Clark 2021 – Updates on the Distribution of Preferences

Keeping track on the critical preference distribution in Clark. The seat that will determine whether the Liberal government has majority or minority status. Updates inside the post.

Candidates Elected in Order

  1. Greens – Cassy O’Connor (Re-elected)
  2. Liberal – Elise Archer (Re-elected)
  3. Labor – Ella Haddad (Re-elected)
  4. Liberal – Madeleine Ogilvie (Re-elected)
  5. Independent – Kristie Johnston (Elected)

Count Completed

Change in Elected Members: Madeleine Ogilvie was a defeated Labor candidate at the 2018 election but returned to the Assembly in September 2019 at a re-count. She replaced Labor MHA Scott Bacon but took her seat as an Independent. Ogilvie has been elected as a Liberal MHA at the 2021 election.

Sue Hickey was elected as a Liberal in 2019, was disendorsed by the Liberal Party for the 2021 election but re-contested and was defeated as an Independent. Her seat has been won by Independent Kristie Johnston.

Taking account of the changing party allegiances of Ogilvie and Hickey, the result in Clark compared to the party numbers in 2018 is that Labor has lost a seat to Independent Kristie Johnston.

Links to Other Electorates: Bass | Braddon | Franklin | Lyons

12 May Updates

8:20pm – My final graph and table below. As expected, when Behrakis was excluded there was some leakage out of the Liberal ticket, 13% overall. But this split equally between Johnston, Hickey and exhausted so did not help Hickey. Ogilvie slipped under the quota but was still elected to the fourth seat and Johnston to the fifth.

The slight oddity is that Ogilvie was an Independent in the last Parliament and has been elected as a Liberal, while Hickey was a Liberal in the last Parliament and has been defeated seeking re-election as an Independent.

On election night I said I could not see how there were enough preferences available to allow both Independents to win election ahead of the second Liberal. And so it has come to pass. Johnston was constantly getting preferences in the count but Hickey was receiving fewer and started the count with fewer first preferences. Both have done better than most Independents in recent decades, but getting two Independents up in the one electorate was always a big ask.

Party/Group Totals at Count 33 – exclusion of Simon Behrakis (Liberal)

Party/Group Party Change Votes Quotas
Liberal Total LIB -695 20,771 1.9547
Labor Total ALP 0 10,626 1.0000
Green Total GRN 0 10,626 1.0000
Kristie Johnston IND +226 9,970 0.9383
Sue Hickey IND +239 8,716 0.8203

Party/Group Totals at Count 33 – exclusion of Simon Behrakis (Liberal)

Candidate (Order) Party Change Votes Quotas
Cassy O’Connor (1 Elected) GRN 0 10,626 1.0000
Elise Archer (2 Elected) LIB 0 10,626 1.0000
Ella Haddad (3 Elected) ALP 0 10,626 1.0000
Madeleine Ogilvie ( 4 Elected) LIB +4,554 10,145 0.9547
Kristie Johnston (5 Elected) IND +226 9,970 0.9383
Sue Hickey IND +239 8,716 0.8203
Simon Behrakis LIB -5,249 0 0.0000
Exhausted +230 3,044 0.2865

6:35pm – Peter Gutwein called the election because Sue Hickey resigned from the Liberal Party. He chose not to govern relying on the vote of Independent Madeleine Ogilvie. But he will now form majority government relying on the vote of the same Madeleine Ogilvie who has now been elected as a Liberal, having previously served as a Labor MHA, and having been elected to the last parliament as an Independent at a countback replacing a Labor MP.

The government has some wriggle room for governing with Kristie Johnston being elected as an Independent. But the government is only slightly more secure than it was in the Assembly it dissolved to call an election.

6:25pm – Half of Labor’s votes exhausted on the exclusion of Simon Davis. If 20% of preferences leak to Hickey, then Hickey could catch Ogilvie. Except 20% is way higher than expected. Plus they have to flow to Hickey, not exhaust or flow to Johnston. To date preferences have consistently favoured Johnston over Hickey and that trend would suddenly have to reverse now, right at the end of the count. There are too many extremely unlikely things have to happen all at the same time to allow Hickey to be re-elected.

6:15pm – exclusion of Labor’s Simon Davis over. There are now not enough votes for Sue Hickey to catch Liberal Madeleine Ogilvie when second Liberal Simon Behrakis is excluded tomorrow.

5:20pm – it will be interesting to see who wins the 4th and 5th seats. If there is a flow to Independents, it is possible Johnston will win the 4th seat and Ogilvie the 5th.

5:05pm – there’s always a temptation to call an election where you think the result is clear. But to do so with the current count in Tasmania is to put your neck on the line on whether there is a minority or majority Liberal government, effectively declaring whether Peter Gutwein can stay or will have to resign as Premier.

In my view, Kristie Johnston and Madeleine Ogilvie will win the last two seats. For the two Independents to win, they need stronger flows of preferences than at any stage during the count, and they also need the flows go to Hickey when to date the have consistently favoured Johnston.

However, the TEC is currently counting the surplus Labor preferences that lie with the party’s second finishing candidate Simon Davis. These will make clear whether Hickey can close the gap on Ogilvie. I doubt it, but as the count that will determine who wins is underway, I may as well wait for one more official count.

4:40pm – they were very quick to count Haddad’s surplus. Most stayed within the ticket with preferences to Simon Davis.

4:30pm – rest of Bayley’s vote excluded. Again the prefernces flow to Labor, and of the flow to the Independents, Johnston is receiving the larger share. Hickey’s chances are disappearing quickly.

4:00pm – exclusion of Green Vica Bayley to the point where Labor’s Ella Haddad reaches the quota. Only 45% of preferences flowing to the Independents which is not strong enough for them both to win. Even worse for the Independent challenge, the flow is stronger to Johnston than Hickey and it is Hickey who is much further behind.

2:40pm – exclusion of Labor’s Chris Clark, again with no flows that suggest any help for the Independents.

1:55pm – exclusion of Elise Archer’s 55 vote surplus of which 48 stayed in the Liberal ticket and seven exhausted.

1:25pm – exclusion of Liberal Will Coats which puts Elise Archer over the quota and into the second seat. Only 9.3% of Liberal preferences leaked out of the ticket. This count insures that Simon Behrakis will be excluded at the end of the count and if his preferences flow strongly to Madeleine Ogilvie than she will defeat Sue Hickey for the final seat and deliver majority government for the Liberal Party.

After the distribution of Archer’s small surplus, the next count excludes Labor’s Chis Clark. The exclusion beyond that will be crucial as it will exclude Vica Bayley who holds the Greens surplus. If lots of his surplus exhausts then Madeleine Ogilvie will be assured of victory.

12:40 – a note on the exclusion of Coats. His preferences should elect Elise Archer. These are nearly all Liberal votes and will be the basis of her surplus. That means there should not be much leakage from Archer’s surplus and what there is will be at a reduced transfer value. The question is how many of Coats’ preferences leak on his distribution.

12:25 – Exclusion of Labor’s Sam Mitchell sees some small leaks out of the Labor ticket. The next count will be crucial with the exclusion of Liberal Will Coats. His votes should put Elise Archer over quota and give another measure of how many Liberal preferences are leaking out of the Liberal ticket.

11:20am – Exclusion of Harvey Lennon saw 122 votes leak out of the Liberal ticket, a leakage rate of 7.8%. Liberals helped here by Lennon’s preferences favouring both Ogilvie and Behrakis over Elise Archer who is still short of a quota. Labor candidate Sam Mitchell is the next exclusion.

10:35am – Distribution of Cassy O’Connor’s small surplus as Count 13. The next count is very interesting with the exclusion of the first Liberal candidate, Harvey Lennon.

10:10am – The exclusion of Bec Taylor (Greens) puts Cassy O’Connor over quota as the first candidate declared elected.

8:45am – I’ll be maintaining two tables to follow the count for the rest of the day. The first is totals by party, the second shows the totals by candidate. I think this makes much clearer that while the party total shows the Liberals on track for the second seat, the count is actually being conducted between candidates and the two Liberal candidates in the race for the fifth and final spot currently sit in 6th and 7th.

11 May Updates

10:00pm – I’ve seen some media stories completely mis-interpreting what I have been writing about Clark. Let me make myself clear. Towards the end of the count in Clark, there will be four candidates left in the running for the final two seats. In descending order of vote they will almost certainly be Kristie Johnston (IND), Sue Hickey (IND), Madeleine Ogilvie (LIB) and Simon Behrakis (LIB). I am not in anyway suggesting the two Liberals will be excluded and the two Independents elected.

What will happen is that the second Liberal, likely to be Simon Behrakis, will be excluded and his votes distributed as preferences. The combined vote totals of Ogilvie and Behrakis will almost certainly be greater than both Independents. But will there be leakage of Liberal preferences so that not all votes from Behrakis will reach Ogilvie. If that happens it will be harder for Ogilvie to pass both Johnston and Hickey.

Tomorrow we will get more information on how many Liberal votes are leaking out of the party’s ticket. On the current count, the Liberal leakage would have to be unusually high for both Independents to be elected. It may be high enough that Johnston finishes ahead of Ogilvie and they fill the final two seats with Hickey defeated. I have my doubts the leakage will be high enough to allow Hickey to stay ahead of Ogilvie.

In the graph of the count above, it looks like the Liberal vote is close to a second quota. It is but split across five candidates. After Elise Archer is elected tomorrow, and as the third and fourth placed Liberals are excluded, there will be leakage out of the Liberal total. The blue line in the graph will dip down at each Liberal exclusion. The lines for Johnston and Hickey can only rise as they are single candidate totals, not split across several candidates.

Leakage when Behrakis is excluded could cause the blue line to dip below Johnston’s line, but the leakage would have to be high for it to dip below both Johnston and Hickey.

7:10pm – final update. The first Labor candidate was excluded at Count 11. At the end of the night the Liberal surplus across several candidates is 0.9750 quotas, Johnston has 0.7162, Hickey 0.6412, the Labor surplus is 0.3799 and the Green surplus 0.2809. So there is roughly 0.66 quotas of Labor and Green surplus, and Johnston and Hickey together need about 0.6 quotas to both pass the Liberal surplus. A good portion of the Labor and Green surplus will exhaust, which means there are not enough votes around to get both Johnston and Hickey ahead of the Liberal surplus. BUT – the Liberal vote is across five candidates and exhaustion will be critical.

At the end of the count, there will be four candidates left, Johnston, Hickey, Ogilvie and Behrakis, probably in that order. The second Liberal will be excluded, and there will need to be a strong enough flow of preferences to the remaining Liberal to get them ahead of at least one of Johnston and Hickey.

Tomorrow will see Liberals start to be excluded, which will give us an idea of the exhaustion rate in the Liberal ticket. One advantage the Liberals have is that it will probably take more than one Liberal exclusion before Elise Archer reaches a quota, so she will continue to attract preferences into the Liberal ticket.

Back tomorrow with more on the count that will determine whether the Liberal Party reaches majority government.

5:50pm – Animal Justice becomes the last ‘Other’ vote to be excluded and gives small boost to all other parties. Liberal surplus now 0.97 quo0tas but it has to be stressed this is split across several candidates and there will be some leakage as Liberal candidates are excluded later in the count.

5:00pm – the exclusion of the final SFF candidate sends 305 preferences to Liberal candidates, 100 to Johnston and 128 to Hickey. The Liberal surplus quota is up above 0.95 quotas but the party has just received its last friendly preference flow. The problem for the Liberals is its vote is split across five candidates, two by the final stage of the count. Johnston is on 0.69 quotas and Hickey 0.62 and as the onyl candidate on each ticket, their vote cannot go backwards from here. The next count excludes Animal Justice followed by the third placed Green candidate Bec Taylor which should put Cassy O’Connor over quota.

4:10pm – the exclusion of Independent Mike Dutta has given a boost to the Greens and both Independents. The next two candidates to be excluded will be from the Shooters, Fishers and Framers (893 votes) and Animal Justice (1,037 votes) after which only the two Independents and the Labor, Liberal and Green candidates will remain in the count.

3:45pm – it is important to stress that while the Liberal surplus to one quota is on 0.9192, this is split across five candidates. In particular, Liberal candidates Madeleine Ogilvie and Simon Behrakis are both under 0.4 of a quota. So both trail Kristie Johnston and Sue Hickey. It is highly likely that at the last exclusion in the count, Johnston and Hickey will lead the race for the final two seats and one of Ogilvie or Behrakis will be excluded. The Liberal Party will need a strong flow of preferences at this point for its remaining candidate to get ahead of at least one of Johnston or Hickey. If there is leakage, then it is possible that the final Liberal candidate will fall short of both Johnston and Hickey.

Someone suggested I should be plotting the Liberal candidates separately. The problem with that is Johnston and Hickey would lead throughout. I think it is better to show a partial Liberal quota, and if at the end leakage results in Johnston and Hickey being elected, I think that is better shown by the Liberal vote dipping and falling behind rather than suddenly merging and leaping ahead.

It’s a matter of opinion but that’s the choice I have made.

3:30pm – Green candidate Tim Smith excluded at Count 7 with a slight drift of preferences to Animal Justice. The next three exclusion will remove the Other vote with the exclusion of the final Ungrouped candidate Mike Dutta as well as the SFF and Animal Justice.

2:20pm – the exclusion of Ungrouped candidate Jax Erwin has caused a dip in Others vote and a lift for the Greens. Erwin was a Green candidate at the 2018 election.

2:00pm – Count 4 excluded the first Green with only a small leakage out of the party ticket. With all the small distributions in these early counts, it takes a while for the graph to show much movement.

1:25pm – Count 4 excluded Lorraine Bennett of the SFF. Only 79 votes leaked out of the SFF ticket so no significant change. Next out is the lowest polling Green candidate Nathan Volf with 446 votes.

1:00pm – Stringer (Federation Party) and Gershin (Ungrouped) excluded. Greens and Johnston favoured by the small number of preferences leaking out of others. The Liberals gained 47 votes, Labor 32, Greens 72, Johnston 54 and Hickey 21.

12:40pm – I’ll use the chart below to follow the count in Clark. At this stage the chart makes no sense as only the first preferences count exists. I’ve duplicated a second entry just so the graph will publish. I explain what’s being charted in the text below the graph.

12:15pm – I’m going to use the above chart to follow the progress of the count. It plots the Liberal surplus beyond one quota against Johnston and Hickey. Also included are the Labor and Green surpluses beyond one quota, and a total for Others.

The Liberal vote will fall as candidates 3-5 are excluded, as will the Labor and Green surpluses. Johnston and Hickey can only increase in vote as they were single candidate groups on the ballot paper. The question is whether the Liberal vote can gain preferences to compensate for preferences that leak out of the ticket, and can both Johnston and Hickey grow quickly enough to pass the Liberal surplus. One independent passing the Liberal total is possible, but it is tough for both to pass, the only way to stop a second Liberal being elected.

Noon – an update of the final first preferences. Again they slightly weaken the Independent position though the Liberal quota also dipped slightly.

10:30am As no candidate has in excess of a quota, the count will start with the exclusion and distribution of preferences from Justin Stringer (Federation Party), then Lisa Gershwin (Ungrouped), Lorraine Bennett (SFF) and Nathan Wolf (Greens). The order after that depends on preferences received by other low polling candidates.

10:20am – I’ve speculated that O’Connor will be elected ahead of Archer, but the order could well be the other way round. Either way it is unlikely to be important to the progress of the Count.

9:00am – an extra 350 votes added to the count on Monday improve the Liberal position ever so slightly.

Pre-distribution comments

Prospects: Green Cassy O’Connor, Liberal Elise Archer and Labor’s Ella Haddad will all be re-elected. The contest for the final two seats will then be a race between the second placed Liberal candidate (either Madeleine Ogilvie or Simon Behrakis) and Independents Kristie Johnston and Sue Hickey.

What I’ll be watching: The race between the Liberal surplus beyond one quota, and the partial quotas for Johnston and Hickey.