With two remarkable exceptions, Queensland has produced the same result at each half-Senate election since the first for six seats in 1990: two Labor, two Liberal, one Nationals and one Democrat. The first exception was in 1998, when One Nation overcame the punitive preference treatment that has thwarted them every other time by scoring a quota off their own bat. The winning candidate was Heather Hill, then a close confidante of Pauline Hanson, who foolishly sought re-election in the lower house rather than take the Senate seat herself. However, Hill’s election was overturned when the High Court ruled by a 4-3 majority that her dual British citizenship made her ineligible. A recount gave the seat to One Nation’s number two candidate, Len Harris. The One Nation seat came at the expense of young Nationals Senator Bill O’Chee, who was left stranded when a third of the Nationals vote went to One Nation and the Liberals failed to deliver him a surplus. Democrats candidate John Woodley won the final seat after absorbing the Labor surplus and preferences from the Greens.
The second exception was the 2004 election, the only time a six-seat half-Senate election has delivered four seats either to Labor or the Coalition in any state. This triumph belonged not to Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals, whose vote fell to 6.6 per cent from 9.1 per cent in 2001, but to the Liberals, who were up from 34.8 per cent to 38.3 per cent. The decisive point in the count came with the exclusion of Len Harris, who narrowly failed to overtake his former mentor Pauline Hanson. Had it been otherwise, the Fishing Party preferences that pushed Joyce clear of Hanson would have stayed locked up with One Nation. In that case the seat would have gone to Greens, giving effect to the Coalition parties’ decision to put Hanson and One Nation last. Joyce pulled ahead of the Liberals at the last count to take the fifth rather than sixth seat, a result decided by a large number of Hanson’s below-the-line votes going against the ticket.
The Coalition will be running a joint ticket in Queensland for the first time since 1977, with the Nationals taking the third position. The arrangement caused great friction within the Nationals, with Senator Barnaby Joyce among the opposed. The two Liberal places go to Ian Macdonald (left), who has been in the Senate since 1980, and Sue Boyce (right), who filled the casual vacancy when Santo Santoro resigned in March following revelations of undisclosed share trading. Macdonald served as minister in portfolios including local government, fisheries, forestry and conservation from after the 1998 election until his demotion in June 2006. Boyce had been preselected for the number four position before the joint ticket arrangement, behind Macdonald, Santoro and Mark Powell. Her success in leapfrogging Powell marked a double victory for state party leader Bruce Flegg over the Santoro faction, which switched its backing from Powell to former state party leader Bob Quinn in a failed bid to thwart Boyce. Powell suffered the further indignity of being knocked into fourth place to accommodate the Nationals.
Nationals candidate Ron Boswell is a 66-year-old veteran of 24 years in the Senate. His decision to again seek preselection surprised many, given suggestions he had only contested in 2001 to help the party see off the challenge of Pauline Hanson. Popular enthusiasm for Barnaby Joyce had many calling for renewal and greater assertiveness within the Coalition, which was seen to be personified by rival preselection candidate James Baker. Boswell won the day, and Baker has quit the party to run as an independent.
The top two positions on the Labor ticket are unchanged from 2001. Number one is John Hogg, a former official with the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, who I am surprised to learn has been in the Senate since 1996. The Left’s Claire Moore retains the position she assumed at the 2001 election at the expense of incumbent Brenda Gibbs, who fell foul of a complicated factional quarrel sparked by the ultimately worthless Petrie preselection. The third position has gone to Mark Furner, vice-president of the National Union of Workers.
Democrats incumbent Andrew Bartlett (left), an active player in the blogosphere and very occasional commenter on this site, is seeking re-election after a sometimes torrid six-year term. Like all his party colleagues, his chances of success are not rated highly. The Greens candidate is environmental lawyer Larissa Waters (right), who won preselection ahead of Juanita Wheeler, a two-time state election candidate who had taken on the role of state party spokesperson.
The lists below lay out the order of each party’s preference ticket when reduced to its essentials. Family First will harness the entire right-of-centre vote if they get ahead of Pauline Hanson, which might be enough to win them a seat at the expense of Nationals Senator Ron Boswell. Hanson herself has little chance of success despite reports she has been boosted by Family First and Climate Change Coalition preferences. The real significance of Hanson is that her preferences will, eventually, end up with Labor’s third candidate ahead of the Greens and Ron Boswell. The remaining preferences will split in an orderly fashion, at least if Family First has excluded: religious, populist and recreation parties will go to the Coalition, while the Democrats, Climate Change Coalition, Socialist Alliance and What Women Want (along with the Carers Alliance) will go to the Greens. Once those three blocs are added together, it will be a question of which out of Labor, the Coalition and the Greens misses out on one of the final two seats.
WHAT WOMEN WANT: Greens; Democrats; SA; Labor; DLP; Carers; CCC; SOL; LDP; Fishing; Coalition; CDP; Shooters; Lifestyle; One Nation; Pauline Hanson; Family First; NCPP; CEC.
LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY PARTY: Fishing; Shooters; One Nation WA; Lifestyle; NCPP; DLP; SOL; Carers; Pauline Hanson; CCC; CEC; WWW; Greens; Family First; CDP; Labor; Democrats; Coalition; Greens; SA.
CLIMATE CHANGE COALITION: Democrats; Greens; Pauline Hanson; Labor; Family First; NCPP; Shooters; Lifestyle; Fishing; SA; Carers; LDP; Labor; SOL; WWW; DLP; One Nation WA; Coalition; CDP; CEC.
CARERS: Greens; Pauline Hanson; Family First; SA; Democrats; WWW; CDP; Lifestyle; CEC; NCPP; DLP; CCC; Fishing; LDP; SOL; Shooters; One Nation; Coalition; Labor.
SENATOR ON-LINE: Carers; CCC; WWW; LDP; Fishing; NCPP; Democrats; Labor; Greens; Coalition; DLP; Family First; Lifestyle; SA; One Nation; Pauline Hanson; CEC; CDP; Shooters.
SOCIALIST ALLIANCE: Greens; WWW; Labor; Democrats; Carers; CCC; SOL; Coalition; LDP; NCPP; Fishing; Lifestyle; DLP; Shooters; Family First; CDP; CEC; One Nation; Pauline Hanson.
FISHING PARTY: Coalition 3; LDP 9; CDP 10; NCPP 11; Carers 12; Family First 13; Shooters 14; SOL 15; CCC 16; WWW 17; One Nation WA 19; SA 20; CEC 24; Pauline Hanson 30; DLP 31; Lifestyle 38; Labor 59; Democrats 61; Greens 63;
FAMILY FIRST: Lifestyle; Carers; CDP; One Nation; DLP; CCC; Fishing; Shooters; NCPP; Coalition; SOL; Pauline Hanson; LDP; WWW; SA: CEC; Labor; Greens; Democrats.
DEMOCRATS: CCC; Carers; WWW; Greens; SA; LDP; SOL; Lifestyle; Labor; Coalition; Fishing; DLP; Family First; NCPP; Shooters; CEC; CDP; One Nation; Pauline Hanson.
COALITION: Family First; Lifestyle; Fishing; CDP; NCPP; Shooters; Carers; LDP; WWW; CCC; SOL; CEC; SA; Democrats; Greens; Labor; Pauline Hanson; One Nation.
SHOOTERS: Lifestyle; Pauline Hanson; CDP; Family First; Coalition; One Nation; DLP; NCPP; CEC; Carers; CCC; SOL; WWW; LDP; Fishing; Labor; Democrats; Greens.
GREENS: Carers; WWW; CCC; SA; LDP; SOL; Democrats; Labor; DLP; Fishing; Lifestyle; CEC; NCPP; Shooters; One Nation; CDP; Family First; Coalition; Pauline Hanson.
LABOR: Greens; Democrats; SOL; CCC; Lifestyle; WWW; Carers; Shooters; SA; DLP; CDP; Family First; LDP; Fishing; NCPP; Coalition; CEC; One Nation; Pauline Hanson.
AUSTRALIAN FISHING AND LIFESTYLE PARTY: Family First; Coalition; Shooters; Pauline Hanson; Fishing: Labor; CDP; One Nation; NCPP; LDP; Carers; DLP; SOL; CCC; WWW; CEC; SA; Greens; Democrats.
ONE NATION: Family First; Fishing Party; CEC; Carers; WWW; Shooters; SA; CDP; NCPP; Lifestyle; DLP; SOL; LDP; CCC; Coalition; Pauline Hanson; Democrats; Greens; Labor.
PAULINE’S UNITED AUSTRALIA: One Nation; CCC; Carers; Shooters; Lifestyle; CDP; NCPP; Fishing; CEC; WWW; Family First; LDP; SOL; Democrats; DLP; Labor; Coalition; SA; Greens.
CEC: Coalition; Democrats; CDP; One Nation; Pauline Hanson; Fishing; Shooters; Carers; NCPP; SOL; WWW; Family First; Lifestyle; DLP; SA; Labor; LDP; CCC; Greens.
CDP: Coalition; DLP; Family First; NCPP; Carers; Shooters; Lifestyle; Fishing; Pauline Hanson; One Nation; LDP; CEC; CCC; SOL; Democrats; WWW; SA; Labor; Greens.
NON-CUSTODIAL PARENTS PARTY: Pauline Hanson; Carers; half (Family First; Fishing; One Nation; CDP), half (Fishing; CDP; Family First; One Nation); CCC; SOL; CEC; Shooters; DLP; LDP; Lifestyle; Coalition; Labor; Democrats; SA; WWW; Greens.
DLP: CDP; Coalition; Family First; Shooters; Fishing; NCPP; Labor; Lifestyle; LDP; Democrats; Pauline Hanson; One Nation; SOL; Carers; CCC; Greens; CEC; WWW; SA.