Election plus three weeks

A look at how the religious vote might have helped Scott Morrison to victory, plus some analysis of turnout and the rate of informal voting.

I had a paywalled Crikey article on Friday on the religion factor in the election result, drawing on results of the Australian National University’s Australian Election Study survey. Among other things, it had this to say:

The results from the 2016 survey provide some support for the notion, popular on the right of the Liberal Party, that Malcolm Turnbull brought the government to the brink of defeat by losing religious voters, who appear to have flocked back to the party under Morrison. Notably, the fact that non-religious voters trusted Turnbull a lot more than they did Abbott did not translate into extra votes for the Coalition, whereas a two-party swing to Labor of 7% was recorded among the religiously observant.

The charts below expand upon the survey data featured in the article, showing how Labor’s two-party preferred has compared over the years between those who attend religious services several times a year or more (“often”), those who do so less frequently (“sometimes”), and those who don’t do it at all (“never”).

Some other post-election observations:

Rosie Lewis of The Australian reports the looming Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters inquiry into the election will examine the three-week pre-polling period and the extent of Clive Palmer’s campaign spending. There is not, it would seem, any appetite to explore the debilitating phenomenon of fake news proliferating on social media, for which Australia arguably experienced a watershed moment during the campaign through claims Labor had a policy to introduce a “death tax”. This is explored in depth today in a report in The Guardian and an accompanying opinion piece by Lenore Taylor. That said, not all of the mendacity about death taxes was subterranean, as demonstrated by this official Liberal Party advertisement.

• As best as I can tell, all votes for the House of Representatives have been counted now. There was a fall in the official turnout rate (UPDATE: No, actually — it’s since risen to 91.9%, up from 91.0% in 2016), which, together with the fact that not all votes had been counted at the time, gave rise to a regrettable article in the Age-Herald last week. However, as Ben Raue at the Tally Room explores in depth, the turnout rate reflects the greater coverage of the electoral roll owing to the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment procedures. This appears to have succeeded to some extent in increasing the effective participation rate, namely votes cast as a proportion of the eligible population rather than those actually enrolled, which by Raue’s reckoning tracked up from 80.0% in 2010 to 83.2% – an enviable result by international standards. However, it has also means a larger share of the non-voting population is now on the roll rather than off it, and hence required to bluff their way out of a fine for not voting.

• The rate of informal voting increased from 5.0% to 5.5%, but those seeking to tie this to an outbreak of apathy are probably thinking too hard. Antony Green notes the shift was peculiar to New South Wales, and puts this down to the proximity of a state election there, maximising confusion arising from its system of optional preferential voting. The real outlier in informal voting rates of recent times was the low level recorded in 2007, which among other things causes me to wonder if there might be an inverse relationship between the informal voting rate and the level of enthusiasm for Labor.

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.

1,359 comments on “Election plus three weeks”

  1. Oh sweet Jesus. Will this hell never end? Fuck the endless Greens v Labor disputes over nothing more than the spoils of defeat.

    Neither are in power and neither can do anything except distract attention from the arseholes now running this country.

  2. So what’s the optics or “political reality” or “political perception” of Setka, who is a member of the Labor party, and his comments relating to domestic violence against women?

  3. Mexican

    Labor has turned the deep deep blue jewel of Victoria red. They just have to do that in Queensland.
    I suspect that as the state government will stop Adani because I basically think Labor won’t over rule evidence like the LNP does.

    That strength will be paid back as it will be obvious that Qld Labor will have transition in place for existing workers. They just won’t be lying about non existent job prospects.

    It’s part of the reason I think Labor federally will be stronger on climate this time around. The fact Labor has the same environment minister tells me they are not backing down on their policy.

    By the time the next election comes along I suspect the debate will be about how we replace all that export income we will lose from the coal market dying.

  4. TPOF @ #701 Monday, June 10th, 2019 – 5:50 pm

    Oh sweet Jesus. Will this hell never end? Fuck the endless Greens v Labor disputes over nothing more than the spoils of defeat.

    Neither are in power and neither can do anything except distract attention from the arseholes now running this country.

    You could always transition to being a policy focused commenter rather than a partisan Labor commenter… ?

  5. Andrew_Earlwood

    “The perception of Abbott if as the first thing that happened in his leadership was that enough dissidents broke away to pass the very thing that his leadership was established on opposing he would have never recovered”

    But the ‘dissidents’ did vote for the CPRS and Tony Abbott wasn’t affected by it either in the community or inside the party… Recall he had already set up his argument, calling it a ‘Great Big New tax on everything’.

  6. The Greens are 100% right about how the entire Labor shadow Cabinet from top to bottom were 100% hopeless and pathetic. They should all quite right now. (I mention this because it is unreasonable to expect Di Natale to all the holding of Labor to account.)

    Let’s face it, the only truly complete and credible shadow cabinet during the last campaign was that of the Greens!

    I feel confident that over the next three years the voting public will finally learn what it is that each Greens shadow spokesperson is responsible for, and that another 41% will fall over themselves to vote in Can Do Di Natale’s first Greens government in 2022.

    Finally, some competent ministers! Finally, excellence in all policy areas! Finally complete victory in the culture wars! Global warming will be stopped in its tracks! At last!

    While we are all waiting for Der Tag, here is a little common knowledge test to see whether you suffer from bovine political stupidity and ignorance: Name each the Greens senior Shadow spokespersons and their areas of main responsibility.

  7. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/back-off-independent-mp-slams-major-parties-in-wake-of-police-raids-on-media-20190609-p51vzh.html

    In a series of moves to review the two police actions last week, Senate crossbenchers are struggling to secure the numbers in the upper house for a dedicated inquiry, although Parliament appears certain to scrutinise the actions in some way in the weeks ahead.
    :::
    Mr Wilkie, a former intelligence analyst who blew the whistle on the claims made to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003, criticised Labor as well as the Coalition for passing laws that made it harder for whistleblowers to speak up.
    :::
    “Frankly, the Labor Party are a pack of hypocrites when they criticise the media raids, because ever since 9/11 they’ve been part of the problem.

    “The bottom line is that both major parties are bit by bit turning Australia into a police state.”
    :::
    Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick intends to put a bill to Parliament to amend the constitution by referendum to protect the media, setting up a Senate inquiry into the issue.

  8. TPOF

    ” Fuck the endless Greens v Labor disputes over nothing more than the spoils of defeat.”

    Yes, it’s damn boring. I’ve tried fighting it, mocking it and ignoring it,
    Especially when all of William’s posts show that the Labor loss was nothing to do with the Greens.

    People here are desperate to fight old battles and find someone easy to blame.

  9. You may have just found yourself unable to comment for a few minutes due to a little experiment I was conducting. I’d be interested to hear from any of you if this was indeed the case. In any event, normality has now been restored.

  10. William
    I was unable to comment for a small amount of time minutes.
    The site disappeared from the screen altogether.
    When I re-loaded there was a small red rectangle which did not respond to attempts to use it.
    I clicked on the refresh and the comments screen appeared.

  11. Astrobleme says:
    Monday, June 10, 2019 at 6:05 pm
    TPOF

    ” Fuck the endless Greens v Labor disputes over nothing more than the spoils of defeat.”

    Yes, it’s damn boring. I’ve tried fighting it, mocking it and ignoring it,
    Especially when all of William’s posts show that the Labor loss was nothing to do with the Greens.

    People here are desperate to fight old battles and find someone easy to blame.

    ____________________________________

    Like the Syrian civil war, it’s a joke when one combatant side obsesses about claiming the high moral ground while innocent bystanders cop it in the neck from both sides.

  12. ‘Astrobleme says:
    Monday, June 10, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    What has happened to Bluey?
    Has he retired?’

    Bluey has joined the Greens and urges everyone to pile into Labor for any and every reason whatsover, to leave the Coalition alone (except when it comes to culture ware battles) and to help Can Do Di Natale to prepare for the first Greens government in 2022.

  13. ‘TPOF says:

    People here are desperate to fight old battles and find someone easy to blame.’

    Exactly right. It is time for Labor supporters to pile in and support Can Do Di Natale as Australia’s next prime minister. They should be ashamed of the way in which Labor has enabled the Coalition to hold power for nine years during which emissions are running rampant. Forget same old Labor.
    Fie! Labor!
    Vote Greens!

  14. The proposition that the electorate is not concerned about the deficit is patently false. It’s reasonable to assert they are misinformed. But it’s just wrong to think they do not respond to it.

    The “back in the black” message got the LNP PV back up….Labor’s was falling, theirs was rising….

  15. “So what’s the optics or “political reality” or “political perception” of Setka, who is a member of the Labor party, and his comments relating to domestic violence against women?”

    You tell us. Labor figures seem to be universally and correctly condemning him, but there also seems to be an anti labor pile on, regardless. Why is that pegarex?

  16. Look, doesn’t everyone realise that the Labor-Greens wars will only end when we capitulate and acknowledge that The Greens are perfect and have all the answers!?!

  17. Remember when Pegasus didn’t turn up for days when it was The Greens that were experiencing their sexual assault crises and candidates who were found to have said sexist things about women?

    I do.

    She’s hot to trot now though because she can see some political mileage to be gained in attacking Labor via the John Setka proxy.

    What a grub. Worse than a Liberal, because at least the Liberals are up front and honest about their sexism and don’t pretend in the one instance to be holier-than-thou but then turn around and do the same thing themselves.

    Just for once I’d like The Greens to be honest about how seriously they actually take domestic violence occasioning death. For I can say, hand on heart, that at the beginning of every branch meeting of our branch of the ALP we take stock of how many women and children have been murdered by violent partners since the last time we met. I doubt The Greens do as much when they meet.

  18. I got the red box saying you have reached your limit of 30 comments for the day.

    Oh, that is a beautiful idea.

    That said, I think limiting it to thirty a day might be a tad strict.

    IMO, some sort of hourly limit might be more effective in reducing the contributions of the more, er, obnoxious people here while also not stifling legitimate debate.

    In any case, I totally support a posting limit.

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