Federal 2019 – update on the close races


It’s now a week since the election and there are only a handful of seats that are still in play. In this post I’ll run through the counts in each of them.

Last Sunday I identified seven seats still in play. Since then most of these seats have become clearer. The Liberal Party has clearly won in Boothby, Chisholm and Wentworth with margins of over 1000 votes. Four other seats are deserving of attention. I’ll run through the state of the race in those four closest seats below the fold. I’ve called two of these seats (Bass for Liberal, Lilley for Labor), while Cowan and Macquarie are still in play.

Liberal candidate Bridget Archer is leading by 699 votes in Bass. Labor did surprisingly well on the postal votes in Bass, with 49.5% of the total postal vote, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a narrow Liberal lead on the ordinary vote.

There are now just 106 postal votes waiting to be processed, with as many as 800 others yet to arrive (although some of these will never arrive). There’s only 104 absent votes yet to be counted.

The only substantial batch of votes yet to be counted are the 1538 declaration (out of area) pre-poll votes, and it is pretty much impossible for Labor to catch up on this batch – they’d need over 70%. So I’ve called this seat for the Liberal Party.

Labor’s Anne Aly is leading by 799 votes in Cowan. There are relatively few postal votes yet to be counted, but there is a lot of absent votes (over 4500) and declaration pre-poll votes (over 5000). Aly is leading in the absent votes and won both of these categories in 2016, so it seems likely she will win, but it’s still too early to call this seat.

Labor is leading by 879 votes in Lilley. There are not that many postal votes yet to be counted, but there are over 3500 absent votes and over 3000 declaration pre-poll votes. The absent votes are breaking strongly towards Labor. I can’t see the Liberal Party winning here.

Finally the race is extremely close in Macquarie. Liberal challenger Sarah Richards is leading by 125 votes.

Most postal votes have been counted but there are over 4000 absent votes and over 2000 declaration pre-poll votes. Either party could easily win, and there’s a real chance the seat could end up with a recount if the final margin is less than 100 votes.

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  1. The last booth (postal votes) has been counted twice and Labor is 71 votes behind.

    I expect they’ll keep the counting and scrutineering until the writs are due to be returned

    Macquarie is a basket case seat with the Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains as two very distinctly different halves – Blue Mountains and the Hawkesbury. Labor is on the mountains easily. This close call is focused on the Hawksbury, snd 3.5 k votes that went to Palmer, way from labor, to then be preferencef to the LNP

    Who knows how it’s going to play

  2. Tony, there isn’t a Two candidate preferred preference flow for this election yet (or I couldn’t find one). Going by last election though, it isn’t possible to assume that all the preferences for a party will flow in a particular direction.

    Obviously Green and AJP preferences tend to flow to Labor while the others preference Liberal, but in no case is it 100%. I would say most likely between 60 and 70%.

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