Early Voting at Tasmanian Elections

Rising rates of early voting have been a phenomena at elections across Australia for the last decade, with the rate of early voting boosted further since the emergence of Covid-19 a year ago.

Elections held since the emergence of Covid-19 have seen fewer than 40% of voters turn up to vote on election day, exaggerating the pre-pandemic trend to voting early.

At last October’s Queensland election, ordinary votes cast in a voter’s home district on polling day represented only 27.6% of all votes, down more than half from 57.2% in 2017. Postal votes doubled from 10.7% to 23.8% and rates of pre-poll voting rose from 26.2% to 43.8%.

Exact figures are not available for the Western Australian election but point to less than 40% of votes being cast on election day, and there were similar low rates at last year’s ACT and Northern Territory elections, and the Eden-Monaro and Groom federal by-elections.

The Tasmanian Electoral Commission (TEC) has not adopted the strategy of its brethren Electoral Commissions in vigorously encouraging early voting. Both Pre-poll and Postal voting are readily available, but with no community transmission of Covid in Tasmania, on health advice the TEC has decided there is no reason to discourage polling day voting.

There has been a rise in pre-poll voting at recent Tasmanian elections, but its incidence remains much lower than elsewhere.

At the 2018 Tasmanian election, 74.6% of votes were within district polling day ordinary votes. The figure was down from 80.8% in 2010 and 89.2% in 1992. The graph below shows the rates for each category of non-ordinary votes at Tasmanian elections since 1992.Read More »Early Voting at Tasmanian Elections

Close of Nominations – 2021 Tasmanian Election

A total of 105 candidates have nominated to contests the 2021 Tasmanian election on 1 May. That’s down from 109 candidates in 2018 and 126 in 2014, but up on the very low 89 that contested then 2010 election.

This is the seventh election since the House of Assembly was reduced to 25 seats, and 105 candidates is the third lowest since the change.
Read More »Close of Nominations – 2021 Tasmanian Election

Final Two-Party Preferred result for 2021 Western Australian Election

Lower house results are now final for the 2021 Western Australian election, including the full distribution of preferences for all seats. The results reveal the extra-ordinary scale of Labor’s victory.

(The distribution of preferences for Legislative Council regions will take place later this week. I’ve provided commentary pending the release of the LC preference distributions at the page hosting my ABC Legislative Council calculators.)

Labor has won 53 of the 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, up 13 on the 40 seats it held before the election. The Liberal Party’s representation in the lower house has collapsed from 13 seats to just two. In Parliament the opposition will now be led by National Party Leader Mia Davies, her party having emerged from the carnage with four seats, down two from the six it held before the election.

Labor has recorded 69.7% of the state-wide two-party preferred vote, a swing in it’s favour of 14.1%. That’s on top of the 12.8% swing that put Labor into office in 2017.

Of the 59 seats, 58 finished as two-party contests with the Greens finishing second in Fremantle. (Note: 31 March – That there have been some minor changes to results in this post due to correction by the WAEC. The most significant change concerned a correction to the count in Southern River which cut the Labor two-party preferred vote from 84.9% to a still substantial 83.1%.) Read More »Final Two-Party Preferred result for 2021 Western Australian Election

2017 Tasmanian Redistribution

With rumours swirling that an early Tasmanian election is set to be announced, there is one small piece of unfinished business I need to fix.

The 2021 Tasmanian election will be fought on new electoral boundaries and in this post I re-calculate the results of the 2018 Tasmanian election to match the new electoral boundaries.
Read More »2017 Tasmanian Redistribution

2021 WA Election – Legislative Council Update

6 April – all six regions have been declared and I’ve included the updated results in the table below. There is more detail on the final result in each region at the ABC’s Legislative Council results page.

WA Legislative Council – Projected results

Region ALP LIB NAT GRN OTH
East Metropolitan 4 1 .. .. 1
North Metropolitan 4 2 .. .. ..
South Metropolitan 4 1 .. 1 ..
Agricultural 3 1 2 .. ..
Mining and Pastoral 4 1 .. .. 1
South West 3 1 1 .. 1
Council (36 seats) 22 7 3 1 3
Change +8 -2 -1 -3 -2

The ‘Other’ seats are two Legalise Cannabis WA and one Daylight Saving Party. The parties that no longer have representation in the Legislative Council are Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (-2), the Liberal Democrats (-1), Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (-1) and the Western Australian Party (-1).
Read More »2021 WA Election – Legislative Council Update

2021 Federal Redistribution – Draft Boundaries for Western Australia

Last year’s review of state representation in the House of Representatives recommended that Western Australia lose a seat, its representation falling from 16 to 15 members.

The draft boundaries are released at noon eastern time and I will update this post through the day with information on the new boundaries and estimated new margins.

In summary, the Liberal seat of Stirling is abolished and there is not much shift in margins for other seats.

The change in margins shown in the table below don’t show much shift in margins, but in going from 16 to 15 seats there are substantial changes in boundaries.
Read More »2021 Federal Redistribution – Draft Boundaries for Western Australia

2021 Federal Redistribution – Draft Boundaries for Victoria

Last year’s review of state representation in the House of Representatives recommended that Victoria gain a seat, increasing its number pof members from 38 to 39 seats.

The draft boundaries are released at noon eastern time and I will update this post through the day with information on the new boundaries and estimated new margins.

In short, the seat of Corangamite has been re-named Tucker and becomes a more urban seat centred on southern Geelong.

There is a new seat called Hawke covering Melbourne’s outer fringe including Sunbury, Melton, Bacchus Marsh and Ballan.

Most urban seats have had some boundary changes. The transfer of Springvale and Noble Park from Bruce to Hotham means the two seats more or less swap margins. Chisholm is slightly weakened for Liberal Gladys Liu and suburb swaps between Macnamara and Higgins opens an opportunity for the Greens to pass Labor and take the seat.

Read More »2021 Federal Redistribution – Draft Boundaries for Victoria

Western Australian Election Updates

In this post I’ll try and provide updates of election results over the next few days.

Counting resume at 10am Perth time each day.

Labor has won a smashing victory, polling more than 60% of the first preference vote and more than 69% after preferences. Labor also looks to have overcome the malapportioned electoral system for the state’s Legislative Council and is set to be the first Labor government in the state’s history to win a majority in the upper house.

Commentary reflects the live results being updated on the ABC Elections website.

And if you are looking for Legislative Council predictions, you can find them with the output from my Legislative Council calculator.

Saturday 20 March

I’ll close this post now. All seats have been decided though counting continues ahead of the formal distributions of preferences next week.

On Sunday I hope to write a separate post on the Legislative Council count where the predicted numbers are still bouncing around.
Read More »Western Australian Election Updates

Rates of ‘Below the Line’ Voting at the 2017 WA Legislative Council Election

This is a post for those who want to follow the output from the ABC’s Legislative Council election calculator once its starts running with live result data.

The calculator assumes that all votes cast are ticket or ‘above the line’ (ATL) votes. In close contests, the relatively small number of below the line (BTL) votes may impact on the prediction by causing a drift away from the party’s preference ticket.

For anyone interested in assessing the accuracy of calculator predictions, this post contains relevant data from 2017 on the rates of BTL voting by party, vote type and region.

In summary, the 2017 data indicates that the rate of BTL voting has little relationship to the region in which a vote is cast, or the type of vote (postal, pre-poll etc) used by a voter.

Where real differences occurs is in the relationship between a voter’s first preference party choice and the likelihood of choosing to cast a BTL vote. Read More »Rates of ‘Below the Line’ Voting at the 2017 WA Legislative Council Election

WA’s Experiment with Lower House Ticket Voting

Divided Senate ballot papers and Group Voting Tickets were first introduced for Senate elections in 1984. They were later adapted for use in the four mainland states with Legislative Councils, South Australia in 1985, NSW in 1988, Western Australia in 1989 and Victoria finally in 2006.

Divided ballot papers remain in use for electing upper houses in all jurisdictions. However, group voting tickets (GVTs), allowing parties to control between-party preferences, have fallen out of favour. GVTs were abolished in NSW in 2003, for the Senate in 2016 and in South Australia in 2018. GVTs are still part of the upper house voting system in Victoria and Western Australia.

All states except Western Australia adopted the Senate’s horizontal ballot paper where groups are listed left to right, with voters given the option of voting ‘above the line’ for party groups, or ‘below the line’ for lists of candidates. Western Australia finally adopted this ballot paper in 2017.

The original WA upper house ballot paper listed parties and groups vertically. Voters were given the choice of voting for groups on the left of the ballot paper, or for candidates on the right.

The reason Western Australia adopted a different ballot paper was because the design was intended to be used for both upper and lower house elections. The divided lower house ballot paper was used for three by-elections in 1988 but then abandoned before the 1989 state election.

A sample of the divided ballot paper used for the 1988 Ascot by-election is shown below.Read More »WA’s Experiment with Lower House Ticket Voting