Convenience Voting

Dunstan By-election Updates plus problems with the SA Electoral Act

After looking the clear winner of the Dunstan by-election on Saturday night, Labor has finished with a narrower margin than expected.

Dunstan had been held by former Liberal Premier Steven Marshall since 2010. He squeaked home with a narrow 0.5% margin at the 2022 state election which meant the seat was always going to be a hotly contested by-election on his retirement. (For background on the by-election and the results see my profile on the ABC Elections website. Final figures published.)

On election night the Labor Party finished on 53.8%, boosted to 54.0% on Sunday by check counting. At that point, based on declaration vote trends at the 2022 state election, Labor would have expected to finish with 52.7% once all votes were counted.

In fact the race has been much closer. On Thursday 28 March, Labor’s Cressida O’Hanlon is on 50.8% after preferences with a lead over Liberal Anna Finizio of 347 votes. The count is at 80.5% of enrolment with only a handful of outstanding postal votes remaining to be counted. Due to Good Friday, postal vote return closes on Tuesday 2 April to be followed by the formnal distribution of preferences.

Labor will win after a swing of 1.4%, down substantially on the 4.5% swing seen on election night.

The table below shows how the count narrowed with the release of each successive declaration vote count.Read More »Dunstan By-election Updates plus problems with the SA Electoral Act

Dunkley By-election – Tracking the Early Vote

In this post I will track the rate of pre-poll voting, postal vote application and postal vote return rates for the Dunkley by-election. Polling day is Saturday 2 March.

I’ll put headline figures here at the top of the post each day and graph daily voting rates inside the post.

Saturday 2 March (Final figures)

  • At the end of the pre-poll voting period, total of 29,928 pre-poll votes were taken representing 26.4% of enrolment. This compares to 30,395 votes or 27.2% of enrolment in 2022. The 2022 figure has been adjusted to exclude out-of-district pre-polls. There were 6,247 pre-polls taken on the final day compared to 5,159 on the same day in 2022.
  • A total of 21,983 postal vote applications were received representing 19.4% of enrolment. So far 15,434 postal votes have been returned representing 13.6% of enrolment or 70.2% of applications.
  • The number of pre-polls taken at the three Pre-Poll Voting Centres is Carrum Down 12,957, Frankston 12,468 and Mount Eliza 4,503.
  • In person pre-poll voting at in district centres has finished at 98.5% of the 2022 Federal election level. The final figure for the Aston by-election was 82.4% and for Fadden 78.5% so the pre-polls don’t point to a significantly lower turnout in Dunkley. I have excluded out-of-district pre-polls from the calculations as they only exist at general elections.
  • The overall turnout figure for the Aston by-election was 85.6%, down from 92.5% at the 2022 election, and for Fadden 72.5% down from 86.5%. The Dunkley turnout at the 2022 Federal election was 90.1%.

The total figures for Dunkley at the 2022 election were –

  • Adjusting for out-of-district pre-polls, there were 30,395 pre-poll votes taken in Dunkley at the 2022 election, representing 27.2% of enrolment or 30.2% of total votes.
  • There were 22,221 applications for postal votes representing 19.9% of enrolment. 16,625 postal votes had returned by polling day, a return rate of 74.8%. By the closing date for receipt of postal votes, 18,430 had been received, a return rate of 82.9%.
  • Returned postal votes represented 16.5% of enrolment. Postal votes admitted to the count represented 18.3% of the total vote in 2022.

Read More »Dunkley By-election – Tracking the Early Vote

The Voice Referendum – Postal and Pre-Poll Voting Rates

Monday 30 October – Postal vote receipt has now closed so this will be the final update. Returned postal votes represented 10.1% of enrolment, about 10.9% of votes counted. The final return rate for dispatched postal votes is 86.4%.

Saturday 14 October – final figures – At the close of early voting on Friday 13 October, 6.1 million pre-poll votes had been cast representing 34.7% of enrolled voters. A single day record of 1.1 million pre-poll votes were cast on Friday. Around 2.1 million electors had applied for a postal vote pack representing 11.7% of enrolled voters. Around 1.4 million completed postal votes have been returned. Returned postal votes represent 8.1% of enrolment or 69.3% of dispatched postal vote packs.

The final early vote figure is a record, higher than in 2022, but postal applications are lower than in 2022.

The post includes a number of graphs breaking down the figures by state and by electoral division.
Read More »The Voice Referendum – Postal and Pre-Poll Voting Rates

NSW2023 – Pre-poll and Postal Vote Application Rates by District

(Figures update on election eve, 24 March)

This post lists pre-poll vote rates and postal vote application rates by district.

The overall figures as of close of business Friday 24 March 2023 were –

  • The final pre-poll vote total was 1,566,493 pre-poll votes representing 28.4% of enrolment. This is up from 21.5% of all votes in 2019.
  • There have been 540,208 postal votes applied for and despatched to voters representing 9.8% of enrolment. Postal vote applications closed earlier this week. I don’t have the postal application figures for 2019 but 2.9% of votes (as opposed to enrolment) were postal votes.
  • A total of 92,077 postal votes have been returned representing 17.0% of postal vote applications or 1.7% of enrolment.
  • In 2019 another 7.0% of votes were Absent votes, the figure including out of district pre-poll votes in NSW. There were also 4.9% of votes cast using iVote, an option not available in 2023. On the day enrolment is allowed in NSW and 2.1% of votes were provisional or new enrolment vote. These numbers would all be slightly lower as a percentage of enrolment.

Much more detail inside the post. Read More »NSW2023 – Pre-poll and Postal Vote Application Rates by District

VIC22 – Results by Vote Type and Vote Type by Electorate

During the Victorian election campaign, I had a daily updated post tracking the record rates of pre-poll and postal voting.

With the results now complete, it’s time for a post looking at the final pre-poll and postal vote rates as a percentage of the vote rather than of enrolment.

It is also possible to look at two-party preferred results by vote type, though these may change slightly with the Narracan supplementary election and some additional preference counts to be completed in the new year.

I have also included a chart showing the percentage of each vote type by district.

In summary, the swing against the Andrews government was much larger on election day than with pre-poll votes, and there was a swing towards Labor with postal votes.

In 2018 the gap between polling day results and for early votes meant that the Andrews government’s 2018 victory looked much larger on election night than it turned out to be once all the votes were counted.

So large was the pre-poll and postal gap in 2018 that I built that trend into the ABC’s 2022 election computer model. That the gap was much narrower means that with complete twenty-twenty hindsight, it would have been possible to make a clear election call earlier in the evening.

More comments and tables inside the post.Read More »VIC22 – Results by Vote Type and Vote Type by Electorate

2022 Victorian Election – Early Voting by District

UPDATED – figures to Thursday 24 November

The table inside this post shows the rate of Early voting by district. Separate totals are provided for Postal applications and Pre-Poll votes.

The table is sortable by all four columns but here’s a summary of the three lowest and highest values.

Taking pre-poll votes and postal applications together, more than half of all electorates have passed 50% of enrolment.

Total Early Vote

  • Highest % – Nepean 67.6, Mornington 66.0, St Albans 65.3, Niddrie 65.1
  • Lowest % – Eildon 47.0, Lowan 47.7, Preston 47.9, Monbulk 48.3

Postal Vote Applications (now closed)

  • Highest % – Caulfield 21.1, Box Hill 19.4, Bulleen 18.6, Glen Waverley 18.2
  • Lowest % – Murray Valley 7.6, Morwell 7.7, Ovens Valley 7.9, South-West Coast 7.9

Pre-Poll Votes

  • Highest % – St Albans 53.0, Nepean 51.7, Melton 51.7, Niddrie 50.5
  • Lowest % – Eildon 31.0, Monbulk 33.9, Albert Park 35.5, Preston 35.5

Full details for all districts inside the post.
Read More »2022 Victorian Election – Early Voting by District

Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Victorian Election

Updated for voting on Thursday 24 November.

In this post I will track the rate of pre-poll voting and rate of postal vote application during the Victorian election campaign. The Victorian Electoral Commission is very helpful in publishing detailed daily figures on early voting.

Headline figures to Thursday 24 November are –

  • Just over 274k votes taken today. The final total is 1,908,400 votes or 43.4%. This compares to 1,389,980 votes or 33.6% of enrolment in 2018.
  • Postal vote applications have now closed. There have been 586,208 postal vote (early by post) applications processed representing 13.3% of enrolment compared to a total of 383,921 or 9.3% of enrolment in 2018. The 2022 postal % above has been re-calculated as I was using an incorrect total votes. The postal applications graph below has corrected percentages.
  • So far 272,779 postal votes have been returned representing 6.2% of enrolment or 46.5% of postal votes dispatched. There was no processing of postal envelopes on Friday. Instead all the counting went into verifying the previous day’s envelopes to allow them to be counted on Saturday night.
  • Both figures show a huge surge in early voting compared to 2018.

The total figures in 2018 were 1,389,980 pre-poll votes or 33.6% of enrolment, and 383,921 postal vote applications or 9.3% of enrolment. So after one week in 2022 there have already been more postal vote applications than in 2018.

Turnout is usually around 90%, so both these numbers will represent a higher percentage of total votes than is indicated as a percentage of enrolment. Also, not every dispatched postal vote will returned.

Graphs of the daily figures inside the post.Read More »Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Victorian Election

Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

Daily updated post tracking the rates of postal and pre-poll voting compared to previous elections.

State and territory elections over the last two years have seen a huge increase in both pre-poll and postal voting. I’ve written a number of posts on trends at those elections. I’ll include some relevant links at the end of this post.

I’ve also published a second post with a sortable table and graph showing the rates of pre-poll and postal voting by division.

The time between close of nominations and polling day is one week longer in 2022 compared to 2019, four weeks versus three weeks. In contrast, a change in the law means that pre-poll voting will be one week shorter in 2022, confined to only two weeks rather than the three weeks allowed at previous elections. The change means that where in 2019 pre-poll voting and postal voting started at the same time, in 2022 there have been two weeks for parties to flood the electorate with postal vote applications before the start of pre-poll voting for two weeks.

Summary of Early Voting statistics at the end of the pre-polling day period Friday 20 May

  • (Postals for Friday not yet available) With the closing date for postal vote applications now past, a total of 2,731,060 postal vote applications had been received representing 15.9% of enrolment. This compares to 1,538,139 in 2019 or 9.4% of enrolment.
  • 1,644,061 postal votes have been returned representing 9.5% of enrolment or 55.0% of dispatched postal vote packs. There have now been more postal votes returned in 2022 than the total number of postal applications in 2019.
  • In 2019 84.0% of postal votes dispatched were returned, though 3% postals did not make it through scrutiny so only 81.0% of postal votes dispatched made it into the count.
  • Postal votes admitted to the count in 2019 represented 7.6% of enrolment, or 8.2% of votes. (Based on House ballot papers admitted.)

Summary Pre-Poll Statistice –

  • Final Pre-polls to total is 5,541,757 to a total of 4,778,856 in 2019 in the reported daily figures. There were just under a million votes taken on Friday, 923,852 in total and 208,000 more than on the final day in 2019. There have been five fewer days of pre-polling in 2022 because of the change in the law, but the number of pre-polls has passed the number taken in the longer period in 2019. See graphs below. Pre-polls represent 32.2% of enrolled voters compared to 29.9 in 2019.
  • Pre-poll figures for both 2019 and 2022 are of all pre-polls issued at early voting centres so includes both within district ordinary pre-polls and out of district pre-poll declaration. Based on 2019 experience, most pre-polls will be within district pre-polls.
  • There were 4,908,831 pre-poll votes in 2019 representing 29.9% of enrolment or 32.5% of votes counted. This is the final audited pre-poll figure which is slightly higher than the reported daily totals used above in comparison to the daily totals in 2022.
  • In 2019 there were 4,288,451 House votes cast as pre-poll ordinaries, that is at a polling place for the voter’s home division. These represented 28.4% of votes counted.
  • There were another 620,380 House votes cast as pre-poll declaration, largely pre-poll absents cast outside of division, representing 4.1% of votes counted.

Read More »Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

2022 SA Election – Pre-Poll and Postal Voting Rates

The final figures for pre-poll and postal votes were as follows –

  • 29.9% of enrolled voters have either applied for a postal vote or cast a pre-poll vote.
  • 208,136 pre-poll votes have been cast representing 16.4% of enrolment. This is a 75% increase on the 120,468 pre-polls taken in 2018 representing 10.0% of enrolment. There were 35,820 on the final Friday of pre-polling.
  • There were 170,081 postal vote applications including around 25,000 permanent postal voters. This is twice the 82,213 applications in 2018 (not including 20,00 permanent postal votes) representing 6.8% of enrolment. Voters in Covid isolation can collect a postal vote pack from Covid testing centres which may add a few thousand extra postal votes.

Unlike every other Australian jurisdiction, Pre-Poll and Postal votes cannot be counted on election night in South Australia. The higher the rate of pre-poll and postal voting, the fewer the votes available for counting on election night and the lower the likelihood we will know the winners on election night.

In this post I explain the rate of pre-poll and postal voting at previous South Australian elections. I also provide charts of the rate of pre-poll voting by day, and the rate of postal and pre-poll voting by electoral district.

Most urban electorates should record a 50-60% vote count on election night which should be enough to call most seats. The seat with the lowest on the day vote will include Finniss (35%), Mount Gambier (45%), and Hartley, Colton, Stuart and Hammond under 50%.
Read More »2022 SA Election – Pre-Poll and Postal Voting Rates