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Senate reform reformed

A three-day parliamentary inquiry process yields an important result on Senate reform, with below-the-line voters no longer required to number every box.

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The obscenely hasty Senate reform process yielded an important result today, when the government promptly adopted a Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters proposal to allow optional preferential voting below the line. The bill as drafted would have directed above-the-line voters to number at least six boxes, but those going below the line would still have had to number every box. Now the ballot paper will direct below-the-line voters to number at least 12 boxes, although votes with as few as six will still be admitted into the count. Among those who had advocated a 12-box minimum were Kevin Bonham and Antony Green, with the latter noting that a lower number might reintroduce the difficulty the six-numbers-above-the-line proposal sought to avoid, with voters limiting their choice to a single party and then allowing their votes to exhaust. Particularly stern criticism of the original proposal came from Malcolm Mackerras, who found it offered the exact opposite of what he proposed – a continuation of group voting tickets and single numbering above the line, but with optional preferential voting below the line. Michael Maley, a former Australian Electoral Commission official and occasional contributor to psephological discussion boards, also submitted the original proposal was “incoherent”, since votes that could be cast formally above the line would be informal if rendered identically below the line. Constitutional law expert George Williams was also critical, echoing Antony Green’s complaint that effectively deterring voters from going below the line would enshrine the power of party machines to determine the order of election of their own candidates.

Also around the traps, the Greens are being given a lot to think about in their apparent enthusiasm to sign on to the government’s immediate electoral strategy for the sake of its coveted electoral reform:

Mark Kenny of Fairfax reports that a union-commissioned poll by Essential Research found 54% of Greens-voting respondents opposed a deal with the government on Senate reform, with only 27.2% in support. This sits uncomfortably with Essential Research’s regular published poll this week, which explained the proposal to respondents in some detail and left the matter of a Coalition-Greens deal out of the equation. From an admittedly small sample of around 100 Greens voters, 46% approved of the proposal, versus 29% disapproval.

• Richard di Natale has stood firm against a move by Family First Senator Bob Day to legislate a starting date of August 22 for the reforms, so they would not apply at an early double dissolution. Di Natale told the Financial Review this would “create a situation where the Australian Electoral Commission would be preparing for a normal election under new rules, with the continued possibility of a double dissolution with the current rules”, and render it “impossible to begin a public education campaign”.

• The micro-parties are doing whatever they can to pile on the pressure, by threatening a co-ordinated campaign of directing preferences to Labor.

Rightly or wrongly, suggestions that the reforms don’t even meet the test of self-interest for the Greens have also gained traction:

• The analysis of Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review is that the Nick Xenophon challenge leaves the party most vulnerable in South Australia, but that it is also “at risk in Western Australia and Victoria, and to a lesser extend in Tasmania”.

• “Parliamentary Library modelling obtained by The Advertiser” suggests the Greens would not win a seat in South Australia at a half-Senate election, presumably since it would return a result of two each for the Coalition, Labor and the Nick Xenophon Team, and that only one of its current two seats would be retained at a double dissolution. However, “the modelling shows in other states the Greens either get another candidate up or stay the same”, suggesting two seats in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania and one each in New South Wales and Queensland.

• Unless the Senate reform controversy starts to do them electoral damage, the current state breakdowns in BludgerTrack suggest the Greens would easily win a second seat in Victoria; would lose their second spot only in the event of tight micro-party preferencing in Western Australia; and might even be a chance of a third seat in Tasmania.

• Simulations conducted by Kevin Bonham suggest a Labor-Greens Senate majority would currently be in place if the 2010 and 2013 elections had been held under the proposed system, and that the 2013 election would still have been a “crossbencher picnic” under the new rules if it had been a double dissolution, with most states electing two non-Greens cross-bench Senators.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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60 comments

60 thoughts on “Senate reform reformed

  1. The Lorax

    Excellent result for Australian democracy.

  2. PhoenixGreen

    Thanks for drawing attention to Kevin Bonham’s modelling, which I think anyone interested in this issue should take a look at.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/DocumentStore.ashx?id=8205466e-8f0e-453c-b54c-866504d3bf4e&subId=409579

  3. Jack A Randa

    Reposted from the Essential 50-50 pages:

    Somebody quoting the Satd’y Paper about 100 posts back, re the SA Greens: “In a double dissolution the Greens could only get re-elected one of the two – … Sarah Hanson-Young, or Robert Simms”

    Substitute “might” for “would” and it’s true. One of the odd features of this whole senate-voting debate has been all the over-confident predictions about the outcomes of the vote. It DEPENDS, everybody, it depends – on how many people vote for each candidate or party, and where their preferences go – and indeed with the same number of votes for candidate A his/her success in the scramble for the last place can depend on how many votes others get, and who is eliminated first. So PLEASE, no more predictions of voting outcomes without qualifiers like “might” or “possibly”. Indeed the Greens might be in trouble in SA because of the strong vote for the X-team, but we won’t know till the counting is done. X seems to take votes from Greens and Labor and Illiberals, so anything could happen. Never been a more exciting time to be an election watcher!

    And my words of caution even apply to predictions by the experts like Parl Library and the Kevin Bonham Express.

  4. AngoraFish

    Excellent news indeed.

  5. Toorak Toff

    If you vote above the line and also below the line, will the latter take precedence (as now) or will it be an informal vote?

  6. Kevin Bonham

    Jack A Randa@3

    And my words of caution even apply to predictions by the experts like Parl Library and the Kevin Bonham Express.

    A model of a previous election under an alternative scenario is not a prediction. I don’t believe the Parl Library has made any predictions, over-confident or otherwise.

    A few of my comments might be construed as predictions, which might be formalised as follows:

    1. If the 2016 election is a double-dissolution, at least one crossbencher other than ALP, Liberal, Green, NXG will win.

    2. If the 2016 election is a double-dissolution, the Coalition will not win a blocking majority let alone an outright one, unless their Reps 2PP exceeds that from last time.

    I’m highly confident re #2 (but that’s not the same as complete certainty); I give #1 about a 75% chance of being true. The idea that only ALP, Coalition and Green will win in the Senate is too ludicrous to take seriously but plenty of models have been put about on exactly that bizarre basis.

  7. bug1

    Terrible for democracy

    The introduction of a senate voting system where votes exhaust, and all voters are NOT required to have their preferences counted is the biggest change to our democracy i know of (not that im a historian).

    And there doesnt seem to have been any discussion about exhausting votes, its all about the convenience of above the line voters.

    God dammed shame it is.

  8. Kevin Bonham

    Toorak Toff@5

    If you vote above the line and also below the line, will the latter take precedence (as now) or will it be an informal vote?

    It will be formal per new section 269(1) and I am not aware of any change in the precedence.

  9. Jack A Randa

    I’ll bookmark a link to that Kevin. Get back to you after the election.

  10. Kevin Bonham

    Clarification re 1: It won’t necessarily be an existing crossbencher, though I suspect either Muir or Lambie will get back in a DD and I think Day has a fair shot too.

  11. Antony GREEN

    The ACT and Tasmanian lower houses have always had exhausted preferences during the count under PR-STV. The NSW Legislative Council has had exhausted under PR-STV at four elections since 2003. Victoria has had a significant number of exhausted preferences since 2006. The Senate has had a small number of exhausted preferences at every election since 1984. NSW has had exhausted preferences under single member OPV since 1980, and Queensland since 1992.

  12. Jack A Randa

    Bug1, a lot of votes won’t “exhaust”, or will only lose a fraction of their value. If the last preference expressed gets a vote on to the “pile” (a virtual pile in a computer) of someone with 0.7 to 0.9 of a quota, it will very usefully sit there while other preferences slowly pile up and either push it to a quota or its “owner” is perhaps the last candidate to be eleiminated. If someone votes for a major party their vote will elect 1,2, or 3 people and all that will be exhausted will become a small fraction that could have gone on to influence the fight between the last two candidates, in a fairly minor way.

    It is because of that last possibility that I have been advising people to express a lot of preferences (and even C@tmomma, not famous for her flexibility, has taken that advice), but let’s not overdo the drama about exhausted votes. If people just don’t care after 6, or a few more, parties, or 12, or a few more, individuals, should we just say “Nope – not gonna count your vote at all”? Seems harsh to me.

  13. Kevin Bonham

    bug1@7

    Terrible for democracy

    The introduction of a senate voting system where votes exhaust, and all voters are NOT required to have their preferences counted is the biggest change to our democracy i know of (not that im a historian).

    And there doesnt seem to have been any discussion about exhausting votes, its all about the convenience of above the line voters.

    God dammed shame it is.

    Why so afraid of the big bad exhaust monster? Tasmania has one of the most democratic systems in the nation with multi-member Hare-Clark and Robson rotation. We have c. 40% of voters exhausting their ballots after a single party (not six) and our system works so well that the purists want it for a national Senate system. (As might I but only after 20-30 years of gradual change).

    A vote leaving the count at the point at which the voter no longer has a strong opinion is much better than coercing that voter to express a preference they probably don’t even know they’re giving and may well not agree with if they did.

  14. Rod Hagen

    Looks like a pretty sensible outcome to me. Got to say I’m glad I no longer have to worry about whether to put the “Right On Raving Racists”, the “God Loves Old Homophobe Farts” or the “If I Wanna Shoot Wombats I’m Gunna” candidates last when voting “below the line” . I can just ignore ’em all!

    Gives me more time to think about the way I’ll intersperse my real pref votes between Greens & genuinely progressive ALP Senate offerings, too! 😉

  15. bug1

    Kevin;

    I think what will happen is that voters will vote for ‘their side of the fence’ and then stop voting. People will vote left or right.
    The system overall will place very little weight on what the left thinks of a right wing party, or what the right thinks of a left wing party.

    I believe the opinions of those opposite are very valuable, they provide a different perspective, a view from people who havent ‘drunk the Kool aid’ from their own side.

    We should not have a system that encourage people to think less or not care beyond a certain point.

    From a statistical point of view a larger sample size leads to a more accurate result.

    Such a significant change to our voting system should be well thought out, discussed with the general public, and taken to a referendum.

  16. Frickeg

    Terrific result here. Glad to see the committee listened to reason on the BTL stuff.

  17. blackburnpseph

    The 12 votes below the line is a much more attractive proposition than the 6 above the line. I am not sure if there are 6 parties that I want my vote to conceivably go to – soon or later there would have to be an unacceptable micro party in the bunch.

  18. blackburnpseph

    Will we ever hear of Bob Day’s constitutional challenge again?

  19. Rod Hagen

    But Bug1 at http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2016/03/02/senate-reform-reformed/#comment-2345661 , the current system doesn’t encourage that sort of thought at all. It positively discourages it.

    Simply because of the need to complete the entire “below the line” form many people who would have considered voting thoughtfully “below the line” for their first twenty or thirty carefully considered choices just give it away and stick a number in the box above it, thereby abandoning all thought processes to the back room boys of the major parties and the preference whisperers of the ‘whoever heard of Jo”s.

    In short, the existing system ran completely counter to people making a thoughtful, considered, vote. “From a statistical”, the old approach didn’t really lead to a “more accurate result”. It led to absurd artefacts that could be “gamed” in the fashion we have seen in recent times.

  20. daretotread

    Rod

    Hope you do not mind byt I am coying you delightful descriptors of parties.
    Consider it a compliment if I use
    “Right On Raving Racists”,
    “God Loves Old Homophobe Farts” or the
    “If I Wanna Shoot Wombats I’m Gunna” Parties

  21. blackburnpseph

    [“Right On Raving Racists”,
    “God Loves Old Homophobe Farts” or the
    “If I Wanna Shoot Wombats I’m Gunna” Parties]

    David Leyonhjelm is probably adding them to his stable as we speak and Glenn Druery is negotiating their GVT preference flows…

    ….fortunately now not worth their time – the business model has been broken.

  22. Rod Hagen

    Feel free daretotread. Just don’t let me see’em on a ballot paper! (although I guess it would be good for “truth in advertising” 😉 )

  23. Kevin Bonham

    bug1@15

    Kevin;

    I think what will happen is that voters will vote for ‘their side of the fence’ and then stop voting. People will vote left or right.
    The system overall will place very little weight on what the left thinks of a right wing party, or what the right thinks of a left wing party.

    The current system places virtually no weight on what individual left wing voter thinks between the right wing parties. Rather it weights what their party decides, which could be based on ideology, expediency or in cases just a sheer lack of research.
    The same things often lead to right-wing parties being preferenced above centrists by the left when the supporters of the left party would never preference like that if forced to make that choice.

    I’d prefer that there be weaker preference flows to competing opposed parties because of exhaust than that there so frequently be totally unnatural ones. That also includes effective 100:0 splits when the natural split would be close to 50:50.

    We should not have a system that encourage people to think less or not care beyond a certain point.

    The existing system is the most abject failure possible on this criterion! The voter is not merely encouraged but coerced to just whack a 1 in the box and not think at all beyond that.

    From a statistical point of view a larger sample size leads to a more accurate result.

    Only if the sample is representative. In any case at present the sample size is effectively zero since, a handful of BTL voters excluded, the sampled force is the party operative who submitted the party ticket order, who may well be expressing a strategic view rather than an ideas-based one.

    Such a significant change to our voting system should be well thought out, discussed with the general public, and taken to a referendum.

    In that case the existing system should have been taken to a referendum prior to its introduction. It wasn’t and would have been crushed like a bug if it was, like Hawke’s 1988 referendum questions. Australian voters don’t endorse what they don’t understand.

    If people don’t like this change they can vote out the parties that brought it in, but I suspect that even if that happens the old system will be never seen again.

  24. bug1

    I was talking about below the line, your talking about above the line.

    The most democratic system would be if people voted below the line and numbered every box, all these changes are doing is trying to find a better shortcut.

  25. Rod Hagen

    The two are completely intertwined, bug1. The current/passed “below the line” option is far too daunting for many because of the need to fill it completely. (An lets face it, even died-in-the-wool politiphyles are probably lucky if they really know who even half the candidates are).

    Accordingly many who would otherwise have made an informed choice below the line if they could, say, have just numbered their first 20 real prefs and stopped,simply used the ‘above the line” option instead. Forcing full card preferential voting “below the line” accordingly actually dumbed down the voting process, by pushing people into the “above the line” preference whispers and party deal playground.

  26. Kevin Bonham

    Senate debate adjourned for the day. 13 non-government amendments listed so far. Government amendments not yet seen. Assume it is resuming tomorrow but don’t know yet.

  27. Raaraa

    bug1@24

    I was talking about below the line, your talking about above the line.

    The most democratic system would be if people voted below the line and numbered every box, all these changes are doing is trying to find a better shortcut.

    We had this system. It had close to a 10% informal rate. Which means 10% of voters unrepresented.

    The current system cut the informals down to 3%.

    This new proposed system is a good outcome that will take in more formal votes but yet give voters a choice instead of leaving them in the hand of backroom deals.

    If their votes exhaust, it is because they choose for it to exhaust.

  28. Kevin Bonham

    bug1@24

    I was talking about below the line, your talking about above the line.

    The most democratic system would be if people voted below the line and numbered every box, all these changes are doing is trying to find a better shortcut.

    People numbering every box between candidates with no party boxes was exactly what used to happen before Labor brought in the system we had now. The informal rate was frequently around 10% and conservative forces gamed the system to death by running spurious parties to make filling in all the boxes harder, knowing that Labor supporters would make more mistakes.

    It would be nice if we could convince each voter to rank every party according to their personal choice but it is simply not practical without very generous savings provisions. Once you have very generous savings provisions word soon gets out about them and the “convincing” ceases to work. It is just not realistic to expect even most voters to put in the many hours of work necessary for a considered numbering of the full ballot.

    Even I couldn’t get it right last Senate election – I put Lambie too high because I was too busy researching and stopping all the absolute total crazies on the Tasmanian ballot paper to get around to doing deep due diligence on her.

  29. Raaraa

    KB

    Now we have proof that Lambie is partially your fault. /s

  30. Bobalot

    A hasty deal done by closed doors.

    What’s worse are sanctimonious Green’s supporters lecturing us on how pure and transparent the Greens are.

  31. Antony GREEN

    You do realise Bobalot that what has been implemented was Labor’s suggestion in 2014. Here’s what Labor’s submission then said
    “Labor’s preferred position would also see a requirement that ballot paper instructions and howto-vote material advocate that voters fill in a minimum number of boxes above the line, while still counting as formal any ballot paper with at least a 1 above the line. This would highlight and encourage voters to indicate preferences if they were inclined to, and assist in keeping vote exhaustion to a minimum.”

  32. doug hynd

    The decision might have been made quickly but the basis for this outcome has been in the public arena for nearly two years. The great thing is that it will safe the ALP from the sort of dumb decisions that have in the past landed us with Steve Fielding. All involved ought to be congratulated for getting to a reasonably decent decision. and that includes the Greens.

  33. bug1

    Kevin, that sounds like a fair point, i wasnt aware of an older system.

    But it still seem like the same problem we have now, that there are too many candidates.

    Perhaps that could be fixed by increasing membership requirements, both numbers (again?) and their commitment, maybe require them to pay a registration fee to the AEC to be counted as an official supporter (by traceable means).

    Make it harder to game the system in the first place rather than trying to fix a broken candate/party registration process by changing the voting system.

  34. Jackol

    Perhaps that could be fixed by increasing membership requirements, both numbers (again?) and their commitment, maybe require them to pay a registration fee to the AEC to be counted as an official supporter (by traceable means).

    These barriers to entry were floated, as were others more or less extreme.

    But think about what this means – surely we want a system where the barriers for candidates or (genuine) parties are as low as possible to encourage more new forces in politics.

    Making the barriers to entry into the pointy end of politics onerous enough to cut down on the number of entrants is, to me, a significantly worse choice than taking the GTV lottery sugar off the table, and allowing voters to choose how far they want to go with describing their vote.

  35. Raaraa

    Odd to have Glenn Druery as a “political consultant” to comment and give political analysis on the Senate reform on ABC’s Lateline.

  36. Kevin Bonham

    Raaraa@29

    KB

    Now we have proof that Lambie is partially your fault. /s

    To the extent that I put her above the Liberal Party, which I regret, although I did that to punish the Coalition for its stupidity over same-sex marriage, unaware that Lambie’s position at the time differed only by being more confused.

    My vote was against her at the two closest cutoff points in the count but it did unfortunately make it to the Lambie pile right at the end.

  37. caf

    bug1:

    The most democratic system would be if people voted below the line and numbered every box, all these changes are doing is trying to find a better shortcut.

    Consider that when there are 110 candidates on the ballot (such as there were in the NSW 2013 Senate election), creating a total preference ordering requires at least 750 individual two-candidate comparisons. And that’s assuming you’ve done the research on all those candidates…

  38. Kevin Bonham

    bug1@33

    Kevin, that sounds like a fair point, i wasnt aware of an older system.

    But it still seem like the same problem we have now, that there are too many candidates.

    Perhaps that could be fixed by increasing membership requirements, both numbers (again?) and their commitment, maybe require them to pay a registration fee to the AEC to be counted as an official supporter (by traceable means).

    Make it harder to game the system in the first place rather than trying to fix a broken candate/party registration process by changing the voting system.

    All these methods punish genuine fledgling parties trying to get started, especially among low-income voters, more than they punish system-gamers. There’s a lot of financial benefit in securing a Senate seat after all. I like the idea that it is kept easy for a new party to start up and run with no hope of winning but in the hope that it gets publicity and builds at later elections.

    There is also much more wrong with the current system than just micro-parties winning on dodgy preference deals. The very strong preference flows riddle the counts with tipping points and increase the risk of a count being wrecked (a la 2013 WA) if some votes are lost or there is some other mistake. Also the strangeness of the cutups means that it is utterly impossible for the voter to work out how to vote to best help parties that share their ideals. Far too many examples where a party would do better if it had fewer votes at a certain time, or worse if it had more, and far too many cases where the most effective way to vote for a given party would have been to vote for a party it was opposed to.

  39. Jack A Randa

    Awww, Kevin, don’t beat yourself up. Lambie is right on some things and offensively wrong on others – far better than one more ‘Liberal’ senator toeing the party line.

  40. Edward Boyce

    Bug1 @7

    The “biggest change to our democracy” was probably the switch from first past the post to fill preferential for House of Reps voting in 1919.

  41. Rod Hagen

    bug1 at http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2016/03/02/senate-reform-reformed/#comment-2345799 , you might find Antony Green’s paper outlining (amongst other things) the many faceted history of Australian Senate electoral procedures at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/~/~/link.aspx?_id=6EAB2F2521E8462CBBBF9EAE79C5229C&_z=z worth a read if you would like to know more about what went before (and the problems involved with the various incarnations)

  42. ltep

    [Senate debate adjourned for the day. 13 non-government amendments listed so far. Government amendments not yet seen. Assume it is resuming tomorrow but don’t know yet.]

    Yes, listed as the first order of the day in government business. However, unless a deal is struck between the Greens and the Coalition to change the usual Thursday proceedings, it’s likely it won’t even come on for debate. Most of Thursday is given over to private senators’ business, with only a small window between 12.45 and 2 pm quarantined for government business deemed ‘non-controversial’. The Opposition can easily stonewall other things so that all the time that would possibly be available for the bill runs out.

    Incidentally, one of the things that hasn’t been considered in an analysis of whether the Building and Construction Commission resurrection bills will likely form part of a DD trigger is that it’s highly unlikely that the bills will be negatived again before 12 May. Without agreement the bills can only first be debated from 15 March, at which time the Senate will sit for three days, then adjourn until budget week. During these three days the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016 will be mostly considered – so when exactly will the ABCC bills be brought on and negatived?

    The only possible way they would be brought on would be by agreement, which would either mean that the Government had obtained the numbers to pass the bills, or a party or group of parties were tacitly supporting the idea of a DD.

    Finally, could the Senate’s failure to pass the bill prior to 12 May be interpreted as a ‘failure to pass’ in the constitutional sense? I don’t think so – the High Court has said that the Senate ‘cannot be said to have failed to pass a Bill because it was not passed at the first available opportunity; a reasonable time must be allowed’. What exactly is reasonable, I suppose, would turn on the individual case, but isn’t dependant on views of individual members of either House. This is an academic point given they already have at least 1 trigger, and to include the ABCC bills would only need to satisfy the GG.

    Apologies for monster post.

  43. frednk

    Good outcome. I have no interest in ordering right wing nutters from best to worse and on priciple I won’t vote above the line.

  44. ltep

    Senator Rhiannon has circulated amendments that would provide that certain provisions not apply to any elections held before 1 July 2016. I’m not really sure what the point of the amendments are, but there you go.

  45. Raaraa

    Some of the arguments for pushing the reform of the Senate elections later is so that the government won’t hold a double dissolution, which would among other things, bring bills like the ABCC and the abolition of the CEFC onto the table.

    I haven’t done my polling numbers but my understanding is that regardless of whether there was a Senate reform or not, the numbers of the House of Rep usually overwhelms Senate numbers to make passing those bills possible after a dissolution.

    Unless of course the government returns with a much thinner majority in the House, to the point where an extra 2 Senators would make a difference. Of course, in that case, the primary votes the government get is poor enough that their support in the Senate too would collapse.

  46. Raaraa

    ltep@44

    Senator Rhiannon has circulated amendments that would provide that certain provisions not apply to any elections held before 1 July 2016. I’m not really sure what the point of the amendments are, but there you go.

    I believe this is to give the AEC enough time (about 3 months) to prepare for a new electoral method.

  47. Kevin Bonham

    ltep #42 is quite correct – there doesn’t seem to be any movement at the station for today. There was some “debate” – if we can call Senator Day spouting complete nonsense like that 90+% will just vote 1 such – but that was triggered by a side-issue about production of documents and not actually on the Bill itself.

  48. Tom the first and best

    46

    If the amendments do not apply to elections where the writs are issued before the 1st of July, that rules out a DD (unless the government decides to hold it under the current system and end up with at least 11 micro party Senators).

    If the amendments do not apply to elections where polling day is before the 1st of July, then there are still 3 potential DD dates left (the 2nd 9th and 16th of July).

  49. Tom the first and best

    10

    I agree Lambie had a good chance in a DD (with some chance in a half-Senate election, although she is not up for re-election this time).

    I doubt that Muir will be re-elected. He seems to have less of a brand and the Motoring Enthusiasts Party is a bit to single issue (and not even a particularly major political issue at that) to be a real force.

    I agree about Day.

    Lazarus may be in with a chance at a DD.

  50. ltep

    [If the amendments do not apply to elections where the writs are issued before the 1st of July, that rules out a DD]

    The amendments make it clear that it’s only for elections ‘whose polling day is before 1 July 2016’. It specifies that ‘things may be done before 1 July 2016… In relation to elections whose polling day is on or after that day’.