Podcast #90: Aston by-election preview


Ben is joined again by William Bowe from the Poll Bludger to discuss this weekend’s federal by-election in the seat of Aston.

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  1. I strongly suspect Labor will be leading here as much as 52-48 on election night, but lose on late votes. The media will go crazy and potentially Labor may claim victory too early only to lose it narrowly on late votes

    It’s time for the government to pass a law allowing votes cast before election day to be counted before 6pm as long as the workers and scrutineers sign a form agreeing that they won’t leave the premises until after 6pm election day, and that they won’t leak any results early.

    This will stop the “false hope” on election night and early seat calls, and candidates and supporters falsely believing they won. Time for the gov to give the power to the AEC to fix this by counting earlier.

  2. They started counting at last years election at 4pm Daniel – the law (if it needed one) has already been passed.

    There’s no real reason for it to be a problem at a by-election anyway as they should be able to get enough staff. If the PPVC takes 10,000 votes they just need to have several counting points.

    At a general election AEC, and this week obviously the NSWEC, is stretched for staff. Perhaps we need to encourage uni students to take the week off (and have a semester break) so thet can all go and work for the relevant EC, take free or something. That might help with staff shortages.

    Its all very easy for us to sit here and complaint its too slow, but I haven’t heard anyone on hear say they are actually working on the count.

    Ben said he did it once – which makes me think it was too hard/long to bother doing again. or perhaps he joined a party and therefore couldn’t

  3. I don’t think there’ll be live tv coverage of this by-election, or will there?
    There is a live panel when the stakes are high e.g. four NSW by-elections on one day in 2022 (the government’s majority was on edge, possibility of LNP seats flipping); Wentworth by-election (same reason and also, it was soon after Turnbull got dumped).

    Non-prepoll and non-ordinary votes can take 1 or 2 weeks to count. If there’s a swing TO the Liberals, or a very small swing away, in ordinary votes, then we can go to bed on Saturday knowing the results. If not, then it’ll be tight.

    @High Street, methinks that staff shortages are less problematic when there is a by-election because the AEC can pull in temp staff from neighbouring seats. At a general election, every seat in the state/country needs temp staff. Also, since there were two elections in the past 12 months, those who come back to do this by-election may have some memory of how to count.

  4. Also Bennelong had election night coverage when Trent Zimmerman and Linda Burney were on the panel.

    I would be more than happy to volunteer to count when I move down to Victoria later this year, but I can’t wait for the day it is fully electronic voting so the result is out instantly at 6pm. Or have robots count the votes.

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