Sunday, November 27, 2022

Victorian 2022 Postcount: Northcote and Preston

 As I roll out postcount threads I'm finding that there are not that many seats in serious doubt this election but I'm keeping an eye on a few seats that are also interesting in that they underlie general trends.

The Greens seemed set for a very good election after the Liberal Party preferenced them but at the moment it looks like they have only one gain to show for it in Richmond.  At one stage in early counting the Greens were projecting to win or go close in Footscray, Pascoe Vale and Preston and to win Albert Park if they could finish second, but all of those fell over.  (They are 8.2% off second in Albert Park with no prospect of bridging that off 13.1% of minor candidate shrapnel that is also splitting to Labor.)  Many of these seats were not that competitive to begin with but there are some underlying themes in this performance: a rather soft Green primary vote that is easily gouged by the Victorian Socialists especially for one thing.  

Northcote (ALP vs Green 1.7%) - Labor wins

Unlike Richmond where the Greens had a perfect storm of candidate factors in their favour, in Northcote they are going from having an incumbent in 2018 (now-Senator Lidia Thorpe) to the seat being occupied by Labor's Kat Theophanous.  Primaries with 72.4% counted are Theophanous 41.7% , Campbell Gome (Greens) 29.1, Liberals 12.0, Victorian Socialists 6.8, Reason 3.6 etc.  Labor is currently getting 32.5% of all preferences and coming out ahead 51.2-48.8, a lead of 865 votes.  

The main reason this might yet close up is absents; in 2018 the Greens gained a net 366 on absents in this seat, and a larger gain would put them within striking distance if there was some error or favourable prepoll.  But it looks like Labor have retained Northcote.  The hit of being preferenced against by the Liberals is not so large here because nobody much votes Liberal in Northcote, but even with the candidate factors included, for the Greens to be looking at only a tiny swing to them here is either a lacklustre result for them or a strong one for Theophanous.  

Thursday 5 pm: The Greens have conceded Northcote and I would assume their scrutineering intel is running well ahead of what we are seeing officially.  I have therefore transferred it to assumed win status.  This is a disappointing result for the Greens but it may also be a reflection on the success of Theophanous as a first-term MP (this may become clearer when the Upper House count is completed as a benchmark).  

Sunday: Northcote has closed up to a margin of 270 votes (50.32%).  The Greens have thus far gained 469 votes on absents compared to 366 in 2018 but they have also gained over 100 from somewhere else.  The count is currently at 88.6% on the 2CP check count.  In 2018 it reached 91% suggesting that at best there might be c. 1200 to come, though with the declining turnouts at the federal election it is probably not that much.  It doesn't look like the Greens' call was premature at this stage.

Sunday night: And still more ... with 89.1% counted Labor leads by just 194 (50.23%).  However, that must be pretty much the lot (or is it ...) 

Monday: Computerised distribution of preferences tomorrow. The Greens have issued a statement that has been reported by The Age as unconceding (if that's a word) the seat, though their candidate denies doing so.  I have not seen the full text of the statement so cannot express a view on this at this stage.

Tuesday 3:50 Labor has won Northcote by 184 votes (50.22% 2CP)

Preston (ALP vs Green 21.2%)

Preston has seen an enormous 2CP swing to the Greens off the back of Robin Scott's retirement, the Liberals' preferencing decision and whatever else is in the water there.  It's currently showing as an enormous 19.1% 2CP swing to the party though there is still a lot of counting to go in Preston, which is only at 58.5%.  On current numbers Nathan Lambert (Labor) is on 38.3%, Amanda Paliouras (Liberal) 16.5, Patchouli Paterson (Green) 14.8, Gaetano Greco (IND) 14.2, Steph Price (Vic Socialists) 6.7 and it is worth briefly listing who the other parties are: Freedom 2.9, Reason 2.3, Animal Justice 1.8, Family First 1.8 and Sanaghan (IND) 0.7.  Lambert gets 29.6% of preferences and currently wins 52.2-47.8.

Paliouras isn't likely to stay second and cannot win if she does.  Paterson is too far back based on the 2CP (unless there is some outrageously friendly prepoll not yet in the count, for instance.)  Why am I even mentioning this seat?  I'm mentioning it because while I am sure Labor beats the Liberals, and more or less sure they beat the Greens, I don't know anything about whether they beat Gaetano Greco. Greco is a former Darebin Mayor (described variously as having been independent and Labor at the time) whose issue mix includes the Preston Market and various generally left local concerns.   It seems the Preston Market might have been an issue driving the huge swing against Labor in Preston.  If Greco gets ahead of the Greens he will surely use the Greens preferences to overtake Labor and then use the Liberal preferences to close up towards Lambert.  

There are three issues with this here:

1. It is not clear Greco gets over the Greens.  All of the Victorian Socialists, Reason, Animal Justice and Sanaghan have recommended preferences to Greco ahead of the Greens, Labor or Liberals.  But none of these parties' supporters are big card followers and it is possible the Vic Socialists voters especially might preference the Greens and put Greco out of business.  (If he is over the Greens then their card preferences him, as does the Liberals')

2. Even if Greco would get over the Greens on votes now, it may not stay that way; he may slip back vs the Greens in the postcount.

3. Even if Greco makes the final three, he still needs 75.4% of preferences on current numbers which is a tall ask.  (The Greens are getting 70.4 though, so maybe not impossible).

So ... if only I could look up the distributions from 2018 and see how Socialist preferences and so on flowed between Gaetano and the Greens back then.  Except Scott cracked 50% on primaries and in these cases the VEC stops, so there's no data to see.  (Frustrating!)

These weird scenarios nearly always fall over and Labor may well have already put it to bed with scrutineering data.  But I think it is worth looking at a scenario where a candidate could conceivably win from fourth.  It has never yet happened in a state or federal election, but as the major party vote keeps dropping, someday it will ...

Sunday 5:50 The Preston count is at 62.9% and our hero (because it would be hilarious if one Independent won but it was one on nobody's radar) has improved his position, overtaking the Greens with 14.9% to their 14.3.  Labor has come down to 38.1 so Greco's target has come down to 74.9.  I am not sure he would get that though - it might seem he's a more attractive proposition than the Greens in a race against Labor but some voters are wary of preferencing Independents.  The situation has some echoes of Andrew Wilkie winning Denison in 2010 but Wilkie had a higher primary vote against a lower Labor primary vote, and got 69.7% of preferences.  I think it would be hard for Greco to get the current target. 

Sunday 11:00 An interesting Facebook post from Lambert that at least suggests Labor may (and hardly surprising if not) not have covered off Greco in scrutineering yet:

"A quick update on the election results… While some media organisations are reporting that Labor has beaten the Greens in Preston, I think the independent candidate, Gaetano Greco, will finish second after the distribution of preferences -- and possibly first. We won't know until all the postal votes are received and a full distribution of preferences is completed. I will post any major updates. But for the moment, the outcome remains uncertain."

Monday: A good point made by John in comments: the tendency of some Greens voters to preference Labor no matter what could make it hard for Greco to get a good enough flow off the Greens if he is over them.  While it might seem that the Greens to Greco flow would be stronger than Greco to Greens I am not sure that is actually the case.  

The ABC is now modelling the count as Labor vs Greco and assuming that the 2CP split to Greco as to the Greens will be the same (70-30).

Wednesday: The ABC has changed its preference estimate to something around 73-27 and added a note that this is based on scrutineering data (albeit not a very high volume of it.)

Wednesday night: Labor 38.0 Liberal 16.9 Greens 14.7 Greco 14.4.  ABC projection 50.9 ALP vs Greco if it comes to that.

Saturday: Labor 37.7 Liberal 17.0 Greens 15.3 Greco 13.9.  More doubt now about whether Greco can get out of fourth; if he does he needs 74.6%.

Sunday night: The ABC is reporting that Greco is struggling to get above 70% of preferences and that Labor is set to win no matter what.

Monday: Computerised distribution of preferences probably tomorrow. 

Tuesday: Distribution pushed back to Wednesday.

Wednesday: Greco was stuck in fourth by c. 800 votes and Labor beats the Greens 52.1-47.9

Victorian 2022 Postcount: Teal Seats (Hawthorn, Mornington)

This post follows post-counting in seats being contested between the Liberal Party and teal independents.

The Victorian election has been a shocker for independents.  Firstly they've failed to replicate the 2.6% swing to them at the federal election and remained on 6% of the primary vote (as correctly picked by Resolve in their final poll which was the only final poll to offer a clear demarcation of "independents").  Secondly they've been unlucky with the distribution of that vote, and look like they could come away with about five second places but no wins.  The rural seats of Benambra and Mildura closed up in late counting last night, but Benambra is 78.5% counted so I greatly doubt it's going to move into my frame.  There are two seats where teals are currently trailing by not very much that I will cover here.  In Kew, the Liberals' smart preselection of a female candidate likely to appeal to teal voters in Jess Wilson has succeeded in warding off the teal challenge.  Teals have also failed to register any vote of consequence in a few seats where they were touted as contenders, especially Brighton and Caulfield.  

One might say the poor result of teals at this election is because they were a federal protest movement with no relevance to a state Labor government, or because they were unable to be as well-funded as the federal teals.  I think there's more though, and I was especially intrigued by the teals picking a prominent fight with the VEC over how-to-vote cards.  The teals won that fight and rightly so, but the fact that they were spending time and energy on that suggested that either they couldn't find more important issues to prioritise or else they weren't prioritising them.  I did wonder about the tactical wisdom of it at the time.

Hawthorn (ALP vs Lib 0.6%)

Hawthorn is the scene of John Ormond Kennedy's unexpected 2018 win over then Shadow Attorney General and potential future leader John Pesutto.  Kennedy was never expected to retain the seat and the events of the federal election saw Hawthorn attract attention as somewhere where a teal might win if Labor didn't.

With just over 70% counted, standings are Pesutto (Lib) 43.4%, Kennedy (Labor) 21.4, Lowe (IND) 21.3, Savage (Greens) 10.0 with 3.9% between Animal Justice, Liberal Democrats, Labour DLP and Family First.  This pans out to a 2CP lead for Pesutto of 50.7-49.3; at present Pesutto is getting 20.7% of preferences.  There are still about 4300 postals outstanding (not all of which will arrive) and thousands of prepolls.  Postals so far have broken 65-35 to Pesutto; this flow will probably soften but it won't take much more of this action to make him safe.  I expect Pesutto to win easily from here and am only keeping an eye on it in case there is an uncounted prepoll place that might show a large move back.  Although Kennedy is currently second, it is rather likely that Green preferences will push Lowe into second (unless Kennedy somehow gets, say, 3% in front) and even if Kennedy stays second there is no prospect of Labor getting a preference flow good enough to win.

Wednesday: Prepolls have pushed Pesutto out to a lead near 1000 (51.3%); I'll keep an eye on it and reactivate this section if it gets much closer but in all probability that's the end of that one as a contest.

Tuesday: Lowe actually failed to make the 2CP by 106 votes (though the primary vote gap was just 2.13%) and Pesutto defeated Kennedy 51.7-48.3.  The flow from Lowe to Kennedy was 76.5%, though this includes votes for Lowe that were 1 for earlier excluded candidates (eg Greens).

Mornington (Lib vs ALP 5.0%)

Mornington is vacant after 16-year Liberal incumbent David Morris lost preselection and retired.  The Liberal candidate is former federal MP Chris Crewther, who lost Dunkley in 2019 after a redistribution and didn't get preselected for a rerun.  Crewther's preselection has attracted controversy amid claims of inflitration/stacking by the religious right.  

The current state of play in Mornington is very similar except that it is more counted at 78.1%.  Crewther (Lib) has 43.1%, Kate Lardner (teal challenger) has 23.3, Georgia Fowler (Labor) 21.8, the Greens have 5.5 and Freedom Party, Family First, Animal Justice and a minor Independent have the rest.  Crewther is getting 21.1% of preferences and currently has 50.24% 2CP (a lead of 177 votes).  At the moment this lead is likely to expand with remaining postals (potentially 4100 outstanding though some will not arrive) while there are not that many prepolls to be added as in other seats.  The usual script is that INDs do badly on before the day votes and if that plays out here Crewther should win.  

Tuesday 8:00 ABC now showing 81% counted and Crewther up by 337. 

Friday evening: With 85% counted and Crewther ahead by 491 (50.6%) the ABC has seen enough and so barring errors have I.  

Victoria 2022 Lower House Postcount: Summary Page And Classic Seats


SEATS APPARENTLY WON (some not confirmed yet) ALP 54 L-NP 28* Green 4 IND 0 


* includes Narracan subject to being retained at supplementary election


Bass (ALP leads Liberal, covered below)
Pakenham (ALP vs Liberal, covered below) - Liberal ahead but count issue expected to favour Labor

Seats covered previously:

(Hawthorn and Mornington  won by Liberals)
(Hastings assumed won by Labor)
Northcote (Labor has won)
Preston (Labor has won) 


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Welcome to my postcount coverage after the Victorian election has results in an unsurprising Labor majority, but a more emphatic one than anyone much expected.  There has been a two-party preferred swing to the Coalition of about 3%, but it has fallen inefficiently in safe Labor seats, leaving the government about where it started.   Polls look to have been rather accurate (Newspoll very accurate at this stage) but instead of underperforming its polling, the government has overperformed it.  

Only eight or nine seats appear to have changed hands.   Labor's 2018 boilovers in Hawthorn and Nepean have returned to sender (Hawthorn subject to confirmation), Labor has gained Ripon after a redistribution, and the Liberals have had a shock loss in the re-created district of Glen Waverley (formerly mostly Forest Hill).  Then again, Glen Waverley's not such a shock given the incumbent of sorts kicked up a stink about vaccines.  The Liberals may also lose Hastings.  After a wild ride on election night what looked like a flood of Green gains has ended up at just one so far - Richmond where the Labor MP retired, the Greens stopped running a terrible candidate, the Labor candidate was dogged by questions over her claimed Yorta Yorta heritage and the Liberals preferenced the Greens.  The other three involved Nationals wiping out the rural independents (and gaining notionally Labor Morwell after the third independent retired) in the first cases of sitting INDs losing after a full term as such since SA 2014.  

While the Nationals have done rather well, the result is a disaster for the Victorian Liberals who have gone more or less nowhere in seat terms despite the Andrews Government being four years older and despite the federal government having changed.  It's likely that the strong start for the Albanese Labor Government has greatly assisted its state colleagues but even so this is a remarkable seat result for Labor, and yet another case where media pundits have talked up the chance of a hung parliament only for nothing like it to happen.  At state and federal elections this is the 15th consecutive majority government, and twelve of those campaigns saw serious media speculation about a non-majority result.  

This article covers classic postcount seats that are between Labor and the Coalition.  At the moment there are only two three of them but others may conceivably narrow and be added.  It should be noted that at this stage the 2PP counts are rather rough and substantial errors are still quite likely, some of which could shift seats in and out of the close seat list.  

Bass (ALP -0.7%)

The redistributed and notionally Liberal seat of Bass was a writeoff in seat betting but Labor's Jordan Crugnale begs to differ and she leads Liberal Aaron Brown by 225 votes (50.36%) with 67.4% counted.  Postals so far have broken 58-42 to Brown; there are 3770 outstanding but not all will arrive and the flow in postals to the Coalition often weakens later in the count.  There are several thousand prepolls to be added; prepolls have so far broken 52.3 to Labor.  My initial impression is that Labor's lead here is fragile.

Tuesday 7:50 The ABC site is showing 70.8% counted and is presently ahead of other sources.  Whatever has gone in has broken 835-663 to Brown and wiped Crugnale's lead down to 53 votes (50.08%).  If it's postals, that's no great surprise, but otherwise that's not good news for Labor.  (Update: it was prepolls.)

Wednesday: Crugnale gains from somewhere (not sure where, perhaps more prepolls as very few absents counted) and now leads by 220 votes (50.32%).

Friday evening: Crugnale leads by 148.

Saturday night: Crugnale leads by 189.

Monday night: Crugnale 210 ahead, so only the preference distribution to go where something odd would have to happen for Labor not to win.  Full distribution on Thursday.

Hastings (Lib -0.001%) - assumed Labor win

Hastings was redistributed and notionally Labor by the coating of a whisker, but a further hit to the Liberals was the retirement of 16-year incumbent Neale Burgess.  The Liberals' Briony Hutton has also had a high-profile challenger to content with in Labor's Paul Mercurio, of Strictly Ballroom and Dancing With The Stars fame (among others).  At present Mercurio leads by 470 votes (50.67%) with 75.9% counted.  Postals thus far have broken only very weakly to Hutton (51-49); there are at most about 3300 to go but not that many will arrive.  The prepoll count is also relatively advanced, only about 3000 short of the recorded total.  At this stage it's not obvious where Hutton might get the votes from to trip up Mercurio's dancing shoes.  

Tuesday 7:50 Up to 79.1% counted on the ABC site and Mercurio leading by 473.

Wednesday morning There seems to have been a rechecking correction in Mercurio's favour as he is now leading by 561.  Looking strong for Labor.

Wednesday afternoon: Mercurio now 659 ahead.  

Wednesday night: After a thorough check of the booth and 2PP data I do not see anything that looks like errors in this seat.  With the very weak break on postals (in fact Mercurio is so far winning them) I don't see how he can lose and I will only be covering this seat further if it closes up by lots.

Pakenham (ALP 2.2%, new seat)

The new seat of Pakenham is an interesting one because it is a Labor seat that is made of bits of seats that were Liberal-held going into the 2018 election, meaning that Labor has an effective personal vote advantage by no longer competing against Liberal incumbents.  But it's outer-suburban and more or less on the swing line even with a personal vote correction and ... it's very close as I start this entry at 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.  It was showing with a substantial Labor lead (51.6%) but this was based on an incomplete prepoll (HT informed observer on Twitter) and with this added, the margin has come down to a Labor lead of ... eight votes!  The battle is between Emma Vulin (Labor) and David Farrelly (Liberal).  Weirdly, Vulin leads on primaries by 1% (34.0-33.0) so I'm wondering what's going on with preferences in this seat, beyond a not terribly high Green vote.  (The third-place independent Brett Owen is a local councillor).  Also this count is very incomplete at a mere 71.1% so there's a lot to go in this one.  

There are about 4000 postals outstanding, some of which won't arrive, and the prepoll count is rather advanced now.  Both postals and prepolls have broken weakly so far (52-48 to Liberal) in this seat.

More seats may be added to this page.  Non-classic seats are being added on other pages.

Wednesday: Farrelly now in front 50.32% 2PP (180 votes) after more prepolls.  

Thursday morning: Farrelly now ahead by five votes 17961-17956.  This appears to be Labor doing well on postals which are now showing an overall 50.9-49.1 break to Farrelly.  As with Hastings a weak performance on postals is not doing the Liberals any favours here.  

Friday 5 pm: Amusingly Pakenham is currently tied 18267 all in the check count.  

Saturday 7 pm: Farrelly ahead by six.

Sunday 5:10: Back and forth it goes, Vulin now ahead by 13 on the ABC site with a good chance of a recount.

Sunday 7:50 But now the biggest gap for some time, Farrelly by 93.  There is a notable discrepancy between the rechecked primaries, which have Farrelly only ahead 6906-6731 on early votes, and the original primaries, which have him only ahead 7155-6596  (there is also a smaller issue with ordinary votes).  I believe this means Vulin will actually be ahead by hundreds of votes once the issue is corrected in the distribution of preference, based on similar events in the 2018 Ripon count.  Notably the 2PP quick count vote totals and informal totals match the original count but not the recheck.  This may also explain a tweet by Julian Hill on 2 Dec where he said that Vulin was hundreds of votes ahead at a time when the count was showing as tied.

(NB During Monday my comments re the above were incorrectly overwritten with a previous draft, it has been my view since late Sunday night that Vulin is probably in fact ahead.)

Distribution of preferences Wednesday.

Wednesday: distribution of preferences finishes tomorrow.

Victoria 2022 Legislative Council Live

SEATS WON OR LIKELY: Labor 15 Coalition 15 Greens 3 Shooters 1 One Nation 1 Animal Justice 1


N Metro: Labour DLP leading Reason

SE Metro: Legalise Cannabis vs Greens

W Metro: Legalise Cannabis vs Vic Socialists

W Vic: Legalise Cannabis vs Greens

Overall outlook: ALP/left majority (22 or 23 seats)

Relatively few "Druery candidates" currently in line to win.  

Most crossbench incumbents will not be returned.


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Strong Disclaimer

*** This page is provisional.  Media are directed not to treat material posted here as in any way resembling final calls unless explicitly stated as such. ***

General Considerations

Welcome to my Upper House coverage for Victoria 2022.  I will start this by saying that I do not accept the use of Group Ticket Voting to conduct this election, and consider the election to not be free and fair as a result of the use of this discriminatory system.  Nonetheless projection of the results is a matter of political interest (and interest for the potential for reform) so I am covering it anyway.

These counts are at an early stage.  The ABC Calculator service acts as a handy model but it not only represents a snapshot of an incomplete count but also assumes all votes are above the line.  Hopefully an increased proportion of votes were below the line.  Below the line votes especially tend to destroy calculator wins in which a candidate spiralling up from a low vote wins narrowly.  Analysing these counts is very complex and my suggested rule for this analysis is as ever this: the calculator is only a tool, use it as a guide but in some cases you may have to put the calculator away.  Humans trying to second guess the calculators can also easily make errors.

As I start this article the counts are even smaller than at the same time in 2018, and probably won't contain significant numbers of prepolls and postals,  The trend with those is the Coalition tends to improve, so if the Coalition appears to be narrowly missing seats that may change in further counting.

Changes in the votes may bring scenarios into view that are not readily apparent at an early look, and in the early stages I haven't looked at where the votes are from.  These counts are also extremely complex to model and generally micro-party seats can't be called for sure until the button is pressed.

As usual small party voters have tended to vote BTL more than large party voters, and left party voters will have done so more than right party voters.

This thread will have a section for each district which will be updated from time to time until the button is pressed.  In general when I have a look at the districts (every day or so) I won't update those where I don't detect any change in the prognosis or have anything new to add.  

I welcome any comments about possibilities that have been overlooked.

As I start the thread the districts will be progressively unrolled through the night until all have an initial post upThe projections are not to be treated as calls of any kind and it is entirely possible other parties will come into the mix that I have not yet considered.

Antony Green has tweeted some preliminary figures on above the line rates for different parties.  The higher a party's above the line rates are, the closer its preference flows to others are to the calculator model.


North-Eastern Metropolitan (formerly Eastern Metropolitan)

2018: 2 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Transport Matters
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Labor 2 Liberal 1 Green

As I start the North-Eastern Metro count is at 29.1%.  Leaders are Labor 2.04 quotas Liberal 1.65 Greens 0.72 Labour DLP 0.33 Lib Dems 0.26 Legalise Cannabis 0.23.

Transport Matters incumbent Rod Barton, elected with 0.62% in 2018, is currently last among the micro-parties, and even if he gets ahead of Companion and Pets Party that's no good to him as they just flow to the Liberals.  It seems that even if Barton's spiral gets going it doesn't get him high enough to catch the ballot-paper confusion parties (LDLP and Lib Dems) [edit: or maybe it does, see comment by Cameron N.]

Presently Hugh Dolan of LDLP narrowly beats Maya Tesa (Lib Dems) and goes on to beat the Liberals' Nick McGowan.  However this is a very fragile lead that could well fall over to below the lines or postcount shifts so it is not clear that any micro-parties will get up here, and at the moment the Liberals would very likely win it.  Labor could fall below two quotas but that doesn't seem to have any impact if it occurs.  

Monday:  34.3% counted and the calculator has flipped to Tesa.  Time to have a look at the below the line vulnerabilities:

Tesa vs Dolan: Tesa currently starts with 4.34% and notionally adds 4.34% (that's not a misprint) from Transport Matters, Angry Vic, NDP, SDA, DHJP, SFF and a small ALP surplus.  Of all this 3.55% is locked in, putting her on 7.89% in ATLs.  Dolan starts with 5.22% and notionally adds 3.29% from HAP, SAP, Family First Victoria and a small surplus of reduced value Vic Socialist votes via a projected Greens surplus which probably won't happen anything like that.  The crux here is that Family First is Dolan's main feeder but Family First has a very low above the line rate (57.7%) meaning that Dolan only adds 2.03% locked in.  So while he is currently .16% behind on the calculator, on projected ATLs he is actually .64% behind.  

Tesa vs McGowan: If Tesa beats McGowan she adds DLP, HAP, SAP and FFV to her collection which is notionally 8.47% including 6.88% in ATLs taking her to 14.77% ATL.  The Liberals start with 11.51% and are fed by a Green surplus carrying votes from Greens, Reason, AJP and LC, and also outright by CPP, UAP, FPP and ON.  The Liberals notionally gain 4.63% of which 3.76% is ATLs.  Thus notionally the Liberals have 15.27% ATL, a lead of half a percent.  Very close at this stage.

Monday night: Things have moved pretty fast here and the Liberals are now showing on the calculator as elected fourth having come up ro 1.88 quotas.  It is now in theory the Greens who could be at risk from the micros, but for the time being the Greens have the lead and have more votes locked up in ATLs.  The Greens have 15.6% secure in ATLs which at present puts them over 1% over the micros.

As noted in comments the Barton preference spiral now gets going if Transport Matters can somehow overtake the New Democrats, who they currently trail by 157 votes.  If that happens the calculator has them going all the way to the inzone but only beating the Greens by 0.39%.  This falls over on BTLs because the Barton spiral carries only 14.2% in ATLs while the Greens are carrying 15.18%.  The laws of small numbers suggest it is hard for Barton to get over New Democrats and the count is quite advanced at nearly 60% (as of Tuesday morning).

Thursday: Not a lot seems to have changed here with no obvious threat to the Liberal and Greens wins.

Friday: A bombshell inteesting development - reader Cameron N has spotted an error in the count in a booth called The Glen (Glen Waverley).  The votes for the New Democrats (303) and Liberals (9) have apparently been transposed.  When this error is fixed, the New Democrats fall to last, kickstarting the dreaded Transport Matters preference spiral which becomes the calculator leader (except the ABC manual entry calculator for regions other than E Vic isn't currently working) 17.31% to 16.02%.  After BTLs are factored in the notional ATLs are 14.85% for the Greens and 14.40% for Transport Matters.  However the ATLs for Transport Matters include 0.77% projected from the Liberal surplus, which occurs when the votes of CPP, UAP, FPV and ON have all reached the Liberal pile on the exclusion of Family First.  Only 0.22% is locked in here, so in that sense Transport Matters are really only guaranteed 13.85, % behind the Greens.  However every BTL that reaches the Liberals or their four feeder parties just mentioned before the exclusion of Family First, no matter what the preferences of the voter that casts it, boosts the value of a Liberal surplus that becomes distorted (by Inclusive Gregory) towards Liberal votes, and effectively counts as almost a full vote for Barton - he won't benefit only from BTLs that flow to him.  That means this is potentially rather close, though I would expect absents to move the count towards the Greens.  (Another booth that may have an issue is Lower Plenty where the New and Liberal Democrats with 25 and 6 votes respectively appear to have been transposed.)  To be clear, the Greens would still win if the button was pressed right now.  

Saturday: Stephen Luntz on Twitter has pointed out a problem with the above: although Barton is about to become the calculator leader when the error is fixed, the huge rate of BTLs for New Democrats n their remaining votes once the error is removed is going to mean Barton won't actually overtake anyone else apart from New Democrats.  On current numbers his 823 votes plus New Democrats' 410 ATLs (with 294 incorrect ATLs removed) is only 1233 to SAP's 1386.  It would be a different story had Angry Victorians preferenced Transport Matters first instead of Freedom Party first but Transport Matters second, but there you have it.  

Saturday evening: The ABC is now posting rechecked figures but these show the count at a slightly earlier stage than the numbers available before so it may take a while before the count catches up again.  The New Democrats bug is fixed but currently on the calculator Transport Matters are failing to get over Liberal Democrats though the margin there is very close.  In any case they still do not have enough New Democrats ATLs to overtake Sustainable Australia.

7 pm: Barton is now the calculator leader at 67.3% counted but as discussed above he is actually losing in three places (i) failing to get over Sustainable Australia (ii) even if he got over them, failing to get over Liberal Democrats (iii) failing to beat the Greens at the end.  

Eastern Victoria

2018: 2 Coalition 2 Labor 1 Shooters
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Coalition 2 Labor 1 Shooters Fishers and Farmers  

As I start the Eastern Vic count is at 27.1%.  Leaders are Coalition 2.04 quotas Labor 1.52 Greens 0.55 Legalise Cannabis 0.32 One Nation 0.25 Labour DLP 0.23 Shooters 0.20.  The Shooters' Jeff Bourmann is currently the calculator winner by preference spiral, overtaking several other parties to beat the Greens with Labor winning two.

Labor are however close to elimination at one point where they are 0.35% ahead of Legalise Cannabis (probably a fair bit more allowing for BTLs).  If Labor (Harriet Shing) is excluded, their votes go to Legalise Cannabis (Thomas Forrest), who then currently wins.  The Greens could even go out at this same point, which would also elect Legalise Cannabis.  At this stage I haven't identified a threat to Bourmann winning.

Note that Renee Heath (Liberal) who is elected #1 here will not be in the Liberal party room if Matthew Guy has his way, but it remains to be seen whether the next Liberal leader will follow through with that.  

Tuesday:  With 58% counted Labor are now easily clear of Legalise Cannabis.  The only chance for Legalise Cannabis is to outlast the Greens but that is currently not happening by 0.85% on the calculator and more allowing for BTLs.  If Legalise Cannabis get over the Greens they win.

Northern Metropolitan

2018: 2 Labor 1 Liberal 1 Green 1 Reason
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Labor 1 Liberal 1 Green, Labour DLP leads Reason for final seat

As I start the Northern Metro count is only at 21.6%.  Leaders are Labor 1.94 quotas Green 1.26 Liberal 1.00 Vic Socialists 0.36 Labour DLP 0.28 Reason 0.27 Legalise Cannabis 0.19

This region has a very high level of below the line voting, for left parties especially.  The calculator output has a Druery preference spiral feeding the DLP (Adem Somyurek) and a left one feeding Reason; ultimately Reason and Labor are elected ahead of the DLP.  Reason is elected 4 and Labor 5, but I think in reality Labor would (on current primaries) cross on BTLs somewhere along the line leaving Fiona Patten vs Somyurek for the final seat.  While there would be a lot of BTL leakage in the spiral going to Patten, almost none of it would go to Somyurek and on current numbers Patten would win.  However, we need to keep an eye on this, and especially on whether the Liberals can build up a surplus that then assists Somyurek. 

Monday: The current calculator lead for Patten vs Somyurek has closed substantially and it's time to have a look at their BTL exposure rates.

Patten starts on 4.16% and notionally receives 13.16% from the Green surplus, Legalise Cannabis, Angry Victorians, Victorian Socialists and Animal Justice.  This includes about 10.28% in above the line votes, taking her to a locked in total of 14.44%.  (There is a slight oversimplification here in dealing with the Greens surplus since not all Green votes are represented equally after Ratnam's surplus but it shouldn't make a major difference.)

Somyurek starts on 4.51% and notionally receives 11.66% from NDP, Sus Aus, HAP, TM, SDA, SFF, DHJP, LDP, CPP, Liberal surplus, FFV, FPV, UAP, ON.  This includes about 9.19% in above the lines (again an oversimplification for the Liberal ATLs) taking him to a locked in total of 13.7%.  Overall while Patten's feeders have a higher BTL share the difference is very slight (I get 22% vs 21% on current primaries.)  The locked-in gap is smaller by 0.4% than the calculator gap, but against that Patten will do well on BTLs anyway (one would think much more so than Somyurek).  On this basis if the button was pushed right now Patten would win - the danger to that being drift on primaries to the point where Somyurek gets a substantial lead on locked-in ATLs.  However the count at this stage is  unrepresentative, about 90% ordinary votes and 10% postals, and is also uneven by district.

Note that Labor is currently well clear of both Patten and Somyurek as Labor's locked-in total is practically a whole quota (16.7%)

Tuesday: Somyurek has taken the calculator lead, mainly off an increase in the Liberal surplus.  More importantly he also has the lead on locked-in ATLs; I now get him at 14.28% locked in compared to Patten at 13.77%.  There are about 5% in stray BTLs coming out of feeder parties for the two and I would expect Patten to beat Somyurek by the 0.51% needed off those, but it's getting precarious for Patten and she cannot afford her position to get much worse.  It's also worth noting that the count is still at a very early stage (only 40% counted) and is unrepresentative (about 60% on the day, 30% prepoll, 10% postal).  There is a lot of potential here for Somyurek's position to improve.  

Tuesday afternoon: Somyurek is building his stack (pun intended) very rapidly now and is out to a 3.69% lead on the calculator as he has risen to 4.85% but more importantly the Liberal surplus is out to 2.72%, with Patten and most of her feeder parties down.  On locked-in ATLs I get Somyurek 15.69% to Patten only 12.48%, a massive shift in the count for such a small addition.  The count is now 53% on the day, 37% prepoll, 10% postal (still no absents which will help Patten but she is suddenly in a very big hole.)  50.6% counted.  

Wednesday: And now it's close again!  More prepolls have been added such that the count is now 42% on the day 50% prepoll 7.5% postal (and a negligible number of absents).  Yesterday's prepolls must have been from a less left-wing part of the region as now Somyurek is on 4.67% with 14.75% locked in on ATLs while Patten is on 3.98% with 13.86% locked in.  If the button was pushed now it could be very close and Patten still might win.  I would expect absents as they go in in greater numbers to assist Patten so for now at least she is competitive again.  Still only 57.6% counted and the lack of breakdowns of the prepolls is a big frustration in doing any projections here.

Wednesday night: Another shift but this time in Somyurek's favour the count is at 60.4% and his estimated ATL lead is now 1.77% (too much for BTLs to overturn at the moment.)  That is on the ABC site which is about 11,000 votes ahead of the VEC so I am not yet sure what kind of votes were added.

Friday morning: Addition of some prepolls and ordinary votes from Thomastown (see comment by David J) have continued to strengthen Somyurek's position; he now leads on ATLs by 2.43% with 62.6% counted.

Saturday afternoon: The count has now regressed to an earlier % counted during rechecking so I will wait until it catches up to where it was before commenting further.

Tuesday afternoon: Somyurek's position has weakened slightly; he leads on ATLs by 2.01% with 66.4% counted.  

Wednesday: Somyurek leads on ATLs by 2.43% with 70.4% counted.

Northern Victoria

2018: 2 Labor 1 Coalition 1 Hinch Justice 1 Liberal Democrats
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Coalition 1 Labor 1 One Nation 1 Animal Justice
Labor may have some chance of beating One Nation

Northern Victoria is the site of Animal Justice's spectacular ratting on the Druery group,  With 31.7% counted, the Coalition leads on 2.06 quotas, Labor 1.62, Greens 0.43, Legalise Cannabis 0.34, Shooters 0.34, One Nation 0.25, Liberal Democrats 0.12.  The Shooters have not done nearly as well as in 2018 where they polled nearly half a quota here only to be robbed blind by the DHJP and Liberal Democrats preference spirals.  

At the moment the calculator offers the hilarious if completely undemocratic sight of votes piling into the Animal Justice column never to be reciprocated as Georgie Purcell beats Labor by 11%.  But that is not the only spiral; One Nation's Rikkie-Lee Tyrell uses preferences from minor right parties and the Coalition surplus to overtake the Shooters and then beat Labor on their preferences.  The margins involved in this region are large and I'm not sure if there's anything lurking that would cause anything different.  

Monday: I ran a check on whether below the lines are any threat to Purcell but she has 18.4% in ATLs locked in in her spiral so at this stage not.  I mean to have a detailed look at how safe Tyrell is if she does not get quota at the point shown by the calculator.  

Tuesday: At the point where Tyrell is currently shown as being elected she has the preferences of AVP, FFV, FPV, LDLP, UAP, LNP, SFF for a notional 17.4% which includes 15.71% ATL, so she does not have enough to be sure she actually reaches quota at this point.  Assuming she doesn't. the Greens are excluded, putting Animal Justice over the line with surplus.  In this surplus the preferences of AJP, TM, SAP, Reason, VS, LC and Greens flow to Labor while those of NDP, SDA, HAP, DHJP and Lib Dems flow to One Nation.  This amounts to a roughly 73% share of above the lines in this surplus to Labor and 23% to One Nation, which gives One Nation 16.2% locked in vs 12.9% for Labor.  Exhaust and a trickle of BTLs would do the rest so on current numbers Tyrell still wins.  

Wednesday: With 70.9% counted it seems Labor have closed the notional ATL gap above by about 0.3%.  Commenter David J suggests what is to come is likely to be very favourable for Labor so there may be a chance for Labor to get a lot closer.  I have not yet had time to model this in detail.

South Eastern Metropolitan

2018: 3 Labor 1 Liberal 1 Lib Dem
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Labor 1 Liberal, Legalise Cannabis leading Greens for fourth seat, Liberals well ahead of Lib Dems for fifth 

David Limbrick (Liberal Democrats) had a great ballot draw here but at the moment he's getting cooked by the cookers - the flow of Freedom Party Victoria preferences to Liberals is making it much harder for him to retain his seat.  With 26.7% counted it's Labor 2.35 quotas, Liberal 1.53, Greens 0.46, Legalise Cannabis 0.37, Lib Dems 0.22, Labour DLP 0.18. Family First 0.12, Freedom Party 0.12, One Nation 0.10.  At this stage Legalise Cannabis (Rachel Payne) are polling spectacularly well though as in the federal election I would expect they might drop back somewhat in further counting.  However they would have to drop back a great deal to not beat Labor, at which point they easily beat the Greens.  The other side is closer with a race between the Liberals and Liberal Democrats in which Manju Hanumantharayappa (Lib) currently beats Limbrick by about 3% (perhaps a little more with BTLs) in a contest between right-wing and Druery preference spirals.    

Tuesday: With nearly 45% counted the race for the final seat has closed up considerably on the calculator to a mere 0.45% so I have looked at below the line issues.  The Liberals start with 10.62% and collect from CPP, UAP, FPV and ON and then the following via the Legalise Cannabis surplus: Legalise Cannabis, Reason, AJP, Greens.  The Liberal Democrats start with 3.59% and collect SFF, SDA, LDLP, DHJP, NDP, TM, SAP, HAP, FFV and then collect the following via the Legalise Cannabis surplus: VS, AV, ALP.  I make the locked-in ATL totals here something like 15.07 to 13.60 meaning that the Liberals are about 1% better on ATLs than the calculator says.  But also the Liberal Democrats are notoriously slow on voter-chosen preferences so the Liberal advantage here is probably even larger.  That said this is still a very incomplete count.  

Thursday: I have identified a threat to Legalise Cannabis' seat here with 62% counted, which is that they are becoming at risk of being excluded by falling behind both Labor and the Greens.  At present on the calculator Legalise Cannabis have 7.42% to the Greens' 6.84% and Labor's 6.47%. But the votes for Labor and the Greens are all their own while Legalise Cannabis starts from 4.96% and carries votes from Victorian Socialists, Reason, Animal Justice and Angry Victorians.  The first two have high BTL rates and Legalise Cannabis currently only have 6.89% locked in.  If Legalise Cannabis are excluded the Greens win.  However, at this stage the count is about 51% day votes, 40% prepoll and 9% postal.  Based on Victorian Senate patterns, Legalise Cannabis and the Greens should both do well when absents are added while Labor will fall back.  

Friday night:  68.9% counted and now the calculator has LC 7.33 Labor 6.78 Greens 6.56.  But Legalise Cannabis have only 6.79% and might even be overtaken on BTLs if the button was pressed right now.  There are still very few absents in the count and I expect absents to not only benefit Legalise Cannabis directly but also their feeder parties, so for now they're still in the box seat.

The calculator has closed up on its gap between the Liberals and Liberal Democrats, which could flip in the near future.  As best I can tell which of Legalise Cannabis and the Greens go out has little impact on that race as the same votes end up forming a surplus in either case.

Saturday evening: Limbrick has taken the calculator lead during rechecking but the rechecked count is behind the count that was previously showing, at 59.6%.  I'll see where it's going when it catches up again.

Southern Metropolitan

2018: 2 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Sustainable Australia
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Green

Southern Metropolitan was the scene of one of the great group ticket crimes last election with Sustainable Australia beating the Greens who had more than ten times their vote by preference harvesting.  With 24.9% counted it's Liberals 2.01 quotas Labor 1.83 Greens 1.00 Legalise Cannabis 0.19 Liberal Democrats 0.15 and Sustainable Australia has got even less than last time.  The Druery parties and a few others with no sense feed the Sustainable Australia spiral up to about 12% in what looks like a contest with Labor until Reason is excluded at which point preferences from left parties that have pooled with Reason elect Labor.  (Below the lines will probably make this even easier.)  With so much quota locked up in the top three parties it's hard to see anything shaking this barring large postcount shifts in the primaries.  

Tuesday: With 56% counted the main change has been that the Greens have dropped back to 0.86 quotas but they still win easily on AJP and Reason preferences.  

Western Metropolitan

2018: 3 Labor 1 Liberal 1 Hinch Justice (who immediately left party)
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Labor 2  Liberal with Legalise Cannabis narrowly leading Victorian Socialists for final seat

This one is messy and it's early days yet.  With only 20.1% counted Labor has 2.15 quotas Liberal 1.42 Green 0.60 Legalise Cannabis 0.30 Labour DLP 0.29 Victorian Socialists 0.25 Family First 0.17.  Currently Legalise Cannabis (David Ettershank) rides a left and Labor preference spiral to beat the Greens, but at one point LC is only about 1% ahead of Victorian Socialists; either way the Greens get ripped off and overtaken.  (I don't think it's likely Vic Socialists can catch up 1%, but we will see.)  At present the eventual election of Ettershank triggers mass surpluses that decide the contest between the Liberals and Bernie Finn (Labour DLP) by about 1.5% in Trung Luu's (Liberal) favour but that's not a lot for such an early stage of the count, so I want to see a fair bit more of this one.  (There's some stuff with surpluses at the end and I'm always a bit cautious about that.) It's also one where it could be worth keeping an eye on BTL rates for the left parties especially in case they could affect the exclusion order (or even save the Greens, though that seems unlikely so far.)

Tuesday: With 51.4% counted the calculator gap between Legalise Cannabis and Victorian Socialists has closed up to 0.77%.  Labor has a split ticket between the two and Legalise Cannabis have preferences from Reason and Angry Victorians, both of whom have low ATL rates, while Victorian Socialists have preferences from Animal Justice.  This means the real difference is more like 0.33% so Victorian Socialists are pretty close here if the count can improve for them in some way.  Currently the count is about 42% on the day, 49% prepoll and 9% postal.  Victorian Socialists are doing slightly better compared to Legalise Cannabis in prepoll so far than on on the day but that may just reflect where the counted votes are from.  (They also do abysmally on postals which suggests they may do very well on absents.) The fifth seat looks more clear with Liberals leading Labour DLP by 1.7% and from a higher starting vote.  

Thursday: The calculator gap between Legalise Cannabis and Victorian Socialists has come down to 0.25%.  There is a possible second path for Legalise Cannabis if both these parties overtake the Greens. Current ATL standings are (estimates because of ALP surplus issues) Greens 7.47% LC 6.92% VS 6.67%.

Western Victoria

2018: 2 Labor 1 Coalition 1 Hinch Justice 1 Animal Justice
Outlook (Provisional): 2 Labor 2 Coalition 1 Legalise Cannabis leading Greens

With 26.2% counted the leaders are Labor 2.00 quotas, Coalition 1.60. Greens 0.56, Legalise Cannabis 0.37, Shooters 0.27, Liberal Democrats 0.20, One Nation 0.17. Hinch Justice (Stuart Grimley) are on just 1.4% (0.08 quotas) but are the Druery group's preferred candidate in this region.  At the moment this just looks like a straight race between the right grouping feeding the Coalition, the left grouping feeding the Greens and the Druery grouping feeding Hinch Justice, but the Druery group don't currently have enough votes and are projected to lose by 4.3% (more than that taking into account BTLs) 

Monday: A threat has emerged to the Green seat with Legalise Cannabis overtaking them on the calculator and I will have a close look at this later (LC are more at risk to BTL leakage so the lead may not hold up.)

Monday 9:50 The Greens' Sarah Mansfield is currently on 8.59%.  Her only feeder is Victorian Socialists who have 0.71% but nearly half that is below the line.  Andrew Dowling of Legalise Cannabis is on 5.15%.  His feeders are Reason, Animal Justice and Labor's third candidate, a total of 4.48%.  Reason have a low ATL rate but the others are high, so Dowling has 3.80% in ATLs.  This means the ATL race between these two is very close with 8.98% for the Greens to 8.95% for Legalise Cannabis.  The Greens would be likely to also do better on BTLs so despite being behind on the calculator they would probably still win at the moment with 57.85% counted.  

Tuesday: With 66% counted the Greens have dropped back to 8.21%.  Legalise Cannabis are on 4.91%.  In locked-in ATLs Legalise Cannabis now lead 8.78% to 8.58% so this is a very close contest between these two (the Greens might conceivably bridge that gap on BTLs).

Tuesday afternoon: 70.6% counted now and the Greens are on 8.32% to Legalise Cannabis on 4.86% but Legalise Cannabis have a 0.73% calculator lead (9.73 to 9.00), up from 0.33% earlier today.  This amounts to about a 0.33% lead on locked-in ATLs, 9.02% to 8.69%.  Perhaps the Greens would still overhaul such a gap by getting more BTL preferences, but it would be hard to overhaul much more.

Wednesday: Legalise Cannabis now 0.86% ahead on the calculator with 71.9% counted, so continuing to trend towards them.

Saturday night: The calculator shows Grimley winning at present but that is because it is showing incomplete counts during rechecking.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Victoria 2022 Live

The starting line: Labor 57 Coalition 26* Green 3 IND 2

Labor has retained majority government with little if any net seat loss

SEATS APPARENTLY WON (some not confirmed) ALP 52 L-NP 24* Green 4 IND 0 (In doubt 8)

* includes Narracan subject to being retained at supplementary election

SEATS APPARENTLY CHANGING (some not absolutely confirmed)

ALP to Lib: Nepean

ALP to Nat: Morwell

ALP to Green: Richmond

ALP to IND or Lib: Hawthorn

IND to Nat:  Shepparton, Mildura

LIB to ALP: Glen Waverley, Ripon

IN SIGNIFICANT DOUBT (others may be added):

ALP vs GRN:  Northcote (ALP leads)

ALP vs IND: Preston (Exclusion order issue)

ALP vs Lib: Hastings (ALP ahead), Bass (ALP ahead)

Lib vs ALP: Croydon (bouncing around lots), Caulfield (Lib ahead)

Lib vs IND for gain from ALP: Hawthorn

Lib vs IND: Mornington

(NB Party-occupied seats that are notionally for the other side are counted for the party holding them.  Morwell treated as ALP)

*Narracan is treated as a Coalition retain pending supplementary election.


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1:00 Wrapping up Lower House coverage for tonight and switching to Upper House.  Lower House postcount threads for roughly those seats listed as in significant doubt will be rolled out tomorrow.

12:50 As expected Labor has taken the lead in Northcote and now looks highly likely to retain it.  

12:33 A 63-37 split on the first batch of postals puts Crewther in front in Mornington where he had been tracking for a clear loss called by the ABC earlier.  

12:20 After a long wait, more votes have finally come through for Mulgrave confirming that Daniel Andrews has retained his seat easily.

12:03 Labor seem to have finally put Footscray away and have also taken the lead in Croydon (Lih).  Although Matthew Guy in his speech declared the Coalition had definitely increased their seat count in both houses, that call was way premature.  

11:42 I have been looking at Northcote and it seems that when the current prepolls come fully through to 2CP Labor will move ahead in the count by approaching 700 votes.  The Greens are projected to improve from there (eg inner city counts have high absents) but this seat is in doubt,

11:27 Polwarth error fixed.

10:53 Labor ahead in Pakenham again.

10:24 The count in Polwarth may be in error or else the 2PP prepoll count is unrepresentatively incomplete.  The prepoll 2PP has Labor way ahead but the primary votes in prepoll are not different enough to explain the massive difference from the booth 2PP.  When this is corrected Polwarth should come back to the Liberal column.

10:13 In Melton there is a crazy scatter of over 30% of the vote for minor parties, but Birchall would need to gain on the Liberals at nearly .5 votes/vote in a three-way split with Labor to make second, which won't happen (and he loses anyway so far) so seems clear Labor has retained Melton.

10:04 A number of seats where Labor is surging at the moment, the ABC has Labor ahead in 56 though a few should fall over.  

9:48 A lot of jumping around as prepolls go in and fail to replicate the pattern from 2018!  So Labor has jumped ahead on ABC projection in Polwarth (!!???) and Caulfield, though Caulfield is volatile in late counting.  

9:30 Have been looking at many seats and didn't realise I hadn't commented for 39 minutes!  There is a weird count going on in Preston where the Greens are currently third and independent Gaetano Greco is fourth.  The Victorian Socialists preferenced Greco on their card, but I suspect their voters could preference the Greens anyway.  Either way someone should get over the Liberals.  

8:51 Mellissa Lowe is looking strong in Hawthorn in a generally bad night for independents.  Her position may slip on prepoll (etc) but Green votes should keep/put her over Labor.  Kate Lardner ditto in Mornington is still looking strong.  Those are the only well placed teals; Sophie Torney is behind in Kew where Jess Wilson was a smart preselection.

8:46 ABC now projecting Labor ahead in Pakenham.  

8:44 Pascoe Vale is still competitive according to the ABC but not Poll Bludger.  One to keep an eye on.  

8:38 It is a massive, massive struggle to find 13 net seat losses for Labor, especially while they are leading in two Coalition seats.

8:33 ABC's projection has the Greens back to level in Footscray (Poll Bludger has them well ahead however.)

8:28 An extreme swing showing in early counting in St Albans though not enough to knock it off.

8:26 Labor projecting ahead in Ripon and Glen Waverley now.  Also notable Suzanna Sheed is trailing in Shepparton.

8:14 Nats have hit the projected lead in Morwell.  Labor are also well ahead on the 2PP in Pascoe Vale now.  

8:08 Greens back in the frame for top two in Pascoe Vale!  At the moment we could see Labor losing more seats, or at least more net seats (see Glen Waverley) to the Greens than the Coalition.

7:59 In Kew Sophie Torney is currently third and struggling to get into the top two on current figures, but may yet make it.  It's a general theme that teals and INDs generally are struggling for primary votes.

7:57 Brighton is looking like a 2PP contest at the moment.  

7:52 Early numbers in Melton have Birchall (IND) on a very low primary though with a massive scatter and a very low major party vote.  We may again be dealing with the question of whether Birchall can get into second.

7:35 At this early stage, not seeing Labor in trouble in a lot of seats.  They're apparently losing Bass, Northcote, Richmond and Nepean (no surprises there), probably Hawthorn but not clear, and struggling in Footscray in early counting.  In Pascoe Vale at the moment the Liberals have a big swing to them so it's doubtful the Greens are making the top two.  Still nothing from Melton.  

7:27 In Mornington, teal Kate Lardner is posing a serious threat to Chris Crewther at this stage as she is currently second.  In Hawthorn, Mellissa Lowe is currently third however, but not out of reach of second yet,  

7:20 It is looking a great deal like Labor has won this election as the Liberals are not tracking ahead anywhere they shouldn't be.

7:19 Labor off to a good start in Point Cook where at this stage Joe Garra is third.

7:05 Greens projecting ahead in Footscray!  Let's see if this lasts, very big swings there so far.  But in Albert Park the swing is so far not enough to keep the Greens in second.  And in Richmond the projection off one polling place is dire for Labor (unsurprisingly)

7:04 Bill Tilley (Lib) off to a good start in Benambra.

7:02 In Williamstown there is a swing to the Liberals, which if it continues will leave the Greens in third.  

6:57 A large bunch of 2PP seats have swings but not yet seeing any signs of big trouble for Labor in these seats (into second-tier target seats etc).  Labor have fallen behind in Nepean, no surprises there.

6:54 Nats way back in front in Euroa.  

6:51 PollBludger projection of state 2PP currently at 56-44 (ABC's has broken).  [6:55 Dropped back to 51.6 now as a lot of votes came in.]

6:39 An early very small booth in Geelong has a large swing to Labor.  [Early booths in Ripon have bounced back to them too, but the sample size is trivial,]

6:36 PollBludger booth feed working now!

6:32 Swing to Louise Staley in Ripon in an early booth (betting markets had Staley favoured to lose, which surprised me despite the unfriendly redistribution).

6:30 Ricky Muir is running for Shooters in Gippsland East but is making little impression so far.  I am seeing Family First Victoria doing well in some of the early rural booths.  Also while it's extremely early the ABC is not projecting much 2PP swing yet (but 2018 flows may be unreliable aside from the tiny sample size.)

6:20 The first booth is in in Euroa.  This is a three-cornered vacancy (a safe Nats seat on a 2PP basis) so something to see in the first booth is ... the Liberals are in front!

6:05 Polls have closed and this thing is on.  That's all.  The PollBludger results feed is well worth keeping an eye on.  [EDIT: not showing results by booth at this stage as of 6:26.]

 Introduction (2:30)

Welcome to my election day coverage of the 2022 Victorian state election.  Comments on the count itself will start from 6:00 or shortly after, unless there are useful reports earlier.  Comments will scroll with the latest at the top apart from the state summary and request for donations; refresh every 10 minutes or so for updates once counting gets seriously underway.  Major exit polls are not expected and any minor ones should be regarded with extreme suspicion.  

My final comments on state polling are here.  Final polls have Labor with a large 2PP lead (on average in the low 54s), and this plus crossbench risks in Coalition seats and an unfriendly pendulum mean that any form of Coalition victory would require a level of polling failure that Australia hasn't seen for decades.  However, Labor will almost certainly lose some seats and is at risk of losing several to Liberals, the Greens and Independents.  It is possible that even with a somewhat clearcut 2PP in the 52s or 53s (less likely 54s) Labor could drop enough to these collected forces to not make the magic 45.  If the polls are accurate it is most likely Labor holds on with a seat count around the high 40s, but falling short even off a 2PP that would have won any other election outright easily remains a realistic and interesting chance.  

My live commentary aims to act as a complement to the ABC live coverage, especially by following interesting seats that aren't on the radar, exclusion order issues, and so on.  Tonight I expect to focus almost exclusively on the Lower House through to about 1 am, and only switch to looking at the Upper House when a useful percentage of the vote has been counted there.  If the Upper House count is going well enough I may start my detailed Upper House live thread overnight.    

Please note that it takes a very long time for Upper House (Legislative Council) counting to settle down to a point where final seat winners might be projected with any kind of confidence, and even then just assuming the ABC Calculator winners will win is a method likely to lead people astray because of slight shifts in post-counting and below the line votes.  In any case, I expect a similar profusion of undeserved micro-parties to win off low vote shares as in 2018, though there are some signs it might be not quite so many.  I also think there are good prospects of the mix including somewhat more left microparties and somewhat fewer "Druery parties", but we'll see.  I regret I have not had time to model the Upper House in any detail this year, having only had time to briefly run some basic scenarios through the calculators.

In my Lower House coverage I will be especially keen to keep an eye on the many likely non-classic seats where independents may disrupt the Labor-Coalition 2PP picture.  Often we can get a good idea quite early if they are a serious threat or not.

Tomorrow I will be rolling out postcount threads for Lower House seats in doubt.  Unusually exciting seats (especially those that are three-cornered or otherwise messy) will often get their own threads.  Others may be grouped by themes - classic 2PP, Greens vs Labor, IND vs Coalition etc.  

There may be delays in clearing comments tonight and there will certainly be delays in responding to them; also at some point during the coverage I will stop for a brief dinner break.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

How To Make Best Use Of Your Vote In The Victorian Upper House

This is just a quick piece to give my voting advice for the benefit of those who have seen the recent publicity about voting below the line in Victoria but would like advice on how to do it. This is what I advise as being the best way to make effective use of your vote.  

1. On the large ballot paper (Legislative Council), vote below the line for candidates.  Do not number any boxes above the line for parties.

The Victorian system is different to the federal Senate system.  In the federal Senate system, you can put the parties in an order of your choice above the line, but in Victoria you cannot do that: if you rank parties above the line as nearly all voters did in the Senate in May, your preferences beyond 1 will be ignored.  If you do vote 1 above the line then your preference is allocated according to a ticket lodged by the party you have voted for.  This system is called Group Ticket Voting.  It is long-discredited and has been abolished everywhere in Australia except for the Victorian upper house.  It results in parties using networked preference deals to elect MPs who have no real voter support (in cases less than 1% of the vote) at the expense of deserving candidates.  (For more see my recent article about the history of party policies around this disaster.)

The problem with voting above the line is that your party is highly likely to have sent your preference, at some stage, somewhere where you wouldn't have.  If you have checked your party's lodged preference ticket, researched all the parties your party is preferencing, and discovered that against all odds the lodged ticket matches how you would have ranked the parties more or less exactly, then you might safely vote above the line (but in that case voting below the line and numbering all the boxes adds very little to the effort you've already put in, and gives you the satisfaction of putting whoever you most disapprove last if you like that sort of thing.)  

Even when a party's first few choices seem reasonable there are often issues down the line.  For instance left parties often fail to put the anti-vaxxy Health Australia Party as close to the bottom as they deserve to be, increasing the risk that this party will someday be elected.  Parties from all sides tend to put "Druery parties" that are involved in the biggest preference-deal networks above their opponents, increasing the chance that more Druery parties will continue to be elected at the expense of more deserving candidates and making electoral reform more difficult.  Parties use fake ("Sack Dan Andrews") or deceptively benign ("Family First Victoria" - actually an extremist religious morality party) names to suck in votes.  Also some parties submit deliberatly confusing Group Tickets that may look like they help one party win but actually help another (for instance by juggling the order between the major parties).  It is safest to just vote below the line. You control your preferences and you know where they go.

2. Important: In most cases don't just vote 1-5.  At least include every party you like or think is OK in your below the line vote.

If you do the bare minimum below the line, which is a 1-5 and stop, your vote is probably only going to help one to three parties.  Once those parties are elected or excluded, your vote no longer helps any of the remaining parties beat anyone else.  If there are parties you like or think are OK, you should help them to beat parties you don't like, don't trust or have never heard of.  Depending on your views, this might mean you end up filling, say, 10 or 15 boxes instead of just 5.  If there is a particular candidate among the OK to good parties who you don't like, you might consider leaving that one out, but otherwise include all the candidates from all the parties you like or think are OK.  

3. Going further is fine if you want to.  The most effective way to vote (if you have the time and energy) is to number every box below the line.

Numbering every box is for dedicated voters but is the most effective way that you can possibly vote.  There is a widespread myth that numbering the boxes beside what you consider to be nasty parties can help them win, but in fact your vote cannot reach the nasty parties until every party you have put above them has been either elected or eliminated.  So if you want to vote all the way through and perhaps help the party you think is the second-worst beat the party you think is the worst, there's no reason not to do that and it is the most effective way to vote.  But it is not worth losing sleep over how or even whether you order the randoms and reprobates near the bottom as your vote is highly unlikely to get there.  The order you rank the top few parties on your ballot in is very much more important.

If you want to cut down the work you might consider only including the lead candidates for micro-parties you don't like or have never heard of. The only risk with that is if an elected MP is disqualified, but even then that only means you don't help that party's second candidate beat parties you have put even lower.

4.  What if you make a mistake?

Some people are scared to vote below the line because they fear that if they make any error their vote will not be counted.  Firstly if you are voting at a booth and make a mistake you can get a fresh ballot paper.  (If voting postally and you make an error, you can cross/rub it out and renumber, but make sure your vote reads very clearly if doing so.)  Secondly if you do somehow make an error that you do not notice, it will only invalidate your vote if one of the numbers 1 through 5 is either missing or present more than once.  An error further down just means your vote will not continue to flow if it reaches the point of the first error.  So you can safely keep numbering boxes.  (Do try to be legible!)

5. Useful resources

Handy resources for those who want to vote below the line and number lots of boxes

Cluey Voter (prepares a BTL sheet you can take to the booth)

Blatantly Partisan Party Reviews (written by AndrĂ© Brett from a "green democratic socialist" perspective but contains plenty of very helpful info about micro-parties for voters across the political spectrum).  

==XXX Sizzling Below-The-Line Sealed Section - Advanced Players Only - Tactical Voting! ==

Strong disclaimer: If you have read this section and are not sure that you completely understand it, please ignore it and pretend you never read it.

Normally when I write tactical voting comments on these guides I preface them with disclaimers about how the choice to vote tactically is a moral decision and some people consider it unethical, and how I do not recommend tactical voting but only provide information about it for people to make their own decisions.

In this case I have no such hesitancy.  The Victorian upper house electoral system was gamed to death by preference harvesters in 2018, is still gamed to death, and if you want to vote tactically to make your below the line vote more powerful at the expense of the above the line votes then I endorse such actions fully.

However, the Victorian upper house election is so complex that tactical voting mainly applies for major party voters.  If you care about fixing it you shouldn't be voting for either major party anyway but if for some reason you must, you can at least do it in style by voting 1 for a candidate who is way down your party's list.  That way your vote will bypass the surplus distributions for the leading candidates from your party, and if your party's second or third candidate eventually falls short and gets eliminated, then your vote will flow on at full value to other parties.  If Greens voters in Northern Metropolitan want to be cute about it they could also consider that Samantha Ratnam might get a quota on primaries so there could be value in voting for the minor Greens candidates first.  (See the linked Senate guide's tactical voting section for a discussion of how this all works.)

As noted in the Senate guide, the principle of not voting 1 for any candidate who will get a quota right away is especially important if for some reason you are voting across party lines because of views about specific candidates.  Also see the Senate guide for comments on the dubious art of "quota running".  (For Victoria it's almost impossible because of Group Ticket Voting so I don't recommend even trying it.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Victoria Lower House 2022: Final Days Rolling Poll Roundup

2PP Polling Aggregate (not necessarily accurate) 55.0 to ALP (last-election preferences).
Aggregate of pollster-released 2PPs (ditto) 54.1 to ALP.
Labor appears overwhelmingly likely to win.
Labor majority more likely than not if past polling/results history holds up

This post will track polling for the Victorian election released in the final week of the campaign.  A section dealing with each new poll that I see will be added to the top of the post, however polls will not be added during the day on Thursday because of a field trip.  As I start there is only one poll two polls to discuss, following the common second-last-week drought in state elections, but I am sure more will be added in coming days minutes and that one poll is interesting enough to be worth putting out an article based on it alone.  

Until the release of this week's Resolve poll there had been nothing significant since my previous roundup.  There had been an odd Lonergan poll for the Victorian National Parks Association (incidentally the sponsors of the most accurate poll in 2018, a ReachTEL) but that poll with a Green vote of 19% cannot be taken seriously as a voting intention poll.  Firstly the poll did not ask voting intention questions first up but asked them "Immediately after main body questions", the main body questions covering a series of environmental issues and hence being very likely to skew the voting intention questions in favour of the Greens.  Secondly it is not clear whether the voting intention results reported are those weighted by "Age x Gender, Location" or were reported simply as sample size information.  

I have added a #pollshapedobjects section at the bottom to cover any even more useless offerings.

Betting (26 Nov)

A final look at betting odds to see how they go!  The following projections are combined from two bookies.  Betting odds are not reliable but it is interesting to track their performance. I call a seat "close" for betting purposes if there are two or more candidates below $3 on any market.

Bass (Coalition), Nepean (Coalition), Hawthorn (Coalition favoured vs IND), Northcote (Green), Richmond (Green)

Melton (IND), Pakenham (Coalition)

Benambra (IND), Kew (IND), Caulfield (IND or ALP, Coalition favoured in one market but above $2), Ripon (ALP - tied in one market)

PROJECTED CLOSE ALP HOLDS (vs Coalition unless stated otherwise)
Ashwood, Bayswater (tied in one market), Box Hill, Morwell, Ringwood, Pascoe Vale (Green), Albert Park (Green)

Brighton (IND), Mornington (IND), Glen Waverley (Labor)

Shepparton (Coalition)

If all favourites win Labor wins 51 seats, Coalition 26.5, Greens 5, Independents 5.5

With adjustments for close seats, Labor 49.7 Coalition 27.9 Greens 5.6 IND 4.7 (Caulfield split .3/.3/.3)

Labor majority and minority are at 1.40 and 3.60 with Coalition at 24 and 12 on one market.  Another has 1.55/4.50/21/9.  The Coalition offerings here would be longshot-biased (election contenders at those odds win far less often than the odds imply).   Headline odds are 1.10 or 1.11 for Labor vs 7.00.  

Internal Polling Claims

There have been various loose reports about parties saying things about their internal polling, with both sides expecting Labor to lose several seats and some suggesting that they might lose 10-15.  Internal polling claims are often inaccurate.  The most detail has been concerning Liberal internal tracking which is said to have the party with a 37-33 primary vote lead in a tracker of about 25 marginal seats. However it is not clear whose seats these are. There were also reports of a 50-50 2PP from this tracker but such a 2PP is unlikely to be correct as in 2018 Labor gained an average of 7% per seat on preferences from the primary vote, and the final polls with their various 2PP methods have an average gain of 6.3%.  Earlier in the campaign there were implausible Liberal internal polling claims where the party was supposedly ahead by 16.6% in Sandringham and 15.3% in Pakenham on something that looked like a 2PP with bits missing.


Quite a surprise with the final Newspoll bucking the narrowing narrative and coming out at 54.5 to Labor, off primaries of Labor 38 Coalition 35 Greens 12 Others 15.  By last-election preferences that's 55.6 to Labor, but the Newspoll figure is based on respondent preferences which appear to be weaker for Labor (whether because of changes in party/independent composition or for other reasons).  This has bumped my headline aggregates up to quite high numbers.    Daniel Andrews' netsat has taken some damage but is still a very solid -2 while Matthew Guy's is -25.  Andrews' Better Premier lead remains a mere 51-35.

A simple cross-poll aggregate with no weighting at all would be about 54.3 to Labor.  Australian state polling does not skew to either side on average and only about one state election in four in the past 12 years had an error on the cross-pollster average that was big enough to get from there to more-likely-than-not hung parliament territory (which, just about following Australian Election Forecasts, I now suspect starts around 52.5) But half those errors would fall in either direction so some case could be made that a hung parliament is still rather unlikely.  

Redbridge (Not A Poll)

The Herald-Sun published an analysis by Redbridge projecting a rather gloomy outlook for Labor (41-48 seats) and claimed it to be "bombshell new polling" but there was nothing in the article to make it clear that any new polling was included or if so where or when it was taken or with what numbers.  So that's very nice and all but I can't aggregate it.  


Minutes after I hit publish on this article, Morgan released an SMS poll taken over the previous two days with a 55-45 2PP obtained by unstated means from primaries of Labor 38 Coalition 32.5 Greens 12.5 Teal INDs 4.5 DHJP 1 UAP 0.5 (not running in lower house so shouldn't even be included) leaving 11 for other Independents and other parties.  Once again the 2PP method (whatever it is) seems to be selling Labor short because Labor would win thumpingly on these numbers (my last-election estimate is 57-43).

Morgan SMS polls had a poor record in previous state elections and lack transparency, so I am giving them a very low weighting in my aggregate and only including one of them at a time.  As a result of this the impact of this one on my aggregate is near-zero.  It is also hard to avoid suspecting Morgan has a house effect even in its published 2PPs, as they have consistently exceeded neighbouring polls by whoever else and by no small margin either.  On average since late August Morgan 2PPs have exceeded the average of other polls by 2.2%.  Perhaps Morgan is right and everyone else is wrong but you would not have enriched yourself betting on such a theory at previous elections.

Morgan has published a set of predictions where they predict 48-29-5-6 (Labor-Coalition-Greens-IND) but this is based on a uniform swing model that does not take any account of personal votes, which overwhelmingly favour Labor in close seats.  Assuming Morgan's four seat losses to the Greens and independents are correct (which seems a reasonable reading of their poll), I would expect 50 Labor seats off a 2PP of 55%.   

There have been comments on social media suggesting Morgan is miscounting seats here on account of the treatment of notional seats.  I think they are actually doing something like what I do, which is only taking notional seats into account where a seat is newly created.  On this basis Labor does start with 56 seats, including Bass and Bayswater.  


Resolve was released via The Age with primary votes of Labor 36 Coalition 36 Greens 10 IND 6 Others 12 and a respondent-allocated 2PP of 53-47 to Labor.  Determined to learn nothing from similar misadventures at the federal election (or perhaps to continue making money out of the "it's close" theme whether it was actually valid or not), media reported this as the major parties being "neck and neck" when the 2PP shows that Labor would clearly win comfortably on these numbers, with a better than even chance of a majority.

A version of the poll numbers to one decimal (Labor 36.2 Coalition 35.8 Green 10.1 other 17.9 respondent allocated 2PP 52.7) was inserted on the Victorian election Wikipedia page by a user called Polliewaffle whose contributions mainly concern polling (especially Resolve).  These decimal numbers were then overwritten by a user called Futuramaking2999 and later reinstated by Polliewaffle although there was no link to a source that includes those numbers.  It is unclear to me if they have been published anywhere besides Wikipedia but in any case I have it on reliable authority that they're official.

By last-election preferences I estimate the rounded-primary version at 53.5 to Labor and the one-decimal version at 53.8.  However, a significant issue here (and the most interesting feature of this poll) is that Independents have gone from 12 to 6 while Others have gone from 6 to 12.  For Others to be twice the rate of Independents is very different to the last Victorian election and most other polls, but it is very similar to the federal election.  The drop in Independents mirrors that that occurred at the federal election once Resolve started offering the actual per-division candidate options rather than the generic "independent" option everywhere.  However at the federal election the major immediate beneficiaries of that in Resolve were the Greens, with One Nation and UAP picking up only a little.

If the Others breakdown was similar to the federal election (ie mostly One Nation and UAP) then that would reduce the preference flow to Labor off IND/Others from about 53% to something like 49% (I get it as that for the 2022 federal election), which is a 0.7% hit on Labor's last-election 2PP.  However the problem here is the candidate mix - One Nation are contesting only five lower house seats and UAP zero.  The Others are the Animal Justice Party and Family First Victoria in every seat, Freedom Party Victoria in almost two-thirds, Labour DLP in just over a third, Victorian Socialists in a quarter, and a dribble of low contesting rates from the Liberal Democrats, Shooters, DHJP, Reason etc.  It's difficult to believe this lot (an average of four Others parties per seat) are good for 12% between them, so I think this Others reading is unlikely to be correct.  There is a need for public clarity (or otherwise) to confirm that the same ballot paper simulation method was used as in the federal polling.  Any information as to what Others are getting large chunks of this 12% would be interesting.  

But even if we do take this one completely at face value it is not as conducive to a hung parliament as many responses to it have suggested.  A modest Green primary would, all else equal, make Green seat wins from Labor more difficult (beyond perhaps Northcote and Richmond on Liberal preferences), and ditto for Independents.  If the 12% Others tended to the right then they would not win seats and Labor would be actually more likely to get a majority off 52.7 (on my model they would win the 2PP in about 49 major party seats).  If the 12% Others were more to the left then the respondent 2PP would be incorrect and Labor would win more seat 2PPs, albeit with more risk of losing some to the Greens. 

If the respondent preference 2PP is correct (something that history suggests always treating with caution) then this Resolve poll is the first poll that is seriously close to converting to a hung parliament, although if the primaries and 2PP were as stated, a Labor majority of a few seats would still be somewhat more likely than not.  

Labor's lead in aggregated polling has been coming down pretty fast - in the Australian Election Forecasts aggregate from 59% to 54.2% in four weeks.  Some of this is just because of more reliable polls coming into the field rather than aggregates being Morgan-heavy, but still if Resolve is fully accurate and the trend continues then we could well end up with a, say, 52-48ish result at which point a hung parliament is a tossup chance.  (AEF currently assesses the chance of a majority as 70.6%, a figure which has been over 95% in the past.)

I should note again that the pendulum is very much against the Coalition which makes it very hard for them to win the majority of seats on 2PP even if they make it from here to 50-50, let alone avoid losing any seats to unfriendly crossbenchers in the process.  So the chance of the Coalition winning from here still looks to be very small, and one that would depend on a significant polling failure.  The wide spread of polling values seen in the campaign suggests that that is less likely than in tightly herded polling sets like that seen in the 2019 federal polling fail.

Daniel Andrews' lead as better Premier contracts from 49-29 to 48-34, not an especially large change in the context of a large 2PP shift from the last Resolve poll.

Resolve polls appear pretty volatile and this one has some curious properties.   Resolve has only been tested at one election though its final poll did well there.  Nonetheless it has been taken as a big signal in the absence of other fresh polls (even by me; it carries a weighting near half in my aggregate pending more data.)


This section is devoted to rubbish polls.

1.  Herald-Sun (I refuse to link to it) has printed a report about a supposed "independent exit poll" of Mulgrave for the campaign of independent Ian Cook (of slug-gate fame, re which I can add that the slug looked like a Limax maximus).  This is supposed to find him ahead of Daniel Andrews 57.2-42.8 off a sample of 159 (consistent with 91-68).  The first point there is the small sample size; even if it were a perfectly taken random sample the margin of error would be 7.7%.  But also it is from prepolls, which in 2018 disadvantaged Andrews by 3.4% compared with other votes - and even that's ignoring what time of day the prepolls were sampled, how they were sampled and so on.  There is no evidence the person taking the exit poll had any idea what they were doing.  

2. Neil Mitchell internal polling claims.  Mitchell claimed to have seen leaked Labor internal polling  showing the party was losing Oakleigh and Hawthorn to the Liberals, Albert Park to the Greens, Point Cook presumably to Joe Garra and in danger in Werribee, and also that there were swings against it in the regions including Mildura.  Oakleigh is on a massive margin and there is no reason Labor would be polling in Mildura so this appears to be nonsense (Kos Samaras with experience of Labor internals practices has emphatically dismissed it).  Mitchell is opposed to Labor and has played this game and lost before.