Preferences and preselections

More data on One Nation voters’ newly acquired and surprisingly forceful enthusiasm for preferencing the Coalition.

The Australian Electoral Commission quietly published the full distributions of lower house preferences earlier this week, shedding light on the election’s remaining known unknown: how close One Nation came to maybe pulling off a miracle in Hunter. Joel Fitzgibbon retained the seat for Labor with a margin of 2.98% over the Nationals, landing him on the wrong end of a 9.48% swing – the third biggest of the election after the central Queensland seats of Capricornia and Dawson, the politics of coal mining being the common thread between all three seats.

The wild card in the deck was that Hunter was also the seat where One Nation polled strongest, in what a dare say was a first for a non-Queensland seat – 21.59%, compared with 23.47% for the Nationals and 35.57% for Labor. That raised the question of how One Nation might have done in the final count if they emerged ahead of the Nationals on preferences. The answer is assuredly not-quite-well-enough, but we’ll never know for sure. As preferences from mostly left-leaning minor candidates were distributed, the gap between Nationals and One Nation barely moved, the Nationals gaining 4.81% to reach 28.28% at the final distribution, and One Nation gaining 4.79% to fall short with 26.38%. One Nation preferences then proceeded to flow to the Nationals with noteworthy force, with the final exclusion sending 19,120 votes (71.03%) to the Nationals and 28.97% to Labor.

Speaking of, the flow of minor party preferences between the Coalition and Labor is the one detail of the election result on which the AEC is still holding out. However, as a sequel to last week’s offering on Senate preferences, I offer the following comparison of flows in Queensland in 2016 and 2019. This is based on Senate ballot paper data, observing the number that placed one major party ahead of the either, or included neither major party in their preference order. In the case of the 2016 election, this is based on a sampling of one ballot paper in 50; the 2019 data is from the full set of results.

It has been widely noted that the Coalition enjoyed a greatly improved flow of One Nation preferences in the lower house, but the Senate results offer the interesting twist that Labor’s share hardly changed – evidently many One Nation voters who numbered neither major party in 2016 jumped off the fence and preferenced the Coalition this time. Also notable is that Labor received an even stronger share of Greens preferences than in 2016. If this was reflected nationally, it’s a phenomenon that has passed unnoticed, since the flow of One Nation and United Australia Party preferences was the larger and more telling story.

Other electorally relevant developments of the past week or so:

Laura Jayes of Sky News raises the prospect of the Nationals asserting a claim to the Liberal Senate vacancy created by Arthur Sinodinos’s appointment to Washington. The Nationals lost one of their two New South Wales seats when Fiona Nash fell foul of Section 44 in late 2017, resulting in a recount that delivered to the Liberals a seat that would otherwise have been held by the Nationals until 2022. Since that is also when Sinodinos’s term expires, giving the Nationals the seat would restore an order in which the Nationals held two out of the five Coalition seats.

• Fresh from her win over Tony Abbott in Warringah, The Australian reported on Tuesday that Zali Steggall was refusing to deny suggestions she might be persuaded to join the Liberal Party, although she subsequently complained the paper had twisted her words. A report in The Age today notes both “allies and opponents” believe Steggall will struggle to win re-election as an independent with Abbott out of the picture, and gives cause to doubt she would survive a preselection challenge as a Liberal.

• Labor is undergoing a personnel change in the Victorian Legislative Council after the resignation of Philip Dalidakis, who led the party’s ticket for Southern Metropolitan region at both the 2014 and 2018 elections. Preserving the claim of the Right faction Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, the national executive is set to anoint Enver Erdogan, a workplace lawyer for Maurice Blackburn, former Moreland councillor and member of the Kurdish community. The Australian reports former Melbourne Ports MP Michael Danby has joined the party’s Prahran and Brighton branches in registering displeasure that the national executive is circumventing a rank-and-file plebiscite. Particularly contentious is Erdogan’s record of criticism of Israel, a sore point in a region that encompasses Melbourne’s Jewish stronghold around Caulfield.

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.

1,628 comments on “Preferences and preselections”

  1. I think it’s time for Labor to look around for ‘real’ candidates. With tattoos and stuff. For working class seats like Hunter.

  2. So many people swearing at Labor for betraying them, now.
    Maybe Labor’s communication with their members is at fault.

    Cheryl Kernot@cheryl_kernot
    12h12 hours ago

    Actually it’s the Parliamentary team not explaining their voting that’s the problem. Loyal members are left confused & angry.

    @denniallen
    11h11 hours ago

    I wrote to them to do that 3yrs ago. Suggested they email members & explain why they vote like they do especially on contentious issues saying if they can send us regular emails asking for donations they can do this so members can fight the fight on the ground. Never got a reply.

  3. The Russians Are Laughing At Trump’s 4th of July Military Parade

    Russian state TV is mocking Trump for his military parade and claiming that the president is just trying to keep up with Putin.

    Julia Davis @JuliaDavisNews

    #Russia’s state TV condescendingly describes “our Trump’s parade” as “re-election BS” [фигня], hosts & experts mock the lack of intercontinental ballistic missiles, laugh at “old, rusty tanks with peeling paint,” conclude that “Trump attempts—but fails—to keep up with Putin.”

    Trump has turned American into a laughingstock one bad idea at a time.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/07/04/russians-trumps-4th-of-july-military-parade.html

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    John Hewson’s version of “It’s the economy, stupid!” The says that the Morrison government has its credibility as an economic manager most at risk, especially given its campaign slogans about a “Strong Economy” and its commitment to “Keep it Strong”.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6256632/its-the-economy-stupid/?cs=14258
    Shane Wright cheers on the passing of the passing of the almost flat tax scales legislation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/first-abolition-of-a-tax-scale-in-three-decades-as-system-simplified-20190704-p5244m.html
    Like me, Waleed Aly wonders if ,as a matter of practical consequences, there are far more important things than Labor’s position on the Morrison government’s proposed tax cuts.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/why-is-labor-even-thinking-about-stage-three-tax-cuts-20190704-p5241m.html
    Fairfax-Lite says the economy is set to enjoy a consumer spending boost as soon as next week after the government gained Labor support for its $158 billion income tax cut.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gfc-stimulus-like-bounce-and-cheap-tvs-set-to-flow-as-158-billion-tax-cut-package-passes-parliament-20190704-p5244j.html
    Phil Coorey tells us how Hanson was sidelined in tax cut deal.
    https://outline.com/dSa9qT
    “There was a terrible moment for the Labor Party on Thursday night when Penny Wong declared the cross bench had “fallen for the hostage trick” on tax cuts”, writes Sam Maiden. She concludes by saying that If Anthony Albanese was supposed to be the wily political tactician that the Labor Party was lacking in Bill Shorten, this week does not bode well for the future.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/07/05/tax-cuts-labor-2/
    Michelle Grattan says that this initial parliamentary week has vindicated the observation that the Senate non-Green crossbench, smaller than the last, is set to be easier for the government to cope with.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-a-kinder-gentler-senate-at-least-for-now-119902
    David Crowe describes the religious discrimination laws as a new culture war in the making.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/religious-discrimination-laws-are-a-new-culture-war-in-the-making-20190704-p5243k.html
    Katharine Murphy explains how legislation to repeal the medevac transfer process cannot pass the parliament before late October because it will go to a Senate inquiry, a process giving supporters of the current arrangements a public platform to argue for their retention.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/04/peter-duttons-move-to-abolish-medevac-regime-delayed-by-senate-inquiry
    The RBA cuts interest rates again. “How low will they go?”, asks Stephen Koukoulas.
    https://thekouk.com/item/681-the-rba-cuts-interest-rates-again-how-low-will-they-go.html
    With Trump in the Oval Office, the US government spends like the world will end tomorrow. Is there a lesson here for the Morrison Government? DCReport Editor-in-Chief, David Cay Johnston, reports on how Republican tax cuts are bankrupting America. It’s a bit of a worry.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/radical-republican-tax-cuts-are-bankrupting-america/
    Law lecturer Yee-Fui Ng tells us why Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop fail the ‘pub test’ with their new jobs.
    https://theconversation.com/why-christopher-pyne-and-julie-bishop-fail-the-pub-test-with-their-new-jobs-119875
    Labor national secretary Noah Carroll is preparing to quit his job in the wake of the party’s devastating election defeat amid a looming review of the “strategic errors” during the campaign. Exit stage left!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-party-s-top-federal-official-to-step-down-in-wake-of-election-defeat-20190704-p5249n.html
    What’s Steggall up to?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/steggall-would-face-preselection-battle-in-any-liberal-switch-abbott-ally-says-20190704-p5247s.html
    In its report published on Thursday, ASIC found that while only a small proportion of claims are investigated, over 70 per cent of investigated claims are found to be valid and then paid. This contrasts with only 4 per cent of investigated claims being declined due to fraud.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/insurance/harmful-asic-slams-insurers-over-how-they-investigate-car-claims-20190704-p5240j.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz outlines Woolies’ bold new plans,
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/woolworths-channels-amazon-with-its-ecosystem-evolution-20190704-p5243o.html
    In Australia, criticising a judge can land you in jail. This is a danger for democracy, writes law lecturer Bill John Swannie.
    https://theconversation.com/in-australia-criticising-a-judge-can-land-you-in-jail-this-is-a-danger-for-democracy-119296
    The Guardian reveals that the government will be forced to explain the conduct of two of its senior ministers – Angus Taylor and Josh Frydenberg – in relation to critically endangered grasslands at the centre of an investigation involving companies part-owned by Taylor.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/04/coalition-forced-to-explain-conduct-of-taylor-and-frydenberg-over-endangered-grasslands
    Anna Patty reports that the Morrison government has reintroduced its union-busting bill which could be passed before the end of the year, giving it the power to deregister unions that break the law and ban officials such as John Setka for misconduct.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/union-busting-bill-reintroduced-to-friendlier-senate-20190704-p52448.html
    How did our treatment of refugees come to this?
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-did-our-treatment-of-refugees-come-to-this-20190704-p5246c.html
    Nicole Hasham writes that the gas industry has warned a deal between the Coalition and Senate crossbenchers to intervene in the sector could dent business confidence and threaten funding for the government’s $158 billion tax cut package.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6258189/gas-deal-could-risk-business-confidence/?cs=14350
    The Australian government has firmly applied the brakes on changes aimed at modernising the motor vehicle industry in Australia and introducing safer cars.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6257923/brakes-slam-on-major-car-industry-reforms/?cs=14225
    The Independent Austral reports that a recently published paper reveals that we are no closer to achieving our target to reduce global warming.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/distance-to-global-fossil-fuel-target-is-increasing,12865
    Malcolm Turnbull has offered a withering assessment of Scott Morrison’s decision to float the idea of moving the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/07/04/malcolm-turnbull-israel-embassy/
    Australia’s two poker machine manufacturing giants are heading to the federal court in a fight over slot machines reports Patrick Hatch.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/pokies-fight-aristocrat-sues-ainsworth-over-design-theft-20190704-p5249b.html
    Theresa May’s sudden passion for her Precious Union is as palatable as a cup of wet sick says John Crace.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jul/04/pms-sudden-passion-for-her-precious-union-is-as-palatable-as-a-cup-of-wet-sick
    White House aides have reportedly struggled to draw crowds to Donald Trump’s Fourth of July celebrations, with service chiefs for the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marine Corps set to skip the planned display of military might.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/04/trump-fourth-of-july-celebrations-military-show-criticism
    No questions here about the suitability of these guys for nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/four-men-charged-after-police-seize-400-million-worth-of-ice-in-sydney-20190705-p524ca.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Two rippers from David Rowe.


    Andrew Dyson says it all.

    From Matt Golding.






    Mark Davis looks at what’s in front of us.

    Peter Broelman hits hard here.

    Alan Moir takes us inside the RBA.

    Zanetti and our torpid economy.

    Glen Le Lievre and stage 3.

    A couple from Sean Leahy.


    Jon Kudelka and the tax cut to look forward to.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/49cb7d7b7a56ca303d3cf08fd7835b5a?width=1024

    From the US.


  5. At least someone can laugh at Trump’s military salute.

    Journalists on Rossiya 1′s popular “60 Minutes” TV show mocked the military equipment that will appear at the “Salute for America” on Thursday, claiming that the tanks and other armored vehicles being towed into Washington had “paint peeling off” and required “adhesive tape.”

    Footage of American tanks in Washington rolled across the studio’s screens as co-host Yevgeny Popov declared sarcastically, “The greatest parade of all times is going to be held today in Washington, that is what our Donald Trump has said. The American president announced he would show us the newest tanks.”

    Popov then claimed that, “these are Abrams and Sherman tanks, used during World War II and withdrawn from service in 1957.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/04/russian-state-run-media-took-trumps-july-event-an-opportunity-troll-us/?utm_term=.6c97fcf47517

  6. @iMusing
    4m4 minutes ago

    lol Morrison is telling ABC radio that his “plan” has “always been to strengthen the economy”. That’d be the same economy he lied about throughout the election campaign. The economy that has been flailing throughout his time as Treasurer.

  7. The finance expert on ABC News telly is the latest to state ‘most people will get an extra $1000 in their tax return.

  8. I agree with Emma Dawson of Per Capita that a Basic Income should be targeted at people who are sick or injured, people with disabilities, and people of retirement age.

    I think that participating satisfactorily in post-secondary education or training should count as a Job Guarantee job. That would be much better than the paltry and heavily means-tested Austudy and Youth Allowance.

    I think that caring for children, or relatives with disabilities, or elderly relatives should count as a Job Guarantee job. That would be much more generous than the Carer’s Allowance, the Parenting Payment, and the Family Tax Benefit.

  9. lizzie says:
    Friday, July 5, 2019 at 7:30 am
    So many people swearing at Labor for betraying them, now.
    Maybe Labor’s communication with their members is at fault.

    Cheryl Kernot@cheryl_kernot
    12h12 hours ago

    Actually it’s the Parliamentary team not explaining their voting that’s the problem. Loyal members are left confused & angry.

    I’m not confused. I’m not angry with Labor. Labor don’t have the numbers to determine the content of bills. They voted for economic stimulus. There should be more stimulus and Labor have called for it. The Greens oppose stimulus. The Liberals oppose stimulus.

    Those Greens who lament the flattening of the tax system should reflect on the part they played in the Lib-win. The Greens are co-authors of the repeal of progressive taxation. They are co-authors of economic repression. They are co-conspirators with the Liberals in the imposition of austerity.

  10. Zoidlord

    Of course it sounds that way, because it is.

    Seriously wondering how much longer the treasonous Trump is going to be tolerated.
    Patience should have run out months ago.

  11. lizzie @ #17 Friday, July 5th, 2019 – 8:17 am

    @iMusing
    4m4 minutes ago

    lol Morrison is telling ABC radio that his “plan” has “always been to strengthen the economy”. That’d be the same economy he lied about throughout the election campaign. The economy that has been flailing throughout his time as Treasurer.

    A point Labor has been hammering for the whole time…oh, wait

  12. No doubt it will stimulate the economy…..

    ______________________

    HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?

    Under the government’s proposal, a low and middle income earner tax offset will be doubled for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.

    It means singles can get up to $1080, while dual-income households could net up to $2160 per year.

    Use our tax cuts calculator to figure out exactly how much you can expect.

    2019 TAX CUTS
    Find out what the new federal government tax cuts mean for you

    Exclusive, independent modelling based on analysis by PwC for News Corp Australia.

    START

    WHEN WILL IT ARRIVE?

    As early as next week, for those who have already lodged a tax return.

    For the rest of us who are less organised, the payments will arrive over the coming months.

    HOW DO I GET IT?

    It will show up automatically in your accounts — meaning you won’t need to do anything to claim it, even if you’ve already lodged your tax return before the package officially passes.

  13. PhoenixRed

    It is not surprising that Boris Johnson is looking to become PM. It was all part of the long term strategy.
    Yet again those that benefit the least, have bought into the elitist lies.
    Brexit Trumplandia are the same project.

  14. Popov then claimed that, “these are Abrams and Sherman tanks, used during World War II and withdrawn from service in 1957.”

    Half of that claim is BS. The Abrams didn’t exist until well after WWII and is still in service.

  15. No doubt it will stimulate the economy…..

    Only if a) you are eligible, and b) have a tax debt.

    Most(?) PAYG workers will get $0 from the LMITO.

  16. Now this is quite interesting re Brexit

    Pete EVANS
    @911CORLEBRA777
    Oh my. When the UK police engage lawyers of their own to call out another part of govt over an investigation into Brexit , methinks the jig is up for certain persons. Looking at you
    @Nigel_Farage
    &
    @Arron_banks

    Quote Tweet

    Sam Coates Sky
    @SamCoatesSky
    · Jul 4
    Exclusive

    Extraordinary attack by Met Police on the Electoral Commission over handling of leave campaign investigation
    – Police are looking at claims relating to individuals connected to Vote Leave / (link: http://Leave.EU) Leave.EU
    – Police says Commission *hasn’t handed over all docs*

  17. mundo says:
    Friday, July 5, 2019 at 8:35 am
    lizzie @ #17 Friday, July 5th, 2019 – 8:17 am

    @iMusing
    4m4 minutes ago

    lol Morrison is telling ABC radio that his “plan” has “always been to strengthen the economy”. That’d be the same economy he lied about throughout the election campaign. The economy that has been flailing throughout his time as Treasurer.
    A point Labor has been hammering for the whole time…oh, wait

    The Libs have spent the last 40 years depicting themselves as the party that creates jobs, and who will do anything to do that. This means they will smash wages, break unions, cut social spending, cut taxes, wreck the environment….they will do ‘whatever it takes’ to be seen as job-creators. Every time they make a decision that hurts the environment they are implicitly declaring they care more about jobs than natural values.

    Everything the Greens do is depicted as destroying jobs. So when the Liberals compare Labor to the Greens, they are implying that Labor will also destroy jobs. The Greens know this. They spend a lot of effort claiming to be Labor-like. They reinforce the Lib-lies. They use Lib-lies to campaign against Labor.

    So when Labor campaign on jobs….no-one believes they are as good at it as the Liberals. The messaging about Labor is all totally false, but it is what people believe.

    Mundo, you also obviously believe it too. You do not hear Labor messages on jobs and the economy. You are deaf to them. You prefer to believe Lib-lies than to listen to Labor. Why is this so? Because you hate Labor. You are Lib-like with respect to your willingness to tune into Labor.

  18. Labor hold 26 Senate seats, just over 1/3 of the total. They can not determine the passage of bills in the Senate. The indignation directed against Labor is entirely faked or misguided.

    Labor are a minority party in the Senate and have been for most of the period since WW2.

    The current Senate is conservative. The anti-Labor voices will do what they please.

  19. Most of the time in Senate elections Labor do well to return 2/6 seats. They should expect to hold about 1/3 of the Senate. Their opponents have the numbers, by a large margin.

  20. Victoria says:
    Friday, July 5, 2019 at 9:05 am
    briefly

    It’s obviously taking a while for it to sink in for some people.

    There are the professionally obtuse and then there are the plain stupid and the deliberate liars.

  21. briefly @ #35 Friday, July 5th, 2019 – 9:04 am

    Labor hold 26 Senate seats, just over 1/3 of the total. They can not determine the passage of bills in the Senate. The indignation directed against Labor is entirely faked or misguided.

    Labor are a minority party in the Senate and have been for most of the period since WW2.

    The current Senate is conservative. The anti-Labor voices will do what they please.

    All of that (barring the struck portion) is true.

    None of that is a reason for Labor to vote in favor of measures it actually opposes.

  22. “It’s obviously taking a while for it to sink in for some people.”

    TYhose protesting against Labor are the Greens. They know alright, but they are chasing the ‘optics’ of ‘Lib-Lab’ for the sole purpose of campaigning against the ALP: they talk a big game on progressive politics, but they dont want real progress achieved because that would deprive them of their anti-Labor hobby horse. It’s all about their 10%: that and shaving even more support away from Labor’s left flank even though the proven byproduct is a collapse in support for progressive politics as a whole from folk who fall in the political centre: they are the gift (the the LNP) that keeps on giving.

  23. Victoria @ #24 Friday, July 5th, 2019 – 8:34 am

    Zoidlord

    Of course it sounds that way, because it is.

    Seriously wondering how much longer the treasonous Trump is going to be tolerated.
    Patience should have run out months ago.

    Trump will last a long time – even possibly winning the next election.
    Despite all the talk of checks & balances and the constitution, Trump continually breaks conventions & laws and has still not been brought to account. Even the most blatant (emoluments clause) crimes have not been halted or prosecuted.
    He is protected by ‘his’ DOJ and the Republicans (especially in the Senate).
    By the time ‘they’ (who?) catch up with him, he will be long gone, and irreparable damage to the USA democracy will have been done.
    The USA is no longer, and will never be, a democracy again.

  24. ar….this is entirely disingenuous. Labor support the rebates. They voted for them. Good idea. The economy needs it and much more. The Greens and the Liberals are on a unity ticket. No stimulus.

    The Greens may regret the extinction of progressive taxation. This was not enacted by Labor. It was enacted by the Liberals, by the party for whom the Greens ride shotgun all the damned time.

    Next time the Greens object to a Lib measure, they can remind themselves they should support Labor in future. But they never will, of course. The Greens detest Labor. They hope to destroy Labor.

  25. ar – Labor wasnt going to give the LNP a rod to beat its MPs over the back with at the next election “Joe Blogs MP voted AGAINST your tax cut”. However, in doing as it has now done it has provided the Wiggle and those grubs the very same rod. As political Ninjutsu Labor would have been better obstaining from the final vote. Better still it should propose further tax cuts for the lower and middle deciles as amendments to every money bill the Liberals present in this term: so it can rack up its own propaganda weapons for the next election.

  26. Some great comments, photos and footage of the #4thofyoulie Rally:
    Casey Howell
    @CaseyHo26791805

    You know if this would have been during Pride parade, evangelicals would have been on the bully pulpit, claiming it was a sign from God. But since it’s Trumplethinskin-nothing but crickets!

  27. BK

    I just spent a sickening 60 seconds watching Trump at his military parade. Images of Benito Mussolini came to mind.

    As soon as he puts his head to one side in that strange poncy way and talks in his whiny voice, I wonder how anyone can bear to listen.

  28. What a deplorable move from Albanese, I thought Shorten was bad and now this.
    Reserving the right to repeal stage three of the tax cuts if they win the next election? Okay, as if they’re going to win the next election.
    The ALP in its present iteration is simply going to wither away. Australia will have a conservative government in perpetuity, unless the remnants of the ALP with the “sensible” elements of the non-Labor politic somehow form a new “social-liberal” centrist major party. Then future elections may be a contest – between neoliberalism and neoconservatism.

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