Counts and recounts

The Labor leadership contest is approaching the end game, which is more than can be said for the election counts for Fairfax and the WA Senate.

Developments of various kinds in the field of vote-counting:

• Labor’s month-long leadership election campaign is finally drawing to a close, with caucus having determined its 50% share of the total vote yesterday and around 25,000 rank-and-file ballots to be counted on Sunday. Reports suggest that Bill Shorten has won at least 50 out of the 86 votes in the party room, receiving the undivided support of a Right which had been polarised during the Gillard-Rudd stand-off. By contrast, David Crowe of The Australian reports that Left members including Warren Snowdon, Brendan O’Connor, Kate Lundy, Laurie Ferguson, Maria Vamvakinou, Julie Owens and newly elected Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters have failed to fall in behind Albanese. Tea-leaf reading from party sources quoted around the place suggests Bill Shorten will do best if a large number of votes are received from his relatively strong states of Victoria and Western Australia, with most other states (together with the ACT, which punches above its weight in terms of ALP membership) considered strongholds for Albanese.

ReachTEL published a poll yesterday of 891 respondents in New South Wales and Victoria showing Anthony Albanese favoured over Shorten by 60.9-39.1 in New South Wales and 54.0-46.0 in Victoria. Each had slight leads over Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister in Victoria and slight deficits in New South Wales. Results on voting intention confirmed the general impression from the limited national polling in finding no honeymoon bounce for the new government.

• Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn has ordered a recount of above-the-line votes for the Western Australian Senate, which will change the result of two Senate seats if a 14-vote gap between the Shooters and Fishers and Australian Christians parties is reversed. Also under review are votes declared informal the first time around, which is always a grey area. Tireless anonymous blogger TruthSeeker has performed good work in identifying count peculiarities potentially significant enough to turn the result, including a popular favourite known as the “Waggrakine discrepancy”.

• The Fairfax recount limps with the Clive Palmer camp apparently challenging any vote that doesn’t go its way, thereby requiring it to be sent for determination by the state electoral officer in Brisbane. AAP reports the result “won’t be known for at least another week”.

UPDATE: GhostWhoVotes relates that ReachTEL has let rip with its first post-election poll of national voting intention, and it continues an unbroken run of such polling in plotting a position for the Coalition south of what it achieved at the election, however slightly. Coming off a large-even-for-ReachTEL sample of 3600, it shows the Coalition with a two-party preferred lead of 52.1-47.9, compared with roughly 53.5-46.5 at the election, from primary votes of 45.4% for the Coalition (45.6% at the election), 35.3% for Labor (33.4%) and 8.6% for the Greens (unchanged). Tony Abbott’s performance is rated good by 40.5% and poor by 40.2%.

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.

1,614 comments on “Counts and recounts”

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  1. [I suspect that no-one who is responsible for the ALP decisions has ever read any posts from me, which is their loss,]

    I agree M77, they are missing the occasional damn good laugh.

  2. How little the far-right in the USA has changed in half-a-century
    The “New Yorker” magazine(one of the great journals of it’s kind) looks this week at a new book “Dallas 1963” and remarks whow little the maddies of The Tea Party and the old John Birch Society differ from each other even 50 years apart

    The same hatred expressed in Dallas in 1963 of Kennedy and his Medicare plans and the lunatic attacks on Obama and Obamacare are of the same…deadly ..kind…as is the paranoia about presidental power

    This article looks at the same madness in the present day USA on the Right…interesting in view of today’s break with the maddies by some Republicans………
    at last

  3. Mick77 – yes, that’s exactly what they would say.

    But given Turnbull’s history and involvement in negotiating the ETS with Rudd, there was no way that Turnbull could politically survive abandoning the ETS deal.

    Minchin and Abbott knew that.

    They could talk about asking him to “reconsider his policy” knowing full well that it was a demand for Turnbull to fall on his sword.

    And so it turned out. Although the Minchin plan almost fell apart by 1 vote, but anyway. That’s history.

  4. 1597

    Not as much as the redundancy. The deposit ($1,000 for an HoR seat) plus the per vote amount (248.800 cents) for each of his 3,444 votes ($8,568.672 give or take rounding and the extra vote or two he would have needed). So under $500 short of $10,000.

  5. DN

    [I didn’t vote for Tony Abbott and still got him as PM!]

    Nobody gets to vote for the PM, not even his/her own constituents. At most you can elect an MP. Only the “college” of parliament can do that, although the faction bosses always fix the result.

  6. I wonder who he thinks will win:

    [Peter Brent ‏@mumbletwits 13m

    Just about a mathematical impossibility for ALP leadership vote to be a tie, “photo finish!” etc but reporters gotta do what they gotta do.]

  7. Should the WA recount produce a change of outcome or a loser margin in the count should not the Australian Electoral commissioner also invite candidates to nominate any Below-the-line recorded votes to further scrutiny?

    Scrutineers where denied access to the below=the=line preference data files and as such this prevented scrutineers from properly and independently scrutinising the BTL ballot count.

    I guess this question will be raised if and when the issue arises., But it does highlight some of the ongoing concerns at the lack of openness and transparency of the computerised data-entry counting procedures

    Clearly the JSCEM needs to review the regulations and legislation governing the conduct of the ballot to ensure that future elections are open and transparent and subject to full scrutiny and that copies of the BTL data-entry files is readily available and progressively published during the count

  8. Securing Digital Democracy
    by J. Alex Halderman

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    The integrity of the electoral process is everybody’s business, and I hope you’ll come away from this class with the knowledge you need to understand and think critically about modern voting technology. I also hope you’ll have fun along the way!


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