Will Saving the NT’s Second House Seat Cost the ACT its Third Seat?

UPDATE: The legislation has been introduced and it does not fix the number of Territory seats at a minimum of two. It instead adopts my proposal to use the harmonic rather than arithmetic mean in determining seat entitlements for the territory. However, the harmonic only applies for quotients under three. That provision might need a re-visit if the Parliament ever increases in size. The statistical error provision has been repealed. The determination in July merging the NT into a single seat has been set aside and two seats restored. Legislating backwards for the harmonic mean was too difficult but under it the NT would have been entitled to two seats.

From the next determination, to take place after the next election, the new rules will apply to the territories. The NT will be entitled to a second seat if its quotient is above 1.3333 rather than the current 1.5. The ACT will be entitled to a third seat with a quotient above 2.4 rather than 2.5. As noted above, this new harmonic mean will not apply above three seats.

The legislation and notes related to it can be found at this link.

Minister’s Second Reading Speech here.

Original post

Read More »Will Saving the NT’s Second House Seat Cost the ACT its Third Seat?

2020 Groom By-election – Rates of Pre-Poll and Postal Voting

Voting for the Groom by-election has been underway today with few surprises expected in the result.

Groom is an ultra-safe LNP seat, held with a margin of 20.5%. The by-election has been caused by the resignation of LNP member John McVeigh. Only four candidates have nominated, well down on the 14 that contested the Eden-Monaro by-election in July. That Labor nominated a candidate in such as safe LNP seat was greeted with general surprise, while the Greens have opted out of contesting a Federal by-election for the first time in a quarter-century.

The LNP’s Garth Hamilton is expected to win easily and I won’t be providing any coverage of the results tonight. The best places to follow the results are the Australian Electoral Commission’s website, and via William Bowe at his Pollbludger site.

As I have for other elections this year, I thought it worth devoting a post to pre-poll and postal voting rates. With Covid-19 still around, you would have expected a high rate of postal and pre-poll voting. In fact the numbers are only slightly higher in Groom than at last year’s Federal election.

It gives me an opportunity to raise an issue about postal vote applications that should be addressed before the next Federal election. In short, there are serious questions as to whether we should still be allowing postal vote applications as late as the Wednesday before polling day. With Australia Post scaling back postal delivery times, what is the point of allowing application for postal votes too late for the postal vote pack to be delivered before polling day?
Read More »2020 Groom By-election – Rates of Pre-Poll and Postal Voting

2020 Queensland Election – Results by Vote Type

The great unknown ahead of the 2020 Queensland election concerned what change in voting patterns would we see as a result of holding an election during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tracking the postal and pre-poll figures before the election revealed a huge increase in postal and pre-poll voting as a proportion of enrolment. Now we know the votes cast, that trend shows up in the results.

Politically Labor did much better with pre-poll and postal voting than it did in 2017. But with much greater numbers in both categories of votes, the improvement may just reflect more Labor voters voting early.
Read More »2020 Queensland Election – Results by Vote Type

New State Electoral Boundaries for South Australia Finalised

(Post re-written and updated 20 November)

South Australia’s Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission (EDBC) released the final version of the state’s new electoral boundaries on 18 November. The new boundaries will apply for the first time at the next South Australian election in March 2022.

The final boundaries unwound some of the more consequential changes proposed by the draft boundaries. After much opposition, Mount Barker was retained in Kavel, leaving that seat based in the Adelaide Hills, and allowing Schubert to be a Barossa Valley based seat. Flowing from this, the proposed move of Gawler into Schubert was undone, unravelling major changes to Light and resulting in a string of further changes to seats across northern Adelaide.

The final boundaries also unwound a series of suburb swaps between the inner-southern Adelaide seats Badcoe and Elder with political consequences for the margins in both seats.

If you are after more detail on the composition of the new electorates, maps can be found on the EDBC’s website.

In this post I’ll provide some commentary on the approach taken by the EDBC and the political consequences that flow from the changes.
Read More »New State Electoral Boundaries for South Australia Finalised

Analysis of the 2020 Queensland Election Result

The 2020 Queensland election returned the Palaszczuk Labor government to office with an increased first preference vote, a two-party preferred swing in its favour, and with an increased majority in the Legislative Assembly.

The election was the first in Queensland for a fixed four-year term, and means that by the next election in November 2024, Labor will have governed Queensland for 30 of the last 35 years.

In mid-2021 Annastacia Palaszczuk will pass Clare Martin to become Australia’s longest serving female head of government. If Palaszczuk stays as Premier until 2024, she will pass Peter Beattie to become Queensland’s fourth longest serving Premier, trailing only Joh Bjelke-Petersen (Country/National), Frank Nicklin (Country) and William Forgan Smith (Labor).

Perhaps as a by-product of pandemic politics, the election saw a decline in support for minor parties. Despite gaining a second seat in the Assembly, Green support fell outside of inner-Brisbane. Support for Pauline Hanson’s One Nation halved, Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party had the worst vote return for dollars spent in Australian electoral history, while Katter’s Australian Party remains a force in rural North Queensland.

Both major parties increased their first preference vote share, Labor up 4.1 percentage points, the LNP 2.2%, and an estimated two-party preferred swing to Labor of 1.9%.
Read More »Analysis of the 2020 Queensland Election Result

NSW State Redistribution – Draft Electoral Boundaries

The NSW Electoral Districts Redistribution Panel released draft state electoral boundaries on Monday, bringing enrolments for all 93 electorates back within the permitted variations from state average.

The major change brought about by the new boundaries is the abolition of Lakemba, an ultra-safe Labor seat in Sydney’s inner south-west, and the creation of a new and marginal Labor seat called Leppington on Sydney’s south-west fringe. The new boundaries for the southern Sydney Liberal seat of Heathcote transform it into a marginal Labor seat, and the margins in several other Liberal held seats have also been cut.

Update – my analysis of the new boundaries has been published by the NSW Parliamentary Library. You can find it at this link.
Read More »NSW State Redistribution – Draft Electoral Boundaries

Minor Party Preference Flows at the 2020 Queensland Election

(Note: This post was originally published on 1 November but has been fully updated on 18 November to include data available from later data files. I have also published further comments on preferences, in my final analysis of the 2020 Queensland election results.)

The Electoral Commission Queensland collected preference flow data by candidate as part of its election night count, and continued with the tallying in some electorates in the days that followed..

Preference flow data tallies votes by pairings of ‘from’ and ‘to’ candidates. So in the table below of two-party preferred preference flows, the tally is of votes from third parties that flowed as preferences to Labor or Liberal candidates.Read More »Minor Party Preference Flows at the 2020 Queensland Election

2020 Queensland Election Updates

In this post I will provide running updates on results as they report.

I am running this post as an adjunct to the ABC’s election results site. Using the computer that drives the site, I can change settings in the system to deal with the variation in the data coming from the Electoral Commission. Refer to the ABC site for overall percentage votes, seats won and seats remaining in doubt.Read More »2020 Queensland Election Updates

2020 Queensland Election – Tracking the Early Vote

In this post I will keep track of the Queensland election postal and pre-poll vote totals.

Polling day update At least 320,000 postal votes will be counted after 6pm on election night along with around 925,000 pre-poll votes.

Pre-poll Final Update including Friday 30 October – another 168,070 pre-poll votes were taken on Friday, the final day of pre-polling and the most taken on any day. The total of pre-polls is 1,288,696 or 38.2% of enrolled voters. On top of these numbers, another 26.8% of electors have been sent postal vote packs, see details below. Not all postal votes are returned, some are returned late and some are rejected because of problems with details on the envelope. Some people who have requested a postal vote end up voting pre-poll or turn up on election day.

The final Thursday and Friday of pre-polling saw the most votes recorded, though the late surge was not as prominent as at the Eden-Monaro by-election and the ACT election.

As many postal and pre-poll votes as possible will be counted on election night. Pre-poll votes cast within district will be counted on election night, roughly 75% of the total, will be available for counting on election night. The number of postal votes to be counted will depend on how many are returned and have their envelopes processed before the weekend.

(Updated 10:30am 31 Oct) A total of 905,806 postal vote packs have been dispatched, a total that represents 26.8% of enrolment. As of 6pm Friday evening, 571,095 postal envelopes have been returned, a return rate of 63% and representing 16.9% of enrolment. Pre-processing of returned envelopes has begun, 329,334 envelopes having admitted to the count for opening and counting on election night, representing 9.8% of enrolment. More envelopes may be admitted to the count during the day on polling day. This is a high before polling day rate of return for postal votes, no doubt due to registration for postal votes closing two weeks before polling day on 16 October. This means the number of outstanding postal votes arriving after polling day will be lower than in the past.

The table of postal votes by electorate in this post has been updated to include the return rate. Read More »2020 Queensland Election – Tracking the Early Vote

ACT 2020 Election – Post-election Updates

Updated: Friday 23 October

The ACT Electoral Commissioner has declared to the results (formal declaration on Wednesday) with Labor winning 10 seats, the Liberal Party 9 and Greens 6.

Brindabella As I suggested yesterday, Liberal Andrew Wall’s vote increased with the final count. With seven candidates left, 6th placed Green candidate Johnathan Davis was 82 votes ahead of third Labor candidate Taimus Werner-Gibbings. Werner Gibbings was excluded electing Labor’s Joy Burch (Re-elected 1) and Mick Gentleman (Re-elected 2). Andrew Wall was then excluded (Defeated) electing Liberals Nicole Lawder (Re-elected 3) and Mark Parton (Re-elected 4). Jonathan Davis was then Elected 5.

Ginninderra The trend against Labor’s Gordon Ramsay continued and at the critical count Liberal Peter Cain was 166 votes ahead. Labor’s Yvette Berry was Re-elected 1, followed by Liberal Elizabeth Kikkert (Re-elected 2), Labor’s Tara Cheyne (Re-elected 3), Green Jo Clay (Elected 4) and Liberal Peter Cain (Elected 5). Labor’s Gordon Ramsay was defeated, and Liberal Vicki Dunne retired.

Kurrajong As expected, the gap in the final race did narrow, but the Greens were still 407 votes in the lead. Labor’s Andrew Barr was Re-elected 1, the only candidate at the election to poll a quota in his own right. Green Shane Rattenbury was Re-elected 2, Labor’s Rachel Stephen-Smith Re-elected 3, Liberal Elizabeth Lee Re-elected 4, and Green Rebecca Vassarotti was Elected 5, Liberal Candice Burch defeated.

Murrumbidgee A straightforward result. Order of election was Chris Steel (Labor Re-elected 1), Jeremy Hanson (Liberal Re-elected 2), Giulia Jones (Liberal Re-elected 3), Emma Davidson (Green Elected 4) and Marisa Paterson (Labor Elected 5). Davidson replaced retiring Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, while Paterson defeated her colleague, Labor MLA Bec Cody.

Yerrabi Another straightforward result. In order of election, Alistair Coe (Liberal re-elected 1), Michael Pettersson (Labor Re-elected 2), Suzanne Orr (Labor Re-elected 3), Andrew Braddock (Green Elected 4) and Leanne Castley (Liberal Elected 5). There were two changes of member, Braddock gaining his seat by defeating Labor’s Deepak-Raj Gupta, while Castley defeated her Liberal colleague James Milligan.

A couple of notes on the wins and losses.

  • The two retiring members were replaced by party colleagues, Ginninderra Liberal Vicki Dunne replaced by Peter Cain, and Murrumbidge Green Caroline Le Couteur replaced by Emma Davidson.
  • The two members elected at countbacks were both defeated, Labor’s Deepak Raj Gupta in Yerrabi, and Liberal Candice Burch in Kurrajong. Both seats were won by the Greens.
  • The other two Green gains were elected by defeating sitting member of other parties, Johnathan Davis in Brindabella effectively defeating Liberal Andrew Wall, and Jo Clay in Ginninderra effectively defeating Labor’s Gordon Ramsay.
  • As sometimes happens under the Hare-Clark electoral system, two members were defeated by party colleagues, Labor’s Marisa Paterson defeating Bec Cody in Murrumbidgee, and Liberal Leanne Castley defeating James Milligan in Yerrabi.
  • The Greens gained four seats, two from Labor and two from the Liberals.
  • Of the 25 former members, 17 were re-elected, two retired and six members were defeated and there are eight new members.

Previous day’s updates are inside the post.Read More »ACT 2020 Election – Post-election Updates