Victorian election minus eight days

Liberal candidate hassles, upper house preference shenanigans and (a bit) more.

News and observations:

• In a campaign in which far too much news space has been spent on so-what indiscretions by who-cares candidates in no-chance seats (more on this by ousted Greens candidate Joanna Nilson in The Guardian), the Liberals have suffered a genuinely consequential setbaack with their disendorsement of their candidate for Yan Yean, an outer northern Melbourne seat held by Labor on a margin of 3.7%. Meralyn Klein had appeared in a video by the far right Australian Liberty Alliance in which she complained of an incident involving two youths who were “of a culture that didn’t accept white Australian women”, which was used to promote the party’s call for a “ban” on Muslims. When Klein sought to distance herself from the party, one of its candidates, Avi Yemini, said the party had “numerous meetings with her”, and was hoping she would defect to it once elected. The deadline for nominations having passed, Klein remains on the ballot paper as the Liberal candidate.

• I had a piece in Crikey yesterday on Labor’s curious reluctance to reform group voting tickets for the Legislative Council. The definitive guide to the preference deals and their potential electoral consequences is provided by Kevin Bonham; Antony Green’s ever-reliable election calculators are available here; and Nick Casmirri offers revealing colour-coded summaries of Labor and Greens tickets across the eight regions.

• Liberal state president Michael Kroger was in unusually bullish form in assessing the situation for Patrick Durkin of the Financial Review. On Kroger’s telling, the confluence of Bourke Street and James Gargasoulas had voters primed for the Liberal law-and-order campaign just as they began flocking to the pre-poll booths in unprecedented numbers (see below). Kroger went so far as to say that Daniel Andrews would be “lucky to win his own seat” of Mulgrave, which he holds on a margin of 4.5%.

• The Victorian Electoral Commission relates that 238,559 votes have been cast in the first three days of pre-poll voting, compared with 119,640 at the same point in 2014.

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.

141 comments on “Victorian election minus eight days”

  1. Victorian National Parks Association has been collaborating with volunteers from Friends of the Earth and the Goongerah Environment Centre on forests.

    Over 160,000 households in the electorates of Brunswick, Bentleigh, Richmond, Prahran, Northcote, Eltham, and Kew, as well as other parts of the state, have been letter-boxed, with another estimated 50,000 households to be reached before 24 November.

    https://vnpa.org.au/call-for-a-comprehensive-nature-policy-from-major-parties/

    With the polls now open and an expected one million Victorians expected to vote before the polls on 24 November, both major parties are missing in action when it comes to nature and conservation policy.

    Neither the ALP nor the Coalition has released comprehensive nature or forest policy positions.

    Looking after our natural heritage is a key state responsibility, but the major parties have so far dropped the ball. There a few announcements, some good, some questionable, starting to trickle out.

  2. Hahaha, you’re oosing angst! It’s hilarious!!

    The very real prospect of the greens being routed in both houses will be a triumph for the true progressives! It’s an exhilarating prospect!

  3. Public Transport Users Association (PUTA) scorecard:

    https://www.ptua.org.au/files/2018/PTUA_2018_VicStateElectionScorecard.pdf

    2014-2018 has seen significant public transport investment under Labor, and they have delivered on all their significant promises. However they have also
    unexpectedly embraced motorways such as the West Gate Tunnel, which will exacerbate traffic problems.

    As Melbourne continues to grow, and demand for regional travel increases, the challenge ahead is to build a transport network not only copes with population
    and patronage growth, but also improves access to opportunity, and manages traffic congestion by providing usable public transport services into areas which
    currently don’t have them.

    1. Greens – in some ways the Greens have the least ambitious transport plan. But it’s full of affordable, commonsense policies. They are the only party to commit to the Metro 2 tunnel, and to frequency upgrades across the train, tram and bus networks – essential for making the public transport network vastly more usable in the short term. Accelerating the rollout of low-floor trams and implementing on-road priority, extending metro services to outer suburbs with high capacity signalling are also important initiatives. The Greens also oppose the major road projects proposed by the other parties, rightly recognising that
    they will simply generate more traffic

  4. Ricky Muir de los Shooters and Labor preferencing each other in Morwell ahead of the conservative & climate denial cluster. Nats are disgusted.

    Dunno if his voters will follow the htv, but will be an interesting race.

  5. Unfortunately the PTUA approach is a little too simplistic.

    1st example is NE Link. Critical project, bad alignment. If it had the correct alignment it could be used to downgrade urban streets and encourage PT use, particularly rail.

    2nd example is Melbourne Metro 2. Labor are definitely on board with this.

  6. PUTA miss the point of the NE link. It has a lot to do with heavy freight which is very hard to carry on buses and trams.
    Equally the West Tunnel is away of link the docks to the freeway system to get the trucks off the roads of the inner east. I wonder what the Green Rap artist has to say about them? (Also what could he rhyme with Trucks? Or he used “lorry” if has to apologies again.)

  7. What is “low income earner”?

    Observer, I heard Michael O’Brian call them pensioners, health card holders and some other type of welfare recipient. Apparently, a similar system is running in NSW and will cost about $10m pa.

    He was also asked about their policy of buying all the government’s elctricity from a new dispatchable electricity generator (of course to be situated in the Latrobe Valley), if someone were to build one.

    When asked if he had been approached by ‘interested parties’ to build it, he hesitated for a second (which told me a lie was coming up). ‘Yes’ he had.

    Well the whole thing is bullshit of course. Generators don’t normally sell electricity directly to consumers.

  8. Did a few hours HTV at Greensborough today and it was extremely busy. The predictions of 50% of voters pre-polling seems a realistic prediction based on the traffic and the discussions I had with the other party HTVers. The booth I’m on was servicing Bundoora, Yan Yean and Eltham with a few from other electorates.

    Looked to me like the Greens vote was under siege from The Reason party and the Socialists. All these are preferencing labor. So, in the end Labor will win comfortably.

    LC could be interesting though.

  9. Victorian Socialists campaign:

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/biggest-socialist-election-campaign-our-generation

    The Victorian Socialists came together this year as an electoral alliance between socialist parties and individuals to run candidates in the Northern Metropolitan Region.

    Its success helped drive its expansion to the Western Victorian Region, where former Geelong Trades Hall Council secretary Tim Gooden is the lead candidate.
    ::::
    Meanwhile, Fiona Patten’s Reason Party (formerly the Sex Party) has said that a vote for the Victorian Socialists risks electing a right winger.

    The other parties in the running for the last spot in Northern Metropolitan Region are Patten’s Reason Party, the Animal Justice Party and Hinch’s Justice Party.

    “This is absurd”, Jolly said in response, adding that it is Reason that is risking the election of far-right extremists because it is preferencing the conservative Liberal Democrats above the Greens and Labor in every upper house seat.

    Patten has done this before. In 2014, Sex Party preferences helped elect Shooters Party candidates in two seats and got another right-wing candidate from Vote 1 Local Jobs over the line against the Greens in the Western Victoria Region.

    “The Victorian Socialists are the only party you can vote 1 for and be sure that if we aren’t elected, 100% of your vote will go to other progressive candidates before the right.”

    Victorian Socialists is preferencing the Greens, then Reason, Animal Justice and Labor.

  10. Antony Green on voting below the line in the upper house:

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/victoria-s-upper-house-heads-into-the-great-unknown-20181116-p50gly.html

    Next Saturday, it is likely that the balance of power in Victoria’s upper house will fall into the hands of half a dozen parties and candidates that most Victorians have never heard of.

    This is because Victoria still conducts its upper house elections using the discredited group voting ticket system.
    :::
    The group voting tickets released last weekend reveal the usual collection of opaque and labyrinthine preference deals designed to engineer a pre-determined result.
    :::
    From my modelling of the preferences, Stuart O’Neill of the Aussie Battlers Party is certain of election from Western Metropolitan Region.

    Rodney Barton of the Transport Matters Party also looks certain to win in Eastern Metropolitan Region.

    So convoluted are the preference deals that Mr O’Neill and Mr Barton will be elected as long as they can poll 0.3 per cent of the vote.

    Equally-unknown candidates could be elected to the final seats in the other six regions.
    :::
    A ballot paper requires only five preferences below the line to be formal. To be more effective, a voter should give more preferences, but only five are required.

    The more voters that venture below the line and give their own preferences, the greater the chance that the backroom merchant’s preference deals will come unstuck and the new Legislative Council more properly reflect the will of voters.

  11. In 2014 early voting was 23.6% of enrolment (I’m surprised, I had remembered it as more than that). Currently it is running just over 1.8 times 2014 levels in raw voting numbers and that ratio isn’t falling, however enrolment is up by 9%. So early voting at booths seems to be on track for about 40% of enrolment. Combined with postals it will be close to 50% of enrolment, and probably over 50% of turnout.

  12. https://www.pollbludger.net/2018/11/16/victorian-election-minus-eight-days/comment-page-3/#comment-3004225

    And

    https://www.pollbludger.net/2018/11/16/victorian-election-minus-eight-days/comment-page-3/#comment-3004248

    The ALP have made no promises on Melbourne Metro 2. The PTUA has analysed parties promises for the election.

    North East Link and the Westgate Tunnel monster road projects that will bring more traffic directly into the inner-city.

    The Westgate Tunnel replaced the Hyde St off ramps the ALP took to the 2014 election, so is is not about getting tracks out of the inner-West.

    The North East link is planned to have multi-lane ramps to/from the city at its Eastern Freeway interchange and add more lanes to the Eastern Freeway (stealing the Doncaster rail reserve in the median strip).

    The PTUA is well aware of the “freeways are for freight” argument. They are not falling for it. If a road project was about freight, instead of cars, it would not have many cars on it.

    https://www.ptua.org.au/myths/freight/

    The PTUA have information on many other road myths.

    https://www.ptua.org.au/myths/

  13. @Greensborough Growler

    You seem to be mixed up.

    The Victorian Socialists are preferencing the Greens above Labor in every case.

    However given that Labor got 53% in 2014 in Bundoora I’m not sure that they’ll be worried.

  14. Thornbury Socialist @ #113 Saturday, November 17th, 2018 – 6:24 pm

    @Greensborough Growler

    You seem to be mixed up.

    The Victorian Socialists are preferencing the Greens above Labor in every case.

    However given that Labor got 53% in 2014 in Bundoora I’m not sure that they’ll be worried.

    But their preferences end up with Labor before the Libs. Which is my focus.

    So, out here, they are just keeping a balance in the park. My point is that the Greens are leaking support to the other leftish candidates with no adverse impact on Labor.

    I would say that one of the Socialist HTVers was working extremely hard trying to engage the voters and while I’d never support him, you can admire someone making a genuine effort to promote his cause.

  15. I voted this afternoon at my local centre because I am going to be busy next weekend. It was quite late, there wasn’t too many other voters around and I must say the candidates could probably have done with a nap at this stage. I thought the Labor candidate was about to keel over (it is a safe Liberal seat so they only really need a warm corpse).

    But I can see the VEC getting a massive pre-poll figure because it was very easy. The computerised rolls make things remarkably easy compared to when I used to polling clerk last century with printed rolls.

  16. B.S. Fairman @ 2:17 pm

    PUTA miss the point of the NE link. It has a lot to do with heavy freight which is very hard to carry on buses and trams.

    The PTUA gets the point entirely. In common with every motorway ever built, the overwhelming majority of traffic on the proposed north-east toll road will be private cars, not “heavy freight”.

    In his study of the proposed Eastern Freeway in the 1990s, Professor Bill Russel noted that “outside peak period, there is relatively little interference to freight across Melbourne, and that freight formed a minority of traffic on the freeway.”

    Without the massive traffic congestion engendered by private car use, road freight movement would not require hugely expensive and intrusive motorway construction.

  17. Pee Bee

    The Liberal Party referring to low income earners replicates their saying all self funded retirees would be compensated with a $3,000- compensation payment when the GST was introduced

    Then you read the fine print – and you need to be a pensioner or a part pensioner

    Why don’t they correctly promote that discounts on the purchases of electrical products (what exactly?) will be available to pensioners and part pensioners (instead of using “low income”)

    Because it begs the question of how many pensioners will rush down to the Good Guys to buy a new TV?

    Interest free for 5 years and at a discounted price

  18. So a bit of a tale of two cities for me today.

    Voted at a Northcote prepoll in the early afternoon. Really negative vibe. Socialists everywhere being quite aggressive with voters (including me) and other vols. Greens MP accusing everyone of bullying.

    Then volunteering at pre-poll in Prahran. Very pleasant and polite and conversational. No idea how the vote might be going there. The well heeled of South Yarra are not my people.

  19. In a two horse race, those odds are pretty amazing.

    Not sure if it’s weight of money or inside info.

    I’m confident of a Labor win. But would not be betting at these odds.

  20. GG

    Just saw that sportsbet have “ALP 11 or more seats more than LNP” = $6.00
    Though the lowest odds for exact number is for 4 more = $4.00

    I am still going with Labor 48, LNP 35, Greens 3, Ind 2

    3z

    I think the Greens will retain Prahran and TCP will be Greens v Labor this time

  21. Rocket – I doubt the Liberals will fall in Prahran to level below 33.33% (Libs got 44.8% in 2014). If a party gets a third of the vote they are in the final count. Hence, Prahran will Lib vs either Green or ALP. The margin on the second last count between ALP and Greens was 31 votes. It could be fine again.

  22. RR,

    As you know, my view is slightly higher. But, these odds would indicate Labor getting nearly 60 seats.

    Indications are the Greens are going to be smashed.

  23. BSF – must have been thinking of different primary (I thought they were under 40).

    Still think Greens may hang on to it – demographic shifts have probably favoured them a touch more than Labor.

    But Liberal vote will go down to 40% or so, and they will surely not win.

  24. Betfair now ALP 1.15 fro 1.25 yesterday a lot of people have left orders at 1.17. It might not seem much of a move but for a party that big odds on that’s a significant move. i would think either heavy hitters have decided its time to back ALP or some new polling predicating a big win

  25. I think the current state polling ‘drought’ will break Sunday night or Monday morning. Spouse got robopolled yesterday – state vote, lots of issues (hung up after ten questions so may not count).

    I reckon it was ReachTel – their last one was done on Wednesday 3rd October, and published in The Age on Sunday night 7th October. That is six weeks ago. They also did one on 5th July.

  26. I have altered the odds in a few seats this election. Not to get attention, just I felt the bookies were getting it wrong in a seat. A couple hundred in one seat halved the pay out for anyone else.

  27. Gorks yes that i true but to move No the price that much someone must have inside polling.
    Bookies are slow to move prices but can move suddenly with informed money. One interesting one could be Benabara National has been friendless and on the drift and two Indi’s well backed, i think the Nationals will just get home in here and Ovens valley. The Guardian did to a favorable piece on the Interdependent McGowan effect so this might have moved the needle a bit

  28. One example of how small individual seat polls often are is that after the 2014 election, when the votes in Prahran were still being counted, a company with individual seat betting decided to give up waiting for the count in Prahran to finish and pay out on all of the top three bets (or possibly all bets, I don`t remember that detail). This was just before Hibbins won and he was down to about $9 when betting closed (he had been much higher earlier).

  29. You are right Tom. I had a $50 wager on the ALP winning Prahran in the 2014 and was paid out as a winner by Sportsbet. When I queried them about this (as the Greens won the seat) they said they paid me correctly.

  30. @ Rocket and BS

    Yes, I can’t see the Libs falling below 33% in Prahran. I think it will all depend on how effective Sam Hibbins has been as a local member.

    If he’s been able to replicate Adam Bandt he should be safe, but if he’s been like my local member Lidia Thorpe he may be in trouble.

  31. What seats do we see here as likely to change hands from ALP to LIB/NAT or LIB/NAT to ALP

    Ripon, South Barwon and Morwell (captain obvious I know) are the best chances to be won by Labor but I don’t see a likelihood of Labor picking up eastern suburb Liberal held seats.

    Alternatively I don’t see Labor losing any seats to the Liberals.

    My prediction is Labor to win Ripon, Morwell and South Barwon and lose Brunswick to the Greens.

    Nats to lose Ovens Valley to independent. Benambra will be a tight Lib v Ind contest but as a guess Libs to retain.

    So my prediction is ALP 48 Coalition 34 Greens 4 Ind 2

  32. Those exact seat odds are interesting. Often I find exact seat odds to be surprisingly accurate, but a 4-seat difference between Labor and LNP would be a not-much 2PP change election in which Labor drops a slew of seats to the Greens (for example).

  33. New not-a-poll added at sidebar of kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au – how many Upper House seats will be won by “micro-parties”? (Last election they won 5.)

    I am also changing the site colour scheme to some combination of red and black (which I’m still fiddling with) for reasons stated in the following rant:

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com/2018/11/site-colour-change_11.html

    I’m bemusedly dismayed by the corruption of this election by Group Ticket filth. I’d be volcanically disgusted instead except I strongly suspect that those whose apathy caused this mess will be punished by further losses in seats they could have won.

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