Richard Wynne has held Richmond since 1999, and he now holds the seat by a 6.4% margin over the Greens. In 2010, the Labor primary vote dropped by 9% while the Greens vote increased by almost 4%, but a change in Liberal preferencing decisions saw Wynne increase his margin by 2.4%.
Sunbury is a newly drawn electorate, created from parts of Macedon and Yuroke. Both sitting Labor MPs covering the area are retiring at the upcoming election, and the ALP is running Josh Bull. Sunbury is held by a Labor margin of 6.5%.
Yesterday’s twin by-elections in the Hunter region of New South Wales saw Labor regain two seats it had lost at the 2011 election – seats traditionally considered to be heartland Labor territory.
The results were never in significant doubt, but the results in the two seats are quite interesting.
In Newcastle, Labor is expected to win, but currently sits on less than 37%. Most of the remaining vote is split between an independent Liberal and a Greens candidate, and preferences are not expected to flow. On election night, a preference count was conducted between Labor and the Greens, but independent candidate Karen Howard came second, so a new count will need to be undertaken to confirm Labor’s victory.
In Charlestown, immediately south of Newcastle, the Labor result was much clearer. Labor won 49.7% of the primary vote, with the Greens second on 14.1%. After the distribution of preferences, Labor has won 70.4% of the two-candidate-preferred vote, an easy win.
Charlestown was an easy win, but it’s hard to compare that result to a general election due to the absence of a candidate to pick up the Liberal mantle. In Newcastle, Karen Howard appears to have won most of the Liberal vote from 2011, so it is possible to run a comparison. In Newcastle, the Labor vote increased by 6.3%, and the Greens vote increased by 5%. Karen Howard polled 10.4% less than the Liberal Party. If you assume Howard is a stand-in for the Liberal Party, the by-election points to Labor improving its position since the last state election, but not by enough to win the next state election. It should be noted, however, that by-elections are not good measures of statewide performance – last year’s Miranda by-election produced a much more emphatic swing to Labor. Polls suggest that Newcastle was more in line with statewide performance, but a by-election is not the best way to measure that performance.
In this post, I will break up the votes in each electorate into sub-areas, and post a series of maps illustrating the result, all over the fold.
Charlestown – Primary vote results
|Suellen Wrightson||Palmer United||2,433||6.35||+6.35|
|Brian Tucker||Christian Democratic||1,753||4.57||+2.39|
Charlestown – Two-candidate-preferred vote results
|Total votes in final count||23,282|
Newcastle – Primary vote results
|Steve O’Brien||Socialist Alliance||1,054||2.61||+1.02|
|Jennifer Stefanac||Palmer United||1,295||3.21||+3.21|
|Milton Caine||Christian Democratic||805||2.00||+0.87|
|Brian Buckley Clare||Independent||731||1.81||+1.81|
11:09pm – Just an update – due to the time, I’m going to post a summary of the results tomorrow morning.
10:25pm – The NSWEC is releasing two-candidate-preferred votes between Labor and the Greens in Newcastle, but this will not be the final result as the Greens came third. It is slightly interesting to see (the Greens won a single booth at Newcastle East PS), but it doesn’t reflect the overall result – it seems unlikely we will see a 2CP count between Crakanthorp and Howard tonight. I’m going to finish this blog now, and come back in a little while with maps and overall summaries.
10:22pm – We have now also gained prepoll, postal and iVote ballots for Charlestown, confirming a solid Labor win with a swing of over 20%. Small batches of other votes will continue to be added but most of the vote has been counted, and I have turned off my projections to simply reflect the raw results at this point.
10:18pm – The addition of prepoll, postal and iVote ballots in Newcastle has slightly lowered the projections for Labor and the Greens and increased the projected vote for Karen Howard, but Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp will still win.
9:42pm – And we now also have all primary votes for election-day booths in Newcastle. The ALP is on 37%, Karen Howard is on 26%, and the Greens are on 20%.
9:35pm – We now have all votes from ordinary election-day booths in Charlestown. I’m guessing we will see some special votes counted tonight, but the result is pretty clear now. The ALP has fallen below 50%, but will still win easily. The Greens have come second, with a primary vote just under 15%. After preferences, the ALP wins 70.4% of the two-candidate-preferred. Labor won the 2CP vote in every booth, with the Greens cracking 40% of the vote after preferences in two booths.
9:19pm – Not much to report, beyond adding extra booths. Labor is winning in both seats.
8:23pm – Two more small booths reported in Newcastle – no significant change.
8:16pm – I can’t see how Labor doesn’t win Newcastle. They are now leading on primary votes, but the booths that have been reported so far are less favourable to Labor, so they should increase their lead. Whether the second spot goes to Karen Howard or the Greens’ Michael Osborne, Labor shouldn’t be seriously challenged on preferences.
8:04pm – Results are coming in very fast now, and I’ve just updated my Charlestown numbers. Labor still above 50% on primary votes, with almost half of the booths reporting. Labor on over 77% of the two-candidate-preferred vote off two booths. We have no comparison for a Labor-Greens 2CP in Charlestown so I don’t have any swing or projection.
7:51pm – We now have eight booths reporting from Newcastle, and the story is not as clear as in Charlestown. Labor is just under 33%, with Howard on 30% and the Greens on 21%. I expect Labor’s vote to increase to about 38% and Howard’s to fall to 25%, so Labor should easily win with Greens preferences. It’s not entirely out of the question that the Greens could come in the top two, so don’t expect two-candidate-preferred votes for a little while, but Labor should win.
7:48pm – We’ve just had a surge of polling places reporting in Charlestown (seven so far) and Labor is now over 52% of the primary vote. I project this to drop to about 51.6% but still it’s an easy win for Labor in Charlestown.
7:38pm – I’ve added a results table for Charlestown at the bottom of the post, but bear in mind that the projections are completely disconnected from reality until we get booth results for somewhere that was used in 2011. Newcastle will be available shortly.
7:26pm – Still no more substantial results from Charlestown.
7:23pm – We now have a second booth for Newcastle, which is Merewether Heights, and again Karen Howard has topped the poll, with 41.5% of the vote. If you compare her vote to the 2011 Liberal vote, this is a swing of 16.3% against her, but very impressive for an independent. Labor is second on 22.9% (+6.9%) and the Greens third on 17.3% (+6.8%).
7:09pm – First booth for Newcastle is also New Lambton South, and the primary vote was won by conservative independent Karen Howard, with 37.7%. Labor is second on 32.9% and the Greens third on 16.2%. In comparison, the Liberal Party won 47% of the primary vote there in 2011, compared to 21.6% for the ALP and 14.6% for the Greens.
6:54pm – Another small booth in Charlestown at the northern end not used last time – New Lambton South PS. Labor on 35.9%, Greens 25.1%
6:34pm – Hamilton South was not used in Charlestown in 2011, so no swing available.
6:30pm – First booth in Charlestown is very small – Hamilton South Public, at the northern end of the seat. Labor on 44.3%, Greens second on 18% followed by independent Hope third on 11.5%. Still working on my spreadsheet so will come back with more data shortly. Only 67 votes cast at that booth.
6:00pm – Welcome to live coverage of the results of the NSW state by-elections in Charlestown and Newcastle. We should start to get results shortly before 7pm.
Labor’s Judith Graley has held the seat since 2006, and holds it now by a 7.4% margin.
Keysborough is a new electorate, partly replacing Lyndhurst. Martin Pakula won Lyndhurst at a 2013 by-election, after serving in the Legislative Council since 2006. Pakula replaced Tim Holding, who had represented since 1999, and served as a minister in the Labor government.
Keysborough is held by the ALP with a 9.5% margin.
Northcote is a very strong seat for the Greens – it is one of four seats where the Greens came in the top two in 2010 (as well as at the previous two elections), but the Greens vote is weaker than in those three other neighbouring seats.
After the 2010 election, the ALP benefited from the Liberal Party switching its preferences to favour Labor. The ALP suffered a significant primary vote swing, with the Greens and Liberal vote increasing, but Labor’s two-candidate-preferred vote increased by 2.1% thanks to Liberal preferences. Following the redistribution, the Labor margin over the Greens is 10.3%.
Labor’s Colin Brooks has held Bundoora since 2006, and now holds the seat by a 10.9% margin.
Labor MP Tim Pallas, who has held Tarneit since 2006, will be running in Werribee. The seat has a margin of 11.4% for Labor.
Gough Whitlam represented the federal electorate of Werriwa from a 1952 by-election until his resignation in 1978. The electorate has a long history of being held by Labor, ever since the 1930s. From 1934 until 2005, the seat was only held by four MPs, three of whom rose to a high rank in the federal ALP. Gough Whitlam from 1952 to 1978, and then John Kerin from 1978 to 1994 and Mark Latham from 1994 to 2005. Kerin served as Treasurer in the Hawke government, and Latham led the ALP to the 2004 election. From 1954 to 2005, every change of MP in Werriwa took place at a by-election.
The 2005 by-election was won by Chris Hayes, who held the seat until 2010. In 2010, he shifted to the seat of Fowler, immediately north of Werriwa, and Laurie Ferguson, who had represented Reid since 1990, took over Werriwa.
I have a particular personal interest in Werriwa. I lived in the electorate for most of my life until 2010, and ran in the electorate in 2004 and at the 2005 by-election.
Werriwa is a particularly fascinating seat, and that’s what I want to cover today.
Werriwa has existed continuously as a federal electorate since 1901, but the seat covers a very different area today to its original territory in 1901. Werriwa originally covered a large part of southern New South Wales, including Lake George (which gives the seat its name) and what is now the northern suburbs of Canberra.
With the use of historical maps, I’m going to trace how Werriwa shifted regions gradually over time, moving from a southern NSW rural electorate to a suburban seat in south-western Sydney.