Western Australia

Final Two-Party Preferred result for 2021 Western Australian Election

Lower house results are now final for the 2021 Western Australian election, including the full distribution of preferences for all seats. The results reveal the extra-ordinary scale of Labor’s victory.

(The distribution of preferences for Legislative Council regions will take place later this week. I’ve provided commentary pending the release of the LC preference distributions at the page hosting my ABC Legislative Council calculators.)

Labor has won 53 of the 59 seats in the Legislative Assembly, up 13 on the 40 seats it held before the election. The Liberal Party’s representation in the lower house has collapsed from 13 seats to just two. In Parliament the opposition will now be led by National Party Leader Mia Davies, her party having emerged from the carnage with four seats, down two from the six it held before the election.

Labor has recorded 69.7% of the state-wide two-party preferred vote, a swing in it’s favour of 14.1%. That’s on top of the 12.8% swing that put Labor into office in 2017.

Of the 59 seats, 58 finished as two-party contests with the Greens finishing second in Fremantle. (Note: 31 March – That there have been some minor changes to results in this post due to correction by the WAEC. The most significant change concerned a correction to the count in Southern River which cut the Labor two-party preferred vote from 84.9% to a still substantial 83.1%.) Read More »Final Two-Party Preferred result for 2021 Western Australian Election

2021 WA Election – Legislative Council Update

6 April – all six regions have been declared and I’ve included the updated results in the table below. There is more detail on the final result in each region at the ABC’s Legislative Council results page.

WA Legislative Council – Projected results

Region ALP LIB NAT GRN OTH
East Metropolitan 4 1 .. .. 1
North Metropolitan 4 2 .. .. ..
South Metropolitan 4 1 .. 1 ..
Agricultural 3 1 2 .. ..
Mining and Pastoral 4 1 .. .. 1
South West 3 1 1 .. 1
Council (36 seats) 22 7 3 1 3
Change +8 -2 -1 -3 -2

The ‘Other’ seats are two Legalise Cannabis WA and one Daylight Saving Party. The parties that no longer have representation in the Legislative Council are Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (-2), the Liberal Democrats (-1), Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (-1) and the Western Australian Party (-1).
Read More »2021 WA Election – Legislative Council Update

Western Australian Election Updates

In this post I’ll try and provide updates of election results over the next few days.

Counting resume at 10am Perth time each day.

Labor has won a smashing victory, polling more than 60% of the first preference vote and more than 69% after preferences. Labor also looks to have overcome the malapportioned electoral system for the state’s Legislative Council and is set to be the first Labor government in the state’s history to win a majority in the upper house.

Commentary reflects the live results being updated on the ABC Elections website.

And if you are looking for Legislative Council predictions, you can find them with the output from my Legislative Council calculator.

Saturday 20 March

I’ll close this post now. All seats have been decided though counting continues ahead of the formal distributions of preferences next week.

On Sunday I hope to write a separate post on the Legislative Council count where the predicted numbers are still bouncing around.
Read More »Western Australian Election Updates

Rates of ‘Below the Line’ Voting at the 2017 WA Legislative Council Election

This is a post for those who want to follow the output from the ABC’s Legislative Council election calculator once its starts running with live result data.

The calculator assumes that all votes cast are ticket or ‘above the line’ (ATL) votes. In close contests, the relatively small number of below the line (BTL) votes may impact on the prediction by causing a drift away from the party’s preference ticket.

For anyone interested in assessing the accuracy of calculator predictions, this post contains relevant data from 2017 on the rates of BTL voting by party, vote type and region.

In summary, the 2017 data indicates that the rate of BTL voting has little relationship to the region in which a vote is cast, or the type of vote (postal, pre-poll etc) used by a voter.

Where real differences occurs is in the relationship between a voter’s first preference party choice and the likelihood of choosing to cast a BTL vote. Read More »Rates of ‘Below the Line’ Voting at the 2017 WA Legislative Council Election

WA’s Experiment with Lower House Ticket Voting

Divided Senate ballot papers and Group Voting Tickets were first introduced for Senate elections in 1984. They were later adapted for use in the four mainland states with Legislative Councils, South Australia in 1985, NSW in 1988, Western Australia in 1989 and Victoria finally in 2006.

Divided ballot papers remain in use for electing upper houses in all jurisdictions. However, group voting tickets (GVTs), allowing parties to control between-party preferences, have fallen out of favour. GVTs were abolished in NSW in 2003, for the Senate in 2016 and in South Australia in 2018. GVTs are still part of the upper house voting system in Victoria and Western Australia.

All states except Western Australia adopted the Senate’s horizontal ballot paper where groups are listed left to right, with voters given the option of voting ‘above the line’ for party groups, or ‘below the line’ for lists of candidates. Western Australia finally adopted this ballot paper in 2017.

The original WA upper house ballot paper listed parties and groups vertically. Voters were given the choice of voting for groups on the left of the ballot paper, or for candidates on the right.

The reason Western Australia adopted a different ballot paper was because the design was intended to be used for both upper and lower house elections. The divided lower house ballot paper was used for three by-elections in 1988 but then abandoned before the 1989 state election.

A sample of the divided ballot paper used for the 1988 Ascot by-election is shown below.Read More »WA’s Experiment with Lower House Ticket Voting

How to Vote in the Western Australian Upper House

It is VERY important that voters understand that the rules for voting in the WA upper house, the Legislative Council, are not the same as those used at the last two federal Senate elections.

Ahead of the 2016 Federal election, the rules for Senate voting were changed. Party control over preferences was ended by the abolition of group voting tickets (GVTs), previously used by parties to control preferences. The new system put control over between-party preference entirely in the hands of voters, the same as applies at lower house elections.

But these changes do not apply for WA Legislative Council elections.

This post is a Q&A explaining the differences and giving some hints on how to complete your Legislative Council ballot paper.Read More »How to Vote in the Western Australian Upper House

2021 WA Election – Tracking the Early Vote

Final pre-poll and postal vote details have now been published ahead of the WA election on 13 March. The number of early votes already in the hands of the WA Electoral Commission have passed three-quarters of a million, 755,075 or 44% of enrolled voters.

The final figures at end of voting on Friday 12 March are

  • 585,774 pre-poll votes have been taken representing 34.1% of enrolled voters. This is more than two and a half as many pre-polls as were taken in total at the 2017 election. 86.548 were taken on Friday, the usual pattern where the highest number of pre-polls is taken on the final day.
  • 331,078 postal vote applications were received up till close of applications on 10 March representing 19.3% of enrolled voters.
  • 169,301 postal votes have been returned and processed by the WAEC representing 9.9% of enrolled voters or 51.1% of postal vote applications.

Read More »2021 WA Election – Tracking the Early Vote

Western Australian Legislative Council Calculators Launched

Today I have launched my Legislative Council calculators for the Western Australian election.

You can find the calculators for each region at this link, an explanation of how they work on this page, and links to the group voting tickets for each region over here.

At the 2017 election, more than 95% of votes in all six regions were cast as single ‘1’ above the line tickets, meaning those votes were counted according to each party’s lodged group voting tickets.

The asymmetry of effort between casting a single ‘1’ for a party above the line, or laboriously numbering more than 50 preferences below the line, herds voters into accepting the preference deals and voting above the line for a single party. That sends their vote off on a preferential magical mystery tour across the ballot paper.

As usual there are complex micro-party preference harvesting deals, though not as locked together as at some previous elections. Each of the micro-parties has been allocated a region in which they will be favoured. These are – Read More »Western Australian Legislative Council Calculators Launched

The Gurgle Hole of History – Leaders who’ve lost their Seats at Elections

Western Australia’s Liberal Leader Zak Kirkup holds his seat of Dawesville by a margin of just 0.8%.

According to the Newspoll in this morning’s The Australian, the swing to Labor at the state election on 13 March could be more than ten times Kirkup’s margin in Dawesville. Kirkup is clearly in danger of losing his seat, even if you intone the usual caveats about margin of error and the perils of assuming uniform swing.

It raises the grim prospect for Kirkup that his name could soon be added to an unwanted list – that of government leaders and opposition leaders who have lost their seats at an election.Read More »The Gurgle Hole of History – Leaders who’ve lost their Seats at Elections

Donkey Vote Advantages for the 2021 Western Australian Election

With nominations for the WA election now published, it’s worth assessing what small advantage candidates and parties will gain from the ‘donkey vote’.

I have published all candidates in ballot paper order on the ABC’s election website if you want investigate the ballot orders yourself. I have also summarised the nominations in another blog post.

Analysis of Australian elections has always shown that a small advantage accrues to the candidate that appears first on a lower house ballot paper. As the number of candidates increases, the advantage seems to increase. No one wants to be listed last on a ballot paper with a dozen or more candidates, a disadvantage the Liberal Party suffered at last year’s Eden-Monaro by-election.

A similar advantage exists with upper house ballot papers for groups that appear in the first column at the left hand edge of the ballot paper. Experience has shown this advantage is even greater when there is confusion over ballot paper names. That will certainly be a problem for the Liberal Party at the 2021 WA election.
Read More »Donkey Vote Advantages for the 2021 Western Australian Election