Update at 7:00 pm, 6 July 2016
At 7:00 pm on 6 July, since my update at 8am this morning, there’s been a lot more counting of postal votes which has changed the flavour of things materially in favour of the LNP.
Postal votes are tipping the scales to the right
The big news today is the impact of postal votes on the outcome as the AEC makes inroads into counting these votes. As expected, postal votes are leaning heavily towards the LNP – but to quite a serious extent when compared to ordinary (polling booth) votes. For example, in Flynn (Queensland), 51.53% of ordinary voters chose the ALP candidate over the sitting LNP candidate, but only 34.74% of postal voters did.
The impact of postal votes being factored into the outcome has meant:
- At least one ‘safe’ seats that had been deemed decided is now back in the likely category. This is Flynn in Queensland, which I referenced above. It was held by the LNP prior to this election, but had been deemed as won by the ALP candidate in this election. Thanks to nearly two in three postal voters picking the LNP over Labor, the LNP is slowly clawing back this seat.
- One undecided seat – Dunkley – which was leaning towards going to the ALP, has now been called as going to the LNP thanks to 60.5% of postal vote counted so far going their way.
- Of the nine remaining undecided seats:
- Three that were leaning towards the ALP are now borderline, and could cross over into LNP territory if the trend continues. These are Capricornia, Herbert and Hindmarsh.
- Only two are now leaning towards the ALP – Cowan and Melbourne Ports. This morning it was six – so this is a dramatic shift.
- Four undecided seats are leaning strongly towards the LNP – and unless the trend in postal votes changes, they will go to them. These are Chisholm, Cowper, Forde and Gilmore.
Where does this leave us?
This materially changes the complexion of the possible outcome. This morning, the ALP were potentially in contention of forming a minority government – and the Independents/Minor parties were looking like the Kingmakers. However based on the strong LNP count in today’s postals, the ALP winning has gone back to being a Steven Bradbury affair – it’s not impossible, but it will require a significant shift in the current direction.
In terms of actual numbers here is where I believe we are at right now in terms of seats – and this remains a movable feast, because this is one election where every vote (at least in a ‘Decider’ seat), really does count:
- The LNP have likely won 70 seats – and 5 seats are leaning heavily in their direction. There are also another 3 seats which I’m not attributing either way. This makes the LNP’s probable outcome (at this stage) between 75 and 78 seats.
- Labor have likely won 65 seats – and 2 seats are leaning heavily in their direction. Taking into account the 3 seats which I’m not attributing either way, Labor’s probable outcome (at this stage) is between and 67 and 70 seats.
- Our Independents/Minor parties continue to hold 5 seats between them:
- Katter party – 1
- Xenophon party – 1
- Greens – 1
- Independents – 2 (Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan)
That’s the state of play at 7pm on 6 July. Stay tuned for further updates.
The following commentary was written last Saturday – but the graphic has been updated:
The Deciders rule
As I’ve written previously, while there were technically 150 seats up for grabs in the House of Representatives this election, the reality is that the vast majority of electorates are considered to be ‘safe’ seats – meaning they won’t be changing hands, because, well, they almost never do. This means that the outcome of yesterday’s election will actually be determined by just over a third of electorates – the Deciders. These are typically electorates which either have a high proportion of swinging voters in them (marginal seats and a few fairly safe seats) plus electorates where there is a well-known and well-liked Independent/Minor-party candidate running.
As a result, when you’re looking at the election outcome from last night, it’s really only the outcome in the Decider seats that matters. So I’ve created the following Balance of Power Meter to track how the election outcome is going based primarily on the results in the Decider seats – rather than all seats – as it’s a more accurate proxy of how both parties are tracking. (I am keeping an eye on the safe seats as well and adjust the chart if any of them decide to perform out of character. So far the LNP lost two seats – Wyatt Roy’s seat and Ken O’Dowd’s seat – and for a while looked like it would lose Peter Dutton’s seat.) I am continuing to update my Balance of Power Meter – so check back in (make sure you refresh the page) for later updates on progress.
My list of 54 Decider seats shown below is based on the ABC’s Antony Green’s list of Key seats plus I have added:
- Cowper – Rob Oakeshott’s seat – as recent polls suggest he’s in within cooee of an upset in this seat; and
- Warringah – Tony Abbott’s seat – enough said.
I’ve included running totals for each group to show where they end up, which I will update as the night progresses.
a) Decider seats won by the LNP in 2013 – 32 seats
This includes: Banks (NSW): Bass (Tas); Bonner (Qld); Boothby (SA); Braddon (Tas); Brisbane (Qld); Burt (new seat in WA); Capricornia (Qld); Corangamite (Vic); Cowan (WA); Cowper (NSW); Deaken (Vic); Dunkley (Vic); Eden-Monaro (NSW); Forde (Qld); Gilmore (NSW); Herbert (Qld); Hindmarsh (SA); La Trobe (Vic); Lindsay (NSW); Lyons (Tas); Macarthur (NSW); Macquarie (NSW); Mayo (SA); Murray (Vic); New England (NSW); Page (NSW); Petrie (Qld); Reid (NSW); Robertson (NSW); Solomon (NT) and Tony Abbott’s seat – Warringah (NSW).
b) Decider seats won by the ALP in 2013 – 18 seats
This includes: Barton (NSW); Batman (Vic); Bendigo (Vic); Bruce (Vic); Chisholm (Vic); Dobell (NSW); Grayndler (NSW); Greenway (NSW); Lilley (Qld); Lingiari (NT); McEwen (Vic); Melbourne Ports (Vic); Moreton (Qld); Parramatta (NSW); Paterson (NSW); Perth (WA); Richmond (NSW); and Wills (Vic).
c) Decider seats won by minor parties and independent candidates in 2013 – 4 seats
This includes: Denison (won by independent candidate Andrew Wilkie in Tas); Fairfax (won by Clive Palmer of PUP fame in Qld); Indi (won by independent candidate Cathy McGowan); and Melbourne (won by Andrew Bandt from the Greens in Vic).
For a full list of all 150 seats up for election see the AEC’s list. Any seat that I haven’t listed above, is classed as a Safe Seat in my Balance of Power Meter (although the AEC may have classed some of them as ‘Fairly safe’).
Update: The LNP have lost a Safe Seat – Wyatt Roy’s seat – to the ALP and the seat of Flynn in Queensland is also in doubt, but thanks to postals is likely to stay with them. Peter Dutton’s seat was also up for grabs for a while, but he seems to have slid in by the skin of his teeth.
This article was first published on ProgressiveConversation.