Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Brisbane

Brisbane (LNP 4.9% vs ALP)

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

Bates and Jarrett very close for second on primaries. Whichever of Bates and Jarrett makes the final two after preferences wins.

Greens will win seat.

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.  

Friday 5:13: The AEC has released 3CP counts showing the Greens leading Labor 26579-25973.  There is no reason to believe this finishes closer and indeed I suspect the Greens will win by around 1000 or more.  

Saturday: To rub it in postals today broke to the Greens, and absents (not yet on site) even more so.

Monday: The 2CP in the seat is being realigned, the AEC being satisfied that in all probability the Greens will beat Labor in the 3CP.  The Liberal/Green 2CP will bounce around a lot during the realignment but the Greens will win comfortably.

Wednesday 8 June:  A very late breaking update but with the final dribbles of votes in this seat the Greens have in fact taken a very small primary vote lead.


  1. Are you aware of what region in the electorate the data comes from ?

    1. No. I've heard there is an even stronger AJP flow in postals than the booth/prepoll sample.

    2. 12% difference in the 2 postal batches processed for AJP GRN preferences last postal count not on website as yet

    3. My understanding is the the first 2 postal batches have not had 3CP counted, any data shared around this would be anecdotal.

    4. Is that a 512 live lead after postal's or total votes counted?

    5. It's what the result would be expected to be if they stopped counting at the time I did the calcuation; the final result will differ based on how further postals, absents etc alter the primary totals (but may not differ by that much.)

    6. But it is the predicted end result yes? I understand variances along the way

  2. Do you have a projection for ALP v Green before preference spills?

    1. Haven't yet tried recalculating what numbers they'll be on on final primaries but at the moment I'll be surprised if it is more than 0.7% ahead.

    2. I'd now think more like 1%, and that's assuming the flow weakens. More postals coming back than I thought earlier.

  3. I have a long odds bet on the Greens so this is pretty nail-biting! Thanks for the scrutineered detail.

  4. I think there are 13,688 formal postals yet to be counted (counting for rejection at about 11%, informals only 2% - the first number looks high, the second low?).

    It looks like about 1500 postals arrived during Tuesday - or at least when I checked during the day.

  5. That makes sense since this is Inner City, so late postals put in, in the electorate, by end of polling day would arrive Monday / Tuesday (or if witnessed on Saturday and posted Monday morning).

  6. Rejected postals now 6.5%. Not sure if they look a bit harder to keep them alive or my first number was a small atypical sample (in many years doing such things, I've never scrutineered postal vote verification at a Fed level).

  7. If still looking for the Brisbane 3CP, not sure which/where the latest one is but a 3CP at 83% can be found in image format here: