Week two flotsam and jetsam

Another review of the late counting situation, plus the Labor leadership vote, jockeying to succeed Bob Carr in the Senate, and prospects for electronic voting.

Yet another review of late counting, together with a few other things:

• With McEwen continuing to slip from the Liberals’ grasp, the only remaining lower house seat in doubt is Fairfax, where Clive Palmer received a very handy fillip yesterday when provisional votes pushed his lead out from three to 98. Follow the action here.

• Then there are the Senate races in Western Australia and Tasmania, which are unlikely to become clear until the below-the-line data entry is completed and the button pushed to calculate the outcome (there’s a dedicated thread for Senate counting here, although it’s not doing much business). In the former case, there are probably two seats which hinge on absurdly trivial combinations of micro-party votes and whether they work to the advantage of Australian Sports Party candidate Wayne Dropulich – the fates of Labor and Greens incumbents Louise Pratt and Scott Ludlam as much involved as those of Dropulich and the other potential micro-party winner, Zhenya Wang of the Palmer United Party. The early test for Dropulich is whether he stays ahead of the Rise Up Australia party (0.29%) after his own votes (0.22%) are supplemented by preferences from Australian Voice (0.09%), which has been touch-and-go but has improved for Dropulich on today’s counting. As TruthSeeker observes, Dropulich then needs for the current 183-vote lead of Australian Christians over Shooters & Fishers at Count 21 to hold, which it may not do when below-the-line votes are taken into account. Failing that, Dropulich could be saved if, at Count 19, Help End Marijuana Prohibition failed to hold its present 117-vote lead over the Animal Justice Party, for reasons which would do your head in. On any scenario in which Dropulich wins, the other seat looks set to go to Scott Ludlam of the Greens. If he fails, Zhenya Wang will be joined by Louise Pratt rather than Ludlam, as the Palmer United Party’s direction of preferences to the Greens ahead of Labor would no longer be a factor.

• For Tasmania, Kevin Bonham has the various scenarios neatly laid out in a flow chart, two of which (the final seat going to third Liberal Sally Chandler or Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party) are rated more likely than the others (the win for Robbie Swan of the Sex Party currently projected by Antony Green’s calculator and, with a particularly small chance, a win for Family First). So far as the projection of Antony Green’s calculator is concerned, the trend of counting is towards Robbie Swan of the Sex Party in his fight to stay ahead of the third Labor candidate at Count 21. He took the lead on Tuesday, and it has since gradually opened to 382. However, Bonham’s rough calculation is that it will need to be more like 800 to save him from below-the-line vote leakage. Of the many absurdities in this state of affairs, I have two favourites. One is that the Liberals need the Labor vote to be as high as possible to help ensure Swan’s exclusion, which presumably means Liberal scrutineers are fighting with Labor ones to ensure potential Labor votes are included in the count. The second, noted by Kevin Bonham, is that voters confusing the Liberal Democrats with the Liberals is actually to the Liberals’ advantage, as they have various paths to victory which involve the Liberal Democrats staying ahead of the Palmer United Party or Family First, while their own vote total is essentially academic at this stage.

• Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes was thought by many to have jumped the gun yesterday when he refuted media speculation he might replace Bob Carr in the Senate, given Carr is yet to announce any intention on that front. However, the universal expectation that it will be so is indicated by jockeying to fill the spot. Troy Bramston of The Australian reports that Carr wishes to be succeeded by Graeme Wedderburn, who has been his chief-of-staff both as Premier and Foreign Minister. However, it is today reported that state secretary Jamie Clements has called for the position to go to Deborah O’Neil, who lost her seat of Robertson at the September 7 election, pleading affirmative action. Graeme Wedderburn held senior positions with Westpac and Origin Energy following Carr’s retirement as Premier in 2005, before being lured back to the job by Nathan Rees in 2009 in part by the promise of a Senate seat down the track. However, he was denied a vacancy at the 2010 election due to an arrangement in which Matt Thistlethwaite, who is now entering the lower house as Peter Garrett’s successor in Kingsford-Smith, was given a Senate seat to ease him out of the state secretary position.

• At the beginning of what promises to be a bumper season of electoral reform debate, the Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand offers a paper on Internet voting in Australian electoral systems. A trailblazer on this score has been Estonia, which has provided for voting over the internet at national elections since 2007, and allowed for voting over mobile phones at the 2011 election, at which the overall take-up rate was nearly a quarter of all votes cast. However, simplifying matters somewhat in Estonia’s case is its national identity card. The paper observes that survey research by the Western Australian Electoral Commission found satisfaction that internet voting would be secured had increased from a third of all respondents in 2005 to a half in 2013. Electronic voting more broadly, including “kiosk” voting conducted within polling stations, is spruiked as offering lower costs, improved formality, more accurate capture of preferences (trials with overseas personnel in 2007 found a higher take-up rate for below-the-line voting), and opportunities for assisting vision-impaired or non-English speaking voters.

• I’ve had too little to say on the Labor leadership election process, of which I’m all in favour, but there’s a useful review of the New Zealand and British precendents from David Donaldson in Crikey.

• Six months out from the state election, there was an EMRS opinion poll from Tasmania out yesterday, which you can read all about in the post below.

• Another new post directly below deals with the state by-election for Miranda in New South Wales, to be held on October 19.

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.

1,310 comments on “Week two flotsam and jetsam”

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  1. guytaur

    It certainly shows how corrupt it was. The winning Qatar bid was unacceptable due to their extreme heat so they just changed the rules after they won it.

  2. Mexicanbeemer,

    Even good members with low leadership ambitions and media profiles in Vic suffered bad swings, particularly in that area of Melbourne. I’m not entirely sure your comment is relevant, especially given the significant differences in the two electorates.

  3. http://thehoopla.com.au/turn-tony

    /There is no climate change
    under the government he leads. No humanitarian crisis, either. And, no equality.

    Turn back the climate. Turn back the boats. Turn back the women.

    The most powerful man in the land is behaving like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Fingers shoved firmly in his ears, saying “la, la, la, la, la, la”, he ignores 97 per cent of the world’s scientists to “doom future generations”, according to scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki.

    Instead, he’s listening to the chair of his Business Advisory Council, Maurice Newman, who’s attacked the CSIRO, the weather bureau, and the “myth” of anthropological climate change.

    The clever country no longer has a minister for science, for the first time since 1931. Nor a minister for climate change.

    In the words of Australia’s chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, “These sorts of issues are not going away just because we ignore them.”

    As Albert Einstein once said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human

  4. [Does Clive get the perks of office immediately or does he have to wait for the recount?]

    He gets his entitlements from the day of the declaration of the poll, which won’t happen until after a recount.

  5. Julia Baird looks at some history that lead to the one woman cabinet.

    [For women, party of merit is tanking it

    Over the past decade, there has been a subterranean cultural fight over gender within the party that is rarely spoken of, and only ever with microphones off, through gritted teeth.

    When I interviewed Bishop for my book Media Tarts 10 years ago, she said men had a vested interest in keeping women out of cabinet: ”If women are able to compete equally, what you do for men is, you double your competition … If you look at our frontbench, most of the blokes have stay-at-home wives.]


  6. AA, crooks in the ranks of the BOF govt. ? That chap from Grafton went in the first week, then Nick Greiner was convicted of serious fraud, Greg Pearce lol, and now it’s Pru Gowards turn. Next please

  7. lizzie

    Don’t know. This ballot brilliant though. Most airtime for selling Labor meassage in opposition just after a loss I have ever seen.

    Shorten coverage only ending as I type this

  8. The wheels are conveniently falling off the liberal buses after the election.

    Shaw in victoria was charged during the week
    Now the NSW ministers under investigation
    Barnett loses AAA rating.

    How convenient!!

  9. BH

    Only catching up with posts. If you are around. The game last night was great but nerveracking.

    All the best for the Swans this evening.

  10. poroti

    Excellent article by Julie Baird. Julie Bishop has always been part of a pro-women push. Keeping stumm as Abbott’s “good girl” must be extremely galling for her. But hey, that’s politics 🙁

  11. Abbott has inspired his “Stop The Science” brothers in the US .

    [It seemed entirely harmless: the creation of an honorary and unpaid position of science laureate of the United States to travel around the country and inspire children to be future scientists.

    But Republicans in Congress last week quashed the initiative, which had gained rare bipartisan support, on the grounds that a science laureate might support action on climate change.]

  12. [I do wonder if Labor will target Brough, now that he is an MP again?]

    Vic, I think they are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of Big Clive doing that for them. 🙂

  13. [I do wonder if Labor will target Brough, now that he is an MP again?]

    I doubt Labor will do anything that reminds people of Slipper. Rudd, Gillard, Thompson, Slipper – the quicker all that is relegated to history, the better.

  14. Love that Burke reminds voters the last time a Liberal govt decided to keep information from the public we saw those Australians wrongfully deported.

  15. Interesting to note that even though we’ve returned to majority government, the public has returned the same number of cross benchers in the HoR as the last election.

  16. zoomster@941

    Yay! Mike Carlton endorsing my idea…

    Next, Labor must ensure the membership gets to vote on candidates for the upper houses, federal and state.

    I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but YOUR idea, or ideas very close to it have been floating around almost as long as I can remember.

    But of course they never progressed because it always means those holding power need to give some of it up.

    When did you tell Mike Carlton of YOUR idea?

  17. Badcat 1241 re Mick 77 and military service
    I think Mick may have confused his service in the Israeli Army …many of them do so even if Australian citizens
    It is called “alia”

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