Sunday, March 16, 2014

State Election Post-Count Thread: Lyons

This is the third of my state election post-counting threads.  There will be one for each electorate and they will be updated frequently.  During the cutup (which starts in the middle of the week after next) I will be on remote fieldwork and will update nightly, but hope to take a day off during the cutup.  

SEAT OUTCOME:  3 Lib 2 ALP (Count Finished)
WINNERS: Hidding, Shelton and Barnett (Lib), White and Llewellyn (ALP)

Sunday 16th:

No, there isn't a deliberate geographic bias in the order I am doing these in; I am just doing the less complicated ones first!

Lyons results can be seen here.  The Liberals have 3.13 quotas, Labor has 1.66, the Greens have 0.67, PUP have 0.33 and the other significant presence is independent Paul Belcher who has 0.12.   

Liberals Rene Hidding, Mark Shelton and Guy Barnett have all won as has Rebecca White for Labor.  The interest here is in the battle for the final seat between the Greens' three-term incumbent Tim Morris, and Labor veteran David Llewellyn, an MHA from 1986 until narrowly losing to White in 2010.  


Hidding has just made quota and will have an insignificant surplus.  After this candidates will be cut from the bottom up with occasional small surpluses when someone crosses, until eventually Llewellyn and Morris are the last candidates standing and whichever of them is last has lost.  

The party totals are a reasonable guide to the fortunes of Llewellyn and Morris provided that Bec White makes quota at some stage of the count.  I believe that this will happen as even if the breakdown of preferences from other Labor candidates favours Llewellyn (possibly true in the case of Bob Gordon because of forestry links), White will be continually gaining preferences from excluded candidates from other parties, and from leakage.  If White does not make quota because the split of Labor candidates is in Llewellyn's favour, then this helps Llewellyn.

So at the moment Morris starts with a notional 81-vote lead.  Morris also has a leakage advantage, because the minor Labor candidates have 3918 votes that can leak away from Llewellyn, while the minor Greens have only 1971.  (It may also assist Morris that one of those minor Greens is his partner).  In 2010 leakage from both Labor and Green tickets in Lyons was fairly low, so I've calculated the advantage to Morris on leakage to be worth about 180 votes.

On the other hand, in this electorate the Palmer United preferences will all be distributed, as they have only three candidates.  Perhaps excepting those of Wayne Shoobridge, who has a Derwent Valley background as does Morris, I would expect these to be unfavourable to Morris, given the split of Palmer United preferences (Von Stieglitz) in this electorate at the federal election was 44% Liberal 41% Labor 15% Green.  Those preferences from the Liberal Party that don't exhaust will also favour Llewellyn, while the preferences of the independent Belcher may favour Morris.  

If the current figures were the final primaries then I would take David Llewellyn's position. Even as an incumbent, I would not want to be defending such a thin notional lead as Morris's (after leakage is factored in) against another high-profile candidate in the face of over 6000 preferences, most of them probably hostile and not many of them exhausting.  But there is not a lot in it and there is potential for post-counting to improve Tim Morris's position as it has done in the past.  So for now this one is on the wire.  The result of this seat will not be known until well into the cut-up in a week and a half's time.  

The loss of this seat would be a disaster for the Greens, costing them formal party status.  Even accounting for polling tending to overstate their vote, they should have done much better here.  Perhaps their brazen play for Opposition status had the effect of scaring their voters back to Labor in order to maintain an electable Opposition.

Sunday evening: today's additions improved Labor's position relative to the Greens by 12 votes.

Monday 17th: A significant pickup for Tim Morris on postals today, the Greens' "ticket lead" now out by 90 votes to 159.  I think that is probably still not enough and that Morris needs further improvements.

Tuesday 18th: Part-rechecked figures today show the Greens' "ticket lead" has improved slightly to 178 but with 92.44% counted there are not that many primary votes to add.  

Wednesday 19th: Any day when the Greens go backwards even slightly now is a substantial bonus for Llewellyn.  The Greens' "ticket lead" is now at 163.  Morris has made only 82 votes progress since election night.  There may be only another 500 or so primaries still to add.  Barring any scrutineering data to the contrary my view is that the Greens' preference lead is probably not enough to hold off what is coming (from Palmer United especially) and that Llewellyn is well placed.  

Thursday 20th: A sudden improvement for Morris today with the Greens' "ticket lead" out to 221.  A few hundred more - if he can get them - would make his position much more competitive. 

Friday 21st: Further gain for Morris with the "ticket lead" at 237.  

It is probably time to mention the concept of the "backpacker vote", which started at the 2004 Senate post-count.  The idea is that the late trickle of postals favours the Greens because they benefit from votes coming in slowly from the Amazon jungles or wherever.  (My version of this is that it really happens only when the Greens have made a mess of the last week of the campaign!  It's far from a reliable thing.) 

Monday 24th: This seat has seen the least change with just the tiny Hidding surplus distributed, with 30 of 35 votes staying in the ticket and no-one else getting enough to count as a vote at this point (hence: loss due to fractions = 5).  The Greens' ticket lead stands at 239 and I'm still sceptical that it's enough.

Tuesday 25th: Today we've seen the exclusion of several minor candidates including the whole Nationals ticket.  Although the number of Green and Labor votes thrown were about the same, the Greens' ticket lead has been cut to 29 in a great day for Labor chances.  The only cards Morris now holds are Labor's greater exposure to leakage when Bob Gordon is excluded (perhaps worth 200 votes or so; that said I'd expect Bob Gordon's voters to identify with Llewellyn too) and the possibility that the Belcher preferences will favour him.  Beyond that, it's all ugly for the Greens with over 5000 unfriendly Liberal and PUP preferences coming.  A really big pickup from Belcher is necessary for Morris to have much chance here but even that might not be enough.  I definitely prefer Llewellyn's chances.

8:30 pm: Disaster for Morris with even Belcher's preferences splitting in favour of Labor and the Labor ticket lead out to 659 votes.  There is absolutely no reason to think that Morris can recover from here. 

Wednesday 26th 1:10 pm: As expected a modest loss for Labor to leakage from Gordon but Llewellyn still leads by 464 with just Liberal and PUP preferences to come.

6 pm: The last of the Liberal preferences saw David Llewellyn stretch his lead to 704.  There are just 4363 PUP preferences to throw and about half will exhaust.  Morris would need about a two-to-one split of the remainder to win and that's not happening; they should actually favour Llewellyn.

6:15: Llewellyn Wins: David Llewellyn has won and in the end has done so easily with a margin currently at 1579 votes.  (There are 234 votes remaining in the PUP pile that I believe will be thrown to form Llewellyn's final collection in case of a future countback.)  Labor secures its seventh seat with one undecided; for the Greens the loss is a disaster, costing them formal party status. It is the first loss of one of the seats they picked up in 2002 and had retained through elections since.

I think most politicians would not have bothered running again at age 71 after losing the previous time.  Llewellyn however has been nothing if not tenacious.  Twice during the campaign while I was on fieldwork, I looked out the window to see him out in some paddock or yard putting up one of his signs.  He's back and Labor have a source of experience in the parliament to compensate for the retirement of Michael Polley.

6:50 pm All done now, not even close in the end, Llewellyn wins by 1715.

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