Final score: 53.49-46.51 to Coalition

Definitive election results from the Australian Electoral Commission bring us the long-awaited national two-party preferred result, and details of minor party preference flows.

The Australian Electoral Commission finally lifted the lid on the completed federal election count yesterday, the detail we’ve all been waiting for being the final national two-party preferred result: 53.49-46.51 to the Coalition. That makes it the Coalition’s seventh best result since 1949, after 1966, 1975, 1977, 1955, 1958 and 1996, and better than any achieved since 1943 by Labor, whose modern high-water mark was Bob Hawke’s 53.23-46.77 victory in 1983. Labor nonetheless managed slender wins in the two-party vote race in Victoria (50.2%) and Tasmania (51.2%), with Western Australia remaining its worst state (41.72%).

No less interesting is the data on minor parties’ preference splits between Labor and the Coalition, confirming a significant increase in the share of preferences received by Labor compared with 2010. Labor’s share of Greens preferences was 83.03%, which compares with 80.78% in 2004, 79.69% in 2007 and 78.84% in 2010. My best guess here is that the Greens tended to lose votes from those driven by anti-major party sentiment, perhaps because of the closeness of their association with the government, leaving behind a more ideological voter base with a particular hostility to Tony Abbott.

Labor received 46.33% of Palmer United Party preferences, nearly identical to the overall “others” result of 46.69%. The latter was also the best for Labor since such figures were first published in 2004, recovering from a low of 41.74% in 2010. One consequence of this was that pollsters’ preference models based on 2010 election results overstated the Coalition on two-party preferred. Had preferences been as they were in 2010, the Coalition would have scored an extra 1% and a few more seats.

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.

2,313 comments on “Final score: 53.49-46.51 to Coalition”

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  1. “@ABCNews24: Political reporter @latikambourke says this is the first major about-turn from the Abbott Govt since coming to office #auspol #Gonski”

  2. Backflip on Education, so where is the Report for 60 day review then for NBN?

    Can we have a backflip on that for 93% of FTTP?

  3. guytaur, other opinions are that the High Court doesn’t like to involves itself in funding rows and that there would be little chance of success.


    We aren’t like members opposite who make solemn pledges before the election, them break them afterwards.”

  5. lizzie

    In fact, Abbott has just said, ‘…the problem is that the LOTO is unable to alter his question time strategy quickly…’

  6. So an escape goat is a goat that you use to get out of awkward situations. The Goat ate my homework. Look over there – a goat! (slip out the back). Stop the goats!

  7. Peta’s focus group line du jour, is ‘the Labor mess’.

    It is interesting that the Government still behaves as if Labor is in government and the Government is in Opposition. In other words, it spends its time attacking the Labor.

  8. Well, they’ve got to use their slogans while they still have some currency. Blaming the “Labor mess” come budget time is going to look even more pathetic.

  9. Psyclaw

    [A bit akin to a skilful technical boxer entering the ring with a bare knuckled brawler …… few serious and knowledgeable afficionadoes of the game would advise a true boxer to do so.]

    I suppose it would depend on what the enforced rules were. Fighting UFC style would bwe ill-advised because the skill-sets would not be closely comparable.

    This is the problem with argument by analogy. The analogy doesn’t hold all that well here.

    The most serious advantages Abbott had were in things over which he had no control — public discourse shaped by a press that was either directly purposed for regime change or caught up in the “colour and movement” associated therewith; the intersection of the ALP’s internal disunity with the regime-change agenda; the cravenness of the ALP in the face of rightwing/corporate bullying; their acceptance of the Howard fiscal paradigm; the history of the ALP in pandering to xenophobes; the debauched nature of the ALP’s political processes in NSW …

    Really. Gillard was in no position to say Game On! in the figurative sense because, to use a sporting metaphor, she was playing into a serious headwind on a field that was inclined against her team and playing amongst people carrying backpacks with deadweights in them, making it difficult for them to manoeuvre and appear leaden-footed.

    She needed to put more work into reinventing the ALP post August 2010 as a party that had put the past behind it and was now ruling a line through the scoresheet not only on Howard but Rudd as Howard-lite. Had she done that, she’d not have needed to say Game On! because it would have been obvious.

  10. g

    [“@LatikaQT: PM TA pausing mid-oppn sledges. Looks to be getting to him today.”]

    He was shaking his head, not nodding it.

  11. I don’t think I can watch QT very often now. Abbott’s answers, whatever the question, are like repeats of his shouty SSOs in the last parliament. And he’s carrying that smug grin.

  12. I wonder whether, in relation to Australian aid to the Philippines, Bishop will repeat her matronising line, ‘The US and Australia are working together to restore order to the Philippines.’

    That said, I must say that Australia has done a good job in terms of responding to the Haiyan disaster.

  13. Is that a billy goat on the Government front bench I can hear?
    No. It’s only Hockey.
    Kelly O’Bigmouth sounds like schoolgirl asking that question.

  14. As has been noted. Abbot can win QT. The bulletins are all going to be the backflip.

    If they had been smart they would have used this QT to get some awkward questions out of the way.

    Brandis on his feet re intel in Senate

  15. Lizzie – the great thing is the States are all going to be watching them like hawks now, and I don’t doubt they will raise all hell if the Feds try to pull a fast one on any of them.

    And worse, if I’m understanding the reports correctly, the Feds have unilaterally promised funding for WA, Queensland and the NT without them signing up to anything?

  16. [It appears Joe has allowed Tony to blow the budget by another couple of billion.]

    Indeed, and he’s got the shits big time.

  17. Senator Milne has astute observations

    “@senatormilne: Abbott and Pyne methodically paddling madly underwater to try to recover from trust deficit over broken promises on education funding.”

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