Sunday, November 25, 2018

2018 Victorian Postcount: Greens Vs Labor (Prahran, Brunswick, Melbourne)

Link to main postcount thread including state summary

This thread covers late counting in seats being contested between the Greens and Labor.  The Greens went into the election holding Melbourne, Northcote (which they won from Labor in a mid-term by-election) and Prahran (which they won in a ridiculously close three-cornered contest in 2014) and hoped to pick up Brunswick (ALP vacancy) and Richmond (where there is perennial opposition to their candidate Kathleen Maltzahn from sections of the left on account of her support for the Nordic model of criminalising paying for sex).

The Liberals tried to stoke the pot in Richmond by not running a candidate at all, the strategic point of which remains elusive.  Former Prime Minister Paul Keating waded in by accusing the Liberals of piking on the contest to try to dislodge Planning Minister Richard Wynne in order to assist Liberal-linked property developers, while Maltzahn issues were another distraction for the Greens in a campaign full of them.  In the end Wynne has won Richmond with a commanding swing in his favour, and Labor has also comfortably recaptured Northcote.



Ellen Sandell (Melbourne) is currently on 51.2% and Greens tend to do well on absents so I am not expecting this to be a problem, and will only add a detailed section if it looks like being one.  The remaining two seats are in more doubt:

[Update on Melbourne (Tuesday): Sandell has moved to 51.5% after predictably winning absents, but what I didn't notice til now is that she is so far winning prepolls too.  Therefore the seat cannot be in any doubt.]

[Friday: Preference count for Melbourne has been completed as a computer data-entry trial.  Labor got 54.4% of Liberal preferences (open ticket) compared to 67.7% in 2014 when the Liberals preferenced Labor.]

Brunswick (ALP vs Green, 2.2%) - Green gain

Currently Labor's Cindy O'Connor leads the Greens' Tim Read by 72 votes with only 67.6% counted.  The counted votes include 1747 of a possible maximum 2535 postals.  The seat of Brunswick has a history (especially in 2010) of large post-counting swings in the Greens' favour.  If that history holds, Read will win the seat.

Tuesday 7:00 It begins - Read jumps to a 218 vote lead (50.3%) after absents.  I'd like to see a bit more of this sort of action before calling it as still only 72% counted with a very large out-of-electorate prepoll.

Wednesday 7:11 Read now 353 votes ahead (50.4% ahead).  Still a lot to count but seems extremely unlikely Labor will get this back.

Thursday 6:10 Read now 414 votes ahead with 87% counted.  Postals are the only postcount category Labor's winning on and there would have to be another 5000 of them to overturn the margin.  Game over.

Tuesday 5:24 Closer than I expected at one stage actually, Read has won by 506 votes.  (50.6%)

Prahran (2014 result Green vs Lib, 0.4%) - Green retain

As with the 2014 epic, Prahran sees a fight between the Greens and Labor for second.  Unlike in 2014, whoever wins that fight will clearly win the seat.  Currently this is the lineup on primaries:

Katie Allen (Liberal) 34.8
Neil Pharaoh (ALP) 29.63
Sam Hibbins (Green, incumbent) 28.28
Reason 1.94
Labour DLP 1.89
Animal Justice 1.72
Sustainable Australia 1.11
Menadue (IND) 0.31
Aussie Battler 0.31
(Total for all micros 7.29%)

The fight between Pharaoh and Hibbins is a rinse and repeat of 2014.  Hibbins must pass Pharaoh on preferences from micro-parties, unless his primary vote improves to the point that he does it on primaries.  Currently he is 1.35% behind.  In 2014 he was 0.41% behind on the night, which blew out to 1.16% behind after preferences.  He beat Pharaoh by 31 votes (0.08%) for second and went on to unseat Clem Newton-Brown, so on current numbers he needs to gain slightly more on micro-party preferences than in 2014.  If the same blowout in the postcount repeats in Pharoah's favour then it might not be possible for Hibbins to close the primary gap on preferences.  However, 0.53 points of the 2014 blowout in Pharaoh's lead were caused by postals, and this year 2325 of a maximum 4191 of them are already gone, to a similar effect.  Within-electorate prepolls, which in 2014 helped Pharaoh, are also gone, leaving absents (which will help Hibbins), out-of-electorate prepolls (who knows) and late postals (who knows).

There are more micro-party preferences this time than last (when there were only 4.53% worth) but the Labour DLP preferences are likely to be a problem.  Preferences can split three ways here but any that go to the Liberals are exhaust as far as Pharaoh and Hibbins are concerned - Hibbins would be hoping as many of the DLP votes as possible do just that.

At present, Prahran is way too close to call.  I expect to post much more detail about it through the week.

Tuesday 7:00 The count in Prahran is slow with presumably a huge out-of-electorate prepoll and perhaps it isn't on the radar as a close seat.  It's only at 62%.  No absents have been counted.  Pharaoh now leads by 1.16 points and the micros have 7.40, so Hibbins' position has slightly improved.  I would still want to know a lot about the flow from Labour DLP which could be a big problem.

Wednesday 7:00 While it may appear that Pharaoh's lead has increased on the VEC site this is just because of the posting of incomplete checked primary figures.  The unchecked complete primaries to date show no change in the lead.

Thursday 7:10 The margin has closed somewhat with the counting of absents. With 83.2% counted Pharaoh leads Hibbins on primaries by 0.85%.  The micros have increased to 8.46%.  Note that Labour DLP (2.32%) has the donkey vote, which then flows to Liberal and therefore exits the Labor-Green contest.  I think Hibbins might be slightly better placed here but the cutoff could be incredibly close.

Friday 10:25 The distributions from the seat of Melbourne show the Greens candidate there gaining at a rate of .15 votes/vote from the Reason candidate, and .367 votes/vote from the Animal Justice candidate.  These flows are somewhat lower than in a model I made of this yesterday.  When I plug them in, Hibbins still wins by 50 votes, but I am very mistrustful of projecting the flow on Labour DLP votes (I currently expect Labor to gain about .19 votes/vote on those after considering that many of them will be donkeys that will flow to the Liberals.)

Saturday 12:00 Poll Bludger reader Gorks has mentioned the Longman by-election as a useful example of a recent "Labour DLP" flow, I repost my comments on that below:

Labour DLP preferences split 81-19 to Labor over LNP on a two-party basis, but “only” 33.8% of them flowed directly to Labor, 11.4% flowed directly to Greens, 4.3% flowed directly to LNP. The rest flowed to four other candidates still remaining in the contest (LDP, ON, IND and CYA). Unfortunately we don’t have a 3-way breakdown of them between Labor, Green and LNP including those that flowed first to other parties. If it is the same as the breakdown for the rest then Labor gained on the Greens at .45 votes/vote, but in the Prahran context we need to bear in mind that some of the Labour DLP vote is donkey vote that will go to the Liberals. All the same this does make me wonder if “Labour DLP” flows more strongly to Labor than the old name “Democratic Labour Party”, which if so may cause the Greens to lose Prahran.

Saturday 1:30  At present Pharaoh is 0.82 points ahead on the primary vote and micros have 8.45% including 2.32% for Labour DLP, who loom as the Greens' biggest problem here.  84% has been counted.

Saturday 6:00 I have been advised of a scrutineering sample in which Labor was gaining at just over .3 votes/vote on LDLP preferences, but that was off a sample of under 100 LDLP votes.  Any other samples are welcome.  If the flow to Labor is this strong, and other preferences flow at rates I was expecting, and there is no change in the primary standings, Labor should probably just win the seat (I have them up by 64 votes on a projection at the moment).   However the count is still at only 84% so as with Caulfield there is the question: are there more votes to come and if so what are they?  It seems that they may be out of electorate prepolls and absents to be counted on Monday.

Sunday 10:00 I have seen some comments on social media suggesting that both sides are making upbeat noises about the seat.  I suspect that if someone was clearly winning we would know about it by now!

Sunday 12:00 I have seen some reports of other samples (larger than the one mentioned above) that suggest the gain rate for Labor on LDLP prefs is variable but on average possibly around the high .2s (consistent with but slightly less than the sample above), that the gain rate for the Greens on AJP preferences is more like the .43 vote/vote I was using before than the rate in Melbourne, and that the gain rate for the Greens on SA and FPRP preferences is also significant.  If I plug numbers based on those estimates in I get Hibbins ahead by c. 120.

Monday 12:40 Turnout is still at a feeble 84.3% and it is often difficult to find out if there will be any more.  Anyway in whatever smidgin was just added Hibbins cut the primary vote margin to Pharaoh by five.  (My apologies to Neil Pharaoh for numerous misspellings of his surname on this page, which I just noticed and fixed.)

Monday 5:30 141 further provisionals (10 informal) have been counted with Hibbins making a net gain of 4, and missorted votes added into the check count.  Pharaoh's current primary lead on the checked primary count on the VEC site is 355 (0.88%), down eight for the day.

Monday 11:30 The preference distribution commences Tuesday 9:30.  Based on progress in 2014 we might expect an outcome on the Labor/Green exclusion around early afternoon (which I'll be relying on scrutineers for); the final 2CP throw will be a formality.  A recount was ordered for an apparent 41-vote margin for second in 2014.

Tuesday 11:20 They all count - Hibbins has gained another two votes and trails on primaries by 353 going into the preference throw.

Tuesday 11:47 I have had word from within the count (indirectly via scrutineers) that after the exclusion of Menadue, Aussie Battler and Sustainable Australia the score is  Labor 11769 Greens 11525, a gain for Hibbins of 109 so far which is more or less consistent with my expectations.  The throw I know the least about in terms of scrutineering data is Reason so it will be interesting to see how that one goes.

Tuesday 1:20  The Greens have won. Confirmed by sources on both sides, awaiting margin.

Tuesday 1:30 Margin over 200.  No recount.  I've heard that Animal Justice preferences were very weak for Labor.

Tuesday 4:00 Unconfirmed indirect report that the margin was a whopping (by Prahran standards) 264.  Sam Hibbins has now pulled off the highly unusual feat of winning the same seat from third on primaries once.  I am unsure if there is a previous case of this in Australian state electoral history (I have a vague memory that there might have been one, but I could be mistaken.)

Tuesday 4:20 The final preference distributions are up.  In terms of gain rate, Hibbins gained on Pharaoh by .209 votes per vote off Sustainable Australia (.377 of those splitting between Liberal, Labor and Green), .142 (.181) off Reason, went backwards at .225 (.238) off Labour DLP, and gained at .422 off Animal Justice.  Note that the AJP preferences here include preferences pooling with them from other parties, so probably the flow off AJP was stronger than anyone expected.  More preferences from both LDLP and Animal Justice went to Katie Allen and therefore had no role in the Labor-Green contest, compared to those that went to Pharaoh.  The final act was a walk in the park for Hibbins, getting 81.3% of Labor preferences.

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