Unveiling the Queensland 2020 election guide


The Queensland state election will be held on October 31, and I have now completed my guide to this election.

This guide features profiles of all 93 electorates. Each profile includes the history of that seat, a description of its geography, and maps and tables showing the results of the 2017 election.

View the guide here.

Each guide also includes a candidate list, which will be an ongoing task to keep updated until the close of nominations.

Each guide includes a comment section, where you can discuss the progress of the contest in that electorate. Some seats already have numerous comments since the soft launch of the guide last week.

This has been a big project. I have been working on this guide on and off in between other projects since February. I hope you’ll find it useful.

If you do find this to be a useful tool in understanding this election, please consider signing up as a regular donor via Patreon. Patreon donors ensure that I can dedicate time to working on projects like this. I’m already working on my guide to the ACT election and thinking ahead to the Western Australian state election in March and the NSW local government elections next year.

That’s it for now, although I will be posting regularly about this state election, and have plans for a number of podcasts focused on this election.

How do you run for election under stage 4 lockdown?


Victorians will soon be voting in local council elections amidst an extended lockdown. While the number of new Covid-19 cases has been dropping, Melburnians will still face a stage 4 lockdown for six more weeks.

Victorian council elections are conducted entirely by post, which will make it easier for people to cast their votes, but the lockdown will make it much harder for candidates to campaign, and give an advantage to those candidates with more money.

In these circumstances it’s hard to see these elections being free and fair, and really makes me wonder why the Victorian government did not postpone the elections.

NT 2020 – late counting update


Over a week after the Northern Territory election, there are still four seats where the count is extremely close. I thought I might run through these races quickly.

These four seats are Araluen, Barkly, Blain and Namatjira.

Labor has won thirteen seats (including Arnhem and Fong Lim), the CLP has won six (including Braitling, Brennan, Daly and Katherine), and two have been won by independents.

Declaration votes were counted yesterday, and recounts are due to be held in all of these remaining undecided seats today.

South Australian redistribution – draft map completed


It’s taken me a bit longer than I originally planned, but I’ve now created a digital map file for the South Australian state redistribution, for the election due in March 2022. This is a draft – the final map is due towards the end of the year.

At some point I plan to calculate my own redistribution margins but for now you can refer to the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission’s calculations in their report. I summarised the changes in a post two weeks ago.

This following map shows the new boundaries in green and the old boundaries in red.

Eden-Monaro preference flows released


The Australian Electoral Commission released the final data from the Eden-Monaro by-election earlier this week. This data breaks down the two-party-preferred preference flows between Labor and Liberal based on the primary vote of the voter. This data allows us to look at how voters for various minor parties and independents marked their preferences.

This data is not usually published for state elections, forcing us to rely on the distribution of preferences, which doesn’t distinguish between primary votes for a candidate and votes they have picked up along the way. The AEC in recent years has even begun publishing these statistics at the level of the polling place.

Antony Green and Kevin Bonham have both published posts analysing the preference flows at the top level, but I thought it’d be interesting to look at how the flows for the three biggest minor parties varied across the electorate.

NT 2020 – election day decline by the numbers


We expected election day to be a smaller factor in the Northern Territory election, and now we have the data to back it up.

Most, if not all, votes from election day have now been counted, along with most pre-poll votes. We are still waiting for straggling postal votes to be reported, but most seats have counted most of the postal votes which had arrived by last Friday (although weirdly no postal votes have been counted for Mulka).

This means we have some sense of how the turnout has compared to 2016 and 2012 overall, and in the vote categories.

At the moment the turnout sits at 69.9% of enrolment. This compares to 74% in 2016 and 76.9% in 2012. It seems unlikely that turnout will reach 74% – this would require almost 5800 votes to be admitted to the count.

At the moment, we appear to have most results for ordinary, absent and pre-poll votes although it’s possible some votes are missing. The results are made a bit messy as there were no “ordinary” votes on the day in four remote seats (Arafura, Barkly, Gwoja and Mulka) even though some of the mobile votes may have been cast on election day. For our purposes I am treating mobile votes as “cast before the day” nonetheless.

10,242 postal votes were issued. The NTEC published data the day before the election about how many votes were ‘admitted’, which in most seats is a slightly larger number than the number of postals counted so far. 3,816 postal votes have been counted so far, compared to 3,953 ‘admitted’ by the day before the election.

No postal votes have been counted in Mulka, and less than 80% of those admitted in Arafura, Arnhem and Barkly. 85% of those admitted have been counted in Katherine. Over 95% of those admitted have been counted in every other seat.

So I expect some more postal votes are sitting around to be counted, and more will arrive over the coming week or so, but it won’t be that many. Certainly we won’t get another 6000-odd postals, which we’d need to exceed the 2016 turnout.

Still, despite the numbers being incomplete, we can look at the total vote as a proportion of enrolment and see how big the shift has been over the last eight years.


Less than one in five NT voters cast a vote on election day.

I was a bit surprised to see the numbers of mobile and postal votes drop – although another 700 postal votes would bring the number up to the 2016 level.

About 50% of voters in the NT cast a vote before election day, which amounts to over 71% of those whose votes have been counted so far.

We’ll see how the rest of the vote plays out as counting finishes, in particular to see how big the postal vote gets.

Podcast #41: NT election results


Ben chatted with Stewart Jackson about the results of last weekend’s NT election.

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

NT 2020 – election night live


Labor – 11 won, 1 likely, 4 ahead
CLP – 2 won, 1 likely, 3 ahead
IND – 2 won
TA – 1 ahead

6:21am – Since I went to bed last night I’ve got a few quick updates. This will be the last update of this post.

At the end of counting for the night in Arnhem, independent Ian Gumbula had snuck up to 33.4% of the primary vote with Labor leading on 41.5%. We’re awaiting the correct 2CP count, but Labor are favourites to win.

Labor leads by 103 votes in Barkly. Postal votes will decide the result here but there would have to be a high turnout for the CLP to claw this back.

Kevin Bonham has pointed out that preference flows from TA to the CLP are at a level that probably makes Labor’s position in Fong Lim safe and would put the CLP’s win in Blain in some doubt, although postal votes will likely resolve that doubt. I keep both seats in the ‘likely’ category regardless.

Labor is in second in Braitling on 22.1% and independent Kim Hopper is third on 15%. 26.9% of the vote has gone to four other candidates. There is definitely enough votes for Hopper to overtake Labor but it looks much more challenging than before. If Labor stays in second the CLP has won.

The CLP leads in Brennan by 59 votes. This is not enough to call but postal votes will likely resolve this race.

Labor leads in Daly by 28 votes. I suspect postal votes will allow the CLP to claw this back but it is still ALP ahead.

It’s looking harder for TA to jump into the top two in Katherine. They are 74 votes outside the top two and there are only 161 votes cast for another minor candidate. This could change with later counting, but I suspect that will widen the gap. Looking likely for the CLP.

I’m calling Nelson for the CLP.

Overall I have Labor locked in eleven seats, almost certainly twelve with Fong Lim. Arnhem is also awaiting a correct 2CP count which will likely lock in Labor’s majority. Barkly, Daly and Namatjira are all very close. I think they won’t hold on in Daly, the other two could hold on.

The CLP has locked in two seats and likely locked in a third in Blain. They are looking good to win Braitling and Katherine. They are favourites in Brennan, and I think they’re more likely than not to regain the lead in Daly. This would give them seven seats. They could get to nine if they win Barkly and Namatjira.

TA is leading in only one seat, where they lead by 13 votes in Araluen. Two independents have won and one other has a chance.

10:48 – And I have just realised that Daly is not in fact a safe CLP retain. Labor is currently leading by 171 votes. I think the CLP will likely bounce back but it is definitely in play.

10:41 – At the end of the evening, Labor is set to retain government, likely with a majority, but not a large one.

There has been a big swing back after a landslide victory in 2016. The Country Liberal Party look likely to rebuild their strength from their terrible two-seat result in 2016. Their most likely outcome now would be seven seats.

Labor has won eleven seats, and is almost certain to have won Fong Lim. They also lead in three other seats – against an independent in Arnhem, and against the CLP in Barkly and Namatjira. They would need to win one of these three seats, or overtake the CLP’s current lead in Braitling or Brennan to win. That’s five options to gain the one seat they need for a majority.

This has been a poor night for the Territory Alliance. They are on track to possibly win two seats, but could also be wiped out. Their leader Terry Mills came third in his seat.

It has been a mixed bag for independents. Sitting independents Purick and Guyula have been re-elected, while sitting MP Gerry Wood has likely failed to pass the baton to his chosen successor in Nelson. Two new independents are trailing but in with a chance in Arnhem and Braitling.

That’s it for now. I will return in the next few days with more analysis of the results. But I might wait for some more complete data. And you can expect a reaction podcast early next week.

10:37 – The first mobile booth has reported in Arnhem and it has changed the shape of the race. Independent candidate Ian Gumbula, who was in a distant third after results from the pre-poll and election day vote, polled almost 35% in this booth. Labor currently leads on just over 40% of the primary vote with Gumbula second on 28.5%.

We’re still waiting for the second mobile booth but I expect that booth to be another Labor vs Gumbula contest.

Labor will still likely top the primary vote, but we don’t have a two-candidate-preferred count between Labor and Gumbula. We’ll likely need to wait for such a count before calling this race.

10:33 – I’ll be heading to bed shortly. Before I do my final wrap, we’ve just had a few more results.

In Barkly, Labor has gained the lead by 62 votes after results were reported from the Tennant Creek pre-poll booth. We’re still waiting for one mobile booth. The CLP did well on the other two mobile booths but the remaining booth could look different. Still in play, but I’ve moved this seat from CLP ahead to ALP ahead.

In Namatjira, the ALP’s lead has been cut to 30 votes.

10:19 – I’ve switched Braitling from ALP ahead to CLP ahead. The pre-poll booth was very good for the CLP, and gives them 51.3% of the CLP-Labor 2PP count. Independent Kim Hopper is now a lot further behind Labor, making it less plausible that she could overtake Labor and win. But I still won’t call this seat.

10:03 – I’ve also called Goyder for independent MP Kezia Purick. I’ve also changed classification for Fong Lim and Blain to clarify that they are likely for Labor and CLP respectively, but we are waiting for the correct 2CP count.

9:58 – We’ve just received the preference count from the Darwin pre-poll booth for Port Darwin, and Labor now leads by 221 votes. That’s enough to call that seat for Labor.

9:56 – Labor has taken a big lead in Namatjira thanks to winning over 80% of the two-candidate-preferred vote in the mobile booth. This gives Labor at least 11 seats, but is likely enough for them to get to a majority once some other seats are resolved.

9:07 – We have more results in Araluen, and Lambley’s lead has narrowed to just 13 votes. That seat probably won’t be called tonight.

8:49 – Labor is leading in Arnhem, but not by enough to call the seat.

8:32 – Sitting Territory Alliance MP Robyn Lambley is currently leading in Araluen by 42 votes, but we don’t have two-candidate-preferred figures from the main pre-poll booth, where the CLP did very well on primary votes and a lot of votes were cast. It seems likely the CLP will take the lead when that booth reports.

It is not clear who will come in the top two in Katherine. Labor is in first place on 32.8%, with the CLP on 32.1%, Territory Alliance on 30.3% and an independent on 4.8%. The current two-candidate-preferred count has TA beating the CLP 56-44 but we don’t know if that will be the count. Independent preferences and the remaining uncounted votes will decide which candidates come in the top two, and we likely won’t know if we have the right preference count until that is all resolved.

8:29 – I haven’t called Goyder for independent MP Kezia Purick because there’s a lot of votes left to count, but she’s on 56.8% of the 2CP count.

8:28 – We finally have some results from Gwoja, where sitting Namatjira MP Chansey Paech is running for Labor. He is winning easily. Called a tenth seat for Labor.

8:27 – I have the CLP leading in Brennan, Barkly, Blain, Namatjira and Nelson.

Brennan is a traditional CLP seat but was won by Labor in 2016. The CLP is leading by 42 votes (52.1%) but a lot of votes are yet to be counted.

Barkly is held by retiring Labor MP Gerry McCarthy. The CLP’s Steve Edgington is currently leading by 114 votes but there’s a lot of votes yet to be counted. He should do well at the Tennant Creek pre-poll which would likely lock in the result for him, but the first mobile booth is yet to report and is likely to be a lot of votes.

Blain is held by Territory Alliance leader Terry Mills, but he is languishing in third place on 23.2%. The CLP is second on 35.6%. The original 2CP count included Mills, so we’re waiting for a Labor vs CLP count. Seems likely the CLP will win.

Namatjira had been a safe Labor seat, but it has been dragged closer to Alice Springs and post-redistribution estimates made the seat an effective tie between Labor and the CLP, leading to the sitting MP to jump for a neighbouring seat. The CLP is leading by just 18 votes with more booths yet to report, including the mobile booth which should be strong for Labor.

Nelson is held by retiring independent MP Gerry Wood. He endorsed Beverley Ratahi to run in his place. She is currently trailing the CLP by 84 votes, which is a sizeable percentage lead, but a lot of votes are yet to be counted.

8:20 – I have Labor leading in Fong Lim, Port Darwin and Braitling.

In Fong Lim, Labor is on 46.6% of the primary vote, with the CLP trailing with 32.2%. We don’t have a two-candidate-preferred count because the sitting TA MP, Jeff Collins, was included in that count but is coming a distant third. It is likely that Labor has a comfortable lead, but we will have to wait.

Labor is leading by 91 votes (54%) in Port Darwin, but a number of booths are yet to report.

I have already explained Braitling – very complex seat.

8:18 – I was counting Mulka as a seat where Labor was leading, as former Labor MP Lynne Walker was a handful of votes ahead of her successor Yingiya Mark Guyula, but he has taken a solid lead of 394 votes after results reported from the other mobile booth. We don’t have any postal votes, which were very good for Labor in 2016, but there would need to be a huge increase in the number of votes for this to change the result. I am calling that seat for Guyula.

8:10 – By my count Labor has won nine seats: Arafura, Casuarina, Drysdale, Fannie Bay, Johnston, Karama, Nightcliff, Sanderson and Wanguri. So they need to win four more for a majority. Meanwhile the CLP has only clearly won their two seats of Daly and Spillett.

I count four seats where Labor is currently in the lead, and five others where the CLP is in the lead. We have very little or no data in Arnhem and Gwoja (although Gwoja is a probable Labor gain). At the moment I have TA ahead in Araluen and Katherine (more on that soon) and the independent leading in Goyder.

On those numbers, Labor looks very likely to hold on to government and likely to win a majority.

8:01 – Sorry I am now back from a brief break. In my last post I said that Labor is coming third in Braitling. They were actually in second place, but third behind the combined total of independent votes. Labor is currently just 14 votes ahead of progressive independent Kim Hopper (20.4% vs 19.3%) with the main pre-poll booth waiting to report. There are also 123 Greens votes, 136 TA votes and 59 votes for independent MP Scott McConnell, more than enough to potentially push Hopper into second, even if she doesn’t come second on primary votes. Labor is currently ahead of the CLP on the two-candidate-preferred count, 53-47, and Hopper may well be in a position to also win if she can come in the top two. This is probably the most interesting seat to watch.

7:23 – Labor is currently leading in the very marginal seat of Brennan, but are coming third in another Labor seat in Braitling. Neither seat is a traditional Labor seat.

7:22 – The count is most advanced in Mulka, where only two candidates are running, and former Labor MP Lynne Walker is 32 votes ahead of sitting independent MP Yingiya Mark Guyula, who won by just eight votes in 2016. This seat looks close. We are waiting for one of the mobile booths, and Guyula won the other seat easily.

7:19 – Labor looks set for an easy retain in Casuarina. They are in the lead off a small sample in their most marginal seat of Karama and are narrowly behind in Port Darwin.

7:18 – In the Labor seat of Barkly, where the sitting MP Gerry McCarthy has retired, it looks like the CLP is leading with two mobile booths in – you’d expect these both to be relatively good for Labor. Tennant Creek pre-poll is yet to report and that should be a big booth, but I’d guess that would be relatively strong for the CLP.

7:17 – We’re starting to get some results now. The Territory Alliance’s Robyn Lambley is leading on the two-candidate-preferred count in Araluen, while the party’s leader Terry Mills is coming third on primary votes in Blain, which may mean he is knocked out and the seat could go to the CLP.

6:00 – Polls have just closed in the Northern Territory election. I’ll be back with updates throughout the evening.

NT 2020 – election day


8:00am – Polls have just opened for election day in the Northern Territory.

There has been a tremendous number of votes cast before election day. As of Friday evening, over 75,000 votes have been cast – that includes pre-poll votes, mobile polling in small communities, and postal votes received so far. There will be more postal votes to report.

This adds up to 53.5% of all enrolled voters. It’s 48% higher than the equivalent figure at this point in 2016. It seems certain that turnout today will be much lower than in previous elections.

Antony Green has published data on turnout levels per seat, indicating that over 60% of enrolled voters have already voted in three electorates.

I probably won’t be posting regularly through the day but you can use this post to comment on any events that happen today, and I’ll be back at 6pm (6:30pm on the Australian east coast) to cover the results.

Podcast #40: The day before the NT election


Ben was joined today by Duncan McDonnell from Griffith University and podcast regular Kevin Bonham to discuss tomorrow’s election in the Northern Territory.

Check out Ben’s guide to the NT election.

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.