NSW 2011: Legislative Council count moves forward


A lot of information has fed into the count for the Legislative Council, bringing us much closer to a conclusion.

Nearly all above-the-line votes have now been counted at local electoral offices. With 11 seats going to the Liberal-National coalition, 5 to the Labor Party, 2 to the Greens and one each to the Shooters and Fishers and the Christian Democratic Party.

Summary – the Greens’ Buckingham currently leads Pauline Hanson by 6482 on above-the-line votes, but Hanson’s strong below-the-line vote should put her about 3400 votes ahead on the final primary vote. Such a small margin should be closed by stronger preferences to the Greens.

The race for the final seat at the moment comes down to the following candidates:

  • 0.45 quotas – Jeremy Buckingham (GRN)
  • 0.41 – Pauline Hanson
  • 0.31 – Gordon Moyes (FF)
  • 0.29 – Andrew Ferguson (ALP)
  • 0.28 – Bob Smith (Fishing Party)

As it stands, the gap between Buckingham and Hanson is 6482 votes.

The other factor in the result comes down to below-the-line votes. At 5:30am this morning a report was generated showing the breakdown by candidate of all votes entered into the central computer system so far. This included about 23% of all above-the-line votes, along with first breakdowns of below-the-line votes.

Looking at below-the-line votes, Pauline Hanson and the Greens both performed much more strongly than the ALP and the Coalition.

  • Coalition – 19.77% BTL /  47.68% ATL
  • Labor – 16.87% BTL / 24.76% ATL
  • Greens – 16.33% BTL / 12.81% ATL
  • Hanson – 17.68% BTL / 1.45% ATL

If you look at those above the line figures, they are stronger for the ALP and Greens than the overall figures for the more-complete count above. The vote for the Coalition and Hanson is underestimated. This makes sense when you see the list of seats counted so far, which is biased towards the city.

I’ve done a calculation which assumes that the overall number of below-the-line votes will be approximately 79,000, which matches the ratio of above-the-line votes counted so far. If this is the case, and the below-the-line votes remain as much stronger or weaker as they have been so far, the final primary vote figures for the final seat should come out approximately as follows:

  • 0.48 quotas – Pauline Hanson
  • 0.46 – Jeremy Buckingham (GRN)
  • 0.31 – Gordon Moyes (FF)
  • 0.29 – Andrew Ferguson (ALP)
  • 0.28 – Bob Smith (Fishing Party)
  • 0.28 – John Hatton
  • 0.26 – Charles Matthews (No Parking Meters)

In my model, Hanson outpolls Buckingham by about 3400 votes. I would expect Buckingham to defeat Hanson on preferences, receiving around 5000 preferences from the ALP as well as preferences from groups like John Hatton, the Democrats and Socialist Alliance. Most right-wing preferences should flow to the Coalition, Christian Democratic Party and Shooters and Fishers, with very few reaching Hanson.

My sampling in the counting room suggests that about 15% of above-the-line votes have a second preference, and amongst Labor votes with a second preference, about two thirds flow to the Greens and practically none flow to Pauline Hanson.

After all of that, the most likely outcome remains a win for Buckingham. While Hanson’s very strong below-the-line vote should put her ahead on primary votes, it’s not enough to counteract Buckingham’s more favourable preferences.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!


  1. Joel MacRae

    my reply was to Pollster, who thinks the 21st seat will be between PH and Liberal 11

    I was telling him it was almost impossible for the Greens to win the 20th seat and the last seats will be between PH and Green

  2. Now this has become interesting. The ABC currently has the final seat between the Greens and Pauline Hanson, with the following left-over quotas:

    Greens: 0.4562
    Hanson: 0.4550

    A different of 0.0012. If this result occurd on primaries, the Greens will win hands down.

    Now have a look at the latest VOTENSW figures:

    Coalition (expected to get seat number 20 with their 11th candidate, according to the ABC): 0.4857
    Hanson: 0.4883
    Greens: 0.4454

    Hanson is currently leading the below-the-line voting, with 10k formal votes in her favour. She is currently in front on VOTENSW. I suspect that this jump has occured now that they have done a fair chunk of the votes from her base in Port Stephens and in the immediate area. If that gap is retained between Hanson and the Greens into the preferences, I think she can fall over the line.

  3. Hawkeye,

    I believe the ABC count is based on the total ATL count from local electorates plus the approximately 75% of BTL votes counted. The BTL votes don’t include any postal or absentee votes, which should boost the Greens.

    I also believe the ABC figures are being updated manually, and don’t appear to include today’s votes, which saw Hanson receive a big boost in BTL votes.

    You shouldn’t look at the totals on the NSWEC in isolation. Combining the two figures gives Hanson a lead of 2000 votes. If you project out that the remainder of BTL votes will retain the current difference compared to ATL votes, then I have Hanson outpolling the Greens by about 4700 votes.

  4. Thanks for the clarification Ben. If that modelling turns out to be true, then what are the realistic chances of the Greens chasing down that gap?

    If you can double check this but I would believe that the votes used to decide preferencing would be randomly selected? Or would that specifically use the votes that exhaust first and place the other votes aside to be used as preferences? How would it work beyond that?

  5. Hawkeye the three figures you list are the ones that raised the possibility of PH being elected in front of the coalition. If grn is slightly behind and third out of the three then the expectation is that grn will be elected on lab preferences. Who gets elected out of ph and lnp depends on where the “right wing” prefs go. But ph is in front at the moment before prefs.

    This has arisen due to the lnps quotas falling as the count goes on – on election night it was 10.8 got to over 11 and appears to have dropped to 10.445. Importantly the numbers after the decimal appear to be less than the numbers after phs decimal.

    Am I missing something?

  6. As some have said before, the LNP will get 11 elected unless something really strange occurs. The NSW electoral commission site is showing numbers based on a progressive count (the slowly undertaken official count which includes BTLs in districts tallied so far) of approx 75%. The ABC site shows the initial ATL count plus the BTLs counted by the EC as of Tuesday – approx 88% of the vote in ATLs and 1% of the vote in BTLs, giving a vote count of 89%.

    Importantly, the LNP have 10.62 quotas by the ABC count. Clearly the count declared by the commission so far is underweight in LNP votes (and slightly overweight in the ALP vote), as the vote continues this will be resolved.

  7. Pollster

    If PH ends up in front of the Liberal candidate, there is no doubt the Liberal candidate will win the last seat.

    The Greens have a chance to overtake PH, because the right wing minor party votes are likely to be preferencing the Liberals/CDP prior to PH, so the Greens has a chance to pass PH

    If PH finish in front of the Liberals, preference from the like of Fishing (.280quota) and Family first (.311) to the Liberal will easily outpace the preferencing of ALP (.260), Democrate (.180)

    In fact if the Liberals fall behind the Greens by about .02, they are still likely to pass the Greens on minor party preferencing

    The only way the Green can win a seat is with ALP preference to pass PH, and as the ALP vote dips (.260) the higher percentage of preferences the Greens will need to pass PH

  8. The latest count has the Liberals 11th on .5816

    Hanson on .4804, Greens .4587 and ALP on .2601

    It means 1/9 ALP senate vote must preference the Greens for them to pass Hanson and that is assuming no ATL preferencing to Hanson, it is getting close

  9. Well I’m confused. Seems Nationals and Greens have taken last 2 seats. How PH was so far ahead and expected to take spot then suddenly not some confusing system this is. But oh well we have the result now off to work pollies.

  10. People who were politically aware enough to vote Gordon Moyes, John Hatton or another of those groups, were also probably more likely than average to provide for a second preference on their ballot.

    Also, people who chose to vote Family First above CDP appear not to have preferenced CDP, but rather others including the Lib/Nat ticket.

  11. People who were politically aware enough to vote Gordon Moyes, John Hatton or another of those groups, were also probably more likely than average to provide for a second preference on their ballot.

    Also, people who chose to vote Family First above CDP may have had reasons for doing so built from the FF CDP split and may preference another candidate ahead of the CDP.

  12. After the most biased, anti-Green campaign by the Australian media, that I have ever witnessed, it is pure justice that Jeremy Buckingham has been elected. Yes and at No 20,not No 21! The stupidity of the media edging on a Hanson win, shows their complete idiocy and total ignorance of the NSW Upper House electoral system!

Comments are closed.