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WA By-Elections

May 16, 2009


# % Swing 2PP Proj.
Varga (IND) 574 3.3%
Totten (CEC) 44 0.3%
Ter Horst (IND) 145 0.8%
Zagami (IND) 927 5.3%
Boni (IND) 302 1.7%
Du Plessis (FFP) 158 0.9% -0.8%
Tagliaferri (ALP) 6,748 38.5% -0.4% 46.7% 47.1%
Hollett (CDP) 300 1.7% -0.2%
Lorrimar (IND) 136 0.8%
Carles (GRN) 7,802 44.5% 17.5% 53.3% 52.9%
Wainwright 400 2.3%
TOTAL 17,536


Here’s me on the by-election in Crikey.


I’ve knocked up a map showing the primary vote swing to the Greens at the different booths. No visible pattern can be discerned, but I’ve done it so here it is. I’ve also tried to find correlations between votes, swings and demographics, and found only one worth mentioning: the Greens swing had a correlation with the Italian-speaking population of -0.47 and an R-squared value of 0.22. No doubt statisticians will tell me a sample of 10 booths doesn’t mean very much, but the scatterplot looks persuasive to my unpractised eye and it makes all kinds of sense intuitively. Equally interesting was the lack of a significant correlation between the Greens swing and the Liberal vote from the state election. That would seem to argue against the notion that a static Labor vote was swamped by Liberals moving to the Greens. Note that the lowest swing was recorded at a Catholic primary school, Christ the King in Beaconsfield. For what it’s worth, Alan Carpenter was handing out how-to-vote cards there.



9.20pm. Antony Green: “There is a very important bit of history in this reslt. This is the first time at a state or federal election that the Greens have outpolled the Labor Party on primary votes. All previous cases where the Greens have won or come close to victory have seen Labor ahead on the primary vote and the Greens chasing Labor down on Liberal and Independent preferences.”

9.10pm. All together now …

Mea culpa to Greens pianist Geoffrey, who was told by me that his candidate would fall short by about 52-48, despite his enthusiastic protestations to the contrary.

8.42pm. So, the new maths for our already very exciting Legislative Assembly: Labor 27, Liberal 24, Nationals 4, Independent 3, Greens 1.

8.39pm. Carles now leads on the WAEC’s two-party count 8745 to 7370.

8.32pm. Now the WAEC has the Greens lead at a definitively insurmountable 7421 to 6395. I would like to thank them though for that little moment of excitement, while reminding them that that isn’t their brief.

8.30pm. Now the WAEC says Carles leads 6056 to 5535, which sounds still more like it. Too much to rein in on postals.

8.27pm. Beaconsfield PS and 1306 postal votes added. Despite what the 2PP says, I don’t see how Labor could win from those primaries.

8.24pm. WAEC count now has Carles leading 4900 to 4660, which sounds more like it. However, it does suggest that Labor are doing slightly better on preferences than I or Antony had projected. It might not even be over yet. But again, who knows.

8.22pm. So, to summarise. Thanks to the WAEC, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on. If anyone from the WAEC is reading this, please send a fact-finding mission to the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to find out how to conduct a count properly.

8.19pm. Antony Green also doesn’t appear to have any real world preference figures he can use. If the WAEC has decided that we only need to be given a lump sum two-party count, I can only say that they’ve bungled once again.

8.15pm. Hmm. The WAEC has a big, uninformative “notional distribution of preferences” which has Tagliaferri leading 4071-3824. This is extremely exasperating. Where are these votes from? Why haven’t they been recording them booth by booth like everybody else does?

8.04pm. Big win for Carles at Fremantle Primary School. I’m calling it for her.

8.01pm. Carles also has a big win at East Fremantle Primary School, making it very tempting to call it for her …

7.59pm. Carles wins the upmarket Bicton booth.

7.53pm. Carles wins Richmond Primary School, up near Bicton way, which gives Zagami his first big result. Nonetheless, that has Carles’ lead narrowing a little further on my estimate. I might also note that the Greens didn’t do a postal vote mailout.

7.52pm. ABC has Christ the King bringing Carles down only a little, to 53.2 per cent (exactly where I have it). Tagliaferri still needs some more big results.

7.46pm. Very good result for Tagliaferri at Christ the King School makes things interesting again. Interesting to note that Alan Carpenter was handing out how to vote cards there …

7.43pm. VERY surprised no other candidate is over 5 per cent.

7.41pm. Re the previous comment – White Gum Valley, the most Italian booth of all, was also a big win for Carles. No particular reason to expect the nearby Beaconsfield booths to behave differently.

7.23pm. Beaconsfield and Christ the King are two strongly Italian booths that are yet to report – but so was Palmyra, and Carles won that.

7.22pm. Another good result for Carles in White Gum Valley – 46 per cent to 39.5 per cent. Minor party vote lower than I might have thought.

7.21pm. Antony now has the Greens 2.5 per cent in front after preference projection.

7.20pm. Tagliaferri finally wins a booth, the solidly working class Phoenix.

7.18pm. Carles wins Anglican Church Hall as well, which is in a similar area.

7.16pm. Greens win the Palmyra booth as well, which isn’t their heartland. I suggest my projection flatters Labor a bit.

7.14pm. Antony’s projection has the Greens 3.4 per cent ahead.

7.13pm. St Patrick’s in – Carles wins the primary vote, but check out that projection …

7.08pm. Few teething problems with the table as usual – working through them.

7.06pm. 622 pre-polls added (along with Rottnest Island) – there’s reason to believe these might behave unusually, but at they’re at least a little bit exciting for the Greens.

6.37pm. Come on, you’d think at least Rottnest might have reported by now … Anyway, I’ve been doing a bit of work so I do get a projected two-party result, based on the booth figures calculated by Antony Green. I wouldn’t stake my wages on its accuracy though.

6.14pm. First trickle of daylight saving votes coming in. Big no majority, but it doesn’t mean anything yet.

6.05pm. Some explanations of what you will see above. Booth matching will be employed for the primary vote swings, but not the two-party preferred vote as no figures are available in Labor versus Greens terms from the state election. The figures will at first be estimates, but will be replaced with real world numbers as booths report their notional two-party counts.

6pm. Polls have closed, so welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Fremantle by-election count. I don’t think I’ll have much to say about the daylight saving referendum, which you will in any case find covered more than adequately at ABC Elections.


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679 thoughts on “Fremantle by-election live

  1. Tom the first and best

    Those vote counts look a bit low!

    (Probably because the polls haven`t closed yet).

  2. ShowsOn

    Do these results mean Western Australians want time reset to zero?

  3. Tom the first and best

    But they have now.

  4. Tom the first and best

    That post is even funnier than mine.

    But I still got first post.

  5. Glen

    Well at least this by-election will see the end of Eric Ripper.

  6. Dr Good

    Yay. Scarborough and Gosnells at least are voting YES to daylight saving.

  7. imacca

    Oh god, im sitting here hoping Glen is right about something!! While i dont think the ALP is going to get back in as long as Ripper is in charge, I’m not sure who would replace him.

    Ripper just doesn’t project as Premier material, and i actually hope McTiernan does make the jump to federal politics. She was a very solid performer as a minister at state level.

    Hopefully Ripper will get booted sometime, but i’m not sure it will be soon or as a result of one by-election loss.

    If the Greens win tonight it will be interesting to see if the the Libs dare contest the seat ever again for fear of the ALP picking it up.

  8. Psephos

    Who will the Liberal diehards be voting for?

  9. Psephos

    I’m told Ben Wyatt is the next Labor Premier of WA. I don’t know much about him. Do WA people here share that view of his potential?

  10. Frank Calabrese

    [Who will the Liberal diehards be voting for?]

    Either Zagami if they can’t stomach the ALP or Tagliaferri if they are a Lib who cannot stand the Greens.

  11. Stephen Dawson

    Anyone got any Freo numbers yet?

  12. Frank Calabrese

    [I’m told Ben Wyatt is the next Labor Premier of WA. I don’t know much about him. Do WA people here share that view of his potential?]

    Ben is the son of Indigenous leader Cederic Wyatt who once stood for the Liberal Party. Ben is young, good looking and may probably be leader if Lannie does decide to run for Canning.

  13. Glen

    Frank ive said before on the freo-post that my mum who votes Liberal is voting Greens.

    If many of these Liberal voters switch to the Greens the ALP will lose it big time.

  14. Glen

    They shouldnt even be having a referendum it’s costing 30million dollars that could be spent on education and health in WA its just that all the political parties havent got the balls to just say we’re doing it end of story.

  15. William Bowe

    Nope. Hitting refresh on the WAEC every 20 seconds.

  16. Frank Calabrese

    [Come on, you’d think at least Rottnest might have reported by now …]


    I’m assuming the Referendum votes are taking precedence over the By -Election as thy are easier to count – Yes in one pile, No on the other.

  17. Psephos

    [young, good looking]

    Well that’s certainly a start, but is he, you know, smart as well?

  18. Glen

    not particularly from what i have heard of him.
    he’s seen mainly as a young turk.

  19. William Bowe

    Good call, Frank. Yes, Psephos, Wyatt is very talented and appealing, performing well as Shadow Treasurer though early days yet. Needs more runs on the board. In case nobody’s mentioned, he’s part Aboriginal.

  20. Oz

    Ahhh the good old #DIV/0! error. Brings back so many memories.

  21. Stephen Dawson

    Daylight saving not looking so good

  22. Dr Good

    I agree with imacca and so (gulp) also Glen. I hope Ripper goes (as leader) although I don’t see quite how that is going to happen because of tonight.

    Wyatt is obviously being pushed as the next leader as he is treasurer and put forward by the opposition for many TV news sound bites.

    That will be great to get firs indigenous premier.

  23. Oz

    Well there’s no figures from Fremantle for the referendum either, so maybe they’re just bludging.

  24. Glinn Mgraw

    [Daylight saving not looking so good]

    Wouldn’t agree with that, every time I look the percentage has been closer than the last time.

  25. Frank Calabrese

    Ripper was always going to be a stop-gap leader, I predict they’re grooming Wyatt to take over closer to the next State Election.

  26. William Bowe

    [Ahhh the good old #DIV/0! error. Brings back so many memories.]

    Can’t I do something to get rid of it without having to write instructions in every bloody cell?

  27. Frank Calabrese

    [Well there’s no figures from Fremantle for the referendum either, so maybe they’re just bludging.]

    They must be working on Fremantle Time 🙂

  28. imacca

    From the count on the WAAEC site i reckon daylight saving is over for a while. The country electorates seem well set against it.

  29. Julian Watson

    William, Try this formula;


    It will return a “-” rather than #DIV/0! error (note that you’ll have to change the cells to the ones that you’re actually using)


  30. Oz

    [Can’t I do something to get rid of it without having to write instructions in every bloody cell?]

    I dunno if it’s worth it but you can use a simple IF statement to display “” if the denominator is 0.

    eg. =IF(denominatorcell=0,””,numeratorcell/denominatorcell)

  31. Frank Calabrese

    We have some numbers.

    Candidate Votes Counted Percentage
    VARGA – IND 2
    TOTTEN – CEC 0
    ZAGAMI – IND 2
    BONI – IND 0
    CARLES – GRN 49
    Total Valid Votes 82
    Informal 6
    Total 88
    Count Progress:

  32. Glinn Mgraw

    First by-election results coming in…

  33. Frank Calabrese

    And it’s only the Rottnest Booth.

    Those Green voting Quokkas.

  34. Oz

    Carles has won, let’s go home.

  35. imacca

    So 0.37% is part of 1 booth?? At what percentage counted / sample will someone call a result do you think??

  36. Oz

    Haha, Rottnest. What were the figures for last time?

  37. Frank Calabrese


    Can you give us some seperate prepoll figures ?

  38. Oz

    [So 0.37% is part of 1 booth?? At what percentage counted / sample will someone call a result do you think??]

    At 0.37% according to #34.

  39. Frank Calabrese

    don’t nother I looked on the WAEC site 🙂 looks like it’s a very small margin on the prepolls on primaries for Tagliaferri & Carles.

  40. Ben Raue

    How do prepolls usually go for the WA Greens? My experience is the Greens are usually weak in these areas. It either shows a brilliant result or an improvement in the Greens’ ground game.

  41. Oz

    [don’t nother I looked on the WAEC site 🙂 looks like it’s a very small margin on the prepolls on primaries for Tagliaferri & Carles.]

    Err, for Tags to have any chance he needs to be winning the primary.

  42. Oz

    Greens leading in St Patricks and Palmyra as well.

    Does anyone have booth figures from the last election?

  43. It's Time

    Antony Green has called the referendum as defeated.

  44. Frank Calabrese

    [Err, for Tags to have any chance he needs to be winning the primary.]

    But remember we only have 3 booths in 🙂

  45. Glinn Mgraw

    [Antony Green has called the referendum as defeated.]

    I’m not yet, I’m still yet to see the No percentage go up.

  46. politicalheadkicker

    [quote]Antony Green has called the referendum as defeated.[/quote]

    Yep, all over for DLS.

    And all over for the ALP in Freo I’d say, Greens win their first seat.

  47. Oz

    Excellent, William has the booth figures on his last post.

  48. Ben Raue

    Two of those three booths were ALP booths in 2008, according to the two-party-preferred calculation someone did on my blog way back then. I tried to post a link to the blog post I did, but the map I did then seems to have stopped working.

  49. Oz

    Wow, huge swing in White Gum.


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