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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.


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1,024 thoughts on “WA Senate election live

  1. Arrnea Stormbringer

    Here we go. Still calling 2 Lib, 2 Lab, 1 Grn, 1 PUP, but I’ll concede there’s a chance of 3 Lib, 1 Lab, 1 Grn, 1 PUP, given Bullock’s foot-in-mouth comments.

  2. Everything

    I reckon 3 Lib 2 ALP 1 GRN

  3. dave

    ABC Panel –

    erica and the little persian.


  4. Everything

    …you could be in breach of 18C dave….be careful!

  5. zoomster

    I agree with ModLib.

    (Sometimes I have to admit to that).

  6. sprocket_

    Erica Betz and Sam Dastyari on the ABC24 panel. Both have very interesting family histories, reflecting migration to Australia.

    My tip is that Tony Abbott will want to downplay the results.

  7. confessions

    No WA MPs on the ABC panel. How did that happen?

  8. Arrnea Stormbringer

    Man, the presenter’s reaction to Antony’s talk about the Senate numbers certainly indicated that she didn’t follow.

  9. dave


    ABC Panel –

    erica and the little persian.


    I’ll correct that –

    erica the hun from tasmania and the little persian.

  10. C@tmomma

    ‘I’m still unclear as to whether the AEC will be publishing booth results,…’

    I was wondering that myself today (as political tragics do 😀 )

    I thought, do they send the ballot papers into the central AEC computerised Senate counting place, or do they chance it with local, booth by booth counting of the papers? Which is against the methodology used to count Senate ballots anyway, isn’t it?

    Please explain! 🙂

  11. Everything

    Is anyone doing a Sep 7th vs. today swing comparison? Is it even possible?



  12. Raaraa

    Oh dammit, it’s Abetz again.

  13. William Bowe

    The votes are counted as normal at the polling booths. However, that only means primary votes, which means the above-the-line vote and the first preference below-the-line vote. The votes are then sent to divisional offices where they will be rechecked over the coming days. Below-the-line votes are then sent to the state office for data entry.

  14. confessions

    4 votes Liberal
    1 PUP
    3 Nats

    Cue News ltd calls of the ballot a win for Tony Abbott.

  15. Glen

    First votes are up. Lib + Nat in landslide with 87.5% of vote (7 out of 8…).

  16. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ confessions 16

    Yeah, 4 seats for the Libs, 2 for the Nats is a result Murdoch’s gotta be happy with.

  17. sprocket_

    SkyNews getting some bad feedback

    [Bridget O’Flynn ‏@BridgetOFlynn 20s
    Turned off @vanOnselenP . I tried but I need analysis not Kroger bashing Labor.]

  18. Arrnea Stormbringer

    Pratt doing well to deflect Bullock talk – ABC presenter being a bit dogged over the issue.

  19. Glen

    I see Ludlam has the donkey vote via the Wikileaks ticket first preference. I didn’t hear a single commentator mention that. Worth what … maybe 2%? Potentially very important. (The donkey ran to 10+% in NSW last Sept, but that was under a misleading party name.)

  20. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ Glen 21

    That’s an interesting catch. Yes, that could be worth at least 1%.

  21. confessions


    Is that you who would usually have the Churchill gravatar? If so, then I hope you’ve been well. Long time no see!

  22. Everything

    The Liberal Democrat vote in NSW was not a donkey vote issue, it was a misunderstanding of voters (who thought they were voting Liberal).

  23. Rod Hagen

    Let’s be honest, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2014/04/05/wa-senate-election-live/#comment-1949224 . That really probably translates to 3 Libs ( or 4 if you count Bullock’s real allegiances) , no real Labor, 1 Green, 1 PUP. Disaster for Labor. 🙁

  24. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ Everything 24

    It was mostly that, yes, but they would have picked up at least half a percent from donkey votes.

  25. imacca

    Watching ABC 24. Abetz is bangin on about ho negative the aLP have been. Most of the Lib polling booth adds were negative. Abetz is a fwarking tool.

  26. truth seeker

    8 Votes so far – this translates to 3 LIB and 3 NAT

  27. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ imacca 27

    Abetz being hypocritical is hardly a new development.

  28. dave


    Watching ABC 24. Abetz is bangin on about ho negative the aLP have been. Most of the Lib polling booth adds were negative. Abetz is a fwarking tool.

    Bottom of the barrel panel and comperes all round.

    Apart from Antony.

  29. truth seeker

    Or Perhaps 4 LIB 2 NAT (only 2 NATs running)

  30. Everything

    It is 9:30 and the AEC has only counted 8 votes?

    WTF :devil:

  31. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ dave 30

    Gotta agree. The Labor fellow is OK, but not inspiring. Abetz is a hypocrite and the presenter is focusing on the people, not the issues.

  32. confessions


    Aside from Green, the panel and interviewer ABC have pulled together for this shindig is frankly, crap.

  33. Arrnea Stormbringer

    @ truth seeker 31

    Yep. That’d be the outcome.

    @ Everything 32

    We’re a sluggish bunch here in the West. Give us some time.

  34. confessions

    Mod Lib:

    There is a 3 hour time difference between WA and NSW.

  35. dave

    [ The Labor fellow is OK, but not inspiring. ]

    Labor should get rid of him as well. IMO anyway.

  36. Everything

    I know…..it was a joke, confessions!

  37. Arrnea Stormbringer

    Nice screen bug there, Antony. Showing Labor with votes when they don’t have any yet.

  38. ifonly

    Donkey vote isn’t worth much. Smokers had the donkey last time and got 8719 votes. This election might just quantify it given that those who voted smokers last time based on policy will do so again.

  39. confessions

    Mod Lib:

    You have a penchant for taking everything literally. Just giving you a taste of your own medicine.

  40. confessions

    [Labor should get rid of him as well. IMO anyway.]

    He’s too used car salesperson for my liking. In that respect I suppose the Senate if the best place for him.

  41. Arrnea Stormbringer

    Dio Wang on ABC24 – this’ll be the first time all campaign I’ve heard him speak.

  42. Rod Hagen

    What would happen if Bullock followed his heart and went back to the Libs?

  43. dave


    Labor should get rid of him as well. IMO anyway.

    He’s too used car salesperson for my liking. In that respect I suppose the Senate if the best place for him.

    I find him totally loathsome and want him gone from Labor.

    If we cannot do better, give the game away.

  44. truth seeker

    Hmmm… Anything wrong with the AEC data servers?

  45. confessions

    Dio Wang looking decidedly uncomfortable and sweating like nobody’s business. No wonder he was hidden from the campaign!

  46. confessions

    Agreed, dave.

  47. pedant

    Rod Hagen @ 45: The Libs would have one more vote in the Senate.


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