Eden-Monaro by-election – results live


12:22am – A rush of pre-poll votes has just been added to the system. Labor suffered a 4.1% swing at Jerrabomberra and a 3% swing at Queanbeyan, but actually increased their vote by 0.4% at Queanbeyan City. Labor also won majorities at the three small Canberra pre-poll booths.

We are now just waiting for Jindabyne pre-poll (1700 votes), Narooma pre-poll (3500 votes) and the remaining postal votes. A guess I’ve seen is that there would be about another 8000 postal votes.

McBain now leads by 2020 votes, so Kotvojs would need over 57% of the remaining vote to win. It’s looking like Labor has won.

11:30pm – I’m going to call it a night here. Those postal vote figures are very encouraging for Labor. While it is possible other samples might be worse, it’s very good for them to crack 49% on the postal vote, compared to barely making 43% in 2019. It’s worth bearing in mind that Labor ran a much bigger postal vote campaign this year, and there may have also been some change in the make-up of who casts a postal vote.

I would ideally like to see the pre-poll votes particularly from Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Queanbeyan City before calling things, but Labor is clearly in the front now. Labor now leads by about 1800 votes, with about 21,000 more pre-poll votes and up to 11,000 more postal votes yet to be counted.

Hopefully tomorrow morning we’ll have most of the pre-poll votes counted and things will be much clearer.

11:19pm – The figures haven’t been included in the counts so far, but the AEC just tweeted a preliminary postal vote figure for election night. The count has Liberal candidate Kotvojs leading Labor candidate McBain by just 70 votes, 2464-2394. That’s 50.7% for the Liberal Party. With possibly up to 11,000 more postal votes to be counted later. It’s not as good a result as the Liberal Party would want.

11:05pm – What’s left to be counted? So far we’ve got two-party-preferred figures from 5/14 pre-poll centres. These 14 centres accounted for 43,684 votes, and about half of those votes were cast in the nine booths yet to report. Those booths yet to report include three large booths in the Queanbeyan area. Queanbeyan, Queanbeyan City and Jerrabomberra are worth over 15,000 votes. We have primary votes from Queanbeyan and Jerrabomberra so hopefully the 2PP count isn’t too far away.

In addition, we are still waiting for results from the three Canberra pre-poll booths and the divisional office, which are only worth about 1000 votes. We are also waiting for Narooma (3500 votes) and Jindabyne (1700 votes).

11:01pm – Cooma pre-poll: 2.5% swing to the Liberal Party. This is a much smaller swing than we saw on election day in the surrounding area.

10:58pm – And now Yass pre-poll has reported it’s 2PP count, Labor gained a 1.7% swing.

10:47pm – We also have primary vote figures from two pre-poll centres in the Queanbeyan area. Labor’s primary vote dropped by 6.2% at Jerrabomberra, which is similar to the swing there on election day. They also suffered an 8% swing at Queanbeyan pre-poll,

10:43pm – Labor has won 55.1% of the two-party-preferred vote at the Bega pre-poll, a swing of 0.8%. Labor’s Kristy McBain is currently sitting on 52.6% of the two-party-preferred vote.

10:32pm – We’re starting to get pre-poll 2PP figures. Labor gained 53.5% at Merimbula, a swing of 9.4%. They only gained 33% at Tumut pre-poll, a swing of 3% to the Liberal Party (which is a more modest swing in the neighbouring election-day booths).

10:03pm – Labor has suffered a 3.6% primary vote swing at the Yass pre-poll centre, which is a smaller swing than in two of the three Yass election-day booths.

10:01pm – As a comparison, the Labor primary vote went up 7.3% at Merimbula and 20.6% at Merimbula Central. They gained swings in the Bega election-day booths that are comparable to the 1.3% pre-poll swing.

9:58pm – We’ve got primary votes from the pre-poll centres in Bega and Merimbula. Labor gained a 1.3% swing in Bega, and a 6.7% swing in Merimbula. These are both good but it’s worth bearing in mind that both booths are in the east of the seat, which has produced the strongest swings for Labor.

9:52pm – So we now have results for all 71 polling places used today, but we don’t have any results yet for the pre-poll or postal votes. We had about 44,000 votes cast today as ordinary votes (including almost 3000 informal votes), but we are expecting almost exactly the same number of votes as pre-poll votes.

We don’t know how many postal votes have been cast, but we know quite precisely how many pre-poll votes were issued at each pre-poll centre. So we can compare where those pre-poll votes are expected to come from, and how that compares to the election-day result.

I have divided the seat into the same five regions I used for my election guide.

Labor gained a solid 3.3% swing in the east (ie. the coastal region), and much smaller swings in the south and west, which are the areas that the Liberal Party won in 2019.

Labor lost 1.6-1.7% in both the north (including Yass and the former Palerang council area) and the Queanbeyan urban area.

The pre-poll votes are not distributed in the same pattern. There are a lot less pre-poll votes cast in the north of the seat, and relatively more in Queanbeyan. I assume a lot of those voters from places like Bungendore went in to Queanbeyan to cast a pre-poll vote. There were also 943 pre-poll votes cast at three centres in Canberra.

Overall, almost 22,000 votes were cast on election day in regions where Labor gained a swing, while just over 22,000 were cast in regions where the Liberal Party gained a swing.

There are relatively more pre-poll votes in areas which swung to Labor: about 23,000 in the east, south and west, compared to about 19,000 in the north and Queanbeyan.

Overall this doesn’t look decisive: it suggests that Labor might do a little bit better than expected, but there is not a huge bias in terms of where these votes were cast. There is more than enough votes to put either side over the top.

Region Labor 2PP Labor 2PP 2019 Swing to ALP Ordinary votes Pre-poll votes
East 57.6 54.3 3.3 12,798 13,315
North 50.9 52.5 -1.6 10,156 3,939
Queanbeyan 54.6 56.3 -1.7 12,185 15,275
South 43.6 43.1 0.5 5,219 5,977
West 48.0 47.7 0.3 3,846 4,143

9:42pm – We now have two-party-preferred figures from all 71 ordinary booths, and the Liberal Party has gained a swing of 0.3%. In raw terms, Labor is on 52.8% of the two-party-preferred vote, but in a typical election you would expect that lead to diminish as the special votes come in.

9:22pm – Sorry for my absence – I’m trying to get some raw booth figures so we can get a sense of the trend before pre-poll reports. We now have 2PP counts from all but two ordinary booths and the swing to the Liberal Party is 0.3%.

8:55pm – We now have 67/71 ordinary election-day booths and the swing has flipped, with the Liberal Party gaining a swing of 0.3%.

8:41pm – On average the booths where the Liberals are gaining swings are a bit bigger than Labor booths. Labor has gained a swing in 31/60 booths, worth 16,481 total votes. The 29 booths swinging to the Liberals are worth almost 21k votes. In particular there’s a gap in Queanbeyan. Five booths have swung to Labor, and five to the Liberal Party, but the Liberal-swinging booths make up about 3/4 of the total vote counted so far.

8:35pm – The seventy booths which have reported primary votes recorded 53,022 votes in 2019, but this time around they’ve reported just 43,602. Just one ordinary booth is yet to report any results at all (Braidwood). So it looks like about 10,000 less ordinary election day votes will have been counted.

8:31pm – We now have two-party-preferred votes in 60 booths, and there are just eleven which are yet to report. The AEC expected about 45,000 ordinary votes across the election-day booths and about 39,000 of those expected votes were booths which have reported. Those booths have actually reported just under 37,500 votes.

8:27pm – The results we have seen are not entirely concentrated in small booths. Classifying booths by the number of votes expected by the AEC, there are 34 booths expecting over 1000 votes, and 14/34 have reported. 14/18 booths with 500-1000 turnout have reported, and 25/49 small booths (under 500 votes).

8:22pm – So far (still on the same 53 booths), Labor has gained a swing in 31, and the Liberal Party in 22. They are evenly distributed across the seat. Labor has gained a swing in a majority of booths in the north, east, west, and in Queanbeyan. The Liberals have gained swings in 7 out of 11 booths in the south (the Snowy Monaro region).

8:17pm – There’s a lot more data now and I’m working on a more detailed analysis, but just as a quick summary, we have preference counts from 53 booths, and Labor is up 0.6% across those booths.

7:15pm – 29 booths have reported primary votes and 13 booths have reported two-candidate-preferred counts, and Antony Green is projecting a 2.1% swing to Labor after preferences. But there’s still a lot of booths to go. When I get a minute I’ll do an analysis of the swings by region to see if that tells us more about what is going on. At the moment you’d rather be Labor than Liberal but it’s not close to decisive.

6:35pm – We have one tiny booth: Bowning, just outside of Yass. 164 votes have been cast, and Labor has gained a 0.2% swing after preferences from 39.1% to 39.3%. Far too small to tell us anything.

6:03pm – When I wrote this morning’s post we didn’t know what the final pre-poll count. In the end 6920 people voted on the last day, for a total of 43,684 across the entire voting period. This compares to 44,015 in 2019, so it’s a very slight decline, but will likely be a larger proportion of the total when you factor in a likely decline in turnout.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in Eden-Monaro. I’ll be covering the results tonight, although caring responsibilities mean the analysis will be light-on before 8pm. We’re expecting a large volume of postal votes, many of which won’t be counted tonight, and that will likely delay a result. We’re also expecting around 40,000 pre-poll votes which will come in later in the night.

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  1. I just hope the independent candidates either win the seat or give liberal and labour an absolute scare and become part of the 2PP

  2. Andrew, History says they won’t win from the opposition, What is your justification to believe tonight will be different? Also the east coast (Eden) seems to swing Liberal whereas the Monaro part is swinging Labour, strange

  3. On the ABC TV coverage the Liberal panelist whilst talking about the Nationals leader in NSW said “there is no “i” in team”.

  4. Labor up 53-47 before Quenbeyan and Bega are even in…

    I’m 90% sure my prediction of a Labor win will be proven right!

  5. Why do Governments try to contest seats they don’t hold anyway? It is just a waste of money, Real question is if Mike stood down at the last election would have Labour still won it?

  6. A Liberal win in my view. Voters dont like being required to vote in a by-election, particularly in the middle of Winter. Former Army Legal officer, Mike Kelly, retired early allegedly due to ill health but he has just got a new non parliamentary civilian job. Go figure !!

    SFF party are picking up votes from main stream parties, particularity the dysfunctional Nationals.

  7. Even when governments were popular in the past it has been over 100 years since a by-election was gained from the opposition, I retain my prediction of a Labour win but with a tiny reduced margin, Voter’s don’t care what time of year it is, Voter’s don’t like voting in times of crisis is the real story. I suspect the shooter’s still haven’t forgiven John Howard for the gun restriction’s even though it had to be done it is still surprising because historically the Coalition is more pro-gun than labour. If the shooters had sided with the Libs, i strongly suspect the Libs would have won but that isn’t the case, The Libs would need at least a 40% Primary vote to win the way i read it, (or the Lib+Nat vote would have to equal more than 50%) This won’t be called before Midnight

  8. What a class act with two great speeches from the Labor and Liberal candidates near the end of the ABC TV broadcast. The ABC TV compare Jane Norman was excellent and at times funny too. Even the new Insiders compare who was on a screen was good, more relaxed and even cracked a smile thanks to Jane Norman humour. The days of panelists made up of older sower faced men from the major parties is over I hope. Who ever does not win in this electorate I hope they find her a good safe seat to stand in next time as she (Labor or Liberal) deserves it.

  9. Daniel
    It is with great pleasure I am telling you that you are completely wrong.
    I am about 100 min behind, ie 1030pm in telecast. So i am pacing you in effect. It is obvious that the libs have won, comprehensively.
    Labour lost Cunningham in 2003 to the greens. Then there is Kalgoorlie in 1920. that is twice not never.

    After Cunningham Albo ran around announcing he was starting a new movement” ABC”.– Anyone but Crean. A week later Crean was gone, & Albo had failed to receive his “call to greatness” the labor leadership. He is just not up to it. Never has been, & never will be. As Richo says “never hang onto a mug, he will drag you under” I do hope you can appreciate the irony & wild justice of Albo’s current predicament.

    But by all means ignore the message, & persist with ALBO. He will lead you……over an electoral cliff. Go for it.

    What is especially pleasing is that the Greens have lost more than 1/3 rd of their vote. Although admittedly it is not clear how much has migrated to the Hemp Party.

    Do you think that Dr Jim the QLD genius will take over, or will it be “Tricky Dicky”? Keen to know if you think there could be another contender ?

  10. Antony Green disagrees with you wine, check his Twitter he is reluctantly calling it for Labor, this is not a good result for Labour nor is it a good one for the Coalition, The Coalition need 57% of the remaining Postals and Pre polls, that is almost impossible to achieve therefore Labor has one unless something happens in the counting we haven’t seen yet, And you talk about Cunningham well did the coalition gain that? No, I’m talking about the government gaining off the opposition, The greens are a 3rd party and Cunningham is relatively safe labour even back then.

  11. Bad night for the Greens. I think they got sandwiched between the people who directly wanted to vote for one of the major parties in a close election, and there being more minor parties for an explicit “send a message” vote. It might not amount to much once the distribution of preferences happens to account for the latter, but the theory that the bushfires would lead to people voting for climate change action isn’t holding up.

    The suburban and semi-rural areas near Canberra (Queanbeyan etc.) also had swings against Greens, which doesn’t bode well for them in the ACT election this year, particularly in Brindabella and Yerrabi. The Greens will have the inner city/student vote to hold Rattenbury’s seat, but they also need to count on getting a decent enough % of middle class suburban voters to get any others. So far, not good.

  12. Looks like a narrow Labor win to me. Clearly the decision to run Kirsty McBain was the correct one – her personal vote in the coastal booths saved the day.

  13. Daniel
    “”Even when governments were popular in the past it has been over 100 years since a by-election was gained from the opposition,”” BY WHOM !!? Semantics. A loss is a loss. As 2003 proved the fatality is caused by the result. As my grandfather Isadore used to say “A long sickness means a sure death”. Win or lose ALBO IS GONE..
    Daniel you haven’t answered my question. Or do you think the ALP will find Albo’s performance compelling, & back him to the next election ?
    I don’t follow/do twitter. Whilst i respect Green, the whole Sky panel had a different view. None the less the outcome/ end result, will be the same.

    Whilst i broadly align with your view, i did think there was still a lot of self promotion, & propagandising from M’c Bain. Seeing as she is the same personality type as Morrison, & Andrews etc( ACHIEVER TYPE 3) this is hardly much of a surprise. Still she clearly did well & is a quality candidate.

  14. When the Greens won Cunningham in 2003, Labor was not in power. The Coalition was.

    There were peculiar and unique circumstances surrounding Kalgoorlie in 1920 – the Labor member was expelled for being in effect pro-Irish and anti-British. He recontested the seat but lost.

  15. The postals are showing a slightly stronger position for the Liberals than the AEC tweeted last night.

    Also, there seems to have been a correction in the ordinary vote in the Liberals favour.

    I don’t know if this makes it close enough to be ‘interesting’, but it looks like there will be a softening in the position for Labor compared to what was predicted last night.

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