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. 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 ………. “

    All’s ok , the ABC is just launching stage one of Scott’s Double Dissolution campaign, the softening up stage.

  2. JW
    1. Said don’t get drunk and then raped and expect to be believed which was very poor
    2. Islam cancer was an analogy
    3. Said there are some genes which make you more likely to be gay which is true.
    He’s not as sharp as he used to be.

  3. There’s no doubt that some in the CFMMEU are bully boys, even thugs. Equally, there are Tories who match this description; eg, Dutton, Craig Kelly, Sukkar – just ask Julia Banks, et al.

    That said, why should union leaders be singled out for special mention? Setka’s not a good look but he was nevertheless democratically elected as secretary of the CFMMEU, and only the members of said union have the right to unseat him.

    Let the members work it out, and not have Morrison grandstanding on the back of Setka’s latest plight. And, in passing, the CFMMEU is almost godlike compared to the Painters & Dockers, of which I gained insight while serving in HMAS Yarra in dry-dock in Williamstown (aka Dogtown) in the early ’80s. Now, they were tough ombres, making the CFMMEU look like scouts, girl guides.

  4. 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.

    NAIRU is nonsense. Its purpose is to delegitimize fiscal policy and to present monetary policy as the main lever for influencing the economy. NAIRU is theoretically very weak and it is empirically unsupported. It isn’t useful at all to say that there is some mysterious rate of unemployment below which inflation would start to become a problem, and it could be anything between 4 percent and 9 percent. That is what NAIRU says.

    Given how destructive unemployment is, the federal government should make it a top priority to drive unemployment down as far as possible. We should aim to get unemployment down to 2 percent or less, and get under-employment down to zero. If there is any sign of inflation becoming a problem, the government can get right on that by taking steps such as:

    1. tightening financial and credit rules

    2. using anti-trust laws and other forms of competition policy to reduce the pricing power of large firms

    3. cutting government spending

    4. increasing taxes

    But a Job Guarantee should automatically resolve any inflationary pressure by moving people from an inflating sector to the fixed wage Job Guarantee sector.

  5. Two men have been taken to hospital with serious injuries after being shot by Victorian police in a counter terrorism operation near the New South Wales border.

    The men were shot after police tried to intercept a vehicle near a campground at Barnawartha North near Albury-Wodonga at about 3pm on Wednesday.

    The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting were still being established but police say there was no threat to the public. Ambulance Victoria was unable to provide details about the men’s injuries or the hospital they were taken to.

  6. bakunin:

    If Adani doesn’t proceed, the Palaszczuk Government will fall. Look at the swings north of Brisbane, even metropolitan Brisbane (eg, Longman & Dickson), with the result that if the Tories prevail, it’ll be carte blanche for the fossil fuel industry. Granted, the birds under threat are of a concern, but not in the minds of those who have to earn a living. I know you’re not being patronising, even political, but at the coalface, it’s a different matter. Labor needs to realise this, forgetting the nuisances of the mad greenies.

  7. Something like an hourly cap on comments? Go for it. May well make people put more thought into they do post and put a damper on some of the gratuitously nasty stuff and scroll pasts.

  8. Nahan goes.

    WA opposition leader Mike Nahan is stepping down following months of speculation and mounting pressure, saying it was always his plan to hand over the Liberal leadership before the next state election.

    “I have decided to step down because I am confident we are in a good position with a number of leadership aspirants and after the Federal Election we are in a good position,” Dr Nahan told ABC News.

    “Right from the start when I took up the position, I always decided that halfway through I would review my position with the aim to handing over to new leadership.

  9. Unemployment in Australia was mostly 2% or less from 1940 to 1974. When I finished school, unemployment was something older people remembered from before the War. Can we get back to that? In part, employment was propped up by high levels of protection. Not just that, but public enterprise. Government and Government instrumentalities (power, railways, etc) absorbed a quarter of school leavers each year. And, of course, if you wanted work done, you couldn’t ‘offshore’ it. It had to be physically done in Australia.

    We can’t go back to protectionism, but maybe there’s other stuff we could do.

  10. Steve777:

    One thing we can do is create industries and innovation hubs through turning recyclables and in particular plastic waste into useable things.

    Eg I was reading an article in The West the other day about councils in Perth which had turned plastic and glass bottles into footpaths and roads. If countries like China, India, Malaysia and so on aren’t going to take our recyclables anymore, we are going to have to find something to do with them other than simply sending them to landfill, as some councils are doing.

  11. There is a difference between protectionism and sensible jobs policy, so telling Telstra that they should not be offshoring or choosing to buy the local product is not an act of protectionism but placing tariffs on imports is an act of protectionism as it interferes in the pricing power of importers against local product.

  12. Check if user has previously commented the post.
    global $current_user, $post;
    const MAX_POST = 10 ;

    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 a prolific user warn else don’t waste bandwidth, it is an Australian site.
    if ( $usercomment_count >= MAX_POST/2) {
    echo ‘You have posted’ . $usercomment_count . ‘of’ . MAX_POST;
    // If the user has over commented, output a message.
    if ( $usercomment_count >= MAX_POST ) {
    echo ‘God knows your views on this topic’;
    } else { // Otherwise, show the comment form.
    } // count too large
    } //logged on

  13. Mavis Davis says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 8:59 pm


    If Adani doesn’t proceed, the Palaszczuk Government will fall.

    Yes; the Greens party using Adani as a wedge has created this situation; but the Greens party really don’t care, it is the wedge that matters.

    I think you need to nuance your comment:
    If Adani isn’t approved the Palaszczak government will fall.

  14. comments.php?
    Yes look for the string comment_form();
    It is right at he end of the file.
    All the code is doing is playing around with the call.
    I’m sorry I am not in a position to test it.

  15. Thanks again Frednk. Although if I’m reading it correctly, I perceive a possible problem — you don’t actually have to be logged in to comment. The registration system is a hangover from the Crikey days.

  16. Hey William,

    I’ve written this reply to Joylon Wagg about the sheer awfulness of Richard Dawkins, but it’s quite long and full of quotes of him saying awful things about Muslims and I don’t want to derail the thread into just talking just how bad the quotes are.

    Should I post the reply or not?

  17. Millenial, I think you should post it too. I have done some googling myself since I suggested you provide a reference. I was pretty disappointed with what I found. I won’t be trying to rebut what you post.

  18. Diogenes says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    …”Yeah. And also include some quotes from Muslims about non-Muslims”…

    Did Dawkins convert and not tell anyone?

  19. Where is Nicholas ?I am familiar with the classical liberal arguments against protectionism, it causes “malinvestment “costs are passed on to consumers in non protected industries blah blah blah, but given Australia raced down this path with bipartisan support the issue was never properly debated.

    There was some objection from left wing unions and sections of the agrarian right but they were just dismissed as “rent seekers” or loonies.I would be interested to hear Nicholas views on the subject.

  20. I would also be interested in Millenial’s quotes from Dawkins, having always considered him someone who found all stupid people contemptible in fairly even measure, regardless of which mythical sky lord they worshiped.

    An equal opportunity bigot of sorts.

  21. Jolyon Wagg @ #319 Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 – 7:36 pm


    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?





    Now, a thing that has dawned on me since after writing the post, is these statements were wrapped in layers of New Atheist-style “logic” that are designed to seem rational on face value, by way of taking nutpicking to its most logical extreme.

    Eg., When I read that he compared Islam to cancer, what he compares Islam to cancer, he does so by first mentioning the Sultan of Brunei’s death penalty against LGBT people, and then saying Islam is like cancer and Muslims are like cancer patients and must be ‘saved’ from Islam. Thus, he can’t be bigoted against Muslims, because it’s only that hates the Islam is (supposedly) inherently anti-gay; which seems reasonable at first glance, and it makes people like me who quote this look like I’m just taking him out of context.
    But, when you work through his thinking, you realize is the reason he thinks this is that he because he asserts that all Muslims thinks the exact same way about LGBT people and that they’re all as inherently evil as the Sultan of Brunei.

    What I have since realized is that simply supplying the source isn’t enough since I would need to write (multiple times, as it turns out) the preceding paragraph explaining my thinking on why these statements are awful, so people don’t think I am just ignoring the context taking a quote-unquote “ironic statement” seriously, they are awful because of the unsaid assertions Dawkins makes for these statements to make sense, not just because they are awful in their own right.

    Right, now with that massive caveat out of the way, here’s a list of all the awful things that Richard Dawkins have said that I find insulting, ranging from awful trolling to full-on unapologetic Islamophobia:

    “Of course that’s your right {to get drunk and not be raped}. But don’t expect a jury to take your word against his if you can’t remember what happened.”

    “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.”

    “Suggest always put Islamic scholar in quotes, to avoid insulting true scholars. True scholars have read more than one book.”

    “Of course you can have an opinion about Islam without having read Qur’an. You don’t have to read Mein Kampf to have an opinion about Nazism.”

    “Christianity is arguably at least as stupid as Islam, but nowadays it’s less dangerous because its devotees no longer take it so seriously.”

    “Why the world would be happier without Islam: Misogyny, Homophobia, Sharia, Joyless control freakery, Terrorism, Hostility to science & education”

    “For years we’ve been calling attention to the deafening silence from moderate Muslims, their reluctance to condemn 9/11, suicide bombings and other atrocities. For years we have challenged moderate Muslims to disown the death penalty for apostasy, and officially sanctioned Islamic mistreatment of women. With a few honorable exceptions like Yasmin Alibhai Brown, our appeals have met with lamentably little response.”

    “Mehdi Hasan admits to believing Muhamed flew to heaven on a winged horse. And New Statesman sees fit to print him as a serious journalist.”

    “if it should turn out that you {Geert Wilders, far-right Dutch politician} are a racist or a gratuitous stirrer and provocateur I withdraw my respect, but on the strength of Fitna alone I salute you as a man of courage”

    “Haven’t read Koran so couldn’t quote chapter and verse like I can for Bible. But I have often said that Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world today.”

    “Most devout Muslims are creationists so when you go to schools, there are a large number of children of Islamic parents who trot out what they have been taught, Teachers are bending over backward to respect home prejudices that children have been brought up with. The Government could do more, but it doesn’t want to because it is fanatical about multiculturalism and the need to respect the different traditions from which these children come.”

    “Listening to the lovely bells of Winchester, one of our great medieval cathedrals. So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding ‘Allahu Akhbar.’ Or is that just my cultural upbringing?”

    “Don’t call him {Ahmed Mohamed} “clock boy” since he never made a clock. Hoax Boy, having hoaxed his way into the White House, now wants $15M in addition!”

    “Mild paedophilia is bad. Violent paedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild paedophilia, go away and learn how to think. Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think.”

    “Dear Muslima,
    Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your genitals mutilated with a razor blade, and… yawn… don’t tell me yet again, I know you aren’t allowed to drive a car, and you can’t leave the house without a male relative, and your husband is allowed to beat you, and you’ll be stoned to death if you commit adultery. But stop whining, will you. Think of the suffering your poor American sisters have to put up with. Only this week I heard of one, she calls herself Skep”chick”, and do you know what happened to her? A man in a hotel elevator invited her back to his room for coffee. I am not exaggerating. He really did. He invited her back to his room for coffee. Of course she said no, and of course he didn’t lay a finger on her, but even so… And you, Muslima, think you have misogyny to complain about! For goodness sake grow up, or at least grow a thicker skin.”

  22. Dawkins is a bit of a knob, who enjoys stirring.

    It’s possible to be right about some things, but still be an awful person who acts like a jerk.

  23. Blobbit
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11:06 pm
    Dawkins is a bit of a knob, who enjoys stirring.
    It’s possible to be right about some things, but still be an awful person who acts like a jerk.
    Dawkins is a bit caustic at times, although at times its needed. I much preferred Christopher Hitchens myself. What an orator.

  24. Sorry about the delay, took a couple of tries to feed through the gerbils.

    If you’re feeling charitable to Dawkins, there is a quote of him in 2016 saying not all Muslims are violent extremists, in a response to someone claiming that atheism is violent, arguing that it isn’t:

    “Anyone who believes that what is written in a holy book is true even if the evidence is against it is dangerous. Christianity used to be the most dangerous religion. Now Islam is. Of course, that doesn’t mean more than a small minority of the world’s Muslims. But it only takes a few if their beliefs are sufficiently strong, fanatical and unshakeable.”

    And there is a quote of him condemning the murder of 3 Muslims by a “fundamentalist atheist”:

    “How could any decent person NOT condemn the vile murder of three young US Muslims in Chapel Hill?”

  25. “Dawkins is a bit caustic at times, although at times its needed. I much preferred Christopher Hitchens myself. What an orator.”

    Dawkins has turned into a poor simulacrum of himself. He chooses to express his ideas in the most outrageous manner possible to troll for a reaction.

    He’s no better than the Sky after dark crew.

  26. Millennial says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11:14 pm


    “Anyone who believes that what is written in a holy book is true even if the evidence is against it is dangerous. Christianity used to be the most dangerous religion. Now Islam is. Of course, that doesn’t mean more than a small minority of the world’s Muslims. But it only takes a few if their beliefs are sufficiently strong, fanatical and unshakeable.”

    How is this incorrect?

  27. Diogenes @ #389 Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 – 11:13 pm

    I much prefer Sam Harris but I’ve still got a t-shirt with the Four Horsemen. Hitch looks like Peter Lorre in M.

    Uh yeah, about Sam Harris…

    “Take the personalities of the people on the right out of the equation. Is it crazy to express, as Ted Cruz did, a preference for Christians over Muslims in this process? Of course not. What percentage of Christians will be jihadists or want to live under Sharia law? Zero. And this is a massive, in fact the only, concern when talking about security. We know that some percentage of Muslims will be jihadists inevitably. So it is not mere bigotry or mere xenophobia to express that preference. I hope you understand that I am expressing no sympathy at all with Ted Cruz’s politics or with Ted Cruz. But it is totally unhelpful to treat him — though he actually is a religious maniac — like a bigot on this point. This is a quite reasonable concern to voice.”

    “{Charles Murray, author of race science book The Bell Curve} you are the victim of a politically-correct moral panic… the intellectual who was treated most unfairly in my lifetime.”

    “Western feminists spend more time complaining about Gamergate than actually pushing for women’s rights.”

    “the Milo {Yiannopoulos, former editor of alt-right news website Breitbart} I’ve seen is very far from being a Neo-Nazi or someone whose attitudes are truly of the right. That’s probably not an accident, he’s flamboyantly gay and half Jewish, so I don’t know how right wing he could be in the end.”

    Sam Harris also agreed with Trump that ‘both sides’ were at fault for Charlottesville.

  28. Not Sure @ #399 Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 – 11:23 pm

    Millennial says:
    Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 11:14 pm


    “Anyone who believes that what is written in a holy book is true even if the evidence is against it is dangerous. Christianity used to be the most dangerous religion. Now Islam is. Of course, that doesn’t mean more than a small minority of the world’s Muslims. But it only takes a few if their beliefs are sufficiently strong, fanatical and unshakeable.”

    How is this incorrect?

    It’s not, it’s a genuinely good quote of Dawkins saying something sensible, unlike all the awful ones that contradict it.

  29. Millennial, if you are trying to prove that atheists can say stupid things, you’ve succeeded, but that doesn’t really impact upon their arguments for atheism.

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