Consolation prizes

On election night and the following day, the best bet seemed to be that Labor would emerge with between 86 and 88 seats. After that, Labor watched leads disappear in one seat after another. Liberal candidates took the lead in McEwen and La Trobe on the Monday after polling day, followed by Dickson and Swan on Tuesday, Herbert on Friday and Bowman on Wednesday of this week. Corangamite, Flynn and Robertson were also on the critical list at various stages after looking secure for Labor on election night: Robertson arguably still remains there. In Solomon, Labor’s Damian Hale watched nervously as his 860-vote lead on booth votes was whittled down to 89 on Wednesday, before he was saved by a late rally yesterday that widened the gap to 194. The entirely one-way nature of this traffic raises the question of what has happened and why. Here at least I will limit myself to the first half of the equation.

The first table shows the size of the swings to Labor for each type of vote in all seats which look to have margins of less than 1 per cent, barring the new seat of Flynn where any swing calculations would be hypothetical (an unfortunate omission as it would have cut the Labor swing on postals still further). Provisionals are excepted because too many of them are still to be counted, and they are few in number in any case. The outstanding feature is the Coalition’s strong performance on postal votes, which cost Labor dearly in McEwen, Dickson, Herbert and La Trobe. I read one newspaper report (I can’t remember where) suggesting this was because most postal votes were cast before the Lindsay pamphlet scandal broke, but the pattern would surely have been reflected in pre-polls if this was the case.

Ordinary Absent Pre-Poll Postal Total
Corangamite 6.43 7.42 6.20 5.00 6.10
Solomon 3.06 1.87 4.77 2.88 3.00
Robertson 7.35 7.00 6.51 6.14 7.06
McEwen 6.19 9.44 8.78 4.21 6.38
Bowman 9.17 8.34 9.95 9.36 9.09
Dickson 9.30 8.69 8.07 6.13 8.99
Herbert 6.18 2.41 8.21 1.86 5.92
Swan -0.08 -2.81 1.21 0.61 -0.32
La Trobe 5.78 6.20 6.05 0.58 5.31
Macarthur 11.04 8.63 8.51 11.29 10.58
TOTAL 6.65 6.15 6.79 4.57 6.39

The second table shows the number of votes cast for each type over the past three elections. Here as elsewhere it must be remembered that a small number of 2007 votes still remain to be counted. It can be seen that this election has maintained a trend of sharply increasing numbers of postal votes, exacerbating the impact of the Coalition’s strong performance, along with the more neutral pre-polls.

2007 2004 2001
Provisional 167,167
Absent 856,407
Pre-Poll 1,105,948
Postal 820,946
Turnout 12,681,332

The final point to note is how lucky the Coalition has been. Present indications suggest it will win five of seven seats determined by margins of less than 0.3 per cent. Assuming no further changes, the bottom end of the Mackerras pendulum will look as follows:

Corangamite 0.8
0.7 Macarthur
0.5 La Trobe
Flynn 0.3
Solomon 0.2 0.2 Swan
Robertson 0.1 0.1 Dickson
0.0 Bowman

Elsewhere, the chances of a National Party boilover in O’Connor have been reduced as the slowly progressing late count has widened the gap between Labor and the Nationals from 2.08 per cent to 2.70 per cent. It will take an extremely high level of obedience to the how-to-vote card from Greens voters if that gap is to be closed, which seems an unlikely prospect in a sparsely populated electorate where the party would have had a hard time finding volunteers to cover each of the booths. Any vague chance that independent Gavin Priestley might win Calare has probably been laid to rest by late counting which has increased Nationals candidate John Cobb (formerly member for Parkes) from 47.71 per cent to 48.47 per cent, close enough to an absolute majority that the question of who comes second out of Priestley and Labor is probably academic. In the Victorian Senate, the Greens’ hopes rested on what would have been an out-of-character boost from declaration votes, which have in fact reduced their vote from 10.1 per cent to 9.7 per cent. The Labor vote has also faded enough that third Liberal candidate Scott Ryan has overtaken Labor’s number three David Feeney, so that Ryan looks likely to take the fifth seat and Feeney the sixth. Greens candidate Richard di Natale is 1.67 per cent behind Feeney after preferences CORRECTION: I wasn’t factoring in the Liberal surplus, which actually makes the gap more like 0.9 per cent.

UPDATE: One other thing – it is clear that dramatically fewer provisional votes are being allowed through this year. In 2004, any given electorate ended up with about 400 to 600 provisional votes counted. This time it’s more like 100 to 200. I suspect the answer to this mystery lies somewhere in the Electoral and Referendum (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act. Can any wise heads out there point me in the right direction?

UPDATE 2: Comments respondents note that provisional voters must now show photo ID either at the booth or by emailing or faxing a copy to the AEC in the following week. Peter Brent: “Presumably the number of people who took ID to the AEC in the next week was about zero”. Grace Pettigrew: “Many voters who are likely to need a provisional vote do not carry ID around with them (aboriginal voters, the homeless, for example) are also most likely not to vote for the Coalition”. Adam Carr also takes issue with my description of O’Connor as “sparsely populated”: I would argue that this is sort of accurate, but Carr says the real point is that O’Connor is “the most agricultural seat in Australia, where most people live in or near small farming towns”, and consequently has “more booths than any other seat”.

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.

627 comments on “Consolation prizes”

Comments Page 11 of 13
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  1. A count normals stops when the result is known. there is not need to distribute preferences if the result is determined on first preference votes,.

    I also have been scrutineering Senate elections for over 30 years and this is the first election I can recall that has not required to go to preferences to determine the result. of course it is a waste of money. If need be the AEC can use their spare time to record the historical data..

    Take a look at all the other seats. Do you see them busily going over the minor candidate preferences. Hey I like elections as much as anyone BUT they comes a time when you have to question the excess of costs involved. Conducting a data-entry count of preferences that will not alter the outcome is a waste of resources and public money. If the result was close then yes I would be the first to say do the job…

    If you want to argue the Greens are still in with a chance then please by all means publish you data… I am sure you would call on the Ministers of the day to backup their claims…

  2. MelbCity, how is you can on the one hand work yourself into a lather over obscure technical issues in the conduct of Victorian upper house elections, yet on the other hand shamelessly defend Putin’s totally rigged Russian Duma elections? (On the latter I refer you to p56 of this week’s Economist.)

  3. I’m totally convinced it was you and your familys votes Nick, if your ever on the NSW far Sth coast I’ll even by ya a beer for winning it 😉

  4. ruawake says: It does not matter if Australia has zero greenhouse gas emissions or if we all fart and belch CO2….What is needed is for our Govt. to be helping, cajoling, harassing, praising, nudging, demanding, that others … do something.”

    Well, given our own role as the worst performers on the planet per person, with the world’s dirtiest power stations, and while making a lot of quid out of export coal that doesn’t even get counted in our own “contribution”, I reckon it really does matter what we do, ruawake.

    Clearly we can’t seriously pretend that we can influence “others” one iota on such matters until we get our own house in order. It is pretty hard not to imagine just about every country in the world laughing their heads off if we moralise about such things like maintaining our current domestic approach to such things!

    Clearly , too, we have to stop pretending that flogging our own coal to Japan and China for megabucks isn’t actually a huge part of the problem. THis is going to be a very difficult issue for Labor in the next few years. Simply put , if we keep on flogging coal, despite the greenhouse consequences, no one will take us seriously about such matters. On the other hand, if we stop flogging coal, the short term economic implications are going to be pretty nasty (even if in the long term the quicker we move to other ways of making cash, instead of acting as a one of the world’s biggest dirty energy mines, the better).

    None of this is going to be easy, but using our nouse to deal with our own gross (all other countries could legitimately say obscene, especially given our natural advantages ) profligacy in the energy area is absolutely fundamental to being able to get ourselves taken seriously on such issues.

    As we also stand to pay a very, very high price economically (and environmentally and socially) in Australia for climate change it is pretty obvious that any government that doesn’t bite the bullet (and any opposition that tries to get in the way of us doing so) is going to get very short shrift in the future.

  5. 457 marky marky – that’s strange, I don’t recall denying that climate change is getting worse. Would you like to quote me saying this? I can’t find it.

  6. Thanks Poss. It may be one for experts in our national psyche rather than for psephoogists but that major narrowing in the last few days was so counter-intuitive that it left me completely flummoxed…and resurrected my natural caution when it comes to trusting polls, or even poll trends. That can’t be a bad thing.

  7. How do you explain the Greens City Council candidate (SNIP: Allegation of illegality deleted – PB). What happened to their commitment to open, transparent and honest government. Sorry you might argue thee Greens are clean skins and worthy of support. I do not share that point of view. tackle a closer look at the organization and the deals they have made and their past actions. Just because they dress up in a Koala suit and want to protect our environment is not an excuse to blindly think they are cute and cuddly. Do your sums and add up the votes in Victoria. There is not enough votes out there. Even with the undisclosed AEC data… to elect a Green senator. What do you think 101% of below the line voters will all vote Green.

  8. Nick wrote: Can I just take this opportunity to gloat at being a McEwen voter, and knowing that my vote, my girlfriend’s vote, my parents’ votes, her parents’ votes and one of my other mate’s votes “decided” the seat…in a sense….along with 104 000 other people….but you know what I mean.

    Sorry Nick, our family, our best mates , and the next door neighbours have already claimed to be responsible for the 7 vote majority in another thread here.

    Every one of us voted Green with prefs to Mitchell, clearly giving the last 8 votes necessary to get us from one behind to 7 in front! 😉

    On a serious note, though, it is a great feeling when you know that your vote actually counts , eh! Spent much of my life in electorates where he margins were huge one way or another. Certainly makes a day spent handing out HTV cards seem well worth the time!



  9. Melb city (@ 490), I don’t know what you mean by “There is not enough votes in the system”: according to the AEC website they’ve counted 3.107 million Senate votes as against 3.226 million Reps votes. Feeney is only 8,000 votes over quota; if those extra 119,000 votes go to the Liberals or Greens (doesn’t matter which, because the Greens get the Liberal surplus), he won’t win. I’m not saying that will happen – my tip is he’ll hold on, but it’s certainly too close to call.

  10. For heaven’s sake Melbcity, wait until all the Vic Senate votes have actually been counted before saying the Greens should concede now. In fact, over the last 1% of the count, the Libs have been going down dramatically, while Labor is also down slightly and the Greens are improving fast. With more counting to be done in Melbourne, the Greens strongest seat, and in other Labor heartland seats, this could get closer. If the Vic statewide vote counted is about 95%, it could certainly be closer, though the Greens will almost certainly miss out. You’re correct to say that no other seats are in any dispute, only the 6th Vic Senate spot.

  11. When did the last Senate seat in Vic change from being a contest between di Natale and Ryan (as I understood was the case) to being a contest between di Natale and Feeney (as now seems to be the case)?

  12. Possum says
    One of the interesting things about this election was that, yet again, like the two elections before it, the wet Libs threatened to vote against the Coalition, they told all public and party pollsters that they were going to vote ALP – yet at the end of the day, just like always, they didnt.

    Ron says: I remain unconvinced that ACN , Newspoll & Morgan had ALP primary vote at 46% to 47% on the weekend before the election
    BUT 4 days later Newspoll & Morgan CORRECTLY drop the ALP vote by over 3%

    Possum’s ‘wet liberals’ would be one answer

    Morgan’s ‘soft labor vote’ count could be another answer (or the same answer)

    Howard’s cleverest election “fear” trick (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it) in the last week could be another answer

    ALL we know is there was an unprecedented massive drop in the largest party’s PRIMARY vote in 4 days but the Polls do not tell us why
    especially as Howard’s last week was a disaster

    Perhaps the electorate have become more sophisticated whereas the Pollsters
    like Howard are asking “old’ questions allowing some polled to hide the extent of their commitment to change their former vote ??????????????????????????????

  13. The sad Greenies strike again. Ho Hum.

    There are lots of things we should do – because they are good policy. If you want to tie everything to global warming you are missing the point.

    Public transport – great. Because it is a good idea, can save time and congestion. Etc.

    Sadly as polical ignoramuses you try to press what you see as an advantage, politics has always been the art of the possible.

    Sadly you guys need about another 4 million votes to win Govt.

    I am not talking about what is right, I am saying what is.

  14. Adam said

    “Possum. All was noted, all is remembered, and all will be laid out for judgement”

    Keep going mate, you sound like someone put sand in your vaseline.

  15. Adam te results of the Russian Duma elections for what it is worth is a fair and honest reflection of the peoples choice. Whether you agree with Putin or not. I can assure you he has 60% plus support of the Russian people. In the same way that electorates in Australia have over 60% support.

    Now I do not agree with the 7% threshold barriers imposed in this election, But I am supportive of some of the changes made to Russia’s Parliament and Putin without any doubt has been a positive influence on Russia and the recovery of its economy. If I had a vote I would support Putin. The Russian opposition is in worst state then the Australian Liberal party. Putin has turn his country around beyond doubt. Yeltsin left the country in a hideous unstable mess. Putin was able to regain control over the Oligarchs and restore stability and confidence in in Russia. I am mconstnetly amazed at the poor quality and misinformed information about Russia that is published in the western media. they still think Russia is part of a Soviet State. it most certainly is not. I suggest readers might like to watch before embarking on an ill informed Russia bashing exercise.

    re the VEC… (SNIP: No thanks, MelbCity – PB). Tell me Adam do you support the VEC not maintaining an open and transparent system and should they not be held accountable and amnswerable by trying to prevent disclosure and independent review? tell me why … SNIP – PB

  16. Charles, not all the Lib vote will be distributed if Labor falls short of a quota in its own right. Since the 3rd Lib spot is much made up of Family First, etc, those votes would go to Labor ahead of the Greens.

  17. Well Rod, I’ll see your Green votes with prefs to Rob with my Green votes with prefs to Rob, but my girlfriend and I cast ours first (pre-poll absentees in the seat of Melbourne) so we win. Seriously though…thanks to all the well wishers, I’ll take you up on that beer Hobosexual on the off chance that we cross paths AND somehow recognize each other from a blog comments post.

  18. 2 weeks afterthe election 635852 votes had been counted in the “close seats” and the combined lead in those seats amounts to 1600 votes which is 0.252%

  19. Imagin Fran Baily told here is the reuslt but you can not loook at the detailed prefernce distribution or have a copy of the detailed election results…

    Votes went missing in the Victorian Count between count A and Count B. And teh VEc resudfes to publish details of the first count. Why do you think that is the case. Something to hide maybe? We know they cut corners and the fiorst count was unreliable. But what about the second count?

  20. Yes Lord D, that’s right – that’s one reason I expect Feeney to hang on. Still, the Family First etc is a pretty small fraction of the Liberal total, and (as Melb city has pointed out before) the strange way of calculating transfer values makes them even less significant.

  21. Incumbancy may have been another key factor in the safe Liberal seats. On the day people voted for the names they knew. Polls ask which Party and preferred PM etc. Voting means selecting from a list of names.

    Also, Newspoll changed their sampling in the last poll. Maybe a recognition that their earlier polls were inaccurate. Predictions based on bad data will be bad!

  22. In Calare the count is thus:

    IND + GRN:…………………………21,389
    ALP + CEC:…………………………21,059
    IND + GRN + ALP…………………..41,654

    100% counted as of Sat arvo but the AEC persists in showing the TPP as LNP/ALP split whereas here it should probably be LNP/IND unless the AEC knows something we don’t.

    Now it would be fair to assume that the GRN 2007 vote is die-hard here in Calare as it is in most places in NSW west of Harris Street and has followed the GRN ticket and preferenced the IND ahead of ALP

    Most of the CEC vote would have been people voting for their mate Cecil or donkey and goes to NAT eventually but ALP preferences would have stuck to their ticket and preferenced IND before NAT

    This is a preference count that will bear watching if only for the entertainment value.

  23. Ron Brown, I believe it was simply a case of the people who make up their minds late deciding to stick with the devil they knew. These people don’t register on most polls, as polls routinely exclude those who say they’re uncommitted. They favour incumbents when the economy’s going well I guess. Next time, they should favour Labor.

  24. Re Wet Libs….one of our Lib friends said Howard had to go,but when asked if he voted Labor, a look of distaste came over his face when he replied”Ofcourse not!”
    It is beneath them,a class thing.

  25. Adam count the results that have been published. The result is now out of contention…

    I need to do an update but last time I did the results were…

    Liberal ALP Green Others Total Quota
    1291839 1285828 370099 46253 2,994,020 427718.1429
    43.147% 42.947% 12.361% 1.545%
    3.020312267 3.006258587 0.865289922 0.108138971

    the above is the group vote for the ALP, Liberals and Greens plus the known tickets votes for minor parties. the reminder is the unknown BTL vote allocated to the minor parties. The Greens need 101% of the BTL minor party vote. Now I might concede they could get 100% of the BTL vote but 101% is asking too much.

    There was a significant consolidation of the vote for major parties. the minor parties overall dropped. the greens picked up a bit of the minor party vote but there is not enough votes in the count to see them home. I agree there are still some votes out there… (THE AEC does not know how many there is — sadly) BUT I am sure they do not all go to the Greens and I am sure they will not make up the shortfall.

  26. The Vioctroian senate is decided on First preference votes and Ticket votes. BTL votes do not come into play. And thank god nbor does the built in distortion in the count that inflates the value of Liberal ticket vote

  27. Others have mentioned the postal flow to the libs.

    I did a quick check of the Senate in the ACT, the postals gave the libs an extra 1%, without the inflated postals the lib candidate would be sitting on 33.4% and would have made it very very close.

    It goes with Nicks comment about how he and his family voted and a close result of 7 in McEwan is a delight to see and reinforces that every vote counts.

    Me and my wife only managed to swing 9 over from the dark side and it wasn’t enough, but to see Nicks post makes you realise that sometimes your little efforts can make a difference.

  28. MelbCity I am very well informed about Russian politics thanks very much, and what you say is a gross distortion of the truth. I don’t doubt that 60% of the population supports Putin – this is not hard to achieve in a country with no democratic tradition and a long history of subservience to authoritarian rulers, when you have destroyed civil society and control all the levers of state repression and all the media. It is even easier when an energy boom has enabled you to bring about some increase in living standards. The fact remains that Putin has created (or recreated) a one-party state in Russia, in which he controls virtually every institution that matters and no organised dissent is permitted.

    A quick google:

    “Observers from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the election “failed to meet many … commitments and standards for democratic elections.” In a statement, the observers said the election had been tainted by “frequent abuse of administrative resources, media coverage strongly in favour of the ruling party and an election code whose cumulative effect hindered political pluralism.” Some of the results were indeed puzzling. According to the Central Election Commission of Russia, Chechens voted in droves in the breakaway republic where rebels fought a vicious civil war with Russia. More than 99 per cent of Chechens voted, the commission said, with 99.3 per cent voting for Mr. Putin’s United Russia.”

    Stalin would have been proud of that one.

    “Goran Lennmarker, president of the OSCE’s assembly, said: “This election was not fair and failed to meet many OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and standards.” Luc van den Brande, head of the CoE’s delegation, criticised the “overwhelming influence of the President’s office and the President”. He added: “If Russia is a managed democracy then this was a managed election.” The fall of the Berlin Wall had ended Cold War divisions in Europe but there was now a risk of “a new dividing line in terms of democracy”.”

  29. Ah Nick, but my 86 year old mum sent off her application for a postal on the very first day it was possible to do so, and whizzed it back as soon as it arrived at her 92 year old sister’s place in Sydney where she was visiting at the time, so I’ll need proof of the date of those pre-polls!

    And of course, we could both alternatively argue that it was the LAST 7 votes counted that really did the job! 😉 I wonder where they came from?

    Let me simply say that it is grand on such an occasion to hear from another one of the 48,416 people in our area who made the right choice, and even more particularly, one of the 8,396 who voted for Steve!



  30. There have been several comments on the thread about ‘quality of candidates’ affecting the outcome.

    As this is something over which parties have immediate and direct control it interesting to conjecture that this has at least once cost the ALP as much as does the technical application of the count – which isn’t to say that I don’t prefer the manual count.

    Case in point. Melb City is p*ssed at the greens getting up in Western Metro at Labor’s expense. However, in Western Victoria the DLP got up in the last of 5 places, at Labor’s expense. The reason?… Unity insisted on dropping sitting MLC Elaine Carbines to 3, as a form of internal factional ‘pay back’. Had she been at 1, Labor would’ve romped in 3 positions, and the groupers would’ve gone down.

    Factional ruthlessness seems to have had its hand in the LaTrobe preselection intervention this time – don’t know if it was also a factor in any of the seats in other states.

  31. G’day Poss,

    Your question why the small l, wet Libs shifted back in the final week is fascinating indeed. I don’t know if exit poll data would be helpful, but worth a look.

    My first guess, based on some anecdotal evidence with wet Liberals I know, is that the Howard Party Launch package 12 days out was far more persuasive than the Rudd “stop the auction” launch.

    Economics savvy Libs would have heeded the opinions of most respected economics writers, such as Ross Gittins, that Rudd’s spending halt was far too little too late to have any significant impact on inflation. Perhaps Rudd took more of a Latham-like risk than it seemed to Labor supporters at the time.

    So, how many wet Libs were going to have the ticker to knock back Howard’s generous non-means-tested private school fees tax scheme in favor of Rudd’s useless (for them) education rebate when the major parties’ huge election promises will be adding similar inflationary pressures, including the inevitable hikes in school fees?

    And it might not have been only the money either. Howard’s education bribe might have been a very potent cultural wedge demonstrating starkly to the wet Libs that the Coalition alone understands their fundamental, deeply emotional, requirement that their children must attend private schools. Moreover, Mike Kelly’s comments about shifting federal funding back to public schools could have stoked the wet Libs fears of far worse anti-private school policies down the line.

  32. Latest data from the AEC

    90.7% of enrolled counted

    Liberal ALP Green Others Total Quota
    1295308 1287790 372427 42123 2,997,648 428236.4286
    43.211% 42.960% 12.424% 1.405%
    3.024756743 3.007200979 0.869678161 0.098363888

    The Greens are at 87% of a quota and there is only 0.098% of undecided BTL votes… Do you think the Greens can win… They need more then 100% of teh undecided unallocated vote. Are they printing votes., Did the AEC hold back a box of Green votes just to make the count interesing? This is not reality TV… all though at times it is just as exciting….

  33. Re 529,

    Megan Says:

    December 8th, 2007 at 8:06 pm
    Re Wet Libs….one of our Lib friends said Howard had to go,but when asked if he voted Labor, a look of distaste came over his face when he replied”Ofcourse not!”
    It is beneath them,a class thing.

    Agreed 😉 …….. In my electorate, Werriwa, and also neighboring Fowler, the local newspaper this week reported that the informals in our two electorates were amongst the highest in the state of NSW. Fowler had 5849 for 7.71% of total and Werriwa had 4873 for 6.54% of total cast.

    Both of these electorates are safe Labor seats by a long shot. MSM have speculated since the election that a high # of informals might be caused by ethnic voters not understanding the language or the process.

    I suspect that the high number of informals in our electorates here in SW Sydney were because the Liberals in these electorates couldn’t bring themselves to vote for the Liberal candidate but wouldn’t vote Labor either ;-).

  34. Sorry correction The Greens need 130% of the unallocated BTL vote to win a seat in Victoria

    I think Antony Green has taken a well deserved break.

    The Greens like Howard are waiting for the declaration of the poll I guess. that is their right. But if you look you will see they are not so jubilant and buoyant today.

  35. Adam the Victorian Senate changed from di Natale V Ryan to di Natale v Feeney some time last week when the postals started coming in terribly for the ALP.

    To avoid the accusation that I am a Greens fantasist, I would like to preface the following calculations with the comment that I think it is highly unlikely that di Natale will win, though not quite as impposible as Melb city would make out.

    For the Greens to get up, the ALP primary needs to drop to about 41.38. It is currently on 41.78 with 90.27% of the vote counted. Assuming we will end up with around 95.43% as we did in the last election, there are 171,350 votes to go. For the ALP to be in the clear, they need about 34.6% (or 59,370) of those votes to go their way.

    As I say I realise it is highly likely that they will fail to get these votes but not an absolute certainty. You would have to hold democracy in some high disdain to claim that there is no point in at least counting them.

  36. ruawake, I don’t want to tie everything to anything. I’ve spent the 33 years of my working life in areas ranging from Indigenous to Industrial to Environmental issues. They all matter.

    I’m more than aware that politics is the “art of the possible”. I’m also aware that unless people stand up for what really matters “the art of the possible” can produce grotesque travesties of little value (and sometimes a lot of harm) to almost all of us.

    If you read my response to your “cajoling fart and belch” post again, you’ll see that I was actually trying to address the “real politik” of the situation, rather than imagining that we can get away with a bit of “smoke and mirrors”. As I said there, if Australia really wants to be taken seriously by other countries about such things, we have to have our house in order. Those in power will also have some very hard decisions to make if they want their position to achieve anything more than a few more seats than the “other side” in the next election, or the one after, or the one after, etc etc.



  37. Adam the the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation has most certainly compromised their professional standing and independence when it comes to CIS states. They The CoE and OSCE sat back and kept silent as Ukraine’s President unconstitutionally dismissed Ukraine’s stable and democratically elected government. The President interfered with the operation and functioning of Ukraine’s constitutional Court to avoid the court ruling against his unconstitutional dismissal. (Remember Nov 11, 1975 this was far worst ) All the time the Council of Europe and OSCE state back and made no comment knowing full well that the actions of the President was in direct breach of Ukraine’s constitution . So much for their integrity and support for constitutional rule of law. Now Ukraine has an unstable political situation, eh newly installed government represents 45% of the people and trust in the EU one sided democratic values is at an all time low and the CoE and OSCE is seen, rightly so, as having acted with extreme bias and most certainly not professionally) I suggest you break away from your 1990’s view of what is going on in Russia (It is no longer a soviet state) and take another less bias look. The Western Stereotype of Russia is wrong false and bordering on racism . We seriously run the risk of alienation Russia with our constant bias and ill informed assessment (A bit like the US assessment of weapons of mass destruction). If the OSCE continues to act in the way they have and then they will lose all respect and trust. And I am looking at this from a independent point of view. But blind freddy can see the problems that are being created.

  38. The Sunshine coast Daily had this gem today about the New Leader of the Queensland Liberals, Mark McArdle.

    Newly elected Liberal leader Mark McArdle – a former partner in Boyce Garrick lawyers – has no desire to revisit the past, but victims of the failed mortgage schemes run by the firm are not nearly so reticent.

    Mr McArdle was a partner in the firm when hundreds of mainly elderly investors lost millions in the schemes in the mid-to-late 1990s, and some of those involved have neither forgotten nor forgiven.

    The change at the top for the state Liberals was designed to give the party a fresh start after being dogged by questions about the leadership. But those stung by the mortgage schemes say that for them, moving on is easier said than done.

    The former principal of Boyce Garrick, Terry Boyce, was struck from the roll of solicitors in 2003 for his involvement in promoting the schemes.

    Mark McArdle was named in the prospectus of one of the failed companies, BG managed investments, and he was named in law suits initiated by victims.

    Joyce Baker, who has been among the most vocal of investors who sought to recover their losses through the courts, said she was stunned to hear Mr McArdle had been elevated to the leader’s position.

    “You’re joking!” she gasped.

    “What are these people thinking? I can’t believe it.

    “Mark McArdle’s name was in every statement of claim – on all the legal documents.

    “He was a shareholder, partner and director in that firm.

    “They know what happened – what class does that put the Liberal party in?”

  39. Ferny Grover back at 509,

    The moving 4 pollster average actually seemed to be the most accurate estimation (in terms of minimising the dramatic movement in the last week) – it’s certainly what I’m going to use a lot more from now on. If you just take that 4 pollster average, the narrowing was a few points over the last few weeks of the campaign which seems to concur with the party tracking polls. The “if you change governments, you change the country” line that the Libs ran at the end seemed to do its job in terms of stemming the blood flow. It didn’t win them votes, that certainly wasn’t the point of that particular issue campaign, but it seemed to create the doubt in the electorate that the Libs were looking for… and did so quite successfully.

    That had Mark Textor written all over it – maybe if the Coalition had listened a little bit more to him during the campaign the election could well have become a nail biter.

  40. Adam I believ teh resultsb of teh rusuain Duma elction was a fair and accurate reflection of the Russian community. I have no doubt about it. I do not supprot their 7% thershiold. But the opposition in Russia are hopeless and it comes as little surprise that they failed to achieve any support. i would not rerly on the BBC for my information on what is going on in Russia.

  41. I’m not sure if this has been covered in an earlier post (other than mine, some days back, which nobody seems to have read). On provisional votes, one of the key changes is that if a person has been removed from the electoral roll by objection on the grounds of non-residence, his or her provisional vote will now not normally be admitted to the count. And as most deletions from the roll are on the grounds of non-residence, that has the potential to have a significant impact. See Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, Schedule 3, clause 12(b)(iii).

  42. 541
    Stephen Sholl

    How can the Greens come back when they are down more then 130% form the available vote that has not been allocated. Are they printing ballot papers. They are two full percentage points short of a quota. I think your suggestion that it is not impossible should be backed up with some figures..

    Have you looked at the published results? The AEC has allocated most if not all the undecided/unallocated vote. We now know what is below the line and what is above the line. the below the line vote is too small to make a difference in the count. OK if they needed 1200% of the BTl vote then Maybe I would acknowledge they had a chance BUT 130% is beyond an honest election and even if there is another 2% of votes hidden away under the AEC desk I would be alarmed if they all went to the Greens.

    Tally up all the group votes for the ALP, Liberal and Greens (They will not be distributed beyond their group).

    Add to that the known Ticket vote allocation… and there is less then 42,000 BTL votes for minor parties that are waiting to be allocated.

    The Greens need 130% of these votes.. 130%… There is not enough votes to go around. And your still saying it is possible. please show me your figures. maybe I have counted it wrong. Its possible I only have a laptop at my disposal…

    Group Vote plus Ticket Vote BTL
    Liberal ALP Green Others Total Quota
    1295308 1287790 372427 42123 2,997,648 428236.4286
    43.211% 42.960% 12.424% 1.405%
    3.024756743 3.007200979 0.869678161 0.098363888
    1.000502132 1.33

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