24 March: MEDIA ADVISORY - Results information for the 2011 NSW State Election

The New South Wales Electoral Commission (NSWEC) takes this opportunity to inform the media of how and when they can access results for the NSW State Election to be held Saturday, 26 March 2011.

RESULTS

On election night, progressive figures for all electoral districts will be available on the NSWEC’s virtual tally room (VTR) website, www.elections.nsw.gov.au. Results will be displayed on web pages on the site or can be downloaded in XML format at ftp.elections.nsw.gov.au.

A guide to the VTR will be available at www.elections.nsw.gov.au/media.

The progressive figures are expected to be available from approximately 6.30pm and will be updated continuously throughout the evening.

All ordinary votes cast at each polling place on election day throughout the State will be counted with nearly all results displayed by 11.00pm. The NSWEC anticipates the results on display at that time will represent the votes of approximately 73 per cent of the enrolled electors.

Declaration votes (i.e. Postal, Absent, Silent and Provisional votes) cast prior to and on election day, will be counted by the Returning Officer in each electoral district in the week after election day.

In district Pre-poll results will be updated on the VTR on Sunday, 27 March. The result of the count of Postal, Absent, Silent and Provisional votes for each district will be progressively displayed from Monday, 28 March.

COUNTING

On Election Night

The count commences after the close of voting at 6.00pm.

Election officials at each polling place will count the ordinary votes for the Legislative Assembly first and then for the Legislative Council (in the presence of any scrutineers).

There will be three counts:

Legislative Assembly (Lower House) count

The first preference votes for each candidate are counted. These will be displayed on the VTR.

Notional distribution of preferences

A notional distribution of preferences takes place using two candidates selected by the NSWEC. These candidates are the two candidates the NSWEC consider most likely to be the two remaining candidates in the count for that district should a full distribution of preferences be undertaken. This count is sometimes referred to as the two candidate preferred (TCP) count.

To be elected to the Legislative Assembly, a candidate must receive an absolute majority (50%+1) of the formal votes after preference distribution.

This count gives an indication of the likely result. It is not an official distribution of preferences.

In some electoral districts, the result will be clear on election night. However, in close contests, results are expected to be available after the full distribution of preferences which will be completed by Monday, 4 April.

Legislative Council (Upper House) count

First preferences for each group ‘above-the-line’ are counted as well as other ballot papers (including some informal, ‘below-the–line’ and blank ballot papers). These results are displayed on the VTR.

Sufficient information will be available on election night to determine the outcome for most of the 21 available seats. The result of the remaining seats will not be determined until the full distribution of preferences is held on Tuesday,12 April.

On Sunday, 27 March 2011

On Sunday, all first preference votes counted on election night are check-counted. All out of district declaration votes which include Absent, Silent and Provisional votes held by Returning Officers (as well as out of district postal votes handed in at polling places) are sorted to each elector’s home electoral district in readiness for transfer. Under the Parliamentary Elections and Electoral Act, the Returning Officer for each electoral district is responsible for counting all the votes for their district.

In the following days from Monday, 28 March 2011

Legislative Assembly count

Declaration votes (Postal, Provisional, and Absent) are counted and results are entered each day.

The deadline for the receipt of postal votes is four days after election day (Wednesday, 30 March).

Legislative Council count

The preferences on each ballot paper will be data entered at the Legislative Council Counting Centre in Riverwood, Sydney. Once data entry is complete, the ‘above-the-line’ and ‘below-the-line’ votes will be combined, and a computer application will generate the result.

To be elected to the Upper House, a candidate must receive a quota (about 4%) of the formal votes. The quota for the election will be approximately 190,000 votes. A candidate can gain a quota either through first preference votes or through receiving preferences from other candidates.

While the majority of Legislative Council seats should be clear on election night from the first preference votes counted, the process of data entry will take approximately two weeks. Final results will be declared following the full distribution of preferences on Tuesday, 12 April 2011.

END

Media Contact: Richard Carroll, NSWEC Corporate Communications

Ph: (02) 9290 5936 Email: richard.carroll@elections.nsw.gov.au

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