• Election Australia: What We Can Expect In The Next Few Days

    The outcome of Saturday’s Australian election will gradually become clearer after counting resumes in earnest on Tuesday. Here’s what will happen:

    Monday, 4 July

    The Australian Electoral Commission will receive absentee ballots which have been sent back to their local electorate. Postal and other declaration votes are checked against the roll before being included in the count.

    Counting of Senate pre-poll ordinary votes and any remaining House of Representatives ordinary pre-poll votes not already counted on Saturday night is under way.

    Bill Shorten is in western Sydney to thank voters and will do a street walk in Penrith. Shorten will also hold a leadership group meeting.

    Malcolm Turnbull is in Sydney. The Coalition and the Greens leaders have no public events planned.

    Tuesday, 5 July

    Prepoll and declaration (such as absent) votes are included in the count from Tuesday.

    These votes may tip the balance as they can flow in different proportions than the large number of ordinary votes already counted.

    It’s most likely that any change of lead in the remaining in-doubt seats, or a seat moving out of the undecided column, will happen after this count.

    Turnbull has said postal votes will deliver the Coalition a number of in-doubt seats so it can form a majority government.

    Wednesday, 6 July, and onwards

    The remainder of the postal votes will continue to trickle in. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) distributed 1.5m postal votes, and so far, about 1.1m have been returned, so this means a further injection of 400,000 votes.

    In extremely close contests, these could still swing the result.

    The Australian Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers, has said some seats will become clear within days of the count resuming on Tuesday, but others will take longer.

    Negotiations for confidence and supply, or any formal deals, can occur in this time, but will depend on the number of seats that remain in doubt.

    Friday, 15 July

    The AEC must wait 13 days from the election for the final postal votes to come in. That deadline is at 6pm, at which point, every vote from every contest is in. However, unless one or more seats are exceptionally close, the number of seats for each side will already be known.

    After Friday, the AEC can determine which senators have been elected, because at this point, it will know the total number of formal votes and how many are needed for a quota. Preference distribution is conducted electronically for the Senate election.

    Monday, 8 August

    Writs are returned, which is the formal process that records who has won the contest.

    Before the election, Malcolm Turnbull said parliament would resume in August, but the likelihood of a hung parliament has thrown this into doubt.

    [Information provided by The Guardian]

    [Image Attribution]: Voting Booths - The Guardian Australia