election

Election Night Analysis – Art or Science?

On 15 January I gave a presentation at the 2022 Linux conference on how Australian elections are counted and reported, and in particular, how I go about calling the winner as part of the ABC election coverage.

I titled the talk “Election Night Analysis – Art or Science?”, and as I explain in the talk, it is all statistics and mathematics with only a hint of art and hunch around the edges.

Here’s a video of the address which you can watch in the embedded version below or link through to the version on YouTube.Read More »Election Night Analysis – Art or Science?

2022 Contests of Interest – Capricornia

This is the first of several posts I will do in the run up to the Federal election, expected to be held in May.

These posts will draw on material from my soon-to-be-published election guide guide for the ABC.

My posts on this site won’t be about the key seats that will decide the election. Rather I will concentrate on seats of political science interest, where the 2019 election produced a peculiar result, or where there are significant long term shifts in party support.

My first post on Capricornia fits both these criteria. The 2019 election result was well out of line with past results in the seat. The question is whether the 2019 result in Capricornia was caused by the issues that swirled around the 2019 campaign, or was the result a longer term trend that is undermining Labor support in the seat.Read More »2022 Contests of Interest – Capricornia

2021 WA Election – How the Daylight Saving Party turned 98 votes into a seat in the Legislative Council

The election of Wilson Tucker from the Daylight Saving Party at March’s Western Australian election has become the catalyst for abolishing group voting tickets in Western Australia.

Mr Tucker polled 98 votes or just 0.2% of the vote in the vast Mining and Pastoral Region. His low vote is not surprising as four referendums over five decades have shown little support for daylight saving in this vast region covering the state’s most remote areas.

Anyone familiar with how to engineer results using group voting tickets knows the system can elect parties with little support. But even I, with two decades of covering the perversity of elections using group voting tickets, find myself startled that such an egregious distortion of the electorate’s will could be constructed.

It is the most magnificent example of preference harvesting yet achieved by well-known preference ‘whisperer’ Glenn Druery. It is the crowning glory of his art, but will also be the death knell of the group voting ticket system he used to achieve it.

The back-story to Mr Tucker’s election gets even weirder. Tucker left Western Australia three years ago and has been working as a software engineer for Amazon on the other side of the Pacific Ocean in Seattle. It is a better paid job than his new four year position in the WA Legislative Council. That is assuming, in this period of pandemic, he can get a flight back, is allowed entry to Australia and can cross the Western Australian border. (Update: I’m informed Mr Tucker has arrived back ready to take his seat.) Tucker’s term is due to begin on 22 May. If he is unable to return and vacates the seat, a re-count would create the farcical situation where his his running mate, Janet Wilson, would take his seat despite receiving zero votes at the state election.Read More »2021 WA Election – How the Daylight Saving Party turned 98 votes into a seat in the Legislative Council

Braddon 2021 – Updates on the Distribution of Preferences

Candidates Elected in Order

  1. Liberal – Jeremy Rockliff (Re-elected)
  2. Labor – Anita Dow (Re-elected)
  3. Labor – Shane Broad (Re-elected)
  4. Liberal – Roger Jaensch (Re-elected)
  5. Liberal – Adam Brooks (Elected)

Count Completed

Change in Elected Members – On the Liberal ticket, Adam Brooks will be elected defeating Felix Ellis. Remarkably for a man who looked defeated on election night, Roger Jaensch was elected ahead of Adam Brooks.

Update 15 May – so after all that effort, Adam Brooks has announced he will not take his seat. He has been charged with several offences by Queensland Police that can be read about on news sites. The consequences for the new Parliament is that he will resign and create a vacancy. In Tasmania vacancies are filled by a countback of the votes that elected the departing member. That countback will elect another Liberal from the party ticket. The most likely candidate to win the count is Felix Ellis, but we will see once the count is undertaken.
Read More »Braddon 2021 – Updates on the Distribution of Preferences

Clark 2021 – Updates on the Distribution of Preferences

Keeping track on the critical preference distribution in Clark. The seat that will determine whether the Liberal government has majority or minority status. Updates inside the post.

Candidates Elected in Order

  1. Greens – Cassy O’Connor (Re-elected)
  2. Liberal – Elise Archer (Re-elected)
  3. Labor – Ella Haddad (Re-elected)
  4. Liberal – Madeleine Ogilvie (Re-elected)
  5. Independent – Kristie Johnston (Elected)

Count Completed

Change in Elected Members: Madeleine Ogilvie was a defeated Labor candidate at the 2018 election but returned to the Assembly in September 2019 at a re-count. She replaced Labor MHA Scott Bacon but took her seat as an Independent. Ogilvie has been elected as a Liberal MHA at the 2021 election.

Sue Hickey was elected as a Liberal in 2019, was disendorsed by the Liberal Party for the 2021 election but re-contested and was defeated as an Independent. Her seat has been won by Independent Kristie Johnston.

Taking account of the changing party allegiances of Ogilvie and Hickey, the result in Clark compared to the party numbers in 2018 is that Labor has lost a seat to Independent Kristie Johnston.
Read More »Clark 2021 – Updates on the Distribution of Preferences

Franklin 2021- Updates on Distribution of Preferences

Candidates Elected in (speculative) Order

  1. Liberal – Jacquie Petrusma (Re-elected)
  2. Greens – Rosalie Woodruff (Re-elected)
  3. Labor – Dean Winter (Elected)
  4. Labor – David O’Byrne (Re-elected)
  5. Liberal – Nic Street (Re-elected)

Count Completed

Change in Elected Members – On the Labor ticket, Dean Winter defeats Alison Standen. The order of election for O’Byrne and Winter is yet to be determined.
Read More »Franklin 2021- Updates on Distribution of Preferences

Close of Nominations – 2021 Tasmanian Election

A total of 105 candidates have nominated to contests the 2021 Tasmanian election on 1 May. That’s down from 109 candidates in 2018 and 126 in 2014, but up on the very low 89 that contested then 2010 election.

This is the seventh election since the House of Assembly was reduced to 25 seats, and 105 candidates is the third lowest since the change.
Read More »Close of Nominations – 2021 Tasmanian Election

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