The votes have all been counted in New South Wales — at least for the lower house; Legislative Council counting seems to be taking forever. Two seats, however, are so close that there will almost certainly be recounts: Lake Macquarie, where Labor leads the independent by 22 votes, and Port Stephens, where the Liberal leads the ALP by just 19 votes.
Assuming that both these results hold up, Labor will finish with 53 seats (down two), the Liberals 23 (up three), Nationals 13 (up one) and independents five (down two). Labor has between 52 and 52.5 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote, or an adverse swing of close to 4 per cent.
Bragging rights first: my prediction was 54-22-12-6, so I’m rather pleased. Of the 93 seats, I was only wrong about two, Manly and Tweed.
Most reputable commentators were in the same ballpark (Peter Brent put Labor at 52, William Bowe 51). The few who said the opposition would gain five seats or more from Labor were left with egg on their faces.
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The opinion polls also tipped a comfortable Labor win, although most of them understated the swing to the opposition. No apology has been noticed so far from the Daily Telegraph, which played into Labor’s hands by running a “private polling” story three weeks before the election — with numbers that could be dismissed as fantasy even then.
The other success story was the betting market, not just in the overall result (not a difficult task) but in individual seats. In the seat-by-seat market run by Centrebet, covering every marginal seat except Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens was the only one where the favorite lost.
Smart money from the punters, or just dumb luck? Either way, watch the market when it comes to this year’s federal election.
There’s no seat-by-seat betting yet (except for Bennelong), but according to Bryan Palmer’s summary all five bookies now have Labor as overall favourites.