Victorian election live

Live coverage of the count for the Victorian state election.

Live publication of results, updated by the minute with full booth results, swings and probability estimates, can be found here. Commentary of the progress of the count follows below.

12.50pm. John Pesutto now leads by 53 votes in Hawthorn, and I’m also now projected the Liberals to hold Caulfield. So without wishing to take anything away from the scale of Labor’s win, a big part of the election night story is that Liberal voters voted early. I’ve now got Sandringham back down as a confirmed Labor gain, but with no pre-polls or postals there yet, I certainly wouldn’t take that for granted. I will be off line for the next half an hour, and my results won’t be updating in that time.

12.18pm. Things continue to look less bad for the Liberals. My model now has the Liberals with their nose in front in Mount Waverley and Nepean, and is no longer giving away Sandringham, Bayswater and Hawthorn — though it’s still calling it for Labor in Ringwood, Caulfield and Box Hill. Over the past hour, the statewide Labor swing has come down from 3.7% to 3.2%.

11.35pm. The notion that some of the more freakish results would be overturned on late counting is looking good. The Liberals are now home in Brighton, after hardly any swing was recorded on pre-poll and postal votes. My seat projection has come down over the last few hours from 59 to 56 (which really means 60 to 57, because a bug is awarding Preston to the Liberals — though equally, it may be wrong about the Greens winning Prahran).

9.30pm. The Greens, as ever, are living on a knife edge — they could win four, they could win nothing. The ABC projects them with leads of 2.2% in Melbourne and 1.0% lead in Brunswick, while they’re 1.0% behind in Northcote. The only thing the Prahran two-party count tells us is that they will definitely beat the Liberals if that’s what it comes down to, but with nothing to separate Labor, Liberal and the Greens, they may drop out in third, or lose to Labor if it’s the Liberals who do so. The one thing that is clear is that they have not won Richmond, despite the Liberals’ decision to give them a leg-up by not fielding a candidate.

9.07pm. Plenty to feast on in the ABC’s seats in doubt list, on which twelve seats are listed. Labor has only the gentlest of leads in Brighton, which one suspects will not stick; they are slightly further ahead in Sandringham, which remains very much in doubt; a Labor win in either would be astonishing. Both were vacated by sitting members, and male candidates (a conservative young turk in the case of Brighton) were chosen for both of them.

9.02pm. There are nine seats listed on the ABC’s “changing hands” list – Bayswater, with a 2.0% Labor lead and 42.8% counted, may not be nailed down yet, but the others look fairly solid. The only ones that were widely thought a shot for Labor in advance were Bass, South Barwon and maybe Burwood. The others are remarkable for being affluent and historically blue-ribbon Liberal seats: Box Hill, Caulfield, Mount Waverley and Ringwood. Then there is Nepean, which is a semi-rural seat neighbouring Bass, where the Liberals had a retiring sitting member and may, as in Bass, have been hampered by the retirement of the sitting member, not to mention the party’s uninspired choice for his successor.

8.24pm. Rather extraordinarily, the ABC computer has Labor ahead in Brighton and Sandringham. Either the backlash against the Liberals by well-heeled voters has taken on hitherto unanticipated dimensions, or the high pre-poll vote is turning up static.

8.08pm. Labor has retained Richmond, where the Greens showed characteristic persistence with a dud candidate, but the ABC has the Greens retaining Melbourne and Northcote. Brunswick has been going back and forth — currently it’s down as Labor retain. Prahran is a three-way contest that will be determined by the candidate who drops out in third.

7.53pm. Burwood took a long time to report a result, but not it has, it’s looking like another possible gain for Labor … and indeed has been called for Labor by the ABC as I type.

7.49pm. Ringwood and Mount Waverley looking very solid for Labor now, and Labor looks to have gained South Barwon. The ABC calling Box Hill and Nepean for Labor, but I wouldn’t give those away yet. Less unexpectedly, Labor to gain Bass. Looking close in Ripon, which was thought a lot more likely to go to Labor than the aforementioned.

7.48pm. The ABC computer is now calling Mildura an independent gain, but it shouldn’t be because it’s far too close.

7.38pm. Independent Suzanna Sheed comfortably returned in Shepparton. The ALP is calling Mildura a Nationals retain, but it looks close to me, with independent Ali Cupper a show. The ABC computer apparently doesn’t expect Darryn Lyons to get very strong preferences in Geelong, but I’ll be keeping an eye on it. Ditto Benambra, where Jacqui Hawkins looks competitive against Liberal Bill Tilley. Independent Tammy Atkins is running second behind beleaguered Nationals member Tim McCurdy in Ovens Valley, but his primary vote of 43% looks high enough.

7.36pm. The ABC computer has wound Forest Hill back from Labor gain to Labor ahead, but the Labor leads in Mount Waverley and Ringwood look rather formidable.

7.34pm. Prahran now looking a near three-way tie on the primary vote, as it was in 2014. The Greens are struggling to hold Northcote; still early days in Melbourne and Brunswick; nothing yet in Richmond.

7.32pm. The ABC computer is calling Benambra Liberal retain, but this assumes a Liberal-versus-Labor contest, and independent Jacqui Hawkins is well ahead of Labor in second place. With a primary vote barely north of 40%, Liberal member Bill Tilley is another in trouble.

7.31pm. Small swing to the Greens from the first booth in Melbourne.

7.30pm. Antony Green picking three unheralded Labor gains in the eastern suburbs: Forest Hill, Mount Waverley and Ringwood.

7.27pm. The ABC guesstimate says Labor shouldn’t be troubled by Darryn Lyons in Geelong, but the primary vote numbers look pretty soft for them to me, being just north of 40% and with Lyons clearly placed to finish second.

7.24pm. I’ve been tending to focus on boutique regional contests, but the big story is of overwhelming success for Labor in eastern Melbourne. They’re bolting it in the sandbelt seats, and putting the Liberals under pressure in normally solid seats. Though I reiterate the note of caution that there may be a lot of Liberal vote outstanding in the pre-polls, which will come through later in the night. Even so, it’s clearly a question of how far Labor.

7.18pm. Labor’s good early figures in Ringwood, which I found hard to credit, appear to be sticking.

7.16pm. One bit of good news for the Liberals is there’s an early swing to them in the endangered country seat of Ripon.

7.15pm. The Liberals look like they will run third in Prahran, rendering the notional Liberal-versus-Greens preference count academic. So the result will come down to the flow of Liberal preferences between Labor and the Greens.

7.13pm. The second booth in Brunswick is better for Labor than the first – there is now a 1.0% swing in their favour. Nothing else in from the other potential Greens seats.

7.10pm. The ABC is covering Geelong, where it actually seems to me that independent Darryn Lyons is doing a lot better than he deserves — he’s matching it with the Liberals on the primary vote, and Labor is only on 36.2%. However, the primary vote swing to Labor is 3.5%, which would keep them safe if consistent.

7.07pm. An interestingly huge swing to Labor in the first booth in from Albert Park, whose Wentworth-ish demographic might not be too thrilled with the Liberals right now. The Liberals came close to knocking it over in 2010 and 2014, but not this time by the look of it.

7.06pm. First booth in from Brunswick is a 3.7% swing to the Greens, which exceeds the 2.3% Labor margin.

7.04pm. Independent Jacqui Hawkins polling strongly in Benambra with 25.1%, and Bill Tilley’s 43.1% is low enough to make it touch-and-go for him after preferences.

7.03pm. Early days, but Nationals member Peter Crisp is under pressure from independent Ali Cupper in Mildura.

7.00pm. The first electorate with over 10% counted is Gippsland South, with a 3.7% swing to Labor. It should be cautioned here that the dynamic in play may be that the upsurge in pre-poll voting has disproportionately involved conservative voters. If so, some of these swings will come back later in the evening.

6.58pm. The ABC election results page (they need to make this stuff easier to locate) paints an impressive picture of across-the-board swings to Labor in all those electorates where two-party votes are in.

6.56pm. Russell Northe, the Liberals and the Nationals are almost exactly level in Morwell, all on around 17%, with Labor on 28.3%. Only a few small rural booths, 1.5% counted.

6.53pm. James Purcell, the upper house micro-party member trying to win South-West Coast as an independent, trails Labor 21.2% to 17.2% with 4.3% counted. The Liberal is on 42.0%, so he might be competitive if he closes that gap.

6.50pm. The ABC’s booth-matching is picking up a 6% to 7% drop in the Coalition primary vote, although there is only 0.6% counted.

6.35pm. A few peculiarities with the VEC’s approach actually, such as media feed updates only coming through every five minutes. However, they have picked the notional two-party counts I would have expected, having been guided entirely by what happened last time. So Nationals versus independent counts in Shepparton and Mildura, Nationals versus Labor in Morwell and Liberal versus Greens in Prahran.

6.25pm. An unforeseen peculiarity in the way the AEC does its media feeds means I won’t be able to get my results reporting facility to work until every electorate has a two-party preferred result in, which should take a while.

5.30pm. Half an hour before polls close, a YouGov Galaxy exit poll gives Labor a lead of 55-45. While exit polls don’t have a brilliant record in this country, this does add to a formidable picture of a strong result for Labor. For my part, I’m currently sweating over how my live results reporting and projection facility is going to operate in a real world environment, so stay tuned for that. It should be up in one form or another at about 6:15pm, with the first results to come through shortly after.

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: Actually, the Greens are a solid 11%. Daniel Andrews leads Matthew Guy as preferred premier by 47-35.

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.

Victorian election minus two days

Two days to go until an election that is, in a sense, already half over, thanks to the extraordinary growth in pre-poll voting.

Amid the ongoing opinion poll drought, quench your thirst with the following intelligence from John Ferguson and Ewin Hannan of The Australian.

Elsewhere:

• Pre-poll voting continues to be conducted at an unprecedented clip, which will potentially make life different for prognosticators on Saturday night. The Victorian Electoral Commission reports just shy of a million pre-poll votes have been cast, with the trend suggesting upwards of 350,000 are still to come over the next two days, eventually accounting for nearly 40% of all votes cast. Taking postal votes into account as well, little more than half the votes are likely to be cast on election day. This will be the first Victorian election at which pre-poll votes are counted on the night, and if there is indeed a different dynamic on pre-poll votes, the picture that emerges early in the count may be upset later in the night. The VEC site offers full data on the number of pre-poll and postal votes cast by day and by electorate.

• Last night’s apparently incident-free leaders debate was deemed to have been won by Daniel Andrews by 49 members out of the audience of 100 swinging voters hand-picked by Galaxy Research, with 33 favouring Matthew Guy.

• Fourteen months after it came to light and two days before the election, the Herald Sun reports Russell Northe, Nationals-turned-independent member for Morwell, received a $5000 donation ahead of the 2010 election which, a Nationals official says, never made its way to the party’s campaign account. Northe’s departure from the party in August last year occurred against a backdrop of personal and financial difficulties, among which was a gambling problem. The seat is a complicated contest in which Northe might equally lose to the Nationals or Labor (or perhaps even former Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party Senator Ricky Muir, now with Shooters Fishers and Farmers).

Noel Towell of The Age reports Labor believes it is “close enough to justify extra spending” in Melbourne, which Ellen Sandell of the Greens won from it by a 2.4% margin in 2014. While Labor believes it is drawing blood in its attacks on the Greens for standing by Angus McAlpine, erstwhile gangster rap homeboy and now candidate for Footscray, a party source says it is “treating its research in Melbourne with caution, because of the shortcomings of single-seat polling and the difficulty of accurately gauging voter intentions in inner-city seats”.

• The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has prohibited the dissemination of how-to-vote cards in Northcote disseminated by “Citizens for Stable Government”, having determined that they look rather too much like Liberal Party material. Helpfully for Labor, the cards recommended the Greens be placed last, whereas official Liberal material advises voters to make up their own minds.

• Not unsurprisingly, Labor has failed in a legal bid to have fresh ballot papers printed in Yan Yean to acknowledge Meralyn Klein’s new-found status as an independent candidate. Klein was disendorsed by the Liberal Party after the closure of nominations over her links with the far right Australian Liberal Alliance.

Victorian election minus three days

In the absence of new polls, we can only guess at the impact of a news agenda dominated by terrorism – although betting markets are favouring Labor more strongly than ever.

The Victorian election campaign continues to chug along poll-lessly. There hasn’t been a single statewide poll since the Newspoll at the start of the campaign, and all we’ve had from the media was last week’s modestly sampled YouGov Galaxy seat polls for the Herald Sun. Roy Morgan has had some qualitative material based on 626 SMS surveys last Tuesday and Wednesday, of which you can make what you will. Not much, would be my recommendation.

The election campaign, narrowly defined, has also been battling for space with terrorism in the news media. Presumably this is bad news for Labor, but punters seem to have other ideas: Ladbrokes has had Labor in from $1.18 to $1.14 over the past few days, with the Coalition out from $4.33 to $5. Labor’s odds have shortened in a number of Liberal-held seats, with nothing or next-to-nothing separating the parties in Bass, South Barwon and Ripon. Conversely, Ladbrokes now rates the Greens as favourites to gain Richmond, and is suddenly offering $4 on an independent to win the Labor seat of Altona – although neither of the two relevant candidates (Tony Hooper, a Wyndham councillor, and Maria Aylward, sister of a murder victim running on a law-and-order ticket) has attracted much media attention.

Victorian election minus one week

The Liberals continue to talk up their chances ahead of next week’s Victorian election, but betting markets appear unimpressed.

The Victorian election has been remarkably light on for opinion polls: the Herald Sun has had only the four YouGov Galaxy seat polls it has published over the past week; The Australian appears to be content with top-and-tailing the campaign with Newspoll results; and The Age has had precisely nothing. We do, however, have a uComms/ReachTEL poll conducted privately for the Victorian National Parks Association, although one might well look askance at the result, which credits Labor with a two-party lead of 56-44. After allocated results from a forced response follow-up for the 6.7% who were initially undecided, the primary votes are Labor 40.4% (38.1% in 2014), Coalition 36.8% (42.0%) and Greens 10.3% (11.5%). The poll was conducted on Tuesday from a sample of 1527.

Oddly enough, there has also been movement to Labor on the betting markets, with Ladbrokes now offering $1.18 on Labor to form government after the election, in from $1.25 a week ago, and the Coalition out from $3.50 to $4.33. Notable movements on Ladbrokes’ seat markets include “independent” – of which there are two, Jenny O’Connor and Jacqui Hawkins – being slashed from $13 to $4 in Benambra. This presumably has something to do with a report by Gay Alcorn in The Guardian relating that polling conducted for O’Connor showed Liberal member Bill Tilley’s primary vote falling below 40%.

Ladbrokes also has “independent” as favourite in the crowded field in Morwell, where Russell Northe is seeking re-election after quitting the Nationals, although it has little separating independent, Coalition (which could mean either the Nationals or the Liberals, both of whom are running) and Labor. It would seem there has also been money coming in on Labor to recover Northcote from the Greens – the latter are still favourites at $1.20, but this is out from $1.14 a week ago, and Labor has been cut from $5 to $3.75. Odds for each electorate are displayed on the bottom-right of each page of my election guide; if you would like your gambling losses to go to a good cause, you are encouraged to sign up to Ladbrokes using the links there or on the sidebar.

John Ferguson of The Australian offers the following assessment:

The word increasingly out of the Liberal camp is that it can win. Labor believes this is a deliberate attempt by the Coalition to inject some life into the Liberal campaign team and the media, and that the optimism is not backed by reality. Guy was campaigning yesterday morning in the seat of Wendouree, part of Ballarat, about an hour’s drive west of Melbourne, which until late this week was not much on people’s radar. Despite a pro-Labor margin of 5.7 per cent, the Liberals think it is a possible gain, something Labor is not prepared to concede. The Liberals remain optimistic they can pick up four seats in Melbourne’s sandbelt, starting at Frankston in the southeast, which has a margin of just 0.48 per cent. It is a crime seat. The other three seats the Liberal Party is talking up are Carrum, Bentleigh and Mordialloc, all with margins of 2.1 per cent or under. But even on this scenario, the Coalition needs to pick up four more seats and so far the evidence of this happening has been lacking …

There are also at least three outlier seats that could cause the Liberal Party heartburn as independents try to unseat Guy’s candidates. The first is Benambra in the state’s northeast, which the Liberals hold with a margin of less than 10 per cent; the second is Ovens Valley, held by the Coalition partner with a margin of 16.6 per cent; and the third is South-West Coast, with a margin of 11 per cent.

While Noel Towell of The Age has the following:

The Coalition is losing this state election … Liberal Party elders Jeff Kennett and Michael Kroger are in denial, the first stage of political grief, while some of the people around Guy have moved onto anger and even the leader himself has been getting a little tetchy in recent days. But this is not over. Kennett has had a lot to say these past couple of days and even managed to be right about one thing; Victorian elections can confound the pollsters.