Full house? (part two)

By popular demand, I hereby open a new thread for discussion of the extraordinarily tight three-way race in the Victorian upper house region of Southern Metropolitan. Earlier expectations that the final seat would come down to a race between Labor’s Evan Thornley and the Greens’ Sue Pennicuik have been undone by an unexpectedly strong performance by the Liberals on postals, which has strengthened the hand of their third candidate David Southwick. Remarkably, the current result in quota terms is 3.00 for the Liberals, 1.99 for Labor and 1.00 for the Greens, making it a near-perfect three-way tie in the race for the final seat. The Greens have suffered the worst in late counting, such that the possibility has emerged of the Liberals winning the seat with a tiny surplus that helps elect Thornley, who will receive it as preferences ahead of the Greens’ Sue Pennicuik. The irony of Liberal preferences delivering Labor an upper house majority is being widely remarked upon, though their decision to put the Greens last always meant it was a serious possibility. Antony Green explains in comments that this is a rare occasion where below-the-line votes will prove decisive, so that "the models where you treat below-the-line votes as ticket votes" – such as the calculators at Upperhouse.info – "are too crude in such a close count":

What you need to do now is break the count into above and below the line votes. Add the tickets of Family First and the DLP to the Liberal vote. Add the Democrat ticket to the Greens, and People Power and Group C tickets to Labor’s vote. At this point, none of these three totals reaches a full quota, though the Greens are the closest. The balance is determined by the below the line votes. Unless the relative percentage of Labor, Liberal or Green increases against the other, none of these totals will reach a quota. The real unknown is what happens if enough BTL votes drift to the Greens. If this happens, then the Democrat ticket will elect the Green, and release a small number of ticket preferences for Labor … What Labor needs to win the last spot is for as many BTL votes to drift to the Greens before the Democrat ticket is distributed. Unless the relative %’s of the party change again, on the current count Labor will need a surplus from the Greens to win the last spot.

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.

252 comments on “Full house? (part two)”

Comments Page 1 of 6
1 2 6
  1. Besides the three-way tie in southern metro – are all others pretty much assumed? So that the DLP isnt in and Labors fourth candidate is in WV?

    On other matters, I sure hope Rudd wins. Perhaps Beazley and Rudd should do a swap, something like the New Zealand National Party did last week [no.2 and no.3 swapped spots which gave a whole new fresh looking leadership team]. Perhaps ALP should learn from the NZNP in that respect. Otherwise, I agree to the comments of the former thread, goodbye ALP Federally 2007. [Unless there is of course another Joh for Canberra campaign which won’t happen – or that National and Liberal relations sour by then. Perhaps the ALP can play the McGuran {cant spell} defection and recent break and unbreaks in state conservative coalitions.]

  2. Yes. Look anyone is a bertter opetion than Beazley, dont you agree? Noone likes Beazley and everyone thinks he performs badly. Theres no reson to keep him in. He has experience ONLY at LOSING.

  3. Sorry to toot my own horn, but I was the first person on here to predict 1-3-1 in Southern Metro.

    Howard C Says:

    November 21st, 2006 at 9:14 am
    The Liberals aren’t going to fall under 14 LC seats, or 2 per region on average. While they will only win one seat in Northern Metro and probably only one in Western Metro, they will win 3 seats in Western Victoria & Eastern Metro. Possibly also Southern Metro.

    The Greens will go forward in Southern Metro, but at the expense of the ALP. Don’t be surprised to see a LIB 3 ALP 1 GRN 1 result in Southern Metro, with Evan Thornley left standing when the music stops.

    That is what I wrote 10 days ago, and chances are I’ll end up being correct.

  4. I don’t want to be too confident, but I suspect that Sue Pennicuik will win the 4th spot and have enough preferences left over to get Thornley up unless Southwick has a fair lead on him.

    My reasoning for this is as follows: The Greens almost always do badly on postal votes but well on absentees (very different demographics). Sometimes we do well on prepolls, sometimes badly.

    So far the lower house votes counted have pretty much followed this regard, with the prepolls more often bad than good. The votes entered in the last few days for the upper house would have been mostly or entirely postals and prepolls, so we’ve gone backwards. However, as they start putting in the upper house absentees things should get better.

    On top of this, our scrutineers have been reporting remarkably positive below the line flow to us. In fact their flows are so positive I can’t actually believe them, but if we’re doing even close to as well as they say we will get the 4th spot on absentees and below the lines with a fair bit to flow on to Thornley.

  5. While we wait and wait, does anybody have time to explain to me why it takes so long for the absentee votes to “come in” please?

  6. Of course Rudd is Marcus he looks like a young Howard, goes to church and speaks Chinese(soon our biggest trading partner).
    He’ll either win or soften the ground making way for Bill Shorten.
    Come on Thornley do something send a virus through that eats up liberal votes and gets Sue in too (at least she’s better looking than Southdick)

  7. My analysis of the result in Southern Melbourne is as follow

    If we add the ATL vote for
    a. Liberal + FF + DLP + Liberal BTL
    b. Green + Democrat + Green BTL
    c. Labor + PP + Group C + Labor BTL

    we get
    a. .13% below a 3rd quota
    b. .21% below a 3rd quota
    c. 2.17% below a 3rd quota

    this means that Labor have the most to lose if the BTL preference exhausts, it seem that if only 20% of BTL exhausts liberal get 4th and Green get 5th. I think Labor is facing an uphill battle, which is what both the Liberal and Green scutaneers want as well.

  8. I remember a joke that did the rounds circa 2001 about Rudd’s leadership aspirations. It went something like; Rudd may one day be a leader, but it wont be of the A.L.P. But Rudd has consistently improved since 2001, and although some say he attends church, I’m sure its a methodist one. Rudd stayed pure during the disgrace of Tampa, which Beazley stupidly supported. Let’s face it, both front benches are full of time servers, crocodiles and assorted nasties. Of them all Rudd seems the most capable of genuine leadership.

  9. Politics Obsessed,
    It’s difficult to conceive a situation where Labor won’t win the final seat in Western Victoria. There’s 87% counted, and they have a minimum advantage of 1,700 votes over the Greens, whose preferences then give the ALP candidate Elaine Carbines a quota by at least 2,000 votes.
    The DLP even if there is no leakage from their harvest (the BTL votes from PP, CA, FF, Libs and Nats), will be in excess of 3,000 votes.
    So that’s a cast iron 3 ALP 2 Liberal.
    In Southern Metro it is possible to mount a case for any combination of Southwick, Pennicuik and Thornley for the 4th and 5th seats. Thornley is least likely to win the 4th, and his chance of snatching the last seat requires either Southwick or Pennicuik (but not both) to finish with a significant surplus. Surpluses from either of these two will favour Thornley against either Liberal or Green, if they are short of a quota.
    My guess is that the odds are slightly against ET right now, but (astonishingly) the count is only 77% complete, as reported on the VEC website, which leaves plenty of scope for anything to happen.
    Perhaps the count is more advanced than the VEC input of results, which might enable a firming up of this prediction.

  10. SOUTHERN METRO: As of 5:00PM today Thronley has taken the lead over Southwick. It is a neck and neck race to the finish better then the best Melbourne to Hobart Yacht races. Some people like to read about the result at the end of the journey but it much better to watch the race in progress. I have updates the Southern Metro count sheet. Any errors please report to my blog.


  11. I think the Greens could lose out. Southern Metro could go 3 LIB 2 ALP..

    or 2 ALP 2 Lib 1 Grn

    or as you say 3 LIB 1 ALP 1 GRN but I think the lats option is looking less likely as time moves on. 74.61% and in theory another 10% to hit the table. Its a close finish down along the bay-side. And the spinnakers are just begging to fly

  12. At the crucial conjunction point..

    GRN 46863
    ALP 46814
    LIB 41714
    FF 9696
    DEM 9197

    People Power had just been eliminated and they top up the democrats who are marginally below FF.

    The Demarcats flows to the Greens who on DEM first Preferences cross the line with minimal surplus. (This is the segmentation order at play) The Democracies still have another 4,387 votes that came to it as second preferences + their below the line volts to their lower candidates.
    The Green Surplus (256) is then distributed to the ALP
    The Democratic remaining votes are then distributed to the ALP pushing Thornley over a head of Southwick. with a margin of less then 20 votes.

    You begin to see how close this race is. Those 20 could easily disappear in the exaughsted pile or drift from the below the line voters. The Democrats and People Power preferences are keeping the Greens in the race but labor and the Liberals are catching up.


  13. Hey Anthony Van Der Craats at Melb City, Please stop being so pointlessly obsessive about the number of polling booths and have a look at the actual booths listed for each Assembly seat.

    All of the actual polling booths in each region have reported. There are a number of state wide booths – Melb Town Hall, Melb Airport, Kooyong Vision Centre, Warragul Vision centre etc – and each time even 1 person in an assembly district votes there it is recorded as a booth for both that district and the region. So, in most cases there are 11 Melbourne Airport booths listed as not reporting for each region.

    The numbers of votes at each of these “booths” is both small and incorporated in the Absentee figures.

  14. Can someone explain something please. There are 38583 votes counted in Fertree Gully 94.12% of the total enrolment and they are doing a re-check. Does this mean they have finished counting and almost 2500 people in the electorate didn’t turn up to vote? How does one know when they have finished counting. The ALP member is 38 votes ahead.

    In Mount Waverley they have counted 34327 votes 93.78% of the total enrolment and the ALP member is ahead by 234 votes. Have they finished counting there?

    What percentage of people in an electorate don’t turn up to vote? How does one know when they have finished counting.



  15. 1st recheck is a matter of course. they need to tally all the votes with what is recorded in their documenation. I have not checked the results so I do not know how close it is. at over 90% of the enrollment I would think it may have completed but they need to wait until Monday for any late postal arrivals. Unfortuneatly teh VEc refused to provide any statistics on the exact number of postal ballots issued prior to Saturdays elections. Postal vote applications closed over a week ago. For all I know they could still be printing ballots.

  16. Without teh detailed information we are keopt in the dark. E-Centers have been in long ago and all polling places are recored for the lowerhouse. Whty would they be recorded for one and not got around to recording teh upperhouse? e-Centres are electronic data. The VEC even counted the results before Saturdays poll (Investigation still continuing)… or are they holdng back on reporting that data until the data-entry oprocess continues. Will the VEC be naking thisn information available to scruniteers. IN my views they should have provided scutineeers a copy of the data when the poll closed and when they acess teh data for the first time. There are a number of issues about the e-voiting system that seriously need review. How secre is the data and why was it accessed before the close of poll on saturday and what processes are in place to ensure proiper scrutiny of the data. Why has the detailed prefernce data noit been made available by now (Should have been available on Saturday)…

  17. Yes, but someone has to go through and mark them all as in. Don’t ask me why they haven’t done it. But the VEC told me the gap in the booth numbers is the E-Centres, and the number of upper house booths counted equals the number of fixed booths in the state. There were slightly over 600 E-booth records created.

  18. I arranged for someone at ABC on-line to stay back tonight and publish my XMLs of the LC vote count. They are at http://www.abc.net.au/elections/vic/2006/results/

    Thornley wins this time, but who wins when it is this close becomes a lottery using the assume all BTL’s are ticket votes method. If you break it down between ticket and BTL votes, none of the parties reaches the next quota on ticket votes. Based on the three party group totals plus minor party preference tickets, Greens are around 580 votes short, Liberal 1,200 short and Labor 2,680 short, with about 4,400 BTL votes to decide the issue. There were 1,661 BTL votes for Stephen Mayne, which when you split the count up between ticket and BTL votes, is the main (Mayne?)reason Labor slips behind.

    Of course, it is very close, so even a slight shift in the relative % votes for Liberal, Labor and Greens will alter each party’s relative chances of election.

    Before someone says I make an error in the distribution of the Green surplus, the calculation is correct but the method is wrong. It doesn’t affect the result. I’ll fix that when I re-write the software next year.

  19. Does anyone know why I could be having a problem in bring up teh upperhouse.info pages. It happens quite often if I do a post and try to load the site a second time it blanks out and I have to open a new internet session window.. “The Speaker” I think it has to do with your web provider or web site settings…

  20. No and it doesn’t matter. With the Labor and Liberal tickets, more than 99% will be at the reduced value passed from the top of the ticket, and more than 99% of any Green surplus will be of full value votes.

  21. That data-entry data quaility error in the DLP goup name in Western Victoria is still there the VEc has not corrected it. I a pain in the system as I have to manually correct it every time I do a down load.

  22. Yes it does…

    BTL the kline vioets become secondary primaries and when they are eliminated a second time secdondary primaries are lumped together it effects the surplus and the direction of votes such as the Democrats. The all depends on when tthey cross teh lione and are excluded. I am seeing this clearly in Southern Metro. Thats why I adopted the notional ticket analysis to at least group the segmenation in some order similar to what will be the data-flow at the time they press the button.

  23. My count sheets have downloaded. If you look at the columns of the count you will see the segmenation at work around the time the Greens are elected. My column heading could be better and explain more such as where they came from but if you look close you can see what is happening. Because the Greens are elected on teh Democrat Ticket primary vote which is distributed first. Secondary primaries that come to the Democrats go out at full value if they all pass through the Greens in one transaction they would lose value. This becomes very important when the BTL vote is properly recorded.

  24. MelbCity,
    My guess (based on UpperHouse’s statement last Saturday)is that he chose the cheapest and crappiest (paraphrased but true to the spirit of his words, iirc) and he warned his readers that the site would probably overload on Saturday night. Given the exciting count, he’s probably having bandwith problems.
    I don’t know the state of the upper house count in different places, but I scrutineered an Assembly seat, where after the Saturday night count was complete, they did pre-polls, mobile polling booths and early-submitted postals on Sunday and Monday. They seemed to me to p***f**t around Monday and Tuesday, doing clerical checks of various sorts. Wednesday was a full recheck of the booth count from Saturday (without reviewing the 2pp estimates); Thursday they did the absentees, which implies that prior to that they had to wait for the absent votes to arrive, check that the voters were duly enrolled, and were not recorded as otherwise having voted. Meanwhile postals are still dribbling in and are checked and counted.
    I have the sense that returning officers show varying degrees of diligence in updating the VEC website, which I would have thought should be a priority. Several close Assembly seats haven’t movedtheir recorded vote from Sunday or Monday, when clearly some counting has been occurring.

    John, 94% is probably about a normal full vote. Antony G. would have ready access to the stats.
    The gap is explained by enrolled voters who don’t bother, forget, are travelling and don’t make the effort to vote pre-poll, or submit an absent vote, are standing in the queue at Melbourne Town Hall, and won’t wait. Others are ill, dealing with bereavement, working all day and nowhere near a booth, and there’s always the odd error on the roll – recent deaths, or house shift after the closing of the rolls etc.

  25. Evan will miss out – Trust me.

    Would like to see him win but he won’t bring home the bacon.

    Green vote will increase because those who vote BTL for the minor parties are more likely to vote minor parties before the majors, particularly the greens.

    Liberal vote will increase due to the late counting which always favours the libs.

    Evan is only close (but still misses out!) when ALL of Steve Mayne’s votes go through to evan. I reckon a 45-25-15-10 split is more likely (Green-Lab-Lib-Exhausted). This will allow extra dem ATL votes to go through to the greens and hence Evan, BUT, even a 20% leakage from Steven will ensure the libs are over quota, and when Greens get over quota, it’s game over.

    Also, the Christian parties BTL votes will probably go strongly to the Libs (15-25-40-20) Sure this will help as Evan get lib preferences as lib ticket votes spill over, but the greens will also be over due to Dem ATL & BTL and PP BTL.

    I have produced more accurate and more correct results than Anthony vdC(Approaching Antony’s level… slowly…) and this will happen. Bracks will unfortunately need to name a new Parly Secrty.

    Sorry Evan…


  26. No it doesn’t. When the Democrats go out, the number of reduced value votes they have will be tiny. There were a total of 2,465 Liberal BTL votes reduced in value, and 2,700 Labor BTL votes at reduced value. We know from past research that more than 90% of these votes will stay in the Liberal and Labor tickets, so at most 500 ballots will be involved, and these will al be at a reduced value anyway, and the only ones that will count are those that have ended up with the Democrats. The numbers are tiny. You just treat them as more BTL votes. The ticket votes, which in this count are the important ones, will all be at full value, as will all the BTL votes from other sources, and these will all be distributed before the reduced value votes. It just isn’t worth factoring into the equation. It may end up being important, but at this point, the remaining votes to be counted and the full value BTL votes are far more important than trying to deal with a tiny number of reduced value BTL votes as well.

  27. Normal turnout would be 91-94%. The turnout in inner-city seats can often fall slightly below 90%. Turnout at state elections is sometimes 2-3% less than for Federal elections, partly because of the relative importance voters place in the different levels of government, but also due to the AEC putting most effort into roll cleanses in the 12 months before Federal election. Intervening state elections can have rolls that haven’t been purged as thoroughly.

  28. Thinking back on the election night which of the guest commentators do you think was the best and on top of the trends and who called it correctly? I was listening to the Radio so I did not have the benefit of watching TV. and with Robert Ray not on the list it opened up the field a bit. (Robert was without a doubt one of the best election night commentators).

    I thought Bill Shorten did well calling the seats that came in early during the short period he took the ABC microphone. What are your thoughts and who would you vote for being the best guest commentator. Antony Green is out as he was not a staffer and not a guest. I am very interested in the feedback.

    William and you choice goes to??

  29. if your lumping People Power into the Democrats they become secondary primaries along with any other primary votes that do not belong to teh lead candidate. Depending on the stage of the count and who crosses the line when these votes wilol become crucial as they maintain their value at a higher rate then if they were merged into the general surplus of the greens. They can contribute a significant value to the overall count. Some votes icrease in value and other decrease depending at what stage they are merged with the surplus and then distibuted on elimination. Its one of those quirky things that I take issue with the system as it distorts the one vote one value principle.

  30. I analysis a City of Melbourne vote once looking at both systems and changed the segmenation and I got a differnet result… Mind you coucnil votes were less deciplines but it made a significant diffenerence. If the vote remains tight then yes it will certainly come into play.

  31. Re: the ‘entrenching’ mentioned in the first thread – you shouldn’t lock things in place – imagine the White Australia Policy etc ‘entrenched’ in our federal constitution!

  32. Cheers Peter Fuller. I missed all the results when the tide switched from WV to metro and the Canberra issues. Speaking of which – anyone know what happened to the possible leadership challenge in the NT? Did it go ahead or not? I admit I keep coming back here everyday just to see if Thornley made it or not. Whoever said just waiting for the final results was fun; they have been missing out on the joy of speculation. 😛

    Just out of random interest… if Labor had a majority again, would they make the Upperhouse unable to block supply?

  33. I just went through the Victorian Act, and like all the states, it has subtle differences. You’re right that the Democrat ticket preferences would go first before the People Power tickets. But this has no impact on the Green surplus as the People Power votes go straight to Labor. The important point is how many BTL votes go to the Greens BEFORE the democrat goes out. The more BTL’s flow to the Greens, the bigger the Green surplus. But you can effectively treat them all as a block as they nearly all flow the same way.

  34. Happy election prognostications everyone. I’m off to bed and away to a beach for the weekend. For more important than worrying about South metropolitan region.

  35. Well deserved Antony Green – you need all the rest you can – 2006 was a big year – and 2007 is shaping up to be a big one too [election wise]

  36. Antony Green Says: I just went through the Victorian Act, and like all the states, it has subtle differences.

    My reading of the Act was that the method was essentially that of the Senate, without the provisions for bulk exclusions. There didn’t seem to be anything as explicit as in the Senate Scrutiny cocerning when to stop allocating votes to a candidate who becomes elected during an exclusion: whether one stops at the current parcel or lets the current transfer continue. I assume the latter. There could have been, but there apparently isn’t, a provision for postponing a distribution of a surplus.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 1 of 6
1 2 6