Expected seat outcome: 44 ALP 42 LNP 2 KAP 1 IND
This is my thread for Queensland post-counting comments. For the first week it probably won't be updated more than daily, if that, and probably won't be detailed. After that if there is any life left I'll have a more serious look at remaining seats.
Thursday 12th 5:00: One of the few remaining close seats, Lockyer, has been declared, with Pauline Hanson missing out again, this time by a feeble 114 votes. Non-exhausting Labor preferences split over 58% in Hanson's favour against the LNP.
Thursday 12th 3:30: What little chance existed of the Ferny Grove result being wiped has pretty much gone out the window with news that the number of votes exhausting at the exclusion of the allegedly ineligible PUP candidate is lower than Labor's margin in the seat. This means that the argument that "had all those who voted 1 PUP and stopped instead voted 1 LNP the result would have been different" does not in fact apply and any remaining substance to an appeal will likely be disposed of based on precedent.
Thursday 12th: The LNP have survived by 126 votes in Mt Ommaney; had Labor won this seat it would have a majority for Labor. Seats are being progressively declared, with most done now, and soon the election will be over.
Tuesday: I've added nothing more because there's nothing to add; all the leaders are keeping their lead and the expected outcome is done and dusted unless someone finds 500 votes under the sofa. As noted by Antony Green, the LNP cannot try the usual gimmick of the defeated Premier going back to the House to test his support, because the defeated Premier is not a member of parliament, so it should be that Annastacia Palaszczuk is about to be commissioned as Premier of Queensland. See also now Pollbludger.
Sunday: Chris Foley is too far behind in Maryborough and will be eliminated based on an indicative throw; Labor will win the seat.
Saturday: There are confused reports about whether Chris Foley has conceded Maryborough (he's apparently conceded he's unlikely to win, which is not the same as conceding he's definitely lost, not that concession makes any difference anyhow). It appears that during an indicative preference throw he is about 900 behind Labor with about 4000 preferences (presumably from PUP) to add, which is a hopeless position.
Friday: I'm looking for reasons for realistic doubt that Labor has won this election, and I can't find any anymore, bar the outside chance for Foley in Maryborough. Re Ferny Grove and a possible challenge, see Antony Green's excellent coverage.
Thursday: Margins in various seats keep bobbing up and down with Mt Ommaney and Lockyer now the closest. However none are micro-close at this stage and it may well be there will be no changes and that Labor is set to govern with support from Peter Wellington, whose support was announced today. Note that if Ferny Grove is disputed, the dispute will take months to resolve as it will be a significantly novel Disputed Returns case.
Wednesday: Really not a lot has changed today so I have just made some minor changes to the list at the top.
Tuesday evening: Gaven a non-issue now. There is a possibility of a challenge in Ferny Grove where a PUP candidate was apparently ineligible to contest the election by virtue of bankruptcy. It might be argued that had those voters who voted 1 PUP and then exhausted their ballot not had that candidate to vote for, they would have instead voted 1 for another party, which might have altered the outcome. It's a long bow to draw though, even if it turns out to be mathematically possible (which is unclear on present figures). In any case it's likely the usual practice would be followed: the seat result would be declared, and there would then be a wait to see if there was a challenge and hear it if so. Only after a successful challenge would there be a by-election.
Tuesday morning: Ross Irwin has a long post in comments about Bundaberg that suggests the margin has been coming down rapidly in this seat, causing me to include it in the list of seats at some level of doubt, along with Lockyer. Also while I expect the LNP to beat Hanson I have transferred the seat to the unresolved list as I think the level of doubt about the projections involved there is a bit above token. The celebrity political ghost rises to probably just fail in yet another postcount!
ECQ practices of removing indicative preference throws while reallocating votes are making the count difficult to follow even for those not posting from Corinna.
Monday updates: Maryborough remains unclear with Chris Foley now needing to gain 1192 off 6247 minor party preferences over Labor (a gain rate of .19 votes/vote) to beat Labor into second and get his old seat back. This would be much more achievable with compulsory preferences but with the votes being relied on coming more than half from PUP with most of the rest from One Nation, it sounds like tough sledding because of the exhaust rate.
There was a flutter of interest in Lockyer where Pauline Hanson is on 27.3% and will make the final two if Labor cannot gain 2.38% on 14.11% of KAP, PUP and Green preferences (KAP being the big share). (The gain rate here is .169 votes/vote and Labor should gain strongly off the Green votes, so it isn't quite clear Hanson is second after preferences yet - that said the KAP votes could be handy for Hanson.) Current 2CP counting has Hanson leading the LNP if she is second, but this is based off a limited and unrepresentative subset of booths. William Bowe reckons there's not going to be anything to see here by the end - I've not had time to crunch it in detail yet.
Gaven has also sprung to some sort of life for reasons noted by William (the 2CP in this seat originally picked the wrong candidate as the incumbent independent lost heavily - now based on preferences the LNP are projected as winning only narrowly.)
Developments in the other classic-2PP LNP-ALP seats can be followed on Poll Bludger. As has been noted 44 seats gives the ALP government with support from Peter Wellington. Whether 43+Foley+Wellington would also do the trick I do not know; KAP have indicated they are ready to consider supporting either party but that the LNP would have to dump proposed asset sales.
Wrap: What The Hell Was That?
We'll be waiting a little while to be certain but Labor is probably back in Queensland only a term after being thrown from office in the most disastrous result in seat terms in Australian electoral history. It may or may not be in majority but in practice it will barely matter which. As I write the LNP has only a slim chance of holding enough seats to have something to seriously play for at the negotiating table. Premier Campell Newman has been unseated and it looks likely the electorate has spared his party the mess of choosing a new Premier by choosing a Labor Premier instead.
In terms of the 2PP picture (currently looking like approaching 52:48 as expected, but to the other side!) this is unfortunately the bit where I get to fulfill the definition of a psephologist as one who spends the day after the election explaining why their expectations were wrong. Excluding those polls that have obvious house effects (of which there aren't many in Australia at the moment) there are three kinds of errors polling-based projections make. The first is if the primary votes are different to what the pollsters expect, the second is if the assumed flow of preferences is wrong and the third is if the method of converting the expected 2PP to seats is incorrect.
In both the federal and Victorian state elections both the first and second errors happened, but they cancelled each other out: changes in preference behaviour favoured Labor but were modest, and the primary votes were better for the Coalition than expected, by a similar amount. In this case both the errors have gone in the same direction: both Labor and the Greens polled a point better than expected (at the expense of Others) and there has been a massive change in preferencing behaviour. The first issue is worth about a point in Labor's favour on current primaries while the second is worth about 2.5-2.8 points (we'll know exactly how much when we see the final figures.)
According to Poll Bludger the change in preferencing saw the total spread of minor party preferences change from 27-22 to Labor (51% exhaust) to 45-15 (39% exhaust). On a two-party basis Labor's gain rate per minor party vote changed from .05 votes to .30 votes. While a change in preference behaviour was to be expected, this magnitude generally wasn't. After years of scoffing at respondent-allocated preferences because of their history of failure (especially 2004) we've finally had a case where last-election preferences were not just modestly wrong but quite off the planet. Respondent-allocated preferences probably would have done much better.
But that's not easily testable, because as far as I know, none of the public pollsters released data on respondent-allocated preferences for this election. Now this is possibly because those releasing results calculated exclusively on respondent preferences get told off for doing so by people like me (allegedly excessively), especially if the choice of that method surfaces in a commissioned poll that happens to have results that suit the agenda of the group releasing it.
But following this result we will have to look much more closely at whether massive changes in preferencing behaviour like this one in Queensland can be more reliably predicted - especially under OPV where there is the extra issue of who will choose to distribute their preferences. An obvious starting point is that share of minor party preferences is probably correlated to major party primary votes and that past preferencing behaviour should be less reliable and possibly not used at all when the swing is very large. NSW will be a further test of this. We need to encourage more pollsters to release both last-election and respondent preferences (as Morgan and Ipsos do) and then those using the data can take our picks of which one we trust the most. I'm suspecting that at federal level - where a shift as dramatic as this one is deeply unlikely given Labor's already higher base - it may work best to use a hybrid measure of the two.
I'll have a review of pollster accuracy when the final primaries and 2PP are known. Obviously, no-one was all that close to the pin.
Governments That Lose The Plot
I have a general feeling following that the Newman government, the Abbott federal government and the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments have all got it wrong in roughly the same way. The Hodgman Tasmanian government has to be careful to avoid the same mistake, which it has been showing some signs of making. Governments that win from opposition have recently taken it as their mission to take drastic economic steps and to engage in culture wars to erase their predecessors' legacies and appease their base (or for Gillard, crossbench supporters). Voters in my view don't want this: they want solid, stable boring governments that aren't obsessed with erasing debts immediately or appeasing groups out of the mainstream. They want governments that don't promise them the stars and then give them something entirely different.
As for Abbott, it is my belief that this Queensland result, plus the current flood of leadership speculation and very bad polling (with worse likely to come), is terminal. The Coalition should not be complacent about retaining office even in New South Wales if Abbott remains Prime Minister until that election, especially not after what we have seen with preference flow changes in Queensland.
Postcount updates will flow from the top as I add them - apologies for the lack of detail early on; there's a fieldtrip and a decaying Prime Ministership competing for my attention.