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”

  1. guytaur says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Mexican

    Melbourne will have fun with the new helicopter taxi service

    If I lived in Melbourne I would be giving them a miss.
    ————————-
    Its not likely to happen and even if it did then it would probably be a limited service.

  2. Guytaur

    Pelosi has a strategy to get all the ducks in a row. So many are being called to give evidence, admittedly behind closed doors. But nonetheless, I see things progressing, even if it isn’t obvious to those of us looking from the outside.

  3. Victoria @ #552 Thursday, June 13th, 2019 – 12:06 pm

    Guytaur

    Pelosi has a strategy to get all the ducks in a row. So many are being called to give evidence, admittedly behind closed doors. But nonetheless, I see things progressing, even if it isn’t obvious to those of us looking from the outside.

    Exactly. Get him into prison. Even if he has 2 Terms as POTUS he’ll be rising 80 going into the end of the 2nd one, and if his health, mental or physical, doesn’t give way before then, he’ll eventually have to leave office and the subpoenas will be waiting for him and his family (in case any of them think they can just take over from the old man).

  4. And further to my previous post, what is very concerning is that Australian household debt stood equivalent to 127% of GDP…and 189% of disposable income.

  5. Bucephalus says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I always find it interesting when ever the subject of Australia’s approach to Refugees is raised that our World Class voluntary resettlement program of tens of thousands is ignored as is the hundreds of thousands of other immigrants that are welcomed to this country every year.

    Surely that’s what makes our treatment of those on the islands so abhorrent.

    It’s in complete contrast with everything the Country supposedly represents.

    They’re not places that facilitate their needs,

    They’re places that facilitate and expand on their suffering. 🙁

  6. Speaking of lessons we can take from the last election, this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Given how wrong so many of my own oh-so-confident statements over the last six years turned out to be, I don’t pretend to have any particular wisdom to pass on here, but one thing keeps sticking out to me:

    I think that the much dreaded “leadershit” and general inter-party conflict isn’t nearly as much of an albatross as its made out to be, and that Labor made a mistake in focusing so much on preserving their own unity and highlighting the Coalition’s disunity. Sure, there was nothing wrong with doing so, but the amount of time and energy devoted to it meant other, more effective forms of attack fell by the wayside. On top of that, it meant Labor refused to even consider the possibility of changing leaders, for fear that merely contemplating it would raise the specter of the Rudd/Gillard wars in the public mind. (I well remember the reaction I got here when I once tentatively suggested that, if it looks like the Coalition are becoming competitive again, Labor should think about whether a peaceful leadership change might be feasible – apparently I was a bedwetter, a concern troll, and, most insultingly of all, a Liberal.)

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people would think along those lines, and I’m certainly in no position to be handing out “I told you so’s” to anybody. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I think that a false narrative began to emerge after the 2013 election, which was that the main reason Labor lost was due to the Rudd/Gillard conflicts.

    And, no doubt, they had a serious impact. But, just as Labor didn’t lose in 2019 solely due to franking credits or the Adani convoy or Clive Palmer or Bill Shorten, the downfall of the Gillard government and the Abbott’s 2013 victory came about due to a number of different factors – the carbon and mining tax scare campaigns, numerous scandals, a succession of promised and undelivered surpluses, an opposition leader willing to do and say anything to get elected, biased media forces, a number of unforced errors by the Labor team, the general tensions that resulted from the first hung parliament in a very long time, public squabbles with the Greens and crossbenchers in said hung parliament, Julia Gillard’s own political mistakes and negative public perception, and, yes, lingering public anger over the Rudd ousting and Rudd’s own white-anting campaign.

    Likewise, Turnbull’s ousting and the various other inter-party conflicts throughout the last term most likely did have a negative impact on the Coalition, but numerous other factors came into play to effectively neutralize the issue. On top of that, I think that the sheer amount of changes of PM as of late has made the electorate just stop giving a shit. When Gillard rolled Rudd, people were stunned. It just seemed to come at of nowhere, and it had been so long since the last time this had happened, I imagine many didn’t even realize this was something political parties could do. When Rudd rolled Gillard, it was a bit more expected, but also so totally farcical that it just contributed to the narrative of Labor being a chaotic, squabbling mess. When Turnbull rolled Abbott, there was bemusement and a general mood of”For fuck’s sake, they’ve done it again!?” – but people were also so relieved to have Abbott gone, that they were willing to give the Coalition a pass on this one. By the time Morrison rolled Turnbull, every just rolled their eyes, had a bit of a laugh, and then got over it. It had become completely normal, likely helped along by the revolving door of premiers in NSW.*

    Because of this, Labor’s attacks on the Coalition chaos and spruiking of their own unity just couldn’t hit home, because noone gave a shit anymore. “Yes, yes, do your internal fighting, change PMs again, play your games, we don’t care, just keep things plugging along nicely for us, please.” Shorten’s own lack of popularity probably didn’t help here, as I imagine many saw him as a placeholder who’d be gone within a year or two as well.

    There’s many a pithy political quote that gets bandied about as irrefutable fact, and one of the big ones in recent times has been Howard’s “disunity is death.” It was particularly effective seen the disunity Howard referred to happened in opposition, and so was an easy one to motivate constant unity in the federal opposition and squash any suggestions of a leadership change. But I think a more accurate, if much less catchy, saying would be “disunity is damaging.” On all the evidence available throughout Australian political history, there’s little to suggest disunity is fatal to a party’s electoral chances. The Howard/Peacock in-fighting certainly didn’t help them, but there are a lot of other reasons the Liberals remained in opposition for so long in the 80s and early 90s, chief among them being Bob Hawke’s own immense popularity and political skill, and the fact that Howard mk 1 and Peacock mk 1 and 2 were pretty damp squibs as opposition leaders. (And, of course, when Howard said “disunity is death”, he was actually talking more about the “Joh for Canberra” campaign and resulting split with the Nationals that crippled his 1987 chances, rather than his wars with Peacock.)

    While unity is important, and you obviously want to avoid inter-party conflict where possible, there are times where some blood-letting is the lesser evil. Who knows, a big, messy, public leadership challenge against Shorten could possibly have led to Labor winning a few Saturdays ago, with the short-term pain leading to longer-term gain. And, yes, it also could well have made no difference, or even made things worse. That’s the trouble with “what ifs.”

    My point is that Labor shouldn’t be afraid of this sort of stuff, as it sometimes is a necessity to move forward – the current conflicts with the CFMEU strike me as as an example where, while it might currently be pretty damaging, it could well lead to a longer term result that’s in the party’s interest. Likewise, I hope if it turns out that Albanese is underperforming as opposition leader (and I’ll add that so far he seems to be doing a good job, though I always thought that about Shorten too…), that they are not afraid to replace him if that’s what is necessary to win the election. Despite recent events, Labor actually has a history of holding onto leaders much longer than they should have – the vast majority before Hayden stayed at least one term too long.

  7. Re. the discussion about Dawkins and Sam Harris last night – in relation to their views on Islam and muslims. As a muslim myself, I just want to respond with two points.

    Firstly, the idea that Islam is inherently bad; that believing and reverring the Quran is inherently dangerous. As a muslim this prevailing view is always difficult to counter for the simple reason that it is undeniable that many muslims agree with the Dawkins’s and Harris’s that their religion and Holy Book are doctrines of hate and intolerance and violence. Of course the muslims who hold this view are always going to be the ones that are heard and felt by the non-muslims – and thus rises the understandable impression that this is the manifestation of “true” Islam. And that any muslim who turns out to be peaceful and tolerant is so in spite of their religion, not because of it. And the assumption is they are either ignorant of true Islamic teachings, or conflicted, and choose to wilfully disobey their true teachings. And this view is held even amongst progressives – with their “hate the doctrine, not the muslims” mantra. Which incidentally, I find deeply patronizing.

    I’d like to offer a third way. A way which says that Islam, to the believing muslim, need not necessarily be a doctrine of hate and violence. And even more radically – a doctrine that can be a force for good in the world. Why should a muslim who sincerely declares their religion a religion of peace and love and acceptance be lectured by non-muslims (most who have never bothered to actually read Islamic doctrine c.f Dawkins) that they are wrong, deluded or lying? Why is it when Yasmin Abdel-Magied states that *TO HER* Islam is the most feminine religion – she is universally condemned by conservatives and progressives alike? Why – because they all know about her personal beliefs better than she does herself?

    The second point, is in response to Dawkins rather inanely arguing that Christians might be whacky, but only muslims will end up becoming jihadists. As if jihadism is somehow the only consequence of religion worth worrying about? Is Christianity ‘better’ than Islam, because the whackos “merely” become pedophiles, abusers, non-jihadi terrorists etc – and that is so much more acceptable to society than jihadis? To be fair to Dawkins, this is not an argument he made up – its been going around conservative circles for yonks, and I see it all the time. But really, this is kindergarten sort of logic. Why can’t we just agree that extremist and intolerant ideology is extremist and intolerant ideology – and regardless of what religion it comes from it is all undesirable and dangerous.

  8. Smiles all over the ABC reporter’s face as she touched upon the Setka affair. Smiling radiantly as she told me the parliament might well be better disposed toward union destruction than previously. “Plenty more to come on this one.” No doubt about that.

  9. Trump getting a second term cannot be ruled out, if we use our recent experience, sixteen months out Shorten looked more certain than Winx and it will ultimately come down to the economy as all national elections tend to and the United States economy is looking fragile.

  10. AL

    The problem is getting voters to the point of wanting change. Rudd did well but was helped by Howard making the case with WorkChoices

    The clue for this one was how scared the LNP were over “Mediscare”
    Labor needs to repeat that. It’s scare campaign has to reach the disengaged voters who don’t watch the negative untrusted news.

  11. lizzie says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    UberAir road rage would be something to see.

    The gig economy has also hit SE Asia and here in Indonesia there are two main companies.

    We were talking about it in the office the other day and one the locals was saying that there was much tension between the two and that there had been fights and stabbings already. 🙁

  12. @Mexicanbeemer

    Lisa Singh is a Hobart resident, so I can see her standing either in Franklin (if Julie Collins decides to retire) or Clark where she would challenge Andrew Wilkie.

  13. d-money at 9.43am and “going vaudeville” – yes agreed in large part. I don’t know any way of getting into the consciousness of low-information and/ or disengaged voters, without lying and scare campaigns, unless we engage with their emotions. Which means encouraging outrage and understanding their fears, where legitimate and justified (ie not the inchoate rage at … nothing and everything, that seems to be behind lots of populist support). It works for the shock jocks and fake news purveyors after all.

    But also, can we not get communicators who are funny as well? Once the voters are laughing with us and at the Tories we’ve at least won hearts if not minds. I mean PJK could even get the Tories in Parliament laughing at themselves!

    And start knocking down the better economic managers lie every hour of every day: “No. They. Are. Not”. I’m thinking of adopting this as my family motto, my sign-off to every email, the opening and closing words of every conversation, my own little version of Carthago delenda est.

  14. Just had a chance to listen to Sanders speech from yesterday. Proof that age is no barrier to political enthusiasm and powerful oration.

    One part of his speech would resonate here…
    ‘my message to you today; if there was ever a moment in the history of our country where despair was not an option, this is that time.’

    And as much as the large field of Democrat candidates is a running gag, there are many in that field that also have honest, powerful and coherent pitches to voters – pitches that clearly define the values of the left and why people should not only vote for it, but be enthused in doing so.

    If only the ALP had such a resource.

  15. But will she pick a gender-balanced shadow front bench? Or is that not possible?

    Aren’t there only like, 14 of them? Can they even fill a shadow front bench?

  16. WA Liberals have their first female leader without a quota required.

    It is raining and cool in the Adelaide Hills so there is no climate change.

    What is it in WA Liberal Party atm? 4 out of 23 state MPs are women?

  17. Barney in Makassar @ #567 Thursday, June 13th, 2019 – 12:19 pm

    lizzie says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    UberAir road rage would be something to see.

    The gig economy has also hit SE Asia and here in Indonesia there are two main companies.

    We were talking about it in the office the other day and one the locals was saying that there was much tension between the two and that there had been fights and stabbings already. 🙁

    Is this their version of ‘the market sorting it out’?

  18. Isn’t giving the job of leader to a woman, when you have no chance of winning, the political equivalent of the participation award?

  19. Can someone explain to me why Setka’s alleged comments are the reason for the calls for him to step down, rather than the fact that he intends to plead guilty to two charges relating to a campaign by him to harass a woman?

    I understand he is hardly alone within his union in having some issues with women over recent years. I also know that younger and female union members feel that these issues reflect a very unpleasant misogynist streak within the labour movement.

    It’s long past time for Labor and the unions to live up to their values and get these people out of the movement.

    Before I’m accused of being a concern troll or whatever, I am a union member and progressive. The current position is unworkable and indefensible.

  20. Mexicanbeemer @ 12.07.

    How could you make such a suggestion. Putting a Hobart resident as a candidate in northern Tasmania. It would be worse than putting up a mainlander.

  21. Isn’t giving the job of leader to a woman, when you have no chance of winning, the political equivalent of the participation award?

    Joan Kirner?

  22. Thanks Tristo and Rambler

    I wasn’t sure what part of Tassie Ms Singh was from and considering the strong divide between north and south I can see why that wouldn’t work.

  23. Simon² Katich® @ #574 Thursday, June 13th, 2019 – 12:39 pm

    Just had a chance to listen to Sanders speech from yesterday. Proof that age is no barrier to political enthusiasm and powerful oration.

    One part of his speech would resonate here…
    ‘my message to you today; if there was ever a moment in the history of our country where despair was not an option, this is that time.’

    And as much as the large field of Democrat candidates is a running gag, there are many in that field that also have honest, powerful and coherent pitches to voters – pitches that clearly define the values of the left and why people should not only vote for it, but be enthused in doing so.

    If only the ALP had such a resource.

    It’s a great problem that the Labor right runs with the ‘extreme’ tag at progressives such as the Greens Party.

  24. Earth’s sun could produce a massive superflare in the next 100 years that could wipe out all technology on Earth.

    Then why worry about climate change? We’re doomed, peeps.

  25. There are systemic flaws that explain why women are not represented in higher numbers in some male dominated areas of employment. Politics is one. Part of the problem is simply that it is male dominated. Quotas are designed to break down that barrier.

    Nobody likes quotas. We all want a merit based system which would automatically see a more diverse and representative group of MPs. I view quotas as short term pain to get to that goal.

  26. Hi Joanne M,
    I may pinch your idea for a header and footer on my mail.
    The prgressive side really needs to reclaim the narrative about who is best for the nation.
    [And not just best at spending]

    Maybe HYPOCRISY could be the key – hypocrites could be something more hated by numerous disaffected people and minority groups than all the other disaffected people and minority groups.
    So: They said they were Chrisitans but look what they did to those people. They said they hated debt but they more than doubled it. They said they were on our side but they fought against an ICAC / Banking commission etc. They said they care about workers but they intentionally suppressed wages. They said they were on about fairness, but gave 80Billion away to corporate spivs etc

    This Government are INCOMPETENT CORRUPT HYPOCRITES has a nice cut-through I think

  27. Big A Adrian says:
    Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Re. the discussion about Dawkins and Sam Harris last night – in relation to their views on Islam and muslims. As a muslim myself, I just want to respond with two points.

    Well said.

    In my travels I’ve never hidden my atheism and had many discussions with people about religion.

    What seems clear to me with most of them, Religion fills a personal need.

    It’s personal and they don’t see and aren’t looking for an alternative.

    I don’t see or have that need.

    When I reveal my atheism the most common reaction is bemusement, it’s not an option that many have even contemplated. They’re confused at how I can deal with certain things without the support framework that their Religion gives them.

    As an atheist, I’m not anti religion, I just don’t see the need for it.

    It’s the reason I don’t normally go into Religious buildings, it’s a special place for them, so why should I encroach simply to fulfill any voyeuristic desires.

    I remember when I read Marx and what he said on the subject. He wasn’t about banning Religions, he seemed to be more about creating a Society where the people no longer felt the need for it.

    My experiences travelling through and living in different Countries, at the most basic levels people differ very little irrespective of their Religion and any generalisation based on their Religion will always be wrong. 🙂

  28. Bucephalus @ #585 Thursday, June 13th, 2019 – 12:49 pm

    If they are all female that’s a bonus.

    With the WA Libs that bonus is either physically impossible or comes only with a heaping pile of sex-change operations. Even to get half female you’d still need the heaping pile.

    Much as you want to celebrate the WA Liberals having their first female leader, it’s kind of telling that this hasn’t happened until after they were politically decimated. The QLD LNP has done a similar thing. Perhaps the Liberals are only happy to promote female candidates when there’s no actual power at stake.

  29. Antony Green @AntonyGreenABC
    3h3 hours ago

    Just a little aside that demonstrates how malapportioned the Senate is, Liberal Jim Molan got more below the line votes in NSW than the Liberal Party polled in total in Tasmania. That’s the price of Federation. #auspol #ausvote19

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