Progressive updates of the long and laborious Senate count.

Still in play

Western Australia

Monday 23/9. The ABC computer projection today flipped to show the last two seats going to Louise Pratt and Zhenya Wang at the expense of Scott Ludlam and Wayne Dropulich, the decisive change being that Australian Christians have fallen behind Shooters and Fishers at “Count 21”. This deprives Dropulich of the Shooters and Fishers preferences he needs to survive the subsequent counts.

Tuesday 17/9. The most excellent Senate modelling of PB regular Truth Seeker illustrates the delicate balance of the count here, and the stars that need to remain aligned if Wayne Dropulich of the Australian Sports Party is indeed to find his way to the Senate off 0.2% of the vote. Key to the outcome is Dropulich remaining ahead of the Rise Up Australia party after distribution of preferences from Australian Voice, after which his snowball builds all the way to a quota. This might yet be undone by a gentle trend towards RUA on late counting, together with the unknown quantity of below-the-line votes. Should Dropulich fall short, not only will his own seat instead go to Zhenya Wong of the Palmer United Party, but the complexion of the race for the final seat between Scott Ludlam of the Greens and Labor’s Louise Pratt will change. This is because the comfortable win presently projected for Ludlam is achieved off Palmer preferences, which won’t be available to him if the votes are used to elect Wong. Truth Seeker’s projection is that Pratt will “almost certainly” defeat Ludlam on a scenario in which Wong is elected.

Monday. Together with the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party in Victoria, the other freak result being projected is that someone called Wayne Dropulich from something called the Australian Sports Party is projected to win off 0.22% of the primary vote. However, there are two points in the projected count where Dropulich narrowly escapes exclusion after finishing slightly ahead of the No Carbon Tax and Rise Up Australia parties. Those hurdles cleared, he harvests almost the entirety of the micro-party vote along with the Liberal Party surplus. If he drops out, it looks like another seat would be in the bag for the Palmer United Party, whose candidate is the little-known Zhenya Wang. The other point at issue is whether the second “left” seat goes to Labor’s number two candidate, incumbent Louise Pratt, or Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. If Zhenya Wang drops out, Ludlam looks the certain winner as he stands to receive the Palmer party’s preferences. But if the Palmer candidate is elected and has no preferences to spare, the result between Ludlam and Pratt at the final count becomes very close, though with Ludlam still appearing better placed.

Election night. One of a number of freakish outcomes currently projected by the ABC computer is that something called the Australian Sports Party wins a seat off 0.22% of the vote. However, there’s a very good chance that they will not in fact make it through the early rounds of the count. It does appear though that a micro-party seat is up for grabs to join the three for the Liberals and the two for Labor and/or Scott Ludlam. As best as I can tell, the only danger to Ludlam is that a share of the Palmer United Party vote might get used to elect one of the micro-parties candidates who are above the Greens on their preference order, which include the Liberal Democrats, the Australian Christians and Family First, perhaps depriving him of the preferences he needs to defeat Louise Pratt at the final count. It is also problematic for him that the PUP, being largely a phenomenon of the late campaign, may fade as pre-poll and postal votes are added.

Tasmania

Tuesday 24/9. The AEC yesterday announced that the computerised preference distribution will be conducted tomorrow, and the result declared on Thursday.

Tuesday 16/9. With two seats each for Labor and Liberal and one for the Greens assured, there are three scenarios for the final seat which could variously see it go to third Liberal candidate Sally Chandler, Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party, or Canberra resident Robbie Swan of the Sex Party. The ABC computer is presently intriguing journalists by giving it to Swan, based on him finishing ahead of Labor at Count 21 by the grand total of 14,275 to 14,274. That sees Swan soak up the Labor/Greens surplus to finish ahead of the Liberal Democrats, whose preferences then put him ahead of Lambie and on to victory with Lambie’s preferences. But if the situation at Count 21 was just one vote different, Swan would be excluded and his preferences distributed in such a way as to leave Lambie about 1000 votes behind the Liberal Democrats, and thus be excluded. Lambie’s preferences would then flow to the Liberals and deliver the seat to Sally Chandler. A win for Lambie thus looks the least likely of the three possible scenarios, although the high rate of below-the-line voting in Tasmania is such that I don’t think it should be entirely ruled out.

Thursday. The ABC projection in Tasmania no longer has Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party winning a seat, as she now finishes behind the Liberal Democrats (28,114 to 27,234) after the Greens surplus is distributed at Count 24. I earlier presumed that this scenario would deliver the seat to the Liberal Democrats, but Palmer preferences are in fact going to the Liberals and, unless Lambie can recover, will deliver the final seat to the third Liberal candidate, Sally Chandler.

Monday. Labor and the Greens have won over three quotas between them, securing two seats for Labor plus the re-election of Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, despite a headlong plunge in the Greens’ statewide vote from the historic high of 2010. On the right, the Liberals have won their obligatory two seats, but the last is a close-run thing between the third Liberal, Palmer United Party candidate Jacqui Lambie (who unsuccessfully contested Liberal preselection for Braddon) and Clinton Mead of the Liberal Democrats. All three are between 9% and 10% at the second last exclusion, Mead having preference-harvested off a base of 2.29%, Lambie having received the Labor and Greens surplus, and the Australian Christians and Rise Up Australia feeding preferences to third Liberal candidate Sally Chandler. The high rate of below-the-line voting makes this particularly hard to pick.

Election night. Neither Labor nor Liberal appears to have the firepower to get a third member up, leaving Labor preferences to re-elect Peter Whish-Wilson. The last seat, I believe, is a toss-up between the Palmer United Party, currently projected to win the seat, and those pesky Liberal Democrats.

Decided

New South Wales

Monday. David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party is currently on 8.9% of the statewide vote, which is almost certainly an accidental consequence of his party being the first listed on the huge ballot paper, and hence the first most voters encountered with the word “Liberal” in its name. The party also receives the preferences of the Democratic Labour Party, which is on a not insubstantial 1.5%. The DLP too did handily on the ballot paper draw, securing the third position out of 44 groups, and similarly owes some of its vote to those who thought they were voting for the other Labor party. A further 0.4% was funnelled to the party by the snappily named Stop the Greens, Smokers Rights and Australian Republicans, whose links to the LDP have been reviewed by Crikey’s Andrew Crook . Other micro-parties feeding Leyonhjelm preferences, either due to their general hostility to larger parties or because they hoped to be the ultimate beneficiary of the preference network, include Katter’s Australian Party, Shooters & Fishers, the Fishing & Lifestyle Party, the Christian Democatic Party, One Nation, the Sex Party, Wikileaks, the Animal Justice Party, HEMP and the Drug Law Reform Party and the Stable Population Party. Not too many of these parties’ supporters would have cast their vote with the intention of electing a party that trades in Ron Paul-style low-tax libertarianism. When combined, Leyonhjelm emerges with a 14.3% quota with at least 4% to spare, and no need for any surplus from the major parties.

Election night. Notwithstanding a sadly typical flurry of excitement based on a meaningless early projection, Pauline Hanson’s chances have been negated by the phenomenon of an accidental 8.9% vote for the Liberal Democrats. This has probably secured a result of three Coalition, two Labor and one Liberal Democrats, although the Greens would be a chance of nabbing one of the Coalition seats if they or Labor improved in late counting for some reason.

Victoria

Monday. Despite picking up a swing in Victoria, the Coalition has for the second election running failed to achieve a Senate vote sufficient to ensure a third seat. Last time this caused them to lose out on a third seat which instead went to the Democratic Labor Party. However, the DLP’s vote in Victoria was well down this time, mostly no doubt due to the proliferation of competition. Based on Antony Green’s calculator, Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party stands to win the final spot, simply because the Coalition doesn’t have three quotas in its own right and very few parties are favouring it ahead of Muir, who fortuitously outperformed other micro-party candidates due to the way preferences were allocated. As far as I can see, the most likely scenario to thwart Muir involves him falling behind Australian Christians and the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party at a point where one of three must be excluded, though this would be easier to envision if Muir had to fall below two candidates rather than just one. If he does fall short, it appears that the last micro-party standing would be Family First, who would not match Muir’s preference firepower owing to the Sex Party (polling close to 2%) putting the Christian parties last. The upshot would be that Liberal incumbent Helen Kroger could get up after all, leaving the Abbott government with one less cross-bencher to worry about.

Election night. The ABC calculator currently projects a win for the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party off 0.52% of the vote together with two Liberal, two Labor and one Greens, but I wouldn’t stake the mortage on that. However, the Coalition has fallen short of a third quota and doesn’t get many preferences, helping to explain why the preselection stoush between second placed Scott Ryan and third placed Helen Kroger was so willing. In Kroger’s stead, the final seat would go to some or other right-wing micro-party. Unlikely to be in the hunt are the “DLP Democratic Labour Party”, whose vote from from 2.33% to (on current numbers) 0.69%. This was no doubt partly due to the greater competition for the micro-party vote, but I also suggest it was a bad idea to subtly rename themselves from “Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of Australia”, which I suggest was easier to confuse with the Australian Labor Party.

Queensland

Monday. Here at least the result is both straightforward, with the Liberal National Party winning three seats, Labor two and the other going to Glenn Lazarus of the Palmer United Party, and inoffensive on a democratic level, since a) Lazarus’s 10.3% of the vote is near enough to a full quota in his own right, and b) people were clearly voting for him on purpose.

Election night. I think you can lock in the currently projected result of three Liberal National Party, two Labor and one Glenn Lazarus of the Palmer United Party looks locked in.

South Australia

Monday. Another of the many extraordinary results was that Nick Xenophon outpolled the Labor Party in South Australia, by 25.88% to 22.78%, and finished only slightly behind the Liberal Party on 26.69%. That looks certain to limit Labor to one seat, Don Farrell’s act of altruism in conceding the top position on the ticket to Penny Wong appearing more consequential than he probably realised at the time. That leaves a decisive Labor surplus to pass on to Sarah Hanson-Young, who had wrongly been written off by many who failed to consider the possibility of Xenophon sucking up enough votes to reduce Labor to one seat. Xenophon could probably have won a seat for his running mate if he had been more ready to engage in preference deals, but very few of the minor players have favoured his running mate over Liberal incumbent Simon Birmingham. The remaining seat looks set to go to Family First, whose candidate is housing tycoon and one-time Liberal candidate Bob Day. Day polled a strong 3.77%, and the only potential roadblock on his path to victory is that he finishes only slightly ahead of the Liberal Democrats at the point where they are excluded. South Australia’s six Senate seats thus look set to be divided between five different parties.

Election night. I may need a fresh pair of eyes on this one this morning, but I think the present projection of two Liberal and one each for Labor, Nick Xenophon, the Greens and Family First is the likely outcome. The one potential disturbance I see is Count 27, where the Liberal Democrats are excluded on 3.67% only just behind 4.03% for Family First. A reversal would, I presume, give the Liberal Democrats the seat instead. Despite Xenophon’s brilliant success in scoring 1.8 quotas, I don’t believe he can secure the remaining 0.2 quotas he needs to elect his running mate. Labor’s failure to secure a second seat, as looks to have happened in Western Australia in results without historical precedent, looks likely re-elect Sarah Hanson-Young. Now recall that the Labor Party initially proposed to give Don Farrell the only winning spot on the ticket at the expense of Penny Wong.

Territories

Monday. The territories have never failed to deliver one seat each to the major parties, but Greens candidate Simon Sheikh has at the very least come extremely close to knocking off Liberal candidate Zed Seselja, the former ACT Opposition Leader making a bid for federal parliament after knocking off incumbent Gary Humphries for preselection. In the Northern Territory, there was talk that Nova Peris’s path to the Senate might be blocked by the tightness of preference flows to the indigenous rights party First Nations, but their vote was too low to put them in contention.

Election night. The Greens are making their best fist yet of winning a Senate seat in the ACT, potentially thwarting Zed Seselja’s bid to move from territory to federal politics. However, the ABC projects Zeselja holding by 34.05% to 32.62% at the final count, and my instinct is that that’s unlikely to be overturned on late counting. In the Northern Territory, the First Nations party doesn’t look like it’s going to survive the early stages of the count, thwarting a potential threat to Nova Peris’s election, which probably would have been averted anyway by a near-quota vote for Labor.

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