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WA Senate election minus five days

Some updates on the campaign trail for Saturday's Western Australian Senate election, to go with the publication of the Poll Bludger's election guide.

A Poll Bludger guide to Western Australia’s Senate election is open for business and accessible from the sidebar, providing a review of electoral history, the candidates and preference tickets. To mark the occasion, here’s an assembly of news nuggets as the campaign enters the home stretch:

• According to today’s West Australian, advertising monitoring firm Ebiquity estimates the Palmer United Party has spent “10 times more than Labor and 20 times more than the Liberals on television advertisements”. The substance of the advertising is that Palmer United will reduce the flow of Western Australian money to the eastern states, which may have proved counter-productive to its endeavours in the recent Tasmanian election, at which a similarly intensive advertising blitz failed to yield any dividends. Former Fremantle Dockers player Des Headland, who holds the unwinnable number two position on the party’s ticket, features prominently in the advertising; the number one candidate, Zhenya “Dio” Wang, does not.

• Labor appears to have picked up the tempo of its television advertising, matching Palmer United for air time during last night’s news bulletins, or exceeding it if additional anti-government advertising from the MUA and CFMEU is taken into account. Featuring prominently are Alannah MacTiernan, who not coincidentally was promoted to the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for regional development, infrastructure and Western Australia as the campaign began, and Colin Barnett, whose example in delivering “too many cuts” is allegedly set to be followed by Tony Abbott with respect to “Medicare, education, even penalty rates”.

• The Liberal campaign has so far been far more low key so far as television advertising is concerned. Its one advertisement seeks to take advantage of the confusion of the September result, warning of the “crazy deals” which sent votes “all over the place”, and throwing in for good measure the loss of the ballot papers (leaving unstated any argument as to why this might cause one to vote Liberal in particular). The party has also taken advantage of suggestions Help End Marijuana Prohibition might preference-harvest its way to victory, with a radio advertisement castigating the Palmer United Party in particular for directing preferences its way. The West Australian joined in the counter-offensive against Palmer United on Saturday, its front page headline reading “SOLD A PUP” atop a report that rounded on his promise to deliver Western Australia more GST revenue.

• The focus on Help End Marijuana Prohibition drew more publicity than one might have anticipated to the HEMP campaign launch, fuelled by media concern about the local credentials of its candidates, James Moylan and his daughter, Tayla Moylan. Both live in Lismore, and when pressed by journalists the former offered that the Premier of Western Australia might be called “Barrett”.

• The Monte Carlo simulations of Original Truth Seeker suggests Palmer United will be unlikely to win a seat if it only retains its 5.0% vote share from September, and will need to approach 7% to be a better-than-even chance. None of the scenarios played out suggests HEMP is as much of a chance as some of the commentary suggests.

• If you’re a voter in Western Australia, please take the short amount of time required to fill out the University of Western Australia’s Senate election survey, so that you may do your bit for electoral behaviour research and perhaps win “a voucher for $500 on iTunes, Apple Store or Google Play”.

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Compact Crank@97

AS @95 I’ll be interested to see where the Greens got their money from this time – never seen such a well funded Greens campaign in WA before.

Sinodinis ‘apparently’ is asking himself the same sort of questions about money to the NSW Libs.

But he doesn’t ‘recall’.

Arrnea Stormbringer

@ CC 97

Agreed. I suspect a good chunk of it came from everyday donors, but there were probably a few big donors too.

Compact Crank

AS @95 I’ll be interested to see where the Greens got their money from this time – never seen such a well funded Greens campaign in WA before.

Compact Crank

Prediction: Lib 3, ALP 2, Greens 1.

Hoped for: Lib 3, ALP 1, 2 Indies

Arrnea Stormbringer

@ William 93

Ludlam bringing home a quota in his own right would not be surprising, considering how hard he’s been campaigning in the last month.

Arrnea Stormbringer

Well, Bullock’s little foot-in-mouth certainly won’t help him.

Sent him to the very bottom of my BTL vote.


I’ll send a personal email on the weekend to Ludlam if he get’s back in 🙂

Compact Crank

I’m laying the blame if Ludlam gets up on Barnett.

Suzana Valentine
Scott Ludlam seems to have a momentum now, so don’t listen to the two major parties who are trying to keep your mind inside the box, voting green is not a waste of your vote, it could make a difference! Let me first say that I do not agree with the greens on every single little issue, however this is besides the point because voting green is all about the bigger picture. Its about one single fundamental fact and stating your position in regards to this; the environment is real, money is only a figment of our collective imagination, and absolutely nothing more. To illustrate this point: a long time ago money was made from metal and could perhaps be melted down to create something actually useful, so back then one could argue that money had imaginary value and some real value, not so anymore! Hypothetically we could snap our fingers, or a very ingenious computer hacker could perhaps let their Trojan run free, and (the imaginary value of) money could be wiped out. Now ponder that for a minute. It may sound dramatic, but you know what?! The sun will still rise the next morning, the flowers and the bees will still do their thing! Now reverse the scenario, and you will see that it’s not difficult to see what is actually more fundamental to our existence. Once you’ve cleared your mind of the nitty gritty details of ordinary political debate you will understand what voting green is really about! Even if you don’t believe in global warming, our current way of life with its aim of unsustainable continued and largely pointless economic growth, at expense of just about everything else, does without a doubt, put a massive strain on the things we actually do need for survival; such as clean water and fresh air. Just look at China and what the export of our western lifestyle has done to the air and water quality there in a very short amount of time! Because the effects of global warming are still rather intangible, for us non-scientists anyway, it has become an easy target for corporate interests to focus on, with the aim of instilling doubt in the population about green issues at large. The other green issues I mentioned don’t even appear on the agenda. Probably because they are so obvious, to everybody, that not even the money-driven interests… Read more »

If the LDP get over 1 % by intent and a couple of % from being earlier on the ballot than the Liberal Party, are they in with a preference harvesting chance? have those who thought wikileaks or HEMP have a harvesting (cute pun) chance, factored that possibilty in?



Thought you did an excellent WA Senate analysis on RN this morning. Good interview if you can provide new information with each answer, rather than repeating stuff.

Kevin Bonham


Libs plus Nats need to fall to about 39% before Libs realistically lose third seat. Possible but unlikely.
HEMP need about 3% to get up – unlikely.

I have got HEMP up with 2% in some of my simulations. This however (a) is still unlikely in my view (b) requires a generally higher vote for minor Others (excluding Lib/Nat, ALP, Green, PUP) than I think will occur.

And it’s a calculator win only. There won’t be a lot of BTL voting but what there is could undo such a scenario.


You got there but it requires
Greens + 2% pup +2%
The harder part is
– Nats to drop from 5% to 4%
– Lib Dems changing from 3.4% to 1.4% -2%
– Wiki from .75 to 1.2 +.5%

Whilst possible it seems very difficult. Given that it is very hard, it makes the result pretty much 3 2 and PUP.


Libs plus Nats need to fall to about 39% before Libs realistically lose third seat. Possible but unlikely.
HEMP need about 3% to get up – unlikely.

Kevin Bonham

A few minor updates to my comments at

I’ve done some crunching on 3-2-0-1 and 3-1-1-1 (4th figure PUP in both cases), both scenarios raised by William in his Crikey piece.

I found it rather easier to make the first one fly than the second, though the revelations re Bullock might not help Labor’s vote.


I played with the calculator giving numbers according to [a]truth seeker estimates
[b]2013 results
[c]newspoll quarterly
[d]bits and pieces that make little difference, mainly putting the good guys down a teeny weeny bit from the above and the bad guys up the same.

These were the main numbers:

Lib 37.5 [according to truth seeker]
ALP 25.5 [rounding everything to 100, being pessimistic]

Greens 11.5 [halfway between truth and 2013]
PUP 7.7 [bit more than truth]

Nats 4.3
Christians 1.6 [according to ‘reliable source’]
Lib Dem 1.4 [not sure how I got this]
Sex 1.4 [between truth and 2013]
Wiki 1.2 [ditto]
Shoot/Fish 1.0 [why not?]
A bunch < 1.0 each

Results :
Lib – 3 quotas
ALP – 2
Greens 1 ahead of PUP.


I keep trying to run scenarios using to get the greens in.
eg add 4% to Labor and -4% from Libs and Greens just get over the line (but thats a pretty big swing)
-5% from Libs, +2% PUP +3% Lab and the Greens miss.

There are other scenarios where the Greens get up but only by Labor missing their spot and the votes going to Greens.