Sunday, March 4, 2018

2018 Tasmanian Postcount: Franklin

Franklin 2 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 in doubt between Green and Liberal
Re-elected: Hodgman (Lib), presumably Petrusma (Lib)
Returns to parliament: D O'Byrne (Labor)
New MP: Standen (Labor)
Contest between parties: Woodruff (Green) vs Street (Lib) - Woodruff has won by 226 votes.

Welcome to another postcount thread that I will update through the next two weeks, this one for Franklin. And this one could be very close.

In Franklin, the Liberals' remarkable minimisation of the swing against them has kept them in the hunt for a three-seat result.  However, with Labor rebuilding to over two quotas, it has turned out to be the Greens' Rosalie Woodruff who is in danger of missing out.

The Liberals currently have 2.91 quotas, Labor 2.07 and the Greens 0.85.  These figures will change slightly as further votes are added and the Greens may improve after absents are added.

Will Hodgman has an enormous vote again in Franklin, with 2.30 quotas in his own right.  His surplus should put Jacquie Petrusma over the line, or if she doesn't cross then she will do so as minor Liberals are excluded.  (It would actually be best for the Liberals if Nic Street got somewhat more of Hodgman's surplus than Petrusma, but I don't believe for a moment this will be the case).

The Liberals' notional lead over Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff will be wiped out by leakage from Will Hodgman's surplus, but Liberal sources have told me the leak off Hodgman is only 5% (which would put Woodruff about 0.03 quotas ahead).  However, once Hodgman's surplus is out of the way, the Greens should be more vulnerable to leakage because they have four candidates to eliminate compared to the Liberals' two - I estimate this difference is worth about 0.01 quotas.

Moreover, the Greens have a serious problem in the guise of one Brendon Hext of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party, whose 0.16 quota in preferences is likely to strongly favour the Liberals over Woodruff. Some proportion of Hext's vote will exhaust without reaching either candidate, but, for example, at the Senate election each major party received about eight times as many above the line Senate preferences from the Shooters by position 3 as did the Greens.  I would expect the Liberals to gain on Woodruff by at least 0.06 quotas here.

However, in 2014 the Greens did much better on absent votes relative to other votes in Franklin and if that is again the case they could be looking at a turnaround of about .025 quotas.  Adding up everything mentioned above my estimates currently have Street just very slightly favoured, but a projected margin of around 100 votes is more or less meaningless and could well disappear with further checking or if the Greens do better on absents than last time.

On the Labor side of the ledger, Alison Standen has done nicely and is 835 ahead of Kevin Midson.  Midson's big problem here is that the Greens and Liberals won't be releasing many preferences while locked in their fight to the end, so Midson really has only the 3625 votes of minor Labor candidates Barnsley and Chong, both female, to pull it back on.  I cannot see this happening; Standen should win.

Update Wednesday:  On the Labor side of the ledger Standen has stretched her lead over Midson to 989 votes, and that is too much (given the remarkable lack of preference sources caused by the close fight between the Greens and Liberals) and is called. (I've also heard a scrutineering report that the two Labor minor candidates combined weren't breaking all that strongly either way.)

In the closer contest, there is bad news for the Greens - they've only made a 0.01 quota improvement off the absents and late postals, with the notional Liberal lead now 582 votes (0.05 Q). This is with 92.8% counted; in 2014 the count got to 94.2%, so there isn't very much to add at all.

Something else I've noticed is that in 2014 the Franklin Greens slate was very leaky, with around 13-15% leaking on each exclusion.  On the other hand, there could be a small Labor surplus, but most of that will exhaust.  At the moment I think Street has the slightly better chances but we need to at least see the real leakage rate on the Hodgman surplus.  In 2014 it was a miserly 6% and the main beneficiary was Premier Giddings, so it stands to reason that at this election it could be even lower. 

Update Friday: A better day for the Greens (and a data point in support of the "backpacker vote", just as I was saying it's been extinct since 2004), gaining 96 of the 437 votes added to the count compared to 170 for the Liberals and 156 for Labor.  Bearing in mind that the Liberal notional total is net after taking out two quotas, that means the notional Liberal lead closes to 510 votes (0.044 quotas).  So Woodruff is still in this, especially if there are further gains in whatever is to come.

Given that the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers preferences could well decide the seat, it's interesting to see where they did well.  One group of booths where they polled well is the sorts of places to be expected - rural and forestry type areas (Huonville, Judbury, Dover, Southport, Snug, Sandford).  The other however is the working-class suburbs in Clarence (Clarendon Vale, Risdon Vale, Warrane, Rokeby).  So it might be that a fair chunk of the Shooters voters are actually alienated Labor voters.  (Palmer United also did well in the second group of booths, in fact better than the Shooters did.)  In neither cases will their preferences assist the Greens, but Woodruff would be wanting as many as possible to at least go to Labor and then exhaust.

Update Tuesday morning: Just 64 votes added for final primaries and the notional Liberal lead closed to 502 votes.  We start now with the big one: Will Hodgman's massive surplus.  The exhaust rate here to other parties will be crucial and the splitup in the Liberal ticket will also be important.  (Ideally the Liberals don't want Petrusma over by too much and would want as much of the surplus to go straight to Street as possible.)  If too many votes go to candidates other than Street then the risk of further leakage increases.  Aside from the Hodgman surplus, the Shooters exclusion will be very interesting later on.

Update Tuesday lunch: Hodgman's surplus is thrown, and the Liberals lost 5.4% but did well in terms of Petrusma not going over quota herself and not too much going to minor Liberals.  Woodruff has a notional lead of 440 after herself gaining 80 votes.  Now we have the Liberals with 4177 votes that can still leak and the Greens with 2971, but the Greens are likely to leak a higher percentage than the Liberals, so it is probably going to all come down to that Shooters exclusion.

1:30 pm: The first Greens candidate, Hatfield, leaked 12%, but not much of it went to the Liberals.

1:50 pm: Another Green gone.  Soon all the minor Greens will be out and from that point Woodruff will continue to gain on leakage, but preferences from outside the competing parties are a different matter.  It looks like most of the Hodgman leakage went to Labor, so Labor preferences are going to be significant to the outcome.  However unlike Hext preferences which have to go outside the SF+F ticket (because they had only one candidate), the Labor votes will exhaust.

2:55: We now have the first Liberal exclusion (Simon Duffy), which will put Petrusma over with a small surplus.  So we'll get to see how much leakage there is on those.

3:10: Duffy has been part-excluded  - his primary value votes were thrown first to see if they put Petrusma over (which they did).  The leakage rate on these votes was relatively high, around 11%.   Currently Woodruff's notional lead is 204 votes, but she  has only one running mate to go.  Labor votes are also building up, now with 1606 over quota.  Probably about 600 of these will be available to throw between Woodruff and Street with the rest exhausting.  These votes will come through either as leakage from the Labor ticket or from Standen's surplus after Midson puts her over the top.  Perhaps these might help Woodruff?  That might be her best chance!

4:15 The Duffy exclusion has finished and so has the Petrusma surplus - a relief for the Liberals dropping only 55 more votes there (all the remaining votes in this lot had been through two Liberals and hence were less likely to leak.)  Woodruff is notionally 265 ahead.  The Greens have 1666 votes that can still leak, the Liberals have 3316.  We now wait for the throws of Atkinson and Barnsley then the big one: Hext (SFF).  If Woodruff can get 20% off Hext and have the majors split the rest fairly evenly, she can stay in the contest and it can go down to the wire on Labor preferences.

5:40 All the minor Greens are gone now and Woodruff has a notional 13 vote lead, though it should be more like a few hundred after leakage from Chandler is factored in.  The leak from Atkinson was not that bad (13.8%) and the good news for Woodruff is that nearly all the leakage went to Labor.  Now we'll have a partial exclusion of Barnsley which will put O'Byrne over the line, then the rest of Barnsley, then an O'Byrne surplus.  Will be very interesting to see where whatever leaks out of this lot goes.  I have had Street as a slight favourite on and off through the count but at the moment I think it's a tossup because of this possibility that Labor preferences will drag Woodruff back if she is not too far behind after the Shooters preferences.

7:00 Given the possibility that this will go down to the wire on Labor preferences, I've had a look at past cases involving votes exiting the Labor ticket at Labor's final exclusion or surplus and having a chance to split between the Liberals and the Greens.  I've only found about half a dozen cases, one of which is complicated by the presence of Andrew Wilkie and a few others of which are complicated by there being multiple Liberals for votes to go to.  In all cases bar one the Liberals gained over the Greens on the Labor preferences.  The exception however is one of the one-to-one fights - Bass 1996 where Lance Armstrong got 23% to the late Tony Benneworth's 14% with the rest exhausting; this was not enough to stop Benneworth winning the seat.  As in this case, both were incumbents.

The left focus of the Labor campaign and the amount of Green leakage going to the Labor ticket might create an unusual flow to Woodruff by historic standards here, but it's still hard to see that Woodruff would beat Street on the Labor preferences by, say, 20 points.  So if Street is more than a few hundred up after the Shooters preferences and Chandler's votes, that should be the end of it.  If, on the other hand, Woodruff has a small lead, that doesn't necessarily mean she will win (especially since the votes are coming mainly from Kevin Midson - if they were coming from Standen it could be a different story!)


10:00 Barnsley's preferences have nearly all been thrown generating a small surplus for O'Byrne.  Out of 2008 Barnsley votes thrown there was a 92 vote (4.6%) leak to Woodruff and a 34 vote (1.7%) leak to the Liberals.  If that sort of ratio on votes leaving the Labor ticket and going somewhere continues it could help Woodruff rectify the damage from the Shooters preferences.

10:30 Barnsley's preferences have all been finished (the Liberals gained 11 to 9 off the remainder).  With the notional Woodruff lead at 69 votes (but it will be much more than that because of leakage from Chandler) we now come to the most significant throw of the count, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers preferences.

12:20 The Hext throw has been done and it was 1126 (50%) to the Liberals, 768 (34%) to Labor, 323 (14%) to the Greens, 50 to exhaust.  That puts the Liberals 734 ahead.  We now have one more Labor exclusion (Chong) before we get to see how much the Liberals lose on the exclusion of Chandler.  It's highly likely Street still leads after Chandler's exclusion, by a few hundred or so, and then the question is can Woodruff get a strong enough break on the Labor votes (maybe say 900-1200) that do not exhaust at the end?  Woodruff is still in this - history is not on her side though.

2:30: About a 15% leak off Chong with the Greens gaining 241 votes to 179 for the Liberals, leaving the Liberals notionally 672 ahead.  The In all the break on Labor leakage that doesn't exhaust has now been around 60-40 to Woodruff - and this is although it has had two Liberals to go to.  However, that has been off female candidates whereas the votes leaving Labor's ticket will be mostly from a male candidate (and one to the right of the party at that).  Labor only has 1933 votes above their two quotas now and one would expect something like 55% of those to exhaust, so something like 200 votes might well be closeable.  We now have 3867 votes from Chandler to throw and see what the leakage rate is like.  If it is 8% with say 100 to the Greens then that's a lead in the high 200s.  10% with 150 to the Greens would be a lead of only 135 which might well not survive.  A really close one this!

4:05 Well the leakage off Chandler was at the large end of expectations. Street leads by 81 with all those Labor votes to go. Advantage Woodruff?

6:20: Final for night.  That note above was a bit brief because I was out and updating by phone is a nightmare.  As noted Street leads by 81.  There are 2193 votes to come out of the Labor ticket in various forms (leakage off Midson that doesn't go to Standen, surplus off Standen from Midson, and finally Midson's votes at less than full value), but I'd expect only about 1000-1100 votes to be in play and the rest to exhaust.

If there are 1000 splitting between Woodruff and Street, Woodruff will need a 54-46 split.  That's less than the 60-40 split on leaks from Labor so far, but the leaks came from female candidates, so it's possible the split won't be that strong.

Overnight: In case of extremely close result, you could try pressing the recount button.  Allowing or disallowing a recount is discretional but the result would have to be extremely close or there would have to be some special cause to grant it.  The closest within-party margin I recall was seven votes (Michael Weldon ALP over Greg Peart ALP, Braddon 1989) and the closest between-party margin was 32 (Benneworth LIB over Armstrong GRN, Bass 1996).  I don't recall a recount in those cases.

Thursday 9:25: Woodruff is now 48 ahead after the throw of most of Midson's votes.  What remains is the surplus from Standen (1132) and Midson's less-than-full-value papers (180).  Street would need about a 55-45 split on the non-exhausting portion of the remainder and there is nothing we have seen to suggest he will get that - more likely Woodruff pulls further ahead and wins by over 100.

Final Result: Woodruff has won by 226 votes.


  1. Great analysis Kevin as per normal - just wondering do you have a link for the individual booths - Any location cluster for Hext votes or uniform across the electorate? And where Hext preferences are going % to Libs, Lab Greens.

  2. I had a feed for info with the booth breakdowns last night though decoding it is a bit of work, don't think I'll be looking today. Don't have scrutineering figures and such a candidate would be impossible to sample anyway. Senate flows will give some idea but the flow will not be as strong because of voters who know the candidate personally..

  3. Probably needs a much longer answer, but why did the Greens vote crash like it did?

    1. I'll cover that in depth in a longer wrap-up piece which I hope to have up in the next day or two, but: lack of political oxygen (ALP nicking pokies policy), lack of high-profile MPs, poor preselections in Lyons and Braddon and a general failure to provide anything fresh to the electorate. They are complaining about being outspent but being outspent does not alone cause a party to lose more than half its vote in eight years, especially not when its usual supporters are the people who would have been least susceptible to that.

    2. Interesting that in Braddon Craig Garland nearly polled 2000 votes in an electorate that isn't kind to candidates running on an environmental platform. His down to earth approach resonated with voters.

  4. Re Green vote crash - I think Cassy’s Leadership should also be seriously bought into question - past leaders (Milne, Brown, Putt) would ‘do their homework’ and present creditable arguments that the major parties would need to respond to whereas Cassy just seems to be lazy and vindictive and just moans and complains... your corrupt, it’s not fair, and just plays the man (or should that be woman to be politically correct :) instead of actually doing her homework.... a complete turnoff to the general electorate. She has a opportunity to glaverize support with fish farms and or cable cars but failed miserably.

    1. I had the misfortune to be the subject of non-creditable arguments by both Brown and Putt in the Snail Wars 1999-2000 so I'm not entirely sure I agree there! But I do think there are serious doubts about O'Connor's style after this result and in particular her judgement in saying she wanted to work with all parties then weeks later threatening - before the election - to bring one of them down. Doubt it made that much of a difference to their vote.

    2. It would be fair to say that Brown has never been known for the accuracy of his election results predictions.

  5. I would suggest that from my observations the Tasmanian Greens are dominated by a Tree Tory membership base and as such strongly identify as an ENVIRONMENTAL movement as even their name suggests. To really get traction in the polls, they must somehow transform themselves into a genuine SOCIAL movement. Until they manage to do that, I believe their vote will always hover around the 10% mark. A name change would be a good start.

  6. Kevin - do you think Greens vote will be higher than 1998 election performance (when 10.18% achieved)?

    Reported today: Bob Brown is confident that the party's vote will end up higher than 10 per cent once the final votes are counted.

    "It'll be better than the 98 vote," he said.

    "Amongst other things there's the bushwalker vote — that is absentee voters, they're tertiary educated, they're travelling around the world, they love this island.

    "We see it time and time again, those late votes coming in, tend to bolster the Greens."

  7. Brown is confusing two different things. The "bushwalker vote" theory was an idea that late postals favour the Greens - it came up in the 2004 Senate count and I have never seen evidence for it since.

    Absent votes - which do favour the Greens - are not votes from bushwalkers around the world, they are votes from people who are out of their electorates on the day. In 2018 absent votes statewide lifted the Greens by 0.25%, which if repeated would get them to 10.28. However I do not think the lift on absents will be quite that large this time because absents are disproportionately in Lyons where the Green vote has been disproportionately bad compared to last time. Whether it beats 1998 or not - touch and go, may just get there. (I have them on 10.03 at the moment.)

  8. Bonham vs Brown - look forward to seeing the final result - i’m with you and think the final result will see the Greens performance worse than 1998 and be less than 10.18%.
    Some mentioned to me today: “Cassy O’Connor - leader of the Green”

    1. They are now on 10.29 so seem to have increased in postcount (mostly on absents) by about the same amount as last time.

  9. So, if the Greens are reduced to one seat, and it is Denison, and it is felt they need a new leader, what would the current leader do? Spill herself? Unlikely... but if she did, Helen Burnett would not run for Lord Mayor, and we would have the possibility of a green Lord Mayor in the form of Anna Reynolds, who has no idea about the role, or of the legal rights, responsibilities and limitations thereof, for goodness' sake...

  10. Kevin I wonder if some of the "Fishers" part of the Shooters and Fishers party might throw the odd preference to the Greens due to opposition to Fish Farm expansion?

    1. Vaguely possible but I doubt it. Wasn't a big issue in Franklin. Doesn't seem to have had much of an impact on the election anywhere really.

  11. Kevin I can see your updates for the four other electorates but the entire entry for Bass is missing?

    1. or click on link in the sidebar. It's on the second page because the front page only holds 7 articles.

  12. 13/10/2......Denison was the key to a majority lib govt or a hung parliament


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