Victorian election stuff

Past time for a new thread for discussion of the looming Victorian state election. The campaign period will officially begin with the issue of the writs on Melbourne cup day (November 2), but thanks to fixed terms we all know the date will be November 27. Morgan has released some qualitative research findings, the upshot of which is that John Brumby is less unpopular than Ted Baillieu. The Victorian Electoral Commission has a state election page in action (including, praise be, polling booth locations on Google Maps), Antony Green’s election guide is open for business and Ben Raue at The Tally Room so far has entries for 47 electorates out of 88 completed for his election guide. My own effort has been hampered by post-federal election fatigue and will probably have to wait to mid-campaign.

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.

38 comments on “Victorian election stuff”

  1. I think that Footscray will be one of the more psephologically contests of the election because of the rising Green vote and the Candidacy of Cr Cumming (10% 2002, 14% 2006).

    Last election the Greens distributed split how to vote cards with the only difference being the positions of the ALP and CR Cumming.

  2. This thread was top thread on the main page for 4 minutes. The previous Victorian thread was top thread for 7 minutes.

  3. Four minutes! Tom the One, that is a disgrace. I, for one take this personally and am contemplating a strong note to Management. After all, Victoria is the heart and soul of this nation. Queesland is just plain silly, South Australia is, well, er, south, West Australia is a hole, New South Wales is on something and should not be taken seriously in civilized company. Tasmania is cold, hence the hair shirts.

    Bird of paradox: Don’t know if Cleary is running. Does he still have a following?

  4. Surely Newspoll soon,.. ARgghhhhh.
    Next tues is melbourne cup day and from memory they tend to come out on Tuesday. William, is it possible to drag the last couple (State Newspolls) out of the archives?

  5. I doubt that Cleary will run, my goss from alp sources is that he is unwilling to do a swap with the Greens and as such he doesn’t think he can do a Wilkie, so other gossip that he may run in a nearby seat that suits him better, Lower green vote but easier to challenge the ALP?

  6. The Liberals are going to delay the announcing of the decision on Greens preferences in the inner city seats (esp Melbourne, Bruswick, Richmond, Northcote) for as long as possible for two reasons – first to make Labor pour resources into winning those seats (as Melissa Fyfe pointed out)
    Secondly – to avoid antagonising the Nationals and rural voters for the whole campaign, especially if they are trying to make issues of things like the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

    This is a pretty boring build-up to an election, so I think some in the media may latch onto this as an “exciting” side-line and may start actually pressing Baillieu on it. I fully expect the Liberals to preference the Greens in every lower house seat where they think there is a chance that the Greens will take it from Labor. If Labor is forced into minority government with Greens support I then fully expect the Liberals to “bleat” about those terrible Greens in the lower house for four years.

  7. Thanks Antony.

    If you adjust the Coalition v Labor TPP to 50:50, then a swing to the Greens of 3.7% to 8.3% gives the Greens 3 seats, Indi 1 and the majors 42 each.

    Note to PBers – make sure you scroll down (which I didn’t do initially) – the individual seats change before your eyes.

    I think that it is looking likely that the Greens will get these 3 seats, which certainly makes Labor’s position harder to get a majority. It will be somewhat ironic if Labor gets a bit “burned” by the Federal Labor polling – seemingly the opposite of what happened in Queensland and NSW two months ago!

  8. *transforms into Liberal Party power-broker*

    Nice to meet you Greens – we have asked to meet you to discuss the Victorian election. Of course this meeting never took place and I am not actually even a member of the Liberal Party. But – we have shown you that we have the power to put Greens into Lower Houses – Adam Bandt is the first Green elected into the House of Representatives at a General election, but he only got there because we directed preferences to him.

    We can do the same in Victoria – we can possibly get four of you into the Legislative Assembly if we direct preferences to you. But this time we want something in return – if you offer us nothing in return we will just put the Greens last and make a big show of it for our National Party colleagues. I am not just saying that – we have the newspaper and TV advertisements ready to go.

    In the end, any deal will matter much more to you than it does to us – sure we can embarrass Labor and dump a few Ministers but at the end of the day whether there is a Green or a Labor member in those seats will not affect whether or not we form government (because there is only likely to be the one independent Craig Ingram, and so unless we get 44 seats between us and the Nats we won’t be the Government).

    So, how much do you want representation in the Lower House, with the possibility of a share in a Labor-Green Government? And don’t even bother offering us preferences in Lower House seats – we know that Greens voters give about 80% of their preferences to Labor no matter what your cards say. What we want is some Upper House “Above-the-Line” preferences in some of the Regions. You don’t have to direct all the votes to us ahead of Labor – you can “split” your ticket and effectively give half to the Coalition and half to Labor.

    So do you want the possibility of a role in Government, or do you want to remain in the refined air of the Legislative Council? Just think of all the parties that never made it to the lower houses, where Governments are formed – do you want to be different? You have a great opportunity here, but we are not going to give it away for free. The ball’s in your court – what can you give us?

  9. 11

    The ALP would have “a vote for the Greens is a vote for the Liberals/Coalition” adds running within hours of the ATL preferences being published by the VEC and the Greens vote would drop. A Green LC split ticket would be psephologically interesting because the increase in the Green BTL vote and the decrease in the Green ATL vote. If the ALP retained a majority with the help of Liberal preferences then the Greens might be disposed to mention it as much as possible. In the LCV only 5 preferences are required for a formal BLT vote.

    With the margins from the Commonwealth election showing reasonable margins in the Greens favour in state Melbourne and Richmond (7.5% and 5% respectively) the Liberals might decide that running split tickets would divert the most ALP resources in those seats and would also be quite psephologically interesting.

  10. Would the Liberals really need a “payback” for giving the Greens preferences in these inner city seats? Surely the prospect of making trouble between Labor and the Greens is reward enough.

  11. [Would the Liberals really need a “payback”]
    There are many federal libs who are fairly browned off that the party didn’t try and get anything out of the greens for the preferences in Melbourne (and those others that the Greens didn’t win).

    As I said, in my “role” as a Liberal powerbroker, I would definitely try and get something this time. After all the Libs hold the whip hand, and if the Greens renege on any deal, well Adam Bandt can go back to his former job in 2013. “Tit for Tat”

  12. Bird of Pardox @ 4

    Andrew Landeryou at Vexnews was reporting a few days ago that Phil Cleary was considering runing for Pascoe Vale as it was suspected that the Greens were using him as a preference feeder.

  13. The editor of the Wekly Times was on the ABC this afternoon with the line that the Libs preferencing the Grens would go down very badly with the Nats and Country Victoria generally.

    With the coalition unlikely to get a majority in its own right – a Greens tail wagging the Labor dog may be a more unpalatable prospect than a Brumby government.

  14. 11 Tom

    *transforms into Greens Party power-broker collective*

    “A vote for the Greens is most definitely not a vote for the Liberals. We encourage Greens supporters to distribute their preferences however they see fit, and data from the VEC tells us that our voters do just that, much more than the major party voters.

    In the Upper House we would like our supporters to vote below the line in each region, numbering the Greens candidates 1 to 5. That is all they need to do to record a valid vote. What they do after that is up to them – unlike the major parties we are not so arrogant as to tell them what to do.

    We are required by the VEC to submit “Above The Line” preference flows, and so we have submitted flows which are divided equally between the Labor Party and the Coalition. So any Greens supporters voting above the line are most definitely NOT supporting the Liberal Party any more than they are supporting Labor. They are supporting the Greens and we hope their votes will elect a Greens member in each region.

    We are here for the long term. We are not just making up the numbers as some sort of short-lived “third party” – we are going from strength to strength in each election across Australia and we aim to be shaping governments from all sides of politics in the coming years”

  15. 16 blackburnpseph

    *transforms into Liberal Party power-broker*

    [Libs preferencing the Greens would go down very badly with the Nats and Country Victoria generally.]
    This is why we must get something from the Greens. We really can play “hardball” as without our prefs in those inner city seats the Greens are condemned to remain only in the “house of review”, about as relevant as the Democrats or the “Meg Lees Australian Progressive Alliance”. We need to play the “long game” and show that we will not be toyed with. As for the Nats, they generally seem to swallow anything we say, so that shouldn’t present too much of a problem, and if we can show the “split ticket” above-the-line payback in some or all regions that should do the trick.

  16. Blackburn at 15: Yeah, I saw that. I generally don’t trust anything I read there though, it’s too tainted by fanatical hatred of the Greens. Meanwhile, a Google search doesn’t turn up any real news articles (Herald Sun, Age etc) more recent than about a week ago.

    This comes via Tally Room:

    Apparently the Liberal candidate promises the South Morang extension of the Epping railway line will be built… by 2020, naturally with yet another feasibility study done first. This is something originally promised by Labor when they got elected way back in 1999. The Labor MP is so sure he’s lying that she’s officially complained to the VEC about it. Rather odd… neither party can really campaign on their ability to build passenger rail.

  17. I was working in Epping about ten years ago and I used to reflect on the “end of the train-line” issue with all the massive development that was happening to the north of there. The funny thing is that the rail corridor has existed for more than 100 years – I think it was an old “dairy” line in the days before milk tanker trucks. At that stage there was I think there was only one section that had been sold (or leased for 100 years or something) so it did seem quite feasible to get the train “back on the rails” so to speak.

    Now sometimes travelling through the Rowville area for work I see this as another huge “hole” in the transport network. People knock Sydney but at least they have built a few “non-radial” connecting train lines. There are really none in Melbourne, the closest is the Alamein line (remnant of Outer Circle) which nearly joins on to the Glen Waverley line [and that line was extended to Springvale Rd in 1931 I think and it still finishes there while Melbourne has grown just a little since then!]

  18. Labor promised to build the Rowville extension in the lead up to 1999 but that went the way of South Morang, Dandenong triplication, Ringwood triplication, and the airport railway. At least South Morang is finally getting built, although cynics might argue that’s more about shoring up Yan Yean than anything else…..

    Issue with Rowville is that most of the area along the route is developed, so you need to put most of it in a tunnel, unless you create some ugly elevated railway along Wellington Road. It would serve areas like Monash Uni and the Waverley Park development, but governments have baulked at spending so much money on what is effectively a branch line.

  19. There was actually a station at South Morang until the early 1950’s on the old (unelectrified) line to Whittlesea. As I understand it the right of way corridor to Whittlesea is still intact throughout. The old railway carried both passengers and freight, but after Thomastown / Epping it was primarily a rural, rather than urban service in those days , of course.

    Most of the old station platforms can still be identified. The Yan Yean one is quite well preserved.

  20. There was a fuss in the Diamond Valley news (online thumbs up/down section) where it seems that the local bus company was planning to run a trial St Andrews/Panton Hill/Smiths Gully route to Hurstbridge station, but the public transport people stopped it.

    Have heard of internal Lib fedupness with Baillieu’s laziness, and that some Lib mps are thought by their colleagues to be there for the comfy seat & special car.

  21. 26

    The Rowville line would be built in a cutting in the median strip of Wellington Rd.

    Doncaster is the other big gap that needs filling.

  22. [ At least South Morang is finally getting built, although cynics might argue that’s more about shoring up Yan Yean than anything else….. ]

    If Yan Yean needs to be shored up, Labor’s in deeper trouble than anybody seems to think. An 8% uniform swing would lose them govt easily.

  23. Wiggins wrote.
    Have heard of internal Lib fedupness with Baillieu’s laziness, and that some Lib mps are thought by their colleagues to be there for the comfy seat & special car.
    Expect Nats to split immediately after the election.
    Re Bails, good friend said to me the other day./ “Fing libs, what hope are they, bloody Naphine has been leader for 8 years and no-one even knows his name.” Ha Ha Ha, didn’t have the heart to tell him he was off the mark, cause I thought it was a fascinating ‘focus’ group response. He’s no dill I think its a cracker of a insight into the state of the Fibs in Victoria.

  24. @30

    As i said at Tallyroom, you don’t expect to see candidates pull this sort of thing unless they think they’re struggling. Why draw attention to yourself with what is a pretty silly stunt if you’re ahead?

  25. 33

    That article is not correct in claiming that Liberal Preferences could give the Greens Prahran because the Liberal preferences will not be distributed. If the Greens win Prahran it will be on ALP preferences (the ALP won`t direct preferences to the Liberals) after overtaking them (only an outside chance).

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