Early Voting by Division

This post will publish daily updates of the rate of Early voting (Postal + PrePoll) by division.

Current data – as at the end pre-poll voting on Friday 20 May 2022.

Check inside the post for a sortable table and graph of pre-poll voting and postal vote applications lodged by division.

All figures are calculated as a percentage of enrolment in each division. The postal vote column is of postal applications, of which 75-80% will result in a postal vote being returned and included in the count.

Pre-poll votes is a total of votes taken by each division, not necessarily for the division. That is the percentage includes both pre-poll ordinary votes taken for the division, and pre-poll declaration votes taken for other divisions. About 12% of pre-polls were pre-poll declarations in 2019.

Check out my other post on early voting to track the rate of pre-poll and postal voting through the campaign.

38 thoughts on “Early Voting by Division”

  1. What does this usually indicate for the final outcome of general elections usually

    COMMENT: Nothing to the best of my knowledge.

    1. It might delay a result though so the postal votes might leave us hanging on who will be in the lodge!

      COMMENT: Only if it is really close. The WA election count only reached 37% on election night and SA was only about 50% but both results were clear.

      1. Is there any significance in the high postal/prepoll numbers in a city seat like Bonner?

        CPOMMENT: No. The figure is common all across inner-Brisbane divisions and the same areas had the highest rate of postal voting at the 2020 Queensland election. It just seems to be habit.

    2. Does the higher amount of early voting tend to favour any particular party?

      COMMENT: Postal and pre-poll voting generally favour the Coalition. Whether the increase in both forms of voting will further advantage the Coalition, or diminish the advantage, won’t be known until after Saturday.

    3. Historically, do pre-poll and postal votes favour any particular party?

      COMMENT: Postal votes always favour the Coalition as they include several groups with a conservative leaning, including farmers, old and frail voters and members of various smaller religious groups that won’t attend in person voting on a Saturday. In recent years pre-polls also tend to favour the Coalition. The question is whether the lean of both vote categories will diminish as more voters join the category.

      In the end, compulsory voting means that early voting just changes when and how people vote, not who they vote for. Nor does it significantly change who votes. Unlike overseas elections, early voting does not change turnout significantly, and it is the change to turnout that is the main political impact of early voting in countries that do not have compulsory voting.

      1. Interesting to see that many of the electorates where teal independents are standing have ~40% early voting. Wondering if this trend won’t favour the liberals standing in these seats

        COMMENT: Most are inner-city electorates where the rate was already high.

    4. Is there a national figure available?

      COMMENT: If you check in the post there is a link to a second post that has been tracking the national rate of postal and pre-poll voting.

    5. Is their any particular district with surprising numbers at this stage?

      COMMENT: They all look like typical figures to me.

    6. Maybe more people are voting this way to avoid the election becoming a super spreader event. Voters who follow public health guidelines probably wouldn’t vote for the current mob.

      1. That’s an interesting point as to how many are choosing to vote early in order to avoid catching or passing on Covid.
        That may affect how these early votes favor the LNP, or otherwise.

        1. I chose a postal vote for this exact reason. Ironically I tested positive last week and today is my last day of isolation.

        2. I would have liked to pre poll but I don’t fit into any of the categories. Someone on twitter suggested just doing it – they didn’t get asked why they were voting early – though I voted early in a previous SA election and I remember getting asked why (I was going to be away on election day). I’m a stickler for the rules though, so I couldn’t justify going if I didn’t have a legitimate reason to vote early. I just wish worrying about getting covid was a reason to vote early.

          1. Robyn, I think Federal elections are different. When I voted prepoll the officer didn’t really ask questions why I was voting early, I was just given ballot papers as if I had voted on the day.

          2. That is a legitimate reason. Nevertheless, the question the electoral official will ask is something like “are you entitled to vote?” If you answer “yes” they won’t ask you for the reason, as they have a sign up with a list of reasons that you have supposed to have read. Don’t you just love legislation?

          3. The Commonwealth Electoral Act says you can vote early if: “The person will be unable to attend a polling booth on polling day because of a reasonable fear for, or a reasonable apprehension about, his or her personal wellbeing or safety.” I think a reasonable fear of catching Covid would suffice.

          4. I’ve heard that early votes tend to favour the sitting member so would you be willing to add a column that indicates the incumbent party in each seat? Love your work!

            COMMENT: PrePolls slightly favour the Coalition and Postal votes favour the Coalition strongly. A sitting Labor member may diminish the Coalition advantage with postal votes but they still tend to favour the Coalition.

          5. In Lingiari, do you count mobile bush polling in the prepoll figures?

            ANSWER: Mobile votes are not included in the totals.

            1. This made me wonder what percentage of the vote in Lingiari is expected to come in via mobile booths?

              Found a great summary on the Tally Room from 2019 – it was 30.5%

              Voter group % of votes
              Alice Springs [11.1]
              Darwin Surrounds [10.8]
              Katherine [2.7]
              Pre-poll [36.7]
              Remote [30.5]
              Other votes [8.3]

              COMMENT: I have different figures on my election guide page for Lingiari where I discuss the role of remote polling in the 2019 result.

          6. Antony do you have any thoughts on how the increase in postal and pre poll voting is changing the nature of campaigns and when they do things like release their campaign pledges?

            COMMENT: Yes, its resulted in more announcements earlier and less building to a campaign crescendo.

          7. I think someone mentioned it above – but I wonder how in marginal seats people vote in pre-polls, if it’s a ‘get it out of the way’ sort of thing or people enjoy the confrontation of election day.

          8. Thanks for all the data.
            I viewed your presentation on how you use swings from various booths from early counts to derive the overall swing in a given electorate and can confidently predict the seat outcome with 15% of the vote counted.

            Given the high pre-poll numbers the count on election night may not accurately reflect the booth swings if a large number of pre-poll are counted early or if for whatever reason there was a large number of pre-polls from individuals from a large booth.

            Any strategies in place to account fir this?

            COMMENT: Yes, you just allow more room for variability.

          9. Would it be possible to sort by electorate with highest proportion of pre-poll/postal? Not for any particular reason except that data is cool.

            COMMENT: Just click the top of the4 column and the table sorts.

          10. What time Saturday do you expect to be able to call it, Antony ?

            COMMENT: The time for calling the result is entirely dependent on how close the election is. A clear swing and result can be called quickly, the result of a close election takes longer to reveal.

          11. Antony
            Why is the Senate paper formatted horizontally when vertically like the House paper would be far more manageable in the skinny polling pod?

            COMMENT: The ballot paper was vertical from 1919 to 1937 and the current format adopted in 1940. There was no ATL/BTL voting until 1984. WA used a vertical ballot paper from 1989 to 2013 with a left-right version of ATL/BTL voting. WA adopted the horizontal ballot in 2017. Voting screens are wider than they are deep so I’m not sure why the vertical ballot would be better. It might make donkey voting even worse.

          12. To my observation the UAP senate how to vote might be being more widely distributed this year. For instance on prepolls in Whitlam they have staffed all booths most of the time. If the UAP can bother to pay for staffing of preroll in Whitlam then it surely must be staffing more contentious seats more widely. So Senate (& House of Reps) preferences might follow how to vote more closely than you estimated this morning? Secondly do you think with the LDP/UAP swap in senate Queensland that Hanson could be at risk to Palmer? I know Cando is not very popular in Queensland though?

          13. How does the increase in the early vote (particularly postal) influence your calculations in when you can confidently call 1) individual seats and 2) the overall result?

            COMMENT: You widen the controlling parameters which increases the lead a candidate needs before you call the seat.

          14. Which party do overseas tend to vote for? Are the well-travelled also more progressive?

            COMMENT: Overseas votes are not separately identified in results.

          15. Any idea when phone votes will be counted? And should we expect phone voters to be younger and left-leaning? Thanks.

            COMMENT: Late next week. The number of telephone votes will not be large.

            1. Are you sure? In WA alone, there are probably 40000 people who must vote by phone, and maybe another 40000-50000 eligible. In some seats, I reckon that could be significant.

          16. If you said that prepoll normally favours Coalition Party, but I am a traditional Labor Voter, and prepolled due to work and covid.

            COMMENT: Your vote will favour whoever you want it to favour. But the other 5.5 million votes will slightly favour the Coalition based on past voting patterns.

          17. Is it possible to place the ballots you received from a postal application at a polling booth on the day of the election, provided you get your name marked off?

            COMMENT: I’m not sure about Commonwealth elections but I know many states print slightly different postal vote ballot papers that can’t be used in a polling place. If you have your name crossed off the roll you will be issued with ballot papers for the polling place.

          18. When will the two party preferred votes in the seats where there was no liberal vs labour contests come out?

            COMMENT: A couple of months yet. The AEC will concentrate on conducting counts to to determine the winning candidate in each seat, and conduct the count to a level of accuracy to withstand possible court challenges. It will be three weeks before those are completed. There will then be other finalising work on the count before additional two-party preferred counts are conducted.

          19. How was the 2cp on wannon worked out between Dyson and Tehan

            ANSWER: The count will be re-done between Tehan and Dyson starting on Monday morning.

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