NSW Senate entrails examined

A close look at the New South Wales Senate result as finalised yesterday, plus Essential Research findings on attitudes to nuclear power.

Essential Research is continuing to provide The Guardian with polling on a fortnightly basis, but is still limiting itself to issue polling in the wake of the great debacle of last month. This week’s poll is concerned with nuclear power, after a push by Queensland MPs James McGrath and Keith Pitt for a parliamentary inquiry into lifting Australia’s nuclear power ban (showing rather unfortunate timing, in view of the runaway success of HBO’s television series Chernobyl). The poll finds a slight majority of 44% to 40% in favour of Australia having nuclear power plants, compared with a 40-40 tie when Essential last posed the question in 2015 – the kicker being that only 28% said they would be comfortable living near one, with 60% disagreeing. Among the other findings, 47% per cent rated that nuclear would be better than coal-fired power for the environment.

In election counting news, the button was pressed yesterday on the New South Wales Senate result, which, foreseeably, produced three seats for the Coalition (Liberals Hollie Hughes and Andrew Bragg, and Perin Davey of the Nationals), two for Labor (Tony Sheldon and Tim Ayres) and one for the Greens (Mehreen Faruqi). Above-the-line votes accounted for 93.1% of the total, which included more than two quotas each for the Coalition and Labor (albeit just barely in the latter case). This meant the top two candidates on the Coalition and Labor tickets were elected immediately, leaving two seats to be determined by the remainder of the preference distribution. The chart below shows how this proceeded as the last eight candidates were excluded, and also shows how the main candidates were placed after the surpluses of the first four elected candidates were distributed (Count 4).

Under the old system, the entirety of the vote was effectively divided between the sixth elected candidates and the unelected seventh, who was left with what is known as the “wastage quotas”. Now that it’s possible for votes to exhaust, it becomes possible for the count to fail to deliver quotas to six candidates, in which case the final seats go to whoever comes nearest at the final count. Such was the case with the last two seats in New South Wales – 0.39 quotas exhausted, and the final three quotas were distributed between three candidates in such a way as to leave all of them short of a full quota. Two of these candidates, Davey of the Nationals and Faruqi of the Greens, finished just short with 0.97 and 0.96 quotas respectively, causing them each to be elected well ahead of Kate McCulloch of One Nation on 0.68.

The chart illustrates exactly how far Jim Molan, shown in blue, fell short of winning the third seat through the strength of his below-the-line support, notwithstanding conservative excitement that he achieved the highest below-the-line vote in Senate history – in terms of aggregate votes, which is naturally a significant qualification when considering a result from New South Wales. Molan’s total share of the first preference vote was 2.92%, some distance behind a number of recent results in Tasmania, where the rate of below-the-line voting is particularly high. His exclusion unlocked a flood of preferences to Davey that closed the gap between her and Faruqi, who were all but level for the remainder of the count.

However, a good many of Molan’s preferences flowed out of the Coalition ticket and further to the right, with 20% going to McCulloch compared with 71.5% for other Coalition candidates. McCulloch also received a strong flow of preferences when Shooters Fishers and Farmers were the last party excluded two counts later. However, this was well short of what she needed to put her in the hunt for the last two seats, for which her share of the total vote would have had to have been about 2% higher. For more details on preferences, Ross Leedham has determined four-party preferred preference flows along the same lines as I provided in yesterday’s post on the Tasmanian result, observing how small party preferences split between the Coalition, Labor, the Greens, One Nation and exhaustion.

To get a sense of how the result might have played out under the old system, I’ve had a play with Antony Green’s Senate calculator from 2013, using the results from this election where possible and judiciously allocating the residue from new parties to old ones. This suggests One Nation would have won the fifth seat at the expense of either the Coalition and the Greens, who would have been in a very tight race for the last seat. One Nation preference feeders would have included not only Shooters and Fishers, Liberal Democrats, Christian Democrats, the Democratic Labour Party and Australian Conservatives (nee Family First), but also leftist concerns such as Animal Justice, thanks to Glenn Druery-inspired preference networks that had nearly every micro-party preferencing each other ahead of the main three.

The button will apparently be pressed on the Western Australian result this morning and Victoria tomorrow, both of which will assuredly produce results of three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens. Not sure when Queensland and South Australia will be done.

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.

442 comments on “NSW Senate entrails examined”

  1. Simon² Katich® says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm
    A) Albo stays, Setka goes
    B) Albo goes, Setka stays
    C) Albo stays, Setka stays
    D) Albo goes, Setka goes.
    E. wgaf
    ————————————-

    LOL!

    But seriously, I just wanted to see what doyley’s preference is. He’s clearly thinking about this so much, he must have a considered view to share with us.

  2. a r says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm

    Nuc powered subs were ruled out of the tender process, unfortunately. Small minded.

    The interesting technical issue is that it appears that they are going to try and use a pump jet propulsion system – which has only ever been tried on nuc boats before now.

  3. Final 2pp is 51.53 to 48.47 to the Coalition, a swing of 1.17% to the good guys. Considering the Coalition’s PV was 41.44% down 0.6%, the preference flow was interesting but Labor’s PV ended up at 33.34% down 1.39% – that is really just hopeless.

  4. Player One says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 2:58 pm
    briefly @ #225 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 2:27 pm

    You continue to argue like a loser. Waaah! It wasn’t our fault! Waaah!

    You entirely miss the point.

    Labor has been campaigning against itself (by doing the things you call for). The Greens and the Liberals use the environment to campaign against Labor. They have been doing so for decades. The mythologies are now really ingrained. Voters are really sick of all of the messaging. They see it as marketing/spinning/meme-making/trolling. They are almost completely immune to politics.

    This is an almost intractable situation.

    Rather than whinging about me, get off your own arse and do something to connect with other voters. Listen to them. Learn from them.

  5. simon holmes à court @simonahac
    8m8 minutes ago

    this is the kind of low, deceitful, unnecessarily inhumane act that makes so many australian despise @PeterDutton_MP.

    @crikey_news

    On the same day that a two-year-old in detention was banned from receiving a birthday cake, the Home Affairs minister claimed again that all children have been removed from detention. https://buff.ly/2FgjyvA

  6. ‘nath says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    global warming to make Siberia more habitable. I assume the same thing will be happening to Canada.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606223509.htm

    That was Putin’s and Medvedev’s view, and one that they were bragging about while dragging the chain on global warming action. Until their existing grain belts started to cook and they had to halt all Russian grain exports. In other words, the study does not state that they might NEED to try to colonize parts of Siberia in order to cope with the destruction of their existing grain belts.

    Oh, and it is not ‘Siberia’ that will become ‘habitable’. It is a small fraction of Siberia, assuming that the methane released in order to make it ‘habitable’ does not do other horrible things.

  7. That is a crushing result from Queensland: the centre has been gutted and the rabid right is dominant.

    Four right wing to extreme right wing Senators from Queensland all of whom would be hoping that Adani is still an open question in six years time and all of whom will be hoping that the Greens mount yet another Adani Convoy in six years time.

    It is remarkable what $600 million worth of lies and six years of Kill Bill can achieve.

  8. Firefox….

    The Irregulars have ensured that Adani will proceed. The Bob Brown Railway will be built with taxpayer support. The Richard DiNatale coal-fired power plant will be built. The Galilee will be opened up for Gina and Clive, who will continue to fund the destruction of social democracy and social justice.

    All is well in the Lib-kin world. They will continue to campaign against Labor, against the environment, against prosperity and against egalitarian reforms.

    Congratulations. You won.

  9. Boerwar @ #265 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:09 pm

    That is a crushing result from Queensland: the centre has been gutted and the rabid right is dominant.

    Four right wing to extreme right wing Senators from Queensland all of whom would be hoping that Adani is still an open question in six years time and all of whom will be hoping that the Greens mount yet another Adani Convoy in six years time.

    It is remarkable what $600 million worth of lies and six years of Kill Bill can achieve.

    It’s remarkable how some Labor partisans refuse to look in the mirror when considering the election result.

  10. “Firefox”

    I presume your point was the “Stop Adani” logos?

    Just remember, the lump of coal people for for times as many Qld senate seats (LNP + Hanson) so I’m not sure that’s a winner.

  11. briefly
    says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 4:10 pm
    Firefox….
    The Irregulars have ensured that Adani will proceed. The Bob Brown Railway will be built with taxpayer support. The Richard DiNatale coal-fired power plant will be built. The Galilee will be opened up for Gina and Clive, who will continue to fund the destruction of social democracy and social justice.
    ________________________
    Yep. The Green Queensland government just approved it.

  12. briefly @ #266 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:10 pm

    Firefox….

    The Irregulars have ensured that Adani will proceed. The Bob Brown Railway will be built with taxpayer support. The Richard DiNatale coal-fired power plant will be built. The Galilee will be opened up for Gina and Clive, who will continue to fund the destruction of social democracy and social justice.

    All is well in the Lib-kin world. They will continue to campaign against Labor, against the environment, against prosperity and against egalitarian reforms.

    Congratulations. You won.

    Denial and deflection is the mantra of the Labor partisan at the moment.

  13. “Denial and deflection is the mantra of the Labor partisan at the moment.”

    Since our seems were going to go around the merry go round again….

    What are the house of reps seats you see either the ALP or the Greens winning to form government?

    I ask because I think that the progressive left, appealing to the relatively well educated and wealthy, has probably got as many seats as it’s going to.

  14. It is difficult to believe just how absurd the US is on this stuff.

    The argument now is that since the Iranians knew how to remove a limpet mine they must have been the ones who put it on in the first place.

    The original video has now been processed to the nth degree and lo! the heavily processed imagery does what the US wants them to do.

    Meanwhile, the US is deploying an extra carrier group and an extra 1,000 soldiers to the Gulf.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/17/us-military-releases-new-images-of-japanese-oil-tanker-attack.html

  15. Blobbitt….there is nothing ‘progressive’ about the Greens. They are the Irregular forces – the guerrillas – of the Right.

  16. “Blobbitt….there is nothing ‘progressive’ about the Greens. They are the Irregular forces – the guerrillas – of the Right.”

    Not really interested in that discussion, tbh.

    Putting aside all that, there seem to be two views – either go more “inner city left” or more “rural right”. Whoever does it, I struggle to see a path to a reps majority following the first path.

    From those advocating it, I’m curious to know where they see those seats.

  17. Blobbit @ #272 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:17 pm

    “Denial and deflection is the mantra of the Labor partisan at the moment.”

    Since our seems were going to go around the merry go round again….

    What are the house of reps seats you see either the ALP or the Greens winning to form government?

    I ask because I think that the progressive left, appealing to the relatively well educated and wealthy, has probably got as many seats as it’s going to.

    I think the ALP can win back some blue collar seats in Queensland/NSW if they focus on providing generous incentives to business that creates environmentally friendly sustainable jobs.

    I think the Greens can pick up a few more inner city seats by keeping focused on climate change policy.

  18. “Until the left-of-centre wise up, put an end to their dysfunction and get real about the politics, they will continue to lose.”

    what does this mean briefly? small target politics and then doing what needs to be done once in power?

    remaining silent while the libs pursue regressive and vindictive policies in not really an option.

    Labor’s middle ground between the libs and the greens is to have a “Climate and Energy Accord” where 20-30 year transition plan is set out that looks after mining communities as well as agricultural communities facing life with 100-200mm per year less and less reliable rainfall over the coming decades (so your arrable 500-600mm climate becomes a marginal 300-400 mm one – especially becuase the rain is falling in late spring and summer and not autumn and winter). I am a green, but the “we’ll all be doomed by 2030” alarmism doing the rounds is not helpful – the science suggests it is more probably a case is “those in 100-300 years time will be doomed if we don’t get to close to zero emissions globally by 2050” – australia is at the *ahem* coal face in that we’ll be the advanced economy most impacted by early climate change – but people won’t starve or cook here before 2050 as a result (Africa and Asia are another matter). I’d like to see Labor call for – and start to develop a – bi/tri-partisan climate accord that says we’ll keep using and exporting coal for the next few decades as we transition to renewables, but we know we can’t keep doing it beyond 2030-50. the libs and greens might not play along, but a middle position between ignoring the issue and wanting everything shut down by the end of the week should be ‘easy’ to defend. Not having costings of what a 45% reduction target would mean (and with good investment within a transition plan, the cost would not be great) was a mistake.

    my worry is that the old labor right is going to get labor to back down on targets – and they’ll lose a lot of credibility if they do. The line should be that we need a strategic retreat from coal, and like gallipoli it needs to be orderly, unhurried and no man/woman should be left behind. they could also use the line that the libs are justing digging us into a bigger hole.

    I agree that the greens need to get more practical in setting realistic targets for transition. labor should call them out on this, but the last thing labor should do is move towards the libs on this issue.

  19. Some Greens might doubt that the Greens will pick up an extra 41% of 2PP and an extra 75 House of Representative seats in 2022 after only 30 years of politicking. Plus, in order to reverse the current long term dominance of the far right in the Senate, the Greens will pick up all six Queensland senate seats in 2022. This will be achieved by mounting the Mother of All Adani Convoys in 2022.

    The Greens know that climate change is pressing issue and that therefore the imperative to form government is higher than it has every been.

    10%: the springboard to the Greens Government victory!

  20. Rex

    If Adani is what Larissa wants to stop, why is she happy and bright?

    She’s failed before she’s even resumed her seat.

  21. From those advocating it, I’m curious to know where they see those seats.
    _____________________________________
    I think the only path forward for the ALP is to present as a viable alternate government and wait for the time factor to kick in like it did in 2007. There’s no policy that will change the game or tactic that will either.

  22. Greens are inherently positive people, unlike the dreary ALP fogeys we get on here. If only the Queensland Labor government had not approved Adani. They must love it.

  23. A Greens government being elected in 2022 is a possibility. Only if they adopted the sort of economic policies which Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn are proposing, complete with a Green Industrial Revolution or Green New Deal. If the Australian Greens had gone down this path, in my mind they would have won something like 20% of the primary vote in the election that recently passed.

  24. If Adani is stopped, it won’t have anything to do with Larissa.

    Getting paid all that money as a Senator and knowing you don’t have to deliver would make anyone happy and bright.

  25. Time to think about what sort of election we might be having in 2022. There’s a lot we don’t know (state of the economy, world/regional trade/security issues, etc), but we do know it will be one which is called by a three-term conservative government. This sort of election has happened four times in our federal history (1926, 1955, 1983 & 2004) and the conservatives have a 3-1 record of success in them. Their failure was the only time they were presiding over a recession at the time. This is the baseline that should frame our expectations of that result.

  26. zoomster @ #293 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:40 pm

    If Adani is stopped, it won’t have anything to do with Larissa.

    Getting paid all that money as a Senator and knowing you don’t have to deliver would make anyone happy and bright.

    You’re just jealous.

    Labor partisans who care about the environment should be back in their branches preparing for the ongoing battle against the coal boosters.

  27. Tristo
    ” If the Australian Greens had gone down this path, in my mind they would have won something like 20% of the primary vote in the election that recently passed.”

    Must be a typo here. Do you mean to write 2% rather than 20%?

  28. Listening to Rex P on Karvelas and I’d be betting the Govt will get their tax cuts through with not much of a fight with CA.

  29. zoomster is just running down someone who has achieved more than her. Larissa has not only sat on committees and ran for parliament, she actually won.

  30. Rex Douglas @ #286 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:27 pm

    C@tmomma @ #281 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:23 pm

    Firefox @ #261 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 3:57 pm

    <a href="<a href="” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>

    The show pony is back.

    It’s a happy bright expression that contrasts greatly with the sad dreary defeatest Labor partisans on PB.

    Oh, that’s right, relentless positivity is the solution. It’s why The Greens have been so successful. Oh wait…

  31. I’m waiting for a PB Labor partisan here to show some leadership and demand their fellow partisans pick up that bottom lip up off the ground and fire up !

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