By-election Archive

Vasse 2014 – results and maps

Last night’s Vasse state by-election in Western Australia was narrowly won by the Liberal Party, after a large surge in support for the Nationals. In 2013, the ALP came second and the Liberal Party easily won with 71.2% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Labor did not run in yesterday’s by-election, and most of Labor’s vote flowed to the Greens, who came close to doubling their vote.

2014 result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Libby Mettam Liberal 8,665 44.4 -12.9
Peter Gordon Nationals 5,573 28.5 +21.2
Michael Baldock Greens 3,496 17.9 +7.9
Peter Johnson Independent 853 4.4 +4.4
Wayne Barnett Australian Christians 680 3.5 +3.5
Teresa Van Lieshout Independent 265 1.4 +1.4
Labor 0 0.0 -12.4
Independent 0 0.0 -11.0
Family First 0 0.0 -2.0

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

Candidate Party Votes % Swing
Libby Mettam Liberal 10,435 53.4
Peter Gordon Nationals 9,088 46.6

Most of the vote was won by Liberal, Nationals and Greens, and the patterns of this vote is quite interesting, including the pattern of swings.

A majority of the vote in the electorate lies in the town of Busselton. The remaining rural booths were split between those in the Busselton council area (as “North”) and those in the Augusta-Margaret River council area (as “South”). I have split the booths into the same areas as I used for the by-election guide.

Interestingly, the Nationals vote was highest in Busselton, with 32.7%. The Greens outpolled the Nationals in rural booths overall, and outpolled the Nationals at six out of nine booths outside of the Busselton urban area.

The Liberal Party’s primary vote was highest with 45% in northern rural booths, with 40% in Busselton and 39.4% in the two booths in Augusta-Margaret River.

The Greens vote was highest in the two small booths at the southern end of the electorate, and then in the rural booths to the west of Busselton. There are six polling places in rural parts of Vasse where the Greens polled over 20%, but there are also two booths to the south-east of Busselton where the Greens polled less than 10%. The Greens vote in Busselton was 15.3%, and most booths were close to the average.

Looking at the Liberal/National two-candidate-preferred vote, the Liberal Party won the two-candidate-preferred vote in the northern and rural booths. They won seven out of nine booths outside of Busselton.

In Busselton, the Nationals won 51% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. The Nationals won the two larger booths, with the Liberal Party winning the two smaller booths. The Nationals margin of victory was larger in the booths where they won than in the Liberal booths, giving them a majority of the vote.

It’s also worth examining the swing against the Liberal Party on primary votes. The swing against the Liberal Party was much higher in Busselton and a number of booths to the south-east of Busselton.

Voter group GRN % NAT % LIB % LIB 2PP LIB swing Total votes % of votes
Busselton 15.32 32.68 39.96 49.01 -19.41 6952 46.65
North 23.39 23.37 44.90 55.18 -11.18 5399 36.23
South 29.63 26.07 39.38 50.14 -6.16 1097 7.36
Other votes 15.28 21.47 55.88 63.50 -1.90 1453 9.75
Two-candidate-preferred votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Two-candidate-preferred votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Nationals primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Nationals primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Greens primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Greens primary votes at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary vote swings at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Liberal primary vote swings at the 2014 Vasse by-election.

Vasse and Casuarina – belated results

Apologies for my absence tonight, I was busy and unable to cover the results in the two by-elections held today: Casuarina in the Northern Territory, and Vasse in Western Australia.

Polls closed just over two hours ago in Vasse, and it appears that the Liberal Party has narrowly held on against the Nationals after significant swings away from the Liberal Party.

We have all primary and two-candidate-preferred votes in, except for those cast early in person.

The Liberal Party is sitting on 52.7% of the two-candidate-preferred vote, up against the Nationals. For most of the count, we had no 2CP figures due to the Nationals and the Greens both in with a chance of coming second, but most of the 2CP vote came in a short time ago after it became clear that the Nationals had outpolled the Greens. In 2013, the Liberal Party won 71.2% of the two-party-preferred vote against Labor.

The Liberal Party has suffered a swing of 14% on primary votes, dropping from 57.3% to 43.3%. The Nationals vote increased from 7.3% to 27.7%. The Greens vote also increased from 10% to 19.3%. Labor did not run in the by-election, and an independent who polled 11% in 2013 also did not run, freeing up over 20% of the vote to be picked up by other candidates.

Swings against the Liberal Party by booth varied wildly. The Liberal Party vote increased by 9% at Rosa Brook, and otherwise the swing against the Liberal Party ranged from 1.4% in Dunsborough to 26.5% in Yoongarillup.

I’ll return tomorrow morning with booth maps showing the results of the Vasse by-election.

In the NT Legislative Assembly electorate of Casuarina, the ALP suffered a swing but held on. Northern Territory seats are very small, and the results in Casuarina were only broken down into two polling places, as well as prepoll and postal votes. The Country Liberal Party narrowly won the postal votes (by two votes) and the prepoll votes (by three votes). Labor won 55% in Nakara and 56.9% in Tiwi, for an overall Labor margin of 55.1%. This is a swing of 4.2% to the Country Liberal Party. I probably won’t return to any more coverage of Casuarina.

Guide to Vasse by-election posted

Vasse1-2PPVoters in the WA town of Busselton and surrounding areas will be going to the polls later this year in a by-election for the state electorate of Vasse, after the resignation earlier this week of former Liberal leader and Treasurer Troy Buswell.

Buswell resigned as Treasurer in March after a recent mental health breakdown, and revealed that he was living with bipolar disorder.

Vasse is a very safe Liberal seat and should be safely retained by the Liberal Party. A date has not been set yet, but the by-election should take place later this year, with a WA state election not due until March 2017.

You can now read the guide to the by-election, including 2013 election results and maps of the electorate.

Read more

Jeff McCloy resigns – yet another by-election

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Jeff McCloy, resigned his position this morning, after recent ICAC revelations that he had donated money to a number of Hunter-based Liberal MPs despite being a property developer and thus not being permitted to donate money. Two of the beneficiaries of his money have already resigned from Parliament, triggering by-elections in the NSW state seats of Newcastle and Charlestown for October 25.

McCloy’s resignation will trigger yet another by-election for the City of Newcastle.

newcastle2014To give you a sense of the geography, the following map shows the existing NSW state electorates (which will be used for the two state by-elections) with the boundaries of the City of Newcastle overlaid as a green line.

The electorate of Newcastle lies entirely within the City of Newcastle. The electorate of Charlestown is mostly in the neighbouring City of Lake Macquarie, but the suburb of Kotara is contained within the City of Newcastle and the electorate of Charlestown.

In addition, most of the Labor electorate of Wallsend, and parts of the Labor electorate of Cessnock and the Liberal electorate of Port Stephens are contained within the City of Newcastle.

It’s appealing to consider the possibility of rolling together the lord mayoral by-election with the two state by-elections, but it does have the potential to cause confusion.

If that was to happen, some Charlestown voters would be voting for the lord mayor, while most weren’t, and there would be a large number of Newcastle residents voting for a new mayor but not for a local member.

In terms of precedent, I can’t think of a recent example of a directly-elected mayor of a major Australian city resigning mid-term and triggering a by-election during the term.

Frank Sartor resigned as Lord Mayor of Sydney in 2003 when he was elected as a Labor state MP, but Lucy Turnbull filled the role until the coming election after being elected by the council. I’m not sure if that was due to the fact that the by-election would have been held so close to the coming council election. In the case of Newcastle, McCloy has resigned not even halfway through his four-year term.

In terms of scale, the Newcastle lord mayoral by-election is about the same size as a federal by-election. 85,000 formal votes were cast for Lord Mayor of Newcastle in 2012, which is about the same as the number of votes in federal electorates in 2013. For this reason, I’m considering doing a profile for that race, as well as for the two state by-elections. They will be my first priorities once I finish my guide to New Zealand 2014 this week.

Two NSW by-elections after MPs resign over ICAC donations scandal

Voters in two electorates in the Hunter region of New South Wales will be voting in by-elections in coming months, less than a year out from the next New South Wales election.

These by-elections were triggered yesterday by the resignations of Tim Owen, Member for Newcastle, and Andrew Cornwell, Member for Charlestown. Both members recently resigned from the Liberal Party over revelations around the acceptance of donations from property developers, including the now-Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Jeff McCloy.

Revelations yesterday around Owen lying to ICAC in recent days regarding whether he had returned a donation from McCloy ended with both MPs resigning from Parliament yesterday.

Newcastle covers the Newcastle city centre and areas around it, and Charlestown lies immediately south, covering parts of the Lake Macquarie area.

Over the next two weeks I will be posting guides to both by-elections. Labor has already preselected candidates for these electorates who are already out campaigning. Both seats were traditional Labor seats that were shock losses at the 2011 election, and it’s hard to see how the Liberal Party could retain the seats at the by-elections, particularly considering the circumstances that caused the by-elections.

Chris Davis resigns from Stafford

Stafford1-2PPLast Friday, embattled former LNP minister Chris Davis resigned his seat of Stafford in the Queensland state parliament.

Davis had served as Assistant Minister for Health for the last two years, but had come into conflict with the Premier and senior ministers over a number of issues, and was sacked as a minister two weeks ago after speaking against government policy.

Last Thursday, Davis voted with Labor, KAP and PUP members of Parliament against the Newman government’s laws demolishing restrictions on donations and election spending in Queensland, and followed that up by resigning from Parliament the following day.

Stafford was won by Davis off the ALP in 2012 with a 14% swing, and he was left with a 7.1% margin. Stafford covers parts of the northern suburbs of Brisbane. After the ALP won the Redcliffe by-election this year, Labor’s candidate Anthony Lynham would have to be favoured to win a Stafford by-election.

While there has been speculation about Campbell Newman not calling a by-election, and leaving the seat vacant for the next nine-ten months until the general election, that would be unprecedented, and it seems most likely that Newman will follow convention and call a by-election.

I’ve prepared a guide to the Stafford by-election, which you can click through at the following link.

Read the guide to the Stafford by-election

Blain by-election results live

8:09 – And that’s it for tonight. Short and sweet election night.

8:07 – One last point to raise before finishing this liveblog. If you assume that the Greens vote mainly flowed to Labor, it seems that roughly half of the AEU candidate’s vote flowed to the CLP, which is worth 4-5% of the total vote. The independent candidate was not friendly to the ALP with his preferences. If all of those votes had flowed to Labor, either as preferences or as primary votes, the ALP would’ve won. Of course we don’t know if those votes would have gone to Labor or CLP in the absence of the independent, or how much the how-to-vote card effected preference flows.

7:44 – Meanwhile, an election ten times the size of Blain is taking place to elect a new mayor of Willoughby in northern Sydney, after the death of the previous mayor. The four leading candidates have all polled primary votes between 16% and 23%.

7:39 – The swing to the ALP ranged from 8.2% in Rosebery to 11.6% in Moulden Park. The ALP won 53.4% in Moulden Park, but lost in the other two booths, with the CLP polling around 55% in both places.

7:34 – Votes from the Darwin pre-poll centre and all three election-day booths have all come in now, with the CLP leading with 53.2% of the vote. It seems very unlikely they could lose from this point.

7:17 – We now know more about those preference flows. At Palmerston pre-poll, 44 preferences flowed to the ALP and 43 preferences flowed to the CLP. Overall this gave the CLP 54.8% after preferences, a swing of 10.5%. This is nowhere near enough to see Blain won by the ALP.

7:13 – Antony Green is saying that if the trend at Palmerston pre-poll is reflected elsewhere, then the CLP will likely hold that seat. It sounds right to me, although we’re yet to see where the AEU candidate’s preferences flow.

7:05 – Bear in mind that there are more candidates running than in 2012. Most of that swing against the CLP didn’t go to the ALP, who only gained a swing of 4%.

7:00 – We’ve got the pre-poll votes from Palmerston, which has seen an 18.5% swing on primary votes from the Country Liberal Party. 9.3% has gone to the AEU’s candidate, who I understand to be preferencing the CLP.

6:05 – Polls have just closed in the by-election for the Northern Territory electorate of Blain, covering southern Palmerston.

Blain is on paper a safe Country Liberal seat, and the CLP needs to retain the seat to continue to hold a majority in the Legislative Assembly.

There are only three polling places plus special votes, so this by-election shouldn’t take too long to count.

In addition to Labor and the Country Liberal Party, other candidates include an independent endorsed by the NT branch of the Australian Education Union, and Greens and Citizens Electoral Council candidates.

Blain by-election – NT majority on the line

One of the smallest Australian elections will be coming up this Saturday, April 12, in the Northern Territory electorate of Blain.

Blain covers the southern suburbs of Palmerston, the major town that lays outside of Darwin. The seat was held since the 1999 by-election by Terry Mills. Mills had served as Country Liberal (CLP) leader from 2003 to 2005, and then again from 2008 until 2012, when he led the CLP back into government.

Mills lost the Chief Minister’s position to Adam Giles in March 2013, and in February 2014 he resigned from the Assembly.

In the last few weeks, the Northern Territory CLP government has suffered a crisis amongst its parliamentary ranks, one that could see the government lose its majority if it loses the Blain by-election.

Last week, three members of the CLP caucus, all indigenous members representing outback electorates, resigned from the CLP as the conclusion of a long-festering internal party conflict. At the 2012 election, a shock result saw Labor’s previously-safe outback seats almost entirely wiped out, while the ALP held on in the Darwin area.

Following the three resignations, the CLP only holds twelve seats in the 25-member Assembly. A win in Blain will protect the government’s majority, whereas a loss will force the CLP to seek an arrangement with independent Gerry Wood to stay in power.

Due to the small size of the electorate, I didn’t produce a full-sized guide to the electorate. At the 2012 election, just under 4000 formal votes were cast in Blain, and Mills won 63.2% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Antony Green recently outlined the history of swings in recent by-elections. While it is possible that Blain could fall to the ALP, it would require a substantial swing that is not unheard of, but is not that common.

Results by polling place

Polling place CLP 2PP % ALP 2PP % Formal % of votes
Moulden Park 58.20 41.80 823 20.58
Rosebery 63.75 36.25 720 18.00
Woodroffe 64.64 35.36 1,315 32.88
Other votes 64.94 35.06 1,141 28.53
Two-party-preferred votes in Blain at the 2012 Northern Territory election.

Two-party-preferred votes in Blain at the 2012 Northern Territory election.

Redcliffe results wrap

Last night’s by-election was a thumping victory for the ALP’s Yvette D’Ath. The result was largely in line with expectations, with the Liberal National government polling much more poorly than they did at the 2012 election, and due to the circumstances of the by-election.

These are the figures at the end of election night, including all ordinary booths and prepoll votes. Most outstanding votes will be postal votes.

At the time of writing, the ALP’s swing of just over 16% was slightly larger than the swing to the LNP in 2012, putting D’Ath’s result about even with the ALP’s result in the seat in 2009.

The result was decisive, but it was hardly a shock result. The result does not necessarily mean that the LNP can’t win the seat in 2015. While governments often reclaim seats they lose at by-elections, Redcliffe is not a blue-ribbon Liberal seat and was held by the ALP prior to the huge landslide in 2012. Having said that, D’Ath’s margin is still quite small after such a large swing, and she will need to strengthen her personal vote to stop any backslide in 2015.

Primary vote results as of 9:34pm – 13/13 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Andrew Tyrrell Independent 177 0.74 +0.74 0.74
Sally Vincent Family First 586 2.46 -2.07 2.34
Len Thomas Independent 2,513 10.57 +10.57 10.57
John Marshall Greens 950 3.99 -2.73 3.89
Gabriel Buckley Independent 230 0.97 +0.97 0.97
Yvette D’Ath Labor 10,375 43.63 +12.87 43.98
Talosaga McMahonl Independent 317 1.33 +1.33 1.33
Liz Woollard Independent 279 1.17 +1.17 1.17
Kerri-Anne Dooley Liberal National 8,353 35.13 -14.11 35.15
Total formal votes 23,780

Two-party-preferred results as of 9:34pm – 13/13 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Yvette D’Ath Labor 11,748 56.19 +16.29 56.39
Kerri-Anne Dooley Liberal National 9,161 43.81 -16.29 43.61
Total in count 20,909

There were thirteen booths used on election day.

The ALP won ten of these booths, and the LNP won three. The two-party-preferred vote for the ALP peaked at just under 65% in Kippa-Ring. The LNP won a slim majority in Kippa-Ring North and Scarborough North, and a solid 62.8% majority in Bally Cara.

The ALP gained double-digit swings at all booths, ranging from 11.3% in Bally Cara and Kippa-Ring North to 22.4% at Kippa-Ring.

The outstanding minor candidate was independent Len Thomas, running in opposition to the Newman government’s anti-bikies laws. Thomas polled over 10% of the vote, with his vote peaking at 13.2% in Frawley.

The Greens came fourth, with their vote dipping below 4%.

The following booth breakdown uses the same booth breakdowns used for the pre-by-election guide.

Voter group IND % ALP 2PP % ALP swing Total votes % of ordinary votes
South 10.15 60.23 +18.29 5,636 32.64
Scarborough 12.15 48.10 +14.61 4,065 23.54
Redcliffe 9.67 59.15 +16.51 3,930 22.76
Kippa-Ring 10.26 57.34 +16.45 3,634 21.05

The ALP won solid majorities of 57-60% in three of the four regions. In Scarborough, the LNP held on with a 52% majority, winning two of the three booths in the area. The ALP won the two largest booths in the Scarborough area, but with slim margins.

You can also view maps below, showing the two-party-preferred vote by booth and the vote for independent candidate Len Thomas.

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2014 Redcliffe by-election.

Two-party-preferred votes at the 2014 Redcliffe by-election.

Primary votes for independent candidate Len Thomas at the 2014 Redcliffe by-election.

Primary votes for independent candidate Len Thomas at the 2014 Redcliffe by-election.

Redcliffe by-election live

Labor wins Redcliffe by-election.

Primary vote results as of 9:34pm – 13/13 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Andrew Tyrrell Independent 177 0.74 +0.74 0.74
Sally Vincent Family First 586 2.46 -2.07 2.34
Len Thomas Independent 2,513 10.57 +10.57 10.57
John Marshall Greens 950 3.99 -2.73 3.89
Gabriel Buckley Independent 230 0.97 +0.97 0.97
Yvette D’Ath Labor 10,375 43.63 +12.87 43.98
Talosaga McMahonl Independent 317 1.33 +1.33 1.33
Liz Woollard Independent 279 1.17 +1.17 1.17
Kerri-Anne Dooley Liberal National 8,353 35.13 -14.11 35.15
Total formal votes 23,780

Two-party-preferred results as of 9:34pm – 13/13 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Yvette D’Ath Labor 11,748 56.19 +16.29 56.39
Kerri-Anne Dooley Liberal National 9,161 43.81 -16.29 43.61
Total in count 20,909

8:23pm – The final ordinary booth, Scarborough North has finished reporting. My projection has Labor with a swing of over 16%, although I’m expecting Labor’s vote lead to increase with special votes. This is where I’ll leave the results for tonight. I’ll be back tomorrow with maps and a breakdown of the vote.

8:00pm – We now also have most of the 2PP booths reporting, and it seems conceivable that the ALP swing could reach upwards of 17%.

7:58pm – We now have all of the ordinary votes, while we still wait for special votes. The ALP is on track for a swing of 12.8%, with the LNP suffering a 14.7% swing.

7:40pm – We now have five booths after preferences, plus prepoll, and Labor has a solid lead and a massive swing.

7:37pm – A result of over 62% in Bally Cara has pulled down the figures but the booth is very strong for the LNP and the ALP vote will pick up.

7:33pm – With some prepoll 2PP votes now reporting, my model has Labor on a swing of 14.5%.

7:30pm – We’ve finally got the first booth’s two-party-preferred vote in, at Woody Point South. The ALP polled 59.1% after preferences. I estimate the LNP won about 58% in the booth in 2012.

7:12pm – We still have no results after preferences, but the trend is very strong – with seven booths and some prepoll votes in, the ALP has a +11.5% swing, and the LNP is suffering a swing of over 14.5% against them. Len Thomas, an independent, is third with just under 10%, while the Greens vote has shed a third, dropping to 4%.

6:59pm – Another large swing in Frawley, with Labor up 9.5% and the LNP down 18%. Big vote for independent Len Thomas on 12.8%.

6:58pm – The total turnout in Humpybong was 80.5% of that in 2012.

6:54pm – Humpybong had the highest Labor primary vote in the electorate in 2012, with 33.2%, with many others in the low 30s. The ALP vote is now over 44%.

6:52pm – First booth of Humpybong has reported, with a swing of almost 11% to the ALP and over 11% away from the LNP. If that trend continues, the ALP should narrowly win.

6:49pm – Still waiting for the first results. I’ve decided to produce a projection based on my estimate of the two-party-preferred vote at each booth. My figures were out by no more than 0.1% per booth from Antony Green’s, so I feel comfortable using them to give us a rough projection.

6:28pm – It appears that two-party-preferred votes are being published, so I’ll do my best to include them.

6:00pm – Welcome to the live results from the Redcliffe state by-election. There are 12 regular booths in Redcliffe, and we will be covering the results over the next few hours.

Unfortunately the Electoral Commission of Queensland does not usually produce two-party-preferred votes by polling place, so I will have to produce a projection solely based on primary votes, unless something changes tonight.