Late counting: Legislative Council

A post for ongoing coverage and discussion of late counting for the Legislative Council.

Tuesday, December 15

UPDATE: My paywalled review of the result features in today’s Crikey.

Final result: Labor 14 (down two), Liberal 14 (down four) and Nationals two (down one), the Greens five (up two), and Shooters & Fishers two, DLP one, Sex Party one and Vote 1 Local Jobs one (all previously unrepresented). The tight results favoured Labor over the Country Alliance in Northern Victoria and the Greens over the Sex Party in the South Eastern Metropolitan. The former came down to Labor squeaking ahead of the Greens at the second last exclusion – had it been the other way round, Labor preferences would have decided the seat in the Country Alliance’s favour rather than the Greens’. The latter was contingent upon below-the-line votes, since the ABC projection based on above-the-line preferences had the Sex Party winning a second seat at the Greens’ expense. But clearly the Sex Party suffered from leakage when it received the preferences of Animal Justice and the Voluntary Euthanasia Party. For further detail, we must await the publication of the full preference distributions.

Monday, December 15

The Victorian Electoral Commission will be pushing the button on the results for each region starting from 9:30am tomorrow, a process that should take about 90 minutes in its totality, with results to be officially declared later in the afternoon.

Thursday, December 11

With the lower house done and dusted, the Victorian election still has further entertainment to offer with the conclusion of the upper house count. So I’ve changed the time stamp on this post and provided an updated review of the situation. The count does not look like it will be finalised until late next week, owing to the higher number of below-the-line votes (8% of the total, double that of 2010) and the consequent greater load of data entry work before the computerised count can be conducted.

The best way to get a handle on a complex situation is to consider the many contenders as Left, which I take to encompass Labor, the Greens, the Sex Party, Animal Justice and Voice for the West, and the Right, meaning Liberal, Nationals, Shooters & Fishers, Country Alliance, Democratic Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Vote 1 Local Jobs and Palmer United. Labor plus the Greens land well short of a majority, but the Left will clearly win 19 seats, and the best case scenario for the Andrews government is that they are supplemented by a further three. However, the odds appear against them in two cases, and finely balanced in a third.

The table below shows the state of play, including three categories of “in doubt” seat: those which will definitely go to a party of one ideological side or the other, but where it isn’t clear which one, and the particularly important contests that could go either Left or Right.

Now a summary of the eight regions in order of interest, for which the number of votes in the count has increased by around 60% since my previous overview after election night. Our tools for analysis are the Geeklections simulations and the projected ABC results.

Northern Victoria

IN DOUBT: It is certain that either Shooters & Fishers or Country Alliance will win a Right seat, and there is a strong chance both of them will. If not, the second of the two seats will go to the Left: Labor, the Sex Party or the Greens.

This is diabolically complicated, but the result can be understood as being on the cusp of four Right, one Left and three Right, two Left. In the former case, wins for the Country Alliance and Shooters & Fishers supplement two seats for the Coalition (one Liberal, one Nationals) and one for Labor. Otherwise, the most likely scenario involves the Greens falling behind Labor and dropping out at Count 15, so that their preferences flow to Labor rather than Labor preferences flowing to the Country Alliance, who get them ahead of the Greens.

The odds on this have shortened as the count has progressed, with the Greens’ projected lead at the relevant point shrinking from 0.78% on election night to 0.32% (10.06% to 9.74%). When the preference distribution is properly conducted, it is not clear to me if below-the-line preferences will be a net positive or a net negative for the Greens: their projected vote total includes the 1.78% Animal Justice vote and 0.60% of residue from Palmer United, the Sex Party and Australian Cyclists, some of which will leak.

Other scenarios canvassed at Geeklections involve the Shooters & Fishers dropping out at one of the earlier stages of the count, in which case their seat could go to the Sex Party or the Greens depending on the stage at which it happens. Geeklections also rates as marginal chances other permutations of three Right, two Left, involving various combinations of the aforesaid parties.

Southern Metropolitan

IN DOUBT: A seat might go Right, to the Liberals, or Left, to the Sex Party.

The most likely scenarios here remain three Liberal, one Labor and one Greens, or two Liberal and one each for Labor, the Greens and the Sex Party. For the latter to happen, the Sex Party will need to get ahead of the Liberal Democrats at Count 17. The chances of this have been weakened as the count has progressed, with a Liberal Democrats lead of 6.92% to 6.62% on election night widening to 7.47% to 6.69%. Furthermore, a much higher share of the Sex Party total is in the form of preferences, so they stand to suffer more from below-the-line leakage. Marginally possible scenarios contemplated by Geeklections are the Liberal Democrats winning the seat instead of the Sex Party, and the Sex Party instead taking a seat at the expense of the Greens.

Western Metropolitan

IN DOUBT: A seat might go to the Right, most likely the DLP or theoretically possibly the Liberal Democrats, or to the Left, namely Voice for the West, although the latter seems unlikely.

The ABC projection is Labor, Liberal, Labor, Greens, DLP, which I rated a certainly after election night. However, counting since election night has seen the DLP vote drop from 2.76% to 2.56% and the Liberal Democrats go from 4.55% to 5.52%, and Geeklections is allowing for the possibility of the Liberal Democrats winning the seat if they stay ahead of the Liberals at Count 16, or Voice for the West doing so if they get ahead of the Sex Party at Count 13. Both look rather unlikely to me: in the former scenario, the Liberal vote is almost entirely their own, and thus not susceptible to leakage, and the Liberal Democrats are unlikely to be a magnet for below-the-line preferences; in the latter, a bigger share of Voice for the West’s vote comes from preferences in comparison with the Sex Party, and the higher profile of the latter suggests it is more likely to attract below-the-line preferences.

Western Victoria

IN DOUBT: A Right seat will go to Vote 1 Local Jobs, Shooters & Fishers or Palmer United.

It is clear that the first four seats have gone Liberal, Labor, Liberal, Labor, but the last is a lottery which Geeklections rates in order of likelihood as Shooters & Fishers, Vote 1 Local Jobs, Palmer United, DLP and the Greens, with the latter two particularly long shots. The ABC projection presently has it with Vote 1 Local Jobs, who supplanted Shooters & Fishers on the first day after the election. Shooters & Fishers have been harmed by a 0.36% boost for the Liberal Democrats as counting has progressed, putting them some distance behind (2.59% to 2.27%) at their point of exclusion at Count 14. The Palmer United scenario is contingent on the Coalition doing more strongly than the projection suggests, so that Vote 1 Local Jobs is excluded ahead of them at Count 16 or Count 17.

South-Eastern Metropolitan

IN DOUBT: A Left seat will go to the Sex Party, the Greens or Animal Justice.

Two Labor and two Liberal seats stand to be augmented by a third seat for the Left, which Geeklections rates in order of likelihood as Greens, Sex Party, Animal Justice and Labor. The Sex Party has emerged as a show through the course of counting due to an almost 1% drop in Labor’s total, putting them in danger of exclusion at a point where previously they were staying ahead of the Sex Party. A Sex Party victory is indeed what the ABC is presently projecting, although Geeklections rates the Greens an equal likelihood. The seat would instead go to Animal Justice if they stayed in the hunt in Count 11 and Count 12 by getting ahead of Palmer United, which they presently trail 1.98% to 1.86%, with neither total including any preferences. At this stage though that would appear unlikely. Even less likely is a third seat going to Labor, although Geeklections has it at the margins.

Eastern Metropolitan

The result here has always looked like Liberal, Labor, Liberal, Liberal, Greens. Geeklections has been rating a sizeable possibility of the last seat instead going to Labor, but I’m struggling to see how. The ABC projection has them leading 17.12% to 12.01%, and while 6.64% of that Greens total comes from preferences and is thus subject to leakage, that shouldn’t make more than about 0.5% of difference.

Eastern Victoria

Liberal, Labor, Nationals, Shooters, Labor.

Northern Metropolitan

Labor, Liberal, Greens, Labor, Sex Party.

Sunday overnight

Simulations by Geeklections suggest that a) the Greens seat in Eastern Metropolitan is no foregone conclusion after all, and that Labor might yet win a second seat there, b) the seat in Northern Metropolitan which I have as either the Sex Party or Family First is all but certain to go to the former, c) there is an outside chance that the Shooters & Fishers seat in Northern Victoria will instead go to the Greens or the Sex Party, d) the three Labor, two Liberal possibility in South East Metropolitan is a slight one, and there’s a slightly higher chance of the Greens seat going to Animal Justice rather than third Labor; and e) there’s a slight chance of the micro-party winner in Western Victoria being Palmer United, but Vote 1 Local Jobs is more likely and Shooters & Fishers rather more likely still.

Sunday 3pm

A revised review of the situation, with more care taken to consider alternative scenarios. I see five seats out of 40 in doubt, the remainder going Coalition 15, Labor 13, Greens four, Shooters & Fishers two and DLP one. Shooters & Fishers might get to three, or the third seat could go to Vote 1 Local Jobs instead. The Sex Party might get two, or the two seats in question could instead go Liberal and Family First. Country Alliance might win a seat, or it could go to Labor instead. And there’s a race between the Greens and Labor for the last seat in South Eastern Metropolitan.

First the regions with doubtful seats:

Western Victoria. Since last night, and as intimated might happen below, the ABC has switched its prediction for the last seat from Shooters & Fishers to Vote 1 Local Jobs. That makes two Liberal, two Labor and Vote 1 Local Jobs, with the last seat to be determined by Count 14 and whether Shooters & Fishers (currently 2.27%) can get ahead of the Liberal Democrats (currently 2.28%).

Northern Metropolitan. The current read here is two Labor and one each for Liberal, Greens and Sex Party. But the Sex Party win is contingent on them staying ahead of Labor at Count 22, which is currently 10.62% to 8.73%. Otherwise, the unlocking of the Sex Party bundle causes Family First to win owing to some unlikely types directing them preferences ahead of Labor: the Basics Rock’n’Roll Party, Animal Justice and Australian Cyclists, together with Shooters and Fishers and the Liberal Democrats.

Northern Victoria. Currently a very striking result with two micro-parties elected: two Coalition (one Liberal, one Nationals), and one each for Labor, Shooters & Fishers and Country Alliance. This is because Labor’s surplus of over half a quota is set to flow to Country Alliance ahead of the Greens. However, this will change if the Greens fall behind Labor at the last exclusion, Count 15, at which the Greens are on 10.27% and Labor is on 9.50%. If so, the Greens will be excluded and their preferences will decisively flow to Labor over the Country Alliance, making the result two Labor, two Coalition, one Shooters & Fishers.

South Eastern Metropolitan. Currently a straightforward result of two Labor, two Liberal, one Greens. But if the third Labor candidate gets ahead of Rise Up Australia at the last exclusion, Count 17, where it’s currently Rise Up 10.79% and Labor 9.08%, Labor wins the last seat instead of the Greens, for a result of Labor three, Liberal two.

Southern Metropolitan. Currently a status quo result of three Liberal, one Labor and one Greens – but the third Liberal might yet lose to the Sex Party if the latter stays afloat at Count 17, where the Liberal Democrats currently lead them by 6.96% to 6.64%. The Sex Party would then absorb the big Labor surplus, which otherwise stands to go untouched because the present projection has the second Labor candidate staying in the race until the final count, at which point he loses to the Liberals.

Now the straightforward ones:

Eastern Metropolitan. Liberal 3, Labor 1, Greens 1.

Western Metropolitan. Labor 2, Liberal 1, Greens 1, DLP 1.

Eastern Victoria. Coalition 2 (Liberal 1, Nationals 1), Labor 2, Shooters & Fishers 1.

Close of Saturday night

Another freakish upper house result, with the present ABC projection being Liberal 14 and Nationals 2; Labor 13; Greens five, winning seats in each of the metropolitan region, including gains in South Eastern Metropolitan and Eastern Metropolitan; three for Shooters and Fishers; and one each for Family First, Country Alliance and the Democratic Labor Party. As I shall shortly explain, there are a few results I don’t think are locked down:

Eastern Metropolitan. Nearly half counted, and it’s looking like the Greens have gained a seat from Labor: enter Samantha Dunn, exit Brian Tee.

Eastern Victoria. As was widely anticipated, it appears Shooters and Fishers have gained a seat at the expense of the Coalition. Result: two Coalition (one Liberal and one Nationals), two Labor, one Shooters and Fishers (Jeff Bourman).

Northern Metropolitan. Only a third counted, but Family First projected to take a seat from the Liberals, and I don’t see any narrow cut-off points that might thwart them (UPDATE: I spoke too soon: in an interesting reversal, the seat is now projected to go to the figurehead of the Sex Party, Fiona Patten).

Northern Victoria. Two micro-party winners projected here: Country Alliance, which I figured, and Shooters and Fishers, which I didn’t. But what happens if the Greens drop behind Labor at Count 14?

South Eastern Metropolitan. Looks like the Greens have poached a seat from Labor for a result of 2-2-1. Although there are some close cut-off points there, for which I’ll shortly get to experimenting with alternative outcomes.

South Metropolitan. Status quo result of 2-2-1.

Western Metropolitan. The DLP are back, taking a seat off the Liberals.

Western Victoria. Two Liberal and two Labor, but the third Coalition seat (the Nationals) seemingly to be dropped to Shooters and Fishers (Nicole Bourman, presumably related to Jeff). But there are a lot of close cut-offs late in the count which warrant a closer look. (UPDATE: Areaman notes in comments that the Shooters and Fishers win is contingent upon them keeping their head above water at a point in the count where they are nearly level with the Liberal Democrats. If they fail to do so, the seat looks likely to go to James Purcell of Vote 1 Local Jobs, whose chances were being spruiked by a number of close observers based on his tight preference arrangements.)

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.

213 comments on “Late counting: Legislative Council”

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  1. William is probably still on his well deserved holiday but it’d be great to get this thread back into play – looks to be a fascinating count with lots of chances of taking the seats

    I guess we won’t know for sure until they get all the votes into the system and push the button – anyone know when that is?

  2. I think it would be undemocratic to deny seats to independents or parties that get less than a certain threshold of the primary vote (like the much-touted 5 percent inspired by Germany’s example). The purpose of preferential voting is to award seats on the basis of the voters’ aggregated preferences – to deliver the most preferred candidates of the bunch. Sometimes that will be someone who did worse on the primary vote than someone who lost. Big deal. First past the post is not our system, and it never should be because it prevents voters from supporting non-mainstream candidates while still influencing the contest between the majors.

    The real problems are 1. group ticket voting creating an electoral lottery for the final seat in upper house counts, which disempowers voters and empowers parties; and 2. frivolous candidates clogging up the ballot paper, making voting an unwieldy and confusing process for the voter.

    The solution to 1 is to abolish group ticket voting and provide optional preferential voting both above and below the line. There should be both, because while most voters will only care about parties, some will care about individuals within each party’s list. It’s true that relatively few people vote below the line, but the voter is sovereign – they should have that power at their disposal. You never know when there will be a Joe Bullock situation – when a party gives its number one spot to a repugnant candidate. In that situation, the voter should be able to correct the party’s mistake by giving a different individual the number one spot. The voter should not have to reject their preferred party because the party goofed on a pre-selection. Empower the voter – that must be the golden rule of electoral design.

    The second problem can be eliminated by requiring candidates and parties to show the seriousness of their campaigns before getting on the ballot. This should NOT be done by increasing the registration fee. It should be done instead by requiring independents and parties to demonstrate that at least 0.5 percent of the electorate supports their run for office. If you want to run as an independent candidate for the Victorian Legislative Council from the Western Victoria region, you should be required to produce signatures supporting your candidacy from at least 0.5 percent of the enrolled voters in the region. If you are a party that wants to run candidates across an entire state, lower and upper houses, then you should be required to prove that your party membership is no less than 0.5 percent of all enrolled voters in the state. If your party only wants to stand candidates in one region for the upper house, then you need to show that your party membership comprises at least 0.5 percent of the enrolled voters who reside in that region.

    If you are serious about running for office – if you truly want to present ideas and solicit voter support – then getting those signatures or party membership numbers should not be onerous for you. It is only the frivolous candidates and joke micro-parties who would find it too hard to be worth doing.

  3. The (probable) failure of the left to snag an extra seat in the Wests is disappointing, but to get only 1 in NV off those primary votes is a complete upfuck.

  4. will be interesting to see what happens with the below the line votes – my guess is that the more informed voters are the ones most likely to vote that way and the micro parties will suffer as a result

  5. Looks like PUP aren’t confident in Western Vic

    Catriona Thoolen PUP ‏@cat240359 15m15 minutes ago Melbourne, Victoria

    @tnsprofpunter 🙂 I think the LNP have let me down…I needed them to get 37.2- 38% Ah well, the luck of the draw (& voters will).

  6. Mr. Bludger, you are not entirely correct about the orientations of the parties. As someone who has publicly predicted the results of the last three elections to within 97% and also someone who came up interdependently with a preference swap strategy at the last by-election for the Seat of Melbourne (not knowing of the previous work of Mr. Druery), I have some comments.

    The Liberal Democrats are basically the Australian Democrats. Their policies clearly mark them as Libertarian left. They are closest to the Sex Party in views. They have done much better in this election than me or anyone suspected. They are the one party whose vote I got wildly wrong. UF at least some places, their prefs will help the DLP which has exercised considerable RealPolitik with pref swaps.

    The Palmer United Party is not clearly Right. They have preferenced the Greens almost everywhere and will help the Greens get over.

    The leadership, and the views of the leadership, of Voice For The West are very clearly Left and Greens-orientated. Unfortunately, and this is due to internal party stuff, their preferences in the Upper House all go to the frothing-at-the-mouth Right Wing parties. This will never happen again. My analysis before the election showed them winning a seat in West metro unless the DLP and the LDP got much higher votes than expected; unfortunately this happened.

  7. Thomas @108

    The Liberal Democrats may be many things, but they are certainly not the Australian Democrats. They may have a few policies similar to the Democrats used to hold on the social liberal front – such as drugs, marriage equality, euthanasia, etc, but these just as readily could be equated to the Greens. Their stance on guns, human rights law, land rights, let alone on most economic matters is 100 miles from the Democrats or Greens. And in terms of the admittedly rough/crude left/right categorisation exercise, their record in the Senate thus far shows they fit more regularly in the Right block than they do in a Left one (even though there is some occasional common ground with Left parties on some one off issues).

    But it has been interesting to see how well – relatively speaking – the LDP has done on primary votes. They were the only micro party to break the 5% barrier (in West Metro) and also broke 4% in two other regions (South Metro & East Vic). The DLP was the only other micro party to break 4% in any of the Upper House region, which they did only once (North Vic) (and that with the help of donkey vote).

    Perhaps ballot paper positioning vis a vis the Liberal Party helped the LDP inadvertently get votes intended for the Libs.

  8. No, Mr. Bowe, it did not show me. My predictions about this and the previous two elections posted on Facebook two weeks before the elections have been more accurate than almost any commentator, including Mr. Bartlett, except this Geek guy. This is one reason parties pay me to advise them, and why there are so many party advisors and elected politicians in my Friends list.

    I do accept however that I am wrong about the Liberal Democrats. I don’t know anything about them or about the Shooters and Fishers. Last time I talked to the Australian Democrats they said they were considering running under a different name for various reasons. The policies posted on the LDP website are an interesting mix. There are a number of quite Left policies there. The LDP did better than I thought, the DLP did exactly what I thought in the West, elsewhere I didn’t study. Why, I just don’t know. I’m guessing that people don’t know anything about the parties or the candidates but just think from the names that the DLP might be Labor, except that it is in touch with the people, and the LDP might be the Liberals, except with some attributes like morality, intelligence, things like that. Until I do some work on the ground I won’t know.

    Nicholas, which parties are you claiming are ‘frivolous’? The only party that got less than .05% in the electorates I looked at was Rise Up Australia, which is completely serious and Thank God nobody voted for them.

  9. Studying the LDP’s policies, I stand by the argument that their old-fashioned Jeffersonian liberatarianism is not a million miles from the Sex Party. There are quite a lot of policies I could agree with there, most especially the view that Australia’s Defence policies and budgeting are completely misguided. Where they stand away from the Left parties are their non-interventionist economics views, cutting humanitarian aid (their grasp of law and policy in that area is poor), and support for privatisation, as opposed to example the PUP, which is strongly opposed to privatisation, seems to support regulation, and has mostly compassionate humanitarian policies.

    What one can say about this election is that the electorate, which has moved both Right and Left and abandoned the Centre, is firmly rejecting the antiquated failed neoliberal economic policies followed by Labor and the Liberals.

  10. For the voters of Australia to supposedly abandon neoliberalism (an economic Right ideology) for the LDP would be a striking demonstration of the complete and utter failure to generally comprehend the policy agendas of the parties they are voting for on the part of the electorate.

  11. Characterising the LDP’s economic views as merely “non-interventionist” glosses over the staggering contradictions and failings therein.

    “Proven to be catastrophic in practice” would be a fairer assessment.

  12. The Sex Party and the LDP have in common libertarianism, the philosophy that sits least easily on the left-right spectrum. But since the former’s schtick is anti-conservative and the latter’s is anti-socialist, I’m satisfied that I’ve allocated them correctly.

  13. Getting tweets indicating some results, I think Anthony van der Craats may be scrutineering or in contact with those who are… see this stream for more
    [melbcity ‏@Melbcity
    NthMetro: SexParty elected on back of ALP preferences #vicvotes
    9:44 AM – 13 Dec 2014

    melbcity ‏@Melbcity
    SE Metro: Greens elected on back of ALP preferences 2 ALP 2 Lib, 1 Grn #vicvotes
    9:45 AM – 13 Dec 2014

    melbcity ‏@Melbcity
    #vicvotes Large percentage of below-the-line votes exhaust leaving the ticket vote to determine the result
    9:46 AM – 13 Dec 2014

    melbcity ‏@Melbcity
    NthMetro: Higher informal rate mainly due to the confusing and poor design of the ballot paper.
    9:47 AM – 13 Dec 2014]

    tweets from the guy who runs this blog…

  14. 118

    Only Northern Metro. The rest did not have too many candidates for a single row.

    We need to follow the NSW anti-tablecloth measures of ATL preferencing, larger party size (600 would be about the size for Victoria) and party registration closing earlier than the dissolution of Parliament/issue of writs.

  15. It’s perhaps a little inaccurate that you refer to the Voice of the West “a left party.” Their candidate in the seat of Footscray, is the former Liberal Party candidate in the 2010 election and their candidate in Williamstown is a former DLP member. Both are hardly “left” candidates.

  16. peter care

    [It’s perhaps a little inaccurate that you refer to the Voice of the West “a left party.” Their candidate in the seat of Footscray, is the former Liberal Party candidate in the 2010 election and their candidate in Williamstown is a former DLP member. Both are hardly “left” candidates.]

    Is it possible that they run in the west under the Liberals to break the incumbency of Labor safe seats? They probably picked the Liberals previously as the best chance for an alternative voice? (Not that I agree with the calibre of the candidates that the Libs have ran in the West)

  17. The magic number in the Council is 20 (out of the 40 seats).

    As in the Senate, this is the number required to defeat legislation (except in Victoria money bills cannot be blocked).

    On present indications we look like getting:

    14 Lib + 2 Nat + 2 S&F + 1 CA + 1 DLP = 20

    The process for resolving deadlocks between the Houses in Victoria is convoluted. What happens if the Council digs its toes in is anyone’s guess.

    Some say that the architects of the process, whoever they were, deserve a day in the stocks on the steps of Parliament House.

  18. 125

    Apparently it is actually easier to call an early election over disputed bills in Victoria than to call a DD of the Commonwealth Parliament. It is certainly less vague than “fail to pass”.

    Where they went wrong is the failure to provide for a resolution procedure for a failure to elect a speaker, even though the Assembly has an even number of members. This came within a couple of hundred votes of being a serious issue in 2010. Even numbers for the Council, dramatically increasing the chances of a tied vote, were not a good idea either.

    The slightly vague provision to cause the election after a dissolution to revert to the last Saturday in November that does not make it clear if four years is the maximum term of parliament or the maximum time between elections (The 25 day difference between those two (the official election campaign) is the difference between an election being just over three years after the previous election and just over 4 years, if the election is held in earlier November than the last Saturday) or even possibly (but unlikely) that it puts the end of the 4 years 6b months either way for the election date.

  19. Nicholas, which parties are you claiming are ‘frivolous’? The only party that got less than .05% in the electorates I looked at was Rise Up Australia, which is completely serious and Thank God nobody voted for them.

    Parties and independents who do no real campaigning – just pay the fee and get their name on the ballot paper – are frivolous. If every party or independent had to get the signatures of at least half of one percent of the electorate in support of their candidacy before they could get on the ballot, it would weed out the non-serious candidates who turn upper house ballot papers into a tablecloth. Micro-parties and independents could still run and win seats but they would need to make a serious organizational effort in order to get on the ballot.

  20. Beats me why the Coalition didn’t fix the Upper House voting system last term while they readily had the opportunity. The NSW Upper House system has been shown to work – still giving some chance to smaller parties with something more than a derisory level of support – and would do so even better in Victoria (and the Senate) (& SA) (& WA) where the quota is higher.

  21. & Thomas @108

    “My predictions about this and the previous two elections posted on Facebook two weeks before the elections have been more accurate than almost any commentator, including Mr. Bartlett”

    That would certainly be true – not least because I made no predictions and never purported to do so.

    Does anyone else think the LDP are starting to build a little bit of an ongoing support base, or do people think it still inflated by confusion with the Liberals?

  22. Agreed Andrew, all this time the Libs have had a majority in the Upper House so why didn’t they change the system?

    What was wrong with single member electorates for the Upper House?

  23. As I suspect you know DF, the problem with single member electorates – for the Upper House or Louwer Houses – is that they tend to produce outcomes which are far less proportional & thus less accurately reflect the votes/views of the electorate. (check the last Qld election for an obvious example)

    Unfortunately, Group Voting Tickets – at least combined with easy registration requirements for micro parties and those parties (understandably) focsued on winning solely through gaming the system – are also now producing distorted results. But as I said, NSW has shown how that problem can easily be fixed.

  24. I think NSW and possibly SA would benefit from being divided into regions. Preferably 7 member regions.

    I do not know how well SA would divide up into two fully metro regions and a mostly non-Adelaide region.

    7×7 would do well in NSW I think. Even though I do not know how NSW would divide up.

  25. It’s odd enough thinking how they came up with a formula that produced 5 metro and 3 rural regions.

    If I had my way, I’d just go with one big region.

  26. 133

    Having only 2 rural and regional regions would, almost certainly, have meant a region going over the mountainous bit of the great dividing range and that would likely break up communities of interest. There is the population outside Melbourne for between 2 and 3 regions. So those two facts set up the 3 rural and regional regions and then the metro regions flowed from there.

  27. Tom1 & RaRa 133 & 134

    Should have had 3 x 3 member, 3 x 5 member and 3 x 7 member Regions.

    Obviously populations pro-rata to members in each region and the smaller population regions in the less dense areas. Obviously the 7 member regions would be in Melbourne and the 5 member would be urban fringe / secondary city.

    That would provide sensible regions for remoter areas community of interest. Fidelity of representation in population dense areas and an odd number of MLCs (45).

  28. 135

    Why should regional and outer suburban people be less able to elect smaller parties, giving them less to no representation in statewide smaller parties?

    Melbourne currently has 5 out of 8 regions, plus parts of each of the other regions. It would justify 5 of 7 seven member regions. Why would the outer suburbs need smaller regions than the inner suburban regions?

    There is also the question, when dividing up between regions of different numbers of members, whether to divide them up by number of voters divided by number of members or number of voters+1 divided by number of members+1. The former, I would argue, is in fact, in a single transferable vote system at least, a subtle means of malapportionment because it leaves the regions with fewer members with a lower quota for election, just the same as single member malapportionment in preferential systems.

    It would make dividing up the districts between the regions much more restricted. Using number of voters by number of members, it would require a Legislative Assembly of 105 (3x5x7) (9 more than has even been the case before and a bit large for a Council of 45, especially considering that there is a provision to pass legislation at a joint sitting). Using number of voters+1 divided by number of members+1 the required number is either 72 (significant shrinkage) or 96 (equal largest even), both of which are even numbers and thus allow a deadlocked parliament to be elected.

  29. There is of course also the fixed quota that does not vary between electorates. This was used in the Wiemar Republic and, combined with voluntary voting, produced significant fluctuations in parliamentary size.

    All in all a uniform number of members per region is best.

  30. ALP has moved ahead of GRN in Northern Vic. GRN preferences taking ALP over the line instead of Australian Country Alliance.
    ALP was preferences go to Australian Country Alliance ahead of GRN.

  31. (Re #129 by Andrew Bartlett)

    The presence of an LDP senator might indeed be raising the party’s profile as a whole.

    Nonetheless I present the following observations:

    LDP’s 3 best regions were:

    West Metro (5.52%)
    East Vic (4.75%)
    South Metro (4.60%)

    LDP’s 3 best ticket draws (compared to the Libs) were:

    West Metro (LDP at Group C, Libs buried at Group M)
    East Vic (LDP at Group B, Libs buried at Group H)
    South Metro (LDP at Group C, Libs buried at Group Q)

    LDP’s 2 worst regions were:

    East Metro (1.34%)
    North Metro (1.48%)

    LDP’s 2 worst ticket draws (compared to the Libs) were:

    East Metro (Libs at Group B, ahead of LDP at Group D)
    North Metro (Libs at Group C, LDP buried at Group L)

    Everyone is free to decide for themself whether there is or isn’t a relationship between the LDP vote and the RELATIVE ticket position of the Libs and the LDP.

  32. Labor getting ahead of Country Alliance in Northern Victoria, the Sex Party getting ahead of the Greens in South East Metro, and James Purcell (who seems like the least mad of the alternatives) staying ahead in West Vic isn’t too bad in terms of late counting developments if they hold.

  33. That North Vic result brings Labor+Greens+Sex to 20 seats, if I’m reading things right (and assuming there are no astonishments in the other seats). If it is James Purcell in West Vic, there is suddenly a fairly reasonable passage to legislation for the government.

  34. Looks like Labor will be doing a lot of negotiating to get bills through, however, the other 20 aren’t exactly united as a blocking bloc.

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