NSW 2011: seats in doubt


There are a number of seats that are in doubt after last night’s counting.

Balmain – Balmain is the most interesting seat of the election at the moment. At time of writing, the Liberal candidate James Falk leads on 32.3%, with sitting Labor MP Verity Firth on 30.7%, only 86 votes ahead of Greens candidate Jamie Parker. The current two-party preferred count has Firth leading over Falk with 51%. However, if Parker were to overtake Firth either on the primary vote count or on preferences from minor candidates such as Maire Sheehan, it would be an entirely different contest. Parker would be favoured to win, but it is hard to know.

East Hills – Sitting Labor MP Alan Ashton suffered a 14.1% two-party-preferred swing, which puts him two votes behind Liberal candidate Glenn Brookes.

Maroubra – Sitting Labor  MP Michael Daley is 1215 votes ahead of Liberal candidate Michael Feneley.

Monaro – Nationals candidate John Barilaro is 603 votes ahead of Labor MP Steve Whan.

Newcastle – Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate, who came close to winning in 2007, suffered a 12.6% swing and has come fourth in the seat. Liberal candidate Tim Owen is 674 votes ahead of Labor MP Jodi Mckay.

Oatley – Liberal candidate Mark Coure is 332 votes ahead of Labor MP Kevin Greene.

Swansea – Liberal candidate Garry Edwards is 491 votes ahead of Labor MP Robert Coombs.

Toongabbie – Labor MP and former premier Nathan Rees is 485 votes ahead of Liberal candidate Kirsty Lloyd.

Wollongong – Independent candidate Gordon Bradbery is 138 votes ahead of Labor MP Noreen Hay.

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  1. One note id make. Had the Greens beaten the IND in the Blue Mountains (theres was a tiny margin between them after counting all the votes), they would have stood a small, outside yet possible chance of winning the seat. Overall the Liberal candidate easily won the primaries however Labor performed reasonably in the 2PP stakes (45-55), considering the Greens and IND didnt give any preferences. I was scruntineering the the Blue Mountains and I noticed that there were many *1. IND 2. GRE* votes. So it seems the IND took a decent handful of Greens votes, which probably explains why the Greens lower house vote remained stagnant and yet they powered through to beat Labor comfortably in the leg council vote. Had the Greens placed ahead of the IND, and IND preferences been distributed, they may well have jjuusstt picked up just enough votes from the IND to overtake Labor. And from what I saw, less than 1/3 Labor votes exhausted (Labor preferenced the Greens). So that woudlve lead to the Libs winning the seat over the Greens by only 4 or so points. Its dissaspointing the Greens didnt quite pip the IND but what can you do?

  2. Nick C, The Telegraph reported on sunday that there was to be a recount in Balmain, (they also reported erroneously that the Libs had not conceded, they have). As I understand it, no one has asked for a recount, but can anyone tell me what the situation is when it is so close like that?

    Also, when does the NSWEC publish the full allocation of preferences (all the final counts). Last time I looked it wasn’t there, though maybe I just don’t know where to look…

  3. Hmm, it looks like the NSWEC aren’t conducting full preference counts in seats decided on first preferences after all, so in 12 seats which are now Coalition v Greens contests there will be no Coalition v Greens 2PP margin published. Ok, so the margins are pretty big, but it would be nice to see them as we have at previous elections.

    Does anyone else know what’s going on here, will they publish them later or something?

  4. I understand my previous comment is now confirmed from NSWEC, so we won’t be getting any Coalition v Greens margins in the 11 or 12 seats which are now Coalition v Greens 2PP contests, as well as no full analysis of minor candidate preference flows for all seats where preferences weren’t required to decide the result.

  5. That would be a ridiculous position for the NSWEC to take. Surely their job is to report the election counting result, not to be partisan and decide who forms government. What’s the point of having preferential voting if the electoral commission are just going to ignore it to produce some sort of artificial margin? Liberal v. Labor margin effectively means nothing in those seats.

  6. Also, at the 2007 election, the Greens came second in Vaulcluse and North Shore and the NSWEC published a Lib v. Green TCP. So the electoral commission must have known it would happen again in those seats, at least. If what Nick C says is true they must have had a change of policy since the last election, but why?

  7. This is absolutely creating a distorted image of the results. In some of those seats where the Greens finished second, Labor’s total number of 2PP votes is less than the Greens primary vote!

  8. From a candidate who asked the NSWEC if they were going to do a full preference count in their seat and was told they would not.

  9. To Chris and Nick C,

    I also asked the NSWEC if they would do a Lib v Green 2CP count and they said no. Their reasoning was leaving it Lib v ALP makes it ‘easier for commentators to work out the state wide swing from 2007’

    If this is the real reason why does their LA landing page show the swings in those seats that had by-elections in 2008 as the swing from the by-election and not from 2007 election?

  10. That’s pretty pathetic reasoning. Why not conduct two counts so we have an accurate portrayal of the fact that in a large number of seats the Greens have supplanted Labor as the second party (and indeed, Labor may not regain that position in the foreseeable future in many of those seats)?

  11. Surely actually reporting the result of the election should come before making things easy for journalists.

  12. It’s really bad for Wagga Wagga; Lib 53.5%, Ind (McGirr) 30.6%, ALP 10.1%. So the NSWEC are counting Lib v. ALP.

  13. I also spoke to the NSWEC. They told me the commissioner has decided to conduct the count between the Coalition and Labor in these seats, so that’s what they are doing. So I asked why they had changed their policy since 2007 and I was told the commissioner had made the decision, but I can’t speak to him. They also said who comes second is irrelevant.

  14. Hmm, I would’ve thought that what is far more irrelevant is Labor’s ‘two party preferred’ vote in seats where they get less than 10% of the primary vote, and are thus clearly not one of the two ‘preferred’ parties!

  15. I filed a complaint and the response finally came back. They said:

    Where the second candidate was not a candidate selected by the NSW Electoral Commission to distribute TCP count votes, the NSWEC will conduct a separate TCP count for those candidates and it will be published in the election report.

    So now they say they will do it properly.

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