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. Peter Stanton
    says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm
    Nath,
    You have made it reasonable obvious that you do not think Bill Shorten is fit to be Prime Minister. Since Shorten became leader of the federal ALP parliamentary Party a few things have happened.
    Have you ever considered that maybe it is possible that your opinion of Shorten is wrong?
    __________________________________
    My criticism of Shorten extend to his character, not of his effectiveness as LOTO. But even if your claims are true, and I’m not saying they are not, they are still irrelevant as to what sort of PM he will make:

    But by all means let’s examine your claims:
    I mean didn’t Abbott see off 2 or was that 3 PM’s. If you count Rudd twice. Did not Abbott take the Libs to within a seat in 2010? Did he not lead a united party? Did he not continually lead in the polls?

  2. Peter Stanton @ #1074 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 4:00 pm

    Dan,

    During the Abbot/Turnbull phase of the lunacy they usually got a bit of a lift after the summer solstice poll break. This was put down to there being minimal public utterances from them. During this break we have had a number of strange utterance from Morrison. The poll result tomorrow may test the hypothesis. put me down for 54/45.

    I’ve taken that as meaning 54/46.

  3. When he took over the Parliamentary Party was divided and disillusioned and defeated. It is now united, positive and winning.
    • In the same time period the Liberal government has changed leaders 3 times.

    Twice? Abbott to Turnbull and Turnbull to Morrison.

  4. Latest Essential update:

    51/49
    Sprocket__;

    52/48
    It’s Time;

    53/47
    BK; Mavis; Al Pal; max;

    53.5/46.5
    Frednk;

    54/46
    poroti; Steve777; sonar; Upnorth; Onebobsworth; ag0044; Peter Stanton;

    55/45
    Dan; Late Riser; John R; Dave; Goll; Confessions; Toby Esterhase; Rex Douglas; DareToTread;

    56/44
    grimace; Player One; don;

    57/43
    PuffyTMD; Chinda63;

    60/40
    KayJay;

  5. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I live in what is essentially a conservative rural town.

    I often chat to people at the shops, the post office, over the front fence etc, and I have detected a distinct shift away from the Coalition over the 7 years we’ve lived here.

    Granted, not all of that shift has come back to Labor, with many parking their vote elsewhere (Australian Conservatives, One Nation, and particularly NXT), but I don’t ever remember hearing the level of disdain that is currently being directed at the Coalition, with particular derision reserved for Scott Morrison .

    “Clown”, “moron” and “idiot” seem to be the most polite descriptors; many more not so much. The consenses seems to be he’s in WAAAY over his head.

  6. Dan Gulberry says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:42 pm
    I’ve taken that as meaning 54/46.
    —————————–
    Yes thanks Dan. I used to be able to add up but I have never been much of a typist.

  7. Oooh, nice.

    The Mayors (some) are saying to Scottie, “you mandate citizenship ceremonies – you pay for them”. Another well thought through plan…

  8. I mean didn’t Abbott see off 2 or was that 3 PM’s. If you count Rudd twice. Yes. Same number as Shorten will and you won’t have to count anyone twice. Abbott lied his way into office with the help of Murdoch.
    Did not Abbott take the Libs to within a seat in 2010? Yes.
    Did he not lead a united party? In Opposition and for the first year or so of his PMship. After two years as PM, his party booted him out.
    Did he not continually lead in the polls? For his time as PM, see previous question.

  9. BK

    Well it was an ’emergency’. Besides surely we have some BJP supporters hereand if not when has a lack of involvement stopped a PB ‘argument’ ? 😉

  10. Murdoch has a paramount presence in three countries: Australia, the US, the UK… all of them fucked up politically.

    His agenda? A weak America, a weak Britain, a weak Europe, political chaos as the norm.

    Now tell me just who is working for Putin? I mean really working for him? Who is the puppet master?

    We have the Conservatives in the UK breaking off with Europe. The Trumpistas abandoning their international allies. What’s the equivalent position in Australia?

  11. D.G. , please put me down for 54/46 to the good guys.

    Not sure if I imagined it, but pretty certain I heard the NSW ABC news on 2 at 7.00 pm tell me,when reporting Cathy McGowan’s retirement, that Indi was in North Eastern NSW.

  12. nath says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm
    I mean didn’t Abbott see off 2 or was that 3 PM’s. If you count Rudd twice. Did not Abbott take the Libs to within a seat in 2010? Did he not lead a united party? Did he not continually lead in the polls?
    ——————————————-
    Now it all makes sense. You are an Abbott supporter.
    Your attacks on Shortens character are usually based on incomplete reports of a few industrial agreements. Industrial relations deals in the real world. The real world is rarely if ever perfect and often very short of even being good. When you hold a senior position in an industrial organisation as Shorten did you end up dealing with the impossible cases. You job is to find a solution that works rather than one that is perfect. Often the solution that works is far from satisfactory but at least it moves you forward. Some weeks ago I tried to explain the situation in one of the cases you like to use but you chose to ignore my efforts. I can only conclude that you are either unwilling or unable to confront facts that do not fit with your preferred view of the world.

  13. Lord Haw Haw of Arabia says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 7:49 pm
    Oooh, nice.

    The Mayors (some) are saying to Scottie, “you mandate citizenship ceremonies – you pay for them”. Another well thought through plan…
    ————————————-
    I recognise that you are referring to Morrison’s plan but the Mayors seem to have come up with a very good plan. My experience in local government taught me that mayors will jump at any chance to move the cost elsewhere. Just as they should.

  14. Ongoing commentary on a politician based off current events and their recent decisions is more interesting than repetitive commentary on a politician based on digging up and rehashing old stories about them over and over again.

  15. Murdoch wants to see a return to 19th century style buccaneering, Wild West capitalism. That is the agenda that he is pushing in the three countries where he has a major presence. To that end, he wants small, weak Governments that plutocrats like himself can dominate, manipulate or at least intimidate.

    So getting the UK out of the EU serves that agenda. So does Trump. As for Australia, he wants a Government that shares his beliefs, which for now, he has. I don’t think he wants to share power with Putin.

  16. Ah yes the Murdoch formula for improving Anglo Saxon democracies. NewsCorp a blight a canker a cancer on democracy.
    .
    .
    Demonise Social Security and its recipients
    Demonise Immigrants
    Demonise Unions
    Tits on page 3

  17. Nath
    You insist on using an aluminum bat after repeated kerfuffles and will not be satisfied till you’ve caused as much irrationality as you’re able.
    Good luck but don’t expect anyone to respect you’re motives.
    I’m sure you’ve heard the words rude arsehole flung in your general direction previously.
    Show respect, get respect.

  18. Latest Essential update:

    51/49
    Sprocket__;

    52/48
    It’s Time;

    53/47
    BK; Mavis; Al Pal; max;

    53.5/46.5
    Frednk;

    54/46
    poroti; Steve777; sonar; Upnorth; Onebobsworth; ag0044; Peter Stanton; Bennelong Lurker; Sohar;

    55/45
    Dan; Late Riser; John R; Dave; Goll; Confessions; Toby Esterhase; Rex Douglas; DareToTread;

    56/44
    grimace; Player One; don; jeffemu;

    57/43
    PuffyTMD; Chinda63;

    60/40
    KayJay;

    I’m monitoring Ghost Who Votes Twitter feed to see when/if he/she/it makes an announcement. Up until that point entry to the contest remains open. Get your entry in now to avoid disappointment.

  19. Dan Gulberry, I like the way your format presents as a chunky bell curve. It shows the PB spread better than a numerical statistic.

  20. This getting beyond comedy.

    It took the PM’s office 5 hours to work out what he was talking about and that thing has no relevance to what he was saying.

    You’d like to think he’d be across the basics.

    PM’s pledge to help native species was about banning animal testing, his office says

    Office initially named agricultural chemical red tape bill, then said Morrison was actually referring to ban on cosmetic testing

    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

  21. Barney
    As an ad man Morrison thinks he can get away with political porkies the same as McDonalds does with the appearance of their burgers.

  22. Something along this has already been posted I think, but this gives more detail. Morrison’s animal protection major legislative priority for 2019 is a complete load of bull shit.

    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.

    An hour after this story was published, the prime minister’s office clarified the first statement was in error and claimed Morrison had in fact been referring to the Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017.

    That bill establishes a new regulatory scheme including banning animal testing for new chemical ingredients of cosmetics from 1 July 2018. It passed the lower house and was introduced to the Senate in October 2017 but appears not to have been debated since then.

    Abrahams said: “As far as we are aware, the main government policy relating to native species is the plan for a one-stop shop for environmental approvals, which would have the effect of weakening environmental protection.”

    “The government also has a targeted review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act for farmers, which could also weaken protection of the environment.”

    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

  23. BiGD

    PM’s pledge to help native species was about banning animal testing, his office says

    Wow, who knew we were testing lipstick on Wombats and using Koalas for air-bag tests

  24. ScoMoFo’s election strategy …

    … something … something … TERRORISTS … mumble … mumble … CUDDLY KOALAS … something … something … AUSTRALIA DAY … mumble … mumble …

  25. Another Morrison idea shot down.

    Cr Saliba did not agree with “forcing” people to wear certain and did not think residents would feel patriotic if the Prime Minister started laying down laws about the national day.

    “Council’s shouldn’t be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia day,” she said. “Everyone should be able to celebrate the day as they see fit.

    “People like to wear big hats, sunglasses and Australian shirts on the day. How we dress is up to the individual not the government.”

    Cr Bradbery said about 100 people would become citizens of Wollongong on January 26 as opposed to 40 each month.

    “Some people come in to the ceremony after work wearing hi-vis and some young ladies wear quite revealing outfits,” he said.

    https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5850500/mayors-weigh-in-on-australia-day-citizenship-ceremony-dress-code-debate/

  26. Player One @ #1136 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:12 pm

    ScoMoFo’s election strategy …

    … something … something … TERRORISTS … mumble … mumble … CUDDLY KOALAS … something … something … AUSTRALIA DAY … mumble … mumble …

    You forgot skulling beer at the cricket, kissing babies, and posing for selfies with young women who have no idea who he is 🙂

  27. Confessions @ #1139 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:13 pm

    Player One @ #1136 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:12 pm

    ScoMoFo’s election strategy …

    … something … something … TERRORISTS … mumble … mumble … CUDDLY KOALAS … something … something … AUSTRALIA DAY … mumble … mumble …

    You forgot skulling beer at the cricket, kissing babies, and posing for selfies with young women who have no idea who he is 🙂

    Add lodging both his left feet firmly in his mouth.

  28. And more push back from councils. In essence: you want it, you pay for it.

    Greg Conkey, the mayor of Wagga Wagga, which holds 10 ceremonies a year, said the Australia Day event was a “highlight” but the government’s decision was wrong.

    Conkey estimated the ceremonies cost Wagga Wagga between $10,000 and $15,000 in total a year.

    “How can they make it compulsory without providing some kind of compensation?” he said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/14/councils-ask-scott-morrison-pay-citizenship-ceremonies-on-26-january-australia-day

  29. If a “Liberal” talks about “protecting the environment”, you can be pretty sure he’s protecting his mates from having to worry about the environment.

  30. C@tmomma
    says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 9:23 pm
    I hope Jacquie Lambie gets elected again this year, she’s ridgie didge.
    ______________________________
    I’ve never heard you describe Bill Shorten as ridgie didge. Therefore I can assume you think he’s not ridgie didge and that is an attack upon Shorten.

  31. I had a patient once who had MY FOOT tattooed on the dorsum of one foot, and MY OTHER FOOT on the dorsum of the other.

    So there’s a least two of them.

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