WA Senate by-election: results live


10:15pm – I’m going to sign off here for the night. I’ll be back with another post tomorrow. As a summary, here are the key points:

  • There has been a large swing against both the ALP and the Liberal Party, with the two major parties polling well under 60% of the primary vote.
  • There have been large swings towards the Greens and the Palmer United Party, including positive swings in every electorate.
  • The first two Liberal senators and the lead Labor and Greens candidates have polled a full quota, while the Palmer United Party is close enough to be very likely to win.
  • The final seat looks likely to be a race between the Liberal Party’s Linda Reynolds and the Labor Party’s Louise Pratt. At the time of writing, Pratt leads on the ABC Senate calculator, but a lot of votes remain to be counted, and Pratt’s lead is extremely slim.

10:10pm – And Louise Pratt of the ALP has now gained the lead on the ABC Senate calculator, which just demonstrates how tight this race is.

10:01pm – Both the Liberal Party and the ALP have suffered negative swings in all 15 electorates. The Greens and the Palmer United Party gained positive swings in all 15 electorates. The swing to the Greens was weakest in the very rural electorates of Durak and O’Connor. The Greens achieved swings of 8% or over in the inner-city seats of Fremantle, Perth, Swan and Tangney.

9:57pm – In terms of the geographic spread, I’m probably going to stop updating my figures at this point, since the ABC data is very good-quality. I’ll come back tomorrow with some more analysis of the swings and geographic balances. For now I’ll just focus on some broad trends.

9:46pm – We have just under 40% of the vote counted, and there’s a pretty clear pattern. The Liberal Party has won two seats,the ALP, the Greens and the Palmer United Party, and the final seat is a race primarily between the Liberal Party’s Linda Reynolds and the ALP’s Louise Pratt. At the moment, Antony Green’s Senate calculator has Reynolds winning by a margin of 0.02 quota, which is definitely vulnerable. That will be the race to watch.

9:40pm – The Greens have overtaken the ALP in both Curtin and Tangney.

9:02pm – The PUP vote ranges from 4.4% in Curtin to 17.6% in Brand. Swing ranges from 2.3% in Perth to 10.2% in Brand.

8:54pm – Let’s look at the vote for the larger parties in each electorate. The Greens vote varies from 6.8% in O’Connor to 27.1% in Perth. Swings from +0.1% in O’Connor to +13.9% in Perth.

8:39pm – Antony Green’s projections suggest the Greens aren’t that far behind Labor overall.

8:22pm – The swing against the ALP ranges from 0.5% in Curtin to 10% in Tangney.

8:20pm – It seems pretty clear that five of the six seats will go to two Liberals, one Labor, one Green and one Palmer, with the last seat seemingly a race between the ALP and the Liberal Party.

8:18pm – My projections are as follows:

  • LIB – 2.25 quotas increases to 2.32
  • ALP – 1.09 to 1.36
  • GRN – 0.92 to 1.20
  • PUP – 0.89 to 0.84
  • NAT – 0.94 to 0.41

7:47pm – Antony Green is matching results to booths from last time, and he suggests a trend that has the Liberal Party only just over two quotas, with the ALP on about 1.5 quotas, the Greens over a quota and PUP just under a quota.

7:45pm – Out of seven electorates that have reported votes so far, the Greens are up in five seats. This includes an increase of 6% in Pearce and Stirling, and 14.3% in Brand. Bear in mind that we don’t know if the booths reporting so far are representative of the entire electorate.

7:41pm – My model, which weights the vote in each electorate according to the number of votes polled in 2013, halves the National vote from 19.2% to 9.5% and increases the ALP vote from 13.8% to 19.5%. It also increases the Greens vote from 7.7% to 12.1%. Bear in mind we still have no votes from eight urban seats, and this model will become more useful once all 15 seats have reported votes.

7:39pm – We now have over 8000 votes – which is 0.62% of the votes recorded in 2013. In O’Connor that ratio is over 4%, with most of the other seats conservative and rural.

7:05pm – We have votes now from five conservative seats: Canning, Durack, Forrest, Pearce and O’Connor. This is enough to see that O’Connor is well over-represented. The vote reported in O’Connor is at 0.8% of the 2013 vote, which is a much larger ratio than any of the other seats.

6:49pm – So far we’ve got less than 200 votes, most from O’Connor and a small number from Pearce.

6:44pm – Sam Dastyari on ABC News 24 claims that a sample of large booths suggest a drop of 15% in turnout.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in Western Australia, and I’ll be covering the results here on the website.

I’ll be using a new model to try and track how the results are flowing in, and to take account of trends that are not uniform between seats. In short, I will be scaling up each seat’s vote to 80% of the turnout at the 2013 election, which will weight votes more heavily from seats where they haven’t reported. This isn’t perfect, as voting patterns will vary within each electorate, and my model won’t be able to match booths individually to get a more precise sense of the swing.

I’ll be tracking how the results are going in each seat, and what sort of swings we are looking at. I’ll then be relying on Antony Green’s Senate calculator to get a sense of how those primary votes will translate into a result.

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  1. Waiting for coverage of this important Senate election in W.A. I don’t think it is a “by-election”. Waiting, waiting as usual with three hour time lag from Eastern Standard Time.

  2. Both major parties are taking big hits while the Greens and the Palmer United Party are sewing up much of that swing against the big two.

    Liberal – -6.60%
    Labor – -7.59%
    = 14.19 between the two.

    Greens – +4.77%
    Palmer – +8.31%
    = 13.08% between the two.

  3. Final result likely to be 2 perhaps 3 Liberals, 1 Labor, 1 Green and I PUP. This means Louise Pratt wil lose her seat to the union hack Bullock. If the Liberal dont get the 3rd seat I can’t pick who will get the 6th seat.

  4. ro.watson – I agree it is not a by-election as some TV commentators are calling it. It is a general election of the Senate in WA. I agree with Khan’s assessment too.

  5. The AEC are using Eastern Standard Daylight Time not WA time which seems odd. ESDT finishes at 2AM when EST comes back in in the eastern states that are changing back to it in 90 minutes time.

  6. The spin from the libs is just too much. Trying to brush this off as a good result. This is their lost primary vote in the WA senate for well over 20 years, and there is the real prospect of them only returning 2 senators yet their celebrating this as a win. WA is a conservative state. Yes they just voted in two other elections where the liberals overwhelmingly won the state. They keep going on about the Gippsland by-election. That was a by-election held in national party heartland, the state of WA is a liberal pprty heartland and even though abbott goes on with they cringeworthy saying “anti-WA taxed” they still won’t vote for them. YEh its a terrible vote for labor but don’t just try and shift it all on to labor. Dastyari talked of reform yet Abetz is going oh its all ok its a good result for the liberals. Libs look like the real losers especially if labor pick up two senators and its going to be hard for them to justify scraping the mining and carbon tax if the state its aledgedly designed to destroy won’t give Abbott thier vote of approval

  7. Looks like the libs making a big fuss about HEMP may cost them. Based on the distribution at 62.5% of the vote, HEMP’s preferences give labor the quota they need to finish ahead of the liberals without a recount. Not calling it but it was free advertisement for HEMP and that has resulted in labor being in box seat for the last seat

  8. So far only Labor, Palmer, Liberal and the Green have got over 4% of the No 1 primary vote which means all the rest, including the Nationals, will get no taxpayer funding which is currently about $2.50 per vote for candidates who get 4% plus of the No 1 primary vote.

    Suggest voters make a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Matter which is sitting in Canberra NOW to stop this discriminatory and unreasonable drain on our taxes. Last Commonwealth election it was about $60 million that mostly went to the ALP and Libs.

  9. All the hype in the mainstream media about a poor voter turnout was proven rubbish. Over 1000,000 have been counted with postal, pre-poll and absentee votes yet to be counted and the informal vote so far is about 29,000 (2.88%) which is also low.

  10. The AEC have now put out an estimate of 85% turnout, higher than usual for by-elections.

    Media coverage of this election process has been appalling, fanned by politicians from all parties who have bought into an agenda to try to discredit the process. Australian media outlets need to give more airtime to expert analysis instead of relying on hacks with agendas to drive their coverage.

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