9 votes in Bundaberg wraps up Queensland


The final results of the Queensland state election were decided yesterday, with Labor winning a recount in the seat of Bundaberg by nine votes, and won a recount in Nicklin by 85 votes.

The original preference count in Bundaberg gave Labor victory by eleven votes, and gave them victory in Nicklin in 79 votes.

These two results give Labor 52 seats, four more than they held in the last parliament. Labor gained five seats from the LNP (Bundaberg, Caloundra, Hervey Bay, Nicklin, Pumicestone) and lost South Brisbane to the Greens.

That’s about it for now for the Queensland state election, and I wanted to just flag that the blog (and the podcast) will probably be quiet until early in December.

I am currently working on my map of the New South Wales redistribution, and I’m also busy with some other work projects that will occupy me for the rest of November. The NSW redistribution’s timing has meant some other things have been bumped into the next month.

I do still want to do at least one more podcast this year, but it won’t be until early December. If you’ve got suggestions about what we should cover, let me know.

I’m also planning to complete my datasets for the ACT and Queensland elections, and will return with some more analysis of the results when they are finished.

Then once those are all finished, I’ll go dark until January or February next year when I’ll return with a guide to the WA state election.

NSW state redistribution – draft maps released


The New South Wales state redistribution took another step forward today, when the draft boundaries were released. The maps and report can be found here.

It will be some time before I finish my own boundaries file, which I will then use to calculate my own margins. I also haven’t seen any other estimates, so for now I will keep this post broad, and readers can discuss what you find in the maps in the comments.

I will return with margin estimates and an interactive map once they are ready.

The biggest news is the abolition of the seat of Lakemba and the creation of a new seat of Leppington in the fast-growing south-western corner of Sydney.

While the name “Lakemba” has been abolished, it looks to me that the seat of Bankstown has actually been divided up between its neighbours, with Lakemba being renamed as Bankstown while maintaining a majority of its existing population.

ACT 2020 – how people voted


It’s now been over three weeks since the ACT election, and I have pulled together the statistics on how the Covid-19 pandemic affected how people choose to vote.

There was a massive surge in pre-poll voting, necessitating a collapse in the election day vote. There was also a more modest increase in postal voting, on top of a record high postal vote in 2016.

This chart shows the share of the vote cast as an ordinary vote on election day, as a pre-poll vote, a postal vote, or other methods. I’ve calculated these figures as far back as the 2001 election – it was not possible to calculate these same statistics for 1995 and 1998 based on the data I could find on the Elections ACT website (let me know if I’ve missed it).

The trend was already heading in this direction before this year. Ordinary voting had declined from 83.8% in 2001 to 59.7% in 2016. Pre-poll voting had climbed from 12.4% to 33.4% over the same period. Postal voting was around 3% in the early 2000s, increasing to over 4% in 2008 and 2012, and then hitting a record level of 5.2% in 2016.

These figures were completely flipped on its head in 2020. 69.3% of votes were cast in person at pre-poll, with another 6.3% cast as a postal vote. That’s at least 75.6% of all votes cast before election day.

I’ve also pulled together statistics on turnout and informal rates, dating back to the first Hare-Clark election in 1995.

The informal rate has steadily been declining since the first Hare-Clark election. That first election saw an informal rate above 6%, but it dropped right down to 4.2% in 1998 and, apart from a much lower rate in 2004, it has steadily dropped since then.

Yet this year’s informal rate is remarkably low, falling to just 1.4%.

The likely explanation for this low rate is due to people voting electronically at pre-poll. Electronic voting has been used in the ACT since 2001, and it has been the default method of casting a pre-poll vote since at least 2008. The big increase in electronic voting has likely led to a big drop in informal voting.

I haven’t yet compiled the ACT 2020 data for my data repository. When I do so that will allow me to calculate the informal rates for each method of voting (and also calculate the partisan voting trends by method of voting), but I have looked at the breakdown in 2016. The informal rate for pre-poll voters was 1.9%, compared to 2.9% for all other votes.

Finally, I have also taken the opportunity to calculate the turnout rate since 1995.

The turnout rate has moved within a very narrow range, but 2020 was one of the lowest-turnout elections, in line with the last two elections. The 2016 election had a turnout of 88.5%, which was the lowest ever. 2012 and 2020 both had a turnout of 89.3%. This compares to turnouts of 93.9% in 1998 and 92.8% in 2004.

It is worth noting, however, that turnout has been calculated as a share of enrolment, not as a share of eligible residents. We know that enrolment rates have been increasing as a share of the eligible population at the federal level, and this presumably has flowed through to ACT elections. If enrolment rates have improved, you’d expect a decline in official turnout rates.

That’s it about the ACT for now. I will try to finish my ACT 2020 dataset before the end of the year, and I will return with an analysis of how voting patterns between the parties vary across the different voting methods. In the meantime the ACT 2016 dataset is available for free in my data repository and ACT 2012 is available for Patreon donors who give $5 USD or more per month.

NZ cannabis referendum finalised


The results of the New Zealand election were finalised yesterday, with the reporting of the special votes.

The final result saw the National Party lose two seats, with Labour gaining a 65th seat, and the Māori Party gaining a second seat.

But today I’m more interested in the results of the referendums held alongside the election.

The first referendum, on voluntary euthanasia, was very decisive, but the second referendum on legalising cannabis, was very close.

The ordinary vote count gave 46.4% of the vote to the “yes” case, but the special votes broke strongly in favour of “yes”, winning 60.3%. This led to a final figure of 48.8% for “yes” and 51.2% for “no”.

This sort of split leads to an interesting map when show the results by electorate, which I’ve done below.

There’s a weird quirk in the vote counts. Ordinary votes are listed based on which general electorate the vote was cast in, including votes cast in Māori electorates. Votes cast as special votes are instead grouped by the electorate the person is enrolled in, with Māori electorates listed separately. I have combined these totals ignoring the Māori electorate special votes, which is not perfect but gives you a sense of the geographic trends.

Most rural electorates voted “no”, although there were “yes” wins in Northland and Whangarei in the north, West Coast-Tasman in the south, and East Coast in the east.

The “yes” case did much better in the cities. Yes won in five out of six seats in Wellington, including 67% in Rongotai and over 70% in Wellington Central. Three of five seats in Christchurch voted yes, although the margins did not get to the levels seen in Wellington. There was also a solid yes win in Dunedin and a narrow yes win in Nelson.

The “yes” case did not do so well in Auckland. It did very well in the inner city seats of Auckland Central and Jacinda Ardern’s electorate of Mount Albert, but “no” won a majority of seats, including some reasonably big margins in the south-east of the city.

Podcast #47: Queensland election, the next day


Ben is joined by 4ZZZ’s Alexis Pink for a quick podcast to talk about last night’s Queensland election results.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.

You can subscribe to this podcast 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.

QLD 2020 – mapping the results


There hasn’t been a great deal of time to dive into the results, but I’ve grabbed the seat-level votes and swings as of this morning.

I’ve put together a couple of maps showing the primary vote swings for the Greens and One Nation, and the two-party-preferred swings. I’ve also grouped seats by region to get a sense of the geography of the result.

QLD 2020 – election night live


10:25pm – I’m going to switch off now. I’ll be recording a podcast in the morning and will hope to get the episode up later in the day. I’m sure there’ll be further analysis next week, but that’s it for now.

10:05pm – Some recent results from north Queensland seats confirm that Labor looks set to hold all their seats in that region, and with that their majority. They are currently leading in a handful of LNP seats in the south-east which will likely give them an increased majority, even if they lose Cooper and McConnel.

9:10pm – So if we stopped the clock here and just took the election day vote, Labor would have won a slightly increased majority with the Greens also picking up a second seat. But in the next few hours we will be seeing a lot of postal and pre-poll votes, and that is what will tell us if this trend will continue.

8:06pm – There’s just not a lot to hold on to. At the moment the overall picture looks like Labor slightly increasing their majority, but there’s a lot of seats still in play, and the whole picture could be overturned when we get more of the pre-poll votes in.

7:39pm – It’s far too early to say anything definitive, but I think Labor is making more gains than they are losing.

7:26pm – We’re seeing some early evidence that Labor will be trading some northern seats for some southern LNP seats. Labor is currently leading in marginal LNP seats Pumicestone, Chatsworth, Caloundra and Coomera, all in the south-east, while the LNP is leading in Townsville and Barron River.

7:18pm – At the moment the only seat which the ABC has called as changing hands is Townsville, which was Labor’s most marginal seat. That should make Labor nervous about the neighbouring seats of Mundingburra and Thuringowa.

6:56pm – We are starting to get some early figures. Michael Berkman is looking good in Maiwar – he is up 11% on primary votes, with Labor down 10%. With no risk of falling behind Labor, he should win.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in Queensland. Join me as I follow along with the results as they come in over the next few hours.

QLD 2020 – election day open thread


8:00am – Polls have just opened for election day in Queensland. I won’t be updating regularly today but feel free to use this as an open thread. Check back in at 6pm Queensland time as I will be liveblogging the results.

Podcast #46: The day before Queensland


Ben is joined by Glenn Kefford and Shaun Ratcliff to discuss tomorrow’s Queensland state election.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.

You can subscribe to this podcast 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.

ACT 2020 – Friday morning update


Six days after the ACT election, we now have a fairly good sense of the shape of the Assembly. The Assembly will be led by an enlarged Labor-Greens majority, with Labor and Liberal both losing seats and the Greens gaining seats. There are two seats left in play.

I haven’t been closely following the count for this week – you can see how things have moved at Antony Green’s blog or Kevin Bonham’s blog.

Just to quickly summarise the state of the race: the Greens have gained seats from the Liberals in Kurrajong and from Labor in Yerrabi. The Greens have gained a seat from either Labor or Liberal in Ginninderra, while either the Greens or Labor have gained the third Liberal seat in Brindabella. This leaves the Assembly with 10 Labor, 8 Liberals and 5 Greens.

The two seats in play are in Brindabella, in the Tuggeranong area, and Ginninderra, in the Belconnen area.

Brindabella was the only electorate to elect three Liberals in 2016. The Liberals have definitely lost that seat, with the race between a third Labor candidate Taimus Werner-Gibbings and Greens candidate Johnathan Davis. At the key stage in the count, Davis is now 23 votes ahead of Werner-Gibbings. Whichever of them ends up on top will defeat the third Liberal, Andrew Wall. This remains too close to call.

Ginninderra elected three Labor candidates and two Liberals in 2016. The Greens have gained a seat, with the third Labor candidate and the second Liberal fighting to retain their party’s seats. The gap between Labor MP Gordon Ramsay and Liberal candidate Peter Cain is currently 98 votes in favour of Cain. Antony Green suggests the remaining votes to come should favour Cain, although Kevin Bonham points out that a batch of votes added to the primary count but not yet included in the preference count is very favourable to Ramsay and should improve his position.

I suggest paying attention to Bonham and Green if you want to follow the count closely. I’ll return with further analysis once the vote count has concluded. But for now I also wanted to zoom out and look at the overall trends in the five electorates.