Foiled one more time

The Liberal how-to-vote cards for the lower house are now available for viewing on the party website. As in the upper house, the Greens and other parties of the left are last – except in the vital inner-city seats of Melbourne, Richmond, Northcote and Brunswick, where supporters are advised: "Place number 1 in the box for the Liberal Candidate. Then number all of the remaining boxes from 2 to 5 in the order of your choice". While this is a little better for the Greens than a straighforward recommendation that they be put last, it will still reduce their flow of preferences compared with 2002, which probably ends the threat to the Labor sitting members – of whom the most senior and most endangered was Health Minister Bronwyn Pike in Melbourne.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

12 comments on “Foiled one more time”

  1. It will still be interesting. Liberal voters may end up putting Labor last. Problem is there may be a lot more wasted votes as there will be people just voting 1 Liberal and not numbering all boxes.

    Pretty silly of Liberals to have Labor divert funds from these marginals. You have to question how smart that is.

    Also how can they hope to win Marginals like Prahran with a key pink vote by preferncing Family First everywhere. You’ve got to feel sorry for Clem Newton-Browns volunteers who will get a lot of stick on the day. and maybe even a further swing.

  2. It is required in Victoria to number every box for the lower house. This is likely to see Liberals in the four seats the Greens had a chance of winning numbering the boxes at random, ensuring Labor victory in those seats. If Liberal voters do as Dinesh Mathew says they may do they will be casting an informal vote in the lower house.

    In the upper house voters must number at least 1 to 5 for their vote to be valid. They do not need to number boxes greater than 5 but should do so if they want the maximum value from their vote. Ellen Whinnett suggested in the Herald Sun they can only number 1 to 5. This was an error made in editing, as newspapers often do. Ellen is too smart a journalist not to be aware that the voter can number as few or as many up to the number of candidates below the line as the voter wishes, provided the numbers 1 to 5 are marked and no number is duplicated.

    Voters are silly if they vote above the line, for the party apparatchiks then determine their vote. Labor voters who voted above the line at the last Senate election must surely regret doing so. David Risstrom was a much better candidate than Steve Fielding.

  3. Lyle the only reason Family First was elected is that the ALP fell below 30% the Libs above 43% and the greens fell short of the 9% threshold. If it was not for the DLP who topped up Family First above the Democrats who in turn topped up family first above the ALP that ALP preferences elected Family First. Two more percent or a change in the Democrats preference allocation the ALP could have held the sixth seat.

    Having said that…

    Has anyone viewed the registered HTV cards that have been submitted to the Electoral Office. If the Liberals do not correct preferences in Melbourne or Richmond then it makes it that much harder for the Greens to cause an upset. The Liberal Party could very well have registered a number of HTV cards and can/will hand out on the day.

    The other question is how hard will the Liberal Party campaign in Melbourne and Richmond. If they lay low then the Greens chances increase. If they actively campaign to maximize public funding and their vote in the upper house then the Liberal party could very well top the Greens.

    More work is needed.

  4. Registration of how-to-vote material doesn’t close until Friday on my reading of the electoral act. It’s the registered material that will matter, not the state-wide material published on the websites.

  5. Anthony is correct. Sources suggest that the Statewide HTVs of the Libs without specific preferences for Melbourne, Brunswick, Richmond and Northcote is simply a convenient holding pattern to buy more time until they decide whether or not to really shaft the Greens with their registered HTVs.

  6. Thanks Anthony and Antony.
    The fact is that the material on the web site IS being widely used. Pre poll voting has commenced and large numbers of electors have already voted. It is true that the registered material will matter, and that the Libs may yet preference in the four seats the Greens have a chance of winning if they get Liberal preferences. Nevertheless the how to votes on the web site of the ALP, that IS being used for pre poll voting, could still be influential in those seats where the ALP is preferencing the Libs rather than the Nats. That’s why Peter Ryan is so angry. So could the Liberal htv in Brunswick Melbourne Northcote and Richmond which is recommending Liberal voters make up their own mind. This is an implied suggestion to vote Greens in those seats, but how many Liberals will pick that up? My suspicion is that Liberal voters will vote either at random, or up or down the ticket, making a Greens victory in those seats unlikely.

  7. Could, but postal, pre-poll, absent make up at most 15-20% of all votes. In rural electorates, the Labor vote on postals is usually very low compared to the booth vote. And you can be sure that it won’t be Labor candidates flooding rural electorate with postal vote applications. As I said, wait and see what is finally registered.

  8. Labor is pretty good at working the postal votes in the inner city it main set back is in the hospitals where many of the doctors are selective who they let in. That said I think those that vote early tend to know who they want to vote for. I do not think postal votes is as high as 15%. I will check

    William I agree for the Greens to win the seats of Melbourne and Richmond they need all minor candidates preferences. They also need to top the liberal primary vote which they might not do in Melbourne. All depends on who hard the Liberals campaign. Many Liberal supporters see the Greens as a great threat to Victoria then the ALP and in the absence of the HTV card recommending preferences I think you will find a higher percentage will place the greens last. Yes I also think they are buying time. HTV Cards that are handed out on the day must be registered with the VEC deadline tomorrow. Do not be surprised if you see multiple HTV cards registered but not all printed or handed out. Odds of the Greens winning Melbourne 15% Richmond 25%

    2002 saw the highest Green vote and they have been going backward ever since. 2004 Senate vote it dropped to around 8.5% Polls have them on 8.0% now. In 2002mthey had all the minor parties tryng to preference to them Family Fiorst is now actively campiaging against the Greens and their vote in Melbourne was higher then most think.

  9. Remember with the Senate style Upper House voting, there is more of an incentive for the major parties to campaign in lower house seats they have no chance of winning.

  10. The thing about the Greens is a large amount of their voters backed the Liberals in the Kennett years, so will they stay with the Greens or go back to the Liberals or even go to the ALP.

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