New South Wales is the only Australian jurisdiction that uses optional rather than compulsory or full preferential voting for single member lower house elections. It is also the only state that data enters all lower house ballot papers and publishes the data for outside research.
Over the next few days I’ll publish more information on lower house preference flows, but this first post concentrates on preference completion rates.
For this analysis, all ballot papers have been categorised into one of three categories.
- Single – ballot papers that counted with only a single preference.
- Full – ballot paper with all squares filled completing a formal sequence of preferences.
- Partial – formal preferences between 2 and (Max Candidates -1).
Overall 64.3% of ballot papers counted as 1-only votes and had no further preferences. 23.7% of ballot papers counted with all preferences correctly completed, and a further 12.0% had partial preferences. The median number of preferences completed was 1, the average 2.4.
The rate of completion varied substantially by party and also varied from electorate to electorate. This variation in rate is clearly related to published and distributed how-to-vote material. As I don’t have access to the how-to-votes, this post won’t include analysis based on recommendation.
But if you want to see the numbers by electorate by candidate, or by party by electorate, you can find all the details in this pdf document I’ve prepared.
Read More »Preference Completion Categories – 2019 NSW Election