Victorian election: upper house preference tickets

Group voting tickets have been unveiled in Victoria, one of the two jurisdictions that persists with them.

The group voting tickets for the Victorian election are available for viewing here. There is as always a lot to parse here, and Antony Green’s calculators will be needed to make better sense of it all. A few immediate take-outs:

• Glenn Druery’s fingerprints are everywhere to be seen, with tightly interlocking preferences from a vast array of micro-parties who leave the ballot papers looking more like those for the Senate than what prevailed pre-2014. Even Fiona Patten’s Reason Party appears to have reached accommodations with a number of micro-parties, despite her police complaint against Druery.

• The Greens have not done at all well: the Druery network parties have them last or near to last, as usual; Labor has them behind a number of left and, in places, not-so-left concerns (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, Shooters Fishers and Farmers and the Liberal Democrats); Animal Justice favours left-wing micro-parties over them.

• The Coalition has tended to give priority to the more competitive of the right-of-centre micro parties, and has Labor ahead of (in this order) the Greens, Victorian Socialists and the Australian Liberty Alliance.

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.

68 comments on “Victorian election: upper house preference tickets”

  1. I did NorthVic because last time there was this quirk of the counting system which resulted in Labor getting the 5th spot instead of Country Alliance.

    In my first go, the Greens got the last spot, just edging the DLP.

  2. Tom

    “Labour-DLP” are ‘ahead’ of Labor on the ballot paper but they are groups P and R, both near the right hand side, so probably fewer people will get fooled into putting a “1” for DLP when they intended to do so for Labor.

    For Western Metro my first go gets

    ALP-Liberal-ALP-Battler-LibDem (edging out Greens)
    Primaries – Labor 43.7, Liberal 23.4, Battler 2!, LibDem 5.5, Green 10.3 !!

    I think that there is likely to be at least one micro elected in each region, sometimes two. And the Greens will often be the last one edged out courtesy of Mr. Druery.

    Which will make for a very strange Upper House, and possibly encourage Labor and the Coalition to get together to end this.

  3. First go Eastern Metro (currently Lib3, Lab, Grn)

    Lib-Lab-Lib-Transport (primary 1.9%)-Lab — Greens edged out.

    Last time the micros got 0.9 quotas, but did not have tight preferencing between each other so no-one got up. In this election I think the tight exchange of preferences nearly always before Labor-Libs-Nats-Greens is going to get at least one micro up in every region.

  4. In Western Vic, its pretty clean Left vs Right, whoever gets the numbers
    Left will elect Reason based on Labor surplus and Green, Socialists, Animal Justice, Euthanasia.
    Right will elect Hinch based on Lib/Nat Surplus and Aussie Battler, Sustainable Aust, Transport, SFF, Lib Democrats, Country, Hudson, Health, Liberty, Labor DLP.

  5. Last one for the night – playing around with the numbers it is not hard in Northern Vic to get a 4-1 R-L split. Even with Labor over 1.5 quotas and Green over 0.5 quotas, over 34% between them.

    I’ve then got 2 LNP, 1 Labor, 1 LibDem (seems very likely to get up – keeps getting there in most simulations even with primaries of 1.3% or so!), and 1 DLP or SFF ahead of Greens for 5th spot.

  6. Tom the first and best:

    In Tasmania, if a resigned or dead candidate was elected without quota, then before the countback is conducted, the preferences of the last unelected candidate are thrown to try to bring the unelected candidate up to quota for the countback. (No, I don’t know what the point is either. Pointless quota-reverence probably.)

    So the following can happen. You vote 1 for a candidate who does fairly well but eventually finishes 6th in the race for 5 seats, beaten by the candidate you put dead last, but the candidate you put dead last does not reach quota (because of exhaust). The winning candidate who you put last is later embroiled in a scandal and to your immense glee resigns. Now your vote is thrown as a preference to try to bring them up to quota for the countback. Because you numbered the box, it goes to them and gets included in the countback. Had you not numbered the final box, it goes to exhaust and doesn’t.

  7. A few things I think worth noting for those using the calculators:

    1. Below the line votes do have an impact. If you have a candidate on 0.3% beating one on 16%, it’s quite likely to fall over in reality.

    2. The ballot papers have logos, which wasn’t the case in 2014. This might help reduce the impact of ballot placement of LibDems and Labour DLP.

    3. The figures for Fiona Patten’s Reason Party are the figures for Sex Party in 2014. Sex Party was a funkier name whereas Reason Party is more obscure and pretentious. A la Family First/Aus Conservatives in SA it’s possible their vote will go down, at least outside Patten’s own electorate. (I could be completely wrong about this but think it should be mentioned as possible.)

    4. The DLP collapsed into infighting post Madigan quitting (which was just before the last election) and has lost its sole MP. It’s possible it will still do very well out of ALP name confusion under it’s new name but I suspect its base vote will go down. Again I could be wrong. There’s some suggestion religious conservatives will vote for it in the absence of Family First and Aus Christians but I think a lot of them will just vote Liberal.

  8. Wow!

    So if most of the last remaining unelected candidate`s voters gave a preference to the MHA whose place becomes vacant, they dramatically increase the chance of the previously unelected candidate being elected (particularly if the preferences of the outgoing MHA have a high intra-party exhaust rate)?

  9. Not dramatically. If the 6th candidate puts the 5th candidate way over quota then the 5th candidate is brought down to quota. Because Hare-Clark uses last-bundle surpluses it’s this last transfer that is culled most heavily in the process, so the 6th candidate would be lucky to see, say, 0.1 of a quota back, much of which would go up to other candidates contesting the recount anyway.

    (Apologies to Vic election watchers for this off topic trivia. I’ll have some food for you soon.)

  10. Conditions needed for Reason to win in Western Victoria, its quite possible it could happen, but Hinch has a lot more paths to victory.

    Reason + Green + ALP remains + Animal Justice + Socialist + Euthanasia > 16.67
    Reason + Euthanasia + Animal Justice > 4.16 (Quarter Quota)
    ALP Remains < Reason + Euthanasia + Animal Justice;
    Green+Socialist < 8.34; (Half quota)
    (Green+Socialist) < (Reason + ALP remains + Euthanasia + Animal Justice);

    Any votes by the Green Socialist block above a quarter of a quota need to be matched by the main Reason block, or the Green Socialist block will knock out main Reason Block and they will elect Hinch.

    Similarly, if ALP Remains get more than a Quarter Quota remainder, it needs to be matched by the smaller Reason+Euthanasia+Animal Justice block, or the larger block doesn't form.

    The numbers i am using have a lower green vote, because internal dramas elsewhere, and i think ALP will win some back, and maybe a few will go to Animal Justice, who along with Socialists have lower house candidates in most electorates so will have people at some voting centers.

    Also, Bob Brown hosted a function down here last night, he has been campaigning to keep horses of beaches, which will rally Greens, and Animal Justice which are anti-jumps racing.

  11. Kevin – interesting comments, and also on your website.

    I have mainly been looking at Northern Vic, and it really does seem the Lib Dems are a near certainty even when they get about 1.3%. from what you have written I gather there are similar “lock ins” in some of the other regions.

    It does make you wonder – when they are paying the piper (preference whisperer), are some paying a bit more to get a better overall deal which may not be instantly obvious to all the other poor suckers putting their cash in the ring and then allowing said whisperer to essentially organize their Preference Tickets?

    Because as you point out there is little rhyme or reason to most of the orders – especially as they vary significantly from region to region, which cannot really make sense if they are using ‘political ethos’ judgements.

  12. It’s notable that the Hinch and Liberal Democrat tickets, which seem to me to be the ones with serious chances in multiple seats, also often have the very fancy ordering of Liberal, Labor, Green where the vote crisscrosses as much as six times among candidates of these parties. This suggests to me that they might have got premium service.

    I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Hinch as a Senator but his proximity to Druery is a worry.

  13. I am probably going to be out of Victoria with work next week – which paradoxically will likely give me more time to concentrate on this. I will try and workshop each region. So far I am struggling to get five Lib-Nat-Labor-Green elected in any of the simulations I have done in any region.

    The “preferencing above the line” is by far the best solution. Better than the ‘threshold’ of say 5% primaries which I think had been proposed for the Senate previously. Preferencing above the line is essentially equivalent to what most are doing who number all the boxes below the line as usually each group would be numbered in order.

    Obviously the “ungrouped” are disadvantaged, but even Senator Harradine who I think was elected at least once from that last Ungrouped column in the Senate eventually got with the program and had “Harradine Independents” in a group on the Senate ticket didn’t he?

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