Senate call of the board

Senate results sliced and diced as the final determinations are reached, starting with the first two: Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

The first two Senate results were determined today, for Tasmania and the Northern Territory. No further results will be decided until at least next week, with the possibility of some having to wait until a week subsequently. This post will review the results as they emerge.

Western Australia (October 2)

The one we’ve all been waiting for: it’s Louise Pratt and PUP, rather than Scott Ludlam and Sports, possibly pending an unprecedented Senate recount. 1. David Johnston (Liberal); 2. Joe Bullock (Labor); 3. Michaelia Cash (Liberal); 4. Linda Reynolds (Liberal); 5. Zhenya Wang (PUP); 6. Louise Pratt (Labor).

The result was decided by a difference of just 14 votes, that being the margin at the key point of the count between Shooters & Fishers (23,515) and Australian Christians (23,501). Going on the ABC computer projection, the margin at that point in the count was 23,395 for Shooters & Fishers against 22,967 for Australian Christians. So below-the-line votes cost van Burgel 534 vote and Bow 120 – not quite enough to make the difference. Had Shooters & Fishers dropped out, their preferences would have gone to the Australian Sports Party, sustaining them at a point in the count where they would otherwise have been excluded. There would then have come a later point in the count where the Palmer United Party would have been excluded on account of being behind the Sports Party, and their preferences would have flowed to the Greens giving Ludlam the seat at the expense of Pratt.

New South Wales (October 2)

As anticipated, 1. Marise Payne (Liberal), 2. Bob Carr (Labor), 3. John Williams (Nationals), 4. Doug Cameron (Labor), 5. David Leyonhjelm (LDP); 6. Arthur Sinodinos (Liberal).

Queensland (October 2)

No surprises here either, except that it’s come sooner than anticipated. 1. Ian Macdonald (LNP), 2. Chris Ketter (Labor), 3. James McGrath (LNP), 4. Claire Moore (Labor), 5. Glenn Lazarus (PUP) & 6. Matt Canavan (LNP).

Victoria (October 1)

1. Mitch Fifield (Liberal), 2. Gavin Marshall (Labor), 3. Scott Ryan (Liberal), 4. Jacinta Collins (Labor), 5. Janet Rice (Greens); 6. Ricky Muir (Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party).

Also confirmed today, and also in line with what all models were projecting.

South Australia (October 1)

1. Cory Bernardi (Liberal); 2. Nick Xenophon; 3. Penny Wong (Labor); 4. Sarah Hanson-Young (Greens); 5. Bob Day (Family First); 6. Simon Birmingham (Liberal).

Confirmed today, with no surprises. More to follow.

Australian Capital Territory (October 1)

1. Kate Lundy (Labor); 2. Zed Seselja (Liberal).

Confirmed this morning. No surprises here.


1. Richard Colbeck (Liberal); 2. Carol Brown (Labor); 3. David Bushby (Liberal); 4. Catryna Bilyk (Labor); 5. Peter Whish-Wilson (Greens); 6. Jacqui Lambie (Palmer United).

Liberal and Labor both scored a clean two quotas off the primary vote (2.63 and 2.30 respectively), with Labor’s surplus enough to ensure election for Peter Whish-Wilson (0.82) after the exclusion of the third Labor candidate, Lin Thorp. The race for the final seat ended up a three-way contest between the ultimately successful Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party, third Liberal candidate Sally Chandler, and Robbie Swan of the Sex Party. The ABC calculator had been giving it to Swan because a strong performance on preferences, including from some unlikely sources, would have helped him stay ahead of Lin Thorp by 15,145 to 14,449 at a key point of the count. However, many of those preferences were perversely to come from conservative parties (Shooters and Fishers, Country Alliance, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party) whose supporters were not of a mind to direct preferences to the Sex Party consciously (UPDATE: Kevin Bonham in comments points out the Sex Party in fact got more below-the-line preferences than Labor from Shooters and Fishers voters – however, on the ABC calculator projection they were getting all of them). That caused 653 below-the-line votes for those parties to leak away, while below-the-line votes gave Thorp a net gain of 287. The closure of the gap meant the exclusion of Swan, followed by the exclusion of Thorp and the election of Whish-Wilson. At this stage, Jacqui Lambie emerged with a 31,142-29,866 vote lead over the Liberal Democrats, whose exclusion unlocked the flood of preferences which elected her. Had Lambie failed to stay ahead of the Liberal Democrats, her own preferences would have decided the result in favour of Chandler.

Northern Territory

1. Nigel Scullion (Country Liberal); 2. Nova Peris (Labor).

Labor finished just short of a quota with 0.9824, but would presumably have got over the line on below-the-line preferences on any scenario. Even if it were otherwise, the combinations that might have put Nova Peris in jeopardy were not in place. The one party with the potential to absorb the entire non-Labor vote was First Nations, but the combined vote for it and its immediate preference feeders amounted to only 2.18%, giving its candidate no chance of overtaking Australian Independents or Shooters and Fishers as required to keep the snowball rolling. Peris made it to a quota when Sex Party preferences were distributed, and stood to receive the 8.7% Greens vote if the count had proceeded further.

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.

308 comments on “Senate call of the board”

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  1. democracyc@work,

    Of course “Any proposal of a representation threshold will be based on 4% Group vote”, and “Not a candidate”. That’s how we know it’s a stitch-up.

    Apart from the sheer unadulterated undemocratic nature of a threshold, from a political point of view, the ALP would be mad to endorse it because its effect would be to ensure in almost all cases that the ALP would never be able to have a third party other than the Greens win a Senate seat.

    There is no problem in the micro parties’ “ability to influence the outcome of the election by gaming the preferential system”. They have as much right as the major parties and the Greens to influence the outcome of the election by whatever rules exist, and there is no problem with the preferential system at all.

  2. Chris I am not sure how you come up with the conclusion about the ALP not winning three seats. aIf you adopt a threshold (And I am not a great fan of thresholds – I want to remove the Droop threshold that applies at the end of the count) Those voters below tehe threshols would have their votes redistributed to the first available continuing candidate. Even more so if we adopt a reiterative count. The preferential system still applies. OPV would have a more significant impact as we saw in the 2010 Victorian Western metro region.

    The Greens previously were the benefactor of the preference fold up. As they became a Minor Major party they found it harder to negotiate preferences and as we saw in WA started to attack Wikileaks in order to shore up their own position. Its OK when they preference PUP but for a micro party to preference a party that would never be the beneficary of their preferences because that cut a preference swap deal is some what hypocritical

    Ludlum lied when he claimed that Wikileaks preference deal was going to elect the NP. That was never on the cards. if Wikileaks polled 2.5% then they would have been at the top of the micro party preference snow ball. Ludlum and the Greens had to undermine their chances by political Spook talk.

    If the 203 election was a Double Dissolution then the ALP would improve its position and the Greens and minor parties would go backwards

  3. All in favour of a full above the line preferential vote. Most people vote for groups/Parties not individual candidates. Group Ticket voting is just a structured
    “macro” method of applying HTV cards

    I am not interested in marking flaws in the way we count the vote by applying makeup to cover up or marks those flaws. We have to strip back the system to its basics. Applying a fully weights Surplus transfer and remove segmentation from the count so that each vote is treated the same.

  4. OK Just completed any Analysis of the WA Senate count comparing the effect of the three aspects of the vting system

    1, Current system if the order of exclusion changes at the Christian and Fisherman Shooters pivot point then Green’s Ludlam and Sports is elected using the flawed paper based surplus and segmented count

    2. replace the paper based Surplus Transfer value with a weighted surplus calculation Green’s Ludlam and Sports Party elected

    3, Apply a weighted surplus with a reiterative count where the ballot is reset and restated on each exclusion then PUP and ALP elected to last two spots.

    WA is the classic text book example as to the impact of the flawed distribution system and the associated distortions in the system used.

    It would be wrong to fix one aspect (The weighted surplus transfer value) and leave the flawed segmented distribution system in place.

    A reiterative count single weighted Surplus transfer where remainder remain with the vote of the vote is the preferred option.

  5. Sorry Correction

    2. replace the paper based Surplus Transfer value with a weighted surplus calculation Green’s Ludlam and PUP elected in last two spots ALP 1 Liberal 3

  6. Lateline

    Ludlam attacking Clive Palmer is a bit much considering he needs Palmer’s preferences to be elected in a possible recount. Given his high moral stance and attack on Wikileaks Preference deal, Ludlam should refuse to accept Palmer’s preferences and not request a recount.

    The Greens Hypocrisy never ceases to amaze.

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