Saturday, March 17, 2018

2018 Batman By-Election Live

Note: I will try to clear comments tonight but don't expect replies

Summary: CALLED - Kearney (ALP) retains

Updates (Refresh for latest)

11:56 Ben Raue has essential reading on the pattern I pointed out earlier, with one of the more dramatic booth swing maps we will see - the Greens made good gains north of Bell Street in Labor heartland, but Labor made gains south of Bell Street in the areas where Labor was supposed to be demographically extinct.  Successful Labor campaign or Green self-sabotage?

11:50 We are converging inexorably on the 53-47 of the Lonergan seatpoll (which was taken before the Bhathal dossier story broke widely).  At present there is an error in the booth of Northcote West in which the 2PP figures have been reversed; after that we're on 53.00-47.00.

8:39 With Labor up to 52.7% projected 2PP with 53% counted (and with the Greens having done a big job on prepolls in the actual election too) it would be extraordinary for the Greens to come back, especially as they had no party-postal effort.  I'm assuming Kearney has won this and switching to South Australia from now on.

8:05 51.7% projected 2PP with 37% counted to 2PP.

7:50 The swing is bobbing back and forth so that the projection has come down to the 51s.  It looks like Kearney is winning but I don't think 51.4% projected 2PP should be called just yet off 30%.

7:42 Kearney tracking upwards now, towards the 53-47 of the dreaded Lonergan!  If this was a normal election-night seat we would have just about lost interest in it by now.

7:36 I'm looking to the booths coming in and I keep finding the Labor and Green primaries are relatively constant with last time.  The AEC now has a +0.7% swing to Labor, this might come down towards zero when more booths hit the 2PP, but big prepoll booths are going to be important later tonight if the battle is still close.  At the moment it seems Kearney is doing well.

7:24 And yep, while I was doing that Kearney took the projected 2PP lead.

7:22 Eight booths in for primaries and Labor is doing OK on primaries in these now (a +0.5 swing matching just the Labor and Green primaries) so it will be interesting to see what happens as a few more hit the 2PP.

7:12 Five booths in and I now have the swing based off primaries back to practically nothing (0.7% to Greens) which is about the same as the AEC's 2PP projected swing off three.  The pattern so far is that the swing is slightly to the Greens in the Labor booths and slightly to Labor in the Greens booths.  Will be interesting to see where we're at when some of these booths hit the 2PP.

7:10 A third pro-ALP booth in and I now have the swing based off primaries at about 3.6% to Green similar to the ABC's 3.2%.

7:00 Two pro-ALP booths in.  In terms of the primaries for these two booths I have Labor leading 710-568 cf 644-468 last time, which is close enough to make things rather interesting, a 2.4% swing. Bear in mind also that the Liberals preferenced Labor last time and are not running, so that would seem to be a good start for the Greens, but we'll need to see swings come through from the 2PP counts and also from Green booths.

Opening Comments

Polls are about to close in the Batman by-election so I'm starting my live comment thread.  This thread will run in tandem with the South Australian election live thread (bearing in mind that SA is half an hour behind Vic) but if it becomes clear who the winner is then I'll scale this one down and switch to South Australia.

It's pretty basic really, 1% swing for Greens to win, but we need to pay attention to where the votes are coming from.  The pro-ALP north might swing differently to the pro-Green south and there is also the possibility that the southern parts of the pro-ALP north swing differently to the northern parts.  (This is the demographic-creep-over-the-hipster-proof-fence idea).

Early in the campaign I vaguely favoured the Greens, but I found that people were presenting very reasonable arguments based on past voting patterns as to why Labor should win.  However that demographic-creep theory was still the potential killer for any pro-Labor argument.

Then there was the Bhathal dossier thing which exposed that the Greens have a problem with internal purists who prefer their party to lose than the "wrong" sort of Green to win.  And then in the last few days there was the ALP tax policy announcement.  Amid all that and the Tasmanian election I never got around to declaring a favourite (except that I told one person on Twitter that I thought Labor would win).  There was only one public poll I saw, a landline-only Lonergan (53-47 to Labor) which was such an amusing enterprise it would be funny if it was dead right.

I think if Labor loses the tax policy timing announcement will be blamed and Bill Shorten will come under fire, while if Labor wins the tax policy will get no credit and the Greens' internal issues will be blamed.  So the timing of the announcement makes no sense, unless it was a Hail Mary because Labor thought they were losing.

Bring on the votes!  (Note that a lot of the booths are large - several hundred votes to four figures but there are a couple of little ones that with any luck might report inside the first hour.)

Updates will scroll to the top - refresh now and then for new comments.  


  1. “Then there was the Bhathal dossier thing which exposed that the Greens have a problem with internal purists who prefer their party to lose than the "wrong" sort of Green to win.“

    Yeah it’s eat their own mentality. What came out was that it was pure spite stirred up by another potential candidate who missed out. All unfortunate.

  2. The timing of the tax announcement separated from the "and here's what it will fund!" announcement and far from the Federal budget let alone the Federal election is almost inexplicable.

    Possibly the most logical explanation I've seen suggested is that the ALP believed that the Coalition were planning on a similar budget measure and wanted to cut their lunch, sending them back to the drawing board just as Labor clearly got the Coalition to rule out tax measures they actually wanted to consider in the leadup to 2016 due to the idiotic Coalition tactic policy of blindly opposing everything Labor suggests.