The Poll Bludger’s epic federal election guide has attained something approximating completeness (although it will be regularly updated through the campaign) with the publication of its sub-guide to the Senate – 12,000 words of eye-wateringly detailed psephological goodness encompassing each state and territory contest individually, accounting for their voting histories, candidate details and endlessly complex preselection argybargy, with the cherry of a comprehensive overview on top. A permanent link to the whole shebang can be found on the sidebar to the right.
While we’re on the subject of the Senate, The Australia Institute released some interesting research on Monday gauging the level of public understanding of the system as reformed in 2016. This was conducted by presenting a representative sample of 1449 respondents with the wording as it appears on the ballot paper, with the comprehension test to follow. It would seem the system isn’t as straightforward as those of us with our noses to the grindstone may have presumed:
• Forty-seven per cent of respondents registered agreement with the erroneous proposition that “you should give a ‘6’ to the party you dislike more than any other party on the ballot paper”, which would only be true if there were only six groups on the ballot paper. Thirty-two per cent had sufficient presence of mind to disagree.
• Thirty-four per cent, who I can only hope didn’t properly understand the proposition they were responding to, agreed that “you should vote 1 for the party you think is most likely to get elected”. Fifty-seven per cent thought otherwise.
• Thirty-two per cent wrongly concluded that “if you number beyond 6 your ballot paper is disqualified”, compared with 37% who disagreed.
• Another 32% (or perhaps the same one) wrongly thought that “giving a party a 6 makes it harder for them to get elected than leaving the box blank”, compared with 38% who disagreed.
There’s more on matters Senatorial from Ben Raue at The Guardian. And you may find below a thread dedicated to discussion of whatever aspects of the Senate election take your fancy.