We saw a small amount of counting yesterday, but we should be able to narrow the list of undecided seats.
When I last posted, I listed 17 seats as in some doubt. This included 13 conventional Labor-Coalition races, plus Grey and Cowper, where we were waiting on a two-candidate-preferred count, Melbourne Ports where Labor is at a small risk of coming third and losing the seat, and Batman which is a reasonably conventional Labor-Greens race.
I still haven’t called the following seats:
- Coalition leading: Cowper, Grey, Chisholm, Dunkley
- Labor leading: Melbourne Ports, Cowan, Hindmarsh
- Coalition likely to take lead: Flynn
- Extremely tight: Forde, Herbert, Gilmore, Capricornia
And I have called these
- Called for Labor: Batman,
- Called for Coalition: Dickson, La Trobe, Petrie, Robertson
So this brings the total to:
- 68 – Coalition
- 65 – Labor
- 5 – Coalition likely to win
- 3 – Labor likely to win
- 5 – Others
- 4 – Extremely tight
In this case, if the Coalition wins all the seats they are leading in, they need to win three out of four of Forde, Herbert, Gilmore and Capricornia to get a majority – they are currently leading in one.
Grey and Cowper
The most interesting counting undertaken yesterday started late in the afternoon, when we saw a large number of booths in these two seats count their preferences. In Grey the count is between the Liberal Party and the Nick Xenophon Team. In Cowper the count is between the Nationals and independent candidate Rob Oakeshott.
Preferences have been distributed in 14 out of 70 booths in Cowper and 35 out of 124 booths in Grey. These all happened quite late in the day, and presumably this count will conclude today.
In Grey, the Liberal MP Rowan Ramsay is ahead with 55.5% after preferences. The sample of booths is slightly favourable to him, with 45% of votes going to the Liberal Party in those booths where preferences have been distributed, and 41% in the rest of the seat. The Nick Xenophon Team candidate polled 1.7% better on primary votes in the booths yet to report, and Labor’s candidate polled almost 3% better. My projection suggests the Liberal two-candidate-preferred vote will drop to 53.9% with these votes, but I’ll wait for more votes before calling this result.
In Cowper, Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker is ahead with 51.9% after preferences. Those booths reporting are 4% less good for the Nationals than the remaining booths. The current sample is very good for the Greens: 10.8% compared to 5.7% in the rest of the seat. This is primarily due to the inclusion of Bellingen.
I expect Hartsuyker’s lead to grow to 54% in the remaining counting, but again I’m happy to wait for tomorrow to call this seat.
I haven’t built a model for this seat, although I may in coming days.
Currently there have been no special votes counted. Labor’s Michael Danby is almost 2% ahead of the Greens candidate, which is almost enough. Labor underperformed on special votes in 2013. While the Greens slightly outperformed on absent and pre-poll votes, they massively underperformed on postal votes, a much larger bundle of votes. I would like to wait and see some postal votes counted before calling this seat.
The other 14 races
In these seats most preferences have been counted and we are just waiting for the special votes to resolve a slim race.
At this point we are still waiting for hard figures on how many absent and pre-poll votes are to be counted. The following table shows how many votes are reported as waiting to be counted in each category.
||Current Labor lead
||Projected Labor lead
We’ve seen the first batches of postal votes counted in Batman, Chisholm, Cowan, Flynn, Herbert, Hindmarsh and Petrie.
The Greens did about as well on postal votes in 2013 as they did on other votes, but the same is no longer true. Labor won over 60% of the first batch of postal votes, compared to just over 50% of the ordinary votes. Under my model, this indicates that Labor is on track to maintain their current large lead, so I am calling Batman for Labor.
Labor polled 5% worse on postal votes in 2013 than on ordinary votes – on the first batch in 2016 that gap is 7%. At the moment my model suggests that the thin Coalition lead will blow out, but I won’t call it yet.
Labor performed 5% worse in 2013 on postal votes and the first batch matches that pattern. Labor looks on track for a win, but not comfortable enough to call it.
Labor did extremely poorly on postal votes in Flynn in 2013, which is why a seemingly unassailable lead wasn’t enough to call it for Labor. Indeed Labor managed less than 35% after preferences in the first postal vote batch of 800 votes. My model is currently projecting a 3000-vote turnaround giving the seat to the Coalition. We’ll need to see more votes to be confident of this.
Labor also did poorly in the first batch of postal votes here, and my model has this 913-vote lead dropping to a 10-vote lead for the Coalition.
Labor did lose the first batch of postals in Hindmarsh, but by the same margin as in 2013, and my model predicts an increase in the Labor lead.
In addition to Batman, I’m calling Coalition wins in Dickson, La Trobe, Petrie, Robertson. So I won’t be tracking these seats any further.