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. Anyway, I’m off to bed soon…because the campaigning starts tomorrow for me! 😯

    With our State election just a couple of months away we have to go full tilt before the federal election campaign for product differentiation purposes.

    So up at 4.45 for a 5.30am start shaking corflutes at bleary-eyed commuters on their way to work tomorrow.

    It’s the sort of commitment to democracy and getting the good guys elected that people like nath wouldn’t know if they fell over it. He’s too bitter and twisted, sad and pathetic and thinks he can change governments, or stop Oppositions getting elected, via nasty social media attacks.

    No, the way to win is to wear out the shoe leather and connect with the real people in the real world.

    See you on the other side of that after breakfast in the morning. 🙂

  2. Wow, here I was thinking Trump’s tweet about Elizabeth Warren was just your average common or garden culturally intolerant and insufferably boorish usual Trump snipe. But it turns out he was referring to a massacre of native Americans! He really isn’t handling either the shutdown or the impending Mueller report looming on the horizon well.

    One hundred years after U.S. soldiers killed and maimed hundreds of Sioux men, women and children at the Wounded Knee massacre, Congress formally apologized in 1990 by expressing its “deep regret on behalf of the United States.”

    On Sunday night, President Trump used that same massacre as a punchline in his latest broadside against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the Democratic presidential hopeful whom he regularly calls “Pocahontas” in jeering reference to her claims of American Indian heritage.

    “+300 of my people were massacred at Wounded Knee. Most were women and children,” tweeted Ruth H. Hopkins, a Dakota/Lakota Sioux writer who has contributed at Teen Vogue, the Guardian and elsewhere. “This isn’t funny, it’s cold, callous, and just plain racist.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/01/14/trump-invokes-one-worst-native-american-massacres-mock-elizabeth-warren/?utm_term=.cae169ba5e55

  3. Someone (C@t?) mentioned Oscar Wilde earlier.

    Here are a couple of quotes:

    “A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.”
    – Oscar Wilde

    “Experience is merely the name men gave to their mistakes.”
    – Oscar Wilde

    “The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.”
    – Oscar Wilde

  4. nath @ #1148 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 9:26 pm

    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.

    Piss off, nath, you little grub.

  5. C@t:

    Hope it goes well. I saw the NSW Electoral Commission is calling for staff, so that’s really brought into focus that you guys have an election very soon.

  6. I suspected Florida Republicans would do something like this. Why are these people so opposed to democracy?

    IN NOVEMBER, nearly two-thirds of Florida voters backed a state constitutional amendment that would restore voting rights to roughly 1.4 million former felons — a measure that undid a feature of state law, enacted after the Civil War by racist white lawmakers, designed to disenfranchise African Americans. Now some Florida Republicans who opposed the ballot measure, written unambiguously to be self-executing, insist “clarifying” legislation is needed.

    Against that backdrop of injustice, advocates managed to put Amendment 4 on last fall’s ballot, making ex-offenders (except murderers and sex offenders) automatically eligible to vote upon completion of their sentences, including parole and probation. They argued that a debt paid is a debt paid. On Election Day, about 65 percent of Floridians agreed. State elections officials began registering former felons last Tuesday.

    The hemming and hawing from some of the measure’s GOP opponents commenced thereafter. They suggested the ballot language was unclear; it wasn’t. “There’s going to be a need of guidance for that,” said newly elected Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. (We asked his office to clarify but received no response.)

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/florida-restored-voting-rights-to-former-felons-now-the-gop-wants-to-thwart-reform/2019/01/13/84e2dcdc-1520-11e9-803c-4ef28312c8b9_story.html?utm_term=.af87b1c78c10

  7. I don’t mind Bill but that black shirt he has been wearing in the top end does not suit him. It shows his man boobs a little too much.
    He’s been feasting over summer and that’s fair enough but jeepers, the drape of that shirt does not become him.

  8. Yes mavis, i dont really trust McGowan.
    Who does she think she’s is, to anoint her successor ffs.
    You’re an independent, you retire, piss off.
    The field is open again, big deal, let the parties fight it out.

  9. Mavis Smith @ #1167 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:54 pm

    Somewhat strange that McGowan wants McKenzie to stand in Indi:

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-and-cathy-mcgowan-want-bridget-mckenzie-to-run-in-indi-20190114-p50r90.html

    According to the article she says that if McKenzie runs she’ll bring more govt pre-election pork to Indi as well as greater public attention on the local campaign. She’s probably right, but if McKenzie runs in Indi I reckon it makes it even harder for McGowan Mk II than it otherwise would be.

  10. Pegasus:

    [‘Like Dastyari, Lambie is also a contestant on I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!’]

    I can’t get enough of reality shows.

  11. Nath
    I noticed the consensus in the Russian flat is 55/45 to labor ( with you and Rex reporting). Must be depressing feeling your posts are of such little consequence.

    With the number of post last night you must have billed a packet. Does anyone do a quality check on your work? Some of the stuff was petty lame; while other posts were par excellent trolling. Can I suggest peer reviews to try and keep the standard consistent.

  12. Confessions @ #1174 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:02 pm

    Mavis Smith @ #1167 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 6:54 pm

    Somewhat strange that McGowan wants McKenzie to stand in Indi:

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-and-cathy-mcgowan-want-bridget-mckenzie-to-run-in-indi-20190114-p50r90.html

    According to the article she says that if McKenzie runs she’ll bring more govt pre-election pork to Indi as well as greater public attention on the local campaign. She’s probably right, but if McKenzie runs in Indi I reckon it makes it even harder for McGowan Mk II than it otherwise would be.

    How does it matter what pork they bring?

    They won’t be the Government, so any promises are irrelevant.

    Or does she think Labor will be stupid enough to match them?

    Dumb, dumb, dumb! 🙂

  13. No prediction for tomorrow, but usually the Government has got a bump over Xmas-New Year, but this year they’ve been strangely unsilent so, it could go the other way. 🙂

  14. frednk @ #1175 Monday, January 14th, 2019 – 10:06 pm

    Nath
    I noticed the consensus in the Russian flat is 55/45 to labor ( with you and Rex reporting). Must be depressing feeling your posts are of such little consequence.

    With the number of post last night you must have billed a packet. Does anyone do a quality check on your work? Some of the stuff was petty lame; while other posts were par excellent trolling. Can I suggest peer reviews to try and keep the standard consistent.

    Rex clearly gets paid by the post. They are short and repetitive – why waste the effort?.

    Nath, on the other hand, probably gets paid by the number of replies he gets 🙁

  15. They won’t be the Government, so any promises are irrelevant.

    Yep and her successor is unlikely to be in a position to influence the next government anyway, in the event she is elected in the first place.

    I’m actually very much looking forward to the next federal election, so many potential seats of interest to watch, including in WA which is unusual.

  16. A few new entries since the last 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; C@tmomma;

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

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

    57/43
    PuffyTMD; Chinda63; SilentMajority;

    60/40
    KayJay;

  17. Confessions:

    [‘…but if McKenzie runs in Indi I reckon it makes it even harder for McGowan Mk II than it otherwise would be.’]

    If McKenzie does run I think she’ll beat Haines, the former having a high profile and from a distance appears reasonable for a country Tory. Haines will only have a 4.6% buffer, which makes Indi a marginal seat.

  18. frednk
    says:
    Monday, January 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm
    Nath
    I noticed the consensus in the Russian flat is 55/45 to labor ( with you and Rex reporting). Must be depressing feeling your posts are of such little consequence.
    With the number of post last night you must have billed a packet. Does anyone do a quality check on your work? Some of the stuff was petty lame; while other posts were par excellent trolling. Can I suggest peer reviews to try and keep the standard consistent.
    ________________________________
    Not sure what you are talking about with all the Russian stuff, but sure I’ll play along; Vladimir says hi. I will say once again I’m not a troll but I doubt you’d believe me. I’m quite friendly and rarely respond to the personal abuse I receive.

  19. Mavis:

    Indi is one of the seats that I’ll be watching on election night. Isn’t it marvellous when previously safe seats turn marginal? 😀

  20. Well, after the next election Bill Shorten will definitely not be opposition leader.
    If he managed to lose he would be the biggest Labor leader laughing stock since Mark Latham. There is no chance of him matching Latham’s appealing interpersonal skills so an election loss by the Lib Nats is inevitable.
    I always wondered what an ex-Labor federal leader and Pauline Hanson had in common — must be their torrid affairs with the Sky after dark morons.

  21. Haines hasn’t a very high local profile, and McGowan-backed indies, although doing well, polled at most 20% in the State election – and that was in the northern part of the electorate, where they were well known (all the indies who ran at state level had higher profiles than Haines has).

    I’m not sure McKenzie will do particularly well. Senators tend to find the shift to the Lower House difficult, as it involves contact with actual voters, and my own observations of her suggests she isn’t good at that. I don’t know why Nationals think that putting on moleskins, elastic boots and an Akubra will make them blend in up here, but they do. The locals laugh at them.

    It’s a difficult field to pick, without the Mirabella factor in play. The Libs candidate is completely blah – inoffensive but totally unimpressive.

    Our guy is young and keen but I have to preserve a discreet silence as I’m on the campaign team.

  22. Henry:

    I agree with you about Bill’s black shirt. White in the top end would’ve been a better choice. But, hey, he could wear anything and still beat FauxMo & his motley crew.

  23. zoomster:

    [“McGowan is a ditz. But you know that…”]

    Judging from QT I did get the impression that McGowan’s a bit of a scatterbrain.

  24. For the next poll put me down for 55/45 to Labor. The coalition is going bad now, as it was before Christmas. I see no reason why Shouty McShoutface’s numbers should change.

    On the rail meltdown in Melbourne tonight. Unfortunate, since Labor is in the middle of doing long overdue system upgrades that will make this less likely. Previous governments put this off for years. Andrews should just tell it as it is. There is a lot to catch up on in PT systems in Australia, both repairs of current lines and capaciy expansions are needed.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/train-fault-knocks-out-key-lines-commuters-face-lengthy-delays-in-peak-hour-20190114-p50rc4.html

  25. 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

    I read it as they would allow native animals to skip Naplan.
    I am sure FDOTM would agree, subjecting marsupials to a literacy and numeracy test is cruel.

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