electorate pretty well by donning a bikini and going fishing for her campaign promotional video.

Armadale by-election live

# % Swing 2PP
Buti (ALP) 9927 57.9% 1.8% 71.0%
Van Burgel (CDP) 3525 20.6% 13.2% 29.0%
Tucak (IND) 1484 8.7%
Davies (GRN) 2200 12.8% 2.5%
Informal 960 5.3% -0.6%
Booths counted (out of 12): 12
Counted (% of enrolment): 74.4%
Turnout (% of 2008 vote): 92.0%

8.00pm. Special Institutions and Hospitals now added. Two-candidate preferred count now at 13,027, against 17,136 primary votes counted.

7.45pm. Grovelands now added.

7.42pm. Pardon me, there is still an ordinary polling booth outstanding: Grovelands Primary School.

7.37pm. 3933 two-party votes have now been added, but booth details are not available. Labor looking good for a higher two-party vote as well as primary vote. Comparing a two-party Labor-versus-Liberal result from 2008 with a Labor-versus-CDP result from today is of course not terribly meaningful, but the party should be able to persuade the media otherwise.

7.34pm. The last “proper” booth, Gwynne Park Primary School, has been added, as have 1311 pre-polls.

7.30pm. Armadale and Westfield Park primary schools added. Two booths outstanding include the negligible “Special Institutions, Hospitals & Remotes”. Still no two-party figures available.

7.25pm. Cecil Andrews Senior High School and Neerigen Brook Primary School added, again consistent with the overall picture.

7.21pm. Two more booths, Gwynne Park Primary School and Kelmscott Senior High School, fail to change the picture. Turnout not looking so bad, at least if my calculation is an accurate guide.

7.19pm. Whoops – I was looking at the result for the CDP, who are obviously scooping up homeless Liberals, rather than the Greens, who are performing rather modestly.

7.18pm. In fact, results looking very similar to the Willagee by-election.

7.16pm. Armadale-Kelmscott Senior Citizens Centre and Kingsley Primary School booths added. Labor still looking good to top their 2008 primary vote. The Greens are up just shy of 15 per cent.

7.13pm. If anyone noticed that alarming turnout figure, it was based on a miscalculation that has now been corrected.

7.10pm. Two booths in, Challis Primary School and St Mary in the Valley Anglican Church Hall in relatively marginal Kelmscott, and the Labor is holding up okay. The psychological hurdle for them is whether they can stay ahead of their 2008 primary vote.

7pm. After a slow start, 1188 postal votes have been added, and they show no indication of a boilover. My swing figures are based on booth matching, so with only postal votes available there is nothing showing there yet.

6pm. Welcome to live coverage of Western Australia’s Armdale by-election. First results should be in from about 6.30pm. Given the apparent certainty of a Labor win, the points of interest are how their primary vote bears up, and how much the AFL grand final and election fatigue will affect turnout.

Armadale and Araluen and Walter Taylor

Time for a new thread. Politics watchers have had pretty big fish to fry recently, but as electoral minutiae are this site’s raison d’etre, here’s a review of looming events which might have escaped your notice. Feel free to discuss what you’d usually discuss in comments.

• Voters in the safe Labor WA state seat of Armadale go to the polls on Saturday to choose a successor to Alannah MacTiernan, following her unsuccessful stab at the federal seat of Canning. I’m wondering if the date might have been chosen so as not to clash with the AFL grand final, and whether events on that front might result in a very low turnout on Saturday. With the Liberals sitting the contest out and no significant minor challengers emerging, the only other point of interest is how the Labor primary vote holds up with talk building of a threat to Eric Ripper’s leadership. Labor’s candidate is Tony Buti, a law professor at the University of Western Australia. Buti heads a ballot paper filled out by Jamie van Burgel of the Christian Democratic Party, independent John D. Tucak (who had extremely limited success as an upper house candidate for Eastern Metropolitan at the 2007 state election) and Owen Davies of the Greens. More from Antony Green.

• On Saturday week, voters in the Alice Springs seat of Araluen will choose a successor to outgoing Country Liberal Party member (and former leader) Jodeen Carney, who on August 19 announced she was retiring for health reasons. A by-election in the Northern Territory offers interesting parallels with the federal situation, as the Labor government has been on a parliamentary knife edge since the 2008 election returned a result of 13 Labor, 11 Country Liberal Party and one independent. The government assumed minority status when its member for Macdonnell, Alison Anderson, quit to sit as an independent in July 2009 – prompting the existing independent, Gerry Wood of the normally conservative electorate of Nelson, to guarantee Labor on confidence and supply in the interests of “stable government” (there was also a brief period in which Arafura MP Marion Scrymgour was on the cross-benches). As a CLP seat, Araluen gives Labor the remote prospect of improving their position, although the 24.6 per cent margin leaves them with little cause for optimism (it should be noted that election results can be hugely variable in the Northern Territory, where bite-sized electorates make candidate factors crucially important). The CLP candidate is Alice Springs deputy mayor Robyn Lambley, described by Ben Langford of the Northern Territory News as a “mediator and dispute resolution expert”. Labor’s candidate is Adam Findlay, a chef with no background in politics to speak of.

• On October 23, a Brisbane City Council by-election will be held in the ward of Walter Taylor, which has been vacated by Jane Prentice, the newly elected LNP member for the federal seat of Ryan. The LNP have nominated a former policy officer for Prentice, Julian Simmonds, who seems unlikely to be troubled given the 21.0 per cent margin from the 2008 election. Labor’s candidate is Louise Foley, who according to Tony Moore of Fairfax has “worked in the Queensland public service during the Beattie Government as a ministerial advisor in local government, planning, transport, education, main roads and with the office of Premier and Cabinet”. Also in the field are Tim Dangerfield of the Greens and independent William Borbasi. Walter Taylor was one of 16 wards won by Liberal in 2008, with 10 being won by Labor. Lord mayor Campbell Newman of the LNP serves a fixed four-year term regardless of the numbers on council.

Willagee by-election live

Chew (CDP) 1170 6.9%
Tinley (ALP) 9123 53.8% 1.7% 60.0%
Harper (GRN) 5177 30.5% 13.8% 40.0%
Georgatos (IND) 1478 8.7%
TOTAL 16948
COUNTED: 76.8%
BOOTHS (OF 12): 12

Sunday. I’ve identified nine previous by-elections which were contested by Labor and the Greens but not the Liberals – four federal in which Labor was in opposition, and five state in which they were in government. The average result overall was a 0.11 per cent primary vote swing against Labor. In the state by-elections it was 0.9 per cent against Labor; in the federal by-elections it was 0.88 per cent to Labor. Six of the results were worse for Labor than Willagee, while only three were better.

However, I’d argue that one of these by-elections didn’t fit the mould. That was the Isaacs federal by-election in 2000, caused by the death of Greg Wilton. All the others were like Willagee in that they were caused by the voluntary mid-term departure of the sitting member, which demonstrably leads voters to be unhappy with the party concerned. Sure enough, Isaacs was Labor’s best result out of the 10, with their primary vote increasing 8.1 per cent. Take that out of the equation and Labor on average suffered a 1.14 per cent swing overall, or 1.53 per cent against when limited to the federal by-elections conducted while they were in opposition. Only two of eight results were better for Labor than Willagee, against six worse.

8.19pm. It’s in. With the notional two-party result with all booths counted plus (I presume) the evening’s supply of postals and pre-polls, the WAEC’s notional 2CP result is 60.53-39.47. My rough yardstick for the evening had been 50-30-10-10, so Labor can feel pleased, particularly with the psychologically important achievement of having improved their primary vote. My expectation of a Greens primary vote of 30 per cent factored in that it had been an unhappy campaign for them, but their 30.6 per cent is nonetheless a reasonable result that again demonstrates Liberal voters’ willingness to vote tactically. I’m told the Gerry Georgatos campaign had a fairly low profile at polling booths, which probably helps explain the surprising fact that the Greens got more preferences than Labor despite both minor candidates directing against them on HTV cards. Much of his support would have come from Liberals parking their vote with the only available independent and following their normal habit of putting Labor last, and he equally has a support base among natural Greens sympathisers.

8.04pm. I gather we’re still awaiting one booth’s notional 2CP count, and that will be it for the evening.

7.52pm. To clarify, the WAEC’s “2CP count” obviously refers to the full distribution of preferences, which will not be conducted until all the votes are in. They would do better to call it that.

7.45pm. Final two booths, Coolbellup Primary School and Southern Districts Senior Citizens Centre, have reported, respectively giving Labor a relatively poor and relatively good result.

7.43pm. Looks like the Greens are doing quite a bit better on preferences than either I or Antony Green had estimated. With real figures to play with, my 2PP figure for Labor has gone down from 63.0 per cent to 60.4 per cent.

7.37pm. The WAEC have outsmarted me. I had been hitting refresh on their “two-candidate preferred” page and coming up with nothing. It turns out they have a separate page called “notional distribution of preferences”. I will be interested to learn what the distinction between these two concepts is. No polling booth breakdown is offered.

7.33pm. The Greens might have spoken too soon in claiming victory there – 306 to 297 in favour of Tinley. Nonetheless, it’s given them their biggest primary vote swing of 23.0 per cent. Continuing the trend of Fremantle, evidently a lot of Liberals are happy to thumb their nose at Labor by parking their votes with the Greens.

7.32pm. Anglican Church of the Holy Cross Hall in Melville added.

7.25pm. Labor primary vote up slightly at Samson Primary School; just keeping their nose in front in the race to improve on their 2008 primary vote.

7.24pm. Samson Primary School added.

7.19pm. Greens Twitter feed reports they have won the Anglican Church of the Holy Cross Hall, which presumably means on the primary vote. This is Labor’s weakest and the Liberals’ strongest booth in the electorate. The other strong Liberal booth is the just reported Melville Senior High School – with a lot of slack to be taken up here there were solid primary vote swings for both Labor and Greens.

7.18pm. Melville Senior High School and Southwell Primary School added.

7.15pm. Labor vote down 5.1 per cent in Hilton, their weakest result yet.

7.13pm. Hilton Primary School and 933 pre-polls added.

7.08pm. East Hamilton Hill the first polling booth to give the Greens a single figure primary vote swing – however, this was a particularly poor booth for the Liberals, so there was less slack to be taken up. Labor down 2.3 per cent; touch and go whether they’ll break even.

7.07pm. East Hamilton Hill Primary School added. Still no real 2PP results.

7.02pm. Southern Districts Senior Citizens Centre (Drive-in) sees a lot more business this time around – 126 votes compared to 18.

6.59pm. Labor down slightly in both, Greens up 13.0 per cent and 17.9 per cent.

6.58pm. Caralee Community School and North Lake Senior Campus added.

6.52pm. Phoenix Primary School in – Labor down 3.6 per cent, Greens up 11.7 per cent.

6.48pm. All three sources have Labor up on the primary vote, though by wildly varying amounts. Same goes for the Greens – if their increase in Palmyra from 16.4 per cent 35.8 per cent is typical of the polling booth results, they will make up a lot of ground from the present scoreline.

6.47pm. 1658 postal votes added (this won’t be all of them).

6.46pm. Palmyra Primary School booth added.

6.35pm. A note of explanation. Vote numbers and the percentage figures to their right are raw votes. The swing and 2PP figures are derived through booth matching, so Tinley’s primary vote from special institutions and hospitals is 22.4 per cent higher than Carpenter’s was. The 2PP figure is based on a guesstimate that Liberal preferences would have gone 80-20 in favour of the Greens in 2008, and that this time CDP preferences will go 70-30 to Labor and Georgatos’s will split 50-50. On that basis, there has been a 25.2 per cent swing to Labor from special institutions and hospitals in Labor-versus-Greens terms. The CDP and Georgatos preference splits I’m using will be superseded by real preference splits when notional two-party figures start to come in.

6.31pm. Special institutions and hospitals are in. Good enough for me – I’m calling it for Tinley.

6.10pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Willagee by-election count. First figures should be through in about 15 minutes or so.