2019 SA Senate Election Part 2 – the Preference Distribution

Part 1 of my post on the 2019 SA Senate election analysed how voters completed their ballot papers under the new Senate system, how preferences flowed between parties and what was the impact of how-to-votes.

This post will be more descriptive in summarising the formal distribution of preferences. It highlights major exclusions and distributions during the count and comments on differences with how the count might have unfolded had the abolished group voting ticket system still been in place.

The Liberal and Labor parties polled more than two quotas on first preferences, ensuring two seats for each party. The Greens with a partial quota of 0.7639, and the Liberal Party with 0.6467 beyond two quotas, were well ahead in the race to fill the final two seats.

The six Senators elected are listed below, followed by an explanation of changes since the 2016 election.

  • Re-elected 1 – Anne Ruston (Liberal) at Count 1
  • Re-Elected 2 – Alex Gallacher (Labor) at Count 1
  • Re-elected 3 – David Fawcett (Liberal) at Count 2
  • Elected 4 – Marielle Smith (Labor) at Count 3
  • Re-elected 5 – Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens) at Count 165
  • Elected 6 – Alex Antic (Liberal) at Count 177

After the 2016 double dissolution election, the Senators elected in positions seven to 12 were allocated three-year terms expiring in 2019. In South Australia, the party affiliations of the second six Senators at the time of the 2016 election were Liberal two and one each representing Labor, the Nick Xenophon Team, Greens and Family First. Changes in party representation converted those numbers to Liberal three and one each for Labor, Greens and an Independent by the time of the 2019 election.

With the Liberal Party polling less than three quotas, Senator Lucy Gichuhi was incapable of election from fourth on the Liberal ticket. In 2017, Gichuhi had filled a vacancy caused by the departure of Family First’s Bob Day. He had resigned in November 2016, but the High Court later ruled he was disqualified to be a candidate at the 2016 election owing to a financial relationship with the Commonwealth. Gichuhi was elected to Day’s seat on re-count, but sat as an Independent after Family First merged with the newly formed Australian Conservatives. Gichuhi joined the Liberal Party in February 2018, but was pre-selected to the unwinnable fourth position on the Liberal Senate ticket.

Liberal Alex Antic entered the Senate in place of Gichuhi after being elected from third place on the Liberal ticket. Labor’s Marielle Smith was also elected to the Senate for the first time, Labor having only one seat to defend at the 2019 election.

Independent Senator Tim Storer did not contest the 2019 election. Storer had been fourth on the Nick Xenophon Team ticket at the 2016 election. When Xenophon resigned to contest the 2018 South Australian election, the party over-looked Storer and chose Rex Patrick to fill the casual vacancy. Storer resigned from the party, but was later elected by re-count after Skye Kakoschke-Moore was disqualified for holding foreign citizenship. Once in the Senate, Storer registered a political party, but announced in April 2019 that he would not contest the election.

Table 1 below sets out first preference votes by candidates and party. A total and percentage of votes is recorded for each candidate, along with a total and percentage for ticket votes cast using the group voting square. For each party/group there is a total of votes, a percentage and the total votes expressed as quotas. The final column shows ticket votes as a percentage of the group total.

Parties are listed in descending party vote order with the party name and ballot paper column (A, B, C etc) shown. Candidates are shown in the order candidates were listed in each group on the ballot paper.

Table 1 – First Preference Tally

Group – Party/Candidates Votes % Votes Quotas % Ticket
G – Liberal Party 413,957 37.81 2.6467 95.43
Ticket Votes 395,058 36.08
* RUSTON, Anne 13,402 1.22
* FAWCETT, David 2,256 0.21
ANTIC, Alex 687 0.06
* GICHUHI, Lucy 2,554 0.23
O – Labor Party 332,399 30.36 2.1253 94.73
Ticket Votes 314,876 28.76
* GALLACHER, Alex 13,185 1.20
SMITH, Marielle 1,124 0.10
GORE, Emily 1,552 0.14
HARRISON, Larissa 1,662 0.15
J – The Greens 119,470 10.91 0.7639 82.78
Ticket Votes 98,903 9.03
* HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah 18,126 1.66
SUMNER, Major Moogy 1,964 0.18
ROZITISOLDS, Gwydion 122 0.01
SETO, Robyn 355 0.03
E – One Nation 53,314 4.87 0.3409 93.26
Ticket Votes 49,718 4.54
GAME, Jennifer 3,385 0.31
ILLIES, Emma 211 0.02
K – United Australia 33,191 3.03 0.2122 94.82
Ticket Votes 31,472 2.87
REES, Kristian 1,491 0.14
KOVACS, Kerry 97 0.01
HOSKIN, Sharon Lee 131 0.01
C – Centre Alliance 28,416 2.60 0.1817 81.97
Ticket Votes 23,294 2.13
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye 4,878 0.45
BOSSIE, Craig 244 0.02
I – HEMP 23,265 2.13 0.1487 91.88
Ticket Votes 21,375 1.95
ADAMS, Angela 1,716 0.16
IVERSEN, Matthew 174 0.02
P – Animal Justice 20,445 1.87 0.1307 91.53
Ticket Votes 18,713 1.71
PFEIFFER, Louise 1,594 0.15
DAVEY, Wendy 138 0.01
L – Australian Conservatives 16,145 1.47 0.1032 77.03
Ticket Votes 12,437 1.14
LAMBERT, Rikki 3,574 0.33
TEUSNER, Carl 134 0.01
A – Great Australian Party 12,698 1.16 0.0812 84.71
Ticket Votes 10,757 0.98
ALDRIDGE, Mark 1,669 0.15
MATTHEWS, Gary 272 0.02
M – Shooters Fishers and Farmers 12,003 1.10 0.0767 90.74
Ticket Votes 10,892 0.99
HAHN, John 1,018 0.09
KIRK, Wayne Lawrence 93 0.01
B – Fraser Anning’s CNP 7,829 0.72 0.0501 79.81
Ticket Votes 6,248 0.57
MANUEL, Peter 1,422 0.13
DWYER, Tim 159 0.01
N – Liberal Democrats 7,345 0.67 0.0470 93.17
Ticket Votes 6,843 0.63
RANSLEY, Kimbra Louise 410 0.04
HUMBLE, Stephen 92 0.01
D – Australian Democrats 6,497 0.59 0.0415 84.76
Ticket Votes 5,507 0.50
BURROW, Tim 864 0.08
CASTRIQUE, Andrew 126 0.01
H – Sustainable Australia 5,295 0.48 0.0339 85.97
Ticket Votes 4,552 0.42
DAVIES, Graham 618 0.06
COLEMAN, Robyn 125 0.01
F – Citizens Electoral Council 1,611 0.15 0.0103 84.73
Ticket Votes 1,365 0.12
ALLWOOD, Sean 214 0.02
SIEBERT, Paul Graham 32 0.00
Ungrouped 943 0.09 0.0060 0.00
LESIW, Michael 425 0.04
O’DONNELL, Brett 215 0.02
COX, Henry 303 0.03
Formal 1,094,823 92.44
Informal 39,733 3.50
Total / Turnout 1,134,556
Quota 156,404

Counts 2-5 distributed the surplus votes of the elected Labor and Liberal candidates. At this point no further candidates had a quota, and the count proceeded by successively excluding the lowest polling candidates.

The count had started with totals for 42 candidates across 16 groups and the ungrouped column. Four candidates were elected by Count 5, another 23 candidates excluded by Count 119. Fifteen candidates remained in the count, the third listed Liberal and Labor candidates, and the lead candidates for the 12 groups still represented in the count.

Table 2 below shows the transfers (change in party total) since Count 1, along with the total after Count 119 for each candidate expressed as a vote total, a percentage of vote and a quota. The change in total for the Liberal and Labor candidates excludes the two quotas set aside with the two elected Senators. The one party excluded by this point, the Citizens Electoral Council (Group F) had been excluded at Counts 100-104, ahead of the exclusion of second remaining candidates on the Labor, Green and Liberal tickets.

As is normal to this point in the count, both the Labor and Liberal groups had lost votes since Count 1 due to votes leaking out of the party tickets on the election of the first two candidates.

Table 2 – At the End of Count 119

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) +908 120,378 11.00 0.7697
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) -2,920 98,229 8.97 0.6280
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +541 53,855 4.92 0.3443
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +478 33,669 3.08 0.2153
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +468 28,884 2.64 0.1847
ADAMS, Angela (I-HEMP) +368 23,633 2.16 0.1511
PFEIFFER, Louise (P-AJP) +445 20,890 1.91 0.1336
GORE, Emily (O-ALP) -1,061 18,530 1.69 0.1185
LAMBERT, Rikki (L-CON) +1,605 17,750 1.62 0.1135
ALDRIDGE, Mark (A-GAP) +59 12,757 1.17 0.0816
HAHN, John (M-SFF) +223 12,226 1.12 0.0782
MANUEL, Peter (B-FACNP) +92 7,921 0.72 0.0506
RANSLEY, Kimbra Louise (N-LDP) +267 7,612 0.70 0.0487
BURROW, Tim (D-DEM) +271 6,768 0.62 0.0433
DAVIES, Graham (H-SAP) +447 5,742 0.52 0.0367
ALLWOOD, Sean (F-CEC) -1,611 0
Ungrouped -943 0
Exhausted +145 145 0.01 0.0009

Table 3 shows Counts 120 to 129 and the distribution of preferences for Graham Davies (Sustainable Australia) and Tim Burrow (Australian Democrats). Preferences flowed 23.7% to the Greens,
12.4% to Liberal and 10.3% to HEMP.

Table 3 – At the End of Count 129

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) +2,968 123,346 11.27 0.7886
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +1,552 99,781 9.11 0.6380
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +969 54,824 5.01 0.3505
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +453 34,122 3.12 0.2182
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +1,038 29,922 2.73 0.1913
ADAMS, Angela (I-HEMP) +1,293 24,926 2.28 0.1594
PFEIFFER, Louise (P-AJP) +847 21,737 1.99 0.1390
GORE, Emily (O-ALP) +1,233 19,763 1.81 0.1264
LAMBERT, Rikki (L-CON) +443 18,193 1.66 0.1163
ALDRIDGE, Mark (A-GAP) +524 13,281 1.21 0.0849
HAHN, John (M-SFF) +284 12,510 1.14 0.0800
MANUEL, Peter (B-FACNP) +160 8,081 0.74 0.0517
RANSLEY, Kimbra Louise (N-LDP) +310 7,922 0.72 0.0507
BURROW, Tim (D-DEM) -6,768 0
DAVIES, Graham (H-SAP) -5,742 0
Exhausted +431 576 0.05 0.0037

Table 4 shows the distribution of preferences from five right of centre parties, Australian Conservatives, the Great Australian Party, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, Fraser Anning’s Conservative National Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Under the now abolished group voting ticket system, these five parties might have swapped preferences lifting the beneficiary to around 60,000 votes and in the race for the final seat. Without the ability to control preferences, voters made their own choices sending strong flows of preferences to the Liberal Party and One Nation.

In total preferences for the five parties flowed 24.9% Liberal, 21.9% One Nation, 12.0% UAP and 10.1% Centre Alliance. 3.8% of preferences exhausted. Australian Conservative and Liberal Democrat preferences favoured the Liberal Party, the other three parties favoured One Nation.

Table 4 – At the End of Count 154

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) +3,576 126,922 11.59 0.8115
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +14,921 114,702 10.48 0.7334
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +13,144 67,968 6.21 0.4346
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +7,194 41,316 3.77 0.2642
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +6,088 36,010 3.29 0.2302
ADAMS, Angela (I-HEMP) +4,304 29,230 2.67 0.1869
PFEIFFER, Louise (P-AJP) +3,508 25,245 2.31 0.1614
GORE, Emily (O-ALP) +4,972 24,735 2.26 0.1581
LAMBERT, Rikki (L-CON) -18,193 0
ALDRIDGE, Mark (A-GAP) -13,281 0
HAHN, John (M-SFF) -12,510 0
MANUEL, Peter (B-FACNP) -8,081 0
RANSLEY, Kimbra Louise (N-LDP) -7,922 0
Exhausted +2,298 2,874 0.26 0.0184

Table 5 shows the distribution of preferences on the exclusion of the third placed Labor candidate Emily Gore at counts 155-159. Around 60% of Gore’s votes were Labor ticket votes. On exclusion, 48.0% of preferences flowed to the Greens, 13.9% to Animal Justice in the next column, 12.9% to the Liberal Party. 3.2% of votes exhausted.

Table 5 – At the End of Count 159

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) +11,863 138,785 12.68 0.8873
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +3,202 117,904 10.77 0.7538
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +1,484 69,452 6.34 0.4441
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +1,749 43,065 3.93 0.2753
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +1,005 37,015 3.38 0.2367
ADAMS, Angela (I-HEMP) +1,433 30,663 2.80 0.1960
PFEIFFER, Louise (P-AJP) +3,218 28,463 2.60 0.1820
GORE, Emily (O-ALP) -24,735 0
Exhausted +789 3,663 0.33 0.0234

Table 6 shows preference flows on the exclusions of Louise Pfeiffer (Animal Justice) and Angela Adams (HEMP) at counts 160-169. With Labor already excluded, preferences flowed 45.7% to the Greens, 14.5% to One Nation, 12.7% to United Australia, 6.9% Centre Alliance and 9.1% exhausted. At this point the Green’s Sarah Hanson-Young was declared elected.

Table 6 – At the End of Count 169

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) +27,022 165,807 15.14 1.0601
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +7,508 125,412 11.46 0.8018
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +8,562 78,014 7.13 0.4988
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +6,608 49,673 4.54 0.3176
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +4,088 41,103 3.75 0.2628
ADAMS, Angela (I-HEMP) -30,663 0
PFEIFFER, Louise (P-AJP) -28,463 0
Exhausted +5,362 9,025 0.82 0.0577

Count 170 excluded the surplus votes of Sara Hanson-Young. Labor had been excluded by this point and Green preferences flowed 39.6% to the Centre Alliance, 24.0% Liberal, 9.0% United Australia, 6.4% One Nation and 21.0% exhausted. About a quarter of the votes distributed in this surplus had been cast for parties other than the Greens.

Table 7 – At the End of Count 170

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
HANSON-YOUNG, Sarah (J-GRN) -9,403 156,404 14.29 1.0000
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +2,253 127,665 11.66 0.8163
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +606 78,620 7.18 0.5027
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +844 50,517 4.61 0.3230
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) +3,723 44,826 4.09 0.2866
Exhausted +1,974 10,999 1.00 0.0703

The Centre Alliance had consistently attracted fewer preferences than other parties still in the race. Without Nick Xenophon’s name attached to the party’s name, the Centre Alliance had a lower profile than the Liberal Party, One Nation and United Australia. Preferences on the exclusion of Kakoschke-Moore flowed 37.8% to the Liberal Party, 21.2% One Nation, 10.5% United Australia and 30.6% exhausted.

This flow of preferences put the Liberal total ahead of the combined total of votes for One Nation and United Australia. Liberal candidates Alex Antic was now guaranteed to win the sixth and final seat.

Table 8 – At the End of Count 176

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +16,935 144,600 13.21 0.9245
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +9,489 88,109 8.05 0.5633
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) +4,686 55,203 5.04 0.3530
KAKOSCHKE-MOORE, Skye (C-CA) -44,826 0
Exhausted +13,736 24,735 2.26 0.1581

The distribution of all full value votes for UAP candidate Kristian Rees were enough to put Alex Antic over quota to win the final seat. Reduced transfer value ballot papers held by Rees were not distributed. 42.1% of preferences flowed to Liberal, 37.7% to One Nation and 20.2% exhausted.

Table 9 – At the End of Count 177

Candidate (Group-Party) Transfer Votes % Votes Quota
ANTIC, Alex (G-LIB) +21,945 166,545 15.21 1.0648
GAME, Jennifer (E-ONP) +19,639 107,748 9.84 0.6889
REES, Kristian (K-UAP) -52,116 3,087 0.28 0.0197
Exhausted +10,532 35,267 3.22 0.2255

The distribution of preferences did not change the order candidates were placed in at Count 6, demonstrating again that the Senate’s new electoral system gives much greater weight to the first preference votes received by candidates and parties.

3 thoughts on “2019 SA Senate Election Part 2 – the Preference Distribution”

  1. Antony
    Thanks for this blog. It is very readable, & the inclusion of column ID label next to party ID., is especially helpful.
    I noticed that the Greens allocation have been omitted from the text accompanying each of Tables 3 & 4, & the figures for all preference destinations in Table 7 do not tally to 100%.
    CA share of Green preferences ought to read 39.6%.

    COMMENT: Fixed. I had the wrong preference flows for Table 3.

  2. Hi Antony, how does the optional preferential system deal with the potential for ‘exhausted’ votes to be large enough to prevent any candidate from reaching the quota for the sixth seat? I would have thought the quota would shrink as preferences are exhausted. Thanks!

    COMMENT: If at the end of the count no candidate has a quota and there are no more candidates to exclude, the candidate with the highest vote is declared elected.

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