UPDATE: The Speaker at Upperhouse.info is progressively posting his invaluable upper house election calculcators; first cab off the rank is Northern Metropolitan.
To give some idea of the setback the hapless Victorian Greens have suffered from the Coalition preference tickets, it’s worth taking a look at Antony Green’s assessment of how the 2002 result would have looked under the new system. Operating under the assumption that the Coalition would preference Labor last, Antony reckoned the Greens would have won seats in Eastern Metropolitan, Eastern Victoria, Northern Metropolitan, Southern Metropolitan and Western Metropolitan, as part of an overall result of Labor 20, Coalition 15 (including one Nationals seat) and the Greens five. However, two of those Greens wins (Western Metropolitan and Western Victoria) would have relied on Liberal preferences; without them the seats would have gone to Labor, giving them a clear majority with 22 seats. While the Labor vote will no doubt be lower this time, the Liberals’ preference decision has turned the slim outside chance of a Labor majority into a genuine possibility. The Poll Bludger will leave it to others to consider whether this was sound tactics; it will perhaps make more sense if it subsequently emerges that Labor has agreed to give the Liberals preferences in country seats at the expense of the Nationals. On a region by region basis, the Greens’ prospects now look as follows:
Eastern Metropolitan: The 2002 figures suggest that Labor, Liberal and the Greens would have been very evenly placed after the first four seats were decided, with Liberal on 0.66 of a quota, the Greens on 0.63 and Labor on 0.60. With the Liberals preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor, the Greens would only have needed to stay ahead of one or the other (after distribution of preferences from "others" 0.11 of a quota, though that would presumably be higher in the context of a multi-member election). But without the prospect of Liberal preferences, the Greens would have had to rely on Labor being eliminated first. Fortunately for the Greens, Labor’s vote is likely to be lower this time, and they will also be boosted by preferences from People Power and the Democrats. However, there is the corresponding likelihood of a higher Liberal vote, which will be further boosted by preferences from the DLP and Family First. If that adds up to 50 per cent (the Liberal primary vote was 44.3 per cent in 2002), the Liberals will win a third seat at the expense of the Greens although that would have been true regardless of what the Liberals had done with their preferences.
Northern Metropolitan: Here at least the Greens look very likely to win a seat, having scored a full quota off their own bat on the 2002 results. The only conceivable result that might thwart them is if the Liberal vote (23.0 per cent in 2002) surges sufficiently to give them 33.3 per cent and a second quota after the addition of Family First preferences. This would involve draining enough votes from Labor to pull them below a third quota (from 57.4 per cent in 2002 to below 50 per cent after the addition of DLP preferences) and from the Greens to pull them below a first (from 16.8 per cent to less than 16.7 per cent after Democrats and People Power preferences). Labor could then get the Liberal surplus and win the final seat at the Greens’ expense. However, it’s more likely that the Greens will either get a quota on their own, or come close enough that the surplus over Labor’s third quota will win them the seat.
South Eastern Metropolitan: The Liberal preference ticket has scuttled the Greens’ chances here, making an outcome of three Labor and two Liberal all but certain. Had the Liberals put Labor last, their surplus over the second quota could potentially have made the Greens competitive, provided the Labor vote (54.2 per cent in 2002) was more than a fraction below 50 per cent after the addition of Family First, Christian Party and DLP preferences. As it stands, the Liberals will surely get the 33.3 per cent needed for two seats, and their surplus will equally surely secure the last seat for Labor.
Southern Metropolitan: The Greens could well manage a 16.7 per cent quota here without the surplus of either major party they polled 15.4 per cent in this region in 2002, and will receive preferences from People Power and the Democrats. However, a three Liberal and two Labor outcome is equally possible the parties’ respective vote in 2002 was 44.2 per cent and 37.9 per cent, so a straight 4.5 per cent shift from one to the other would give Labor a narrow two quotas, and the Liberals the 50 per cent needed for a third seat with Family First and DLP preferences. The significance of the Liberal preference decision is that an outcome of 3-1-1 (as distinct from 2-2-1) is now less likely, because the Liberal surplus over the third quota will boost Labor rather than the Greens.
Western Metropolitan: If the Liberals had the Greens ahead of Labor on preferences, the 2002 figures (Labor 3.73 quotas, Liberal 1.54, Greens 0.58) would have given the Liberals one seat with enough of a surplus to deliver another to the Greens. But with Labor getting Liberal preferences, Labor would have won a fourth seat instead. This time though, the Labor vote is likely to be lower and the Greens are a good chance of winning a seat with Labor’s surplus over the third quota. But that could be endangered if the Liberal vote rises from 25.6 per cent to over 30 per cent, giving them a shot at a second seat at the Greens’ expense. It’s also worth noting the possibility of a wild card outcome: People Power and the Democrats are trading preferences, as are Family First and the DLP; People Power and the DLP have each other second; all are ahead of the main contenders on the Liberal and Labor tickets, except that Family First is second last on the Labor ticket. One possible scenario involves People Power or the Democrats harvesting enough preferences to get ahead of the fourth Labor candidate and then the first Greens candidate, picking up the preferences of each and snowballing to victory.
Western Victoria: Again, a replay of 2002 with Liberal preferences going to the Greens ahead of Labor would have given the Greens a seat they would not have won otherwise. The results were Labor 2.84 quotas, a combined 2.54 for the Liberals and Nationals, and 0.50 for the Greens. Democrats preferences would have put the Greens ahead of the Coalition, and Coalition preferences would then have given the Greens a quota. It’s still possible to construct a scenario where the Labor vote falls enough that their surplus over the second quota is lower than the Greens vote, without falling so far that the surplus can’t get the Greens ahead of the third Coalition candidate. But a lot of things would have to go right for that to happen.
Eastern Victoria: In 2002, the Greens would have won a seat on Labor preferences: the results being 2.84 quotas for the Liberals, 2.46 for Labor and 0.60 for the Greens. However, this time it seems certain that votes will shift from Labor to Liberal, so that the Labor surplus will be inadequate to the task and the Coalition will win a third seat.
Northern Victoria: Regardless of the preferences here, it is hard to envision a result other than Coalition three, Labor two.