Penrith by-election Archive


Penrith by-election maps

I’ve now created a few booth maps showing the primary vote results for the Greens and the two-party preferred figures for the Liberals (who won every single booth), as well as maps showing the swings in each booth.

With regard to swing figures, I have paired the abolished seat of Nepean High School with the new booth of Melrose Hall, and have paired the abolished York Public School with the new Jamison High School. In both cases the booths are very close to each other. There is no booth comparison with Penrith PCYC, so I have taken that booth off the swing maps.

The two-party swing in almost all booths was in the 20s. The ALP were able to limit the swing to less than 20% in only one booth: at the Jamistown Uniting Church, where the two-party preferred swing was 19.87%. The largest swing was 32% at the small Nepean Hospital (which isn’t shown on the map). The Liberals gained a swing of over 30% in only one other booth: at Cranebrook at the northern edge of the seat.

Two-party preferred results at the 2010 Penrith by-election.

Two-party preferred swing at the 2010 Penrith by-election, in comparison with the 2007 state election.

Greens primary vote results at the 2010 Penrith by-election.

Greens primary vote swing at the 2010 Penrith by-election, in comparison with the 2007 state election.


Penrith: first impressions

I thought I’d jot down some thoughts on the results in today’s by-elections, primarily in Penrith and to a lesser extent in Hawkesbury.

Make no mistake, this was a massive result for the Liberal Party and a colossal disaster for the ALP. It’s always possible they could have done worse, but this still remains the largest swing in a NSW by-election in modern history. A by-election has seen a two-party swing of over 20% only twice before, both in the current Parliamentary term. The ALP suffered a 23.1% swing in Ryde in 2008 and a 21.8% swing in Cabramatta the same day. It appears that the swing in Penrith stands at 25.5%.

If this was repeated at a state election, it would be colossally devastating. Based on the pendulum, Antony Green calculated that a 25% swing would reduce the ALP to 11 seats, but it could be even more devastating if the party were to start losing seats to Greens and independents.

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Penrith by-election live

8:40 – The two largest swings in by-elections in NSW were 23% in Ryde and 21.8% in Cabramatta, both in 2008 after Morris Iemma’s resignation.

8:29 – The Greens apparently got 23% in Hawkesbury Council’s by-election, up from 10% in 2008. The Liberals have won the seat, giving them a majority.

7:49 – With about half the booths in, the Greens vote is doubling across the board, with some places showing a tripling of the vote. The Greens have come second in two booths: Lapstone and Blaxland High, both in the Mountains. Antony Green estimates a two-party preferred swing of 27.5%

7:29 – The Greens came second in Blaxland High, winning 22% to 20% for the ALP, with the Liberals way out in front on 45%. Greens are generally doubling their vote in the three booths we have seen so far.

7:26 – Greens on 10.2% in Melrose (up 5.5%) and Libs on 55% primary.

6:29 – I spent the largest part of this morning at Jamison High School. This large booth only had one interest, meaning a huge number of booth workers were crammed into a small area. Greens MP Lee Rhiannon counted 17 Liberal booth workers all at the one gate at one point. At one point, the booth was home to four candidates, as well as Barry O’Farrell, Mike Baird, Lee Rhiannon and Marise Payne.

6:21 – Polling booth story: Greens activist Jarah Crook got told by Premier Keneally to “let the adults talk together”. Jarah may only be 14, but he’s been handing out since he was 7.

5:50 – I’m at the Greens party at the Red Cow in Penrith now. I’ll try and throw in some stories while we wait for results.


Follow #penrithdebate on Twitter

You can follow today’s Twitter debate between NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, Leader of the Opposition Barry O’Farrell and Greens MP Lee Rhiannon right here at the Tally Room.


Beware the leaked Labor polling

Ever since the ALP lost the 2002 Cunningham by-election to the Greens with a large protest vote, they have finessed the art of expectations management through the leaking of supposed internal party polling data. The latest example came yesterday when the Sun-Herald ran a story reporting that leaked Labor polling puts the ALP on only 32% of the two-party preferred vote in Penrith in the lead up to the June 19 by-election.

This story indicates a couple of things: firstly, it indicates how desperate the ALP is. It seems very implausible that the ALP is polling so badly, but it indicates that the ALP is looking to use this story to scare Labor voters back. Secondly, it shows how eager some journalists are to be spoonfed a story by spin doctors if it creates some political drama. It sells newspapers to publish a front-page story reporting such catastrophic polling figures, while burying the key facts that such a poll has zero scientific credibility due to its source.

Considering the ALP’s actions in leaking the poll, it suggests we are heading towards a result comparable to the 2008 Ryde by-election, with Labor losing on a large swing. Which we already could have guessed.


Guide to the Penrith by-election

I have now posted my guide to the Penrith state by-election, to be held on June 19 following the resignation of Labor MP Karyn Paluzzano. You should also check out the guide to the federal election, as I have now finished all seats in New South Wales and South Australia, for a total of 98 seats.