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. ‘Diogenes says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    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.’

    Perhaps because we don’t refuse to. I believe the first purpose-built apartments may have been built in Sydney in the 1930’s. (I could be wrong about the date.) The proportion of people living in apartments has been climbing ever since – more rapidly more recently.

  2. I’ve never been to NY but it’s much easier to get around London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Barcelona and even Rome than Melbourne and Sydney which is a nightmare.

  3. Excluding transport and housing shortfalls, and Sydney has it all: clean water, reliable energy, effective drainage, reasonably safe most of the time in most places, healthy food to eat, plenty of recreational opportunities, jobs, an education system that churns out quite a few good graduates, a medical system that keeps most people more or less alive most of the time, an excellent sewage system, plus it is girt by sea and by the bush.
    The cup is about 90% full. Not bad, really.

  4. Player One says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm
    Rex Douglas @ #2000 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:48 pm

    I’m 50:50 in my criticisms of Lib-Lab.
    And 0% in your criticism of the Greens.
    __________________________________
    Is supporting a political party an article of faith or is it about supporting a party that advocates for the issues you believe in?

  5. 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.)

    And in which academic journal might I find that obviously totally unbiased and comprehensive study?

    Actually, I think I remember this from back when it was first published, like most authoritative psephological research, in the comment section of Poll Bludger. But I’m sure the author – who surely didn’t have any axes to grind – made sure to watch and read literally every snippet of news media – including every press release and unedited media footage – featuring Greens representatives when doing this.

  6. Boerwar @ #2007 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:55 pm

    Excluding transport and housing shortfalls, and Sydney has it all: clean water, reliable energy, effective drainage, reasonably safe most of the time in most places, healthy food to eat, plenty of recreational opportunities, jobs, an education system that churns out quite a few good graduates, a medical system that keeps most people more or less alive most of the time, an excellent sewage system, plus it is girt by sea and by the bush.
    The cup is about 90% full. Not bad, really.

    Yeah but then you have to figure in Alan Jones.

    30%

  7. AL
    ‘Because when the Coalition does something shitty, what’s there to say about it?’

    Um, that Lib Lab is same old same old? Or that Labor should fix it from opposition? Or that what the Coalition is doing bad would inevitably be fixed if Labor only adopted all of the Greens policies?
    What?

  8. ‘Asha Leu says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    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.)

    And in which academic journal might I find that obviously totally unbiased and comprehensive study?’

    I should have kept the link. It surprised no-one at the time.

  9. Funnily enough no has posted about the “black wiggle” since the election.

    I don’t think it should be that difficult for an alliance or understanding between the ALP and the Greens. The real impediment is that the ALP refuses to accept majority government for the ALP alone has passed most likely never to return.

    For all the Adani manoeuvrings I doubt it will do Jackie Trad much good in South Brisbane next year.

  10. Certainly it’s fair enough to criticise Labor policies – and Green policies of course. Parties are made up of human beings and are therefore fallible.

    But when someone blames Labor for a decade of climate inaction, blame Labor for the plight of asylum seekers in island hellholes, or insist that Labor and Liberal are somehow equivalent, I call bullshit.

    For myself, any party whose policies I support 100% would be unelectable. And of course, nothing can be achieved from Opposition. So compromises are essential. So where is the balance? That’s a subject for debate. Far wiser heads than me have got it wrong.

  11. Lars

    The Black Wiggle is a problem. Labor would not trust any deal negotiated by him, as he has shown himself to be untrustworthy in the past.

  12. Steve777 says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:00 pm
    Certainly it’s fair enough to criticise Labor policies – and Green policies of course. Parties are made up of human beings and are therefore fallible.

    But when someone blames Labor for a decade of climate inaction, blame Labor for the plight of asylum seekers in island hellholes, or insist that Labor and Liberal are somehow equivalent, I call bullshit.
    _______________________________
    Steve777 I think its fair to say in that decade Labor has multiple positions on these issues, the Greens have been a paragon of consistency.

  13. Boerwar:

    Um, that Lib Lab is same old same old? Or that Labor should fix it from opposition? Or that what the Coalition is doing bad would inevitably be fixed if Labor only adopted all of the Greens policies?
    What?

    We get that sort of stuff from, what, two, three people here, at most? It just seems like more because one of those individuals in particular tends to post here a lot, and has what could best be termed a Boerwar-esque talent for repetition and slogans.

    Its just the internet being the internet.

  14. Zoomster, it is not a matter of trust , ultimately this ends with some form of constitutional reform. It would be logical that the ALP + The Greens would be the progenitors of reform.

    Its pretty clear a growing number of Australians are pretty alienated from politics.

  15. The news of reports of the Iranian attack on the US Reaper has now reached Australia.

    Ah, those dastardly Iranians. Ineffectively firing upon an unmanned drone. Someone could have been hurt!

    Wait, nevermind.

  16. Lars Von Trier @ #2012 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:00 pm

    Funnily enough no has posted about the “black wiggle” since the election.

    Indeed. Not many people have been in a laughing mood since the election.

    I don’t think it should be that difficult for an alliance or understanding between the ALP and the Greens. The real impediment is that the ALP refuses to accept majority government for the ALP alone has passed most likely never to return.

    The problem with this is that you appear to think that an alliance between Labor and the Greens would result in a combined party that added their respective votes together.

    However, it would do nothing of the sort – it would instead erode their combined vote to around the current level of the Greens – i.e. about 10%.

  17. Player One says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm
    ___________________
    Not really – it just requires the Greens and Labor to delineate spheres of interest.

    It would actually be liberating to Labor – stop trying to be all things to all people. The price is accepting that 10% of the PV is not coming back ever and surrendering the inner city electorates to the Greens.Does anybody think Grayndler /Sydney for starters will be anything other than Greens seats when the current MP’s chuff off?

    That’s going to happen anyway – it will just be a more painful process than it needs be (and more beneficial to the LNP than it needs be).

  18. There’s really no need for anyone to inflame the Red/Green hostilities. The Greens thoroughly despise Labor and campaign for their defeat at all times and in all places. They have had success and they delight in it.

    Some say I’m Defeatist. I’d rather say I can learn from history and am not a fantasist; that I engage in the practical business of trying to win votes; that I know what it is to win and what it is to lose.

    We can see the results of Right supremacy wherever we look – in education, in jobs, incomes and the exploitation of working people, in the torching of the environment, in public finance and taxation, in the cruelties of Nauru and Manus, in the arbitrary imprisonment of First Peoples, in the repression of unions, in the dilution of universal health insurance, in the maltreatment of the unemployed.

    It’s all very well to say I’m defeatist. I’m saying we’re already losing. We can lose everything unless we change our own performance. Of this, there is no sign at all. There are only insults and indignation in the face of the facts.

  19. I don’t think a formal coalition would be a good idea in the current climate. I doubt it would be as devastating as Player One reckons, but I imagine the potential risks outweigh the potential gains. A better idea would be for both parties to keep doing their own thing, ensure favorable preference arrangements are kept in place, try to work constructively together in parliament while also holding their own ground when important, and just stop the goddamn squabbling and remember who the real enemy is.

    Look at the Coalition and One Nation for an example of how a major and minor party competing for similar ground can have a semi-adversarial relationship without negatively impacting on the right’s electoral chances more broadly.

  20. P1, many of the new housing estates in Melbourne are 350-400 sq meters. The houses that are built on them are nearly touching each other. They may as well be living in apartments, they couldn’t be much closer to their neighbours.

  21. Player One says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:16 pm
    Lars Von Trier @ #2023 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:14 pm

    The price is accepting that 10% of the PV is not coming back ever and surrendering the inner city electorates to the Greens.
    Is it possible that you really believe such nonsense?
    ______________________________
    I do believe such “nonsense”, its pretty obvious that is what is going to happen.

  22. PeeBee @ #2027 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:19 pm

    P1, many of the new housing estates in Melbourne are 350-400 sq meters. The houses that are built on them are nearly touching each other. They may as well be living in apartments, they couldn’t be much closer to their neighbours.

    You know the really odd thing? I moved out of Sydney 5 years ago, into a largely undeveloped region, where the average block size is 40 hectares. And the new houses being built here are on 350 sq m blocks. They are building new slums here just like you find in western Sydney.

    It’s simply insane 🙁

  23. Unfortunately I am leaning towards briefly’s point of view. Labor can’t win against the Green/Liberal pincer movement. The environment is stuff; treasury is going to be raided. The standard we see for the NBN is the standard we are going to have to accept.

    The Greens only success; making Labor as impotent as themselves.

  24. Player One says:
    Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 9:21 pm
    Lars Von Trier @ #2028 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:20 pm

    I do believe such “nonsense”, its pretty obvious that is what is going to happen.
    And your evidence for this is … what, exactly?
    _______________________________________________
    If you cannot see it I cannot help you.

  25. Lars Von Trier
    I am not t sure the average Green voter is as determined to see Labor’s destruction as the Green party is. If they are then what we have is the Greens acting as the Modern DLP, and the conservatives will be in power until the Greens go the way of the DLP.

  26. If Labor were to make a formal deal with the Greens their PV would fall into the teens. The combined plurality would not make it to 25%.

    Such a deal is just a Green-tinged fantasy. It would ensure the LNP would rule for 50 years. At the moment the combined plurality is about 40-41%. This is low enough that Labor might survive but can never win. The Lib+ PV is over 44%. This compares with the Labor PV of 33%. When the anti-hero votes of the Right are included, the Lib+ plurality approaches 50%.

    They win. They will win very comfortably.

    Labor did exceedingly well in the recent election. They really outscored. Next time they will likely not be so fortunate. We have lost four elections in a row. We will lose many more unless the mindset of the left-of-centre players can be changed. This is asking for the near-impossible.

  27. Frednk, At least the DLP got state funding for independent schools (mainly catholic in those days).

    What have the Greens got for supporting the LNP?

    Nix

  28. Player One @ #2025 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:16 pm

    The price is accepting that 10% of the PV is not coming back ever and surrendering the inner city electorates to the Greens.

    Is it possible that you really believe such nonsense?

    It’s not that far off the mark. Labor fighting to take primary votes off of the Greens is a zero sum game. The net left/progressive vote is unchanged and the Coalition still wins.

    Labor doesn’t need to “surrender” the inner city electorates, though it would do well to effectively run dead in any electorate that’s a straight-up Labor vs. Greens contest. As in, stand a candidate, sure, but don’t waste any money or oxygen or other campaign resources on that seat. Just stand the candidate and wait for the voters to decide if they’d rather have left/progressive A or left/progressive B.

  29. Lars Von Trier @ #1977 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 8:18 pm

    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!

    I see the little Lars worm is making unsubstantiated and slanderous allegations about me again. Heaven forfend that I would want to celebrate the Labor Party winning the federal election! Not that I ended up having anything to celebrate in the end. Though somehow the mere suggestion of celebration, which I, along with a lot of other Labor supporters here suggested would be happening should Labor win, this makes ME and no one else ‘someone who is very familiar with alcohol abuse.’

    Sorry, but it’s you who needs your mental health problems attended to, ESJ. Your unnatural obsession with me is bordering on the fanatical, maniacal and obsessive.

  30. PeeBee

    Valid point; the DLP goals were a Little wider than the destruction of Labor. The Greens are definitely more focused.

    Either that or the Greens have been less successful than the DLP because for sure they have nothing to show for the last 10 years except the destruction of Labor’s environmental policy.

  31. You seem to think a Labor / Green’s deal has to be Liberal + National ver 2.0

    Not really! More a territorial division.

  32. frednk @ #2034 Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – 9:33 pm

    Lars Von Trier
    I am not t sure the average Green voter is as determined to see Labors destruction as the Green party is. If they are then what we have is the Greens acting as the Modern DLP, and the conservatives will be in power until the Greens go the way of the DLP.

    Exactly. And wouldn’t The Greens just love it? Then their wild-eyed idea of replacing Labor would become a reality.

  33. ar

    Why would any party surrender to another whose sole aim is it’s destruction? As least the Liberals want to raid the treasury. Not a noble goal for sure; but at least honest.

  34. Dio,

    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.

    I could not agree more. I am typing this from a lovely tiny apartment in Budapest. I always live in apartments when I work os. So close to coffee shops and public transport, I get exercise by walking to get groceries.

    I think that is why the apartments in Waterloo / Zetland in Sydney are so sought after. There are a lot of Australian who have worked overseas for a year or two, and they come back and move into an apartment, close to their jobs. There are great parks for the kids to play in, and you do not even need a car if you used carshare like GoGet. We have a terrace, because we \bought when the area was too dodgy for most people, and may well swap that. for an apartment eventually.

    And as you say, the sense of community is great. Just saying hello to people on the stairs, meeting them at the local shops.

  35. God, this is such a boring discussion. Just more of the same old, same old, getting into the weeds about something that will never happen. Labor don’t want to touch The Greens with a barge pole. They are political poison to Labor. The Greens can have their perpetual 10% and Labor will take 80% of it back. End of story. No further correspondence will ever be entered into. Especially as Labor’s strongest city seats are the inner city seats.

  36. maybe we should all accept that the liberals are here to rule us and to enjoy the spanking which we richly deserve for being so bad…….

  37. I also have the view – unlike William Bowe – that the McGowan Government can lose the next State election. There is a very large cohort of voters that usually vote Liberal but who voted to depose the Barnett Government. In May, they voted Liberal again. They will be thinking of voting Liberal again in the State election. They comprise about 1/3 of the usual Liberal constituency. They shifted away in 2017. They shifted back last month.

    These voters have no loyalty to Labor. They voted across the aisle in 2017. They have no reason at all to repeat that expression in 2021. If a bit less than half of this Lib-positive cohort shift their expression in 2021, the Libs win.

  38. A vote for the Greens is $2.756 towards the destruction of Labor. If you want to feel good about voting for a party with Green in their name but not Green by their actions give them your second preference.

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