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WA election: upper house preference tickets and related matters

UPDATE: The Greens have uploaded how-to-vote cards to their site, and there are two seats where they have Liberal ahead of Labor: North West Central and Warren-Blackwood. I’m not aware of any occasion of them doing this since the Queensland state election in 1995. They also have Liberal ahead of the Nationals everywhere except Albany, Collie-Preston, Mandurah, Murray-Wellington and Vasse, none of which are rated as particularly big chances for the Nationals.

UPDATE 2: How-to-vote cards are up on the Liberal site, and they have Labor ahead of the Greens in every seat except the only one where their preferences are likely to matter – Fremantle, where their order runs Greens, Carles, Labor. That increases the Greens’ chances of getting ahead of Labor in the event they finish ahead of the Liberals, which they could perhaps do if they receive a tight flow of preferences from Carles (though I wouldn’t bet on it).

Upper house preference tickets were lodged today, and can be viewed in full detail here, and in summary at the bottom of this post. The other preference news is Labor’s announcement on Sunday that it will direct preferences to the Liberals ahead of the Nationals in Warren-Blackwood, Central Wheatbelt, Eyre, North West Central, Geraldton and Kimberley. Labor voters’ compliance with how-to-vote cards ranges from the mid-twenties to the high-forties depending on how many people they have staffing polling booths, which in many of the relevant seats wouldn’t be much. Analysis of the situation in these seats in turn:

Warren-Blackwood. The Liberals apparently have a sniff here of unseating Nationals member Terry Redman, who has made some locals unhappy over his support for genetically modified crop trials. Labor’s redistribution-adjusted vote here is 18.3%, so that might mean about 5% of the vote flipping from Nationals to Liberal. Redman won by a handsome 17.3% margin over the Liberals in 2008, but the redistribution has seen the electorate lose rural areas in exchange for what for the Nationals is the alien territory of Margaret River.

Central Wheatbelt. This seat is being vacated by Brendon Grylls’ pitch at Pilbara and contested for the Nationals by Agricultural region MLC Mia Davies. Labor’s vote is 16.0% so it’s a roughly similar story to Warren-Blackwood, although their how-to-vote penetration here would be particularly poor.

Eyre. The Nationals fell 3.4% short of unseating Liberal member Graham Jacobs here in 2008 with help from Labor preferences. With a Labor vote of 19.3%, it’s looking quite a bit harder for them to go one better this time.

North West Central. It would be sweet revenge for Labor if their preferences cost Vince Catania his bid for re-election as a National after he defected from Labor, but in order for it to happen Labor will have to finish third in a seat which they won at the last election. The redistribution made the seat considerably stronger for the Nationals, producing post-redistribution primary votes of 32.7% for Labor, 29.3% for the Liberals and 22.8% for the Nationals. Catania is relying on a surge of Nationals support in any case, as is Brendon Grylls in neighbouring Pilbara, but if it comes too much at the expense of Labor he could then be fighting on a new front against the Liberals. Most of the voters in the electorate live in large-ish towns, so how-to-vote card penetration should be a lot better than in the aforementioned electorates, particularly if Labor is feeling motivated to punish Catania.

Geraldton. On paper you would think that the primary votes of 36.9% Liberal, 29.1% Labor and 19.3% Nationals have Liberal too high to be threatened and Labor too high to be overtaken by the Nationals. However, Labor pulling the plug on government funding for the nearby Oakajee project to help fund Metronet could cause them to take a hit, finish third and just conceivably put a surging Nationals over the line.

Kimberley. There’s a fair bit of chatter around that the Liberals are failing to gain traction here, so Labor finishing third seems an unlikely prospect. Nonetheless, this is an electorate where nothing can be taken for granted. The primary votes are 41.2% for Labor, 26.0% for Liberal and 18.3% for the Nationals.

Scattered thoughts on the upper house tickets:

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Categories: Western Australian Election 2013

21 Responses

Comments page: 1 |
  1. The Liberals apparently have a sniff here of unseating Nationals member Terry Redman, who has made some locals unhappy over his support for genetically modified crop trials.

    Anti-GM sentiment + Warren-Blackwood now containing every strong Greens booth in the SW + Labor probably not bothering to campaign very hard, and the Greens campaigning like crazy to get Giz Watson in = the Greens can probably come third ahead of Labor. Where are their preferences going?

    The Greens have a funny looking ticket in South West as well… looks like sitting members ahead of other party candidates, except for Colin Holt (Nat) and Nigel Hallett (Lib) way down the bottom. Doesn’t make it any clearer what they plan on doing in individual seats.

    by Bird of paradox on Feb 19, 2013 at 10:33 am

  2. Where are their preferences going?

    Funny you should ask, because they’re going to the Liberals in that particular seat, even to the exclusion of Labor

    by William Bowe on Feb 19, 2013 at 2:06 pm

  3. I really don’t get that. The Lib’s` are enemy number 1 for anti GM (not to mention the nuke thing). If the Greens are preferencing the Lib’s down south, it’s a purely political move and could (nay, should) end up costing them votes.
    A mostly favourable press and focus on federal Labor has given Barnett a free ride this time around but his policies – especially on Green issues – are poisonous. The Nat’s could, ironicaly, become the last hope for environmentalists in WA.
    Matt.

    by mattsui on Feb 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

  4. The preference situation is interesting in light of what happened in Victoria in 2010, when the Liberals put the Greens last and quite explicitly said it was punishment for taking their own preferences for granted. The WA Liberals haven’t followed suit, and it appears they’ve gotten something in return in the shape of preferences ahead of the Nationals in all but a few cases, and even ahead of Labor in two seats.

    by William Bowe on Feb 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  5. Of course, above the line voting means you have to allocate preferences. But a lot of the Greens base find the politics irksome (to say the least). The deals are about outcomes at the ballot box, rather than outcomes for the environment/social issues etc.
    I think Greens voters are least likely to pay attention to HTV’s and much more likely to vote below the line for upper house candidates, so, in a way dealing with the Lib’s would work in the Greens’ favour (if they can get enough of the primaries).
    Matt.

    by mattsui on Feb 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  6. Greens voters voted more than 90% using the group ticket voting option at the 2008 WA election. Yes, that’s down on the 97-98% for the major parties, but still better than the Greens can ever deliver with lower house preference recommendations and perfectly capable of delivering on whatever preference deals are arranged.

    William, the Liberals have put Labor ahead of the Greens in 58 of the 59 seats. Of course, the only seat where they haven’t, Fremantle, is the only seat where where Liberal preferencwes might matter. Not quite as pure as they’d like everyone to think.

    And a technical point for people from other states. Yes there is group ticket voting in WA, but you can’t call it ‘above the line’ voting. The ballot paper is divided vertically, with groups down the left hand side, and candidate down the right. ‘Left of the line’ voting has never taken off as a term unfortunately.

    by Antony GREEN on Feb 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

  7. Antony, I was thinking preferences might matter in the upper house, where the Liberals seem to have preferenced the Greens ahead of Labor everywhere except Agricultural (where they’re very unlikely to win anyway) and Mining & Pastoral.

    by William Bowe on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

  8. Yes, agree entirely, they matter in the upper house, though in the three Metro regions the Liberals might be receivers of preferences rather than providers.

    The Liberal preference tickets show evidence of being willing to give a leg up to any minor party that isn’t the National Party. I think they would love to break the National grip on the Council.

    by Antony GREEN on Feb 19, 2013 at 6:28 pm

  9. And yet, if the result is hung, the old coalition partners will bury the hatchet and jump right back into bed (government) together.

    by mattsui on Feb 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm

  10. McGowan is creaming Barnett on the one and only debate. Barnett too arrogant and not prepared and some journo’s taking him to task for the first time in 4 years

    by Paddy O on Feb 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm

  11. they have the Greens ahead of Labor in every seat except the only one where their preferences are likely to matter – Fremantle

    Might wanna swap a couple of words around there. ;)

    How’s the Chook treating the Labor/Green/Carles contest? Are they taking any side, or just encouraging people to vote for Jan ter Horst for the hell of it?

    by Bird of paradox on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:49 am

  12. Can anybody advise if there is a recording of the debate somewhere? Iview don’t seem to have it, at leadt not yey.

    by silentmajority on Feb 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm

  13. I would take any talk of the ALP creaming/destroying/demoralizing the Liberals that you hear in here with a few grains (tonnes) of salt. Julia had been pummeling Tony for the last 2.5 year in here. Imaging what the 2PP would be, if Tony only occasionally had a few good days.

    If you were following the proceedings in here, when Thomson was arrested or when Obeid and MacDonald was facing the ICAC, you would have heard what horrible days they were for Abbott and how he would be resigning that afro. In fact, I think it speak volume on Abbott’s strength of character, that he could continue to turn up for his daily Julia pummeling and continue to hold together the opposition

    by dovif on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  14. Might wanna swap a couple of words around there. ;)

    Whoops. Haven’t actually had a look at the Herald lately, which has been remiss of me. I’ll see if I can find a copy.

    by William Bowe on Feb 20, 2013 at 4:30 pm

  15. My local paper and usually an ALP mouthpiece. You can read it online:

    http://www.fremantleherald.com/

    by boscombe on Feb 20, 2013 at 10:24 pm

  16. Just got polled by Galaxy Research:
    1 Preferred party
    2 Preferred premier
    3 Preferred site of new AFL stadium
    4 Preferred spending on public health
    5 Preferred spending on public transport
    6 Does Troy Buswell make you more or less inclined to vote Liberal

    There was one other question but I’ve had 4 Marg River Reds (glasses!!!!)

    by Brian on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm

  17. There will indeed be a Galaxy poll in the Sunday Times.

    by William Bowe on Feb 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

  18. I’m sure anyone who reads this post would be interested to know that my Legislative Council calculators are now up and running.
    http://www.abc.net.au/elections/wa/2013/calculator/legislativecouncil/

    by Antony GREEN on Feb 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm

  19. What about another Newspoll.

    by Woeisme on Feb 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

  20. What about another Newspoll.

    by Woeisme on Feb 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm

  21. “there are two seats where they [the Greens] have Liberal ahead of Labor… I’m not aware of any occasion of them doing this since the Queensland state election in 1995. ”

    Brisbane City Council election 2008, Morningside ward.

    d
    (Greens Candidate for Morningside, 2008 :^)

    by Darryl Rosin on Feb 23, 2013 at 1:03 am

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