Random notes

• I’ve variously heard it said that this election was Labor’s biggest ever win, and their biggest ever swing. I presume this is because nobody can be bothered looking past 1949, a benchmark year due to the expansion of parliament, the election of the Menzies government and the fact that the AEC’s historical two-party preferred figures don’t go back any further than this. However, John Curtin’s wartime victory of 1943 had it all over Rudd’s performance. Curtin won 66 per cent of the seats from a primary vote of 49.94 per cent, up 9.78 per cent from 1940. Rudd has won probably 58 per cent of the seats from a two-party swing currently at 6.5 per cent. I personally am not willing to call this a “slide”, be it of the land- or Rudd- variety, given the score on the primary vote is 43.95 per cent to 42.68 per cent (UPDATE: Coalition vote now 41.54 per cent). I was actually expecting the Labor vote to be slightly higher, hence my exaggerated expectations for the Greens in the Senate.

• It is a remarkable fact that there are two seats which the Liberals might gain from Labor, given that there were only four seats in the land which swung to them. The potential gains are the Perth seats of Cowan and Swan, the former of which has definitely been won while the latter is once again going down to the wire. The 2.2 per cent swing in Cowan can be readily explained by the popularity of retiring sitting member Graham Edwards, but rapid suburban expansion in the seat would also have been a factor. The swing in Swan, while only 0.2 per cent at this point of the count, is coming off a disastrous campaign from an accident-prone candidate in 2004. Other seats in Perth swung slightly to Labor. The 3.1 per cent swing that won them Hasluck was at the upper end of the range.

• Interestingly weak swings to Labor in McMillan and Gippsland, which were also areas of weakeness for Labor at last November’s state election.

• A little further to the west, swings were in the exact 5 per cent to 6 per cent range Labor was shooting at. Deakin has been won for only the second time in its history, while McEwen and La Trobe are still in doubt.

• Not hard to spot the odd seat out in South Australia: with swings elsewhere of between 4.3 per cent and 11.0 per cent, Nicole Cornes could manage only 2.0 per cent in Boothby. Makin and Wakefield swung heavily enough that they’re outside the Labor marginal zone, but not so Kingston, which produced the state’s second smallest swing at 4.3 per cent.

• The Liberal vote proved curiously resilient in the Australian Capital Territory: they were down only 3.7 per cent in the Senate, enough that Gary Humphries retains his seat, with swings of below 2 per cent in the two lower house seats.

• This election produced even less support for the “doctors’ wives” thesis than 2004. There was very little movement in inner Sydney and Melbourne, either in safe Labor or safe Liberal seats. The most notable beneficiary was Joe Hockey in North Sydney, where a harmless 4.3 per cent swing was nonetheless a relatively poor result by inner urban standards. Sophomore surges for Julie Owens in Parramatta (7.7 per cent) and Chris Bowen in Prospect (7.3 per cent).

• Outer Sydney swung as heavily this time as it famously did in 1996: Chifley (8.3 per cent), Greenway (8.4 per cent), Lindsay (9.8 per cent), Macarthur (11.0 per cent), Mitchell (9.6 per cent) and Werriwa (7.9 per cent).

• A diverse range of Queensland seats produced double digit swings: Dawson and Leichhardt in the north, Longman in northern Brisbane and the neighbouring Brisbane hinterland seats of Groom, Blair and Forde. Groom was the only survivor. Retiring sitting members were a factor in Forde and especially Leichhardt. Ryan failed to live up to the hype, with a 6.8 per cent swing that was very modest by Brisbane standards. I’d be interested to know why Longman swung so heavily.

• Labor’s two party share of the remote mobile votes from Lingiari was up from 78.7 per cent to 88.4 per cent.

• While enough to bag two seats, swings in Tasmania were relatively mild. Franklin was one of the four seats to swing to the Liberals, a testament to Harry Quick’s personal vote.

• A noteworthy outcome in Melbourne, where Greens candidate Adam Bandt will likely overcome the Liberal candidate to take second place, a first for the party at a general election. Lindsay Tanner made it academic by winning more than 50 per cent of the primary vote, but the seat will be marginal after preferences.

• Links for the “photo finishes” series of posts have been added to the sidebar. The most notable development of the past few days has been very strong performances for the Liberals on postal votes in the neighbouring seats of La Trobe and McEwen.

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.

802 comments on “Random notes”

Comments Page 17 of 17
1 16 17
  1. ESJ-GG may not be Slanderyou but sounds like an apologist. GG is either not familiar with the trail of devastation left by AL or doesnt believe it. If he wants to read all about it there is a Liquidators report into the former Melbourne Univesity Student Union Inc that details the exploits available at Victorian Supreme Court.

    Im not sure there are any sites left up about him anymore but the wheels of justice turn very slowly and I guess thats what motivates people. I keep hearing that the Police are going to be turning up on his door step any day but alas nothing happens.

  2. 800 comments ! bloody hell – i had to use the find button to keep up!

    Further to O’Connor and Wilson Tuckey’s fate – ALL the parties are giving the Nats first preference ahead of the libs and labour, including the CDP.

    Tuckey called this a ‘conspiracy’ in the Albany Advertiser on the Thursday before the elections. However, it may have something to do with his personality. He’s declared that he reckons there will be plenty of leakage from the Greens giving their 2nd preference to Labour instead of following the How to Vote card. But ask yourself this – what Green vote is going to resist the temptation to oust Tuckey against the long shot of a 21 year old ALP neophyte?

    There will be some leakage from the Green HTV card but all the other minor candidates are preferencing the Nats ahead of the libs and nearly all these candidates represent various right wing causes. So there’s no reason why their voters won’t follow the card. As someone pointed out the CDP votes alone are enough to put the Nats ahead of Labour (and hence the Labour prefs go to the Nats) – if we assume the CDP prefs go 100% to the Nats that leaves the Nat candidate 2139 votes behind Tuckey. The Greens have 4200 votes to be distributed and there’s 3900 odd minor party/ind. preferences all of which have how to vote cards going to the Nats. Only 75-80% of these votes need to go to the Nats to beat Tuckey by my reckoning!

    Mind you there are still 7 booths to be counted including postals and absentees etc. But anybody who thinks this show is over – is kidding themselves IMHO.

Comments are closed.

Comments Page 17 of 17
1 16 17