Queensland election endgame

The result, barring big surprises at the eleventh hour: Labor 48, LNP 39, Katter’s Australian Party three, One Nation, Greens and independents one apiece.

The ECQ now has “two candidate results after distribution of preferences” for 77 out of 93 seats, with the only theoretically doubtful ones outstanding being Thuringowa and Mundingburra, where the chance of One Nation victories is being used by Tim Nicholls to justify not conceding defeat. Failing that, Labor will emerge from the election with 48 seats out 94, which is exactly what they notionally went in with, based on 2015 election results adjusted for new boundaries in a parliament enlarged from 89 seats, and ignoring seats lost through carelessness and misfortune. However, it has got there in a roundabout way, compensating for losses in the regions with wins in the city.

Partly this was a correction after 2015, when Labor performed strongly in the regions to pick up historically tricky seats like Maryborough and Bundaberg, while falling short in bellwether city seats. It’s also to do with changing preference flows, for which the government’s decision to reintroduce compulsory preferential voting played a substantial part. In regional seats where Labor-versus-LNP data is available for comparison, the LNP received 53% of all minor party preferences this time, compared with 2015 results of 41% for Labor and 17% for the LNP, with 42% exhausting. This was certainly enough to cost Labor victory in Burdekin, and perhaps also Whitsunday (although the preference flow there was almost even).

Continue reading “Queensland election endgame”

Queensland election live: week two

With counting set to drag into a second week, Labor remains on the precipice of majority government.

Tuesday, December 5

Hetty Johnston has conceded defeat in Macalister, which would seem to remove the final obstacle to Labor’s 47 seats, with Townsville still outstanding. Only a handful of votes were added to the count there today, but there is talk in comments that Labor scrutineers believe they have a lead of over 100 votes.

Monday, December 4

A second batch of absents in Townsville has been better for the LNP than the first, breaking 244-240 to Labor rather than 520-428. Since my projection of these votes had been based on the behaviour of the first batch, this eliminates the gain I was projecting Labor to make on late counting, such that my projected final outcome is no different from my estimate of the two-party preferred result. I’m still projecting a little more than 1000 votes to come, but this is based on patterns from 2015 that may not repeat this time. So the only thing to be said about this is that it’s right down to the wire, as far as I can tell. The correctness of my assumption relies on preferences from votes counted after the ECQ turned off two-party counts on Tuesday (of which there have been 3103) behaving the same as those from before (of which there were 24,981). The two groups of votes behaved almost identically on the primary vote, so there is no obvious reason to think that they won’t.

Elsewhere, it’s the same story as before, with everything depending on preference distributions that we can’t yet see. It’s looking hopeless for Labor in Maiwar, with a 51-vote deficit against the Greens set to be compounded by independent preferences. The shortfall Hetty Johnston needs to cover on preferences in Macalister continues to widen slowly, now at 3.5%, although that would have to be about it.

Friday, December 1

With a week’s worth of counting completed, there is still a wide zone of uncertainty surrounding the Queensland election result that will linger until Tuesday. In the race to 47, Labor appears to start on an assured 45 (subject to a few qualifications noted at the bottom of the post), or 46 if you include Rockhampton like everyone else is doing. It seems more likely than not that Macalister will put them on the top, and the chance of an extra layer of icing was increased by today’s counting in Townsville. The LNP starts on 39, can make that 40 if they make it Townsville, and then 41 if they don’t lose Hinchinbrook to Katter’s Australian Party, which remains an unknown quantity.

In Townsville, 990 absent votes have been added, which I’m taking to be about half the total based on there being 1829 of them at the 2015 election. I had been projecting these to break 51.5-48.5 to the LNP, but my two-party estimate actually has them going 54.9-45.1 to Labor. With 423 various other types of vote added to the count over the past few days breaking almost evenly, my two-party estimate has Labor all of five votes in front. I’m projecting that to grow to 75 – but, this is based on the assumption that the outstanding absent votes will behave the same way as those that have already reported, and absent votes characteristically vary significantly between different batches as they come in from different areas. My projection:

In Maiwar, various types of non-ordinary vote were added to the count haven’t changed the situation: the Greens lead by four, and stand to gain 150 to 200 when the independent’s preferences are distributed. With less than 1000 votes likely still to come, Labor’s only hope would seem to be an error turning up.

There can only be a handful of votes left in Macalister, and the situation is basically unchanged, with the LNP leading Hetty Johnston by 3.4% in the race for second, and Johnston needing the 13.5% to be distributed as preferences to close the gap, in which case she will beat Labor on LNP preferences. Johnston herself says it’s more likely than not she won’t make it, but no one seems to know for sure.

Finally, a piece in Inside Story by former Age journalist Tim Colebatch identified a few possibilities for One Nation boilovers that others have overlooked or discounted. One was Thuringowa, where One Nation could win if LNP and Katter’s preferences are particularly tight, although I suspect Colebatch is overlooking the fact that LNP had One Nation last on preferences here. The other was Rockhampton, in the event that Labor fails to get a solid flow of Margaret Strelow’s preferences (though Strelow herself seems to be well informed about the count, and hasn’t mentioned this as a possibility.

Queensland election live: day two

Evolving coverage of the long and winding aftermath of Queensland election night.

Thursday morning

I’ve now taken Gaven, Cook and Burdekin off my watch list, the first two credited to Labor, the latter to the LNP (see below for further detail on Burdekin). That gets Labor to 45, which then becomes 46 if Margaret Strelow is right to have conceded defeat in Rockhampton, which she presumably is (more on that below also). To get to 47, Labor would need one out of the following: to retain Macalister, which will happen if independent Hetty Johnston can’t close a 3% gap against the LNP on preferences (which I would rate somewhat likely); Townsville, which is going down to the wire with Labor very slightly behind; and to be the beneficiary of Scott Emerson’s defeat in Maiwar, which seems somewhat more likely to go to the Greens. The ABC computer is predicting 48 for Labor, but I’m not sure why, because it only projects them with leads in 47.

The latest iteration of my results table looks as follows, with explanatory notes to follow:

Rockhampton

The big news of the day was independent Margaret Strelow’s concession that she is not going to win, contrary to most back-of-envelope projections to this point. The kicker is apparently a very tight 60% flow of preferences from the LNP to the One Nation, which will cause the latter to overtake Strelow at the second last exclusion, by a fairly comfortable margin of around 400 votes on my reckoning. One Nation would need about 55% of Strelow, LNP and Greens preferences to overtake Labor, and evidently Strelow’s are favouring Labor enough that this is not going to happen. It seems a full preference count will be conducted today.

Macalister

The count here seems unusually advanced, so there will presumably not be much change to the current results – which is good for independent Hetty Johnston, who has been getting smashed on postals. The key to the situation is the LNP’s 26.66% to 23.33% lead over Johnston, which she needs to close to poach the seat from Labor. The sources of the preferences will be the Greens on 6.54% and three minnows on 6.82% between them. Out of a three-way split of preferences, Johnston’s share will need to be about 25% higher than the LNP’s. Buried deep in a typically eyeroll-inducing report from the Courier-Mail is the news that Labor is very confident that this won’t happen.

Townsville

Not much progress in the count yesterday, with 90 postal votes breaking about evenly, and Labor clawing back about 30 on rechecking of booth votes. I still have the LNP a few dozen votes ahead, but there are perhaps 2000 absent votes that are yet to be counted, which might turn up something for Labor – though they were in fact slightly favourable to the LNP in relative terms in 2015. The same goes for maybe 700 outstanding out-of-district pre-poll votes. Also to come are around 600 declared institution, polling day declaration and uncertain identity votes, whose idiosyncrasies cancelled each other out last time.

Maiwar

All that was added yesterday were 130 postals, which increased the Greens’ primary vote lead from 37 to 43. Still to come: about 1500 absent votes, which are historically strong for the Greens; about 400 out-of-district pre-polls; a trickle of postals and 200 or so odds and sods. With scrutineer talk of a strong flow of Greens preferences out of the 737 votes for independent Anita Diamond, Labor will need to do extremely well on the outstanding count to get their nose in front.

Burdekin

My projection that the LNP would pull away here is looking pretty good after 652 postals were added to the count yesterday, breaking 430-222 to the LNP if preferences behaved as before. I’m projecting a 637 vote LNP win, and while this is probably inflated by an overestimate of the number of outstanding postals, I’m no longer regarding it as in doubt.

Hinchinbrook

Not really anything to follow here, as we won’t know the real situation until the preference distribution. However, it looks very much to me like One Nation’s narrow lead over Katter’s will be eliminated by Labor preferences, and that Katter’s will then ride home over LNP member Andrew Cripps on One Nation preferences. That’s unless Labor gets a strong flow of preferences from independent Peter Raffles and the Greens (3.04%), in which case Labor will close a 21.02% to 18.83% deficit against Katter’s, causing the latter to be eliminated in fourth place. In this case, there would need to be a Labor preference share around 30% higher than that to the KAP – plausible in the Greens’ case, but there doesn’t seem any reason to think preferences from Raffles, who wants statehood for north Queensland, will not go strongly to Katter. As top candidate on the ballot paper, some of Raffles’ vote would be of the donkey variety, and that vote won’t harm Katter’s.

Continue reading “Queensland election live: day two”

Queensland election live

Live commentary on the count for the Queensland state election.

10.31pm. The LNP has a good batch of 4658 votes on the way in Pumicestone, having performed strongly on the primary vote in the main pre-poll booth (a 34.7% to 32.7% lead, compared with a 36.3% to 29.3% lead to Labor overall). So Labor’s raw two-party lead of 309 may not hold for long.

In Pumicestone, the LNP has a primary vote lead in the main pre-poll booth, which has yet to come through on two-party preferred.

10.12pm. Now absolutely lineball in Gaven.

10.06pm. “Not a done deal”, says independent Margaret Strelow of her bid for Rockhampton, which I’ve been inclining to think will succeed.

9.49pm. So let’s try yet again. Labor has surely gained Aspley and Redlands. It leads in Gaven and Pumicestone; a lot hinges on a Pumicestone pre-poll result that should come through shortly. Either Labor or the Greens should win Maiwar. It has surely lost Bundaberg, presumably lost Rockhampton and Mirani, and I would think likely to lose Burdekin. I have no idea at all about Thuringowa, but Labor rep Steven Miles sounds confident. If all go, another two losses will cost them their majority, plus one for each they don’t win out of Gaven, Pumicestone and Maiwar. Such losses might be suffered in Cook or Macalister, and the latter seems unlikely.

9.39pm. Torres Strait Island booths perhaps saving Labor in Cook, their primary vote up from about 33% to 39.3%.

9.31pm. Labor’s precarious leads in Gaven and Pumicestone narrowed in the latest updates.

9.29pm. Antony Green is putting a somewhat higher likelihood on a hung parliament than I have been.

9.07pm. So now Bonney is only a maybe, let’s go round again. Labor gains: Aspley and Redlands. Possible further Labor gains: Gaven, Bonney and Pumicestone. Losses: Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Mirani, maybe Thuringowa and Cook, probably not Macalister. So there’s three they could win, three they could lose, and they’ll scrape a majority together if they win half of them.

9.04pm. Antony wasn’t kidding: Bonney pre-poll booth went 58-42 to LNP, and now it’s lineball.

8.58pm. Antony notes that the addition of large pre-poll booths in the Gold Coast seats, importantly Gaven and Bonney, could shake things up there.

8.51pm. The ABC now has Labor tipping into a slight lead in Pumicestone.

8.50pm. Another seat I’ve neglected due to my focus on a potential Labor majority is Hinchinbrook, which the LNP might lose to Katter’s Australian Party.

8.44pm. South Brisbane closer than I realised.

8.38pm. And now I’ve overlooked Burdekin, a technical Labor seat that’s a three-way heat on the primary vote. Labor only wins if One Nation comes third and delivers them a majority of preferences, which Labor can hope to happen because they have directed them their way.

8.31pm. Scratch that — I had overlooked Redlands. So Labor has probably four gains, maybe a fifth, perhaps six if it’s they who win Maiwar. Against that, four losses seem likely, and two possible. So it’s only the worst case scenario that costs Labor a net two seats and their majority.

8.19pm. The big question to me seems to be whether Labor gets a majority, so I’m tending to downplay features of the count such as the LNP’s apparent loss of Noosa to independent. With a net loss of two to cost them their majority, it now seems clear they will add to that Aspley, Bonney and probably Gaven; Pumicestone, which on this metric is an LNP seat, is too close to call. If they don’t win Pumicestone, the question is, do they lose five seats? It’s happened in Bundaberg and, it seems, Rockhampton. They seem to me at serious risk of losing Mirani and Thuringowa to One Nation. So if all that’s right, Labor needs to hang on in both Cook and Macalister if they don’t win Pumicestone, and either if they do. Caveat: I’m probably missing something.

8.18pm. Cook looks complicated, and not to be called. Labor 32.4%, One Nation 21.3%, Katter’s 20.0%, LNP 19.6%. Could go Katter’s or One Nation if the stars align.

8.15pm. Labor can no longer be regarded as home in Pumicestone either, so the potential window for minority status is a little wider now.

8.13pm. There was a lot of money late in the campaign on Hetty Johnston in Macalister, and it now emerges she is indeed a show of reducing the LNP to third, and overtaking Labor on preferences.

8.00pm. Thinking through the Labor situation again. Labor starts on 48 seats out of 93, a majority with one to spare. Gains: Aspley and Redlands. Possible gains: Bonney, Gaven, Maiwar. Losses: Bundaberg, Rockhampton. Possible further losses to One Nation: Mirani and Thuringowa. So there is a path to minority status there if everything goes wrong, but it’s a narrow one.

7.57pm. Labor has just poked ahead in Mundingburra on the ABC projection. It was earlier calling it for the LNP, which was another result that didn’t seem to gel.

7.45pm. The ABC has also retracted its call of Chatsworth for the LNP; and it now has Labor back in front in Bonney. Labor has almost certainly won Pumicestone, Redlands and Aspley; are in the hunt in Gaven; will win Maiwar if the Greens don’t. But they have lost Bundaberg (ABC says Pumicestone too but I think that’s wrong) to the LNP, Rockhampton to an independent; and they could lose Mirani to One Nation. I think they are now safe from One Nation in Maryborough and Thuringowa. They are apparently safe in South Brisbane. There are some confusing calls on the ABC computer that I don’t trust; if I’m right about those, I’m not seeing where Labor falls below 48.

7.44pm. A turn for the worse for Labor in Gold Coast counting: the ABC has gone back on its call of Theodore for Labor, Bonney is being called a notional LNP retain, and the Labor lead in Gaven has all but vanished.

7.43pm. The LNP is looking good to hold marginal Whitsunday, despite One Nation preferencing against them.

7.40pm. Pretty sure the ABC’s call of Murrumba for the LNP is a bug. The call of Callide for KAP appears to be based on a redundant two-party count, as the KAP is running fourth on the primary vote.

7.39pm. And now Aspley, where early results were discouraging for Labor, is lineball as well.

7.38pm. Labor are starting to find the seats they need: well ahead in Redlands.

7.36pm. The ABC making some big calls for Labor on the Gold Coast: Gaven and Theodore.

7.34pm. So Maiwar could go either Greens or Labor, but not LNP.

7.32pm. Independent Sandra Bolton perhaps coming from nowhere (to me at least) and perhaps winning Noosa, with less than 5% counted. South Brisbane still close.

7.28pm. One Nation looking better in Thuringowa: Katter preferences should get them over the LNP, and LNP preferences might then do it for them. So I’m seeing potential One Nation ones in Mirani, Maryborough and now Thuringowa, all at the expense of Labor. With Labor also looking to lose Bundaberg, they will need to find at least a handful of seats in the south-east. I’m seeing three so far — but the situation is, to say the least, fluid.

7.26pm. Was about to say I didn’t trust the ABC’s call of Mundingburra for the LNP, and it’s now switched to Labor ahead. This looks like a fizzer for One Nation.

7.19pm. ABC computer now calling Maiwar, Chatsworth and Glass House for Labor. But they’re losing Bundaberg to the LNP, and trailing One Nation in Maryborough and possibly Mirani.

7.18pm. Tim Nicholls cutting it fine in Clayfield: 27.8% counted, 6.0% swing, 6.6% margin.

7.16pm. The ABC’s call of Callide for KAP is, I think it’s fair to say, a false alarm.

7.15pm. ABC calling Bundaberg an LNP gain from Labor.

7.12pm. Some encouraging signs for Labor on the Gold Coast: big swing in unwinnable Broadwater, early lead in Gaven.

7.11pm. LNP looking good in Lockyer, Condamine, Gregory, Hinchinbrook and Nanango, and they should be okay in Gympie. Mirani and Maryborough might go to One Nation, but I’m not seeing any others.

7.08pm. ABC computer calling Maryborough for One Nation. However, this is based on a very small number of two-party votes (492 of them), when Labor is well ahead on the much more advanced primary vote count.

7.06pm. Good early result for Labor in Chatsworth, defying my earlier talk of a subdued swing in LNP-held seats in Brisbane.

7.04pm. A close three-way result in Burdekin. If Labor goes out, LNP wins. If LNP goes out, One Nation wins. If One Nation goes out, hard to say.

7.03pm. With 7% counted, Labor looking precarious in Bundaberg, perhaps to be sunk by preferences from third-placed One Nation.

7.00pm. Steve Dickson doesn’t look like retaining Buderim for One Nation; primary vote looking good for LNP.

6.58pm. Antony Green now confirming solid flow of Labor preferences to LNP in Lockyer.

6.57pm. One Nation have fallen to second in Gympie; could still win Mirani on LNP preferences. The ABC computer is calling Mirani for Labor, but it’s doing so on an Labor-versus-LNP basis. We will have to wait on a preference count tomorrow to know what’s really happening here.

6.51pm. Labor seems to be picking up swings in metropolitan seats it already holds, but not so much in LNP seats: early swing to LNP in Aspley, Mansfield and Redlands, small swing to LNP with over 10% counted in Everton.

6.48pm. Only about 300 votes, but preferences in Lockyer suggest Labor is quite heavily favouring the LNP over One Nation, by 64-36.

6.46pm. With over 10% of the primary vote counted, One Nation still not looking all that strong in Lockyer.

6.45pm. No booths from the town yet, but One Nation leads the early count in Gympie.

6.42pm. First booth in Rockhampton is encouraging for Margaret Strelow: she’s clear of the LNP and could win with their preferences.

6.40pm. One Nation looking dangerous in Mirani: with 6% counted, they’re well clear of the LNP and looking well placed to win on their preferences.

6.34pm. The LNP are ahead of One Nation in Lockyer and Burnett, but it’s hard to work out what preferences are doing.

6.27pm. We have nearly 2000 votes in from places where One Nation would be expected to poll very strongly, and they’re on 23.4%, which is perhaps a bit on the lower side.

6.15pm. More on that Nine exit poll in the Sydney Morning Herald (thanks ltep):

The Nine Network/Galaxy exit poll of 1700 people across 18 seats in metropolitan and regional Queensland suggested Ms Palaszczuk will edge out Liberal National Party leader Tim Nicholls and win 51 seats, enough to form a majority government in the expanded 93-member parliament.

The poll suggested that Labor led the LNP 52-48 in the two-party preferred vote, a result in line with recently published opinion polls; expected Labor losses in regional centres such as Townsville will be offset by gains in the major population centre of south-east Queensland.

6.10pm. An exit poll for Nine predicts a Labor win, but that’s all I can tell you about it. A ReachTEL poll for Sky News apparently has it at 52-48 – I believe this is a regular ReachTEL poll that was conducted today, rather than an exit poll proper.

6pm. Polling has closed, so let the live coverage begin. This being Queensland, we should expect a flurry of small regional booths in fairly shortly.

Newspoll: 52.5-47.5 to Labor in Queensland (and much more)

Newspoll provides more support for the emerging consensus that Labor is likely to get up. Also featured: the situation explained as succinctly as I can (i.e. not very).

UPDATE: The Guardian has an Essential Research poll compiled from its polling over the full course of the campaign, with a sample of 918, which has Labor leading 53-47 from primaries of Labor 36%, LNP 32%, One Nation 15% and Greens 10%. Another Essential poll, of 430 respondents, has the Greens leading Labor in South Brisbane by 36% to 32%, with the result to be decided by preferences from the LNP, on 24% (with 8% undecided).

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We now have concluding results from Galaxy Research in the Courier-Mail and Newspoll in The Australian. These are done the same way by the same company, differing only in their field work dates (Monday to Wednesday for Galaxy, Tuesday to Friday for Newspoll) and sample sizes (1556 and 1834 respectively). The two polls are unlike all others published during this campaign, in that One Nation was only included in electorates where they were running a candidate. This accounts for half the party’s drop in Galaxy, from 18% to 12%, and two out of the three points lost in Newspoll, from 16% to 13%.

Newspoll has Labor’s two-party lead at 52.5-47.5, compared with 52-48 at the start of the campaign. Labor is down one on the primary vote to 36%, but the Greens are up two to 10%, which feeds into Labor’s two-party total. The LNP is unchanged at 34%. Both leaders have gone backwards during the campaign, particularly Tim Nicholls, who is down five on approval to 27% and up eleven on disapproval to 54%. Annastacia Palaszczuk is down one on approval to 40% and up two on disapproval to 47%, and widens her preferred premier lead from 43-33 to 45-31.

The Poll Bludger opinion poll tracker has now been brought up to date, which is to say finalised, with the Newspoll and Galaxy results. The final score: Labor 36.5%, LNP 34.1%, One Nation 13.7%, Greens 9.6%, with Labor leading 52.1-47.9 on two-party preferred. No effort has been made here to allow for the issue noted above in relation to One Nation candidates, so their reading may skew a little on the high side.

Both Newspoll and Galaxy break down their results into south-east Queensland and regional, as ReachTEL did earlier in the week (without the same nuance regarding One Nation). First the statewide results:

Continue reading “Newspoll: 52.5-47.5 to Labor in Queensland (and much more)”

Galaxy: 52-48 to Labor in Queensland

A late poll finds One Nation coming down to earth, and records a small but significant break to Labor in south-east Queensland.

The Courier-Mail has a final Galaxy poll for the campaign, which records Labor maintaining its 52-48 lead of three weeks ago. Beyond that, the main point of interest is a six point drop in the One Nation vote to 12%, with Labor up two to 37%, the LNP up three to 35%, and the Greens steady on 9%.

There are also breakdowns between regional and south-east Queensland, with the former showing support for One Nation at 20%, the LNP on 33% (down from 40.2% in 2015), Labor on 30% (down from 33.9%) the Greens on 5% (down from 5.1%), and the LNP leading 52-48 on two-party preferred (50.9-49.1). In south-east Queensland, Labor leads 54-46, compared with 52.3-47.7 in 2015, from primary votes of Labor 40% (up from 39.5%), LNP 36% (down from 41.9%), Greens 12% (up from 10.2%) and One Nation 8%.

The sample was “more than 1500” – I’m guessing the field work was Wednesday and Thursday.