Antony Green

Group Voting Tickets Published for the Victorian Legislative Council Election

Group voting tickets for the Legislative Council have been published this evening on the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC’s) website.

The double deck ballot papers being used for the 2022 election are bad enough, but their use has thrown out the ticket layout of the VEC’s published tickets. You can find them at this link but they are very difficult to read or understand.

Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of the work for you. I have managed to reformat the GVT data to produce much more readable versions of the tickets for each region.

Processing the tickets to prepare my Legislative Council Calculators has taken all afternoon. As a by-product I’ve produced these easier to use versions of the tickets.

The work setting up the calculators, and preparing the data set-up for the ABC election computer, means I haven’t had time to analyse the tickets and won’t have time tomorrow either.

But I have decided to make the tickets available for others to use. Feel free to make use of the linked documents below. All I request is a credit if you make use of the documents. It’s taken quite an effort to prepare them.

Calculators will hopefully be published by mid-week and there will be html versions of the tickets on the Victorian Election site on Monday morning.

Links for each region are contained inside the post.Read More »Group Voting Tickets Published for the Victorian Legislative Council Election

Summary of Candidates and Parties Contesting 2022 Victorian Election

A record 740 candidates will contest the 88 Legislative Assembly seats at the Victorian election on 26 November, well up on the previous record of 543 candidates in 2014.

The average of 8.4 candidates per lower house vacancy is the highest ever recorded at an Australian election, beating the previous record of 8.0 at the Federal election in May.

There are also a record 454 candidates contesting the Legislative Council, up from the 380 candidates in 2018. The number of candidates in every region is between 54 and 62. There are 24 groups in Western Metropolitan Region where two Independent groups have joined the 22 groups that have nominated for every region. Counting the Nationals’ joint ticket with the Liberals in three regions, all 22 registered parties have nominated in all regions. The number of columns means that all Legislative Council ballot papers will be printed in a confusing double-deck format.

The table and graph below gives the numbers of candidates contesting lower house elections since the current 88 seat chamber was first used in 1985.Read More »Summary of Candidates and Parties Contesting 2022 Victorian Election

Should the Victorian Liberal Party Change its Lower House Preference Policy?

(Two updates to this post – The Australian is reporting that the Liberal Party is considering the tactic I describe in this post. Second, the Liberals are using a lot of “Put Labor Last” slogans. In an era when fewer voters see how-to-votes, planting a “Put Labor Last” message can influence a voter, which as a by-product produces stronger flows of Liberal preferences to the Greens.)

During the 2010 Victorian Election campaign, the Liberal Party sprung a surprise by announcing that it would recommend preference to the Labor Party ahead of the Greens on Liberal how-to-vote material.

At the time it seemed an odd decision as it ensured that the Labor Party would not be under threat from the Greens in inner-city seats.

I’ve heard alternate views on whether the decision was a clever tactic to win the election or an admission the party didn’t expect to win. Either way, the decision was definitely in line with what many party members wanted. Many had been unhappy that Liberal preferences elected Greens’ candidate Adam Bandt as the new member for Melbourne at the August 2010 Federal election. Bandt polled 36.2% on first preferences to Labor 38.1%, an 80% flow of Liberal preferences responsible for Bandt winning.

It was becoming hypocritical for the Liberal Party to criticise Labor for being too close to the Greens when Liberal how-to-votes were actively helping to elect Greens in both upper and lower houses.

So the decision made for the 2010 Victorian election, and repeated at Victorian and Federal elections since, put Liberal preferences in ideological alignment with the position of the three parties on the political spectrum. Labor was put ahead of the Greens because the Greens were further to the left than Labor.

Putting the Australian Democrats ahead of Labor had always made sense for the Liberal Party. The Democrats were a more centrist party on many issues than Labor, and were also a party the Coalition could negotiate with in the Senate.

There have been rumours that there may be a change of strategy for the coming Victorian election.

If so there is logic as to why. It comes down to deciding whether strategy or ideology is the better tactic for deciding on preferences.Read More »Should the Victorian Liberal Party Change its Lower House Preference Policy?

The Victorian Legislative Council’s Rotten Electoral System – part 1

Victoria is the only Australian jurisdiction that continues to elect its upper house using the discredited Group Voting Ticket (GVT) system.

GVTs in Victoria give parties almost total control over the distribution of preferences, which flows through to controlling who wins the balance of power in the Legislative Council.

GVTs have been abolished in every state and for the Senate because they can be manipulated to elect parties with only a tiny percentage of the vote, a result that distorts the intended proportionality of the chamber’s electoral system.

In the lower house voters control preferences. Parties and candidates can only try to influence voters in how they complete their preferences. It is the same for the reformed Senate electoral system where voters now control the flow of between-party preferences, not parties.

As I explain in this post, the rottenness of GVTs is revealed when you examine the proportion of ‘above-the-line’ (ATL) votes that are under party control at Victorian Legislative Council elections compared to the related data for non-GVT Senate elections.

In Victoria, 100% of every ATL vote for every party, whether big or small, flows according to the party ticket.

In contrast, the 2022 Senate election saw major parties lucky to influence even the second preference of 50% of ATL votes, and the rate dropped precipitously for smaller parties.

It is without doubt that the reformed Senate system delivers an outcome that reflects the preferences of voters, where in Victoria the use of GVTs means the result reflects the decisions made by the tiny cabal of officials who negotiate the preference deals.Read More »The Victorian Legislative Council’s Rotten Electoral System – part 1

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