Darling Range by-election Archive


Podcast #2 – Braddon, Fremantle, Perth and how we name seats

In this episode I’m joined by Maiy Azize and Kevin Bonham. We preview the by-elections in Braddon, Fremantle and Perth, and discuss how we name electorates in light of Batman being renamed. In the news segment we discuss the results of the Darling Range by-election and begin the conversation about single-seat polling (sure to be revisited).

This episode involved guests joining me remotely, and there were some technical hiccups we’ll need to work on. You’ll notice that my guests are not with me for the whole show, but we still have a great conversation.

I mentioned this article about who federal electorates are named after. Kevin also mentions his analysis into single-seat polling which has since turned into this long and interesting post.

You can subscribe 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.

I’ll be back in two weeks, until then, enjoy this episode!


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
Other votes58.1+13.92,0528.6

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 »


Darling Range by-election live

Primary votes – 18/20 booths reporting

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

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?


Podcast #1 – Darling Range and Liberal women

Here it finally is, the first episode of the Tally Room podcast. It was recorded earlier this week after an earlier attempt last week, with Stewart Jackson and Megan Clement-Couzner.

We discussed a number of election news items, which involved a wide-ranging conversation about the Ontario provincial election and the Maine primaries, and what they tell us about voting systems, before previewing tomorrow’s Darling Range by-election in WA, and discussing the lack of Liberal Party women in the federal parliament.

I plan to publish episodes every fortnight for now, but I’m planning an episode next week to cover the results of Darling Range (amongst other topics).

I expect the podcast to be up soon on iTunes but you can use the RSS feed now to subscribe in other podcast apps (I’ve done it myself in Overcast) or you can listen to the episode in the player below.

(You can now listen, subscribe, rate and review on iTunes here.)

If you find this podcast interesting, please consider donating via Patreon. It takes some time to organise and then to edit the show, so donations will help me keep time free to do this while still doing the other work of this blog (such as completing the last 51 seat guides for the federal election upon the conclusion of the redistributions this month). Thanks!

Here are some links to inform the stories on this week’s episode: Read the rest of this entry »


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.