Thursday, September 12, 2013

ABC lists Indi for Cathy McGowan - Sophie Mirabella ditched?

Sou | 1:41 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment


Congratulations to Cathy McGowan, the new member for Indi.
18 September 2013

An update on the voting for Indi, the seat held by Sophie Mirabella and contested by local independent, Cathy McGowan.  The ABC website has dropped Indi from the "seats in doubt" and is now listing it as one of the "changing seats" going to Cathy McGowan.

It's not over yet and probably won't be until the end of this week at the earliest - possibly not for another fortnight.  However the fact that Sophie has come out and said she's not seeking a Cabinet position even if she wins is already a big plus for Australia and for our electorate.

Current situation: a 9.9% swing against Sophie Mirabella (38,209) for Cathy McGowan at 39,658 after preferences, with 83.1% of the votes counted.

Go Cathy!

Here is the website for Voice for Indi, where the campaign for better representation all started.

Sophie Mirabella campaigned strongly against the carbon pricing scheme and against the then Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.  Here is Sophie (just left of centre) with our incoming Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and incoming Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop (bottom left), standing under two very ugly banners.

That's just in case HotWhopper's international readers doubted the abysmal quality or respectability of the incoming leadership of our once forward-thinking and progressive nation. (With apologies to Cathy McGowan, who has bent over backwards to avoid belittling Sophie Mirabella.)

(Juliar is what opponents called the then PM, Julia Gillard - among other things as you can see. Bob Brown recently retired as leader of the Greens party in Federal Parliament.)

Here is my earlier article on the election and the future of the carbon pricing scheme.  I don't normally write about politics - the climate is apolitical.  However all the signs are pointing to this new government taking actions that will seriously harm any hope that Australia will continue to reduce emissions quickly enough.

Not speaking out isn't an option.

$7 billion Wandoan coal mine scrapped

On the plus side, the world as a whole is moving on, maybe offsetting the incoming government's backward steps. For example, one of the biggest mining projects in the country – the $7 billion Wandoan coal mine in Queensland – has just been scrapped - despite the change of government.


  1. Having just read Ms. McGowan's policies I can only say I hope the ABC has called it correctly!

  2. The ABC has shifted the electorate back to the "in doubt" category, which doesn't surprise me.

    There are only 1100 votes separating the two, with 85% counted and absentee votes/postal votes still to be counted that are likely to favour Sophie Mirabella.

  3. As I noted at Larvatus Prodeo the rate of movement of the pre-poll votes to Mirabella was such that after an additional ~4000 (5%) of the votes were counted Mirabella's lag went from ~1450 to 1100 exactly. With (apparently) ~12000 votes to go this would put Mirabella 50 behind McGowan at the end of counting.

    There's a lot of wiggle-room there, so Mirabella may yet scrape in...

    Bernard J.

    1. My mental arithmetic came out much the same, Bernard. There will probably be a recount if it's that close, so we might not know the outcome for a couple of weeks.

      Although she probably leans to the conservative, Cathy is liberal (small l) on many issues. She has done a lot of good work relating to women in leadership, she understand the problems that climate change brings and she is sympathetic to asylum seekers. It's not easy to put labels on her. She is very much a grass roots democracy person but not a puppet. She knows her own mind. If elected she'll be seen as a breath of fresh air in the electorate. The huge swing to her shows just how popular she has become and just how unpopular is Sophie.

      I found that thread interesting.

  4. I've just exchanged a couple of emails with my friend who told me what she thought the size of the Indi electorate was and realised that she had worked it out incorrectly. I only twigged when I refreshed the ABC site and cottoned on to the fact that the current counted total is 79710, which meant that my friend had actually calculated the currently counted votes. Therefore the overall number is actually somewhat more than the 80k I was originally told, so there may be more wriggle-room for Mirabella to catch up.

    The final difference though would theoretically still be 50 given the current rate of vote distribution, as I pulled that calculation from percentages rather than from the absolute numbers, but 50 over a bigger number is an easier margin to lose to variation...


    Bernard J.

    1. I decided to quit the mental arithmetic and use excel :D

      Now I've got Cathy coming out about 300 or more ahead after counting. I might be wrong because I'm going by memory. I think she was up about 1700 before the counting of postals and with 6,500 counted she is still up 1100. There look to be around 8,200 to be counted. Assume 400 or so are informal, leaves 7,800. If preferences run the same way, Cathy might lose another 800 which would leave her 300 ahead.

      That's still very tight and I expect that Sophie would demand a recount.

    2. If the difference is less than 100 there is an automatic recount. Otherwise a candidate can request a recount but they might not be successful. It's up to the AEC to decide.


  5. 87% of votes counted and Mirabella is 793 votes behind.

    At that rate she will win.

    Bernard J.

    1. Yes, it does look like a win for Cathy McGowan. She might even be able to avoid a recount, though I'm not sure that Sophie Mirabella will give up her seat without one.

      The Labor member from Eden Monaro conceded defeat this morning with around the same percentage counted but with a smaller margin of loss (693 at the time, now 864).

  6. Cathy has increased her lead and is now ahead by 896 with 88.1% counted. Surely Sophie will now concede defeat.

    I no longer think it's premature to congratulate Cathy on a win!

  7. As predicted by the pundits, Sophie Mirabella had 57.6% of the postal votes in her favour. Absentee votes went in favour of Cathy - 55.27% but there were much fewer absentee votes than postal.

    Cathy McGowan is currently ahead by 828 votes with most of the pre-polling yet to be counted. There are only 6196 votes to be counted (via the AEC website):

    Absentee 1158 (out of 2,674)
    Pre-poll 3535 (out of 4,708)
    Postal 1019 (out of 10,465)
    Provisional 484 (out of 1,052)

    I'm not sure what "Provisional" votes are.

    To hold her seat, Sophie would need to capture at least 63.4% of the remaining votes, which is a very big ask. I would be surprised if the pre-polling went against Cathy. If they did, my guess is that it would be by a lesser margin than for the postal votes.

    I understand that counting is continuing over the weekend and a decision is expected by Monday - unless Sophie asks for a recount. If she does it might or might not be done, depending on the margin. (I don't know if her being the sitting member will favour a recount request but it probably would. However I reckon it would only delay the inevitable.)

    Border Mail article

    Australian Electoral Commission Indi count

  8. Murdoch columnist and wannabe right-wing shock jock Andrew Bolt discovers the reason for Mirabella's demise. It was the far-left Greens wot done it.

    "Cathy McGowan is a Greens-like candidate of the far-left, but that’s not the image the “independent” candidate wants out there in the electorate…"


    The article is bad enough but the comments are something else
    This from MikeD of Malvern
    "More greens to target next time ‘round. A creeping cancer that must be irradiated."

    1. Nice of Bolt to highlight that from the perspective of himself and his ilk - a word that seems particularly applicable! - policies such as Ms. McGowan's are 'far left' and 'Greens-like''.

      You know - we need a decent broadband infrastructure, not a cheap Mickey Mouse stopgap - we need better public transport and to upgrade rail services to regional centres - we need better health services and regional health infrastructure should match urban its urban counterparts - we need a viable, vibrant and innovative agricultural sector, and the same goes for the small business sector - and OMG, it seems she believes the CSIRO: Action on climate change is critical to ensure our local economy, industry and way of life is maintained in the longer term. I support market mechanisms as the most efficient and effective way to price carbon and to reduce emissions.

      Communism! Communism I tell you! People of the soon-to-be Soviet Republic of Indi, what were you thinking?! Oh, the Humanity! Etc...

      Seems to me the message is reverse - without the propagandistic hype of Bolt and the rest of the Murdoch Minions such policies really have an enduring appeal for mainstream Australia.

      And, oh, the irony: just wait to Abbott and co. start trying to implement the actual policies Bolt and his Dark Lord have really been cheering for. Then we'll see who the high-handed elitists masquerading as populists really are!

      Bolt, and Boltards, you are ridiculous!

    2. "Proud to be ignorant" Andrew Bolt strikes again. He believes that being ignorant is the same thing as being objective or "independent". He's a nutter.

      The Cathy McGowan I know (slightly) is anything but of the "far left". However if I were to compare her with Andrew Bolt and his fans she would appear that way, just like most people would. (The real "far left" would be off the scale.)

      To Andrew Bolt, anyone not to the "right" of Pauline Hanson is "far left".

    3. The irony is that Cathy ran a clean campaign. She was insistent that there be no personal attacks on Sophie Mirabella. I don't know if she even mentioned Sophie or her policies during the campaign except to urge her supporters not to criticise Sophie. She focused on the positives and on what the people of Indi want.

      Andrew Bolt is gutter garbage, the complete opposite to Cathy's campaign.

  9. As at tonight (Monday 16 August), Cathy McGowan is still up by 405 votes.

    Sophie would need to win at least 76% of the uncounted 1550 votes to retain her seat and 69% to get an automatic recount.

  10. This morning Sophie Mirabella conceded defeat to Cathy McGowan. Congratulations to Cathy and her team.

    It will be nice to finally have someone in Canberra looking out for the interests of the people of Indi and rural communities everywhere.


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