TCP Count Explained

A Two Candidate Preferred (TCP) count is conducted by distributing preferences to two nominated candidates. It is primarily used on Election Night for polling place results to give the public and the media an indication of the likely election outcome after a distribution of preferences. It is not the official distribution of preferences, which takes place in the Returning Officer's office following the completion of the check count (data entry of all ballot papers).

The Electoral Commissioner, prior to Election Day, selects two candidates in the district who are likely to be the final two remaining candidates in the count should a full distribution of preferences be conducted. The TCP count is conducted by distributing all formal votes of the other candidates to the two selected TCP candidates according to which of the two selected TCP candidates receives the highest preference on each of the other candidates' ballot papers.

The Two Candidates Preferred Analytical Tool has been developed by the NSW Electoral Commission to allow the public to see preferences for any combination of TCP candidates for a given LA contest using the final count data used in the distribution of preferences. The results of each TCP count are shown by the tool to the following level of detail:

  • each Polling Place;
  • Pre-poll;
  • Declared Institutions; and
  • each Declaration Vote Type.