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”

Comments Page 4 of 5
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  1. The lack of a clear majority does make it more likely the LC will adequately scrutinise government action – more at risk if, say, Labor and the Greens alone held a majority of seats.

  2. All in all a great improvement on how it appeared on election night; seems more doable to cobble together a majority here than when it required Family First to agree with the Sex Party, or the Greens to agree with the Shooters.

  3. Does the President of the VIC legislative Council have a deliberative vote [as does the President of the Senate] or a casting vote? If deliberative, the ALP may have a slightly easier time in legislating its agenda with the support of the “left leaning” parties such as the Greens and the Sex Party.

  4. Good to see a (likely) majority for the abolition of the abomination that is group ticket voting in the (unlikely) event that the Liberals play funny buggers and now refuse to go along with it: 14 ALP + 5 Greens + 2 Nationals. (Don’t tell me the Nationals won’t want to be shot of it now that they’ve been so badly hurt by it.)

  5. If only the count in South Metro is like what appeared in the beginning where it looked like 1 additional Sex Party at the expense of the Libs, then it would have been 1 Lab, 1 GRN, 1 Sex, 2 Libs.

    So now instead 2 left, 3 right.

  6. JA @155

    I think the LC is similar to the Senate where the President isn’t required a casting vote. He can vote as he pleases.

    Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  7. 154

    The Greens are a know quantity with usually predicable positions and low infighting. Micro parties are often more prone to infighting and splitting up. It would also make it harder for the ALP+Greens to block motions they oppose because they would need 2 extra vote, rather than 1.

    Also I seem to remember you saying the Greens targeting Prahran was a bad idea. Do you still think that.

  8. [The Greens are unlikely to compromise scrutiny of government.]

    Their record wasn’t sparkling when holding the balance of power in the Senate in my view. There were several occasions when the Greens opposed orders for the production of documents and imposed guillotines to cut off debate on legislation.

  9. I’m pleased that Labor picked up a second Northern Victorian region seat (which was on the cards from the below-the-line votes) but disappointed that it has lost Brian Tee in Eastern Metropolitan.

    The result is less than ideal for Labor, but it did succeed in its strategic aim of not being totally dependent on the Greens in the Legislative Council. The ideal result was something like 19 Labor, 2 Greens, 2 new DLP or 2 Country Alliance and 17 Coalition as that would have given Labor two pathways to legislative success. I know those who think there is some great progressive alliance of Labor and the Greens against the evil reactionaries don’t get this point, but the smart people in the Labor Party do.

    Splitting the Nationals from the Liberals is not impossible but likely to be rare. (Those of us with long memories remember that the Whitlam school funding scheme got thought the Senate with the support of the Nationals, who split from the Liberals on the issue long ago.)

    On some issues, the Coalition will support Labor, but on most issues Labor will need the support of the Greens and two others. Given that Peter Kavanagh of the new DLP voted with Labor more than the Greens did in his early time in the Legislative Council and that the original DLP often voted with the ALP in the Senate way back in the 1960s, I don’t think it will be difficult for the ALP to get support from the new DLP on traditional Labor causes. I don’t know where Vote 1 Local Jobs would stand on most issues, but if pragmatic that would be another possible supporter of sensible practical policies. That would give Labor the necessary 21 votes. The real worry is the Shooters & Fishers and the price they might seek for support, but I’m not sure what issues Labor would need their votes on that it could not get the votes of the new DLP and Vote 1 Local Jobs.

    Luckily, whatever price the Greens demand for voting support can be offset by the need to get other votes, so we won’t have the situation of the Greens doing to the state Labor government what they did to two federal Labor governments. The Greens may want X, Y and Z, but Labor can say the micros don’t really want any of that but they do want A, B and C, and if you will support A, we can get them to support X: take it or leave it!

    On some issues, Labor will just have to accept being defeated.

    Labor’s management of the Legislative Council will provide a study in contrasts with federal Coalition’s management of the Senate. Past federal governments have mostly survived Senates that they have not controlled. The Bracks and Brumby Labor governments survived a Legislative Council it did not control from 1999 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2010. It can be done.

    We have already got the outrage that micro-parties with over 22 per cent of the vote dared to get representation and demands to change the voting system to favour the Greens. Again, smart Labor people know this would be folly. There may be some smart Coalition MPs with the same insight.

  10. I haven’t seen anyone propose changing the Upper House voting system to favour the Greens, but plenty of people recognise it would be far better to change the voting system to favour the voter.

    The micro-parties may have polled over 22% of the vote, but there is no single ‘Micro Party’ contesting the election. Instead, we have 5 seats in an Upper House where the quota is 16.67% going to parties who didn’t come close to breaking the 4% barrier and would never have gained a seat had preferences been distributed on the basis of voters’ views.

    The winning Shooters party candidates polled 3.5% & 2.44%, the winning Sex Party candidate polled 2.88%, the winning DLP candidate poll 2.56%, and the winning Vote 1 Local Jobs candidate polled 1.28%.

  11. In order to support the argument that micro-parties deserve representation on the basis that their COMBINED vote is 22%, we would need to accept that Australian Christians voters would be perfectly happy electing reps from the Sex Party and vice versa.

    It is a flawed argument that doesn’t wash, no matter how many times it is repeated.

  12. If you want to widen the disconnect between the electorate and the people, then making representation in an upper house harder for minor parties is a pretty good way to do it — putting up the shutters on a shop that at most hours seems to be closed anyway.

    A different voting method can also alter voter behaviour, sometimes in a way that risks breaking the system rather than stretching it, and in unforeseen ways. An example might be the impact of UKIP, not just on the Conservatives but unexpectedly on Labour.

    To say it is ridiculous that a party with <3% can a seat may underestimate the intelligence of the voters. They know how the preference system broadly works. And I don't think there will be spontaneous uprisings against the result, in the present case anyway.

    One interesting feature, for instance, is that both ends of wowser spectrum (an evergreen in Victoria's politics) are represented now specifically in the Council. I don't think too many people will object to Fiona Patten getting a go at last.

    You could say our upper house preference system is very consistent with Australian values, provided that the micros don't over-play their power.

  13. 163

    I would have preferred it id the Liberals had lost their third MLC in Eastern Metro, rather than the ALP Loosing Tee.

    On issues that the Liberals oppose the ALP on, if they also lack Green support, the ALP need the Nationals and all 5 crossbenchers to pass legislation. If both the Coalition (or both the Liberals and Nationals if the Coalition splits up) and the Greens oppose something, it cannot pass. That puts the Greens in a strong position.

    I think that ALP Greens, Sex Party and Local Jobs will likely be the most reliable route for bills opposed by the Liberals. The DLP are likely to only be useful when the agree with the ALP, Greens and Local Jobs or (less likely Sex Party) when the Sex Party disagrees.

    The new Legislative Council is easier for the Government than the 2008-11 Senate was for the ALP in that there are 5 crossbenchers to choose the 2 additional votes they need after Green support, rather than having just 2 to get to agree with the same bills as the Greens. Otherwise it is fairly similar. I will not be surprised if the Legislative Council is a bit troublesome and the ALP calls an early election after adopting the NSW style system of having optional preferential above the line.

  14. @164
    Absolutely, thanks for the sense. It’s a shame more people didn’t vote below the line, it’s really easy now that you only have to vote for 5. Need more education on this.

    One of the worst things I have noticed about this result is Cyclists party preferences helping to get Shooters and Fishers elected rather than the Greens in Eastern Vic. I contacted them about this and basically someone candidly told me that they expected to get more than S and F so thought it wouldn’t matter. S and F got loads of mini party preferences I don’t know why, but it seems like mini party delusions about their possible results may play into this.

    Basically if you asked people who voted for the cyclists whether they would prefer to have a green or a S and F elected, I think you would get a different result than these preferences did. As you say, it’s voters who are being ripped off by these stupid deals.

  15. Well I should put in a proviso – I must admit I am judging this by Anthony Green’s website – it may be in fact that cyclists voters did not follow the HTV card so their preferences may not have contributed to S and F getting a seat – but that is what the cyclists’ HTV would contribute to, at least theoretically.

  16. 166

    Giving voters choice about their above the line preferences does not preclude small parties getting seats. It just says they have to get preferences based on their appeal to voters rather than in back room deals. We are saying give the voter more power, not less.

  17. [To say it is ridiculous that a party with <3% can a seat may underestimate the intelligence of the voters. They know how the preference system broadly works.]

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if a significant proportion of voters had little understanding of how the system works.

    Even if it was the case that people were aware of the intricacies of the system, there wouldn't be harm in abolishing GTV and allowing people to allocate their own preference. That way if people wanted to preference all the micro parties and stop there they still could and the result would be the same, but based on an informed decision of the voters.

  18. Andrew.

    There is no “4 per cent barrier”. The system is the single transferable vote, under which countless senators and MLCs have been elected from far fewer primary votes than the examples you give; e.g., Stephen Conroy of the ALP (with 780 votes or 0.03 per cent), Julian McGauran of the National Party (with 1190 or 0.04 per cent) and Judith Troeth of the Liberal Party (with 829 or 0.03 per cent) were all elected in 2004 yet no one objected to those three getting into the Senate on preferences; Bridget McKenzie of the National Party was elected in 2010 from an initial 1045 votes (or 0.03 per cent of the vote). No one objected to that. The fact that their preferences came from within their own group is irrelevant. Micro-parties are entitled to swap preferences and voters are free to endorse those swaps by voting above the line or to make their own preferences by voting below the line, which in Victoria requires no more than the ability to count five.

    Under STV, all votes are equal. The vote of someone who supports a minor candidate is not of less value than the vote of someone who supports a major candidate. That voter is entitled to have his or her vote remain in the count until the end. To exclude it because a candidate received less than 4 per cent or discount it because it went to a minor party candidate is the antithesis of democracy.

    To change the rules to make it harder for micro-partes to win seats is the aim of the Greens because the Greens, naturally enough, want the balance of power to themselves. There is no logical reason on Earth why the Labor, Liberal or National Parties should co-operate in making themselves hostage to the Greens.


    The fact is that 92 per cent endorsed the preference order of particular parties. They did not have to do so.

    For more argument, you can both read my submissions (Nos 131 and 131.1) to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters Submissions at

  19. For what it’s worth Valerie, I don’t think it would’ve made a world of difference had the Cyclists alone preferenced the Greens above S&F in Eastern Victoria.

  20. [The fact is that 92 per cent endorsed the preference order of particular parties. They did not have to do so.]

    92% voted ATL.

    It is entirely a matter of interpretation whether that constitutes real (as opposed to legally inferred) endorsement of the preference arrangements.

    As I said once before: I support having more minor and micro parties in upper houses but that opinion does not extend to gaming the electoral system in their favour.

  21. I say give the power to the voters and take it away from back room party deals. The current system of party preference deals is not transparent. the best option is one which allows voters to give preferences above the line – expressing an order of preference for the the parties of their choice or expressing preferences below the line which enables them to choose between candidates within and between parties.

    All power to the people

  22. I know it is pure speculation, but I wonder if it’s possible to transpolate from the BTL votes spreadsheet and apply this as what people would’ve vote if ATL voting didn’t exist.

    It’ll be interesting to see the theoretical scenario, but you must be careful to apply it according to the ATL numbers.

  23. The main problem with STV is that most voters aren’t aware of the deals the parties hatched with one another. They would be aware if they they bothered to find out but effectively they’re leaving it in the parties. That’s to say it works if the parties themselves know what they are doing, but at times, we get weird preference flows due to the way each party decide on STV preferences.

    Say a left-leaning Labor voter suddenly finds his votes going to some rather unknown right-wing minor party instead of staying generally within left-wing parties.

    Similarly, a S&F supporter might find his votes going into the Sex Party or Cyclist Party which they might not even know the policies of.

    Getting rid of ATL gives the voters full responsibilities of the preference that he or she might go, and as the minimum limit is 5 boxes, they might forego giving preferences to parties they’re never going to be interested in.

  24. 173

    There is a practical difference between GVTs sending votes within their group and between groups. Within the group, voters are getting exactly what their vote is labeled as. Outside the group, effort has to be gone to to see where the vote will go.

    In only one other electoral system I know of, the Israeli system, can votes for one group/party end up with another group/party the first group/party has allocated and even then it is (I believe) only a single other group or party and they have no history of preferential voting.

    Allowing above the line preferencing would give the choice to voters, rather than backroom deal-makers.

  25. Chris @173

    Comparing the individual #1 votes of people lower down the list of a major party with the individual #1 votes of micro-parties is really stretching things.

    All that I (and many others) are suggesting is a system which more accurately reflects the views and wishes of the voter. If micro-parties can reach a quota via the preferences of voters, good on them.

  26. Considering how this was poised, its a good result: ALP+GRNS+SEX have 20 and a block to various forms of silly rubbish.

    Excellent outcome for the GRNs – who increased their represenatation in the VIC Parliament from 3 to 7.

    And 92% is a 4% drop in the number of people voting ATL cf.2010, which shows the social media campaign had an impact. Thats now 8% who refused to participate in the preference Ponzi scheme we like to call our ‘upper house electoral system’.

    Need to get that higher and higher people – take your vote back from the hacks!

    And so, we sign off from VIC 2014:Farewell the Napthine Govt by and for spivs (No, really,I did told ya so!); The E-W link ‘referendum results’ are in (thanks Tones); and Prahran goes GRN off the Libs.

    Nice work Victoria! 🙂

  27. [Also I seem to remember you saying the Greens targeting Prahran was a bad idea. Do you still think that.]

    I think that one answers itself 😛

  28. Frickeg

    [I have my issues with the Sex Party, but I do quite like the statement on their website where they say Patten will pay particular attention to the policies of those parties whose preferences elected her.]

    This is true to the form of how preferential voting (and maybe preferential deals too) is meant to work. If you can’t enough votes yourself, you should consider the voters whose preferences ended up voting you. I’m guessing the theory behind STVs is that in return for preferences, you also help with the policies should they end up electing you.

  29. 185

    The statement mentions 7 parties* but names 5 of those*. The exclusions are the Shooters and Fishers, the Greens (whose surplus (less BTLs voting the other way) they received) and the ALP (whose surplus (less BTLs voting the other way) they received).

    * including at least 1 non-party group

  30. Of course, what’s nuts is that the Inclusive Gregory used biased the flow to the Country Alliance, causing them to be not elected, whereas if Weighted IG was used and the biased flow to CA removed, then CA would have been elected.

  31. Chris Curtis,
    Group ticket voting has become morally indefensible. An election is not a lottery; if I want to play the lottery, I can buy a Tatts ticket. What’s the difference between these micro-parties’ fluke wins and randomly selecting one of them to take a seat?

  32. An omnibus reply to various points made in response to my earlier posts:

    “There is no “gaming the electoral system”. That is an emotive term designed to deprive the 22 per cent of representation in favour of the 11 per cent getting a much better chance of keeping the balance of power.

    There is no conflict between backroom party deals and power to the voters because the voters freely choose to endorse the public deals (on the VEC website) or to ignore them by voting below the line. If voters aren’t aware of the deals, it’s because they don’t really care as they can find them on the VEC website and at every polling centre.

    Having preferences above the line empowers parties because they choose the order of candidates below the line in each group. Having preferences above the line is completely unnecessary when you have optional preferences below the line

    Thinking in the left-right stereotypes based on where delegates sat in the French National Assembly of the eighteenth century is unhelpful.

    The system elects individuals. People within a party may be closer in ideas than people in different parties but the whole idea is to produce a ranking of individuals.

    The vote counting is precise. It bears no relationship to a lottery at all. People chose to endorse a ticket by voting above the line or not to by voting below the line.

    I do believe some of the rules should be changed, but I have no problem with group voting tickets. My proposal to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters for the Senate (and adaptable for the Legislative Council) is designed to ensure that only genuine parties have group tickets, to make it easier to vote below the lime and to retain the proportional nature of the system. I advocate:
    1) the same rules for all jurisdictions and houses,
    2) party registration to be based on one 20th of one per cent of the electors (c1,900 voters in this state) and to be required two years before the election,
    3) increased deposits for candidates after the second in each group, with a sliding scale of votes before deposits are returned (4 per cent, as now, for the first deposit, 16 per cent, say, for the second deposit, and so on),
    4) preferences below the line after a set number, say, 20, to be optional,
    5) group voting tickets to be restricted to the same 20 preferences,
    6) an official website to allow the voter to devise and print a formal how-to-vote card to take to the polling booth.

    The bottom line is that c22 per cent of the people voted for micro-parties, giving them five seats, while c11 per cent of the people voted for the Greens, giving them five seats, yet the complaint is that the 22 per cent are over-represented and the demand is that the rules be changed to make it harder for the 22 per cent to be represented and easier for the 11 per cent.

  33. Chris Curtis,
    Your logic is hopeless. Why do you persist in lumping together all the micro-parties as though they stand for the same thing?

  34. Chris, the 22% minor party figure you quote includes a percentage of votes that ended up electing Green and Liberal MLCs. If the preferences of those votes elected Green and Liberal MLCs, why are you saying they really wanted a micro-party?

  35. The four most popular languages in the world are Chinese, English, Spanish and Other. If you can learn to speak those four you’ll do fine.

  36. @195 and you refuse to discuss if the people who voted above the line for a minor party would be happy with that vote if they knew who it actually went to.

    Yes you can find that information out, but most people don’t.

  37. @Chris Curtis

    With respect, I think you are letting some anti Greens feelings get in the way of logic. As others have pointed out, to lump the 22 percent of people who voted for micro parties in the LC in to one group, when that 22 percent come from such a wide range of the political spectrum, simply is not logical. To have a situation where in Victoria a candidate has been elected with a little over 1 percent of the vote, or federally where the MEP were elected with far less than that, is nothing short of a farce and not a true representation of the wishes of the electorate.

    You go on to talk about parties not being willing to agree to a voting system which would hold them hostage to the Greens, which says to me you are more interested in an anti Greens agenda than in a system that actually delivers parties and candidates that represent the will of the electorate.

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