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”

  1. Now that the Tasmanian Senate count has drawn to conclusion will the AEC publish the below-the-line preference data-file or will it wait for another three months before the results of the election can be independently verified?

    If the Australian electoral commission published the data file Antony Greens Senate calculator would be accurate and we would be able to see exactly how the count unfolds and the impact of the distortions in the way the votes is counted.

    The AEC has placed more importance in the side show of the “Big Bang Button press” then the need to ensure the proper scrutiny of the ballot itself.

    Denying open and transparent Scrutiny of the ballot for a side show of pressing the Button

    It will very interesting to see if the below the line vote will make any difference to the projected outcome in WA. For one there is over 360 votes attributed to One Nation’s Robert Farmer (Most of these will be reverse donkey votes.)

    When the AEC get around to publishing the BTL preference data files, which copies have been denied to scrutineers as it takes the Big bang away from the AEC pressing of the button show and allows room for any last minute twigging of the votes as no one knows what is contained in the data file, leaving it open to possible corruption. Scrutineers prevented from being able to verify the contents of the data-file during
    the count.

    The refusal of the AEC to subject the count to a full open and
    transparent scrutiny undermines confidence in the overall process.

    The preference data-files are eventually published, months after the
    election has been declared and the crowd and public attention has
    dissipated. This adds a whole new meaning to “secret ballot” when
    scrutineers are denied access to copies of crucial computer data-files
    that are used to determine the results of the election just so the AEC
    can have maintain an element of surprise and leave open a window for
    preference data to be tweeked

    Had these data-files been published progressively during the count
    then you would have been able to include them in your Calculator’s
    It would also be possible to highlight the impact in the flaws in the way in which the Senate vote is counted

    Analysis of the WA Sent votes based on registered group voting tickets using three different system to count the vote

    Model A

    If you count the vote using AEC Senate rules with a non-weighted (Surplus Transfer calculated by dividing Surplus value by number of
    ballot papers) segmented distribution (distributing votes in segments based on their value, stopping mid stream of a exclusion distribution, skipping candidates remaining in the count and transferring the remaining votes at a higher value then would be the case if they were
    transferred as a single transaction)

    PUP and ALP take the last two spots in WA

    Model B

    If you use the Western Australian Weighted (Surplus Transfer Value based on the value of the vote spot the number of ballot papers) with segmented distribution of excluded candidates votes (as described above)

    PUP and Greens in the last two spots

    Model C

    “The wright System”

    If you weight it (Surplus value based on the value of the vote) and apply a reiterative count removing the segmented distribution by
    resetting and restarting the count on each exclusion only distributing surpluses on each exclusion, one single transaction per candidate.

    PUP and ALP win the last two seats.

    Model C (Wright System) being the preferred method as it reflects the voters intentions where first preferences from excluded candidates are
    distributed as if the excluded candidates had not stood

    The other alternative model is Meek which in 99.98% of the time produces the same result as the Wright System

    Posted by:
    democracyATwork | September 25, 2013 at 07:28 PM

  2. Under the Senate non=weighted Surplus Transfer system Party Ticket votes that pass though a minor candidate who is elected later in the count increases in value disproportionally from the value and contribution they make to the candidates election.

    This has the potential to influence the results of the last position filled. The distortion in value can equal more than 10,000 votes.

    Fixing the calculation of the surplus transfer value and adopting a weighted Transfer value in itself will not fix the system.

    The system of segmented distribution of excluded candidates votes also needs to be addressed.

    A weighted Surplus Transfer Value reiterative count removes these distortions and makes the system fairer and reflective of the voters intention.

    A reiterative count also facilitates optional preferential voting as the quota is adjusted on each iteration. Surpluses only are distributed on any iteration. Single transaction not segmentation. On every exclusion the count is rest and restarted

    The guiding principle being that

    votes from excluded candidates should be redistributed as if the excluded candidate(s) had not stood

  3. I think we also need to take a serious look at the Droop quota (x/(y+1))

    Why divide the cake by y+1 and throw a slice away when we could divide it by x/y?

    The argument of providing a majority of the vote a majority of seats does not hold water. even less when the number of vacancies is five or more.

    It along with the non-weighted, Segmented distribution where all implements to facilitate a manual counting system and reduce the number of ballot paper movements.

    With the use of a computer aided counting system these provisions are not longer justified. We have to go back to basics and adopt a pure linear proportional counting system.

    They say if it ain’t broke why fix it. Well it is broke and we need to seriously take another look at what is actually going on and how we interpret and count the vote.

  4. D@W

    I think that any system that allows candidates to be elected on less then 1% of the vote is absurd.

    I think names like the Sex party (targetting 18 -21 yo), Liberal D Party (clearly trying to mimoc the Liberals) and any party with Labor in it should be banned. I wonder with parties like the Sex party and some of the stupidly named party, whether they have any policies or whether anyone who voted for them knows of any of their policy

    It seems like a lottery to get jobs for someone for the next 8 year at good pay

  5. Who decides what’s a stupid name dovif? One could argue that the Liberal Party is a stupid name as the party is not liberal.

    Sex Party at least is an adequate descriptor because it is funded and was set up by the sex industry.

    I’m also not a supporter of arbitrary thresholds. Fix the cause of the issue rather than setting up an unfair and arbitrary threshold.

  6. True radical Senate reform would involve abolition of state based elections, with a single national electorate and full PR allocation of seats based on primary votes alone. Only list candidate voting permitted. 3% threshold to be eligible for election. Needs to be accompanied by radical overhaul of party registration requirements to eliminate the sham parties. Simple, and ensuring the Senate represents a broader range of political views. It could then operate as a true House of review. Just a random thought to start the day!!

  7. I think we will end up with a 4% threshold. How they implement that is an issue of concern.

    But it need to be mentioned that the Liberal and ALP second and third candidates have a handful of votes. The fold up is not much different. If you adopt a reiterative counting system then the process is more fairer. I am not too fused about a threshold but again subject to the way the vote is counted.

    Micro parties that trade on catchy names is not just about the lottery of preference swaps it is also about influencing the outcome.. The above the line voting makes it easier for minor parties to direct preferences nut it is no different then handing out a HTV card in some respects. The Tasmanian system is not one I would recommend to even promote. The last bundle segmentation is even worst then the Senate. and while Tasmanians and others go on about Robson Rotation the impact of the non weighted surplus, segmentation distribution and the Droop quota have a greater influence on the count.

    If we want to reduce the number of candidates/grouops then we have to increase the deposit and only refund a candidates deposit for every 4% of the vote. 8% two candidates refunds 12% three candidates.

    Optional preferential has undisclosed pitfalls and should be avoided, Certainly should not be promoted.

    I am more inclined to support above-the-line group preference voting (where you preference every group in order above the line) and abolishing below-the-line voting. Most people vote for groups not individual candidates. Apart form the ALP and LNP other grouops would be lucky to elect one candidate two at best. So why run six as the greens do. The Greens were only elected on the back of ALP preferences.

    The other thing we need to consider is for groups to be allowed to proportion out their support across the group. The current Ticket group voting system gives major parties a disadvantage and minor parties an advantage. If a major party has the right to spread their vote across the group then they would be on an equal footing.

    If you look at the 2010 Victorian western metro count the FF/DLP and Christian groups by default elected the Greens. The VEC promoting optional preferential voting devalued their vote. They voted amongst themselves and stopped. Had they continued on and voted ALP before the Greens then the Greens would not have been elected. I spoke to them and they were not aware of this consequence of optional voting. The commission failed to inform voters that in order to maximise their they should preference every candidate. If full voting above the line is allowed then all groups must be be full preferential

    The other option is to adopt the Dutch Party list system which includes a nominated distribution of surpluses

    These issue are not new and were raised in previous submission to the JSCEM. Hopefully the AEC will not try and stymy the discussion and need for reform this time.

    Hopefully the AEC will embrace a more transparent and open counting system. Their refusal to publish the BTL preference data file is a disgrace and an abuse of their responsibilities. Technocrats wanting control and avoid accountability or scrutiny. It’s a shame as in all other respects they provide a good professional service. Those staff who support open transparency are let down by those that don’t. The system as it stands is open it misuse, abuse and corruption. It is certainly not secure or well managed. Those wanting more information should contact Dr Vanessa Teague from Melbourne university

  8. Does it sound unreasonable that I find the AEC site’s Senate results completely unintelligible? I was hoping that one of the pages there would give an insight into how PUP won a Tas seat, or at least show it on 1 quota somewhere.

    [That would require constitutional change and I highly doubt the smaller states would agree to diddle themselves out of representation. ]

    The four largest states would probably happily diddle the other two in a referendum, since their own representation would rise.

  9. triton, on my reading such an alteration would need to be agreed to by every state to be valid. See the text of s 128. It’d be a travesty to see the Senate, an example of the federal compromise, being trashed to such a degree in my view.

  10. The key word in my earlier post was “radical”. I fully appreciate that constitutional change would be required, and which would be highly unlikely to succceed. Something that would be achievable would be to increase the size of the Senate, and alter the state based voting system. Maybe an increase to 18 senators per state with 9 elected at each election, with a PV threshold that must be achieved (say 4%, equivalent to 40% of a full quota). Just throwing out a few thoughts! (3 senators per territory would also make things interesting!) Those changes would not require a constitutional amendment by the way.

  11. ltep, I was not aware of that nasty little snag that the minnow states (no doubt) insisted be placed in s128 to prevent the larger states bullying and ganging up on them. It seems that altering state representation is the only exception to the usual referendum rules.

  12. An interesting thing with the Tas Senate count is that Shooters and Fishers supporters actually were of a mind to direct preferences to the Sex Party ahead of Labor with the Sex Party gaining 80 BTLs over Labor on their votes.

    A poster on my site, Christopher Burge, modelled this exclusion off the 2010 Victorian count and predicted Sex Party would gain 70 – so it’s clearly not a once-off. Shooters and Fishers voters apparently don’t see their own party and the Sex Party in right/left terms.

    On the other hand, Sex Party completely bombed on the Country Alliance’s BTLs despite the two parties dealing with each other; the split was 30-1 to Labor. Ballot order influential here.

  13. dovif@4

    I think names like the Sex party (targetting 18 -21 yo), Liberal D Party (clearly trying to mimoc the Liberals) and any party with Labor in it should be banned.

    I don’t think this is so simple, because the “Liberal Party” has been using the name “Liberal” to mimic a liberal party, without actually being a liberal party in any of the many different senses of the word, for decades.

    Banning other parties from using names confusingly similar to Liberal would mean that the Liberal Party continues to get away with monopolising the word “Liberal” although it is basically false advertising.

    The Liberal Democrats are a liberal party in the classical sense. (Actually they are a libertarian party, but modern libertarianism and classical liberalism are similar.) The Liberal Party is not a liberal party in any significant sense; it is a fairly conservative populist/pragmatist party that pays lip service to liberal ideals of any sort when it suits them.

    If a party should be changing its name to avoid confusion here it is the Liberals. If they’re not willing to change their name to a more descriptive one, and voters mistakenly vote for a party that is actually more liberal than them, I think that’s their problem. 🙂

    Generally I don’t like banning things. If Sex Party is a silly name then let other parties argue that case and convince voters not to vote for it. The one name I would ban is Australian Independents. There was a very clear rule against use of “Independent” in a party name and they somehow managed to get a narrow interpretation taken of that rule by bunging an “s” on the end.

  14. Any readers here who might perceive some plausibility in democracy@work’s latest fad – the use of the Hare quota rather than the Droop quota – might wish to read the discussion of that in Enid Lakeman, How Democracies Vote, Faber & Faber, London, 1970, pp. 137-9, where she gives an example of a case in which the use of the Hare quota rather than the Droop quota can enable a party with a minority of the votes to gain a majority of the seats.

  15. KB @19

    Australian Independents were allowed but their legal advice (which I am sure was good) was that they would not be able to use the word ‘party’ as well.

    I am also not quite sure where you are heading with your definitions of ‘liberal’ and ‘libertarian’ – when I was studying politics at Uni (albeit in SA) there was a significant difference, albeit my lecturer who was an avowed Marxist seemed to think they were the same.

  16. pedant.

    ..a party with a minority of the votes to gain a majority of the seats.

    It is a false assumption that the Droop quota delivers a majority party a majority of seats. In the City of Mlebourne municipal count Robert Doyle had 38% of the vote ad elected three candidates. Teh Greens had 14% and elected two. The system ignored team Doyles surplus (Locked up in the Droop wasted quota) Dad these vptes been counted then indepednent community candidate Kevin Chamberlain would have been elected to the last seat with the Greens electing just one.

    The Hare Clarke system uses a last bundle segmented distribution. This is not a system I would advocate either. If we lok at the results being produced in the Senate we can see the LNP securing more seats then they would otherwise be entitled to. Sorry prefer a more inclusive pure proportional system without the distortions in the way the vote is counted. Failing that we could just adopt the Dutch Party list system.

  17. Independently Thinking@21

    KB @19

    Australian Independents were allowed but their legal advice (which I am sure was good) was that they would not be able to use the word ‘party’ as well.

    I am also not quite sure where you are heading with your definitions of ‘liberal’ and ‘libertarian’ – when I was studying politics at Uni (albeit in SA) there was a significant difference, albeit my lecturer who was an avowed Marxist seemed to think they were the same.

    The term “liberal” has multiple definitions. The term as used in the modern US context is very different from “libertarian” in the same context. The term “libertarian” in Australia is also a bit different from the US context as it tends to denote civil-libertarian and not economic-libertarian. But the election of an LDP Senator may change that.

    Classical liberalism = small government, free market, international free trade, religious pluralism. Differences between this and the minarchist side of the libertarian movement (as opposed to the anarchist side) are more or less negligible. Minarchism being more or less dominant in libertarianism these days, the Ayn Rand style right-libertarian is basically a classical liberal. If anything when I look at the LDP’s taxation policies (with negative taxation rates for those below a certain income providing a form of – albeit exceedingly stingy – welfare) they are slightly to the left of some. Or were when I last looked at them a few years back.

    Over time classical liberalism became steadily more and more infused with utilitarian welfarism (blame or credit JS Mill for that) leading over time to the US-style modern or left liberalism.

  18. PS the examples often quoted to prop up the Droop quota are for positions with less than five vacancies and a hand full of voters. I can see no logic that justifies dividing the cake by one less than the number of slices required.

    Either way I see the argument about Droop versus pure proportional (x/y) secondary to the issues of concern in relation to the weighted surplus and segmentation dist5ribution. Either Meek and Wright should be adopted with or without Droop quotas Wright being linear. Both are reiterative.

  19. I haven’t heard any news from WA recently. Adam Bandt intimated on radio today that the Greens will probably keep their Senate seats, but the latest I heard was that things were pretty shaky for Scott Ludlam.

  20. The 5% requirement seems to work well in Germany.

    Regarding names surely copyright could be applied and only have one Labour party and one Liberal Party on the ballot paper.

  21. mexicanbeemer@26

    The 5% requirement seems to work well in Germany.

    Actually I think this election showed just how undemocratic the 5% cutoff is. Despite what seemed to be a very strong result Merkel has lost a coalition partner because their vote fell marginally below 5% thus completely eliminating them from the parliament. CDU+CSU+FDP+AfD exceeds 50% of the vote, even CDU+CSU+FDP is close enough to half, but because FDP and AfD narrowly missed the threshhold, Merkel’s victory is devalued and she has to deal with opposition parties to form government.

    I don’t approve of the politics of any party with “Christian” in its name, but in terms of a fair result reflective of the will of the people Merkel was ripped off, and only protected from an undemocratic loss by the inability of opposing parties to work with each other.

  22. triton, Truth Seeker states that Ludlam and Dropulich are probably currently marginally ahead (Christians lead Shooters by 33 votes) – but this is so tight that we can’t really know for sure whether the final 2 will be Ludlam/Dropulich or Wang/Pratt.

  23. The City of Melbourne case mentioned by D@W happened mainly because a party with over 3.7 quotas got no preferences to speak of, and a party with 1.5 quotas got preferences from others. Nothing unfair there by itself. Can’t see it as an outrage on democracy that the seat split between the Greens and an indie with about a third their vote and a weaker preference flow was 2-0 and not 1-1.

    I take the point that if TD had a lower surplus then their preferences would have been available but so what? The same can happen in any system. If you want to get elected from half a quota get a bigger primary or a better preference flow. Don’t rely on a big party having a lower surplus than it deserves. Also again we see the influence of ATL tickets, since without them TD might well have won four, which would have been hard to argue with.

    Seems like it is the Hare quota in which there is the most surplus wastage – vote-values left unnecessarily locked up with parties that have overkilled the minimum vote requirement for their seat tally. I think the Hare quota is completely silly.

  24. I think that the German result demonstrates how bad arbitrary thresholds are. Two parties fell just short of the 5% threshold, and as a result this distorts the proportionality of the final result. If the threshold was 4%, the Budestag would have a completely different makeup now and there’s no real reason for favouring 5% over 4%.

    Close to 16% of Germans voted for parties that fell below the threshold, this creates quite large distortions in the proportionality of the final outcome. It also means that 16% of the voters essentially wasted their party votes.

  25. [PS the examples often quoted to prop up the Droop quota are for positions with less than five vacancies and a hand full of voters. I can see no logic that justifies dividing the cake by one less than the number of slices required.]

    I think the Droop quota makes more sense when it gets to the final slice of the cake.

    Using the Droop quota, you get elected when you reach 1/7 of the vote. Doesn’t matter if you’re the first winner, or the sixth (who grabs 51% of the 2/7 remaining votes at that stage) the quota is the same. (Well it should be if surpluses were distributed properly)

    What happens to the last seat under the Hare quota? Wouldn’t the first five winners take away 5/6 of the vote, and the sixth winner only have to win one half of a quota to beat out all the remaining candidates?

  26. I think we also need to take a serious look at the Droop quota (x/(y+1))

    Why divide the cake by y+1 and throw a slice away when we could divide it by x/y?

    If you set the quota for electing six senators at 1/6th (rather than 1/7th) of the vote, then 5/6ths of the vote elects five senators. That leaves just 1/6th of the vote in the count. The last elected senator would not need to win all of that 1/6th, but only a majority. i.e. The final senator elected would only need 1/12th of the vote after preferences. How does it make sense to have a lower quota for the final elected senator?

  27. Simon Sheik GRN ACT has conceded, with this pithy statement where the donkey is blamed.

    The Animal Justice Party held the coveted first spot on the ACT Senate voting paper and may have benefited from donkey votes.

    Mr Sheikh says the Animal Justice Party’s decision to preference the Liberal Party ahead of the Greens made victory incredibly difficult.

    “If that hadn’t been the case, then I wouldn’t be conceding today,” he said.

    “This would come right down to the wire and we wouldn’t know until next Tuesday what the result would be either way.

    “But because of that factor, because the Animal Justice Party chose to preference the Liberals, it is clear to me that the hurdle is too great for us to leap over now to be successful at this election.”


  28. mimhof @ 32 and David Walsh @ 34: One might also make the passing observation that as currently configured, the House of Representatives voting system is a special case of the Senate system which arises when the number of vacancies is equal to 1. If the argument were accepted that the Hare rather than Droop quota should be used, candidates for the House of Representatives would theoretically need 100% of the vote to win. (In practice, of course, they would all have to be elected with less than a quota.)

  29. sprocket_, I assume that Sheikh is referring to BLT donkey vote (why would anyone bother?), since I don’t know how one would test for ABL donkey vote other than to jump to the conclusion that the party in the first spot got more votes than it “should” have got.

  30. [ If the argument were accepted that the Hare rather than Droop quota should be used, candidates for the House of Representatives would theoretically need 100% of the vote to win.]

    No problem. Just because there’s only two candidates left in the count, doesn’t mean you can’t exclude the loser and distribute their preferences to the only candidate left, leaving them with 100% of the vote.

  31. I am not a big fan of a threshold, since 4.9% gets you nothing and 5% gets you 15 seats in a 300 seat parliament, which seems absurd. I think either optional preferencing or compulsory preferencing will solve the minor party lottery that we have in Australia at the moment, or a 2% threshold for any minor party, where every party who do not get more then 2%, get all their preference distributed in count 4/5(?) to their first preference over 2% quota.

    This would not stop preference feeding of major parties

    For the Liberal Democratic Party, I think the name should not have been allowed, likewise for any party that want ot call themselves the Austrian Labor Party or Australian Labour Party

  32. William… exactly. The 50% +1 is a tipping point not a quota. The application of a Droop quota denies those voters locked up in the wasted quota a a say in who should represent them. It really is arbitrary in its application. Why should the 8% locked up in the wasted quota not be considered and the Greens the beneficiary of a fold up of preferences. It6 not until you try and write a program to count the results that you begin to see the extent of the distortions in the system. many of these methods such as segmented distribution had more to do with limited the number of transfers required. If you did not apply droop you would have to count every ballot paper. Manually this was a task that could not be justified,. 90% of the time the result is the same, But with the aid of computer technology this is no longer a limiting factor. we can and should revise the system and adopt a more simpler and accurate distribution counting method. A reiterative counting method best reflects the voters intentions. A full value vote would always be allocated to a candidate of the voters next available choice., There would be no skipping of candidates in allocating a full value vote. Meek is the more accurate in that a surplus can be allocated to a candidate elected earlier in the count. But this would require a voter to jump the divide between left and right and back again in the order of preferences. I am yet to see a count in a State of Federal election where there is a difference in the result using Meek or Wright.

    The Wright system is basic. It only distributes weighted surpluses in a single iteration. If all position are not filled then the lowest polling candidate(s) are excluded and the count is reset and restarted. Each iteration and distribution involves a single transaction per candidate. Surpluses transfer values are calculated based on the value of the vote not the number of ballot papers. The only time a vote skips a candidate in order of the voters nominated preference is on a surplus transfer if the candidate is already elected. because the count is reset and restarted on each exclusion a full value vote is always allocated to the first available candidate and if need be forms part of that candidates quota. The quota is recalculated following the primary distribution. This adjusts the situation where a ballot paper might exhaust without value

    It is linear and simple.

  33. Dofit .., why stop at 2%. If we are to implement a representation threshold (Which I think is on the cards) then 4% is a reasonable value. It is the cutoff point for refunds it is also half of 1/12th. The deposit must be increased to at least $5,000 and refunds only available one candidate for every 4%.

    Even than it is still cheap to influence the outcome of the last senate spot. Optional preferential will not solve this issue it will just make it worst.

    if you want to maximize your vote then you should preference ever6y candidate. If we adopt optional preferential then we might as well adopt optional voting or adopt back to party list system.

    Again best option would be to scrap below the line voting and allow above-the-line group preference voting.

    The main reason this will not happen is the AEC does not want the additional work involved in transcribing recording the vote.

    If we end up implementing an online voting system then this should be the preferred option. Voters could walk in with their chosen HTV card scan the QR code and then select accept. Job done.

  34. Whilst I am yet to confirm but this is an election where I think the system also co0ntibuted to Day’s election. certainly he would not have been elected if we did not use the Droop Quota. The Greens would not have been elected in any state except Tasmania if the ALP did not preference them. Would have liked to see SHY lose her seat. She is totally useless in my view. The ALP should have preferenced Xen. before the Greens Without knowing how the BTL votes are panning out Luddy in WA is set to lose his seat. he was one of the better green Senators, In fact the only good one. Still hunt with the pack stave with the pack.

  35. is there something Wrong with the ABC Senate Calculator? I can display all states except Western Australia (WA). Could be a temporary mishap.

    Would be much netter if the AEC published the BTL preference data files and maintained an Open and Transparent counting system.

  36. I see why it is within a few votes between PUP and LibDem. Still with Sports out of the way the Greens are still slipping behind.

    Bet you they are not happy that the AEC will bot provide scrutineers access to copies of the the BTL preference data file.

  37. Another thing to take into account when thinking about whether Senate electoral reform is likely to occur is that by delaying the reforms to the end of this parliamentary term it removes some of the likelihood of Abbott calling a DD election when the ALP doesn’t want one. If I was strategising for the ALP I’d put it off for a least a couple of years, and for the Coalition, I’d be pushing it pretty hard off the bat.

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