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”

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  1. …”The Morrison government will consider deregistering the CFMMEU after Victorian secretary John Setka confirmed he will not quit, even if he is convicted of criminal charges of harassing a woman”…

    All this talk of Morrison being a cunning operator who has outsmarted Labor, and he thinks this is a good idea?

    He will have a fucking war on his hands.

  2. Dan, we’ve had a few arguments, but have lately bonded over our love of film. So, arguments can lead to healthy relationships. 🙂

  3. Frednk, would it be possible for there to be a line above the comments box giving you a progress score so you know how near the limit you are? Either way, the effort is appreciated.

  4. A meeting of the Greens party room on Wednesday resolved Di Natale would remain as leader, with Adam Bandt and Larissa Waters remaining in the deputy positions, assuming Waters takes the last Queensland Senate spot.

    What a shame. An axis of whiners in the Greens leadership.

  5. I’m inclined to think that the most likely to have fed the allegations about Setka’s Rosie Batty statements to the media is Albanese’s operatives.

    They would have the sources and the motivation. Gives Albanese an opportunity to demonstrate his authority over the party and, if it goes well, over the more militant unions. As a result defuses a lot of government opportunity to criticise him in the future.

    I reckon the CFMMEU will be desperately trying to work out who in the room passed the information to Albanese’s people.

    It is a distraction to think of this as linked to the criminal matters about Setka. It is purely political – the CFMMEU is proving a political problem for Labor, both because of the actions of some of its officials and it’s underhand campaigning against Labor in electoral terms. Setka was silly enough to provide the POLITICAL excuse by criticising Rosie Batty and Albanese has taken full advantage.

    None of this is meant to be critical of Albanese – I think it’s a very good strategic move by him and it’s interesting that a number of key factional players, including Shorten, have chimed in to support him. They all know they have to get the union thug weapon blunted but they’ll still be supportive of the industrial rights of the CFMMEU.

  6. Comments per day limits would need to be suspended during election night coverage and possibly the days following. Also would it be 30 comments per day per post, or for the entire blog?

  7. Rex Douglas:

    [‘I wonder if the ALP are suffering buyers remorse with Swan as President instead of Butler.’]

    Not at all, at least from my perspective. Swannie’s a top bloke, a Labor hero, a man possessed of a very temperate, self-effacing character. I posted a link earlier today re. his thoughts on Labor’s loss; here it is again:

  8. frednk @ #297 Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 – 7:05 pm

    // Check if user has previously commented the post.
    global $current_user, $post;
    if ( ! is_user_logged_in() ) {
        // Insist on login
        echo ‘log in to comment’;
    } else { // The user is logged in…
        // Get the comments for the logged in user.
        $usercomment_count = get_comments( array (
            ‘user_id’ => $current_user->ID,
            ‘post_id’ => $post->ID,
            ‘count’ => true
        ) );
        // If the user has commented, output a message.
        if ( $usercomment_count >= 10 ) {
            echo ‘God knows your views on the topic’;
        } else { // Otherwise, show the comment form.

    Won’t that either encourage people to post anonymously to bypass the limit, or else entirely disable anonymous comments?

  9. If a certain person posted the same comment over and over and over and over again, day in, day out.
    And did so in a fashion so nauseatingly repetitive that it caused other people to want to pour gasoline over their heads and light a match, or jump off something very tall, would it still only count as one post, or many?

    Asking for a friend.

  10. Millenial

    Richards Dawkins blames victims of rape on drunkenness, compares Islam to cancer, and believes in the existence of a gay gene.

    I doubt that you have accurately reflected anything Dawkins has said. Care to provide a reference?

  11. Not sure, that is phobic comment from an anti-worker gizmo operating at all times and all places to destroy the historic plurality of the ALP……Oh my god….he’s got into my head!!!!

  12. This is the way it goes in Aussie medialand.

    The ABC non story on Bowen and Minns now lead item on the SMH web site.
    Rinse and repeat.

  13. While it might be a tight fit I would be happy with a limit of only 10,950 posts a year, not forgetting a bonus up to 10,980 posts in leap years.

  14. nath says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    …”Not sure, that is phobic comment from an anti-worker gizmo operating at all times and all places to destroy the historic plurality of the ALP……Oh my god….he’s got into my head!!!!”…

    If you are going to do that you should both be limited to 15 comments each to compensate.

  15. I don’t mind likes but prefer that you can see who is liking the comment because often you see people making comments clearly aimed at gathering likes because the comment has little if anything to do with the comment and it also lets you see who is doing the liking because you can then determine if its a real like or just partisan herding and some comments deserve a dislike button.

  16. Mexicanbeemer:

    Likes are a waste of time. Would you really keep going back to all of your comments to see who’d liked them? Who could be bothered.

  17. what has happened to Wayne? He didn’t even come back to rub it in, which makes him a better man than me. Who was that man? I have a suspicion….but I’d rather run a book on it.

    Someone who deliberately misspelt every 3rd word…perhaps.

  18. And, a while back when this site did have a like/dislike system, I use to spend half my life zeroing the plus 1’s of a particularly annoying person.

    See how inherently juvenile this is?

  19. Unemployment needs to fall below 4.5 per cent – possibly even lower – to see inflation kick up to within the Reserve Bank’s target and prevent the bank from making bigger interest rate cuts, according to assistant governor Luci Ellis.

    The Reserve Bank’s historic interest rate cut last week to 1.25 per cent from 1.5 per cent was made on the basis of lowering the unemployment rate, which the consensus of economists expects will now improve to 5.1 per cent when official figures are released on Thursday.

    Dr Ellis said in a speech at the University of Melbourne’s annual Freebairn Lecture on Wednesday evening that lowering the unemployment rate would continue to be an important reason for the bank to cut official interest rates.

    “If Australia truly can have lower unemployment – sustainably – policy should be used to try to get there,” Dr Ellis said.

    “As the Governor explained last week, that was one important consideration motivating the Board’s recent decision to lower the cash rate.”

    Following the historic rate cut last week the central bank said it took the decision to support employment growth.

    “It will assist with faster progress in reducing unemployment and achieve more assured progress towards the inflation target,” the RBA board statement says.

    In her speech Dr Ellis discussed the RBA model for estimating the non accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) – the rate of unemployment below which wages growth starts to pick up.

    The data in the model show the NAIRU estimate at 4.4 per cent. Rounding that figure Dr Ellis confirmed the new, lower estimate.

    “We have therefore gradually revised down the estimate of the prevailing NAIRU from 5.5 per cent a few years ago to 4.5 per cent now,” Dr Ellis said.

    “There is uncertainty around the estimate of the NAIRU even when assuming this model of the relationship between wages, inflation and the unemployment gap is the best model.

    Dr Ellis also raised the prospect that the NAIRU, which has been falling for the past 40 years, could fall even further below the new estimate and that such a measurement was one of the “invisible” types of data points economists had to grapple with.

  20. I like a “like” system, myself. There are often times when I want to express my agreement with a post but don’t actually have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation..

  21. what has happened to Wayne? He didn’t even come back to rub it in, which makes him a better man than me. Who was that man? I have a suspicion….but I’d rather run a book on it.

    I’m pretty certain Wayne was an ALP supporter taking the piss. I imagine come election night, it all suddenly seemed a whole lot less funny.

  22. Asha Leu says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    …”I like a “like” system, myself. There are often times when I want to express my agreement with a post but don’t actually have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation”…


  23. “If Australia truly can have lower unemployment – sustainably – policy should be used to try to get there,” Dr Ellis said.

    This person is foolish. The federal government can push the unemployment rate down to 2 percent or less without adversely affecting price stability. Fiscal policy – including a Job Guarantee – is the key to getting there and staying there. Cutting interest rates won’t make much different to the unemployment rate.

  24. I’m late to the discussion but why would we need posting limits? If something big broke posters could be going gangbusters posting.

  25. Davidwh:

    Yes I asked a similar question and William agreed that flexibility would be required to manage such occasions.

  26. Davidwh says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    …”I’m late to the discussion”…

    Caution: You are posting to frequently and have been caught in the spam filter, please wait a few moments before attempting to comment again.

  27. Adrian

    The ABC reporting of the Minns / Bowen matter is quite pathetic. To hear on an ABC radio station news bulletin “the ABC has revealed that 6 years ago Bowen and Minns ………. “

    That the ABC reports about the ABC, focussing on a 6 year old matter, is quite ridiculous. Is Ita asleep at the wheel? Are the senior news people at the ABC too preoccupied with the AFP at the moment?

    And the MSM generally continues to have a large majority of their news reports and commentary about the Labor Opposition. It is by and large silent about the government. Perhaps Labor needs to go to ground for 6 or 8 months, refusing all media contact. Starve them.

    I have a recollection Abbott did this in the first year of his government. Either way Labor has to somehow force journos to focus on the government ineptitude.

  28. I see no need for posting limits. If anyone seems to be abusing/trolling this blog, I’m sure that our host can deal with it.

    As to like / dislike, probably not suitable here, although I will admit to looking at posts on other sites to check on responses, including likes.

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