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Federal By-Elections

Dec 5, 2009

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HIGGINS
# % SWING 2PP
O’Dwyer (LIB) 34764 54.4% 0.2% 59.6%
Hamilton (GRN) 20778 32.5% 22.2% 40.4%
Australian Sex Party 2084 3.3%
Liberal Democrats 311 0.5%
Australian Democrats 1455 2.3% 1.1%
One Nation 199 0.3%
Democratic Labor Party 2452 3.8%
Independents 1828 2.9%
TOTAL 63871
COUNTED: 72.5%
BOOTHS (OF 38): 38
BRADFIELD
# % SWING 2PP
Fletcher (LIB) 39159 56.3% -3.2% 63.8%
Gemmell (GRN) 17608 25.3% 14.4% 36.2%
Democratic Labor Party 1477 2.1%
Australian Sex Party 2222 3.2%
One Nation 450 0.6%
Liberal Democrats 561 0.8%
CCC 702 1.0%
ENE 719 1.0%
Independents/CDP 6646 9.6%
TOTAL 69544
COUNTED: 73.1%
BOOTHS (OF 40): 40

Tuesday. 3726 postals from Bradfield, massively favouring the Liberals (75.4-24.6 on 2PP).

Sunday (9pm). Turnout on ordinary votes was 88.8% of the 2007 election in Higgins and 95.9% in Bradfield, compared with 89.3% at the Mayo by-election, 93.2% in Lyne and 89.4% in Gippsland. So it was actually quite high in Bradfield and only slightly below par in Higgins. Part of the reason in Higgins might be that it’s not a growth area. We could equally get a high number of pre-polls and postals bringing the number closer to average. I suspect we’ve seen half the pre-polls counted so far (the rest should come in quite quickly) and a third of the postals (which should dribble in over the next week).

Sunday (7.30pm). 2938 postals from Higgins added. Error in my Bradfield table corrected.

Sunday (4.30pm). 5841 pre-polls from Higgins and 3765 from Bradfield added. These have been particularly strong for Kelly O’Dwyer, increasing her two-party margin from 8.3 per cent to 9.1 per cent. Special hospital team (about 500 votes) also added from Bradfield; not yet available from Higgins.

Sunday (early). The AEC has seen fit to publish booth results, so too late to be any use, I hereby reinstate the table. Also, here’s a revised version of my regional Higgins breakdown. I’ve abolished the distinction between the “pink-green” area of Prahran-Windsor and “red” Carnegie – notwithstanding that there’s some distance between the two, the figures were near identical. The other distinction is between “deep blue” Toorak-Kooyong and the “light blue” bulk of the electorate.

LIB CHANGE GRN LIB 2PP SWING
Light Blue 52.76% -1.2% 24.4% 58.5% 1.1%
Deep Blue 61.13% -2.9% 19.8% 65.3% -0.7%
Marginal 41.03% 2.1% 27.9% 48.6% 6.8%

And here’s the Bradfield breakdown, the “marginal” area being what I described previously as “pockets on the edges of the electorate in the north-west at Asquith and Hornsby and in the south at Chatswood and Willoughby”.

LIB CHANGE GRN LIB 2PP SWING
Deep Blue 58.0% -5.6% 25.2% 66.0% -1.7%
Marginal 48.4% 0.2% 28.9% 57.1% 4.1%

The general impression is that while the Greens absorbed most of the missing Labor vote across the board, some of it leaked either to the Liberals or to other minor parties (the DLP in particular polled 6.6 per cent in the marginal areas of Higgins, and scored double the vote in the marginal areas of Bradfield compared with the rest of the electorate) and thence to the Liberals as preferences. This counterbalanced a fall in the Liberal primary vote in the deep blue areas of both electorates, which proved nowhere near the magnitude required to put them in danger. It’s interesting to note that this fall was lower in Higgins than in Bradfield, which it’s tempting to put down to resistance to Clive Hamilton among those at the highest end of the income scale.

9.20pm. I’ve performed a similar exercise in Bradfield. There are marginal pockets on the edges of the electorate in the north-west at Asquith and Hornsby and in the south at Chatswood and Willoughby. These areas swung to the Liberals 4.7 per cent in two-party terms. However, the wealthy Liberal heart of the electorate, from Killara north through St Ives, swung 5.1 per cent to the Greens.

8.40pm. Psephos in comments notes the trend detectable from Higgins in the table below (which I’m continuing to update as the last few booths come in) is reflected in Bradfield: “Hornsby Central, Labor’s best booth in the seat: Liberal primary vote up 5.9%.”

8.20pm. I’ll keep that coming in tabular form. “Light blue” zone is the bulk of the electorate; “deep blue” the riverfront from South Yarra through Toorak to Kooyong; “pink-green” Prahran/Windsor; “red” the Carnegie area.

LIB 2PP SWING BOOTHS REPORTING
Light blue zone 0.9% 20 out of 21
Deep blue zone -0.8% 6 out of 6
Pink-green zone 6.3% 6 out of 6
Red zone 7.1% 3 out of 3

8.02pm. While I’ve been quiet, I’ve been calculating the Higgins booth results provided by Antony into four zones. While this has been happening the Liberal-Greens margin has blown out to 9 per cent. All four zones have swung to the Liberals: the normally Labor-voting area in the south-east around Carnegie by 9.3 per cent; posh Toorak/Kooyong has swung 1.7 per cent; pink-green Prahran/Windsor 4.3 per cent; and the middle-Liberal balance, from Armadale to Glen Iris and Camberwell to Malvern, by 1.1 per cent. That’s assuming my calculations are correct, which I can’t state with total confidence.

7.38pm. Twelve booths now in from Higgins, swing steady at 5.4 per cent, Kelly home and hosed. Props though to the 400 or so voters of Toorak West for the short-lived entertainment they provided.

7.32pm. Another booth pushes Liberal two-party lead in Higgins to 5.4 per cent. Antony has abandoned commentary, but if he hadn’t I’m guessing he would be calling it now.

7.30pm. No alarms for the Liberals in Bradfield: projected margin 12 per cent.

7.28pm. Antony nonetheless says Higgins “can’t be called yet”.

7.27pm. Antony Green has eight booths in from Higgins and 9.2 per cent counted – O’Dwyer with an almost certainly sufficient 4.8 per cent two-party lead.

7.22pm. Possum, who took about 10 seconds to call the US election for Obama, says on Twitter: “Shorter Higgins – Greens went well with wealthy Lib voters but not so good with middle income Libs. Failed with ALP voters. game over”.

7.19pm. I’ve abandoned the table – it is not possible to keep up with the furious number crunching I needed to do to keep track as each new booth reported. Head to the ABC for elucidation on what’s happening.

7.15pm. That Toorak West result looking quirkier after Gardiner booth reports, but it’s still close. Having trouble keeping up due to AEC failure to report individual booths, so double check anything you see above.

7.13pm. Better result for Liberals in Higgins from Kooyong Park.

7.05pm. Both the booths have 2PP votes in, so my 2PP figures are now less speculative.

7.02pm. First Higgins booth is super wealthy, super Liberal Toorak West, and it shows a very interesting plunge in the Liberal vote.

6.49pm. Unless I’m mistaken – please let it be so – the AEC are not providing individual polling booth figures, which means I might as well pack up and go home.

6.46pm. Lady Davidson Hospital booth in from Bradfield – only 293 votes, but no evidence of a remarkable result.

6.36pm. Still nothing. These are urban electorates so there are no small booths that report quickly; the large number of candidates, particularly in Bradfield, might also be slowing things down.

6.20pm. Until I get notional 2PP counts, my 2PP will be based on the following preference estimates:

HIGGINS: ASP 80-20 to Greens; LDP 80-20 to Liberal; Dems 70-30 to Greens; ONP and DLP 80-20 to Liberal; all others 55-45 to Liberal.

BRADFIELD: DLP 80-20 to Liberal; ASP 80-20 to Greens; ONP and LDP 80-20 to Liberal; CCC and ENE 50-50; all others 75-25 to Liberal.

# and % primary vote figures are raw; primary vote swing and 2PP figures are based on booth matching.

6pm. Welcome to the Poll Bludger’s live coverage of the Higgins and Bradfield by-elections. First figures should be in in about 20 minutes.

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