elections

Why There Won’t be an Early Federal Election in 2024

Early election speculation is like some creature from an Eagles song. You can stab it with your steely knives but you just can’t kill the beast.

In the first half of 2023, when the Albanese government was ahead in all polls and looking assured in its control of the levers of power, talk of an early election in late 2024 was plausible.

Redistributions along with local, state and territory elections made timing difficult, but there were narrow windows for an early election either side of the Queensland election in October 2024.

But that window appears to have been firmly closed. The failed ‘Voice’ referendum, further rises in interest rates and growing cost of living pressures have damaged the government’s standing. The government has looked less assured in steering the ship of state.

Yet last week there were new stories emanating from Queensland about the Coalition’s need to be prepared for an election this year.

In my opinion the prospects for an election in late 2024 have evaporated.Read More »Why There Won’t be an Early Federal Election in 2024

2024 Tasmanian Election Result – State Summary

Updated : at completion of count on Saturday 6 April

This post summarises the election results. See posts linked below for more details on the count in individual seats.

Updates by Division: Bass ! Braddon ! Clark ! Franklin ! Lyons

Summary of Seats Won By Party
LIB ALP GRN JLN IND Total
Declared Elected 14 10 5 3 3 35
Change on 2021 +1 +1 +3 +3 +2 +10

Read More »2024 Tasmanian Election Result – State Summary

2024 Tasmanian Election Results – Clark Updates

End of Counting Friday 5 April – Count completed and 7 members elected.

Elected and Projected Members

  • Re-elected 1 – Ella Haddad (Labor)
  • Re-elected 2 – Vica Bayley (Greens)
  • Elected 3 – Josh Willie (Labor)
  • Re-elected 4 – Kristie Johnston (Independent)
  • Elected 5 – Helen Burnet (Greens)
  • Re-elected 6 – Simon Behrakis (Liberal)
  • Re-elected 7 – Madeleine Ogilvie (Liberal)

Other Updates: Bass ! Braddon ! Franklin ! Lyons

Quota – 7,951 votes

The first five elected candidates passed the quota and had their surpluses distributed. That left three Liberal candidates –

  • Simon Behrakis – 7,574 votes – 0.95 quotas
  • Madeleine Ogilvie – 7,221 votes – 0.91 quotas
  • Marcus Vermey – 5,542 votes – 0.70 quotas

Behrakis and Ogilvie were declared elected without the need to distribute Vermey’s surplus.

Previous updates inside post.
Read More »2024 Tasmanian Election Results – Clark Updates

How a Hare-Clark Count Works

10am today is the close-off time for receipt of Tasmanian election postal votes. After these votes have been added to the count, the Tasmanian Electoral Commission will begin an amalgamation count, where ballot papers by candidate by polling place are amalgamated into bundles of ballot papers by candidate by electorate.

Once amalgamation is complete, the Electoral Commission will begin distributing preferences. Over the next few days I will have a dedicated post for each division where I will summarise the progress of the 2024 count.

To visualise how the distribution of preferences takes place, this post summarises the 2021 count progress for Bass. It explains why vote for parties is much more important under Hare-Clark than it is at Senate elections, where above-the-line party votes control the count. Both Senate and Hare-Clark counts are conducted as contests between candidates, but with Hare-Clark the split of party votes between candidates is much more than at Senate elections.

The chart below shows the party totals at Count 1, the final tally of first preference votes.

Read More »How a Hare-Clark Count Works

Coverage of Tasmanian State Election and Dunstan By-election

This is one of my usual posts on election night designed to deal with the surge of visitors to the site driven by Google searches.

I will not be posting here this evening as I am involved in the ABC’s live coverage of the Tasmanian election. The coverage is being broadcast live across Tasmania from 6pm eastern daylight time on the ABC’s main channel, and across Australia on the ABC News channel. There will also be updates of the important Dunstan by-election in South Australia during the Tasmanian coverage.

The ABC will also be publishing live results at ABC-online. Access the Tasmanian live results site here. You can also find the Dunstan by-election results here.

Inside this post I have information on the early vote at both elections.Read More »Coverage of Tasmanian State Election and Dunstan By-election

The Changing Pattern of Results by Vote Type

With counting complete, the Australian Electoral Commission has returned the writ to the Governor-General formally declaring “The Voice” referendum defeated.

The final count has confirmed what was observed on election night, that there was a massive difference between how people voted in person on polling day compared to votes cast in the two weeks of early voting.

My professional interest in this difference is the impact the growing and variable gap between polling day and early votes has on when we know results on election night.

As I outlined in a previous post, 83.8% of votes were cast on polling day at the 1999 Republic referendum. In 2023 the figure was close to half at only 43.7%.

There has been a huge increase in pre-poll voting since its availability was first liberalised in 2010. Over the 13 years since, the number of polling day votes has declined. While pre-poll voting centres are counted and reported on election night, the larger number of votes taken per centre compared to polling places means pre-polls generally report later in the evening. At recent by-elections, all polling places have reported their results before the first pre-poll centre reported.

With pre-poll counting revealing different trends, and unreliably different trends as well, it means that close elections will take longer to call on election night.

Pre-poll and postal voting has always had a conservative lean compared to election day voting, but never have we seen a gap as wide as at the referendum.

When non-polling day votes made up less than one-in-five votes, you could factor in the last election’s postal and pre-poll trend safe in the knowledge there were not enough votes to shift a result more than a few percentage points.

With early votes now outnumbering polling day votes, an early prediction based on polling day votes can be significantly shifted. That is shown clearly by the referendum.

At the 2022 Federal election, the Labor two-party preferred vote declined 1.6 percentage points between the tally of polling day votes and the final count. That was high by past election trends.

But the shift was even greater at the referendum. The Yes% shifting down a remarkable 3.8% between the tally of polling day votes and the final result.

The table below breaks down the referendum Yes vote by vote type and compares it to the same categories for Labor’s two-party preferred vote at last year’s Federal election.

Vote By Type – 2022 Federal Election and 2023 Referendum Compared
Percent of Total Votes Percent of Vote
Vote Type 2022 2023 ALP 2PP Yes “Swing”
Polling Day Ordinary 45.1 43.7 53.7 43.7 -10.0
Pre-Poll Ordinary 33.3 35.3 50.6 35.4 -15.2
Postal 14.3 11.0 49.1 33.1 -16.0
Pre-Poll Declaration 3.6 4.3 53.3 44.7 -8.6
Absent Votes 3.2 4.4 57.4 48.9 -8.5
Other vote types 0.5 1.3 59.1 47.7 -11.4
Total .. .. 52.1 39.9 -12.2

Read More »The Changing Pattern of Results by Vote Type

How Referendum Results Relate to Levels of Party Support

The Voice Referendum is being put by and overwhelmingly backed by the Albanese Labor government. It is opposed by the National Party and is opposed by large parts of the Liberal Party including Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. It is largely supported by the Greens and ‘teal’ Independents, and opposed by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation.

It is a pattern of party support that suggests referendum night results might follow traditional party divides. This is despite the referendum being held away from a general election, away from a campaign with how-to-votes advocating a vote for or against the government as well as for or against the referendum.

To examine the role of partisanship in referendum voting patterns, I look back at two very different referendums and the relationship between Labor/Coalition election voting by electoral division, and Yes/No referendum results.

The first is the Simultaneous Elections referendum held in conjunction with the 1984 Federal election. With both Labor and Coalition how-to-votes having clear Yes and No referendum recommendations, there was an extremely strong relationship between two-party preferred results by division and Yes/No referendum results.

But the second case, the 1999 republic referendum, was a very different campaign and produced results with a much weaker link between party voting and Yes/No results. Held separately from a general election, the republic referendum was not combined with the partisanship inducing vote for or against the government. The Republic referendum is also unique in being the only referendum put by a Prime Minister who advocated a No vote.

Like The Voice referendum, the Republic was backed by Labor and generally opposed by the Coalition, though with some significant Liberal supporters of a republic. The result produced a confusing mosaic of results where safe Liberal seats voted Yes and safe Labor seats voted no.

As I outline in this post, you can explain more about the pattern of Republic referendum results by looking at the social status of electorates rather then the level of Labor or Coalition support at the previous year’s Federal election.

So are these high social status Republic supporting electorates the ‘elites’ campaigned against in 1999 and so often mentioned again in The Voice campaign? The majority of voters have more interest in getting by day to day than worrying whether ‘The Voice’ will improve the position of First Nations Australians. Does railing against ‘elites’ tap into resentment against those with more time and money to worry about such issues?

Having covered the 1999 Republic campaign and written on the results at the time, I see strong similarities with the current Voice referendum. And on Saturday night I expect to see a very similar pattern of results, with Yes results strongest in high social status metropolitan seats irrespective of whether they are Labor, Liberal, Green or Independent held.

A quick technical point before the post. Most of this post is written comparing Labor two-party preferred percentages by electoral division to Yes percentages at referendums. It could have been written comparing Coalition 2PP% to No% and produce the same findings. You just have to choose one of the two methods of measure, and focussing on the smaller number of Yes voting divisions is easier to measure and explain.
Read More »How Referendum Results Relate to Levels of Party Support

Northern Territory Redistribution – Draft Boundaries take 2

UPDATE: A very embarrassing “administrative oversight” means that the release of the final boundaries, due in September, has had to be abandoned. Notices for the earlier stages of the redistribution were not gazetted as required by the Electoral Act. The NT Solicitor’s office has advised that the process must begin again. It seems unlikely that this will substantially alter the boundaries drawn under the now abandoned process, but it is embarrassing and means the boundaries to be used for the 2024 election won’t be finalised until the new year.

The timeline for the initial stages of the re-started process is –

  • Public suggestions open (30 days) – Monday 11 September 2023
  • Public suggestions close – Wednesday 11 October 2023
  • Comments on suggestions received open (14 days) – Thursday 12 October 2023
  • Comments on suggestions received close – Thursday 26 October 2023
  • First proposed redistribution released – Monday 30 October 2023
  • Objections to first proposed redistribution open (30 days) – Monday 30 October 2023
  • Objections against first proposed redistribution close – Wednesday 29 November 2023

The original commentary on the second draft is inside this post.
Read More »Northern Territory Redistribution – Draft Boundaries take 2

Pauline Hanson Deposes Mark Latham as NSW Leader

UPDATE 22 August: NSW MLCs Mark Latham and Rod Roberts have announced their resignation from One Nation. They will continue to sit in the NSW Legislative Council but as Independents. Recently appointed Tania Mihailuk will remain a One Nation member. Tables in this post have been updated to reflect today’s events.

As has happened so often in the past, Pauline Hanson has fallen out with other MPs that represent One Nation.

Hanson has deposed One Nation’s NSW state executive and announced that Mark Latham is no longer the party’s state leader. This has led to Latham and Roberts resigning from the party.

Let me run through a series of question on where this dispute will go, and also the remarkable history of MPs leaving One Nation after falling out with Hanson and her backers.Read More »Pauline Hanson Deposes Mark Latham as NSW Leader