Preferential Voting – Multi-Member

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

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

2019 SA Senate Election Part 2 – the Preference Distribution

Part 1 of my post on the 2019 SA Senate election analysed how voters completed their ballot papers under the new Senate system, how preferences flowed between parties and what was the impact of how-to-votes.

This post will be more descriptive in summarising the formal distribution of preferences. It highlights major exclusions and distributions during the count and comments on differences with how the count might have unfolded had the abolished group voting ticket system still been in place.
Read More »2019 SA Senate Election Part 2 – the Preference Distribution

2019 SA Senate Election – Ballot Paper and Preferences Analysis (Part 1)

This is my latest (and much delayed) post looking at the Senate’s new electoral system, how it worked at 2019 election, how voters completed their ballot papers, and what was the influence of how-to-vote material.

This post on South Australian is my first on a six-member Senate contest. The two previous posts in this series, on the ACT Senate race and the Northern Territory Senate race, dealt with elections for two Senators and were two-party preferred races.

At the start of 2020 I published two other posts with broad overviews of the 2019 result. The first looked at the breakdown of above and below the line voting and the number of preference completed. The second looked at measures of performance, why the new system produced different results to past Senate elections. In particular, it compared the 2019 result with the 2013 half-Senate election, the last conducted using the now abolished group voting tickets.

Part 2 of this post tracks the formal distribution of preferences for the South Australian Senate. The Part 1 post below provides a more detailed analysis of preferences based on examining the electronic ballot papers.
Read More »2019 SA Senate Election – Ballot Paper and Preferences Analysis (Part 1)

More Party Name Change Nonsense Ahead of the Western Australian election

Update: The proposal to re-name the Daylight Saving Party was rejected by the WA Electoral Commission.

First it was Flux trying to re-name itself “Liberals for Climate”. (See the detail in this post)

Now it is the Daylight Saving Party trying to change its name to the “Daylight Saving Party – The National Liberals”.

What in my opinion is politically scandalous is the application attempts to adopt “National Liberals” as the party name that will appear on the ballot paper.

So not only is the party trying to confuse voters looking for the Liberal or National parties on the Legislative Council ballot paper, but wants to adopt a name that does not let voters know the party’s one big policy, to introduce daylight saving in Western Australia. Voters in Western Australian have rejected daylight saving at four referendums over the past 50 years.

In my opinion, adopting “National Liberals” as the new party name to appear on the ballot paper instead of “Daylight Saving Party” is a clear attempt to mis-lead voters as to the party’s identity and policies.
Read More »More Party Name Change Nonsense Ahead of the Western Australian election

ACT 2020 Election – Post-election Updates

Updated: Friday 23 October

The ACT Electoral Commissioner has declared to the results (formal declaration on Wednesday) with Labor winning 10 seats, the Liberal Party 9 and Greens 6.

Brindabella As I suggested yesterday, Liberal Andrew Wall’s vote increased with the final count. With seven candidates left, 6th placed Green candidate Johnathan Davis was 82 votes ahead of third Labor candidate Taimus Werner-Gibbings. Werner Gibbings was excluded electing Labor’s Joy Burch (Re-elected 1) and Mick Gentleman (Re-elected 2). Andrew Wall was then excluded (Defeated) electing Liberals Nicole Lawder (Re-elected 3) and Mark Parton (Re-elected 4). Jonathan Davis was then Elected 5.

Ginninderra The trend against Labor’s Gordon Ramsay continued and at the critical count Liberal Peter Cain was 166 votes ahead. Labor’s Yvette Berry was Re-elected 1, followed by Liberal Elizabeth Kikkert (Re-elected 2), Labor’s Tara Cheyne (Re-elected 3), Green Jo Clay (Elected 4) and Liberal Peter Cain (Elected 5). Labor’s Gordon Ramsay was defeated, and Liberal Vicki Dunne retired.

Kurrajong As expected, the gap in the final race did narrow, but the Greens were still 407 votes in the lead. Labor’s Andrew Barr was Re-elected 1, the only candidate at the election to poll a quota in his own right. Green Shane Rattenbury was Re-elected 2, Labor’s Rachel Stephen-Smith Re-elected 3, Liberal Elizabeth Lee Re-elected 4, and Green Rebecca Vassarotti was Elected 5, Liberal Candice Burch defeated.

Murrumbidgee A straightforward result. Order of election was Chris Steel (Labor Re-elected 1), Jeremy Hanson (Liberal Re-elected 2), Giulia Jones (Liberal Re-elected 3), Emma Davidson (Green Elected 4) and Marisa Paterson (Labor Elected 5). Davidson replaced retiring Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur, while Paterson defeated her colleague, Labor MLA Bec Cody.

Yerrabi Another straightforward result. In order of election, Alistair Coe (Liberal re-elected 1), Michael Pettersson (Labor Re-elected 2), Suzanne Orr (Labor Re-elected 3), Andrew Braddock (Green Elected 4) and Leanne Castley (Liberal Elected 5). There were two changes of member, Braddock gaining his seat by defeating Labor’s Deepak-Raj Gupta, while Castley defeated her Liberal colleague James Milligan.

A couple of notes on the wins and losses.

  • The two retiring members were replaced by party colleagues, Ginninderra Liberal Vicki Dunne replaced by Peter Cain, and Murrumbidge Green Caroline Le Couteur replaced by Emma Davidson.
  • The two members elected at countbacks were both defeated, Labor’s Deepak Raj Gupta in Yerrabi, and Liberal Candice Burch in Kurrajong. Both seats were won by the Greens.
  • The other two Green gains were elected by defeating sitting member of other parties, Johnathan Davis in Brindabella effectively defeating Liberal Andrew Wall, and Jo Clay in Ginninderra effectively defeating Labor’s Gordon Ramsay.
  • As sometimes happens under the Hare-Clark electoral system, two members were defeated by party colleagues, Labor’s Marisa Paterson defeating Bec Cody in Murrumbidgee, and Liberal Leanne Castley defeating James Milligan in Yerrabi.
  • The Greens gained four seats, two from Labor and two from the Liberals.
  • Of the 25 former members, 17 were re-elected, two retired and six members were defeated and there are eight new members.

Previous day’s updates are inside the post.Read More »ACT 2020 Election – Post-election Updates

2020 ACT Election – A Few Things to Watch For

The ACT uses the same Hare-Clark electoral system as Tasmania, but differences in the way voters use their ballot papers means that election counts can unfold differently.

Hare-Clark shares a common ancestor with the Senate’s electoral system, but several key differences mean that Hare-Clark operates as a contest between candidates where the Senate’s electoral system is overwhelmingly a contest between parties.

The difference starts with the ballot paper.Read More »2020 ACT Election – A Few Things to Watch For

2019 ACT Senate Election – Analysis of Preferences

This is the second in my series looking at how the Senate’s new electoral system worked. This post is on the ACT, which like the Northern Territory, has only two Senators. Both Senators face the electorate every three years in terms tied to the term of the House of Representatives. (See my previous post on the Northern Territory for an explanation of territory Senators.)

(My earlier overall analysis of Senate voting can be found in this post.)

Like the Northern Territory, the ACT has returned the same party representation at every election since 1975. Every ACT Senate election has elected one Labor and one Liberal Senator. With the quota for election set at 33.3% quota, support for a major party would have to be well short of this vote to miss out on a seat.

(Hint – if you are viewing this post on a mobile phone, the tables look much better if you turn your phone sideways.)

Read More »2019 ACT Senate Election – Analysis of Preferences