elections

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

2017 Tasmanian Redistribution

With rumours swirling that an early Tasmanian election is set to be announced, there is one small piece of unfinished business I need to fix.

The 2021 Tasmanian election will be fought on new electoral boundaries and in this post I re-calculate the results of the 2018 Tasmanian election to match the new electoral boundaries.
Read More »2017 Tasmanian Redistribution

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

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

Early Voting at Western Australian Elections

As has been the case at other elections held in the last year, the 2021 Western Australian election will see major changes in when people vote.

As at the Northern Territory, ACT and Queensland elections in 2020, the WA Electoral Commission has responded to Covid-19 by actively encouraging voters to take advantage of postal and pre-poll voting options ahead of the state’s official polling day on Saturday 13 March.

As with every other Australian jurisdiction, the last decade has seen Western Australians move away from voting on election day. At the 2017 election, only 64.1% of votes were cast on polling day compared to 85.5% two decades ago.

Chart 1 below shows the percentage of formal votes cast in each vote category at WA elections since 1989.
Read More »Early Voting at Western Australian Elections

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)

Filling all the BTL Squares – Incidence at the 2019 SA Senate Election

As promised, here’s one of my occasional Graph of the Day posts on something I’m currently researching.

How many people voting below-the-line (BTL) on Senate ballot papers go on to fill in all the squares? Here’s the answer in a graph using South Australian Senate data from the 2019 Federal election.Read More »Filling all the BTL Squares – Incidence at the 2019 SA Senate Election

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

Candidates, Informal Voting and Optional Preferential Voting

In the final week of parliamentary sittings, Queensland LNP Senator James McGrath tabled the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM’s) inquiry into the conduct of the 2019 Federal election. (You can find the report here.)

One of the controversial proposals in the report, and one opposed by Labor and Green members of JSCEM, was a recommendation to move from full or compulsory preferential voting (CPV) to optional preferential voting (OPV) for House of Representatives elections.

The report provides few arguments in favour of OPV. The recommendation for OPV appears suddenly at the end of a brief discussion on informal voting, in particular noting the impact OPV’s use at NSW elections has on informal voting at Federal elections. Senate McGrath presented a different argument for OPV when tabling the JSCEM report in the Senate, referring to OPV as a measure “to maximise voter choice”.

I’ve written on OPV many time previously, and I would suggest reading this post I wrote in 2013 after a previous suggestion from the Coalition about introducing OPV.

Informal voting will always be higher under compulsory preferential voting because ballot papers with faulty numbering have few options for salvation available. This compares with OPV where ballot papers with incomplete, duplicate or missing numbers, or completed with a single tick or cross, can count for candidates to the extent that a voter’s intent is clear.Read More »Candidates, Informal Voting and Optional Preferential Voting

What’s in a Party Name?

UPDATE 2 February – The name change has been approved by by the WA Electoral Commission.

For a party that argues “Australian democracy is broken”, that claims to be “Australia’s most transparent political party”, the Flux Party of Western Australia has taken a breathtakingly cynical step ahead of next March’s Western Australian election.

As shown below, the party has proposed to change its name and hopes to appear on ballot papers in March as “Liberals for Climate”.

I can’t see this as anything else but an attempt to mislead voters into confusing Liberals for Climate with the Liberal Party. It is an attempt to boost the party’s Legislative Council vote and manipulate the group voting ticket system still used in Western Australia.

The question is, will there be enough objection to this cynical name change, and strong enough legal argument against it, to prevent “Liberals for Climate” appearing on next year’s ballot papers?
Read More »What’s in a Party Name?