Two by-elections in South Australia


There will be two by-elections for the safe Labor seats of Cheltenham and Enfield on February 9.

I have prepared guides for both of these seats which are now open for your comments.

I don’t expect any surprise result in either seat. The Liberal Party is not standing.

NSW election – final seat guide and candidate list


The state election in New South Wales is just over two months away, and my complete guide to the election is now published here.

The guide includes profiles of all 93 seats, as well as a guide to the Legislative Council election.

I can now also provide a list of every candidate for the state election that I know of. Thanks to Nick Casmirri for doing much of the work finding candidates.

The list will continue to expand until nominations close in early March. There are still a number of sitting MPs who haven’t made it entirely clear if they are running for re-election, but probably are.

So far we have identified 84 Labor candidates, 46 Greens candidates and a combined total of 54 candidates for the Coalition. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, who generally did not run candidates for lower house seats until by-elections in the current term, have announced 18 candidates.

You canĀ view the candidate list here. You can also view the latest version of the federal election candidates list.

I will periodically update the candidate lists on each seat guide. If there is a missing candidate, or a website address for a candidate, please email it to me or post it in the comments and it will be updated the next time I clear the backlog.

You can also browse through this map and click on any seat to see the margin and a link to that seat’s profile.

Oakeshott is back in Cowper


Former independent MP Rob Oakeshott announced yesterday that he will be running for the federal seat of Cowper at this year’s election.

In this post I will run through some of the dynamics of that electorate which will be critical to that contest.

I’ll be using a lot of the work I have done on my guide to the seat of Cowper, which is worth a look.

Can McGowan hand over Indi?


It was reported yesterday that independent MP Cathy McGowan will retire from her seat of Indi at this year’s federal election.

She will be hoping to be succeeded by rural health researcher Helen Haines, who has been endorsed by Voices for Indi, the community group who supported McGowan in winning Indi off the Liberal Party’s Sophie Mirabella in 2013.

There is very little history of independent MPs successfully handing over their seat to a fellow independent, with so much of the appeal of an independent being locked up in that individual. But there are some reasons to think this could be an exception.

Victoria 2018 – minor party votes mapped


This is my last post for 2018, one final set of Victorian election maps. I’ll be back in the new year with more coverage of the New South Wales and federal elections.

Today I’m looking at the distribution of the vote for two of the larger minor parties. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers both polled over 3%, with concentrations in certain regions that were quite high for a minor party.

Victoria 2018 – mapping the below the line vote


There was a concerted effort before the recent Victorian state election from psephologists and other commentators to encourage voters to vote below-the-line.

I posted on the day after the election about the early figures, including the breakdown of below-the-line rates for each party. I won’t rehash that.

In the final results, below-the-line voting made up 8.8% of formal votes, up from 6.1% in 2014, which was already an increase compared to the 2006 and 2010 elections. Hopefully this trend will continue in future elections, further weakening the power of the group voting ticket.

In this post I will show you two maps I have produced mapping out how the below-the-line vote varied by geography: one by polling place, and the other by electorate.

Victoria 2018 – two-party-preferred, mapped


In today’s edition, I’m updating a map I produced on request to include the two-party-preferred vote (and swing) in 87 out of 88 seats.

The VEC published two-party-preferred figures in seats where the two-candidate-preferred was not between Labor and Coalition (this electorate-level data is available in my data repository). It was, however, impossible to calculate such a figure in Richmond, where the Liberal Party declined to stand a candidate.

Kevin Bonham has calculated three statewide 2PP figures, depending on how you count Richmond:

57.62% to Labor (Uniform swing applied to Richmond – probably fairest method)
57.89% to Labor (Richmond treated as 100% to Labor)
57.35% to Labor (Richmond excluded)

Whichever model you take, it appears that the polls consistently underestimated Labor’s lead. The pollsters had no trouble picking the winner, since the result was so clear, but the polling error was relatively large. This reminds me of Nate Silver’s rule about the direction of polling error:

The conventional wisdom was that the Andrews government was in at least some trouble, even if some commentators acknowledged that Labor were the favourites for re-election. It does make me wonder if some pollsters were herding towards a more conventional result.

With 2PP data available for all but one seat, I’ve now been able to put together two more maps, one showing the two-party-preferred vote by seat, and the other showing the swing:

The default map shows the swing, but you can toggle to show the two-party-preferred vote.

Victoria 2018 – Greens vote, mapped


Today’s maps focus on the performance of the Greens, who went backwards in terms of votes, yet managed to win a record number of lower house seats at a general election.

Victoria 2018 – mapping the state


I have just finished my collection of election data for the Victorian state election.

This collection features the full list of booths with location information, the full list of candidates, primary vote and 2CP voting figures by booth, and voting figures by electorate and region as well.

I’ve been able to use this data (as well as the swing data from Poll Bludger’s excellent results site) to produce a series of maps, the first of which I will be publishing today.

These maps show the two-party-preferred vote by booth for the 77 seats which held Labor vs Coalition booth counts. This includes the 76 seats where those parties came in the top two, plus Benambra where the 2PP count was finished despite the change in the top two in the final distribution.

If you’d like to check out this data, it’s now available for download on my maps page, along with thirteen other collections from recent state and local elections. Older data (including the 2014 Victorian results) are available to Patreon donors.

Greens NSW – majoritarian preselections and walking away


I received an email yesterday from Justin Field, a Greens members of the NSW upper house, effectively laying out a threat that himself and his colleague Cate Faehrmann would quit the party unless the party met two of its demands:

Specifically they are asking that the party agree to a complete recount of the votes for the last preselection in the case that Jeremy Buckingham is removed from the ticket for the upcoming state election, and also that the organisations Left Renewal and Solidarity are added to the proscribed organisations list, effectively prohibiting members of those organisations from also being members of the Greens NSW.

The latter point is a callback to an early fight in the history of the Greens NSW, when members of the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP), now Socialist Alliance, were thrown out of the Greens in 1991.

The former point is an attempt to relitigate the results of this year’s state preselection, which saw the left of the party take the first two spots on the ticket for the upper house, pushing Faehrmann and Field’s allies Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker into third and fourth places respectively. At the time the expectation was that neither of these seats were winnable, although Buckingham had been narrowly elected in 2011 from the third spot on the ticket, so I think expectations of his defeat were exaggerated.

In this post I will run through what could happen if the party were to split, and a quick explanation of how the party’s preselection rules have played into this conflict.