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Fisher by-election live

Fisher by-election primary votes – all booths reporting, no declaration votes reported

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected %
Heidi Harris Liberal 5,126 35.05 -0.05 35.18%
Jeanie Walker Independent 140 0.96 +0.96 0.96%
Nat Cook Labor 4,077 27.88 +10.14 27.96%
Rob De Jonge Independent 545 3.73 +3.73 3.73%
Bob Couch Stop Population Growth Now 187 1.28 +1.28 1.28%
Dan Woodyatt Independent 3,291 22.50 -15.95 21.83%
Malwina Wyra Greens 582 3.98 -0.75 4.35%
Dan Golding Independent 677 4.63 +4.63 4.63%

Fisher by-election two-party-preferred votes – all booths reporting, no declaration votes reported

Candidate Party Votes %
Heidi Harris Liberal 7,115 49.07
Nat Cook Labor 7,384 50.93

9:01pm - With no more results expected tonight, I would have to say Labor is the favourite to win in an extremely close race.

8:59pm – Labor has won 62.44% of preferences distributed tonight, with the Liberal Party winning 37.56%. If you apply the swings we saw on the booths to the March declaration vote, and then distribute preferences from Woodyatt, the Greens and other minor candidates in the same proportions, then Labor wins the declaration vote by 50.55%. Without knowing how big that vote is, that would see Labor win with a slightly reduced margin. Having said that, this assumes that the declaration vote is similar to what it was in March. We can’t assume that.

8:53pm – And we now have the final 2PP figures for election day – the Liberal Party narrowly winning Aberfoyle Park North. This leaves Labor leading by 269 votes before the inclusion of declaration votes. According to Antony Green there has been a big increase in the number of prepoll votes which makes it hard to predict how they will break.

8:21pm – Using the same model as before (which actually underestimated Labor’s preference flow slightly), I expect the Liberals to win Aberfoyle Park North but not by enough to offset Labor’s current lead. Then it will all come down to declaration votes. In March, there was 5865 declaration votes in Fisher. If Labor holds on to a lead of 227 votes after Aberfoyle Park North reports, then the Liberal Party would need 51.9% of the 2PP to win.

8:17pm – We just got the primary votes for Aberfoyle Park North, and the 2PP figures for Reynella East and Happy Valley West. Those 2PP figures have pushed Labor into first place by more than I predicted – they’re leading by 371 votes. Aberfoyle Park North also saw a solid pro-Labor swing but not as big as some other booths.

8:12pm – If you look at the three Aberfoyle Park booths that have reported votes, the Liberal Party is leading 2020-1989 – a 31-vote lead. If something similar happens at Aberfoyle Park North – a reasonably large booth – then Labor may end up ahead by about 100 votes before declaration votes are counted.

8:09pm – So far there are six booths reporting 2PP figures, and in those booths the minor party vote is splitting roughly 60% to Labor and 40% to the Liberal Party. If you extrapolate that to Reynella East and Happy Valley West, then Labor turns a 386 vote deficit into a 157-vote lead. However Labor is not expected to do quite as well at the ninth booth, Aberfoyle Park North, from which we’ve heard nothing.

8:04pm – We now have eight out of nine booths reporting and the ALP is well ahead of Woodyatt. There’s roughly 14% of the vote with other candidates but it’s hard to see Woodyatt overtaking Labor – quite a lot of that will flow to Labor or Liberal.

7:54pm – Labor has also topped the primary votes in Happy Valley West, which has pushed Cook ahead of Woodyatt on primary votes. The projection model is holding steady.

7:45pm – We’re now missing primary votes from Aberfoyle Park North, Happy Valley West and Reynella East. Happy Valley West, Reynella East and the abolished booth of Woodcroft were the only booths where Labor polled over 20% in March 2014. They were also the three worst booths for Bob Such. This is why my model is suggesting Labor will overtake Woodyatt, but that certainly could be wrong.

7:42pm – Vote after preferences now reported from Happy Valley and the Liberal Party won – just. This narrows the Liberal lead from 52.8% to 52.2%.

7:37pm – Now have the 2PP figures for Aberfoyle Park Central and the primary votes for Aberfoyle Park, and they are both good for Labor. Labor has now won the vote in the two Aberfoyle Park booths to report 2PP figures. In the two booths reporting primary votes but no 2PP, Labor is up over 10% and the Liberal Party is down 2%. Overall, the Liberal Party is only leading by 2.8% after preferences off a sample biased towards them.

7:25pm – We’ve just added another Aberfoyle Park booth – four out of nine booths are in Aberfoyle Park – and we saw a 0.3% swing against the Liberal Party and a swing of over 11% to the ALP. We haven’t yet gotten 2PP figures for either Aberfoyle Park booth.

7:22pm – I’ve also now added in the two-party-preferred count between Liberal and Labor. There are no swings or projections possible on these figures, but it’s worth noting that Labor narrowly won in Aberfoyle Park South. We haven’t gotten results from Happy Valley, but there was a primary vote swing of over 10% to Labor and 2% away from the Liberal Party there, so that should increase Labor’s 2PP vote.

7:18pm – An even bigger booth, Happy Valley, has about as many voters as the first three booths combined. The Liberal vote has actually gone down at Happy Valley by 2%.

7:14pm – The first large booth – Aberfoyle Park South – has reported, and the Liberal vote has dropped to 41%. The projection is roughly the same – Liberal on 41%, Labor 25%, Woodyatt on 17.5%.

7:09pm – With two booths reporting, the Liberal Party is on 50% of the primary votes, with independent Dan Woodyatt second on 21% and Nat Cook on 14%. However my projection suggests that these booths are strong for the Liberal Party and particularly bad for Labor, and if the trends continue (comparing Woodyatt to Such’s vote in March), then Labor will overtake Woodyatt and the Liberal vote will drop to 42%. Heidi Harris should still win on that vote.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in the by-election for the state seat of Fisher in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. I’ll be back with results as soon as they are available.

Fisher by-election – election day

Voters are going to the polls today in the by-election for the southern Adelaide seat of Fisher in the South Australian parliament. The by-election was triggered by the death of independent MP Bob Such.

I’ll be back with live coverage of the results from 6pm Adelaide time (6:30pm AEDT). In the meantime you can read the Tally Room guide to the Fisher by-election.

William Bowe of Poll Bludger also wrote about the by-election in yesterday’s Crikey: in particular considering the prospects of independent candidate Dan Woodyatt, who is attempting to position himself as the successor to Bob Such.

VIC 2014 – results update

The last week has been painfully slow as we wait for the final figures from the Victorian state election.

At the moment, there are a small number of seats still in contention. Labor holds slim leads in Bentleigh and Frankston, but this is probably enough to hold on in those two seats. In Prahran, it still remains unclear whether Labor or the Greens will come second. If Labor comes second, they are trailing the Liberal Party by a small margin and could well take the lead when all votes are counted. If the Greens come second, we have no idea if they will do better or worse than Labor after preferences.

The VEC still has not counted a lot of absentee votes in most seats, and before completing that process they have moved on to doing a ‘recheck’ of all votes cast.

This process is important, but frustratingly the VEC has decided to take down all vote data from before the rechecking. In contrast, the AEC only replaces original data with rechecked data when it comes available. The VEC’s decision means that in some seats the number of votes in the results on the website (and on websites such as ABC Elections that rely on the VEC for data) dropped from 30-40,000 to less than 10,000 overnight.

This makes it particularly difficult to assess what is going on in the Legislative Council. There are two different tools which usefully convert the VEC results data into a prediction of results – Antony Green’s calculator and Tom Clement’s analysis at Geeklections. But both rely on the VEC results, and huge chunks of the upper house results are missing. Sometimes the pattern of results is biased, with particular towns or electorates counted in whole and others not counted at all. As an example, the VEC’s website lists less than 20% turnout for Western Metro region, but speaking to a local Greens scrutineer they had data for 70% turnout, which entirely changes the results.

So I won’t focus on the Legislative Council today, and instead look at the pattern of swings in the Legislative Assembly.

Out of the 82 ‘classic’ seats where Labor and Coalition candidates both came in the top two, Labor gained a positive swing after preferences in 72 seats, and suffered small negative swings in ten seats.

The largest swing to Labor was in Morwell, where Labor’s vote after preferences jumped by 11.5%. Labor gained swings of over 6% in another 11 seats.

Looking at swing by upper house region, the Labor two-party-preferred vote went up the most in Eastern Victoria (an average 4.8% swing) and Southern Metropolitan (4.2%): both regions dominated by the Coalition. In South-Eastern Metropolitan, Labor’s vote only went up by an average of 1.6%, despite gaining three extra seats. This is partly due to Labor’s vote falling in Dandenong, Narre Warren North and Narre Warren South.

Labor also competed with the Greens for four seats in the inner city (not counting Prahran, where the Liberal Party will come in the top two). The Greens gained a large 6.8% swing in Melbourne, and smaller swings of 2.1% and 2.7% in Richmond and Northcote respectively.

The result was a good one for the Greens, winning their first lower house seat and on track to increase their number of MLCs. At the moment it looks likely that the Greens will win five upper house seats, one lower house seat, and still have a chance in Prahran. But this result did not come about due to a general rise in the Greens vote. At the moment, the Greens vote looks steady at 11.2% in the lower house, after earlier appearing to have dropped.

In fact, the Greens have managed to increase their vote in the inner city (particularly in Melbourne), while the vote dropped in other suburbs. Despite campaigning hard in the four key seats at the southern end of the North Metro region, the Greens experienced an average swing of only 0.6% across the region, thanks to big drops in the Greens votes in the outer north of Melbourne. The Greens lower house vote also dropped in West Metro and increased in Western Victoria.

VIC 2014 – lower house results wrap

Labor is set to form government, but the results have proven to be extremely complicated. At the moment, Labor is only guaranteed to win 44 out of 88 seats, although they are leading in three other seats. In this post, I run through the breakdown of seats that are still close, and which seats Labor regained.

If you’re interested in the results of the Victorian election, you might want to listen to the podcast of the Election Nerds show on 2SER from Saturday evening. I joined the program towards the end of the hour to discuss the results.

At the time of writing, there are still a number of seats where the result has not been locked down.

The ALP has effectively ‘regained’ four of the five seats that were held by Labor MPs but redistributed into Liberal seats: Bellarine, Monbulk, Wendouree and Yan Yean. In addition, Labor has gained Mordialloc.

At the moment the only Labor seat the party has not retained is Melbourne – the Greens are leading, but are not currently certain of victory.

This brings Labor to a total of 44 seats, which is one short of a majority.

Labor is then leading in three other seats on the Frankston line: Bentleigh, Carrum and Frankston.

After early scares, the Coalition appears to have held on in Morwell, Ripon and South Barwon. In Ripon, the Liberal Party has in practice gained the seat, which was redistributed from a Labor seat into a Liberal seat.

The Greens’ chances in Northcote, Richmond and Brunswick have disappeared, but the race is still entirely up in the air in Prahran. The Labor candidate is 52 votes ahead of the Greens candidate, with 912 votes for other candidates that could change the balance. The Liberal Party is leading the ALP after preferences by only 178 votes, assuming Labor comes second.

In the following table, I’ve run through the eight closest seats. In each seat, I’ve estimated how many votes are left to count, based on the 2010 turnout figures, and then used that to calculate what two-candidate-preferred (2CP) vote would be needed by the party coming second for them to overturn the current outcome.

Seat Votes so far Remaining votes (est) Leading party Current 2CP 2CP necessary for change
Bentleigh 26,655 11,756 ALP 51.21% 52.59%
Carrum 25,872 15,813 ALP 52.09% 53.25%
Frankston 24,387 14,037 ALP 51.29% 52.07%
Melbourne 22,745 15,331 GRN 50.74% 51.05%
Morwell 25,385 16,977 NAT 51.70% 52.41%
Prahran 22,717 16,470 LIB 50.92% 51.21%
Ripon 31,420 10,973 LIB 51.46% 53.94%
South Barwon 23,722 18,685 LIB 51.76% 52.16%

Update Monday 10:40pm

I’ve added in updated figures. I’ve also added in an assumption that some of the remaining votes will be informally (obviously) which makes it slightly harder for the trailing candidate to win. There has been no update in Carrum, but in every other seat a large proportion of the remaining votes have been counted.

The Coalition has strongly solidified their holds on Morwell, Ripon and South Barwon. This gives the Coalition 38 seats in the Legislative Assembly.

Labor has also solidified their hold on Bentleigh, Carrum and Frankston – none of these seats are completely out of the reach of the Liberal Party, but the gap is widening substantially. It’s also likely that the next update from Carrum will push that seat out of reach. These three seats bring Labor to 47 seats.

Today’s updates in Melbourne have also made it much harder for Labor to win that seat, and it’s hard to see Labor winning.

Prahran remains extremely close. Labor has regained the two-party-preferred lead by the slimmest of margins. In addition, Labor is not certain of coming second after preferences. Labor’s lead over the Greens is now over 600 votes, but will likely shrink with the addition of absentee votes. This is not likely to be enough to put the Greens in second place on primary votes, but the Greens are also likely to benefit from Animal Justice Party preferences that could still push them into second place.

It’s almost impossible, without a Liberal-Green two-candidate-preferred count, to predict whether Labor’s preferences would break to the Greens in sufficient numbers to give them the seat.

Seat Votes so far Remaining votes (est) Leading party Current 2CP 2CP necessary for change
Bentleigh 34,096 4,315 ALP 50.46% 53.63%
Carrum 25,872 15,813 ALP 52.09% 53.43%
Frankston 32,853 5,571 ALP 50.32% 51.86%
Melbourne 27,288 10,788 GRN 50.96% 52.43%
Morwell 39,757 2,605 NAT 51.76% 76.85%
Prahran 30,328 8,859 ALP 50.02% 50.08%
Ripon 35,629 6,764 LIB 51.69% 58.88%
South Barwon 35,637 6,770 LIB 53.34% 67.58%

Vic 2014 – the complicated, confusing Legislative Council

The current count in the Legislative Council is extremely complicated, with both major parties falling a long way short of a majority. In this post, I run through the latest in each region’s count.

But first, a summary. Labor is going to find it very hard to construct a majority. It is possible that they will require both the Greens and an alliance of small right-wingers. However it’s also possible that extra gains by Labor and vaguely progressive groups like the Sex Party and Vote 1 Local Jobs will make it slightly easier, but still very complicated.

Overall, the ALP is on track to win at least 13 seats, with the Liberal Party winning 13, the Greens winning four, and the Shooters, Sex Party and DLP each winning one.

In addition there are five races that are too close to call. In short, these are:

  • East Metro – Labor vs Greens
  • North Vic – Labor vs Country Alliance vs Shooters (two seats)
  • South Metro – Liberal vs Sex Party
  • West Vic – Shooters vs Palmer United vs Vote 1 Local Jobs (one seat)

At the moment, the combined vote of Labor and the Greens adds up to eighteen seats, with 21 needed to pass legislation. Labor could win a nineteenth centre-left seat in North Vic. If they do so, they will still need two other minor party votes. If the Shooters win in Western Victoria or Northern Victoria they would be able to bring the government up to 21 votes, but it would be hard to get the Greens and Shooters to work together.

However there is an alternative scenario where Labor and the Greens could govern with the Sex Party if they hold on to their lead in North Metro and overtake the Liberal Party in South Metro, or possibly by working with Vote 1 Local Jobs if they win a seat in Western Victoria and Labor or the Sex Party fails in Northern Victoria or South Metro respectively.

Please come along for the ride.

Eastern Metropolitan

The Liberal Party has retained their three seats, and Labor has retained one of their two seats. The final seat is a race between Labor MLC Brian Tee and Greens candidate Samantha Dunn.

In the count, the first two Liberals and the first Labor candidate were elected on primary votes, with the third Liberal and the second Labor on about 75% of a quota and the Greens on about 65% of a quota. Through most of the count, minor party preferences funnel into the Australian Christians and the Voluntary Euthanasia Party.

Voluntary Euthanasia preferences mostly flow to the Greens, taking Dunn close to a quota, with some going to the Liberal Party. The exclusion of the Christians elects both the Liberal Party and the Greens. The Greens just narrowly pass a quota, and presumably most of the 0.2 quota surplus sitting with the Liberal Party would flow to the ALP, so the margin of victory for the Greens on current votes is about 2.5% of a quota, which is definitely vulnerable.

Eastern Victoria

The result in Eastern Victoria seems reasonably clear – the ALP has retained both of their seats, while the Coalition has retained two of their three seats. The third Coalition candidate – Liberal MLC Andrew Ronalds – has lost his seat to the Shooters and Fishers candidate Jeffrey Bourman.

The second Labor candidate’s margin of victory over the Greens is 25% of a quota – which is probably enough to not change.

Northern Metropolitan

In Northern Metropolitan, the ALP has retained their two seats, the Greens have retained their one seat and the Liberal Party has held one of their two seats. The fifth seat is likely to go to the Sex Party, with an outside chance for Family First. The Sex Party’s current margin over Family First for the final seat is about 17% of a quota, which will likely be enough to hold on.

Northern Victoria

The ALP, Liberal Party and Nationals have all retained one seat in this region. The final two seats are a race between the Shooters and Fishers, the Australian Country Alliance and Labor.

On the current count, the Shooters are elected on Coalition preferences, and then Labor preferences elect the Country Alliance over the Greens. If Labor overtakes the Greens they would win on Greens preferences. This gap currently is about 0.8% of the total vote.

South Eastern Metropolitan

The ALP and the Liberal Party have each retained two seats. The fifth seat (currently held by sitting Labor MLC Lee Tarlamis) is up for grabs. That seat is likely to go to the Greens’ Nina Springle, with small chances for the Sex Party or Labor.

At the key count, the Greens are on 52% of a quota, with Labor on 47% and the Sex Party on 37%. The Sex Party’s preferences then push the Greens well ahead of Labor, and the Greens then win on Labor’s preferences.

Southern Metropolitan

The Liberal Party has definitely won two seats, and Labor and the Greens one each. The Liberal Party is likely to win the final seat, but it could go to the Sex Party.

Western Metropolitan

Western Metropolitan looks set to produce a clear result: two Labor, one Liberal, one Green, one DLP.

Western Victoria

The ALP and the Liberal Party have each retained their two seats, with the third Coalition candidate, Nationals MLC David O’Brien, definitely losing his seat.

The race for the final seat is wide open. Tom Clement’s calculator gives a 57.5% chance to the Shooters, a 19.2% chance to Vote 1 Local Jobs and a 17.1% chance to the Palmer United Party. Currently Antony Green’s calculator is predicting a win for Vote 1 Local Jobs, as the Shooters are currently on track to fall behind the LDP by 38 votes in a key round and not make it far enough to win. If the Shooters overtake the LDP, that will change.

VIC 2014 – results live

10:52pm – My last comment is about the Legislative Council. As it currently stands, the Legislative Council will include 14 Liberals and 2 Nationals, 13 Labor MLCs, five Greens, three Shooters and one member each for Family First, Country Alliance and the Democratic Labour Party.

I will return tomorrow with a focus on the upper house, but for now it’s worth noting that, while the ALP will hold a majority in the lower house, they will face a very difficult upper house. Labor will need to gain eight additional votes. Unless they win over the Coalition, they will need the Greens plus three of the small right-wing MLCs – which could either be the Shooters or all three of the other right-wingers. The six right-wingers are not enough on their own, nor are the Greens. Have a good night.

10:46pm – You’ll find here maps of the Victorian electoral map (both regional and metropolitan) – seats that have changed hands are shown in darker colours, and the three undecided seats are in white.

Vicresults1 Vicresults2

9:56pm – This adds up to 46 Labor seats, 37 Coalition seats, 1 Green, 1 Independent and three undecided seats.

9:52pm – I’d like to quickly revisit the Legislative Assembly. Despite a close race, it looks like Labor has retained Brunswick. In South Barwon, the Liberal Party has held on, and they look likely to win Ripon, which was Labor-held but notionally Liberal. This leaves three seats undecided: Morwell, Richmond and Prahran.

9:50pm – In Western Victoria, the Coalition and Labor have each retained two seats, with the final seat looking likely to go to a minor party – with the most likely winner being the Shooters. There’s a small chance for either the Greens, Palmer United, Vote 1 Local Jobs or the DLP.

9:49pm – In Western Metropolitan, the ALP has retained two seats and the Liberal Party has retained one seat. Tom at Geeklections gives the DLP and the Greens both a good chance to win, but Labor has a chance of winning a third seat instead of one of those two parties.

9:42pm – In South Metropolitan, the Liberal Party has won two seats, and probably three seats, and Labor has won one seat. The final seat is a race between Labor, the Greens and the Sex Party.

9:37pm – In South Eastern Metropolitan, the Labor and Liberal parties have each won two seats. The final seat is a race between Labor, the Greens and the Sex Party.

9:35pm – In Northern Victoria, the Coalition has held on to two seats and Labor one, with the final two seats a race between Labor, Coalition and the Country Alliance with chances for the Sex Party or the Shooters and Fishers.

9:29pm – In Northern Metropolitan, the ALP has retained two seats, with the Liberal Party and the Greens retaining one seat each. The final seat is a race between Labor, Liberal, Family First and the Sex Party.

9:27pm – In Eastern Victoria, the Shooters and Fishers are in a strong position to win one seat off the Liberal/National coalition. The ALP is likely to retain both of their seats, but could lose one of their seats to the Greens.

9:19pm – I’m trying to understand what’s going on in the Legislative Council now but unfortunately I can’t get ABC Elections to work. So I’m looking at Geeklections. In East Metro, the Liberal Party is likely to retain their three seats and the ALP is in a race with the Greens for one of their two seats.

9:14pm – The Greens are now 25 votes ahead of Labor in Prahran.

9:00pm – Here’s a quick summary of the current situation. Labor has held on to the five seats where the redistribution flipped a Labor seat into a notional Liberal seat – these five seats are Bellarine, Monbulk, Ripon, Yan Yean and Wendouree. Labor has also gained Bentleigh, Carrum, Mordialloc and Frankston in south-eastern Melbourne. The Greens have gained one Labor seat in Melbourne and has a chance of gaining Richmond and Brunswick from Labor. The Liberal Party looks likely to lose Prahran, but there is an extremely close race between Labor and Greens for second place, which will determine who wins.

7:57pm – For the Greens, they are looking very good to win in Melbourne, with possibilities in Prahran, Northcote and Brunswick, but there appears to be a swing against the Greens in Richmond.

7:50pm – I’m confident in calling that Labor has won the election. At the moment, Labor is on track to win Bellarine, Bentleigh, Carrum, Frankston, Mordialloc, Prahran and Wendouree, and is ahead in another six seats. While Labor is in danger of losing some seats to the Greens, they would still be on track to win a majority.

7:37pm – I count seven seats where Labor is definitely in the lead which are notional Liberal seats: Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Carrum, Monbulk, Bellarine, Wendouree and Yan Yean. If Labor can hold on in five of these seats they will win (excluding any losses to the Greens).

7:34pm – The Greens are currently ahead in Brunswick, but it’s far too early. I should point out that the very large swing to the Greens on primary votes is mostly due to the absence of independent candidate Phil Cleary, who ran for Brunswick in 2010 but is running for the upper house in 2014.

7:32pm – Labor is in a very strong position to win.

7:24pm – Independent Suzanna Sheed is on 33% off a substantial number of booths in Shepparton – the ABC is projecting a safe Nationals win but I’m not sure about that.

7:20pm – Big swing against the Liberal Party in Prahran – about 2/3s to Greens and 1/3 to Labor. The Greens targetted Prahran despite being in third place – if the swings in these first two booths is maintained, the Greens will gain ground but still come third.

7:17pm – Substantial swing to Labor in marginal seats of Bentleigh, Wendouree, Yan Yean, Carrum, Mordialloc, Monbulk and Bellarine. Those six seats would be enough to put Labor in power.

7:12pm – There’s a big swing to Labor in Eildon in northern Victoria.

7:10pm – At the moment the ALP is up about 3% on the two-party-preferred vote – that’s easily enough for Labor to win if it is a uniform swing.

7:08pm – The ABC has given away a large number of seats but none of them particularly marginal.

6:31pm – We’re getting the usual early figures in, but nothing that tells us anything interesting.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in Victoria’s state election. We should start getting some solid results around 6:45pm.

VIC 2014 – election day

Booths have just opened in Victoria for today’s state election.

I’ll be back tonight at 6pm with full coverage of the results, and in the meantime you can post your comments in this open thread.

I appeared on Radio National’s Drive program with Waleed Aly on Thursday evening to discuss the Victorian state election. You can listen to the audio here.

11:29am update – I’m hearing reports of the Greens issuing open tickets in a bunch of seats. If you have a photo of the Greens how-to-vote in your seat, can you email it to me at ben[at] or post the image in the comments below? I’m interested in the how-to-vote even if they are preferencing Labor.

5:11pm update – According to Kevin Bonham, in the following seats the Greens have decided to issue ‘open tickets’. Seats with an asterisk are considered to be marginal.

Bellarine*, Benambra, Bentleigh*, Box Hill, Buninyong*, Carrum*, Caulfield, Forest Hill*, Keysborough, Mitcham, Mordialloc*, Monbulk*, Narre Warren North, Oakleigh, Ringwood*, Rowville, South Barwon*, Wendouree*, Yan Yean*.

I’m also aware of the Greens giving an open ticket in Ferntree Gully, and don’t really have a good sense of how many other seats could also be using open tickets. The only seats where I have confirmed that the Greens are preferencing Labor are in Frankston, Prahran, Melbourne and Eltham.

It isn’t a new thing for the Greens to issue ‘open tickets’ in compulsory-preferential election. The Victorian Greens offered a deal to Labor to swap preferences across the state, which was loudly rejected by Labor leader Daniel Andrews.

As I understand the Victorian Greens constitution, the state party has the power to decide preferences, but the convention is that local branches are given autonomy when no agreement is reached – unsurprisingly, a bunch of local Greens branches chose to not direct preferences.

It isn’t strange that different branches would make different decisions (and that they may be influenced by the anti-Greens rhetoric from Labor), and it isn’t the first time that some local Greens branches in Victoria chose not to direct preferences. In practice, most Greens voters preference Labor, and an open ticket only has a subtle effect which would only matter in an extremely tight race.

While the decision in itself is not a huge shock, it is unusual how the Victorian Greens chose to hide their preferencing decisions. If you visit the Victorian Greens website, you a directed to a statewide how-to-vote which shows preferences in all 88 seats. The Greens also appear to have used how-to-votes giving preferences to Labor at pre-poll booths right up until yesterday.

When Victorian Labor kicked up a fuss about the Liberal Party and the Greens both registering open-ticket how-to-votes on the same day (despite the narrow registration window making that almost inevitable) the Victorian Greens director was quoted as follows:

Ms Brown said the Greens always registered open and preference how to vote cards, with local branches then able to choose.

But she also said if there were open tickets it would be in very few seats.

“The inner city seats will not be running open tickets,” Ms Brown said.

Considering that at least twenty seats are using open tickets, including a large number of key marginals, that statement seems to be at the very least misleading. Those quotes were given at least six days ago – by which point it would have been necessary for the Greens to have decided on all of their preferences for election day. So did the Greens know they were issuing open tickets in key marginals while implying otherwise in the media?

Seat #88: Wendouree

Wendouree1-2PPWendouree is a very marginal seat covering the western suburbs of Ballarat, including Wendouree, Brown Hill, Delacombe, Alfredton and Redan. Wendouree is a new name for the seat of Ballarat West.

Labor’s Sharon Knight has held Ballarat West since 2010. She won Ballarat West by a 1.1% margin in 2010, but following the redistribution the newly-named Wendouree is a notional Liberal seat by a 0.1% margin.

Read more

Seat #87: Yan Yean

Yanyean1-2PPYan Yean is a marginal seat on the northern fringe of Melbourne, covering Yarrambat, Diamond Creek, Wattle Glen, Hurstbridge, Laurimar, Merrnda, Whittlesea, Beveridge and Wallan.

Labor’s Danielle Green has held Yan Yean since 2002. She held the seat by a 4.1% margin at the 2010 election, but the recent redistribution turned the seat into a seat that is effectively a dead heat – theoretically a notional Liberal seat with a 0.1% margin.

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Seat #86: Carrum

Carrum1-2PPCarrum is a marginal Liberal seat in south-eastern Melbourne, covering Seaford, Skye, Carrum Downs, Bonbeach, Carrum and Patterson Lakes.

Carrum is held by Liberal MP Donna Bauer, who won the seat in 2010 off Labor’s Jenny Lindell, who had held the seat since 1999. Bauer’s margin was cut from 2.2% to 0.3% in the recent redistribution.

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