Australia Elections State

Early Voting at Queensland Elections and its Political Impact

As a Covid-19 measure, the Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ) is encouraging electors to vote early in 2020. This means the Queensland election will see a record rate of votes cast before the traditional polling day on 31 October.

While the overall early voting rates will be exaggerated by the circumstances of holding an election under Covid-19 precautions, the switch to early voting continues a trend that has been accelerating over the last decade.

This post looks at Queensland elections since 1986, how and when people have voted, as well as the differing levels of party support by vote type at the 2017 state election.Read More »Early Voting at Queensland Elections and its Political Impact

Tracking the Pre-Poll Vote for the ACT Election

In this post I’ll track the rate of pre-poll voting for the 2020 ACT Election compared to 2016. The ACT Electoral Commission is actively encouraging pre-poll voting as a Covid-19 measure.

I’ll graph the data inside the post.

Day 19 – The final day of pre-polling, Friday 16 October, saw a huge surge with 26,804 votes taken. This brings the total number of pre-poll votes to 192,186 from a roll of 302,630, representing 63.5% of enrolment. Around 90% of these pre-poll votes were taken electronically and will be released in the count on Saturday night.

Another 22,328 electors have applied for a postal vote, putting the pre-election day voting rate up above 70%.

Several notes to make. First, late and polling day enrolment are allowed in the ACT so the roll number will rise slightly. Secondly, not all postal votes will be returned. Third, it is estimated around 80,000 Canberrans will vote in the traditional way today, Saturday 17 October.Read More »Tracking the Pre-Poll Vote for the ACT Election

My ACT and Queensland Election Websites have been launched

I haven’t had any time to post over the last fortnight, being too busy preparing websites and computer systems for the upcoming ACT and Queensland elections.

Let me give a brazen plug for the just published websites for both elections, and a bit of background on the next five weeks for keen election watchers.Read More »My ACT and Queensland Election Websites have been launched

2020 Northern Territory Election – Analysis of Results

With counting complete for the 2020 Northern Territory election, it’s time for a preliminary analysis of the results and summary of changes to the composition of the Legislative Assembly.

Swings and change in seats below are based on adjusting the 2016 result for the 2019 redistribution. Details of the redistribution can be found in this post, and detail on changes in party composition can be found in my ABC NT Election Preview.
Read More »2020 Northern Territory Election – Analysis of Results

2020 South Australian Redistribution – Release of Draft Boundaries

(Update: the final boundaries were released on 18 November and I analyse the political impact in a separate post on the final boundaries. The draft boundaries post below includes a broader discussion of the legal basis of drawing South Australian boundaries.)

Last Friday saw the much anticipated release of draft state electoral boundaries for South Australia.

I say anticipated because the redistribution was the first held since the Weatherill Labor government repealed the state’s electoral fairness provision in late 2017. The repeal was the government’s last legislative measure before losing office.

Would the new boundaries be drawn with no attention paid to fairness, undermining the Liberal government’s electoral position and paving the way for a Labor victory at the 2022 election? Once released, it became clear the short answer was no, the long answer more complex and well worth a blog post..

Without an overriding fairness provision, the Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission did not repeat its exercise of four years ago in drawing boundaries that sacrificed the principle (though not legal definition) of enrolment equality in favour of electoral fairness.

Against Labor’s hopes, the Commission did not entirely abandon fairness arguments. But it could no longer use fairness to dismiss other criteria set down in the Constitution for drawing electoral boundaries .

In summary, the new boundaries retain the existing two-party division of the House of Assembly where, not including elected Independents, there are 27 underlying Liberal electorates to 20 for Labor.

However, on the new boundaries, the Liberal Party has more marginal seats and the uniform swing to lose office is reduced. The big loser of the redistribution is Independent MP Geoff Brock, whose regional seat of Frome has been dismembered to solve enrolment shortfalls in country districts.Read More »2020 South Australian Redistribution – Release of Draft Boundaries

Preference Flows at the 2018 South Australian Election and the Influence of How-to-Votes

The 2018 South Australian election saw a record vote for minor parties. This was largely due to the campaign by Nick Xenophon and his SA-Best party, polling 14.2% in the House of Assembly, a creditable 18.4% in the 26 seats it contested. The failure of the party to poll as strongly as published polling well out from the election suggested, or to elect a member to the Assembly, saw its campaign labelled a failure by political commentators.

In the end the party was used by voters as a conduit for preferences to the Liberal and Labor Parties. As you would expect for a party viewed by voters as sitting in the political centre, the party’s preferences split evenly, 51.6% to the Liberal Party and 48.4% to labor.

The release of preference flow data by the SA Electoral Commission provides an opportunity to analyse preference flows against party preference recommendations. Several unique features in the conduct of SA House of Assembly elections allows the comparison of preference flows with how-to-votes lodged by candidates and displayed in voting compartments.Read More »Preference Flows at the 2018 South Australian Election and the Influence of How-to-Votes

2020 Northern Territory Election – Tracking the Early Vote

In this post I will keep track of the surging rate of early voting ahead of the Northern Territory election’s formal polling day on 22 August.

After the last day of early voting on Friday 21 August

  • In total 75,537 votes have been recorded in advance of polling. This total includes all pre-polls, remote mobile votes and postal votes returned to date. The total in 2016 was 51,155. The 2020 total will increase as more postal votes return in the two weeks allowed after polling day. Already the 2020 figure represents a 48% increase on the early voting in 2016.
  • The total early votes currently represents 53.5% of enrolment. Given turnout is generally around 75%, that means roughly 70% of all votes to be counted have been completed before election day.
  • The breakdown at the end of voting was Pre-poll 60,292 (42.7%), Remote Mobile 12,019 (8.5%) (this might include on the day mobile votes) and returned Postals 3,953 (2.8%). A total of 10,242 (7.3%) of voters had been sent a postal vote pack, though not all will be used or returned in time.

Read More »2020 Northern Territory Election – Tracking the Early Vote

Close of Enrolment and Nomination Details for 2020 Northern Territory Election

Nominations closed today for the Northern Territory election on 22 August. A total of 111 candidates have nominated, second only in number to the 115 candidates that nominated for the 2016 election.

Early, postal and mobile voting starts on Monday 10 August. You can find all the details of when and where to vote at the NT Electoral Commission’s website.

Details of nominated candidates have been added to each district page on my 2020 NT Election guide at the ABC Elections site. (Now published.) Check out the guide for background on the election and on the contest for each seat.

In this post I’ll summarise the final enrolment and details of nominations by party.Read More »Close of Enrolment and Nomination Details for 2020 Northern Territory Election

South Australian Government Proposes Optional Preferential Voting

In proposing that South Australia adopt optional preferential voting for House of Assembly elections, the Marshall government is highlighting democratic principles in favour of making preferences optional. But you don’t have to be cynical to see that in backing principle, the SA Liberal Party is also backing its own self-interest.

Since 1982 there have been 26 South Australian electoral contests where a candidate trailing on first preferences won. Of these, 14 were won by Labor, 11 by Independents or minor party candidates, and just one by the Liberal Party. (Newland in 1989).Read More »South Australian Government Proposes Optional Preferential Voting