NSW 2015 – let’s get started


After a brief intermission, this blog is back from today to cover this month’s New South Wales state election. Unfortunately due to the tight timeframes around the New Zealand, Victorian and Queensland elections I was delayed in completing my NSW guide. I have now finished all preparatory work and am full-steam-ahead on posting seat profiles.

At the time of writing, I have finished the first nine seat guides, but I’m hoping to finish the first half of the guide this week. You can find links to the pendulum and the alphabetical list of seats in a box on the right-hand side of the website, along with links to the ten most recently-completed seats. You can also find the guide at the menu on the top of the website, although I haven’t yet written any introductory material.

If you want more on the NSW election, I was interviewed on Saturday morning on Backchat on Sydney community radio station FBI about the NSW election, but mostly focusing on the general way in which electorates are drawn and how geography effects elections.

You can also use this post as an open thread discuss the NSW state election – I’ll post these threads every few days over the course of the month as events unfold.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!


  1. That was a really good interview…great to hear detailed interesting discussion about electoral boundaries.

    The female host sounded really interested, but that guy host seemed like he was trying too hard to be funny…

  2. There’s a piece today’s Australian by demographer Jack Black which suggests Labor could win:


    It’s behind News Corp paywall of course (but there are ways round that). Black is a former ALP senator from Qld, more recently a political consultant and News Corp columnist. Despite his b/g, he seems to have a fairly acerbic view of his old party.

    The piece is research-based. If he’s making a living out of analysing data, let’s assume it has some credibility. But I would have thought a Labor win on March 28 is a very (very!) long shot.

    One par which may excite those of you with one foot (or two in Ben’s case) in the Greens camp is this:

    “This is growing the Greens/Labor base vote in wealthy inner-city Liberal seats across the country, as we saw in last November’s Victorian election, when the Greens won Melbourne from Labor and Prahran from the Liberals, raiding the primary votes of both parties in equal measure.

    He continues,

    “… we also picked up a big increase in the Greens/Labor vote in normally safe Liberal seats, such as the Premier’s seat of Manly; Vaucluse, held by Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton; North Shore, held by Health Minister Jillian Skinner; and Willoughby, held by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

    “The Coalition is unlikely to lose any of these blue-rinse state seats, but I think a few state ministers in what used to be traditional safe seats will get a nodding acquaintance with political oblivion on election night.”

    Welcome back to NSW Ben, look fwd to your data of the Eastern suburbs seats … and Newtown, Summer Hill and Balmain of course. In Ku-ring gai and Manly, the Greens vote was almost twice that of Labor’s… Given the class b/g of most Greens voters, the party always does well in affluent seats. I reckon all the inner city is now “in play”

  3. I quite like some of John Black’s analysis, but I don’t understand what he is arguing here.

    None of Melbourne or Prahran are in any way reflective of Sydney’s north shore seats. Melbourne is a Labor/Green marginal like (say) Newtown, where whoever wins has no impact on the Liberals. Prahran is a genuine three-way marginal, the equivalent would probably be Coogee.

    To compare to the north shore, you’d take Victorian seats like Hawthorn, Kew or Brighton. In each case, the Greens polled a very good vote but the Liberals won on primaries.

    The Greens need to focus on holding Balmain and their notional hold of Newtown, and challenging hard in Summer Hill. I hope for their sake they’re not getting carried away with dreams of winning North Shore and Vaucluse………

  4. Indeed Mark, some of Black’s analysis is just bizarre. This bit really stuck out for me:

    I then took off predicted Labor tight wins in Hawkesbury, Hornsby and Vaucluse as irrational exuberance from our demographic model, but added Swansea and Charlestown.

    If your model has the Hawkesbury, Hornsby & Vaucluse going Labor, whilst Swansea & Charlestown go Liberal, then the model is plainly broken. Fudging a few outputs isn’t going to fix that.

  5. I’ve put another WTF’y bit in italics:

    All the major pre-election polls had the Coalition on 52 per cent 2PP and it lost the next day, having received less than 49 per cent 2PP. Oh dear.

    The cause of this error was the resurgence of the ALP primary vote, which meant Labor candidates stayed in the count longer and this helped them benefit from a 2 per cent drift of preferences to Labor not anticipated by the polls.

    It’s true a lot of LNP/KAP or LNP/Ind contests from 2012 became LNP/ALP contests in 2015, but what does that have to do with anything? Of the seats Labor won in 2015, they came second in the vast majority of them in 2012 (the only exceptions I can think of are Thuringowa and Maryborough). Most seats where they came third (or fourth) are rock solid LNP seats like Warrego which were never going to change.

  6. I seem to remember Black authoring something utterly nonsensical before the 2013 federal election. Can’t remember what it was now, but I remember getting some puzzled questions from people asking if it had any validity and having to explain various reasons why it made no sense.

  7. Quite possibly one of the worst pieces of analysis I have seen for NSW. Ben, can you please take Black back to school?

Comments are closed.