Sunday, May 2, 2021

2021 Legislative Council Postcounts: Windermere and Derwent

(Link to main 2021 page including link to other postcount threads)

WINDERMERE Vacancy (retirement, Ivan Dean, conservative IND)

Nick Duigan (LIB) vs Geoff Lyons (ALP) or Will Smith (IND)

Duigan won after preferences of Smith.  

DERWENT called, Craig Farrell (ALP) has retained.

This is a very brief (initially) postcount thread for Windermere, which I am doing second behind Clark because the Legislative Council matters!  Labor's Craig Farrell has retained Derwent as he is leading Ben Shaw 48.7-41.2 and the Animal Justice preferences (10%) will favour Farrell.  Farrell might win 55-45 or slightly more.  

As for Windermere, all ordinary booths are in but I believe the George Town Windermere prepoll is not yet included.  With 74% counted Liberal Nick Duigan has 37.7%, former Labor federal MHR Geoff Lyons has 26.8%, Ivan Dean's endorsed successor Will Smith has 21.2%, Launceston Councillor Rob Soward has 10% and Vivienne Gale has 4.2%.  

I do not expect Smith's preferences to break that strongly between Duigan and Lyons so if the top two are Duigan and Lyons then Duigan should win easily.  The interest would be if Smith made the final two, as he would then need a 70% split off mostly Labor preferences, which might be doable but by normal Legislative Council standards would be difficult.  However, for Smith to even make the final two he currently needs to beat Lyons by 39.5 points in independent votes from Soward and Gale that are being thrown three ways between Duigan, Lyons and Smith.  He would need something like a 60-20-20 split on these preferences (for example) to just get into second on current numbers.  Even with the split being independent to independent I think it's very unlikely indeed the vote would split quite this strongly, especially with Soward having run on a health-based campaign that meshed well with Labor's.  I've seen this sort of scenario before and the candidate in third almost never makes it.  We should keep an eye on this one for the distribution of preferences once all the votes are in but for the moment I think it's likely that Duigan will claim the seat.   If anyone has scrutineering estimates on preference flow please forward so I can (probably) put this one to bed.

If Duigan wins the balance in the Legislative Council will be five Labor, four Liberal, two currently fairly right-leaning independents, and four left independents.  Updates to follow.

We should bear in mind that both these results could potentially be challenged on the grounds of possible Legislative Council campaign spending restriction breaches through generic advertising.  However if the results are clearcut that will make it much more difficult to argue for a voiding even if a court decides that an offence by someone is proven.  In any case, in the meantime the winners will take their seats.  

Update 2 May: There is another issue being raised with this seat with Will Smith claiming that voter confusion was an issue because of voters trying to vote in Launceston booths just outside Windermere and being unable to vote for Windermere at that booth.  I believe it is appropriate that I quote the entire section recording the TEC's response:


Commissioner Andrew Hawkey said all electors were mailed a brochure detailing "all polling places where people could vote", a full-page advertisement was placed in The Examiner, television advertisements were run and details were included on the TEC website.

He said there were 15 pre-poll locations for the upper house, and he believed strong pre-poll numbers were an indication that the message had gotten through to voters.

"All electors should have gotten the information, and if they couldn't, they had all 15 pre-poll places where they could vote, which is more voting services than normal Legislative Council elections," Mr Hawkey said.

"Pre-poll was triple the normal pre-poll votes.

"This is the best access people have been able to have to a Legislative Council election."


Monday: Smith's position became slightly more difficult yesterday; he now needs a 41 point break over Lyons on the Gale and Soward preferences.  Meanwhile I have looked at vote-splitting between the houses and the Liberal primary in Windermere is running 17 points below the Assembly vote in the same booths. So rather than be sucked in to voting Liberal on both ballot papers by the simultaneous elections, voters seem to have voted as they would have normally.

Also there was some scrutineering intel on the Fontcast that suggested that the Liberal camp are "more hopeful than not" but believe that it is "close", I think in terms of Smith getting into second and hence winning.  I've toned down some of my assessments on account of this as it sounds like there may be a rather strong flow from the other indies to Smith - still, 40 points?

There was further counting in Derwent where Farrell is now on 49.33%.  

Wednesday: A very slight improvement for Smith in Windermere on rechecking; he now needs a 40.0 point break over Lyons.  

Friday: Preferences have been distributed in Derwent and Farrell wins 55.7-44.3 (subject to any more votes still to come which will make little difference) after getting 65.2% of Animal Justice preferences.  This is a rather strong result because there was a small swing against Labor and to the Liberals in the Assembly votes for the Lyons section of Derwent (the Clark section is hard to compare because of the huge damage done to Labor's vote there by independents).  The Lyons section suggests that had voters voted the same way on both ballots, Derwent would have been very close indeed, though Farrell may have just survived.   Meanwhile for Windermere we don't have interim distributions yet and will be waiting til Tuesday.  

Monday 10th: A small further update in primary vote counting: Duigan 37.88% leads Lyons 26.95 and Smith 21.35.  Smith now needs a 40.5 point break over Lyons to be second.  I expect this seat to be resolved during Tuesday.  

Tuesday 11:30 No new numbers have been posted yet.

Tuesday 1:30 Gale has been distributed and her preferences gave Smith a 27.3 point break over Lyons.  Current primaries Duigan 38.3 Lyons 27.72 Smith 23.11.  Smith needs a 42.4% break over Lyons on the Soward preferences to make the top two.  If he succeeds he needs 69.7% of combined Soward and Gale preferences to win.  If he fails Lyons needs 65.6% of combined Soward and Gale preferences.  Duigan was the worst performer on Gale's preferences followed by Lyons.  

Tuesday 2:25 Smith is out.  He got a 28.3% break and misses out by 328 votes.  Lyons needs a 68.6% split off Smith and that seems extremely unlikely to me.  

5:24 Duigan wins.  Margin is about 1600 apparently.

Update: Final margin 1742 votes (54.14% to 45.86%).  An underwhelming margin given the lower house vote in the same booths but a win is a win is a win.  This takes the Liberals to four seats to Labor's five, with six independents (four left and two right-ish).  

Next year's menu is the first ever election for the oddly-shaped northern rural seat of McIntyre where Tania Rattray may or may not seek a fourth term, and Labor's Josh Willie's first defence of Elwick.


  1. Windermere looks like a good candidate for an independent challenge (presuming no third place victory for Smith), to try and knock future simultaneous elections on the head and maybe get more clear air for the independents in a rerun. Derwent not so much.

  2. Kevin, appreciate your commentary, would you not include the power of incumbency/name recognition as a factor in an increase of leakage from near all quarters towards Hickey? It is rare a sitting MP, the speaker, and former mayor at that, has run as an independent. What weight can be given to this?

    1. I can't move comments between threads but I'll repost this comment with a reply on the Clark thread.