Saturday, September 11
As you may have noticed, I have kind of dropped the ball on following the late Senate count normally a richly absorbing pastime in the post-election dead zone, but in the past three weeks there have been bigger fish to fry than the precise make-up of a Senate that will clearly have the Greens holding the balance of power. The AEC has pushed the button on the counts in Queensland (three LNP, two Labor, one Greens) and the ACT (one Labor, one Liberal), with the others presumably to follow shortly. There has never been any doubt about New South Wales (two Liberal and one National, two Labor, one Greens), Western Australia (three Liberal, two Labor, one Greens), Tasmania (three Labor, two Liberal, one Greens) and the Northern Territory (one Labor, one Country Liberal Party). Doubt has also faded about the remainder:
Victoria. What at first appeared the quirky prospect of win for DLP candidate John Madigan has firmed. I personally anticipated the resources of incumbency might mean Family First would perform strongly on declaration votes, but they have actually gone backwards: according to the ABC projection, a 0.12 per cent deficit against the DLP at the revelant point in the count on election night has actually widened to 0.22 per cent. The Coalition have also failed to make up the ground needed to overtake the DLP at the penultimate count, with the gap now at an unassailable 0.72 per cent. That leaves us looking at a result of two Labor, one Liberal and one Nationals, one Greens and one DLP.
South Australia. There was briefly the prospect a week ago of an upset win by Bob Day of Family First at the expense of third Liberal candidate David Fawcett, but we now appear to be looking at a vanilla-flavoured three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens result. At the second last count, the ABC computer projects Fawcett to be on 8.89 per cent against 8.16 per cent for Day. With Day excluded, Family First and other right-wing preferences put Fawcett well ahead of the third Labor candidate.
There is thus little doubt that the newly elected Senators will include 18 from the Coalition, (12 Liberal, two Nationals, three Liberal National Party and one Country Liberal Party), 15 from Labor, six from the Greens and one DLP. These will join the state Senators whose terms began following the 2007 election 16 Labor, 16 Coalition (14 Liberals and two Nationals), three Greens and Nick Xenophon for a total result of 34 Coalition (26 Liberal, four Nationals, another three from the Liberal National Party including two who will sit with the Liberals and one who will sit with the Nationals, and one Country Liberal Party who sits with the Nationals), 31 Labor, nine Greens, one DLP and Nick Xenophon.
Monday, August 23
Kevin Bonham and GhostWhoVotes in comments note my assessment of Tasmania was mistaken, as it wrongly allocated Liberal preferences to the Greens over Labor like they normally would. There is in fact little doubt the final result will be three Labor, two Liberal and one Greens, meaning the defeat of Liberal incumbent Guy Barnett by Labor’s Lisa Singh, a former state government minister who lost her seat in Denison at the March state election.
Saturday, August 21
A brief and bleary summary of the Senate situation, based on a quick and dirty review of Antony Green’s projections. This will be progressively updated as further results come to hand. The Greens look good for a Senate seat from each state and will hold an unassailable balance-of-power position in the Senate. The best shot for a quirky result is Victoria where the Democratic Labor Party are currently in the hunt as is incumbent Steve Fielding, despite reports to the contrary.
New South Wales. This looks like a reasonably straightforward result of three Coalition and two Labor, with Lee Rhiannon of the Greens on a 2.5 per cent lead over the third Labor candidate for the final place.
Victoria. It is widely being reported that Steve Fielding has lost his seat, based on assessments of Antony Green’s projection that went no deeper than the predicted final result. The remarkable fact of said projection is the win for the Democratic Labor Party, who would be advised not to count their chickens. Four counts earlier, the DLP emerge ahead of Steve Fielding by the narrowest of margins, resulting in the former receiving the latter’s preferences and vice-versa. The DLP then emerges ahead of the third Coalition candidate and wins the seat on their third preferences, but it could just as easily be fielding who does this. Alternatively, neither could win Fielding or the DLP could fail to get ahead of the third Coalition candidate, who might end up taking the seat instead. Or they could get ahead, but then fall short of overtaking Labor in the final count, so that Labor wins the seat.
Queensland. Three Liberal National, two Labor, one Greens.
Western Australia. A delightfully straightforward result, with the Liberals just over three quotas, Labor just over two (a remarkably low 29.8 per cent) and the Greens almost bang on one.
South Australia. Bob Day of Family First looks like he’s come close to overtaking the third Liberal candidate, but is currently 0.4 per cent behind and likely to lose ground in late counting. That being so, the final seat looks set go to the third Liberal, who looks about 3 per cent ahead of third Labor. Result: three Liberal, two Labor, one Greens.
Tasmania. Not only has Christine Milne been easily re-elected for the Greens, the current ABC projection has their second candidate just 1 per cent short of overtaking the Liberals at the second last count, and then winning the seat at the expense of a third Labor candidate. The exclusion of the second Green instead delivers the latter a narrow win over the third Liberal candidate. However, the unusually high number of below-the-line votes in Tasmania might makes things unpredictable. Realistically, the contest is between Labor and the Liberals to take a third seat, with the former slightly ahead.
The territories. Liberal Gary Humphries has only just cleared a quota (one third) in the ACT, but will be made comfortable by Democrats preference and a high rate of leakage. Equally, Labor wasn’t too far over a quota in the Northern Territory.