Blogging Senate forecasts and results in the WA Senate re-election until officially declared.

Twitter: @AU_Truth_Seeker

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Day 5. No response. :-(

After receiving no response to my email, I tweeted the AEC asking what their service standard was regarding the amount of time it takes to respond to communication. But in 140 Characters some truncation is needed 2 get my msg a X.

Here's what I said:

Dear I sent detailed email 5 days ago. Do u have Service Standards re comms response time?

How long do you think it will take? I would have thought 1 week was reasonable?


  1. I asked the AEC on Friday when they'd have the 2 party figures for the House finalised. No response either.

  2. I have seen an AEC response to a query about the finalising of the 2PP figures. The answer is after the Fairfax and WA Senate recounts are finished, estimated in a few weeks. All are loaded simultaneously as part of a final election product when all figures are locked (barring court changes). That's why it's taking longer this time than last time - no recounts last time.

    1. Yes, Kevin, I was the anonymous commenter above.

  3. I would say that to get a full/"proper" response it would take same time. Having worked in the State government, it's very important that communications like this would be dealt with by upper management and that all the right checks have been done (eg legal etc). I'd say up to two weeks is not unreasonable. It might seem like a long time, but, believe it or not, the response they give you could have consequences.

  4. Have updated my WA Senate comments here:

    Kambalda has been fixed; we might get Waggrakine soon. Quite a few medium-sized discrepancies coming up.

  5. Trying that again with correct URL:

    Have updated my WA Senate comments here:

    Kambalda has been fixed; we might get Waggrakine soon. Quite a few medium-sized discrepancies coming up.

  6. And now we have lost 1,375 votes according to

  7. if we have lost the votes does that mean that they are removed from the initial count and not counted in the second count?

  8. its interesting to play with the updated numbers entered in the AEC computer. I believe (can someone confirm) that there has been a shift of votes to the Christians of about 35 votes but most of this (surprise, surprise) seems to come from Pearce which is the subject of the "missing votes".......from what I can see the result will change on a declaration of a recount but would then clearly be subject to challenge which would have a strong chance of success it would appear.....can anyone confirm this analysis??

    the person who knocked off the ballot box has certainly done their job it would seem.....

    1. lost votes are apparently form regional electorates, so no surprise that Pearce has changed.

      Apparently they haven't lost whole booths, just parts from a number of booths.

      The lost votes are from a number of electorates, so i wouldn't say that someone has knocked off a ballot box, more likely some fuck up from someone who had the job to transport the votes to the 3rd count.

    2. My tentative numbers have a 21 vote swing to the Christians at the critical point - i.e. enough to change the result.

      I have the Shooters down 34 votes (-25 from their own ticket, -3 from the Australian Independents and -6 from Fishing & Lifestyle Party) and the Christians down 13 votes (+2 from their own ticket, -15 from No Carbon Tax).

      I'm not super-confident on these as I didn't grab the equivalent report before the recount and have had to collate from other reports that I did get.

      I assume the numbers will continue to move - I haven't seen any change to BTL yet and while they are not recounting them, they may end up with a few from the informal ballots that are being re-checked.

    3. Some media reports mentioned up to 300 new BTL's. Shooters got BTL preferences from unexpected places, no way to know how the declaration will go.

  9. Here is my view on the state of play at close of counting 31/10. It seems that there has been a 21 vote shift toward the Christians from the results disclosed on the AEC website. If these numbers are final then the result will shift from 14 votes to Palmer/Pratt to 7 votes Ludlam/Dropolovic.

    Digging a bit deeper into the numbers it is apparent that there has been a 17 vote shift in the results from Pearce and a 3 vote shift in the results from Forrest. i.e the shift in votes is coming entirely from those electorates where the missing votes are....surprised by this! Not really.

    The other interesting thing to note is that the recount has come up 1613 votes short of the original count. But 1103 of that is due to Pearce which presumably includes the lost votes and 230 votes due to Forrest which has also lost some votes.

    What we don't know is if the count currently includes;

    - the challenged votes.
    - the informals that are being rechecked on the basis of potentially being valid BTL votes.

    so maybe the final numbers are still to change a little bit.

    But on the basis of what we can see it is hard to avoid the conclusion that when the AEC declares the vote we will probably see a change in the result to Greens/Sports. We will also probably see a smaller margin of victory than existed before. It will also be clear that the result was changed by a shift in votes in the one electorate where the votes were mostly lost.

    This equals a lawyers picnic.....and surely a fresh election unless the votes are actually found.

    Actually if one was a conspiracy theorist one would say good job to the Sports/Greens "activist" who "misplaced" the votes. These 2 electorates are clearly more "shooter" friendly and hence any loss of votes on average is likely to be a good thing for the Sports and Greens.

    I am just saying....not aledging anything that I know. But it is a very neat outcome you would have to say.

    At any rate it could be overdone by a new vote anyway.

    Lets see, maybe today will bring more data.

  10. The West Australian today named the four booths that lost votes as: Henley Brooke, Wundowie, Bunbury East and Mt Helena.

    Looking at the AEC results page, it seems as if a fair few shooters and fishers votes went missing from Mt Helena & no votes recorded for Aust Ind's in 3 of those 4 booths.

    Looks like Christians only had votes lost from one Booth.

    1. I just came up with the same booths by doing my own comparison of “before” and “after” numbers. I get:

      Bunbury East (Forrest) – 152 less ticket votes (out of an original 1703) with the missing votes largely comprising the entire original tally for the several parties including the Greens (112), Animal Justice (12), Australian Independents (3), Family First (11), KAP (2), Climate Sceptics (1), Secular Party (1), Stop the Greens (3) and Wikileaks (6). There are also 77 less informal votes (of an original 81).

      Henley Brook (Pearce) – 349 less ticket votes (out of an original 1304) with the basically the entire difference being in the Liberal vote (down 350). (Two other votes have moved from one candidate to another or from a candidate to informal).

      Mount Helena (Pearce) – 389 less ticket votes, including the entire original tally for Liberal (370), Animal Justice (9) and the Shooters (14)

      Wundowie (Pearce) – 356 less ticket votes, including the entire original tally for Labor (164), Christians (3), Australian Independents (1), HEMP (7), KAP (1), Liberal (166), Climate Sceptics (1), Smokers (8), Wikileaks (5). There are also 29 less informal votes (the entire original tally).

      The above numbers agree loosely with the totals released by the AEC for the discrepancies – the differences are likely legitimate movements at the same booths.

      It appears that in most cases the entire stack of ballots for particular parties at a particular booth has been misplaced (the exception being the missing Liberal votes from Henley Brook). This is not necessarily malicious – the votes would have been bundled by party from the original count and they’ve likely lost the bundles. With Henley Brook they likely lost 7 bundles of 50.

      The fact that the “missing” ballots are from certain parties at certain booths does offer the prospect of using the original tallies for those booths. While that means those votes are unchecked, it has to be better than just accepting that they are gone and should not be counted.

      How the AEC decides to handle this may well determine which way they declare the election (which will then be challenged). The current numbers (post-ATL recount but before any further BTLs) have the Christians up by 7 votes at the critical elimination. If you give back the Shooters their missing 14 votes from Mount Helena and the 4 Independents votes missing from Bunbury East and Wundowie and give the Christians their missing 3 votes from Wundowie and the 2 Climate Sceptics votes, you have the Shooters back in front by 6.

      Obviously the extra BTL votes could change that. The Christians outpolled the Shooters in BTL votes (1614 to 941 for their first candidate, 1802 to 1019 counting both candidates for each party). This trend more than outweighs the tendency for the Shooters to collect a few more BTL preferences (it’s actually pretty close – I have them each collecting about 600-odd before the key elimination).

  11. The updated numbers from the AEC on Friday night have narrowed the gap from a 21 vote move to the Christians to a 16 vote move. Not sure where that exactly has come from. On this basis the margin might be 2 at the critical cutoff. Seems to close to call with perhaps the Christians having a slight edge if I had to place a bet. However as was pointed out the votes that have been lost definitely seem to have favoured the shooters, but it appears the AEC will ignore those from the count even if the previous numbers could perhaps have been used. Maybe that will be up to the High Court as it seems certain we will have a very close outcome...even closer than before the recount....

  12. I have had a fresh look at the numbers overnight in order to make a prediction for todays final tally at 2pm WA time.

    As the numbers stand in the system now, the locked in position of the Christians has improved from +24 pre recount to +48, a movement of 24 locked in votes in their favour (this assumes the loss of 2nd candidate BTL in proportion to the original count). Interestingly it is the electorate of Pearce that is delivering most of the goods on two counts. First the Christians actually seem to have found 10 votes that they didn't have before in Pearce. Secondly the shooters group total in Pearce is down 6 votes. So the electorate of Pearce makes up 16 votes of the 24 vote movement. And if I checked the numbers I suspect another smaller chunk perhaps 3 votes comes from Forrest.

    On the other hand the shooters group has picked up around 8 votes (net) on the BTL count, 7 of which is from the AFLP. So the net movement toward the Christians is about 16 votes.

    However as we know the BTL doesn't really convert, although with the AFLP it seems about 25% do which is statistically significant albeit weak. This might mean the shooters pick up say 2 votes of the 8 net.

    So in total I am getting a movement of around 22-24 votes to the Christians at this point which would put there margin at 8-10 votes.

    The other point to note is that there are now about 2% more BTL votes across all parties (rough average) presumably due to the conversion from informal to formal in the recount. It seems to be fairly uniform. On this basis there is an argument that this might slightly strengthen the position of the shooters as they received a higher number of BTL votes on the first count (696 v 658). At best though this might bring in 1 vote gain and might already be captured in my AFLP calculation above.

    So my very rough prediction is that the recount will see the Christians survive the cutoff and deliver a notional victory to Sports and Greens. The margin at the cutoff is predicted to be somewhere between 7-10 votes which would make it less than the previous margin of 14 to the Shooters.

    Lets see how we go.

    The other point to note is what was mentioned above about the Shooters being down 13 ticket votes because of the loss of the booths in Pearce and Forrest. Clearly if the result is between 7-10 to the Christians it would seem a prima facie case exists for that to be overturned. I would seem to need a margin of at least a few votes above 13 , say 16 and above for that argument to be put to bed.

    Will be interesting to see what happens.....the size of the margin might still be important in determining the final court outcome. I wouldn't just assume that a court will opt for a fresh election as much as we might like it!

    1. I get a very similar result, including after applying projections to BTL votes based on where votes for the same candidates went in the previous count. My outcomes, including those projections, have the Christians ahead at the elimination point by an estimated 10 votes - 23,517 to 23,507.

      For AUC I have:

      AUC Ticket votes: 19,676 (+5)
      TCS Ticket votes: 1,389 (-15)
      van BURGEL BTL: 1,634 (+20)
      MOSELEY BTL prefs: 168* (-)
      Other BTL prefs: 650* (+6)

      Total: 23,517 (+16)

      For ASP I have:

      ASP Ticket votes: 12,586 (-23)
      AIN Ticket votes: 3,687 (-2)
      AFLP Ticket votes: 5.511 (-5)
      BOW BTL: 957 (+16)
      PARKES BTL prefs: 69* (-)
      Other BTL prefs: 697* (+6)

      Total: 23,507 (-8)

      The numbers marked with a * are the ones where the updated figures are based on projections applying preference flows from the original count. As you can see, the movements are small as most of the new BTL votes will likely sit with others at the critical elimination.

      Other things that could shift the numbers slightly are rounding (only whole vote totals are transferred on each elimination) and slightly different transfer values due to revised quotas for the three candidates elected before the pinch point. I wouldn't expect these effects to add to more than a couple of votes.

      The key thing is that the above numbers are based on the current AEC numbers which reflect the missing votes as still missing. As noted in an earlier post, I have the missing votes as favoring the Shooters by 13 (14 ASP & 4 AIN to 3 AUC & 2 TCS), so re-inclusion based on the original counts would quite likely put the Shooters back in front.

      I believe the AEC will declare the poll based on this afternoon's button-press outcome. I don't think the AEC can add back votes they no longer have. However if the result changes and the margin is less than the apparent impact of the missing votes, I think the AEC will then immediately refer the election to the Court of Disputed Returns themselves (under section 357(1) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act) rather than waiting for the ALP and Palmer to do so.

      I believe the Court DOES have the power to declare a result including the original count of the missing votes and may do so (rather than order a new election) if sufficient evidence can be taken to the effect that (1) the original count occurred in the usual way, (2) there is no reason to suspect the original tallies for the missing votes contained any more errors than the typical rates discovered elsewhere in the recount, and (3) the resulting margin is more than the one or two vote swing that might reasonably result from such errors.

  13. "I believe the Court DOES have the power to declare a result including the original count of the missing votes"

    Also my understanding having read the Act. There is no apparent limitation on the court's power to declare a candidate elected or not elected.

  14. And declared to Ludlum (Greens) and Dropulich (ASP), reversing the initial Wang (Palmer) and Pratt (Labor)....

    How much will Palmer spend on lawyers now...

  15. 12 votes was the christians/shooters margin. 13 votes favouring shooters lost

    1. Is the new distribution data available somewhere or do you have it from one of the scrutineers? I'm hitting "refresh" on the AEC site...

  16. AEC run log sent to your Gmail account.


    1. I'm assuming you mean Truth Seeker's Gmail account. I'm sure he will enjoy, but I'm not him. (I hope he comes back soon - has been kind of quiet while we Anonymous types take over his blog). I'm getting a blogspot logo now because I logged into Google to comment on Kevin Bonham's blog).

      Would an upload to dropbox or similar be too big a request?

  17. Is there a precedent? Tanya Plibersek is saying the last time we heard anything like this was 1906. What happened there?

  18. Thanks to anonymous for the updates, see everyone in the high court..

  19. Blundell v Vardon [1907]HCA75

  20. Thanks for your insightful comments. I've only just realised some of these are here now owing to my phone dying and losing notifications. I will review today and post again later if time allows