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Photo finishes: lower house

March 14, 2017 - 04:20 -- Admin

The ABC computer is now listing five seats in doubt, having today called Geraldton for Liberal and Kalgoorlie for Labor. One of the doubtful is the Nationals-versus-Liberal contest of Kalgoorlie, where the ABC computer is projecting a comfortable Liberal winning margin of 4.2%. However, this is based on a speculative preference estimate, as no notional two-party count is being conducted, so we won’t know exactly what’s happened here until the end of the count. That leaves four outstanding Labor-versus-Liberal contests that will determine Labor’s final tally of between 37 and 40 in the house of 59. I’ll also keep at least a lazy eye on Baldivis, where independent Matt Whitfield has finished ahead of the Liberals and could maybe pull off a miracle if he gets an extraordinarily strong flow of preferences over serial Labor bridesmaid Reece Whitby.

This thread will cover the progress of the late count in these seats, in progressively greater detail as I get my act together. I’ll also continue running my upper house simulations on a daily basis on the existing post.

Jandakot. Liberal leadership aspirant Joe Francis trailed by 26 votes on election night, and now trails by four. My feeling is that Francis will get up, as the first 840 postals have behaved fairly typically in going 54.4% his way, and there should be plenty more where they came from. Labor has picked up 52.6% of the first 582 absents, but the behaviour of absents tends to be uneven depending on where particular batches came from, and the ones counted so far may be uncommonly strong for Labor. The same may be true of the first 536 pre-polls, which have so far broken to Labor in similar fashion to postals, although it’s of concern to Francis that these so far have been less favourable to him (in relative terms) than they were in 2013.

Joondalup. Labor’s 187 vote margin on election night has whittled down to 17. There are now 3338 pre-polls in the count, which is presumably most of them, and they have gone 52.2% to Liberal member Jan Norberger. However, 350 absents broke 350-201, which probably reflects the fact that the strongest Liberal areas are on the coast, so there is less tendency for voters there to wander over the boundary and vote in neighbouring electorates. This could prove to be a worry for Norberger, but it’s balanced on his strong 55.3% share of 1348 postals counted so far. A big question, which I am unable to answer, is how many of these are likely to be outstanding.

Kingsley. After trailing by 317 votes on the night, Liberal front-bencher Andrea Mitchell has rallied by picking up 56.4% of 1031 postals, reducing the margin to 191.

Murray-Wellington. A 415 Labor lead on election night is down to 308, mostly on account of Liberal member Murray Cowper picking up 57.7% of 769 postals. However, a possible fly in his ointment is Labor’s 60.9% share of the first 156 absents, which may reflect the fact that these are more likely to come from the Bunbury and Mandurah ends of the electorate.

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