September 6th, 2008 at 10:36pm
I’m currently flicking between the ABC TV and Radio 6PR coverages of the Western Australian State Election which is certainly looking like a very close and interesting result, with either a narrow Labor victory or a narrow Coalition victory likely depending on which second your compare the results.
Labor do not seem confident on the ABC coverage, whilst a 6PR poll yesterday indicated a Liberal victory.
From the ABC coverage, all I can say is that I pity poor Antony Green who is battling probably the worst set of computer malfunctions that the ABC have ever had in an election coverage. They’re missing data from some seats, having erroneous results and predictions show up in others, and just not getting the graphics to display for a whole other set.
This election is very likely to go right down to the wire, and if it’s close enough, we might not have definitive result tonight, although I will admit that my body clock is slightly out on this one due to the timezone difference.
I had a chat with ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries in Weston today and he indicated to me that his colleagues in WA really just didn’t know which way it would go…it was that close. It seems that the mood has changed since then if the Labor and Liberal reactions on ABC TV and 6PR are anything to go by.
My prediction, based on current data and the more consistent bits of ABC data, a hung parliament with the Liberals getting up on the backing of independents.
Update 11:13PM Canberra/ 9:13PM Perth: The ABC seem to think that the Greens’ preferences are doing something odd, and favouring the coalition more than Labor. I may have underestimated the effect of those preferences because the ABC computer is now giving Labor 23 seats, the coalition 27, 4 to others and 5 undecided. About the only thing which can save Labor now is a failure of the Liberals and the Nationals to form a coalition…something which is a 25-30% chance considering that the WA nationals aren’t overly keen on forming a coalition. I would think that they will do so after some chats and knowing that it would get them in to power. End Update
Update 12:06am Canberra/10:06pm Perth: WA Labor Leader Alan Carpenter announces that he believes the result will be a hung parliament with more seats belonging to Labor than Liberal, and the cross-bench to be the deciding factor. He, much like the rest of us, does not expect a definitive result tonight.
Some odd “move WA forward” statements which, along with his speech pattern, make him sound a bit like Morris Iemma.End Update
Update 12:12am Canberra/10:12pm Perth: That was odd, it wasn’t an acceptance or concession speech, but it sounded very downbeat. It didn’t sound like Mr. Carpenter likes his chances. End Update
Update 12:20am Canberra/10:20pm Perth: The ABC computer is predicting 27 seats to Labor, 25 to the Liberals, four to the Nationals and three to the rest. Federal Liberal MP Julie Bishop has made the interesting point that a large number of electorates in WA were redistributed in favour of the city and against the country areas where the Nationals traditionally poll well, in an almost deliberate attempt to wipe out the Nationals. As such, it would be odd for the Nationals to end up siding with Labor and giving them power. End Update
Update 12:28am Canberra/10:28pm Perth: Liberal leader Colin Barnett is presenting a speech now and seems considerably more happy than Alan Carpenter did. End Update
Update 12:32am Canberra/10:32pm Perth: Mr. Barnett says that the people of Western Australia have rejected the Carpenter government. He has said everything you would expect of an acceptance speech, other than actually claiming victory, instead saying “we’re not there yet, but we’re not far off”. End Update
Update 12:34am Canberra/10:34pm Perth: Kerry O’Brien has noted that Alan Carpenter mentioned the National Party, but Colin Barnett did not. This is interesting because the Nationals appear to be the party which will be needed in order for either of the major parties to form government. End Update
Update 12:51am Canberra/10:51pm Perth: Kerry O’Brien and Antony Green mentioned just before they left for the night that the electoral commission are being somewhat confusing and have some recounts to do, and some booths have not been counted yet. Normally Sunday would not be a counting day, but a confirmation day…on this occasion, nobody knows what’s going on, and we probably won’t have a final result until at least some stage on Monday. Kudos to the ABC for further delaying their already delayed Paralympic opening ceremony coverage on ABC1 to stay with the election coverage for an extra hour, and running it at the scheduled time on ABC2 and ABC HD instead.
Not so sure about the fact that 666 ABC Canberra, Radio National, and NewsRadio were showing absolutely no interest in relaying the 720 ABC Perth coverage though. And would it have been too much to ask to have ABC TV’s coverage relayed on ABC2 across the nation?
6PR are still on the coverage sound like they will be until the top of the hour. End Update
Update 12:56am Canberra/10:56pm Perth: 6PR’s coverage is now over. Both 6PR and the ABC believe that the end result will be a Liberal government of one form or another (either coalition with Nationals, or on the back of Independent support). End Update
Update 1:49am Canberra/11:49pm Perth: AAP are cautiously awarding the election to the Liberal party, whose leader they seem to have some rather peculiar medical information about:
The West Australian Liberals are poised to form government .. but face tough negotiations with the Nationals to enable them to do so.
Resurrected Opposition Leader COLIN BARNETT needed to take nine seats from Labor to form a conservative government with the help of the Nationals.
In a remarkable comeback the Liberals are now almost certain to win ten .. with huge swings of more than six per cent against the government in many seats exceeding poll predictions of a four per cent swing to the opposition.
Labor appears unlikely to be able to gain more than 27 seats in the 59-seat parliament.
The Liberals are likely to take 25 and the Nationals four .. with two independents and another seat to be decided.
Resurrected eh? I’d love to see the press release that they got that from, it would make for some very interesting reading. End Update.
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