Antony Green

Record Minor Party Vote at the 2022 Senate Election and how the Senate’s Electoral System Performed

The 2022 Senate election marked a new high point in support for minor parties and Independents. The long term trend of declining support for major parties continued and passed a new milestone. For the first time both major parties were outpolled by the combined vote for minor parties and independents.

Senate ‘Other’ vote reached 35.7% against 34.2% for the Coalition and 30.1% for Labor. Senate non-major party support has been higher than Labor’s vote at every Senate election since 2013, but 2022 was the first where it was also higher than the Coalition.

In the House of Representatives, minor party and Independent support remained in third place though at a record level. The Coalition polled 35.7% in the House, Labor 32.6% and all other candidates 31.7%. While support for ‘Others’ reached record levels in both chambers, the gap between support in the two chambers narrowed.

The one-third splits in Senate support did not translate into one-thirds representation. The Coalition elected 15 Senators, Labor 15, and all other parties 10. Within vote for others, the Greens elected six Senators with 12.7% of the vote while the 23.0% support for the rest elected only four Senators.

This discrepancy is down to the nature of the Senate’s electoral system. Support for the Coalition, Labor and the Greens was confined to a single ticket in each state and territory. (There was a second but very low-polling National ticket in SA.) Support for non-Green ‘Others’ may have been at 23.0%, but it was spread across 126 groups plus numerous ‘ungrouped’ candidates. As smaller parties were excluded, their preferences did not always flow to other smaller parties.

Under the group voting ticket system abolished in 2016, party negotiated deals allowed small parties to aggregate their vote. The abolition of tickets returned control over preferences to voters, and three elections since the change have revealed that voters make different preference choices to those produced by the now abolished tickets. The new system has essentially diminished the influence of preferences and made the system more proportional to the level of first preference vote in each state.

The Senate’s electoral system now effectively operates like list proportional representation with final seats allocated to groups with the highest partial quotas on first preferences. The election of Independent David Pocock in the 2022 ACT Senate race shows that preference can still determine who is elected. But such exceptions don’t undermine the basic nature of the Senate’s reformed electoral system – it advantages parties with primary votes over parties that rely on preferences.

Inside this post, I take a closer look at the national voting patterns, and also assess how the electoral system translated votes into the seats.
Read More »Record Minor Party Vote at the 2022 Senate Election and how the Senate’s Electoral System Performed

2022 Post-Federal Election Pendulum

With 16 members elected to the crossbench in the new House of Representatives, drawing up a new electoral pendulum based on the 2022 Federal election result strains the traditionally used two-sided format.

However, I’ve gone with the traditional format with the non-major party seats separated bottom right on the opposition side of the pendulum. However, the expanded size of the crossbench means this group of seats deserves more attention than its bottom of the table position suggests.

Inside this post I provide a post-election pendulum for the House of Representatives, along with some general comments on the overall result.Read More »2022 Post-Federal Election Pendulum

2022 Western Australian Senate Election

  • Re-elected 1 – Sue Lines (Labor)
  • Re-elected 2 – Michaelia Cash (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 3 – Glenn Sterle (Labor)
  • Re-elected 4 – Dean Smith (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 5 – Dorinda Cox (Greens)
  • Elected 6 – Fatima Payman (Labor)
  • Defeated – Ben Small (Liberal) – see notes below

Party Outcome: Probably Liberal (-1), Labor (+1)

All votes have now been counted and allocated as first preferences to ticket votes or to individual candidates. A table of these votes is included min the post along with an analysis of the final distribution of preferences that elected Fatima Payman (Labor) to the final vacancy ahead of Paul Filing (One Nation).

In brief, Liberal preferences on the exclusion of the third Liberal candidate determined the outcome. On first preferences, Labor’s third candidate Fatima Payman was on 0.42 quotas to One Nation’s Paul Filing on 0.24. By the time only three candidates were left, the lead had narrowed with Payman on 0.72 and Filing on 0.61, 155,170 votes to 133,111 with the third Liberal Ben Small to be excluded with 99,327 votes. Small’s preferences split 31.0% to Payman, 29.6% to Filing and 39.4% exhausting. The final totals were Payman 185,992 or 0.8531 quotas to Filing 162,502 or 0.7454 quotas.

Read More »2022 Western Australian Senate Election

2022 South Australian Senate Election

  • Re-elected 1 – Simon Birmingham (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 2 – Penny Wong (Labor)
  • Re-elected 3 – Andrew McLachlan (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 4 – Don Farrell (Labor)
  • Elected 5 – Barbara Pocock (Greens)
  • Elected 6 – Kerrynne Liddle (Liberal)
  • Defeated – Stirling Griff (Centre Alliance)
  • Defeated – Rex Patrick (Rex Patrick Team)

Party Summary: Ex-Nick Xenophon Team Senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff have been defeated (-2), replaced by Greens (+1) and Liberal (+1).

Post includes analysis of the preference flows that determined who won the final seat.
Read More »2022 South Australian Senate Election

2022 Tasmanian Senate Election

  • Re-elected 1 – Jonno Duniam (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 2 – Anne Urquhart (Labor)
  • Re-elected 3 – Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens)
  • Re-elected 4 – Helen Polley (Labor)
  • Re-elected 5 – Wendy Askew (Liberal)
  • Elected 6 – Tammy Tyrrell (Jacqui Lambie Newtwork)
  • Defeated – Eric Abetz (Liberal)

Party Summary: Liberal (-1), Jacqui Lambie Network (+1)

Read More »2022 Tasmanian Senate Election

2022 ACT Senate Election

  • Re-elected 1 – Katy Gallagher (Labor)
  • Elected 2 – David Pocock (Independent)
  • Defeated – Zed Seselja (Liberal)

Party Outcome: Liberal (-1), Independent (+1)

The final first preferences table and a summary of the preferences distributions are published inside the post.

David Pocock trailed on first preferences, but with the Liberal Party having polled only three-quarters of a quota, Pocock was easily able to overtake Zed Seselja and win on preferences. Overall Pocock received around 72.5% of preferences while Zed Seselja received only 18.9% with 8.6% exhausted. Seselja finished with 0.86 quotas while Pocock was elected with 1.09 quotas.
Read More »2022 ACT Senate Election

Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

Daily updated post tracking the rates of postal and pre-poll voting compared to previous elections.

State and territory elections over the last two years have seen a huge increase in both pre-poll and postal voting. I’ve written a number of posts on trends at those elections. I’ll include some relevant links at the end of this post.

I’ve also published a second post with a sortable table and graph showing the rates of pre-poll and postal voting by division.

The time between close of nominations and polling day is one week longer in 2022 compared to 2019, four weeks versus three weeks. In contrast, a change in the law means that pre-poll voting will be one week shorter in 2022, confined to only two weeks rather than the three weeks allowed at previous elections. The change means that where in 2019 pre-poll voting and postal voting started at the same time, in 2022 there have been two weeks for parties to flood the electorate with postal vote applications before the start of pre-poll voting for two weeks.

Summary of Early Voting statistics at the end of the pre-polling day period Friday 20 May

  • (Postals for Friday not yet available) With the closing date for postal vote applications now past, a total of 2,731,060 postal vote applications had been received representing 15.9% of enrolment. This compares to 1,538,139 in 2019 or 9.4% of enrolment.
  • 1,644,061 postal votes have been returned representing 9.5% of enrolment or 55.0% of dispatched postal vote packs. There have now been more postal votes returned in 2022 than the total number of postal applications in 2019.
  • In 2019 84.0% of postal votes dispatched were returned, though 3% postals did not make it through scrutiny so only 81.0% of postal votes dispatched made it into the count.
  • Postal votes admitted to the count in 2019 represented 7.6% of enrolment, or 8.2% of votes. (Based on House ballot papers admitted.)

Summary Pre-Poll Statistice –

  • Final Pre-polls to total is 5,541,757 to a total of 4,778,856 in 2019 in the reported daily figures. There were just under a million votes taken on Friday, 923,852 in total and 208,000 more than on the final day in 2019. There have been five fewer days of pre-polling in 2022 because of the change in the law, but the number of pre-polls has passed the number taken in the longer period in 2019. See graphs below. Pre-polls represent 32.2% of enrolled voters compared to 29.9 in 2019.
  • Pre-poll figures for both 2019 and 2022 are of all pre-polls issued at early voting centres so includes both within district ordinary pre-polls and out of district pre-poll declaration. Based on 2019 experience, most pre-polls will be within district pre-polls.
  • There were 4,908,831 pre-poll votes in 2019 representing 29.9% of enrolment or 32.5% of votes counted. This is the final audited pre-poll figure which is slightly higher than the reported daily totals used above in comparison to the daily totals in 2022.
  • In 2019 there were 4,288,451 House votes cast as pre-poll ordinaries, that is at a polling place for the voter’s home division. These represented 28.4% of votes counted.
  • There were another 620,380 House votes cast as pre-poll declaration, largely pre-poll absents cast outside of division, representing 4.1% of votes counted.

Read More »Tracking the Early Vote for the 2022 Federal Election

SA 2022 – Legislative Council Result Finalised

The last count for the South Australian election was finalised today with the distribution of preferences for the Legislative Council.

Several weeks of scanning and data entry have turned all the LC ballot papers into electronic records. Today the records were fed into the SA Electoral Commission’s preference distribution software to determine the winning candidates.

Details on the count are provided in the post.

Update: – some overall numbers on how voters completed their ballot papers.

  • Above-the-line with only a first preference – 62.7%
  • Above-the-line TL with preferences – 31.1%
  • Below the line – 6.2%

The above figures are derived from batching for ballot paper scanning. The detailed table of results below has 6.1% for below the line votes. The discrepancy is due to below the line votes that were informal or reverted to above the line votes after applying formality checks.
Read More »SA 2022 – Legislative Council Result Finalised