Tasmanian upper house: Nelson, Pembroke, Montgomery

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

Live commentary

8.34pm. Still a few booths to come in from Nelson, but I’m ready to summarise and wrap it up for the night. In short, the Liberals retained Montgomery, and did so off a better result than they managed at the 2016 election; Labor retained Pembroke, and ditto (although their primary vote was lower). In Nelson, what we have at this stage is votes widely scattered between ten different candidates, and little idea of knowing what might happen when preferences are distributed – although Kevin Bonham, who knows a lot more about how preferences behave in these elections, thinks it unlikely that the Liberal will win. The seat will more likely be won by one of two independents (Vica Bailey or Meg Webb), neither of whom is former Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie.

8.03pm. All booths in but the mobile one in Montgomery, plus a batch of postals, and here Liberal leads Labor 43.2% to 25.8%. And again for what it’s worth, the booths here went Labor 41.8%, Liberal 39.6% at the 2016 federal election.

7.58pm. The count has been quick in Pembroke – all polling booths in plus a batch of postals. Labor leads Liberal 45.7% to 24.8% — for what it’s worth, the booths here went Labor 50.0% and Liberal 35.9% at the 2016 federal election.

7.38pm. Montgomery. Leonie Hiscutt is looking good now, on a number of fronts. She has done well in three newly added town booths, essentially maintaining her 2013 vote after falling by around 6% in the rural booths, where she lost votes to Shooters Fishers and Farmers. My projection for her is up to 41.4%, and I’m now inclined to think she will do well on Shooters preferences, if these are voters who supported her formerly. Furthermore, the town booths have put Labor well ahead of independent Cheryl Fuller, setting a final Liberal-versus-Labor count that Labor can’t win.

7.34pm. Nic Street keeps falling in Nelson, now down to 24.0% with nine booths in out of 13.

7.33pm. Nineteen booths out of 29 from Montgomery, and there’s a big disconnect between Leonie Hiscutt’s raw 45.7%, which looks safe for her, and the 6.2% drop in her primary vote out of those 14 booths that can readily be booth-matched from last time. This partly because Hiscutt has weak booths to come in Ulverstone. The projection suggests around 40%, which could be dangerous for her if independent Cheryl Fuller gets ahead of Labor. However, Labor’s lead in that respect continues to widen, increasing the rate of preferences Fuller will need from Shooters to take the fight up to Hiscutt, if her primary vote indeed ends up as low as I’m projecting it.

7.23pm. Six out of 12 booths in from Nelson, and Liberal candidate Nic Street is down to 26.5%. One vote separates Vica Bailey and Madeleine Ogilvie for second place, though the matter will obviously be decided by preferences. Voters are only directed to number a minimum of three boxes, so with 10 candidates in the field there will be a fairly substantial exhaustion rate. Flows of preferences in these circumstances are an arcane subject on which I can offer little insight.

7.10pm. Labor’s Jo Siejka headed for an easy win in Pembroke, now up 19.6% on her vote in 2017 with two booths in out of 12.

7.05pm. My projections for Montgomery with 15 booths in still have Liberal member Leonie Hiscutt inside 40% on the primary vote, which looks dangerous for her, but there are four booths out of the mix which I’m not booth-matching because they weren’t in use in 2013, and those are stronger for her. Labor has pulled into second ahead of Cheryl Fuller, so it looks like Fuller will need a solid flow of Shooters preferences to make it to second, but for which Hiscutt should be able to hold. However, I’m less clear now that she won’t prevail in a final count between herself and Fuller.

7.03pm. First booth in from Nelson is Sandy Bay Beach. With the vote scattered among ten candidates, this is going to be very difficult to read. Liberal candidate Nic Street is well clear on the primary vote on 30.4%, but preferences will presumably flow heavily against him. Independent and former Labor MP Madeleine Ogilvie is only in third place on 14.2%, the behind Vica Bailey on 15.2%, who perhaps not coincidentally drew first place on the ballot paper.

7.00pm. The first booth in Pembroke, Mornington, looks very good for Labor incumbent Jo Siejka, who scores 55.4% in a booth where she got 41.1% in the 2017 by-election. This is a strong booth for Labor, so I’m projecting it to 47.5%, though that’s still enough for a comfortable victory. The Liberal vote is steady at 21.4%.

6.45pm. Eight booths in now from Montgomery out of 29, and the previous assessment pretty much still holds – Liberal headed for 39%, Fuller’s raw lead over Labor at 20.7% to 18.8%. I should note however that Shooters are on 16.2%, and their preferences may very well keep Fuller ahead of Labor. If Labor makes second, the Liberal (and we’re talking about an incumbent here, Leonie Hiscutt) should win. Otherwise, she risks losing to the independent, Cheryl Fuller.

6.40pm. There are five booths in from Montgomery, and from the four that can be booth-matched, the Liberals would appear to be down 8.1%, which projects to a total of 38%. I’m guessing that would be too low if an independent finished ahead of Labor, and on that score it’s touch and go, with independent Cheryl Fuller on 20.5% to Labor’s 19.7%. My feeling would be though that Labor might pull ahead as larger booths come in.

Overview

Polls have closed for Tasmania’s there upper house elections. To the lay observer, Pembroke and Montgomery may be respectively read as a barometers of partisan sentiment in the south and north of the state, but otherwise these are, psephologically speaking, rather boutique affairs. Live commentary will follow here, but Kevin Bonham will do it better. Precis for the three electorates:

Nelson. Hobart’s riverside southern suburbs around Sandy Bay and the satellite town of Kingston. Jim Wilkinson is retiring after 24 years as independent member, and an uncommonly large field of ten has stepped forward hoping to fill his place. The Liberal Party has a candidate, Nic Street, and Labor has a proxy of sorts in independent Madeleine Ogilvie, which is the opposite of what ususally happens. Both are former members of the lower house – Street got a seat in Franklin on a countback in 2016 when Paul Harriss (a former upper house independent who went lower house and Liberal in 2014) retired, but failed to retain the seat in 2018, and Ogilvie was elected in Denison in 2014 but defeated in 2018, having alienated Labor supporters through her opposition to same-sex marriage. The rest of the field consists of the Greens, Shooters Fishers and Farmers and six further independents.

Pembroke. The Hobart suburbs on the eastern shore of the Derwent River. This has had a particularly partisan record, having been held for Labor by Allison Ritchie from 2001 to 2009; then being won for the Liberals by Vanessa Goodwin at the resulting by-election; and then being won for Labor by Jo Seijka at another by-election in November 2017, held when Goodwin retired after being diagnosed with brain tumours (of which she died on the day of the March 2018 state election). Siejka is opposed by a Liberal, Kristy Johnson; two independents, including Tony Mulder, who held the upper house seat of Rumney from 2011 to 2017, when he was defeated by Labor’s Sarah Lovell; another independent, Ronald Cornish; and Carlo di Falco of Shooters Fishers and Farmers.

Montgomery. Part of Burnie and the coast immediately to its east, including Penguin and Ulverstone. Liberal member Leonie Hiscutt is defending the seat, which she won at the last periodical election in 2013 upon the retirement of Sue Smith, who had held it as an independent for 16 years. She is opposed by Labor’s Michelle Rippon, independent Cheryl Fuller, and Brenton Jones of Shooters Fishers and Farmers.

EMRS Tasmanian federal and state poll

A new Tasmanian poll finds the Liberals struggling at state level, and facing a further adverse swing federally after a poor result in 2016.

Tasmanian pollster EMRS has published its regular quarterly poll of state voting intention, and supplemented it with federal voting intention results – which they will hopefully be making a habit of, since no regular source of published federal voting intention for Tasmania exists. The state results show the Liberals recovering three points after an 11% collapse in the previous poll, leaving them at 39%, while Labor is up one to 35% and the Greens down two to 14%. Labor’s Rebecca White has retained the lead she opened over Will Hodgman as preferred premier in the previous poll, which is now at 46-40, narrowing from 46-38.

The federal results have Labor on 40%, compared with 37.9% at the 2016 election; the Liberals on 33%, compared with 35.4%; and the Greens on 11%, compared with 10.2%. Seat breakdowns with tiny samples suggest Labor would be competitive against Andrew Wilkie in Clark (as Denison is to be renamed) while struggling to retain Bass, but this should naturally be treated with very great caution. The poll was conducted last Saturday to Monday from a sample of 1000.

Also of note from Tasmania was the release this week of a government report on reform to the state’s Electoral Act. This recommends lifting the blackout on press reporting of election news on polling day, which prevented The Mercury reporting a late-breaking story on a Liberal policy to soften gun laws at the state election in March, and giving consideration to public funding for political parties based on electoral performance and a state-based donations disclosure regime, as exist in every other state.

EMRS: Liberal 36, Labor 34, Greens 16 in Tasmania

Will Hodgman’s Liberal government crashes back to earth as Labor’s Rebecca White takes the lead as preferred premier.

The latest quarterly Tasmanian state poll from EMRS finds the Hodgman Liberal goverment slumping back to where it was in late 2016 and throughout 2017, before the surge that delivered it commanding win at the election in March. The Liberal primary vote has crashed to 36%, down from 47% in the previous poll and 50.3% at the election, but most of the dividend is gained by “others”, up six to 14%. Labor is on 34%, compared with 30% in the previous poll and 32.6% at the election, and the Greens are on 16%, compared with 14% and 10.3%. The poll also finds Labor leader Rebecca White seizing a 46-38 lead as preferred premier, after trailing 47-41 last time. The poll was conducted Wednesday to Friday from a sample of 1000.

EMRS: Liberal 47, Labor 30, Greens 14 in Tasmania

A fairly typical post-election honeymoon poll result for Will Hodgman’s Liberal government in Tasmania, which has also laid claim to a seat in the Legislative Council after the recent periodic elections.

EMRS has published its first poll of Tasmanian state voting intention since the March election, and it records the Liberals on 47% (compared with 51.2% at the election and 46% in the pre-election poll in February), Labor on 30% (32.6% at the election, 34% in the last poll) and Greens on 14% (10.3% and 12%). Will Hodgman holds a 47-41 lead as preferred premier, little changed on 48-41 in February. The poll was conducted from May 7 to May 10, from a sample of 1000.

While on the subject of matters Tasmanian, the results for the upper house elections on May 5 have been resolved, and the contested seat of Prosser ended up being a win for the Liberals, who again have a second seat in the chamber after losing Vanessa Goodwin to cancer. The threat to the Liberal candidate, Jane Howlett, appeared to be from independent Steve Mav, but he ended up falling well behind Labor candidate Janet Lambert to be excluded before the final count, at which case he had 5392 votes to Lambert’s 5910 and Howlett’s 6885. With the distribution of Mav’s preferences, Howlett finished ahead of Lambert by 8776 to 7889, a margin of 2.7%.

In the seat of Hobart, independent incumbent Rob Valentine’s re-election has been confirmed by an 11.0% margin over rival independent Richard Griggs, with Valentine recording 11,032 votes to Griggs’ 7051 at the final count.

Tasmanian upper house elections: Prosser and Hobart

Live count commentary and an overview of today’s elections for two seats in Tasmania’s Legislative Council.

Live counting

Prosser results

#
%
Swing
Jane Howlett (Liberal)
4972
26.1%
-20.0%
Janet Lambert (Labor)
4184
22.0%
-15.8%
Steve Mav (Independent)
3765
19.8%
Tony Mulder (Independent)
1847
9.7%
Others
4288
22.5%
Formal
19056
Booths reporting (out of 27)
27

Sunday night. A few more pre-poll, postal and other votes have been added in Prosser, with no more than 421 votes still outstanding. None of this provides any illumination on what we need to know, which is whether Steve Mav can overtake Labor to finish second, and if he can gain enough preferences to overhaul Jane Howlett if so. We won’t know that until next Tuesday, as the TEC apparently has no plans to conduct an indicative preference throw. In Hobart, it has been determined that Rob Valentine has a 61-39 lead over Richard Griggs after preferences.

8.23pm. Prosser: Not quite as good a result for Mav from 1411 postals, but he’s definitely still in the hunt. Hobart: Only one booth outstanding, and the only point of interest is the size of Rob Valentine’s final winning margin over Richard Griggs.

7.59pm. Prosser: Sorell, one of the electorate’s three large booths, has now reported, and the numbers are exactly those provided to Kevin Bonham.

7.54pm. Kevin Bonham again: “I’ve seen a scrutineering sheet from prepoll with prefs of Mav and Mulder estimated to be 60-70% to Liberal and those of Playsted even.” So Howlett will clearly win if Mav doesn’t make it to second place.

Continue reading “Tasmanian upper house elections: Prosser and Hobart”

Once more with feeling: Batman, SA, Tasmania

One last look at last month’s two state elections and one federal by-election.

Now the dust has settled, a considered review of the three big electoral events of March.

Batman

Labor’s win was ultimately more comfortable than it appeared on election, which has fed into the post-election speculation as to what it all means. For what it’s worth, a ReachTEL poll commissioned by a timber industry lobby group two days out from the election came within one point of accuracy on the two-party vote, and found Adani, health and education each recording about 20% on the question of most important campaign issue.

First the basic results:

A table further below zeroes into the count’s two curiosities, the first of which is the extent of Labor’s surge on late counting. The result is broken down into polling day votes, namely ordinary election day votes, provisional votes and (in the case of the 2016 election, to derive the swing) absent votes; pre-poll, which includes both the pre-poll voting centre booths and declaration pre-polls; and postals, which is just postals.

The fact that Labor didn’t do so well on the day has led suggestions that something must have happened late in the campaign to blunt Labor’s momentum, with the most obvious culprit being Labor’s dividend imputation policy. There may certainly be something in this, but the same pattern was evident in lesser degree at the Northcote by-election, at which the Greens’ swing was 1.9% weaker on pre-polls and 4.4% weaker on postals as compared with polling day votes, with the equivalent differences in Batman being 3.6% and 5.8%.

The second notable feature of the result was the disparity between the Labor-loyal northern end of the electorate and the Greens-leaning south. The former area did actually deliver the Greens the gentle swing they needed to win the seat, while the latter swung solidly to Labor – although there remains a 15.1% differential between the two, compared with 21.5% at the 2016 election. The table separately records votes cast north and south of Bell Street, and excludes votes where this cannot be discerned (postals and such).

South Australia

Continue reading “Once more with feeling: Batman, SA, Tasmania”