11:00pm – Here’s my final update for tonight.
Based on the work I’ve shown in the last few updates, I estimate that Labor has won twelve seats, the Liberals have won nine and the Greens have won two.
Labor has won two in each district, plus a third in Ginninderra and Yerrabi. The Liberal Party is on two seats in all districts except Kurrajong. The Greens have won seats in Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee.
The two other seats still in play are:
- Brindabella – third Liberal, third Labor or Sex Party.
- Kurrajong – likely to go to second Liberal, but with the third Labor candidate having an outside chance.
If Labor were to win either of those two outstanding seats they would win a majority in their own right, in which case they wouldn’t need the support of the Greens to govern.
This election has been a good result for Labor. The conventional wisdom before election night was that Labor was in trouble and in danger of losing power, with the light rail damaging their position.
In reality, Labor has slightly increased their vote, while the Liberal vote has been cut by 3.3%. The Greens vote has stayed steady, while the vote for other parties and independents increased by almost 10%. Labor did particularly well in the seat of Yerrabi, with a swing of 2.8%. This area will be the main beneficiary of the first stage of the light rail, and has clearly helped Labor solidify their position.
10:53pm – In Yerrabi, the Liberal Party is on 2.1 quotas, Labor is on 2.7 quotas and the Greens are on 0.4 quotas.
The Liberal Party’s third candidate was about 1000 votes from knocking out the third Labor candidate. The Labor and Greens vote have both increased (by a total of 1.8%) with the addition of paper votes, while the Liberal vote has dropped by 2.1%, so the chance of a third Liberal appears to have faded.
10:43pm – In Murrumbidgee, the Greens are on 0.7 quotas, Labor is on 2.1 quotas and the Liberal Party is on 2.5 quotas.
In the interim distribution of preferences, the Greens’ Caroline Le Couteur defeated third Liberal Peter Hosking by 127 votes (just under 1% of the total). The addition of paper votes has cut the Liberal vote by 1.3%, while increasing the Labor vote by 0.66% and the Greens vote by 0.48%.
It’s hard to see the Greens not winning this seat.
10:34pm – How about Kurrajong?
Labor has polled 2.4 quotas, the Liberal Party 1.7 quotas and the Greens 1.2 quotas.
The distribution of preferences is quite clear, with Labor and Liberal winning two seats each and the Greens winning one.
The Liberal vote has dropped by 2.8% since the distribution of preferences, while the Greens vote has increased by 1.6% and the Labor vote has increased by 0.5%. At the key point in the count, the third Labor candidate was about 7.4% away from outpolling one of the two Liberals. It seems unlikely that this gap will close, but it is possible.
10:23pm – Okay, let’s check out Ginninderra.
Labor is sitting on 2.5 quotas on primary votes, with the Liberals sitting on 1.8 quotas and the Greens on 0.6 quotas.
On the distribution of preferences, Labor wins three seats and the Liberals win two, with the fourth Labor, third Liberal and lead Green all getting knocked out in a tight race.
The Labor and Greens vote has increased slightly on the paper vote, while the Liberal vote dropped from 32.7% to 30.5%.
This drop in the vote should rule out the chance for a third Liberal, although the race for the second Liberal seat is very close – Elizabeth Kikkert outpolled Paul Sweeney by less than one hundred votes.
The third Labor seat is also unclear – Gordon Ramsay outpolled Labor colleague Chris Bourke by only six votes, with the Greens’ Indra Esguerra only 21 votes behind Bourke.
It seems quite possible that Esguerra could overtake one or both of the remaining Labor candidates, but you’d expect Labor preferences to lock out the Greens.
9:44pm – Let’s run through the seats one by one, starting with Brindabella.
Labor sits on two quotas in Brindabella, with that vote evenly distributed between four candidates. Sitting MPs Mick Gentleman and Joy Burch lead on about 0.5 quotas, with two others following on 0.4 quotas. These candidates won’t all make it to the end, but they’ll stay in the race for a long time to collect other parties’ preferences.
The Liberals are sitting on 2.4 quotas in Brindabella, with Andrew Wall and Mark Parton leading with 0.7 and 0.6 quotas respectively. Nicole Lawder (0.5 quotas) is leading in the race for the final seat but the flow of preferences suggest that she will do poorly on preferences.
The Sex Party is on 0.5 quotas, although those votes are reasonably evenly divided between their two candidates.
The Greens’ vote is on 0.3 quotas (possibly the first time the party has been outpolled by the Sex Party).
It appears that the race for the final seat is between one of the Labor candidates, one of the Liberals and the Sex Party candidate. The gap on the interim distribution of preferences between the third Liberal and third Labor is less than 300 votes – and the Liberal vote has dropped amongst the remaining votes.
9:34pm – Kevin Bonham points out that, while the Liberal Party has a strong lead for the fifth seat in Brindabella, they lose a lot of ground in the interim distribution of preferences and could well lose that seat to Labor, while the Sex Party still has a chance.
9:30pm – In case it wasn’t clear, the Labor Party looks set to win re-election. We don’t know for sure whether the seats will split along the lines that the pre-poll distribution of preferences suggest, but the Liberal Party will be unable to win a majority of seats, or find allies on the crossbench.
8:18pm – Let’s look at the swings by district. Labor has gained a swing in Brindabella, lost ground in Ginninderra, Kurrajong and Murrumbidgee and gained a massive swing in Yerrabi.
8:15pm – It is now very clear that the Liberal Party had gone backwards. They were previously one seat short of a majority, and now look likely to be two seats short, and have suffered a 2.4% swing, while the Labor vote has gone up.
8:12pm – We now have interim distributions of preferences for all five seats based on electronic votes, which gives Labor 12 seats, Liberal 11 seats and two seats to the Greens.
7:00pm – I’m going to be logging off for the next hour while I eat dinner, but I’ll return later when we have a larger sample of votes.
6:59pm – More votes have come in in Yerrabi – the Labor vote is down a bit and the Liberals are up but it still seems likely that the left will win three seats.
6:54pm – First results in Yerrabi are good for Labor. Labor is on 2.6 quotas and the Liberal Party is on two quotas, with the Greens on 0.4 quotas. That looks likely to give Labor three seats. But these numbers are very small.
6:52pm – It looks very likely that either Labor or Greens will win the fifth seat in Ginninderra, and that the Greens will win the fifth seat in Kurrajong. This puts the governing alliance on twelve seats. If they can win the final seat in Yerrabi or Murrumbidgee that will mean Labor and the Greens will be able to form another majority.
6:50pm – Those Kurrajong votes are already out of date. Both major parties are now on about 2.2 quotas with the Greens on 0.9 quotas. This suggests a result of 2 Labor, 2 Liberal and one Green.
6:48pm – We have a small sample of pre-poll votes in Kurrajong and it is good for the Liberals: Liberal 2.65 quotas, Labor 1.94 quotas and Greens 0.69 quotas. Antony Green suggests these votes are likely those cast in neighbouring seats.
6:46pm – Remember we have the Robson Rotation system in the ACT. Parties nominate a ticket of up to five candidates, but not in any particular order. Different ballot papers show the candidates in different orders. So if a voter doesn’t have a preference for an individual candidate they would be likely to just donkey vote for the candidates. Robson rotation means these donkey votes are evenly distributed around, and if there isn’t a particularly high-profile candidate the vote for a party can be distributed fairly evenly, as we’ve seen for Labor in Murrumbidgee and Ginninderra.
6:42pm – First numbers for Ginninderra have Labor on 2.6 quotas, Liberals on 1.6 and the Greens on 0.6.
6:40pm – Labor on track for two in Brindabella, and the Liberal Party winning at least two and in a good position to win the third seat. The Sex Party is doing surprisingly well on the electronic vote with 0.4 quotas.
6:39pm – Let’s just zoom out to the overall race. There are five districts of five members each. It’s expected that Labor and Liberal will each win two seats in each district, giving them at least ten seats each, with the final five seats (one per district) up in the air.
It seems very likely that the Greens will win the fifth seat in Kurrajong and the Liberal Party will win in Brindabella, with Labor or Greens likely to win the fifth seat in Ginninderra. This leaves Yerrabi and Murrumbidgee as the two swing seats. If the Liberal Party can win third seats in these two districts that will give them a slim majority in the Assembly – if they go to Labor or Greens it will give the centre-left alliance a majority.
6:35pm – First chunk of votes is pre-poll votes for Murrumbidgee. Bear in mind that Murrumbidgee is one of the key swing districts where the Liberals will need to win three seats to have a shot at winning a majority. The Liberals are on 2.65 quotas, Labor is on 2 quotas, and the Greens on 0.63. On those figures, the third Liberal and the Greens candidate would be competing for the final seat, but it’s interesting to note how evenly distributed the Labor vote is between their candidates, none of whom are incumbents.
6:30pm – I’m having trouble getting the Elections ACT results website loading – hopefully this works itself out soon but it doesn’t appear there are any concrete figures yet.
6:10pm – Just in case you missed Antony Green explain this on the ABC – the electronic votes should mostly report primary vote figures before 7pm, and we’ll start to get paper ballot vote-counts after 7pm, and later this evening we’ll get a distribution of preferences for just the electronic votes. Hopefully we’ll be able to compare the primary vote between electronic and paper votes to get a sense of how the distribution of preferences should be adjusted.
6:05pm – I’m reminded of the last New Zealand election. There had been a large increase in votes cast electronically, which were counted very early in the night. In the past there had been a bias in the early electronic vote count, but the number of votes cast electronically had grown significantly, and this resulted in the electronic vote being more representative. In the past the electronic vote has favoured the Greens, but as more people use this option you’d expect such a bias to become less significant.
6:00pm – Polls have just closed in the ACT election. I’ll be covering the results tonight but not as comprehensive as always, and I’ll be absent for most of the time from 7pm until 8pm. A large proportion of votes in the ACT will have been cast electronically, so those votes should be counted pretty quickly. There has also been a large increase in pre-poll voting, from 61,660 votes in 2012 to 83,743, an increase of almost 36%. Stick with us.