The age of entitlement

Prospects for the states’ seat entitlements in the medium term, and the Coalition’s chances of having any left to their name in Victoria after the coming election.

Essential Research should be breaking the New Year polling drought this week. Until then, three things:

• I have taken a look at state population growth trends to ascertain what the states’ House of Representatives seat entitlements are likely to be when the matter is determined a year after the next election. The table below shows how the numbers looked at the determinations following the 2013 and 2016 elections, how they are right now, and where they are headed according to current trends. Note the exact size of the House of Representatives depends on the vagaries of how these numbers are rounded: it will increase to 151 at the next election, because the last round decreed extra seats for Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory while penalising only the ever-declining South Australia. Note also that Tasmania is constitutionally entitled to five seats come what may.

2013 2016 2018 2019
NSW 47.39 47.32 47.29 47.24
Victoria 36.78 37.89 38.25 38.57
Queensland 29.75 29.64 29.68 29.73
WA 16.21 15.58 15.37 15.21
SA 10.63 10.42 10.28 10.15
Tasmania 3.25 3.15 3.13 3.10
ACT 2.44 2.54 2.51 2.51
NT 1.56 1.50 1.47 1.44

It appears quite certain Western Australia will lose the sixteenth seat it gained in 2016; that Victoria could potentially gain a seat for the second electoral cycle in a row; that the Northern Territory is in big danger of reverting to one seat after eighteen years with two; and that it’s touch-and-go for the third seat the Australian Capital Territory will gain at the coming election. Western Australia was lucky not to lose a seat last time, and has since fallen well below threshold, while Victoria’s growth rate of 0.3 seats a year leaves it projected to just make it over the line. Northern Territory’s entitlement fell below two after the 2001 election, but parliament came up with a legislative fiddle to preserve its second seat. Its population then went through a period of growth on the back of the resources boom, which has lately been in reverse. The ACT’s numbers tend to wax with Labor governments and wane with Coalition ones, owing to the parties’ respective attitudes to the public service, so the result of the coming election may have a bearing here.

The Australian reports that Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, “will make an announcement about her political future on Monday morning”. One senses the announcement will be that she is not seeking re-election, as the Voices for Indi group that was behind her successful campaigns in 2013 and 2016 has seen fit to anoint her successor: Helen Haines, a Wangaratta-based midwife and rural health researcher. However, McGowan’s position was that she would wait to see who the group chose before deciding, and Haines says she will happily leave the field clear for McGowan if she wants to continue. The unsuccessful candidates included McGowan’s sister, local lawyer Helen McGowan. It is anticipated that Senator Bridget McKenzie, who recently relocated her electorate office to Wodonga, will run for the Nationals if McGowan retires.

• The Nine Network reports Liberal internal polling shows it headed for a near total wipeout in Melbourne, with only Tim Wilson in Goldstein looking good to hang on. However, this was reportedly conducted at the time of the state election, which raises two issues: whether its proximity confused respondents, and why it whoever leaked it should be doing so now in particular.

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.

1,220 comments on “The age of entitlement”

  1. Mavis

    Given these results 45-55 it would be no surprise. What a Coalition ‘fight back’ over 18 months.

    Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor – The Poll Bludger
    Mar 21, 2017
    .
    Essential Research: 55-45 to Labor – The Poll Bludger

    Aug 28, 2018

  2. Dan Gulberry @ #954 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 1:45 pm

    grimace @ #950 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 1:41 pm

    Mavis Smith @ #948 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 1:39 pm

    I think it was Dave who posted this morning that Essential is 55-45, but I can’t find any reference to it in the Guardian or the GhostwhoVotes.

    Neither can I. Fake News!

    In which case we can still hold a sweep for what the poll will be.

    I’ll start it off:

    Dan 55/45

    Anyone else?

    Put me down for 56/44

  3. Re Palmer, our letterboxes are being stuffed with Palmer flyers. I glance at them and chuck them in the bin near the letterboxes. He seems to be modelling himself on Trump.

    Fortunately he doesn’t have my mobile number. If he’s calling my landline, I wouldn’t know because I don’t answer it or respond to messages unless I know the number.

  4. John Menadue, 14 January 2019 -“I am reposting below an edited version of “The scourge of lobbyists” posted in this blog on 12 May 2018.”

    http://www.johnmenadue.com/john-menadue-the-scourge-of-lobbyists-is-likely-to-continue-if-there-is-a-change-of-government-a-repost-from-20-july-2018/

    Lobbyists are back in the news but it looks as if the scourge of lobbyists will continue in Canberra if Bill Shorten wins the next election. There is no sign that the ALP, like the Coalition is prepared to curb the way lobbyists are corrupting public policy in Australia.. The media reports that lobby firms are taking on ‘labor staffers’ so that they can influence a future Labor Government.

  5. Mavis Smith

    I was wondering if the break would result in a slight narrowing (The Abbott Effect -Keep out of public view-> Coalition polling up).

    Sooo I’ll go 54-46.

  6. Re Essential and any other new polls for the year, I think that they will bounce back to a default value after the long break, Where that might be, I don’t know, but I don’t think that it’ll be too different from where we finished 2018, maybe some Coalition voters drifting back to the fold (their default).

    I’ll go for Labor 54/46.

  7. Seems to me that ‘giving it a go’ might be a no-brainer.

    Julian Rait

    11h11 hours ago

    Here in British Columbia, Canada, where pill testing has been offered since 2003, a survey by harm reduction service ANKORS found 69% of substances tested were discarded by consumers when found to contain lethal substances!

  8. What concerns the Greens in Canberra

    The release of helium balloons into the atmosphere has been of concern to environmental groups for many years.

    Zoos Victoria: https://www.zoo.org.au/news/balloon-open-letter (with signatories)

    According to the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) database, records estimate that between 2013 and 2016 reveal that over 22,500 whole or remnant latex balloons were found in all coastal clean-ups (with an average of five found per event).
    :::
    Birds, seals and turtles can become entangled in balloon ribbons causing drowning, injury and death. Marine wildlife also frequently mistake balloon litter for food and once ingested, this can cause stomach blockages – eventually leading to starvation.

    Balloons: why they blow –

    https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/balloons-why-they-blow/

    https://www.documentaryaustralia.com.au/films/4021/rubber-jellyfish

    Rubber Jellyfish is a feature length documentary about the effects of released helium balloons on ocean wildllife – in particular, Australia’s population of critically endangered sea turtles.

  9. Dan, I have this.

    PB Essential-Poll 2019-01-15
    PB mean: ALP 54.4 to 45.6 LNP
    PB median: ALP 54.5 to 45.5 LNP
    No. Of PB Respondents: 12

    ALP / LNP
    53 / 47 Al Pal
    53 / 47 BK
    55 / 45 Dan Gulberry
    55 / 45 Dave
    53.5 / 46.5 Frednk *permanent
    56 / 44 grimace
    55 / 45 John R
    55 / 45 Late Riser
    53 / 47 Mavis Smith
    56 / 44 Player One
    54 / 46 poroti
    54 / 46 Steve777

    (Frednk indicated his choice in perpetuity for Newspoll.)

  10. 57 would be nice.
    Certainly it is conceivable. I wonder if an early January poll is likely to be a wild swing or a revision to the trend.

  11. Dan, I may have mistaken your question. Sorry. I’m a compulsive list keeper. As you were. 🙂 And here’s hoping there is an Essential tomorrow.

  12. https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/government-hypocrisy-on-anning-and-fascism

    It is lethally ironic, then, to watch the major parties trip over themselves to denounce Fraser Anning’s attendance at a white supremacist rally. After all, they have for years rapidly, and eagerly, intensified the security state and the border regime.

    The pantomime serves a purpose. Politicians denouncing Anning for his explicit support of fascism distracts from years of slightly more democratic, somewhat less in-your-face ethnonationalism. Sieg heils in St Kilda are bad, offshore internment camps are necessary.

    So the public finds itself hopelessly in denial about the systemic brutality of the laws it votes for at every election, and desperately willing to swallow government rhetoric which sanitises the unfathomable cruelty of Australian border policy.

    When a future generation looks back on these camps, they will see them in the same light that we view internment during the World Wars. The same policies applied to new avatars of human suffering. So much off-white meat assigned a number in a camp.

    If one thing is certain it is that mechanically echoing government euphemisms will not agitate change. Australian’s may come to see border policy in a different light if we start speaking candidly about offshore internment.

  13. No worries LR.

    I’m keeping a list in a txt file rather than a spreadsheet. I’ve lumped everyone who nominated a particular figure together rather than listing each person’s prediction. For me at least, it makes it easier to see who the “winners” are.

  14. Pegasus @ #980 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 5:25 pm

    https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/government-hypocrisy-on-anning-and-fascism

    It is lethally ironic, then, to watch the major parties trip over themselves to denounce Fraser Anning’s attendance at a white supremacist rally. After all, they have for years rapidly, and eagerly, intensified the security state and the border regime.

    The pantomime serves a purpose. Politicians denouncing Anning for his explicit support of fascism distracts from years of slightly more democratic, somewhat less in-your-face ethnonationalism. Sieg heils in St Kilda are bad, offshore internment camps are necessary.

    So the public finds itself hopelessly in denial about the systemic brutality of the laws it votes for at every election, and desperately willing to swallow government rhetoric which sanitises the unfathomable cruelty of Australian border policy.

    When a future generation looks back on these camps, they will see them in the same light that we view internment during the World Wars. The same policies applied to new avatars of human suffering. So much off-white meat assigned a number in a camp.

    If one thing is certain it is that mechanically echoing government euphemisms will not agitate change. Australian’s may come to see border policy in a different light if we start speaking candidly about offshore internment.

    the shame of it…

  15. This is a really good piece

    Strobe Talbott
    Strobe Talbott
    @strobetalbott
    ·
    8h
    My take on Trump’s disgraceful help to Putin’s spread of authoritarianism & undermine democracy
    @POLITICO

  16. Late Riser @ #972 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 5:12 pm

    Dan, I have this.
    .
    .
    (Frednk indicated his choice in perpetuity for Newspoll.)

    If I had one a them perpetuities I would like

    60/40 Labor to LNP

    Unfortunately these much desired articles market has been cornered (so to speak) and are currently connected to a BS wave generator and are pumping out stories about thongs and nongs suitable for evening wear.

    I’v had another look at the previous paragraph and, not making any sense of it, am going to have a shower and get ready for an evening of TV cricket and maybe ice cream treat. 🏏📺🍨

    P.S. I couldn’t find any thing in the Guardian about an Essential either. 18th December seems to be the last one I could find.

  17. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/14/pms-pledge-to-help-native-species-was-about-cutting-red-tape-for-farm-chemicals-his-office-says

    Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Monday, the prime minister cited “environmental legislation … [that] is important for native species” as among the government’s priorities for the new year, second only to national security. There is no major environmental legislation before parliament and the prime minister’s office was unable to immediately identify what he was referring to.

    His office had to clarify.

    PM’s pledge to help native species was about cutting red tape for farm chemicals, his office says

    It seems that Morrison wants us to believe he is “helping native species” by removing some regulations on agricultural chemicals.

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