In this post I will keep track of the post-election counting for the South Australia election.
This post is an adjunct to the ABC results site where I will fine tune predictions through the rest of the count. If you want to follow updates directly, visit the results on the ABC website.
More commentary inside this post.
Sunday 27 March
I was asked a question on two-party preferred outcomes in the various Liberal vs Independent contests. The provisional figures I’ve been provided are –
Finniss: Labor 43.4%, Liberal 56.6%
Flinders: Labor 29.6%, Liberal 70.4%
Hammond: Labor 44.4%, Liberal 55.6%
Kavel: Labor 45.3%, Liberal 54.7%
Mount Gambier: Labor 35.9%, Liberal 64.1%
Narungga: Labor 35.9%, Liberal 64.1%
Stuart: Labor 53.2%, Liberal 46.8%
Applying these figures, my current estimate for state-wide two-party preferred result is Labor 54.7%, Liberal 45.3%.
Friday 25 March
With 86% counted, Finniss is now a certain victory for Liberal David Basham. Even if Independent Lou Nicholson gets into second place, Basham is on 50.7% after preferences and at this point of the count can’t be defeated.
I won’t do any further updates in this post, but will return next week with a review of final figures. Final postal votes will be counted on Saturday with a distribution of preferences to be undertaken in each seat on Sunday.
At this stage my estimated two-party preferred result is Labor 53.9% which is pretty close to the final Newspoll published on Saturday.
Thursday 24 March 2022
8:40om – Dunstan update, latest counting favoured Steven Marshall who with 51.1%after 80% counted has retain his seat. Another update for Finniss and David Basham moves further ahead in the two-candidate preferred count.
Two-Party Preferred Update – With 72.5% of votes counted, the estimated Labor two-party preferred is 54.4%, a swing to Labor of 6.3%. The final seat result looks like being Labor 27, Liberal 16 and Independents 4.
The Liberal Party won 25 seats at the 2018 election and lost ten of them at the 2022 election. Seven have been lost to Labor (Adelaide, Davenport, Elder, Gibson, King, Newland, Waite) and three to Independents (Kavel, Narungga, Stuart). Independent Geoff Brock’s victory in Stuart after switching to Stuart has allowed the Liberal Party to gain Frome.
6:15pm – In Finniss, Liberal David Basham now leads Independent Lou Nicholson on the preference count. Nicholson still needs to pass Labor to be in the final preference count so on both grounds her chances of victory are fading.
5:30pm – around 2,000 pre-poll votes counted this afternoon in Waite with Labor’s two-party preferred vote 51.4%. Labor is now on 53.3% in the preference count. There are only around 3,000 votes to count so the Liberal Party can’t turn around Labor’s lead.
5:00pm – Morialta was decided for the Liberal Party today. That leaves three seats in doubt, Dunstan and Finniss which are likely to be won by the Liberal Party, and Waite which is likely to be won by Labor. There is enough doubt over each of these results to leave them as in doubt at this stage.
Close Contest – Finniss
Polling day results after check count left Independent Lou Nicholson just 0.4% behind Labor in the race for second place. From this point Nicholson would pass Labor on other preferences and go on to capture Labor preferences and win with 55.1% two-candidate preferred. Liberal David Basham polled only 37.0% of the first preference vote on polling day. The first batch of Declaration votes, mainly postal votes I understand, saw Basham poll 50.5%, Labor outpoll Nicholson 25.3% to 14.0% with fewer votes for other candidates. This left Nicholson trailing Labor by 2.1%, a tougher gap to close. Nicholson’s two-party preferred percentage if she passed Labor would also decline from 55.1% to 53.1%. Still enough to win, but closing the gap to pass Labor and win on preferences is still the bigger challenge.
24 March – there was no counting yesterday, the day devoted to checking envelopes for the next count. Today’s count has further diminished the chances of Independent Lou Nicholson winning. After the counting of around 3,000 votes, Nicholson is still trailing Labor by 3.4% to reach second place, and even if she gets there, her lead over of Liberal David Basham has fallen further, Nicholson now on only 50.7%. Basham looks set for a narrow victory over Nicholson or a much larger margin of victory over Labor.
|Dec Vote 1 (22/3)||979||491||272||197||1,115||824|
|Dec Vote 1 (24/3)||1,557||656||444||280||1,751||1,186|
Wednesday 23 March 2022
Close Contest – Waite
The counting in Waite suggests that MP Sam Duluk’s challenge as an Independent has failed, and also that new Liberal candidate Alxander Hyde cannot win. An election night preference count between Liberal Hyde and Independent Heather Holmes-Ross indicate she would win. A two-party preferred contest conducted Sunday suggests Labor’s Catherine Hutchesson will win. The count below shows Sunday’s two-party preferred count. Holmes-Ross slipped backwards in the declaration vote count on Tuesday leaving Hutchesson the most likely winner despite the strong performance with postal votes by Hyde and Duluk.
23/3 – second day of declaration vote counting, 2,214 votes counted, tally up to 72.2%, Duluk and Hyde again increased support at the expense of Hutchesson and Holmes. It still looks like a Labor versus Liberal contest, and while the Labor two-party margin declines again, Hutchesson is still on track to win. I can’t see Duluk passing Hyde on these numbers.
|Dec Vote 1 (22/3)||189||330||303||102||61||376||609|
|Dec Vote 2 (23/3)||478||683||549||271||190||983||1,188|
|Total (72.2% counted)||5,195||5,053||3,982||2,893||2,544||10,528||9,139|
Close Contest – Dunstan
Polling day results after check count left Labor on 50.5% with a lead of 143 votes. The first batch of Declaration votes, mainly postal votes I understand, split in favour of Liberal Steven Marshall, polling 53.8% and cutting Labor’s lead to just 11 votes.
23 March – another 2,300 declaration votes splitting 54.1% in favour of Steven Marshal putting hime 184 votes into the lead.
|Dec Vote 1 (22/3)||883||643||190||924||792|
|Dec Vote 1 (23/3)||1,181||830||382||1,294||1,099|
Close Contest – Hammond
On election night there was a preference count conducted between Liberal Adrian Pederick and Independent Airlie Keen. This showed a neck and neck race but Keen was a critical 5.2% votes behind Labor on the first preference vote, and this gap had to be narrowed for Keen to pass Labor and benefit from preferences. The gap in fact widened and Pederick’s first preference and two-candidate preferred vote improved. Further counting today should clarify whether Keen can close the gap or whether Pederick will win easily in a contest against Labor.
23 March – I won’t bother updating the table further as it is clear that Liberal Adrian Pederick has been re-elected. Today’s counting left Airlie Keen 5.8% behind Labor and saw Pederick increase his two-party vote to 52.4%. The result will not turn around from here.
|Dec Vote 1 (22/3)||912||451||275||297||1,175||760|
11:00am – nothing to report yet. Counting is done in large batches so it takes several hours. Declaration votes must first have the details on the outside of the envelopes checked, and once a few thousand have been processed, the ballot papers are extracted from the envelopes and counted. This all takes time. And in close seats, it takes even longer as scrutineers have the right to observe every ballot paper. This slows the count but makes the system more transparent and insures both sides accept the result.
Tuesday 22 March 2022
Prediction – at the end of counting on Tuesday, the overall result looks like finishing as Labor 27, Liberal 15 and Independents 5. This assumes Steven Marshall will retain Dunstan and Independent Lou Nicholson will defeat Liberal David Basham in Finniss. The Finniss result is the one that is in my view the most in doubt. Marshall is behind in Dunstan but I expect him to pull ahead on declaration vote counting. My expected 27th Labor seat is Waite where it looks highly improbable that Liberal Alexander Hyde can win. I expect the Liberal Party to win the remaining three seats currently in doubt, Hammond, Morialta and Unley.
8:25pm – More counting in Hartley confirms the re-election of Liberal Vincent Tarzia.
7:30pm – Prospects for Liberal David Basham have improved in Finniss. Around 2,000 postal votes have been counted today and his first preference vote rises from 37.0% to 39.1%, Labor’s from 23.5% to 23.7%, Independent Lou Nicholson declines from 23.0% to 21.6% and vote for four other candidates slips from 16.6% to 15.6%. The most important point here is that Nicholson was 0.5% behind Labor on Saturday but is now 2.1% behind. If Nicholson can bridge this gap, she still wins with 53.1% versus Basham after preferences, but this figure is down from 55.1% on Saturday night’s count.
7:20pm – Liberal Josh Teague has been re-elected in Heysen.
6:30pm – A thousand Waite votes added today and very strong for Liberal Alexander Hyde and Independent Sam Duluk. Labor’s first preference vote slipped from 27.4% to 27.0%, Heather Holmes-Ross from 15.3% to 15.0% and the Greens from 12.0% to 11.5%. Duluk up from 19.0% to 19.6% and Liberal Hyde from 24.5% to 25.0%. In the two-party preferred count Labor slipped from 55.5% to 54.6%. The scrutineer reports I mentioned earlier suggest the chances of Holmes-Ross passing Labor to reach second place have declined so Labor’s Catherine Hutchesson is now favourite to win.
5:30pm – scrutineer reports from Waite that Duluk preference leakage to Holmes-Ross has dried up on today’s counting making it much harder for her to pass Labor and reach second place. That makes it much easier for Labor to win Waite.
5:15pm – New count for Hammond, about 1,800 votes added and the Liberal first preference vote increases from 38.1% to 39.3%. After preferences Liberal Adrian Pederick increases his vote versus Independent Airlie Keen from 50.1% to 51.3%. Count now 56.3% and Pederick much more likely to win.
4:15pm – safely back in Sydney. A few hundred more votes in Dunstan left Steven Marshall behind by 11 votes. First declaration vote count in Unkey lifted the Liberal vote from 50.3% to 51.2%. More counting in Morialta also increased the Liberal lead.
12:30pm On a flight for the next two hours so no updates till I arrive back in Sydney. Check the ABC elections website which will continue to update while I’m up in the air.
11:45am – a corrected preference count has arrived for Flinders which confirms that Liberal Sam Telfer will go on to succeed retiring Liberal Peter Treloar. There has been a big swing against the Liberal Party with Independent Liz Habermann finishing a strong second.
9:00am – I’ve been promised that more substantial declaration vote counts will get underway today. This morning should also see some errors in the preference counts for Kavel and Flinders. Updates will be published by the Electoral Commission hourly.
Monday 21 March 2022
End of counting today – with the rolls now sorted out, there will be much more counting tomorrow.
9:30pm – around 1,400 postal votes have been counted for Dunstan and Steven Marshall has cut the Labor lead from 143 votes to just 29. The votes split 746 Liberal (54.1%) to 632 Labor. In Dunstan at the 2018 election, the Liberal 2-party vote was 55.0% on polling day, 59.0% for declaration votes, producing a 1.1% shift to give a Liberal 2-party result of 56.1% on the old boundaries.
In 2022 Dunstan has recorded around 3,800 postal votes applications and 3,931 pre-poll votes, so there are many more votes to count. If the trend in today’s count continues then Steven Marshall should win re-election. Based on interstate evidence, postal voting is more likely to favour the Liberal Party where pre-poll voting is more like on the day voting.
7:40pm – after a late start, around 400 votes have been counted in Morialta lifting the Liberal two-party vote from 50.5% to 50.7%, the Liberal Party recording 56.3% on this batch of postals.
4:00pm – there are errors in the two-candidate preferred count in Flinders. At this stage I think this makes Flinders safer for new Liberal candidate Sam Telfer but I need to see the replacement counts.
2:45pm – sadly there will be very few updates today. ECSA cannot open any declaration votes until the envelopes have been checked against who voted on Saturday. At this stage ECSA are uploading the roll mark-off data from Saturday before the processing of declaration votes can begin. The number of possible multiple votes is invariably tiny, but South Australian electoral law makes this check compulsory before declaration votes can be counted. There may be updates for Dunstan, Morialta and possibly Finniss but not much else today.
10:00am – large batches of pre-poll and postal votes are being counted today so it will be lunchtime before there is much to report on today’s counting.
Updates – Sunday 20 March 2022
End of counting Sunday summary
54.4% of the vote has been counted. First preference votes are Labor 40.6% (+7.8%), Liberal 34.3% (-3.7%) and the Greens 9.6% (+2.9%). The estimated two-party preferred count is Labor 55.2%, a swing of 7.1%. In 2018, the Labor two-party preferred percent declined by 1% in post-election night counting.
Labor now has 26 seats, with Gibson having been marked down as a Labor gain on today’s counting. The Liberal Party has a definite 10 seats and will make gains amongst the seats that remain in doubt.
In descending order of Liberal 2PP%, there are six seats the Liberals will be hoping to win. Hartley (51.7%), Heysen (51.5%), Flinders (51.1%), Morialta (50.5%), Unley (50.3%) and Steven Marshall’s seat of Dunstan (49.5%) where he trails his Labor opponent. On 2018 post-election night counting, all these seats should be retained by the Liberal Party. It will depend on whether the Liberal gain on postal, pre-poll and absent votes is repeated in 2022.
I now think Hammond will be won by Liberal Adrian Pederick as I think the Independent challenge will fail with the counting of pre-poll votes on Monday. Waite looks a certain loss for the Liberal Party with the final count to determine whether the seat is a Labor or Independent gain. The Liberal position in Finniss remains under serious threat from Independent Lou Nicholson.
On Monday the Electoral Commission will count around 5,000 pre-poll and postal votes in each district. For the marginal seats listed above, the count will be split into two batches with an extra report in the middle of the day. This count should clarify any trend in pre-polls and postals and leave only a few seats in doubt.
Legislative Council counting is currently at 54.2%. On current numbers, nine seats are certain, four Labor, four Liberal and one Green. The final two seats remain in doubt, but at this stage the most likely winners will be a fifth Labor MLC with the final seat for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.
6:15pm – the Labor-Liberal re-throw of preferences is complete in Waite and shows Labor well ahead of 55.5%, about the same figure achieved by Heather Homes-Ross on Saturday night. So whoever finishes in the final race against Liberal candidate Alexander Hyde will end up defeating. The only alternative outcome is if pre-poll and postals allowed Sam Duluk to pull ahead of Hyde, but that seems unlikely and may not change the outcome anyway.
5:50pm – possible boil over in Flinders. A preference count has become available in Flinders between Liberal Sam Telfer and Independent Liz Habermann. 78% of preferences are flowing to Haberman which leaves Telfer on only 51.1% based on applying these preferences to the overall first preferences. Habermann leads on the current tally of preference counts from 11 polling places, and projected based on comparing those results to 2018, but applying the preference flows to the overall first preferences is the better method of modelling. I expect postals will confirm the Liberal victory but this result is much closer than expected.
4:30 – My state-wide two-party preferred figure is currently 55.0% Labor 45.0% Liberal. If pre-polls and postals split as in 2018, this will ease back to around 54.0% for Labor over the next few days.
4:25 – the correction for Gibson has arrived and the swing in Gibson is now 13.6% and Labor’s Sarah Andrews has defeated Transport and Infrastructure Minister Corey Wingard.
3:25pm – there’s a data entry error in one polling place in Gibson. When it is fixed Labor will be far enough ahead to declare Labor’s Sarah Andrews as the winner defeating Liberal Corey Wingard. Knowing the correction is coming, I will declare Labor as the winner in Gibson.
3:10pm – As I wrote in my first post today, ticket votes will put Labor ahead in Dunstan. And so it has come to pass with Labor’s Cressida O’Hanlon leading Premier Steven Marshall 7,376 to 7,233, 50.5% for Labor. The seat remains in doubt as that lead can be overturned by postals and pre-polls.
2:50 – today’s counting has firmed the position of Liberal Vincent Tarzia in Hartley and the only reason I still have it in doubt is the percentage count is under 50%. There is a very high pre-poll and postal tally in Hartley.
2:40pm – the ABC website is now being fed with actual two-candidate preferred counts for Frome, Giles and most importantly for Waite. Five Waite polling places have reported a two-party count and preferences are splitting 56.8% to Labor and 43.2% Liberal. As Labor leads on first preferences, the Liberal candidate Alexander Hyde cannot win from this position. As a mentioned earlier, the question is simply whether Labor wins or Independent Heather Holmes-Ross wins. The Liberal first preference vote of 24.5% is too low to win unless there is something astonishing in the pre-poll and postal votes.
2:30pm – the ABC website has been adjusted to use projected results from the new Labor/Liberal two-party preferred counts being conducted in Frome and Giles.
1:40pm – there is a counting error in Unley which puts Labor ahead and is clearly an error. I’ve notified the Electoral Commission for it to be fixed.
1:20pm – first check count figures have improved Labor’s position in Gibson by about 50 votes and this is before the ticket votes are added later, which will further increase Labor’s lead.
1:10pm – Labor and Independent scrutineers are arguing that Liberal Alexander Hyde cannot win Waite. The Greens have polled 12% and their prefererences overwhelmngly favour Independent Heather Holmes-Ross allowing her to pass Sam Duluk. They then report that a quarter of Duluk’s preferences leak to Holmes-Ross, which puts her neck and neck with Labor’s Catherine Hutchesson. Then there are strong flows between those two candidates whichever is excluded first, though Labor’s flows to Holmes-Ross would clearly be stronger.
Hyde’s Liberal first preferences vote is only 24.5%. Even with 100% of Duluk’s preferences, their combined vote is only around 43%, and the scrutineer report is Duluk’s preferences are leaking. Perhaps the pre-poll and postal votes may shift the balance of the count, but it is likely that we will not know the winner in Waite until the full distribution of preferences.
I have no records in this area, but if Holmes-Ross does win, I know that I have never seen a candidate win from fourth place.
12:30pm – The process of check counting and sometimes results in two-candidate results for some polling places disappearing from the media feed while numbers are re-entered. That might cause some decided seats to go into doubt as counts go briefly backwards. I just locked the prediction in Adelaide after the removal of several polling places for check counting pushed the seat back into doubt. It isn’t in doubt.
12:15pm – I’ve turned the prediction numbers off on the ABC site as the very close margin in many close Liberal seats, plus the process of check counting, is making the prediction unstable.
LATE NIGHT UPDATE – Labor has won the election with a certain 25 sites. The Liberal Party are certain of nine and there are four Independents. That leaves nine seats in doubt, five where the Liberal Party leads (Dunstan, Hartley, Heysen, Morialta, Unley), one where Labor leads (Gibson) while an Independent leads in Finniss but is not certain of victory, Hammond probably has the Liberal Party in the lead, and Waite has no sensible preference count and remains in doubt.
My state-wide two-party preferred figure is 55% Labor 45% Liberal. I expect Labor’s figure to drift down towards 54% with the inclusion of pre-poll and postal votes from Monday morning. These votes will represent more than a third of the state vote and on past votes will slightly favour the Liberal Party.
Sunday’s counting will be a check count by Returning Officer staff of counts conducted in polling places on Saturday. For reasons to do with South Australia’s ticket vote savings provision, this will bring some new votes into the preference count.
This will have the most impact in the Premier’s seat of Dunstan. At the end of election night, there were 278 fewer two-candidate preferred votes compared to the first preference count. Most of these were votes for Green and Family First candidates with insufficient preferences. Most of these votes will be ‘saved’ by the ticket votes, and as both the Greens and Family First recommended preferences for Labor, this is likely to overturn the Premier’s current 96 vote lead. So I expect the Premier to be behind going into the count of pre-poll votes on Monday.
This will also widen Labor’s lead in Gibson, where the preference count was missing around 700 votes included in the first preference count. This sounds an unusually high number and may be an election night counting error to be sorted out today rather than a ticket vote issue. But the Greens, Family First and Independent candidates all listed Labor’s Sarah Andrews before Liberal Corey Wingard, so Labor is likely to increase its lead in today’s counting.
Waite should also be clearer today with a new preference count being conducted Labor’s Catherine Hutchesson and and Liberal Alexander Hyde.
A note on gains and losses. As noted in all my pre-election notes, I had re-classified Florey as Labor held and Frome as Liberal held based on the sitting Independent MPs moving seats. Both seats were won by their newly aligned party. The same comment applies to Independent Dan Cregan retaining Kavel after leaving the Liberal Party, and the same for Fraser Ellis in Narungga.
There were six seats defined as having changed party. Labor has gained five seats, Newland (was LIB 0.1%, swing 6.0%) , King (LIB 0.6%, swing 4.9%), Adelaide (LIB 1.0%, swing 8.0%), Elder (LIB 1.9%, swing 8.4%), and Davenport (LIB 8.2%, swing 12.2%). The other seat to change party is Stuart where Independent Geoff Brock thrashed Deputy Premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan. Brock was able to win big majorities in seats across Stuart that were not part of his former seat of Frome.