Still a fair bit up in the air, with Antony Green’s switching off of booth-matching on the ABC computer likely to cause a bit of confusion. I believe this has produced changes to the predictions provided for Belmont and Collie-Preston (both now “Labor ahead”), and also for Eyre (from Liberal retain to Nationals ahead), which you can learn more about below. Assuming I’m still capable of counting okay at this hour, I think the most likely result is Liberal 34, Labor 19 and Nationals 6.

Liberal gains from Labor: Balcatta, Forrestfield, Joondalup, Morley (notional), Perth and probably but not definitely Belmont, Kimberley and Collie-Preston.

Nationals gains from Labor: Pilbara.

Liberal gains from independent: Churchlands, Alfred Cove.

Liberal gains from Nationals: Warren-Blackwood.

Nationals gains from independent: Kalgoorlie.

Labor gains from independent: Fremantle.

So the Nationals might not have done as well as you think, probably having a net gain of one seat in the lower house and a net loss of one in the upper. And despite some speculation of a Greens wipeout during the count, they appear more likely than not to retain seats in South Metropolitan and Mining & Pastoral – though you should treat anything I say about upper house counts at this hour with caution.

First up, the following table breaks down the swings against Labor for various parts of the metropolitan area, at both this election and the last. The regions are much the same as when I conducted a similar exercise in 2008, with the following changes: Perth, Balcatta, Mount Lawley, Morley, Maylands, Midland, Girrawheen and Nollamara have been hived off Eastern Suburbs to form Inner North; Swan Hills and West Swan are out on their own in Swan Valley; and Inland Outskirts has been absorbed by Eastern Suburbs.

			2013	2008
Outer North (5)		-10.7%	-3.3%
South-Eastern (3)	-9.7%	-4.8%
Inner North (7)		-7.5%	-7.7%
Western/Riverside (9)	-6.6%	-6.1%
Eastern Suburbs (10)	-5.0%	-4.0%
Southern (6)		-2.3%	-4.5%
Swan Valley (2)		-1.7%	-6.6%

Outer North (5 seats). The 2008 election bucked the usual pattern wherein the northern suburbs moved en bloc to the winning party when there was a change of government, with Mindarie (now Butler) and Joondalup holding out against the tide. This time the elastic snapped, with a trio of Liberal sophomores (Andrea Mitchell in Kingsley, Albert Jacob in Ocean Reef and Paul Miles in Wanneroo) enjoying double-digit swings. There were smaller swings in the two Labor-held seats, but the 7.7% swing was more than enough to take out Tony O’Gorman’s 3.3% margin in Joondalup, while John Quigley’s margin in Butler was sliced from 10.4% to 2.1%.

South-Eastern (3 seats). Wherein three Liberal sophomores, Frank Abetz in Southern River, Mike Nahan in Riverton and Joe Francis in Jandakot, picked up swings of 15.5%, 7.4% and 6.1%.

Inner North (7 seats). The heavy swing against Labor in this area cost them Perth (7.7% margin, 10.3% swing), Morley (notional 0.8% margin, 5.3% swing) and Balcatta (2.2%, 9.6%). Contrary to expectations it might be a show for Labor, the Liberla margin in Mount Lawley blew out by 9.9%. Labor margins were substantially reduced in Maylands and Mirrabooka (5.9% and 7.6%), but Margaret Quirk did better in Girrawheen (3.9%), as she needed to coming off a margin of 6.7%.

Western/Riverside (9 seats). The Liberals recovered the formerly independent seats of Churchlands and Alfred Cove, Janet Woollard doing hardly better than Adele Carles in the latter. Swings were mild in Cottesloe and Nedlands, stronger further afield in Bateman and Scarborough.

Eastern Suburbs (10 seats). Labor did unusually well in Gosnells, where Chris Tallentire defended his margin of 4.8% against a swing of just 1.0%, but Michelle Roberts received a fright off a 7.9% swing in Midland. Belmont was being discussed as done and dusted, but the switching off of booth-matching shows a raw Labor lead of 0.6%. The key to this is that no pre-polls have been added, which were nearly 6% better for Liberal than the overall result in 2008.

Southern Suburbs (6 seats). One of Labor’s relative bright spots was a very limited swing in the southern coastal corridor. Last I looked Roger Cook appeared in trouble again from Kwinana mayor and independent candidate Carol Adams, but he looks to have come home strongly and holds a raw lead of 802 votes.

Swan Valley (2 seats). The Ellenbrook effect well in evidence with swings of 1.7% in both Swan Hills and West Swan, which respectively stayed Liberal and Labor.

Elsewhere, from top down:

Kimberley. A four-way humdinger with the Liberal candidate on 26.5%, the Greens with a James Price Point-engorged 25.9%, Labor on 21.6% and the Nationals on a surprisingly modest 20.8%. With Labor and the Greens directing preferences to Liberal ahead of Nationals, it seems to me most likely that the Liberals will win the seat. Amid an otherwise grim night, the Greens could end up within impressive proximity of victory at the final count.

Pilbara. Brendon Grylls did it easily, driving the Nationals vote up 17.5% to 40.2%, Labor down 14.4% to 29.0%, and the Liberals in third on 22.8%, up 3.5%.

North West Central. No preference count is available, but with Labor finishing third, it comes down to 44.9% for Vince Catania and 26.5% for the Liberal. Labor and the Greens have both preferenced the Liberal, but presumably there should be enough leakage to get Catania up.

Kalgoorlie. Further emphasising the point that this electorate’s Labor-voting days are in the past, Labor finished a distant third with 17.9% to 38.0% for both the Nationals and the Liberals. Nationals candidate Wendy Duncan holds a decisive 1.8% lead over the Liberal after preferences.

Mandurah and Dawesville. These followed the southern metropolitan pattern, in swinging only 1.3% and 1.7%.

Collie-Preston. Mick Murray holds a raw 62-vote lead, so the seat has flipped to Labor ahead on the ABC computer. Labor leads that narrow tend not to survive late counting; the big outstanding bloc of votes in absents, which should get the Liberals over the line if they follow the 2008 pattern, but the change in boundaries means they might not. So Liberals the favourite, but still in doubt.

Warren-Blackwood. A likely Nationals loss, with the sitting member Terry Redman down to 34.3% on the primary vote. There’s no preference count here, so the ABC’s 2.5% margin for the Liberals is based on Antony’s educated guess. Given the Liberals appear the more likely winner in Kimberley, the most likely outcome for the Nationals is in fact a modest net gain of one seat.

Albany. Yet another tremendous performance by Peter Watson, whose raw 776 vote should be more than enough to see off anything late counting can throw at him.

Eyre. Another turn-up from the switching off of booth matching on the indispensible ABC computer is that the Nationals are in fact 74 votes ahead in Eyre, held for the Liberals by Graham Jacobs. This is a very strong performance for them against a sitting member and in the face of Labor preferences to the Liberals.

Now for a very superficial reading of the upper house.

East Metropolitan: Looking like three and three, Labor leading the Greens 11.0% to 8.0% at the key second last exclusion.

North Metropolitan: The thumping swing to the Liberals has delivered them a fourth seat, squeezing out the Greens.

South Metropolitan: Of the Greens’ four seats, the ABC projection has them retaining two, one being Lynn MacLaren’s seat. Can’t see any alternative outcome to three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens.

South West: The ABC computer has Family First nabbing a seat from the Nationals off just 1.44% of the vote. However, they are delicately placed at Count 9 of the ABC projection, leading the fourth Liberal 5.96% to 5.12%. Should they fall behind, the Nationals will win the seat instead. So it’s three Liberal, two Labor and one Nationals or Family First.

Agricultural: A disappointing show by Max Trenorden appears to have resulted in a seat going to Shooters & Fishers, who remarkably seem to have scored preferences from Labor and the Greens as well as the more usual suspects. The result thus becomes two for the Nationals (down one), two for the Liberals (steady), one for Labor (steady) and one Shooters & Fishers.

Mining & Pastoral: Robin Chapple of the Greens will hold on to his seat if he can stay ahead of the second Labor candidate, whom he leads 9.9% to 6.7% at the relevant exclusion on the ABC projection. So the most likely result is two Liberal (steady), two Nationals (up one), one Labor (down one) and one Greens (steady).

Finally, it was another good night for Newspoll, although they appeared to have the Coalition a bit too high on two-party preferred. On the primary vote, the current numbers are 47.2% Liberal, 6.0% Nationals, 33.6% Labor and 7.9% Greens, while Newspoll had it at 48%, 6%, 32% and 8%.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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