The two-party-preferred count was effectively finalised last night, with the final figures counted from Cooper and Melbourne in inner-city Melbourne. There were 26 electorates where the final two-candidate-preferred count was not between Labor and the Coalition (non-classic), so a separate count was needed to produce a two-party-preferred figure.
It’s worth noting that there are 461 votes missing from the Kingscote PPVC (pre-poll voting centre) in Mayo, but every other result around the country has a primary vote which perfectly matches the 2PP.
In this post I’m going to look at the two-party-preferred counts in the non-classic seats, as well as looking at two-party-preferred figures overall by state and by geographic classification.
The two-party-preferred is an interesting metric. It is a simple statistic that can be an elegant way to analyse trends, but it tends to flatten the diversity of our political system into a simple Labor vs Coalition head-to-head. It makes it easier to compare current electoral trends to the last century of Australian politics, including periods when almost everyone voted Labor or Coalition.
While I don’t agree that a major party that wins the two-party-preferred vote has a “mandate”, I also think the 2PP is useful for giving everyone a chance to answer the question “if you have to choose who should lead the government, who would you choose?”. It’s why I’m confident in saying, while I don’t think Australians have expressed a clear view about the desirability of a majority Labor government, they have clearly expressed a preference for a Labor-led government over a Coalition-led government.
Labor won 77 seats, with the Coalition winning 58, and the crossbench includes sixteen seats.
Of those 16 crossbench seats, Labor won the two-party-preferred in seven seats, with the Coalition winning the other nine. Labor won the 2PP in the four Greens seats, as well as the inner Hobart seat of Clark, as well as the south-western Sydney seat of Fowler and the Centre Alliance seat of Mayo.
Clark, Fowler and Melbourne are no surprise. Mayo is an interesting result, for a seat once considered heartland for the Liberal Party. The Greens 2CP and Labor 2PP in the three inner Brisbane Greens seats are very similar, with Labor doing better after preferences in Brisbane and Griffith, and the Greens doing better in Ryan.
The Coalition still won the 2PP in the seven urban teal seats and Indi. I was a bit surprised that Labor didn’t come out on top in any of these seats, in particular the swing in Kooyong was just 2.2%. There was a large 2PP swing to Labor in Bradfield, where an independent did surprisingly well while falling short, but much smaller in seats like Mackellar.
This map shows the two-party-preferred result per seat, and can be toggled to show the swing.
If you look at the four biggest urban centres, you see different trends in terms of 2PP swings. The swings to Labor are huge in Perth. In Brisbane, there are swings to Labor everywhere, but quite small in outer Brisbane, and larger in inner areas. In Melbourne, by contrast, a lot of outer suburban seats swung to the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party even gained a swing in Cooper, which was already one of the safest Labor seats in terms of 2PP.
In Sydney, Fowler stands out on its own. There was an 8.3% swing to the Liberal Party, which technically would have made it marginal in the absence of newly elected independent Dai Le. This is consistent with the theory that Le may have picked up extra voters who wouldn’t have voted Liberal, but she also harnessed a general anti-Labor swing triggered by Kristina Keneally’s parachuting.
Zooming out, we can now also look at two-party-preferred trends more broadly. I wrote a blog post in the week before the election looking at how much each state varies from the national results over time, and I’ve updated that graph below to include 2022.
All but one state has moved closer to the national result in 2022, with Western Australia flipping and producing it’s strongest Labor result relative to national results during the timeframe covered by this chart. New South Wales is the one exception, but it is still very close to the national result.
Finally, this next chart shows the same information but divides up seats into the AEC’s four geographic classifications.
Inner metropolitan Australia has never had such a strong Labor lead, with a Labor 2PP of 59.17%, more than 7% above the national result. Rural Australia has the opposite trend, with a Coalition 2PP 10.16% better than the national result.