Saturday, September 06, 2008

Election Night 6 September 2008

I live blogged this one out of interest.

As of this morning, the ABC computer is showing the WA lower house results as ALP 27 seats, Liberals 23, Nationals 4, Other 3, with 3 in doubt. Of the 3 in doubt, the ALP is ahead in one, the Liberals in one, an independent in the third. If they split that way, then it becomes ALP 28, Liberal 24, Nationals 4, Other 4.

Voting in the upper house is proportional. Prior to the elections the Liberals held 12 seats, the ALP 10, the Nats 5, Greens 2, Christian Democrats 1. Too few votes have been counted to be certain of outcomes.

The National's position is an interesting one. Their position was further weakened under the redistribution, threatening their position as a party. They fought this election as an independent force outside coalition arrangements and appear to have benefited as a result. Now that they appear to have the power to determine who will govern, it will be fascinating to watch the machinations.

The National's success in WA contrasts with their disastrous result in the Federal seat of Lyne where independent Robert Oakeshott scored 64.14% as compared to the Nats 22.12%. This continues the fragmentation of the Nat's traditional Northern NSW heartland, although I would have thought that they would have a good chance of winning the NSW state seat vacated by Mr Oakeshott.

In the Federal seat of Mayo in South Australia, the Liberals appear to have won, although preferences will decide the seat. The ALP did not run a candidate here, with the Greens picking up the majority of ALP votes.

In all, an interesting night.

6.27 pm. While I have not been commenting on the current election round, I have been following. In Lyne with three booths in, Oakshott is on 56%

6.32 pm. Booths so far in appear to be traditional National. Oakshott (independent) home. New England preserves the voting tradition I have been writing about. My impression is that the Green vote is down to blazes.

6.40 pm. Port Macquarie booths starting to come in. Mr Oakshott's lead increasing.

6.46 pm. The booths closed in the SA seat of Mayo at 6.30 EST. First results should come soon. A little while before the close at the WA State election. Opinion polls show a cliff hanger.

6.50 pm. Booth feedback from Mayo suggests independent, Green strength. Booth worker optimism?

6.52 pm. With 29 booths in, Mr Oakshott seems to be establishing a huge lead in Lyne. My impression of Green vote apparently affected by the booths involved.

7.00 pm. First booths in in Mayo. Libs on 54%.

7.08 pm. A this point, the Libs appear to have won Mayo.

7.33 pm. I lack the local knowledge to judge Mayo. With no Labor candidate, the Lib vote is down, the Greens up. Both independent Bell and Family First are polling well.

8.04 pm. Switched to Sky TV to get the WA results. Mayo getting very interesting. Results unclear.

8.13 pm. The commentators are already using the Lyne result to point to the end of the Nats. They should merge with the Libs. The commentators miss the point - Mr Oakshott won because he better represents regional and especially Northern NSW interests. The Nats close connection with the Libs is their problem.

8.24 pm. In a TV interview, Kim Beasley compared the WA Nats with NSW. He said that the NSW Nats had to recognise that their role was to represent their constituents, not just seek Government. He contrasted this to WA where the Nats had moved to the cross-benches. The Nats are very much a tiny minority in WA , but their vote appears to be holding up.

8.40 pm. First WA booth results coming in. Very early, but still not possible to say anything. All the coverage is still talking heads! The first early results show big swings to the Nats. I wish!

8.50 pm. Very early WA results show swing to the Libs.

9.00 pm. The Libs are claiming victory in Mayo. Commentators say re WA that odd things are happening in the vote. At this stage, the ALP appears to have lost one seat.

9.15 pm. Still very early. Nats in front of the Libs in Moore. Projections now showing two Lib wins from ALP.

9.30 pm. Apparent Lib gains up to four. The ABc computer projections suggest two Nat gains from the Libs, eleven ALP seats where the Libs are in front of the ALP, one possible gain from the Libs.

9.40 pm. While individual results are all over the place, the reasonably uniform swing against Labor in metro Perth puts the Government at threat.

10.10 pm. At this stage results remain fascinating. The Libs have lost 2, possibly 3, seats to the Nats, some to Labor. On the other hand, they have won a number of seats from Labor. The Nats have also won one seat from Labor. At this point, neither Libs or Labor may get to a majority.

10.20 pm. The numbers have bounced again. I had Pilbara has a possible Nat win from Labor, but it is I think now back in the Labor camp. At this stage, neither Lib nor Labor may get to a clear majority. Perhaps the Libs are the best bet. The increased Green vote is also a factor.

I am signing off now. More in the morning.

10.45 pm. I had not intended to post again, but I heard an interview with the Nats leader. He said that the party vote had grown because they were an independent party and that, consequently, they would not enter into a coalition agreement but stay on the cross-benches to get the best deal for regional WA.

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