Tally Room on the radio

In between today’s election posts, I wanted to let you know that I joined the Election Nerds radio show on election night. The show was taped at 2SER in Sydney, and while it is normally broadcast on 2SER, it was broadcast across the Community Radio Network on Saturday night.

You can listen to the episode online here, and you can also subscribe to their podcast feed on iTunes or any other podcast app.


QLD 2015 – regional result breakdown

The results of the Queensland election varied substantially between the various regions of Queensland.

Labor last won an election in 2009, when they won a small but solid majority of 51 seats. It now appears that Labor has won around 43-46 seats at the 2015 election, which is a recovery of most of the territory that was lost in 2012, when Labor was reduced to a rump of seven seats.

While Labor has regained most of the seats lost in 2012, that recovery wasn’t consistent across the state.

In southern Brisbane, which includes twenty seats, Labor went from holding 17 seats in the region to only three in 2012. They’ve recovered to at least 15 seats, with a small chance of returning to holding 17 seats.

Similar patterns can be seen in most regions, including North Brisbane, North Queensland and South-East Queensland – Labor has recovered to almost as many seats as they held in 2009, after being almost wiped out in 2012.

However the pattern is different on the Gold Coast, and in Central Queensland.

Labor only held three seats in Central Queensland in 2009, alongside two independents in Maryborough and Gladstone. Labor only lost one of those three seats in 2012, holding on in Mackay and Rockhampton. This election Labor has gained Gladstone from an independent, and is possibly also going to gain Maryborough from the LNP. Labor also gained Mirani, which has long been held by conservative MPs. Overall, Labor now holds six seats in the region, and could win a seventh in Maryborough – more than twice as many as they held in 2009.

Labor has experienced no recovery on the Gold Coast. Labor held seven out of nine seats in 2001, and six in 2004 and 2006, before dropping to four out of ten in 2009.

The LNP won a clean sweep of the seats in the Gold Coast in 2012, and this time around nothing has changed.

How did this happen? The Gold Coast was not immune from swings away from the LNP. The average swing to Labor was 11.5%, and eight out of ten seats had swings over 10%. But the two most marginal Gold Coast seats, Broadwater and Burleigh, experienced minor swings of 4.7% and 5.1% respectively. This was nowhere near enough to overturn margins of around 11%, despite controversy surrounding Broadwater MP Verity Barton.

The following charts show the vote has shifted for the LNP, Labor, the Greens and ‘others’ over the last three elections, by region.

Labor’s primary vote dropped substantially in 2012 in all eight regions, ranging from 13% in Western Queensland to over 17% on the Gold Coast and in other parts of south-east Queensland.

In 2015, the Labor primary vote recovered to close to the 2009 levels in most regions. Interestingly, the large increase in seats in Central Queensland is not reflected in a jump above 2009 levels in the Labor primary vote.

Despite these general trends, there was a relatively small jump in the Labor vote on the Gold Coast – the Labor vote is now barely above 30%, compared to 40.8% in 2009.

While the Labor primary vote collapsed in 2012, most of those votes didn’t go to the LNP. In most regions the swing to the LNP was modest on primary votes, except in South Brisbane and North Queensland.

Likewise, the LNP vote dropped by a relatively small amount in 2015. In some regions the LNP vote is higher than in 2009, and in others it is lower.

The biggest drops from 2009 to 2015 were in Central Queensland and Western Queensland. The LNP’s vote has steadily declined in the West over the last three elections.

The Greens vote dropped in sevens regions in 2012, but by modest amounts. On the Sunshine Coast, the Greens vote has increased steadily over the last three terms, and is now the best region overall for the Greens in Queensland.

In Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the Greens vote is higher now than it was in 2009, but in central and north Queensland the Greens vote has not totally recovered to 2009 levels.

The ‘others’ vote includes independents, Katter’s Australian Party (2012-15), Palmer United Party (2015), One Nation, Family First and Daylights Savings for South-East Queensland (2009).

The others vote peaked in all regions in 2012, due to a huge vote for KAP. The spike was biggest in areas outside urban Queensland, with 28-29% in central, northern and western Queensland.

In 2015, this vote dropped substantially, mainly due to KAP running in a much smaller number of seats. The other vote held up most strongly in western Queensland, due to a swing to KAP in Mount Isa.


QLD 2015 – what happened?

This is the first in a series of wrap-up posts. I will also devote a post to going in-depth in the undecided seats, as well as a regional breakdown of the vote, and a look at how preferences flowed, over the course of today and tomorrow. I will also be tracking the results in the close seats across the course of this week to determine if Labor will be winning a majority in the Parliament.

At the moment the Liberal National Party is sitting on 40.8% of the vote across Queensland, which is a swing of 8.9%. Labor is sitting on 38.1%, a swing of 11.5%.

The Greens are on 8.4%, which is 0.9% higher than in 2012. The Palmer United Party polled 5% in their first contest in Queensland. Katter’s Australian Party’s vote dropped from 11.5% to 1.7%. This is in part due to the party running a lot less candidates, but they also performed poorly where they did run.

In terms of seats, we have a pretty good idea of the picture.

The ABC computer is currently giving 44 seats to Labor, 33 seats to the LNP, two to KAP and one to an independent. This leaves nine remaining seats undecided. At the moment the LNP is leading in seven of those nine seats, so the most likely current outcome is 46 to Labor, and 40 to the LNP. There is a small chance of Labor not winning a majority if they fall short in all nine close races, but that seems unlikely.

Having said that, there are two seats which the ABC has given to Labor which are complicated by the presence of an independent.

Gaven is held by Alex Douglas, who had been elected for the LNP in 2012 and then defected to PUP, before eventually becoming an independent. It appears that the two-candidate-preferred count is between Douglas and Labor, and Labor has won that count. However, Douglas is coming a distant third, and Labor is slightly behind the LNP on primary votes. We’ll need to wait for a two-party-preferred count between Labor and LNP to determine that seat.

In Maryborough, Labor is winning in a head-to-head contest with the LNP, but there is a risk that independent candidate (and former MP) Chris Foley could overtake Labor and win from third place.

So in practice, Labor holds 42 seats, the LNP 33, others 3, and eleven are unclear. I’ll come back later today to run through these eleven seats.

So what happened with the last minute polls, which predicted 52% to the LNP and 48% to the ALP? In reality, the pollsters were quite good at predicting the primary vote for the major parties. All three pollsters gave 41% to the LNP and 37% to the ALP – only favouring the LNP by 1% compared to the actual result.

The problem came with the methods that polling companies use to translate what people tell them about how they will vote in terms of primary votes into an estimate of two-party-preferred. It appears that there has been a significant shift in where minor party preferences have flown. Of course, some of this is to be expected. KAP ran in a much smaller number of seats, and in 2012 they had made up about half of the ‘other’ vote. This time around, a majority of the ‘other’ vote went to the Greens who are much more likely to favour Labor.

However, it also appears that there may have been shifts in preferences apart from the shift caused by the political make-up of the ‘other’ vote changing, with Greens voters in particular preferencing Labor more strongly, on the back of the Greens preferencing Labor in most key seats (unlike in 2012) and a big push by progressive groups to encourage voters to preference.

As an example, in the inner-city seat of Mount Coot-tha, traditionally the best seat for the Greens in Queensland, and a seat Labor lost to the LNP in 2012, the preference flow from the Greens to Labor was almost as high as you would expect under a compulsory preferential system.

The proportion of ‘other’ votes that exhausted in Mount Coot-tha has dropped steadily from 39.6% in 2009, to 30.5% in 2012, to only 15.6% in 2015, with most of that shifting directly to Labor. Last night, the minor party vote in Mount Coot-tha (mostly Greens votes) flowed 73.4% to Labor, and only 9.8% to the LNP, allowing Labor’s Steven Miles to win despite trailing by 10% on primary votes. I suspect we’ll see similar trends in other parts of Queensland, but that story is for another blog post.

There was a wide variety in swings, but the result is reasonably consistent when looking at the pendulum. When you exclude seats where Labor wasn’t the main opposition to the LNP, Labor has gained almost all seats held by margins up to 10.2%. The LNP has retained Toowoomba North, held by 9.6%, and the ALP is still waiting to find out if they won Ferny Grove, held by 9.5%, but every other seat in that range was lost to Labor.

There were sixteen LNP seats that were held by margins of 10-15%. They have safely retained six of these, lost six to Labor, and four are still undecided.

Above 15%, the LNP retained most seats, with a few exceptions. Labor gained Springwood (15.4%) and Bundaberg (18.2%), and are trailing by less than 400 votes in Mount Ommaney (16.5%).

Finally, as is traditional, I’ve produced maps showing the scope of the election result. Labor seats are in red, LNP seats in blue, independents in yellow and KAP in purple. Labor gains are coloured in bright red, Labor seats from before yesterday are in a more pale red.

You’ll notice that there were huge numbers of seats that changed hands in Brisbane, while Labor has not yet gained any seats in the Gold Coast. Likewise, Labor regained control of the Cairns and Townsville areas, as well as a string of seats in Central Queensland.

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election in south-east Queensland.

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election in south-east Queensland.

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election in central and north Queensland.

Results of the 2015 Queensland state election in central and north Queensland.



QLD 2015 – election night

11:52pm – Just to be clear, that’s it from me tonight. As it currently stands, the ALP holds 44 seats, needing one more to form a majority. There are three seats undecided. Labor leads the LNP in Whitsunday, and the LNP leads Labor in Mansfield. In Maryborough, the seat will either be won by Labor or independent former MP Chris Foley. This means that Labor will almost certainly form government – probably as a majority government.

I’ll come back in the morning at the main blog, with results by region and a breakdown of the key seats.

9:22pm – I don’t think we’re going to know much more for tonight. The ALP now holds 44 seats, and the LNP 39. Labor needs to win one of the three undecided seats for a majority, and they’re expected to win all three. On these numbers, the LNP has no chance to win a majority. While this seems likely, it’s still possible that other seats could return to the ‘undecided’ column. Those three seats are Mansfield in southern Brisbane, Maryborough in central Queensland and Whitsunday in north Queensland.

8:55pm – At the moment, the ABC is giving 43 seats to Labor and 39 to the LNP. The remaining four seats are Mansfield, Maryborough, Pumicestone and Whitsunday. Labor is leading in all four seats.

8:51pm – It’s quite hard to be precise about which seats are still in play, with seats moving from “decided” to “undecided” and back again. However there are definitely 46 seats where Labor is leading, and 40 where the LNP is leading.

8:46pm – Labor has also convincingly won back in Townsville and Cairns, regaining Barron River, Cairns, Cook, Mundingburra, Thuringowa and Townsville, as well as Bundaberg, Mirani, Keppel and Gladstone in central Queensland.

8:14pm – Interesting thing to note – the ALP is yet to gain any seats on the Gold Coast. They are narrowly behind in Albert. Apart from Albert, the LNP has retained their seats and regained independent-held Gaven. In contrast, Labor has gained at least 22 seats in the greater Brisbane area (including Ipswich).

8:06pm – At this point, Labor is on 41 seats. They need another four to win a majority, and there are nine undecided seats and they are leading in five.

7:43pm – PUP state leader John Bjelke-Petersen has fallen short against Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney in Callide.

7:24pm – Labor could certainly win this. The ABC computer is giving the ALP 42 seats, and only 36 to the LNP.

7:21pm – In other news, the ALP is slightly ahead in the by-election for the SA Liberal seat of Davenport. Labor is leading by 68 votes after preferences off 4/9 polling places.

7:14pm – Pauline Hanson is polling over 30% in Lockyer off 16 booths, but it’s hard to see her benefiting from preferences, so should lose.

7:12pm – The safest seat that appears to have fallen is Kallangur, but at the moment the results are consistent with a narrow LNP victory.

7:10pm – Swings are varying widely between different seats, from 9% to 20%, but there are seats around the 11% mark that are falling, and others that are holding.

7:07pm – Labor appears to have regained the independent seat of Gladstone.

7:01pm – Labor on track to win Capalaba, Ipswich West, Kallangur and Mirani..

7:00pm – Labor leading in Mirani and Broadwater, amongst others.

6:57pm – Unsurprisingly, there are big swings to Labor and away from the LNP, but we don’t know whether it’s enough to change government.

6:29pm – Sadly my website is not able to handle the demand of people wishing to visit. I will be looking to finally change my host next week (time ran out before today), and in the meantime this website will be where I will be posting results.

6:07pm – This election has been fought over a huge range of seats. If the ALP is to win, they’ll need to be winning seats in the 10-15% range according to the pendulum. I’ve gone through some of the key seats in my election guide.

6:00pm AEST – Polls have just closed in Queensland, and we should be expecting results in 30-45 minutes time. About an hour ago we saw Channel Nine release a Galaxy exit poll which predicted that Labor would win 54% of the two-party-preferred vote.

If that was true, it would suggest a comfortable victory for Labor across Queensland. Exit polls don’t have a great record in Australia, so take that all with a grain of salt.

It’s also worth noting that polls closed half an hour ago in the state by-election for the southern Adelaide seat of Davenport. We should be getting results in that seat shortly.

I will be on 2SER tonight from 7pm-8pm Brisbane time (an hour later in Sydney and Melbourne). I will likely be blogging less during this time period, but will be with you all night.


QLD 2015 – lunchtime update

There’s a lot going on in Queensland today, so here’s a fresh blogpost to tide you over until polls close. There are multiple reports of voters being turned away due to a lack of ID (which shouldn’t stop them from voting), the LNP is pushing hard to encourage people to ‘just vote 1′, and the LNP is also attempting to stop GetUp! from handing out their how-to-vote cards.

Voter ID confusion on booths

There are multiple reports of people being turned away from voting due to lack of identification, despite the law allowing them to cast a vote.

The Townsville Bulletin has reported that people have been turned away in Burdekin, and itself misreports the story by claiming that ID is compulsory.

Here at the Tally Room I’ve received an email from a woman in Hervey Bay discussing people being turned away there, and I understand there are other reports.

GetUp! (disclaimer: I’m employed by GetUp!) are running a hotline to collect stories of these laws being implemented incorrectly, and to answer questions.

Just to clarify, while it is slightly easier to vote with ID, you can still vote without it.

Courtesy Chris O’Regan on Twitter

LNP corflutes strongly pushing ‘just vote 1′

There appear to be multiple corflutes being used by the Liberal National Party to push their message that people should only number one box.

A plain ‘Just Vote 1′ corflute is being used in some places, in the same shade of maroon often used by the Electoral Commission of Queensland. There is no indication that is an LNP corflute apart from the authorisation.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. In 2009, I recorded similarly plain corflutes being used in Indooroopilly, where the LNP benefited from weak preference flows between Labor and the Greens (sadly the image has since been lost, but the post is here).

1557429_10155084621850004_593924338607710840_nIn another seat, this photo was taken showing an LNP corflute comparing the “Certainty” of the LNP versus the “Chaos” of directing preferences. Again, this appears to mislead voters by comparing the Queensland elections to Senate elections, despite huge differences in the electoral system.

Anti-LNP parties and groups have been working hard to encourage people to preference, and it will be interesting to see how that goes.

LNP goes to the Supreme Court to stop GetUp

Campaign group GetUp (again, they are my employer) is handing out how-to-vote cards in Queensland. GetUp’s how-to-vote cards encourage voters to vote for Labor or the Greens (and in one seat KAP) and then preference those other parties.

The HTV cards focus on issues around the Great Barrier Reef, and criticise the LNP’s policy on the Reef.

According to a media release from GetUp, the Liberal National Party is apparently seeking an injunction in the Queensland Supreme Court to block the how-to-votes, which are being distributed across a number of key electorates.

Update: it appears that the LNP was challenging GetUp how-to-votes as they had not been registered with the Electoral Commission. While parties and candidates are required to register how-to-votes in Queensland, third parties like GetUp are not obliged to do so, and the court case was dismissed.


QLD 2015 – election day

Polls have just opened in Queensland for election day.

We now have three major polling companies giving us the same figures for the statewide two-party-preferred vote: Galaxy, Reachtel and Newspoll are all giving the LNP 52% and ALP 48%. If those numbers are true, the ALP should gain a lot of seats, but probably not enough to win government.

In the meantime, another poll has indicated that Campbell Newman will lose in his seat of Ashgrove, with Newspoll giving Kate Jones 55% of the two-party-preferred vote.

If you’re voting today, good luck. This will be the first major test of Queensland’s new voter ID laws.

It’s easier to vote if you have ID, and there are a wide range of forms of ID you can use (including the letter you should have received from the ECQ), but if you don’t have ID, you can still vote.

There have been a disturbing number of cases of casual ECQ staff, both on the hotline and at pre-poll, telling voters that they can’t vote if they don’t have ID, or if their ID doesn’t match their name on the roll. If that happens to you, it’d be good to know about it, so post a comment below.

Otherwise, good luck voting. I’ll be back at 6pm Brisbane time to start covering the results, and I’ll be on 2SER from 8pm-9pm Sydney time (7pm-8pm Brisbane time) tonight.


Seat #89: Mansfield

Mansfield1-2PPMansfield is an LNP seat in south-eastern Brisbane, covering Mansfield, Wishart, Upper Mount Gravatt and Mackenzie, and parts of Mount Gravatt and Eight Mile Plains.

The LNP’s Ian Walker won Mansfield in 2012 with a 15.5% swing, and now holds the seat by a 11.1% margin.

Read more


Seat #88: Mirani

Mirani1-2PPMirani is an LNP seat in north Queensland, covering coastal areas between Mackay and Rockhampton, including Mount Morgan, Dysart and Middlemount.

The LNP’s Ted Malone has held Mirani since 1994. Malone holds Mirani by an 11.2% margin, but is retiring in 2015.

Read more


Seat #87: Broadwater

Broadwater1-2PPBroadwater is an LNP seat on the Gold Coast, covering the suburbs of Labrador, Biggera Waters, Runaway Bay, Coombabah and Paradise Point as well as South Stradbroke Island.

Broadwater was won in 2012 by LNP candidate Verity Barton with a 13.3% swing, and she holds Broadwater by a margin of 11.3%.

Read more


QLD 2015 – the final day

Queenslanders go to the polls tomorrow morning to elect a new Parliament, three years after giving power to the Liberal National Party in a massive landslide, and reducing Labor to a rump.

While the LNP has maintained a small lead in most polls this year, yesterday’s Essential poll had Labor draw even with the LNP, polling 50% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Reachtel and Newspoll polls in the first week of January both had the LNP and Labor tied, 50-50, but in the intervening period the LNP has won every poll, if not by large margins.

In addition, there has been a smattering of electorate-level polls. Overall, these polls have all suggested a large swing to Labor, but not necessarily enough to change the government.

A Galaxy poll two weeks ago covered eight marginal seats, seven held by the LNP. Two had a solid Labor lead, and another four had a slim Labor lead, and in one seat the major parties were tied. Newspoll also conducted a poll of three marginal LNP seats in Cairns, Ipswich and central Queensland, suggesting a sizeable swing to Labor.

Quite a lot of the campaign has been focused on Campbell Newman’s seat of Ashgrove. Newman hasn’t won a single poll in his seat for a couple of years, and that includes at least two in the last two weeks. A Newspoll Ashgrove poll had Labor leading 51-49, and a Reachtel poll released earlier this week had Kate Jones increasing her lead to 54-46.

All of this opens up the very real possibility of the LNP holding onto power while Campbell Newman loses his own seat of Ashgrove. Campbell Newman has repeatedly insisted that Ashgrove and the state of Queensland will swing together, despite polls indicating otherwise, and the fact that a uniform swing sufficient to give Ashgrove to Labor would be barely half of that required for Labor to form government.

It’s not the only part of the LNP’s campaign that relies on fudging how elections work. The LNP has also been running hard on fears of a hung parliament and lack of public understanding about how preferences work, by suggesting that minor parties are “harvesting” preferences, and insisting that voters numbering preferences will help elect minor parties. In reality, the Queensland election is very different to Senate elections, and voters numbering preferences is only likely to help Labor.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with an election-day thread. On election night, I’ll be on the Election Nerds show on 2SER at 8pm Sydney time (7pm Brisbane time) discussing the results, along with the usual liveblog.

In the meantime, you can use this post as the traditional prediction thread. Post below what you think the result will be, being as general or as specific as you wish. As always, all 89 seat pages have open comment threads if you have thoughts about a particular seat.