Mopping up operations

Late counting adds some extra grunt to the backlash against the Liberals in wealthy city seats, slightly reducing the size of their expected winning margin on the national two-party vote.

The Australian Electoral Commission is now conducting Coalition-versus-Labor preference counts in seats where its indicative preference counts included minor party or independent candidates – or, if you want to stay on top of the AEC’s own jargon in these matters, two-party preferred counts in non-classic contests.

Such counts are complete in the seven seats listed below; 94% complete in Warringah, where the current count records a 7.4% swing to Labor, 78% complete in New England, where there is a 1.2% swing to the Coalition; at a very early stage in Clark (formerly Denison, held by Andrew Wilkie); and have yet to commence in Farrer, Indi, Mayo and Melbourne. Labor have received unexpectedly large shares of preferences from the independent candidates in Kooyong, Warringah and Wentworth, to the extent that Kevin Bonham now reckons the final national two-party preferred vote will be more like 51.5-48.5 in favour of the Coalition than the 52-48 projected by most earlier estimates.

We also have the first completed Senate count, from the Northern Territory. This isn’t interesting in and of itself, since the result there was always going to be one seat each for Labor and the Country Liberals. However, since it comes with the publication of the full data file accounting for the preference order of every ballot paper, it does provide us with the first hard data we have on how each party’s preferences flowed. From this I can offer the seemingly surprising finding that 57% of United Australia Party voters gave Labor preferences ahead of the Country Liberals compared with only 37% for vice-versa, with the remainder going to neither.

Lest we be too quick to abandon earlier assessments of how UAP preferences were behaving, this was almost certainly a consequence of a ballot paper that had the UAP in column A, Labor in column B and the Country Liberals in column C. While not that many UAP votes would have been donkey votes as normally understood, there seems little doubt that they attracted a lot of support from blasé voters who weren’t much fussed how they dispensed with preferences two through six. There also appears to have been a surprisingly weak 72% flow of Greens preferences to Labor, compared with 25% to the Country Liberals. It remains to be seen if this will prove to be another territorian peculiarity – my money is on yes.

Note also that there’s a post below this one dealing with various matters in state politics in Western Australia.

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.

2,119 comments on “Mopping up operations”


    I posted a link to the paper on the Doongmabulla Springs Complex yesterday and I understand the seriousness of the problem. One thing that stood out for me was that the most damage to the underground water will not occur until after the mine has closed, allowing Adani to wash their hands of it.

    Frankly, I have no hope that fed or state govt will have the courage to hold out against the pressure.

  2. D&M if you are still around, I’m also a fan of European history, though consider all of the enlightenment onwards of interest- and especially the Soviet block period from WW2 to 1989. Hence my next 3 countries to visit on this trip are Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

  3. Speaking if 20th century European history, I have just found this reminiscence from he Guradian about Hungary bringing down the electrified fence with Austria, in 1989, when peace seemed to be breaking out everywhere. I travelled through Hegyeshalom again the other day, but train. you can still see the old watchtower and military barracks. On the other hand, its looks more prosperous than 5 years ago – new office buildings and an Aldi. Lots of Hungy Jack type places.

    It must be very hard as a country to emerge from successive totalitarian regimes.

  4. Sprocket,

    D&M if you are still around, I’m also a fan of European history, though consider all of the enlightenment onwards of interest- and especially the Soviet block period from WW2 to 1989. Hence my next 3 countries to visit on this trip are Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia.

    I have also expanded my interests to include all European history, and am reading my way through the Penguin History of Europe, among other things. Not all volumes have actually been published yet.

    I still fell I was lied to a school. It was not true that history only happened until the fall of Rome around 440 AD, and then nothing happened until “The Renaissance”. It was also not true that all modern history happened in Western Europe and it colonies. I am still catching up, 40 years after realising this starting fact.

  5. BK,

    As ever, thanks so much for your morning round-up. Essential reading at any time, but particularly helpful when OS.

  6. Morning bludgers

    And a big shout out to D&M and sprocket. Appreciate the observations of your trevails.

    My daughter and partner recently returned from their trip through Germany, and places such as Hungary, Poland, Czech republic, Austria, to name a few. They too being very interested in the period pre and post 1st and 2nd wars.

  7. Sprocket, ‘ And looking at the gravestones, one was struck by how English all their names were, a far cry from contemporary Australia.’

    I often find myself looking at war memorials in various Australian country towns and try to find a ‘foreign’ name on them (besides wondering were all these volunteers came from, looking at how empty of people these country places are now).

    I was once standing at the base of the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs east of Melbourne in front of a memorial. A teenager of Asian appearance mentioned to his girlfriend, in an Aussie accent, there were no Asian names on the memorial.

    Once I was outside the Sons of Gwala mine in WA and read how the mine manager and future USA president, Herbert Hoover imported labour from Cratia and northern Italy to use in the mine and reduce wages. This was in 1906, yet not one foreign name was on the WW1 war memorial. However, these foreign names appeared on the WW2 memorial showing how this community was integrated in to the greater Australian community.

  8. Can you imagine Trump and BoJo together on the world stage. Dumb and dumber.

    Mr Johnson, the favourite for the top job nearly three years after he led the referendum campaign to leave the EU, praised the strength of the British economy and promised to tackle widespread disillusionment over the protracted Brexit process.

    To a packed room where some supportive politicians were forced to stand, Mr Johnson drew on his past as a former London mayor to try to persuade Conservatives that only he could take the party to election victory, explaining away some of his well-documented gaffes as his desire to “speak as directly as I can”.

    “After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31,” he said as a heckler repeatedly yelled “Bollocks to Boris” from outside the Royal Academy of Engineering, just off The Mall in central London.

  9. Fess

    Dont confuse self interested shameless, narcissistic nefarious shysters, with being dumb.

    Bojo and Trump have managed to garner support from low information voters. While they themselves are supported by the elite that want to change the rules of the game even further to benefit their bottom line.

  10. Quentin Dempster@QuentinDempster

    “It’s a bit dishonest.” ⁦@AlanJones⁩ confesses to #AnhDoh “Brush with Fame” that he approved deceitful tax scare campaign while working for PM Malcolm Fraser. Celebrity + narcissism = cash for commentator. ABC facilitates this … unfortunately. Poor form.

  11. I would not say that Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are left wing, they are centrist Liberals. They are increasingly being seen as reactionaries by leftwingers. Especially Harris who is seen as a little chummy with the alt-right.

  12. Victoria:

    I think Trump is genuinely ignorant. There’s certainly lots of evidence around to indicate such. Boris is a boofheaded bozo. Perhaps dumb is unkind.

  13. Fess

    Trump is a conman.
    His only focus has been how to get more money and power for himself.

    The Presidency was just another means for him. Despite the investigations and push back behind the scenes, he has proceeded full steam ahead, in obstructing and hampering the tiers of govt in the process.

    I expected he would have faltered eons ago, and yet he is still in his position.

  14. Asylum seekers:

    Jane McAdam of the Kaldor Centre for refugee law argues for seven principles to inform new policy and overturn ‘draconian’ laws
    “But in the last 25 years, our policy has changed direction somewhat and we have ended up with things like offshore processing, boat turnbacks and mandatory detention, which not only deny the humanity to people that applied and deflect problems elsewhere, but also violate many of our obligations under international law.”

    That change, which McAdam said grew progressively from the “unfortunate conflation” of the 2001 Tampa refugee crisis with the September 11 attacks just a few weeks later, “led to a rushing through of really draconian laws”, which had been built on by successive governments.

    “The political rhetoric that has been developed over the last 25 years has served to de-humanise and demonise people who have done nothing wrong,” McAdam said.

  15. The influence of faceless lobbyists on democracy:

    Who are the most powerful people in Australia?

    On the surface it’s a fairly simple question, but peel back the layers and things get interesting: some of the people with the most power are hardly known at all.
    Many of them regularly meet our political leaders to lobby for what they want, although only one would admit to being a lobbyist.

    Four of them run peak bodies. Three are connected to gambling. Two are part of the mining industry. One is concerned with education, one with activism and another with chemist shops — we’re not making that up.

  16. Color me surprised……….

    Miami Herald
    BREAKING: U.S. attorneys disclosed they are developing a potential national security case against the Chinese woman accused of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago with electronic equipment.

    With classified filing, feds eye national security case against Mar-a-lago intruder
    U.S. attorneys filed a motion to seal classified evidence in the case against Yujing Zhang, indicating the case involves matters of national security.

    And meanwhile Trump has declared that he will happily invite foreign interference on his behalf in next election.
    You cant make this shit up.

  17. Di Natali will not be satisfied until the mine settlements are named after himself and Adam Bandt. The railway, needless to say, will be dedicated to Bob Brown for his tireless work to ensure the project goes ahead.


    Earth is warming, and we know why. Light is reflected and absorbed by clouds, air, oceans, ice and land. Greenhouse gases are released and adsorbed by organic and inorganic sources.

    What’s less clear is what climate change means for our future. “It’s not like this is string theory,” said Timothy Palmer, professor of climate physics at the University of Oxford. “We know the equations.” But we don’t know how to solve them. The many factors that affect the climate interact with one another and give rise to interconnected feedback cycles. The mathematics is so complex, the only way scientists know to handle it is by feeding the problem into computers, which then approximately solve the equations.

    The benefits of an international initiative for climate science would well outweigh the costs. We created this problem together, now we must solve it together.

    Extremely interesting. Of course the current Gummint is working hard to ensure ……………..(who knows ❓ )

    In the interest of peace on earth and for my sanity I submit the folowing 👇👇👇
    The Seekers – When The Stars Begin To Fall


  19. So true

    When an opposition votes for bad laws, democracy is broken:,12798

    The notion of passing dangerously repressive legislation in the hope of amending it if and when your party attains government is reckless beyond belief, as is expecting that a Government that has achieved the increased surveillance and control it desired will have the slightest interest in relinquishing those powers.
    We cannot claim to be a functioning democracy if we do not have a functioning opposition. Our democracy is broken when the opposition aligns itself with the government to pass repressive, anti-democratic, anti-press, anti-whistleblower laws. When the opposition votes with such an authoritarian government to pass such bad laws, democracy is broken.

  20. There is a good argument against the existence of a deity or deities within the cosmos. It’s a variant on the ontological argument in favour of their existence, but it’s still a good argument. A cosmos in which deities existed would be arbitrary, irrational and ineffable. But the cosmos is not like this. The cosmos we observe is incompatible with the super-natural.

  21. The political weakness of anti-Lib voices has resulted in their submission to the Right. The Right know this. They know how to exploit fears, how to divide opinion, how to depict their opponents in unfavourable ways. The Libs are very good at campaigning to their own mob and equally good at campaigning against their opponents. This is reflected in their absolute dominance of national politics.

    The attempt to blame Labor for the introduction and passage of heavy-handed national security laws – laws that were sponsored by the Liberals – is derived from the strength of the Liberal campaigns. The Liberals enact laws. Labor is blamed for them. This is another example of the dysfunction in Australian politics.

  22. Can Labor win the next federal election?
    There are some articles of interest in today’s round up about that.
    If you put together ideas from Wayne Swan, Andrew Leigh, Angus Taylor’s rejection by corporates, and ponder the mysteries of the Brexit/Scomo/Trump axis I belive the kernel of a strategy is in plain sight.
    As Lizzie pointed out the Axis of stupid have been winning by targetting [successfully] “low information voters”. The shift of educated voters towards Labor is confirmation that engaged people realised the policy superiority of the opposition. Anecdotally many people have confessed to me voting Labor for the first time in their life. Nonetheless for less the politically interested, less informed demographic Labor most cares about, Labor’s marketing has missed by a long way. There are many well documented factors. Tell no truth, lie so much people no longer care what you say has worked a treat for Abbott, Trump, Johnson, Scomo. They have worked out disengaged people don’t want truth and policy, they wan’t their prejudices superficially reflected in office.
    Labor needs to break the automatic connection of various prejudices to the LNP – eg Christians , and other ethnic minorotoes preferring the anti-gay prejudice over their concern for the poor. Surely there are moral issues which would help votes flow away from the self-interested bigotry of the conservatives.
    I like that Wayne Swan is clear that “Don’t panic” is step ONE. Andrew Leigh points out Labor is becoming the natural home for social liberals.
    SO here is my nutshell proposal:
    1. Albo to shamelessly ‘flip the switch to vaudeville’ – go pure presidential style retail and don’t waste time on policy.
    2. The whole Labor movement stick to it’s guns on policies that appeal to those who care/understand.
    Vaudeville for uninterested swingers, real policy for the others.

  23. Asylum-seekers are an exploitable resource in Australian politics. Few things have helped the Liberals and the Greens as much as having a population of political prisoners that can be used as props in domestic politics.

    This population will be held for as long as possible and in the most miserable conditions possible. The more cruelty that is inflicted, the better it suits the Liberals. Their depravity is their strength.

  24. And yes, Briefly, forcing blame to where it lies, with the liberals, needs to be emphasised, as well as fighting the fundamental untruth of the accepted bias about who manages the economy better.
    Rudd did well when he basically attacked Howard’s supposed strength in the economy.

  25. The Federal Government is exploiting the Setka imbroglio to resume it’s war on Unions. There are lots of “union thugs” out there apparently.

    The Coalition prosecutes class warfare while accusing its opponents of doing so. It names them and, with the help of powerful allies in business and media, ruthlessly attacks them.

    I’d much rather to see action against banking thugs, mining thugs and other greedy, kleptocratic, corrupt and mendacious vested interests.

  26. “bad laws”

    How’s democracy broken, when laws which the population approve of, are being enacted?

    People can want “bad laws”. It’s not democracy that’s broken, it’s the society we’ve decided to become.

    (I’m a bit tired of this pretence that the “right” are somehow doing something against the will of most. The majority of people want this)

  27. d-money says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 9:43 am
    Can Labor win the next federal election?

    The business-as-usual case is that Labor cannot win. Our PV is too low. Green-Red dysfunction will work as it usually does – to sustain the Reactionaries in power.

    We should be feeling relief that we lost just one seat in May. At the next election, we will struggle to hold so many. The Right are winning. We are further from power now than at any time since the 1920s.

  28. Sadly for Labor the entire rationale for following the liberals down the torture of asylum seekers rabbit hole {i.e. to win the election} has proven a failure. We have sold the progressive soul for no gain. Time to reframe that argument.

  29. Sprocket, i was lucky to visit Gallipoli in 2015 and came to the same conclusion on the terrain, it was hard going in the current peaceful conditions but it would have been impossible when under fire.

  30. d-money….the mis treatment of asylum-seekers is a calculated anti-Labor project by the Right. It also benefits the Greens. These two Parties colluded to ensure it was established. They will collude to maintain it.

    Labor are being held hostage in the same way that the asylum-seekers themselves are held hostage.

    This will only get worse if, as people like to predict, the flow of boats were to resume for any reason, including the impacts of climate change. Were this to happen, the Liberals would be the beneficiaries. Their Irregulars, the Greens, would also derive political benefits from such a tide.

  31. briefly @ #478 Thursday, June 13th, 2019 – 9:22 am

    Di Natali will not be satisfied until the mine settlements are named after himself and Adam Bandt. The railway, needless to say, will be dedicated to Bob Brown for his tireless work to ensure the project goes ahead.

    I just heard him on the radio as I drove back from doing the weekly shop, STILL banging on about Adani, like a one-trick unicorn.

  32. Briefly,

    The attempt to blame Labor for the introduction and passage of heavy-handed national security laws – laws that were sponsored by the Liberals – is derived from the strength of the Liberal campaigns. The Liberals enact laws. Labor is blamed for them. This is another example of the dysfunction in Australian politics.

    Yes, and when Dave Donovan of IA was begging for subscribers on Twitter, I said that I would normally be happy to subscribe, but was concerned that IA never mentions the Coalition, but instead attacks Labor. Except for the excellent cartoonist Mark David of course! Donovan’s answer to me was abrupt. He obviously does not need my money.

    I also provided feedback to GetUp and Crikey (they asked me) to say that while I am very supportive of them, painting Labor and the Coalition as Same / Same is a gross misrepresentation of the real situation.

    Both have recently sent me stuff with Labor / coalition same / same, so I guess both Crikey and GetUp are happy with our LNP overlords. Because if the left cannot work together to get more than 50% of the vote, Australia is stuffed.

    I still strongly maintain that Labor and the Coalition are not same / same, and that we would be a lot better off with an ALP government rather than the RWNJs / IPA affiliates who make up the current Federal government.

    Would Labor be perfect – of course not. But is Australia worse off with the Coalition in Government for the next three years, in terms of human rights and economically – a big fat YES!!

    So, in my understated stiff upper lip way, yes I will die in a ditch supporting an ALP government as the least worst alternative. And that is a lot better than 30 years of Coalition rule.

  33. lizzie says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 7:24 am


    I posted a link to the paper on the Doongmabulla Springs Complex yesterday and I understand the seriousness of the problem. One thing that stood out for me was that the most damage to the underground water will not occur until after the mine has closed, allowing Adani to wash their hands of it.

    Frankly, I have no hope that fed or state govt will have the courage to hold out against the pressure.

    It is a serious issue; it is a pity the Greens just saw it an another opportunity to wedge Labor and not as a serious environmental issue that requires the building of consensus and a coalition to stop.

    To late now; stopping it now depends on smart countries reducing their demand for coal.

    The Greens; the environmental is a wedge; destruction of political consensus is their game.

  34. C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Douglas and Milko,
    The whole world is going mad. Blame Trump. Blame Putin. Blame Erdogan and all the other Mini Me Authoritarian Populists like Orban. And Morrison.

    The Left is’t so much unravelling as being torn asunder by these goons. Think ‘A Clockwork Orange’. It’s why I hate classical music.


    Yes, I’ll admit that would have been a very traumatic introduction to classical music. And you were a very young person if you saw Orange on its original release. However I think that anyone who has not opened their mind to “serious” music is missing one of the great benefits of our brief stay on this planet. I’ll try to “de-Droog” you.

    It’s tragic that young people today and the three previous generations have not had the opportunity to broaden their musical horizons much beyond the twang of electric guitars and the boom of amplified bass.

    There was a time when it almost a condition of their licence that radio stations had to have an eclectic playlist, including classical music. Some of the most popular disk jockeys like Brian Henderson at 2CH in Sydney would follow the latest Frankie Laine disc with Chopin. (I used to visit him with friends at the studio, after work on Friday nights.)

    Radio was how I got into classical music as a youngster in the late 1940’s. The prime time Sunday night program at 2SM opened with its theme, this warhorse by Tchaikovsky: I as hooked. That was Martha Argerich, 40 years ago and she is still going strong at 78.

    There were also the school concerts by the Sydney Symphony at the Town Hall.

    This interest did not dampen my enthusiasm for jazz and popular music. I have a collection of more than 100,000 tracks of popular recorded between the two World Wars and up to the late 1950’s, which I consider the end of popular music civilization as we knew it. Perhaps Elvis and the Beatles had something to do with that.

    Enough about me you’re saying. However, the site has been pretty quiet since the election. So I’ll trespass on your patience and provide a pocket version of “Classical Music for Dummies” (not meant in a derogatory way):(I’m hoping that William isn’t going to introduce a limit on the size of posts)

    Start with Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 (second movement andante:, the 23rd concerto ( and his “Magic Flute.”
    The lieder (song) cycles of Schubert and his Trout Quintet.
    Then the Brahms Serenade in A and his 2nd Piano Concerto.
    Move on to Mahler’s 1st Symphony and his song cycles.
    The Rachmaninov piano concertos.
    Puccini’s La Boheme, especially the end of the first act, and Tosca.
    Then the piano music of Debussy and Francis Poulenc.
    For vocal music Jussi Bjoerling and Beniamino Gigli, John McCormack and Joseph Schmidt and Dietrich Fisher-Dieskau (Schubert song cycles), Victoria de los Angeles and Anne Sophie Von Otter.

    I’ll close with an example of extreme artistry by a singer, England’s Kathleen Ferrier, who was taken from us far too soon:

  35. Douglas and Milko,
    I was Blocked by David Donovan on Twitter years ago. He can’t handle the truth. The only thing I read from IA these days is Wren’s Week because he’s no longer on Twitter.

    I have also cancelled my subscription to Crikey. I did tell them in no uncertain terms why via their survey. Basically for the same reasons as you. In essence they demand Labor be the perfect embodiment of what they think a political party should be, which basically is The Greens, and especially so if you read Guy Rundle’s diatribes against Labor, but also increasingly, Bernard Keane as well. Apparently Labor are supposed to be able to reverse the worst of the Coalition government from Opposition and damn the torpedoes in doing so, who cares about alienating the vast mass of people in the middle of the electorate. They must be as pure as the driven snow or be damned by them.

    Well, Labor fell for that line last time by pandering to those malcontents from the intellectual Left in the media, and look where it got them. Nowhere, with these self same pundits still putting shit on Labor from Day 1 after the election.

    I’m over it. If they want my money back they can start employing writers who are actually fair to Labor. Not obsequious sycophants, just fair will do.

    I have enough to read every day with BK’s Dawn Patrol and my subscriptions to The Guardian, The Saturday Paper, The Washington Post and the NYT. Plus the eyes that BK picks out of 9Fairfax.

    That’ll do me. But I hope they wake up to themselves. They are becoming more impotent in their ideological purity by the day.

  36. Blobbit, agree they are getting what they voted for. Trouble is, they may have been misinformed/uninformed when they cast their vote.

    I also think that people are not concerned for issues that don’t affect them. If you are not screwed over by a bank or you don’t have a business that is going bad because of climate change, why waste your vote on doing something about that.

    Of course, it does show that people don’t have the long picture in their mind when they vote as they may be screwed by a bank in the future and they will be effected by climate change as some time.

  37. beguiled again,
    Never fear, my Millennial son has discovered classical music. I used to listen to a lot of it. Variations on a theme of music written by long dead people just isn’t my thang, I’m afraid. 🙂

    Neither is rock and roll, more rhythm and blues and funk.

  38. briefly
    The green party is a lost cause, they are out to destroy Labor; they are the anarchists.

    Not so sure about the average Green voter. The solution is to convince the average Green voter that civilization is not stuffed, their are solutions and that anarchy is not the end game.

  39. We’re all on the same page…We have to set aside the divisions that confound us and concentrate on rebuilding our numbers and rebooting our program. We know the landscape here. None of this is new. We have to pick the fights we can win and summon our strength for these.

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