Tidying up

Full preference counts should start unrolling over the next few days, but we’re probably still a fortnight away from being sure of the exact composition of the Senate.

So far as the outcome on seats is concerned, two questions from the federal election remain to be answered: who wins Macquarie, which could potentially deliver the Coalition a 78th seat, or – more likely – a 68th for Labor; and who gets the last Senate seat in Queensland. No new numbers have been added to the count in Macquarie since Wednesday, apparently because they’ve been gathering everything together for one last heave. Labor leads by 282; I make it that there are about 950 votes outstanding; the Liberals will need nearly two-third of them to close the gap. Their more realistic hope, if any, is that an error shows up during the preference distribution, but that’s highly unlikely after all the checking that’s been done already.

Out of the other lower house seats, I’ll be particularly interested to see the results of the preference distribution in Joel Fitzgibbon’s seat of Hunter, where there is a chance the One Nation candidate might draw ahead of the Nationals candidate to make the final count. The Nationals have 23.5% of the primary vote to One Nation’s 21.6%, but by applying Senate preference flows from 2016 to allocate the minor parties, I get this narrowing to 27.1% to 26.3%. If nothing else, One Nation making it to second will provide us with hard data on how Coalition preferences divide between Labor and One Nation, a circumstance that has never arisen before at a federal election. The result in the seat of Mirani at the Queensland election in 2017 suggests it should be a bit short of 80%. If so, Fitzgibbon should emerge with a winning margin of about 2%, compared with his 3.0% lead in the Labor-versus-National count.

As discussed here last week, I feel pretty sure Labor’s second Senate candidate in Queensland will be pipped to the last seat by the Greens, though God knows I’ve been surprised before. That will mean three seats for the Coalition and one apiece for Labor, One Nation and the Greens. We probably won’t know the answer for about a fortnight, when the data entry should be completed and the button pressed.

There are other questions we’re still a while away from knowing the answer to, like the final national two-party preferred vote. All that can be said with certainty at this point is that it will be nowhere near what the polls were saying, but the most likely result is around 52-48 to the Coalition. The AEC’s current count says 51.6-48.4, but this doesn’t mean much because it excludes 15 seats in which the two-candidate counts are “non-classic”, i.e. not between the Coalition and Labor. Only when separate Coalition-versus-Labor counts are completed for those seats will we have a definitive result.

We will also have to wait until them for a definitive answer on exactly how many United Australia Party and One Nation preferences flowed to the Coalition. This has been a contentious question for the past year, since pollsters recognised recent federal election results were unlikely to provide a reliable guide to how they would flow this time, as per their usual practice. As Kevin Bonham discusses at length, this was one of many questions on which certain pollsters exhibited an unbecoming lack of transparency. Nonetheless, their decision to load up the Coalition on preferences from these parties has been more than vindicated, notwithstanding my earlier skepticism that the split would be as much as the 60-40 used for both parties by Newspoll.

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.

866 comments on “Tidying up”

  1. @Tim_Beshara
    2h2 hours ago

    Labor videos rarely got above 100k views during the campaign. Maybe 4-5 did. But the Libs had around 20 that did. And these were routinely up over 300-400k views. A few at around 800k.

  2. BK

    In Trump’s mind, he probably won the War himself – bigly.

    And I see that QE wore gloves when shaking hands with Trump – very wise. 🙂

  3. lizzie @ #497 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:04 am

    Perhaps KK needs to refine her argument a little more. May be rushing in a bit.

    Professor Louise Newman@LouiseKNewman
    13h13 hours ago

    Is this a new low point in asylum politics? Keneally’s incoherent attempt at justifying ongoing indefinite detention and abandonment on islands of despair without hope, with no mention of the fact that this inevitably produces mental breakdown. #closethecamps

    She forgot to ‘hasten slowly’

  4. sustainable future @ #496 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:00 am

    Albo is on a winner to demand scumo recall parliament pass the first tranch of lower and middle income tax cuts before 30 June. And if the LNP don’t labot needs to make a big thing of scumo’s deceit and first big lie.

    there will be many of them, with the main one being ‘the surplus’

    Hasten slowly brothers, hasten slowly….

  5. “The Greens nationally had a swing of 0.14% to them. I wouldn’t be claiming that as a ‘strong result.’”

    If you completely ignore one of the houses of parliament, sure. But you wouldn’t be omitting the Senate results to suit your deeply flawed argument, would you.

  6. The British have rolled out the Royals and are trying to keep a stiff upper lip, but look at this side by side comparison:

  7. If only facts counted.

    New analysis commissioned by the International Monetary Fund has shown that global fossil fuel subsidies continue to grow…
    The IMF estimates that annual energy subsidies in Australia total $29 billion, representing 2.3 per cent of Australian GDP. On a per capita basis, Australian fossil fuel subsidies amount to $1,198 per person.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/global-fossil-fuel-subsidies-reach-5-2-trillion-and-29-billion-in-australia-91592/

    $29 billion = 10 000 2MW wind turbines

  8. Firefox @ #506 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:29 am

    “The Greens nationally had a swing of 0.14% to them. I wouldn’t be claiming that as a ‘strong result.’”

    If you completely ignore one of the houses of parliament, sure. But you wouldn’t be omitting the Senate results to suit your deeply flawed argument, would you.

    You wouldn’t be cherry-picking the results to suit YOUR argument, would you?

    How’s those 3-4 new Lower House seats going for The Greens, Firefox? You know, the ones where you have to rely on an electorate supporting your candidate, not an aggregate of votes across the State?

  9. lizzie @ #494 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 8:54 am

    @samanthamaiden
    1h1 hour ago

    The question @ScottMorrisonMP has never answered is why he told voters on day after budget and day of PEFO that the ATO could “administer” these tax cuts and pay them even if hadn’t passed Parliament. The Morrison government has now accepted, after the election, that’s not true.

    Because he lies shamelessly and frequently?

    Donald Trump lies.
    Scott Morrison lies.

    The media propagates their lies.

    People believe their lies.

    People will have forgotten the lies by the time of the next election campaign.

    They will be replaced by new lies.

    Scott Morrison will lie.

    The media will propagate the lies.

    The people will believe the lies.

    Rinse and repeat.

    Remember there were no children thrown overboard.

    Remember who was the campaign director for the Liberal Party in 2001?

    Scott Morrison.

    He is steeped in the art of lying to win elections.

  10. I’m not going to get into a back and forth with the usual suspects who constantly attack the Greens over anything on this site. I honestly just can’t be bothered right now. You’re all angry and upset about the result. I understand that because I am too. But blaming the Greens for Labor’s failure will not help change anything.

    If Labor planned to win the election on the back of picking up a handful of ultra conservative seats in North Queensland they were kidding themselves. Likewise, if they planned to win via a huge swing to them in Victoria then they were also kidding themselves. Shorten is no Andrews and the Victorian Labor Party is far more progressive than the federal party.

    On the bright side, because of the Greens’ strong results in the Senate, it creates the very real possibility that we could have 12 Senators after the next election if we have a similar result. That would be a great outcome for progressive Australians.

  11. God this Green hate shit is tedious.
    I’ve been labor/green voter for nearly 40 years. Every Labor voter I know is Labor/Green or Green/Labor….I could try Lab’Lib or Lib/Lab but I’d have to punch myself in the face….

  12. mundo @ #514 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:43 am

    God this Green hate shit is tedious.
    I’ve been labor/green voter for nearly 40 years. Every Labor voter I know is Labor/Green or Green/Labor….I could try Lab’Lib or Lib/Lab but I’d have to punch myself in the face….

    Do it anyway.
    There I said it now you don’t have to.

  13. Firefox @ #513 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:42 am

    I’m not going to get into a back and forth with the usual suspects who constantly attack the Greens over anything on this site. I honestly just can’t be bothered right now. You’re all angry and upset about the result. I understand that because I am too. But blaming the Greens for Labor’s failure will not help change anything.

    If Labor planned to win the election on the back of picking up a handful of ultra conservative seats in North Queensland they were kidding themselves. Likewise, if they planned to win via a huge swing to them in Victoria then they were also kidding themselves. Shorten is no Andrews and the Victorian Labor Party is far more progressive than the federal party.

    On the bright side, because of the Greens’ strong results in the Senate, it creates the very real possibility that we could have 12 Senators after the next election if we have a similar result. That would be a great outcome for progressive Australians.

    And if Labor thought they’d beat the Coalition at politics they were kidding themselves.

  14. The Greens achieved a good result. They simultaneously:

    – held their Senate Seats, with an increased vote
    – retained a stable vote share in the House
    – helped contribute to the collapse of the Labor PV in QLD into the 20s
    – wedged Labor so well on coal that the Liberals were easily re-elected
    – ensured the Galilee basin will be mined, creating a permanent wedge issue they can use against Labor
    – ensured that conservative and conservative-leaning Senators will together run that chamber, allowing the Liberals to do whatever they like
    – ensured that nothing positive whatsoever will be done in the environment for another 3 years, and probably much longer

    The Greens out-performed. They should be congratulated. They’re winning.

  15. This area of the Hills has settled nicely into its winter holding pattern. For the past week the temp has been between 3 and 9°C. The gloom of the election matched the gloom of the weather.

  16. The Greens weren’t the ones who saddled Labor with an unpopular leader, a poorly misjudged set of policies and terrible political messaging and strategy. One of the sad results of Labor’s epic fail in 2019 is the dire position it could put Australia into after the 2021/22 election. I’m tipping a 2021 election to catch Labor early before they can dump Albanese after he struggles through the first half of the term.

  17. Firefox

    I’m not joining in the chorus (if it exists) that the defeat was entirely the fault of the Greens. From what I’m reading there were specific attacks by LNP in various electorates which lied about Labor policy: very late term abortions as well as the distorted ‘tax’ policies.

    I had assumed that Labor were more skilled in social media. That’s an area they need to develop and pursue to counteract the Young Libs, who have nothing much else to do except fabrication, it seems.

  18. mundo says:
    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 9:43 am
    God this Green hate shit is tedious.
    I’ve been labor/green voter for nearly 40 years. Every Labor voter I know is Labor/Green or Green/Labor….I could try Lab’Lib or Lib/Lab but I’d have to punch myself in the face….

    The Greens are an anti-Labor Party. When you vote Labor/Green, the value of the votes tend to cancel each other out. If you want to vote Labor, vote Labor. If you don’t, then voting Green does more harm to Labor than voting Liberal. How much do you hate Labor? If you really hate them, vote Green.


  19. briefly says:
    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 9:45 am

    The Greens achieved a good result. They simultaneously:

    – held their Senate Seats, with an increased vote
    – retained a stable vote share in the House
    – helped contribute to the collapse of the Labor PV in QLD into the 20s
    – wedged Labor so well on coal that the Liberals were easily re-elected
    – ensured the Galilee basin will be mined, creating a permanent wedge issue they can use against Labor
    – ensured that conservative and conservative-leaning Senators will together run that chamber, allowing the Liberals to do whatever they like
    – ensured that nothing positive whatsoever will be done in the environment for another 3 years, and probably much longer

    The Greens out-performed. They should be congratulated. They’re winning.

    What surprises me is they don’t seem to want to claim their success.
    Improved vote; the party they campaigned for in power; what more did they want?

  20. briefly @ #521 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:51 am

    mundo says:
    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 9:43 am
    God this Green hate shit is tedious.
    I’ve been labor/green voter for nearly 40 years. Every Labor voter I know is Labor/Green or Green/Labor….I could try Lab’Lib or Lib/Lab but I’d have to punch myself in the face….

    The Greens are an anti-Labor Party. When you vote Labor/Green, the value of the votes tend to cancel each other out. If you want to vote Labor, vote Labor. If you don’t, then voting Green does more harm to Labor than voting Liberal. How much do you hate Labor? If you really hate them, vote Green.

    Don’t be an idiot.

  21. ltep @ #519 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:50 am

    The Greens weren’t the ones who saddled Labor with an unpopular leader, a poorly misjudged set of policies and terrible political messaging and strategy. One of the sad results of Labor’s epic fail in 2019 is the dire position it could put Australia into after the 2021/22 election. I’m tipping a 2021 election to catch Labor early before they can dump Albanese after he struggles through the first half of the term.

    Has a ring of the inevitable about it.

  22. lizzie

    Labor almost got a progressive policy platform across the line; it was always going to be hard. The little green pony tipped the scales.

  23. Simon² Katich® @ #518 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:47 am

    This area of the Hills has settled nicely into its winter holding pattern. For the past week the temp has been between 3 and 9°C. The gloom of the election matched the gloom of the weather.

    Well I’ve just come back online after over an hour in the cold and dark due to a blackout (gotta love the power reliability of the Coal-fired States!) and it is sleeting with rain, a balmy 9.5C, but which feels like 3.2C, due to the accompanying wind. I can vouch for what it feels like. 😐

  24. frednk

    I hope Labor doesn’t give up on their policies as most fair commentators agreed that they were beneficial. May take a while to persuade people to accept them, but giving up is weak, IMO.

  25. ltep saddled up early and doing his best to stop Labor cleaning up the mess created by the little Green pony, the million dollar horse Clive and the horse named Liberal ( who is al least honest about what he is trying to do).

  26. Asking voters what they think, when their heads are still full of the lies of Clive and LNP, won’t produce much that is helpful.

  27. frednk, the Lib-kin will want to blame Labor and raise the fear level. They will never be responsible for anything. Everything that goes wrong is Labor’s fault. This is a Green-and-Liberal truism now.

    A railway to the Galilee basin will be a great boon to the Greens. They will be able to pillory Labor forever and a day. It’s a dream come true for them.

  28. C@tmomma,

    You succinctly expressed the reason that Labor’s won a majority in just one election in 23 years.
    The total regurgitation of Menzies era politics for our Conservative political/media/business-lobby cabal was only thwarted by the reality therapy of WorkChoices and Howard’s baton pass to Costello.

    Unless Morrison and the Senate crossbench repeat Howard’s colossal blunder, they’re sitting pretty with the Greens avidly politicking to perpetrate election outcomes uncannily akin to what the Democratic Labor Party were successful at perpetrating. Poor fellow, our country.

  29. frednk @ #523 Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 – 9:54 am

    lizzie

    Labor almost got a progressive policy platform across the line; it was always going to be hard. The little green pony tipped the scales.

    No, the Coalition’s brilliantly audacious pack of lies advertising campaign stomped all over the scales and Labor in the process.
    The Greens were completely irrelevant.
    If you can’t accept that you’re delusional and destined to be one very unhappy camper.

  30. lizzie
    I fail to see why Labor should be trying to pull a loaded cart up the hill when none of the other ponies and horses will help. Labor are not gods; they tried and they failed.

    You may see that something has to done about inequality but it is far from universally accepted; it was ltep’s attach line this morning for example.

    The little Green ponies can always be relied to do what they do.

  31. Asking voters what they think, when their heads are still full of the lies of Clive and LNP, won’t produce much that is helpful.

    Well, yes and no.

    I assume you’re saying that Labor shouldn’t do knee-jerk in relation to dumping policies based on what feedback they get right now.

    However, Labor absolutely do have to find out what people are thinking “when their heads are still full of the lies of Clive and LNP” because without really understanding what people voted for and why Labor will not be able to learn what actually just happened.

    And, of course, the lies will be there next time around – maybe different lies, maybe the same lies since they worked so well – so if particular policies simply aren’t going to gain public support in the face of concerted disinformation campaigns then they must be ditched.

  32. caf says:
    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 10:01 am
    This petulant, dummy-spitting with-us-or-against-us bullshit is entirely unbecoming.

    If the policy is not deliberate ( and I believe Di Natale case it is) the Greens need to face up to what they have become.

  33. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-06-04/drought-and-low-water-allocation-impacts-cotton-harvest/11172966

    I am sure that all the dead and dying ecosystems, plus the few remaining inland fish & birdlife are all absolutely thrilled that we are still growing a couple of billion dollars worth of cotton each year, amidst the worst drought in NSW on record.

    Just how stupid are we in this country? No, don’t bother answering. It’s too depressing 🙁

  34. The anti-Labor Parties have got their sales-lines worked out. They know what they’re on about. The Social Democratic plurality built by Labor in the 20th century is being dismembered, bit by bit. Sections of the working class have been drawn across to the right. Sections of the bourgeoisie have been drawn to the Greens. The plurality has been eaten away. It’s now no longer anywhere near powerful enough to put Labor into office.

    The Greens will set out to plunder the plurality some more. The Liberals will try to crush it entirely. We could end up with an effective one-party system here. Perhaps we already have one. Labor have been singularly ineffectual since 1996. It’s getting worse. The plurality is looking very war-torn now.

  35. Jackol

    if particular policies simply aren’t going to gain public support in the face of concerted disinformation campaigns then they must be ditched.

    How can we ever move forward to more fairness? (Don’t answer that!)

  36. frednk says:
    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 9:54 am

    lizzie

    Labor almost got a progressive policy platform across the line; it was always going to be hard. The little green pony tipped the scales.

    I agree their actions didn’t help, but to say they were the difference is a stretch.

    The Greens say that want a Labor Government over a Coalition one and as such need to be mindful of whether their actions ultimately help or hinder that.

    Sure they’re an independent Party and should be trying to maximise their votes, but as a minor progressive Party, progress on the things they hold as important is more likely under a Labor Government.

  37. The Right have been decidedly strengthened by this election. Taken all together, they have 2/3 of the National PV. Social justice and social democracy are in real peril in Australia.

  38. I would like to see a body created, maybe attached to the AEC, where all political advertising is vetted and claims within are justified before it is allowed to be published.

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