As a follow-up to Saturday’s post I wanted to revisit the question of how much the WA Senate recount result was effected by the missing votes from the four booths in Forrest and Pearce.
On my post the other day, I estimated that the missing votes improved the position of the Christians relative to the Shooters by fifteen votes. At the time I warned that this margin may not be exact because it was possible that some other votes cast at these booths that weren’t lost may have changed in the recount.
Commenters at the Truth Seeker blog have analysed the booth results from the four problematic booths individually, and it turns out that it is possible to identify precisely which votes were missing, as it appears that the missing votes were entire bundles of votes for a particular group at a particular booth, and you can identify which parties are recorded as receiving no above-the-line votes at any of those four booths.
William Bowe at Poll Bludger has neatly summarised these missing votes by party and booth, which makes it possible to confirm that the net change was actually thirteen votes. It appears that one Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party vote was removed and one Australian Christians vote was added through the legitimate recount process, which explains the difference between my original figure of fifteen votes and Truth Seeker’s total.
With these adjustments, it seems our best estimate suggests that the missing votes would have produced a one-vote victory for the Shooters at the key count, leading to the ALP and PUP winning.
At the point where one vote is decisive, it seems very hard to avoid a by-election.