The story of this election is not just the change of government, but the warning to the major parties they can no longer take any seat for granted. There is no longer any such thing as a safe seat.
Primary votes for the major parties are down. The Nationals saw a swing against it as well. Minor parties, particularly the Greens, have had a massive moment. Independent candidates have swept through moderate Liberal seats, changing not just the country but the future of the party of Menzies.
After floods, fires and a pandemic, all in the space of three years, Australia gravitated towards candidates who made action on climate change their number one issue. After almost a decade of being told there is nothing to see here, Australians voted for candidates who wanted to see integrity back in politics.
And after women were dismissed, over and over again by the government, the government’s blue ribbon voters voted for women.
Scott Morrison was Scott Morrison to the end, thanking the defence force, police and tradies, but mentioning not a word of the teachers, nurses, frontline staff, health workers or aged care workers who got us through the pandemic.
Anthony Albanese promised to govern for all Australians, even those who did not vote for him.
He’s got his work cut out for him.
Over on Sky News, Paul Murray was telling his viewers “the resistance starts now”. But if anything, this election showed that it wasn’t what the media as a whole was serving up which won hearts and minds. It was the issues of every day life. Not demonising one of our most vulnerable communities. Not gaffes. Not gotchas, or numbers, or photo ops or scare campaigns.
It was all the questions people were asking which weren’t being addressed by the campaigns. Climate. Integrity. Cost of living.
In the end, Australia told its leaders what it wanted, instead of its leaders dictating what they thought it needed.
The major parties are on notice. It’s entirely up to them whether they rise to the occasion or not.
Thank you for joining us tonight (and this morning).
We will be back tomorrow with more of the fall out and the count.
But please – sleep tight. And take care of you.
State of play
As a final summation of the state of play in the House of Representatives.
At the moment Labor is leading in just enough seats for a slim majority, but there are still 19 seats we haven’t called. I suspect quite a few of those will be ready to call in the morning, but some will have to wait for most of the postal votes to be counted.
If Labor falls short of a majority they’ll have many options from an estimated 16 crossbenchers.
This includes two to four Greens, right-wing crossbenchers like Dai Le and Bob Katter, and a large bloc of teal independents. Even if Labor wins a majority they will be aware that their majority is very slim and could be vulnerable in 2025 – so I’m sure they will still look to form alliances.
This has been a historic election, in part because Labor has been returned to government, but also because the two-party system has been seriously weakened. On the latest numbers, Labor and the Coalition have polled just over 68% of the primary vote between them, down from just under 75% in 2019. Labor looks set to form government with a primary vote currently sitting on 32.7% and the Coalition’s challenge of winning back power is made far harder because they’ve lost so many of their seats to independents, not just to a government that will be judged on its record.
In the Senate, the Greens have done very well, and are on track for 12 seats. It seems likely that Labor, Greens and ACT Senate candidate David Pocock are on track for 39 out of 76 seats.
The Coalition has lost Senate seats to the left, but also look set to lose seats to right-wing minor parties. Their third seats in Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria and Tasmania appear lost, along with their sole ACT Senate seat, and they don’t look up to the task of winning back a third seat in South Australia.
This may see a larger group of right-wing and minor parties winning the final Senate seat off the Liberal party in a number of states: One Nation, Jacqui Lambie Network and possibly United Australia. Even Legalise Cannabis appears to be in with a chance!
Overall this election result can look like a landslide victory or a slight victory, depending on how you look at it. It was a landslide defeat for the Morrison government, but only a slim victory for Labor, with the difference made up by a crossbench that will be bigger than ever in both houses.
There will be time later to examine the trends, but it is clear that the Coalition’s defeat didn’t come in the traditional marginal seats of regional and outer suburban Australia, but rather in their heartland inner city seats, where both major parties went backwards. These are seats where the campaign was dominated by demands for stronger climate action, a change in the treatment of women in politics, and the establishment of an integrity commission with teeth.
Do not be surprised if Labor chooses to nominate a speaker for the parliament who is not from the Labor benches. An independent (or even Bridget Archer as a long shot) is much more likely to get the nod to protect Labor’s numbers on the floor.
Plus it might bring back some fairness to the proceedings, after Andrew Wallace’s very short reign.
On current numbers, Labor is leading in 76 seats, the Coalition is leading in 59, and crossbench candidates are leading in 16.
There are quite a few seats that are very close, but on the current numbers, Labor is in majority territory.
At the moment, Labor is leading in 10 seats (as opposed to having won them), but five of those we are close to being willing to call.
The Coalition has won 41 and is leading in a further 18, but we are close to calling another seven.
The crossbench has won nine seats and is leading in seven, but two of these we are close to calling.
OK, we are going to start wrapping up the night.
Anthony Albanese appears to be giving individual interviews to the journalists at his function so he may be there until 4am, but we have beds to hit. In another couple of hours or so.
Grace Tame has entered the chat:
And Kevin Rudd:
Anthony Albanese victory speech
And in case you missed this:
Scott Morrison concession speech
For those who missed it:
Likely Senate numbers
Candidates of the left appear to have made a number of gains in the Senate. It looks like the Greens will gain a seat from the LNP in Queensland and a seat from centrist independents in South Australia, while Labor looks likely to gain a seat from the Liberal party in Western Australia. Labor has lost a seat in New South Wales to the Greens.
The Liberal Party looks set to lose a number of other seats to minor parties. The third Liberal candidate trails the UAP in Victoria, One Nation in Queensland and the Jacqui Lambie Network.
If these results fall in this way, it would mean that Labor, the Greens and David Pocock would have a slim majority, with the option to work with five other crossbenchers as needed.
I’ll be back shortly with a summation of the seat count at this point, but I wanted to draw attention to the historic nature of the crossbench result. At the moment we’ve called nine seats for the crossbench and have them leading in seven others for a total of 16.
The previous record for crossbenchers was six, in 2010 and 2019.
Western Australia looks like delivering four seats to Labor and two to the Coalition
South Australia – two Labor, two Coalition, one Green and possibly one One Nation
Queensland – two Labor, two LNP, one One Nation, and one Greens
Tasmania – two Labor, two LNP, one Green and possibly Jacquie Lambie Network
Victoria – two Labor, two LNP, one Green, and possibly one UAP
ACT – one Labor and most likely David Pocock
NT – one Labor and one country Liberal party
NSW – two Labor, two Coalition, one Green and most likely one One Nation
Bill Shorten is also celebrating tonight:
It has taken floods, fires and a pandemic – all in the last three years – but Australia has finally had its climate crisis election.
Julia Gillard made a late campaign appearance:
This map shows the vote % for One Nation, United Australia party and the Greens, with the UAP in particular doing best in regional and outer suburban areas, while the Greens vote is concentrated in inner city seats, with the exception of Richmond, which covers the top of northern NSW
One Nation’s vote is not surprisingly highest in Queensland, but also currently over 9% in the NSW electorate of Hunter
On 7 News, retired Liberal party politician Christopher Pyne has called the voting out of female MPs like Fiona Martin a “big blow to the Liberal party”. He was suggesting a possible introduction of gender quotas as the party moves forward from the election loss.
We are going to have to face the facts about the current political scene.
They want women ... to change the dynamic, to change the culture.
Labor senator Katy Gallagher’s response: “You heard it here first.”
Boris Johnson congratulated Anthony Albanese on his election as prime minister of Australia.
He said in a statement:
Our countries have a long history and a bright future together. As thriving like-minded democracies we work every day to make the world a better, safer, greener and more prosperous place.
As we reap the rewards of our comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, the AUKUS partnership and the unmatched closeness between the British and Australian people, we do so knowing that the only distance between us is geographical.
I look forward to working with prime minister Albanese in the weeks, months and years ahead as, together, we tackle shared challenges and demonstrate the importance of our shared values.”
And like every other Labor government, we’ll just widen that door a bit more. Friends, we have made history tonight. And tomorrow, together, we begin the work of building a better future. A better ... future for all Australians. Thank you very much.
To my mum, who’s beaming down on us. Thank you... And I hope there are families in public housing watching this tonight. Because I want every parent to be able to tell their child no matter where you live or where you come from, in Australia the doors of opportunity are open to us all.
To my partner Jodie.
Thank you for coming in to my life and for sharing this journey... And to my proudest achievement, my son, Nathan... Thank you, mate, for your love and support. Your mother, who’s here tonight, Carmel, we are both so proud of the caring, wonderful, smart young man you have become.
I said I’ve been underestimated my whole life during the campaign. Now while all that is true, I have also been lifted up by others who saw something in me. And who encouraged me in life on this journey. And I pledged to the Australian people here tonight, I am here not to occupy the space, but to make a positive difference each and every day.
And to the amazing diverse people of Grayndler. All politics is local. And in 1996, there were various people who wrote off the chances of Labor holding on to that seat. This is my 10th election. And I want to say thank you for placing your faith in me.
And I proudly thank the members of the mighty trade union movement.
I do want to thank my campaign director, our amazing national secretary, Paul Ericsson, and his team. ... My staff are led by my first campaign director back in 1996. And my electorate office team who haven’t seen that much of me. Who look after this electorate led by Helen Rogers. Thank you very much. But to all those - and I’m not going to name them because there’s too many - there’s a lot of people who believed in me and backed me over many decades in this great movement to be where I am today. You know who you are and I know who you are and I thank you
My fellow Australians, no-one gets here by themselves. And I wouldn’t be standing here tonight without the support, hard work and belief of so many people. To my parliamentary team, including my deputy, Richard Marles, and my Senate leader, Penny Wong. My terrific economic team led by Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher.
On Monday morning, arrangements are in place to have these people sworn in as members of my team. To enable Penny and I to attend the important Quad leader’s meeting in Tokyo, with president Biden, prime minister Kishida and prime minister Modi.
And I want the leaders of the economic team to start work on Monday morning as well.
I want to thank my shadow ministry and my amazing caucus members, including the people who are here tonight at this joint function in the corner of our seats, including Tony Burke, who is here.
I want to thank all of our Labor candidates. I want to thank all those who have worked so hard for this victory. We stand on your shoulders, most rank and file members of the Labor party will never ask for anything. They knock on doors, they make calls, they work so hard. They hand out how to votes. They push the cause of Labor at the local P&C, the local kid’s footy, the local netball, when they’re shopping in the supermarket, when they talk to their neighbours. I thank each and every one of the true believers of the Australian Labor party.
'Together we can end the climate wars'
We are the greatest country on earth.
But we can have an even better future if we seize the opportunities that are right there in front of us.
The opportunity to shape change, rather than be shaped by it. And we can shape change more effectively if we seek to take people on that journey of change.
Together we can end the climate wars. Together we can take... advantage of the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower. Together we can work in common interests with business and unions to drive productivity, lift wages and profits.
I want an economy that works for people, not the other way around.
Together we can as a country say that all of us, if the Fair Work Commission don’t cut the wage of minimum aged workers, we can sayt hat we welcome that absolutely.... Together we can strengthen universal healthcare through Medicare.
Protect, we can protect universal superannuation.
And we can write universal childcare into that proud tradition.
Together we can fix the crisis in aged care. Together we can make forward equal opportunity for women a national economic and social priority.
Together we can and will... establish a national anti-corruption commission.
Together we can be a... self-reliant, resilient nation, confident in our values and in our place in the world. And together we can embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart. We can answer its patient, gracious call for a voice enshrined in our constitution. Because all of us ought to be proud that amongst our great multicultural society we count the oldest living continuous culture in the world. And... I acknowledge Australia’s next Indigenous affairs minister, Linda Burney, who is here.
During this campaign I have put forward a positive, clear plan for a better future for our country. And I have shared the two principles that will a government that I lead.
No-one left behind, because we should always look after the disadvantaged and the vulnerable. But also no-one held back, because we should always support aspiration and opportunity. That is what my government will do. That is the what, but the how is also just as important? Because I want to bring Australians together. I want to seek our common purpose and promote unity and not fear and - optimism, not fear and division. It is what I have sought to do throughout my political life.
And what I will bring to the leadership of our country, it is a show of strength to collaborate and work with people, not weakness. I want to find that common ground where together we can plant our dreams. To unite around our shared love of this country, our shared faith in Australia’s future, our shared values of fairness and opportunity, and hard work and kindness to those in need.
And I can promise all ... Australians this - no matter how you voted today, the government I lead will respect every one of you every day. And I’ll seek to get your vote next time.
My fellow Australians, it says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mum who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister.
[Albanese addresses the crowd] If you wait - I know it’s been a long night - but if we can dial it down a little bit.
Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars.
I want Australia to continue to be a country that no matter where you live, who you worship, who you love or what your last name is, that places no restrictions on your journey in life.
My fellow ... Australians...
[crowd cheers Albo, Albo, Albo]
[Albanese addresses the crowd again] I think they’ve got the name by now. I think they’ve got that. I know at the beginning of the campaign they said people didn’t know me but I reckon they’ve got it.
Down. Down. Down. Down. No. No. Can we have order, please?
Can we have a bit of order?
I intend to run an orderly government and it starts here, so behave.
Anthony Albanese: tonight the Australian people have voted for change
The incoming 31st prime minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese hugs Penny Wong and his partner, before holding up both their hands. His son Nathan is also beside him.
I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging. And on behalf of the Australian Labor party, I commit to the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full.
And I say to my fellow Australians, thank you for this extraordinary honour. Tonight the Australian people have voted for change. I am humbled by this victory and I’m honoured to be given the opportunity to serve as the 31st prime minister of Australia.
My Labor team will work every day to bring Australians together. And I will lead a government worthy of the people of Australia. A government as courageous and hard working and caring as the Australian people are themselves.
Earlier tonight, Scott Morrison called me to congratulate myself and the Labor party on our victory at the election.
Scott very graciously wished me well. And I thanked him for that and I wish him well. And I thank him for the service that he has given to our country as prime minister. I also want to acknowledge and thank Jenny Morrison and their two daughters for their contribution and sacrifice as well.
Over on Sky News, Paul Murray seems very concerned with Anthony Albanese being divorced.
Penny Wong introduces Australia's new prime minister Anthony Albanese
Can I start by acknowledging the traditional owners of this land. And saying to you that... tonight we can take that step forward to fulfilling... to fulfilling the promise of theUluru Statement From the Heart.
So... friends, Australians have chosen. Australians have chosen and they have chosen change. Australians have chosen and they have chosen hope.
Australians have chosen and they have looked to the future. A better future for all. A government that will act on climate change. A government for women. A government that will look to unify. To bring people together. Not to divide. A Labor government.
Kylea Tink claims victory in North Sydney
Independent Kylea Tink has claimed victory in North Sydney – despite Trent Zimmerman refusing to concede defeat just yet – saying she will now seek her community’s support to “change the climate in Canberra”.
To a rockstar welcome, Tink declared it was not just her victory but a victory for the 1,000 volunteers that powered her campaign.
She promised to deliver on “faster action on climate change, an integrity commission, an economy that is forward focussed and action to address the systemic inequality that continues to plague our community”.
Tink said the word of mouth campaign by her volunteers helped secure victory and she pledged to continue listening to her community as she took its concerns to Canberra.
Adam Bandt declares 'Green slide'
Adam Bandt could have up to three colleagues in the lower house (Ryan absolutely, Brisbane and Griffith going down the line between Greens and Labor)
Journalists are not being asked to leave Labor’s election parties
Anthony Albanese is on his way to the Labor event, now just departing his home in Marrickville.
The TVs at the Labor election party flipped over to watch him leave his house with partner Jodie Haydon, with attendees cheering wildly and chanting his name. As he got in his car, a reporter at the scene asked “are you ready to party?”
The incoming prime minister replied:
I’m ready to serve”.
I want to unite the country. I think people want to come together and look for our common interest, look towards that sense of common purpose … people have had enough of division, what they want is to come together as a nation and I intend to lead that.
It’s just a few kilometres drive from Marrickville to the Canterbury RSL. He’s not far away from making his victory speech to a packed (and increasingly rowdy) room of Labor faithful.
Journalists are being asked to leave the Liberal’s election parties.
The Kenilworth Football Club, “home of the Kookas since 1907”, was chockers when the sea of red T-shirts parted to allow Boothby’s putative winner, Louise Miller-Frost through.
She talks about her “win” in the marginal Adelaide suburban seat – but later calls that a “hopeful statement”.
The count has her projected to win 53% to 46% but it’s not clear if the Liberal’s Rachel Swift will concede tonight. Earlier, Swift said it was set to be a “long night”, as the count continued.
Miller-Frost was introduced to the crowd by newly minted SA premier, Peter Malinauskas, who was greeted by chants of PETE! PETE! PETE!
Since the late 1940s, Boothby has felt like the mirage in the desert for SA Labor... it’s always there but we can’t quite make it. Tonight might be the night when we get to drink the water.
Miller-Frost speaks and the crowd shouts “LMF! LMF! LMF!”.
She says it felt like there was a “mood change on the booths”.
I think people are looking for improvement in their government. I think they’re looking for action. They’re looking for action on climate change, on a whole range of social issues like aged care and child care.
And Miller-Frost says her competitors are “all great people”.
She hasn’t yet talked to the Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, she says, as the crowd chants “ALBO! ALBO! ALBO!”
Sarah Martin spent time in Boothby for Guardian Australia’s Anywhere But Canberra series:
Liberal hopeful for Gilmore, Andrew Constance, wants to see the Liberal party come together after the party’s election losses on Saturday night.
Asked by Guardian Australia about NSW treasurer Matt Kean’s comments warning of a shift to the right if moderate Liberals were voted out – as many have been since – Constance said the party needed to listen to the community.
The party was always going to have two streams – obviously small l liberalism and progressive politics, and the conservative side, but they’re not necessarily mutually exclusive. People do need to come together and reflect and work through with their local communities some of the most important issues. The party needs to basically reaffirm its commitment to the community and that does require not focusing on each other, which is where some of that factionalism has been.
We are washing up with both the major parties losing on their primary votes.
Labor looks like forming government with a primary vote around 32%.
The Coalition won 35%
The Greens are up to about 13 %
Pauline Hanson’s party got just over 5%
Anthony Albanese is likely minutes away from arriving at Labor’s election night party for his victory speech. The room at Canterbury erupted in screams and cheers as Morrison conceded defeat.
People inside the Canterbury RSL are flocking to the door of the function room in hopes of getting a glimpse of the incoming prime minister. Police cars are also gathering outside the venue, with a heavy security presence.
On Channel Seven, Labor’s Jason Clare says it will be essential to “dig through” the distribution of women’s votes at the election, pointing to this as an explanation for the phenomenon of female climate-focused independents winning seats such as Goldstein and Wentworth.
The tens of thousands of women who marched for justice 12 months ago were sending a message to the government at that time.”
Greens leader Adam Bandt hails a 'greenslide'
In Melbourne the Greens leader, Adam Bandt, is addressing the crowd.
He declares the election a “greenslide” and the crowd goes wild.
The Greens have picked up Ryan and Griffiths, at least.
How good is a change of government?
The Greens have played a momentous part in this election campaign.
Tonight we have made history!
Bandt says the Greens want to work with Labor to deliver government.
If we end up in power not only in the Senate but in the house of reps, we will not see a rerun of the Liberal government.
We want to work with Labor to tackle the big crisis we are facing.
Our priority is stable, effective, progressive government.
He said they will wait till the final result but are “willing to talk”.
The results are coming in.
Tonight, it’s a night of disappointment for the Liberals and Nationals, but it’s also a time for Coalition and members and supporters all across the country to hold their highs head. We have been a strong government, we have been a good government, Australia is stronger as a result of our effort over these last three terms and I have no doubt under strong leadership of our Coalition three years from now, I’m looking forward to the return of a Coalition government.
Scott Morrison to step down as leader
I want to thank you and all our volunteers who are here tonight! And all around the country. Thank you so much for standing by us at this time. I know you will continue to do that into the future.
To my colleagues tonight, who have had to deal with very difficult news, and have lost their seats tonight, I as leader take responsibility for the wins and the losses. That is the burden and that is the responsibility of leadership.
As a result I will be handing over the leadership at the next party room meeting to ensure the party can be taken forward under new leadership which is the appropriate thing to do.
I’ve had the great privilege to lead this great party and lead this great nation. And the reason I have been able to do that is I’ve been supported by so many. And I want to thank all of those colleagues tonight for all of their great work in service of their country.
And you can feel proud of the service you’ve rendered. To all of those who have been elected again tonight, you carry forward that Liberal mantle. You carry forward that Coalition flag.
And I can only see myself continuing to support you in those efforts because the country will need you in the years ahead. Thank you.
Can I thank John Kunkle and my own personal staff and team and Julie down there in my electorate office there of Cook. My staff have been faithful and devoted and professional and untiring in the work that they’ve done to support me over these many years. I want to thank them very much for their loyalty and service and the fun times we’ve had together.
The difficult times that you’ve helped me come through. The support you have given to Jenny and to my girls. We love you very much and we thank you very much. Of course, I have already acknowledged my family.
The loves of my life. You only have to look at this stage to understand how important family is. Family is the fabric of our society.
Only through families can Australia be truly strong into the future. My last thank you tonight is to the people of Cook. They have supported me so strongly and I will continue to be your representative and I will continue to stand up for the values of our shire.
You’ve heard from Josh a little earlier tonight. Josh, I can’t just call a friend, I can refer to him as a brother. Josh and I have a deep and abiding friendship.
And it has been our great privilege together as the leader and deputy leader of the Liberal party and prime minister and treasurer that we were able to work together to ensure Australia came through this pandemic with one of the lowest death rates in the world, the strongest economies in the world, and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.
I want to thank Josh for his tremendous economic leadership and support over the time that we have been in government which has been one of the toughest times we’ve seen in government in at least 70 to 100 years, depending on which issue you’re looking at.
And, Josh, I want to wish you and your family there the best for the future. I looking forward those counts improving because Josh Frydenberg should be remaining in this Liberal party and remaining in the federal parliament because he is an outstanding individual and leader of our country.
In his final speech as PM Scott Morrison thanked:
- The defence force
- His staff
He did not thank:
- Health workers
- Frontline workers in the pandemic
- Aged care workers
We are hearing a speech that is very similar to what we heard from Scott Morrison at every election press conference Scott Morrison held.
We hand over this country as a government in a stronger position than we left it, that we inherited when we came to government those years ago under Tony Abbott. Unemployment today is at the lowest level in 48 years.
Australians leaving school, leaving university, getting their trades know that they have their trades, know that they have the confidence of being able to go out there and get a job and be able to realise their aspirations and that’s what I wish for them. That’s what I wish for this country - that Australians will always be able to realise the aspirations that they have for themselves and for their family and their community. We leave government having secured our borders many years ago and we leave government having restored our nation’s defences. Restoring our investment in our defence force has been building up again. The strength of our defence force.
So Australia can always say we might look to others but we never leave it to others as a country because as a government we have invested in the security of our nation and we leave it strong. Whether it is our AUKUS partnership or the many other things that we have done to secure our nation’s defences, I will always be in deep gratitude to the men and women of our defence forces, our security and intelligence agencies, our border protection agencies, our border protection agencies, our law enforcement agencies, our law enforcement agencies who have done such an amazing job to keep Australians safe and keep Australians together over these years. But the other thing, friends, that we have been able to do is to continue to guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on.
I have always believed that the purpose of always believed that the purpose of a strong economy is not an end in itself but to ensure a stronger nation that can provide the services that its people depend upon. Our investments in doubling support for mental health, for addressing the devastating issues of suicide.
There’s another great miracle I want to give thanks for tonight and that’s the miracle of the Australian people.
What Australians have endured over these past few years has shown a tremendous depth of character and resilience and strength and each and every day I have had the great privilege to lead this nation over the last 3 and a half years and the one thing I’ve always counted on has been the strength and resilience and character of the Australian people. It has been the Australian people under the strong support of a strong government that’s enabled all of us to come through to where we are today and that’s something that all Australians can give thanks for as we move forward.
But of course - yep - but of course I also said three years ago how great is Australia? And how great is Australians and that remains as true today as it was three years ago?
Now there are many votes still to count, that is true.
There are many pre-polls and postles that will still come in. But I believe it’s very important that this country has certainty. I think it’s very important this country can move forward. And particularly over the course of this week with the important meetings that are being held, I think it’s vitally important there’s a very clear understanding about the government of this country.
This has been a time of great upheaval over these past few years. And it has imposed a heavy price on our country and on all Australians. And I think all Australians have felt that deeply. And we’ve seen in our own politics a great deal of disruption as the the people have voted today with major parties having one of the lowest primary votes we’ve ever seen.
That says a lot I know about the upheaval that’s taking place in our nation. And I think it is important for our nation to heal and to move forward. But at the same time, three years ago I stood before you, and I said I believed in miracles. I still believe in miracles. I still believe in miracles as I always have. And the biggest miracles as I said three years ago were standing beside me and here they are again tonight with Jenny and my daughters. They are the greatest miracle in my life.
It is a difficult night for Liberals and Nationals around the country as nights like this always are.
They are humbling but so is victory. Victory is also humbling and always should be.
Tonight I have spoken to the leader of the Opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese, and I have congratulated him on his election victory this evening.
And I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening. In this country, at a time like this, when we look around the world, and particularly when we see those in the Ukraine fighting for their very freedom and liberty, I think on a night like tonight we can reflect on the greatness of our democracy.
[From the crowd: You did us proud, ScoMo!]
Thank you, thank you. On a night like tonight it is proper to acknowledge the functioning of our democracy. always believed in Australians and their judgement and I’ve always been prepared to accept their verdicts and tonight they have delivered their verdict and I congratulate Anthony Albanese and the Labor party and I wish him and his government all the very best.
Scott Morrison calls Anthony Albanese to concede defeat
Scott Morrison concedes defeat.
Seats the Liberals have either lost or look like losing:
- North Sydney
Home to Bilo campaign confident of family being allowed home
Statement attributable to Angela Fredericks of the Home to Bilo campaign:
Tonight, the Labor party led by Mr Anthony Albanese has been declared the winner of the 2022 federal election. We congratulate Mr Albanese on his victory, be it majority or minority.
Mr Albanese has promised to allow our friends Priya, Nades and their girls Kopi and Tharni to return home to Biloea.
We just called Priya in Perth and told her she and her family were coming home. Many happy tears were shed.
We now believe that this long, painful saga can finally come to an end. This family has been away from their home for more than four years. They never should have been taken from the town that loved and needed them.
As they make the long journey to Biloela to resume their lives here, they also commence a journey of recovery and healing.
We ask that the media and public please respect this family’s need for healing, care, and rest.
This family’s strength has always been at the heart of this Biloela-led campaign to bring them home. We remain in awe of Priya and Nades’ strength and resilience, and their steadfast commitment to the health and safety of their girls.
Hundreds of thousands of Australians have opened their hearts to this family. We know Priya is incredibly grateful to every single one of them. Everyday Australians who signed our petition, made tens of thousands of phone calls or sent emails to politicians, turned up to peaceful vigils across the country, contributed to the legal fund, and most importantly never gave up hope for this beautiful family.
Our Biloela-led grassroots campaign has been also supported over the last four years by a remarkable coalition of movements and organisations, including Tamil Refugee Council, Mums 4 Refugees, Grandmothers for Refugees, Refugee Action Collective, Rural Australians for Refugees, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and Change.org Australia.
It is time to bring Priya, Nades, Kopi and Tharni home to Bilo.
Sky News appears to have a camera on a motorcycle following behind Scott Morrison’s car as he heads to the hotel where the Liberals are holding their campaign party
It is raining in Sydney so it is not even a clear picture.
Peter Dutton tells his supporters it is time for a drink.
And to all of my extended family here tonight as well, it’s a wonderful opportunity to speak to you tonight on a couple of things. One is that we have, as a Liberal family, suffered a terrible day today. And there are colleagues around the country, good people, who have potentially lost their seats.
There are still thousands and thousands of postal votes and pre-poll votes to count. So there’s some hope in some of those seats. In many, the race is very tight.
I want to acknowledge the pain they’re going through tonight, their families, their supporters and our supporters across the country. There are some amazing people who supported the Liberal party day in, day out. Through good times and bad. And they’re wonderful believe and I believe in their country. And they are hurting tonight. I want to acknowledge them.
I want to acknowledge the work of the prime minister and Josh Frydenberg, our entire cabinet and backbench. This has been a united team. We have worked day and night through the last couple of years of great difficulty for our country. We’ve been able to put our country in a position that is the economic envy of the world. We’ve been able to provide support and leadership to the Australian people through very difficult times.
'My Liberal family suffered a terrible day today,' says Peter Dutton
Peter Dutton is declaring it a bad day for the Liberal party.
He is also giving a top hits list:
- World leadership
- The economy
- National security
- Not being Labor
As we heard before, Trent Zimmerman has not conceded in North Sydney but admits “the pathway to victory in North Sydney is a narrow one”.
But he has some insights about what his likely defeat and other urban losses mean for the Liberal party:
When we look at these results across Sydney and Brisbane and Victoria there are clearly lessons for the Liberal party that we need to learn. We need to ensure that we – as a party [and] as a government we are representing the aspirations of the great urban areas that represent a large portion of the economic activity of our nation, the capacity of our nation. There is a driving desire in the communities I represent for greater action on climate change, for greater action in areas like ensuring there are genuinely more opportunities for women in our communities. These are substantive issues that need to be at the heart of our agenda as a party.
We cannot ignore them, for if we do, winning government again will be impossible.
My plea tonight to all of you across the Liberal family ... we must ensure we are representing every part of our community, including the community of North Sydney.
Teal independent Allegra Spender is speaking to supporters in Bondi. She is not claiming victory until all the votes have been counted – but she is claiming a victory of sorts.
It is a victory for the community and what we have achieved together - there is still prepolling and polling to be counted, and while it’s looking good - not everything has been counted. But it’s a victory for the community movement around the country. We stand for the future, not for the past. You’ve given up shouting at the television, the negativity and the spin. You’ve all invested in the democracy of the country.
John Howard, the former prime minister, has arrived at the Liberal function - meaning the hour of Scott Morrison’s concession is approaching.
I’m not saying anything until the prime minister has spoken. It’s up to him to speak on behalf of his party and government, which I’ve been very proud to have helped during this campaign. I’ve worked very hard, I believe in Scott Morrison. I believe in the Liberal party, thank you.”
Matt Kean, the NSW treasurer and a leading moderate in the NSW Liberal party, has responded to the likely loss of three moderate-held seats in the state in Wentworth, Mackellar and North Sydney.
There are definitely lessons to be learned, that when the Liberal party goes too far to the right, we lose in the centre. The Liberal party is at its strongest when we represent the diversity in the community. Tonight, we have had a very strong message from our heartland that we are not representing them.
Asked if Saturday’s losses were a response to Scott Morrison’s leadership, Kean said:
All leaders around the world are struggling at the moment. We’ve seen [Joe] Biden with record-low approval, Boris Johnson too and [Emmanuel] Macron with a massively reduced majority. This a very difficult time for leaders around the world.
We as a party need to regroup and listen to the communities and the message they have sent. What we can’t do as a party is vacate the space on climate change. We have to have a credible path to reduce emissions. What we can’t do is abandon the space on listening to women. We can’t have a situation where women are voting for us in lesser numbers than males. That is hugely damaging to the community and we need to listen to women and have policies that respond to their concerns.
Clive Palmer says Peter Dutton will be opposition leader
The United Australia party’s Clive Palmer just appeared on Sky, announcing, rather surprisingly, that Peter Dutton will be the next leader of the Liberal party.
I don’t think you can overlook the support he [Albanese] had from the Greens and the teals.
It’s critical the opposition leader Peter Dutton, who will be the opposition leader, will offer him supply to stop him going to the Greens.
Asked what a Labor government, with teals and Greens, could lead to, he warned “the devastation of most of Australia’s business and production”.
We’ve got to be sure we don’t become a province of China ... that’s what’s on the line, control of our nation and control of our infrastructure.
Morrison will 'take responsibility' for loss, Birmingham says
Simon Birmingham says he believes Scott Morrison will “take responsibility” for the loss.
Seems Birmingham still believes some miracles can be found tonight.
I’m confident that Scott will take responsibility. But we all have to take responsibility, too.
Ultimately, it is a team. What we saw from Josh before, in a very dignified display, and my heart goes out to Amy and Josh’s parents and his family at this point in time.
But what we saw from Josh before was he acknowledged the role of the team and we share together the successes that we’ve had as a government, and we’ve had some pretty amazing successes in coming through what has been a most trying time in Australia’s history and global history. But we also have to share responsibility for the blame, too, where we have lost seats and where we have gone backwards. So I cop that on my shoulders and I’ve got no doubt that Scott, as the leader, will take it on his as well.
Josh Frydenberg is now thanking the man who has all but ended his run in federal politics and his long held ambition to be prime minister.
It’s our values that resonate so strongly with the people of Australia since our party’s formation. To be the deputy leader of our party has been an enormous privilege and to serve as Scott Morrison’s deputy, a person of great decency, a person who loves his family, a person who is of deep faith and a person who has shown extra ordinary leadership in extraordinary times. So I thank Scott Morrison for what he has done for our country to leave Australia in a stronger position than when he found it. Give him a clap.
'Tectonic shift in Australian politics' as Ryan goes to Greens
Moments after ABC election analyst Antony Green called the Brisbane seat of Ryan for the Greens, their candidate Elizabeth Watson-Brown tells the Guardian she is “still processing” the news.
The architect-turned-MP says her victory – along with the results in Brisbane and Griffith – marks a fundamental change for politics in Australia.
We are witnessing a tectonic shift in Australian politics ... and Queensland is leading the way.
Greens look like taking Brisbane and Ryan
Adam Bandt is about to get some company with Queensland about to deliver two more lower house seats to the Greens.
Brisbane and Ryan. Formerly LNP.
Josh Frydenberg is now running out a list of his top hits:
- Stage three tax cuts
- Unemployment rates
- Not being Labor
This from Josh Frydenberg is sounding more and more like a concession speech.
Earlier today, as we were heading to the voting booth, Blake said to me, he said, “Dad, a girl at school,” and don’t forget, he’s in prep, “A girl at school says her mum is more important than you.”
To which Amy replied, “Blake, all mums are important!” And Amy has been the most extraordinary mum, and maybe after tonight I get a bit more time to try and be the most extraordinary dad ... So I just want to say in front of you all, I am nothing without my family. They are the most important thing in the world to me and I will try every single day to be the most important thing in the world to them. So thank you, darling. Thank you.
The NSW state Liberal president, Phillip Ruddock, has said he is “disappointed” with the result, and the party has to “build for the future” but has refrained from criticising Scott Morrisonfor the result.
Ruddock told Channel Nine:
One is always disappointed when you don’t get the result you’d like, that’s obvious but it was always in contemplation that it was going to be a difficult outcome and if you looked at some of the projections that were being offered, the government-elect has not got the result it may have expected. For us, I think the important point will be to look at what are the lessons to be learned as a result of this so we can move forward. I am always of the view you should be looking forward and finding the best route you can take because I’m there to serve the people of Australia, the Liberal party is there to serve the people.
Ruddock argued the result would also be disappointing “for the new government, the government-elect”.
I think that we were in a very, very difficult position nationally. We have come through the difficulties with Covid. We have had a very, I think, difficult environment internationally that we have got to deal with and it has been a very challenging situation. And we are going to move into a much more uncertain world and I think people will look back at the performance of this government and I suspect if, in office, Labor can’t deliver similar outcomes they will be looking for change again.”
Josh Frydenberg relying on postals
Josh Frydenberg says it is “mathematically possible” he wins in Kooyong “but definitely difficult”.
This sounds like a concession speech (it is not) but it is a fairly sombre mood:
A bit of a different atmosphere to three years ago, but still a lot of shouting! Firstly, as you know, there’s still thousands of postal votes to count.
(The crowd cheers this – it is looking for good news.)
So while it’s mathematically possible that we win in Kooyong, it’s definitely difficult. But while votes are still being counted, I wanted to take this opportunity to be here with Amy to say a few thank yous.
Thank you to the people of Kooyong. Thank you to the people of Australia. Thank you to my party and to my colleagues. But most importantly, thank you to my family.
Liberal candidate Andrew Constance says Gilmore result may not be reached tonight
A result in the NSW seat of Gilmore may not be reached tonight, with Liberal hopeful Andrew Constance telling supporters it was time to “pull out the armchair” and wait.
The former NSW minister was hoping to defeat sitting Labor member Fiona Phillips, who holds the seat with a 2.6% margin.
Speaking at his event in Bomaderry, Constance said it was a close race, thanking his supporters and opponents.
It’s very, very tight ... it’s time to basically pull out the armchair for the next few days because we’re not going to get a result anytime soon.
At the end of the day, we’ll just wait and see where the community’s decided to place this result.
I intend on having a few drinks tonight.
Constance was hopeful prepolling in major booths including Batemans Bay would go in his favour. About 40% of voters in Gilmore voted in prepolling.
He said the Liberal party was still “wonderful” but that it needed to reflect and listen to the community.
One thing I do know about the Liberal party is that it’s got to reflect the community, it’s got to connect with the community, it’s got to be about the community.
It’s a wonderful, wonderful party that Robert Menzies founded. We shouldn’t lose sight of that.
Gilmore was held by the Liberals for 26 years before Phillips seized the seat for Labor in 2019.
Jason Clare switches from zingers to statesman
Some more quotable quotes from Labor’s campaign spokesperson Jason Clare:
We are seeing a Labor government being born ... it doesn’t happen very often. We can feel the weight of responsibility descend upon our shoulders.
Labor's Sally Sitou claims victory in Reid
Sally Sitou has claimed victory in Reid, returning the seat to Labor and receiving a hero’s welcome at Canada Bay Club this evening.
The Labor faithful have stamped their feet and shouted in joy as Sitou paid tribute to the “multicultural and multi-faith” community in Reid.
I stand with you tonight from the heart of multicultural Sydney in Reid. This community has voted for integrity and fairness for all.
Sitou paid tribute to her parents in an emotional speech.
It has struck me so many times this campaign, how improbable my candidacy was. My parents fled their homeland and were incredibly lucky to find refuge in Australia. So you can imagine what this moment means for my parents.
Tonight, I honour the sacrifices my parents made to give me a good life. I am the daughter of migrants, a product of public education. I grew up with a slight unease, not sure of who I was, acutely aware of the postcode I grew up in. That’s why it’s important to have someone like me in our parliament.
Sitou said she hoped there would now be change in the country.
I know how racism erodes our country and holds Australia back from being the best country it can be. I am of my community, I understand my community and I want to make it better. I want all young Australians to know you are not defined by your postcode but by your character and what you want to do for other people.
With 77% of the vote counted, Sitou leads the outgoing Liberal MP Fiona Martin 55% to 45% on a two-party-preferred basis.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally tells Sky that Fowler will likely be “too close to call” tonight after facing a strong campaign from independent Dai Le.
Asked if she is “bitterly disappointed” after being parachuted into a safe seat to run in, Keneally replies:
I’m really quite buoyed, I’ve got heaps of support in the room tonight, I think what we’re seeing is a real rise of independents that both sides of politics are having to consider.
People are interested in putting their votes other than [with] the two major parties and in the days and weeks ahead we’ll have to look at what’s gone on here in Fowler and in seats around the country.
Whatever happens tonight, I’ll be fine. What we need to focus on is we have an Albanese Labor government.
We are getting a lot of people joining us from all over the world, so to bring you up to date, it looks like after almost a decade of conservative rule, Australia has had its climate election and will see a change to a more progressive government, with independents who ran on climate change action and integrity to hold sway over the parliament, along with the progressive-left Greens party.
Labor and the Greens could also have control of the Senate.
At this point, the Greens look like picking up Queensland’s sixth seat, and Labor is in line for two more in Western Australia. David Pocock is headed to the Senate for the ACT at the expense of Zed Seselja, and then we need to see what South Australia is doing.
Jane Hume tells Simon Holmes à Court to 'stick it up your jumper'
On Channel Nine, the Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes à Court looked visibly upset after Liberal senator Jane Hume told him to “stick it up your jumper”. The comment came after Holmes à Court told the panel he looked forward to “getting a full apology” from Hume for spreading “lies and mistruths” about him.
Holmes à Court confronted Hume at a polling booth in Hawthorn in the lead-up to the election due to frustrations with Hume’s claims about the influence of Climate 200 on the teal independents. Holmes à Court has since apologised.
The Nine News host Peter Overton looked uncomfortable, saying “Well, that was interesting.”
An enormous cheer goes up at Labor’s election party as Sky projects the ALP to win. The RSL venue, with two TVs, was previously playing ABC with sound and Sky muted.
They’ve now flipped both TVs to Sky and put the audio on for the channel that calls their victory.
It should be noted the ABC and Antony Green hasn’t called the final result yet, and the cheer for Sky’s call wasn’t as massive as I expected – so maybe the Labor faithful are waiting for the public broadcaster to make it official.
Huge chants of “Labor, Labor” and “Albo, Albo” are periodically breaking out in the crowd.
More from that Zoe Daniel speech:
What we have achieved here is extraordinary,” she says to a massive cheer from the crowd.
This moment is a testimony to the strength of our democracy. What this says is community makes a difference.
Daniel says she has a whole written speech but it is going out the window. She thanks the crowd and says this win is about the Goldstein community.
This has brought hope. Now people say – hello mainstream media, love you all – that independents will bring about chaos. I say the reverse. I say I am here to bring about progress. I am here to bring genuine collaboration with partisan parties that cannot interact … and cannot solve important issues. I offer to be an honest broker from the crossbench.
The crowd is going off. “Zoe, Zoe, Zoe,” they are chanting.
Labor to form government – only question majority or minority
Labor strategists are now “entirely confident” they will be on the government benches. It will just be a question of majority or minority.
It is up to WA now to see if Labor gets across the 76 seat mark.
Quick dispatch from one of the Nationals pollster watchers – turns out that when Matt Canavan, Barnaby Joyce and Colin Boyce went on their net zero attack, all the Nationals seats went down.
Not too many heavy-hitters here at the Liberal function yet but one who is the former NSW Liberal leader, Kerry Chikarovski, spoke to Guardian Australia about the results.
Well clearly I’m disappointed because I felt the Coalition government deserved to be returned. I’m particularly disappointed in the teals [independents], mainly because I would’ve thought the teals should’ve been targeting people who they disagreed with rather than the ones they agreed with. But they’ve taken out the moderates within the Liberal party, and I don’t think that’s a good thing for them or the Liberal party, to be honest.
Chikarovski said she “isn’t sure that people understood what the teals stood for”.
It’s easy to stand on a slogan ‘climate change and integrity’ – what you need is to be able to deliver on those slogans.
Chikarovski argued that Labor “hadn’t really won”, needing “all that Greens support”. She predicted Labor would need to do deals with the Greens to stay in power.
Asked about the future of the Liberals, she said:
I’m not going to speculate at all about what happens to the leadership of the Liberal party. I will watch with interest. All the people [teals] have taken out are people they agree with – so it will be interesting to see what that does to internal Liberal party thinking about moving forward.
LNP have lost Brisbane and Ryan
Back to Queensland, and Labor sources are looking to the postals to save Terri Butler in Griffith (along with LNP preferences), while Ryan will come down to postals to see who comes second.
But the LNP have lost Brisbane and Ryan.
Back to the ACT Senate, and it looks like independent Senate candidate David Pocock will be joining Katy Gallagher in the Senate (still too close to call) but if I was Zed Seselja I would be very, very worried at this point.
The WA results looks like Labor is getting massive swings in Swan, Pearce and Hasluck.
There is a chance the Liberal party loses a Senate seat in WA (just like we saw in Queensland for Labor for the last election).
Liberal senator Anne Ruston has declared there is an “extraordinary irony to the teals”.
What they have actually achieved here is to decimate the part of the Liberal party that they held most fondly.
Ruston told Network Ten she was extremely “worried” and “saddened” to see so many of her most competent colleagues lose their seats.
Zoe Daniel claims victory in Goldstein over Liberal MP Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson will be very, very mad, but Zoe Daniel is calling Goldstein for herself:
Team Zoe. Thank you so much. What we have achieved here is extraordinary.
Safe Liberal seat, two-term incumbent, independent!
100 or so years ago there was a woman called Vida Goldstein. She was an internationally renowned suffragist. She was the first Australian in the Oval Office. She ran as an independent several times because she was so independent that she couldn’t bring herself to run for either of the major parties: Vida was not elected. This seat is in her name, and today I take her rightful place.
Coalition can't do it, says Antony Green
Antony Green is on the ABC saying the Coalition cannot form government.
So at the moment I would say the Coalition can’t form government on the results we are seeing. That is not necessarily that Labor will form government. It is not clear that Labor will reach majority. It is clear the Coalition won’t reach majority and I’m not sure what they can cobble together to try to govern.
I would say the Coalition government has been defeated but at this stage it is not clear what sort of Labor government we will get.
There is more counting to come. At the moment, with Labor having reached 70 and some of those seats involving the Greens and Labor may fall to one or the other, then the Coalition can’t win from this position and partly it is because of the number of seats lost to the crossbench and a number of key marginal seats.
Trent Zimmerman says it's too early to concede North Sydney
Moderate Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman admits his path to victory in North Sydney is now “a narrow one”. But he is pinning his hopes on postal votes against independent Kylea Tink.
Zimmerman says there are clear lessons for the Liberal party, including that there needs to be more action on climate change and on opportunities for women.
If we fail to do that we are not living up to the aspirations of our party set by Robert Menzies.
Rebekha Sharkie on track to retain Mayo
Centre Alliance MP for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie is up on Sky, feeling positive about early results coming in for her seat.
Early voting shows Sharkie well ahead with 59% of the two-party-preferred count.
Asked about the prospect of a swathe of independents joining her in a hung parliament, she says:
I’m not a teal independent, this is my fourth election, I was elected before teal was even a colour that an independent chose. I was very upfront with my community as I have been every election [about who she’d back] but if the result is to be believed potentially we might have a hung parliament.
It looks like looking at the numbers there we might have a change of government … big day, big night.
Kristina Keneally admits Fowler win is doubt
Kristina Keneally, who was parachuted into the western Sydney seat of Fowler, is telling her party it is “not entirely clear” who has won the seat.
She looks like losing it to an independent. Anthony Albanese made the captain call to put her into Fowler over Tu Le, who outgoing member Chris Hayes had wanted.
Fowler looks like it has responded by choosing someone from its local community, losing Labor what had been a very safe seat.
Now, I know that we are here tonight to have a celebration and, yet, as we are here, gathered this evening, it is not entirely clear yet the result in Fowler, and I do want to congratulate Dai Le and Courtney on their campaigns that they ran. Friends, we are all here tonight because we believe that Australia deserve of, indeed that Australia deserve of and needs a better future, and that better future is a Labor government.
Simon Birmingham says gender 'clearly a factor' in election result
The Coalition’s own tracking polls said Scott Morrison was unpopular with women.
And it looks like the Coalition underestimating that anger has had a huge impact on the vote, particularly in the inner=city seats Morrison seemed willing to sacrifice.
Simon Birmingham on the ABC says:
I think gender clearly is a factor in this, and it is a factor you could see if you went back to the South Australian state election. Every seat that the Liberal party lost was lost to a female candidate, and so there is a real challenge there for us to ...
Is it time to start preselecting more women?
Absolutely. That is a very clear message that the electorate is sending us, but we can’t just say that preselecting more women is sufficient. We are seeing that Katie Allen, for example, is in trouble and Fiona Martin, for example, is in trouble. These are two outstanding women who again are crucial to where the Liberal party stands and sits as a party, and so without them, the rebuild task becomes harder, but they are exactly the type of people that we need to make sure we are winning back as candidates and as voters.
Guardian calls Chisholm for Labor
Ben Raue has determined Gladys Liu cannot win the seat.
On Channel 10 the Liberal senator Hollie Hughes has said the last three years have been “the most disgusting character assassination against a prime minister ever.”
To which the Labor MP Stephen Jones replied: “Most of them have come from your own side.”
Hughes looked visibly annoyed and began to raise her voice just as the station cut to an ad break.
Trent Zimmerman is giving a speech to his supporters in North Sydney.
He looks like he has lost the seat.
The feed freezes and Leigh Sales says:
I am not sure what is happening with Trent Zimmerman.
Labor is reporting “very positive” results in WA.
It is very early there, the count has only been happening for just over an hour.
But I think we can say that Hasluck is in play.
Independent Allegra Spender has arrived at her event in Bondi to a hero’s welcome. The feeling in the room is that she is about to declare a win.
In the room celebrating were people who a few years ago might have been at a Liberal function – executives, CEOs, a few venture capitalists.
But according to a strategist close to the campaign, the Spender base were people who would never vote Green or Labor, but no longer recognised the party of their parents. This base was motivated enough about the climate, well connected and had enough trust in the candidate that they joined a movement.
A man shouted to his friends from the crowd:
I know you just got married but this is the best night of your life!”
The jubilation was there from the get-go, but kicked up a notch when word spread that Spender was on her way and the speakers started blaring Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling, the universal anthem of impending victory.
Mark Riley says 7 News has “made the call”, confirming the network’s projection that Scott Morrison cannot feasibly form majority government.
Scott Morrison is no longer prime minister, he is in minority.
Can he negotiate his way to a minority government? Possibly, but I would not put any money on it at the moment.
It’s going to be a “long night” in Boothby, Liberal party hopeful Dr Rachel Swift says.
She is facing a tight contest with Labor’s Louise Miller-Frost in the ultra-marginal seat, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that there’ll be a result tonight.
Boothby, in Adelaide’s southern suburbs, has been in Liberal hands for more than 70 years.
Labor has looked longingly at it for decades, but has always been thwarted. However, hope springs eternal. Sitting Liberal MP Nicolle Flint is retiring, and all the polls have Labor in front. The ABC is reporting an almost 3% swing to Labor, which would wipe out the Liberals’ 1.4% margin. But that swing keeps changing as more votes come in.
Swift said there were a lot of prepoll and postal votes to count, but “the mood has been really positive”. She says:
I’m just continuing to do what I’ve done for the past 12 months, and just chat to the community and watch the numbers come in.
A relatively cheerful crowd of Swift’s supporters at the The Morphett Arms in Glengowrie are cheering on every time there’s any good news for the Liberal party – and, confusingly, every time the Greens appear to chip into Labor’s vote.
The mood at the Liberal party campaign event at the Fullerton Hotel in Sydney is subdued. People are settling in for a long night, and the best case scenario of a hung parliament.
The Liberals briefly put the ABC feed on blast on the big screen, but when Antony Green said he couldn’t see more than 70 seats going to the Coalition the feed was suddenly cut and the soundtrack was restored to soft, aimless jazz.
Members who have manned booths all day say the mood wasn’t toxic against Morrison, and suburban voters in seats like Bennelong were quite bewildered at how strongly others had swung against the pandemic prime minister.
The cliche of 151 byelections seems to be playing out nationwide. The Liberals have lost plenty of seats, but the sense is it’s hard to take it personally when nobody is clearly winning. Let’s call it attenuated disappointment.
I’d expect Scott Morrison to bob up much closer to midnight after we know what’s going on in Western Australia.
Bridget Archer likely to retain Bass
Bridget Archer looks like becoming only the second Bass MP in history to be re-elected for a second time.
She is the safe Liberal moderate at this point of time.
Liberal party powerbroker Michael Kroger on Sky News has made a big call about what it means if the treasurer loses to an independent.
It’s a national tragedy if Josh Frydenberg loses his seat.
This chart should give a sense of what the Liberal party is currently facing in key seats where they’re up against “teal” candidates – it shows the swing away from the Liberal party in Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney, Goldstein and Kooyong.
State of play (for the moment)
We have a bunch of seats flying in different directions, but we’re not seeing a very strong trend that one major party is winning everywhere. Labor is down in Parramatta and Gilmore, but up in Bennelong and Reid.
Overall right now Labor is leading in these Coalition seats:
And the Coalition is leading in these Labor seats:
But the number of potential crossbench gains is even more:
• Griffith and Ryan for the Greens, with an outside chance in Macnamara and Brisbane
• Mackellar is very close
• The independent is winning comfortably in North Sydney if she can stay in the top two.
• Cowper is a possibility, but we have no TCP
There’s a bunch of independent seats where the independent is leading by a comfortable margin but we’re not yet ready to call them: North Sydney and Goldstein, and Kooyong and Mackellar too (although those later seats are a bit closer).
The independent is also leading in Fowler and the Greens look strong in Brisbane, Ryan and Griffith. So while we aren’t calling many of these seats it looks like the crossbench will grow significantly from the six seats prior to this election.
The Goldstein teals have descended on the Brighton Bowling club.
It’s not quite there to call just yet, but the mood is ecstatic – there is champagne everywhere and people are hugging.
Zoe Daniel is expected to address the crowd soon.
It looks like the teal independents may also claim Mackellar, with Sophie Scamps edging well ahead of Liberal incumbent Jason Falinski in the Sydney northern beaches seat.
It’s now 54% to Scamps with 46% to the Liberal incumbent Jason Falinski on a two-party-preferred basis. That’s with 72% of the votes counted. It’s getting worse for the Liberals not better.
But, the caveat again is we don’t know the flow of postal votes – which can be high in a wealthy seat like Mackellar with a substantial retired population.
There is no guarantee that the usual 60%+ flow to the Liberals will be repeated this time around against an independent, however.
It’s been a truly disastrous night for the moderates in NSW.
Simon Birmingham says Liberal party has lost touch with heartland seats
The South Australian Liberal senator, Simon Birmingham, the Coalition spokesperson, says the Liberal party has a lot of listening and thinking to do.
(He is at the same point Labor SA senator Penny Wong was at this point of the 2019 election.)
It is a clear problem that we are losing seats that are heartland seats, that have defined the Liberal party for generations and so, if we lose those seats, it is not certain that we will, but there is clearly a big movement against us and there is clearly a big message in it. We need to heed the message because forming government in the future without winning those sorts of seats is a next to impossible task.
We’re seeing Labor potentially in the territory where they have to form coalition with the Greens to get to a government. We want to make sure we’re not having to form ad hoc coalitions. We need to get the Liberal party as being back in touch with the values of those constituencies and ensuring that people who should hold Liberal values associated with the Liberal party.
Queensland Greens senator Larissa Waters tells supporters in Brisbane to “revel in the glory”. Waters said she had been advised not to make calls too early but “humbly advised” party members to take a look at the AEC website.
Waters said it had been a “lonely 10 years” on the Senate in Queensland but it was “looking good” that she would soon be joined in parliament by three lower house MPs and one senator.
The Greens are increasingly confident about Brisbane, Griffith and Ryan.
Former Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne on Seven says it’s NSW that is deciding the election.
The seats are changing hands in NSW … and these terrible independents who aren’t really independent, NSW is making this election so far. It’s early days and some other places, I think there will be shifts here and there. We don’t see WA but it’s fascinating that NSW has become the place where we’re all focused and where all the change is happening.
Labor feeling confident it will retain Reid
The mood in Reid has picked up considerably as the night continues, with results showing a 6.6% swing toward Labor and their candidate Sally Sitou.
Chants of “Labor” and “Sally” went up as ABC news showed Labor will regain the seat it lost at the 2013 election.
A group of volunteers, yelling over the noise, said they were now “cautiously optimistic”:
We’re feeling good so far, but it’s looking like a long night, but it’s a relief to see such good results.
The results in Reid were more actively celebrated, with another volunteer saying it “showed the Liberals and their strategies didn’t work”.
It’s an amazing result so far, there’s more energy in here than three years ago.
The mood was only punctured by results coming out of Fowler, which showed Labor candidate Kristina Keneally in trouble against independent Dai Le.
Zali Steggall gives victory speech
Zali Steggall has just taken the stage to give her victory speech in the seat of Warringah.
We have shown that politics can be about positive policies, it can be about positive change.
North Sydney looks set to elect the independent Kylea Tink, with the two-party-projected count showing Tink ahead with 56.51% of the vote, to 43.49% for the Liberal incumbent Trent Zimmerman. That’s on 42% of the vote counted.
Tink appears to be significantly ahead of the Labor candidate, Catherine Renshaw, with a 26% primary vote compared with Renshaw’s 22%.
Labor has never won North Sydney but Renshaw, a human rights lawyer, had performed very strongly in pre-election polls and some thought an upset was possible.
The mood at Zimmerman’s party in Lane Cove is turning decidedly downbeat, particularly as it is clear that Dave Sharma is now the former MP for Wentworth and other moderates are in extreme danger.
Zimmerman’s team are still holding out hope that things might change and it might come down to postals, but at the moment the tide is running in the wrong direction for him.
There is no sign of Zimmerman at the event yet.
Coalition unlikely to be able to form majority government
Looking at the seats at the moment, it is looking very, very unlikely the Coalition would be able to form majority government.
Labor is a better chance (at this stage) but a hung parliament is very likely.
Worth noting that the primary votes of both major parties are in the toilet, vindicating a trend that has been detected in polls in the lead-up to this election.
Nationally, Labor’s primary vote is down 2.78% to 30%, while the combined Liberal and National vote is about 35%, down 3.5%.
The Greens, One Nation, the United Australia party and other independents are the beneficiaries of this trend, with each of these party’s boosting their primary vote.
On a national two-party-preferred basis, the result is a 2.39% swing against the Coalition.
Both sides agree that at this point in the night, the result is too close to call.
Guardian calls Wentworth for Allegra Spender
Looking at the results, Ben Raue doesn’t see a way for Dave Sharma to recover here.
Kylea Tink set to take North Sydney from Trent Zimmerman
You can add North Sydney to that list – Kylea Tink looks like taking the seat from Trent Zimmerman.
“The teals are eating the Liberal party alive,” says Labor’s Jason Clare on Seven. “Mackellar? How is that happening?” Clare says the Liberal party is “losing the crown jewels tonight”.
Liberals on track to lose Goldstein and Wentworth to teal independents
So far, the Liberals have more than likely lost:
Tim Wilson in Goldstein and Dave Sharma in Wentworth.
Two absolutely blue-ribbon seats look like they have turned teal.
Allegra Spender on track to win Wentworth
It looks like the Liberals have lost Wentworth to Allegra Spender.
The national swing at the moment on two-party-preferred is 2.4% to Labor – but that is coming from preferences.
The actual swing on Labor’s primary is -2.7%.
So it is Greens (up 2.1%) and independents (up 2.3%) is helping there.
With the Greens doing very well in early counting, Liberal senator Anne Ruston has told the Network Ten panel that the Coalition and Labor may have to be more cosy in the next parliament.
Ruston thinks it is “very likely” there will be more Greens on the lower house crossbenches and in the Senate. She says this will mean the two major parties will have to “work together more closely” in order to push through policy.
But Labor MP Ed Huisc begs to differ, saying the Labor party had tried to be bipartisan in the past, but it had become extremely difficult due to the decline of moderates in the Coalition.
There is a bigger than usual progressive vote in the ACT – Zed Seselja is in a lot of trouble.
There is a big chance he could lose his Senate seat.
Labor sources are telling us NO big prepoll centres have reported as yet.
So it is very early.
Greens senator Larissa Waters wipes away a tear as she says she is “completely overwhelmed” by the results coming through.
Not just in Brisbane, but nationally,” she says.
The mood is electric at the Green’s party in West End’s Montague Hotel, where the candidates from Brisbane, Griffith and Ryan are gathering.
All three are ebullient after early polls, with big swings towards the Greens in those Labor-held seats.
Waters introduces Penny Allman-Payne as Queensland’s next senator.
Over on talkback radio, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell says the treasurer Josh Frydenberg is “reasonably confident” he can hold onto his seat of Kooyong, despite AEC counting currently showing him tied on the primary with his independent challenger Dr Monique Ryan on 41-41 with the Greens and Labor each on about 7%.
It’ll go to pre-poll and postal and he usually does pretty well on those, as I believe all conservatives do. I know Josh is personally confident, if he can still be awake, because he’s been exhausted.
Here we go
The independent candidate for Kooyong, Monique Ryan, has arrived at her election night event in Hawthorn. The room is filled with supporters wearing teal T-shirts, welcoming Ryan with cheers.
Ryan is hoping to unseat the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, in the inner-city Melbourne electorate.
Early results in the so-called teal seats are showing that Liberal MPs are in strife.
In Victoria, the treasurer Josh Frydenberg is looking set to lose his seat to independent challenger Monique Ryan, who is forecast to have a two-party-preferred result of 2.6%.
Frydenberg’s primary vote is down 5.6%, with the two candidates almost tied on a primary vote of 41.5%.
In the seat of Goldstein, former ABC foreign correspondent Zoe Daniel is on track to win and knock off Tim Wilson, with her current projection 56% to 44%, and Wilson’s primary vote down 11%.
In NSW, there are three seats where the independents are ahead, including Sophie Scamps in Mackellar, Allegra Spender in Wentworth and Kylea Tink in North Sydney.
Spender in Wentworth is the standout performer, on track for a 62.75% two-party-preferred basis against incumbent Liberal MP Dave Sharma.
Count begins in Western Australia
WA polls have closed and the count has begun there.
Let’s remember it is early in the night though and there are no postals which will be counted and won’t be tonight.
In seats like Dickson, where Peter Dutton is sweating, postals will go in his favour.
There is not a huge swing on nationally – so far under 2% to Labor on the two-party-preferred.
A hung parliament is looking likely, but again, it is early.
On Nine News, former Labor leader Bill Shorten has told former Liberal party deputy leader Julie Bishop he thinks the possibility of a Coalition majority is “no longer in play”.
If you’re losing Wentworth, if you’re losing Goldstein, [then] you’re losing Jason Falinski’s seat.
Bishop says she thinks all four outcomes are still possible: an LNP minority or majority government or an ALP majority or minority one.
The former Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon has almost called it on Sky. He says it would be “very hard” for the Coalition to form a government – even in minority – at this stage.
We’re going to get a big dump of prepolls, if the polls were correct and the contest was narrowing, there are going to be a hell of a lot of people who voted before they were narrowing.
Labor senator Murray Watt agrees. He says it’s “looking promising” for Labor, but he won’t call it yet.
I think in the end we probably will [get to 76] … there do seem to be pretty sizeable swings about the government and in that case … you’d have to say Labor is better placed to form a government.
Bondi Bowls Club is a sea of teal as Allegra Spender supporters turn out in large numbers.
More than 700 people RSVPed to the event, which has the festive and carefree air of a result that has already been pre-decided.
Large cheers went up in the room at the appearance of fellow independent Zali Steggall on the big screen, and huge cheers greeted a swing against Queensland Liberal Peter Dutton.
Spender herself is expected to arrive at 8:30pm to the event which already feels like a victory party for the hotly contested seat of Wentworth.
The Greens said they were a strong chance in Queensland and they were largely ignored – but their grassroots politics, the thousands of doors being knocked, and the constant consistent messaging looks like it’s paying off.
Brisbane, Ryan, Griffith are all in the Greens’ sights. As is that sixth seat in the Senate.
Adam Bandt tells the ABC:
Well, a couple of years ago, we laid out a pretty clear strategy and we have been following it since then.
Firstly, though seats, particularly in Queensland, people-powered.
In the seat of Griffith, this Nev’ knocked on every door and had over 30,000 conversations with voters in that seat and that has been our strategy across those inner-city Brisbane seats but elsewhere.
Secondly, on key questions, economic questions, cost-of-living questions, we’ve offered a real alternative. We have been really clear during the course of this parliament, but as we have been running those campaigns, don’t give Clive Palmer a $9,000 tax cut while people are living in poverty and can’t afford to get their teeth fixed.
Unlike others, we’ve taken it up to the government and said there is a better way of doing things. Thirdly on climate, you’ve seen with voters on Vote Compass and elsewhere, how much of an issue that was and there was an attempt from Labor and Liberal to bury is, and we were very clear about the need to tackle climate by tackling coal and gas.
I’ve spent time with my colleagues in Queensland and New South Wales to take a comprehensive approach that said we need to get out of coal and gas but do it in a way that supports workers and communities who will be part of the and that is something that is important for people not just in those areas but also to those in the inner city as well, who are seeing we are making the transition, but doing it fairly.
Those electorates we have been campaigning strongly on those for three years within the parliament and outside the parliament and we are seeing the results of that work.
The function room at Canterbury RSL is packed for the Labor event and the mood of excitement is building. Giant TV screens are playing Sky News and the ABC, with cheers going up as results from early numbers show swings to Labor in must-win territory – Brisbane, Reid, Higgins, Bennelong and Chisholm.
Huge cheers and shrieks went up as the ABC flashed up results showing Labor ahead in Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson.
A particular murmur of surprise went up as the ABC showed Liberal MP Dave Sharma was trailing in Wentworth to independent MP Allegra Spender. There was a small cheer as Antony Green projected independent Zali Steggall would hold Warringah against controversial Coalition candidate Katherine Deves.
Trays of party pies, sausage rolls and spring rolls are floating around the room. Plastic glasses of white wine, and red cans of the Albo ale, are flowing. No sign of any Labor politicians at this stage, but they may not be far away.
Seats in flux update
We have a bunch of seats flying in different directions, but we’re not seeing a very strong trend that one major party is winning everywhere.
Labor is down in Parramatta and Gilmore, but up in Bennelong and Reid.
There are numerous independents in a feasible position to win.
Allegra Spender is doing very well in Wentworth, Monique Ryan is also ahead in Kooyong. The independent in Mackellar, Sophie Scamps, is also in a dead heat against Jason Falinski.
Right now the independents running in teal seats are doing very well.
Independent Dai Le is also ahead of Kristina Keneally in Fowler.
Labor’s decision to parachute Kristina Keneally into the western Sydney seat of Fowler is looking sketchy for the opposition, with independent Dai Le ahead on early numbers.
With just four of 44 polling booths counted, Labor’s primary vote is down 16%, while Dai Le is tracking at 28%. If Le finishes second in the seat, which appears likely, then she is likely to pick up most of the preferences from the Liberal party, which are currently polling at 16%.
Le was formerly a member of the Liberal party and is being backed by mayor of Fairfield Frank Carbone.
Labor senator Murray Watt has told Sky Dickson is looking “promising” for Labor.
There’s a 5.71% swing against Peter Dutton at the moment, with 20.54% of the vote counted so far.
The Greens have seen a 4% swing in their favour.
[With] about a third counted, Liberal primary vote [is] down 6%, our systems have us leaning ahead in terms of the overall result but once you throw in postal votes that’s probably going to pick up for Peter Dutton.
National senator Bridget McKenzie says there is no need to panic about an early swing against Dutton just yet, noting about 60% of votes in the seat are prepoll and will likely favour the incumbent.
Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles says Labor is “competitive” but it’s going to be a long night yet, with “complicated stories” going on across the country.
Trevor Evans is in so much trouble in Brisbane – Greens or Labor have a huge push there.
But so is Terri Butler, who is behind the Greens candidate Max Chandler-Mather. Labor is hoping the LNP votes will save her.
Julian Simmonds looks in a lot of trouble in Ryan with the Greens doing well.
Labor optimistic about retaining Hunter
Outgoing MP for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon says there are “very encouraging” signs early that Labor will retain the seat.
All we need to do is hold and we’re a little bit better than hold.
With 6.07% of the vote counted, Labor candidate Daniel Repacholi has 35.15% of the primary vote, while Nationals candidate James Thomson has 29.99%.
Repacholi tells Sky the mood has been “very positive” for Labor at polling stations today.
The mood today was great it was very positive for Labor and honestly Scomo’s on the nose up here … so it’s quite good we’re seeing good numbers come in.
They [the Nationals] certainly threw the kitchen sink at us … we’ve worked hard on this seat, we’ve pushed hard, and at the end of the day, the voters will vote.
There is a massive independent swing right across the nation (WA polls close in about 10 minutes).
But it is big and having an impact across the country.
Some thoughts on what’s happening in Brisbane seats. The Liberal National party’s vote appears to have collapsed in several key seats in the Queensland capital, according to sources from the LNP, Labor and the Greens. Early counts appear to indicate big swings towards the Greens in LNP-held Ryan and Labor-held Griffith.
In the seat of Brisbane, LNP incumbent Trevor Evans looks to be in deep trouble based on early figures, with the Greens and Labor neck and neck.
And as mentioned earlier, there are early signs Peter Dutton could be in trouble in Dickson.
Cait Kelly and Caitlyn Cassidy report:
The mood at Tim Wilson’s campaign party is tense. Wilson is doing back-to-back live crosses. He said:
I’m incredibly optimistic. It was always going to be a fight and we made no apologies for that.
But a long-time supporter tells Guardian Australia he had “never seen Wilson this nervous”.
Speaking to Sky, Wilson lamented a “nasty and vicious” campaign waged against him from independents.
With 0.05% of the vote counted in his seat, he has 50.08% of the count to teal independent Zoe Daniel’s 49.92%.
I don’t think you can take anything from these numbers.
I think it’s been a really disappointing contest frankly when it’s been Liberal, Labor, [and] Greens [campaigning] in the past it’s been respectful – we’ve all come together and campaigned in the civil way.
But there’s been a really nasty and frankly aggressive campaign coming at us and coming at me with one objective … to take the Liberal party out of Goldstein’s hands.
Peter Dutton in strife in Dickson
Peter Dutton could be in strife in his Queensland seat of Dickson, with early polling numbers showing a strong swing against him in the northern Brisbane seat. With just four of 43 polling places returned, Dutton has suffered a 9.3% swing against him on a two party preferred basis.
He holds the seat on a 4.6% margin. It must be stressed these are early numbers, but Labor sources are projecting that the Labor candidate Ali France will finish ahead 51-49%.
Simon Birmingham critical of Katherine Deves preselection
It’s a bit late, but Simon Birmingham says Deves preselection has seen the Liberal party pay a price:
I think the 2019 election result in Warringah was a devastating one for the Liberal party, to see a former Liberal party leader in Tony Abbott to lose there and as comprehensively as he did but to see to my’s Liberal vote go backward and appeared to be going backwards to the tune of 7% I think sends a clear message and in the case of Warringah, we have seen the issues that are played out there, I think it sends a message about what Australians believe when it comes to issues of respect, of inclusion, of diversity, and the message is Australians want people to respect their lives but they also want to have a strong and profound respect for the lives of others under the circumstances of others and I think what we are seeing there is a strong message, and I fear that the impact in Warringah may have had something of a contagion effect on adjacent seats that hold the right values but may be a dear for that seat.
Q: It sounds like you are sending a clear message to some members of your own party.
I think these are issues we will have to clearly address. We want to make sure we improve the Liberal vote and are competitive to win back safe seats like Warringah and ensure that we hold seats like North Sydney and Wentworth and we have to have not just candidates who reflect those values, as Dave Sharma and Trent Zimmerman unquestionably do, but have to make sure that the party appreciates those values.
Zali Steggall set to win Warringah
Zali Steggall has looked like she has taken Warringah quite comfortably. She was against Katherine Deves, Scott Morrison’s handpicked candidate.
Steggall tells the ABC:
I certainly hope we will have more community independents in this parliament and actually more representation because ultimately, having more diversity in this parliament, we will address more of the issues that matter to our community so we are seeing, and I must say the feedback from the community and voters, I’ve been out for the last two weeks of prepoll and out at about 18 booths today, the feedback very much was people are really frustrated.
Cost of living issues but also climate change, simply did not feature in the policies and platforms from the major parties and in particular from Scott Morrison. It’s like he forgot that over the last three years, we were ravaged by bushfires and floods and somehow, it was swept under the carpet. Diminish his care.
Communities are turning to alternatives and whether that was frustration around the vaccination and Covid and imposter put on people or whether it is that big concern for big issues, they are looking for alternatives to the major parties.
More seats to watch – it is early. VERY early.
But Labor is leading in:
Dickson (just take this moment)
7 News makes a projection in favour of LNP on the seat of Cook, where Morrison is currently sitting member.
With 12% of the vote counted, Mark Riley has pointed to an 8.1% swing against the prime minister “in his own seat”.
Still, we can confidently say Scott Morrison will retain his seat.
At the Labor reception in Reid, volunteers pack into the reception room at the Canada Bay Club in Sydney’s inner west. As the results begin trickling in, loud cheers greet anything positive for Labor.
But undercutting the strong feelings is a palpable nervousness, rooted in the last election. One volunteer said she wouldn’t dare be hopeful yet, regardless of polling leading into the election.
We don’t want a repeat of 2019. We thought Labor were going to win last time, and two hours later, it was heartbreak.
Tim, another volunteer who door-knocked extensively with Labor candidate Sally Sitou, said he felt compelled to “help out” after the 2019 loss.
I don’t think anyone really knows what will happen here tonight. Sally is such a great candidate, very hard working, and resonated with locals.
He added that in areas such as Drummoyne and Five Dock, more affluent areas of Reid which could be expected to lean more conservative, residents had told them they were most concerned about climate change.
They were saying climate change is a really big issue to them, and there was a generally pretty good response.
Seats in flux
Another handful of interesting seats – keep an eye on these:
- Cowper - This seat covers Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour, and independent Caz Heise looks competitive. She’s currently polling 27.4% compared with 36% for the sitting Nationals MP Pat Conaghan. But we don’t have a TCP count between them, as the AEC is counting Labor v Nationals.
- Lyons – At the moment there is a 6.06% swing to the Liberal party in this central Tasmanian seat, which is putting them narrowly ahead, with 13/80 booths reporting.
- Gilmore - There is a 5.9% swing to Liberal candidate Andrew Constance, from 14/64 booths.
- Dawson - There’s a 3.9% TCP swing to Labor in this Mackay-area seat, but that’s nowhere near enough to make it competitive.
- Hunter - There’s a small swing to Labor in the NSW coal industry seat where they suffered a big swing in 2019 and there was concern that they would lose the seat after the retirement of Joel Fitzgibbon.
- Wentworth -–We don’t have TCP counts yet, but Allegra Spender is a long way ahead of Dave Sharma on primary votes.
On 7 News Barnaby Joyce is live, saying:
I think you’re gonna be in for a big surprise.”
Joyce describes two seperate elections: “A regional Australian election and urban.”.
On regional, Joyce sees a “real sense of anger verging on disconnect”.
If [Labor] don’t win regional seats they won’t win the election. They just can’t”
We have just called:
Bean for Labor
Groom for the LNP
Wannon for Liberal
Here’s a video of Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese making their final pitches to voters earlier today before casting their ballots. Albo’s dog, Toto, makes a late appearance too.
(Albanese had wanted Toto in his earlier campaign ads but that was vetoed.)
The Liberal party is desperately hoping that it can win back the NSW south coast seat of Gilmore, after it preselected the former NSW transport minister Andrew Constance as its candidate.
Still early days, but with 10 of 64 booths counted, Constance is recording a 6% swing towards him which would be enough to win back the seat from Labor’s Fiona Phillips, who has a 2.6% margin.
On primary votes, Constance’s vote is up the same amount as the Nationals vote is down – 12%.
The Nats did not run a candidate at this election. Labor’s primary is down about 3%, while One Nation’s vote is up 4%.
Keep an eye on Cowper in NSW – the independent challenger Carolyn Heise is doing very, very well against the Nationals incumbent.
Very well. “Caz” was one of the independents who took advice and mentorship from Cathy McGowan.
Queensland LNP senator James McGrath makes a bold prediction on Sky.
We are going to be here until midnight. We’re not going to have a result until next week.
Former Labor senator Graham Richardson is much more confident about early swings towards Labor.
I’m prepared to put my hand up and say we’re home. Where’s the champagne.
Bridget McKenzie says early numbers out of Braddon suggest Gavin Pearce may hold the seat. With 1.91% of the vote counted, there’s a 1.56% swing to the Liberal party.
There are a lot of seats with votes coming in now, but there are a few I want to highlight:
- Flynn – At the moment the LNP is on track for a 2.1% margin, which is a swing of 6.55% against them, with 15/78 booths reporting. Too early and close to call.
- Monash – A 4.7% swing against Liberal MP Russell Broadbent, leaving him with a margin of 2.1%, with 11/74 booths reporting. Probably enough to hold on, but also too early.
- Braddon – with 8/74 booths reporting, there is basically no swing so far. Encouraging for the Liberal incumbent.
- Indi – Independent Helen Haines held her seat by a slim margin, but at the moment she has a swing towards her of 7.6% from 9/77 booths with a two-candidate-preferred count.
Back to Tim Wilson’s angry night – he is very, very unhappy with the independent challengers:
What we know is that the they campaigned on a platform of three things. Obviously those things broadly resonate with the community, but it was also a campaign based frankly on deception.
I literally approved the establishment of Australia’s offshore wind industry, yet they ran a constant smear campaign that we weren’t taking action on climate change. When you presented them with the facts, they said it was irrelevant because it doesn’t suit their narrative. It is always disappointing when those types of people one a campaign, but that’s the nature of politics but it doesn’t stack up.
(Wilson led the franking credits campaign in the last campaign which took quite a lot of support from Labor.)
Early seat calls
We have just called:
Calare for Nationals
Gippsland for Nationals
Kennedy for Katter’s Australia party
Maranoa for the LNP
New England for Nationals
Riverina for Nationals
Wright for the LNP
All of these going to the incumbents.
There are only four of 71 polling booths returned in the crucial NSW seat of Hunter, but the early results would be welcome by the Labor party, with its candidate Dan Repacholi recording a 1.5% swing towards him on a two-party-preferred basis. On a first-preference basis, Labor’s primary vote is steady compared to 2019, while One Nation’s vote has dropped 10%.
Independent Stuart Bonds is tracking at 7% and the Greens are up 1.5%. The United Australia party vote is at 4%.
Barnaby Joyce told Sky News earlier that he believed “it’s on” in the Hunter.
It’s well and truly in play.
Tim Wilson does not seem to be having a good night.
He is most likely facing a loss to independent and former ABC journalist, Zoe Daniel.
Every election is tough. You have to go out and earn the trust of the community for another three years, what we’ve seen is an unholy alliance come together – GetUp, Extinction Rebellion, Labor party, the Greens all abandoning their traditional stance to back a former ABC journalist, and when you aggregate everything, about $3m for campaign support, for one objective – to remove me from parliament and to remove Goldstein from Liberal hands, so it is the unholy alliance and the desperate moves made that have led this to an interesting contest.
Anthony Albanese’s election night event at the Canterbury RSL in Sydney is starting to warm up. More than 100 hardcore true believers have already made their way in, ahead of an expected crowd of more than 800. A number of core staff from Albanese’s team and the Labor campaign HQ are also here.
The drinks menu is already on-brand – with buckets of the “Albo” pale ale from local brewer Willie The Boatman on offer.
The red cans feature the picture of so-called “hot Albo” from the Labor leader’s youth, and are printed with the blurb: “A hardworking beer, named just for him. He’s the last of a rare breed of pollies and an all-round good bloke.”
The beer is described as having a “clean and long-lasting flavour”, with a pale malt and corn base.
In North Sydney, independent Kylea Tink’s campaign say they have been told by the Australian Electoral Commission that it intends to begin the two-party-preferred count as a race between her and the incumbent Liberal, Trent Zimmerman, although Labor also has hopes of taking the seat.
This is a small boost for Tink as it indicates that the AEC thinks Tink will have more primary votes than Labor.
However, Labor remains hopeful of defying history in the lower North Shore seat. It has fielded Catherine Renshaw, a human rights lawyer, who has strong roots in the community and by all accounts has run a strong campaign.
In the past the AEC has had to reset the two-party-preferred count, because of changes as to who is running first, second and third.
Tink will benefit from preferences from the Greens, who put her ahead of Labor as they did in all the teal races. But Green voters are notorious for doing their own thing on preferences.
We may not have a result tonight, particularly if the race is tight between Tink and Renshaw for second place.
Extremely interesting results have come in from the first booth in the crucial seat of Bass in northern Tasmania.
While it is only one booth and this is no indication of what will happen at the end of the night, it’s worth looking at because it shows the influence of the Jacqui Lambie Network which is running in lower house seats for the first time, and the strong showing of other independents.
It shows that Labor’s primary vote has fallen almost 10%, with Jacqui Lambie picking up 7%, One Nation picking up 8% and independent George Razay picking up 5%. The Liberal primary is also down 2%.
Liberal senator Hollie Hughes has made her election prediction on Channel 10. She thinks the Coalition will nab 75 seats, with Labor securing 68 and eight going to other candidates – securing the Liberals a minority government.
Labor MP Stephen Jones says it’s “extraordinary” that the best the Coalition can hope for is a hung parliament in a year in which almost all state incumbents have been returned.
I think it’s going to be close and I think it’s a tribute to Anthony Albanese and the team who have brought the Labor party to the position we are – this is a Covid election. An election that’s only months since we were going through the Omicron crisis throughout Australia.
I think Labor is very competitive … if you asked me to pick a seat that will be an indicator on the night, it will be Reid in New South Wales. Brisbane in Queensland, Boothby and Chisholm.
Jones says he also believes Zali Steggall will be returned in Warringah and Labor may be able to pick up enough seats to form a majority government.
I like our chances in Western Australia and Pearce and Swan. We’ll retain Solomon and Lingiari I think. Leichhardt is in play in Queensland. Ryan is and Longman is in play. In central Queensland, I like Flynn.
Minister for families and social services, Anne Ruston, says she doesn’t think it will be “beyond” the Liberals to win in their own right but it is “very difficult” to secure a fourth term in office.
I don’t think it’s an unreasonable outcome but it will be tight.
With the polls closed in South Australia, and Labor optimistic they will pluck the prize seat of Boothby from the Liberal party, independent Jo Dyer says she’s happy with how her campaign went, but sounds pessimistic about her chances.
She says it was always a “high mountain to climb” for an independent to win in Boothby.
Realistically, with the polls now closed, [I can say] we fought a great campaign, we’ve added a lot of spice … we’ve taken the fight to both of them and kept them on their toes.
I don’t detect a real shift away from the major parties, in the way there was more broadly on the east coast. But there’s been a lot of warmth and enthusiasm for people taking them on.
Dyer has directed preferences to the Greens, then Labor, and says as an independent you measure success in a number of ways.
Packing my bags for Canberra would have been the ultimate. But it’s been a really good experience.
Over in Gilmore –
It is very early. I stress very, very early.
But 2.1% of the vote has been counted in Gilmore and the booths which have reported are leaning towards Andrew Constance, the Liberal challenger.
It’s very early days, but in the first two booths counted in the former bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, Labor is recording a 7.4% swing towards it.
The seat was badly burnt during the black summer bushfires, and was where Scott Morrison received the cold shoulder when he visited the disaster-struck community of Cobargo.
While only two of 87 polling booths have so far been counted, the early results are good news for the incumbent Labor MP Kristy McBain.
The Greens election night event has kicked off at a bar in Melbourne’s docklands.
A strong trickle of supporters and volunteers has been coming through the door and the mood is notably upbeat.
They are expecting a big swing.
Greens leader Adam Bandt said the party was hoping to keep his seat of Melbourne and pick up the seats of Brisbane and Richmond in northern NSW.
We’ve run hard in those seats and we will find out soon enough what the results are.
They are also hoping to pick up three Senate spots – in Queensland, NSW and South Australia.
We are on track to hold the balance of power in the Senate.
If we manage that we’ll be the biggest third party in the Senate.
Bandt said the feedback on the polling booths was that a lot of people were voting Greens for the first time because of climate change and the party’s “alternative economic policy”.
Climate 200 founder Simon Holmes à Court is speaking on Sky about the chances of the independents, saying he believes Wentworth, held by Liberal MP Dave Sharma is the party’s best chance.
I would be happy if we got two, three or four communities that had strong independents taking the flag tonight,” he told Sky News.
Holmes à Court also said he would also be happy to see previously safe seats become marginal, saying it would be “very exciting to see”.
He said that Climate 200 had raised just over $12m for this election, and he had personally given about 2% of this, but pointed to the thousands of donors who were backing the cause.
A very important feature of election-night counting is the two-candidate-preferred (TCP) count.
The AEC picks two candidates in advance, and after the primary votes are counted in each booth they move on to conducting a count between those two candidates. This allows us to know how preferences will flow, assuming that those two candidates end up coming in the top two after the formal distribution of preferences, something that isn’t conducted for weeks.
It’s a very handy way to speed up the results process and is necessary to call many seats. But sometimes the AEC gets the TCP count wrong, and they have to restart the next day. Indeed sometimes we don’t know who belongs in the TCP until every vote is counted after a few weeks.
But most of the time it works well.
Typically the TCP is between Labor and Coalition, but we now know who is in the TCP for the 124 seats on the east coast of Australia, and there are 16 seats where the race is “non-classic”, ie a race between a major party and an independent or minor party.
The AEC is including One Nation in the TCP in Maranoa, where they came second in 2019. They are also including the Greens against Labor in Melbourne, Grayndler, Wills and Cooper, all inner-city seats. Three of these counts are against Labor, but in Melbourne they are conducting a count between Greens MP Adam Bandt and the Liberal party.
And then there are 11 independents included in the TCP count. This includes three incumbents, but it’s interesting where the AEC has decided an independent is strong enough to include in the run-off count:
- Fowler (Dai Le)
- Mackellar (Sophie Scamps)
- North Sydney (Kylea Tink)
- Warringah (Zali Steggall)
- Wentworth (Allegra Spender)
- Hinkler (Jack Dempsey)
- Clark (Andrew Wilkie)
- Goldstein (Zoe Daniel)
- Indi (Helen Haines)
- Kooyong (Monique Ryan)
- Nicholls (Rob Priestly)
Barnaby Joyce is on the ABC explaining how independents are “self-indulgent and selfish”.
This is from the man who crossed the floor almost as much as he changed pants as a senator in the Howard government, and who sat as a miserable ghost sewing discontent after losing the leadership, before regaining it and holding the entire country to ransom over climate change.
To both sides – if you believe independents are the way to go – I’m so angry with this, because it’s self-indulgent and selfish. If you believe independents are the way to go, let’s have 151 of them, let’s have total chaos in – 151 – let’s have total chaos in the parliament.
We know we would be a laughing stock. So it’s almost a sense of, well, if you vote Labor, you will vote and stick there, and we know you will, because the party here, and Nationals and Liberals, you will stick there and we have a right to go in the middle whichever way we want, whenever we like. That is so selfish.
At the same time James McGrath is saying that messages are coming in from Queensland Labor sources that they are very worried about Griffith, with a late surge of support to the Greens.
The Greens took the seat of South Brisbane in the state parliament, which is in the same area as the federal electorate of Griffith and turfed the former deputy premier, Jackie Trad, out of the parliament. So the threat has always been there for Labor, but it seems to have stepped up again in recent days.
Liberal senator James McGrath has claimed on Sky News that Labor volunteers have been pulled from the seat of Bonner to help Terri Butler in the seat of Griffith, where Labor is facing a challenge from the Greens.
Labor senator Murray Watt said he was unaware this had happened, but said there was no doubt the party was facing a tough contest in the seat.
The other thing I am hearing from across the political divide and nation is: the third party vote.
There has been a lot of support for Clive Palmer’s party over the last couple of days. They are judging that by the amount of people who only took UAP how-to-vote cards. That has a lot of people worried, because they don’t know where that vote goes after UAP.
For example, in Queensland last election, the LNP won with a lot of help from the third-party vote – mostly UAP. It meant the LNP ended up with 23 of the state’s 30 seats.
So that is why people are worried about the minor party vote.
One booth in Leichhardt (far-north Queensland) has reported a 9% vote to UAP (Daintree, small booth, but it’s the first one coming in).
Prepolls are not scientific and have been wrong plenty of times – they don’t tend to ask a crosssection of people.
But here is what one Labor source is saying at this point: “Very positive” early prepoll in Deakin, McEwen, Chisholm, Corangamite and Higgins.
Let’s take a look at the final prepoll vote totals and the postal vote statistics.
About 5.54m pre-poll votes were cast in 2022, breaking the record of 4.77m from 2019.
More than 900,000 prepoll votes were cast on Friday, exceeding the previous record of just over 700,000 on the last Friday in 2019.
The final number of postal vote applications was 2.73m, up from about 1.6m in 2019.
About three-quarters of applications ended up producing a postal vote in 2019 (since some voters did not vote or cast a ballot using a different method). At this point, almost 1.8m postal votes have been returned.
There will be more postal votes returned next week – I would guess the number will end up around 2m, adding up to a total of 7.5m early votes, compared with 6m early votes in 2019.
It’s worth noting that in 2019 the postal vote count levelled off at the start of the last week. This year we saw a sudden spike of more than 100,000 late applications, presumably due to Covid-19 isolation. I suspect the return rate on those ballots will be low.
What is counted tonight?
Let’s let the AEC explain:
- All votes cast today will be counted tonight.
- The majority of prepoll votes cast will also be counted tonight.
- There will be large prepoll counts that will not be available until late in the night.
- All counting will cease at midnight local time.
And yes, I know – what about postals?
- 2.7 million postal vote applications were received this federal election, up from 1.5 million in 2019.
- Postal votes are not counted tonight.
- The first small postal vote counts will be available from Sunday afternoon.
- This is earlier than previously when postal counts did not occur until the Tuesday.
- The AEC is at its limits of recruitment (105,000 staff) and WHS responsibilities.
The Senate will also be interesting.
Up for grabs is the sixth spot in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania.
The under-the-line campaign for Eric Abetz has been Murph’s favourite sub campaign of the campaign – he wants this very badly. But he is up against the Jacqui Lambie candidate who has been working very hard with Lambie to get it.
The Queensland sixth spot is a race between the Greens, UAP, Amanda Stoker (assistant minister for women) and Labor (who are hoping for some sort of margin correction in the popular vote to get them across the line).
And in Victoria, there are whispers that the UAP has captured a lot of the “freedom” and “disgruntled” vote, giving them a chance.
Seats to watch
There have been a few requests for this, so a quick list of seats to watch.
Werriwa. If the Liberals pull this one off, as some think they might, it means Scott Morrison’s strategy to target the outer suburban seats is working. Along with that – Reid, Parramatta and Fowler.
Goldstein. Tim Wilson looks like he might be exiting the parliament.
Curtin. The surprise one to watch. Independent Kate Chaney has put up a very strong challenge.
Wentworth, North Sydney and Kooyong look like they will be safe for the Liberals, but only just.
Mackellar. Jason Falinski has a fight on his hands.
All of Tasmania – especially Bass, Braddon and Lyons (three of the five).
Western Australia – Swan and Pearce are the ones Labor has a big chance in.
Boothby – will this be the election Labor finally pulls it off?
Brisbane and Ryan – big Green vote could see a change.
Chisholm – marginal that Labor has thrown a lot at.
There are more, but that is what we are watching for a start.
East coast polls are closed
Good evening and welcome to the count.
Amy Remeikis with you tonight, with the Canberra Guardian team and the entire Guardian brains trust.
We will bring you all the results as they come in and let you know what we are hearing from the sidelines.
It is going to be a wild night.
Well, what a night we have in store. And to take you through it, of course, is the inestimable Amy Remeikis, the best blogger in the business.
Thanks for sticking with me today. It was eventful, to say the least.
Sharma defends Morrison's no-show in Wentworth
In the key seat of Wentworth, Liberal Dave Sharma has defended the decision of Scott Morrison not to appear with him to campaign.
Sharma is trying to defend the seat on a tiny margin of 1.3%, facing a tough test from teal independent Allegra Spender.
AAP reports that Sharma spoke outside a polling booth in Wentworth today, defending Morrison’s decision to stay out of the seat, saying he had received lots of support from senior cabinet ministers.
“He’s the prime minister. He’s the leader of our party, he’s got 151 potential electorates to campaign in ... he’s got to go where he can have most impact,” he said.
As you settle in for election night, a reminder of the seats to watch from our reporter Caitlin Cassidy.
Our reporters have been out to a significant slab of these critical seats, gauging views and testing the temperature of voters.
The series – called Anywhere but Canberra – is excellent and highly recommended.
You can read it here.
Need to declare a slight bias here, but it really is quite an excellent team we have in Guardian HQ currently.
We’ve got you well and truly covered for the night to come, dear readers.
Twenty minutes until polls close!
Love to see this extremely useful exchange between two pillars of our democratic system at this very quiet and unimportant point in the electoral calendar.
Labor’s election night event is being held at an RSL club in the heart of Anthony Albanese’s seat of Grayndler.
It hasn’t started yet, officially, but people are starting to filter in already – with the national media setting up at the scene to give live crosses into their own election night coverage.
The room is almost empty now but more than 800 people are expected tonight. Labor picked this location because this is supposedly the biggest room available in Albanese’s electorate.
He likely won’t be seen in public, or give a speech, until much later in the night – when he’ll claim victory, concede defeat, or tell everyone to go to bed because it’s too close to call.
Labor staff at the scene here are bracing for a late night, and not necessarily expecting a result tonight. One factor that has people concerned is the counting of telephone votes, for people isolating with Covid – the AEC has confirmed those votes won’t be counted until “late next week”, and with many tens of thousands of those votes registered, it could make a significant difference in more than a few tight seats.
“Scott Morrisham” and “Anthony Oinkanese”. Great stuff out of regional Queensland.
Australians casting their ballots in London said climate change and the cost of living were among the issues swaying their vote in the federal election.
Suzanna Ryan, 73, said voting for the Labor party was “a no-brainer” as she was concerned about misogyny and corruption.
Improving Australia’s climate policy was the main issue for 30-year-old Anna Higgins.
Liberal voters Joe Hart, 23, and Mac Jenkins, 20, said their ballot was influenced by how their families traditionally vote.
Our reporter Josh Butler is at Labor’s election night event in Grayndler. It’s empty, obviously, but will be packed out soon.
While we’re on Labor, Google has released a series of terms voters used to search for information about the party in the past 24 hours.
They are ... disheartening.
The questions include:
- Why is Labor spelt without a “u”?
- How many seats will Labor win?
- Who is in the Labor party?
- Is ScoMo (part of the) Labor party?
- What is the Labor party Australia?
For the Liberals, common questions were:
- Who is in the Liberal party Australia?
- Are the Greens Liberal or Labor?
- What does the Liberal party stand for in Australia?
- Who is the head of the Liberal party?
- Is Scott Morrison a Liberal democrat?
Scare campaigns, legal action and phone voting: polling day 2022
Less than an hour to go until polls close.
Let’s take stock of an eventful day.
- the Liberals have run a last-minute scare campaign on asylum seekers, sending text messages to voters across key electorates warning of the dangers Labor poses on border security. Their campaign was described as “absolutely disgusting” by refugee advocate and football great Craig Foster
- Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese spent the morning in marginal electorates in Victoria, before flying back to Sydney to vote in their home electorates.
- In his last press conference of the campaign, Albanese said he wanted to “change politics … to change the way it operates” and was “very positive about and hopeful about a good outcome”.
- Morrison used his last press conference to say the election has “never been about me or my feelings or anything like that. It’s always been about the Australian people. That’s what our government is all about and will continue to be about.”
- Labor successfully sought a federal court order to remove misleading signage in marginal Victorian electorates, including Higgins, which used the Greens party colours and told voters to put Labor last.
- The phone voting system for Covid-positive cases appears to have held up well, despite the added demand, with users reporting a relatively quick and seamless service. Those affected by floods in northern NSW and hospital inpatients had some disruption to their ability to vote.
Down in Tasmania, long-term senator Eric Abetz is facing a nervous wait to learn whether he will be returned.
Abetz is now third on the Liberals’ ticket and is not guaranteed a return to the Senate, where he has sat since 1994, AAP reports.
The support I’ve had has been very heartening.
[I’m] always nervous on election day and it’s up to the people to decide.
Abetz, an influential Tasmanian conservative powerbroker, was demoted to third place in a shock preselection vote last year.
His outer ministry Senate colleague Jonno Duniam is in first place, and senator Wendy Askew is in second.
It was widely speculated that Abetz and Duniam would take the top two positions at the next federal election, with Askew in third.
Karen Andrews, the home affairs minister, spoke to reporters a little earlier.
She denied the text message campaign the Liberals have run today on asylum seekers was “scaremongering”.
This is a reality. And it has been demonstrated by the two attempts that we are aware of. We don’t know if there are any other attempts that have been made over the last few days.”
We have seen now the risks that people are prepared to take to come to Australia by boat because they think there is potential for a Labor government to be elected today.
It may seem unlikely, but there’s a strong turnout by the United Australia party in the seats being contested by the so-called teal independents in Sydney’s northern beaches.
The reason? Lots of young voters and small businesses affected by the lockdowns, the wellness crowd concerned about vaccine mandates and less engaged voters who have been wooed by the yellow ads.
According to people in Liberal Jason Falinski’s camp, the UAP vote is as high as 7-8 % in the beachside seat of Mackellar and with preferences expected to run heavily in favour of the Liberals it might make the difference to his political future.
Ironic that a coal magnate like Clive Palmer could be the salvation of a Liberal moderate in a seat better known as home to laidback surfers.
AAP has this report from the west, where the WA premier, Mark McGowan, has predicted his state will decide the election:
When it comes to deciding the next federal government, West Australian voters have the power, premier Mark McGowan says.
The Labor leader says voters in his state could “very easily” determine the outcome of Saturday’s poll.
“If Western Australia does play that role, it will mean we are once again front and centre in national consideration,” McGowan told reporters after voting at Safety Bay primary school in Perth.
Labor has campaigned heavily in WA, with leader Anthony Albanese making four visits to the state since the hard border opened in March, and the ALP held its formal campaign launch in Perth for the first time since 1940.
On Friday, Scott Morrison spent his last full day of campaigning in Perth, a sign Liberal party strategists also believe the state could be crucial in determining the outcome.
Labor insiders remain confident the party can win three Liberal-held WA seats: Swan, Pearce and Hasluck.
McGowan said picking up more seats would lead to more attention being paid to the needs of WA, but noted he couldn’t remember the last time it had determined a federal election outcome.
The state, which has 15 of the 151 lower house seats, has long been a federal Coalition stronghold.
McGowan has previously denied Albanese is trying to piggyback off his own popularity, after he won a landslide victory in March 2021.
In the seat of Mackellar, which stretches from Dee Why north to Palm Beach, the community independent Dr Sophie Scamps has rolled out a ground game that outnumbers the Liberals by about three to one.
Scamps, accompanied by the former Rural Fire Service chief and climate campaigner Greg Mullins, and the Liberal MP, Jason Falinski, who holds the seat by a 13% margin, were both campaigning during the afternoon at Narraweena public school.
Asked whether he was optimistic about holding the blue-ribbon seat, Falinski said:“No I am not.”
It’s up to the voter now. I am not under any delusion that I have been outgunned by a lot of money, a lot of paid volunteers and a lot of signage. Let’s be kind and call it misinformation that has permeated throughout the campaign. That’s been hard to counter.
But Falinski said he was getting good feedback from voters under 25, older voters and young families during pre-poll.
I have been really gratified by the number of people who have come up and said I met you at this, I heard about the thing you did, you or your office helped me get out of the country when my grandmother was dying. So win, lose or draw, I will go out knowing that I had done my primary job as a local MP.
Scamps’ volunteer army (she denied they were paying people) is heavily dominated by women. Her Dr Sophie posters, are carrying the tag line: “Trust your local doctor.”
It’s been exciting, particularly over the last two weeks of pre-poll.
People are ready for change. Where this came from is people feel they have been ignored and taken for granted for so long. People are excited that they now have an alternative and can have their views heard and have them taken to Canberra. They say they have never seen anything like it in Mackellar.
The fight for Mackellar could well come down to postal votes but it’s definitely one to watch, particularly as there seems to be a relatively strong United Australia party vote that could help return the seat to the Liberals.
Those Liberal asylum seeker texts are also being received in the electorate of Hughes, the United Australia party leader Craig Kelly’s seat.
So that’s Banks, Gilmore, Corangamite, Bennelong and Hughes that we know of.
From a Guardian spy in the seat of Hunter, we’ve had this cracker sign sent in – a life-size corflute of the 6 foot 8 inch tall Dan Repacholi, Labor’s candidate and Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
We’re told Repacholi’s campaign has printed out numerous copies of these signs, plastering them across the NSW marginal seat so supporters can take a selfie. Eagle-eyed readers of Guardian Australia’s daily campaign briefing series might recognise this as one half of the photo Repacholi took with Labor leader Anthony Albanese in the campaign’s first week, as the pair stood back-to-back in a Hunter manufacturing facility.
Repacholi, a former miner and tradesman, towered over his boss. But at over two metres tall, there wouldn’t be many people around that Repacholi wouldn’t tower over.
The AEC has distributed a helpful Q&A about the counting process, which begins after 6pm.
I’ve copied it here:
What is counted tonight?
- All votes cast today will be counted tonight
- The majority of pre-poll votes cast will also be counted tonight
- There will be large pre-poll counts that will not be available until late in the night
- All counting will cease at midnight local time
What about postal votes?
- 2.7 million postal vote applications were received this federal election, up from 1.5 million in 2019
- Postal votes are not counted tonight
- The first small postal vote counts will be available from Sunday afternoon
- This is earlier than previously when postal counts did not occur until the Tuesday
- The AEC is at its limits of recruitment (105,000 staff) and WHS responsibilities
Will there be a result tonight?
- Two out of the previous four federal elections have not seen a clear result on election night
- If the result is close, we may not know who forms Government tonight
- The AEC never declares seats on election night, legally we cannot.
When can seats be legally declared?
- A seat has never been legally declared in the first few days following election day
- To declare a seat formally the margin in the contest has to be bigger than the total of votes potentially left to be counted
- A mandatory secondary count of every ballot paper has to occur before a formal declaration
People cut off by floods in northern NSW, particularly at Crabbes Creek near Brunswick Heads, are struggling to get to polling booths.
Flash flooding has affected the area and some residents are struggling to get to the the Crabbes Creek Community Hall polling centre in the seat of Richmond, held by Labor MP Justine Elliot.
The AEC said circumstances are “difficult” and has urged residents to prioritise their safety.
NSW Liberals confirm they are sending voters text messages about asylum seeker boats
And, just for the record, our reporter Paul Karp has confirmed with the NSW Liberals that they are responsible for pushing out those text messages about asylum seekers.
The AEC has also confirmed the messages are properly authorised and breach no rules.
Just back on the 11th-hour asylum seeker scare campaign being run by the Liberals, it seems the party’s text messages have been received in Gilmore, Corangamite, Bennelong and Banks, though it is likely more widespread.
For the last two weeks, researchers from the Mawson Station in Antarctica have been casting their ballots for the 2022 federal election.
Station leader, Rebecca Jeffcoat, said it was important for her crew of researchers – who live and work in one of the most remote and isolated locations on the planet – to “feel part of their country”.
Across Australia today, voters will line up at community centres, schools and RSL halls to cast their ballots.
While some consider it a chore that cuts into their weekend, for people living on outer fringes of civilisation their right to participate in the democratic process is their chance to be heard.
The Antarctic crew has set up a phone booth, complete with a stunning view of the tundra, for the 15 “wintering” personnel to cast their votes.
The team’s doctor has taken on the electoral officer role and the station even plans to hold a traditional election day sausage sizzle. Jeffcoat:
Everyone has differing allegiances to the political parties because we’re all from such different backgrounds. It has certainly made for some interesting dinner conversations … but no arguments yet!.
The Australian Electoral Commission has been working to ensure that every voter is able to cast their vote.
This challenge has been further complicated by the continued spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent staff shortages and logistical challenges that brings.
In Antarctica, where postal votes have been used in the past, phone voting will be used this year.
Each expeditioner has registered for a special login and password, making a declaration that we are ‘workers in Antarctica’.
When phoning in our vote we use our registration details; allowing for a secret vote as the call centre operator doesn’t know our name or address.
A bit of colour from the festival of democracy today. Only a few hours now until polls close.
In this educational video, Solange the greyhound demonstrates the correct procedure for eating a democracy sausage.
Reports of Liberal party election day text messages on asylum seeker boats
Multiple people are reporting receiving election day messages from the Liberals, running a scare campaign on the back of asylum seekers.
We’ve sought comment from the New South Wales Liberals.
National Covid-19 update
Here are the latest coronavirus case numbers from around Australia on Saturday, as the country records 46 deaths from Covid-19
In hospital: 89 (with 3 people in ICU)
In hospital: 1,187 (with 41 people in ICU)
In hospital: 19 (with 2 people in ICU)
In hospital: 420 (with 12 people in ICU)
In hospital: 211 (with 11 people in ICU)
In hospital: 50 (with 1 person in ICU)
In hospital: 552 (with 25 people in ICU)
In hospital: 301 (with 12 people in ICU)
Well, this is lovely.
We asked Guardian readers yesterday who they thought would win today’s election. In this (very unscientific) poll of 813 readers, 66% thought Labor would win a majority, 26.1% pointed to a hung parliament and just 5.6% believed it would end in a Coalition majority.
Respondents thought Labor would end up with 76 seats (just enough to form government), while the Coalition would end up with 66 seats, leaving the crossbench with nine.
We also polled readers on a number of key seats. They overwhelming believed Labor would win in Brisbane, Braddon, Boothby, Reid, Swan, Chisholm and Gilmore, and independents would triumph in Goldstein, Wentworth and Kooyong.
It’s only a few hours now until we find out how accurate their predictions are.
Snags abound, this time round.
Young Australian Desiree tried to talk to Scott Morrison about climate change this morning as he cast his vote at Lilli Pilli public school, in the electorate of Cook.
In news that will shock no one, he didn’t stop to chat.
Meanwhile, Australians who were admitted to hospital unexpectedly in the lead-up to the election have found themselves struggling to cast a ballot.
The Australian Electoral Commission announced before the campaign that it would not be sending mobile teams into hospitals to take votes in the lead-up to polling day, in an attempt to balance voting access with the risk of spreading Covid in vulnerable settings.
Those on long-term hospital stays were told to either vote early or use postal voting.
But the change has caught out Australians who went to hospital unexpectedly in recent days, who had not pre-polled or postal voted, and have no access to telephone voting, a service only available to Covid positive cases.
Dr Katy Barnett, a legal academic in Melbourne, was hospitalised unexpectedly on Thursday with a lung infection unrelated to Covid. When she realised she would be in hospital on polling day, she reached out to the AEC to ask whether she could use the phone voting service.
They told her she could not.
The nurses at her hospital initially believed that mobile polling teams – which typically visit health facilities in the lead-up to polling day – would be arriving as usual. They later learned the AEC had aborted the practice for the 2022 election.
Barnett said she and other patients were “caught unawares”.
I am surprised by how distraught I am at the thought of being unable to vote. I have never missed a vote before – even when I lived in England.”
You can read the full story here:
Thank you Nino, and happy democracy day to you and everyone following along.
I’m going to begin by drawing your attention back to this remarkable, last-minute attempt to politicise humans seeking asylum.
Interestingly, Saturday Paper journalist Karen Middleton reports that she received a message last month from a Sri Lankan-Australian man alleging two boats had left Sri Lanka for Australia. The passengers had been loaded under the watch of police and that they were due to arrive just before 21 May as “an election stunt”.
Middleton says she has been unable to verify the allegation. The Guardian has also not verified the report.
That’s it from me, thanks for reading. Christopher Knaus, a true afficionado of election day smallgoods if ever there was one, will take you through the afternoon.
Anthony Albanese has said he wants to “change politics … to change the way it operates” in Australia, as he gave his last press conference of this election campaign.
“I lead a team that will give Australia a government which Australians will be proud of. My big concern with this government is, what’s there to be proud of?” he told journalists and supporters outside Marrickville town hall, where he cast his vote - obviously for himself, in the seat of Grayndler.
Joined by son Nathan and partner Jodie, the Labor leader called it an “incredible privilege” to run the campaign he had, saying he “loved” the last six weeks (and three years as opposition leader).
Standing in the forecourt of the town hall, with numerous cars along busy Marrickville Road beeping and yelling support for their local member, Albanese said he aimed to stay “grounded” if he won.
Asked by Guardian Australia how he would act as PM while also being the member for Grayndler, he said he’d still try to catch Newtown Jets rugby league games at the local Henson Park whenever he could, and looked forward to rejoining his local tennis competition.
“I’m hoping to get a couple of games in over the next over the next little while,” he laughed.
“My heart is here. I grew up, I’ve lived in this area, the inner west, my whole life.”
In the back of the press conference, several Albanese advisors hugged and smiled, appearing drained after a gruelling campaign. Albanese said he wasn’t being presumptuous about tonight’s outcome, but appeared confident.
“I believe we have the wind at our back, and I’m very positive about and hopeful about a good outcome,” he said.
I guess we’ll find out tonight if people smugglers are as good at political predictions as the defence minister thinks they are.
Anthony Albanese's final press conference of the campaign
Anthony Albanese has spoken to the media for the last time this campaign, after casting his ballot in Grayndler.
Reporter: A lot of Australian voters won’t vote for you today. If you win tonight, you’ll still be their prime minister. What’s your message for people who haven’t supported Labor?
My message is I want to represent all Australians. I want to unite the country. There’s been a lot of division in recent times. It’s one of my criticisms of the current government is that Scott Morrison looks for division and difference rather than unity and common purpose. I want to bring people together and regardless of how people vote in our great democracy, it’s good that people express their views at the ballot box. Once it’s done, then we need to unite and move forward as a nation. I believe that we can.
Reporter: Mr Albanese, if you win tonight, will Toto live at the Lodge or Kirribilli House?
We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. One thing that can be certain is that Toto is a very loyal dog, I think as you have seen here and just the absence of a few minutes means you get a great greeting and it’s very uplifting.
Reporter: Anthony, Mr Albanese, tonight you could be just the fourth Labor leader in about 80 years to win government from opposition. How much is that weighing on your mind, the sense of history tonight?
I feel a great sense of responsibility. I remember as a young boy, when Gough Whitlam won in 72. I just remember my mum telling me that, you know, our team had won. It was a bit like the 71 grand final when our other team won against St George when Souths won. I grew up with a passion for Labor. My mum was a rank-and-file member. Never held a position. I have her life membership certificate in my office. And my grandfather was president of Camperdown of the Labor party. I was raised with three great faiths and Labor was one of them and I’ve held to it my whole life. I believe that Labor governments make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Reporter: Six weeks. It’s been a long campaign. How would you assess your campaign just hours from polls closing?
Well, people will assess it when they cast their votes but we’ve been positive. We put forward a plan for a better future. I still have not seen a poster of Scott Morrison on any polling booth put up by the Liberal party and I’ve been to six states and a territory in the last week.
Reporter: Have you received a message of support from Mr Shorten at all who has been in a similar position?
Yeah, I spoke to Bill this morning on the way to the MCG where I did breakfast TV. Bill knows what it’s like to be opposition leader on election day and Bill rang me to wish me well and we had a good chat. He’s played an important role in the campaign.
Reporter: You spoke about the weight of responsibility. You’re here with your partner, Jody, your son, Nathan, your dog, Toto. How did you sleep last night?
I slept quite well I’ve got to say. Yesterday we began in New South Wales. We began in Marrickville. We went to Adelaide. We went to Launceston. We went to Melbourne. We did the last event – I think we finished with you guys about 8.00 or thereabouts. I did the 7.30 report. I did Raf Epstein down there in Melbourne.
What I wanted to know in myself was that I hadn’t left anything on the field and I’ve done that. I’ve done my best for the cause of Labor I’m passionate about. I feel a sense of responsibility. I think Australians want a change of government and when you have a prime minister who a week ago said vote for him and he’ll be someone different, vote for him and he’ll change. Well, the way that you change the country is to change the government.
Reporter: Over the last three years, you’ve been through the arduous task of streamlining Labor’s platform, bringing the party to the centre, injecting a dose of pragmatism into the agenda. That was controversial in some quarters but now that Labor is standing or you’re standing here in a ... competitive position, do you feel like the strategy has been vindicated?
I said on the day that I became leader that I wanted to head in a different direction. I wanted to talk about the creation of wealth not just its distribution. That I wanted to reach out to the business community as well as to the union movement. I’ve done that. I’ve put us in a position where at worst we’re competitive today. We’re in the hunt here. I must say there were some commentators wrote us off at various times over the last three years. I have done exactly what I said I would do when I went to the National Press Club in 2019 and outlined a fourth quarter strategy, if you like, to use the AFL strategy. I said in the fourth quarter I wanted to kick with the wind at my back. I believe we have the wind at our back and I’m positive and hopeful about a good outcome tonight.
Reporter: One on Grayndler. You talk about the support you’ve gotten in Grayndler.
Without being presumptuous, what sort of local member will you be if you become become prime minister tomorrow? Will we see you at Jets games at Henson Park?
I’ll always make the Jets games at Henson Park when I can. The Sydney-badge district tennis comp started six weeks ago ... it plays around the corner there in Livingstone Road. I haven’t yet made it to the court. I’m hoping to get a couple of games in over the next little while. My heart is here. I’ve lived in this area, the inner west, my whole life. The great thing about this area, as you can see with people voting here today, is it’s a mix of Australia. It reflects it. People from outside sometimes don’t understand it. It is multicultural. It has a mix of professionals and quite wealthy people, who are doing well, but it also has more boarding house residents than any electorate in Australia. It has more artists than any electorate in Australia. It has people who are doing it really tough and people also who have done OK, and what I want to do is to continue to represent them. I don’t take it for granted. That’s why I’m here in Marrickville at Marrickville Town Hall right now. It’s an electorate I love. They’re generous people. They’re demanding, as they should be, of their local member.
Reporter: [I missed the start of this, but I believe it was a question about Liberal-held marginal seats]. Is that a show of confidence that you can flip those? And if you do, what is it about your policy platform that you think will resonate in those suburban and regional states like Tasmania, for example, that hasn’t in terms of what Morrison is offering?
I think we have a plan for the future. This government have scare campaigns over and over again. They can go through my university essays to try and find things they want to run on. People don’t care about that nonsense. They want someone who’s fair dinkum, someone who will fess up if they make a mistake, someone who will try to make things better. This guy won’t even concede. He thinks it’s controversial that a Labor leader says that people on minimum wages should get an extra dollar an hour rather than a real wage cut. To me, of course that’s what I would do. That’s who I am.
Reporter: I know you don’t want to get ahead of yourself, but have you fantasised about Scott Morrison calling you to concede?
No, I haven’t got ahead of myself. I’m making sure that I keep grounded. When you come from where I’ve come from, one of the advantages you have is that you don’t get ahead of yourself. Everything in life is a bonus. Some people have said to me, a couple of people – and I’ll say on the record now what I’ve said privately. You know, it’s a tough campaign, have you found it difficult? I’ve loved it. This is an incredible privilege and an honour to lead the Australian Labor party, a party that I love, a party that I have committed my life to and we’ll see how we go tonight, whether I lead Labor into government. I know that I have given my best, I know I’ve left nothing on the field, I know I lead a team that will give Australia a government of which Australians will be proud.
My big concern with this government is what is there to be proud of? You know, the sort of nonsense that we’ve seen of playing wedge politics against vulnerable people that Scott Morrison’s been prepared to do during this campaign and the other wedge politics throughout this. We’re a better country than that. I want to change politics. Be very clear. I want to change politics. I want to change the way it operates. I want parliament to function properly. I want democracy to function properly. That’s why I’m in this. I’m in it to change the country and that’s what I’m here to do. Thanks very much.
Scott Morrison's final press conference of the campaign
After casting his vote in Cook, Scott Morrison gave his final press conference for the campaign.
He said of his electorate, in Sydney’s south:
I love this community. This community has given me so many opportunities and our family so many opportunities and I’m grateful to my local electorate here in Cook in the Sutherland shire. People here work very hard. So many small business people here.
People building families, building homes, supporting each other as this community always has. It’s got one of the highest rates of volunteerism anywhere in the country.
Strong values and it’s such an honour to be able to represent the local electorate of Cook.
It has been an incredible honour to do that and I look forward to continuing to do it after today especially as we’ve gone to the polls.
At the end of the day, no one gets to serve in the positions that I’ve had the great privilege and seek to continue to have, as prime minister or minister or treasurer, unless you are first supported by your local community.
And this community has informed my values significantly – those values of fair go if you have a go, values of working hard, values of family and community has informed so much of my outlook on the future that I seek for Australia.
So today Australians are making a big choice about their future. They’re making a choice about who they believe is best able to manage the economy, who is best able to manage finances, who is best able to secure that strong economy that’s so critical for a stronger future.
I want aspirations of Australians to be realised and the way that occurs is by backing Australians in, not telling them how to live and what to do and getting government in their face. It’s ensuring you’re backing them in to achieve everything they hope to achieve.
It’s a great honour to be here in my very, very local community here in Lilli Pilli and to see so many friends, some I haven’t seen for a little while –and not just six weeks but a bit longer than that. I want to thank the community here for their tremendous support.
Morrison was asked: “Prime minister, you’ve cast your vote now, campaigning is finished, you’re heading home this afternoon. How are you feeling about your position right now?” He responded:
Well, this election has never been about me or my feelings or anything like that. It’s always been about the Australian people. That’s what our government is all about and will continue to be about.
Because I’ve seen Australians, with Jenny, at their best and in some of the worst of times for them. And on every occasion I have seen the great strength and resilience of Australians, and that’s what pulled through. Supported by a government that believes in Australians, that’s enabled Australia to be one of the strongest-performing economies in the advanced world today. That’s why we have one of the lowest death rates from Covid today and the highest vaccination rates and why we can look to the future with confidence.
I look forward to supporting people in their aspirations, particularly to own their own home. There are many hours of voting to go. If you want to own your own home by getting access to your superannuation, there’s only one way to do that and that’s voting Liberal National today.
Reporter: “A vessel has been intercepted in an attempt to illegally enter Australia from Sri Lanka. What’s your response to that?”
I can confirm that there’s been an interception of a vessel en route to Australia. That vessel has been intercepted in accordance with the policies of government and they’re following those normal protocols and I can simply say this.
I’ve been here to stop this boat but in order for me to be there to stop those that may come from here, you need to vote Liberal and Nationals today. In the interests of full transparency in the middle of an election campaign, the Labor Party was advised of this and a statement has been issued by the border protection authorities.
Reporter: “If you lose tonight, your critics will remember your prime ministership for your handling of Black Saturday, the handling of the start of the vaccine rollout, the handling of the Britney Higgins allegations, sports rorts, carpark rorts, Alan Tudge, Christian Porter. If you lose, how do you want your prime ministership to be remembered?
That will be for others to determine. What I know is each and every day I have approached this job with a great sense of responsibility. On every day I’ve sought to do it with a great sense of humility out of respect for the Australian people who I serve and that’s the same spirit I continue to seek to do that job and I’ve put myself forward for again today.
I’m the first prime minister in a long time that’s been able to go through a term and face the people on a second time and I’m seeking that support because I know this country is facing strong and difficult and challenging times and Australia needs someone who knows how to manage money, knows how to deal with national security interests, knows how to move forward and secure that strong economy because a strong economy means a stronger future. The alternative is a weaker economy. The alternative is, as Labor themselves have confirmed, higher debt and deficit that only puts upward pressure on interest rates and inflation.
We’ve had the opportunity for many press conferences over the course of this election, and right now I’m going to go home and spend some time with my family. Thanks very much everyone.
Perhaps this is part of the shift from bulldozing?
What a shame they sold out.
Anthony Albanese and Scott Morrison are expected to take the rest of the day off after casting their votes, which means they’re giving (or about to give) the last press conferences of the campaign.
More footy analogies for Anthony Albanese in Sydney just now.
Donut go any further if you’re after a baked good with a punny name.
The puns could do with a little work here I reckon ...
Court orders that misleading signs can be removed
The federal court has just ordered that misleading campaign signs in Higgins, an ultra marginal seat in Melbourne, be removed.
The signs, which also appeared in McEwen and Hawke, are designed to appear as Greens campaign material and urge voters to put the ALP last, despite the Greens recommending a vote for the ALP ahead of the Coalition on how-to-vote cards across the country.
Labor sought an urgent injunction to have the material removed immediately, arguing it lacked proper authorisation and represented a “serious and deliberate breach of the provisions of the commonwealth electoral act”.
The court heard the material is authorised by someone named “Hendrick Fourey” and a group named “Business Owners and Contractors Union”, apparently based on Monterey Road, Dandenong, a vast industrial block.
The address of the “union” is shared with an accounting firm in Frankston, named Lakewood Accounting, whose secretary is a man named Peter Crawford, the court heard.
Justice Mark Moshinsky ordered the respondents, including Crawford, remove the material, and otherwise authorised for law firm Holding Redlich to have it removed.
Labor was asked to take all reasonable steps to ensure the respondents in the case were aware of the court’s decision.
Anthony Albanese votes in Grayndler
To the incredulity of the press pack, he has picked a polling place without snags on offer.
Albanese was at the Marrickville town hall with his son and partner.
Scott Morrison casts his vote in Cook
Scott Morrison has voted! Now where’s that sausage ...
Absolutely incredible work here:
I would go for the Albacheesy or Barnaby I think, but the Pauline is absolutely the highlight of the menu.
It looks as if the final race for votes is being taken a little literally, with Morrison and Albanese both bearing down on polling places to cast their own ballots as we speak.
As a wise* man once said, this is democracy manifest.
Scott Morrison is about to vote in his electorate of Cook.
Favourite photo of the day so far (bonus points for including a child with the same name as a candidate running in that seat).
A frappe slinger! Incredible scenes.
Could be both?
OK, I think this is the best looking snag I’ve seen:
And the worst:
Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Gilmore, Andrew Constance, wants to see Australian politics change and for the country to become more united, vowing to work with Scott Morrison if he is successful and the Coalition retains power. Casting his vote at Sanctuary Point Public school on the New South Wales south coast, Constance said his community had been through a lot. He said:
Ideologically, I’m a progressive liberal but I do want to see politics change in Australia. We’ve wasted enough energy on the wrong arguments. We’ve seen the nation not be as unified as it should be. We saw it with black summer here – people were unified in survival, unified in recovery, and everyone learned a lot from that. Our nation could learn from a region like ours and the south coast of NSW. When you work together, you can achieve so much, and that’s where I think Australia’s got ahead and I want to play a role in that.
Asked if sentiment towards Morrison would play a role in the vote, Constance said the campaign in Gilmore had been focused on local issues including the state of the roads. If he doesn’t win, he will “detox from politics”.
Constance thanked his opponent, Labor’s Fiona Phillips, who holds the seat with a 2.6% margin, for keeping the campaign positive. He said:
Everyone’s been fairly positive given where we’ve come from the last couple of years. It’s been pretty hard and people have suffered a lot.
They didn’t need a couple of people smashing each other up on the radio every day, they needed a positive outlook.
Some fun timing as PM Morrison and Albanese’s RAAF planes land at Sydney airport at the same time, lined up next to each other on the tarmac. There was no airport showdown though, as Morrison drove off in his C1 Commonwealth car before Albanese came down his ramp.
It’s likely these are the last flights the two men will take in this campaign. Both are off to their home electorates to vote (Cook and Grayndler, respectively) ahead of press conferences expected in the next hour or so.
Both will then retire for the day, ahead of their election night events this evening. Albanese’s function will be at an RSL in Canterbury, in Sydney’s inner-west.
Righto, this is the clubhouse leader for election day chow.
That’ll be handy if a fight breaks out.
The federal court has just started an urgent hearing about misleading campaign signs in the key Victorian seat of Higgins, as well as in the electorates of McEwen and Hawke. The signs appear similar to Greens campaign material and urge voters to put the ALP last, despite the Greens recommending a vote for the ALP ahead of the Coalition on how-to-vote cards across the country.
Labor’s barrister Peter Willis SC told the federal court that the material is “a serious and deliberate breach of the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act”.
He is saying the material breaches authorisation requirements and is asking for an interim injunction to remove it.
“Relief granted today is the only meaningful relief that we can really obtain,” Willis said.
The hearing is taking place before Justice Mark Moshinsky.
I’ll keep you across the details.
Where are the HSPs though?
The federal court is now hearing an ALP application for an injunction allowing them to remove election signs they consider to be misleading.
Lawyers for the party have also sent a letter to the Australian Electoral Commission, claiming that the posters were authorised by a person who does not appear to exist, as their name is not on the electoral roll, the entity they are involved with does not exist, and the address used refers to an industrial estate.
The letter reads:
Our clients are concerned that these posters are designed to mislead voters in Higgins, McEwen and Hawke and are not authorised in accordance with the CEA [Commonwealth Electoral Act]. We refer to the AEC’s guidance on its website and consider that the circumstances described above are an example of serious non-compliance with the authorisation provisions set out above in that they are, in effect, anonymous electoral material.
There appears to have been a barrage of last-ditch text messages sent to voters, including some specifically targeting those in electorates featuring prominent independents.
A reader from Goldstein shared a text he received about 10am today, saying:
For a strong economy vote Liberal. Australia’s recovery is leading the world, don’t risk a hung parliament and Zoe Daniel’s higher taxes on your home.
Daniel has called for a review of taxation policy, but rejected any “weaponisation” of her position that seeks to characterise her as advocating for higher taxes.
The text includes a link to a Liberals website outlining the party’s how to vote preferences.
In North Sydney, voters were sent text messages saying “Vote Liberal? Get MORRISON.”
The text went on “Your Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman votes the same as Scott Morrison”, claiming that the pair both blocked debate on a federal anti-corruption commission and off-shore drilling projects.
The texts were authorised by Smart Voting, a Canberra-based campaign.
Yep, this is me too. And the majority of the country (electorate wise, if not population wise) I’d say.
The Liberals candidate in Gilmore – a seat the party hope they can win – has cast his vote.
Here’s a fascinating profile on the seat too:
Sounds fun (Paul is the ALP national secretary).
Here’s some pictures of the candidates on their final day of the campaign! Firstly, Scott Morrison on the move in McEwen.
And here’s Anthony Albanese hugging hounds in Higgins.
Definitely vote 1 greyhound over whatever that oodle varietal is.
I’m sure he’d take a win even if it was bucketing down, but I understand the sentiment.
Clive Palmer’s United Australia party has been sending voters text messages reinforcing their baseless claims that the World Health Organization is taking over Australia’s hospitals.
“Australia transferring all AU hospital & health to World Health Org immediately,” the message, which was sent about 8pm last night, reads.
“Stop them. Vote 1 United Australia Party.”
The text messages follow on from large advertisements taken out by the party in newspapers.
Experts have denounced the claim, describing it as “totally misleading”. You can read more about that here:
If the recent floods weren’t front of mind already in Brisbane, voters were given a stark reminder this morning as the city woke to pelting rain.
It has steadied for now but feels set in - the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting up to 40mm today.
A long line is snaking around the Holy Trinity church in Fortitude Valley, with volunteers warning the wait could be at least an hour this morning for those outside.
Brisbane is seen as a three-horse race, with moderate Liberal National incumbent Trevor Evans under threat from both Labor and the Greens.
A brief update on our post from earlier about Labor seeking a federal court injunction regarding election signs and material it considers to be misleading.
The Coalition has confirmed the signs were not authorised by the Victorian Liberals.
The signs, which appear similar to Greens campaign material, urged voters to put the ALP last, despite Labor being placed ahead of the Coalition on Greens how-to-vote material across Australia.
Caitlin Cassidy has done a sterling (Stirling?!) job breaking down the seats that matter in this article:
Good on you for getting involved Sylvie! (posted with mum’s permission):
Josh Taylor is a good journalist and a good sausagist.
Could be a late night for the boffin.
Scott Morrison has handed out how-to-vote cards with candidate Richard Welch at Laurimar Primary school in McEwen.
Morrison and his wife Jenny received stems of eucalyptus leaves from traditional elder Ian Hunter, who played the didgeridoo as the pair walked towards the polling booth entrance.
Morrison congratulated Welch for standing up for the community. He said:
If you get that opportunity today, I think you’ll be an outstanding member of parliament.
This community needs someone who understands how it’s growing.
Welch said he was ready to roll up his sleeves.
Morrison thanked supporters handing out how-to-vote cards and posed for selfies with voters.
He was heckled by minor party supporters with yelling about conspiracies such as “don’t sign the WHO pandemic treaty”.
“Keep our bodies away from the WHO,” one UAP supporter yelled. Morrison was quick to reply “we’re not”. “That’s a complete lie,” he said. “You’re just making stuff up.”
One Greens supporter also yelled about bushfire survivors, saying some were still without houses.
One couple that walked past didn’t appear to notice it was the prime minister, taking his flyer and walking inside.
The back of the how-to-vote cards was coloured red, with bold font stating: “Send Daniel Andrews a message! Put Labor last”.
This is an edited post sent by a pool reporter travelling with Morrison.
There were 45,000 registrations for telephone voting by the close of business last night, the Australian Electoral Commission says.
There has been brouhaha in the seat of Goldstein going right back to the local council bylaws regarding election signage (remember that?), and independent candidate Zoe Daniel says she woke up to this outside her house in the Melbourne electorate this morning:
Anyway, check out this great preview of the seat:
Not much of a queue, but a stand selling homemade jam, in central Victoria.
Someone really should have brought a basketball.
It also appears one option has already sold out!
The Melbourne journalist Margaret Simons has gone gonzo (kind of): she tested positive for Covid-19 this morning, so had to use the Australian Electoral Commission telephone voting system.
The AEC scrambled to change the criteria for telephone voting this week, after it was criticised for limiting eligibility to those who tested positive prior to 6pm on 13 May. But Simons posted that the whole process had ran rather smoothly for her today:
This story from Mostafa Rachwani on first time voters is lovely.
Anthony Albanese starts his final push for victory
Anthony Albanese has pressed the flesh at a polling station in Higgins, meeting voters (and a bunch of dogs) in the Victorian marginal Liberal seat that Labor wants to win.
Arriving shortly after polls opened, the Labor leader was swamped by volunteers and voters for photos and handshakes. He and Labor candidate Michelle Ananda-Rajah met a cavoodle called Bismarck wearing a Labor button, a black greyhound in a red jacket, and dozens of Labor supporters chanting “ALBO, ALBO”.
Albanese worked the queue of voters, picking out parents and kids to talk to. He high-fived a young girl whose mum said she was “voting for the future” on issues like climate change.
A Liberal Democrats volunteer greeted him at the gate, as he told her “good on you for participating in our democracy”. Liberal party volunteers brandishing signs for Higgins incumbent Katie Allen yelled “what’s the unemployment rate?”
Just as he left, a Liberal-shirted man ran across the road with a Bluetooth speaker, pumping the dance remix of the “hole in your bucket” song and dancing as Albanese’s car took off.
Albanese didn’t take in a democracy sausage though - maybe holding off until he gets back to Sydney later today, where he’s expected to vote.
Earlier, both Scott Morrison and Albanese revealed their sausage sandwich preferences on Today.
The Labor leader has been on a health kick and says he’s off bread, but “sometimes I have double sausage … you get more sausage than bread”. He added that he garnished his sausage with onions and BBQ sauce.
Morrison simply said he took his with tomato sauce.
Scott Morrison has changed his morning schedule at the last minute, and will no longer be visiting the key seat of Chisholm, in Melbourne’s east.
He is instead heading for his electorate of Cook, in Sydney’s south, where he will cast his vote this afternoon.
The Liberal’s Gladys Liu holds Chisholm by a sliver of votes, with the margin 0.5%. You can read more about the electorate in this great profile here.
I think these shots were only taken last election night? It’s been a rough three years, what with the pandemic and all.
Nick Evershed has done wonderful work this campaign. In the latest and possibly last instalment of his pork-o-meter reporting, he reveals that my beloved Victoria has been short-changed in election commitments.
Labor seeks court injunction to remove 'fake' election signs
The ALP will seek a federal court injunction this morning to authorise the removal of election signs posted in the key Victorian seat of Higgins, a campaign spokesperson has confirmed.
The signs, which resemble official Greens election material, urge voters to put Labor last - despite the Greens recommending a vote for the ALP ahead of the Coalition on how-to-vote cards across the country.
The Labor spokesperson said printed material with similar messaging had also been distributed in the marginal seat of McEwen and in Hawke. The injunction application will also relate to this material.
The Greens also spoke out about the signs last night, urging voters on Twitter not to “fall for the Libs’ desperate tricks”. It said the material had been reported to the Australian Electoral Commission and police.
The Liberals campaign has been contacted for comment.
I’m a fairly big footy fan, but not sure how much all these analogies mean to the rest of voters (and I believe kicking into the wind can actually be an advantage in rugby union sometimes?)
On Weekend Today, Scott Morrison managed to turn a question about whether he has BBQ sauce on his democracy sausage into a stump speech about jobkeeper and co-funding the hospital system during the pandemic. We can’t fault him - those are more important issues than what he was asked.
Asked how he would celebrate as the results come in tonight, Morrison pivoted to the unemployment rate (3.9%), the number of apprentices, and the Coalition’s superannuation policy for first home buyers: “Labor will never let you do that”.
Former foreign minister Julie Bishop got a few questions, and asked about a Coalition minority government: how prepared are you to collaborate, negotiate and back down on some positions you’ve held?
Let me make two points: the first one is voting for Independents today will create a chaotic parliament at a time when Australia can least afford it. I have seen those parliaments in the past, governments having to negotiate for their existence every day. ... Our policies we have set out very clearly and we feel very strongly about those policies because we know that is what delivers a strong economy and if Independents want to support those policies, well fine, but embracing policies that weaken our economy, that weaken our borders, that weaken our national security, that is not something that a government that I lead can do.
Asked the first order of business if elected, Morrison answered about allowing first home buyers to access super, a scheme which won’t start until 1 July 2023.
Welcome to Albo Country.
OK, time to start up a bit of a rolling collection of the funniest election campaign social posts. Given Wannon is the electorate I grew up in, I’ll kick off with this:
On ABC News Breakfast, Scott Morrison was asked about whether his promise to change meant Australians did not know what they’ll be getting.
I don’t agree with that at all. The strength that I have described in the way that I did, that remains. But we will be going into a different gear. That is the point I’ve been trying to make. During the course of the pandemic, not a lot of time for talk, not a lot of time for consultation, not a lot of time to take people with you. You’ve got to make decisions right there in the moment. ... But now we’re going into a phase where there will be more opportunity and we can shift gears.
Guardian Australia challenged Morrison about the bulldozer analogy on Friday - it now appears to be so incoherent a promise of change with continuity that Morrison can’t bring himself to say the word. The “strength remains”, so Morrison will bring continuity, but we can shift gears, so there will be change. Hmm.
Johanna Nicholson noted that Morrison’s explanation that the “Morrison men” rush in to fix things doesn’t make a lot of sense – because most of the criticisms of Morrison are about absence (Hawaii, fires) or failure to fix things quickly (floods, vaccines).
Morrison replied those are “Labor’s criticisms”:
What we have done is ensure that Australia has had one of the lowest death rates in the world, one of the strongest economies, with more than 400,000 people in jobs after the pandemic compared to before, more hours worked, and we have ensured that Australia has the highest, one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Despite the early setbacks, we got in there and we turned it around.
Australia’s vaccination rate is no longer world leading - please see this factcheck of Morrison’s grandiose claims during the Coalition launch on Sunday.
On 3AW Radio, Scott Morrison said he “won’t telegraph where he’s going”, but his office has already said he’ll be in McEwen and Chisholm today. He rattled off other important electorates: Dunkley, in the south-east and Corangamite in outer Geelong.
Morrison was asked about Josh Frydenberg and didn’t commit to drop in on Kooyong, but spruiked the treasurer:
He’s full of beans, he is indefatigable, Josh is full of energy all the time and full of passion and commitment for his local community. I mean, all of us have the opportunity to serve as members of parliament, and particularly in the roles that Josh and I do as prime minister and treasurer, because of the wonderful support we get in our own communities ... he’s an outstanding local member, not just an incredibly fine treasurer, and Josh is such an important part of the government’s team and the party and its future ... I encourage people to back in Josh because Josh backs in his community and he backs in Australia.
On the choice between Labor and the Coalition, Morrison said:
[Australians are] making a decision about who they want to run the nation’s economy and the nation’s finances because that’s going to determine their opportunities in the years ahead. Because if you can’t manage money, you can’t support Medicare, you can’t do all the things that are necessary. We’ve invested $19.1 billion in fixing our aged care system. All of this needs a strong economy behind that. And we’ve demonstrated that we have that strong economic plan, which puts downward pressure on rising interest rates and rising cost of living.
Scott Morrison starts the final day of his campaign
Scott Morrison is starting the day in Melbourne, with trips to Labor-held McEwen in the northern suburbs and Liberal-held Chisholm in the east scheduled. Morrison said he started the day with a prayer, waking up beside Jenny, his wife of 30 years.
Morrison’s first interview was on Sunrise, where he gave a stump speech about the economic recovery from Covid - check this factcheck on the bold claim Australia’s recovery leads the advanced world.
Morrison was asked about his low approval with women and whether it bothers him. He said:
No, look, I don’t take anything personally in politics. I seek to understand how people feel about these things and this is an area where clearly I need to communicate better.
Morrison then rattled off statistics about the gender pay gap, how women benefited from tax cuts (although not as much as men, it should be noted) and other policies for women including the budget endometriosis package.
Asked about his biggest regret, Morrison said:
Well, I’ve said it many times. I wish we had been able to militarise the vaccine rollout earlier and bring General Frewen in earlier. We’ve got a wonderful health department but that’s the thing, in the middle of a pandemic you don’t get everything right, but when you don’t get everything right you get back in there and fix those problems and that’s what we are able to do with General Frewen. What I’m hoping for in the future, and I believe will be the case, is we are moving into a new period of opportunity.
Anthony Albanese is kicking off Election Day in Melbourne, giving a series of morning TV interviews from the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Asked about polls and tonight’s result, he said the numbers “indicate a swing to Labor on primary votes”, before diving into a series of footy metaphors. He said:
I’ve said, throughout my time as Labor leader for three years, that we’d be kicking with the wind at our back in the fourth quarter.
I’m here at the MCG, the fourth quarter is what matters and I hope to finish ahead when the siren sounds at 6pm tonight.
Albanese added that the country could not afford three more years of the same, and urged voters to “give Labor a crack”.
Albanese will hold a media event this morning in the Liberal-held seat of Higgins, before returning to his home of Sydney to vote himself. He is expected to hold a press conference around midday.
Polls show two-party-preferred vote of 53-47 in favour of Labor
You may have missed the result of two polls released late yesterday that pointed to a Labor win.
Polls from Roy Morgan and the Australian’s Newspoll released late on Friday showed a two-party-preferred vote of 53-47 in favour of the opposition – enough of a swing towards Labor for it to claim victory.
The Roy Morgan poll predicted Albanese would emerge from the election with a majority. The polling company warned, however, that the high level of support for minor parties and independents meant there was a strong chance its forecast majority win for Labor would not be confirmed tonight, as preferences were distributed and postal votes counted.
The two polls follow Guardian’s Essential polling on Wednesday pointing to a similarly slim but sufficient Labor lead.
Good morning all, I’m Nino Bucci and welcome to election day! It has been a marathon campaign, but we’re now in the stadium, completing the final lap.
Both candidates are starting the day in opposition territory: marginal seats they hope to win in order to become prime minister.
Scott Morrison is starting his day in Victoria, in the marginal seat of McEwen, which is held by Labor’s Rob Mitchell.
Anthony Albanese is also visiting polling booths in Victoria first up this morning, starting his day in the marginal seat of Higgins, which is held by the Liberal’s Katie Allen.
We are expecting both candidates to do a string of media interviews before most of you will be out of bed, so stay tuned for updates.