Western Australian Election Site Updates

(This post is being updated most days. See inside post for details)

My 2021 Western Australian Election Website has been published on the ABC website. While published at the start of campaign, the site continues to have material added to it on a daily basis.

As an experiment, I’m going to maintain this post as a daily log of updates.

For anyone who wants to submit candidate information for the site, don’t send it through this blog. Please use the ABC elections e-mail link.

Wednesday 3 March

Over a week since I last updated this post. This is a busy period in the election cycle, building the computer system for election night, checking the graphics work, that the upper house calculator can download and publish results, that the on-line lower house results site works. There’s a lot of checking polling place details, building tables of preference formulas for the period before preference counts become available, plus preference formulas for where the final two candidates may not turn out as expected.

All this has been complicated by the ABC switching to a new computer system, the second re-write I have been involved in since I worked on the initial development of the ABC’s system in 1991-92. This new system has better differentiation between two-party and two-candidate preferred results, more error checking on multi-candidate contests, and a better mechanism for forcing seats into the doubtful category. As well as all being written using more maintainable and better documented code. And better documentation, the ABC wanting to make sure they have written down how the system works before I retire.

The old system was also designed around supporting a television election coverage on to which a web publishing module had been welded. This new version has had more thought given to dealing with web publishing. The new system is also a single database system with access by intranet browsers rather than networked laptops in the old system. It promises to be a much easier technical set-up than in the past. You won’t see much change on the website at this election but there is more scope for change in the future.

The testing has also been laborious. I’ve had to re-run the first hour of the Queensland election transaction by transaction, twice. And as well as testing for the WA election, I’m also testing a Tasmanian system to make sure it runs Hare-Clark, plus re-running the Eden-Monaro by-election to make sure the new system can easily be used for a by-election.

As to website updates, I’ve updated details on the electorates that previously had no candidate profiles. All 59 electorates now have candidate profiles for at least some candidates. The electorates updated with profiles today were Armadale, Butler, Cannington, Cockburn, Kwinana, Mandurah, Maylands, Mirrabooka, Thornlie, Warnbro, Warren-Blackwood, West Swan and Willagee.

There have also been some extra candidate profiles added, Nationals for Bunbury, Dawesville, Mandurah, Murray-Wellington and Vasse, and a One Nation candidate profile for Central Wheatbelt.

Hopefully I get chance to check and update some of the older material on the site over the next week.

Tuesday 23 February

The big news today is the Legislative Council calculators have been added. You can read my summary how the preferences are looking, or you can dive right in and enter your own first preference totals by party to calculate who might win.

Monday 22 February

Candidate profiles added for Churchlands and Nedlands.

All the Legislative Council group voting ticket pages have been re-generated. There was an error in decoding the WAEC’s preference data files so that out of order preferences within a party group were numbered incorrectly. If a preference ticket had numbered the candidates in a group 2 then 1, the preferences on the ABC site were the other way around. This makes very little difference except in cases where groups were numbered out of order and split with candidates of other groups in the middle. The pages and the pdfs have all been re-generated with the correct tickets. This has delayed the Legislative Council calculators but hopefully they will be published this afternoon.

Wednesday 17 February

I’ve been busy trying to do all the set-up to get the Legislative Council calculators going, plus set-up for the election results database. There’ve been some minor updates to the website with pictures and links for several Sustainable Australia, WAxit Party and Shooters, Fishers and Farmer’s candidates added. A picture of the last lower house Labor candidate has also been added.

The page of South West Region group voting tickets has been updated. The first version released by the WA Electoral Commission on Monday night did not include the Sustainable Australia ticket. That has now been added and the pages updated.

I’ve also included links from the preview page to some of my WA Parliamentary Library publications. There’s one summarising the results of the 2017 election (pdf 1.1mb), and a second with analysis of the 2019 redistribution (pdf 4.5mb).

Tuesday 16 February

Printable versions of the group voting tickets for region have been published through this page.

Monday 15 February

Upper house group voting tickets have been added to the site. They can be accesses from the Group Voting Tickets page. Legislative Council calculators programmed with these tickets will be published later this week.

Friday 12 February

Following the close of nominations, I have uploaded the names and party affiliations of all candidates to the ABC’s election website.

Thursday 11 February

I’ve added a version of my blog post on Albany to the guide page for Albany, and have also added background on Geraldton with maps and graphs explaining how Labor’s vote was also swamped there by the introduction of one-vote one-value electoral boundaries. Geraldton has additional interest in 2017 due to sitting MLA Ian Blayney having switched party from the Liberals to Nationals in 2019.

Today’s candidate updates – Greens in Forrestfield and Landsdale, One Nation for Armadale and Mirrabooka, Western Australian Party Bunbury, Pilbara and Riverton, Australian Christians Jandakot and Independent Joondalup.

The site will be locked to candidate updates on Friday. The next update will be after the close of nominations late on Friday afternoon.

Wednesday 10 February


Candidate profiles added for Kimberley, Landsdale, Midland, Moore and Swan Hills. Which candidate is both a 24 year veteran of the WA Police force and an award winning cheesemaker? Blessed are the cheesemakers.

Kalgoorlie page updated with maps and graphs outlining the seat’s changing boundaries and voting patterns. Some extra candidates added for the Legislative Council.

Maps have been added that outline how Bunbury has expanded beyond the boundaries of the City of Bunbury, how Hillarys has been shifting north with each redistribution, and the major changes to Jandakot over the decades.

Tuesday 9 February

Minor updates. Candidate profiles added for Bunbury, Carine, Central Wheatbelt and Fremantle. WAXit candidate added for North West Central. Profile updates for Bicton.

Monday 8 February

As of this evening the site has 249 lower house candidates listed. Labor has a candidate named for all 59 seats, the Liberal Party 58 after dumping its candidate for Baldivis last week. There are 52 Greens, 11 Nationals, 28 Australian Christians, 23 LDP and 18 others. One Nation has so far named only five lower house candidates.

There are 126 candidates listed for the Legislative Council, but this will rise as the major parties round out their tickets to six candidates in every region. Also to come are second candidates for most minor parties, and some registered parties are yet to announce candidates. The site will be updated with full lists of candidates after the close of nominations on Friday.

In 2017 there were a record 415 candidates in the lower house and another 302 in the Legislative Council. Going on past elections, I expect a flood of minor candidate parties to appear at the close of nominations.

Updates and additional candidates added today were –

  • Green candidates – names, pictures and links added for Bicton, Central Wheatbelt, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Mirrabooka, North West Central, Roe
  • Labor candidates – names, pictures and links added for Vasse and Warren-Blackwwod. Candidate with no pic added for Cottesloe.
  • Australian Christians – candidates added for Albany, Bateman and Bicton.
  • There are now profiles for 33 electorates on the site. Today’s additions – Morley, Perth, Rockingham, Roe and Vasse.
  • Additional candidate profiles added for already published pages – Albany, Bateman, Bicton, Kalgoorlie, North West Central, Pilbara.
  • Before today there were 28 electorate pages that included candidate profiles – Albany, Balcatta, Baldivis, Bateman, Bicton, Burns Beach, Collie-Preston, Cottesloe, Darling Range, Dawesville, Forrestfield, Geraldton, Hillarys, Jandakot, Joondalup, Kalamunda, Kalgoorlie, Kingsley, Mount Lawley, Murray-Wellington, North West Central, Pilbara, Riverton, Scarborough, South Perth, Southern River, Victoria Park and Wanneroo.