Wild west wash-up

Upper house results from the Western Australian election are coming through this afternoon, and we will also have Premier-elect Colin Barnett announce his new cabinet. The first upper house result comes from Mining and Pastoral, which has gone two Labor (Jon Ford and Helen Bullock), two Liberal (Norman Moore and Ken Baston), one Nationals (Wendy Duncan) and one Greens (Robin Chapple). Full preference distribution here. It earlier appeared possible that second Nationals candidate David Grills might win a seat at the expense of the Greens, but Chapple emerged 8168 to 7070 ahead at the final count.

This post will be progressively updated as information becomes available.

UPDATE (1.30pm): Cabinet announced. Included are three Nationals (Brendon Grylls in regional development, Terry Waldron in sport and recreation and Terry Redman in agriculture) along with independent Liz Constable, who takes education from Peter Collier, who instead gets energy and training. Constable is one of only three women out of 17, and the only one in the lower house. The others are Robyn McSweeney as Child Protection and Community Services Minister and Donna Faragher as Environment Minister, the latter a surprise inclusion at the expense of former Shadow Women’s Affairs Minister Helen Morton.

UPDATE (3.30pm): North Metropolitan, East Metropolitan and South Metropolitan have all gone Liberal three, Labor two and Greens one. Still to come are Agricultural (likely result Nationals three, Liberals two and Labor one, although the third Nationals seat might go to Liberal-turned-Family First member Anthony Fels) and South West (looking like three Liberal, two Labor and one Nationals).

UPDATE (3.40pm): Three Liberal, two Labor and one Nationals in South West.

UPDATE (4.50pm): Three Nationals, two Liberals and one Labor in Agricultural. Final result: 16 Liberal, 11 Labor, five Nationals, four Greens.

UPDATE (Saturday): Full preference distributions:

North Metropolitan
East Metropolitan
South Metropolitan
South West
Mining and Pastoral

Listed below are close-ish results at the final counts. There were no tremendously close calls earlier in the counts that might have proved decisive, such as Family First or CDP candidates getting ahead of Liberal or Nationals candidates in South West or Agricultural.

Greens #1: 41489 (15.0%) ELECTED
Labor #3: 37106 (13.5%)

Greens #1: 43516 (15.5%) ELECTED
Liberal #3: 40174 (14.3%) ELECTED
Labor #3: 34640 (12.4%)

Liberal #3: 22124 (14.4%) ELECTED
Greens #1: 20992 (13.6%)

Nationals #3: 11096 (15.2%) ELECTED
Labor #2: 8971 (12.3%)

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.

228 comments on “Wild west wash-up”

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  1. I’m intrigued as to why Helen Morton missed out on a Ministry. I would have thought that Barnett would be eager to have as many women as possible in Ministerial offices. She was a reasonably effective shadow Minister for Women’s Interests, too.

    Buswell has a LOT of portfolios!

  2. Chapple has won his seat with 2,710 primary votes. This proves my assertion that the Greens sided with the conservatives to preserve the outrageous rural gerrymander in the Council to create rotten boroughs for themselves.

  3. William when are you going to setup a thread on the ACT election?

    The ACT has the same flawed system of counting the vote as the Australian Senate which saw the Greens being unjustly denied representation in Queensland.

    Judging by correspondence received by Andrew Moyes, Deputy Electoral Commissioner, the ACT is also looking at not wanting to maintain an open and transparent election as they will only be providing access to the raw preference data files sometime next year. Three months after the election. In order to try and limit access to this information they also intend to charge a fee for a copy of the data file.

    This Information should be readily and freely available and published as part of the declaration of the elections results.

    My guess is that they do not want the public to know the true results should it turn out that the election result is effected by the inbuilt distortion in the counting system.

    It is unclear if this data will be made available to scrutineers. Without access to the data file it is impossible to properly scutinize an electronic computerised count.

  4. #6 – Mr Orange
    Yes, I suppose that makes sense. Still, I thought Barnett would strike a conciliatory tone, both within his party and in his dealings with others. This is not a promising early sign.

  5. Adam #3: Do you know if the result was effected as a result of the flawed method used in distributing ballot papers form excluded candidates? Did the change in the WA elections introducing the weighted value of the vote Surplus Transfer value come into play? Has the WAEC published the raw preference data-files? This information is essential if proper and detailed analysis of the election results is be undertaken.

  6. Adam in Canberra: Still alive and well… But the principle of maintaining an open and transparent electoral process is essential to the acceptance of the outcome. Antony Green failed to do the annals of the 2007 Queensland Senate count. had he done so he would have came to the same conclusion that the Greens has been unfairly denied representation. Publciation of the raw data-file should be a matter of course. This is a similar issue to the US not providing a paper trial in their electronic ballots

    Now I am not a great fan of the Greens, as you know, and I have been an active member of the ALP for over 30 years (So I am pleased that the ALP hads gained an extra seat in the upper-house) BUT I think the system should reflect accurately the voters intention don’t you?

  7. [Constable is one of only three women out of 17, and the only one in the lower house. The others are Robyn McSweeney as Child Protection and Community Services Minister and Donna Faragher as Environment Minister, the latter a surprise inclusion at the expense of former Shadow Women’s Affairs Minister Helen Morton.]

    And watch Labor put in more females in Key shadow portfolios.

  8. Adam in the Senate County: Do you support the notion that Elections should be open and transparent and accurately reflect the voters intention. Or is near enough good enough for you? I suppose you support the fact that the Greens were denied unfairly representation in the QLD senate. You are aware that David Feeney could have readily lost his seat on the red leather as a result of the distortion in the way the Senate is counted? All it would have taken was for One Nation to have preferenced the Liberals ahead of Labor and then to the Greens. I don’t know about you BUT I think the electoral system should be fair and accurate. I also would like to know that the WA upper-house results was fair and accurate. Which is wahy I support the publihsing of the details of the elections results. Maybe you don’t. Your choice.

  9. Matt C 8 – Barnett cant work with people – thats why he came undone previously. This tenuous arrangement will unravel pretty soon I think

  10. #19 – It had been my expectation that the Barnett government wouldn’t be characterised by the sort of arrogance and partisanship that you could usually expect of a first-term government, due to the simple fact of Barnett’s tenuous position rendering him unwilling to piss too many people off. Perhaps that will not be the case.

  11. Not sure why Green deserve a 3rd seat in the senate in QLD in 2007

    Lib/Nat had 2.83 quota
    Lab had 2.74 quota
    Green had .5125 quota

    3Lib/Nat 3 Lab seems like a fair result

    If the minor parties preferred Labor than the Greens, the Greens might need to look at why that is

  12. #19 Barnett cannot work with people, yet somehow an electorate voted him in, enough people supported him for him to get nominated for an electorate, enough members of the Lib parliamentary party supported him that he became opposition leader and then enough western australians like him to become premier. Wow you must know a side of him that no one else sees

  13. Er, you seem to be ignoring the obvious dovif – he didnt win the election, Labor lost it. The nationals handed him governemnt. And he was only brought back from the brink of retirement because there was no one else. the fact he was preselected into a safe seat means the party probably knows he’s a dill and couldnt win a marginal

  14. #25 dovif……and people voted Buswell back in too. That doesnt necessarily make him a respectable human being does it? Or maybe it does in your eyes? Maybe people know a side of him other than chair sniffing and sending the Busselton Shire broke? Who knows and who really cares.

    Barnett has only been leader of the parliamentary liberal party for 10 minutes (this time around that is) which doesnt give him a record in leadership of any worth in my humble opinion. He has already been rolled once before for being arrogant and exclusive….slugs dont normally change their slime.

  15. People voted for a child molester in NSW, Mrs Iguana “do you know who I am got voted in too”

    No Barnett is not perfect, but if he is that bad with people, he would have had no chance of getting into that position, he must be doing something right.

  16. #30 dovif…….”No Barnett is not perfect”.

    I agree, but one only has to look at the rabble they had to pick from and sure enough, Barney came up trumps. Only time will tell 🙂

  17. I’m pleased all the regions are working out with the same numbers as my calculator.

    democracy@work. The ACT DOES NOT have the same system as the Senate. It is an almost exact copy of Tasmanian Hare-Clark. As for the analysis of the QLD senate, you sent me a confusing 70 page print out with nothing about preferences that produces a victory for the Greens for no immediately apparent reason. I’ve been asked by MPs why your system produces a Green victory, and my answer is I don’t know. If you want the JSCEM to adopt your Senate counting system, your going to have to produce something which is understandable.

  18. #26 dovif. Not being able to work with people isn’t always a barrier to attaining high office. A example would be the former treasurer of NSW. Also, you have to remember, that Barnett got the leadership when no one was giving the Libs a snowballs chance in hell of winning the next election. Being chosen to lead a fractious opposition to defeat, and being chosen to run a minority government could be considered to require different attributes.

    As an aside I notice Collier didn’t get Education, which according to the quote in the Australian’s coverage left him “slightly disappointed”. I wonder how disappointed he really is and weather it’ll come back to bite Barnett, and if it does how long it will take.

  19. [Adam in Canberra at 3

    Chapple has won his seat with 2,710 primary votes. This proves my assertion that the Greens sided with the conservatives to preserve the outrageous rural gerrymander in the Council to create rotten boroughs for themselves.]

    Adam, I appreciate you don’t like the Greens but it appears to me that Robin Chapple polled 4 783 primary votes not 2 710. I got my numbers of the spreadsheet provided by the WAEC, where did you get yours?

  20. One thing I have noticed with the Liberal party is that much of their internal bickerings, fights, divisions etc, are based on individual personalities, ie “your my mate because I hate you less than him”.

    Unlike the Labor party which has a more organised, formalised system for internal fighting based on factional groups, ie “I hate you because your in another faction”.

    This will make life difficult for Barney, particularly when Govt sits on a knife edge. Upset the wrong person/people and there isnt any formal structure in place to manage the resulting dummy spit….and thats something the Lib’s do well.

  21. I presume Adam took the numbers from the ABC site. Someone else was confused about that earlier. The WAEC issued no updated LC primary votes after completing the polling booth count on Tuesday last week. That’s why the ABC site is way behind in terms of numbers. Not much you can do to update a site if new figures aren’t released. I’m currently manually updating the LA figures every morning to try and update the site.

  22. [William: any word from WAEC on Dee Margett’s complaint re Ag ballots not being secured, or the missing 1000 Geraldton ballots?]

    Re Geardlton, they were found in another district’s box.

    [The saga of Geraldton’s missing votes has taken another twist, after they were found in another ballot box.

    More than 1000 ballot papers, or about six per cent of the total votes in the electorate, became lost on their way to the Fremantle counting centre after the September 6 election.

    A decision was made earlier this week to exclude them from the count but today they were found in another box at the centre.

    The box, for the Wagin district, had previously been examined.

    Deputy electoral commissioner Lyn Sirkett said the votes would now be counted before the Geraldton result is declared tomorrow.]


  23. Yes I took the Greens vote from the ABC website, sorry about that. But it doesn’t alter my point. M&P and Agricultural are rotten boroughs created (or rather preserved) by the Greens in defiance of every principle of democratic representation, in the hope of winning seats with a handful of votes, as they have in fact done in M&P. In the process they have given the Lib-Nats a massive upper house majority. The Lib-Nats got 45.2% of the statewide Legislative Council primary vote. That earned them 21 of 36 seats (58.3%), thanks to the grotesque malapportionment of Council electorates. The Nats got 5.5% of the vote and have 13.8% of the seats. This is entirely the responsibility of the Greens. Well done ferals, I hope you enjoy the next four years – uranium mining, forestry, the whole deal. You deserve it.

  24. Daniel @ 47

    Make mo mistake, Labor wish they had won. Not only because it’s so much nicer to be a member of the government than a member of the opposition, but because they really do believe the “Barnett Liberals-Nationals government” (as he has asked them to be known) will be poorer governors of the state.

    Personally I hope they rise to the occasion for all our sakes. But there is a lot stacked against them (minority government that includes 3 independents, personal rivalries and personality clashes, global economic gloom, highly cynical electorate, etc, etc, etc)

  25. Adam in canberra

    I do not know what you are talking about, you might want to check this out


    In Agricultral the Lib+ Nat vote = 4.65quota, FF and CDP = .38 giving the conservatives 5 seats, they had no help from green
    In South west Lib + Nat = 3.52quota FF, ONP and CDP = .50quota giving the conservatives 5 seats, they had no help from green
    In Mining and Pastorial it was the ALP’s preference that elected the Green, I think you were right there the ALP should have given it to the Liberal… butit was the low ALP vote that cost them the seat

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