ACT & NZ election night live


10:22pm – I’m going to call it a night here. I’ll be busy tomorrow so may not have any updates then, but will definitely have some posts next week including a podcast. Until then, the summary of the results:

  • Labour has won big in New Zealand, winning the first single-party majority in New Zealand since the introduction of MMP.
  • Labor and the Greens have retained their majority in the ACT Legislative Assembly. It looks likely that Labor will lose seats and the Greens will gain seats, with the Liberals likely also going backwards. I can’t see Labor winning a majority in their own right.

10:04pm – It’s been pointed out to me that I made a mistake when looking at Brindabella. The gap between the Greens and the third Labor candidate is extremely slim, so it’s entirely possible the Greens could win. It’s also been pointed out that we don’t know strong Labor preferences will flow to the Greens if this happens, so it’s possible the third Liberal could win if the Greens get ahead of the third Labor.

9:36pm – So on my quick count I have Labor on 11, Liberals on 8, Greens on 4, with Labor narrowly beating the Liberals in Ginninderra and the Greens narrowly beating the Liberals in Kurrajong. This means Labor probably can’t win a majority, but the overall centre-left position has strengthened tremendously.

9:34pm – Just quickly looking at Yerrabi, at the final point in the count two Labor candidates, one Liberal (Coe) and Greens candidate Andrew Braddock have been elected, with the two remaining Liberals on 0.79 and 0.86 quotas respectively. It seems unlikely the Liberals will poach a third seat from the Greens.

9:33pm – In Murrumbidgee, the sample is worth 59.7% of enrolment, compared to 79.1% for the latest primary vote count. It overestimates Labor by 0.4 and Liberals by 0.5% and underestimates the Greens by 0.4%.

At the key point in the count both Liberals have been re-elected, as has one of the Labor candidates (Steel). The Greens’ Davidson is elected on the votes of ungrouped candidate Fiona Carrick, leaving the two remaining Labor candidates competing for the final seat on 0.74 quota for Bec Cody and 0.85 quota for Marisa Paterson. Paterson wins.

It’s not clear which Labor candidate wins but the party balance seems clear.

9:27pm – So, Kurrajong. 52% of the vote is included in the preference distribution. The sample underestimates the Greens by 0.7% and overestimates the Liberals by 0.9% compared to the latest primary vote count. It also overestimates Labor by 0.2%.

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury and Labor’s Andrew Barr are elected earlier in the count, and at the key point the votes of Labor’s third candidate Maddy Northam push second Labor candidate Rachel Stephen-Smith over quota. Her surplus favours second Greens candidate Rebecca Vassarotti, putting her on 0.84 quota.

The two remaining Liberals both remain under quota. Elizabeth Lee is on 0.96 quota and her colleague Candice Burch is on 0.79 quota. Thus Vassarotti beats Burch. The gap is only 0.05 quota, or 0.7% of the total formal vote, so this is still in play, although it’s worth noting that the Greens vote has improved significantly since this sample.

9:08pm – Okay, after a short break putting my kid to bed, let’s look at Ginninderra. The current count has 75.9% of total enrolment counted. The preference count is at 58.7%. It overestimates the Liberals by 0.5% and Labor by 0.5% and underestimates the Greens by 0.3%.

At the key point in the count, Labor’s Berry and Cheyne have been re-elected and the third Labor candidate Ramsay is on 0.82 quota. Liberal Kikkert has been re-elected and her colleague Peter Cain is on 0.78 quota. The Greens’ Jo Clay is on 0.88 quota.

Cain is then eliminated and Ramsay and Clay both win. A turnaround of 0.7% would be enough for Cain to overtake Ramsay, so the third Labor seat is still in play. I wouldn’t confidently call the Greens seat but I think Clay is likely to win.

It’s also worth noting that at an earlier point in the count Clay is on 0.56 quotas when her colleague Katt Millner is elminated on 0.4 quotas. I don’t think that gap is likely to change.

8:45pm – Elections ACT appears to have published preference distributions based on a partial count. I’m going to go through these one by one, starting in Brindabella.

In Brindabella the distribution is based on 39,529 formal votes, compared to 50,116 on the latest count. The count slightly overestimates the Liberal vote (by 0.6%), underestimates the Greens by 0.4%, and overestimates Labor by 0.3%.

Greens candidate Johnathan Davis is knocked on about 0.7 quota, and his preferences elect the second Labor candidate and push the third close to the quota. The surplus from the second Labor candidate then elects the third Labor candidate. At this key stage the three Labor candidates have about 20,000 votes while the three Liberals (none of whom has been elected) are collectively on 17,000. Then the third Liberal sitting MP Andrew Wall (who is a long way behind his colleagues) is knocked out and elects his colleagues.

This seems pretty decisive for Labor to win three, but we’ll see as the count continues.

8:00pm – We now have about two thirds of the vote counted in Ginninderra. Labor is on 2.44 quotas, the Liberal Party on 1.56 and the Greens on 0.77. This would put the last two seats in play. The Greens are leading on a per-quota basis, but the Ginninderra effect suggests Labor in particular will be in a stronger position than that 0.44 surplus would suggest.

7:58pm – The Māori Party has gained a seventeen-vote lead in Waiariki. If they win this seat that’s one less seat that’s available for the other four parties in Parliament. It would also make them eligible to win list seats, but their current party vote would only entitle them to one seat anyway.

7:21pm – So at this point there are four districts in the ACT where the Liberal vote is down substantially, while they are up substantially in Yerrabi. By my count I have Labor on ten likely seats, the Liberals on eight, the Greens on three, with Labor and Greens competing for two other seats, with the Liberal scompeting with a centre-left party in the other two. That would translate into an increased number of centre-left seats. But it’s still early and a lot of seats are still in play.

7:19pm – The vote count is much less advanced in Ginninderra. Just 4.3% have been counted. There appears to have been a big swing against the Liberal Party, down to 1.39 quotas. The Labor vote is steady at 2.45 quotas, with the Greens vote up substantially to 0.97 quotas. Interestingly the Greens vote is split very evenly between two of their candidates, which is unusual for the Greens. On these numbers the Greens would have won an extra seat while Labor and Liberal are competing to retain their seats, but the count is quite early.

7:15pm – Yerrabi has bucked the trend in other electorates, possibly due to the presence of Liberal leader Alistair Coe, or a reversion after a light rail-driven swing in 2016. The Liberal vote is up 6% to 2.5 quotas, while Labor has suffered a 9.5% swing, falling to 2.11 quotas, while the Greens are on 0.55 quotas.

Labor looks likely to lose their third seat here, with the Liberal and Green competing for that final seat. If the Liberal Party vote is relatively even that will advantage them against the Greens, but a large part of the Liberal vote is concentrated in Coe.

7:10pm – Almost one third of the vote has been counted in the south-western electorate of Murrumbidgee. Labor’s vote is up 4.4% to 2.26 quotas, while the Liberal vote is down 10.8% to just 1.98 quotas. The Green vote is up to 0.74 quotas.

The redistribution helped the Liberals in Murrumbidgee by adding some strong Liberal booths on the southern slope of Capital Hill. Effectively the Greens seat in this electorate became a notional Liberal seat. But on these numbers the Liberals don’t have much chance of nabbing this seat.

7:07pm – Over a quarter of the vote has been counted in the inner-city electorate of Kurrajong. The Labor vote is steady at 2.39 quotas, while the Greens vote is up 7.6% to 1.63 quotas. The Liberal vote, which elected two members in 2016, is down to just 1.29 quotas. Greens candidate Rebecca Vassarotti is in fourth place on primary votes. It seems quite plausible the Greens could gain a seat here. If they don’t, it’s also quite plausible Labor could gain a third seat. The Liberal Party is a long way away from retaining their second seat.

7:03pm – The Liberal Party currently holds three seats in Brindabella. Their vote is currently sitting on 2.31 quotas, compared to 2.48 quotas for Labor and 0.65 for the Greens. It looks likely the Greens or Labor could gain that third Liberal seat.

7:00pm – At the territory-wide level, the Greens vote in the ACT is up 4.9%, while Labor is up 1.3% and the Liberal vote is down 4%. It is too early to say if this is a fair sample but that result suggests we will see Labor returned to government, possibly continuing in alliance with a strengthened Greens team. I’m going to run through the electorates one by one.

6:55pm – We’re starting to see a drop in the Labour vote in New Zealand as other votes start to come in. Let’s see if that trend continues.

6:47pm – Let’s pause and consider the historic nature of the New Zealand result. It’s been 24 years since the first MMP election in 1996. It’s the ninth election held under the new proportional system. No election in that time has produced a single-party majority, although National came quite close when they won three terms in government in 2008, 2011 and 2014, winning 58, 59 and 60 seats respectively.

There has been a long term decline in the number of seats for minor parties, from 39 in 1996 and 41 in 2002 all the way down to just eighteen in 2017. The current results point to 21 seats for Green and ACT. Single-party majorities become more viable when there are less minor parties, but Labour’s result is still outstanding considering that this election has also been a relatively good one for the Greens.

6:33pm – I can’t see a path to government for National in New Zealand. At the moment Labour is on track for a majority in their own right, but even if they fall short they will be able to govern with a strong Green Party.

6:23pm – About 14.5% of the total enrolment is counted now in the ACT, and it appears that there are small swings to Labor and the Greens while the Liberal vote is steady. Too early to say too much about that.

6:02pm – 20% of the vote is now counted in New Zealand and Labour’s party vote is still over 50%. While that might drift downwards slightly, they are clearly on track to form the next government, possibly with a majority.

The electorate seats tell the story of a landslide – Labour is currently leading in nineteen of National’s 42 seats, with the Green Party leading in one other.

5:20pm – 3.8% of the vote has already been counted in New Zealand, thanks to the advance vote count starting this morning. Labour is currently polling just over 50% of the party vote.

5:00pm – Polls have just closed in New Zealand, and polls close in one hour in the ACT.

I’ll be primarily covering the ACT results but I’m planning some top-level analysis of the results in New Zealand.

Both elections have seen record levels of early voting. More than half of all New Zealand voters had cast an advance vote by Thursday night, and it looked like about 60% of all ACT voters would have cast a pre-poll vote before today.

Pre-poll votes in both jurisdictions are primarily cast electronically, which promises a quick turnaround of results for those votes cast early, but we’ll see how that goes tonight.

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  1. Majority government looks likely if this holds, Rare distinction under an electoral system like this, Germany does a similar if not the same system and they haven’t had a Majority since the 50’s, NZ since 1996 and this would be the first. Unprecedented especially a Centre-Left party achieving it since Centre-Right parties tend to win elections and bigger majorities more often.

  2. Early numbers but strong for Labour. So far Labour is 5% higher and Nationals 5% lower than in recent opinion polls. I don’t think there was any doubt that Labour was going to win but there you go. Labour will probably win majority or have to form coalition with greens. Either way this is a strong result for them. Particularly since New Zealand has a system that makes it very difficult for majorities to happen. Also, Winston Peters and NZ First won’t make it it appears. Again, not much of a surprise. Will be interesting to see if Labour’s increased vote will see which and how many electorates flip alongside the list system.

  3. Judith Collins looks like she is in some danger in her seat of Papakura. she is ahead by about 100 votes. She is favoured but not safe. I expect this seat to be within 5%. If she loses she surely cannot stay on as leader. Northland looks also it is in some danger These seats are usually relatively safe for the Nationals. Kaipara ki Mahurangi is also in some danger of falling but again Leans National. Whangārei Looks like it will fall however. If Labour wins all the seats they are currently behind by 500 votes or less as of 7:51 local time. Then Labour could get 70+ seats. again unlikely but you cannot rule it out until at least 50% is in

  4. Can’t see Labour failing to get a majority from here. They have 50.6% of the party vote, but 7.8% of the total vote has gone to parties which are way below the 5% threshold. So in effect, Labour has 50.6/92.2 = 54.9%. Unlikely to change unless one of the parties below 5% somehow wins a constituency seat.

  5. Strange how Maungakiekie is leaning National despite being a close seat last time and New Plymouth is easily a Labour gain, Candidates matter now?

  6. Well quite a night.

    NZ result was expected (and very well deserved).

    ACT is fascinating. Clearly the LNP did not cut through but the greens did.

    I must say, I had never seen him before but the ACT Greens Leader seems like an exceptionally nice guy. I think these things do matter, especially in a small town like Canberra. So much of the greens vote could be due to his exceptional niceness (and clear intelligence and reasonableness).

    The Liberal leader looked like a year 11 candidate to Head Boy and his wife a year 9 candidate for class captain. They are probably nice enough but I would not put them in charge of my garbage collection. let alone COVID response.

  7. Maungakiekie had a 2000-vote margin last time, not that small. This time the margin looks much smaller, more like 500 votes at current count. There’s vote splitting, but it seems to be pretty balanced on left and right.

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