10:14pm, Jason Gordon:That’s it from us tonight, folks. My thanks to Matt Carr who has already retired to a pub somewhere, and also to our online editor Paulina Vidal for providing the technical expertise I sadly lack. We’ll be back on the job on Sundayso keep an eye on theherald南京夜网.aufor updates throughout the day. Of course, the Newcastle Herald’s Monday edition will also provide a complete wrap-up in print. Thanks again for being with us.
Here’s my byelection wrap.
10:08pm, Jason Gordon:And here are the primary votes in Newcastle as at 10pm:
– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 14,359
– Karen Howard (Ind): 10,472
– Michael Osborne (Greens): 7932
– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 2823
– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 1269
– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 1037
– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 769
– Brian Clare (Ind): 704
10:06pm, Jason Gordon:Here’s a quick 10pm update on the primary votes in Charlestown.
– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 18,351
– Jane Oakley (Greens): 5349
– Luke Arms (Ind): 4591
– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 2362
– Veronica Hope (Ind): 1984
– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 1654
– Luke Cubis (Ind): 1306
– Marc Sky (Ind): 982
– Arjay Martin (Ind): 566
9.54pm:Independent Karen Howard shows her fighting spirit.
Karen Howard and her supporters. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
9:45pm, Jason Gordon:And here’s an update on Newcastleprimary votes as at 9.30pm.
– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 11,831
– Karen Howard (Ind): 8263
– Michael Osborne (Greens): 6460
– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 2314
– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 1018
– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 892
– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 628
– Brian Clare (Ind): 512
9:35pm, Jason Gordon:Here’s a quickupdate on the primary votes in Charlestown.
– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 15,036
– Jane Oakley (Greens): 4502
– Luke Arms (Ind): 3589
– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 2082
– Veronica Hope (Ind): 1636
– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 1335
– Luke Cubis (Ind): 1105
– Marc Sky (Ind): 746
– Arjay Martin (Ind): 463
9:25pm,Matt Carr: An overjoyedJodi McKay.
@MattCarrNH @MayorJodieH one of the best individual seat results for Labor since 2007.
— Jodi McKay (@mckay_jodi) October 25, 20148pm, Jason Gordon:Gotta say that Tim Crakanthorp is entitled to be breathing easier. He might be marginally ahead of Karen Howard at the moment but he can expect some big numbers to start coming in from the Carrington and Stockton booths. Not sure he’ll be buying me a beer any time soon, but it might be time down one himself.
7:55pm, Jason Gordon:Not sure that Clive Palmer would be doing cartwheels at the moment. His prediction that his two “independent”candidates would “make the national news” on Saturday is falling well short of the mark.
Suellen Wrightson at Charlestown Public School with the Reverend Fred Nile. Picture: Simone De Peak
The PUP-backed Suellen Wrightson is pulling only 3% of the vote in Charlestown while Jennifer Stefanac is polling about 6% in Newcastle. Failing to register the party in time is having a massive impact – no party branding next to the candidate’s name on the ballot paper equals epic fail, methinks.
7:49pm. Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Floraville and Whitebridge High numbers are in for Charlestown. Labor’s Jodie Harrison adds 475 of a total 1120 votes at Whitebridge. At Floraville Public, she’s taken 213 votes of a total 440 formal votes counted. She substantially leads all other candidates on both booths.
7:46pm, Jason Gordon:And here’s the state of play in Charlestown.
– Jodie Harrison (Labor): 2815
– Jane Oakley (Greens): 727
– Luke Arms (Ind): 600
– Suellen Wrightson (Ind): 305
– Brian Tucker (Christian Democrats): 230
– Luke Cubis (Ind): 215
– Veronica Hope (Ind): 204
– Marc Sky (Ind): 145
– Arjay Martin (Ind): 96
7:43pm, Matt Carr:Numbers coming in thick and fast from Charlestown. With Warners Bay Public School and Wirripang Public School added, Jodie Harrison has added more than 1500 extra votes to her tally. Green Jane Oakley picked up 332 from the same booths, while there were 281 informal votes. Independent Luke Arms has added 394 to his tally, Marc Sky drew 57 more and Suellen Wrightson attracted 148 more. Luke Cubis has 136 more while Arjay Martin adds 38. Veronica Hope adds 81 and Brian Tucker adds 128.
7:40pm, Jason Gordon:OK, here’s the state of play at in Newcastle.
– Karen Howard (Ind): 1334
– Tim Crakanthorp (Labor): 1286
– Michael Osborne (Greens): 664
– Jacqueline Haines (Ind): 298
– Jennifer Stefanac (Ind): 101
– Steve O’Brien (Socialist Alliance): 81
– Milton Caine (Christian Democrats): 69
– Brian Clare (Ind): 55
7:37pm, Matt Carr: NUMBERS IN -CharlestownCardiff Public School votes – 414 for Jodie Harrison, 76 for independent Luke Arms, 67 for Greens’ Jane Oakley and 50 for PUP-backed indepdendent Suellen Wrightson. Marc Sky and Arjay Martin add 11 apiece while Brian Tucker and Veronica Hope notch an extra 30 votes each. 67 informals.
7:35pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Mayfield Presbyterian counting has commenced – 376 for Tim Crakanthorp,152 votes for Green Michael Osborne, 128 votes for Karen Howard, 52 for Jacqueline Haines, 36 for Jennifer Stefanac, 23 for Steve O’Brien, 21 for Milton Caine and 9 for Brian Buckley Clare. 58 informals.
Those numbers would be welcome in the Labor camp.
Tim Crakanthorp with his daughter earlier today. Picture: Brock Perks
7:30pm, Matt Carr:To recapCharlestown so far: After two booths: Jodie Harrison leads with 37.89% of the votes from two booths counted so far. Greens candidate Jane Oakley is behind her with 24.44% of the counted vote while Luke Arms (9.38%), Veronica Hope (8.59%), Marc Sky (3.52%), PUP-backed independent Suellen Wrightson (4.30%) Luke Cubis (6.25%), Arjay Martin (2.73%) and Christian Democrat Brian Tucker (3.91%) follow. There are 18 informal votes, making up 6.57% of what’s been counted so far.
7:29pm, Jason Gordon:Important to remember here that the two booths so far counted in Newcastle have traditionally been strong Liberal booths. With no Liberal standing, that vote is transferring predictably to high-profile businesswoman Karen Howard. Interesting contest, though.
We might have a race here. We can expect strong numbers for Tim Crakanthorp out of the Mayfield, Carrington and Stockton booths, while the Greens’ Michael Osborne traditionally polls strongly in the Islington, Tighes Hill and Newcastle East booths.
7:27pm, Matt Carr:To recap Newcastle so far: After two booths, Karen Howard has 39% of the counted vote. Tim Crakanthorp (ALP) has 29.43%, Michael Osborne (Greens) 16.59%, Jacqueline Haines7.96%. Milton Caine1.55%, Brian Buckley Clare1.49% and Social Alliance candidate Steve O’Brien1.88%.
5.33% of the Newcastle votes so far were informal.
7:20pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -More numbers from Newcastle, this time from Merewether booths. Karen Howard’s strong early numbers continue, with 442 votes of 1065 formal votes at that booth going her way. Labor’s Tim Crakanthorp picks up another 224 votes, Michael Osborne receives 184 and Jacqueline Haines adds 108 to her tally. Jennifer Stefanac receives 41, Milton Caine and Brian Buckley Clare both take 17 votes and Social Alliance’s Steve O’Brien receives 12. There were 72 informals.
7:18pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN -Of that first batch of Newcastle votes, there were 102 informals out of 2129 total ballots cast. It will be interesting to watch that number tonight – given the open apathy on display, you have to wonder how many voters didn’t want to have a say.
7:14pm, Matt Carr:NUMBERS IN-First numbers through from Newcastle. With 2129 votes from Hamilton South Public School counted, Karen Howard is in the lead (764 votes). Tim Crakanthorp (666 votes), and Green Michael Osborne is in third (329). Independent Jacqueline Haines has 138 votes, Christian Democrat Milton Caine has 31, Brian Buckley Clare polled 29, PUP-backed Jennifer Stefanac has 24 so far and Social Aliance Steve O’Brien has 46.
Karen Howard takes an early lead. Picture: Simone De Peak
It’s early days but Karen Howard has made a strong showing there
7:04pm, Matt Carr:Former Newcastle MP Jodi McKay is reading the blog. Reading it closely enough she’s asked us to clarify some of the details mentioned by our readers around the 2011 count:
@MattCarrNH how do I participate in your blog? For the record I did not receive Green preferences in 2011. Green preferences exhausted.
— Jodi McKay (@mckay_jodi) October 25, 2014Herald earlier today.
Good to see politics doesn’t hurt the Hunter’s sweet tooth.
6:43pm,Matt Carr:Reader ‘Perspective’, of meat tray/vegetarian comment fame, has formed a nice double act with Phil. They’re stretching that metaphor out a bit further, but I’m a sucker for a pun.
Phil: Yeah, and you don’t even get brains with this meat tray!
Perspective:I’ve had an overwhelming desire to kick a side of rump.
6:38pm, Jason Gordon: NUMBERS IN -And we’re off. First votes are in from Hamilton South Public School in the Charlestown electorate. The first 67 votes are counted! Labor’s Jodie Harrison has 27 of them, with Green Jane Oakley getting 11.
Jodie Harrison casting her vote earlier today. She has 27 votes as of 6:27pm. Picture: Simone De Peak
6:35pm, Jason Gordon:Getting bombarded by people complaining about the Labor polling booth volunteers. There were many of them, most sources say, arriving by bus from Sydney. Some had trouble pronouncing Crakanthorp, apparently, and knew little about the local issues. One was heard spruiking about Labor’s support for the rail line truncation. Hope Tim doesn’t find out! Also hearing there was a bit of heat at some booths over misleading signs about preferences. Labor volunteers clashing with Green and Indy volunteers. Know more?
6:30pm, Matt Carr:Hearing some scuttlebutt about volunteers not getting along out there in the high-stakes world of handing out how-to-votes. Hot day, hot tempers? Personally, I thought everyone was getting along famously. Did you spot anything different?
6:25pm, Jason Gordon:Some more news from the bunker. I understand that more than 6500 pre-poll votes were made in the Newcastle electorate alone. In 2011, there were only 2543. Given that those votes might not be counted until early next week, we’re in for an interesting ride. If tonight’s numbers are reasonably close, there is no way anyone’s going to call a win with so many votes to be counted next week. There are about 47,000 voters in the Newcastle electorate, so that means almost 14% of voters pre-polled during the week and were able to spend today at the beach.
6:20pm, Matt Carr: Sean Nicholls, State political editor for the SMH,says that the money may be on Labor to win in the Hunter, but the real ones to watch are Palmer United. Read more here.
6:15pm, Matt Carr:For byelection buffs (come on, there’s at least a few of you) and the superstitious, there’s already been two byelections in Australia this month. For what it’s worth, Labor won the byelection in the Northern Territory seat of Casuarina while the Liberals took WA’s Vasse.
6:10pm, Jason Gordon:Reader’ALP Needs Better Candidates’ has pointed out that Jodi McKay was boosted by Greens preferences in 2011 and that none of the major candidates are directing preferences today. Personally, I think voters are much better educated these days. Those who do direct their preferences do it how they want to, and rarely rely on a candidate’s direction. I agree, though, most people will have simply ‘voted 1’ today, but the Greens voters will still have preferenced Labor ahead of the Christian Democrats, Labor voters will have preferenced the Greens ahead of Karen Howard and so on.
6:05pm, Matt Carr:Right, booths are shut. There’s really not much more you can do. Hopefully we’ll have some numbers for you soon. Count, scrutineers, count!
Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
6pm, Matt Carr:Here’s an interesting tidbit: tonight’s election will be a two-party preferred between Labor and the Greens since the Liberals were no-shows. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in the Hunter.
My guess is Mike Baird’s not stoked that’s happening under his watch, but these things happen I suppose.
5:55pm,Jason Gordon:Getting a bit of mail from inside the Labor bunker. A few now predicting “a very underwhelming win” for Crakanthorp. We shall wait and see. First results should start rolling out about 6.30pm.
5:50pm, Matt Carr:Let us know in the comments – if Mike Baird hadn’t decided to “atone” and the Liberal party had run some candidates, how do you think they would have fared?
5.45pm, Jason Gordon:Someone called ‘ALP needs better candidates’ has asked if Tim Crakanthorp will get the 15% swing predicted by the Sydney media. I think Labor will be hoping for more than that given the absence of a Liberal candidate. Jodi McKay only pulled 30.6% of the primary for Labor in 2011, finishing with 47.4% of the two-party count. I think Crackers will get that and more. If he doesn’t, he’s in trouble.
5:40pm, Matt Carr:Speaking of Twitter, Charlestown independent Arjay Martin has used the social media site to air some significant allegations about today’s campaign on the social media site …
Official complaint lodged against Labor Worker intimidation of my wife and child at Charlestown Public School
— Arjay Martin (@VoteArjay) October 25, 20145:27pm, Jason Gordon:Just wondering how John Robertson might be feeling about now. There has been plenty of speculation in recent weeks about his future as Labor leader, so a big win in Newcastle and Charlestown is needed to quieten the wolves. Despite no Liberals in sight, I’m thinking Michael Osborne and Karen Howard are going to have him and Tim Crakanthorp looking over their shoulders.
5:19pm, Jason Gordon:Interesting to note the Sydney press reporting that Labor had moved 600 volunteers into Newcastle today via buses from Sydney. Really? There were only 20-odd polling places in each electorate. Sounds a bit rich to me. Anyone know more?
5:14pm, Matt Carr: Herald web commenter Perspective has just taken the lollies for my favourite description of the general malaise on the ground, responding to several voters who told us they considered today’s poll a waste of time.
“I share their frustration. I feel like a vegetarian, with a winning ticket in a meat raffle.”
5:10pm, Jason Gordon:”Look into my eyes,” Reverend Nile said about his impending stoush with John Robertson. “Do you see any fear? Fear and I have only one thing in common, and that’s merely letters in our name.”
Fred Nile and John Robertson.
5:05pm, Matt Carr:Evening everyone. I’m nursing a bit of sunburn from running around some booths this morning, but that’s the price of a good bacon and egg roll.
For the record, the best one I found was at Hamilton South Public School.
The most striking thing at the booths today was an almost complete lack of interest from plenty of voters. While there were a few keen to vote for their chosen candidate, plenty of others would have preferred to get an extra 20 minutes in at the beach.
Considering the mercury was sitting up around 35 degrees for most of the day, it was hard to blame them.
As much as everyone seems to consider these two contests as a bit of a dead rubber, it could have big influence given the winner will roll into the March state-wide poll (you know, the one we were always supposed to have) as the incumbent.
So, who are we tipping?
5:01pm, Jason Gordon:Good evening all. Not sure about you, but Reverend Fred Nile has left me bitterly disappointed. Yesterday he said he was going to get the gloves off, “look fear in the eye” and bail up opposition leader John Robertson at a Charlestown polling booth. And what happened? Nothing but a polite handshake outside Hamilton South Public School. Pfft! Feeling robbed.
Anyway, beaut day for it! Going to be an interesting few hours ahead. Looking forward to seeing how things pan out in Newcastle.
5pm: Hello and welcome to The Herald’s byelections coverage.Stay with us -local political reporter,Jason Gordon, and online reporter,Matt Carr,as we provide you with updates andnews. The count isscheduled to start from 6.30pm,and hopefully we can bring youa result tonight.