How’s it swinging

Below is a preliminary Mackerras pendulum/table based on current results. The first thing to note is that the Liberals seem to be enjoying one-way traffic in late counting. They have taken the lead in Dickson, Swan and Bowman, appear home-and-hosed in La Trobe and are strongly placed in Macarthur. An 862 vote lead in McEwen would also normally be a basis on which to claim victory, but there are reports of “the discovery of about 3000 votes wrongly sent to neighbouring Scullin” which don’t seem to have been factored in yet. Only in Herbert has late counting actively improved Labor’s position. They are also keeping their noses in front in Solomon, although the imminent count of electronically lodged military votes might narrow the gap. If these trends continue Labor will end up with a relatively disappointing haul of 84 seats, against 64 for the Coalition and two independents. In that case it would take a loss of only nine seats at the next election for Labor to lose its majority, which would occur on a uniform swing of just 1.7 per cent. Bennelong again emerges as the litmus test seat: Labor can take comfort in the likelihood that it will swing heavily to them in John Howard’s absence. The next seat up the pendulum is Petrie in northern Brisbane, where Labor currently leads by 2.3 per cent.

Labor supporters might assume that federal politics will now follow the precedent established time and again at state level, where Labor enjoyed landslide re-election wins after establishing themselves in power. However, the historical record at the federal level offers the unhappy precedent of first-term swings against every post-war government (though only in 1998 was it greater than 1.7 per cent). I have a high enough opinion of Malcolm Turnbull to imagine he can steer the party clear of many of the obstacles that have faced it at state level, should the party be sensible enough to make him leader. Whoever takes the mantle, they will face the severe difficulty of a party room dominated by members from Western Australia, whose sensitivity to the national mood is indicated by today’s front page headline in The West Australian: “WA Libs demand party stands by WorkChoices”.

26.5 Batman
25.4 Grayndler
24.1 Throsby
23.6 Melbourne
23.3 Wills
22.0 Gellibrand
21.2 Scullin
21.0 Chifley
21.0 Gorton
21.0 Watson
20.0 Port Adelaide
20.0 Sydney
New England 24.6 (IND vs NAT)
Mallee 21.6
19.5 Calwell
19.2 Blaxland
18.9 Fowler
18.5 Cunningham
17.0 Reid
16.4 Hunter
15.9 Newcastle
15.8 Lalor
15.6 Denison
15.6 Fraser
15.3 Maribyrnong
15.3 Werriwa
15.1 Shortland
Murray 18.3
O’Connor 16.6
Kennedy 15.9 (IND vs ALP)
Riverina 15.7
14.9 Oxley
13.9 Prospect
13.7 Hotham
13.6 Kingsford Smith
13.5 Capricornia
13.3 Charlton
13.1 Lingiari
12.5 Barton
12.5 Griffith
12.3 Holt
12.0 Rankin
11.8 Canberra
11.2 Banks
Moncrieff 14.4
Curtin 14.3
Bradfield 13.6
Maranoa 13.0
Mackellar 12.6
Parkes 12.4
Mitchell 11.4
Calare 11.3
Farrer 11.3
Fadden 10.4
9.5 Corio
9.5 Fremantle
9.5 Richmond
9.4 Perth
9.2 Jagajaga
Warringah 9.5
Moore 9.3
Barker 9.1
Pearce 9.1
Indi 9.0
8.7 Bruce
8.6 Ballarat
8.6 Lilley
8.6 Lyons
8.5 Adelaide
8.0 Melbourne Ports
Kooyong 8.9
Tangney 8.8
Berowra 8.7
McPherson 8.7
Lyne 8.4
Wide Bay 8.3
Groom 8.1
7.9 Isaacs
7.8 Makin
7.5 Chisholm
7.4 Lowe
7.4 Macquarie
7.2 Parramatta
7.1 Lindsay
7.0 Brisbane
Flinders 7.8
Wannon 7.3
Cook 7.1
6.9 Wakefield
6.1 Brand
6.0 Bendigo
Higgins 6.8
Mayo 6.8
Casey 6.1
5.1 Hindmarsh Forrest 5.8
Gippsland 5.7
Menzies 5.7
Goldstein 5.6
Canning 5.4
North Sydney 5.2
Aston 5.1
4.9 Blair
4.8 Bonner
4.8 Moreton
4.7 Leichhardt
4.6 Kingston
4.5 Franklin
4.1 Dobell
4.1 Eden-Monaro
McMillan 4.9
Greenway 4.6
3.7 Longman
3.5 Dawson
3.1 Forde
Grey 3.9
Ryan 3.8
Wentworth 3.7
Dunkley 3.5
Gilmore 3.4
Hume 3.4
2.6 Flynn
2.4 Page
2.3 Petrie
Boothby 2.9
Fairfax 2.6
Fisher 2.6
1.7 Bennelong
1.7 Deakin
1.5 Braddon
1.4 Hasluck
Hughes 1.8
Kalgoorlie 1.6
Cowan 1.4
Hinkler 1.2
Paterson 1.2
Stirling 1.1
Cowper 1.0
Sturt 1.0
0.9 Bass
0.9 Corangamite
0.8 Solomon
0.5 Robertson
0.4 Herbert
La Trobe 0.5
McEwen 0.5
Macarthur 0.4
Bowman 0.02
Swan 0.02
Dickson 0.01

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.

720 comments on “How’s it swinging”

Comments Page 15 of 15
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  1. Idea!

    But it will take too long. Unless someone retires, ill health, maybe.

    Governer General of great regard, a William Deane.

    To lead on the issue.

  2. Indeed, Bushfire Bill.

    Working my way back through the thread, on the 50 years old bit, I see that Mr Squiggle is any combination of ill educated, historically uninformed, ignorant, or simply one of those I have already alluded to.

  3. While I’m at it, talking about things that happened a long time ago, I would like to see a robust re-opening of the AWB case file.

    The bribes to Saddam were not trumped up by some kind of hack partisan looking for political advantage. They were real to the tune of $300 million. They were paid to someone we were about to send our soldiers in to fight. The money was used either directly to buy arms or, being fungible, replenished Saddam’s treasury after other monies were used for that purpose.

    So far, despite clear recommendations of the Cole Commission, no-one has been prosecuted… not one person. This is a disgrace and a blot on Australian justice and morals. Paying Saddam kickback money – when the entire UN system was designed to prevent this so that Saddam could not buy arms – is tantamount to treason.

    Most likely the explanation for why it was done is banal: probably something along the lines of keeping the National Party sweet in the runup to war with their supporters’ biggest customer.

    There must be prosecutions. They will not be witch hunts. They have been recommended by Howard’s own commission, even if that commission was badly flawed. Rudd took a lot of heat over AWB. Governance in Australia was virtually wiped out with one minister after another claiming total ignorance of what was going on under their noses.

    This week is the calm before the storm. When the truth about AWB comes out heads will – and should – roll. Conservatives here talk about the Coalition parties regaining government in three years’ time. Once the full truth of AWB is revealed I’d be surprised if we see a conservative government within three decades.

    They were all involved. Howard at the top; Downer in charge of vetting contracts; Vaile responsible for getting them and Costello signed off on the money transfers.

    We’re in the phoney war right now. Lateline hosts its conservative hacks like there was no election last Saturday (or at least one they lost). Round up the usual suspects. But once the tumbrills start rolling they’ll be queued up from Canberra to Sydney., their creaky wheels playing a symphony of despair for the Coalition.

    Give up any idea of a Coalition resurgence. Within a year you’ll be hard pressed to remember there ever was a Coalition, much less one with a chance of re-election.

  4. Bushfire Bill.

    Kevin is considering something on AWB, said today. Getting advice.
    Someone else may have more detail. The papers, anyway.

    And Hedley Thomas at the Oz is hard at it over Haneef. Pushing Kevin, just in case.

    Can’t see that Kevin would not oblige, it’s the method he needs to figure.

  5. Bushfire Bill, in a perfect world…

    But the reality is these scoundrels will go free. Only history will condemn them, and the punishment of history means nothing to villains such as these.

  6. On that, the papers. I did read media caution (Oz?) on re-opening any AWB inquiry.


    Sudden fiscal conservative converts.

  7. Fulvio,

    I don’t agree with you. Crimes have been committed, serious crimes. The Cole Commission recommended prosecution, and named the candidates for it. The only reason prosecutions have not progressed is that the criminals swore they would take a few bigshots down with them, presumably bigshots who controlled the investigative process and could thus protect them.

    Well, now’s their chance to put some substance in their bragging. Rudd was repeatedly humiliated by the government over AWB. I don’t think he’ll forget this.

  8. Missed Crikey’s comment…

    Crikey, forget re-opening the enquiry as a first resort. Simple, plain prosecutions will flush out the baddies. They’ll be crawling over each other to dog on their erstwhile protectors.

    Prosecutions are not Labor revenge. They have been officially sanctioned by Cole and the previous government. They will proceed and can be easily sold as justice being done, rather than payback.

    Keelty needs a boot upthe arse and a threat of the sack if he doesn’t get a wriggle on. He’s already on thin ice over Haneef and the Bali 9. I should think he’ll either jump ship or start earning his pay. Either way, within a few months there will be action on AWB.

  9. Bushfire Bill. You speak well. Fulvio is irritating. Calm.

    William. Thank you for this late night reflective space. Appreciated..I am sure you are dog tired.

    Bed, all.


    We can dream, once more.

  10. Bushfire, Crikey. I don’t mean to sound defeatist, and believe me, I can be as rabid as anyone on this site if stirred sufficiently. And I was in a highly stirred state when AWB was first revealed and the politicians’ involvement was whitewashed by the hamstringing of the Royal Comission by Howard’s terms of reference.

    But who are the people who are now likely to be successfully prosecuted? Yes, the poor sods who told the truth and admitted their part or those caught red handed passing on the money at the direction of their superiors. Those who have the Nuremberg defence alone to fall back on, not lies and obfuscation.

    But the real culprits have removed themselves far enough away from the action as to be incapable of being directly accused. The Al Capones of the administration. Everyone knows they are involved, it defies logic and intelligence to suggest otherwise, but the probative evidence will be missing. Sure, prosecution will cause them some discomfort, but is unlikely to lead to conviction.

    It might be more productive, from the point of view of retribution, to have them investigated and audited by the Taxation Department.It would be poetic really- they get away with serious crime, but get nailed for something that in their stratosphere nearly eveybody gets away with.

    Think like a Sicilian.

  11. Megan: all Ive heard is this (from an ALP senate staffer who’d know)

    1. Libs VERY organised with postals, and sent out material (which looked almost official, ie from Oz govt) saying this is how you apply for a a postal vote
    2. Then, when the AEC sends the voting papers, they have a fair idea (since they reported the voter request to AEC) when to send bulk Lib advertising to the residence, to arrive at roughly same time.

    Borderline dodgy, but perfectly legal. ALP should either

    a. Ban the practice of having parties advertsie the postal vote scheme, or
    b. Get as organised as the LIbs at exploiting it.

    HArry, when I look at seat updates I go to these two places:

  12. On the AWB question – I’m wondering what the impact of Rudd’s FOI changes will be on the ability of the media to get access to information that would potentially tell the real story?

  13. Rings a very loud bell, Lefty E.

    Retirement Villages with Nursing Homes on site, not so far from me, but electorate Hindmarsh. Howard consistently visited this one. Election before this, too.

    As I was informed, sardonically, by an astute retirement villager and her husband, as it happened. Showing me the official invitations from the management of the homes.

    Big, big audience. Lapped it up. The Prime Minister!

    Betcha Howard was at all such homes in Boothby, Kingston, Makin. Just didn’t have other sources of information. Though could have, if I had thought about it.

    SA is renowned for many things, including an aging and apparently captive audience.

    Yes, William, I said, go to bed, just checking. You have not.

  14. 710 Fulvio Sammut

    Understood, exactly. Tax will do. In the current absence of.

    And I think that was what Bushfire was kind of proposing, in a different way.

    Someone in the US was taken into long term imprisonment in the last 24 hours for same stuff as the AWB perpetrated, but under a Criminal Law, which we have not yet enacted.

    Despite the late unlamented Peter Costello’s promise to do so. Three or more years ago.

    PS Lefty E, thanks muchly for following that up.

  15. Aah.

    My mother, maybe. Nursing Home, Kingston. Asserting a liking for Howard.

    Totally out of character.

    So tricky, understanding dementia.

    Not for some, apparently.

  16. reports of “the discovery of about 3000 votes wrongly sent to neighbouring Scullin”

    This is a real issue of concern and one reason why I have been advocating that the electoral statistics on the night MUST include the number of postal votes, prepoll, absentee and provisional votes issued. (not to be confused with the number of postal votes returned).

    There is no reason why this information can not be tallied and reported on election night or at the latest the Monday after.

    All this information should be readily available and forms part of the polling place divisional office’s returns.

    Had this information been available during the Victorian State Count (As requested) then the disastrous, should not have happened, mistakes made by te electoral office would not have happened.

    By not presenting this information the electoral office is always open to the allegation of stuffing the ballot box after the result.

    This is one reason why I also like to compare the lower house polling place data with the upperhouse. I theory they should match. (IN Victoria’s case they did not match and votes went missing from count A to count B – Little wonder why Steve Tully has refused to published the statistical preference data for the first count to avoid comparison and independent analysis.)

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