Friday, August 27

Rechecking of ordinary votes has cost Labor 87, and for the first time a batch of absent votes has favoured the LNP, albeit slightly – 622-613. LNP lead now 839, which should quite comfortably be enough.

Thursday, August 26

7pm. Another 1145 absent votes have gone 599-546 to Labor: very slightly good for them in absolute terms, reducing the margin to 743, but Labor’s 52.3 per cent share compares with 56.5 per cent in the first batch. A better portent for Labor with Antony Green apparent confirmation that today’s LNP-friendly batch of postal votes came from the Enoggera army barracks.

4.30pm. The LNP have moved another 112 ahead with the first 596 pre-polls breaking 354-242 their way: margin now out to 796.

3pm. Lucky I advised that caution yesterday, because a second batch of postals has been wildly unlike the first, favouring the LNP 1686-1384. This has widened the lead from 382 to 684 and slashed the overall ALP share of postals from 56.4 per cent to 47.8 per cent. My projection now has the LNP prevailing by 403, and I suspect that might flatter Labor with respect to the absent votes which are probably unlikely to continue splitting 56.3-43.5 to Labor. Pre-polls remain a wild card, but the LNP are back in the box seat.

Wednesday, August 25

11pm. Hmm. The first batch of 961 postal votes has heavily favoured Labor by 542 to 419, cutting the margin to 382. This is a swing in Labor’s favour of 0.8 per cent against the postal vote total in 2007, compared with a 4.9 per cent swing the other way on ordinary votes. Two questions arise: will this prove typical, and how many postal votes will there be? The scrutiny progress sheet says 602, which is obviously wrong because 961 have just been added to the count and a more typical amount is 5000 (UPDATE: And I now note that informed sources in comments are saying to expect exactly that). If you project Labor’s share of the first batch over the latter figure – which still seems intuitively optimistic from Labor’s point of view – they end up in front. If the 5000 outstanding absent votes also follow the trend of those already counted – ditto – Labor ends up winning quite handily, by about 500 votes. Caution advised at this stage.

5pm. Absent votes continue to flow heavily to Labor, raising their hopes of a late boilover. 1182 were added today, breaking 671-511 in favour of Arch Bevis and reducing his deficit from 657 to 490. My projection is for an LNP win by just 195 votes, but this is based on the AEC’s figure of 602 postal vote envelopes issued which is surely much too low. If you assume about the same many postal votes as last time (about 5500), the LNP winning margin blows out to about 400.

Tuesday, August 24

The first 978 absent votes have split 549-429 in favour of Labor. Comparing relativities of ordinary and absent votes from 2007 and 2010, this is a reversal of nearly 10 per cent. What this probably tells us is that these absent votes are from booths in Labor-leaning areas slightly outside the electorate’s boundaries, and the remaining 5000 or so absent voters are unlikely to be as favourable for them.

Saturday, August 21

This post will be progressively updated to follow late counting in Brisbane, where Liberal candidate Teresa Gambaro finishes the night with a lead of 858 votes (0.68 per cent). This narrows to 0.2 per cent on Antony Green’s projection.

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