Early voting stats point to turnout levels tomorrow

The AEC publishes daily updates of how many people have voted pre-poll, and have requested a postal ballot (which is not strictly the same as someone voting), and you can use this data to get a sense of the rates of early voting.

We’ve had a strong trend of increasing pre-poll voting at recent elections at all levels of government, but that trend hasn’t been consistent in every seat. This first table shows the breakdown of vote by type in the five by-election seats in 2016.

SeatOrdinaryPre-pollPostalAbsentOthers
Braddon76.4113.386.441.901.87
Fremantle71.8313.107.916.490.67
Longman52.1531.9411.183.511.23
Mayo69.4917.297.854.460.91
Perth68.8114.588.187.011.43

Longman looks very different to the other seats, with almost one third of votes cast as pre-poll votes, and a slightly higher postal vote, resulting in barely half of the vote being cast as an ordinary election day vote.

So a higher pre-poll vote in Longman is expected, but the trend (as compared to last time) can be interesting.

This table shows the equivalent counts up to the last comparable point (Thursday for pre-poll, and Wednesday for postals).

Seat2016 prepoll2018 prepoll2016 postal2018 postalPrepoll changePostal change
Braddon6,7969,4105,2635,767+38.5%+9.6%
Fremantle9,7866,3658,7277,584-35.0%-13.1%
Longman24,05229,00812,62412,503+20.6%-1.0%
Mayo12,34616,8769,78710,539+36.7%+7.7%
Perth12,7036,8018,8746,931-46.5%-21.9%

This is pretty convincing evidence that we should expect a big drop in turnout in the two WA by-elections, but wouldn’t expect much (if any) drop in the other three.

The pre-poll vote has increased substantially in Braddon, Longman and Mayo, while it has crashed in Fremantle and Perth. The postal vote has dropped slightly in Longman but there have been substantial increases in these categories in Braddon and Longman.

This isn’t a thorough blog post, but I thought readers would be interested. I’ll see you for more coverage tomorrow night.

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