Antony Green - Election Analyst
Update on when the count will finish – While the lower house count is complete, the time-consuming scanning of Legislative Council ballot papers takes time. The button push for the distribution of preferences is expected around the Anzac Day weekend.
Update: With every vote now counted, there are some slight changes to the partial quota values. One Nation is 0.51, Labor 0.42, LDP 0.39, Family First 0.37. I still stick to my view in the post that Labor’s position will improve with scrutiny of BTL votes, with preference flows from the Greens, Animal Justice and Legalise Cannabis, and with the general leakage of preferences to the larger parties. But there is a chance the gap could close if there are any significant preference flows between the LDP and Family First. And there is still a chance that order could alter.
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With the lower house counts being finalised today, it is time to take a closer look at the upper house election for the Legislative Council (LC).
Almost all Legislative Council first preference votes have been counted. The process of scanning and data entering ballot papers is underway. Once that is completed, the distribution of preferences will be undertaken very quickly by computer.
Nine seats are clear, electing four Labor MLCs, four Liberals and one Green. The final two seats look likely to go a fifth Labor MLC and the state’s first One Nation MLC.
If the election finishes as set out in the previous paragraph, the new Legislative Council will be 9 Labor, 8 Liberal, 2 Greens, 2 SA Best and a One Nation member. Assuming Labor appoints a President, then Labor would need the votes of three of the five cross bench members to pass legislation.
Read More »2022 SA Legislative Council Result
Nominations closed today for the South Australian election. A total of 240 candidates have nominated for the House of Assembly with the ballot draw for all seats taking place today.
The ballot draw for the Legislative Council will be at noon on Tuesday 1 March. Details of the Council nominations will not be released until after the ballot draw. There are 19 groups contesting the Legislative Council and one ungrouped candidate. More details tomorrow.
The four NSW by-elections for Bega, Monaro, Strathfield and Willoughby are being conducted under rules where every voter is automatically being sent ballot papers in a postal vote pack.
You can find my guide to the by-elections at the ABC Elections site. Each page now includes candidate how-to-vote material.
In this post I will keep track of the number of pre-poll votes cast and the number of postal votes returned before polling day. As I explain inside this post, the rate of postal voting is certain to be very high given this automatic send out of postal vote packs. Voters can still vote pre-poll or vote on polling day, but many are certain to use the ballot papers sent to them.
Observation – In the final week of voting you would normally see a surge in pre-poll voting. That hasn’t happened with these by-elections. Pre-poll voting increased each day in week one of voting, but there has been no increase in the per day rate in week two. That voters were receiving postal vote packs last week has almost certainly caused some voters to use their postal vote rather than attend pre-polling. As polling day nears, the number of postals returned has begun to surge.
The rates of pre-poll and postal voting by Friday 11 February on the completion of pre-poll voting:
Bega – 29.4% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 21.3% returned a postal vote
Monaro – 23.1% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 15.3% returned a postal vote
Strathfield – 16.3% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 26.4% returned a postal vote
Willoughby – 9.6% of enrolled voters have cast a pre-poll and 28.1% returned a postal vote
Inside this post I breakdown the pre-polls and postals by electorate by day and compare them to the equivalent rates in 2019. I also explain the rules under which the election is being conducted, and also the changed counting procedures for the by-election.
Update on Counting Procedures – Postal votes envelopes will be processed in the week after the election, but there will be no counting of postal votes until Saturday 19 February.
It is important to stress that this all postal election is not available for the Federal election or the looming South Australian election. Both those elections will allow more voters to apply for postal votes, but full postal mail-outs aren’t an option for either election.
Read More »2022 NSW By-elections – Tracking the Early Vote
It hasn’t had it’s formal launch yet, but my 2022 Federal Election Guide has been published by the ABC.
That’s the link to the overall election preview which includes links to a preview for the contest in each state.
At the top of the page are the usual links to Electorate and Candidate index pages. From these you can navigate to a profile for every electorate.
There’s more to be added to the site but this is a good start.Read More »Federal Election Guide Published
Opponents of the Morrison government’s VoterID bill, currently being debated by Parliament, have regularly pointed out that some groups of voters will be disadvantaged by the new law if passed.
The argument is that some groups of electors are less likely to have the forms of identification set out in the bill, meaning they will be disproportionally represented amongst those denied access to an ordinary vote.
The group most often mentioned is Indigenous voters, in particular remote Indigenous voters, and the electoral division where this will have the most impact is Lingiari, the sprawling outback Northern Territory seat.
According to the 2016 Census, 40% of the division’s residents are Indigenous. But because remote voters are not included in the national automatic enrolment program, and because of cuts in remote indigenous enrolment programs, indigenous voters make up less than 40% of enrolled electors in Lingiari.
In Lingiari, remote postal services are largely non-existent and the electorate has the nation’s lowest rate of postal voting at 2.9%. As a proportion of electors, this figure is even lower in comparison to other divisions because Lingiari consistently has the nation’s lowest turnout. The turnout in Lingiari at the 2019 election was 72.9% compared to the national figure of 91.9%.
Turnout is low because remote Indigenous voters have little access to election day polling places used by other Australians, and because pre-poll ordinary voting is generally only available in Alice Springs, Katherine, and around Greater Darwin.
Most Indigenous votes are collected by remote mobile polling teams that travel around the electorate visiting communities for as little as one hour on a single day.
One of the key campaign jobs of candidates in Lingiari is making sure communities know when a mobile team is turning up, and making sure community members are around to vote when it arrives. Many miss out.
So Lingiari is central to the debate on voter ID. Remote indigenous electors are already the category of Australians least likely to be enrolled, least likely to have the opportunity to vote, and due to this new law, may become the group least likely to be allowed to cast an ordinary vote.Read More »Why the NT seat of Lingiari keeps being mentioned in the VoterID Debate
I’ve published a new election website for the ABC.
It’s a site covering the twice delayed NSW Local Government Elections to be held on 4 December. You can find the site it at this link.
I assure you this is not the most riveting election site I’ve published. It’s more public service than news. Given that the NSW Electoral Commission’s website is difficult to navigate, I hope my more simple display of candidates and results will prove useful for voters and political tragics. I hope to add more content on the political composition of councils over the next week and a half.
In the rest of this post I’ll summarise some statistics on the elections and point to one or two oddities produced by the elections.Read More »NSW Local Government Elections Website
The closure of Australia’s international borders in early 2020 has had a major impact on Australian state and territory population trends. These will play out politically in mid-2023 when the Australian Electoral Commissioner determines how many House of Representatives seats each state will be entitled to for the 2024/25 election.
The rules under which the Electoral Commissioner makes a determination are tightly defined in law and based on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population statistics. The Commissioner merely applies the Parliament’s formula and has no room for personal choice.
The ABS’s most recent population estimates for March 2021 were released last week. Based on these, the next term of Parliament will see Victoria lose the 39th seat it has gained for the coming election. On the 2021 numbers, there are no other changes to state representation, though future growth could see Western Australia on the cusp of recovering the 16th seat it recently lost.
The 2022 election will be contested on seat numbers set by the Commissioner’s last determination in July 2020. The new electoral boundaries were finalised in August 2021. My comment on Victoria losing a seat will not be relevant until mid-2023 when the next determination is made.Read More »Covid19 Set to Change State Representation After 2022 Election
This is my latest look back at how the Senate’s new electoral system worked at the 2019 election, how voters completed their ballot papers, what preference flows were produced, and what was the influence of how-to-vote material.
In summary, the smaller a party’s vote, the more likely its preferences will scatter widely or exhaust. The more that a party has an identifiable position on the left-right spectrum, the more likely that its preferences will flow in a particular direction.
And the more obvious a party’s how-to-vote recommendation, and the more how-to-votes are handed out, the more likely that voters will follow or guess the recommendation.Read More »2019 WA Senate Election – Ballot Paper and Preferences Analysis