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. zoomster says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    meher

    Yes, the whole factional thing is difficult. I understand the benefits – particularly when a faction is well run, it provides a mechanism to train up potential candidates and in the process, do a bit of useful weeding out – but when it’s too rigid, you end up with scenarios like Singh’s, and the overall objectives aren’t best served.

    Thanks to you & EGT for your kind words.

    _________________________
    The only reason Tanya Plibersek got the seat of Sydney was because the previous member resigned suddenly and there was no time for any of the factions to stack the seat.

  2. nath

    It’s more rigid than that – there’s a list, with who’s next in line for whatever vacancy comes up. TP would have been well and truly on it.

    The only time seats don’t get ‘allocated’ is when someone wins them unexpectedly. The Bracks win caused all sorts of bother, because the Right ended up having more seats than they were supposed to. This wasn’t because of anything nefarious, but because some from the right faction won seats no one expected Labor to win, but all the same, it caused all sorts of problems because the Left felt hard done by.

  3. The politics of persecution is alive and well in Australia. There are plenty of candidates for punishment. There are the young, the unemployed and the underemployed, the working poor, the indebted, the homeless, the indigenous and the disabled. There are asylum-seekers and environmentalists. There are working people generally, unionists and activists. Anyone who can be singled out by gender, sexuality, religious adherence, skin-colour or other non-conformity is a possible target. This is the tyranny of the Right.

    The voices that have defended these candidates in the past – the constellation to which Labor, the unions and others have belonged – are all gradually being silenced. They are being smothered. Sometimes they simply smother themselves, so weak have their voices become.

  4. Boerwar:

    AL
    It comes down to the fact that the Greens feel the need to criticize Labor at a rate around four times their criticisms of the Coalition.

    Just realized I never actually responded to this.

    As is common, you seem to be lumping the actual Greens party, ie. its elected MPs and party officials, in with a disparate group of left-wing Poll Bludger members who arn’t super keen on the Labor party and may or may not be members/rusted-on supporters of the Greens. Given the context of the discussion, I’m just going to assume we’re talking about the latter.

    Now, I don’t pretend to know any individual Poll Bludger’s motivation behind what they post, but I have wasted enough of my life on myriad different internet forums over the last twenty years to know that they are all pretty similar in the end – you get the same collections of personality types, and the same sorts of discussion habits.

    And one recurring theme is that discussions on subjects where the majority all agree invariably dies out pretty quickly, while contentious arguments just rage on and on until one side gives up or a moderator steps in to lock the thread. The thing most of us are united on is our dislike of the Coalition and the conservative side of politics in general. The areas we disagree on, however, are things like how best to beat the Coalition come election time, what sort of policies the progressive sides of politics should be bringing to the table, whether this or that leader/frontbencher/party is helping or harming the progressive cause, and whether we should be hopeful about the future or ready to slit our wrists. Its not surprising that these are the things that dominate conversation.

    Because when the Coalition does something shitty, what’s there to say about it? A bunch of people will say “that was shit,” and barely anyone will disagree. So, the conversation dies a natural death. Whereas we all have many varied opinions on what sorts of policies the Labor party should be persuing, or whether their tactics are smart or not, or whether the leader is doing a good job, and so the back-and-forth that results from many people with differing, strongly-held views on the subject takes up far more comment real-estate.

    Hell, this very conversation is a common topic on many an internet forum. On the Doctor Who forum I frequent (which can give this place a run for its money when it comes to bitter, heated argument!), the standard refrain is “why is everyone always so negative”, “why is everyone always arguing”, “does everyone actually just hate this show?” and so on, when the simple fact is that arguments are what drive discussion on internet forums. There are plenty of examples of people having happy conversations about Doctor Who where everyone’s in polite agreement, they just get drowned out by the squabbles – just as there are plenty of examples of people tearing shreds into the Coalition, but because they go unchallenged, they are drowned out by the arguments about Labor, the Greens, or both parties.

    I mean, if you look at my own posting history, it probably seems that I’m talking about (and, yes, criticizing) the Labor party much more than the Coalition. This isn’t because I think Labor should be held accountable for the Coalition’s actions, and definitely Isn’t because I think they are worse than the Coalition (far from it.)

    It’s because I just don’t see the point in simply repeating stuff others have written here without adding anything of substance, nor am I likely to respond in length to something I completely agree with. So, when the government have done whatever nasty thing it is they’ve done today, I often don’t see the point in much more than couple of sentences on how much that sucks, or replying to someone who expressed my thoughts better than I could with a simple “I agree.”

    Its when someone writes something that I don’t agree with and when I think I actually have something worthwhile to add to the conversation that I will start upping the word count. And on a forum like this one, where the vast majority of the membership are either hard or soft supporters of Labor, the Greens, or both parties, that often doesn’t lead to an enormous amount of opportunities for criticizing of the Coalition.

    Here’s the other thing – I actually care about the things Labor does. I want them to campaign well. I want them have good policies. I want them to be electable. I want them to avoid the own goals them come from dumb MPs doing and saying dumb thing, and I want the Labor leader to do the same thing, so they can win and become Prime Minister. All I want the Coalition to do is lose the next election and fuck off back to opposition for a hopefully very long time. So, I don’t see the point in wasting a lot of words on how much they suck, because I don’t really have any interest in them sucking less.

    This isn’t the hustings, Boerwar. We’re not campaigning when we write stuff here, and we’re unlikely to be changing anyone’s minds on something as big as whether they should vote for Labor or the Coalition. Almost anyone who feels the need to browse the comment section of a psephology blog has made their minds up on that one long ago.

    Now, in real life (or Facebook or whatever), yeah, if I’m talking about political matters – particularly with someone I know is either undecided or partial (but not totally rusted-on) to the conservatives, or just some online social media thread that’s publicly viewable (ie. something posted by a well-populated Facebook group) – my focus will tend to be on why the Coalition should be kicked out of office and Labor should be elected (or, back six years ago, why Labor should remain in office, you get the picture). In that case, I may actually have the chance of changing someone’s mind, and so the words I’m speaking or writing might make a difference.

    But here, where something like 98% of the membership will be either voting for or preferencing the Labor party? What’s the bloody point?

  5. briefly

    There are plenty of candidates for punishment. .There are the young, the unemployed and the underemployed, the working poor, the indebted, the homeless, the indigenous and the disabled.

    As they have been for a very long time. I remember reading a couple of articles assessing The Rodent’s first year or so in office. Great praise for his ‘strength’ . It really was a jaw dropper for me as all he and his government had done was beat up the powerless that you listed and ‘solo mums’ . Anyone and everyone that could not fight back.

    The use of ‘Downward envy” was something Maggie T was supposed to be good at. I think our Tories could have taught her a few thing about it 🙁

  6. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 12:47 pm
    zinger @ #1805 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 12:36 pm

    Morrison, Taylor, Dutton, Frydenberg, Hunt, Ley could stop Adani tomorrow.
    Uh… let’s name and shame them.

    After all, they are all from the uber right!
    Instead we could natter endlessly about Singh.
    Thank goodness the Greens are forming government in 2022.
    When it comes to propping up thermal coal and politicians of either persuasion, all that matters is political donations.

    The truth of the matter is the Right use the environment to campaign against Labor all the time. The Greens do the same thing. Working people are presented with a choice by the Right – they can have a job or they can protect the environment. They cannot have both. For the cash-starved, it’s not much of a choice. The Right have been succeeding with this for years. The Greens play along. They sing the chorus lines in this ditty.

    The Right and the Greens have found ways to use nature to campaign against Labor.

    Since the environment is only going to get worse, and the economy is getting worse, the pressures on working people and on Labor will also only get worse. We’re fucked unless and until the campaign rules are changed. But they will not change. Those on the nominal left are incapable of changing their thinking or their strategies. It is completely delusional of them to think they might somehow change the country when they cannot change their own thinking even just a little. Consequently, we should accept that change will not come. We will get more of the same. Things will only get worse.

  7. I love the way there people living in surrounding apartments at almost all the English ovals who can watch the match.
    I don’t know why we refuse to live in apartments in Australia.

  8. Diogenes @ #1968 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:08 pm

    I don’t know why we refuse to live in apartments in Australia.

    Perhaps because Australian building and regulatory standards are so shoddy?

    We have recently advised our kids – who are of an age to begin considering buying real-estate – not to invest in high-rise 🙁

  9. Not Sure:

    Wasn’t Eddie more of a Bronwyn Bishop style hard right winger?

    Unless he/she has undergone a near revolutionary change in political affiliation, it seems more plausible that Lars is simply a different person who also doesn’t like you.

    I never could quite tell what ESJ/Lars was, politically speaking. I’m not sure he knew either. He has a very oblique posting style that can make his actual point hard to discern – deliberately, I think.

    But I always got the impression that he’s a former NSW Labor insiders who became estranged from the party, and now gets his jollies trolling its supporters here. Back during the Gillard and Abbott years, the best way to do that was play the role of a rightwinger. But at some point he clearly realized that the real way to piss off much of the people here is to play to role of a disaffected lefty who hates Shorten and the Labor party instead, and adjusted his persona to suit. He’s a genuine troll of the classical variety, one of the few legit ones we’ve seen on Poll Bludger (as opposed to all the people who just get accused of being trolls.)

    I actually remember, early in the Turnbull era, when I first started to notice ESJ seemed to have transformed from a right-winger to a left-winger, and that’s when I realized that he almost certainly didn’t believe a word he was saying, and was just trying to incite people. I imagine if he was on Andrew Bolt’s blog, he’d be playing to role of an obnoxious Labor partisan instead. Though, occasionally, the real ESJ/Lars does emerge, and you see an inkling that there are actually things he believes and cares about – before the mask comes back on, and he’s doing his best to piss everyone off again, probably laughing his arse off at everyone who falls for it.

  10. nath….you are an anti-Labor voice. You are a voice from the Right, I guess. You post interminably. I’ve posted a few remarks that sit awkwardly on the table. They’re remarks informed by my experiences of campaigning, of meeting hundreds of voters, of listening to them and observing their expression. I meet people every day who are in economic distress. I can see nothing in politics for them. I see only the ascendancy of the Right. I see their sense of helplessness and their frustration and anger. I see this as the work of the Right and their Irregulars.

    When you start to campaign against the Right, you might tell me to shut up. Til then I will continue my occasional remarks on politics as I see it.

  11. nath
    I lived in an apartment for four months in London. It was fantastic. Much better sense of community than in the suburbs and much closer to everything. I took my son to play soccer this morning. 100km round trip. Same next week.

  12. I was going to respond to Dio’s comment about apartment living with similar responses made by P1 and PeeBee. If I was going to buy an apartment, particularly in Sydney, I’d make sure it was of art deco vintage rather than brand new.

  13. briefly says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    nath….you are an anti-Labor voice. You are a voice from the Right, I guess.
    ____________________
    bullshit. I loathe social conservatism whether it be in the coalition or in the SDA/Kimberley Kitching style Labor moralists like yourself.

  14. C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 6:31 pm
    Lars Von Trier @ #1902 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 5:28 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 3:23 pm
    nath @ #1854 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 3:20 pm

    I only sing the hits C@t!
    And, in the tradition of ‘hits’, once you’ve heard them a million times they give you the shits.
    _____________________________
    Have you been drinking? Generally not a good idea to post if you’ve given the sauce bottle a good nudge.
    Didn’t I tell you that this clown was just Edwina St John in a new sock puppet’s clothes?

    You need no further proof than the resurrection of ESJ’s favourite slur against me.

    A slur which has never been true, and never will be.

    If only Mr Bowe had a rule about sock puppets. He finally twigged to Bemused’s sock puppet, but he doesn’t seem to have figured this one out yet.
    _________________________________________________
    Poor C@t – I am not going to post the exact reference – but for those who are interested 7.31pm Friday 17 May – you posted a picture indicating you intended to be on your back, completely and utterly inebriated on election night. It suggests someone who is very familiar with alcohol abuse.

    Your obsessions with posters past and present and general vendettas combined with alcohol is extremely unpleasant. You should seek help with drying out!

  15. Diogenes says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    nath
    I lived in an apartment for four months in London. It was fantastic. Much better sense of community than in the suburbs and much closer to everything. I took my son to play soccer this morning. 100km round trip. Same next week.
    _____________
    Even multi-millionaires live in apartments in London. 🙂

    Of course in the right setting, apartment living is excellent. Stuck between drunkards, addicts and anti-social people is however more common.

    Fortunately my own time amongst such surrounds was long ago.

  16. For whatever reason, nath, you try to use Labor names as smears.

    For the absurdly little difference it makes, I’m not from the SDA or the Right. I’m on the Left end of the Left. But I don’t use Labor names as metaphors in a negative rhetorical sally. You are a Rightist or one of their Irregulars, whether you like it or not.

  17. There are some really nice terrace apartments in Sydney. This obsession with a quarter acre block isn’t a good thing environmentally.

  18. nath says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    …”Fortunately my own time amongst such surrounds was long ago”…

    I thought you were evicted from that 2 bedroom duplex in Frankston because you dropped your crack pipe and set the carpet on fire?

  19. “Stuck between drunkards, addicts and anti-social people is however more common”

    Chunking Mansions in Hong Kong. I will never ever forget it.

  20. briefly says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm
    For whatever reason, nath, you try to use Labor names as smears.

    For the absurdly little difference it makes, I’m not from the SDA or the Right. I’m on the Left end of the Left. But I don’t use Labor names as metaphors in a negative rhetorical sally. You are a Rightist or one of their Irregulars, whether you like it or not.
    ______________________________________
    I didn’t think you were a rightist or a leftist but a defeatist!

    Don’t worry Albo’s got this. The guy is the real deal!

  21. No Briefly, you are a Rightist. I suspect that you are an operative of Menzies House, spreading gloom and doom in progressive forums, dividing the Greens and the ALP so that the Coalition remains triumphant. You want to embed hostility between the Greens and the ALP into a permanent war of attrition that will consume progressive politics.

  22. Diogenes @ #1982 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:26 pm

    There are some really nice terrace apartments in Sydney. This obsession with a quarter acre block isn’t a good thing environmentally.

    There aren’t many blocks left in Sydney that are a quarter acre. That’s about 1000 sq m. The average Sydney block size is now about 600 sq m. I have seen houses sold on as little as 400 sq m – on that size block you can fit a very small house and nothing else.

    Why do we do that to ourselves?

  23. nath says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    …”I loathe the uneducated man on the street and keep him at a distance”…

    Does it upset you that he has more remaining teeth than you do?

  24. P1
    Melbourne’s area is bigger than London and Mexico City. Even LA which is infamous for sprawl has a higher population density than our five biggest cities.

  25. In fact, given Briefly’s well stated paramilitary fantasies, his advocacy for forming a ‘brigade’ to combat the greens, he is probably a proto-fascist with a grudge against young people and their political expression of choice: the greens.

  26. zoomster, confirm for me something if you can. That the right have most of the rural delegates signed up for conference with tales of left wing socialist crazies in the city branches?

  27. Asha Leu – 7.55pm and 8.14pm
    ___________________
    I agree with one and disagree with the other.

    Mavis is right – brevity is good.

  28. Player One says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    …”But those cities have something we don’t – i.e. functioning infrastructure!”…

    Los Angeles has functioning infrastructure?

  29. ‘Asha Leu says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Boerwar:

    AL
    It comes down to the fact that the Greens feel the need to criticize Labor at a rate around four times their criticisms of the Coalition.

    Just realized I never actually responded to this.

    As is common, you seem to be lumping the actual Greens party, ie. its elected MPs and party officials, in with a disparate group of left-wing Poll Bludger members who arn’t super keen on the Labor party and may or may not be members/rusted-on supporters of the Greens. Given the context of the discussion, I’m just going to assume we’re talking about the latter.’

    Thank you for the reply.

    Someone ran the numbers of what Greens reps said and it came out four to one criticisms of Labor v Coalition. (And that is leaving out same old same old which, when you compare the Coalition to Labor is really a rather shithouse form of critiquing Labor as well.)

    If you went off the Bludger numbers it would be closer to 100:1 criticisms of Labor v Coalition.

    The facts are obvious. What is not clear to me is why.

  30. nath

    No.

    I wasn’t aligned with any faction, and was recognised as a free agent (so to speak).;

    On one rather splendid occasion, I turned up to a meeting to find that the conference room door was locked. I was told that the right were in there caucusing ahead of the meeting. We did a quick head count and realised there were more of us outside the door than in the room, so we decided to caucus ourselves.

    When the right opened the door to let us in, we walked into the meeting and told them what we’d decided. We were very fair – we left one of the exec positions for them to fill.

  31. Boerwar @ #1998 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:44 pm

    ‘Asha Leu says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Boerwar:

    AL
    It comes down to the fact that the Greens feel the need to criticize Labor at a rate around four times their criticisms of the Coalition.

    Just realized I never actually responded to this.

    As is common, you seem to be lumping the actual Greens party, ie. its elected MPs and party officials, in with a disparate group of left-wing Poll Bludger members who arn’t super keen on the Labor party and may or may not be members/rusted-on supporters of the Greens. Given the context of the discussion, I’m just going to assume we’re talking about the latter.’

    Thank you for the reply.

    Someone ran the numbers of what Greens reps said and it came out four to one criticisms of Labor v Coalition. (And that is leaving out same old same old which, when you compare the Coalition to Labor is really a rather shithouse form of critiquing Labor as well.)

    If you went off the Bludger numbers it would be closer to 100:1 criticisms of Labor v Coalition.

    The facts are obvious. What is not clear to me is why.

    I’m 50:50 in my criticisms of Lib-Lab.

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