Brighton was another of seven districts where the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) chose to conduct its re-check of election night votes by data entering ballot paper preferences into a computer system.
Brighton has never been won by Labor, but new Liberal candidate James Newbury came close to defeat in 2018. Newbury withstood a Liberal pre-selection challenge by former Bayside City Council Mayor Felicity Frederico ahead of the 2022 election. Frederico contested Brighton as an Independent but she finished fourth with 9.1% of the vote.
The VEC conducted a Liberal versus Frederico indicative preference count on election night but switched to Liberal versus Labor on the Monday after. The VEC also decided to data enter ballot papers for the check count.
The VEC reports Newbury as having won Brighton with 54.2% after preferences based on an indicative preference count. Despite using electronic ballot papers, the VEC stopped the distribution of preferences when Newbury passed 50% with three candidates remaining in the count.
Analysing the electronic ballot papers for this post has allowed me to calculate the correct two-candidate preferred results. The final Brighton result is Newbury 22710 votes (55.1%), Labor 18,486 (44.9%).
As with my previous posts on Northcote, Preston ahd Hawthorn, this post will use of the electronic ballot papers to analyse preference flow statistics and also to look at the influence of candidate how-to-votes.
The key findings for Brighton are –
- The Liberal Party how-to-vote, which switched in 2022 to recommend preference for the Greens ahead of Labor, resulted in a very high 85.7% of Liberal voters following the recommendation and putting the Greens ahead of Labor. At last May’s Federal election by comparison, when the Liberal Party still listed Labor ahead of the Greens on how-to-votes, Liberal preference flows to the Greens were a much lower 31.7% in Cooper, 29.8% in Melbourne and 26.7% in Wills.
- For the seven Brighton candidates that registered how-to-votes indicating preferences, including three versions for Frederico, 39.1% of ballot papers exactly matched the how-to-vote of the chosen first preference party. A high 57.0% of Liberal voters completed the same sequence of of preferences as listed on the Liberal how-to-vote. This helps explain the strong preference flows to the Greens. A lower 31.8% of Labor voters exactly followed the party’s how-to-vote sequence.
- In the two-party preferred count, 68.0% of preferences favoured Labor over Liberal, including 84.6% from the Greens, 60.7% from Frederico, 59.5% Animal Justice and 55.4% from Independent Gibson.
- As I have noted in my previous posts, it is clear that the Liberal Party’s decision on how-to-vote recommendations has a major impact on whether Labor or the Greens receive the majority of Liberal preferences.
More detail with tables inside the post.Read More »VIC22 – Brighton – Analysis of Preferences