Point Cook was one of the seven districts where the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) conducted its re-check of election night votes by data entering ballot paper preferences into a computer system. Point Cook had 15 candidates, and as explained in my Melton post, this presented difficulties for the VEC in conducting manual re-checks so data entry was used.
Point Cook, previously known as Altona, was a closely watched seat in 2022 despite its very safe 12.3% Labor margin. Sitting MP for Altona and former senior minister Jill Hennessy was retiring, and new Labor candidate Mathew Hilakari had only recently moved into the area. Point Cook is a rapidly growing seat of new housing estates classed as outer suburban and one of the few western Melbourne seats thought to be at risk for Labor.
Dr Joe Garra was one of the 15 candidates. Garra is a local GP who had been campaigning for years on inadequate hospital facilities on Melbourne’s south-west. He had finished second to Labor contesting Werribee in 2018. He chose to contest Point Cook after his home suburb, Werribee South, was transferred from Werribee to Point Cook by the redistribution. He had a disappointing result, finishing third with only 6.9% of the first preference vote. He was passed by the Greens during the distribution of preferences.
With 15 candidates, Werribee saw a very high informal vote at 10.2%. Only 33.0% of votes were cast on polling day, 51.5% were Pre-polls, 10.2% Postal votes and 4.5% Absent votes.
The two major parties attracted only 64.7% of the vote between them, Labor 40.0%% and the Liberal Party 24.7%. But the other 35.3% was split across 13 candidates with no other candidate passing 7%.
As with my previous posts on Northcote, Preston, Hawthorn, Brighton and Melton, 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 Point Cook are –
- The Liberal Party how-to-vote, which switched in 2022 to recommend preference for the Greens ahead of Labor, resulted in 70.2% of Liberal voters following the recommendation and putting the Greens ahead of Labor. Note that Liberal preferences were not distributed.
- For the 12 Point Cook candidates that registered how-to-votes indicating preferences, 22.9% of ballot papers exactly matched the how-to-vote of the chosen first preference party. Labor at 30.5% and Liberal 27.2% had the highest rate of ballot paper concordance with how-to-vote recommendations. Few voters for the plethora of minor parties and independents followed a how-to-vote.
- In the two-party preferred count, a relatively low 51.9% of preferences favoured Labor over Liberal.
More detail with tables inside the post.Read More »VIC22 – Point Cook – Analysis of Preferences