By-election Archive

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Darling Range – results wrap

Yesterday’s by-election in the Perth seat of Darling Range was undoubtedly a disappointment for Labor, with a swing of 9% after preferences, producing a reasonably comfortable victory for Liberal candidate Alyssa Hayden.

A Reachtel poll last week predicted a 54-46 result in favour of Labor, which was out by about 7%. While it’s just one poll, it’s more evidence that we don’t really have the ability to do good accurate polls in Australia (at least for the budgets available to media organisations).

In one way the result wasn’t that surprising. Labor’s sitting MP was forced out in absurd embarrassing circumstances, and then the party had to change candidates shortly before the election. But on the other hand Labor is a new state government performing reasonably well, and statewide polling suggests the party is on the up at a state and federal level. These strong fundamentals made it plausible that the party could have withstood its local problems and held on.

I don’t think we can say anything more generally about the state of Labor in Western Australia based on this one by-election. The circumstances were too strange.

I’ve analysed the results at the booth level (thanks to William Bowe for tracking them down – they’re not yet available on the WAEC website).

Firstly, this booth breakdown divides the booths in the same way I did for the pre-election guide. The ‘central’ area mostly aligns with Armadale council area while the ‘south’ mostly aligns with Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

The Liberal Party did much better in the north and south than they did in the centre. Labor’s vote held up better in Armadale, just barely losing. Labor also won close to half of the pre-poll.

The sparsely-populated north was already favourable to the Liberal Party in 2017, so it’s unsurprising that the swing was smaller there. The south had the biggest swings to the Liberals, which explains the divergence in the vote between the centre and the south.

Booth breakdown

Voter groupLIB 2PP %LIB 2PP swingTotal votes% of votes
South55.4+11.78,42535.2
Central50.3+6.44,89620.4
North55.2+4.61,2735.3
Other votes58.1+13.92,0528.6
Pre-Poll51.2+9.27,30030.5

Below the fold I have posted a map showing the two-party-preferred vote per booth. You can toggle this map off and instead show the swing map. Labor only gained a swing towards them in one booth, increasing their vote by 2.8% at Kelmscott Primary School. I think this is probably explained by the closure of the neighbouring Clifton Hills Primary School booth after a garbage truck crashed into the school on Thursday. Clifton Hills Primary was much more pro-Labor than Kelmscott Primary in 2017.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Darling Range by-election live

Primary votes – 18/20 booths reporting

CandidateVotes%Swing
Russell Goodrick (WAP)13895.85.8
Anthony Pyle (GRN)13965.8-1.9
Jehni Thomas-Wurth (AJP)7883.33.3
Alyssa Hayden (LIB)823434.44.0
John Watt (FF)1020.40.4
Rod Caddies (ON)18677.8-0.9
Tania Lawrence (ALP)769032.1-9.4
Eric Eikelboom (CHR)11284.70.3
Stuart Ostle (SFF)10814.50.3
Doug Shaw (IND)1400.60.6
George O’Byrne (IND)1310.50.5

Two-party-preferred votes – 18/20 booths reporting

CandidateVotes%Swing
Alyssa Hayden (LIB)1275053.39.1
Tania Lawrence (ALP)1116946.7-9.1

Sunday, 8:43am – We saw another batch of pre-poll votes after I went to bed last night which brought the latest margin down to 53.3%. I’ll be back later this morning with deeper analysis.

8:51 – Okay I’m going to end the liveblog now. We haven’t received any more primary votes but it looks like most two-party-preferred votes have been counted, and Liberal candidate Alyssa Hayden is sitting on slightly less than 54% of the 2PP vote. She should win comfortably. This is about 8% better than the Reachtel poll predicted, and a swing of almost 10% compared to last year’s election. I’ll hopefully return with a map tomorrow if we have 2PP figures by booth, and possibly provide some more analysis on the result (which we’ll also discuss in this week’s podcast). If you’ve found my analysis of this by-election useful, tonight and over the last few weeks, maybe you could consider signing up as a donor via Patreon?

8:03 – We now have every election-day booth, as well as sizeable numbers of pre-poll and postal votes. I can’t imagine there’s many primary votes left to count. On the 2PP count, we have about 10,000 formal votes (about half of the primary vote count) and the Liberal Party’s Alyssa Hayden is still over 57%. I still don’t have any booth data for the 2PP count so I think I’ll probably call it a night soon and come back tomorrow to do a map once this data is available.

7:54 – Judging by Antony’s list of booths reporting 2PP figures, I reckon there could be a difference of about 2% in the swing between the booths reporting so far and those to come. But the Liberal Party is on 58.7%, so this would still represent a swing of about 12%.

7:51 – We are now just waiting for one ordinary booth on the primary vote, plus two types of special votes, and the swing against Labor has dropped back a bit. So we probably should also expect the 2PP swing to drop back, but it’s hard to see the Liberal Party losing at this point. I would probably call the seat if I could conduct my booth comparison, but alas.

7:41 – It’s worth noting that Reachtel’s recent poll put Labor on 54% after preferences in Darling Range. On current numbers this was off by about 12-13%.

7:32 – I don’t have a two-party-preferred count by booth, so I can’t run my model, but we have a seat-wide total which is about 1/3 of the primary vote total so far and it has Liberal candidate Alyssa Hayden on 58% after preferences.

7:18 – The swing against Labor isn’t too harsh in Mundaring but is over 15% in Oakford. Interesting that we haven’t seen a two-party-preferred count yet but it’s worth noting that the Shooters, Christians and One Nation are on over 18% between them, compared to 8.5% for clearly centre-left minor parties. So Labor can’t rely on preferences to overcome a primary vote deficit.

7:09 – We have three more booths and the trend is similar. Labor suffered a 19.7% swing at Marri Grove, although they barely lost ground at Pickering Brook.

7:04 – The latest booth is Serpentile Jarrahdale Community Recreation Centre, and Labor has suffered a whopping 18.7% swing on primary votes there. If the current trend continues, it’s hard to see Labor winning.

6:51 – We’ve just received two more booths. Labor has suffered swings of 8.2% and 11.7% at Armadale Primary School and Bruno Gianetti Hall respectively. The Liberal Party also lost ground, suffering swings of about 1% in each booth. Overall Labor is currently projected to suffer a swing of just over 8%, but the Liberal Party is also expected to suffer a swing.

6:45 – By the way, for the booth matching I’m not currently including last election’s pre-poll votes.

6:44 – Okay we now have the results from Karragulleen District Hall which produced a swing of 3.3% to the Liberal Party, a 7.2% swing against Labor, a 2% swing against the Greens and a 2.4% swing against One Nation. Definitely suggests the Liberals will recover some ground, but not clear if it’s enough to win.

6:31 – We have 66 formal votes reporting from one small pre-poll booth. I won’t update my table yet because the inclusion of these votes will trigger the booth-matching against the entire pre-poll vote. The Liberal Party is on 42.4% in this small batch, with Labor on 28.8% and the Greens on 13.6%.

6:00 – Polls have just closed in the state by-election in the Western Australian seat of Darling Range. I expect we’ll start to see results in about half an hour. I’ll be running a booth-matching model tonight. For now the results tables are at the bottom but I’ll move them to the top once there is something useful within. In the meantime, why not take a read of my guide to this by-election?

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Five (5!) federal by-elections on their way with latest s44 blow

The High Court this morning ruled that Senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible to sit in the Senate, making her the 13th federal politician to be undone by section 44 of the constitution in this current parliamentary term. The Court clarified that, while there is room for a person with dual citizenship to be eligible to sit in the parliament if they have taken ‘reasonable steps’, that is only excusable if it is not possible for them to renounce their citizenship. And delays are not enough to invoke that exception.

So Gallagher is out, because her British citizenship was not renounced in time. It also meant that it was no longer tenable for four lower house MPs to stay in parliament.

Labor MPs Justine Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson, along with Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, all resigned from parliament this afternoon, triggering by-elections in four different states. This is in addition to the Perth by-election, called following Labor MP Tim Hammond’s retirement last week. Presumably all five will be held on the same date.

Four of these five seats are held by Labor. It will be up to the government as to which seats they contest. Presumably they will contest some and avoid others. The Greens may also have ambitions in Perth or Fremantle, but both are probably out of reach.

I’ve now posted the seat guides for all five races. In Braddon, Longman and Perth, where I had already posted guides for the general election, those pages have now become by-election guides, including all of the pre-existing comments. The comments are now open:

This will be a busy period, just when we were expecting some quiet time before three big elections coming up at the end of this year and early next year, so if you’d like to support this website’s work please consider signing up as a patron.

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Darling Range by-election coming up

I discovered last night that a by-election is pending for the WA state seat of Darling Range.

Labor candidate Barry Urban won the seat in 2017 with a massive 18.9% swing. He subsequently quit the party after he was exposed wearing a medal (for police service overseas) which he had not been awarded. He is expected to resign from parliament as early as today.

Read the guide

The guide is now up, and I’ll update it with candidate information when that comes. Remarkably, it appears that Labor, despite holding the seat, plans to abandon the seat to the Liberal Party.

If you wish to comment, please do so on the guide, where the conversation has already started.

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Tim Hammond resigns, triggering by-election in Perth

We are inching ever closer to a potential federal election, but some news today means we will soon have a federal by-election, in a seat no-one expected.

First-term Labor MP Tim Hammond, who represents the federal seat of Perth, announced he would retire less than two years after winning the seat, apparently for family reasons.

The earliest possible by-election date would be in June 2018.

I’ve conveniently already published my guide to the federal seat of Perth for the general election. So that guide has now been redirected to be the guide to the by-election. A new guide, adding in the results of the by-election, will become the Perth guide for the general election at a later date.

Hammond held Perth by a 3.3% margin at the 2016 election. His predecessor, Alannah MacTiernan, had served one term in parliament, succeeding former senior minister Stephen Smith in 2013.

It’s likely that Labor would win such a by-election, but it would be silly to rule out the possibility of Labor losing to a strong Liberal candidate.

Read the guide to the Perth by-election

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Batman by-election – read the guide

Federal Labor MP David Feeney has just announced that he will be resigning from his seat of Batman after failing to prove that he had renounced his British citizenship, and won’t be contesting the subsequent by-election.

It is expected that the race will be between five-time Greens candidate Alex Bhathal and ACTU president Ged Kearney.

You can read the Tally Room guide to this by-election here.

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Northcote by-election results live

10:25pm – As my last contribution for tonight, here is a map of the booth results and the Greens swing (which can be toggled).

8:23pm – I’m gonna turn off for a little while and will come back once most of the votes have reported.

8:22pm – With seven booths reporting preferences, the Greens have won six. Labor held on with 53.3% in Darebin Parklands, but that was a swing of almost 21.8%.

8:20pm – Six booths have reported preferences. The Greens are on 55.3%, but are projected to increase that to 60.7% as the remaining booths come in.

8:18pm – Just back from dinner now. 10 out of 14 booths have reported the primary vote. The Greens polled 48.3% of the primary vote so far, and my model suggests it will creep up to about 49.3%.

7:49pm – Four 2CP booths have reported, and the Greens are on 56% of the vote after preferences. This is a swing of 17.8% in these four booths, and you’d expect that Greens vote to grow as bigger booths report.

7:47pm – We’ve now got six votes reporting primary votes, and the swing to the Greens remains above 14%, which would put them on track to win a majority of the primary vote.

7:43pm – 14% primary vote swing to the Greens in Preston South. It’s worth noting the best Greens areas have not yet reported – it’s possible they will not gain as large swings there.

7:39pm – 21.5% swing to the Greens after preferences at Alphington North.

7:33pm – We now have preferences from Alphington and Darebin Parklands and the swings are just as big. A 14.7% swing in Alphington and a 21.8% swing in Darebin Parklands. Between these two booths it’s a swing of 16.8%, which would project to a Greens 2CP just over 60%.

7:29pm – Another big swing to the Greens of almost 15% in Alphington. Overall swing to the Greens is sitting on 14.8% after four booths.

7:23pm – Alphington, in the south-east, saw another double-digit swing to the Greens. The Greens gained 10.7% for a total of 43.6%, while Labor dropped 5.3%.

7:22pm – Off two booths, the Greens are up 15.25%, and Labor is down 9.6%. It’s worth noting both booths are in the north of the seat, which is one of the more pro-Labor areas. It suggests the Greens are making inroads in Labor’s better areas.

7:21pm – The second booth, Bell, is substantially bigger than Darebin Parklands, and has a similar pattern. 13.6% swing to the Greens, 7.8% swing away from Labor.

7:13pm – If this swing played out across the seat, the Greens would end with about 51% of the primary vote. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Greens only polled 33% in this booth, but it was a poor booth in 2014. It’s possible they are picking up ground in their worst booths but not gaining as much overall.

7:09pm – First booth in is Darebin Parklands, and we’ve seen a 15% swing to the Greens on primary vote and an 11.3% swing away from Labor.

6:40pm – Polls closed 40 minutes ago in the Northcote by-election. I’ll be analysing the results here as they come in over the coming hours.

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Yet another by-election coming up on Saturday

In addition to three state by-elections which will be held on Saturday in New South Wales, there will also be two council by-elections: for Ward 2 of Blacktown council, and for Lithgow council.

I profiled Blacktown council for last September’s election so I figured it would be good to produce a guide to this by-election. I’m going to try and keep on top of council elections for the larger councils in metro NSW going into the future. Sorry Lithgow, but I’m limiting my focus to the bigger councils.

Click here to read the guides to Saturday’s by-elections.

The by-election was triggered by the death of longstanding Labor councillor Leo Kelly. Labor should easily win the by-election without Liberal opposition. Labor currently holds nine out of fifteen seats on the council, which will return to ten if they retain this seat, so there isn’t any risk of Labor losing control of the council.

There was actually a bigger and more consequential council by-election in my hometown of Campbelltown last month, but unfortunately I was busy moving house and didn’t get to cover it. Campbelltown has no wards, so the by-election took place across the entire council (an area roughly as populous as a federal electorate).

The result solidified Labor’s control over Campbelltown. Labor held seven seats on the council, along with one Green and two members of Fred Borg’s independent ticket, giving Labor-friendly councillors ten out of fifteen seats on the council. The by-election was triggered by Borg’s death, and the contest was primarily between a member of Borg’s independent party and Labor. Labor’s win gives them a majority in their own right, without relying on Greens or independents to command a majority.

Click here to read the guides to Saturday’s by-elections.

Anyway, I’ve now got guides to all three state by-elections due this Saturday, along with Blacktown Ward 2. I’m having wisdom teeth surgery on Thursday so I don’t know yet whether I’ll be in a position to conduct a liveblog on Saturday – I’ll let you know.

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Guides to Manly and North Shore by-elections

By-elections are due to be held soon in the two New South Wales seats of Manly and North Shore. The two seats sit side-by-side on the north side of Sydney Harbour, and are both very safe Liberal seats.

The seat of Manly was held by Mike Baird from 2007 until 2017 , when he resigned from parliament after stepping down as Premier.

The seat of Manly was held by Jillian Skinner from 1994 until 2017. Skinner has served as a senior frontbencher since the 1990s, and served as deputy Liberal leader from 2007 to 2014. Skinner left the frontbench in January and announced her intention to step down at the time.

Both seats have similar dynamics. The Greens have come second in both seats at the last two election cycles, but they are over 20% away from unseating the Liberal Party. Both seats also have a history of independents winning, but that very much depends on who runs.

It seems likely that the Liberal Party will hold both seats, but the threat of an insurgent candidate appears to have been enough to force a backtrack on council amalgamations, so the Liberal Party may know more than the rest of us.

Read the guide to the Manly by-election.

Read the guide to the North Shore by-election.

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What’s going on at the Tally Room

This blog has been pretty quiet since the conclusion of the NSW council elections. I’m working on a few different projects in the background and I just wanted to give a quick update.

Firstly, I’ve been working on a project to collect together all of the results of the NSW council elections to publish in an easy-to-use format for data analysis. This is part of a broader project to publish local and state election results in an easy-to-use format, since so many electoral commissions do not publish results (as well as candidate and booth lists) in accessible formats, unlike the AEC. Unfortunately I’ve hit a wall in scraping the data for the 2016 council elections, although the data for the 2011 and 2012 elections is ready. If you’re an expert on web scraping who can help me with this, drop me a line. Once this is done, I might do some high-level comparisons of the 2012 and 2016 election results.

The ACT election is due this Saturday, and I’ve got guides published for all five electorates which you can read here. I’ve got an article going up at the Guardian today about the election which is also worth a read. Unfortunately I won’t be around to do a liveblog on Saturday night, but I will return to do some overall analysis on the weekend.

Three by-elections are due in New South Wales in November and I’ve published guides for all three seats. This includes a guide to the Wollongong by-election, which was only recently written.

Beyond that, I’ve been making maps for a couple of recent redistributions. The Northern Territory is in the midst of a redistribution, whereby the urban seat of Solomon will lose some areas on the outskirts of Darwin and Palmerston to the seat of Lingiari. This is the first time since the territory was split into two electorates in 2001 that the boundaries will be changed. I’ve completed a map of the new boundaries which you can download from the maps page.

I am currently working on the new draft map for the South Australian state redistribution, and I’ll be publishing that probably next week, and once the draft boundaries are released for the Queensland state redistribution I will also make a map of those boundaries.

Then once all that’s done I plan to get into preparing the guide to the Western Australian state election, for early next year.

So I will pop up from time to time, but mostly I’ll be away in the background for the remainder of this year.