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. The Australian onshore immigration detention system is becoming “more and more like prison” and unlike similar operations any other liberal democracy, the Human Rights Commission has said.

    It is also now holding people for an average of about 500 days – far longer than any comparable jurisdiction, and is increasingly using restraints.

    The commission urged the Australian government to “take very seriously” its latest report, which examined risk management in detention and was released on Tuesday.

    “Australia’s system of mandatory immigration detention – combined with ministerial guidelines that preclude the consideration of community alternatives to detention for certain groups – continues to result in people being detained when there is no valid justification for their ongoing detention under international law,” it said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/18/australias-onshore-immigration-detention-unlike-any-other-liberal-democracy

  2. frednk @ #342 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 6:26 pm


    Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 5:45 pm

    The sense of entitlement that the major parties ‘own’ the votes of ordinary citizens leads to complacency and corruption.

    I wonder if those that give their first preference to the Greens realize they are not voting for the environment; they are voting for a party devoted to destroying Labor

    No mention from the member of the knowledge elite’s party, Pegasus, that ordinary citizens decide where their votes go and the party that gets the majority of them is the one who represents them in parliament and definitely doesn’t take them for granted.

  3. ABC RN Drive this evening:

    1. Interview: Queensland ALP senator Chris Ketter, whose number two spot on the ticket would usually have guaranteed him victory but didn’t.

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/labor-records-worst-queensland-senate-result-since-1946/11222406

    2. Interview: Senator Rex Patrick, Centre Alliance

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/centre-alliance-senator-rex-patrick-on-tax-and-paladin/11222426

  4. Peg
    That is exactly right. Only another 41% 2PP voter volatility over the next 40 years and the greens will be in a position to fix the world.

  5. lizzie @ #346 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 6:32 pm

    Periodically, as with the changing of the seasons, various individuals appear in the media extolling the virtues of nuclear energy, promising a panacea of clean and reliable electricity to solve Australia’s energy crisis. But the truth is far less rosy.

    Unlike coal and gas, no greenhouse gas pollution is created in the operation of the nuclear reactor. However, all other steps involved in producing nuclear power (from mining, to construction, decommissioning and waste management) result in greenhouse gas pollution. Greenhouse gas pollution associated with nuclear power could be similar to a gas power station, with estimates ranging from 80 – 437 kg/MWh.

    But nuclear energy is not “renewable”. Uranium is a finite resource just like coal or gas.

    Nuclear power stations require massive quantities of water to operate. In a dry continent like Australia, prone to hot summers and drought conditions which are only likely to get more severe as climate change worsens, it would be reckless to rely on a water-hungry power source like nuclear.

    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/nuclear-power-stations-are-not-appropriate-for-australia-and-probably-never-will-be/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIk_Xs4Jrv4gIVjCQrCh0-RgiDEAAYASAAEgLm_vD_BwE

    You’ve got to wonder at how much effort they put into trying to advance nuclear power whether, if only they put as much effort in to advancing Renewable Power, how much better off we would be. But you can’t dig up the sun or the wind, and sell it for a profit, can you?

  6. mikehilliard @ #346 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 4:32 pm

    I can’t believe we would deny a 2 year old a birthday cake. I’m about ready to give up on this country.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/18/detention-centre-denies-two-year-old-tamil-girl-a-birthday-cake

    No birthday cake? Looxury! She should think herself lucky she sought refuge in Australia and not the US where she’d have been forcibly removed from her parents and shipped to parts of the country unknown, possibly lost forever.

    *end sarcasm*

    On a more serious note, it seems from the article the girl has only had outside interaction with peers (at a playgroup) once in the time she’s been in detention. First 1000 days be damned.

  7. Larissa is happy because the Greens delivered for the Liberals. Adani, is nothing more than a great little Green wedge. The Greens will be so disappointed when is becomes obvious; even to the most economic illiterate; that it is never going to get built.

  8. lizzie
    That is a bit disingenuous of the Climate Council.
    No-one is arguing that nuclear power is renewable.
    Nuclear power stations can use their energy to make their own water.

  9. Confessions

    And her little teeth are crumbling from a lack of sunlight FFS, arghh this government are monsters.

    In May it was revealed Tharunicaa’s teeth were in extremely poor health, and her mother, Priya, claimed she was being denied proper treatment. Medical records suggested the dental issues were due to vitamin deficiencies and lack of sunlight in the first year of their detention. A friend of the family said on Sunday the nerves of four teeth are now exposed, and the child requires surgery.

  10. “South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi has revealed he is ready to consider a return to the fold if the Prime Minister picks up the phone and asks him.”

    Note – it is all about Cory …

    Scomo hopefully thinking .. “he can beg and grovel all he likes as he will always vote with us anyway and we will get his seat back next time ……”

    Cory has probably faced the dark night of the political soul and realises that his political career goose is well and truly cooked.

    .. And Christopher Pyne has a lot more time on his hands to keep Cory out.

  11. Make water-
    Are we going for Hydrogen+ Oxygen make water.
    Or Helium to Hydrogen + oxygen.
    Or is it all the way a big bang and a few billion years.

  12. C@tMomma:

    But you can’t dig up the sun or the wind, and sell it for a profit, can you?

    Digging things up is a rookie mistake – the real money is made in holding mining tenements and various other forms of property subject to capital appreciation and NOT digging in them (digging costs money, which reduces gains, d.oh)

    Brought to you by Auastralia’s tax system and Lang Hancock, thank you very much!

  13. frednk

    It must be incredibly disappointing all the Greens senators were returned.

    It must be incredibly disappointing, the hubristic predictions, the Greens would be wiped from the face of the earth and the party would be riven by post-election leadersh#t have not eventuated.


  14. mikehilliard says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Confessions

    And her little teeth are crumbling from a lack of sunlight FFS, arghh this government are monsters.

    In May it was revealed Tharunicaa’s teeth were in extremely poor health, and her mother, Priya, claimed she was being denied proper treatment. Medical records suggested the dental issues were due to vitamin deficiencies and lack of sunlight in the first year of their detention. A friend of the family said on Sunday the nerves of four teeth are now exposed, and the child requires surgery.

    This is what the Greens campaigned for; they won.

  15. mikeh:

    She’s at a critical age for a whole range of health and wellbeing indicators in her adult years. One reason why toddlers and kids should not be in detention.

  16. I’ve always assumed that Coalition politicians and their supporters raise the issue of nuclear power in Australia from time to time to troll / wedge their opponents. However, nuclear energy doesn’t use coal, so Coal lobbyists must hate it as much as they hate renewables. Ain’t going to happen.


  17. Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm
    It must be incredibly disappointing all the Greens senators were returned.

    frednk

    Your campaign was 100% successful, Labor failed to form government and the greens maintained there senators.

    Congratulations.

    Own the result and I will be happy.

  18. E. G. Theodore @ #364 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 6:51 pm

    C@tMomma:

    But you can’t dig up the sun or the wind, and sell it for a profit, can you?

    Digging things up is a rookie mistake – the real money is made in holding mining tenements and various other forms of property subject to capital appreciation and NOT digging in them (digging costs money, which reduces gains, d.oh)

    Brought to you by Auastralia’s tax system and Lang Hancock, thank you very much!

    And then you can do what Ms Hancock, the Gina, does and run cattle on top of them too. Win-win!

  19. “South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi has revealed he is ready to consider a return to the fold if the Prime Minister picks up the phone and asks him.”

    Jeez, who didn’t see this coming? Cory has peered into the future and seen his tenure in the Senate is limited to the next 3 years unless the Libs want to take him back.

  20. I see The Greens crew aren’t trumpeting from the rooftops that Larissa Waters only squeaked back into the Senate by the skin of her perfect teeth. 🙂

  21. Steve777
    Nuclear power is just another cultural war. Not economical, too risky, too much real estate involved when it blows up. Not going to happen; not even the Green/Liberal combo could swing that one.

  22. I am disappointed the Greens haven’t changed their leader, and I’m being totally altruistic in saying so. They would be much better off without him.

  23. Lizzie and C#t, I don’t believe nuclear power plants use any more water than a similar coal powered station.

    It doesn’t matter what the heat source is. Whatever it is, it is used to heat super pure water (or super heated steam) which turns the turbines. Water is used in cooling towers or (less common) cooling ponds to cool the super heated steam so it can be used again in the ‘boiler’.

    The water in the towers or ponds evaporates and takes the heat away with it.

    Why recycle the superheated steam between boiler and turbine? It is the purest water in the world so it doesn’t corrode the turbines or boiler and it is easier to recycle than produce from scratch.

  24. William Bowe @ #373 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 6:58 pm

    Larissa Waters won by 78,681 votes.

    Depends how you look at it:

    Ticket Votes The Greens 253,004 8.72 0.6104
    WATERS, Larissa The Greens 31,812 1.10 0.0767 Previous Senator
    SIDHU, Navdeep Singh The Greens 1,980 0.07 0.0048
    KLOOT, Johanna The Greens 261 0.01 0.0006
    ELLIS, Raelene The Greens 261 0.01 0.0006
    BERTRAM, Miranda The Greens 321 0.01 0.0008
    KENNEDY, Kirsten The Greens 681 0.02 0.0016
    Unapportioned The Greens 0 0.00 0.0000
    Group Total The Greens 288,320 9.94 0.6956

    J Ticket Votes Australian Labor Party 624,113 21.51 1.5057
    GREEN, Nita Australian Labor Party 23,301 0.80 0.0562
    KETTER, Chris Australian Labor Party 1,981 0.07 0.0048 Previous Senator
    GILBERT, Frank Australian Labor Party 1,383 0.05 0.0033
    MAJOR, Tania Australian Labor Party 1,950 0.07 0.0047
    SCHINNERL, Stacey Australian Labor Party 602 0.02 0.0015
    WARRY, Christina Australian Labor Party 1,444 0.05 0.0035
    Unapportioned Australian Labor Party 0 0.00 0.0000
    Group Total Australian Labor Party 654,774 22.57 1.5797

    I think Labor did markedly better than The Greens in Queensland.

    Btw, wasn’t Larissa Waters the final Queenslander to qualify for the Senate?

  25. We’ll march ’till we drop
    The girls and the fellas.
    We’ll fight ’till the death
    Or else fold like umbrellas.
    So we’ll march day and night
    By the big cooling tower.
    They have the plant
    But we have the power.

  26. PeeBee @ #376 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 7:05 pm

    Lizzie and C#t, I don’t believe nuclear power plants use any more water than a similar coal powered station.

    It doesn’t matter what the heat source is. Whatever it is, it is used to heat super pure water (or super heated steam) which turns the turbines. Water is used in cooling towers or (less common) cooling ponds to cool the super heated steam so it can be used again in the ‘boiler’.

    The water in the towers or ponds evaporates and takes the heat away with it.

    Why recycle the superheated steam between boiler and turbine? It is the purest water in the world so it doesn’t corrode the turbines or boiler and it is easier to recycle than produce from scratch.

    I’m just saying Sun and Wind Power are better, cheaper and safer.

  27. zoomster @ #377 Tuesday, June 18th, 2019 – 5:02 pm

    I am disappointed the Greens haven’t changed their leader, and I’m being totally altruistic in saying so. They would be much better off without him.

    I agree. I think Di Natale has failed to capitalise on the issue of AGW and on environmental management issues more generally. I wonder what the Greens vote could’ve been had they had a more competent leader.


  28. C@tmomma says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 7:08 pm
    ….
    I’m just saying Sun and Wind Power are better, cheaper and safer.

    But that won’t stop the Liberals and Greens running a little cultural war with an aim of dragging Labor in a destroying them.

  29. If you were to have nuclear power in Australia you would put it on the coast, like the reactor planned for Jervis Bay in the late 60s. You wouldn’t put it in a city but it couldn’t be completely out the back of beyond.

  30. The Coalition parties have been captured by coal interests. One day hopefully there’ll be a Royal Commission into it into the whole sorry mess that is Australia’s climate and energy policy 2013 – 202?.

  31. Regarding the current “crisis” in the standard of apartment buildings in Sydney. Has anyone had a good look at the consultant teams behind these developments. Where is the documentation happening, is it off-shore? To jump the NSW state requirements for the design of apartments over 3 storeys all you require is 1 registered NSW architect full stop. Everything else is just, well driven by market so cheap as shit.

    For example you could set up a shopfront architectural design agency with 1 registered NSW architect & everything else is outsourced OS to save $.

    Then, coupled with the already weak design input, probably 0% overview from a competent architectural practice + greedy developer and overseas max profit investment you have the perfect equation for totally shit buildings.

    The NSW Gov, property council, master builders and other affiliated hanger ons have all resulted in this mess.

    Oh and we’re only a few years in. Not many of these projects will last 10 years I reckon.

  32. Steve, the reason nuclear power plants are put near the sea is that sea water is cheap and transporting nuclear fuel is cheap (because of the small tonnage).

    Coal powered generation is built near where the coal is mined because transporting coal is more expensive than transporting electricity.

  33. mikeh:

    If that’s the case then Sydney/NSW can look forward to more of the same with those high rise developments.

    Building standards might be national, but the sign off on project compliance definitely isn’t.

  34. So looking looking forward to the new ABC comedy series Les Norton.

    Not sure how the story lines from the Godson or the The Boys from Binjiwunyawunya will go down in today’s politically correct environment though.
    Chris Lilley can still get away with a fair bit, so here’s hoping we get the 1980’s version of Les.

  35. C@tmomma says:
    Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm
    Photos have emerged of Pegasus and her happy little minor party crew:

    __________________________________________
    We could post your considerably more unflattering photo if you like, you know the one you posted on the evening of May 17.

    Trajique!

  36. mikehilliard says:

    Confessions

    And her little teeth are crumbling from a lack of sunlight FFS, arghh this government are monsters.

    Not the government. The ‘monsters’ are the electorate who have shown for the best part of 2 decades they give 2 thumbs up to such torture. The government is just giving people what they want.

  37. I am a Queenslander. To win some seats in SEQ the ALP will need to be viewed as both competent and non threatening on hip pocket issues. In regional areas, the task is harder because of cultural issues
    The modem federal ALP is way too progressive on social, refugees and identity matters to appeal in most of regions. However, it could win Herbert, Capricornia and Leichardt in a good year.

  38. Steve, the reason nuclear power plants are put near the sea is that sea water is cheap and transporting nuclear fuel is cheap (because of the small tonnage).

    With a very high likelihood of very significant sealevel rises over the next ten years, that may prove to be, regrettable.

    Also like investing in something that requires a state guarantee / indemnity, because without one they can never be built, a chance of something going badly wrong, plus the fact that there is no region on earth that couldn’t implement 100% firmed renewables faster and at a lower price than nuclear (after indemnity subsidy).

    In the western world nuclear also has a negative learning curve such that every new generation seems to cost more and take longer to construct. If you claim nuclear is the answer you either have no idea, or a personal financial interest in nuclear.

  39. @Blobbit -Well if you are talking about affluent inner urban areas that Labor don’t already hold you are talking seats like Brisbane, Ryan, Kooyong, Wentworth, etc and for Labor to move beyond getting swings in these seats to actually take them off the liberals they would have to move to the right on economics, while nudging a bit to the left on enviromental issues, refugees that kind of thing.Low tax small government but within a socially and culturally progressive narrative.

    The problem is that this door swings both ways and there are seats like Blair, Hunter, Macquarie etc where the liberals are ready to kick the door in and to people in these seats you will be promising the worst of both worlds, this political position will have zero appeal .

    So if Labor go down this path (and I think they might indeed I think the Setka thing is about paving the way for it) they might end up stuck right where they are now, just the seats will have some different names but the final tally will be the same.There is also the danger these leafy suburb seats will not cross the rubicon no matter what Labor serve up, because of lingering reservations about Labor and the economy and Labor get thrashed.

  40. If large chunks of Queensland are racist bigots, Labor just needs to call them racist bigots and not even try for their votes. Better to lose than go after the racist nazi bigot moron vote.

    Yeah so Qld is full of full on nazis, Labor is so far on the nazi side on all those issues it is a sad indictment of what an evil, stupid, little minded country we are.

  41. Only a pedantic point, but I do wish some would learn how to use the semi-colon – no offence frednk.

    Absolutely no f*cking point, no-one likes you using them even when you use them right. I pointed out to EY that their international transfer pricing template / style guide uses colons and semi-colons wrong and I got a shrug from the partner.

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