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Sunday, April 13

This is probably my final update, since the result is well and truly beyond doubt. On the raw votes, the ABC calculator produces a result at the final count of 194,282 (14.86%) to Linda Reynolds and 179,150 (13.71%) to Louise Pratt, and my own projection is hardly different (14.91% to 13.66%). As Antony Green points out on Twitter, Labor below-the-line votes are producing the very unusual result of the second candidate, Pratt, outpolling the first, Joe Bullock, the current numbers being 1285 to 1039 with a great many more still to be apportioned, although it seems unlikely Pratt’s lead will be overturned. A precedent for this noted by GhostWhoVotes is that Barnaby Joyce outpolled George Brandis as the respective second and first candidates of the Liberal National Party Senate ticket in Queensland in 2010, the circumstance here being that Nationals loyalists who opposed to the LNP merger expressed their displeasure below the line.

Friday morning

Antony Green and Kevin Bonham are both calling it for Linda Reynolds, and I’m not going to argue. Yesterday saw the addition of another 13,530 postals and 2034 absent votes from Brand (on top of the 1653 that had been counted there already, these being the only absent, pre-polls or provisional votes entered into the count so far), together with more rechecking. My projection now has Reynolds’ lead over Louise Pratt at the final count at 190,430 (14.57%) to 183,002 (14.00%), or 7428 votes, which is lower than yesterday because of some tinkering I’ve done with the model. Putting the raw vote into the ABC calculator, Reynolds now leads 189,988 (14.54%) to Pratt’s 183,443 (14.04%), increasing the margin to 6545 from 3407 yesterday. The postal results have been consistent with the contention that the Joe Bullock story breaking the day before the election caused a shift in support from Labor to the Greens, Labor’s postal vote (24.64%) being higher than its ordinary vote (21.83%), while the Greens are much, much lower (6.98% compared with 15.78%).

Thursday morning

The addition of 11,138 out of what should be at least 90,000 postal votes has blown a hole in Labor’s hope that votes cast earlier in the piece will be relatively favourable for them, making a Louise Pratt victory look increasingly unlikely. With numbers reported from Brand, Curtin, Durack, Hasluck and Perth, the results respectively show the Liberal vote 11.1%, 11.1%, 10.3%, 13.4% and 9.6% higher than the ordinary vote, equalling or exceeding the similarly large differentials in September. Putting the raw votes into the ABC calculator previously showed Pratt in the lead, but now Linda Reynolds holds a lead of 3407 votes (0.26), or 188,421 (14.42%) to 185,014 (14.16%).

On the model I’m using to fill the gaps in the count, Reynolds finishes 8499 (0.65%) clear with a lead of 190,963 (14.61%) to 182,474 (13.96%). For pre-polls, postals and provisionals, the model assumes parties’ vote shares will differ from ordinary votes to the same extent that they did in September, producing percentage figures which are applied to estimated totals based on declaration vote data published by the AEC (1653 absent votes were added today from Brand, but as absent votes tends to bounce around depending on where they were cast, I will continue using the aforesaid method until a large number of votes are in). For postals, the party vote shares recorded so far for each of the five electorates for which votes have been counted are extrapolated to an estimated total, likewise based on the AEC data. For electorates where results have not yet been reported, the method is the same as for pre-polls, postals and provisionals.

The Liberal margin will come down by perhaps around 3000 if Palmer United’s position improves to the extent that it doesn’t need HEMP preferences to get elected, in which case HEMP votes will be passed on to Labor at their full value rather than a much-reduced transfer value. However, the improvement in PUP’s position needed for that to happen is a not insubstantial 0.3% going on the modelled figures.

Wednesday morning

I’m not going to do serious number crunching until we start seeing pre-polls, absents and postals, but the Liberals gained at least 1500 votes on yesterday’s re-checking and the addition of special hospital results as such, Kevin Bonham putting their lead at 2504 based on the current numbers. Kevin also observes that Labor’s position might improve by “thousands of votes” depending on the arbitrary fact of whether Palmer United reaches a quota after Liberal Democrats preferences are distributed, or whether the job still needs to be finished with the subsequent exclusion of Help End Marijuana Prohibition. In the latter case, HEMP will go into the mix of votes to be distributed as the Palmer United surplus at a fraction of their value. Otherwise, their preferences will transfer at full value to their next party of preference, namely Labor. However, the odds are in favour of the Liberals on either scenario.

Tuesday morning

Rechecking and perhaps a few delayed booth results yesterday added 2161 votes in Durack, 1076 in Forrest and 152 in Hasluck, to the extremely slight advantage of Labor. The West Australian reports counting of postal votes “may get under way today”.

Monday morning

Nothing new on the counting front yesterday, which the AEC presumably devoted to very carefully transporting votes to the divisional offices where the primary vote totals will be rechecked over the coming days. Ben Raue at The Tally Room observes that “the numbers of absent, provisional and pre-poll votes have dropped to 20-33% of the 2013 levels, while the number of postal votes has increased” – which would seem to bode ill for Labor, given how heavily postal votes traditionally favour the Liberals (47.6% in September compared with 38.8% on ordinary votes).

Sunday morning

For those of you who have just joined us, the WA Senate election result looks to be two seats for the Liberals, one each for Labor, the Greens and Palmer United, and with the last seat a tussle between the third Liberal, Linda Reynolds, and number two on the Labor ticket, Senator Louise Pratt. Both major parties were well down on the primary vote to make way for a surge to the Greens and Palmer United. Scott Ludlam was handsomely re-elected off a quota in his own right, while Palmer United’s Zhenya Wang will get there with preferences from a range of sources, the most handy of which are HEMP, Shooters & Fishers and Family First. The following quick summary of the results shows the raw percentages, and how I’m projecting them to look after pre-polls, absents and postals are added. There follows projections of the race for last place as derived by plugging both raw and projected results into Antony Green’s Senate election calculator.

As I write, 38 booths out of 814 are still to report results. The only electorate where all booths have reported is Moore, where 69,323 ordinary vote have been cast compared with 72,507. This makes turnout difficult to calculate, but it seems to me to have not been as bad as some were suggesting. The number of ordinary vote cast in Moore amounts to 70.14% of enrolled voters, compared with 74.59% at the election last September. In Brand and Fremantle, which in each case have had all booths report but one, the totals are 70.6% and 69.8%, compared with 77.7% and 75.1% at the election.


11.39pm. Back from my ice cream break to find the count at 937,396 (63.3%), with 62 out of 814 booths still to report. The latest projection puts the Liberals on 33.8% and the Nationals on 3.2%, Labor on 21.3%, the Greens on 16.0% and PUP on 12.2%. On the ABC computer, third Liberal Linda Reynolds’ lead over second Labor Louse Pratt at the final count has narrowed to 14.84% to 13.73%.

10.05pm. Count up to 661,954 (44.7%). My statewide projections are the same as Antony Green’s, so I’ll drop the metropolitan model and work off those instead from now on. I’m projecting 39.2% for Liberal, 3.4% for the Nationals, 21.1% for Labor, 16.1% for the Greens and 12.2% for Palmer United. Plugging that into the ABC calculator has third Liberal Linda Reynolds beating second Labor Louise Pratt at the last exclusion 15.1% (1.0553 quotas) to 13.49% (0.9446 quotas). Kevin Bonham and Truth Seeker think Labor are doing a little better than that: I’ve no idea about their methods, but I suspect it’s because they’re going off the raw vote totals, whereas I’m going off swings.

9.36pm. Count up to 526,235 (35.6%), Liberal projection down a shade to 2.93, Labor up to 1.57. But Labor’s position in the race for the final seat hasn’t improved since my 9.00pm update, because the Greens vote has come down slightly and reduced the size of the surplus available to Labor.

9.24pm. To explain all that in vote terms, the Greens vote is variously projected at 17% or 18%; Labor’s at a bit below 21%; Liberal at 34.5% plus Nationals at 3-4%; PUP at around 12%.

9.15pm. I have two models on the go here: the one I’ve been quoting, which extrapolates metropolitan swings across the rest of the state, and one which looks at the swings of all electorates, the problem with which is that non-metropolitan electorates should improve for Labor later in the night as bigger booths from regional cities report. But with the count now up to 367,945 (24.9%), the difference between the two seats of figures is diminishing – apart from the Greens, who are on 1.24 quota in the statewide model and 1.34 in the metropolitan-only model, and PUP are a bit higher in the former (1.18) than the latter (1.12). But both pretty much have the Coalition about 0.03 short of a third quota, and Labor on about 1.55.

9.00pm. With the same caveats applied in my 8.43pm comment, I’m now having Labor narrow the gap a little: Liberal 2.94 quotas, Labor 1.55, Greens 1.36, PUP 1.13. With the Greens surplus pretty much all going to Labor and PUP pretty much all going to Labor, the score at the final count would have Liberal winning 1.07 to 0.91, but with the numbers still certain to keep shifting around as the count progresses, and perhaps still the outside chance of both losing out to a micro-party boilover.

8.55pm. Antony observes current numbers in fact find that final vote going to Voluntary Euthanasia, but the statistical chance of that sticking would be low. Nonetheless, it should be emphasised that the final seat which I’ve been representing as a race between third Liberal and second Labor could be less predictable than that.

8.43pm. The picture isn’t getting any better for Labor as the count moves up to 121,082 (8.2%). My present projection based on metropolitan area swings has the Liberals on 2.96 quotas, Labor on 1.51, Greens on 1.36 and PUP on 1.14. That would easily get the Liberals to a third seat when the PUP surplus was distributed. Still plenty of room for caution though: the swing may be quite different outside Perth, and the swings I am calculating are derived not from booth-matching, but by extrapolating from the current electorate totals from metropolitan seats with their results from last September.

8.33pm. “Most of my modelling is based on the Perth vote”, suggets Antony, indicating my belated idea to run off the metropolitan swings gels with what he’s doing. With over 5% counted, very big transfer from Labor to Greens looking sticky.

8.23pm. Count up to 47,611, or 3.2%. Metropolitan swing projections: Coalition down 7.1%, Labor down 5.7%, Greens up 8.6%, Palmer United up 6.3%. Applying metropolitan swings to 2013 statewide results is the best rough guide I can come up with, because metropolitan booths do not have the issue with regional ones that a relationship exists between their size and their partisan tendency (i.e. these booths that are reporting early from O’Connor, Durack and Forrest and very conservative rural booths). Doing so confirms the picture noted previously, with a very close race between third Liberal and second Labor for the last seat.

8.11pm. Sam Dastyari concurring with my assessment that it’s likely Liberal 2, Labor 1, Greens 1, PUP 1, with the last seat a battle between a third Liberal and a second Labor.

8.08pm. Antony Green projecting a perilously low Labor vote, but the data available to him isn’t as good as usual and there’s still on 2.2% counted. My crude early projections for the metropolitan area are a 5.4% swing against Labor, 7.0% swing against Liberal, 6.2% towards Palmer, 9.3% towards Greens.

7.57pm. My early indications are of a 7.0% Palmer United swing in the metropolitan area, and all on the ABC News 24 are talking of a Scott Ludlam win as an accomplished fact. So you might start punting on a 2-2-1-1 result, unless Labor ends up doing badly enough that it comes in at Liberal 3, Labor 1, Greens 1, PUP 1.

7.34pm. With the count up to 5718, my PUP swing projection is now at 6.7%, which is a winning score for them. I’ll be interested to see what Antony’s next projection for them says. The lower micro-party vote is making a HEMP win look unlikely.

7.26pm. Antony Green’s data-matching off the earliest fraction of the vote – which is still a lot cruder than what he’s usually able to do – concurs with a drop in the micro-party vote.

7.18pm. Count now up to 2459. We’re at least getting evidence of a lower micro-party vote: I’m crudely projecting solid drops for parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Australian Christians and Fishing & Lifestyle.

7.11pm. To illustrate that point, an increase in the vote count to 1586 has been enough to push my PUP swing projection up to 4.0%.

7.07pm. Vote count up to 1216. The least useless of my projection figures based on the available data is the Palmer United swing, which I have at a less-than-expected 2.9%. Still pretty useless though.

7.03pm. Keep in mind that big unwieldy Senate ballot papers are slower to count than than lower house papers, so it’s to be expected progress will be slower than we’re used to.

6.56pm. Five small booths in from O’Connor, which would not even be representative of that electorate never mind the rest of the state, since they offer no insight on the larger towns. Also a booth from Pearce, for a grand total of 355 votes counted. Much talk from political operatives about a drop in turnout of about 15%, putting it in the high seventies.

6pm. Polls have closed in Western Australia’s Senate election. Absent any media commitments, I’ll be closely following the results as they come in on this post. I’m still unclear as to whether the AEC will be publishing booth results, but at the very least will be able to analyse the figures based on crude matching of reported results at the division level to the 2013 figures. Antony Green will be covering the results on ABC News 24, but I’m not exactly clear what format that will take.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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1,024 thoughts on “WA Senate election live

  1. matt31

    Yes, Bullock is from the SDA, who can always be relied on to provide such wonderful Labor candidates.

  2. Centre


    But you have to be seriously fair.

    Abbott had a shocker!

    Who did worse, the LNP or the ALP?

    It depends on who loses the seat.

    I am not going to buy into the higher percentage fall in the Liberal vote because Labor were coming off a low base.

    Whoever loses the sat – loses the election 😎 no spin 😯

  3. Compact Crank

    Ludlam wasn’t impressive. The swing is a combination by-election effect and the shark issue. Watch the vote collapse back to 10% next real election.

    What was impressive was Kroger ripping Ludlam a new one on national TV on Saturday night.

  4. Compact Crank

    Centre @926 Disagree. it wasn’t a “shocker” given the average swing against Governments is about what occurred and that the swing ended up with PUP who will support Abbott’s key policy issues. I’m happy to say it would have been preferable for the LNP to have done better but I’m unsuprised and unconcerned.

    I’d much rather be Abbott than Shorten right now.

    I don’t see any interviews of LNP Politicians and Pundits saying how terrible it was for Abbott, unlike the ALP openly admitting how bad it was for them.

  5. Centre

    Crank, wrong on both counts I’d say;

    1) the Greens will fall back to 9.5% or less in WA in a fair dinkum election, and

    2) no, Kroger was abusive to Ludlam and Ludlam put Kroger away in the most impression fashion that I have ever seen.

    Ludlam didn’t take any sh!t. If only he could see the light of normality 😈

  6. Jackol

    Yes, Kroger really showed that Ludlam character what for! Imagine a lowly TV host with control over an interview having the courage and decency to spout a lot of partisan crap. I’m glad Kroger has the telepathic power to work out what was going on in the minds of most of the people who watched the youtube footage of Ludlam’s speech.

  7. Centre


    Fair enough. But whoever loses that extra seat, loses the election.

    Shorten is more favoured to lose it, so don’t wimp it and agree!

  8. Jackol

    7.3% swing against the government

  9. WeWantPaul

    Ludlum wasn’t impressive! ROFL

  10. Compact Crank

    Centre @931

    I don’t see it as a win-lose scenario. All it is a alteration of the number of Independents the LNo have to drag over the line with them. If LNP gets the third seat it is two less independents needed to get over the line.

  11. Centre


    Well I think he was in that Kroger interview, as much as I don’t like to admit it.

  12. WeWantPaul

    Whether ludlums very impressive result is because of his YouTube and campaign and how much it was Labors bad campaign he has shown the (lack of) brown factor can be overcome.

  13. Centre


    I the Libs lose that third seat they have lost the election. Really the LNP vote was smashed.

    Still, although Labor percentage fall was less, they were coming off a low base.

    I’d call it that whoever loses that extra seat loses the election.

    Why are you wimping it, Shorten is more favoured to lose it 😉

  14. kakuru

    [What was impressive was Kroger ripping Ludlam a new one on national TV on Saturday night.]

    Remind me… when was Kroger elected to anything?

  15. fredex

    Step 1 read link
    Step 2 check out Diebold [or any company likely to be ‘selected’ to provide e-voting systems]
    Step 3
    Resolve to NEVER allow electronic voting.

  16. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    The physical attendence at the polls, the manual counting of pencilled ballot papers all make it a personal and community event. It promotes a personal link with our government and goes a long way to binding our society together. It is the one thing we have in common and do as a common group.

    To retreat to electronic voting without attending a pollbooth would be a retrograde social step.

    To vote via computer at the booths would be both horrendously expensive and a security nightmare. Such a system was part of the illegitimate presidency of GTWB.

    The best security is pencil, paper and manual scrutineer-ed counts.

    Electronic voting should only be available to people whose disabilities do not allow them to use a pencil and paper. They should be able to electronically fill in a ballot paper, even by voice recognition, which is displayed for them to see before automatically being dropped in a polling box and a different format paper with their vote on it printed for them to take away.

    These to be counted as usual.

  17. MTBW

    I agree with you Puff!

  18. MTBW

    Apparently Campbell Newman has been caught up in the AWH scandal.

  19. Radguy

    Here is an option for electronic voting –


    Critique away.

    I have no confidence in Internet voting. There must be physical evidence that can be checked by ordinary people.

  20. MTBW

    And Mickey Rooney has passed away at age ninety three.

  21. matt31

    CC you are kidding yourself. The Greens ran a great campaign in WA that swung votes, kicked off by the speech which clearly hit the mark, followed through in the campaign itself. Some great numbers across Perth. It is now up to us to build on this momentum in WA and I believe we have a great opportunity to do that. Plus, I am sure that every time Bullock opens his mouth, the Green vote will go up! :devil:

  22. Compact Crank

    matt31 – I recommend you prepare yourself to be sorely dissappointed at the next real election when the Greens vote will crash back below 10%.

  23. fredex

    Crikey has a padlocked article which I can’t access which says:

    [The Greens, who outspent Labor and the Coalition, were big winners,..]

    Is this true?
    The spending part not the winning.

  24. Graeme

    “Given that it was a rerun – I think the Court erred in allowing any new candidates. The only thing that should have been allowed was withdrawal of previous candidates”

    The Court only has power to declare an election failed – not to meddle in what follows. I suppose Parliament could overturn centuries of precedent and make such a rule for those v.rare cases where elections fail due to official error. But then you’d be open to candidates dying, getting sick or being paid not to stand, and that party/their supporters being robbed of choice.

  25. William Bowe

    Fredex, estimates quoted in this SMH report put the Greens’ spend on television advertising at $114,000 compared with $68,000 for Labor and $53,000 for Liberal.


  26. Graeme

    Objectively there’s only one winner of this circus: the WA Greens.

    They didn’t get up on the original count, they argued for the recount (which was granted), notionally slithered over the line on the recount, were on the right side of the court argument (with the AEC) and then blitzed the re-election. Even Palmer did no better than the original result, and at a vast personal expense, of which the public funding will be a small portion. What was the Greens’ campaign cost? They’ll reap about $350k in public funding and said they raised over $100k in donations partly off Ludlam’s splenetic speech.

  27. Diogenes

    If Clive spent $500K, that’s pretty cheap to get a Senate seat especially when you consider he will get some back in public funding.

  28. fredex

    Ta William, do you have info for PUP and the total range of advertising – radio, newspaper, print, whatever?
    All those numbers, except PUP, seem rather low to me for a state wide campaign.

  29. Tom the first and best


    Palmer got a minor party level vote rather than a micro party level vote combined with good preferences. That shows that Palmer can get votes outside Queensland.

  30. Jimmyhaz

    fredex @939

    In the 2012 Republican primaries, there were voting patterns that were described as ‘irregularities’ by the media. Having had a quick skim over these results, I’d say that ‘impossibilities’ would be a better descriptor.

    In certain states there was a noticeable trend towards Romney, away from the other candidates, as the number of votes counted increased. This is in stark contrast to every election ever, where the first 1000 or so votes tends to be a very good indicator for the placement of the remaining votes. (Plotting the vote % by % of votes counted on a graph always gives a straight line, in these primaries it resembled a parabola.) The end result was a net gain to Romney of almost 300,000 votes (and at least 3 states).

    These irregularities only occurred in voting precincts with electronic voting and a centralised tabulator. I think you are definitely right to be wary of any attempt to ‘modernise’ our voting (especially by the LNP, who seem to be opposed to any attempts at modernising anything).

  31. Jackol

    That shows that Palmer can get votes outside Queensland.

    He had to rely on a large dollop of Canberra-bashing to get there though, and it’s a hard act to maintain across the whole country and over a period of time if you don’t, eg, actually push for changing the GST distribution, your message looks quite hollow fairly quickly.

    Now quite possibly Clive is in for a good time not a long time and doesn’t care about what happens down the track, just what influence and deals he can score in the next couple of years. I wouldn’t be overly confident of long term Clive campaigning and money if I were a ‘rank and file’ PUP supporter, if there is such a thing.

  32. MTBW

    In news just in Bill Shorten has been away today and just issued a statement that his mother has unexpectedly passed away.

  33. Rebecca

    I think Graeme seems to be a bit contemptuous of democracy. The initial count was decided by a miniscule number of votes, which were absolutely swamped by the amount of votes that turned out to have been miscounted in the recount. Saying that the Greens legitimately “didn’t get up” on the first count and “slithered over the line” on the recount is horse bollocks.

    Ludlam was robbed by an error-filled initial count, narrowly saved on a much more accurate recount (until the losing of votes), and then romped it in in the revote.

    If your claim to legitimacy is that you believe a count that we know was error-ridden should stand, I think that says a lot about your lack of belief in democracy.

  34. MTBW

    Robert Hughes of Hey Dad fame has been found guilty on nine counts of sexually abusing children.

  35. William Bowe

    Nothing beyond what you can read in that SMH report, Fredex.

  36. Sir sustainable future

    I think I’d prefer PUP and senator X to have balance of power than abbott also needing FF and/or DLP or John Libertarianutjob (I think that’s how it is pronounced) votes. PUP will give Abbott both pain and exactly the right amount of rope he needs to hang them both. Labor and Greens just need to present a sane nation-building alternative to the LNP-caused recession coming our way. Labor needs to clearly state why the LNP policies are not good for the nation and hammer the line that “Australians are smarter than Mr Abbott thinks they are.” This may not be true, but it is worth saying so that people start to think it is smart to be cynical and distrustful about everything abbott does.

  37. MTBW

    Doug Cameron just interviewed on 702 by Emma Alberici. She asked if Bullock was the right candidate to run in the WA Senate Ballot.

    Cameron had a one word answer and that was “no”. He said that Bullock was the candidate because it was a deal arranged between two Union Secretaries.

    Nothing changes only the faces!

  38. David Bagnall

    Hi William. Enjoyed your analysis in today’s crikey.

    I am being pedantic but your observation

    “Scott Ludlam sealed his reputation as one of the Greens’ star performers with a 16.2% share of the vote, marking the fourth occasion the party has secured a 14.3% quota off its own bat, after Bob Brown’s and Christine Milne’s wins in Tasmania in 2007 and 2010, and Richard di Natale’s in Victoria in 2010.”
    ignores that in the ACT the Greens have secured 16.4% in 2004, 21.5% in 2007, 23.2% in 2010 and 19.3% in 2013, albeit without meeting the 33.3% ACT Senate quota

  39. Tom the first and best


    If the ACT just had one extra Senator, as it should have from the introduction of territory senators, then the Greens would have a chance of making the 25% quota in a good year.

  40. lefty e

    This article makes some telling points:

    [“By any standard, a combined major party vote of 58.1% is a remarkable result, given that the equivalent figure of 70.9% from September was without any precedent since the two-party system first coalesced in 1910.” ]


  41. William Bowe

    Lefty, it’s a veritable cornucopia of telling points.

  42. bug1

    Updated count has ALP ahead by 20k for last seat (or i made a typo)

  43. silentmajority

    So, according to Antony Green’s calculator it’s all done & dusted?

    Lib 3
    ALP 2
    Greens 1
    Pup 1

    Has it been declared as such?

  44. silentmajority


    Greens none?

  45. Michal Klaus

    The swing against the Coalition in WA is actually close to 9.2% – not 5.5% as claimed by the Coalition and not 7.5% as mentioned above – we should add the Liberal Democrats to the Libs and Nats, as the LDP vote halved to 1.7% due to not having such a favourable ballot position and attracting presumably approximately that many fewer mistaken Liberal Party votes (their vote in 2013 was clearly an aberration and the first to drop off would be the ones that voted for the LDP by mistake due to ballot position).

  46. Tom the first and best


    No seven candidates have not been elected.

  47. Tom the first and best


    The Greens polled over a quota. Palmer will win on preferences. Either the 3rd Liberal or the 2nd ALP will not win and it is a close battle.

  48. caf

    It won’t be officially declared until all postal ballots have arrived and all BTL ballots have been examined for formality and data-entered. At that point the “button is pushed” to perform the actual official scrutiny.

  49. silentmajority

    Yes , sorry.

    Read up before posting…

  50. Everything

    Any news on counting today? All I can see is Ben Raue from yesterday and William’s comments from this morning before the count re-started….

  51. William Bowe

    For whatever reason, 565 votes have been added to the Liberal total and 411 to the PUP total in Forrest, along with 100 votes for everyone else put together (only one of which was for Labor). There have been tiny changes to the Durack totals. Nothing else though.

  52. shellbell

    [For whatever reason..]

    What is possibly or probably unusual in the WA Senate Count makes one a wee bit nervous.

  53. William Bowe

    It would be unusual if there weren’t adjustments like this in the rechecking process.

  54. Everything

    Ah….that explains why I couldn’t find any progress!


  55. Paddy O

    small update by AEC. 68.98 counted. slight improvement for ALP

  56. Everything

    Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm | PERMALINK
    Is LNP 3 ALP 1 PUP 1 GRN 1 possible?

    Posted Friday, April 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm | PERMALINK
    …as in a reasonable possibility (of course, anything is possible)]

    How good was that question?????

    Did anyone else consider this scenario?

    In reality this is 5 from the right to 1 from the left……not a good result for the ALP :devil:

  57. C@tmomma

    I have come up with the Electronic Voting system to beat them all! If we must be forced into having one by the Conservatives who love their system opacity.

    1. All voters vote electronically.
    Postal voters need to register well before, say 21 days, before they will be departing our shores or heading into hospital, or whatever. This triggers the AEC to send out a flying squad, complete with EFTPOS type machine to record their vote. Once the voter has entered their unique PIN sent to their mobile when they registered their intention to vote early, then they can vote after AEC has checked their ID. A paper duplicate printout of the vote is then made. The AEC puts their copy into their sealed portable ballot box and goes on their way. The elector/s keep their copy for future checking if needed.

    Same could apply to hospitals, Aged Care facilities, remote areas, prisons(?).

    All these votes and the Pre Poll votes go under lock and key until the day of the poll.

    On the day of the election we all go in and vote electronically. We key in our AEC PIN, vote, and get our duplicate print out. We keep one copy and take the other to the ballot box and deposit it in there.

    All ballot boxes are kept safe and secure in the event of a need to manually recount &/or verify an electronic figure.

    Any party on the ballot can launch a challenge to the count. However, they would have to be charged a fee for this. A reasonable but not too high $ figure, so as to discourage vexatious challenges.

    Then, when the election is over all the AEC Returning Officers have to do is collate the figures from each individual machine in their polling place, run it past the Scrutineers from the parties, print out a copy for each of them, print out a copy for themselves to be put with the ballot boxes, then wait for the Security Couriers to pick them up to be taken back to AEC warehouse where they will be taken out of the ballot boxes and securely filed away for future reference if needs be.

    Finally, press ‘Send’ on the polling place computer, which sends the results to the Central Tally Room and we have a result on the night!

    I think that addresses everyone’s concerns sufficiently. 🙂

    I am open to tweaking but not twerking. 😉

  58. Rod Hagen

    Sounds like a way of even further disenfranchising the poor, the technologically illiterate, remote indigenous voters, the elderly, NESP, the mobile phoneless, the computer less, etc etc., I’m afraid, Catmomma.

  59. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Interesting C@tmomma
    Or we could just give everyone a pencil, a souvenir of voting. Something along the lines of, “AEC. I voted in 2014 :)”

    Some things are better for not being modernised, imo.

  60. Rod Hagen

    Even far more basic things , like demanding photo ID a la Qld, can disenfranchise significant sections of the community – see our submission on the Qld proposals at http://indigenousbirthreg.org/Indigenous_Birth_Registration/Our_Publications.html for example. Imagine what a need for mobile phones & computers would do!

  61. William Bowe

    [How good was that question?????

    Did anyone else consider this scenario?]

    My standard line was that PUP would win a seat, but I wasn’t sure if it would come from the right (2-2-1-1) or the left (3-1-1-1). So don’t get too full of yourself.

  62. C@tmomma

    Rod Hagen,
    You obviously didn’t read my comment sensibly and resorted to the cheap shot.

    I think everyone, and not just those who can afford it, a la the US where Photo ID=Drivers Licence or Passport, and is used as a tool of disenfranchisement, can be provided with electoral ID when they enrol to vote. I even have one from a time when these things were sent out to voters in the mail.

    Even the homeless, the technologically illiterate (nice bit of reverse snobbery there) and the elderly, NESP and the remote voters, all of whom I canvassed in my scenario (but which you appeared to have ignored in your race for the cheap shot), can all have access to a friendly AEC team who will even hold their hand through the voting process while they cast their ballot! Or they can go to a library, where in the run-up to the election a computer can be dedicated for voting purposes.

    Then, at the end of the day on polling day we can get a quick result.

    All I intended was to postulate a system that couldn’t be gamed by the Diebolds of this world. Sheesh!

  63. C@tmomma

    I don’t think you’ll be able to hold back the tide of attempts to modernise the electoral process after the AEC WA 2013 election debacle, so I was just trying to get ahead of the curve to see if there’s a way to make it an open, honest and transparent process.

  64. sprocket_

    [@swrightwestoz: Since WA Senate close Sat, Lib picking up 40% of fresh ballots, ALP 32%, Greens 5% and PUP 9.2%]

    Big uptick for ALP at 32%, maybe the last 2 days Bullock hysteria cost 10%

  65. Wakefield

    Sprocket – those suggested votes are not consistent with the extra votes appearing on the AEC website. Even if they were correct for a parcel of votes – previously Labor plus Greens was 37.6%. Labor plus Greens on your figures are 37. And Libs 40 cf 33.7 count to date is a gain for Libs. So overall gain to Libs?

  66. William Bowe

    The AEC still hasn’t done anything other than recheck ordinary votes. You’ll need to see postals and pre-polls to get any meaningful idea of any Bullock effect, and there still haven’t been any counted.

  67. Wakefield

    Willaim – do you know if they have started counting any pre-polls or postals. AEC still showing about 35 “booths” not reported yet which seems a bit surprising? Could be a long wait.

  68. William Bowe

    The uncounted booths are things like blind-and-low-vision facilities and special hospital voting, where election officials have to assist ailing patients at their beds, and will account for very little. The West reported that counting of postal votes might start today.

  69. hairy nose

    What does Shane Wright’s tweet refer to William?

  70. William Bowe

    The rechecking. Given the number of votes that have been added, I think there must have been a loose booth or two added to the count somewhere, but it’s not going to give you a systematic idea of how the late count will progress.

  71. Kevin Bonham

    Bad day for Labor today; unfriendly hospital votes perhaps. They’d still win on current primaries because BTLs would put PUP over at the tipping point.

    Alaric at the Tally Room estimates PUP’s BTL gain at the tipping point to be 2800-4300 votes. I’m also trying to model this but pretty busy with other stuff at the moment and battling computing power/ability limitations. At the moment PUP would need to gain 1145 which would certainly happen, but looking at the projections of where PUP will be after postals, the target figure is likely to blow out to seven or eight thousand which will be too much.

  72. Kevin Bonham

    Really serious ugliness for Labor in the last hour or so. The overall turnout has gone marginally down and Labor has dropped 1500 on the calculator bottom line. PUP have moved closer to the tipping point but it doesn’t matter because on current figures if PUP cross before the tipping point, Labor still loses.

    I assume this is formality checking doing this. If that’s correct then the chance would be if they’d formality checked some parties and not others before updating figures. Otherwise Labor are going to start the non-ordinaries behind.

  73. fredex

    Am I imagining stuff or did the vote counted go from 996,271 earlier today down to 995,194 currently shown?
    ALP from 217,443 down to 216,368, Libs 336,318 to 336,305?

  74. Antony GREEN

    Labor’s vote went down while they re-entered all the mobile booths in Durack. The Sports Party and Sustainable Population will lose about 10% of their vote tomorrow when a keying error in one booth is fixed.

  75. Antony GREEN

    By the way, the mystery of the 8 votes that appeared before 6pm on Saturday has been solved. It was the Eucla mobile. Eucla operates on a different time zone to the rest of Western Australia so the eight votes were counted before the rest of the state’s polling places closed.

  76. sprocket_

    ALP 217,764 +1,396
    LiB 336,778 + 473

  77. Kevin Bonham

    Antony GREEN@999

    By the way, the mystery of the 8 votes that appeared before 6pm on Saturday has been solved. It was the Eucla mobile. Eucla operates on a different time zone to the rest of Western Australia so the eight votes were counted before the rest of the state’s polling places closed.

    I wondered if it might be something like that. Thanks.

  78. Kevin Bonham

    Assuming the re-entries are done now, Labor’s position has still markedly worsened tonight.

  79. sprocket_

    an insiders tale from Ludlam’s campaign

    [It’s four o’clock on election day, and Scott Ludlam is dead to the world. He’s due on the ABC at 6pm and the results will start taking shape an hour after that, but until then he’s asleep on the office couch, which is about thirty centimetres shorter than it needs to be. Jess McColl, the adviser on loan from Rachel Siewert’s office for the campaign, is holding the fort — fielding calls from the occasional nutbag, calming panicky booth captains, trying to put out any fires before they start. She’s the one who has set up and overseen the massive operation that’s driven The WA Greens’ re-election campaign, at times doing much of it virtually by herself. Ludlam loves her — he drops her name constantly in radio interviews.]


  80. Antony GREEN

    William, the impact of Palmer United being elected before HEMP is distributed is much smaller than keeps being suggested. It only effects about 2,000 ballot papers, around 1300 Australian Democrat votes and 700 Katter’s Australian Party votes. If Palmer United is elected with HEMP preferences, these ballot papers go to Labor worth about 200 votes. If Palmer is elected before HEMP preference are distributed, the ballot papers are worth around 2,000 votes instead. The effect was wiped out by yesterday’s counting.

  81. Kevin Bonham

    Antony GREEN@1004

    William, the impact of Palmer United being elected before HEMP is distributed is much smaller than keeps being suggested. It only effects about 2,000 ballot papers, around 1300 Australian Democrat votes and 700 Katter’s Australian Party votes. If Palmer United is elected with HEMP preferences, these ballot papers go to Labor worth about 200 votes. If Palmer is elected before HEMP preference are distributed, the ballot papers are worth around 2,000 votes instead. The effect was wiped out by yesterday’s counting.

    These votes don’t just go onto the Labor total though; they also go off the Liberal total because the Liberals miss out on the benefit of having the full value of those votes largely replaced by PUP-Liberal votes.

    So the impact on the bottom line margin is actually double the number of votes Labor gets. If Labor gains 1800 then their bottom-line margin improves by 3600.

    On the other hand the AMEP votes cut to a small degree the other way; if PUP is elected on LDP without significant surplus they are worth nothing to Labor, but if PUP crosses on HEMP then Labor gets c. 240 votes out of them.

    So an impact on the ultimate margin of say 3000 votes (based on 1500 more votes going to Labor) is quite plausible. Hence the c. 3300 figure I found initially. The confusion is caused by some people talking about how many votes Labor gains and others talking about the impact on the Lib/ALP margin at the end.

    On that basis even with the c.1600 deficit in the mainline calculator version after last night, Labor should still be 1500-ish in front if PUP crosses on LDP. But in my simulations last night where I ramped the PUP vote up I wasn’t getting it as that much and thus only had Labor with a slim and arguable lead. I think rounding issues in the ABC manual entry calculator are contributing to that, though there may be other factors caused by the flow on impacts of increasing PUP. (I’ll have to set up my own!)

  82. Kevin Bonham

    At the 69.51% mark (1734 Brand absents added) I have Labor ahead by 790 if they cross tipping point, but this is not indicative as the only non-ordinaries added so far are absents from a friendly electorate. So while Labor are notionally just in front (and may become more so if more absents go in) I still expect them to probably be blown away later on. My assumption for the tipping point was to give PUP enough extra primary votes to reach quota, hold all their feeders constant, and reduce everyone else proportionally.

    This compares to a margin of 1295 the other way on the calculator.

  83. Antony GREEN

    Whether the impact is 1800 or 3600, the point I’m making is it’s nothing like the 75,000 votes distributed at that point.

  84. Kevin Bonham

    This count is slooooooooow.

  85. Kevin Bonham

    Fixed a small issue with my calculations arising from the two ungrouped independents. I currently have Labor up by 492 if the tipping point helps them; I doubt this will last through the postcount.

  86. Antony GREEN

    First postal vote counting is good news for the Liberal Party.

  87. Kevin Bonham

    Lib postals up 10-13 points on Lib booth votes in five different and disparate electorates. I now have Libs up by over 1000 even if the tipping point is triggered – which the way this is going it won’t be, BTLs notwithstanding.

    The Liberals must be in an extremely strong position based on these postals and the likelihood that that sort of pattern will continue. I can’t see what hope there is for Labor after seeing this.

  88. Compact Crank

    That’ll be the Joe Bullock factor – apparently.

  89. ifonly

    Last time the postal and prepoll went strongly to the right whilst provisional and absentee was more even.

    Absentee is the smallest of these and probably won’t change much.
    Provisional is when you aren’t on the roll so I would expect these to be down if many of the problems from 6 months ago are resolved.

    Whilst I don’t think it is going to happen, there would be a funny side if the Greens got 17% of the ordinary vote (say 75% of the total) and only got 8% of the remaining 25% and they came up with 14% and fell just short of a quota.


  90. hairy nose

    Never understood why an appraisal of the ‘Joe Bullock effect’ was seen to depend on whether postal votes were more favourable to him or not. It didn’t take the publicity over ‘that speech’ for voters to realise he was a currant – they already knew that.

    When postals are just as bad just watch all the dinosaurs grab that as proof he was really a great candidate, it was the (mining tax) (carbon tax) (Shorten) (blah blah) anything but that nice Ol’ Joe…..

  91. Kevin Bonham

    At the moment the Green vote is running much worse in postals compared to ordinary votes than in the same electorates in 2013. If that lasts, that might be the Bullock factor – it might show voters (a few percent) moved from Labor to Green late in the campaign. After all if someone is concerned about Bullock they’re most likely left-wing and they are hardly going to shift to the Coalition over it.

    However maybe this pattern will change and there could well be other explanations in terms of differences in postal effort level.

  92. Kevin Bonham

    I’ve called this now and so has Antony.

  93. Compact Crank

    hairy (should that be Harry?) @1014


    Unlike the people who visit this blog – the average punter (even most of the rusted on party voters) pay liitle or no attention to elections, let alone the WA Senate rerun until the last couple of days and without that last birst of sunlight on Bullock they would have been none the wiser of who he is, why he is #1 for the ALP and what is views are – most of them don’t know who the SDA/Shoppies are. A number of regular posters here from the left of politics declared their lack of understanding of how the unions divvie up the preselections through labrynth, long-running deals.

  94. Compact Crank

    KB @1016


  95. bug1

    Freemantle hasnt been updated since Monday night, all other divisions last updated today.

    Is it unusual for a division to be 4 days behind in the counting ?

  96. bug1

    (imagine if they had lost some ballots)

  97. absolutetwaddle

    What an absolute shocker of a result for the ALP. Largely self-inflicted and might I say RICHLY deserved.

    There’s no way, NO WAY, a supposedly progressive, modernist, moderate party can put a homophobic dick like Joe Bullock at the top of any ticket and not pay the price. I’m not surprised at all Ludlum got in, I would have voted for him in a heartbeat over whatever detritus the SDA sees fit for pasture. And boy, have I held my nose for Labor sometimes – this is not a Green or a Trotskyist saying this.

    A missed opportunity, a profound disappointment, a real kick in the balls. Not to mention a gigantic gift to the reactionaries in every sense of the phrase. Ugh. They have good reason to celebrate this result and I don’t begrudge them that one bit.

    There’s nothing sweeter to behold than an opponent’s own goal.

  98. Everything

    Posted Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 6:23 am | PERMALINK
    What an absolute shocker of a result for the ALP. Largely self-inflicted and might I say RICHLY deserved.]

    Can I suggest that the reason Bullock put himself there was he thought he would get away with it.

    The exact reason why is in your very post:

    [ And boy, have I held my nose for Labor sometimes – this is not a Green or a Trotskyist saying this.]

    Get it?

  99. Disasterboy

    Any expectations for when the button will be pressed?

  100. democracy@work

    [There’s been plenty of talk on the system of preferential voting in the wake of the Western Australian election rerun. But mathematics masters student Casey Briggs says we should focus on the method of counting itself.]


    What can I say… I highly agree, we need to review the counting rules and the way the vote is counted.

    T^he system that is in place was designed to facilitate a manual count. It is a trade off of bad practice short cuts designed to reduce the time taken to count the vote not to reflect the voters intentions.

    With computerized counting we need to strip the system back to its basics and apply a reiterative count where the transfer surplus is weighted to the value of the vote and any surplus distributed as a single transfer without segmentation.

    Likewise we need to do the same with exclusion. But so as to ensure that a full value vote originally for a minor candidate is always distributed to the next continuing candidate the best way to achieve this and to reflect the voters intention is to reset and restart the count afresh as if the excluded candidate had not stood.

    A vote for an excluded minor candidate is redistributed so that the next available preference becomes their first preference vote and if need be forms part of a surplus of an elected candidate without skipping any candidate that had not been excluded. Only surpluses are distributed in any given iteration.

    In the past the time taken to apply a reiterative count was prohibitive. with the use of a computerised counting system it is desirable and should be implemented, scraping the various tweaks, loops skips hops and jumps that the have been introduced to facilitate manual counting. Methods that distort the proportionality and simplicity of a Proportional Representation STV count.

    No segmentation, a single transfer of surplus votes n any one iteration.

    In addition to a reiterative count we should also consider scraping the Droop Quota (X/(y+1)) and revert to a pure proportional system (x/y) with the recommended Wright system of counting the vote

    I did have the opportunity to day to outline to teh JSCEM committee this issue

    If I can suggest that Crikey publish the counting flow chart at outlines the Wright counting process along side the above article as it may help its readers understand the process better.

    Thanks for the review