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How Might the Referendum Results Come In

Where to find referendum results? Google points a lot of people looking for election result here to my blog on election night. Currently I’m busy on television so can’t be of much assistance. If you are live results, check out the ABC’s Referendum results site for everything you need to know after 6pm eastern time.

When results for ‘The Voice’ referendum report on Saturday night, they will arrive in a fearsome rush.

In preparation for Saturday night’s coverage, I’ve been digging back through some of my working documents for the 1999 Republic referendum. I also checked out the television coverage through ABC archives.

My memory was that results poured in, but checking the archives proved the rate of reporting was faster than I remembered. By 7:30pm in the 1999 count, half the national vote had reported and NSW had reached 68% counted and Victoria 65%. That is around twice the first preference votes that would have been reported by that time at a general election.

The results will report just as quickly on Saturday, though they may not reach the same percentage counted by 7:30. As I pointed out in a previous post, 80% of votes were cast on election day in 1999 where the equivalent figure in 2023 will be under 50%.

But fewer votes in polling places means the votes will be quicker to count, so the votes reported may reach 50% very quickly. From there it may slow down for a while given how long it takes to count some of the giant pre-poll centres. It has been a feature of recent by-election counts that there is a pause between the point when all polling places have reported their results, and when pre-poll counts are completed and reported.

But what will the early figures look like on election night? For that I again went back to my 1999 figures.Read More »How Might the Referendum Results Come In