ALP Vote Deteriorating In Final Stages Of Counting; 55 Seats May Be 53 When All Votes Are In

The ALP’s vote continued to deteriorate in Thursday’s counting.

Whilst on Wednesday it appeared that the ALP would lose 17 seats to finish with 55, it is now possible that it will lose 19 and finish with 53.

In NSW, the seat of Parramatta became close yesterday. The sitting Labor member, Julie Owens, now has a lead of 389 votes, or 50.27%.

In Barton, the Liberal lead of 771 became 961. In Eden-Monaro, the Liberal lead of 591 was extended to 633.

In Victoria, the Liberal lead of 116 votes in McEwen grew to 396.

In Queensland, for the first time since Saturday night, the Liberal National candidate has taken the lead in Capricornia. On Wednesday night, the ALP led by 268 votes, whereas by Thursday night the LNP was ahead by 624 votes.

Assuming that the ALP has lost Barton, Eden-Monaro and McEwen, it will finish with 54 seats if it also loses Capricornia. A loss in Parramatta would see the ALP settle on 53, with the Coalition on 92. This is the ALP’s worst case scenario.

For the Coalition, the seats of Fairfax and Indi remain in doubt. In Fairfax, Clive Palmer’s lead has dwindled from 1,411 votes to 1,132. In Indi, independent Cathy McGowan’s lead has narrowed from 1,449 to 1,100.

In most electorates, ordinary votes, those cast on polling day last Saturday, have now been counted. Most pre-poll votes, those cast at pre-poll centres in the three weeks prior to election day, have also been counted.

Absentee votes, those cast on Saturday by voters outside of their electorate, are now arriving at electoral commission offices, as are postal votes from Australia and overseas. These will continue to dribble in for several more days.

Electoral staff are also processing provisional votes, those votes where the eligibility of the elector has to be verified.

Late changes in close electorates are often caused by one or major party candidates polling better on postal votes than their opponent. It is not uncommon for the Coalition to poll better on postals, although it is also common for sitting members of either side to do better on postals. In the case of Indi and Fairfax, it is especially interesting because Palmer and McGowan have not previously contested the seats and it is difficult to predict which side postal votes will break for. [Read more…]


Shorten Announces Candidacy For ALP Leadership

Bill Shorten has announced his candidacy for the ALP leadership.

The outgoing Minister for Education and Minister for Workplace Relations said he was nominating for the leadership because “I believe we can win the next election”.

Shorten endorsed departing Minister for Health and Medical Research, Tanya Plibersek, as deputy. The party would be “well served” with her as deputy, Shorten said at his press conference in Melbourne. [Read more…]


Coalition Edging Towards 90 Seats As Election Counting Continues

It now appears likely that the Liberal-Nationals coalition will hold 90 seats in the House of Representatives, as Labor’s position deteriorates in several undecided electorates.

The ALP’s position in Barton, Eden-Monaro and McEwen has worsened over the past two days of counting. The ALP is behind by 643 votes in Barton, 591 votes in Eden-Monaro and 116 votes in McEwen.

However, in the Queensland seat of Capricornia, the ALP remains ahead and has stretched its lead to 268 votes. Capricornia and McEwen are now the only results in serious doubt.

In Reid, the ALP’s position has worsened since Monday and it is now 928 votes behind. It is 722 votes behind in Dobell. Both seats are now presumed to be Liberal gains.

The ALP began the election with 72 seats. It has lost 14 seats so far: Bass, Braddon, Lyons, Deakin, La Trobe, Corangamite, Hindmarsh, Petrie, Dobell, Robertson, Page, Lindsay, Banks and Reid. If it holds Capricornia but loses Barton, Eden-Monaro and McEwen it will finish up with 55 seats in the House of Representatives, or 36.66% of the total.

This would constitute the ALP’s 10th worst defeat in the 41 federal elections held since 1910. It did worse in terms of seats at the elections of 1934, 1919, 1996, 1966, 1925, 1977, 1917, 1975 and 1931.

The interest on the Coalition side now centres on Indi and Fairfax. Clive Palmer is now 1,411 votes ahead of his LNP rival in Fairfax. His lead has been quite stable since Monday and he now seems certain to win.

In Indi, the independent Cathy McGowan is 1,449 votes ahead and now seems assured of victory. Her lead was consolidated yesterday after the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) corrected a clerical error which had seen 1000 votes incorrectly given to the Liberal incumbent, Sophie Mirabella.

Whilst the clerical error may seem like sloppy work on the part of the AEC, its rectification is in fact a tribute to the fail-safe measures the Commission has in place. By reconciling the number of ballot papers issued with those returned and monitoring Senate numbers, clerical errors are quickly identified.

The Coalition began with 73 seats. It has gained the 14 seats listed above, plus the formerly independent electorates of New England and Lyne. If we assume it has lost Fairfax and Indi, but won Barton, Eden-Monaro and McEwen, it will have 90 seats in the new House.

Sophie Mirabella will have the dubious distinction of being the only incumbent Coalition MP to be defeated. [Read more…]


Julie Bishop Sacks Steve Bracks As Consul General In New York

One of the new government’s first decisions is to sack Steve Bracks, Australia’s Consul General in New York.

Bracks, Labor Premier of Victoria between 1999 and 2007, was appointed to the post in May by the Gillard government. He took up the position on August 5, the day after the election was announced. He confirmed today that the incoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop had informed him she would be revoking his position. [Read more…]


Federal Election: Latest Results In Key Seats

Counting is proceeding in the federal election. These are the latest results as of Monday evening, September 9.

The table shows the seats that have definitely changed hands and those that are still in doubt.

The ALP began the election with 72 seats. It has lost 13 seats so far: Bass, Braddon, Lyons, Deakin, La Trobe, Corangamite, Hindmarsh, Petrie, Dobell, Robertson, Page, Lindsay and Banks. It has 5 seats in doubt: Capricornia, Barton, Eden-Monaro, Reid and McEwen.

The Coalition began with 73 seats. It has gained the 13 seats listed above as well as New England and Lyne. It has lost 1 (Fairfax) and has 1 (Indi) in doubt.

The Greens have retained their single seat (Melbourne). The 4 independents have been reduced to 2 (Denison and Kennedy). The Palmer United Party has 1 seat (Fairfax).

Of the doubtful seats, it is most likely that the independent will win Indi. The Liberals are most likely to win Eden-Monaro and Reid. The other seats are too close to call and will require the full count of ordinary, pre-poll, postal, absentee and provisional votes.

2013 Federal Election: House of Representatives Seats
No. Seat Incumbent Challenger Status
NEW SOUTH WALES
1.
BANKS
Daryl Melham
ALP
David Coleman
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
2.
BARTON
Steve McMahon
ALP
Nickolas Varvaris
Liberal
ALP 68 votes ahead
3.
DOBELL
Craig Thomson
IND/ALP
Karen McNamara
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
4.
EDEN-MONARO
Mike Kelly
ALP
Peter Hendy
Liberal
Liberal 569 votes ahead
5.
LINDSAY
David Bradbury
ALP
Fiona Scott
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
6.
LYNE
Rob Oakeshott
IND (ret)
David Gillespie
The Nationals
THE NATIONALS GAIN
7.
NEW ENGLAND
Tony Windsor
IND (ret)
Barnaby Joyce
The Nationals
THE NATIONALS GAIN
8.
PAGE
Janelle Saffin
ALP
Kevin Hogan
The Nationals
THE NATIONALS GAIN
9.
REID
John Murphy
ALP
Craig Laundy
Liberal
Liberal 634 votes ahead
10.
ROBERTSON
Deborah O’Neill
ALP
Lucy Wicks
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
VICTORIA
1.
CORANGAMITE
Darren Cheeseman
ALP
Sarah Henderson
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
2.
DEAKIN
Mike Symon
ALP
Michael Sukkar
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
3.
INDI
Sophie Mirabella
Liberal
Cathy McGowan
Independent
Independent 1,754 votes ahead
4.
LA TROBE
Laura Smyth
ALP
Jason Wood
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
5.
McEWEN
Rob Mitchell
ALP
Donna Petrovich
Liberal
ALP 66 votes ahead
QUEENSLAND
1.
CAPRICORNIA
Peter Freeleagus
ALP
Michelle Landry
Liberal National
ALP 141 votes ahead
2.
FAIRFAX
Ted O’Brien
Liberal National
Clive Palmer
Palmer United Party
PUP 2015 votes ahead
3.
PETRIE
Yvette D’Ath
ALP
Luke Howarth
Liberal National
LIBERAL GAIN
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
1.
O’CONNOR
Chub Witham
The Nationals
Rick Wilson
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
1.
HINDMARSH
Steve Georganas
ALP
Matt Williams
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
TASMANIA
1.
BASS
Geoff Lyons
ALP
Andrew Nikolic
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
2.
BRADDON
Sid Sidebottom
ALP
Brett Whiteley
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN
3.
LYONS
Dick Adams
ALP
Eric Hutchinson
Liberal
LIBERAL GAIN

 


Transition To Abbott Government Begins; Shorten, Albanese Vie For ALP Leadership As Recriminations Start; Mirabella Struggling In Indi; Palmer Takes Fairfax; Micro Parties Descend On Senate

The transition to the Abbott Coalition government has begun, following Saturday’s federal election.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has surrendered his commission to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. It is expected that Tony Abbott and his ministry will be sworn in early next week. Abbott arrived in Canberra today to hold meetings with his senior colleagues and to take briefings from the public service.

Abbott

In the Labor Party, moves appear to be afoot to elect a new leader by consensus. The outgoing Treasurer, Chris Bowen, announced he would not be a candidate for the position. It now appears that either Bill Shorten or Anthony Albanese will become leader. [Read more…]


Of Votes And Bodies: The Labor Party’s Election Defeat

by Malcolm Farnsworth

There’s votes and there’s bodies.

In Saturday’s election, the ALP ended up with more bodies than it thought it would. Members who were written off or deemed at risk just three months ago have survived the election.

Think, for example, of Jason Clare, Chris Bowen, Laurie Ferguson, Ed Husic, Matt Thistlethwaite, Mark Dreyfus, Alan Griffin, Anna Burke, Graham Perrett, Kate Ellis, Gary Gray and Warren Snowdon. They are some of the saved furniture. Some of it is tatty, some of it has lustre, but it has survived.

That’s why the relief in the ALP is palpable. Bodies matter. MPs have staff, offices and facilities. They are an essential part of the infrastructure a political party needs to wage war with its opponents.

Whatever the Gillard apologists might say – and they were out in force over the weekend – the ALP was heading for the loss of 30-40 seats in June.

In Melbourne in May the massive swing against the ALP in a state by-election where the Liberals didn’t even run a candidate drew attention to what was happening in the electorate. In some areas, the swings were over 20%. The smarties denied that a state by-election warranted federal comparisons but people on the ground knew better. [Read more…]