Keep a weather eye on this page. If the technology holds out (no sure thing) the charts below will update live. For our analysis at the end of day one, see below the graphs.
It’s the end of day one, and our exit polls show that Brendan Ma (Liberal) is leading the presidential race with almost 40 per cent of the vote. Bella Pytka (Labor) is 5 per cent behind, while Imogen Grant (Switchroots) has the primary votes of just a quarter of voters polled. On current numbers, the race looks set to come down to how many of Grant’s preferences flow to Pytka and whether Ma can secure enough first preferences to stay ahead of both. In the Honi race, Heat is leading Mint 63 to 37 per cent.
We polled 171 voters at the only booth that was open today, Jane Foss Russell Plaza, across the entire time that it was open. Three quarters of Grant’s voters gave Pytka their second preference. According to our polls, no-one who voted for Grant first gave Ma their second preference. Although the stark nature of that figure could be a statistical anomaly, it does suggest voters have some awareness that while Pytka and Grant are ideologically proximate, Ma stands apart. About 60 per cent of Pytka’s voters directed their second preferences to Grant while under 15 per cent preferenced Ma. On those numbers, the race is far too close to call.
JFR looks to be a strong booth for the Liberals this election. It sits below the International Student Lounge, and the two Panda for SRC tickets, which are orientated towards Chinese international students, are doing a good job of attracting voters heading to and from the Lounge. Both Panda tickets and their authoriser, Liberal-aligned USU Board director Hengjie Sun, are campaigning strongly for Ma in the presidential race.
That is not to suggest that the Liberals’ vote will fall as other booths come into play tomorrow and Thursday; the booths at Engineering and Manning have all recorded a disproportionate number of votes for Liberal candidates in past elections.
The Honi race is not as close as the presidency, but no less entertaining. Mint have announced their withdrawal on Facebook, and have no campaigners or A-frames on the trail. They have sent in an email formally requesting their withdrawal. Nonetheless, they’re recording close to 40 per cent of the total vote. Heat, with campaigners on the ground, are doing better, but not by much. Between Liberal voters throwing a sympathy vote to Mint and disengaged students who like the sound of a mint slice, Heat have a real race on their hands against a ticket that is essentially not running.
However, in order for Graham to be able to discount Mint’s votes, she still needs to receive a letter signed by at least six Mint ticket members restating their withdrawal. Honi understands that several Labor candidates on Mint are under pressure from their factions to withdraw so that they can campaign for SRC, NUS and presidential candidates. For now though, Mint stays in the race.