Saturday, May 4, 2024

Legislative Council 2024: Elwick, Hobart and Prosser Live

Elwick: Thomas (IND) has won c. 53.3-46.7 after preferences

Hobart: CALLED 9:01 pm Cassy O'Connor (GRN) wins (final margin was 59.7-40.3)

Prosser: Kerry Vincent (Lib) has won c. 52.9-47.1 after preferences

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Live comments (scrolls to top)

All numbers posted here are unofficial.  Check the TEC site for current figures.  Comments will appear here once counting starts - refresh every 10 mins or so for updates.  Note that Green in Prosser is Bryan Green the Labor candidate not the Greens.


Final Wrapup And The Road Ahead

It's all over bar a trivial number of votes to be added in the next week and these are the party standings in the new Legislative Council with the seat changes compared to the start of the year:

Liberal 4 (unchanged)

Labor 3 (-1) - currently includes President, who normally doesn't vote

Greens 1 (+1)

IND 7 (unchanged)

The makeup of the INDs (based on my voting patterns analysis) is left 2 (-1) centre 1 (=) centre-right 3 (=) and Bec Thomas is orientation TBD (+1).  It will be interesting to see how she votes but I doubt her voting will be that polarised either way; she has described herself as moderate and centrist.  Note that the existing centre IND is Ruth Forrest who I had as left throughout the 2010s but has been better described as centre based on votes since 2019.  On any issues on which the government has all three centre-right INDs onside it will currently have the numbers to block with that alone, or to pass motions with Labor or any one of Thomas, Forrest, Gaffney, Webb and O'Connor (more likely the first two).  That's while Craig Farrell remains President at least, and while that is the case the combined majors can neither pass nor block by themselves.  

The Legislative Council no longer has a combined major party majority (which had existed for the first time only since 2020) but it still has a combined party majority following Cassy O'Connor's victory (which I think is the first for any candidate endorsed by a non-major party).  

What can be derived from these results?  Firstly, despite a turbulent state election the Liberal Party has clearly got the better end of the stick out of the two majors.  They have retained Prosser and the least worst option for them has got up in Elwick.  (No such luck in Hobart but they had nothing at stake there themselves and it is such a very left seat).  For Labor, 0/3 wins, a seat dropped and with the hindsight of preferences the three results, while not dreadful, are hard to describe as good.  The election of O'Connor to what was once a Labor seat is not good news for Labor either, especially given the Greens' formidable record at defending seats won in single-seat elections.

The Greens have had a whopping win in Hobart and have also done quite decently in Elwick, continuing a good run of support from the state election.  For independents and minor parties the signals are more mixed.  Indies struggled in the Hobart count despite the calls to support independents from the outgoing incumbent and the federal MHR.  Rob Valentine and Andrew Wilkie have been major figures in the Hobart seat for a long time but in my view voters in this seat just do not care that much about endorsements - at least not positively anyway - and haven't done so for decades.   Bec Thomas did win Elwick but it was closer than it might have been.  Some IND/minor party underdogs who had a red hot go polled decent primary tallies (Cangelosi and Bigg for example) but there is not much preference flow between different alternatives and in the south at least the once massive advantage for indies in the LegCo has waned.  

What did the majors gain and lose here?  Labor has lost one seat in winning a second Clark seat they were always going to win, but the benefit is that Josh Willie is now in the lower house and ready to become a major figure from there in the push for a future Labor government (not to mention being a spare potential leader should they need one).  It may seem that the Liberals gained nothing by switching Jane Howlett to the Assembly when they would have won three seats in Lyons anyway, but one advantage is improving their southern-based regional representation.  Had they not tried this, they would most likely have ended up with three northerners as their Lyons MPs again.  (I think, given her strong state election performance, that Howlett would have also won Prosser but it would have been a more turbulent campaign than it was).  

Roll on 2025 when at this stage we have a similar set of seats up to this year's, except that there are not yet any known vacancies:  

* Two-term incumbent and leader for the Government Leonie Hiscutt (Lib) in Montgomery (Lib vs ALP 10.2%), assuming she recontests.  (Update May 16: she won't and her son Casey is running as an independent to replace her.  Casey Hiscutt was nearly elected Deputy Mayor of Central Coast in 2022 but lost by 43 votes after preferences.)

* First-term incumbent Meg Webb (IND) in Nelson (IND vs Lib 9.3%).  Nelson was historically a conservative-occupied seat, and Webb has been consistently among the most left-voting independents in the Council and a high-profile thorn in the government's side. I expect there will be some sort of conservative attempt to defeat her, whether it's a true independent, an endorsed Liberal or something in between.  (One wonders if Marcus Vermey might run after a good showing in Clark.) As some other divisions have shown, once an independent gets elected their political alignment means little if voters think they're doing a good job.  

* First-term incumbent Luke Edmunds (ALP) in Pembroke (ALP vs Lib 13.3%).  Edmunds was elected in a 2022 by-election.  Labor has been very strong in the LegCo on the Eastern Shore in recent years and must be at very short odds to retain.

Oh and roll on mayoral and councillor by-elections for Glenorchy and Sorell in the near future.  Glenorchy could be quite a bunfight.  


4:21 Prosser is over, a strong flow to Green off Sharpe (about 60-40) but not enough, the final margin about 52.9-47.1. Hobart is also over, Labor preferences favouring O'Connor for a c. 59.7-40.3 win over Kelly. Kelly was probably the ideal 2CP opponent for O'Connor to win big but she would also have easily beaten Kamara (I estimate 57-43 having seen a small amount of scrutineering data on this) or Burton in a two-way throw.  

2:53 In Hobart, Burton's preferences are thrown and O'Connor is just below 46% (a bit below the 48% estimate cited on Tasmanian Times but that wasn't that far off); Kelly would now need over 82% of Kamara's preferences to win, it will be interesting to see whether the gap to O'Connor closes, does nothing much or blows out.

2:27 We're down to the final throw in Prosser where Bryan Green now needs 75.3% of Sharpe's preferences assuming zero exhaust, but there will be some small amount of exhaust on this throw.  

2:20 Various claims on election night (and claims since that it would be close) that Labor was going to win or likely to win Elwick have proved to be wide of the mark as Thomas has won pretty easily in the end, 53.34% to 46.66% (subject to minor change).  In fact Thomas made a very small net gain on preferences, 3550 to 3343.  Moreover far from there being flow between Cangelosi and Shelley as might have been expected they were each the lowest scorer on the other's preferences.  That's also the end for now of the combined Legislative Council major party majority, but there is still a combined party majority for what little it matters.

1:52 The interest in Hobart is only the margin and confirming that Kelly is second as now looks highly likely.  Kelly has made a gain on the bulk exclusion and is now about 5.5% ahead of Kamara, who main gain off Burton but most likely not enough.  He would need 68.2% of preferences to win (this won't happen.)

1:50 Spaulding has been excluded in Prosser, with more than half his votes going to Sharpe but leaving Bigg and Sharpe with not enough votes between them to mathematically catch Green.  Green would now need 67.2% of preferences, even assuming zero exhaust.  

Tuesday 12:10 TEC release on the process here.  Note that it is now virtually certain Cangelosi will be excluded first; the margin between Cangelosi and Shelley won't realistically be overturned on outstanding postals even if enough arrive to do so.  In Prosser, Green needs 64.9% of preferences to win (it has come down a bit, but still won't happen.)

Tuesday 11: Rechecking completed, McLaughlin still needs 57.4% of preferences to win. 

Tuesday: I am advised that the TEC's intent today once rechecking is finished is to commence provisional distributions for all seats.  For Elwick the number of postals remaining is enough to possibly change the exclusion order so the TEC will be running both scenarios (Cangelosi excluded first and Shelley excluded first), this may provide for a certain result unless the numbers are so tight that we need to wait for the remaining postals. For Hobart while the exclusion order of Haynes and Campbell is not clear it is clear that all of Haynes, Campbell and Vogel will be excluded so they will be bulk-excluded for the purpose of the provisional throw.  It may then be possible for more exclusions to continue (I think it will) or if necessary they can again run two scenarios.  For Prosser the main question is whether there will be an exclusion order to be resolved between Sharpe and Bigg after the exclusion of Spaulding.  (I suppose it's also possible here that it might be mathematically irrelevant which is excluded first.)  Anyway I think we'll know a lot more by the end of today, or at least tomorrow!  Plans are subject to change.

Monday 5:20 No further numbers to arrive today, the TEC will announce arrangements for provisional preference distributions tomorrow.  In Elwick they might proceed on the assumption that Cangelosi will not now repass Shelley, provided that rechecking does not narrow the current margin.  We will see.  (The current gap is 63 votes).  Dean Winter has said that Labor scrutineers think it is very close.

Monday 1:15: The phone votes in Elwick very slightly increased the asking rate, now 57.4%.  (Bryan Green for anyone still watching now needs 65.2).  

Monday 11:45: TEC has announced that it will be looking at doing provisional distributions this week to attempt to finalise winners.  The TEC can do this where the number of votes outstanding (unreturned postals etc) are too small to affect the result.  I would not expect those throws to occur today as the recheck will presumably be completed first.  

In Elwick, an obstacle for provisional throws will be the very close Cangelosi/Shelley situation for third, where Shelley is now back in front by 41 votes as a result mainly of out-of-division votes favouring her (these would have been mainly Elwick votes cast in Hobart).  The preference target for Shelley if she is third to get to second is .501 preferences per vote which is also unachievable in a three-way split.  Thomas's position vs McLaughlin has improved slightly with McLaughlin now needing 57.3% of preferences to win and the lead now out to 5.48%.  In Hobart O'Connor's lead has come down a little to 14.2% but Kelly (who looks likely to finish second) still isn't going to catch that.  Phone votes will be added as postals this afternoon, rechecking is also occurring.

10:15 End of night wrap: Two of the three seats are decided (well I'm just about sure Prosser is decided).  In Hobart we'll have little change in voting pattern but a big change in style and political dynamic as Cassy O'Connor replaces Rob Valentine as the first ever Greens MLC.  But it looks like she will not just win but win by plenty, as the end result of a long-running and very enthusiastic Greens campaign.  Campaigns to elect independents here ran the usual line about the problems of major party dominance in a house of review but these lines didn't really make sense as applied to the Greens.  

In Prosser Sorell Mayor Kerry Vincent has managed to match the party's state election vote while Labor has fallen a bit short of that and the Liberals are set to retain the seat.  I thought Vincent's rationale for running and performance generally on the ABC Mornings interviews was one of the best performances I've heard from a party candidate.  The government will be relieved as they retain their fourth Council seat and get more useful experience on board.

Elwick remains up in the air pending some scrutineering intel that will hopefully arrive in the next few days.  The underdogs Shelley and Cangelosi have both performed very well, McLaughlin's primary vote is solid and Bec Thomas has not dominated the field to the extent widely expected.  There's a widespread belief online that the linkage of Thomas to the Liberal Party by opponents during the campaign will stick and preferences will flow to Labor in a case where a centrish-sounding independent would normally be well placed.  But I'm not sure whether voters will have seen it that way yet.  

Not much change in the balance of the Council then, possibly none depending on what transpires in Elwick, but plenty to chew over in various performances here over the days to come.  

There is no counting on Sunday, with rechecking to start on Monday and out of electorate prepolls, phone votes, Antarctic votes and more postals to add.  

9:28 Prepolls are in in Elwick and Cangelosi overtakes Shelley and is now third!  He's 131 ahead and the remaining votes to come will do stuff-all so there's a high chance he stays there.  If he does, he needs to beat Labor off Shelley at the rate of .547 votes per preference in a three-way split with Thomas (so that would be something like a 70-15-15 split).  This is of course impossible, but given that Cangelosi's campaign has already defied all known forms of political reality and still polled 19%, we'll let the internet have its fun.  Thomas made a large gain on prepolls and has 33.96 to 28.90 - this means McLaughlin needs a 56.9-43.1 split on preferences to win.  Normally an independent would win really easily from here, this one has not been normal and I'd like to see some scrutineering on it.  

9:12 I am struggling to see a reason not to call Prosser as well.  

9:01 Prepolls are in in Hobart and Burton is a little further back behind Kamara and would not be able to get enough preferences anyway.  Cassy O'Connor (Green) replaces Rob Valentine (IND) who has retired as MLC for Hobart.  

8:45 Prepolls in and final for night in Prosser where Vincent has jumped out to this: Vincent 38.71 Green 28.46 Bigg 12.84 Sharpe 10.77 Spaulding 9.27.  Some small percentage of voters would number neither Vincent nor Green and their votes will exhaust, but even if this was compulsory preferencing Green would now need a very unlikely 65.6% of preferences to win.   He might get that off Sharpe, but the other two, can't see it.  

8:42 Although Vincent's primary vote lead over Green is not enormous he has topped every booth except for three topped by Green (Brighton, Campbell Town and Ross) and Spaulding's home booth of Nubeena.  

8:19 Tasmanian Times has tweeted: "Based on information we have received from scrutineers, elimination of lower candidates then Charlie Burton will lift Cassy O'Connor to about 48%. She will will then win on preferences flow from John Kamara."   On that I'm waiting for the prepolls just to be comfortable that Burton will definitely be eliminated.  

8:14 We have entered the long dark teatime that is the pre-prepolls lull.  

7:53 Hobart postals are in, they were strong for Kelly and not that good for O'Connor but didn't really change the overall picture.  Mount Stuart booth and prepolls to come.  (Edit: Mount Stuart in, didn't do much).  

7:40 Sorell is in and Vincent is out to a 37-29 lead.  Just prepolls and Dodges Ferry to come.  (Edit: Dodges is in, Vincent still 8% ahead.)  

7:37 O'Connor still at 39 with one booth to go plus prepolls and postals.  

7:29 All day booths and postals to hand now in in Elwick but still prepolls to go.  Thomas 31.9% McLaughlin 29% Shelley 19.8% Cangelosi 19.3%.  Cangelosi did well in Glenorchy booth which has put him now very slightly behind Shelley, it's not clear who will be third yet.  

7:25 North Hobart is in and we now have O'Connor 38.8% Kelly 20% Kamara 17.8% Burton 14.7% and 8.7% for the rest.  If it stays like this then Burton's not going to get over Kamara which looks very much like O'Connor can't be caught.  I will wait for the postals and prepolls tonight but this looks extremely strong for a first Greens seat.  (They've done well in Elwick too.)

7:21 One booth and primaries and prepolls to come in Elwick and it looks like Thomas vs McLaughlin in an almost even race off Cangelosi and Shelley preferences.  In terms of Cangelosi and Shelley being more left candidates this might seem good for McLaughlin because of the attempts to paint Thomas as a Liberal, but cross-cutting that is the issue of independence vs party control (how do Greens voters see Labor vs Thomas?)  Will need to see scrutineering on this one (or perhaps even do some!) 

7:18 Too fast to keep up!  Almost every booth is in in Prosser and the numbers have converged on my 35-29 projection (but Sorell still to come).  I think Vincent is doing well here as Bigg has 15% Sharpe 10% Spaulding 10% - perhaps if there is a very strong flow off Sharpe to Green and the others only split evenly Green could still get there 

7:14 My projection for Hobart says the Greens might come down a bit and Kelly up a bit (and he still has North Hobart to come) but I don't think either Kelly or Kamara will be bothering O'Connor's lead on preferences much from here.  The question I see here is whether Burton can get through the field into the top two and then get everyone's preferences but that looks rather difficult and I suspect scrutineering would quickly say the flow is not enough.   

7:07 Booths pouring in in Hobart and O'Connor now has a massive primary lead with 40% and nobody else above 17.  This is looking very good indeed for the Greens, it might even be safely callable now but I am keeping an eye on any possible preference scenarios as we don't know the order of the others.  

6:59 A lot of booths in in Elwick and we have quite a mess with Thomas 30.5% McLaughlin 28.2% Shelley 22.3% and Cangelosi 19.0%.  Entering into projection now.  My projection thinks Shelley will drop back a fair bit but I am not sure why it thinks that and am checking for any issues, it also thinks McLaughlin will come up in some of the booths to come.  On these numbers there is an in theory possibility that Shelley will bump one of the others out of the top two but despite Cangelosi having run a distinctly left campaign I doubt the flow to her would be strong enough.  

6:54 Albeura St (Battery Point West) is in in Hobart with O'Connor with a large lead but a spray of votes between the top four.  Off that booth O'Connor would project to a primary lead of about 15%.  I've also seen a very small sample of preferences from one booth with Kelly prefs flowing to Kamara vs O'Connor and Burton prefs flowing the other way, both rather strongly.  

6:51 My projection still thinks the lead for Vincent will narrow and Green will come up; it currently expects about 35-29.  But one possible issue with that will be Vincent doing well in Sorell.  With Bigg still ahead of Sharpe and on an impressive 15%, Vincent seems to be well placed at the moment.  

6:45 A massive dump of booths in Prosser sees Vincent now leading 33-25, I am entering those into my projections.  The first Elwick booth is also in, it's Mobile - interestingly McLaughlin (Labor) has topped those 67-57.  

6:44 Three lightning fast booths but nothing more for 20 minutes since!  Expect more not far away.

6:27 Two more in in Prosser.  Coles Bay was pretty good for Vincent (Carlton is an unmatched booth in my system).  My projection currently has Vincent ahead of Green 36-30 (on numbers like that those two would be clearly the final two) but also need to see if the Bigg vote stays reasonably Bigg which might help Vincent.  Spaulding is also going OK, my feeling is his preferences will not do much either way.  What I am not seeing early is Sharpe projecting way ahead of the other minor candidates (which could be a problem for Vincent if it happened.) The count will be slower in Hobart and Elwick, Prosser has a lot of small booths.  

6:23 First booth in (Prosser) is Broadmarsh.  Vincent with a narrow lead over Green but there is also a really high Bigg vote in this booth (close to the Derwent Valley) so this one doesn't tell us anything about which major party is better placed yet.  

6:20 All spreadsheets ready to go (I think).  In my sidebar Not-A-Polls of reader predictions of who would win, O'Connor and Thomas are heavily favoured but for Prosser 50 viewers tipped Kerry Vincent (Lib) to 49 for Bryan Green (ALP).  Will we get actual results that close?  

6:02 Polls have closed.  



Welcome to Super LegCo Day!  It's not unusual to have three Legislative Council seats up for grabs on the same day but for the first time since 1909 voters will fill three vacancies.  Three of the eight billion people on earth are known to have been alive when voters in Macquarie, Russell and one of the three then rotating Hobart seats filled vacancies caused by retirements that year, in all cases replacing an independent with another independent.  In this case, we have vacancies caused by one retirement and two MLCs running for the lower house and winning (in one case a mid-term by-election).  My guides to the seats are here:  




At stake (see voting patterns analysis here) are both the left-right balance of the Council and the major party-independent balance of the Council, which going into whatever happens tonight stands at 3 Liberal 3 Labor and 6 Independent, with the vacancies being one Liberal, one Labor and one left independent.  Labor is running officially in all three seats and the Liberals one, though Liberal proxies have been making it clear which indie is the party's desired outcome in two others.  The Greens are running in two with a recognisably green independent (not involved with the party) in a third.  The campaigns (especially Elwick) have generated high levels of social media snark and all three counts should be of interest.  

The vote comes in the aftermath of a remarkable state election where both major parties polled poorly and there was a large swing from the Liberals to crossbenchers, the latter of whom won more seats than the Labor Opposition.  Just overnight the frailty of the government's position was highlighted again with Labor announcing the nomination of Michelle O'Byrne as Speaker (it could well be that she has the numbers) and an unsigned press release from the Jacqui Lambie Network alleging that the government is breaking its agreement with JLN (which was followed by another one today announcing all was fine again.)

Live coverage of the counts will be posted here tonight from 6:00 pm.  A summary appears at the top of the page, seats will only be CALLED when I consider that there is no realistic doubt who has won.  For all seats I will be projecting the votes for various candidates (not all) off the state election.  For Elwick I will project the Labor and Green votes off the state election.  For Prosser I will project Labor, Liberal and SFF off the state election and Sharpe off the state election Greens vote (she is an independent not a Green but should appeal to a lot of the same voters).  For Hobart I am projecting Labor and Green off the state election vote, Kelly off the state Liberal vote (we'll see if that actually works or not, he's not a Liberal) and Burton off the combined vote for every state indie except Louise Elliot.   

I believe all votes on hand will be counted tonight, with postals to come after that (I am not sure what the arrangement is for counting telephone votes).  Over 14,000 prepolls have been cast and 4,500 postals have been sent out with 70% returned already.  However there is no two-candidate count tonight; sometimes provisional two-candidate counts will be done in the days after election night but these days it is more common for the TEC to just wait a week and a half and do the preference distributions after all the postals are in.  

I will be offline and not updating during the day for most of Sunday.

In terms of what to look for tonight, firstly in Elwick it could be that preference flows aren't particularly strong so if somebody has a substantial lead that might be it, though there could be some cross-flow between the left candidates Shelley and Cangelosi if there is any question of either of them making the top two.  If Prosser finishes as a major party contest as mostly expected then Pam Sharpe's preferences could significantly help Labor.  Shooters, Fishers and Farmers preferences normally help the Liberals but Brian Green runs an angling business so I'm not so sure what will happen there.  Hobart features hard to predict preference flows and maybe exclusion orders, I think a candidate would have to have an enormous lead for me to call this seat tonight.  

While I'll be doing projections, regional aspects like favourite-offspring voting may mess with the patterns in Prosser and it may take a while for the pattern there to settle down.  

It is always so exciting when the very first LegCo numbers appear on the night, because there is generally no polling for these elections so it is hard to know what to expect!  

1 comment:

  1. CANGELOSI is former Labor so his preferences should favour Labor. Greens preferences should also favour Labor ahead of a centrist independent who used to work for Sue Hickey, a Liberal. So the Labor candidate should be favoured to win from here.


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