Crikey



Western Australian Senate election: April 5

Sunday, March 23

I’ve finally found time to take a close look at the preferences situation and its likely effect on the result, on which Truth Seeker’s Monte Carlo simulations offer considerable insight. Here goes:

The result at last year’s election bucked the normal pattern in producing a result of four right, two left, rather than three-all. Within the right and left seat groupings were two separate battles, the results of which were never resolved. Clearly the Liberals won three seats on the right, the third elected candidate being Linda Reynolds, but the last one had the potential to go to either the Palmer United Party or the Sports Party. On the left, it was not clear whether both seats were won by Labor, or if Scott Ludlam held his seat for the Greens at the expense of Labor’s Louise Pratt. The major determinant of the left’s weak showing was a low vote for both Labor, down 3.11% on an already poor result in 2010 to 26.59%, and the Greens, down 4.47% on a strong 2010 result to 9.49%. Even when supplemented by the vote for smaller parties commonly reckoned to be part of the left, mainly the Sex Party (1.49%), Help End Marijuana Prohibition (1.06%), Wikileaks (0.75%), Animal Justice (0.74%), the total left vote was only 40.3%, or 40.6% if the Democrats are deemed to count. Either sum is a fair distance short of the 42.86% required for a third quota.

However, the situation was more complicated than usual due to both the high micro-party vote, and the extent to which micro-parties of left and right directed preferences to each other rather than larger parties of closer ideological proximity, a phenomenon largely attributed to the deal-making prowess of Glenn Druery. This was generally to the detriment of the left, particularly on the scenario in which preference-harvesting success story the Sports Party emerged triumphant at the final count. Among the parties contributing to the Sports Party snowball were the Sex Party, HEMP, Wikileaks and Animal Justice, whose preferences were accordingly denied to the Greens and Labor. Between the four of them, votes for “left” parties which ended up on the “right” accounted for about 4% of the total.

This time around, it appears the Sex Party, Wikileaks and Animal Justice have been stung by the controversies that attended their earlier pragmatic and/or perverse preference judgements, as each is running more conventionally left-wing tickets. Had they done so in September, the Sports Party would have been unable to make it to a quota on any scenario. Only HEMP (1.06%) looks to be on board the Glenn Druery train, with the main left parties buried deep down its ticket. With the potential for leakage thus reduced, it will only take a swing from right to left of 3.5% to convert last year’s four right, two left result into three-all.

On the right side of the ledger, it should be noted that the potential existed for the preference axe to have swung the other way last September, given the high placing granted to the Greens by Palmer United. Had the aforementioned left-wing minor parties directed preferences to the Greens, the scenario that saw the Sports Party elected would instead have delivered seats to both Louise Pratt and Scott Ludlam, with both Sports and Palmer excluded and the 5.0% Palmer vote shifting from right to left in the shape of a preference transfer to Ludlam. That would no doubt have caused considerable umbrage towards Palmer United in conservative circles. However, in keeping with the generally more straightforward picture this time around, the Palmer United ticket is generally anti-left, putting right-of-centre minor parties ahead of the Coalition, with Labor and then the Greens further down amidst mostly left-of-centre concerns.

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Categories: Federal Politics 2013-, WA Senate Election 2014

77 Responses

Comments page: 1 | 2 |
  1. Unsurprisingly the number 2 candidate for Labor was front and centre today and presumably the number 1 candidate is in a cupboard until after the election is concluded.

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 10, 2014 at 9:28 pm

  2. It’s got nothing to do with federal politics, but Lib #3 probably wishes Troy Buswell had waited a couple of months before having his “breakdown”. If he’s really going this time, a potential Vasse by-election (and having to find a new treasurer two months before the budget) would be an unwelcome distraction for the Libs.

    by Bird of paradox on Mar 10, 2014 at 10:06 pm

  3. If Labor puts the preference-harvester ahead of the Greens, the chances of a four right, two left result increases still further

    Given the current political savvy of the ALP, lock it in.

    by FarQU on Mar 10, 2014 at 10:20 pm

  4. It’s not Labor’s job to help elect Greens Senators.

    by Psephos on Mar 10, 2014 at 10:29 pm

  5. Psephos, that is true enough. Which do you think would be the best result for Labor though – A Green senator or a PUP senator? I know of course you would prefer another Labor senator to either, but Labor’s preference distribution only comes into play when Labor’s last candidate is excluded.

    by MagicPudding on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm

  6. IF 3 LIB 2 ALP 1 GR ELECTED THEN THIS MEANS THE FORCES OF DARKNESS MANAGE TO LOSE ONE SEAT AND THERE WILL BE 7 CROSS BENCERS …..THE ABBOTT GOVT WILL NEED 6/7 OF THESE TO PASS
    LEGISLATION

    by michael Quinlivan on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm

  7. the best result is this in my earlier post. but if the libs lost a seat to say pup then there would be 8 cross bench senators. with libs on 32 needing 7/8 to pass anything in the senate. that would be Alp 2 lib 2 1gr 1pup

    by michael Quinlivan on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:31 pm

  8. Psephos, that is true enough. Which do you think would be the best result for Labor though – A Green senator or a PUP senator? I know of course you would prefer another Labor senator to either, but Labor’s preference distribution only comes into play when Labor’s last candidate is excluded.

    I’m not sure I care one way or the other. Labor’s allocation of preferences should be determined solely by what is most likely to maximise Labor’s chances of winning two (preferably three) seats. If a preference deal with the Greens achieves that, fine. If some other arrangement achieves that, equally fine. Ludlam is no friend of Labor, and if loses his seat I will not mind greatly.

    by Psephos on Mar 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm

  9. Ludlam is no friend of Labor, and if loses his seat I will not mind greatly.

    It would give him a lot more time to make funny you tube videos to entertain us … that would be good

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 11, 2014 at 12:51 am

  10. Alternatively channel 10 could have a Bolt Report and a Ludlam report with a half an hour cross over with them just going at each other … ratings winner …

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 11, 2014 at 12:53 am

  11. I don’t like this attitude to preferences. It should be based on passing your votes to the party with your preferred ideologies. But if we don’t get 2 labor + 1 green then we won’t need a senate anymore. Labor should realise this.

    by tom wearne on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:40 am

  12. Labor should realise this.

    Labor listens to greens and greens supporters talk a lot of rubbish, most elections about how hard it is to distinguish labor from liberal as the greens go through a ridiculous and naive process of treating labor and liberal as the same.

    Perhaps based on all the years of hearing this Labor should direct preferences straight to the liberals. *rolls eyes*

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:55 am

  13. Go to senate.io and work out your own preferences.

    by Bill Parker on Mar 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

  14. 8

    Elections, under preferential voting systems (whether single member or PR), are not just about getting your own candidates up but also trying to get the other candidates elected to be useful to you in the term of government that they are elected for.

    Having a Green Senator, rather than a PUP/micro party/Coalition Senator, increases the ability of the ALP to block Abbott Government Legislation it does not like and pass bills by reducing the number of non-Green crossbenchers required to block/pass such things.

    by Tom the first and best on Mar 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

  15. Just came across this…

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/can-rooftop-solar-change-course-politics-australia-71387

    “the Australian solar industry… has hired Geoff Denman, one of the key architects of the mining tax ad campaign… to affect the outcome of the WA Senate re-run in April.”

    by Simon Katich on Mar 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

  16. I thought there had been a WA Senate only opinion poll, perhaps in the West Australian, over the last month or so. This might tell us something a national poll, even broken down by state level, doesn’t. People vote diferently in by-elections. I’m struggling to find it though.

    by Leroy Lynch on Mar 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

  17. Tom the first and best posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11:41 am @ 14

    Elections, under preferential voting systems (whether single member or PR), are not just about getting your own candidates up but also trying to et the other candidates elected to be useful to you in the term of government that they are elected for.

    Having a Green Senator, rather than a PUP/micro party/Coalition Senator, increases the ability of the ALP to block Abbott Government Legislation it does not like and pass bills by reducing the number of non-Green crossbenchers required to block/pass such things.

    It also means Labor have more likelihood of being able to set up Senate inquiries that are embarrassing to the Abbott Government. Life for Labor will be far better with three Senators of the left (Greens or other) elected rather than two. Further, if Labor were to win the next election I think they might well prefer having a Greens Senator rather than a PUP Senator elected.

    On another note, I would rate Ludlam as one of the best Senators we have. I don’t agree with him on everything (e.g. Uranium mining). But on issues such as the NBN, data retention, Internet filtering and privacy he’s top spot on and not captured by the spooks like the major parties seem to be. I think we’re all better off with Ludlam in the Senate.

    Regardless of what happens with preference allocations I’ll be voting below the line anyway.

    by B.C. on Mar 11, 2014 at 7:02 pm

  18. I thought there had been a WA Senate only opinion poll, perhaps in the West Australian, over the last month or so.

    I’d forgotten about that. Here it is:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/latest/a/21683111/libs-aim-to-retain-all-senators/

    by William Bowe on Mar 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

  19. IF the ALP care about the country and not their own petty power, they will preference the group that will limit Abbott’s power. Doesn’t matter who it is, they must put the good of the country before the welfare of the ALP or stupid high school tit for tat games with the Greens…

    I believe this government is a real danger to our democracy and the ALP need to take a principalled stand against them..

    by liyana on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:05 am

  20. **** sorry principled**** too late to spell properly tonight.

    by liyana on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

  21. Regardless of what happens with preference allocations I’ll be voting below the line anyway.

    Me too, doesn’t stop me laughing at the greens demanding principled self sacrificing action when it certainly isn’t something they ever do for labor.

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 12, 2014 at 8:49 am

  22. Nose. Face. Spite.

    by Graeme on Mar 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

  23. I’ve lost track – is HEMP one of the front parties for the libertarians or is it legit? The Sex Party are definitely legit but they’re not really of the left.

    by caf on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm

  24. HEMP is a real party which has been around for a while, founded in 1993. Stands for Help End Marijuana Prohibition; they are not a front, but basically a single issue party with no other policies.

    by MagicPudding on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:31 pm

  25. Tweet from the number three ALP candidate last time, Peter Foster. Not re-nominating as he has a new child and can’t campaign strongly over the next couple of months

    Peter Foster - Media Statement Regarding WA Senate Election http://www.scribd.com/doc/212024927/Peter-Foster-Media-Statement-Regarding-WA-Senate-Election #auspol #wapol #wavotes

    by Leroy Lynch on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:33 pm

  26. http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/21976431/wikileaks-candidate-out-of-wa-senate-poll/

    Wikileaks candidate out of WA Senate poll
    AAP
    March 14, 2014, 12:13 pm

    The Wikileaks Party candidate endorsed for WA's re-run Senate election has pulled out of the race, citing "unforeseen personal reasons".

    Gerry Georgatos, who ran in the September poll, was announced as the lead candidate in the April 5 poll after party leader Julian Assange was not allowed to run because he had not spent enough time in WA in the past six years.

    But one hour before the close of nominations on Thursday, Mr Georgatos withdrew from the race.

    "There arrive events in people's lives that require their commitment, and it is my duty to honour such a commitment," he said.

    "However, I will remain with the WikiLeaks Party, and I will campaign for them, for their imperatives, and I support these imperatives through the presence of the WA senate candidates."

    The new lead candidate is now Tibor Meszaros, the general manager and producer of community television station West TV.

    Journalist Lucy Nicol is running in second place.

    http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s0vglr

    Matt Watt @karwalski
    15th March 2014 from TwitLonger

    Today, using the results of the member survey of preference options, Gery Georgatos and Omar Todd submitted the WikiLeaks Party Group Voting Ticket to the AEC. Below is the order in which preferences will flow when a voter choose to vote ‘1’ for WikiLeaks Party ‘Above the line’.

    1. Tibor Meszaros - The Wikileaks Party
    2. Lucy Nicol - The Wikileaks Party
    3. Scott Ludlam - The Greens (WA)
    4. James M Moylan - Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
    5. Fiona Patten - Sex Party
    6. Katrina Love - Animal Justice Party
    7. Alicia Sutton - Animal Justice Party
    8. Philip Nitschke - Voluntary Euthanasia Party
    9. Jim Duffield - Voluntary Euthanasia Party
    10. Louise Pratt - Australian Labor Party
    11. Alex Bainbridge - Socialist Alliance
    12. Fletcher Boyd - Pirate Party
    13. Wayne Dropulich - Australian Sports Party
    14. Christine Cunningham - The Greens (WA)
    15. Michelle Allen - Pirate Party
    16. Chris Jenkins - Socialist Alliance
    17. Ian James - The Greens (WA)
    18. Jordon Steele-John - The Greens (WA)
    19. Sarah Nielsen-Harvey - The Greens (WA)
    20. Judith Cullity - The Greens (WA)
    21. Peter Strachan - #Sustainable Population Party
    22. William Bourke - #Sustainable Population Party
    23. Tayla Moylan - Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party
    24. Mark Coleman - Sex Party
    25. Al Lackovic - Australian Sports Party
    26. Chris Fernandez - Australian Democrats
    27. William Thiel - Australian Democrats
    28. Adrian Good - DLP Democratic Labour
    29. Cathy Kiernan - DLP Democratic Labour
    30. Simon Andrew Cuthbert - Secular Party of Australia
    31. Andrew Thompson - Secular Party of Australia
    32. Joe Bullock - Australian Labor Party
    33. Shane Hill - Australian Labor Party
    34. Klara Andric - Australian Labor Party
    35. Phillip Bouwman - Katter's Australian Party
    36. Susan Hoddinott - Katter's Australian Party
    37. Marcus Anderson - Republican Party of Australia
    38. Rohan Hollick - Republican Party of Australia
    39. Desmond John Headland - Palmer United Party
    40. Zhenya Wang - Palmer United Party
    41. Chamonix Terblanche - Palmer United Party
    42. Shane Van Styn - The Nationals
    43. Colin Stephen De Grussa - The Nationals
    44. Anthony James Fels - Mutual Party
    45. Felly Chandra - Mutual Party
    46. Jim Fryar - Liberal Democrats
    47. Neil Hamilton - Liberal Democrats
    48. Russell Woolf
    49. Verity James
    50. Kim Mubarak - Independent
    51. David Johnston - Liberal
    52. Michaelia Cash - Liberal
    53. Linda Reynolds - Liberal
    54. Slade Brockman - Liberal
    55. Brian W Parkes - Australian Voice Party
    56. Sean Butler - Australian Voice Party
    57. Ken Bezant - Building Australia Party
    58. Daniel Ross Smee - Building Australia Party
    59. Linda Rose - Family First Party
    60. Henry Heng - Family First Party
    61. Bill Koutalianos - Freedom and Prosperity Party
    62. Leon Ashby - Freedom and Prosperity Party
    63. Richie Howlett - Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
    64. Rob Zandvliet - Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
    65. Max Katz-Barber - Smokers Rights
    66. Daniel Jay Di Rado - Smokers Rights
    67. Daniel Mccarthy - Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
    68. Suzzanne Wyatt - Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
    69. Ray Moran - Australian Christians
    70. Justin Moseley - Australian Christians
    71. Teresa Van Lieshout - Independent
    72. David Fishlock - Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens)
    73. Joaquim De Lima - Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens)
    74. Murray Bow - Shooters and Fishers
    75. John Parkes - Shooters and Fishers
    76. Jane Elizabeth Foreman - Rise Up Australia Party
    77. Joanne Bennett - Rise Up Australia Party

    by Leroy Lynch on Mar 15, 2014 at 5:05 pm

  27. Russell Woolf and Verity James come a long way done on that list, not sure what they did to upset wikileaks.

    The Des Headland PUP ads are interesting.

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 16, 2014 at 9:57 pm

  28. http://www.aec.gov.au/wa-senate/files/wa-2014-webgvt.pdf

    Western Australia Senate Group Voting Tickets

    This booklet sets out copies of all group voting tickets which have been lodged in Western Australia for the 2014 Senate Election.

    by Leroy Lynch on Mar 17, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  29. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/national/a/22015300/senate-deals-leave-palmer-on-the-outer/

    Senate deals leave Palmer on the outer
    Andrew Tillett Canberra The West Australian
    March 17, 2014, 4:54 am

    Clive Palmer's chances of winning a WA Senate seat have been dealt a blow, with preference deals cut between political parties appearing to favour the status quo of three Liberals, two Labor and one Green.

    But the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party has emerged as a smoky to sneak in at the expense of the Greens' Scott Ludlam after drawing support across the ideological spectrum.

    Amid claims of doublecrossing among minor parties, the Australian Electoral Commission yesterday released the group voting tickets that show how parties will distribute their preferences as they are eliminated from the count.

    by Leroy Lynch on Mar 17, 2014 at 10:36 pm

  30. Re-posted from other thread:
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/18/wa-senate-poll-palmers-preference-may-help-marijuana-party-into-joint?CMP=ema_792

    A possible outcome for the sixth WA senate spot

    It is likely to be fought out between the third Liberal candidate and the Palmer United party, with the Liberals more favoured to win.

    But should Hemp, which has done some canny preference dealings with both left- and right-wing micro-party candidates, poll ahead of the PUP after smaller party preferences have been allocated, then PUP’s preferences could put the lead Hemp candidate James Moylan into the Senate.

    by Pegasus on Mar 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  31. The Greens ticket has Pratt,#2 for Labor at #15 with Bullock #1 ALP @ #30.

    ALP has Ludlam at #17 on their ticket.

    by Pegasus on Mar 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

  32. It’s not Labor’s job to help elect Greens Senators.

    No, but it would help the ALP to have Senators to pass legislation when they are back in government.

    by lefty e on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm

  33. No, but it would help the ALP to have Senators to pass legislation when they are back in government.

    Lol except they don’t do that!

    by WeWantPaul on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm

  34. Only in famous exceptions, WWP. Good luck with PUP! :p

    Ludlum will need his own vote to rise, and the ALP to convert a bunch of those who voted LNP in 2013.

    I wouldn’t rule either of those things out at this point, in fact Id say they’re more likely than not.

    But then again we have Australia’s very own preference ponzi scheme / Senatorial randomiser effect as well, so who knows….

    by lefty e on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:22 pm

  35. The NSW and Victorian Right need to ditch their North Korea mentality when dealing with the left.

    Thanks to the ALP getting their act together, Pratt is incredibly unlikely to lose this time around, to the relief of most people on either side of the Labor/Green divide. Hill can’t win from number #3. So the churlish behaviour of some on the ALP right serves very little purpose except to try and continue their occasional tradition of electing MPs who make their lives difficult in parliament to spite the Greens.

    I dare say that if the HEMP Party is elected on Labor preferences they are going to look very silly.

    by Rebecca on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:29 pm

  36. Re a senate only poll in WA.

    I was robopolled on friday for this.

    I don’t know who was conducting it but so far I haven’t seen any results published anywhere.

    Mr Bowe? Any ideas?

    by silentmajority on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

  37. Who else thinks Palmer will crash and burn at this election?

    by Psephos on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:42 pm

  38. So the churlish behaviour of some on the ALP right

    What exactly are you referring to?

    by Psephos on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:44 pm

  39. The attitude certain parts of the Victorian and NSW Right have when it comes to negotiating preferences when there is no gain for the ALP.

    Granted, in this case they’ve learned from the Fielding fiasco and not gone for conservatives above the Greens, but directing preferences to wacky fringe parties isn’t all that much brighter. I’d love to see the fun Labor could have with having to negotiate with the HEMP Party on whether or not they get to block Abbott legislation.

    by Rebecca on Mar 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

  40. I agree with you about Palmer though. I think Tasmania was a big sign of the wheels falling off the Palmer train. His campaign was a mess and it really showed.

    I think he *might* have been able to pull off a win in WA if he’d ditched Wang and put Headland at #1, although that didn’t work so well for the Nats.

    by Rebecca on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

  41. The Fielding preference deal was negotiated by the Left.

    by Psephos on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

  42. I agree re: PUP. I think we’ve already seen the beef souffle rise once. Tas wasn’t very promising for them.

    Not that 5% was a terrible effort. But if its not even making ‘early One Nation’ type inroads this soon after its launch, its mid-term prospects arent great.

    by lefty e on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:05 pm

  43. https://twitter.com/Stirling_PUP/status/445765373137145857/photo/1/large

    PUP may be smelling the breeze out in the West with this announcement

    by sprocket_ on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:12 pm

  44. Is the RET popular in WA?

    by Psephos on Mar 18, 2014 at 4:26 pm

  45. Rebecca: The left needs to learn that it’s not the 1970s anymore, socialist and communist partiea only get tiny pecentages of the vote and the Thatcher-Reagan changes are not going to be undone. Despite the success of Lenin, there was never a socialist revolution in
    any advanced industrialised country.

    by Paul Austin on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:12 pm

  46. Provided the Palmer Party doesn’t explode (or implode) before the next Qld elections, they will only do well over there, seeing how Newman has tarnished the conservative brand while Labor has still a long way to go with rebuilding its reputation.

    By “well”, I mean slightly better than they have done in any election including the Federal one.

    by Raaraa on Mar 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm

  47. I don’t think there is quite the level of discontent in WA (ie Perth) that there was in September as far as Labor is concerned.

    Barnett has had a terrible time and Brand Liberal is not travelling all that well.

    Whether this is fertile ground for PUP is yet to be shown but I suspect 3-2-1, Liberal-Labor-Green is a reasonable scenario, given the Libs have gone off the boil, Labor is not so much on the nose (Shorten came and went here with barely a comment) and maybe not so many will turn out to vote.

    I suppose a lot depends on how much money Palmer puts up.

    by Tricot on Mar 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

  48. Sorry, have to clarify that my point @46 applies to Queensland and not WA.

    by Raaraa on Mar 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm

  49. Psephos: I think the RET is pretty popular here in WA. My sample may be biased as a Green, but there are Greenish liberals here and the backlash from a State Government effort to reduce feed in tariffs for solar made them get back in their box. The State Liberal energy minister seems to be advocating renewables as a solution to the thinly distributed large and expensive South-West Integrated Grid. I suspect the WA public and Liberal voters I know, are quite pro renewables and the Liberals may avoid anything embarrassing on RET for fear of leaking votes to the Greens. As always theres the full broad church of opinions in WA, but I doubt rolling back the RET is a winner in WA.

    by Disasterboy on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:06 pm

  50. >>The Fielding preference deal was negotiated by the Left.

    Given the beneficiary of this finagling was supposed to have been Jacinta Collins how did that work?

    by Albert Ross on Mar 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm

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