Wheel of fortune

I’m part way through my review of the Senate preference tickets, starting with the easy states first. Antony Green will post Senate calculators at the ABC tomorrow, which will make life easier. The lists below show where your above-the-line vote will really go, by stripping away the obfuscations by observing only the candidates that matter (i.e. third on the ticket for the majors, first for everybody else).

South Australia: Nick Xenophon makes this a very hard situation to read. Xenophon himself looks all but certain to win a seat, either off his own bat or after overtaking the Greens and absorbing their preferences. At the state election last February he polled 20.5 per cent, which won his ticket a second seat and could almost do so again if he repeats it this time. However, the Greens are likely to present too big a hurdle after absorbing preferences from Labor, the Climate Change Coalition and the Socialist Alliance. It will then remain to be seen whether Xenophon’s surplus is enough to put the Greens ahead of a major party, and on to a quota with their preferences. That would produce a result of two seats each to Labor and Liberal, plus one to Xenophon and one to the Greens. The other possibility is that right-wing preferences deliver the final seat to the Greens or, more likely, that Greens preferences give it to Labor. There doesn’t seem to be any prospect of a micro party upset, as too much of the micro-party vote will go to the Greens.

ONE NATION: Shooters; Family First; LDP; Lifestyle; Nationals; DLP; CEC; Liberal; CDP; Xenophon; Labor; Greens; Democrats; SA; WWW; CCC
CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY: Nationals; One Nation; Lifestyle; Family First; Shooters; DLP; Xenophon; Liberal; Labor; CCC; CEC; WWW; LDP; SA; Democrats; Greens
FISHING AND LIFESTYLE: Family First; Shooters; LDP; One Nation; Nationals; Liberal; Labor; CCC; CDP; DLP; WWW; CEC; SA; Xenophon; Democrats; Greens
SHOOTERS: Lifestyle; One Nation; CDP; Family First; Nationals; DLP; Liberal; CCC; CEC; WWW; Labor; LDP; Xenophon; Democrats; Greens
GREENS: CCC; WWW; Democrats; Xenophon; SA; Labor; LDP; Lifestyle; DLP; Nationals; CEC; Shooters; CDP; One Nation; Family First; Liberal
NATIONALS: Family First; Liberal; Xenophon; CDP; DLP; Shooters; Lifestyle; CCC; Greens; WWW; Democrats; Labor; LDP; CEC; SA; One Nation
DLP: Labor; Liberal; CDP; Family First; Nationals; Xenophon; Shooters; Lifestyle; LDP; One Nation; Democrats; CCC; WWW; Greens; CEC; SA
LIBERAL: Family First; Nationals; CDP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Xenophon; Democrats; LDP; DLP; WWW; CCC; Greens; SA; Labor; CEC; One Nation
WHAT WOMEN WANT: Greens; Democrats; SA; Labor; CCC; DLP; CDP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Liberal; Family First; LDP; Xenophon; One Nation; Nationals; CEC
LABOR: Greens; Democrats; Xenophon; Family First; DLP; Shooters; CCC; WWW; Lifestyle; LDP; SA; Nationals; Liberal; CDP; CEC; One Nation
CLIMATE CHANGE COALITION: Greens; Democrats; WWW; SA; Xenophon 1; Labor; DLP; Lifestyle; Liberal; Nationals; One Nation; LDP; Family First; Shooters; Xenophon 2; CDP; CEC
CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL: Liberal; Nationals; Democrats; CDP; One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; Xenophon; Family First; WWW; DLP; SA; Labor; CCC; LDP; Greens
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE: Greens; WWW; Labor; Democrats; CCC; Xenophon; Liberal; Nationals; LDP; DLP; Lifestyle; Shooters; Family First; CDP; CEC; One Nation
DEMOCRATS: CCC; WWW; Greens; half (Xenophon; Liberal; Nationals; Labor), half (Labor; Xenophon Nationals; Liberal); Family First; SA; One Nation; LDP; DLP; Lifestyle; CDP; Shooters; CEC
FAMILY FIRST: Nationals; One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; DLP; CDP; CEC; CCC; Xenophon; Liberal; Labor; LDP; WWW; SA; Democrats; Greens
LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY PARTY: One Nation; Lifestyle; Shooters; WWW; CEC; CCC; DLP; Liberal; Nationals; Greens; Democrats; CDP; Family First; Xenophon; Labor; SA
NICK XENOPHON: half (Greens; Democrats; Family First), half (Family First; Greens; Democrats); WWW; CCC; Nationals; DLP; CDP; Lifestyle; half (Labor; Liberal), half (Labor; Liberal); SA; Shooters; LDP; CEC; One Nation.

Tasmania: By far the most likely result in Tasmania is Labor 3, Liberal 2 and Greens 1. One alternative scenario involves the Liberal vote not falling as much as expected (from 46.1 per cent in 2004), so they are able to scrape together three quotas (42.9 per cent) after preferences from the DLP, Citizens Electoral Council and Family First. That would leave Bob Brown and the third Labor candidate squaring off for the final seat, with Brown the overwhelming favourite. The Greens as ever are hopeful of winning a second seat, their number two candidate being the high-profile Andrew Wilkie. The Greens vote in 2004 was 13.3 per cent – this should be a few per cent higher this time due to Bob Brown’s personal vote and the Gunns pulp mill falllout, and will be supplemented by preferences from What Women Want, the Liberty and Democracy Party and three independents. If that pushes them near 20 per cent, they might have enough in excess of a 14.3 per cent quota to get ahead of one of the major parties’ third candidates. However, this requires optimistic assumptions at both ends of the equation, and even if it comes off the remaining major party might win get the final seat off preferences from Family First and the DLP. Family First very nearly managed a boilover at the Greens’ expense in 2004, but this time they don’t have Labor preferences.

WHAT WOMEN WANT: Greens; Labor; DLP; Family First; Liberal; LDP; CEC
GREENS: WWW; LDP; Labor; DLP; CEC; half Family First, half Liberal
LABOR: Greens; LDP; WWW; DLP; Family First; Liberal; CEC
DLP: Family First; Liberal; Labor; LDP; WWW; CEC; Greens
LIBERAL: Family First; DLP; LDP; CEC; WWW; Greens; Labor
LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY PARTY: WWW; DLP; CEC; Family First; Greens; Labor; Liberal
CITIZENS ELECTORAL COUNCIL: Liberal; WWW; DLP; LDP; Family First; Labor; Greens
FAMILY FIRST: DLP; LDP; Liberal; Labor; CEC; WWW; Greens

New South Wales: A few preliminary thoughts here. As discussed by Ben Raue in comments, there are three micro parties that could theoretically harvest enough preferences to overtake the third Coalition candidate and win the seat on their preferences: the Climate Change Coalition, the Carers Alliance and the Fishing Party, probably in that order of likelihood. However, it’s more likely that the assumptions in my earlier overview still hold, and that the issue will be whether the Greens can win a seat by overtaking the third Coalition candidate, Marise Payne.

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.

120 comments on “Wheel of fortune”

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  1. William, can you please do Queensland next? There’s a dog’s breakfast of about half a dozen candidates for the last two spots. My dream scenario would be the Greens winning one and Bartlett the other, but I realise that’s next to impossible.

    Sorry for dragging the first comment off-topic, but if there’s any Labor staffers out there – how would I go about getting a roll of Labor Party stickers? Preferably something smaller than the Kevin07 stickers. They’d be for an extra large electorate map at my university club’s election night function.

  2. Thanks for the analysis of NSW seats and any more to come. Now I know which folks to put down near the bottom; meaning above the last tier (Libs/Nats/FF/Pauline/One Nation/ CDP (Fred Niles nutcakes and any other religious zealots I have forgotten). Anyone else who is trying to sneak in under the radar, thanks to William’s analysis won’t be getting in off the back of my ticket 🙂

  3. Excerpt. Nick Xenophon’s Web Site

    “What about WorkChoices – is it delivering a fair deal to Australian workers?

    The WorkChoices legislation went too far. There definitely needs to be some revisiting of it – you need to consult with small businesses that are nervous.

    There’s scope to have a good look at it away from the heat of the federal election campaign and scope to improve it.

    A big issue for me in Canberra would be industrial health and safety. In terms of the guarantee of minimum conditions, if someone doesn’t want a certain shift or expanded shifts there should be some safeguards”.


  4. What about the ACT followup… I doubt the Greens will be in the hunt in Victoria. As others have committed where do you think the Climate Changers think their votes are going to come from. New voters… lol As one commentator suggested they will attract 0.5 to 1.5% max. Greens will hover around 8.2% Question is how far from 42% will the ALP and the Liberals in Victoria 3 x 3.

  5. Antony, if you are about, I heard a report on News Radio where you were interviewed about senate preferences and chances. I noticed that you didn’t mention Nick X. How do you feel about his chances?

  6. Just looked at the ACT tickets. Every party except the Democratic split icket (One reson why I would never recomend voting for the democratics above the line – Although I have some respect for Lynn Alison) Evey ticketgoes to the ALP before the Liberal Party. That could very well see the Liberals lose in the ACT.

  7. Yes Chris Curtis is right the DPI Tasmania ticket os a Family First/ALP ticket… Chris what is the DLp vote in Tasy worth and who will pick up whats left of the Harridean vote?

  8. Sorry should read DLP Tasmania ticket… Are the DLP likely to feed Family First or visa versa. ALP 3 Lib 2 Grn 1 I wuold guess for Tassy. Well and truely over respesented down there. That’s one member per clan is it not.. 🙂

  9. The tickets in the ACT all feed the Greens. The Democrats’ split ticket, while annoying, would only be relevant if Labor got a surplus above its quota bigger than the Greens’ total vote, making the 2nd spot a competition between Labor and Libs. But that’s not going to happen. It will be either 1/1 between Labor and the Libs or 1 Labor 1 Green.

  10. Just took a preliminary look at the Victorian ATL tickets. The Nationals will not be represented in Victoria in this round buy the looks as forth place is well and truly out of contention. Some how I do not see too many voting below the line for the Nats. The Greens are better placed for preferences this time round BUT the question still remains how far will Labor/Liberal stray from the 42% mark up or down…. I expect the CCC and CCE will take some votes away from the greens. The CCC Ticket goes Dem/Grn/Family First/Labor/Lib Should top up the Greens as Democrats will only get 1.5% if AC goes out at 1% it will not be enough to see the democratic overtake the Greens.

    CCE is a Liberal top up Ticket…

    Family first are not well placed to receive preferences. They would have to outpoll the Liberal 3rd Sitting in a high surplus)

    DLP is not well placed wither I am afraid. It looks like the eternal triangle of ALP/Lib getting 3 all with an outside Green 2 lib depending on how low the Libs are from 42% and how far above the ALP is. If the ALP fall below 42$ they will be topped up before the Greens.

  11. The senate should look like this after the 24
    vic 3 3
    nsw 3 3
    qld 2 3 1 HANSON
    sa 3 2 1 MR X
    wa 2 3 1
    tas 3 2 1
    act 1 1
    nt 1 1

    2007 18 17 3 2 0
    2004 16 21 2 0 1
    34 38 5 2 1

  12. The senate should look like this after the 24
    vic 3 3
    nsw 3 3
    qld 2 3 1 HANSON
    sa 3 2 1 MR X
    wa 2 3 1 greens
    tas 3 2 1 geeens
    act 1 1 greens
    nt 1 1

    2007 18 17 3 2 0
    2004 16 21 2 0 1
    34 38 5 2 1

  13. What we are seeing in the figures in Tasmaina is not so much where DLP votes are going it is far more and simple old fashioned than that. The third ALP candidate is picking up the organised labor Right – Catholic vote and it may just be sufficient to get her elected after all it got Senator Polley elected last time around and no doubt former Hawke Minister and Senator now Farther Micheal Tate will be working hard to see the RC vote maximised as he has in the past.

  14. James, Hanson couldn’t win a senate seat if she was a mass hypnotist. Shes yesterday fish ‘n chip wrapper. I know I live in QLD. She milks her celebrity status for the rednecks to vote for her but wont make the quota but still gets a substantial vote to get a nice cheque from the AEC because every vote count$. She never made it last time & wont make it this time.

  15. 13,

    wysiwyg Says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 9:49 am
    So shall we see Greens with BOP in the Senate come July? I hope so…

    No, it is better than that. Territory Senators are on the same terms as HOR so if Greens win the other ACT seat, Coalition lose BOP immediately :):)

  16. I made that call based on a poll i saw last week in vic on the abc. i hope i not right on this one on Hanson winning. if she failed to up labor will win the last spot in qld

  17. The Hansonite preferences are very wierd. In both Qld and NSW at first glance they appear to be preferencing the Coalition first, but they’ve specifically numbered the third Coalition candidate in both states very low, putting them behind the ALP and the Greens in NSW and the ALP in Queensland.

  18. South Australia will be 3-2-1. Can’t see the libs only winning one seat, can’t see Labor taking 4, can’t see Xenophon not winning his. Makes life a lot easier when you simplify it that way.

    I had my doubts a while ago that Mr X would pull off enough votes, but the tiser is still in love with him and his stunts. On the very day that above the line places were announced, he put giant orange coloured S (his group ticket letter) on his forehead. Brilliant (pic)

    I’m hoping Galaxy (ie with Getup) do one of their glorious senate pollings in SA, but I don’t think it’s likely. Nobody cares about us down South. Nor do I think that will be a true indicator of how well Nick will do anyway.

    3-2-1 for the Senate, three lib seats to fall in the HOR. Easy as pie.

  19. Interesting in Queensland
    Labor 37.7, LNP 35.5, GRN 6.1, FF 3.7, DEM 2.1, Hanson 5.5
    Because all the minor parties don’t add together, this produces a 3 Labor 3 Coalition split, with hanson’s preferences electing the 3rd Labor candidate ahead of the Greens.

  20. 2004 elected Senators:
    Labor 16, Coalition 21, Green 2, Family First 1

    Best case scenario for Senate

    NSW: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    Vic: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    Qld: ALP 2 Coalition 3 HANSON 1
    SA: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    WA: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    Tas: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    ACT: ALP 1 Coalition 1
    NT: ALP 1 Coalition 1
    Total: ALP 19, Coalition 20, HANSON 1
    New Senate: ALP 35, Coalition 41, Green 2, HANSON 1, Family First 1
    Coalition Majority of 2 (Right Majority of 6)

    Worst case scenario for Senate

    NSW: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    Vic: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    Qld: ALP 3 Coalition 3
    SA: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Xenophon 1
    WA: ALP 2 Coalition 3 Greens 1
    Tas: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    ACT: ALP 1 Greens 1
    NT: ALP 1 Coalition 1
    Total: ALP 19, Coalition 16, Greens 3, Xenophon 1
    New Senate: ALP 35, Coalition 37, Greens 5, Xenophon 1, Family First 1
    Centre-Left (ALP/Greens/Xenophon) Majority of 2

    With Labor’s campaign on the slide, the former would be considered much more likely.

  21. Milne over Petrusma in Tassie in 2004 was actually not all that close. It just looked like it was going to be on the night, but then Milne picked up on postals and also shifts between the other parties favoured her. Had all votes needed to be distributed the margin would have been about 6000 votes, which is reasonably comfortable by Tas standards. Robert Bell over Jacqui Murphy in 1990, Bob Brown over Bell in 1996 and Harradine and the third Labor candidate over Louise Crossley in 1998 were all closer than that.

    Another reason FF are not likely to be a factor in Tas this time is that last time they had Shayne Murphy preferencing them.

    Melbcity: DLP did not contest in Tas in 2004 so no idea what they will get, probably not much. By the end of his career Harradine was taking votes primarily off the Liberals and not Labor and when he was no longer a candidate a lot of his voters just went back to the Libs while some probably went to Shayne Murphy or Family First.

  22. Nostro I’d say your worst case would be:

    NSW: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    Vic: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    Qld: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    SA: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Xenophon 1
    WA: ALP 2 Coalition 3 Greens 1
    Tas: ALP 3 Coalition 2 Greens 1
    ACT: ALP 1 Greens 1
    NT: ALP 1 Coalition 1

    With Hanson preferencing against the Coalition 3rd position in QLD and NSW that is more of a possability. I have no idea about WA though.

  23. South Australia.
    I think that a popular independent candidate will draw more of the swinging vote than the “rusted on” type. This would mean that Mr X will not reduce the swing away from liberal but will reduce the swing to Labor.

    I think there is about 1,000,000 voters in SA.

    If you say that Mr X is going to get somewhere between 10 & 20% of the vote, he will either get there with the flow of preferences or else he will pass the 16% and his votes will be split between greens/FF

    Last time round,
    greens got 64,000
    FF 39,000
    One Nation 11,000
    Dems and Meg Lees 34,000
    Lab 343,000
    Lib 460,000
    Others 13,000

    Take 130,000 from libs and give to X 100,000 Labor 30,000
    Take 2/3 of Dems Lees and Give to X (1/3 to greens)
    Take One Nation and give to FF
    Split Others between X FF & Greens

    Greens 79,000
    FF 54,000
    Lab 373,000
    Lib 330,000
    Mr X 104,000

    Take out 2 labor & 2 Liberal
    Greens 79,000
    FF 54,000
    Lab 43,000
    Lib 0
    Mr X 104,000

    Labor, distribute preferences
    FF falls short

    If FF drop out first then their preferences go to Mr X and he is in
    If Libs get more then they will flow to FF
    I think the only scenario where it isn’t a 2 2 1 1 split is if Labor’s 3rd position beats Mr X.

  24. Melbcity,

    I don’t think there is much of a DLP vote in Tasmania. Even in the time of the original DLP, Tasmania did not perform well for the party. Senator Cole had a big personal following which got him into the Senate, but the DLP could not get anyone else up, not even in the Tasmanian House of Assembly with its quota of 12.5 per cent.

    Brian Harradine’s vote at the end of his term was a lot lower than it was at the start. It is eight years since he was last elected. I don’t know where his vote went in 2004. I doubt that the organisation that put him there survives in any meaningful way, though I expect the DLP could call on some of its members for assistance. I really have no idea how the DLP will go. I don’t expect it to poll highly, but it may poll highly enough to give Labor its third seat on preferences. Its candidacy is good news for the ALP.


    The Coalition does not have the balance of power to lose. There is currently no balance of power in the Senate – just power. If the Greens win in the ACT, the Coalition will still have 38 senators and be able to block anything it wants to all by itself and carry anything it wants to with the support of FF.

  25. Actually, the trick in WA is, if the Liberal Party fall short of the third quota, virtually every other conservative ticket funnels through the Christian Democrats before reaching the Liberals.

  26. So let me get this straight…

    Nostrodamus is predicting that the most likely outcome in the Senate is an INCREASED majority for the Coalition?

  27. What on earth are the CCC playing at in Victoria? They’re clearly playing preference harvesting games – they’ve given a spread of parties one preference each. They also got the first position, so they’ll get a fair number of donkey votes there, I’d expect.

    And I see the CEC has given the Libs their second preference. I guess you will know the Libs by their supporters 🙂

  28. Anyway – Nostradamus may fancy himself as a prophet, but he’s no mathematician. In his “worst case” scenario he gives the Greens 4 seats (ACT, Tas, Wa & Vic) but totals it to 3 instead of 4. That should then give the left a majority of 4 not 2. Areaman’s (no.32) scenario would give the ALP and Greens combined a majority of 8.

  29. 40,

    To the best of my knowledge, the AEC has published what they have on their website. The ONLY way that they could take it back I think (Antony can correct me if he knows better) would be to cross check what the Climate Change Coalition sent them with what is published on the website. But I think that would be beteween the CCC and the AEC. Till you see different, you go with what is on the AEC website (unless they change it). The deadline has passed for filing the preferences so it would have to be an AEC error in loading to the website for a change to occur now.

  30. Thanks Chris. I know it’s quite far down the list but it’s still symbolic. Anyway I have sent the link to Phillip Adams. Also can’t believe they have the Fishing Party ahead of the Greens. I offered to help them hand out how to votes in the State election!

  31. Climate Change Coalition preference go to Hanson’s Party and One Nation before Labor and the Coaltion. HOWEVER, it won’t matter, as they go through the Democrats, Fishing Party, the Greens and Family First before they get to Hanson et al. Preferences would almost certainly be sidetracked by one of those parties which means Hanson and One Nation would already have been excluded. Still, it’s an ordering you think you’d avoid if you don’t want to have an argument over the meaning.

  32. If Only @ 34

    I think that we are more likely to see a bigger Labor Primary, for reasons I shall outline below.

    In 2004, the primaries in the HOR were 47 & 37 for the libs and Labor respectively.The senate primaries were at 47 & 35. I’m not suggesting there is a scientific link, but it’s a vague one.

    According to the recent Newspoll survey, the lates primaries for SA in the HOR was at 39 and 49, again for the libs and Labor respectively.

    Now, the Senate race is obviously different to that of the HOR and many people have a different mentality towards it. And the past three years of Coalition majority control, combined with the ‘get back the senate’ campaign probably ensures that there will be less votes for the major parties in the coming election

    However, given that in 2004 the libs got 459,000 votes with 47% of the Senate vote, I am willing to suggest that Labor is going to get much more then the 373,000 you suggested (which would roughly equate to 37% of the primary, barely two points up on ’04.) Again, I accept you can’t compare the two elections or two houses, but it is a rough indicator. If Labor got, for example, 410,000 votes, then they would pick up the third seat (if we go on your other calculations, which look decent.)

    Just my thoughts. I’ll agree though that if Labor don’t pinch the seat, the Greens will.

  33. Of course, there’s no replacement for a good primary vote… I tend to agree with Max. Although there is a drop in the ALP vote between HoR & Senate, there is a correlation between the two (sorta like the Greens in that way – the votes do tend to track). So a very high ALP primary in the HoR’s could just as easily translate to high (45%+) vote in the Senate, that’ll equate to 3%+ transferring to the GReens – that could be enough to keep them ahead of the main pack. The scenario I think is actually possible is that the vote is going to be so polarised that all except that more solid minors are going to be squeezed down to under 0.5%. This might make preference harvesting largely academic coz there wont be the votes to pick up. That would make the 3-3 split more likely than not in most states, excepting where there is a collapse in one of the major party votes.

    So I tend to think (Greenie that I am) that the Greens best chances are Tas (well, that’s almost a given at this stage), WA & Vic, with ACT an interesting possibility, and the rest really outliers. I’m not writing them off, just noting that a high primary is a requirement, and in a polarised election that’s going to be hard.

    Ah well, back to the old campaign trail…

  34. Stewart J :

    So I tend to think (Greenie that I am) that the Greens best chances are Tas (well, that’s almost a given at this stage), WA & Vic, with ACT an interesting possibility, and the rest really outliers.

    This matches with my estimates.

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