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The Pollie-ometer: 2019 Federal Election Tracker

Post updated at 8:45 am on 19 May, 2019

While the LNP and the media are using the word ‘catastrophic failure’ for Labor – the reality is, when you look at the numbers, in terms of catastrophic failures, it’s really the polls that have crashed and burned as they projected a Labor win. They projected it so believable that at least one major betting agency paid out on it prior to the actual election.

In reality, based on current AEC projections, there has been NO CHANGE at all to the number of seats held by either side from the last election. If the AEC’s projections hold – and they may change:


Updates to the Pollieometer based on my model – and ABC numbers – are provided below.

Latest Update: 8:45am on 19 May

The Pollie-ometer is being updated as results become available. It differs from other trackers in that it assumes ‘safe seats’ are already decided and focuses on the seats that will actually decide the outcome. For more information on the terms used in the tracker- and how it works read the information below the tracker.

Pollieometer190845 Note: Numbers in Marginals and X-Factors are based on ABC projections.

All votes are equal – but some are more equal than others

As I wrote in 2016, when it comes to deciding who rules the roost in Australia – while all votes are equal, some are more equal than others. This is because the majority of electorates in Australia are considered to be ‘safe’ seats – meaning they won’t be changing hands, because, well, they almost never do. In 2019, 60% of electorates (90 seats) are safe seats. If you – like me – live in a safe seat, your vote in the House of Reps arguably doesn’t decide who rules the roost in Australia.

Who actually does decide who rules Australia’s roost?

This leaves 40% of electorates (61 seats) – the Deciders – who will decide who rules the roost in Australia for the next 3 years. This is made up of:

  • marginal seats – this is around 30% of electorates and includes seats that were won by a relatively slim margin in the previous election, and
  • x-factor seats – meaning they have something unusual going on in them which challenges the status quo (such as popular local independent running). Around 10% of electorates fall into this category in this election – which is an unusually high number – and it is primarily LNP safe seats that are under attack.

How does this impact our pollies in the 2019 Federal Election?

The following diagram splits our pollies into three groups – Safe Pollies (who hold safe seats), Marginal Pollies (who – you guessed it – live in marginal seats) and Endangered Pollies (who live in the X-Factor seats).


The Pollie-ometer: Tracking what’s really happening in the 2019 Federal Election

Since safe seats are pretty much a given – only one changed hands in 2016 – in order to keep track on how each party is really progressing as the election results unfold this evening, you need to know two things:

  • How many safe seats does each party start with?
  • How many marginal and x-factors are they winning as the night progresses?

Typical electoral coverage mixes these up – and it can be difficult to tell what’s really happening.

The Pollie-ometer starts by assuming that all safe seats will stay where they are – and already count towards the 76 seats needed to win. Then it adds the marginal and x-factor seats as they become known. (Additionally, if safe seats do change hands during the night they are moved.)

So stick with me tonight as I update the Pollie-ometer to track what’s really happening.

The first Pollie-ometer will be posted shortly after polls close and results are known.

This post was first published on progressiveconversation.


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  1. Michael Taylor

    LNP have jumped out of the blocks, 5 seats to Labor’s 2. ☹️

  2. Michael Taylor

    Now 14 to 4. Of course, I don’t know what booths have been counted.

    Susan Ley’s vote is down 10% but not enough to lose her seat.

    But the big news is that there’s a 21% swing against Abbott.

  3. Michael Taylor

    And of course, it’s too early to call any seat yet.

  4. ChristopherJ

    thank you, Kaye. Pleasure to read your stuff Hope you are right, plenty of empty heads (blue ones) my way and lot of dirty tricks to fool electorate of LNP achievements.

  5. Paul Davis

    ABC computer shows 47 to 36
    AEC voting app real time shows national swing 3% to LNP
    Capricornia, LNP 65%, Landry returned.

    i won’t take all my sleeping pills until someone concedes…. 😢😩😖

  6. Michael Taylor

    Big swings to LNP in Qld and Tas. WTF!

  7. Oscar

    WTF Shorten it should have always been Albanese this time around.Shorten belly suggest’s his long term effort hasn’t been enough.

  8. Michael Taylor

    The gap is narrowing.

    But the big news is that Abbott has lost. LOST. 😀😀😀😀

  9. MöbiusEcko

    My, the Liberals are hanging big time on prepolls to get them through.

  10. wam

    It is hard to swallow but enough workers did the old I am alright jack and got cold feet when confronted with the ballot and scummo has the mandate. They could win the senate????
    How did susson, dutton and christenson retain their seats??? maybe the worst politician in Australia’s history has taken one for the team as the rabbott got shown the door?

    At least the extremists got a bit of a pasting but we will see in the senate??

    Plibersek has to hit the mongrels with their economic incompetence from day one with ??? albo/leigh??? deputy and billy as a minister

  11. Kate M

    Just updated the tracker – for all those who are following.

    Ten seats still to go – around half of those in Perth.

  12. Kate M

    Unfortunately – unless some of the outcomes called by ABC are wrong, there is now no way ALP can form gov in their own right. Parl will likely be hung based on what I can see.

  13. Paul Davis

    Wow! Malcolm Roberts from PHON us back in senate. Thank you queensland.

  14. Kate M

    I’ve just posted the latest update with commentary on the expected outcome. Refresh your screen to see it

  15. margcal

    Devastating result.

  16. Kronomex


  17. Alcibiades

    Too many of my fellow Australians are, “I’m alright, Jack!”

    Despair. Profoundly depressed.

  18. Matters Not

    One of the fundamental rules of politics is – never let the economic rationalists (or the legal eagles) drive the political policy-making bus. Particularly those, who exclaim(ed), – it’s a well thought through policy only to revise it on multiple occasions when the social policy gurus pointed out the inherent political catastrophes.

    Now – extremely unlikely – that Shorten will be PM or Bowen will be Treasurer. And it’s all their own doing.

    An unlosable election delivered losable via political ineptitude.

    PS – politics isn’t about the ‘ought’ (what should be) but the ‘possible’ – within an ‘Overton window’.

  19. totaram

    Matters Not: So what should they have done? Please enlighten us all with your social policy wisdom.

  20. whatever

    The crazy Kerri-Anne Kennerley rant on Studio 10 would appear to be what many believe, if you can call it “belief”, originating as it does from the steady drip, drip water-boarding of TalkBack Radio-inspired MSM……

    The main “issue” worrying this terminally misinformed electorate seems to be the idea that Labor and the Greens will somehow make their kids gay.

  21. randalstella

    The Adani Labor Party were only ever going to run second to the Adani Liberal Party.
    Don’t buy a dog that bites and keep patting it on the head.
    Unmitigated disaster.

    What is most sickening is the flattery of the public, so many of whom are selfish fools.

  22. Oscar

    It’s the end as we know it. Australia is f#cked. So is the world and the environment.

  23. Phil

    ‘ The Adani Labor Party were only ever going to run second to the Adani Liberal Party.
    Don’t buy a dog that bites and keep patting it on the head.
    Unmitigated disaster.’

    Spot on.

  24. Kate M

    I’ve just posted my final update for today. I’ll update again tomorrow as more numbers become available.

  25. Old Codger

    I see a number of problems with the ALP approach. The factions went against the popular vote and Albo was sidelined. Shorten always polled as preferred PM below whoever led the Liberals. Australians since the days of John Curtin have little care aside from their own personal comfort as was evidenced during WWII….the troops fighting for the country were basically neglected, even to the point of the wharfies refusing to load munitions because it was too dangerous for them! Bugger the poor soldiers being shot at! I’m alright Jackism is alive and well in this country. Shorten tried to flatter the electors by saying he trusted them. Mistake. Don’t tell them the truth, take lessons from the Liberals. Bob Brown should just piss off. His anti-Adani protests would have hurt the ALP. Who can blame a mine worker for wanting to keep his job, feed and care for his family? Bob Brown piss off. It reminds me of the days of Caldwell when purity of essence was more important than winning. For Christ’s sake, win the bloody election and then do what needs to be done. You cannot govern from opposition!!!! In this country’s politics being honest will get you nowhere. Morrison did what needed to be done and he was successful. I’ve been a Labor voter all my life and I am bitterly disappointed. Such good shadow ministers wasted.

  26. John L

    If the Libs form a government, that’s it for Australia. The next 3 yrs will f**k the country.
    I’ll be trying to sell up and leave, because I don’t want to be here. A people that can be so stupid, ignorant and selfish, are not a people I want to live amongst.

  27. Michael Taylor

    Well that’s it. Carol and I will stay in Scotland.

  28. paul walter

    I think the superannuation and neg gearing scare campaigns worked, people are just too lazy to to work these things out when Murdoch can do it for them

  29. paul walter

    So, so many good things will now be destroyed or never come to pass.

    You brain dead effing idiots.

  30. Oscar

    Shorten lost it because he’s not a street fighter and has zero understanding of how to win over all Australians.

  31. Krista Petrauskas

    I could weep! I am gobsmacked and appalled! Under LNP I worry about our water resources and environment. I worry about anybody who is not a white Australian,. I worry about the aged pension being taken away, and the Cashless Welfare Card rolled out Nationally.I worry about the ABC being sold off ..the list goes on.Preferential voting needs to axed! No-one should be able to buy an election or throw $60 million dollars at it!!! The cover ups are going to be enormous and go unsolved or outed! It is a shitty state of affairs!

  32. Kronomex

    One tiny benefit; at least the Blimptanic and Red Wing Nut missed out.

  33. silkworm

    Dutton’s victory speech was only slightly better than Barnaby’s, both gloating and dumping on Shorten.

    Yes, we are a country of brain dead effing idiots.

    PS – Matters Not has always been a tool.

  34. Jon Chesterson

    Thoroughly depressed that this election has been fought and won once again on the back of lies and mendacious acrimony. Morrison will be unbearable and our country has little chance of recovery now on economic, environmental or societal grounds. Australia and half the nation are so fcked up they bought the lies with no policies instead of a progressive and visionary way forward on so many fronts. There is no cure for this depression which I think half the nation will now be feeling. There will be no concession and no compromise. Half the nation now will be disenfranchised and very probably depressed. Morrison will have no miracle cure for that. Thanks Queensland, you have given the green light for the destruction of the environment, the Great Barrier Reef and the go ahead for Adani and Clive Palmer’s mine with billion dollar corporate welfare handouts which will now go ahead. Workers will not get paid and the coal industry will be lighting up with no market to speak of overseas. We are so out of step with the rest of the world and our economy is fcked. I grieve for the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru and on shore, for Morrison and Dutton will hold the line and continue the cruelty.

    See you on the streets everyone!

    This will all end very badly before the 3 years are out. Morrison has absolutely no insight like all his mindless fans who would gladly eat the rest of us alive.

  35. LOVO

    Wot Paul said…. F#CK, as in WTF Australia … 😐
    It’s looking like it’s time to think.. ‘prepping’, and having said that, “Has anyone at the AIMN got any dog or cat recipes ” ?? If so, please share 😐 I’d like to pass them on to my children and soon to be born grandson, just say’n. …after all..it’s a dog eat dog world, here, in ‘their’ Australia
    One wonders if’n NZ is ready for the influx of Australian boat peoples…
    Poor fella my country

  36. Glenn K

    I feel sick to my stomach and I don’t even live in Australia any more. Guess I’m staying in France for another 3 years. The cruelty and corruption will continue unchecked for another 3 years. What a sad sad state of affairs for Australian society. A strong lurch towards Trump’s USA. Makes me feel sick and so sad for so many.

  37. Trevor

    What a fckup. No policies and massive scare campaign wins the election apparently.
    Salesman Morriscum repeated ad nuseum lies around kitchen tables.

    Labor MUST get over its bullshit we will not respond to LNP dirt. Get down and fight fire with fire. LNP repeatedly created lies and Labor never once responded.

    Dumb arse Bowen and his don’t vote for Labor. Idiot idiot idiot.

    Shorten is no leader. Fooled everyone including the voters by putting out his manifesto which was gleefully destroyed by LNP.

    When is Labor going to get a leader who will be elected as PM.
    Despair at what confronts a once caring country.

  38. Peter F

    Shorten’s mistake was to overestimate the intelligence of the average voter. Churchill was correct.

    The relentless lies of the right wing propaganda won over.

    At least the ‘better managers’ will now have to face the coming international storm, but the losers will be the average punter.

  39. margcal

    Good luck in Scotland, Michael and Carol. Many thanks for all you have done and achieved at The AIMN.

    I’m withdrawing from, unsubscribing from, avoiding all news sources and commentaries for at least the next 3 years. I cannot bear the thought, sight or sound of the LNP, I feel ill contemplating it. It’s not a heroic stance but it’s what I need to do to survive.

  40. Jimmy

    I would like to thank all at the aimn for the last six years keeping me sane in the madness that is now Australia.
    Special thanks to Kaye Lee and Rossleigh and also Michael and Carol.
    As most of you are, i am totally gutted at the imbeciles that live in this country.
    Oh special thanks too to all the effwits in Queensland and new England for subjecting the population to the next three years of fluckshittery.
    The sewer rats will govern now as the economy colapses, house prices plummet, unemployment spirals, retail outlets fold in massive numbers, hospitals struggle to cope, ect ect ect.
    Corruption will go to new and dizzying heights.
    Untold boxes in the sky will be built for chinese people.(developers will have carte Blanche) Fkck the environment.
    All hope is lost now. Mudrake will have to be compensated for his roll in this fluck up. The ABC is now his.
    Coal is now the new god.The great aussie bight is fcked. Matter of fact we are all fcked.
    No chance aged care will improve for all poor sods incacerated in homes to make dirtbags rich.
    What is education,social justice,.
    Dont hang your hats on Abbott losing either, big effing deal. A liberal in disguise has replaced him while he gets posted to some 600,000 thousand plus post somewhere to carry on the insanity.
    I’ll give it three months when the population goes WTF and we become worse than the USA.
    They wiil reneg on all there promises and say Bill Shorten spent all the money so we cant do anything we promised.
    I cant go on, too depressing.
    Three more years of this fubar is the end for a once great nation.Glad Bob wasn’t around to witness what his beloved aussie people have
    done to themselves.
    Correction, Queenslanders, Tasmanians and New England have done to the rest of us.
    Nothing can keep me sane now, all hope is dashed.
    Good luck all, were gonna need it.

    ( fubar. Fcked Up Beyond All Recognition. )

  41. Kate M

    I’ve updated the post with commentary – the real catastrophic failure was the polls.

  42. DrakeN

    “Poor Fella, my Country.”

    My cynicism, and disrespect for my fellow citizens of this country is confirmed.

    Gullible, shallow minded evolutionary failures.

  43. John Lavery

    Glenn K, how do I get to France? I have to know, please.

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