Galaxy Senate poll

GetUp! has published a poll of Senate voting intention it commissioned from Galaxy. The survey of 1004 voters was conducted from September 7-9, and shows the Labor vote up from 35 per cent to 39 per cent from the 2004 election, the Coalition down from 45 per cent to 35 per cent, the Greens up from 8 per cent to 10 per cent, the Democrats steady on 2 per cent and Family First up from 2 per cent to 3 per cent. This seems a more plausible set of figures than those produced by Morgan, which invariably inflate the Democrats. A similar GetUp!/Galaxy Senate poll was published in June.

NOTE: This has been hived off the previous post because someone asked for a thread dedicated to the Senate, so please keep it on topic.

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.

94 comments on “Galaxy Senate poll”

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  1. Molotov/Bill

    You are too blinkered to see the politics and the reality behind this election for the Greens.


    It matters little what “your rights at work” campaign or ANY other campaign they are running, polls have whacked them since 2005 and they are travelling with a moving average lower than they were last election. There is clear evidence from the recent analysis of soft Labor support that this may well have come, in part, from Green bleed and the rest from flirting voters coming home. The Greens gained a lot of migration from the Dems electoral disaster in 2004 but the pool is now all but dry.


    You are absolutely dreaming with your reading of Greens chances. It is very likely FFP will get Labor preferences (Except NSW) in the Senate and this, more than likely, would deliver Queensland and South Australia to FFP.

    Bob will most likely poll a quota in Tas and be returned but I can see no real chance for any additional.

    The reasoning is simple. With Labor preferences, any spill over quota from EITHER party will feed to FFP. Other parties also preference them more strongly than Greens get preferenced, so expect them over the line.

    The Green vote, on all the data we have had available this year, seems weak and in trouble. Check Bryan Palmer’s graph here:

    There is nothing ambiguous, not encouraging, about this data for the Greens. I also don’t think the public will buy the Green argument about “Balance in the Senate” from the biggest Left party we have, any more than they would from One Nation, the biggest Right party. This, by definition, is not balance.

    The Greens will be disappointed this election.

  2. Chris,

    It looks as though other know-alls assume to answer on my behalf.

    Granted FFP had its roots based in the AOG church, but the party has grown beyond this and appeals to a constituency that believe in the preservation of traditional family values. These may be people of all faiths or none. On a broader range of policy, FFP are more centrist, and I think you will find a much more even distribution of lower house preferences this election. Over the term of Rudd’s tenure especially, you will see Morgan has been polling FFP preferences at close to a 50-50 split.

    CDP on the other hand are an overtly a Christian party. They do not have a broader policy agenda, and there preferences always flow to the coalition. Last election they ran a split ticket, with only a third to FFP. Fred Nile’s small mind resented the intrusion on what he claimed as his turf.

  3. The confident predictions of the death of the Democrats in this election may be proved wrong.

    In a field of nine, the Democrats polled 5.75 % in Albert Park without any media coverage; easily outpolling Family First and other small parties.

    In today’s Sunday Age, the brilliant Jason Koutsoukis provides a startling and gutsy analysis of the Senate. He concludes that the Democrats are far more useful in the Parliament than the Greens and other small parties. In a definitive statement that is rare for a political journalist, he states “If a rational party of the middle is who you want holding the balance of power in the Senate, then the Democrats are the party for you”.

    Now, if the predictable and increasingly boring programs like Insiders and Lateline would give the Democrats some coverage instead of always Howard, Downer, Giillard, Brown, Abbott and Rudd…..

  4. “He concludes that the Democrats are far more useful in the Parliament than the Greens and other small parties.”

    In the past, yes. However, I think they are generally unelectable now and they seem to have abandoned NSW. A shame, because I aligned with them strongly on many issues. With Kerry Nettle representing the Greens (ugh!) and the unfortunate withdrawal of Peter Andren, I’m in a bit of a quandary of where to throw my Senate vote. I’ll probably have to go back to the ALP.

    I agree that most Senate races will split 3/3 ALP/Coalition, with Tasmania and maybe WA returning a Greens senator. Family First has an outside shot at a senator somewhere (SA?)

  5. Oh Paul, I hate to be nasty, but you know perfectly well that 5.7% in a by-election with no Liberal candidate was a very poor result, little more than random spray. Ten years ago the Dems would have got at least 20%. Prodos Marinakis did nearly as well as you – does that prove that Greek transvestites are going to win Senate seats?

  6. Ray@54

    keep trying to sing the song that FFP are a “centrist” Party and not a religious Party and maybe one day, someone, somewhere, might believe you.

    just because you come up with a clever name like Family First , it doesn’t disguise the past, present and future ownership of this Party.

    The Assemblies of God church.

    If Labor preference FFP over The Greens it will be a sad sad day for the vast majority of Labor Party voters.

    However with K Rudd at the helm i wouldn’t be surprised.

    Just like i wasn’t surprised to see Bracks deliver a seat to his ol friend the DLP in Victoria.

  7. whats with the gayness displayed by todays political parties regarding their preferences?

    the ALP (left – contre) should preference Greens, Democrats and lefter independant candidates on principle.

    If Rudd allows ALP to preference FF I will disregard him for what I and many others believe him to be right now.

  8. “whats with the gayness displayed by todays political parties regarding their preferences?

    the ALP (left – contre) should preference Greens, Democrats and lefter independant candidates on principle.”

    #1 I wasn’t aware preference deals were homosexual or even particularly happy. Or maybe you’ve been reading the other thread too much…

    #2 Electoral politics is about principles? Since when? ALP centre-left? Not anymore.

    Even though I would qualify as being “quite left wing”, I have no problems with the ALP and FFP exchanging preferences – it makes sense and they do have a little bit in common.

  9. As a double dissolution is a likely outcome of a Labor win this year, I thought I’d look at the possible DD results based on Newspoll.

    The DD quota is c7.7 per cent. Two quotas need 15.4 per cent; three, 23.1 per cent; four, 30.8 per cent; five, 38.5 per cent; six, 46.2 per cent; seven, 53.9 per cent. In the following exercise, I am playing with the numbers, not making predictions.

    In NSW, Newspoll shows ALP 49 (6 quotas and a 2.8 surplus), LNP 37 (4 quotas and a 6.2 surplus), Greens 5, Others 9. The Others exceed a quota but are in fact different parties, none of which individually exceeds a quota. The Greens would benefit from the ALP surplus, unless Others preferences pushed the ALP ahead of the Greens, in which case the Greens would then give a seat to the ALP. The LNP would gain CDP and possibly FF preferences. A possible result would be ALP 6, LNP 5, Greens 1.

    In Victoria, Newspoll shows ALP 51 (6 quotas and a 4.8 surplus), LNP 36 (4 quotas and a 5.2 surplus), Greens 5, Others 8. DLP preferences from the Others would probably push up FF to 4-6 per cent. FF (and DLP) preferences from the Others would probably then push up the ALP or the LNP, or FF would win ALP preferences; the Democrats would spread, perhaps favouring the Greens. It would depend on the order of exclusion. A possible result would be ALP 6, LNP 4, Greens 1, FF 1.

    In Queensland, Newspoll shows ALP 46 (5 quotas and a 7.5 surplus), LNP 43 (5 quotas and a 4.5 surplus), Greens 3, Others 8. Leakage would push the ALP to 6 quotas. The distribution of the Others preferences would determine the last seat. A possible result would be ALP 6, LNP 6.

    In South Australia, Newspoll shows ALP 49 (6 quotas and a 2.8 surplus), LNP 40 (5 quotas and a 1.5 surplus), Greens 3, Others 8. If FF poll well, the LNP surplus would push it higher. ALP surplus preferences could push FF to a quota or go to the Greens. A possible result would be ALP 6, LNP 5, FF 1.

    In Western Australia, Newspoll shows ALP 40 (5 quotas and an 1.5 surplus), LNP 44 (5 quotas and a 5.5 surplus), Greens 4, Others 12. It’s too hard to say without knowing the breakdown of the others, but a possible result would be ALP 5, LNP 6, Greens 1.

    There are no Newspoll figures for Tasmania. The result will probably be ALP 5, LNP 5, Greens 2. There are no territory figures either and while there is always speculation about the second ACT seat going non-major, I think that unlikely and expect the ACT and the NT to be ALP 1 each and LNP 1 each.

    In summary, the Newspoll figures and reasonable assumptions about the Senate contests not included make the following a possible result: ALP 36, LNP 33, Greens 5, FF 2.

    The allocation of preferences and the order in which parties are excluded are unpredictable factors, and this possible result is no more likely than one of ALP 36, LNP 33, Greens 6, FF1 or any other of the same order. On the figures, the ALP would win more seats than the LNP but not enough for control in its own right; the Greens would win more seats than FF and probably enough for the ALP to carry legislation with Green support; if the ALP did particularly well, it may be able to choose whether to pass legislation with Greens support or FF support, which is almost the situation in Victoria, where the ALP can carry legislation with Greens support or Nationals support and can defeat Opposition proposals with DLP, Greens or Nationals support.

    It is likely in a double dissolution election that neither the ALP nor the LNP would win control of the Senate, and the politically interesting contest would be between the Greens and FF for the balance of power.

  10. KT, the Labor Party has “a little bit in common” with every Party, so thats no ringing endorsement for dealing with FFP.

    The fact is though (imho), the only slim way the Labor Party can lose this election, ie. only winning 12-15 seats, is by losing its primary vote.
    If their primary vote stays anywhere near its current 47-49% mark, then it is home and hosed.

    The polls tell us that a lot of Old Libs have come across to Labor.I would say the majority of these have come across because of the advent of the Religious Right in the Coalition, climate change,Iraq and workchoices.

    By preferencing FFP there is a risk of losing a % of these back to the Libs, either directly or by way of preference.

    i have no doubt Rudd would prefer to deal with FFP but it would go against the vast majority of Labor voters wishes and in the current political atmosphere will deliver them no net gain over preferencing The Greens.

    The Greens are much more the idealogical partner of Labor than the religious conservative FFP.

  11. The ALP’s interest is in winning government, not in deciding which group gets the balance of power in the Senate. It will and should do whatever preference deals with other democratic parties – FF, DLP, Greens, Democrats, etc – are required to help it win government. ALP hardheads realise that the Greens are not their natural allies, but rivals for votes. They realise that it is in the interests of the ALP to have a range of partners to choose from when seeking to carry items in the Upper House, but this is secondary to winning government in the first place. They realise that the Victorian Labor Government would be better off with 2 DLP MLCs and 2 Greens MLCs than with the one DLP MLC and the 3 Greens MLCs it deals with at present. The ALP’s preferencing of the DLP in Victoria was not a mistake but a strategy that worked.

    If the Greens act in a way that prevents Labor winning the federal election, they will also remove the possibility of a double dissolution and thus their own chance of winning the balance of power next year.

  12. Most Greens preferences will flow back to the ALP regardless, hence why it makes sense to work out a deal with FFP to maximise their votes.

    I don’t think most voters care too much about the nitty and gritty of preference deals. I agree that there won’t be much net gain overall from working out a deal with FFP (they don’t garner that much of the vote), but there will be more net gain than working out a deal with Greens.

    As a sidenote, if I was the Greens, I would aim for a double dissolution – ALP control of the lower house with Libs in control of the Senate. A full Senate election would reap solid returns for them.

  13. Going by the polls and Possum’s and other’s analysis of them, about 5 to 8% of the Labor Party’s primary vote are Old Liberal Party voters.

    Why have they come across?

    Religious Right domination of the Coalition, Climate Change, Iraq and Workchoices.

    Preferencing The Greens keeps all* these Lib defectors in the Labor camp. The Greens are solidly anti Religious Right. Solidly pro Climate Change. Solidly anti Iraq and solidly anti Workchoices.

    Preferencing FFP threatens the support of sections of these Lib defectors.FFP are onboard as anti Workchoices, anti Iraq(am i correct here or giving them false credit)and rather silent on Climate Change.

    But the killer is they give NO relief from the religious inteference on social policy and everyday meddling in peoples lives. This is precisely what part of the Lib defectors are fleeing from.

    If Labor preference FFP do they not risk losing these people to voting Green Primary and sticking their preference back to their old home the Libs instead of to Labor.

    If Labor preference deal with FFP, do they really believe FFP voters will obey that card and not preference their conservative soulmates the Libs anyway?

  14. Harry H

    “keep trying to sing the song that FFP are a “centrist” Party and not a religious Party and maybe one day, someone, somewhere, might believe you.”

    Actually, Harry, we are trying to have a psephological discussion about Senate likelihoods and your song, the ol’ “Bible Bashers under the bed are gonna get us!” is actually off rotation on this radio station. No one’s buying anymore.

    Face the fact that FFP are a legitimate political force that people are listening to, especially the major parties. I’ve not seen one skerric of religiosity from them. In fact, I’ve seen more from Howard and Rudd lately, which comes across at times as a little insincere.

    In three years at Federal level, they are neither “religious” not “Right”. If they were, the ALP would not even be at the table. Do you think, for a moment, that Kevin Rudd is courting Pauline????

    f Rudd allows ALP to preference FF I will disregard him for what I and many others believe him to be right now.

  15. Nic

    “If Rudd allows ALP to preference FF I will disregard him for what I and many others believe him to be right now.”

    Hmm now:

    Rudd is:

    1. A fiscal conservative
    2. Against workchoices
    3. Against offshore detention
    4. Not keen on predatory bank fees
    5. Interested in mortgage relief
    6. Interested in ratifying kyoto

    I just had a gander on the FFP website (hopefully updated recently? not sure) and it seems that Mr Rudd can shake hands with FFP on all of these points. Perhaps you are seeing a different set of “shared beliefs” here?

    I would like to add that the Greens get fewer ticks on this same list.

    Rudd knows FFP will be a damn sight easier to deal with than Greens in the Senate and that the Greens can barely help Labor with a handful of marginals, whilst FFP in 2004 leveraged Libs in QLD and SA into several marginals. Seats that they preferenced Labor in also strengthened Labor apparently.

    You are not reading enough posts on this site! It was through my reading of this site that I realised all of the above AND that FFP voters are the most obedient with preferences and quite willing to preference either Labor or Liberal. This means:

    1. The party seems centrist. Now no longer in dispute amongst the most informed commentators/psephologists
    2. Their voters are comfortable with “both sides of the fence” and will follow HTVs
    3. It is the best political decision (as our esteemed co-tragics Ray and Chris have shown us) for the ALP to preference FFP. Green voters will bleed Labor anyway and FFP may yield between 2-6% for HOR seats in marginals (I noticed on the ABC site that FFP have significantly higher primaries in marginals for some reason. some up to 8-9%). This is enough to buy insurance with a strong Labor swing.

  16. GO, 1 thing i didn’t say about FFP is that they are stupid.

    the only reason they haven’t flaunted their religiosity,as you say, is because they haven’t got any influence yet. FFP are cleverly pushing centrist issues in the press in order to help build this influence that they, like any political party, wish to have.

    Once/if they get this influence, you and i both know that they will start pushing their true agendas.

    I’m not engaging in “bible bashers under the bed” theories.
    It is a fact that FFP is a Assemblies of God Party. I have nothing against people who attend these churches. I just don’t think an idealogical Conservative Party run by The Assemblies of God Church, who has about 3-4% vote nationally should be helped by the Australian Labor Party to have an influence on ALL Australians lives.

    I just don’t think that that is what people who vote for Labor to replace John Howards Coalition Party want. Let alone the fact that i don’t think preferencing FFP is actually to Labor’s electoral advantage.

    I just await to see Labor’s preferencing with interest. I think it will be instructive of K Rudd’s influence on the Party.

  17. Be that as it may, I guarantee you that there are a stack of ALP voters who don’t like the Greens either and would say things like them going on about the environment to mask some kind of socialist agenda.

    I’d never vote for Family First in a fit but the average Rudd-loving ex-Liberal punter won’t give a crap, and anyone who does ain’t gonna preference Howard.

  18. btw GO, to back up your theory that FFP are a centrist party and not a religious party, could you point to any figures that indicate percentages of FFP voters who attend Assemblies of God Churches?

    I would be interested to see them. If the figures were to show that FFP were indeed a centrist party i am sure these figures would be being pushed in the mainstreams view.

  19. HH

    Interesting debate. Every “legitimate” party has their bogeymen:

    Libs: Big Business
    Labor: Union Bosses (oh and don’t we hear about it from the Libs!!)
    Greens: Radical Socialists
    FFP: Bible Bashers

    I don’t think it adds anything to any discussion to talk about hypotheticals, particularly with minor parties!!

    Some facts:
    1. There is NO evidence of overt Christianity, let alone stuff that Australians should be “scared” about, in parliament over three years, nor in their stated policies. IF they did get “radical”, last time I looked, this was a democracy and citizens can vote them (like any party) out. Where is the problem here?? It sounds more like your own bigotry against this “AOG”. If so, I hope you are not left-leaning. You are supposed to be tolerant of the beliefs of others.
    2. You should not be here if you don’t know that ANY personal beliefs are not disclosed about members to the AEC, and most here would be in agreement that this is a good thing. WHO CARES????!!
    3. Chris & Ray are to be believed with their assessment of appeal. It goes far beyond the AOG. I don’t see the point. If you polled Greens voters, what proportion are members of Environmental Groups?? Is this surprising or relevant?
    4. If the major parties thought as you, neither John Howard nor Kevin Rudd would have invested the time courting their preferences. They have also not spoken out against the party, which cannot be said for either the Greens nor ONP. Your argument is not tenable, they are neither dangerous nor anything but a minor mainstream party with most populist and surprisingly diverse policy platform. A small but genuine party, not radical at all and not a “one issue” party at all.

    I suggest you do what I did six months ago, listen to the guys here and do research. I spent over 60 hours researching this party after a similar discussion with Bill Weller! 🙂 I, like many here, I think, was wrong about FFP and pleasantly surprised.

    I also pride myself on tolerance of other’s beliefs and try not to let bigotry/xenophobia of Christians get in the road of understanding politics in Australia. Your posts are, shall we say, somewhat “coloured” and full of unsubstantiated stereotypes/generalisations.

  20. GO, 2 points i would like to make before we all get taken over by Galaxy Poll buzz in a few mins haha

    1. at your 1st point you said if FFP get radical we can vote them out. that is not true. we are not voting them in in the first place, so how can we vote them out. we are at the mercy of Labor preferencing them against the majority of most of their members wishes. we have no control over the installation or their removal. They can get 3 % of the vote and win a seat. that is not what you can say about The Greens. at least they are getting about 9-10% of the vote(majority from Labor voters).

    2. FFP inferring that other should be tolerant of other peoples beliefs is rather amusing.

  21. All the above speculation of how many senate seats each party will get based on Newspoll results is bunkum. Newspoll have Greens sitting at 5% in Vic when we all know they will poll >9% in the Vic Senate election, let alone the lower house. Getup has the Greens at 11% in Vic. So by all means predict what you like based on Newspoll, but they don’t even poll senate voting intentions, and their poll questions notoriously play against minor parties, so their figures are worth less than nothing.

  22. Back on topic with the ALP preferencing.

    I compiled a list of all marginal seats and found some interesting statistics with regard to FFP and Greens

    1. FFP was slightly over their national average Primary Vote in marginal seats (2.27 compared with 2.21 nationally). In contrast, the Greens were moderately lower in marginals than their national average primary vote (6.9 compared with 7.71 nationally).

    2. Greens beat FFP in head-to-head contests in marginals 34:6, though FFP delivered 5/23 to Coalition compared with Greens handing 18/23 to Labor when preferences are allocated according to 2004 obedience. On this basis, FFP is “fighting above their weight” handing marginals to those whom they preference. Note that this worked when they preferenced Labor in South Australia when Rann was returned. Again FFP was pivotal in turning some marginals.

    3. Greens tend to do best where Labor also does well. Notably, FFP helped Libs in Kingston, Bonner, Makin, Wakefield and Braddon to harvest areas with strong “fan bases” of Labor. Labor could reclaim/insure these with FFP votes.

    I stated on Friday that I would take wagers that this election will be determined primarily in Queensland and with 25-40 year olds for the next government. George Megalogenis here on Saturday:,25197,22459389-7583,00.html

    So the comments of Ray and Chris here tend to support the reasoning behind the ALPs preferencing rumours with FFP. It is both good politics and, to a certain degree with the ALP at present, good policy, if they want safe passage through the Senate in the face of no majority..

  23. HH

    1. Actually Greens were 7.71 primary in 2004 Federal, polling 5.68 in Newspoll over 18 months, FFP 2.21 primary in 2004 Federal and 4.54 in State elections since 2004. Not a huge amount of difference and FFP is doing far better than the Greens did at this “age” in Federal politics.

    2. I don’t understand your comment. I am discussing senate strategy, you are assuming me to be FFP. I am a centrist swing voter.

    I stand by my point, I have seen far more bigotry on this site and ozpolitics with the Left vilifying Christians. I have not seen any here who are Christians vilifying ANY of the groups that they supposedly hate. Ever.

    Actually, I don’t find Left leaning voters very tolerant of anyone who is not a secular humanist and libertarian. They can get quite embarrassingly xenophobic towards anyone religious. I find this abhorrent and also doesn’t endear me to the left. As with any extremes of political belief, both ends of the spectrum tend to breed ignorance and bigotry. Human nature, I guess.

  24. if FFP are getting 2.21 nationally and 2.27 in marginals then Labour can expect very little out of preferencing them.

    btw this is all academic as i am sure Labor are all over the actual figures and will make whatever decision they will make in due course.

    of the 2.24 av, it would be lucky if 0.6 give their preference to Federal Labor over the Howard Coalition. at most..regardless of how their card looks.

    I would argue that at least or more than that amount of Lib defectors to Labour would rather preference Green than FFP. If Labour preference FFP these people dissaffected with the direction of Howards Coalition would see very little difference in Rudd Labor and might stay with their roots.

    in the end i think the decision is pretty neglible vote wise but more Labor voters would be MUCH happier with Greens than FFP as a partner.

  25. GO , you see more bigotry and vilifying from the left here and ozPolitics because they are inhabited by lefties.

    if you want to see real bigotry and vilifying go to a few religious sites.

  26. You’ve got Family First all wrong; they aren’t really a Christian party, because the Assemblies of God “church” they spawned from is barely “Christian”, in any traditional, mainstream sense. No-wonder they aren’t overtly religious in their public presence and policies – have you ever seen an AOG church service? There’s barely any theology mentioned, just pop-love songs to the “Lord”. I’ve been in an AOG church where there wasn’t even a cross in sight. While the moral values they assert may, often, be repugnant, and may be associated with a Religious-Right value system, I believe power and wealth are the main things on the mind of the Family First party, not religion, just as in the AOG church.

  27. GO

    that comment about lefties being anti-christian is silly and belongs in the 50’s, surely you are not saying that if you criticise Family First you are anti-christian.

  28. HarryH (66, 72 and 76),

    I can’t see any evidence that Liberals have come across to Labor because of the “Religious Right”, but even if they have, they can still vote Labor and follow their own preferences if Labor preferences FF and they don’t like it. I have met a number of Labor people who think that the Greens are Labor’s natural allies, but it’s not a view I share and I explain why to them.

    I do not doubt FF’s origin in the barn-style entertainment churches of outer suburbia, as the FF booth worker I spoke to in last year’s Victorian election told me that six of his congregation of 800 were candidates and that 500 or 600 had volunteered to help in the election. It’s just not something that worries me. You can judge FF by Steve Fielding’s voting record – anti-WorknotcalledChoicesanymore but pro-VSU, and certainly not scary.

    No voter is “at the mercy of Labor’s preferencing” as no voter has to follow the HTV and any voter can vote below the line. If they choose not to be informed or not to do so, the sole responsibility is their own.

    Labor will make what it sees as the best decision to help it win government. It will take account of likely Greens reactions in doing so. But as Generic Oracle points out, Family First is just another political party. It’s not the Communist Party or One Nation.

  29. “No voter is “at the mercy of Labor’s preferencing” as no voter has to follow the HTV and any voter can vote below the line. If they choose not to be informed or not to do so, the sole responsibility is their own.”

    Don’t be ridiculous – voting below the line is a long process and that’s why we’d rather have the political parties preference according to principle.

    If alp preference ff just for votes there is no doubt most of alp voters will be unhappy cause most people can’t be bothered, and i dont blame them.

    alp can win this election without the help of ff. and there really is more sense for alp to preference the greens.

  30. nic,

    If the minute or two it takes to fill out the numbers below the line once every three years is such a “long process” that people can’t be bothered doing it, it is still their own responsibility and their own choice.

    The idea that the ALP or any other party preferences for principle is a new one. Parties preference for political advantage, though they will exclude extremist parties on principle. Unhappy ALP voters still have a choice. If they prefer complaining afterwards to exercising it on the ballot paper, so be it.

    If most ALP members were unhappy with past ALP decisions to preference FF, why did they elect conference delegates who elected an administrative committee that did so and then re-elect basically the same sort of delegates next time? If the “Left” is so aghast at the ALP’s preferencing decisions, why didn’t any members of the “Left” on the administrative committee vote against the preference recommendations at the last Victorian election?

    The only argument that there is more sense in the ALP preferencing the Greens, other than the supposed ideological affinity, is the one that HarryH put about the ALP losing votes if it does not, and I am not convinced by that argument.

    The ALP will make whatever preference recommendations it thinks will best help it win government. Subject to that overriding aim, an ALP government is better off if it is not dependent on the Greens in the Upper House.

  31. CC,
    Nexus just published results of their latest research. it says, in Melbourne and Sydney, 20% of Lib voters have come across to labor. This is a huge shift (and will result in some extraordinary swings on election night).

    The drift of the Coalition to the far Right is the reason behind this.

    I maintain that The Religious Right , Climate Change , Workchoices and Iraq are the reasons for this migration.

    Preferencing the Greens keeps all these people happy.

    There is no reason for the fiscally conservative but otherwise progressive Labor Party to be dallying with a Conservative Religious Party who will deliver them very little, if any, net vote gain.

    FFP are not “just another political party”. No-one can produce any proof that they have any significant mainstream support outside of The Assemblies of God Churches.

  32. HarryH:

    So your argument is that former-Liberal voters who have moved to Labor will be turned off by a FF preference deal, and instead vote Liberal, a party that always puts FF at the top of its ticket ?

  33. when you are talking about 20% in the 2 most populous cities in the country, it is quite possible that if Labor jumps into bed with FFP, then a couple % of them could say , why bother switching?

    FFP are only capable of delivering between 0.5% to maybe 1.5 % to Labor at best. More than half of FFP voters will vote for Howards conservatives regardless of tickets without doubt.

    With Labor sitting on about 47-48% Primaries, and about 7% of them pissed off Libs and others returning from the Greens, why would you risked upsetting the winning horse unnecessarily.

    A Primary where they are now romps the election in.

  34. 1.5 % has the potential to scoop a handful of seats, useful if things are close, which I don’t think will be the case this election, barring some terrorist threat et al. that Howard can use to play the fear card.

    But, the real benefit this year is the potential that FFP has to deny the Coalition control of the Senate. No other party can deliver this.

  35. FFP aren’t gonna deny the Coalition the Senate.

    IF the Coalition keep the Senate in this half election, then the ALP can call a DD. After that there is no way the Coalition will control the Senate.

    i think we all agree that whoever the ALP preference the HoR flow will be negligible between either the Greens or FFP. six of one half a dozen of the other.

    Lets assume Labor win Government as they certainly will unless Labor themselves implode.

    Granted it would be in the ALP’s favour if they had a preference between Greens and FFP to deal with in the Senate to carry policy. But this just isn’t going to happen. It is far more likely that the Greens (if anyone) will have the balance. Especially if there is a DD.

    It shouldn’t be too hard for these 2 to work together. Greens aren’t going to be suicidal and reject the Alp’s plans. I’m sure subtle deals could be worked thru.

    On the other hand if Labor thumb the Greens and deal with FFP it could be a very different atmosphere between the Alp and Greens.

    Anyway we will no the answer soon i guess. The better these polls look the less chance FFP have of getting a deal i think.

  36. i for one do not think seat polls should be condcuted cause that’s giving the ambuigity and rush of the election away.

    poll federala nd satte level, and bennelong, just to shame the PM.

  37. Harry

    I’m prepared to let you run Don Quixote on these windmills! 🙂

    To the rest:

    Running some figures through Cassandra’s senate calculator ( for fun, I have found the following results doing a Queensland run:

    1. Assuming preferences largely as they were in 2004, but with the ALP and Coalition both preferencing FFP second, as appears likely.
    2. I have over-exaggerated the likelihood of Greens votes at 11% and have increased the ALP substantially from its 31.65% poor result last time, whilst knocking quite a bit off the coalition (a larger vote here would just increase FFP chances further, with coalition already at 3 quotas and very unlikely for a fourth)

    In a large number of scenarios, all with the following ranges:

    Coalition: 39-44%
    ALP: 36-38%
    Greens: 10-11%
    FFP: 6-8%
    Dems: 1-3%
    Pauline: 4-5%

    In every case out of 10 scenarios, I found FFP with a seat. Many with 3 coalition, 2 ALP, 1 FFP though about 40% with ALP at 3, Coalition at 2 and FFP at 1 (interestingly).

    Now some caveats:
    1. This FFP vote is higher than the last election (3.5%), though they are apparently fielding candidates in all seats, compared with around half of the 29 HOR seats last election. Assuming no net change since 2004 and a reasonable senate carry over, these are reasonable figures.
    2. The Green vote is over-estimated here, at 5.4% in 2004, standing in almost every HOR seat in QLD, 10% is highly ambitious and not anywhere near current polling, even accounting for established poll-bias against Greens primaries.

    Even so, this shows how a senate with at least one FFP from Qld is at least likely. To get a Green across the line, I had to up the Green primary to at least 12% and give Labor around 40%, which is doable but on the ambitious side, I would have thought. This also didn’t work without the Dems at at least 2%. We are not sure if they will manage this in 2007.

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