Victorian election upper house finale

Seventeen days on, the precise configuration of a bewildering Victorian upper house election result will be determined later today.

UPDATE: Results confirmed in the following table. See region entries below for more detail.

The Victorian state election is to reach its final resolution this afternoon when the proverbial button is pressed on the Legislative Council counts. The broad outline of the result is clear in that Labor stands to win probably 17 seats (UPDATE: actually eighteen), up from 14 in 2014, but this will not make their life any less complicated owing to the poor show by the Greens, who went in with five seats and will come with one, or two if they’re lucky. The Coalition, which went in with 16 seats and held 21 seats and a majority when it gained office in 2010, will emerge with a miserable showing of perhaps ten seats (UPDATE: make that eleven). In the middle: a giant herd of micro-party members, the precise identify of which remains to be discerned.

Picking winners from the primary vote tallies and some help from Antony Green’s calculators is less straightforward than it has been in the past, owing to an increase in the below-the-line voting rate from around 5% to 10%. Seemingly assured of victory are three candidates of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, who stand to triple the Greens’ representation, and may win four; and one each from Shooters Fishers and Farmers, Transport Matters, Sustainable Australia, the Liberal Democrats and Animal Justice. On top of that, Fiona Patten of the Reason Party will win if the Justice Party can’t get a fourth seat, and either Transport Matters or the Liberal Democrats will make it to two.

The following review of the situation owes a very great deal to Kevin Bonham, who has been covering the late counting in exhaustive detail.

Eastern Metropolitan

With Greens incumbent Samantha Dunn out of contention, this looks to be a matter of two seats apiece for Labor (Shaun Leane re-elected, Sonja Terpstra gaining a second seat) and Liberal (Mary Wooldridge and Bruce Atkinson re-elected) and the last seat going to a micro-party snowballer – which appears all but certain to be Rodney Barton from Transport Matters.

UPDATE: This has gone expected.

Northern Metropolitan

The one region where the Greens have scored a full quota – a feat that has eluded the Liberals, although they appear set to retain a seat all the same. Labor’s Jenny Mikakos and Nazih Elasmar will retain their seats, leaving one spare for a minor player. That could either involve Fiona Patten of the Reason Party being re-elected, or the seat instead going to Carmela Dagiandis of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party. As Kevin Bonham explains, Patten is depending on preferences from Victorian Socialists, and will only get them if Ratnam reaches a quota before they are excluded.

UPDATE: Patten wins.

Southern Metropolitan

This is the one looming Greens defeat that clearly reflects the injustice of the electoral system, rather than the party’s slide in support in the suburbs. Labor’s Nina Taylor looks set to pick up a second seat at the expense of Greens incumbent Sue Pennicuik, joining a re-elected Philip Dalidakis. Of the three Liberal incumbents, David Davis and Georgie Crozier will be re-elected, but Margaret Fitzherbert appears set to lose her seat to Clifford Hayes of Sustainable Australia.

UPDATE: Confirmed.

South-Eastern Metropolitan

On the left, Labor will gain a third seat from the Greens, with incumbents Gavin Jennings and Adem Somyurek to be joined by newcomer Tien Dung Kieu, and Greens member Nina Springle losing out. On the right, only lead Liberal candidate Gordon Rich-Phillips stands to be re-elected, with second-placed veteran Inga Peulich set to lose to either Ali Khan of Transport Matters or David Limbrick of the Liberal Democrats.

UPDATE: It’s David Limbrick of the Liberal Democrats.

Western Metropolitan

Huong Truong of the Greens appeared to have some chance of clinging on her seat here in a favourable trend in late counting emerged, but it hasn’t. The result here in 2014 was Labor two and one apiece for Liberal, the Greens and the DLP; this time Labor will gain a seat from the Greens, with incumbent Cesar Melham to be joined by newcomers Ingrid Stitt and Kaushaliya Virjibhai Vaghela; Catherine Cumming of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party will take the micro-party seat off the DLP; and lead candidate Bernie Finn will remain the only Liberal.

UPDATE: All correct.

Eastern Victoria

This will likely be a status quo result of Labor two (Jane Garrett making her move from the lower house, Harriet Shing winning re-election), Coalition two (Edward O’Donohue of Liberal and Melina Bath of the Nationals, both incumbents) and Shooters Fishers and Farmers (Jeff Bourman) one. The ABC projection has the Shooters seat instead going to the Aussie Battler Party, but its assumptions involve ideal scenarios for the small players, and the realities of below-the-line voting are likely to thwart them.

UPDATE: And so it has proved.

Northern Victoria

With the Coalition, Labor and the Greens accounting for barely more than two-thirds between them, this region looks set to elect two micro-party candidates, who look like being Tim Quilty of the Liberal Democrats and Tania Maxwell of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party. The other three seats are likely to go two Labor (Mark Gepp and Jaclyn Symes re-elected) and one Liberal (Wendy Lovell re-elected), although there’s an outside chance it will be the other way around, in which case the Luke O’Sullivan of the Nationals will retain his seat.

UPDATE: No late save for Luke O’Sullivan of the Nationals, with Labor gaining a second seat.

Western Victoria

This too looks likely to end with two micro-party winners. The result in 2014 was two apiece for Labor and Liberal and one for Vote 1 Local Jobs; now the Liberals look all but certain to drop a seat, with Stuart Grimley of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and Andy Meddick of Animal Justice taking the last places. Jaala Pulford and Gayle Tierney will be re-elected for Labor; Beverley MacArthur will enter parliament as the head candidate on the Liberal ticket, with second-placed incumbent Joshua Morris losing out.

UPDATE: Confirmed.

Victorian election endgame

A week and a half on, the finishing touches are being applied to Victoria’s rather extraordinary election result.

Saturday morning

Late excitement in Ripon, where contested ballots during a recount appear to have worn away to nothing. The VEC’s communications on the recount have been a bit confusing, but the buzz on social media suggests the Liberals have achieved the tiniest of leads, with the result perhaps to be decided by a single digit margin. The recount is to resume this morning, and is proceeding slowly as every dubious ballot is scrutinised in minute detail.

Thursday morning

My results platform is now fully updated with the latest results, and hopefully more or less works. Many more preference counts have been conducted, but not in the one contest that remains of potential interest, namely Melton.

UPDATE: By latest results, I mean the latest VEC feed. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been reconciled with the preference counts yet.

Tuesday evening

The Victorian Electoral Commission is now a fair way through the preference distributions, and it seems the numbers in the new parliament will be Labor 56, Coalition 26 (Liberal 20 and Nationals six), Greens three and independents three. The one remaining chance for a boilover is Melton, which will presumably be retained by Labor, but they have only 34.9% of the primary vote with the remainder scattered among the field of eleven other candidates. Then is the upper house, which I’m afraid I haven’t been able to give its due over the last week and a bit, but do stay tuned.

Notable results from the resolution of the count:

• Sam Hibbins retained Prahran for the Greens by a 7.4% margin over the Liberals, which he was able to do because he again squeaked ahead of Labor at the last exclusion. At that point in the count, Liberal candidate Katie Allen was on 14,824 (36.7%), Hibbins was on 12,911 (32.0%) and Labor’s Neil Pharaoh was on 12,647 (31.3%). The 264 votes separating Hibbins and Pharaoh compares with 31 votes when the exact same candidates faced the exact same situation in 2014. The difference on that occasion was that Pharaoh landed only 277 votes clear of Liberal incumbent Clem Newton-Brown on the final count – here as in so many other places, the Liberals were not a feature this time.

• Labor won the western Victorian seat of Ripon by just 31 votes, Sarah De Santis finishing with 20,030 (50.04%) over Liberal incumbent Louise Staley on 19,999 (49.96%).

• The vague prospect of an independent win in Benambra did not eventuate, with Liberal incumbent Bill Tilley emerging with a winning margin of 2.4%. Independent Jacqui Hawkins reduced Labor to third place, at which point Tilley was on 19,517 (47.1%), Hawkins was on 11,778 (28.4%) and the Labor candidate was on 10,110 (24.4%). That left Hawkins needing 88% of preferences, and she managed 78%.

In the seats that were being followed closely on the earlier post, Liberal member David Southwick made it home in Caulfield by 205 votes (0.3%); Labor’s Jackson Taylor prevailed over Liberal incumbent Heidi Victoria in Bayswater by 296 votes (0.4%); Labor’s John Ormond Kennedy was a 329 vote (0.4%) winner over Liberal member John Pesutto in Hawthorn; Tim Read of the Greens won Brunswick from Labor by 504 votes (0.6%); and Labor’s Chris Brayne finished 767 votes clear (0.9%) of the Liberals in Nepean.

Victorian election: photo finishes

A closer look at the yet-to-be-decided seats for the Victorian election.

A full display of the election results, with complete booth figures, swings and probability estimates, can be found here. This will be updated with the latest figures at irregular intervals.

Tuesday afternoon

4pm. Ali Cupper has reportedly emerged the winner in Mildura after distribution of preferences by 254 votes.

2pm. No official figures available, but the preference count in Prahran has established that Greens incumbent Sam Hibbins has prevailed over Labor’s Neil Pharaoh, apparently by around 200 votes, with the latter conceding defeat on social media. So the Greens have maintained their lower house status quo of three seats, losing Northcote but gaining Brunswick, although they stand to be gutted in the upper house, where they went in with five and will come out with one or two.

Tuesday morning

Preference distributions will apparently start being conducted today, and it doesn’t seem there are more than tiny handfuls of votes remaining to be cleared up in the primary and two-party counts. So unless the preference distribution process turns up a misplaced bundle, it would seem Labor has won Bayswater and Hawthorn, the Liberals have held on in Caulfield and Ripon, and independent Ali Cupper has scraped home in Mildura. The only significant action in the close seat counts yesterday was in Caulfield, where postals continued to save the day for David Southwick, the latest batch favouring him 145-61 and extending his lead from 338 to 410.

Monday morning

The most interesting development over the weekend from my perch was that 525 postals were added in Mildura, which cut Ali Cupper’s lead from 252 to 189. With the dealine for postals to arrive being tomorrow at 5pm, there will presumably be only one more, smaller batch to go, and very little chance that it will overturn Cupper’s lead. Tiny additions to the vote in Hawthorn and Ripon made no appreciable difference to the situation there, as related in the previous entry. Kevin Bonham has been doing good work following the count in Prahran, where only scrutineers’ reports offer any guidance as to the flow of preferences between the Greens and Labor, which stands to decide the result. Suffice to say that it’s going to be very close. The other potential wild cards when preferences are distributed are Melton and Benambra, which Labor and Liberal respectively have at least some chance of losing to independents. Then there’s the upper house …

Friday evening

Just as my interest in the count was winding down, along comes Caulfield — Liberal member David Southwick led by 1101 yesterday, and trails by 118 today. Southwick is one of three Liberals on very narrow deficits, hoping they might be overturned on the final batch of postals. The damage to Southwick was done on absents — not so much due to the swing, which was actually modest (3.6% to Labor, compared with 7.0% of ordinary votes), but the surprisingly high number cast (5692 as compared with 3130 in 2014). Labor scored over 60%, for a split of 3439-2253. Postal votes have been overwhelmingly favouring Southwick — 2682 to 1030, or 72.3-27.7 — so it will only take a small number of late arrivals behaving according to form to get his nose back in front. But there will very little in it either way.

Provisionals and a handful of pre-polls have made next to no difference in Hawthorn, where the Labor lead goes from 156 to 163. A big day of counting in Ripon (or maybe two — I don’t think I looked closely at the numbers yesterday) has failed to settle the matter — Labor has moved to a razor-thin 73 vote lead due to the latest pre-polls, which they won 2211-2059. There was nothing in it on absents (1296 to Labor and 1289 to Liberal), and Labor made their usual small gain on provisionals (147 to 124).

In Mildura, independent Ali Cupper got a handy 195-144 break on provisionals, cancelling out a 41-22 loss on pre-polls and 20-10 on absents in a race where every vote counts. She now leads by 303 votes, which will presumably be enough.

Friday morning

As the count dries up, the in doubt seats are increasingly looking less so. Labor’s lead in Hawthorn grew from 47 to 156 yesterday, as they gained the edge on absents (281-207), postals (109-86) and pre-polls (27-15). They should gain a bit more when provisionals are added, leaving John Pesutto needing something pretty extraordinary on late postals. Labor’s lead nudged from 236 to 266 in Bayswater, after provisionals broke 120-88 their way and postals went 69-67 to the Liberals. The Greens’ lead in Brunswick grew from 353 to 414 with small additions of absents, postals and pre-polls, at which point you would be pretty much calling it. It no longer seems necessary to continue following Nepean, where Labor leads by 794, or Sandringham, where the Liberals lead by 451. No progress today in Mildura, where independent Ali Cupper leads the Nationals by 281.

Thursday morning

Another good day for Labor overall, who seem to be doing better from votes cast out-of-district, whether as absent votes or pre-polls, than the in-district pre-poll votes that were counted on election night. However, I’m not clear if absent votes are all being added in one hit per electorate, or if further additions can yet be anticipated where results have already appeared. I’m tending to think the latter — since absents are usually the best part of late counting for Labor, a fair bit hinges on this.

In Hawthorn, absent votes turned yesterday’s 235-vote Liberal lead into a Labor lead of 47. Labor got 56.8% out of 2498 absents, above the 53.0% I was projecting. I was also projecting there would be 3792 in total, so I am guessing there are another 1000 or so still out there. These will be decisive if so, but it can’t be said how they might behave — batches of absent votes can behave very differently depending where they were sourced from. The Liberals also got only 50.7% out of 4242 new pre-polls (2150 to 2092) added yesterday, compared with their 56.3% of the first 7148 counted.

Things continue to go Labor’s way in Bayswater, where their lead grew yesterday from 165 to 236. Labor got 55.2% of the absents added yesterday — exactly as I had anticipated, but they were 2705 in total rather than my projected 2054. It was also a good day for Labor in Nepean, where they won a batch of 3673 new pre-polls 1903-1770 — 51.8% compared with their 46.4% from the first 14,903. Labor now leads by 492, and most of the outstanding votes are likely to be absents, none of which have been added, so the balance would seem to be tipping their Labor. My lineball projection as of yesterday is now for a Labor winning margin of 0.5%.

One late counting bright spot for the Liberals is Sandringham, where 4464 new pre-polls behaved very much like the first 9424 in breaking 2489-1975 their way. Furthermore, absent votes were added and while they went 1139-884 to Labor, there were less of them than I was anticipating (2023 rather than a projected 2566). However, I’m not sure if this is all of them or not. In any case, the Liberal lead is now 497, and with only a few scraps still outstanding, this will be hard for Labor to rein in.

The Greens’ lead in Brunswick grew from 218 to 353, but they underperformed my projection out of 2653 absent votes counted in Brunswick, scoring 1475 to Labor’s 1178 — 55.6% compared with my projected 61.8%. However, that’s also about 1000 less than I was projecting, so there are presumably more of these to come. There would seem to be another 2000 of these as well. Labor will need about 56% of what’s to come.

The Nationals have come storming home in Mildura, being overwhelmingly dominant on the small number of absent votes (575 to independent Ali Cupper’s 227), and reversing earlier form to win a batch of pre-polls 870 to 640. This slashed Cupper’s lead from 859 to 281. My earlier judgement was that the number of votes outstanding here was too small for the Nationals to close the gap, and that probably still holds, as I believe there are only a few hundred postals still to come.

Nothing today from Ripon.

Wednesday morning

Labor solidly outperformed my projections yesterday in Bayswater, scoring almost exactly half of 4559 pre-polls added, where they only got 46.1% of the first 8383. They also won 52.1% of 674 postals, after scoring only 39.6% of the 2217 counted on election night, did about as well on absents as anticipated, winning 1132-922. That gives Labor a lead of 165, or 0.2% – with not much of the vote outstanding, my projection has it coming down to 0.1%, but Labor will more likely than not continue outperforming its assumptions.

Better news for the Liberals from Ripon, where 889 postals broke 535-354 to Liberal (60.2% compared with 58.0% in the first 3735) and pre-polls went 393-304 (56.4% compared with 51.0% of the first 3302). My Liberal projection has gone from 49.9% to 50.2%, but here too the number of postals received has exceeded my projection, so if anything it might be understating their chances. That said, the margin is narrow enough that a good pre-poll batch or better than expected show on absents for Labor could up-end it. Swings and roundabouts in Nepean, where the Liberals went below par on yesterday’s postals (360-297 in their favour, or 54.8% compared with 59.2% in the election night batch of 2341), but above par on pre-polls (587-357, 62.2% compared with 53.0% of the first 13,959). Before I was projecting a 134 vote win for Labor, now it’s 26 votes for Liberal.

The Liberal lead in Hawthorn increased yesterday from 53 to 235, but only postals were added, and these were slightly less favourable to the Liberals than those counted on election night, bringing my projected final Liberal margin down from 1.1% to 0.8%. The election night postals went Liberal 1104 (60.4%) and Labor 725 (39.6%), but yesterday’s batch went Labor 1115 (54.3%) and Liberal 937 (45.7%). No further pre-polls have been added, and the outstanding ones may yet surprise in either direction. Then there are absents, which I am projecting Labor to do well on, though evidently not well enough.

The Greens are firming in Brunswick: they won a second batch of postals 442-426, after losing the election night count 950-699, and they won a batch of absents 811-537, exactly the proportion anticipated when I projected them to win by 1.0%.

Tuesday afternoon

Labor leads on the raw count with about a third done in Morwell, but my projection is that this will flip when the outstanding votes are in — Northe is on track to receive about 70% of preferences, in which case he wins 52-48 (I conducted a regression analysis to test whether the existing preference count was representative of the whole, and found that it was). Better news for Labor in Geelong, where Christine Couzens leads Darryn Lyons, and Pascoe Vale, where Lizzie Blandthorn leads Oscar Yildiz 59.0-41.0. In Shepparton, Suzanna Sheed looks seat to emerge with 54% to 55% against the Liberal candidate.

Tuesday morning

With very little counting done yesterday, the chief news is that the Victorian Electoral Commission announced it is conducting new preference throws to indicate the likely winners Morwell (independent versus Labor), Geelong (Labor versus independent), Pascoe Vale (Labor versus independent) and Shepparton (independent versus Liberal), and will publish the results later today. The removal of the two-party numbers from the media feed caused my results reporting facility to conk out, so the figures it show remain those from Sunday.

The only thing I know so far about the new preference throws is that the Pascoe Vale pre-poll count has broken 6059-6008 for Labor’s Lizzie Bladthorn over independent Oscar Yildiz, as related by Richard Willingham of The Age. This suggests the advantage to Yildiz on preferences is only 53-47, in which case Blandthorn would win handily with between 54% and 55%. Independents Russell Northe and Darryn Lyons will respectively need around 72% and 66% of preferences in Morwell and Geelong. The deal in Shepparton is that it’s the Liberals rather than the Nationals who finished second, but unless I’m missing something, it would seem to me that Suzanna Sheed is home and hosed in either case.

The only change in the seven seats where I felt the existing notional counts were following was in Ripon, where a batch of pre-polls broke 587-357 to the Liberals – 63% compared with their earlier 53%. This means my projection has gone from 0.1% in favour of Labor to 0.1% in favour of Liberal. The votes counted totals for the upper house have edged up from the forties to the fifties, but I’m still holding off looking into them in detail.

Sunday night

If you want real detail on the likely course of the late count, Kevin Bonham is your man. For starters, I will content myself with the following projections of how the undecided seats where the correct two candidates have been picked for the notional preference count stand to play out. As explained below, there are methodogical details that one might well think imperfect, but if nothing else, consider it a conversation starter.

This assumes that a) outstanding pre-polls will break the same way as those already counted, and the number outstanding is as indicated by the relevant figures from the Victorian Electoral Commission; b) postals will break the same way as those already counted, with the total number to be counted equal to the total in 2014 adjusted in proportion to the growth in enrolment since that time; c) absent votes will differ from non-absent votes in the same way they did in 2014, with the total number determined the same way as for postals. No account is made for provisionals, which should throw a handful of extra votes Labor’s way.

This makes it clear enough that the Liberals should get home in Hawthorn, Sandringham and probably Bayswater, but Nepean and Ripon will go right down to the wire. The Greens’ traditionally strong showing on absent votes should see them home in Brunswick, and it seems likely independent Ali Cupper will gain Mildura from the Nationals. I was circumspect about this in my post last night, as I expected the Nationals would do well on postals – but it turns out that, for whatever reason, very few postals are cast in Mildura. Indeed, it ranks last in the state for number of postal votes received, according to the VEC’s figures.

Then there are the in doubt seats for which the two-party count doesn’t offer an insight. Prahran will be won by whoever out of Greens incumbent Sam Hibbins and Labor’s Neil Pharoah survives the second last exclusion on preferences, which will be absolutely touch and go. Then there is my watch list of five seats (not counting Mildura) that could potentially be won by independents, as discussed in my previous post. Morwell could stay with Nationals-turned-independent member Russell Northe, and will go to Labor if it doesn’t; the Liberals might lose Benambra; Labor might lose Geelong, Melton and Pascoe Vale.

That leaves Labor with 49 seats nailed down, on top of which they might keep Geelong, Melton and Pascoe Vale, and gain Prahran, Nepean, Ripon and Morwell. The Coalition have 27 seats in the bag, including Hawthorn, Sandringham and (perhaps generously) Bayswater, on top of which they might keep Nepean, Ripon and Benambra. I’m pretty sure the Greens will have Brunswick in addition to Melbourne, and are lineball to keep Prahran. I’m giving Mildura as well as Shepparton to independents, to which it’s at least possible to add another five.

As for the upper house, we’re still at too early a stage in the count for me to be bothered putting my oar in – only election day votes have thus far been counted, and an increasing number of voters have finally got the message about the advisability of voting below the line (requiring the numbering of only five boxes in the case of Victorian state elections). However, it looks fairly clear that there will indeed be a spectacular array of micro-parties on the cross bench, and that the principal casualty of this phenomenon is the Greens.

Victorian election: call of the board

Digging deep into the unexpectedly comprehensive Labor win in Victoria.

A full display of the election results, with complete booth figures, swings and probability estimates, can be found here. No updates will appear today (Sunday).

I believe my election results facility, which after a very slow start is now running almost bug-free (with apologies to the seat of Preston), is the only place where you can find two-party preferred results by booth and vote type – vote type being very important in the context of this election. It also trumps the Victorian Electoral Commission site in having swing results at booth-level, on both primary and two-party. To access these, go to the entry page linked to above and follow one of the electorate links further down the page, where you will find neatly displayed results tables with tabs for toggling between totals, percentages and swings. Note that I have turned off booth-matching for my aggregations and predictions, at least for the two-party vote – my failure to do the same with the primary vote means the swings shown for it are slightly anomalous.

The results display turns up ample evidence of what became apparent as the night progressed, which was that pre-polls and postals very often failed to replicate the massive swings to Labor on election day. This meant the final result, as bad as it was, will not be quite as apocalyptic for the Coalition as earlier booth-matched projections made it appear. Cases in point included Brighton, where a 10.2% election day swing that appeared set to deliver Labor a shock victory was followed by swings of only 2.6% on pre-polls and 1.8% on postals; and Hawthorn, where a 10.8% swing had John Pesutto reading his own obituary on ABC Television, only for him to inch to a 53 vote lead after pre-polls and postals only swung 3.4% and 4.5%.

Another seat where the cavalry arrived late was Caulfield, although alert PB commenter Trent notes what is clearly an anomaly in the result. This relates to the booth of Elsternwick North, where Labor has a higher primary than two-party preferred – a mathematical impossibility that can be readily explained by the party’s two-party results having been entered the wrong way around. On this basis, the Liberal margin would appear to be 1.8% rather than 2.9%, although that should be enough for David Southwick after his early fright.

A particularly interesting feature of the result is that the gap between early and election day polling swings was very much a phenomenon of the affluent areas nearer the city. Late counting did little to diminish the swathe Labor cut through the eastern suburbs, which took in Burwood, Mount Waverley, Ringwood and Box Hill. The one exception to this picture was Bayswater, where Heidi Victoria suffered only a 1.5% swing on pre-polls compared with 6.5% on ordinary votes, and ended the night 72 votes in front. In Labor’s other clear gain, the Geelong region seat of South Barwon, pre-polls actually swung quite a bit more heavily than election day votes — 12.6% compared with 7.5%. Nor was pre-poll voting any less harsh on the Liberals in the sandbelt seats, which have delivered Labor stunning margins of 11.9% in Bentleigh, 11.7% in Carrum, 12.3% in Mordialloc and 9.5% in Frankston.

The least unexpected of Labor’s gains was the heavily over quota electorate of Bass, the story of which is told by the suburb of Clyde: in 2014 had one booth which went 376-165 to Liberal, while in 2018 it had two booths that collectively went 1318-932 to Labor. Still in doubt are Bass’s near neighbour, Nepean, where Labor holds a 1.0% lead after swings of 11.3% on the ordinary vote and around 6.0% on pre-polls and postals; Sandringham, where the Liberals now lead by 1.0% and should have the advantage on remaining postals; and Ripon, a Labor target seat where the Coalition performed well above the norm, as they did in Eildon and Euroa, which have in common being regional seats defended by female sophomores.

As usual, it’s been a nerve-wracking election night for the Greens, who are now holding out for their traditionally strong showing on absent votes in a number of seats (to say nothing of the upper house, which I will defer for a later time). This will presumably be enough to keep Ellen Sandell safe in Melbourne, where she leads by 1.2%, and could well allow Tim Read to close his 72 vote gap over Labor’s Cindy O’Connor in Brunswick. However, the Greens have failed to replicate their by-election win in Northcote, and had a rather poor result in Richmond, despite the Liberals making life easier for them by declining to field a candidate. Prahran was a particularly pronounced example of the Liberals doing better on pre-poll and postals voting in inner urban areas, which removed the possibility of their being excluded in what earlier looked a three-way dead heat on the primary vote. So the winner will be whoever finishes second out of Greens incumbent Sam Hibbins (28.3%) and Labor’s Neil Pharaoh (29.6%).

Aside from Shepparton, which was easily retained by Suzanna Sheed, the following seats have independents somewhere or other in the mix:

Mildura. My model says independent Ali Cupper’s 1.3% margin is enough, but it’s not sufficiently cognisant of how well the Nationals tend to do on postals.

Morwell. Labor’s Mark Richards has the edge in the two-party count against the Nationals, but this is redundant as Nationals-turned-independent member Russell Northe will clearly run second. He must then chase down a 34.2% to 20.0% deficit on the primary vote with mostly conservative preferences.

Benambra. The two-party count was Liberal versus Labor, but the potential for interest here lies in the potential for independent Jacqui Hawkins (16.8%) to get ahead of Labor (17.6%) with preferences from independent Jenny O’Connor (12.9%) and then ride home over Liberal incumbent Bill Tilley (40.3%).

Geelong. Independent Darryn Lyons is a clear second on 25.2% to the Liberal’s 20.2%, and Labor incumbent Christine Couzens’ 40.3% is low enough that she might have to worry.

Melton. An exquisitely complicated contest in a normally safe Labor seats which, in which Labor had a retiring member and a late substitute after their original candidate withdrew. There are twelve candidates, most of whom appear to have at least some sort of following locally, and the Labor primary vote is only 34.3%. If preferences from the first eight excluded candidates lock heavily behind independents Bob Turner or Ian Birchall, the might get ahead of the Liberal and then home on preferences. However, one suspects there will be a good deal of leakage along the way. In pure two-party terms, there has been a very unusual 7.2% swing to the Liberals.

Pascoe Vale. Haven’t heard much talk about this, but the primary votes look a bit dangerous for Labor’s Lizzie Blandthorn, who has 37.1% to independent Oscar Yildiz on 25.5%.

Newspoll: 53.5-46.5 to Labor in Victoria

Four polls now concur that Labor is set to be returned in Victoria with a favourable swing of 1% to 2%.

As the big day dawns, a gentle reminder for those who have enjoyed by election guide and general campaign coverage that you can show your appreciation by throwing a few pennies into the PressPatron donation facility along the top of the page. Hopefully I’ll find time to say more about the election later this evening, but if I don’t, it’s because I’m furiously busy trying to get my election night results reporting facility ready to go for tomorrow. Suffice to say for now that if you enjoyed by the Wentworth by-election results feature, you ain’t seen nothing yet (assuming of course that it all ends up working okay).

With The Australian bringing us a Newspoll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1077, here is a run through each of the late polls, all of which say much the same thing:

• Newspoll has Labor’s lead at 53.5-46.5, compared with 54-46 at the start of the campaign. The primary votes are Labor 41% (steady, and up from 38.1% in 2014), Coalition 40% (up one, down from 42.0% in 2014) and the Greens 11% (steady, down from 11.5%). Daniel Andrews’ personal ratings are unchanged at 45% approval and 40% disapproval, while Matthew Guy is up three to 34% and steady on 46%, and Andrews’ lead as preferred premier narrows slightly from 45-29 to 45-33. The Liberals have improved on the issue polling since the start of the campaign, going from 39-38 ahead to 45-37 ahead on law and order, and from 45-37 behind to 43-42 behind on the economy, but apparently it hasn’t translated into votes.

• Yesterday’s uComms/ReachTEL poll for The Age had Labor leading 54-46, with primary votes (after removal of the 5.1% undecided) of Labor 40.8%, Coalition 37.8% and Greens 11.0%. The poll was conducted Wednesday from a sample of 1239.

• Yesterday’s YouGov Galaxy poll in the Herald Sun conducted Tuesday and Wednesday from a sample of 1061, had it at 53-47, from primary votes of Labor 40%, Coalition 40% and Greens 11%, with Andrews leading Guy 47-35 as preferred premier. I observe that the Herald Sun’s front page headline accompanying the report was “Dan’s to lose”, meaning “the election is Dan’s to lose”, anod not “Dan is to lose the election”.

• Roy Morgan has also turned out an SMS poll, conducted yesterday from a sample of 1469, the selling point of which is that separate results are published for those who have voted already and those who have not. The poll gives Labor a lead of 53-47 among the former and 55-45 among the latter.

I’ve run all that through my poll tracker, the trend results of which are featured below the fold, and the full detail of which can be found on my election guide. The final result, would you believe it, is 53.5-46.5 in favour of Labor.

Continue reading “Newspoll: 53.5-46.5 to Labor in Victoria”

YouGov Galaxy: 53-47 to Labor in Victoria; ReachTEL: 54-46

The first big media poll since the start of the campaign finds Labor looking strong ahead of Saturday’s Victorian election.

At last, a statewide Victorian poll result – and it suggests the betting markets might have been on to something in their move to Labor. The YouGov Galaxy poll for the Herald Sun gives Labor a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred, which compares with a result of almost exactly 52-48 in 2014. The two parties are reportedly both on 40% of the primary vote – as Kevin Bonham observes, this would be more indicative of a result of 54-46, which raises the possibility (though by no means the certainty) the the Greens are down. More to follow.

UPDATE: In a spirit of long-awaited buses arriving all at once, The Age has a uComms/ReachTEL poll, conducted yesterday evening from 1239 respondents, which concurs with YouGov Galaxy in recording something of a Labor blowout. Labor leading 39% to 36% on the primary vote, with the Greens on 10.4%, which converts into 54-46 on two-party preferred, presumably on the basis of respondent-allocated preferences. Nothing further on the primary vote yet, but Labor leads 53-47 as best party on population and 56.6-43.3 on cost of living (The Age report seems inconsistent in its approach to rounding), while the Coalition leads 52-48 on crime.