Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Senate Postcounts: Main Thread

EXPECTED RESULT:  Labor 15*, Coalition 14, Green 6, One Nation 1*, JLN 1, Pocock 1 + 2 undecided  (*1 ALP and 1 One Nation not yet confirmed.)

2019 SENATE CONTINUING: Labor 11, Coalition 17, Green 6, One Nation 1, JLN 1

EXPECTED NEW SENATE: Labor 26, Coalition 31, Green 12, One Nation 2, JLN 2, Pocock + 2 undecided

In most doubt:

Vic: Coalition vs UAP vs Labor

SA: Coalition vs Labor vs One Nation


Welcome to my main thread for postcounts for the Senate.  This page will include a summary and updates for each state/territory but over time depending on how the races go and how much time I have I may break out the more complex and unclear races (which currently appears to be Victoria and South Australia) into their own threads.  Some states will receive much higher detail level than others on account of the competitiveness of races.  Where races appear uncompetitive I won't be posting frequent updates.

On this page, a quota is c. 14.28% in the states and c. 33.33% in the territories.  A candidate will be elected if they reach quota, but in the case of the last seat or two may not need to get quota to be elected.  Votes are initially counted by party (whether above the line or below) and are then gradually sorted from "unapportioned" into ticket votes and candidate votes (BTLs).  This is a long and messy process.  Initially candidate below-the-lines will be much lower than where they eventually get to so please don't say "oh so-and-so only got 6 votes" until the unroll is finished.  (That said something I enjoy during this process is tracking the least successful candidates and watching to see who is slowest off the mark).  Previous elections have seen some significant below-the-line campaigns but this time the only one of any interest is the presumably forlorn attempt by veteran Liberal Senator Eric Abetz (Tas) to retain after being dumped to third.  

As I start this thread, the Senate races are still very undercounted, and the counts may not be geographically representative.  Small leads (especially those below 0.1 quotas) should not be relied upon to survive, and sometimes will fall over on preferences.  

It appears likely that Labor will have at worst a blocking majority in combination with the Greens, and a passing majority with the Greens plus any one of David Pocock or a Senator from One Nation or JLN.  

New South Wales

(Outgoing 3 Coalition 3 Labor)


As I start this section the NSW race has reached 43.3% of enrolment (the final figure for each race is around the low 90s.) The leaders are:

Liberals and Nationals 2.548Q
Labor 2.107
Green 0.801
One Nation 0.306
United Australia 0.254
(all others combined 0.984)

On current primaries - and I don't expect this to change though I haven't checked the geographic breakdown - the Coalition ticket is much too far ahead for One Nation to have any chance of catching it on preferences.  Ross Cadell (Nat) will replace Concetta Fierravantti-Wells (Lib) who was disendorsed.  (The Liberals only had three because of recount-related fallout from the disqualification of Fiona Nash.) Deborah O'Neill and Jenny McAllister retain for Labor.  Labor were defending three seats as a consequence of an undeserved third long term from the 2016 DD but that created a three-into-two-doesn't-go problem for them too.  Former NSW MLC David Shoebridge (Greens) takes the seat vacated by Kristina Keneally.  


(Outgoing 3 Coalition 2 Labor 1 Green)

Undecided seat probably Coalition or UAP, perhaps Labor

In my Senate prospects article I flagged the prospect that in some states if the Coalition vote crashed but Labor's did not rise, we could see no-one with much of a quota and a winner from a relatively low vote share, perhaps a right-wing minor party.  And here we are with a contest that a right-wing minor could plausibly win.  

As I start this section Victoria is 49.5% counted.  The leaders are:

Liberals and Nationals 2.222Q
Labor 2.218
Greens 1.001
United Australia 0.286
Legalise Cannabis 0.217
One Nation 0.199
Liberal Democrats 0.166
Animal Justice 0.104
(others combined 0.587)

Obviously the Coalition and Labor get two each and the Greens get one.  At present this leaves the major parties on the sort of vote that will beat most of the smaller parties, with only UAP, Legalise Cannabis and One Nation even possibly competitive with them.  But for any of the micros to overtake UAP, they would probably need to gain on them at at least 0.07 votes/vote, depending on whether the micro-party got over one or both majors along the way.  One Nation might do this off some parties, but I don't think even they would do it consistently enough.  Legalise Cannabis lack obvious preference sources, unless the name has an unexpected "buzz" factor (pun unintended).  

At this stage it's too soon to say the seat is in the bag for the UAP candidate Ralph Babet.  His lead over the majors is about 0.9%, and even if that is enough to hold off the majors on micro preferences (which it might be), it might cease to be so with further shifts in the primary votes as often happen in post-counting (have not looked yet at how representative the count is).  By normal standards, the preferences of One Nation will slightly help the UAP, but preferences from Legalise Cannabis and Animal Justice will significantly help Labor (if Labor outlasts them) and preferences from the Liberal Democrats will help the Coalition.

On current numbers, it's conceivable UAP, Labor and Coalition are the last three standing.  Then (all else being equal) if the Coalition goes out, UAP wins, if the UAP goes out, Coalition probably wins, and if Labor goes out, Labor preferences would help the Coalition over UAP.  On current numbers I would think that a plausible scenario is one of the Coalition or the UAP being knocked out and electing the other, but I couldn't write off Labor either.   Concerning whether the Coalition could get over the UAP at least in time to avoid being knocked out before Labor, on past numbers it looks plausible, but this election could be different.  There have been some attempts to organise networked preference flows involving right-wing anti-COVID-mandate micro-parties, though this probably hasn't had that much traction since these parties mostly have no votes, and also since UAP have been seen as something of a sellout to that movement.  

Pending detailed modelling (which even then will need some caution) I see every prospect that this seat goes to the button still uncertain, but the further rollout of primary votes may give us useful hints.  

Sarah Henderson and Bridget McKenzie are re-elected for the Coalition.  Lidia Thorpe is re-elected for the Greens.  Linda White gets Kim Carr's former seat for Labor, recently appointed Senator Jana Stewart retains her seat and Casey Nunn (ALP), sitting Senator Greg Mirabella (Liberal), Babet (UAP) and anybody else who fancies their chances gets the long, looooooong wait.


(Outgoing 3 Coalition 2 Labor 1 One Nation)

(One Nation seat not confirmed, may be at some risk from LNP)

Queensland has inspired some bad reporting and worse social media claiming that Pauline Hanson is going to lose.  This started with some syndicated nonsense from AAP (who are extremely error-prone) claiming that Hanson was going to lose because she was behind the Greens.  These people couldn't count to six.  On Tuesday on Twitter there were several popular tweets falsely claiming Hanson was in a losing position or had already lost.  

Here are the primary votes with 47.4% counted:

LNP 2.333 quotas
ALP 1.737
Green 0.925
One Nation 0.529
Legalise Cannabis 0.413
UAP 0.307
Lib Dems 0.167
AJP 0.088
I-APA 0.083
(others combined 0.418)

The LNP get two off the top with one for Labor, and then exclusions from the bottom up will gradually result in the Greens and Labor crossing.  The race for the final seat is between the third LNP Senator Amanda Stoker, Hanson for One Nation, and Legalise Cannabis.  

However, in comparison to Hanson, a big problem for Legalise Cannabis is they just don't have a lot of friendly preferences, and any that are there for them are splitting initially to the Greens and also to Labor.  So I see no prospect that Legalise Cannabis can win.  However, we should pause for a moment to reflect that a party nobody much in the media talked about in the campaign has outpolled the massively hyped UAP.

As for a possible contest between One Nation and the LNP, 2019 data suggests the LDP preferences should help the LNP slightly more than the UAP helps One Nation, but that would be only worth 0.01 Q, and I'm sceptical that even that gain would occur this time.  

What else?  Well, the count might be unrepresentative by division.  So I looked at this and found that the average LNP vote per division is 0.01 quotas lower than the current total while the average One Nation vote is 0.01 higher.  Or the count might be unrepresentative by vote type.  So I looked at the 2019 shift from ordinary votes to final votes, doubled it, and that still didn't get the LNP within 0.15 quotas of One Nation.

A possibility that's been suggested is that the UAP (Clive Palmer) might outlast the LNP.  If this is so the UAP could close the gap to One Nation by about .08 quotas on LNP preferences, but that is not enough, and if UAP gets over Legalise Cannabis then the latter's preferences would be more likely to assist One Nation. 

Poor as the Queensland One Nation vote is, I see absolutely no evidence that anyone beats Pauline Hanson here.  She will be re-elected, joining James McGrath and Matt Canavan (LNP) and Murray Watt and Anthony Chisholm (ALP), with new Green Penny Allman-Payne replacing Stoker.

Wednesday: LNP are up to 2.38 today and One Nation down to 0.52.  I expect this is an impact of which seats are more heavily weighted in the count plus also the counting of many postals.  I will run another check by division should the LNP vote increase to within, say, 0.1 - as it is possible One Nation's preference share will fall alongside their primary vote.  

Thursday: LNP have continued closing and I will have a closer look tonight to see whether this is anything but the fact that there are a lot of early-received postals in the count at present which is giving them a very high gain rate compared to ordinary votes.  It's possible that very late on Tuesday night I wrote off Stoker beating Hanson prematurely - I think by overlooking the extent to which large prepoll centres were undercounted - but I've left the claim to that effect up unedited above.

Thursday midnight:  Yes, the count on Tuesday night was still quite distorted in the ordinary booths because of weak LNP being more counted than strong ones, although the same was not true for seats.  There is now a mild tendency for seats where the LNP is polling well to be more fully counted on ordinaries and seats where One Nation is polling well to be less fully counted but the projected difference in terms of One Nation's lead is only about .015 quotas, and this could well fall over because of what is left of the same effect in the undercounted seats (the most undercounted are Fairfax, Moreton and Rankin).  At the moment I project One Nation to win the ordinaries count by the equivalent of 0.17 quotas.  Projected through to the end of the count based on 2019 post-counting that would fall to about 0.13, but the increase in postals in 2022 is so large that if the postals do not weaken compared to 2019, the LNP could pick up fully 1% in the Queensland Senate postcount, closing the lead to 0.10 quotas.  Overall this projection says that once all votes are counted, One Nation's lead will be around where it is now or a bit higher.  (The current lead is 0.083 Q).  

Western Australia

(Outgoing 3 Coalition 2 Labor 1 Green)


Wednesday: It's taken ages but I finally get back to this piece to do another state!  The leaders with 57.4% in the can are:

Labor 2.469 Q
Liberal 2.188
Green 0.980
One Nation 0.244
Legalise Cannabis 0.236
Aus Christians 0.157
UAP 0.152
Lib Dems 0.137
WA Party 0.113
(combined others 0.324)

In my preview I said Labor needed something like an 8% swing in the Reps to be competitive for three in the Senate.  They've done that; the swing in WA polling was fully real.  This looks like a straightforward 3-2-1, but it's not totally simple, because there are a lot of right-wing micros on this ballot whose voters will strongly preference the Coalition over Labor assuming that the Coalition can get past One Nation.  On 2019 preferences, the Coalition could gain  0.19 quotas back vs Labor's current lead over them of 0.28.  However, given the disrepute the Liberal Party is in in WA, I doubt the gain will be so large this time.  On current numbers it's not that hard for the Liberals to get over One Nation (Australian Christians votes could do it by themselves and the rest is a wash).  

For Labor, Sue Lines and Glenn Sterle appear set to be joined by Fatima Payman.  Dorinda Cox retains for the Greens.  For the Liberals, Michaelia Cash and Dean Smith return.  However, Ben Small, after resigning over Section 44 ineligibility then being appointed to his own casual vacancy, looks like he will lose his seat.  

South Australia

(Outgoing 2 Coalition 2 Labor 1 CA 1 Rex Patrick Team)

Undecided seat probably Coalition or Labor, perhaps One Nation

As I start this section SA is 65% counted.  Leaders are:

Liberal 2.316 Q
Labor 2.302
Green 0.873
One Nation 0.272
United Australia 0.215
Group O (Xenophon) 0.194
Legalise Cannabis 0.163
Lib Dems 0.157
Rex Patrick 0.148
Animal Justice 0.119
(combined others 0.241)

Former SA Senate powerhouse Nick Xenophon hasn't been much of a factor and has not even got his deposit back with his rather disorganised late run.  The Greens have taken one of the vacated ex-Centre Alliance seats, but who will take the other?

In early counting it looked like the answer might be One Nation's Jennifer Game, but One Nation have now dropped back slightly behind the majors.  It is also mostly not a very friendly minor party lineup for One Nation to get preferences from.  As a simplified model I threw preferences from the bottom up to Liberal, One Nation, Labor and Greens and then three-way between Liberal, One Nation and Labor once the Greens crossed quota; this won't mirror exactly which preferences are available to the three contenders but shouldn't be a terrible estimate.  On that basis I got Labor gaining about 0.08 quotas on the Liberals who in turn gained about 0.1 on One Nation, eliminating the latter.  If One Nation are eliminated, on current primaries I estimate the combined One Nation, Lib Dems and UAP prefs would give the Coalition an edge worth about 0.06 quotas by 2019 prefs, but will this hold up for 2022 with the disgust with the majors on the populist right?  If One Nation aren't eliminated, Labor would be expected to beat them.

Overall it's hard to pick between the majors here, with One Nation seemingly not that strong a chance at the moment (I'm sceptical the flows to it will be that much better this time).  Maybe one or the other will get a decisive break in further counting but there could well be enough uncertainty that the final seat goes to the button in doubt.  (Scrutineering sampling could help but is extremely labour-intensive.)

Simon Birmingham and Andrew McLachlan are re-elected for the Coalition.  Penny Wong and Don Farrell are returned for the government (gee it looks weird writing it that way!) Barbara Pocock is the new Greens Senator.  For the final seat, Kerrynne Liddle (Liberals), Trimann Gill (Labor) and Jennifer Game (One Nation) will be dreaming of a happy button press.


(Outgoing 3 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Green)

Candidate level result is not yet called

Tasmania is at 77.4% counted!  The state has swung to the Coalition in the Reps (for partly candidate based reasons) and in the Senate the most significant movement is a 3% swing away from Labor with 3% going to the Greens.  At least 1% of this is down to the absence of Lisa Singh's BTL campaign, and overall what has happened in the Tasmanian Senate race since 2019 boils down to nothing much.  Leaders are:

Liberal 2.211 Q
Labor 1.933
Greens 1.095
Jacqui Lambie Network 0.592
One Nation 0.270
Legalise Cannabis 0.211
Liberal Democrats 0.134
Shooters 0.128
UAP 0.115
Local 0.105
(others combined 0.206)

There's nothing to see here at party level, it's 2-2-1-1.  Anne Urquhart and Helen Polley are re-elected for Labor, Peter Whish-Wilson wins again for the Greens, and Tammy Tyrell is elected for the Jacqui Lambie Network after an excellent JLN campaign.  The only thing needing to be nailed down is whether the Liberals' Jonathan Duniam is joined as expected by Wendy Askew, or whether Eric Abetz can retain via below-the-line voting.

Tasmanians have a very high level of BTL voting but keeping Abetz would be stretching that to the limit.  The problem for Abetz is he not only needs half the Liberal votes beyond one quota (an already daunting 8.6%) but that he needs to be far enough beyond half that he stays ahead of Askew even though she can get above the line preferences and he can't.  And this needs a truly staggering vote, something like 11%, about double what Lisa Singh got.  The Abetz campaign was relatively low key compared to Singh's.  It will be interesting to see what he does get, but I expect I'll be calling the end of his 28-year career not long after the first BTL votes are rolled out.

Thursday 5:20pm: The first substantial unroll of BTL votes has started and in the Rosny PPVC booth Abetz is on 5.6% which while impressive is still nowhere near enough.

Australian Capital Territory

(Outgoing 1 Labor 1 Liberal)


The Gorton dream has finally occurred!  ACT Senate is at 75.3% counted and here's the full list:

Labor 1.007 Q
Liberal 0.751
Pocock 0.638
Greens 0.300
Kim Rubenstein 0.130
UAP 0.064
Legalise Cannabis 0.045
Animal Justice 0.018
Sus Aus 0.015
IMOP 0.015
Progressives 0.011
ungrouped 0.007

The Liberal vote has suffered the same meltdown as in inner city Sydney and Brisbane.  Pocock is not far behind, and about 0.01 quotas of Zed Seselja's current lead on primaries is caused by the division of Canberra being undercounted.  The Greens preferences will probably break to Pocock similarly to how they do in Labor vs Seselja contests and will alone erase the gap easily.  If Pocock needs any help beyond that it will come from probably other party on the ballot except for the UAP.  Labor have very helpfully polled almost exactly a quota so that they are neither soaking up preferences nor getting a surplus that might spray.  Pocock will not just beat Seselja, he will beat him by several percent and join Katy Gallagher in the Senate. 

Northern Territory

(Outgoing 1 Labor 1 CLP)


43% counted:

Labor 1.035 Q
CLP 0.923 Q
Green 0.387 Q
Lib Dems 0.259 Q
Legalise Cannabis 0.188 Q
others combined 0.208 Q

Malarndirri McCarthy is re-elected for Labor.  Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is elected for the CLP replacing Sam McMahon, who has polled a significant vote as a Liberal Democrat but without threatening the top two.  

Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 House of Reps Summary Page And Vanilla Postcounts



Seats apparently changing (not all completely confirmed):

COALTION TO LABOR: Reid, Robertson, Chisholm, Higgins, Boothby, Pearce, Swan, Hasluck, Tangney, Bennelong
COALITION TO INDEPENDENTS: Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney, Curtin, Goldstein, Kooyong

In significant doubt:

2019 LABOR SEATS AT RISK TO COALITION: Gilmore (very close)
2019 LABOR SEAT AT RISK TO GREENS: Macnamara (probable Labor hold)

(Richmond, Lingiari assumed Labor retain)
(Lyons called Labor retain)
(Cowper and Bradfield Coalition retains)
(Menzies, Sturt, Deakin assumed Liberal retains)
(Bass called for Liberal)
(Bennelong assumed Labor gain)


This is the page where I post my summary assessments of the House of Reps count and I will be unrolling details below on seats of Coalition vs Labor interest progressively through the night and updating the post as I go.  Seats will be listed in alphabetical order but will be unrolled on an ad hoc basis.  When I have unrolled them all a Senate thread will be posted; for now see my Late Night Live assessments.  Each post will be updated until I consider the seat of no further interest, at which point it will be moved to the bottom of the page and noted as an assumed win.

Links will also be posted here to non-classic contests or messy contests as I add them:

Note re Ryan: This seat is being realigned to LNP vs Green causing a misleading 2CP count to appear showing the LNP ahead.  That count is just of postals received so far which favoured the LNP, but based on the Greens' preference share in even that sample, the Greens project to 53.2% off other booths.  That cannot be pulled back on postals (especially since the Greens do well on absents); the Greens have very clearly won the seat.  (Update Wednesday 5:30: earlier today I projected the Greens' current lead to be 52.5-47.5 not the 52-48 of the ABC (it is underestimating the flow to Greens because its preference sample is from strong LNP vote pools) - the lead will come down on postals but not by enough to stop the Greens winning.) Note Thursday: Julian Simmonds has conceded.

Note re Curtin: Celia Hammond has cut heavily into Kate Chaney's lead on postals but unless something very odd happens with absents and dec prepolls, Chaney will still win as absents at least will favour her.  There are probably only enough postals left to cut the lead to say 600 anyway (and that is if the flow doesn't weaken in late postals, which it probably will.)  Note Thursday: Celia Hammond has conceded.

Note re Wannon: This seat is being realigned to Dan Tehan vs Alex Dyson (IND) but Dyson needs 85% of preferences to win and this is not possible with too much of the count consisting of right wing microparties.  It might be close but that's all.  After five booths the ABC projects 56% to Tehan; I project 57.3.  These are rubbery projections - it might be 54 or 58, anyway Tehan will win.

Gilmore (NSW, ALP 2.6%)

Gilmore is the seat at most risk of falling from Labor to the Coalition (Labor's only two losses so far have been to the Greens and an independent).  So poor is the Coalition's overall performance that it takes a poor campaign in 2019 followed by a great candidate in 2022 to make it competitive in this seat, which echoes Lyons where there was a disaster in 2019 followed by candidate problems for Labor in 2022.  Even so, that's only been enough to put it on the wire, with former state Minister Andrew Constance (whose state seat of Bega fell in a by-election after he resigned) leading first-term Labor MP Fiona Phillips by 48 votes.  As a recap of 2019, there was preselection acrimony firstly involving Grant Schultz's challenge to Ann Sudmalis, then following the parachuting in of Warren Mundine, and Schultz ran as an independent. As a summary of 2022, Constance became famous following his emotional response after the 2019-2020 summer bushfires.  

Gilmore is at 81.2% of enrolment counted.  In 2019 it reached 92.9%.  In that year absents were 2.3% of enrolment and 5 points more favourable to Labor than ordinary votes, postals were 5.1% and 7.9 points more favourable to Liberals, and declaration prepolls were 3.6% and very similar to ordinaries.  This year there is a larger postal count, with 13.3% applying for a postal and 12020 postals (9.8% of enrolment) already received, though 841 have been rejected.  If postals break anything like 2019 Constance obviously wins (barring miscounts in any booths, which needs to be checked for).  

The postals so far have broken to Constance, but the break is weak, just 4 points more favourable than the ordinaries.  That is enough, but if the late postals/early postals dynamic seen in previous elections persists, then it might weaken further.  I am not sure that dynamic will persist given the shift in apparent voting intention seen in late polling.  So there is some sort of argument that Constance should win by a few tenths, but it is debatable, very close, and could be overturned if there are count corrections.  I think with this one I will put the projection away for the time being and wait to see more votes.  Updates to follow; we could be following this battle for a while.  

Monday: There has been a massive addition of postals, such that there might be only 2500 or so still to come.  Constance now leads by 360 (50.15%).  The break on postals has stayed about the same, around 4.5%.  

Except that Constance has a problem.  In the booth of Gerringong, it strongly appears that the gains on preferences have been entered the wrong way around.

There is no way Constance is getting nearly 80% of preferences in a substantial booth with a decent sized Greens vote.  It seems the numbers (247 and 69) have been credited to Gilmore and Phillips the wrong way round and in fact, Constance's lead is not 360 votes; it's 4.  

[Edit: And Constance's lead has dropped another 54, so he is effectively now behind.]

Tuesday: Gerringong fixed, Constance now 105 ahead but there are now probably more absents left than postals so that lead is very fragile.

Wednesday: All the currently held postals have been thrown bar a few hundred (this may have happened yesterday) and Constance is only leading by 114.  From projections last time I'd expect him to drop about 250 on absents, 50 on dec prepolls, 50 on provisionals and then there are the mysteries of COVID votes.  As against that, maybe he gets 50 back on postals but he is currently projecting to nearly 200 behind, outside the automatic recount margin.  He therefore probably needs absents or dec prepolls to be unusually strong for him to win.  

Thursday 3 pm: Small gain on rechecking for Constance (but it's substantial in the context of a close one); he now leads by 157.

Thursday 4:30: Constance doing exceptionally well on rechecking today and now up by 241, putting the seat back to recount territory on projection.

Thursday 5:40: More gains and lead now out to 307 - not sure if there is anything underlying this, he will be back to favourite if it continues.

Friday 1:00: While there are only nine booths still to be rechecked this includes four large PPVCs so there is still ample scope for a shift in either direction in that process.

Lyons (Tas, ALP 5.2%)

Lyons is Tasmania's central rural/regional seat riddled with tiny towns, which votes somewhat similarly to Bass and Braddon with a few points extra for Labor.  In both 2019 and 2022 Lyons has seen controversies regarding candidate posts on social media.  In 2019 these led to the disendorsement of Liberal Jessica Whelan and the Liberal Party had to endorse the Nationals instead (all this after Whelan's name was on the ballot paper).  In 2022 the revealing of some fairly old (pre-political-career) social media posts by Brian Mitchell resulted in him deleting his social media accounts and being targeted in Liberal attack ads (somewhat hypocritically given the Liberal Party's issues with women in this term.)

In ordinary votes, Mitchell has a 50.43-49.57 lead over his Liberal opponent Susie Bower.  In 2019 the shift in postcounting reduced Mitchell's lead by 0.23 points.  Lyons has a greatly increased postal count in 2022 with 10347 postal envelopes returned already compared to 6500 admitted to the count in 2019.  640 postals have been rejected already, but there are probably still at least 1000 to come.

In 2019 postals favoured Whelan over Mitchell by 2.3 points compared to ordinaries, and if this is projected to the 2022 Lyons count then the seat becomes extremely close.  However, there is a pattern in the Lyons votes from 2019 that a higher share of the Coalition vote is for Whelan in postals and prepolls compared to the booth votes, reflecting growing awareness among booth voters of the scandal affecting Whelan and her disendorsement.  In 2022 it may be the reverse: as the campaign went on, more voters were exposed to attacks on Mitchell.

This is certainly born out by the first batch of postals, which have broken to Mitchell 2056-1833, making his 2PP share of postals 2.4 points better than ordinaries.  If this continues, Mitchell wins the seat and his current lead of 704 is already hard to overturn without errors in a state where postcounting breaks weakly.  However, there is also some potential for the late postals to be bad for Mitchell for the same reasons as above.  Nonetheless it currently looks likely Mitchell will retain.

UPDATE 1:45am 

In comments Anthony Llewellyn wondered whether the postal count was irregular in Lyons because Mitchell was getting most of the postals.  Having run health checks on some of the other counts (remember Wentworth 2018?) I thought I'd do the same for Lyons. The postal count was fine but one of the others is not!  

Two booths are big outliers.  MC is Mole Creek, a smallish booth with a high One Nation vote.  But LPPV is Launceston Lyons PPVC, a large prepoll with 3469 votes and a bog-standard distribution of minor party primary votes.  The current figures have Bower gaining 626 votes and Mitchell gaining 358.  I believe that what has happened here is the numbers have been added the wrong way round and in fact Mitchell gains 626 and Bower 358, or some other error of similar magnitude.  (An alternative is that the 2PP is right and the primary count is wrong in some way but that seems less likely.)

If it is what it appears to be (a common problem) then when fixed Mitchell's lead will increase by over 500 votes placing the seat beyond what doubt remains.

Update Monday 11:35 Another ball bounces in Mitchell's favour with correction of an error in the Midway Point booth pushing his lead out by another 100 votes or so.

Update Tuesday: Another c. 2000 postals have been counted breaking in Bower's favour and taking Mitchell's official lead down to 719.  

Wednesday: Mitchell's lead is now down to 535 with 3580 postals awaiting processing.  Postals after the first batch have been breaking to Bower 54-46, which if it continues could knock Mitchell's lead down to say 200, leaving him at the mercy of dec prepolls.  But the Launceston Lyons PPVC booth which appears to contain 536 votes of buried treasure (see above) is still unchecked, and if I'm right about that, that would still put Mitchell's win beyond doubt.  

Thursday 2 pm: The Launceston PPVC issue has been fixed putting Mitchell's lead over 1100. Called.

8 pm: Remaining postals have knocked Mitchell's lead down to 784 but there are not many postals left, 


Bennelong (NSW, Lib 6.9)

Bennelong, the seat John Howard held for so long then famously lost, was held for one term by Labor's Maxine McKew and then held for four terms by former tennis star John Alexander.  On Alexander's departure Labor selected a star candidate Jerome Laxale and at the moment it looks very much like Laxale is up.  The seat is one of many where the Morrison government's sabre-rattling on China apparently hasn't gone down well with the Chinese Australian community.  With 75% counted Laxale is ahead by 1749 votes.  Absents (with the usual bonus to Labor, in this case of 4.7 points) weren't a big thing in this seat in 2019 and the postal count is also relatively modest compared to some.  In 2022 postals were 10 points more favourable to Alexander than ordinaries but so far in this count the gap is only 6 points. Even if it increased to 10 points for the remainder I would still have Laxale winning by about 600 votes meaning that it's hard to see him not winning without a counting issue.  And on that, I've checked and not seen any obvious outliers.  I have put Bennelong at the top of the list temporarily for aesthetic reasons but it will be moved to the bottom tomorrow unless a meteor strikes Laxale's vote count.  

Deakin (Vic, Lib 4.7)

Michael Sukkar has a controversial term facing accusations of involvement in branch-stacking and investigations of a donor with foreign influence risks.  He is under the pump here against Labor's Matt Gregg and is currently 1077 votes behind.  In 2019 absents were 4.4% of enrolment in Deakin and Sukkar underperformed on them compared to ordinary votes by 4.8 points.  Declaration prepolls were 5% and had little influence and postals were 12.1% and he overperformed by 6.8 points.  Sukkar is off to a good start on postals with a split 8.4 points better than ordinaries in the first lot of postals, but I would not rely on that to hold up.  If the postals follow the 2019 pattern there might be enough left to put Sukkar a few hundred ahead but the absents and declaration prepolls would more than cancel that out and put Gregg a few hundred up himself.  However, that's very close and at this early stage of counting it's hard to be sure there are no counting errors (though I just ran a primary vs 2PP crosscheck on them and didn't find any).  So Labor better placed, but not by much.

As a general comment about postals, it appears that there may be a higher share of those issued being returned than normal.  I'm seeing this across numerous seats and it could help the Coalition save some.

Update Monday: More postals have been added closing the gap to 846.  These were actually very slightly better for Sukkar than the first lot so there is still realistic hope that he can outperform the 2019 projection and catch up; it's not easy and could be very close.

Monday 4 pm: Massive flow to Sukkar in a further lot of postals that has put his advantage on postals up to 10.8 points compared to ordinaries.  Sukkar is now more or less even with a lot more postals to come than absents and now looks more likely to win.

Tuesday: The killer postals don't stop coming and with Sukkar 730 ahead with several thousand of them still to go, I've seen enough of this (so I suspect has Gregg).  Sukkar retains.

Lingiari (NT, ALP 5.5)

Lingiari was considered vulnerable because of the retirement of veteran Warren Snowdon and because one never really knows what happens in the nation's most unpollable seat.  Marion Scrymgour (Labor) is 1043 ahead.  The issue for the CLP is that there are really not enough votes left.  There may be just over 1000 postals left, in 2019 there were about 1000 absents and about 2000 declaration prepolls.  As a result of logistic issues, turnout appears to be falling from 73% to something like 65%.  There is also a correctional centre booth not showing, but even if it has votes they will be massively pro-Labor.  I have put Lingiari here but will move it to the bottom of the article later today as it appears Labor has clearly won it.

Menzies (Vic, Lib 7.0)

Menzies is a vacancy for political veteran Kevin Andrews who lost preselection to lawyer and Army veteran Keith Wolahan.  Wolahan looks like he should succeed Andrews, but only just.  Wolahan had 50.03% in the ordinaries and in 2019 the postcount gain was .49.  Postals were 7.2 points better than ordinaries last time and are 7.5 points better so far this time, and while that may very well contract somewhat Wolahan should still win.  Since his margin is just 925 at this stage I am waiting for more votes.  

Update Monday: Wolahan up by 1744 now and has retained the seat for the Liberals.

Moore (WA, Lib 11.6)

Moore is another WA seat that has seen a fearsome swing but Ian Goodenough seems to have done just enough to survive it.  On ordinary votes he is ahead 50.33-49.67 meaning Labor needs a postcount shift of .33 to beat him.  In 2019 the shift was .26 the other way.  Postals so far are 7.8 points above ordinaries to Moore, which is slightly stronger than last time, and has already put Goodenough 1138 ahead.  I see no reason to doubt Moore will be retained.

Sturt (SA, Lib 6.9)

Alongside the demise of Boothby, Sturt was now and then mentioned as a Liberal seat at risk, especially after One Nation recommended preferences to Labor. It looks like James Stevens has survived and the numbers are almost identical to Menzies.  Stevens got 50.05% in the ordinaries and in 2019 the postcount gain was .43.  Postals were 7.7 points better for the Liberals last time and are 7.8 points better so far this time.  Stevens' margin is currently 998. 

Tuesday: Stevens margin now 1261. Pretty sure that's enough now.

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Macnamara

Macnamara (Vic, ALP vs Lib 6.3)
(2019 3CP Lib 39.5 ALP 33.2 Green 27.3)
Exclusion order issue: final two undecided - Labor needs to remain in top three
Labor currently appears most likely to retain, but close

This post will follow the postcount in Macnamara, which under its old name of Melbourne Ports delivered the most exciting postcount of the 2016 election, with a two-way contest between Labor and the Greens to make the final two and the Liberals also a chance to unseat Michael Danby.  Six years later the Liberals have totally cooked their chances in the seat after picking two dud candidates in a row, and Josh Burns has replaced the more controversial Danby and appears popular and to be set for life.  Or is he?

As it turns out, not so simple, because the excellent result of the Greens generally in this election has seen them pick up a large primary vote swing at the Liberals' expense, while Labor has only a small one.  With ordinary votes plus the first 1998 postals in, the standings are:

Burns (Labor) 32.14%
Hodgins-May (Green) 31.45%
Harkin (Lib) 27.13%
Lib Dems 2.42
UAP 2.02
Myers (IND) 1.73
Animal Justice 1.73
One Nation 1.38

In 2019 the following pertained to the postal, out of division and absent votes for Macnamara:

* On postals the Liberals outperformed their ordinary vote by 15.2%, Greens underperformed by 10.5, Labor underperformed by 6.4
* On declaration prepolls the Liberals outperformed by 1.7, Greens underperformed by 0.7, Labor underperformed by 2.8
* On absents the Liberals underperformed by 1.5, Greens overperformed by 2.9, Labor underperformed by 3.3

The postals effect is a result of the division's large conservative Jewish vote, which often makes it the division (alongside Flynn) with the largest postcount shift to Coalition on a 2PP basis.  In 2019 this shift was 2.7% 2PP.  We can see this in the early postals counted where Liberals are outperforming by 13.6, Labor is outperforming by 2.2 and the Greens are underperforming by 16.1.

In 2019 about 6% of Macnamara voters voted by out of division prepoll and about 5.5% absent voted.  This year the rate of postal votes mailed was 22%, but of these only around 75-80% will be included.

On a rough model from last year's patterns and ignoring patterns in the postals received so far, I project that you could throw a blanket over the three at the end of the primary count (my very rough estimate is Labor 30.3 Greens 30.2 Lib 29.7).  If that was so, we would need to see if minor party preferences were capable of putting Labor into third.  If Burns is in the top two, he wins, as the Liberals recommended Labor over the Greens on their card, which tends to produce about a two to one flow.  

However, the micro-party mix includes Liberal Democrats, UAP and One Nation,  In 2019 the Liberals gained on Labor and the Greens by about 35% of the UAP's vote share, and the Greens gained on Labor by about 35% of Animal Justice's.  On the projection there is a serious chance that Labor would be pushed into third.

That said, the early postals are more favourable to Burns than the projection, in all respects (worse for the Liberals and Greens, better for him).  This may be just a feature of early postals, but it may carry through to later counting (especially as Labor is not normally strong in early postals.)  If Burns can continue to outperform the postals projection from 2019 then he should easily beat one of the other two and be returned.  At the moment I think this is likely (he can beat either of them) but there is enough in this to consider the seat not yet bolted down.  I will look at this in more detail over coming days but I think that is enough to start the ball rolling on this one on.  

Monday night: More postals are added and now the Liberals are outperforming by 14.5, Labor by 0.6 and the Greens are underperforming by 15.1.  Current standings are Burns 32.16 Hodgins-May 29.92 Harkin 28.66.  There are still something like 7000 formal postals to come.  

Assuming the current postal rates continue then I am projecting Burns to about 32, Harkin 29.8 and Hodgins-May 29 after absents and dec prepolls.   At a very rough estimate of the minor preference flows I then project Burns and Harkin on about 34 and Hodgins-May on 32.  Burns only has to match my projection or come near to it because if he gets over a third on 2CP he wins.  Even if he underperforms he can only lose if Hodgins-May also outperforms Harkin on the projection, Harkin outperforms Burns.  So it seems Burns is still fairly well placed but sheesh, this is complex!

Wednesday: There are some preference estimates posted by Antony Green with the Liberals getting 48% of preferences, Greens 34 and Labor the rest.  Applying this to the current live count I get both majors around 33.8 and the Greens around 32.4.  Projecting to the end of the primary count and assuming remaining postals will be somewhat weaker than those so far I get Liberal 34.2 Labor 33.5 Green 32.4.  Even assuming the remaining postals do nothing I only get the Greens up to 32.8.  So on projection I have the Greens several hundred to over 1000 behind after preferences, which would require an unusually strong relative performance on dec prepolls and absents to overturn - or counting errors.  The advantage remains with Labor but it's not yet quite in the bag.

Thursday: A lot of postals have been thrown with now just over 1000 awaiting processing.  As usual the flows on late postals continued to weaken.  After preferences my projection is now Liberal 34.1 Labor 33.4 Green 32.4 so not substantially closer than yesterday (I am assuming about 500 postals still to arrive; there might be more but by this stage they'll be splitting pretty evenly anyway).  This throw has also removed the possibility that the postals uncounted as of yesterday would be much better for the Greens.  For the purposes of monitoring future postals, so far it's Liberal 6890 Labor 5572 Green 3408 from 17559 formal postals.

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Brisbane

Brisbane (LNP 4.9% vs ALP)

LNP has lost, Stephen Bates (Greens) vs Madonna Jarrett (Labor) for seat

Jarrett may finish second on primaries (not certain yet).  Whichever of Bates and Jarrett makes the final two after preferences wins.

Bates strongly expected to outperform Labor on other party preferences and win.

This post will follow the postcount in the division of Brisbane, where Trevor Evans has been defeated and we are waiting to find out which of Stephen Bates (Greens) and Madonna Jarrett (Labor) takes the seat.  

Current primaries are:

Evans (LNP) 36.5
Bates (Greens) 28.6
Jarrett (Labor) 27.8
One Nation 2.0
UAP 1.9
Animal Justice 1.7
Liberal Democrats 1.5

Brisbane is at 59.3% of enrolment counted (last time it made 90.5%).  22.2% of the division applied for postals, of which something like 75-80% may return, making postals a little over half of what's to come.  Absents accounted for 5.3% of enrolment in 2019 and out of division prepolls 5.7%.  The latter figure is likely to be up slightly, the former down somewhat, and there will also be some telephone votes and provisionals.

Looking at 2019, the following apply:

* Postals: The Greens underperformed their ordinary vote by 5.5% and Labor by 3.1%
* Dec prepolls: Greens overperformed by 0.5%, Labor underperformed by 1.3%
* Absents: Greens overperformed by 5.5%, Labor underperformed by 0.6%

Brisbane has seven candidates and the informal vote is negligible (this is important because informal on postals tends to be lower than in booths in seats with high informal rates, but we can ignore that here.)  

On a rough assumption of 17% accepted postals, 6.2% out of div prepolls and 4.5% absents, I project that Stephen Bates' lead could contract slightly, to around 0.6%.  There is also the question of the impact of micro-party preferences.

Here the Greens run into a problem because all four micro-parties recommended their voters put them below Labor, including yet another case of the Animal Justice Party being unhelpful to the Greens.  However these micro-party cards are not much followed, and in the case of the UAP and One Nation any voter who follows the card will bury their preferences in the Liberal pile never to be seen again.  The Liberal Democrat card is a confusing double-sided option pitched at voters who normally vote Labor and normally vote Liberal; the Labor option is more prominent but in practice most LDP prefs go to Liberals.

In 2019 the Greens made small 3CP gains vs Labor on the exclusion of both UAP and One Nation.   I suspect the remaining absent, prepoll and postal counting will give a clearer indication of which way this seat is going than trying to read the minds of micro-party voters.  At this stage it is not clear where it is going, but it should not be taken for granted that Labor can overhaul the Greens on micro-party votes without an improvement in the primary situation.  (I will try to find other cases where the AJP recommended to Labor in three-cornered races.)

There has been some speculation about Labor to Greens preference flows being somewhat weaker in these Queensland seats than the other way around, contrary to the normal pattern in compulsory preference elections.  Experience with examples like Maiwar 2017 (where there was actually no difference to speak of) suggests that if this is the case it won't be a huge difference.  Even if, say, the flow is 5 points weaker, that only reduces the 2CP for Greens compared to Labor by 1.4%, which can't save Evans here with the Labor-Liberal 2PP running around 56-44 when pulled.  

I would welcome any scrutineering intel on the micro-party 3CP preference flows.  

This is a seat that presents a case for the AEC to be resourced for throwing selected seats to a notional 3CP early in the post-count.  

Update Sunday 8 pm: The first lot of postals has significantly favoured Labor (1112-689), with them outperforming ordinaries by 1.4% and the Greens underperforming ordinaries by 10.5%.  This has already wiped out the projected Greens lead.  If this continues will be hard for Greens to win the seat, but if they can finish not far behind Labor on primaries they may still be able to pass them on preferences.

Update Monday: I have seen some scrutineering data that points to the Greens potentially making up 1.3% on micro preferences should they fall behind.  That may just be a little bit optimistic but I could easily see them recovering at least one point, so the question is can Labor get substantially more than 1% ahead.  1.5% ahead would be hard to pull back.  We await further postals.

Monday midnight: on my projections even if the postals continue as at present it's hard for Labor to get more than 1.4% ahead.  It's awfully close but I'd slightly rather have the Greens' position at this point.  Anyway there is going to be a lot of movement at the station on Tuesday!

Tuesday: I am given to understand based on scrutineering that the Greens are shaping up well in this seat and likely to win it.  Also that there is an indicative 3CP count coming, perhaps later today.  On postals today Labor moved to 34 votes ahead but the break to Labor over the Greens on postals is falling.  Labor will struggle to get a lead that is survivable.

Tuesday night: I understand the indicative 3CP confirmed (across a sample of booths and vote types) confirmed the patterns noted in the Monday update above (though the likely Green gain may fall slightly if the micro-party votes decline through the postcount as sometimes happens.)  Preferences are flowing strongly to the Greens from Animal Justice (aided by the donkey vote, amusingly), but also weakly from the right micros.  We may see another (rare) case of a winner from third in a federal election (the last one I remember was Andrew Wilkie, Denison 2010).

Tuesday 9 pm: Paul1805 in comments reports that figures not yet up on the website have Labor's lead now at 185 after more postals flowing at a similar rate to previous (gain of .12 votes/vote)

Tuesday 11 pm: I've backed off a bit on my very bullish assessment of this one for the Greens early today because the postals keep building up at a rate faster than I was expecting, making it more plausible that Labor could pull enough lead to stay ahead after preferences.  If the current gain rate is projected to the end of current postals they might do so - but again, it's not likely to stay that high, and even if the current gain rate did project they are probably still just winning (barring booth errors).

Wednesday 1 pm: More scrutineering data on postals yet to be added to the official count suggests that Labor will continue to gain on postals but that the gain rate is starting to slow.  Also, that the Greens are still on track to recover up to 1.3% on preferences if needed.

Wednesday 2:45: I was expecting the number of absents to drop to 4500 or so given the decline in booth voting but there are 6000+ awaiting processing so that's still more good news for the Greens here.

3:00 The first batch of postals has gone up and Labor's lead is out to 184 but the overall gain rate on postals has already dropped to .101 votes/vote.  There are 14203 known postals awaiting processing.  

4:12 The next two batches are in.  Now Labor's lead is 538, but the overall gain rate on postals has now fallen further to .094 votes/vote, and I expect it will fall further.  There are 9749 known postal envelopes awaiting processing (maybe add another 1000 or so).  However there are at least 6200 absents.  Barring a shift in the behaviour of the absents, Labor might get a lead of 1000 but that doesn't look like it would be quite enough anyway.  I have seen one sample from one large prepoll booth where the Greens' gain rate on preferences is smaller than what they need, but it is also a booth where the Greens did not do very well on primaries.  

Thursday midday: Another bunch of postals and Labor now leads by 672, but the overall gain rate has now fallen to .089 votes/vote, and isn't likely to exceed .07 (if even that) on what's to come.  There are 7488 known postals remaining, so at this stage if the pattern of past elections is followed, Labor will finish up with a lead below 1000 (although they may go over 1000 temporarily).  Antony Green has published estimates of minor party preferences at 51% LNP 34% Green 15% Labor, which is consistent with what I've seen from a larger sample size of sorting and means that at present the Greens have a live lead of about 512 votes.  

Friday 1:30:  And now we have a batch of postals which reduces Labor's lead to 628, though I believe another large batch coming will extend it to 700 or so. The postals have slowed so severely that it is very hard to see Labor even leading by 700 at the end of the primary count (if indeed they even lead at all) and whatever lead they may get will clearly not be enough.  Seems very clear now that the Greens will win the seat.  

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Richmond


Justine Elliot (ALP) vs Mandy Nolan (GRN) based on candidate exclusion order

(2019 3CP NAT 41.7 ALP 34.7 GRN 23.6)

Labor is second on primaries and needs to stay ahead of Nationals or overtake Greens (after preferences) to make top three.

Large Liberal Democrat primary may cause Nationals to make final two.

Elliot expected to move into lead on prepolls and retain.

(Elliot has claimed victory - awaiting confirmation of result.)

I will be rolling out many postcount threads for seats today either individually or in batches but I said I would start with a weird one, which has not received much attention on the night, and that is Richmond.  On further checking it as not as interesting as I expected but a quick thread on it anyway.  

Richmond has long been a Greens target seat but I have never believed they would win it until Justine Elliot retired.  And it doesn't look like they will win it this time, but this depends on prepolls behaving as they have done in the past.

These are the current primary votes with 56.7% counted:

Nolan (Green) 28.5
Elliot (ALP) 27.6
Hone (Nat) 21.6
LDP 7.1
One Nation 3.8
UAP 3.0
Warth (IND) 2.8
IMOP 2.4
Jones (IND) 1.9
Sharples (IND) 1.6

On current primaries, Elliot could be in strife.  The LDP, One Nation and UAP preferences would seem likely to push Hone ahead of her (although that might not quite occur) unless the preferences from the minor independents and IMOP favoured her.  If Elliott fell to third on three-candidate-preferred after preferences, Nolan would win the seat.

The problem for Nolan is that hardly any of the prepoll centres have been counted in Richmond.  Still outstanding are Ballina, Byron, Casuarina, Murwullimbah and Tweed Heads South prepolls.  At the last election the Byron prepoll was strong for the Greens but the rest were awful, especially Ballina and Tweed South which were also the largest.

What I project will happen as the prepolls and postals come in is that Elliot will move into the lead on primary votes by something like 5%, Hone will overtake Nolan either on primary votes or preferences, and the seat will revert to a classic 2PP seat (meaning Elliot wins with a big swing).  Even if the Nationals are third, Elliot will win on Nats' preferences.  

By the way the high Liberal Democrat vote in Richmond is not a bug, it's a feature.  Liberal Democrats tend to poll very well in seats where they are running against a National candidate but there is no Liberal candidate.  

I will update this post when more prepolls are in. 

MONDAY: The prepolls are all in and the first 3900 postals too.  It's now Elliot 28.67% Nolan 25.36 Hone 23.83.  Hone should easily jump at least one of Elliot or Nolan on the LDP preferences.  The question is whether Nolan can get close enough off the massive 22.6% of preferences for minor candidates, plus any gains that might occur in post-counting (eg absents) to be a chance of getting over Elliot.  At the moment that looks very difficult as Elliot only needs a 19% share of the preferences to guarantee a spot in the final two and win.  If Elliot's primary drops and Nolan's primary rises in remaining counting, there might still be something here.  However postals so far were good for Elliot (34.7-19, 1169-639) and while that should now weaken there are not many absents in Richmond, so I don't see much closing there.  

TUESDAY: Justine Elliot has a Facebook page up claiming victory and saying that after preferences the Nationals will be second and Greens third.  This is presumably based on sound scrutineering data.  

2022 Federal Election Late Night Live



Seats apparently changing (not all completely confirmed):

COALTION TO LABOR: Reid, Robertson, Chisholm, Higgins, Boothby, Pearce, Swan, Hasluck, Tangney



COALITION TO INDEPENDENTS: Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney, Curtin (in minor doubt), Goldstein, Kooyong



In significant doubt (list may be incomplete):

LABOR AT RISK TO COALITION: Lyons, Gilmore, Lingiari (likely Labor)

COALITION AT RISK TO LABOR: Bennelong, Deakin, Menzies, Moore, Bass (likely Liberal), Sturt (likely Liberal)


LABOR AT RISK TO GREENS: Macnamara (probable Labor)

(Richmond assumed Labor retain)


Good evening and welcome to my late-night coverage of an incredible 2022 federal election night.  The Coalition primary vote has crashed but the Labor primary vote is also down slightly. There is a massive non-major vote, of the sort I disparaged when it appeared in the final Resolve poll, but that poll is looking rather good right now (though we judge polling when all the votes are in).  The House of Reps will be infested with crossbenchers and Australian politics will never be the same again.  As I write Labor is on the cusp of gaining or not gaining a majority, with nine apparent gains, two apparent losses to the crossbench, and a number of unclear seats.  Labor will be easily able to govern in minority at worst, but what sort of Senate they have to deal with will take a lot of sorting out.  As I write it looks like they are tracking for a crucial third seat in Western Australia, which together with apparent victories for Tammy Tyrell and David Pocock should make their life manageable. 

A few comments from me before I switch over to postcount mode after the counts tonight are finished. 

Comments scroll to top.


12:30 Labor has hit the front in Deakin, so that would be a very nice gain if they got it.

12:48 In the Senate, the Coalition is holding up well in NSW and may be able to win three there.  In Victoria there is a mess still with neither major clear of two quotas and a possible right-micro win, though maybe a major (perhaps Labor) will move into a better position.  In Queensland, Pauline Hanson is drifting back towards Legalise Cannabis but I would expect her to be fine even if slightly behind after preferences.  WA is tracking for 3 Labor.  In SA Labor might improve to the point of getting three, but at the moment there is a contest with One Nation and the Coalition.  Tasmania is 2-2-1-1 and David Pocock seems to have beaten Zed Seselja.  

The 2019 Senators are 17 Coalition 11 Labor 6 Green 1 One Nation 1 JLN.  The Coalition appears to be winning 14, Labor 15. Greens 6, One Nation 1, Pocock 1 and JLN 1 with the SA and Vic seats the most unclear.   So that would be 31 Coalition, 26 Labor ,12 Green, 2 One Nation, 2 JLN , and Pocock. At worst a blocking majority for Labor and the Greens, and a passing majority with Pocock, JLN or One Nation.  Any further left gain could improve things more.

1:18 There seems to be a general move to Labor in projections as prepolls come in.  Sturt is closing up, with Labor ahead on current counting but projected to fall behind.

2:21 On polling - it is way too soon to measure who was the most accurate but as votes have piled up it looks like polls have generally done very well.  Anyone saying the polls are wrong has no idea - the right side won, and the 2PP and vote shares are landing very much in the middle of them at the moment.

2:30 Note that on the ABC site some seats including Dickson and Casey have moved into "in doubt" - this is just because the ABC has switched off the projection.

Closing this live coverage now - will resume in the morning with postcount threads.  Messiest first.  (The messiest is Richmond.)

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Election Night Arrangements and Election Watching Tips (2022)


Donations welcome!

If you find my coverage useful please consider donating to support the large amount of time I spend working on this site.  Donations can be made by the Paypal button in the sidebar or email me via the address in my profile for my account details.  Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to do so.

Note: there is a glitch in Paypal where the confirmation says USD instead of AUD.  Ignore that; amounts are coming through in AUD at my end.  


My coverage tonight and to come

I will be doing live blogging for the Mercury from c. 6:30 pm.  The link to the live coverage is here, together with a link to the tweet linking to it.  I am not sure yet how long the coverage will go or whether I will need to take any breaks to write articles.  I may also pop up on Twitter during quiet moments (@kevinbonham) but this is not guaranteed.  The format of the blogging is not known to me yet and may be 

I will probably not be checking emails, tweets or for comments on this site regularly during this time, and I ask journalists not from the Mercury not to call me until the live blog has finished.  However if you have interesting scrutineering samples from Tasmania - especially of the rate of below-the-line voting for Eric Abetz in a Senate booth (please say which booth!) - you're extremely welcome to SMS them to me (0421428775) or email them to me (k_bonham@iinet.net.au).  I probably won't be able to reply immediately.

The live blog is paywalled and I don't know if there will be a paywall free link or not. Subscription options are available.  

Once the live blog has finished I will go home and, after a break, late night coverage will continue on this site for as long as I can manage it.  Postcount threads will be unrolled overnight or tomorrow through the day in order of interest to me, with a special focus on messy three-cornered seats and a single thread for the vanilla postcount seats.

For booth data, keep an eye on Pollbludger.  If the PB booth feed works, it will be far better than anything else out there and I will make heavy use of it.  

When will we know?

I do not know if there will be exit polling.  The YouGov exit poll last election gained a reputation as part of the polling failure, but seems to have been on-the-day votes only and not too bad as a measure of those.  The difficulties with exit polling an election like this with increasing pre-day voting are so severe that I would treat all exit polls with massive caution, especially those with an obviously street-poll feel. 

Votes will build up from maybe 6:30 and if the result isn't close we could know who has won the Reps within a couple of hours.  But if it is close we will be hanging on prepolls late at night (unfinished prepolls stop at midnight).  Postals won't be counted today and there are a lot more of them.  In 2019 the shift to Coalition from ordinary voting (including in-electorate prepolls) to the final margin was 0.4% average (varying greatly by seat) and this might go up to, say, 0.5% this time, or it might (if Labor's postal efforts have been good enough) not change at all.  

Seats with the "wrong candidates"

The AEC has procedures for deciding which two candidates to conduct the on-the-night two-candidate-preferred count between, usually based on the result of the last election in that seat.  The AEC is likely to select some independents for the 2CP.  However when there is a change in the final two, the AEC will be counting a two-candidate result that is irrelevant to the final result, and that will be removed.

It's hard to say yet how many seats will be affected this year.  Three-cornered contests (Liberal vs Labor+Green) are obvious candidates as are teal seats like North Sydney where Labor may be 2PP-competitive but an indie may get over them.  

When the wrong 2CP candidates are selected, any 2CP figure for the right candidates that the ABC put up will be their estimate only - not real numbers.  The ABC has improved its practices for being clear about this.  This may not prevent the ABC on both TV and website from calling some of these seats for candidates, but in the past such calls have often been premature and in some cases wrong.

When the AEC selects the wrong 2CP candidates, a realignment is conducted in which the votes are distributed to the right candidates.  This is usually done alphabetically by booth.  Because different booths have very different voting patterns, the 2CP result swings around wildly during this process, often causing the seat to be projected wrongly by the ABC computer and the media.  To predict where such seats end up it is necessary to use regressions off the primary votes, and I hope to post these here where necessary.

ABC calling seats prematurely

The ABC computer system will often call classic-2PP seats as won once its projections off a certain percentage of the vote have a party ahead by a certain margin.  Sometimes these calls will be premature.  In cases in the past candidates have turned around 49:51 or worse margins on the night when postal votes are added, plus at this election there are an even greater number of within-electorate prepolls (PPVC votes) that will be counted late on the night but may display differences in swing pattern with booth voting.  The extra postal count is another issue, as discussed above.  Note that some seats, like Flynn and Macnamara, see enormous postcount shifts, and also independents are often famously poor in prepolling.  

The 2PP, and preference shift

I have been using last-election preferences in my polling-based modelling but there are some arguments that a preference shift could occur, more likely I think in Labor's favour based on teal independent preferences, the more evenhanded UAP campaign and who knows what One Nation voters will do.  On the other hand, One Nation voters might move more to Coalition.  

As the night goes on and two-party preferred counts start to appear, we may well get a feel for whether a substantial preference shift has happened and how big it is.  We will not know the exact 2PP vote on the night, and at the last election it took many weeks to be finalised.  We will probably know it to within about a point by the end of the night.


A reminder that political-party commentators who appear on TV panels will often give biased readings of how results are going and act as cheerleaders for their parties in any seat where there is any chance (or even some seats where there's none).  This isn't always the case and sometimes a party insider will try to be objective.


Expect the Senate count to be very long, very slow, confusing and in the case of close contests challenging to project.  Thanks to the last election we have more of an idea of how party preferences flow (basically, all over the place) but it will take a while before below-the-line votes for Eric Abetz are unrolled and we have a clear idea (if they matter) where Abetz stands.  

Do not attempt to use Senate how-to-vote cards to model Senate outcomes. Most voters do not follow them, especially for smaller parties.  Please note that if someone emails me a model that does this, I will probably not even reply.  

We will probably know a few things by the end of the night, perhaps including who is in the box seat for seat 5 in every state, but much will unravel slowly over the several coming weeks and some seats could be in doubt until the press of The Button.  That said, it may again be for a half-Senate election that nearly all the seats are clear quickly.

An extra difficulty in this election could be modelling preference flows to Nick Xenophon in the event he is competitive.  Xenophon will probably struggle to get preferences because he has a blank above the line box, which confuses voters.

We will only have official Senate counts dealing with party totals on the night, and there's some doubt how advanced these counts will be even at the end of counting tonight compared to the Reps counts.  A common misconception is that only above the line votes are counted on election night so that parties with high below-the-line rates will gain in coming days - this is completely wrong.  Both above and below the line votes will be counted but they will appear by party as an undivided total.

I hope you all enjoy the coverage!

2022 Election Day: Newspoll Says Labor Really Ought To Win This Time

2PP Aggregate: 53.2 to Labor (-0.3 since Wednesday) (not a prediction)
(Weighted for time only, no house effects or quality weightings)
Cross-poll average of polls released in last week: 52.8 to Labor 
If polls are right (they may not be), Labor should win outright, with a median 82-83 seats
Historically, Labor has underperformed slightly on average when it leads in final week polling

We've finally reached the end, and after seeing yet another nonsense article from Nine claiming that "If current polling is replicated at the federal election, a hung parliament is the most likely outcome" the end cannot come soon enough.  If there is a hung parliament, then it will be because the polls weren't replicated (at least not on primary votes for those at 51-49.)  But the end is only the start of weeks of post-counting and projection fun ahead.

The final Newspoll has arrived and it has Labor with a 53-47 lead from primaries of Coalition 35 Labor 36 Greens 12 One Nation 5 UAP 3 IND/others 9.  In the past Newspoll has sometimes rounded final poll 2PPs unusually (to halves of a point in 2013 and 2019 and even to tenths in 2010) and I don't know whether the 2PP was rounded to the nearest point or the nearest half-point.  However it matters little.  Scott Morrison is on a poor but not terrible -13 net satisfaction (41-54) and Anthony Albanese picks up six points to -5 (41-46).  For the first time ever in a final Newspoll, the two leaders are tied on the skewed Better Prime Minister indicator, 42-42.  This puts Albanese above John Howard, who trailed 45-40 when he won heavily in 1996.  

The only action from other pollsters overnight was that Morgan put out a release saying that further sampling through the week had shown no movement from their final 53-47 and then tried to cover themselves with baseless waffle about supposed Shy Tory effects which Ethan from Armarium Interreta has called out.  

(Speaking of shy voter effects there is an article touting a very silly theory that shy voters might vote for the loudest party in the room, the UAP.  The theory makes no sense because almost all polling nowadays is online and anonymous, but people making these claims never seem to bother to check how polling is conducted.  The "data analysis" method referred to is so silly that it actually predicted a majority for Labor in the 2021 Tasmanian state election, in which Labor lost outright, losing the primary vote by 20.5%.  Following this article there have been numerous reports of UAP voters being very conspicuous in prepoll, but I wasn't seeing any such reports before the article.  In any case, if the UAP is underestimated by pollsters - which they weren't in 2019 - it will be for any reason other than the one being claimed.)

We therefore have three pollsters with final 2PPs of 53-47 and two on 51-49.  (Resolve also published a last-election estimate of 52-48 but it is very clear from their FAQs that they actually regard respondent preferences as the leading estimate.  Also it seems they actually make their respondents fill out a full ballot paper, which in an online poll is just asking for dropouts and semi-donkey votes.)  The final primaries of Newspoll and Ipsos are coincidentally almost the same, though Newspoll has a slightly lower Green vote and a higher independent/others vote.  

But in almost all these cases, one or more of respondent preferences, rounding or (in Morgan's case) possibly incorrect calculations appears to have favoured the Coalition, and as a result my average of the final polls converted to last-election preferences is fully 0.6% higher (52.8) than the average of the released 2PPs (52.2).  Allowing some weighting for older polls (an idea justified by, for instance, the fake narrowing in 1996) results in an aggregated estimate of 53.2.  It may be that my weightings are a little generous to the older polls, but at this election the final polls will have a median age of between 9 and 4.5 days, so I am weighting the final polls less heavily than in the past.  Indeed Morgan's final poll's median data age is not much different to the second-last Newspoll.

In seat terms, my model gives a median 83 seats to Labor should the aggregate be replicated, and 82 should the final-poll average be correct.   Or for a straight final-poll 2PP average, 80 seats.  (The MRP model also had 80 seats off what seems to have been around 52.2 2PP).

As noted in the previous edition, there is a historic tendency for Labor to slightly underperform its final polling on average.  This has been further explored in modelling by Mark the Ballot, who on this basis projects a 2PP of 51.1% with 77 Labor seats.  Australian Election Forecasts has 52.4 and 79 Labor.  Armarium Interreta currently has 52.1% with 78 Labor seats.  Buckleys & None hasn't yet updated for Newspoll but has 51.9% with 77 Labor seats.   All these models have Labor more likely than not to win a majority, but in some cases not by much.  

I've been avoiding making unconditional predictive claims at this election (it's much more fun to copy Antony Green and refuse to predict things except when I do predict them) but I loosely see things thus.  The actual result has a history of usually being closer if one side has a polling lead, and given especially that it is Labor in the lead, it would seem surprising if Labor matched the late polls or the aggregate.  However one argument that Labor might do so, or do even better (though nobody expects that) is the possibility of over-adjustment to the 2019 polling failure.  

Because of the polling failure, I feel there's a broader tail to either side in the range of things that might credibly happen than I would have assigned in most of the previous elections.  It could conceivably be that everyone is overestimating the Coalition out of caution from 2019 and Labor has a much bigger win than expected.  It could conceivably be that the polling problems are not fully solved, or even not solved at all (for instance if they actually relate to under-engaged voters), and we might yet be in for a long close night or even fortnight.  With various things I say, I get tempted to add "but it doesn't really feel like that", but it didn't really feel like that (where that is what actually occurred) in 2019 either.   But the central range of historic projections by others is Labor somewhere between the low 51s and the high 52s, probably winning a majority but maybe not quite, with a Coalition win still plausible but only an outside chance.  

Something else I mention here is some processing I did of the MRP model.  Given that it includes demographic modelling, it should be good at identifying any potential risk of certain kinds of seats producing uneven swings that make it harder for Labor to win, and hence any possible repeat of the 2019 scenario where the Coalition had swings to it in its own marginals with swings to Labor wasted in safe Coalition seats.  But from the 80 seats in the model, if I give away all the 50-50 seats, and those Labor is winning 51-49 and 52-48, Labor still forms government with 74 seats.  (That is, assuming that they would want it, which Terri Butler and Justine Elliot keep telling us they don't, but nobody believes that).  So the MRP model, if sound, is suggesting that the Coalition probably needs to win the 2PP to even govern in minority.  

It being late, I'm posting up these comments now as for starters, and I will add more in the morning.  I should probably work out who I can vote for in the Senate first however.  


Saturday: Not much time for more writing today but a brief comment about Greens and indies.  The Greens' national polling is remarkably strong given the attention and votes they must have lost to teal independents, but is this accurate or is polling overestimating them as it has rather often done before?  I would be very surprised if they beat the 12% they are polling in Newspoll and it would be a heck of a result to even match it, all considered.  

Projecting Greens seats off national polling is difficult because they sometimes succeed in concentrating their vote in inner-city targets without increasing their overall vote share.  The most plausible targets for the party this election are Higgins in Melbourne (where there is strong on-paper evidence that they should be able to get into the top two, but a distinct lack of buzz about their chances of doing so despite early controversies re the Labor candidate's views on vaccines), and the Brisbane trio of Griffiths (ALP), Ryan (Lib) and Brisbane (Lib).  The big problem for the Greens here is that in all these seats they need to get over Labor after preferences from micros and into second, but if Labor's vote surges nationally too, it's harder for them to do it.  There is simply not sufficient data to model these contests, so keep an eye on them; it will be something new in terms of models for crossbench victory if the Greens manage to gain a second seat.

So much fuss about teal independents and there is not much basis for projecting their results either, because so much of the polling is commissioned seat polling.  The independent vote may well be up from 3.4% to something like 4-5%, but that doesn't say much about specific contests (and the evidence is at best indirect anyway since it mostly comes from Resolve - the others either not splitting out IND or clearly overestimating it.) The cases that best fit past experience of cases where crossbenchers gain Reps seats (seat is vacant, candidate is already high profile or opponent is in disrepute) are Goldstein and Wentworth.  In Goldstein, even allowing for the foibles of commissioned polling there is so much consensus on Zoe Daniel being ahead that I'd say she will probably win (by no means certain though, there is much we do not know about such contests).  The evidence on Wentworth is more sketchy and the incumbent probably less obviously vulnerable personally.  Curtin is another interesting one because of the candidate's Liberal family background and the general weakness of the Liberals in WA.  Kooyong has been a massive campaign but it would be a new thing if it worked in view of not ticking the historic boxes.  Perhaps we will see wins in new circumstances, but the YouGov MRP aside, there's not much to look at that's objective on this one and the internal polling has been far more variable than Goldstein.  Hughes is interesting just because the seat is such a mess (and is also as good as vacant) - then there are a string of others where we would need to be seeing something really new for teal indies to get across the line.  Winning seats for non-major candidates is hard, it will be interesting to see how many prevail.  

I will add more comments later today.


Saturday afternoon:  I give here a sample of my simple seat probability model for a 2PP of 52-48 to Labor (I do not assert this will actually be the 2PP).  There are much fancier and probably better models out there.  I thought about including the YouGov MRP in the model as I would include seat polls by established firms, but including someone else's model in a model seems like piggybacking - most likely the YouGov MRP will outperform this model easily.  The purpose of the model is to give estimates of seat totals.  I have included state adjustments for Victoria (weak swing in polling) and WA (strong swing) but have not adjusted Queensland because of the history of bad Queensland federal polling.

The model projects government losses in Bass, Chisholm, Boothby, Swan and Pearce with a slew of seats line-ball for the Coalition such that it would expect a few of them to drop (but hard to say which); of these Reid is generally expected to fall as Fiona Martin has had a terrible campaign.  

If I move up to the average of the final polls, Reid, Leichhardt, Hasluck and Robertson fall over with Dickson, Deakin, Braddon, Longman and Brisbane all line-ball.  Of these Dickson and Deakin have been relatively little-discussed, Braddon is widely considered tight but a more likely Coalition hold, and Longman and Brisbane are generally thought to be at serious risk.  Further up the tree Ryan, Banks and Bennelong are all seats on bigger margins that are vulnerable.  

In general the model expects about one Labor seat to fall in this 2PP range but has no idea which one it is (its readings for some Labor seats look overconfident).  

Overall as a rundown about Labor seats that might fall, the most attention has been on Gilmore and Corangamite, with the following also mentioned as possibilities: McEwen, Lingiari, Werriwa, Dunkley, Greenway, Hunter, Parramatta, Lyons, Eden-Monaro (largely off a seat poll that nobody takes very seriously).  If Labor wins comfortably, it could well be that nothing falls, but for a reasonably close win it would be likely one to a few would drop somewhere.  

Note the model does not project new crossbench seats (eg Goldstein is likely to fall).

A final run of seat betting (not predictive but interesting) as at 3 pm:

Expected Labor gains from Coalition (not close): Chisholm, Reid, Swan, Boothby

Expected Labor gains from Coalition (close): Robertson, Pearce, Bass, Braddon, Longman, Brisbane

Mixed market Labor vs Coalition: Bennelong, Longman

Expected Coalition holds vs Labor (close): Lindsay, Leichhardt, Sturt

Expected Coalition holds vs Labor/Greens (close): Ryan, Higgins

Expected Independent gain from Coalition: Goldstein

Mixed market Independent vs Coalition: Wentworth

Expected Coalition hold vs Independent (close): Kooyong, Nicholls, Hughes, Mackellar, Curtin

Expected Coalition hold vs Independent/Labor (close): North Sydney

Expected ALP hold vs Independent (close): Fowler

Expected ALP hold vs Coalition (close): Gilmore, Corangamite.

By favourites that's 80-63.5-7.5.  I will do a close-seat adjusted total in my post-election coverage.