Victorian Council wrap-up


All of the results have now been entered for the Victorian council elections. The Greens have won 19 seats. Greens seats were retained in Melbourne, all three wards of Yarra, two wards of Moreland and one ward each in Moonee Valley, Brimbank, Whitehorse, Yarra Ranges and Mount Alexander. Six of these seats were retained by sitting Greens, while in the other six a retiring councillor was replaced by a new Green.

Eight councillors were elected in new places: Queenscliffe, Surf Coast, Colac Otway, Port Phillip, Glen Eira, Darebin, Casey and a second ward of Whitehorse.

Three seats held by Greens were lost: two in Greater Bendigo and one in Maribyrnong.

In addition, five seats were lost by slim margins and could be overturned on recounts, although I’m not sure of whether these recounts have already been held: Darebin’s Cazaly ward, Cardinia’s Ranges ward, Port Phillip’s Carlisle ward, Ballarat’s Central ward and Greater Shepparton.

While these results weren’t a massive increase, the total councillor numbers ignores almost universal swings, outside of Bendigo and Maribyrnong. For example, Yarra council saw an average 7.5% swing across the council, putting the Greens within reach of a second seat in both Langridge and Nicholls in 2012. Many other councils contested for the first time could be within reach of a win next time around. In addition, breakthroughs in Darebin and Port Phillip could set the scene for more Greens wins in 2012.

I have produced updated maps. Green indicates a place where a councillor was returned, Blue indicates where a new Green has been elected, Yellow indicates a close loss that could be overturned on a recount, and Red indicates a place where a Green was not elected.


Update: just to clarify, it seems certain that the Greens will miss out in all five of those close wards, although the race in Greater Shepparton was on a razor’s edge.

Canadian constitutional showdown


So it looks like Canada, only six weeks after an election saw a swing to the Conservative minority government, is headed towards another left-of-centre government.

Today the Liberal Party and the New Democratic Party signed an agreement to form a coalition government, with the support of the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

The agreement would see the Leader of the Liberal Party as the new Prime Minister in a cabinet of 18 Liberal ministers and 6 NDP ministers. The government would be the third minority government, after the Martin government of 2004-2006 and the current Harper government, with the Bloc holding the balance of power. The BQ has vowed to support the government for 18 months.

The Harper government remains in office until a no-confidence motion is passed, which is currently scheduled for December 8, although there is discussion that Harper will prorogue the Parliament until January, when a budget can be presented to the House. The “opposition day”, when the Liberals have an opportunity to present motions, has already been delayed from the 1st to the 8th.

The immediate cause of the election appears to have been caused by the financial crisis, and in particular Harper’s proposal to drastically reduce political party public funding, which seems to have sparked action on the opposition benches. Harper has backed down on the proposal, but the Opposition appears to have tasted blood in the water, and are on the hunt.

While the recent election clearly saw increased support for Harper and a rejection of Stephane Dion as Liberal leader, it remains true that the three largest left-of-centre parties collectively received a significant majority of the vote as well as a majority of seats.

Indeed, it seems to make sense that the last election would end in the election of a centre-left government. Anyone who watched the election debate would’ve been struck by the clear sense of four left-wing party leaders on one side pounding the Prime Minister. It is also a good step forward for the country in terms of restoring its place in the international community’s push to deal with climate change. Along with New Zealand, Canada is only one of two countries which have gone backwards on climate change in the last decade.

The biggest complication in the Liberal-NDP plans is the upcoming Liberal leadership election. Stephane Dion announced his plans to resign as leader straight after the election, and an election campaign was kicked off. Liberal Party delegates will meet for a convention on May 2 to elect a leader from three candidates. The plans at the moment appear to be for Dion to take over as Prime Minister for less than six months, before giving it up to the new leader after May 2.

So what are the consequences for the political parties? In the short run, the Conservatives will attack the others for supposedly overturning the will of the people, but in the long run the lack of incumbency will surely hurt the Conservatives. Jack Layton’s plans for the NDP will likely remain to see his party overtake the Liberal Party, and if the Liberals struggle it could benefit the NDP. On the other hand, smaller coalition partners tend to get hurt at the next election. Yet the NDP has never previously had the opportunity to govern, and if they govern competently it could push the party to new levels of support.

Council updates


I’ve got a few more council results to add. In Darebin, apparently the Greens have won a seat in Rucker Ward, and are in with a chance in Cazaly Ward. We haven’t heard anything about La Trobe ward, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a chance.

In Whitehorse, Bill Pemberton has been elected in Central Ward to join Helen Harris in Elgar Ward.

In Greater Bendigo both David Jones and Julie Rivendell have been defeated for re-election.

In Maribyrnong, where the primary votes have been counted, the Greens appear to be in with a shot in both Ironbark and Sheoak.

Melbourne counting room


So I’m in the City of Melbourne counting room at Victoria University on Flinders Street and I’ll give you the current lay of the land.

As it stands for Council, Jetter, Oke (the Greens candidate), and Louey are the only ones with a quota. Ong stands on 0.93 quotas, Shanahan on 0.83, Kanis on 0.8 and Clarke on 0.74. Following that you have Jetter’s #2, Bini, on 0.65 and Leppert of the Greens on 0.48. On those numbers, it appears incredibly difficult for Rohan Leppert to win for the Greens. It will probably be one from each of the top seven polling tickets, with a chance that Bini could defeat Clarke on preferences.

As far as the Lord Mayoral race, the key numbers are:

  • Doyle – 26.38%
  • Bandt – 15.44%
  • McMullin – 12.26%
  • Ng – 10.82%
  • Singer – 10.33%
  • Others – 24.76%

So it appears that Doyle or McMullin, or possibly Ng, are the most likely to win, although Bandt could end up coming second. We should know later today.

Sunday morning update


I’m going to spend some time today at the count for the City of Melbourne, but I thought I’d start by updating on some interesting races.

In Port Phillip’s Junction Ward, Greens candidate John Middleton polled 20.25% of the primary vote, and our scrutineers indicate that he is on track for just over 60% of the vote after preferences.

In Carlisle Ward, Greens candidate Cameron Pidgeon is on 24%, with the leading candidate on less than 31% on primary votes, and has a chance of winning on preferences.

In Griffin Ward of Banyule, Greens candidate Dean Winkle is on 21.48%, trailing Jenny Mulholland on 38.24%, with a third candidate on 18.67% and a number of other candidates. While it would take a strong preference flow, it appears that Winkle was preferenced by most other candidates.

The most interesting race of election night was in Ranges Ward of Cardinia. The ward elects two councillors, and the three candidates came extremely close to each other:

  • Graeme Legge – 35.74%
  • Ed Chatwin – 32.56%
  • Linda Hamilton – 31.70% (GRN)

It appears that a preference distribution gave the second seat to Chatwin, but we haven’t got the exact numbers and this could end up as a recount.

In Kangaroo Flat in Greater Bendigo, Greens Cr David Jones sits on 32.67%, with Barry Lyons on 42.03%. The other two candidates, who collectively won 25.3%, both preferenced Jones, but he would need to win at about three-quarters of preferences to win, and some may flow to Lyons as a donkey vote, meaning the leakage rate needs to be very low for the Greens to hold on.

In Hobsons Bay’s Williamstown ward, there is a three way race:

  • Angela Altair – 39.73%
  • Michael Faltermeier – 22.3% (GRN)
  • Kate Kennedy – 22.13%
  • Other candidates – 15.84%

The gap between Faltermeier and Kennedy is only a bare seven votes, so either could pull out ahead on preferences, and either would face a hard race to win, but could overcome Altair. I hear that the Greens were treated favourably by other candidates’ HTV cards.

In Greater Bendigo’s Flora Hill ward, it appears that Greens Cr Julie Rivendell has been defeated. Her seat is the only seat the Greens appear to have lost at this election.

Election night wrap-up


So I’m calling it a night. There may be a few more results tonight, but most of the outstanding results have yet to start counting. I’ll continue reporting results tomorrow and Monday. For now, I’ve made these maps of wards in Victoria colour-coded according to the Greens’ performance. Red means that we failed to win a seat. Blue means we won a seat after previously not holding a seat. Green means we retained a Greens seat, and Yellow indicates that the result is either uncertain or no data is available. White wards had no Greens candidate.

Before I do the maps, I also have an overall seat count. On our estimates, the Greens have definitely won 14 seats, including four that have newly been won (Port Phillip, Glen Eira, Surf Coast, Queenscliffe). Three other seats are probable wins, 5 are “maybe”s, 4 are unlikely but possible, and 24 wards are definitely not going to elect a Green. In 32 cases a candidate’s fate is unknown, due to complete lack of information, although a number of these are expected to be lost.

First, inner Melbourne:


Next, a more wide-view of Melbourne:


And a map of the more rural races:victoria

Liveblogging Victorian councils


You can look up results alphabetically by clicking here.

9:31pm – People have posted a bunch of results about results in Manningham, Melbourne and Brimbank, where the sitting councillor in Harvester Ward retired and the new Greens candidate managed a quota in her own right. I’ve also been sent a bunch of results from Port Phillip which I’m gonna read now and post the interesting bits.

7:38pm – We have the second Greens gain of the night. With half the booths counted, the Greens candidate in Glen Eira Rosstown is on 26%, so should be elected.

7:25pm – I’ve updated the other page for each council for which we have information.

6:55pm – I’ve been busy scrutineering in Brunswick for Moreland South. Some results that have been coming in: it appears that the Greens candidate in Sugarloaf ward of Nillumbik has fallen short after leading on primary votes. In Surf Coast the Greens candidate is on 10% (a quota) with a small sample, and we should know more later. In Queenscliffe Lloyd Davis remains ahead with 640 votes out of 3000, and a progressive independent is coming second, on the five-member council. The race in Casey River Gum is going down to preferences, with the Greens candidate leading slightly on primary votes.

5:16pm – In Yarra Ranges, Cr Sam Dunn has been re-elected to Lyster ward, with 52% of the primary vote. Her closest rival polled 25%. In Moonee Valley, Cr Rose Iser is polling a quota on primary votes in South Ward, while the Greens candidate is going to struggle in Central Ward. In Greater Bendigo, with primary votes reporting, both Greens councillors are competitive but not safe in their races for their single-councillor wards.

4:04pm – On a sample of 1800 votes in Whitehorse Central, Bill Pemberton is on 21%, with the other Greens candidate John Vincent on 6%, which should be enough to get Pemberton elected if trends continue.

3:56pm – I’m going to set up a separate page listing results by council alphabetically. You can find it at the top of the page.

3:48pm – In Queenscliff, scrutineers are telling us that the Greens are currently running first and well over quota, so it looks like Lloyd Davies will be the new Greens councillor for Queenscliff.

2:29pm – Alright, here we go. Getting some figures in now. So far only a few small country wards have reported to the VEC. With the Greens, some results have come in through our scrutineers. In Mount Alexander, the single-member Calder Ward appears to have gone to the conservative Peter Brook Ackland, defeating Greens candidate Doug Ralph. In Whitehorse Council, Cr Helen Harris appears on track to be re-elected with a sample of 1000 votes in Elgar Ward. Greens candidate Bill Pemberton is running in Central Ward, where a sample of 300 votes currently has it too early to call, although he’s in a good position. In South Ward of Stonnington council we are on about 7% on an early sample, which would not be nearly enough to win a seat. In Yarra Ranges, Greens are running in three wards, including Lyster Ward where there is a sitting Greens councillor. In Streeton and Chandler wards the Greens have fallen short, and the incumbents will be re-elected.

12:22pm – I’m heading out to do some handing out in Moreland, but I’ll try and keep this up regularly. You can follow results at this VEC page. Apart from those country wards which saw councillors elected unopposed, only one ward has primary votes up, which is a ward of Hepburn council, near Ballarat.

Victorian council election day preview


I’m sitting in Sydney airport about to board a flight to Melbourne. I’ll be liveblogging results as they come in from Victorian Greens scrutineers today, tomorrow and probably Monday too. Unlike the NSWEC, which implemented a Virtual Tally Room for the first time for council elections in September, and the QEC, which has a lot fewer councils to deal with, the Victorian Electoral Commission doesn’t do any online results. I’m not sure how I’m gonna do this, but I figure I’ll have a liveblogging post with results listed by the order in which I receive them and have a separate page with each ward listed alphabetically with any figures we have so far. During lulls I’ll update my maps and post screenshots. This will probably consist of “red” for a loss, “green” for a win and “yellow” for a race too close to call or yet to report.

Remember that 70 of Victoria’s 79 LGAs use postal voting, and my impression is those councils will have their counting staggered over the next few days, with some reporting as early as later this morning, although there won’t be many of them. The nine councils using attendance voting, which are mostly inner-Melbourne councils, will report in the evening the way that federal and state elections do, ie. there will be a lull after 6pm then a rush as counts are tallied.

Also, I’ll only be doing council wards where Greens are running. Sorry, but the task becomes so much more difficult otherwise.

Anyway, as soon as the first results start coming in I’ll start posting figures.

Update: Dave in comments points out that there seems to be some sort of results facility on the VEC website. Hopefully that will be up-to-date, in which case I’ll focus more on compiling the Greens results and analysis, but either way I’ll be covering the results.

Maps update


I’ve updated the electoral maps for the US House of Representatives on my “maps” page. There remain four seats up for grabs. OH-15 and CA-04 remain too close to call, although in both cases the Republicans hold slight leads. LA-01 and LA-06 had their primaries disturbed by Hurricane Gustav, forcing the general election to be postponed until December. Those seats are coloured grey, and the maps will be updated when the results are clarified.

I’ve also uploaded my latest map. I am producing a map of districts for the Canadian House of Commons. So far I have only completed the map for seven provinces from Manitoba to Newfoundland. I am yet to draw the maps for Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, along with the northern territories, but it may still be of interest. You can access it here.

I’ll be in Melbourne Saturday morning, and it looks like I’ll be using this blog to post results from Victorian Greens scrutineers from results around the state on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so look forward to that.

Victorian local government election


I know, I know, I haven’t been keeping up with the blog since the NZ election. After an intense launch period, with elections in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, the ACT and a number of by-elections, I’ve taken some time off, but I will be back.

I’ll be in Melbourne Saturday morning as results start coming in from the Victorian local council elections. The best source of coverage is this Pollbludger thread. I have made three Google Earth maps that may have been of interest to people.

  • The first one colour-codes all Victorian wards according to how many councillors are elected in that ward. Red means 1, Yellow means 2, Blue means 3, Greens means 4, and Purple areas are councils elected without wards.
  • The second one colour-codes all Victorian wards where Greens are running.
  • The third one colour-codes all Victorian LGAs. Green areas have a sitting Greens councillor, and blue areas have a Greens candidate running.