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South Australian election late counting

A progressively updated post following the counting of over a quarter-of-a-million outstanding votes in South Australia’s cliffhanger election.

Friday

5.3pm. Further counting in Elder reversed the trend just noted, breaking 1485-1254 Labor’s way and putting the lead at 757, which is very likely more than the number of votes still outstanding. Counting also favoured Labor today in Ashford (347-287, increasing the lead to 820) and Newland (671-652, putting it at 656).

Noon. Declaration votes are flowing fairly strongly the Liberals’ way in Elder, a second batch breaking 528-429. That reduces the Labor lead to 526, and could send it below 300 if the trend continues.

Thursday

8.30pm. The final score for the day from Colton shows Labor gained 1196-1078, putting Paul Caica’s lead at an unassailable 570 with perhaps 1000 votes remaining to be counted. The tide of late counting continued to flood the Liberals’ way in Hartley, today’s batch favouring Liberal candidate Vincent Tarzia over Grace Portolesi by 1685-1204, pushing his lead out to 1131.

5pm. A big addition of votes in Newland breaks 1426-1332, putting Labor’s Tom Kenyon 637 ahead and confirming his victory. In Mitchell, Labor clawed back 39 votes out of 3203 added, but it’s too little too late. Pretty much impossible now not to see a result of Labor 23, Liberal 22, independents two.

4.30pm. Labor has pulled a further 107 ahead with the addition of 1415 votes in Ashford, where Steph Key’s lead is now at 760 and unlikely to change much with perhaps 1000 votes still outstanding. Sykesie reports Labor now 588 ahead in Colton, with postals favouring the Liberals by an insufficient 52-48.

1.30pm. Well-informed commenter Sykesie relates that the morning’s counting in Colton has broken Labor’s way 349-262, putting Labor 539 votes in front and making life all but impossible for the Liberals. Their only hope of making it a twenty-third seat is an unlikely late reversal in Newland, where Labor leads by 543 with declaration vote counting still at an early stage, with about 4000 votes still to count.

Wednesday

11pm. It appears a move from postal to pre-poll counting also staunched the flow in Ashford, where Labor’s Steph Key now looks home and hosed after today’s batch broke only 728-720 to Liberal. This leaves Key 653 in front and projected to win by about 500. Nothing today from Elder or Newland.

6pm. Labor nerves will have steadied considerably with the addition of 970 votes in Colton, which I understand to be pre-polls. These have broken 491-479 in their favour and held their lead at 452. Projecting the existing declaration vote shares over an assumption of about 3000 outstanding votes, Labor emerges over 250 votes in the clear.

1pm. Mitchell continues to trend the Liberals’ way, 980 newly added votes breaking 563-417 and pushing the margin out from 373 to 519.

Tuesday

6pm. It appears the votes counted today were mostly if not entirely postal votes, and they are playing according to the script of favouring the Liberals by virtue of not reflecting the move back to Labor in the final week. On top of what was mentioned previously, today’s counting favoured the Liberals 808-634 in Ashford and 888-767 in Elder, and while that’s likely to be too little too late in Elder, the projected Labor win in Ashford comes down to double figures if the final declaration vote total is presumed to be 6000.

5pm. Encouraging first set of declaration vote numbers for the Liberals in Colton, breaking their way 556-425. If that trend were to play out over a total of 5000 declaration votes – 4000 having been the norm last time, but many more pre-polls apparently having been cast this time – the Liberals would finish about 100 in front. However, it may be that these are absent votes cast over the boundary in a Liberal-leaning part of the electorate, or representative of a particularly strong result for the Liberals on either postals, absent or pre-poll votes that won’t be replicated among the other vote types. UPDATE: I’m told on Twitter that these are postal votes. ECSA doesn’t do breakdowns of declaration votes, but in the corresponding federal seat of Hindmarsh, the Liberal two-party vote in September was 55.4% compared with 53.9% for pre-polls. Absent votes favoured broke 52-48 to Labor, but that’s unlikely to be instructive with respect to Colton.

4pm. The first 1424 added in the only seat that might get Labor to a majority, Mitchell, have broken 782-642 the Liberals’ way, increasing their lead from 233 to 373. If that keeps up, their winning margin will be around 800.

2pm. 1218 votes have been added in Newland, breaking 632-586 to the Liberals and reducing the Labor lead from 589 to 543. If that trend continues, the Liberals will only be able to wear away about 200 votes. However, trends in late counting can be variable, particularly in relation to pre-poll and absent votes which might be cast in particular parts of the electorate or neighbouring electorates. Unfortunately, ECSA doesn’t distinguish between different types of declaration vote in its published results.

Monday night

This post will follow the crucial late counting for the South Australian election, which has so far only dealt with re-checking of the polling booth votes counted on election night. Counting of an estimated 260,000 pre-poll and postal votes begins today, with the Liberals needing multiple miracles to boost them from their likely total of 22 to a majority of 24, and Labor hoping they might yet get there through what presently seems an unlikely win in Mitchell. Labor’s narrowest leads are of 571 votes in Colton (1.6%) and 589 votes in Newland (1.8%), while the Liberal lead in Mitchell is 233 (0.7%).

390
  • 201
    Aaron Vines
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Bob Such has already indicated that he turned down the possibility for a lot more money by retiring before this election, but stayed on to do his share to help his constituency. Personally, I think he won’t be too concerned about his re-election chances next time.

  • 202
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    “3000 astounding votes”

    They certainly are.

  • 203
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    The Libs should have learned from the Oakeshott-Windsor experience that the way to deal with independents is not to bully and threaten them. Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.

  • 204
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.

    Nor have the Advertiser.

  • 205
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    What is the Advertiser saying?

  • 206
    Darren Laver
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    The Libs should have learned from the Oakeshott-Windsor experience that the way to deal with independents is not to bully and threaten them. Frodo seems not to have learned that lesson.

    Apparently a Murdoch rag in Adelaide had a huge headline screaming “We want Libs”…

  • 207
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    What is the Advertiser saying?

    Basically a headline saying “We Want Libs” with a story about those Galaxy polls, pushing the “respect the will of the people!” angle.

  • 208
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I meant, needless to say, “outstanding”. It’s been a long day.

  • 209
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    Well, William, your work covering this all has been outstanding.

  • 210
    Darren Laver
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Yes, William’s coverage has been excellent.

    SA elections are normally a fairly dull affair, but with William’s work I have found this one most interesting!

  • 211
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Darren, and props for the apparent thickness of your skin.

  • 212
    Outsider
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    IT @ 196. I was in error. See section 88 of the Constition Act, which if I read it correctly, would need a referendum to move away from single member electorates. My memory from first year constitutional law in 1979 has faded!

  • 213
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    I must apologise to Darren. I misread post 185 and thought he was berating us on the thread for not talking about electoral reform.

  • 214
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear this is good. Typically when you post a link to an article on Twitter you get a URL that includes a random string of letters. My article “SA Election: Libs Fall Short Of Majority, Again” has been assigned the following Twitter URL:

    http://t.co/ei5R1oWNED

    (My bold for emphasis)

  • 215
    Kevin Bonham
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    (Don’t click on the link in #214; adding bold means it doesn’t work anymore. Direct link http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/sa-election-how-libs-fell-short-again.html)

  • 216
    Darren Laver
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    I must apologise to Darren. I misread post 185 and thought he was berating us on the thread for not talking about electoral reform.

    No worries, I have been called a lot worse here!

    And yes, I was referring to the SA political elite, media and general SA public rather than this site, which is the only place I have seen some ideas for reform.

  • 217
    Wakefield
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Quite a few more counts gone up tonight. Ashford – Labor lead about 650 with probably 2500 votes to go – over 60% needed by Libs – no chance.

  • 218
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Yes the “fairness” clause clearly worked as intended. Maybe South Australia could send some of its fairness experts to help out with future Russian referenda ?

  • 219
    lefty e
    Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Basically a headline saying “We Want Libs” with a story about those Galaxy polls, pushing the “respect the will of the people!” angle.

    Well, I saw the gentlemen in question interviewed this evening, and if the seats stay at 23-22-2, it seems most likely Weatherill will remain Premier and ther will be an ALP minority admnistration.

    Brock’s big on 23+2 = stability. Which is hard to argue with.

    In that happy event, the Advertiser can go poll itself.

  • 220
    spur212
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Some people on here might remember a user on here named “Bright Ideas” from awhile back.

    Surprise, he’s the new member for Bright, David Speirs!

    Had some interesting things to say a long time ago about the Liberal Party in SA a long time ago on here. The words “pie-in-the-sky” featured a lot in relation to Martin Hamilton Smith …

  • 221
    spur212
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Repeating myself a bit. It’s been a long day

  • 222
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    es the “fairness” clause clearly worked as intended. Maybe South Australia could send some of its fairness experts to help out with future Russian referenda ?

    Maybe Putin can send the SA Libs a division of OMON Militsiya to help your hopeless colleagues seize power.

  • 223
    Edwina StJohn
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Will you be moving to Adelaide Adam ? The last refuge of labor staffers ?

  • 224
    Socrates
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Brock was reported to have had a second meeting with Weatherall yesterday. On top of the steadying in Ashford and Colton this looks to be decided. Certainly no happy dances in the Liberal camp. Another hamfisted attempt to bully independents has failed.

    Thanks to William and Kevin. B for the excellent coverage of an interesting election. I see in his article Kevin makes the point that proportional representaion on regional lines would not have helped the Libs – their problem is the skew of voters on geographic lines in a State where most of the people, and seats are metropolitan.

  • 225
    Outsider
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting to reflect on the city v country divide in SA, which is what underpins the disparity between 2pp statewide and seats won. Looking at the likely 2014 outcome:

    Of 13 country seats, the Libs hold 11, Labor 1 and Geoff Brock 1.

    Of 34 Metropolitan seats, Labor holds 22, Libs 11 and Bob Such 1.

    Going into the election, Labor had 11 seats on margins under 5%, the Liberals only 4. Therein lies the disparity. The Liberals could only win 3 of those Labor marginals. Its not really fair to blame the boundaries commissioners for the outcome. But with a constitutional fairness requirement for re distributions, given the state’s demographics, a move to a Hare Clarke system would go some way to redressing the balance.

  • 226
    Outsider
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Correction. The Libs only had 3 seats on margins under 5% going into the election.

  • 227
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    @205 “What is the Advertiser saying?”

    I have 2 things to say -

    1. Who gives a F’ing Rats Ass what the Advertiser says, and
    2. Who gives a F’ing Rats Ass what the Advertiser says.

    Advertiser – by name and nature. Pages open for highest bidder. Damn one paper town. Shame the Independent didnt work out, but hey, who gives a F’ing Rats Ass about the Advertiser!

    Rough night.

  • 228
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Re the fairness clause, I’d like to make a number of points (some of which have been made in here before):

    1) The fairness clause should never have to account for liberal incompetence in having previously lost Frome and Fisher. I mean losing Frome?? … when an ex-Liberal premier retired?? People might also remember Martin Hamilton-Smith hilariously proclaimed victory in that by-election a little too early … So there’s 2 seats that should be theirs.

    2) As Tom Koutsantonis pointed out on ABC radio on the election night, if the libs want the election decided on 2-party preferred vote, the ALP will actually bother to campaign in places like Mount Gambier and Victor Harbor!!

    Unrelated to the above, rookie leaders just don’t take their parties out of opposition to form government in this country. Marshall’s best hope is to hold out another 4 years as opposition leader and then transition to premier. His problem, however, is his life expectancy in his current job is now more likely to be 4 months than 4 years. MHS redux here we come.

  • 229
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    As far as those on the right saying its a rort and Libs should be ‘allowed’ to form government then thats fine, so long as we can have back those 9 long years of Howard rule post 1998. We can start from today if you like.

  • 230
    Outsider
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    On balance, I would like to see Hare Clark 7×7 implemented for 2018. Add Light to the list of “country” seats and there would then be 2 non-urban electorates and 5 urban. The contest for seats would then be very real, state wide.

  • 231
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    sykesie

    you think MHS? Not one of the others? Maybe even Alexy doing a Newman from outside the Parliament?

  • 232
    Simon Katich
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Key independent Geoff Brock might be leaning toward Labor to form next government

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-20/key-independent-might-be-leaning-toward-labor-to-form-sa-govern/5333042

  • 233
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I think MHS would be the best leader for the liberals. He is the most policy focused and he deserves credit for some of his activities when he was leader. Marshall is a lightweight in comparison. As I mentioned in an earlier post, his problem, however, is he is despised by a number of his colleagues. Another bludgerite also pointed out that suddenly since the election MHS has become visible in the media, particularly commenting on the “unfairness” of the current electoral situation in SA. This was pretty obvious leadership posturing if you ask me.

    I expect Marshall will limp on as a leader for a while and then get nobbled.

  • 234
    Ross
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    If anyone has wondered why the declaration votes have taken so long to be counted, this extract from Antony Green’s blog of the Frome by-election in 2009 explains why:

    …..South Australia has a unique provisoon in its electoral act (yes, yet another one) that says declaration votes cannot be counted until the electoral lists from polling day have been scanned. This catches a tiny tiny number of people who lodged both a polljng day and a declaration vote…..

    http://blogs.abc.net.au/antonygreen/2009/01/frome-by-electi.html

    ‘Vote early, vote often!’ Now where have we heard that before?

    Incidentally, Such is aged 69, but Brock seems to be hiding his age. I gave up after a quick google search of his bio. Does anyone know?

  • 235
    johncanb
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Hare Clark works well enough in the ACT. Currently we have 1×7 and 2×5 and we are about to move to 5×5. It does mean Labor almost never has majority government, so has to depend on Greens or independents to get stuff through. But it works. At present we have a Greens Minister, and previously under Kate Carnell as Chief Minister the Libs had an Independent (Michael Moore) in her cabinet as Health Minister. I personally think it makes it more difficult for their medium-term political survival if the Greens/Independents choose to be part of Cabinet, but they seem to like the power it gives them for a short time.
    If the ACT was single member electorates, the ALP would be in power almost all the time, which would result in bad decisions. No party should have almost total dominance.

  • 236
    Wakefield
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    You would think it would be workable today for voters to be checked off on a central voters roll at the same time as being checked off at the polling booth or checked in as a postal vote. That would alert anyone who had already voted (most of which will be people with memory difficulty)and allow the pre-poll votes to be counted on the night of the election. People voting outside their electorate would still be a delayed count, but only for a couple of days while the location transfers occurred. No answer for postals but it would reduce the unknown factor by a lot.

  • 237
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    sykesie

    Why is MHS despised by some in his party? I see him often at school drop off and he seems like a nice guy.

  • 238
    Scott
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Bob Such is 69 according to Wikipedia.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Such

  • 239
    Ross
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Yeah, Such is 69, but does anyone know how old Geoff Brock is? I’m just asking to ascertain how likely it is that both may retire at the 2018 election – whatever the consequences are of supporting labor. Such already qualifies for a generous pension, but I’m not sure if Brock does. That could be a decisive factor. Sorry if I’m too cynical.

    If Brock declares for Labor, then Such needn’t choose any side as his vote is purely academic. He can maintain his independence. Besides, if he becomes Speaker again, he will only need to vote if Brock votes with the Libs.

  • 240
    Independently Thinking
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    My mate in Port Pirie tells me Brock is either 68 or 69 this year, but I have asked him to check his medical records to make sure.

  • 241
    Aaron Vines
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Just in:
    Labor SA just tweeted some of todays’ Colton count: 248 Labor to 173 Liberal. It could almost be a convincing win, if those numbers continue.

  • 242
    Frickeg
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Antony Green says Brock is 64.

  • 243
    Independently Thinking
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I was joking about checking Geoff Brock’s medical records @ 240.

    Port Pirie mate says Brock is turning 65 this year – the confusion was I had asked him what age would Mr Brock be at the next election. Sorry.

    Relatedly, both Such and Brock have succession plans with their policy advisor primed to run to take over from each at the end of their term.

  • 244
    Ross
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Thanks. Retirement in 2018 could well be on his mind. If so, he may not care about the ‘Tiser’s polls. Besides, doesn’t ‘We Want Jay’ as the preferred Premier cancel out “We Want Libs’? The cheek!

  • 245
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Diogenes – I was at a function a number of years ago and had a long conversation with a current opposition frontbencher about the whole wets v drys battle in the SA Libs. Lets just say Hamilton-Smith was certainly not a passive participant in this whole saga.

  • 246
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Lunchtime at the Colton count today and the fat lady is warming up:

    Score at lunch
    ALP: 349. 57.1%
    LIB: 262. 42.9%
    Caica 539 in front.

  • 247
    Independently Thinking
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    It just occurred to me that the Galaxy Poll in Newland just before E-Day saying Labor 51-49 was pretty accurate (I think ALP will win 52-28) but in Mitchell it said the same result but the Libs look like winning 52-48.

    I wonder why the discrepancy? Did Hanna’s preferences in Mitchell throw things out?

  • 248
    Independently Thinking
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Sykesie

    At that rate the fat lady is about to burst forth on stage.

    Any changes to Ashford or Elder that might cheer up the Libs?

    I hear that the liquor store on Unley Road had ordered in a pallet of Veuve Cliquot in anticipation of a big delivery.

  • 249
    mari
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    @sspencer_63: SA confirmed at 23 ALP, 22 Lib, 2 Ind RT @JustinDiLollo Liberal Party can’t win Colton from here. ALP best part of 600 in front now.” Great news

  • 250
    Ekigozan
    Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    IT: I presume that the margins of error of those Galaxy polls were quite large, and the Hanna factor would have increased the variability as well, so a 3% difference between the poll and the final result is not particularly surprising to me.

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