Sunday, November 25, 2018

2018 Victorian Postcount: Other Indie Challenges (Pascoe Vale, South-West Coast etc)

On this page - Pascoe Vale, South-West Coast, Geelong, Ovens Valley, Werribee, Mildura

Link to state tally and main postcount thread

Link to upper house coverage

I've already posted threads on the interesting post-counts in Morwell, Benambra and Melton.  There are more seats I could post threads of their own on but I shouldn't put too many on the front page!  This seat covers all remaining seats I am aware of where there are interesting issues involving independent candidates creating problems for either major party.  Often in election leadups this is spoken about as a factor but then most of the indie challenges fizzle.  In this case the Coalition's performance has been so bad that it has opened many doors to independents to either beat the Coalition on Labor preferences or beat Labor on Coalition preferences.  Suzanna Sheed has easily retained, Ali Cupper appears to have won Mildura (see below),  Russell Northe is in a fairly good looking position in Morwell, and there are a bunch of others who either can't be written off, or who can be written off but have come close.  Here we go then.  All seats will be updated from time to time unless I have already called them.

Pascoe Vale (Labor wins easily)

This is a much-heralded contest between hard-campaigning independent local councillor Oscar Yildiz and Labor incumbent Lizzie Blandthorn.  Yildiz, who was the subject of a ferocious Labor campaign against him and who preferenced the Liberals on his card (apparently partly for ease-of-following reasons), has picked up in late counting.  The following are the current standings:

Blandthorn (ALP) 37.12
Yildiz (IND) 25.52
Jackson (Green) 11.9
Hamilton (Lib) 10.8
Kavanagh (IND) 8.34
Socialists 3.00
Animal Justice 1.76
Timpano (IND) 1.55

Kavanagh is a councilmate of Yildiz and the two have both been council mayors.  Kavanagh is, however, more agreeable to the Greens who preferenced him ahead of Labor and Labor ahead of Yildiz.  It is a simple contest between Blandthorn and Yildiz and the VEC will soon realign the count to the correct first and second candidates.

At the moment Yildiz needs 65.5% of preferences to win; this figure may go up and down in late counting.  The big problem for him is the Greens votes, as the Greens preferenced Labor and there would be plenty of awareness in the electorate that Labor was attacking Yildiz and trying to tie him to the Liberal Party.  Even so, Green preferences will surely not split as strongly between Blandthorn and Yildiz as the 78% split between Labor and Liberal in 2014.  If we say the Green preferences split 70-30 to Blandthorn, that leaves Yildiz needing a difficult but faintly possible 82% of the rest.  (I say difficult because it is a strong Labor area after all.)  If the Green preferences split more weakly, it becomes much easier for him.

The ABC currently projects the seat to Labor with 53.5% - that's their estimate, not real numbers.  I prefer Labor's chances but I think it will be closer than that.  Scrutineering comments welcome.

Monday: The VEC has confirmed the 2CP count will be re-aligned from tomorrow.

Note that the 2CP percentages will bounce around during the realignment depending on which booths have been counted.  ABC computer projections have been unreliable in the past during such realignments.

Monday 10 pm: Richard Willingham has reported that prepolls have split 6058-6009 between Blandthorn and Yildiz.  So far the primary vote split on prepolls displayed on the VEC page has been Blandthorn 33.5 Yildiz 30.9.  The overall primary split is 37.1 for Blandthorn and 25.5 for Yildiz.  So if Blandthorn is level on prepolls then she is probably winning overall by about 54-46.

Tuesday 5:30 The alignment is underway and Blandthorn is leading comfortably in the booths counted so far.  If it closes up I will run regressions to see if there is any risk of defeat but I expect there won't be.

Wednesday 5:30 Fresh figures show all booths have been realigned and Labor leads 59-41 so this contest is completely over.

South-West Coast (probable Liberal win - confirmed)

This one is rather more complex.  Roma Britnell (Lib) has held off a large swing to beat Labor on the 2PP 52.44-47.56 (currently) with Labor getting 53.5% of preferences.  Here is what we've got

Britnell (Lib) 32.25
Gaston (ALP) 24.45
Purcell (IND) 16.88
Neoh (IND) 9.09
Doukas (Country) 8.19
Greens 5.09
DLP 1.65
McCluskey (IND) 0.91
Socialists 0.57

The danger to Britnell is former Vote 1 Local Jobs MLC James Purcell, who has bravely tried his hand at the more organic form of preference-gathering.  So there are two questions here: can Purcell get into second, and if so does he win?

To get into second Purcell currently needs to gain 7.57% off 25.5% of preferences that are being thrown to him and the majors, which means he needs a share almost 30 points better than Labor's.  That's not unthinkable, but the Greens have preferenced Labor, while the Country Party has preferenced Britnell, so to the extent that Country Party voters follow that, votes will go out of the preference pool. It is much harder than what Ian Birchall has to do in Melton.

If Purcell does get into second, he needs 65.1% of preferences over Britnell to win.  Even with the Country preferences probably proving unfriendly, that seems achievable to me.  Getting into second is the hard bit, but if Labor drop back a bit it might be possible.  We probably won't know the answer to this one until the final distribution.

6:00 Wednesday: Purcell was a fizzer, going backwards in the race against Labor for second.  Tough stuff this real preferences game.

Geelong (Labor wins easily)

Sacked former local mayor and human hairstyle Darren Lyons has clearly run second to Labor here, and currently has 25.17% to Labor's 40.30%.  Lyons needs 71.9% of preferences with the following preference sources:

Fidge (Lib) 20.19
Newman (Green) 9.19
Animal Justice 2.64
Vic Socialists 1.13
Wolf (IND) 0.73
Juhasz (IND) 0.66

Lyons' problem is that while he should do the job easily on Liberal preferences the Green, AJP and Socialists preferences are highly likely to favour Labor.  Left-wing voters generally see Lyons as of the right.  Even if rest broke evenly he would need 87% of Liberal preferences, and the re-aligned count should soon confirm that Labor wins.

Monday: The VEC has confirmed the 2CP count will be re-aligned from tomorrow.

Note that the 2CP percentages will bounce around during the realignment depending on which booths have been counted.  ABC computer projections have been unreliable in the past during such realignments.

Tuesday: The realignment is underway and Labor is leading massively with most booths included.  I haven't bothered analysing it as it does not look close.

Wednesday 5:30 Fresh figures show all booths have been realigned and Labor leads 58-42 so this contest is completely over.

Ovens Valley (Nationals win) 

Tim McCurdy (Nats) has 45.26% and independent Tammy Atkins is third on primaries on 19.86%.  Atkins will probably move into second on preferences if not on late counting, but needs 86% of preferences to beat McCurdy.  This is not realistic with Country Party preferences a significant part of what is left over.  The VEC has not announced any plans to realign the count in this seat.

Tuesday 4:00 Atkins actually failed to move into second on the preference distribution by 38 votes, a margin that could be subject to recount if it actually mattered, but it doesn't because McCurdy crossed the line with a comfortable absolute majority at that point.

Wednesday midnight: There have been some bizarre incorrect claims on Twitter that Atkins has caused Ovens Valley to become marginal.  The original claim was made based on a misunderstanding of the result and it was then echoed by a more prominent tweeter.  Because the preference distribution finished with three candidates, the 2PP quick count won't be overridden, but it wouldn't need to be anyway because Labor finished second. It's extremely likely McCurdy vs Atkins would have been closer than McCurdy vs Labor, but it's irrelevant because Atkins didn't make the final two.  Even if she had, given that the distribution stopped, we would not get a McCurdy vs Atkins 2CP.  The only two-candidate result we get is McCurdy's 62.64% result vs Labor, and so the seat will be recorded as Nat vs ALP 12.64%.

Werribee (Labor win)

Treasurer Tim Pallas (44.74%) is challenged by independent Joe Garra (20.87%) who will clearly finish second.  Garra needs 85% of all preferences, and the preference sources include 6% from the Greens.  We should get a two-candidate re-alignment soon but 85% seems much too much especially against a high-profile opponent.  But if the target drops in late counting this could get interesting. On current numbers a serious problem for Garra is that Rachel Carling-Jenkins (ex-DLP) has preferenced Pallas and has 6% of primaries, which has caused Garra to say on Twitter that his task is "impossible."

Monday: The VEC has not yet confirmed the 2CP count will be re-aligned in this seat, although it has confirmed four other realignments.

Wednesday 5:00: Tim Pallas has announced that he has "declared victory", presumably on the basis of scrutineering figures as there is no evidence of the seat being re-aligned.  The seat hasn't been formally finalised so the declaration of victory has no official status but he presumably wouldn't be saying it unless he had carefully checked out the possibility of losing to Garra and rejected it.

Tuesday 5:00: All over with Pallas getting over 50% on preferences with two opponents remaining.  This means we probably don't ever get a 2CP of Pallas vs Garra for second; if Garra got 85% of Liberal preferences it would be 55.5 for Pallas but I don't have scrutineering data.  A comparable case is Preston (2014) where the Greens snuck into second on indepedent preferences but Liberal preferences were never thrown,  so there was never an ALP-Green margin to my knowledge.

Please let me know if I have missed any interesting indie seats.  Updates to follow.

Mildura (IND win)

I have added this seat because a small amount of doubt has appeared about Ali Cupper's apparent win after absents showed no swing to her, unlike other votes counted so far.  At present Cupper leads by 281 votes on the (not necessarily exact) two candidate check count.  In total 86% has been counted, and if the count gets up to the same total as last time (92.3%, which it may not) there could still be around 2700 formal votes to add.  This could leave the Nationals' incumbent Peter Crisp needing about 55.5% of the rest.  Thus far he is getting 58.9% on postals (of which there are not many to come) and 52.8% of prepolls.  Probably the postals flow will weaken anyway so all up Cupper is still very likely to win but it could finish very close, and perhaps there might be some regional pattern in the out-of-electorate prepolls that could help Crisp).  Note that when 2CP check count figures get below a 100 vote margin there is a significant chance they are wrong enough to switch during the preference distribution.

Friday 7 pm: Cupper has pulled away slightly to lead by 303 votes with 86.6% now counted.

Sunday 12:00: After further postals Cupper is 240 ahead with 88.1% counted.  If 2014 turnout is matched there could still be about 1770 votes to go of which Crisp would need almost 57%.  This is difficult but it is still too early to be certain of the outcome.  Note that @sorceror43 has found that there were discrepancies in the unchecked and rechecked primaries that were in Cupper's favour; at the moment I can't check this because of some votes not yet being in the spreadsheet.

Monday 11:00 The preference distribution commences 10:00 with Cupper 239 ahead.

Tuesday 3:30: All over - Cupper wins by 254.

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  1. Hi Kevin - a bit more background on Werribee if any of your readers are interested. By way of disclosure, I used to live in Werribee but have recently moved, but have continued to take an interest in the seat. Joe Garra is a doctor in the seat (I have used his practice in the past, and he has seen my son). He has been vocal in advocating on the lack of maternity facilities at the local hospital, but he probably really rose to prominence in the local area in 2017, following the announcement that the government were going to build a Youth Detention Facility in Werribee South. While most Victorians understand the need for this facility (remember the Libs campaign about how out of control crime is in Victoria?) there was anger in the electorate about the site that was chosen, not that far from homes and from the tourist precinct where Werribee Park mansion, Werribee Open Range Zoo etc are. Garra led a campaign against the facility that was widely critical of Pallas, who people felt had let down his community. Ultimately the campaign was successful, and the government announced that they were moving the location of the proposed Detention Centre - still in the electorate, but down the road a bit further. Following this taste of activism, many encouraged Garra to stand to stop Labor ignoring the safe seat, and hence his campaign was born.

    As I understand it, most of the how to vote cards direct preferences to Garra, except for one - those of Rachel Carling-Jenkins, the upper house member that was elected in 2014 for the DLP, defected to Corey Bernardi's Conservatives, and then when Bernardi decided his party wouldn't contest Victoria, she decided to run in the lower house as an independent.

    Carling-Jenkins was unhappy that Garra was preferencing the Greens and hence put him down the list on her how to vote card.

    As you have pointed out above, Pallas first preference count is too high for Garra to cause an upset, particularly with Carling-Jenkins on 6% of primaries, but I thought I would explain the above factors which might explain why this seat has trended differently to the rest of the state.

  2. That’s a shame for Garra if he doesn’t get the 2CP realignment. His platform was about sending a message to the majors not to take the seat for granted, and his efforts actually get statistically buried if they don’t do it.

    Like in Melton where some uninformed Libs are taking credit for the apparent swing to Libs, ignoring how their primary vote also took a big hit .

  3. Sadly, votes weren't realigned. There was real scatter in preferences. I actually got more from RCJ than I did from the Greens. The guesstimate is that I got a 7-9% swing against Pallas. I was quite pleased with the result as a first timer and spending under $1 a vote.