NSW by-elections live (sort of)

7:28pm – Okay last update for a few hours. The Nationals have increased their lead on the Shooters after preferences in Murray – they now lead with 54.6% of the two-candidate-preferred vote, off 6000 votes. On primary votes they lead by 8.65% with 21% Labor votes dominating the preferences to be distributed. The Nationals look set to hold Cootamundra, where the Shooters trail Labor by one vote on the primary vote, and are on only 42.1% after preferences. It looks like Murray will be close, but the Nationals remain the favourites.

7:06pm – The Nationals and the Shooters are now exactly tied after preferences in Murray.

7:05pm – The Nationals are looking stronger in Cootamundra. With almost 10,000 votes reporting, the Nationals are on 48.4%. The Shooters are on 24.4%, just ahead of Labor on 21.6%. It’s possible Labor could come ahead of the Shooters, but either way it seems unlikely either could overtake the Nationals. Only about 2400 votes have been counted as two-candidate-preferred votes, but the Nationals are leading the Shooters with 57.3%.

7:02pm – It appears that both the Nationals and the Shooters are losing ground to Labor in Murray as more votes come in, but they should still stay in the top two. This probably helps the Shooters, as it means they need a smaller share of a bigger Labor vote to win.

6:59pm – Blacktown is predictably uninteresting, with Labor on 71.7% of the primary vote.

6:58pm – With over 7000 primary votes counted in Murray, the Nationals lead with 43.5% to 33.3% to the Shooters. We also have about 1500 votes distributed for two-candidate-preferred, and the Nationals are barely leading with 50.4%.

6:42pm – With over 1600 votes counted in Murray, the Nationals lead with 40.7% to the Shooters’ 36.2% and 16.5% for Labor. There’s been a swing of about 2% back to the Nationals in Cootamundra since the last figures, with about 2500 votes counted.

6:34pm – With almost 1500 votes counted in Cootamundra, the Nationals lead with 41.3% of the primary vote, followed by the Shooters on 30.7% and Labor on 23.2%. If those numbers held, there would be a good chance of a Shooters win, but it’s far too early to say.

6:30pm – So I will be out tonight and won’t be doing a full set of coverage but will jump in with some thoughts on early results over the next hour. Feel free to post comments below.

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