April 2021

2018 Tasmanian election – Animations of the Distributions of Preferences

Thanks to the excellent animation work of the ABC’s Markus Mannheim, I’ve pulled together animations that show the distribution of preferences in all five seats at the 2018 Tasmanian election.

These are good illustration of how the system works to fit seats to votes recorded by candidate.

Below the animation on each page I have included some notes on the key points in each count.Read More »2018 Tasmanian election – Animations of the Distributions of Preferences

Bass – Distribution of Preferences – 2018 Tasmanian Election

To help explain the mysteries of the Hare-Clark electoral system, I’ve prepared a series of posts that summarise the key points of the distribution of preferences in the five electorates at the 2018 Tasmanian election.

This post summarises the count in Bass.

An important point I feel needs to be stressed is that while the Hare-Clark counting system is complex, voting is NOT complex.

All preferences in the Hare-Clark system are under the control of you the voter. Parties and candidate have no say on how preferences on your ballot paper are counted.

All you need to do is number a minimum of five preferences for your vote to be counted as formal. And you are free to keep numbering preferences beyond five if you want to order other candidates. If you number candidates in the order you would like to them elected, then the complex counting system will apply your votes to your chosen candidates in the order that you specified.

Some people like to bet their preference order against how every one else will vote. Unless you want to spend a lot of time researching guestimates of how candidates will poll, the best tactic to adopt is the one I stated above – simply number candidates in the order you would like to see them elected.
Read More »Bass – Distribution of Preferences – 2018 Tasmanian Election

Early Voting at Tasmanian Elections

UPDATE 23 April – One week before the election, 26,000 postal packs have been dispatched with the date for applications now having passed. This is only slightly up on the 24,676 in 2018. 18,000 pre-poll votes have been taken, only half the number in 2018, but the last week of the campaign is when most pre-poll votes are cast.

Original post
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