New website design


Some of my more committed readers may have noticed that this website was unavailable late on Saturday night. Basically an attempt to install a new mobile theme screwed up the website and it took some time to fix the damage.

This prompted me to realise I’d had my existing website theme since at least 2010 so have replaced it with a new theme. This new theme is responsive so should work much more smoothly on both mobile and desktop. You’ll notice the ad placement has changed somewhat. I hope that this isn’t too much of a problem for readers, but the ad revenue is a useful boost in funding my work (and pretty much covers all the costs of actually running the website).

I expect this will improve the website experience for the Wentworth by-election, but if you notice any weird things please let me know.

The three Wentworths


When I produce seat guides, I always like to split up the polling places in the electorate into a number of subareas. I find that there are times where you want a sense of the different parts of the seat, but the granular detail of polling places can confuse the broader trends.

Sometimes these subareas represent very clear and distinct divisions in a community, while sometimes they’re more arbitrary. But I think my breakdown of Wentworth reflects some pretty strong differences within the seat which I think will play out on October 20.

I’ve divided this electorate into three areas:

  • Harbour – the north-east of the electorate, including the majority of Woollahra council plus Dover Heights in Waverley council.
  • Beach – the south-east of the electorate, including most of Waverley council and the parts of Randwick council contained within the electorate.
  • City – the west of the electorate, including Paddington, Woollahra, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay.

Below the fold, I’m going to explore the differences between these three areas, and how I think these differences could play out in the by-election.

New by-elections datasets available


I’ve just added a bunch of extra data to my collection, covering all of the recent by-elections.

By-election data can often be even more scattered than general election data. I’ve avoided publishing federal election data, because the AEC does a thorough job, at least they do at general elections.

But the data they’ve provided for the eight by-elections held in the last twelves months is lacking this thoroughness. No published booth list with latitudes and longitudes (thankfully they usually publish this before election day so I’ve captured that). No spreadsheet with information about how non-ordinary votes were cast. Not to mention the fact that each by-election is treated as a separate event, so if you want to analyse the lot you need to download many spreadsheets.

I’ve now finished a dataset featuring the first eight by-elections of this parliamentary term, featuring the list of polling places, candidates, and primary and two-candidate-preferred vote at the electorate and polling place level.

I’ve also added the 2018 Wagga Wagga by-election to my NSW state by-elections dataset, which dates back to 2016.

And finally, I’ve just published a comprehensive dataset covering the last twelve Western Australian state by-elections, from Kalgoorlie in 1996 to Darling Range in 2018 (although if anyone can help me with final two-candidate-preferred figures per booth, that’d be appreciated).

The NSW by-elections dataset is available for free to readers of this website. The other two datasets are available to people who donate to my Patreon.

I plan to keep publishing more datasets over time – if you have one you really want to see done I am taking requests from my $20/month Patreon donors.

Podcast #9 – Wentworth and Victoria


Ben is joined by William Bowe and Georgia Tkachuk to discuss the Wentworth by-election and to begin discussing the Victorian state election.

You can subscribe using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

Here’s the complete Victorian election guide


I’ve finished posting the Victorian state election guide today, with all of the remaining seats available on the website now.

Check out the guide

You can use this map to click through to any seat guide:

If you’re finding this guide useful, please consider signing up as a Patreon patron for just $5 a month. Thanks to all of my existing donors for your help getting this project done.

Vic 2018 – first draft of the candidate list


I’ve been trickling out seat guides for the Victorian election gradually for the last while. I’ve now posted 53 out of 88 lower house profiles, and guides to all eight upper house regions. At the moment I’m posting two seats per day.

As part of this work I’ve been tracking candidates who are running, and I thought I would publish my spreadsheet for anyone to access.

View the Vic 2018 candidates list.

My list currently has 216 candidates on it. This list includes 67 Labor candidates, 44 Greens candidates and a total of 72 Coalition candidates. Interestingly there are also twenty Animal Justice candidates announced.

I’ve coded every candidate for their gender. Labor has announced more women than men currently, as have Animal Justice. The proportion of women running for the Greens and the Liberal Party is much lower. This doesn’t take into account which seats are actually winnable, which could produce a very different picture for some of these parties.

I’m going to keep updating this throughout the campaign, up until the nominations close (which I think is on 9 November). If you have any suggestions for people missing, you can comment on the relevant seat guide or send me a message. If you are from a party and have a lengthy list of candidates, please get in touch, I’d love to get them in big batches. I will occasionally run through the seat guides and update the candidate lists but the above spreadsheet will be more up-to-date.

I’ll be back soon with more analysis on Wentworth and Victoria, but in the meantime I hope this is useful.

EDIT: I’ve updated the list, which has expanded to 249 candidates. Thanks to Nick Casmirri and Alex Lum for your help.

Wentworth by-election nominations day


Nominations will be declared at midday today for the Wentworth by-election. I’m going to drop by the ballot draw in Sydney and will update the candidate list on my seat guide in the early afternoon.

As of this morning I’m aware of at least thirteen candidates, who are all listed on the seat guide.

I’ve been a bit quiet over recent weeks as I’ve been focusing on seat guides but I’m going to start doing more active blogging as we head into the Wentworth by-election and Victorian state election.

In the meantime, please use this as a thread to discuss the candidate nominations today.

Update: here is the full list in ballot order:

  • Robert Callanan (Katter’s Australian Party)
  • Dominic Wy Kanak (Greens)
  • Shayne Higson (Voluntary Euthanasia)
  • Steven Georgantis (People’s Party)
  • Tim Murray (Labor)
  • Ben Forsyth (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party)
  • Tony Robinson (Liberty Alliance)
  • Samuel Gunning (Liberal Democrats)
  • Dave Sharma (Liberal)
  • Angela Vithoulkas (Independent)
  • Deb Doyle (Animal Justice)
  • Andrea Leong (Science Party)
  • Licia Heath (Independent)
  • Barry Keldoulis (Arts Party)
  • Kerryn Phelps (Independent)
  • Kay Dunne (Sustainable Australia)

New dataset for website donors


I’ve just finished a big project pulling together a bunch of election data, which is part of a new benefit for people who donate to support this website via Patreon.

I’ve now got a complete set of booth-level vote data for every Queensland state election since 2004 (six elections) as well as every Brisbane City Council election since 2000 (five elections). This dataset includes the candidate lists, polling place lists including the geolocation, primary votes by polling place and (except for the oldest elections) two-candidate-preferred votes by polling place. If you’re looking for historical information on how voting patterns have changed over time there’s nothing better.

I’ve added this to my data repository, which includes booth-level data from every state election since 2012, as well as NSW council elections since that time.

I’ve decided to take parts of this data repository and just make them available to people who contribute to support this website via Patreon. I will keep the most recent election for each jurisdiction as publicly available, but older datasets will be shared with anyone who can chip in $5 or more per month.

People who support this website have given me the time to get the seat guides done and to launch the podcast. More donors will let me keep up this work but also use spare time to work on pulling together more datasets – I’m planning to put together a dataset of the recent federal by-elections (unlike general election data, the AEC data is missing important information for these by-elections) as well as the results of the 2010 Victorian and 2011 NSW state elections. If you find this useful, please sign up and you can access all of the data that I’ve produced so far.

Podcast #8 – Wagga Wagga results and Banks


I’m joined by Ben Spies-Butcher and Amanda McCormack to discuss the Wagga Wagga by-election, the state of NSW politics six months before the state election, and the federal seat of Banks.

We also discussed Ann Sudmalis’ retirement announcement and Kerryn Phelps’ candidacy announcement.

Links to things discussed in the show:

You can subscribe using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

Wagga Wagga – results wash-up


Last night’s result was extremely bad for the Liberal Party. We won’t know who has won for sure for a few days or even a week, but it looks most likely that independent candidate Joe McGirr has won, and Labor probably has the next best shot at winning.

I’ve got a piece going up in the Guardian today analysing the broader significance of the result, but I’d just quickly note that this result follows up on large double-digit swings from the Nationals to the Shooters at by-elections in Orange, Cootamundra and Murray, which saw one of those seats fall. We have to assume that the coalition is on track for a big thumping in its rural heartland in March.

In this post I want to cover what the voting patterns were (including a map and a booth breakdown) and then how the preferences could shake out.