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Federal Election 2010

Sep 17, 2010

Final 2PP: 50.12-49.88 to Labor

The Australian Electoral Commission has finalised the last of its two-party preferred Labor-versus Coalition counts, and it confirms Labor has won a narrow victory on the national total

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The Australian Electoral Commission has finalised the last of its two-party preferred Labor-versus Coalition counts, and it confirms Labor has won a narrow victory on the national total of 6,216,439 (50.12 per cent) to 6,185,949 (49.88 per cent), a margin of 30,490. If distinctions to the second decimal place are what matters to you, Labor did about 0.05 per cent worse than last time due to the arbitrary fact of the Nationals finishing ahead of Wilson Tuckey in O’Connor, meaning the AEC finalised a two-party result on a Nationals-versus-Labor basis where the 2007 Liberal-versus-Labor result was more favourable to them. So while I think it reasonable to cite the published figure as the definitive national result, a slight discount should be factored in when considering the matter of the swing, which should properly be rounded to 2.5 per cent rather than 2.6 per cent.

Whatever the specifics, the result leaves quite a few people looking foolish:

Barnaby Joyce: “We’d won the two-party preferred vote by the time the independents made their decision.” (Lateline, 7/9).

Andrew Bolt: “Labor won fewer votes, fewer seats of its own and less of the two-party preferred vote.” (Herald Sun, 8/9).

Alan Jones: “Is it a healthy democracy when a party wins the majority of the two party preferred, wins the majority of the primary vote and wins more seats in the Parliament than the other party but the other party forms government?” (2GB, 8/9).

Sarah Martin: “Yesterday, Julia Gillard’s Labor Party won government despite losing the primary vote and the two-party-preferred vote, or securing a majority of seats.” (The Advertiser, 7/9).

Kerry Chikarovski: “The Coalition won the primary vote, they won the two-party preferred …” (The Drum, 7/9).

Lateline: “Labor loses two-party preferred vote” (report headline, 30/8).

Kenneth Wiltshire: “It is probable that the Coalition will win more third-party preferences.” (NB: This of course is absurd – Labor got 65 per cent of third party preferences, much as they always do – but I think we know what he’s trying to say.) (The Australian 6/9).

Lisa Wilkinson (to Wayne Swan): “Now, you won fewer primary votes, fewer two-party preferred votes and fewer seats.”
(Swan explains to her that she’s wrong.)
Wilkinson: “But in the end you got 49.9 per cent of the vote and the Opposition got 50.1.”
Swan: “No, I don’t think that’s … Lisa, that is not a final count.”
Wilkinson: “Well, that’s what the AEC is saying and that’s what Australia said at the polls.” (The Today Show, Nine Network, 9/9).

No doubt there were others.

Our troubles here began on August 30, when the AEC removed three electorates from the national total on the basis that the Labor-versus-Liberal counts there had been discontinued after election night, as it became apparent the Greens (in the case of Batman and Grayndler) or Andrew Wilkie (in the case of Denison) rather than the Liberals would face Labor at the final count. As three of the weakest seats in the land for the Liberals, these were by extension among the strongest seats for Labor in two-party terms. The resulting adjustment in Labor’s two-party vote from 50.4 per cent 50.0 per cent led to a great many uncomprehending reports of a “surge” to the Coalition, which had an added edge due to Julia Gillard’s post-election claim that Labor had, apparently, won the two-party vote. Those who wanted a clear and accurate exposition of the news had to ignore, say, The Australian, and look to an evidently more reliable source of information in Bob Brown, who explained the absence of eight electorates from the published result and correctly concluded: “If you look at the whole of Australia and you treat every seat equally, when you do that Labor’s ahead and is likely to keep that lead right the way through to the finishing pole.”

Antony Green defends journalists on the basis that they were within their rights to take an official AEC figure at face value, but I’m not so kind. Even if awareness of the missing electorates was too much to ask, those quoted above should at least have been aware that the count was incomplete. As it stands, we have a result that leaves those of us who had done the sums with exactly what we were expecting, and a lot of dopey pundits and dishonest politicians with egg on their faces.

UPDATE: Morgan has published results from a phone poll of 541 respondents conducted on Wednesday and Thursday evening which has Labor leading 52-48 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 35.5 per cent for Labor, 42.5 per cent for the Coalition and 15 per cent for the Greens. The margin of error on the poll is about 4.2 per cent.

UPDATE 2: As Peter Brent points out, the 52-48 result comes from the less reliable two-party measure based on respondent-allocated preferences – going on previous elections, which the most recent election has again vindicated as the superior method, Labor’s lead is only 50.5-49.5.

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2186 comments

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victoria
Guest

Rod Hagen#2145

I am only now responding to your earlier posts. I had to run some errands. Excellent letter!

spur212
Guest

via twitter

TurnbullMalcolm #nbn characteristically levelheaded commentary from @1petermartin http://j.mp/c3YHKz

Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that this praise for Peter Martin implies what he thought about the Coalition’s election costings? …

Shineybum
Guest

[I’ve even developed an indulgent affection for Truthie]

You’ve got to be kidding …

steve
Guest

[Disturbing that these falsehoods quickly become the accepted truth.]

You can only fool some of the people some of the time thou8gh Spray. Can’t say I’ll be accepting Abbott as a legitimate Opposition Leader till he is pitted against some viable opposition in a Party room spill.

Diogenes
Guest
AS continue to be a big issue. This is very sad. [ IMMIGRATION authorities are investigating the death of a detainee at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, who refugee advocates say leapt from a roof. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said the 36-year-old Fijian national had been held in Villawood since August 17. He was named by Fiji democracy activists as Josefa Rauluni, who they said feared he would be persecuted if returned to Fiji. Refugee advocate Sara Nathan said the man was due to be deported to Fiji today, and this morning had climbed on a roof at the… Read more »
Cuppa
Guest

Welcome Spray. Keep monitoring the ABC and keep the blog updated with what you find.

Spray
Guest

Thanks BK. Sorry Mad, I clearly meant “wise beyond your years”.

Spray
Guest

BigBob @ 2122, and kakuru @ 2151. I’ve been banging on about this furphy since the election. Twice on Q&A last week, Clive Palmer went unchallenged in claiming that Abbott achieved the greatest swing ever by an opposition leader. Disturbing that these falsehoods quickly become the accepted truth.

BK
Guest

Welcome aboard Spray.

Sir Mad Cyril
Guest

Hi Spray, I can assure you I am neither wise nor old 😀

Dee
Guest

[Peter Martin earns praise from Turnbull for his anti NBN work.]
I wasn’t aware that Martin was anti-NBN, obviously missed that one.

vera
Guest

Rod Hagen
I think I made another DOH!!! though
Abbott only picked up 12 including the WAnat and Labor picked up 2
So we’re even 😀

Cuppa
Guest

Good man.

Rod Hagen
Guest

[May I suggest you also send a copy to Greens Senator Scott Ludlum,]

Done!

Sir Mad Cyril
Guest

[
Labor calls time for some MPs
]

I think the people of NSW are planning on “calling time” for some MPs themselves come next March 😀

Spray
Guest

After an entire month of being distracted by this excellent blog, I had a flash of inspiration and decided to register. It already feels like I’m in a room of wise old friends, and I’ve even developed an indulgent affection for Truthie. Great post by Rod Hagen earlier, re “compensation” to “asylum seekers”. I wish my frequent complaints to Auntie were as well researched and reasoned. Perhaps then I’d get some sort of response.

vera
Guest
confession The SMH has another story today about KK having a cleanout, it was headed; [Labor calls time for some MPs] [”Look, if 15 MPs leave, of that number, 12 will choose to go and three will be pushed,” one backbencher said. ”People like Dr Andrew McDonald (Macquarie Fields) and Frank Sartor (Rockdale) would probably go. ”Others like Ninos Khoshaba (Smithfield) and Nick Lalich (Cabramatta) haven’t really made much of a contribution and should move on, along with the likes of Noreen Hay (Wollongong), Cherie Burton (Kogarah), Kevin Greene (Oatley) and Verity Firth (Balmain). Others like Phil Koperberg (Blue Mountains)… Read more »
Dee
Guest

Rod
Have to agree with others. Well done!

Rod Hagen
Guest

Oh! Whoops, you were talking about Beazley , of course!

steve
Guest

Peter Martin earns praise from Turnbull for his anti NBN work.

TurnbullMalcolm #nbn characteristically levelheaded commentary from @1petermartin http://j.mp/c3YHKz less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad

Cuppa
Guest

Rod Hagen #2145

http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/09/17/final-2pp-50-12-49-88-to-labor/comment-page-43/#comment-636215

Congratulations on your steriling work in getting to the bottom of the numerous breaches of the ABC’s Charter and Code of Conduct.

I’m aware you’ve sent it as formal complaint to the ABC. May I suggest you also send a copy to Greens Senator Scott Ludlum, who it is believed is coordinating the pursuit of full Parliamentary Inquiry into the behaviour of the mainstream media.

http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/contact

Thanks again for the good work. The more evidence that can be collected of poor behaviour by (in particular) the ABC the stronger the case for formal parliamentary investigation.

Rod Hagen
Guest
[Made a mistake Bomber picked up 18 seats not 16 doh!] How do you figure that, vera? The coalition had 65 seats in the old parliament. They now have 72 (or 73 if you “stretch” it and accept the WA Nat as amember of “Abbott’s”) That looks to me like a “pick up” of 7, or, at best, 8. If you want to look at it in terms of the “seat margin” I can see the reasoning, but even then two of Labor losses weren’t to Abbott, but to a Green and an Independent, so your old figure of 16… Read more »
Ron
Guest
Pegasus http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/immigration-and-refugees Clause 17 “abolish MANDATORY (and indefinite) DETENTION of asylum seekers.” So stop trying to hide that fact , ie Greens oppose mandatory detenton of A-S Mandatory detain is simply detainment to CHECK FIRST that a boat person is a true refugee , check for there health issues and check for there national security , and THEREAFTER they enter oz commiunity Youse lot want A-S in community whilst such checks is being done , otherwise you would not be objecting to th 3 above checks being done beforehand You then quote a series of Greens web site clauses that… Read more »
Sir Mad Cyril
Guest
[ Abbott certainly has confounded me by being allowed to stay on after losing an election. The Liberals would have replaced any other loser at the first party room meeting in the past ] My general impression of the Libs was that they usually got rid of Leaders straight after election losses, but not so. Hewson stayed on after the Liberal’s 1993 election loss. He didn’t lose the leadership until the following year, to Downer. Peacock resigned straight after his 1990 loss. Howard stayed on after 1987 until he was dumped in 1989. Peacock retained the leadership after the 1984… Read more »
ltep
Guest

Yes confessions, I was thinking reading that that Hodgman’s days are numbered as Tasmanian Liberal leader. Abetz will just install someone else.

confessions
Guest
[LIBERAL leader Will Hodgman has moved decisively to seize control of the party in Tasmania, throwing down the challenge to powerbroker Eric Abetz. Mr Hodgman yesterday said he could no longer stand by and watch ultra-conservatives within the Liberal Party lead it into oblivion and irrelevancy. Instead he wants to bring the Liberals back to the “middle of the road”. “I’m grabbing this by the scruff of the neck. I’m quite prepared to stake my leadership on it,” Mr Hodgman told the Mercury in an exclusive interview. And he is determined to stamp out the perception the Liberal Party is… Read more »
vera
Guest

Made a mistake Bomber picked up 18 seats not 16 doh!

vera
Guest

Switched on the TV while having an early lunch and thought I’d see what was on A-Pac (Kev being OS and all 🙂 ) but who did they have on?
The Poison Dwarf and he was still raving on about kev and the faceless men!
I switched to Bargain Hunt before I was turned off my tucker.

BK
Guest

Great letter to the ABC Rod.
[The article accordingly breaches clause 3.2 of the ABC’s Code of Conduct which states: “3.2 Every reasonable effort, in the circumstances, must be made to ensure that the factual content of news and current affairs is accurate and in context.”]
No doubt they will respond to this point by suggesting that they were factual in reporting what Morrison said.
Your very specific points will make it difficult for them to answer in a pro forma way.
No doubt you will advise us of the response.

vera
Guest

[Abbott surely is keeping his job at the moment because there’s no candidate fit to replace him. He’s got cachet because he got them so close,]
Agree with this and to give Tone his dues he did pick up 16 odd labor seats and came within an Undie of being PM.

Similar to the Bomber who picked up 16 seats in 1998 and we kept him for the next election.
I think Tone is pretty safe at this stage (but anything could happen with Malcolm lurking 😉 )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_1998

steve
Guest
Seems we have a new definition of grateful and we can only hope we never see the NSW definition of ungrateful. [2.31 However, Mr Grant Heaton, Representative of the NSW Teachers Federation and Principal of Hasting Public School, asserted that: ‘[O]ne should not confuse gratitude with satisfaction.’52 This was supported by Mr Gary Zadkovich, Deputy President, NSW Teachers Federation, who said: … just because a school is grateful and just because a school community is pleased about having a brand new building under this program, that does not mean that there are not concerns in such a school community about… Read more »
confessions
Guest

Good on you Rod.

I wonder if they’ll correct their story, or simply reply with the usual ‘we know best’ form letter they usually send back to complainants.

grantplant
Guest

[Of course you exclude LNP from the numbers in QLD.

Bullshit]

So you want their votes counted twice then huh Truthy? Typical. Why am I not surprised?

They were included in the Liberal vote you knob.

ltep
Guest

Yes Puff, according to the Australian Tea Party:

[GetUp is funded by unions, in possible breaks of the law, and is masterminded not by its public leader but by ALP spin doctors and a PR firm.]

That site is compelling awful reading.

kakuru
Guest
BigBob @ 2122 [ Abbott’s swing was far from being anywhere near some of the swings achieved by other opposition leaders. The problem for the ALP was a smaller buffer than other previous first term governments had, in terms of the majority and seats with relatively safe margins. ] When it came to the coverage of the most recent election, these facts somehow managed to fall through the cracks. Instead, we got a whole lot of blather about how the swing against the first term Labor govt was “unprecedented”. There was a huge swing against Howard in ’98, amounting to… Read more »
lizzie
Guest

Pegasus

Yes, I read that. One of the points seemed to be that as soon as info becomes “technical’ (such as 0.2 instead of 20% or 2 in every 10 🙂 ) people tend to tune out as the number seems so small.

Scientists, I believe, do not recognise how science-illiterate most ordinary people are.
For eample, a report stating that a degree of warming is “significant” has a more specific statistical meaning than “I’m writing this to show you something”.

Trouble is, as soon as a paper is translated into ordinary-speak, it tends to lose its “significance”.

lizzie
Guest

Well done, Rod.
I noticed that my own post 2141 from ABC also starts “The Opposition says”…

forrest
Guest

to be naive. often miss to’s.

Pegasus
Guest
Here is an interesting article about a paper, “The Psychology of Global Warming”, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The two authors, psychology lecturer Ben Newell and climate scientist Professor Andy Pitman, identified normal psychological phenomena, such as “sampling issues” and “framing” that can tend to turn people into climate “deniers”. [”Simply presenting the facts and figures about global warming has failed to convince large portions of the general public, journalists and policy makers about the scale of the problem and the urgency of required action,” the paper says.] http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/psychology-provides-insight-into-why-people-doubt-climate-change-20100919-15hy4.html Methinks a “community consensus” regarding climate change… Read more »
lizzie
Guest

steve @ 2142

I just skimmed the report, but notice a very strong statement by the Labor Vice-chair that the committee was biased.

Rod Hagen
Guest
[Thanks for your follow up information regarding the asylum seeker compensation issue. Have you considered sending your post to the ABC?] I have sent the following as a formal complaint to them, victoria: Yesterday (19th September, 2010) ABC News ran a story misleadingly headed “Asylum seekers get $5.4m in compensation” in which the Shadow Minister Scott Morrison alleged this indicated a blow out in future compensation payments – see http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/19/3015837.htm The headline for the story is highly misleading. The Senate Estimates answer mentioned in the story (which was readily available to your journalist on line at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/estimates/bud_1011/diac/71_qon_27_May_2010.pdf ) relates to… Read more »
forrest
Guest

Where do the Taliban get their weapons from right now.
Haven’t seen that.
Those they captured from the Russians would be worn out.
Except those the Yank’s gave them later on.

Who are we fighting?
It’s tremendous be naive until someone tries to kill you.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Guest
Puff, the Magic Dragon.
[brought to you by GetUp!,] The neo-cons hate GetUp it seems. GetUp targets issues, not parties, they advocate for issues that are a problem for Labor as easily as for Lib/Nat coalition. http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/ The fact that Howard attacked democracy and vulnerable groups put issues the issues out there for an online organisation like GetUp to go into bat for change. Interestingly it is still the Howard legacy which is providing big wins for GetUp, the enfranchisement rights of Australians. In the olden days, people who were affected by these issues either wrote letters, joined the opposite party, marched in the… Read more »
steve
Guest
lizzie
Guest
ABC online [The Opposition says Prime Minister Julia Gillard needs to approach Papua New Guinea about re-opening the detention centre on Manus Island instead of planning to build more detention centres on Australian soil. The governor of the Manus province wrote to PNG’s prime minister last month to raise the issue, saying the reopening of the centre would revitalise the local economy. The Federal Government is negotiating with East Timor’s government to open an offshore processing centre in the country. But Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says Ms Gillard would approach the PNG government if she was serious about offshore… Read more »
george
Guest
[For the rest, especially ABC and The Oz, it was naked self interest: turfing Labor before they could either build an NBN that harm’s your owner’s monopoly profit (the Oz), or remove from the board the right wing plants that supported your appointment (ABC).] I think this is critical for everyone to understand. No matter the party politics, ideology, or anything else at the time, the continued uninterrupted profit and control by big business is either upheld by whomever is in power, or they will come down on you like a sledgehammer. And a nice “bucket-o-sh*t” served up daily through… Read more »
gusface
Guest

[If we sold all the copper in the network the return would be between 9-14 billion

stick that in your pipe

:)]

I posted that on peter martins blog

the reality is that part of the cost of the NBN will be funded from the asset being replaced

not the other way around

Cuppa
Guest

Can’t argue with that analysis, Socrates.

Socrates
Guest

Cuppa
[It’s infuriating that, apparently in the interest of “giving us a contest”,, they loved-in with the Abbott so light-headedly that he almost managed to slither into power. ]
I think that only explains some of the behavior, eg Fairfax & Oaks on Channel Nine.

For the rest, especially ABC and The Oz, it was naked self interest: turfing Labor before they could either build an NBN that harm’s your owner’s monopoly profit (the Oz), or remove from the board the right wing plants that supported your appointment (ABC).

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