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Both Antony Green and my system are now calling Churchlands for Labor, as late postals continue to slightly favour Labor, by 140-131 in the case of today’s batch. This increases Labor’s lead to 223, and there can only be a few dozen votes left to add. I’ve now set it so my results display says 100% counted for all seats, which isn’t exactly correct, but it’s less incorrect the guess-timates I had before now.
Agricultural. Yesterday I noted the last count was fairly close between the Nationals and the Shooters, at 14.79% to 13.78%, but today it’s widened to 14.94% to 13.63%.
East Metropolitan. The gap between the Western Australia Party (from 3.15% to 3.23%) and Legalise Cannabis (from 3.12% to 3.13%) at the ABC projection’s Count 19 widened today; Labor wins five seats if it stays open, otherwise one of them goes to Legalise Cannabis. I estimate that 82% of the count is in now, up from 77% yesterday.
Mining and Pastoral. Big progress in the count today, pushing my estimate of the count from 73% to 84%, and it’s looking increasingly like the Daylight Saving Party travesty will indeed play out. At the ABC projection’s Count 22, Shooters have faded from 9.56% to 9.22%, putting them behind both the Nationals on 10.63% and the Liberals on 10.87%. That means the preferences will unfold in such a way that the last two positions will go to the Daylight Saving Party and the Liberals, rather than Shooters and the Nationals. The other four seats go to Labor.
South Metropolitan. Only a little progress in the count today, from about 87% to 89% of my estimate of the final total. But it was slightly favourable to Brad Pettitt of the Greens, who is ahead of the fifth Labor candidate at Count 27 by 6.69% to 6.60%, out from 6.66% to 6.62% yesterday.
South West. With the count progressingly only slightly from around 89.5% to around 91.5%, Labor has fallen back in the game of musical chairs for the last two seats: Legalise Cannabis are on 14.34% (unchanged on yesterday), the Nationals are on 14.30% (up from 14.25%) and Labor are on 14.16% (down from 14.27%).
If you thought Labor had done well enough for one week, think again — today they moved into the lead in what the Liberals might have hoped would be one of their three lower house seats; the ABC projection in the South West upper house region flipped to giving them a fourth seat at the expense of the Nationals in South West; they’re now breathing down the neck of what looked like being the only Greens seat in the upper house, potentially giving them two regions in which they win an unholy five seats out of six; and their aggregate primary vote in the lower house now tops 60%, reflecting their generally improving trend in late counting off what was, to put it mildly, a high base. Fifty-three seats out of 59 in the lower house now looks more likely than not, and their best case scenario in the upper house is 25 out 36.
Lower house count developments:
Churchlands. Yet another bleak day of counting for the Liberals, whose 31 vote lead yesterday has turned into a 214 vote deficit today, with the trends running all one way. All of today’s batches broke to Labor: pre-polls by 787-679, absents by 241-131 and postals by 359-332. If there’s any hope for the Liberals from here, it’s that absents and pre-polls are now pretty much done and that today’s postals will prove an aberration: they have 54.3% out of 4357 postals overall. Labor candidate Christine Tonkin provided a detailed assessment of the situation on her Facebook page.
Nedlands. After a big day of counting, it’s time to stick a fork in this one: Labor’s lead is out from 574 to 1052, after pre-polls broke 1391-1085, absents broke 609-440 and postals broke 198-195.
North West Central. The Nationals lead fell from 244 to 233, but the flood of votes coming in has now reduced to a trickle, suggesting the lead is unlikely to be overturned. Today saw absents break 78-71 to Labor, pre-polls break 91-72 to Labor and postals break 35-20 to the Nationals.
Warren-Blackwood. Today’s postals broke 595-452 to the Nationals, but the diminishing flow of absents (189-119) and pre-polls (138-108) continued to favour Labor, such that their lead reduced only from 654 to 611.
In the upper house, five of the six regions counted around 7% to 9% of what I expect to be the total vote today, the exception being Mining and Pastoral where little progress was made. The situation has proved more fluid than I anticipated, mostly due to the general trend of improving fortunes for Labor, so I offer below reviews of all six regions:
South Metropolitan. The ABC projection’s current call of Labor four, Liberal one and Greens one depends on the Greens candidate, Brad Pettitt, surviving at Count 27, at which he currently leads Labor by just 6.66% to 6.62%. If he drops out here, the result becomes five Labor and one Liberal, matching the currently projected result in East Metropolitan (see below). Over the past two days, Labor’s vote here has risen from 63.1% to 63.8% while the Greens have fallen very slightly, from 6.6% to 6.5%.
East Metropolitan. The gap at the decisive point of the count (Count 19 on the ABC projection) narrowed again today, with Legalise Cannabis up from 3.09% to 3.12% and the Western Australia Party down from 3.16% to 3.15%. If the gap closes, what is currently projected as Labor’s fifth seat goes to Legalise Cannabis instead.
South West. The ABC projection has gone from three Labor, one Liberal, one Nationals and one Legalise Cannabis to four Labor, one Liberal and one Legalise Cannabis — but as was explained in the previous entry, the last two seats will go to any two out of Nationals, Legalise Cannabis and the fourth Labor, and there was and remains nothing in it. As of yesterday, the score at all-important Count 25 was Legalise Cannabis 14.46%, Nationals 14.25% and Labor 14.15%; today it’s Legalise Cannabis 14.34%, Labor 14.27% and Nationals 14.25%. The trend is Labor’s friend — two days ago they were at 13.65%.
Mining and Pastoral. There wasn’t much progress here today, with only 954 votes added. This went against the trend noted yesterday of a narrowing gap at the decisive Count 22, with Liberal up from 10.43% to 10.45% and Shooters down from 9.56% to 9.53%. If the gap stays open, the last two seats go to the Daylight Saving Party and the Liberals; otherwise they go to Shooters and the Nationals.
Agricultural. I’ve had my eye off the ball here, assuming Labor three, Nationals two and Liberal one, but the second Nationals candidate has only a 14.79% to 13.78% lead at the final count over Shooters, with a bit under a quarter of the vote still to be counted.
North Metropolitan. Only here has the situation appeared stable at four Labor and two Liberal.
In the lower house, Churchlands remains seriously in doubt, but the other three I’m still tracking are definitely leaning one way or another. If the latter go as expected, the final result is Labor 52, Nationals four and Liberal two, with one seat going either to Labor or Liberal. Either way, it’s hard seeing the Liberals holding as many seats as the Nationals, notwithstanding the latter’s apparent loss of Warren-Blackwood.
North West Central. A batch of absents broke 64-48 to Labor, cutting the Nationals margin from 260 to 244. There might be enough of them left to gouge a further 100 or so, but there should also be outstanding postals that are all but sure to favour the Nationals.
Churchlands. Today’s counting continued to chip away at the slender Liberal lead, with batches of absents breaking 116-90 and pre-polls breaking 82-88 in Labor’s favour, reducing the margin from 63 votes to 31. There were 2317 formal absent votes here in 2017 compared with only 520 counted so far — if that portends a significant amount of absents still outstanding, their 59-41 split to Labor obviously doesn’t bode well for the Liberals. However, absent voting, being like all election day voting, was down significantly across the board, and numbers can vary from one election to the next due to different polling booth arrangemnets. Furthermore, the Liberals should get a boost from last postals.
Nedlands. A batch of 574 absents were seriously unhelpful for the Liberals, breaking 287-140 and pushing the Labor lead from 427 to a probably insurmountable 574.
Warren-Blackwood. Today’s pre-polls were less bad for the Nationals than previous batches, but still bad enough, breaking 172-102 to Labor, and were compounded by absents breaking 172-102. This inflated the Labor lead from 522 to a probably decisive 654.
In the Legislative Council, around 10% of what is likely to be the final vote was counted today, pushing the progress from around 70% in the case of Agricultural and Mining & Pastoral to around 80% for the others. My in doubt list has grown since yesterday with the addition of South West.
South West. I no longer think a result of three Labor, one Liberal, one Legalise Cannabis and one Nationals “reasonably firm” here, as Labor is in contention for a fourth seat at the expense of one of the latter two. Today’s counting resulted in a surge in Labor’s vote share at the second last count (Count 25 on the ABC projection) from 13.65% to 14.15%, which is just a fraction shy of the 14.29% that would make for a fourth quota. There is almost nothing to separate Labor at this point count from Legalise Cannabis and the Nationals, making it an open question which of the two would miss out if Labor prevailed. Legalise Cannabis’s lead over the Nationals, which was 14.52% to 14.40% yesterday, widened slightly today, to 14.46% to 14.25%.
East Metropolitan. With the count progressing today from around 66% to around 79%, the gap at the decisive point in the count (Count 19 on the ABC projection) narrowed. Yesterday, Legalise Cannabis dropped out here with 3.03%, behind the Western Australia Party on 3.15% — today Legalise Cannabis is up to 3.09%, with the Western Australia Party up fractionally to 3.16%. If Legalise Cannabis stay alive here, they take a seat from Labor in what will otherwise be a result of Labor five, Liberal one.
Mining and Pastoral. The situation here is that the last two seats go to the Daylight Saving Party and the Liberals if, as per Count 22 at the current ABC projection, Shooters drop out behind the Liberals at Count 22, but they go to Shooters and Nationals if the Liberals drop out first. The margin here narrowed today — currently the Liberals are ahead 10.43% to 9.56%, whereas yesterday it was 10.70% to 8.84%. If the remainder goes exactly as today’s batch — and there are all sorts of reasons they might not — Shooters will gain make a net gain of about 800, where the currrent margin is 321.
It was a bad day all round for the conservatives in lower house counting:
Churchlands. The Liberal lead was cut from 206 to 63 as three types of vote broke in Labor’s favour: a batch of pre-polls broke 1633-1556 (the previous batch had split almost exactly 50-50); a batch of postals went 72-70; and the first absents went 189-125.
Nedlands. The latest batch of postals broke 1055-1022 to the Liberals, but less well than the first batch yesterday (50.8% compared to 53.1%), which I suggested at the time was unlikely to be enough. On top of that, the Liberals copped a small but unhelpful batch of pre-polls, which went 200-139 to Labor. Labor now leads by 427, out from 399.
Warren-Blackwood. A remarkably bad day at the office for Nationals member Terry Redman, who went into it with a 270 vote lead and came out with a 522 vote deficit. This resulted from a 1604-812 savaging on the pre-polls, or 66.8% to Labor, compared with 59.3% in the first batch. The first absents also broke 132-81 to Labor.
North West Central.. Labor lead grew by five to 260 as absents broke 82-41 their way, countering a 96-77 advantage to the Nationals on today’s pre-polls and 256-251 on the postals.
In the Legislative Council, I’m not seeing anything to disturb the conclusions I reached about four out of the six regions. In the two that remain in doubt, the odds have shortened on the scenario where the Daylight Savings Party and the Liberals win the last two seats in Mining and Pastoral region, rather than Shooters Fishers and Farmers and the Nationals. But the last seat in East Metropolitan remains hard to call between Legalise Cannabis and Labor. Assuming the former proves accurate, Labor wins 22 seats and perhaps 23 if East Metropolitan goes their way; the Liberals win seven; the Nationals win three; Legalise Cannabis wins one, or two if East Metropolitan goes their way; and the Greens and the Daylight Saving Party get one each.
Mining and Pastoral. There was a flurry of media interest today in the race as the ABC flipped from projecting the Nationals and the Shooters to win the last two seats to the Daylight Saving Party and the Liberals, despite the former having all of 57 votes to their name (I’m quoted on this in this report on The West Australian’s site). Indeed, the odds on this outcome shortened considerably as the vote count progressed from (I estimate) from 47% of what will be the final total to 63%, which as noted in the previous entry depends on whether Liberal or the Shooters drop out at what the ABC calculator identifies as Count 22. Yesterday it was the Liberals who did so, by a margin of 10.0% to 9.6%, but now it’s Shooters by a margin of 10.70% to 8.84%.
East Metropolitan. With the count progressing from 51% to 66%, the crucible of the count as projected by the ABC remains Count 19, where Legalise Cannabis is projected to drop out with 3.03% versus 3.15% for the Western Australia Party. If this gap remains, the final result will be five Labor and one Liberal. But if Legalise Cannabis remains in the hunt, its preference snowball will continue and it will ultimately win a seat at the expense of Labor’s fifth.
My live counting facility had the day off today (by which I mean Monday), but it’s back on now. Rather considerable progress was made, with the total primary vote going from around 650,000 at the close on Saturday to 934,605. The two-party count advanced still further, since many booth results remained unreported on Saturday night – although the WAEC has removed the two-party results for all but the five in-doubt seats from the systems. This means the statewide projected two-party vote on my entry page now means very little, as the only numbers it’s working off are for those five seats.
To summarise the day’s progress in the five in-doubt seats:
North West Central. My call on this has flipped from Labor gain to Nationals retain, because a) 1860 pre-polls were added today and favoured the Nationals 1098-762, converting an 81 vote lead for Labor into a 255 vote lead for the Nationals, and b) there were issues with my earlier projection which no longer apply because I have switched off booth-matching and am going off raw results. The issues were an error in my historic data that was causing the projected Labor swing to be exaggerated, and a failure to account for the fact that a bigger share of the late vote will be postals this time and a smaller share will be absents, the latter having been strong for Labor in this seat in 2017.
Carine. Labor looks to have closed the deal here, with a lead of 2.3% or 941 votes. This follows the addition today of the outstanding two-party booth votes; 5017 pre-polls, which broke 2661-2356 to Labor, giving them 53.0% compared with 51.1% out of the 3625 that were counted on election night; and the first batch of 1529 postals which failed to do the Liberals any good, breaking 768-761 to Labor.
Churchlands. The Liberals have opened up a 206 vote lead here after trailing by 54 votes on election night. The booth two-party vote was already complete; today’s additions were 1602 postals, which broke 927-675 to the Liberals, or 57.9% compared with 53.9% out of the 1922 counted on election night; and the first 2363 pre-polls, which broke 1187-1176 to Liberal.
Nedlands. Labor’s lead here increased from 220 to 399 due to the addition of 4833 pre-poll votes which broke 2508-2325, about the same ratio as the election night batch (51.9% to Labor compared with 51.1%). Also added were the first batch of postals, which broke 590-521 to the Liberals (53.1%) — good, but not quite as much as they will probably need.
Warren-Blackwood. The Nationals hold a lead of 270, which outstanding postals are likely to widen, although Labor can hope to claw back around 200 on absents. However, Labor did extremely well on today’s pre-polls, which broke 1038-711 their way (59.3%) compared with a 1725-1589 split in the Nationals’ favour (52.1%) of those counted on election night. I imagine though that that’s the significant pre-poll vote accounted for.
About half the primary vote has been counted in four of the six Legislative Council regions, with North Metropolitan and South West a little more advanced at around 60%. Lord knows I may be missing something, but the results look reasonably firm to me in North Metropolitan (four Labor and two Liberal), South Metropolitan (four Labor, one Liberal, one Greens), South West (three Labor, one Liberal, one Legalise Cannabis and one Nationals) and Agricultural (three Labor, two Nationals and one Liberal, although Shooters might get a look in at the expense of a National or the Liberal if their collective vote crashes for some reason). That leaves question marks over:
East Metropolitan. In my Saturday night overview I noted the potential for Labor to win a scarecely believable five seats here, which is indeed what the ABC projection now shows. However, this comes down to a fine point at Count 19, at which Legalise Cannabis is projected to drop out with 3.26% behind the Western Australia Party on 3.30%. If this very narrow gap is closed, they get Greens preferences ahead of Labor and Legalise Cannabis win a seat; but if they don’t, Greens preferences elect Labor’s number five, one Robert Green.
Mining and Pastoral. The ABC projection has consistently said four Labor, one Nationals and one Shooters (and, yes, zero Liberals). However, if Shooters drop out after Count 22 rather than Liberal — and it’s currently a close run thing at 10.0% to 9.6% — the Nationals miss out too, because the unlocking of the Shooters’ accumulation would deliver the last two seats to the Daylight Saving Party (receiving preferences directly from the Shooters) and the Liberals (whom Australian Christians and One Nation have ahead of the Nationals). The perversity of a Daylight Saving win here, off a current primary vote total of 43 votes out of 24,235 so far counted, has been widely noted.
Taken together, that gives Labor 22 seats and potentially 23; the Liberals six and potentially seven; the Nationals three and potentially four; Legalise Cannabis one and potentially two; the Greens one; and Shooters potentially one.
Elsewhere, I had a paywalled piece in Crikey today that hunted for angles that hadn’t been done to death elsewhere, and found them in the persistence of micro-parties and the strong performance of YouGov, the only pollster that had published polling appear during the campaign. I would also note the observation of local journalist Gareth Parker on the ABC’s Insiders that Labor didn’t believe the strength of its internal polling, which proved in the event to be accurate.
YouGov achieved about the best thing any pollster can hope for, which was to publish seemingly unbelievable results that turned out to be right. Effectively a newcomer on the Australian polling scene, YouGov’s hands are clean of the 2019 federal election debacle, and its scorecard so far consists of an acceptable result in Queensland and an excellent one in Western Australia.
I also roused my self from post-election night exhaustion on Sunday to discuss the result with Ben Raue at The Tally Room, which you can listen to here: