Late count: Herbert finalised, Senate results imminent

Prospects for a legal challenge to Labor’s 37-vote win, as the AEC prepares to press the button on Senate election counts across the country.

New South Wales and Queensland results (Thursday)

So then. New South Wales as expected: 1. Payne (Lib); 2. Dastyari (ALP); 3. Sinodinos (Lib); 4. McAllister (ALP); 5. Nash (NAT); 6. O’Neill (ALP); 7. Fierravanti-Wells (LIB); 8. Cameron (ALP); 9. Rhiannon (GRN); 10. Williams (NAT); 11. Burston (PHON); 12. Leyonhjelm (LDP).

But in Queensland, the second One Nation candidate, Malcolm Roberts, pulled off what I deemed the improbable in getting enough preferences to win a second seat:

1. Brandis (LNP); 2. Watt (ALP); 3. Hanson (PHON); 4. Canavan (LNP); 5. Chisholm (ALP); 6. McGrath (LNP); 7. Moore (ALP); 8. Macdonald (LNP); 9.Waters (GRN); 10. O’Sullivan (LNP); 11.Ketter (ALP); 12.Roberts (PHON).

The primary vote front-runner, Gabe Buckley of the Liberal Democrats, received a remarkably weak flow of preferences, and Roberts was further able to pull ahead of the Nick Xenophon Team, Family First, Katter’s Australian Party and Glenn Lazarus Team candidates at various points in the count. The chart below shows the results at Count 9, at which point Pauline Hanson was elected and her surplus flowed on to Roberts, and the race for the final three positions out of the last nine surviving candidates.

2016-08-02-qld-senate-count

Thursday

The AEC has announced the button will be pressed in Queensland at 9am, with New South Wales apparently likely to follow either late today or some tomorrow. I’ve now done a spreadsheet for Western Australia, to go with the one I did earlier for Tasmania, showing the frequency with which voters for the various parties included the various other parties in the top six of their preference order (which in most cases means giving them a preference full stop, since most voters simply numbered six boxes above the line). As before, each party’s first preference vote and preference allocations are listed by row, and there are separate worksheets accessible at the bottom left for above-the-line and below-the-line votes.

Victorian result (Wednesday)

1. Fifield (Lib); 2. Carr (ALP); 3. Di Natale (GRN); 4. McKenzie (NAT); 5. Conroy (ALP); 6. Ryan (LIB); 7. Collins (ALP); 8. Paterson (Lib); 9. Marshall (ALP); 10. Hinch (DHJP); 11. Rice (GRN); 12. Hume (Lib).

No surprises there then.

South Australian Senate result (Tuesday)

1. Birmingham (LIB); 2. Wong (ALP); 3. Xenophon (XEN); 4. Bernardi (LIB); 5. Farrell (ALP); 6. Griff (XEN); 7. Ruston (LIB); 8. Gallacher (ALP); 9. Fawcett (LIB); 10. Kakoschke-Moore (XEN); 11. Hanson-Young (GRN); 12. Day (FFP).

A defeat for Labor as the fourth candidate on its ticket, Senator Anne McEwen, loses out to Bob Day of Family First. McEwen had 39,378 votes after the surplus from the third-placed Labor candidate was distributed, ahead of Bob Day on 31,548. As the table below illustrates, McEwen maintained a lead of 50,515 to 44,907 as the various also-rans were excluded, leaving candidates of six substantial parties competing for the last three seats. However, the exclusion of the fifth Liberal, Senator Sean Edwards, unlocked a decisive flow of preferences to Day, a considerable number for the third Nick Xenophon Team candidate, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, and pitifully few for McEwen, and fewer still for the Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young – who nonetheless came within 16 votes of a quota at this point of the count. Then followed the exclusion of One Nation, and an approximately equal flow of preferences to Day and the Kakoschke-Moore, and much fewer to McEwen and Hanson-Young, although sufficient for the latter to win election at this point. This left Day to a still greater lead over McEwen, which was dented only slightly by the distribution of Hanson-Young’s surplus.

2016-08-02-sa-senate-count

Western Australian Senate result (Monday)

1. Cormann (LIB); 2. Lines (ALP); 3. Ludlam (GRN); 4. Cash (LIB); 5. Sterle (ALP); 6. Smith (LIB); 7. Dodson (ALP); 8. Reynolds (LIB); 9. Back (LIB); 10. Pratt (ALP); 11. Culleton (ONP); 12. Siewert (GRN).

The outcome of the final seat appeared to be up in the air before the count was finalised, with preferences set to determine the winner out of Rachel Siewert and Kado Muir of the Nationals. In the even, Siewert did it surprisingly easily. With the election of Louise Pratt to the tenth seat and the distribution of her small surplus, two seats remained to be filled with three candidates left in the count, of whom Rod Culleton of One Nation had 104,782 votes, Siewert 936,266, and Muir 67,657.

Earlier

First up, The Australian reports that “the Senate count is also due to be finalised this week, with results to be known in South Australia and Western Australia tomorrow, Victoria and Queensland on Tuesday, and New South Wales on Wednesday”.

The other big news today was the finalisation of the recount in Herbert, which delivered Labor a final winning margin of 37 votes. The AEC should declare the result some time this week and must return the writs by next Monday, initiating a 40-day period inal which a challenge can be made before the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns. This court can either uphold the result, reverse it, or order a fresh election. Overturning could conceivably happen if the court ruled ballot papers had been incorrectly interpreted, or declaration votes wrongly excluded. However, all the talk has been of a by-election initiated on the basis that voters had been wrongly denied votes in numbers exceeding Labor’s winning margin.

There are three stories circulating as potential basis for such a challenge: the Australian Defence Force’s confirmation of a failure to vote by 628 Australian Defence Force personnel participating in Exercise Hamel, a military exercise conducted around Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla in South Australia, including up to 85 who might have been based in Townsville; claims that people were unable to lodge absent votes in the neighbouring seat of Kennedy due to a shortage of ballot papers; and a statement Senator Ian Macdonald says he has from medical staff a Townsville Hospital that AEC officials neglected to provide ballots in a particular hospital ward.

A number of legal precedents are of note here. At the Queensland state election in July 1995, the Labor government under Wayne Goss eked out a one-seat victory that depended on a 16-vote victory in the Townsville seat of Mundingburra. This result was voided by the Court of Disputed Returns on the grounds that 22 military personnel serving in Rwanda did not receive the postal votes they applied for in time due to a transportation bungle by the Australian Defence Force, combined with errors made by the Electoral Commission. A by-election was ultimately held the following February and won by the Liberals, resulting in the fall of Goss’s government.

On a purely legal level, the relevance of a case centred on postal votes to the claimed irregularities in Herbert is limited. However, the centrality of Defence Force personnel to the Coalition’s case is very important as a matter of political strategy. The Murringburra by-election was followed at the end of that year by another litigation-initiated electoral re-match — this time in the federal seat of Lindsay in western Sydney, where Jackie Kelly’s win for the Liberals had been overturned on grounds of her employment by the RAAF, an “office for profit under the Crown”. On that occasion, Labor was humiliated when voters gave Kelly a further 5.0% to add to the 11.8% swing she received at the election. If a fresh election in Herbert is to have any chance of being to the Liberals’ ultimate advantage – a very dubious proposition under the best of circumstances – it is crucial that it be presented as a means of redressing the disenfranchisement of military personnel, and not the sort of sore loser act Labor was indulging in in Lindsay.

The second clearly relevant precedent from federal level was the seat of Ballarat at the 1919 election, when Labor’s Charles McGrath was defeated by Nationalist candidate Edwin Kerby by a margin of one vote. This was overturned on the grounds that a handful of voters had been wrongly denied ballots due to various official errors, which in two cases involved voters being denied absent votes. At that time, polling stations were issued with blank ballot papers for absent voting, on which officials would fill out the names of the candidates for the relevant division and provide them to the vote. However, a polling station in Corangamite ran out of such papers, and the presiding officer advised deprived voters to await the arrival of new papers. None arrived, and after several hours, the officer decided instead to issue altered ballot papers for Corangamite – but by this time, two affected voters from Ballarat had given up and gone home.

In response to this episode, a number of legislative changes were made in 1922 – one of which proved to be significant after the Western Australian Senate election was botched in 2013, and another of which has an important bearing on the present circumstance. In determining whether the official errors in Ballarat at the 1919 election were sufficient to warrant a fresh election, the court deemed it material that the deprived voters had intended to vote in a way that would have changed the result. It was felt this violated the secrecy of the ballot, so the Electoral Act was changed to specify that no such evidence was to be admitted. After the 2013 election, this section was invoked to refute the argument that the voting intention of the 1375 voters whose ballots had gone missing during the WA Senate recount should be ascertained with reference to the first count.

This changed to the act widened the scope for potential challenges, so the 1922 amendments also imposed limits on who could give evidence about having been denied a vote. This survives today as section 367 of the Electoral Act, which allows evidence to be admitted only from those who made a claim to vote. Media reports say the AEC set up seven polling stations within the Exercise Hamel area at which 1274 votes were cast, and that a further 1371 force members were taken to vote at surrounding population centres. However, 628 did not cast votes for reasons the Defence Department has declined to shed further light on. Unless these members actually fronted up to vote and were knocked back, section 367 would allow no basis for the court to hear their complaint.

As well as that, the Courier-Mail reports the Liberal National Party has written to postal vote applicants in an attempt to identify anyone who failed to receive their ballot paper. The party’s efforts to cover all bases calls to mind another legal challenge at state level in Queensland, following Labor’s 74-vote victory in the Brisbane seat of Chatsworth in 2009. An LNP fishing expedition cited 130 postal vote applications for which no vote was processed, 30 cases of multiple voting, and various other bits and pieces. Most of these were deemed to have had innocent explanations, and the 10 genuine discrepancies that were identified were too few to influence the result. But with the federal division of Herbert having three times as many voters as the state district of Chatsworth, and fewer than half as many votes having decided the result, there seems to be an even money chance that a court challenge will give the Coalition what it appears to believe it wants.

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.

362 comments on “Late count: Herbert finalised, Senate results imminent”

  1. david @ #45 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Anyone ever heard of Gabe Buckley? I haven’t either, but he might be the new senator in Queensland for the Liberal Democrats. Apparently the last seat is a contest between him and One Nation for the last senate seat in Queensland.
    “Gabrielle who? Gabe is a 40-year-old Bracken Ridge father-of-three, a web designer and frontman in a cowboy rock band. He plays guitar and harmonica and rattles out melodies by Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Dylan. I’m beginning to like him already. Gabe was also David Leyonhjelm’s Liberal Democrat Senate candidate in Queensland. Gabe is a veteran of four campaigns.
    Last night, there was speculation he just may grab a seat. In what may have been a line from a Kenny Rogers ballad, Buckley told me he rated his chances as “somewhere between the flip of a coin and roll of a dice”.
    If Buckley doesn’t win, the seat is likely to go to One ­Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, a mining engineer with an MBA.”

    One Nation have a leftover (after Hanson) of .1876 quotas, which puts them a long way behind the LDP on .3709. There are a few parties there they’ll get high preference shares off, and being a more popular party on primaries they’ll probably get more preferences generally, but it is still a lot to make up.

  2. Actually, correcting my previous comment, One Nation only need to out-preference the LDP by about 1.6-to-1 if the final seat ends up requiring only 0.7 quotas, which is possible with the bigger Qld ballot.

  3. jack a randa @ #38 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    So that everbody knows exactly what law applies, here is the relevant bit of s 44 of the Book of Rules:

    Any person who: … has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer… shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

    Note (i) that it applies to any offence where the max is a year or longer regardless of what actual sentence is imposed

    Is (i) an interpretation by a court in a past case? The section doesn’t seem to me to say that.

  4. dean ashley @ #50 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I actually think Malcolm Roberts will get the final seat in Qld, much as that would disappoint me. He needs to out-preference Buckley by between 1.8 and 2-to-1 (depending on the exhaust rate). I think that is very plausible. One Nation got more than triple the primaries of the LDP. In Tasmania One Nation attracted preferences from all corners. The LDP actually got a good chunk of second preferences in Tas, but most of them were from the Liberals, whose preferences will only count for a tiny fraction in Qld when their fifth candidate limps over the line.

    It will be interesting to see. There are some differences though. Preference share corellates with primary vote share, but in Tasmania the LDP had a miserable PV. Plus the LDP candidate for Tasmania was an interstate ring-in and widely known to be such. In Queensland the LDP has the sort of PV that One Nation got in Tas, but One Nation has the sort of PV that Lambie got in Tas.

    Another way of looking at it is One Nation need to gain .073 votes/vote on Buckley by the crunch point. I guess with that big slab of KAP votes, on which they could easily gain .2, that’s possible.

  5. I wish these RWNJs & climate change deniers would stop identifying themselves with Galileo. Galileo was an excellent scientist. Scientifically, he was also entirely mainstream and orthodox, who just happened to have a few serious run-ins with the Catholic Church.
    Galileo deserves better than to be dragged in by the ankles whenever some conspiracy nutjob wants to claim they’re being persecuted for their fringe views.

  6. PHON do start from a long way back, but I think it’s worth looking at just how many preferences went their way in Tasmania – from a primary of ~0.33 quotas up to ~0.80 at the end of the count. That is almost half a quota on preferences alone, and the majority of that would be simply based on brand recognition. It certainly isn’t on the basis of HTV recommendations – of all 15 HTVs available on the ABC website, PHON gets only ONE recommendation (SFF #3).
    This being the case I think there is some serious potential for a surprise in Qld where the PHON brand is even more well-known and where campaigning would have been much more direct (e.g. a lot of LH candidates running, many of which did quite well).

  7. From Antony Green

    “Only 6.3% of total votes had exhausted by the end of the WA Senate count”

    So much for the disenfanchisment of the 25% who vote 1 for minor parties, which was one of the key arguments of Bob Day and co in the HC challenge

  8. WA is even more fuel for the big-parties-outperform-small-parties argument by the looks of things, so seems to add to the case that PHON might bump off LDP in Queensland. I wonder if anyone has actually sampled it.

  9. sprocket_ @ #59 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    From Antony Green
    “Only 6.3% of total votes had exhausted by the end of the WA Senate count”
    So much for the disenfanchisment of the 25% who vote 1 for minor parties, which was one of the key arguments of Bob Day and co in the HC challenge

    Yes and only 3.6% had exhausted at the time the result became settled; the rest exhausted during the throw of the Nats preferences to get the order of election for the final two.

  10. And the AEC has just tweeted the ACT result:
    ACT Senators elected: 1. Gallagher (ALP) 2. Seselja (Lib) #ausvotes
    No surprise there, but it’s official now.

  11. “In Victoria, the Coalition and Labor have secured at least four senate spots each with the Greens on track to win one or two seats in the Upper House.

    Veteran broadcaster Derryn Hinch has also secured a seat in the Senate with the twelfth Victorian spot expected to go to either the Coalition or a minor party including One Nation, the Sex Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Nick Xenophon Team or the Animal Justice Party.”

    I understand the Victorian Senate positions were sewn up like this.

    Liberal 5
    Labor 4
    Greens 2
    Derryn Hinch 1

    And the battle for the last senate seat, but the Liberals have .3234 of a fifth quota and are listed on the ABC website as likely to get a fifth senate seat.

    I was under the assumption that the likely only last doubtful seats contests would be between what happens with the last senate seat in Queensland and New South Wales. In NSW Liberal Democrats on 0.3998 of quota, and Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) on 0.3501 of a quota with already One Nation securing a seat, and Liberals likely securing a fifth senate seat in NSW.

  12. “The Nats missed out on a Senate seat in WA. Wow.”
    Kakuru, it would have been quite interesting if Kado Muir had got up for the Nats in WA. I knew him a bit a few years back and he was far from a natural “righty” in those days. Quite the reverse! He stood for the Greens in WA a couple of times, too.

    Maybe he’s changed, but I’m not sure whether he would have been a win for the right or the left in general terms if he had got in!

  13. My understanding on Culleton is that if he was ineligible to be elected, it will be a recount that delivers the seat to the #2 on the ticket. But if he only becomes ineligible after taking his seat (e.g. he finds a way around the NSW conviction, but then gets convicted in WA), it would be a casual vacancy and the party would decide.

  14. Rod
    (Thanks to Antony Green’s twitter feed for this summary)

    His seat will go to:
    2 on PHON ticket in WA is Peter Giorgio, brother in law of Culleton. He is Greek, so hopefully he has citizenship, and renounced his Greek one.
    3 on PHON Ticket is Culleton’s wife, Giorgio’s sister Ionna

    If Rob Culleton is proven to be inelligible, he gets removed from the count and it is re-done. As 95% of PHON where party ATL tickets, number 2 and then 3 get the votes.

  15. So only 3.6% disenfranchised? Ah, nothing to worry about then.

    Would it be correct to say this will increase in a half senate election?

  16. Ah, thanks David & Sprocket. So it is treated differently to a casual vacancy in that case. Judging by the identity of the other candidates it looks like One Nation in WA are just one little happy family! 😉

  17. Now if both the Giorgios fall foul of S44 of the Constitution, what happens then?

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 44

    Disqualification
    Any person who:

    (i) is under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or a citizen of a foreign power; or

    (ii) is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer; or

    (iii) is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent; or

    (iv) holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth; or

    (v) has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons;

    shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

    But subsection (iv) does not apply to the office of any of the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen’s Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen’s navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

  18. Rod hagen
    “Maybe he’s changed, but I’m not sure whether he would have been a win for the right or the left in general terms if he had got in!”
    Very interesting. It’s curious how Muir got the nod during pre-selection, rather than a Nat with a more ‘conventional’ pedigree.

  19. Whoops! Missed your comment, Dean. Many thanks to you , too. I’d earlier been assuming the “casual vacancy” approach would have been the one used. So the answer seems to be it all depends which conviction gets counted.

  20. Triton, I can’t find any case where the court has interpreted “punishable… by imprisonment for one year or longer”. It just seems obvious to me – if the drafters had meant “under a sentence of one year or longer” they would have said so. “Punishable” is referring to the worst potential penalty.
    Quick and Garran, however, seem to interpret it to have that latter meaning. But this is contradicted (with a qualification) by an opinion of Garran 28 years later when he was Sol-Gen at http://legalopinions.ags.gov.au/legalopinion/opinion-1432 re a similar provision in the Immigration Act where he interprets “punishable” to mean punishable by the court that actually tried the matter. Since the kid in question had been tried summarily in the Police Court the max he could have been given was six months even though, if tried on indictment, he could have copped 2 years. Therefore in his particular circs the offence was not punishable by imprisonment for a year or longer – but it could have been if the state had opted for trial on indictment (for vagrancy – which would have been bizarre).

  21. Sprock, you and David and Dean may have your game of Snap, but I’d said it on the previous page at 12:48pm. But nobody listens to me – I’ll just go out into the garden and eat worrrms…

  22. “So only 3.6% disenfranchised?”

    But they weren’t really “disenfranchised” were they, Simon? They got to cast their votes, chose who they were to go to, and who they were not to go to, and had them counted accordingly as far as their preferred candidates went in the poll.

    I reckon you have to do a heck of a lot of bending to make that look like “disenfranchisement”. Heck, in the vast majority of countries around the world the same argument would suggest that anyone voting for a losing candidate (ie in non-preferential systems” was “disenfranchised”.

    Personally I feel more “enfranchised” having my vote stop before it can help elect someone I don’t want elected, by exercising my choice not to proceed, than I did from the old system of continuous flow -on!

  23. Aw, gee, Jack! Hope the worms were tasty! Apologies. I was too lazy to go back to the first page. In a similar vein (and hoping this hasn’t already been answered), who would normally have to precipitate any action to remove him on such a basis? The AEC? An opponent? Uncle Tom Cobbley and all? And if no-one did, and his vote was accepted in a narrow Senate debate, and someone subsequently sought action against him, what would happen to that earlier vote then?

  24. It’s worth noting that in the Qld Senate count, in between LDP (.3709 of a quota) & the #2 PHON (.1876 of a quota, minus any bits of BTL leakage) there is also Glenn Lazarus (.2122), Katter Party (.2334), Family First (.2494) & NXT (.2630) – both Lazarus & Katter are very different features in Qld compared to anywhere else, so preference flows to them relative to PHON may be different to other states. Whilst I don’t expect either to win, I think each could soak up some preferences that might otherwise go to PHON, as will Family First to some extent, so I’d be surprised if PHON can make it all the way up to where the LDP is.
    Labor is a long way short of their 4th quota so will soak a lot of the left & centre micro preferences that might otherwise have gone to NXT (& perhaps Lazarus – hard to know on that one).

  25. Yes apologies from me as well 🙂

    The entrails of election law and precedent is much tastier than worms.

    For Rod, you have to be a candidate or an aggrieved elector to petition the CDR. Although the AEC has managed to do so off their own bat, so I guess anything is possible.

    If you want to read a nice piece on s44(1) to do with allegience to foreign powers, this also touches on the history of precedents and judgments regarding challenges under the elctoral act.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/library/pubs/bp/1992/92bp29.pdf

  26. I don’t think you can argue that people were disenfranchised at all by this system (except maybe those forced into voting below the line for Ungrouped Independents). The point at which you stop specifying preferences after the first 6 is entirely within your control , so any lack of franchise is completely voluntary. Or as always: In a preferential system you should also express preferences until the point you genuinely no longer have any preference for the remaining candidates (and are willing to leave it up to the majority of voters).

    @Kakuru
    There is some weird stuff going on in rural areas because the existing farmers / graziers are literally getting to old to continue to do the work and you’re seeing some degree of forced migration of university education younger children feeling duty bound to take over the family business. It’s one of the reasons the Greens are doing bizarrely well in some traditional Nat seats ( Tree Change is part of it as well). So I wouldn’t be particularly surprised to see some weird Nationals coming up (especially given that Nationals voters loathe Labor / Greens as parties with the hatred of 1000 firey suns but support more than a few of their economic policies. The Nats in a rural context are practically socialists. And the social policy split reduces with age, though less so than in the general population, since people who leave those towns don’t tend to come back. )

  27. Rod, I am aware I am in the minority when it comes to this argument. Rather than rehash it, I will get my jacket and go wait in the car…. and eat some of Jacka’s worms.

  28. Thass ok Rod – sometimes I’ve been know to skip a page or 10 (especially when Labor v Greens or Rudd v Gillard is at a climax). As to a challenge to Culleton, the AEC has power under s 357 ( http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/cea1918233/s357.html ) to file a petititon, but I don’t think they’ve ever done it over a question of eligibility. It would be another candidate or even a voter as in Sue v Hill ( http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/1999/30.html ). I can’t beleive nobody will bother – though they’d be wise to check the circs of that NSW conviction first.

  29. The new system does seem to have performed quite well. Makes you wonder why the experts couldn’t actually make a case for it and instead needed to makeup all that stuff about randomness that didn’t exist, characterise the perfectly normal and lawful process that resulted in publicly published list as somehow dodgy and improper and all the rubbish they carried on with.

  30. WWP, it makes me wonder why the reactionaries in the ALP carried on with all the rubbish against the reforms. Acting like true conservatives, opposing change and then when it’s happened saying “Oh that’s ok after all” in a tone of surprise.

  31. simon katich @ #71 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    So only 3.6% disenfranchised? Ah, nothing to worry about then.
    Would it be correct to say this will increase in a half senate election?

    Nobody is “disenfranchised”. Some people just don’t choose to preference anybody who actually wins.

    And of course even 3.6% is a small fraction of the 25% who opponents of Senate reform were claiming would be “disenfranchised”. Their predictions were totally wrong and those 25% have in fact elected several Senators.

  32. Hey Andrew

    I know it is wishful thinking but I hope that the Greens get very low share of 2nd/3rd preferences from the minors, UNTIL the large ones eg HEMP are eliminated. Then you stand a faint chance.

    OK OK wishful thinking but still!!!!

    However I am putting my money on 5 Lib, 4, Labor, 1 Green, Hanson AND Lazarus and Katter.

  33. Here is the likely Senate:
    Liberal/Nat 29 (lowest 27) (Highest 30)
    Labor 27 (lowest 25)
    Greens 9 (lowest 8) (Highest 11)
    Xen 3 (lowest 2)
    ON 2 (Highest 4)
    Other: 5 Hinch, Lambie, 1 from Qld, 2 NSW (Highest 6)

  34. wewantpaul @ #88 Monday, August 1, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    The new system does seem to have performed quite well. Makes you wonder why the experts couldn’t actually make a case for it and instead needed to makeup all that stuff about randomness that didn’t exist, characterise the perfectly normal and lawful process that resulted in publicly published list as somehow dodgy and improper and all the rubbish they carried on with.

    If the violation of human rights that was the old Senate system is so “normal”, then kindly tell me what non-Australian jurisdictions adopted it.

    You can nitpick all you like about “randomness” but the fact is that outcomes under the old system were effectively a weighted lottery, since no-one could predict which micros were in the hunt with any confidence in advance, and since outcomes were often determined by irrelevant exclusion points between uncompetitive parties. It can be argued that the output of random-number generators isn’t ever truly random either, but for most practical purposes it is.

    Moreover we did make the case for it – that it would free preferences so that elections would be determined by voters making their own decisions, not having them made for them by party hacks creating entirely fictitious preference flows through deals not open to public scrutiny. This free display of preferencing behaviour is exactly what we wanted and in fact it has arrived to a degree beyond even our expectations.

  35. I think you’re Other line is wrong ? That or you’re format is confusing. If you’ve got PHON on 2 then you should have Lib Dems / Christian Dems down for at least a 1 seat.

  36. @WWP, the case against group ticket voting is perfectly clear: the choices made by parties on group tickets as to how to distribute their preferences do not reflect the preferences of those who give those parties their first preferences. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

  37. I am not a reactionary, nor a conservative nor in (or particularly a fan of) the ALP. I was, and still am against limiting of the number of preferences a voter must give ATL. I like the preferential voting system and these changes undermine it IMO.

  38. There is no limit on the number of preferences ATL. Just a mandatory minimum. I do think the wording on the Senate paper and given by officials should have more clearly expressed that you could express as many preferences as you desired but it must be at least 6 ATL and 12 BTL. If you put numbers in a prominent position on a Ballot paper people tend to fill in that many and no more.

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