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. Psyclaw:

    [‘But to suggest that Old White Hetero men need to be supported, justified, protected or defended is just pathetic.’]

    You’re far too generous with your critique.

    Oh, and welcome back GG.

  2. Mundo, we give you plenty of latitude – but perhaps you should get a Twitter account. Rather than rely on the Hobart Mercury for your news.

    You could then appreciate the comprehensive outing by Labor Home Affairs Shadow Kristina Keneally of Dutton’s lying to the public over Border Security cuts..

    “On 12 December 2018, @nicole_hasham broke a story about the Government’s plans to halt @AusBorderForce patrols to save money on fuel.

    That day, @PeterDutton_MP stood before the media and said this-”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KKeneally/status/1148136600443875333/video/1

  3. sprocket_ @ #1550 Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 7:38 pm

    Mundo, we give you plenty of latitude – but perhaps you should get a Twitter account. Rather than rely on the Hobart Mercury for your news.

    You could then appreciate the comprehensive outing by Labor Home Affairs Shadow Kristina Keneally of Dutton’s lying to the public over Border Security cuts..

    “On 12 December 2018, @nicole_hasham broke a story about the Government’s plans to halt @AusBorderForce patrols to save money on fuel.

    That day, @PeterDutton_MP stood before the media and said this-”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/KKeneally/status/1148136600443875333/video/1

    I only read the Mercury when I’m in it. And then only the bit about me.
    How much of it made it to the punters in their living rooms?

  4. So,Mundo opens with a blatant mistruth…

    “Another perfect day in Morristan draws to a close and not a creature was stirring, not even her majesties opposition the you beaut newly minted Labor leadership.
    Shhh, careful you might wake them.”

    I provide 2 examples from today debunking this, and the only rebuttal is ‘wasn’t good enough’. An apology a bridge too far?

  5. The facts on Adani are that it will no impact at all on greenhouse emissions given a global thermal coal market. However, pretend it does. Using its coal for electricity generation would produce about 12 million tonnes of emissions per year or 0.03% of global emissions. Scale the current up 3 times and it is still about 0.1% of global emissions.

    It will no impact on the Reef, it will not destroy the planet and so forth. It is purely a symbolic issue and I can understand why anyone who thinks rationally, or lives in mining region, would be highly offended by the hysteria and hyperbole.

    Personally I have Labor for 30 years but with all this nonsense moralism that has infected modern Labor it really gets harder each election.

  6. Nick Ross, needless to say, isn’t too impressed:

    “Abject propaganda from @abcnews regarding @netflix killing the #NBN. Pure Lib propaganda. Shameful excuse “journalism.” Hang your head in further shame @abc730 #auspol mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-0”

  7. Its a great shame the ABC didn’t run these stories before the election.

    How taxpayers are funding a huge corporate expansion in the Murray‑Darling

    Australian taxpayers have handed over billions of dollars to big corporations, allowing them to expand irrigation and use more water than ever before in the Murray-Darling Basin under a scheme that’s supposed to be helping the environment.
    ——————————————————

    ANALYSIS:
    Why tax cuts aren’t enough to stave off recession

    Busting out the cash and running a budget deficit may cushion a flagging Australian economy from a damaging global slowdown. But for the Government it would be an admission the outlook is not as strong as forecast, writes Ian Verrender.

  8. Sir Henry Parkes at 7.08pm – we in the ALP should adopt policies which are good for the country. They should be politically palatable where possible, and vigorously advocated for when not. We should not be voting in favor of economically reckless and reactionary tax bills just because we don’t have the numbers.

    The Tories will hit us all kinds of unjust tags irregardless of what we do. So they would have said we don’t support low and middle income earners? They are hardly going to say okay, fair dos if we ever get into government and reverse the third tranche of their fiscally irresponsible tax handout to high income earners. They’ll just say we are engaging in class warfare, hate aspiration, are high tax high spend etc etc, ie the usual.

    This isn’t impotent empty-gesturing. It is hard, pragmatic politics.

  9. citizen @ #1569 Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 8:02 pm

    Its a great shame the ABC didn’t run these stories before the election.

    How taxpayers are funding a huge corporate expansion in the Murray‑Darling

    Australian taxpayers have handed over billions of dollars to big corporations, allowing them to expand irrigation and use more water than ever before in the Murray-Darling Basin under a scheme that’s supposed to be helping the environment.
    ——————————————————

    ANALYSIS:
    Why tax cuts aren’t enough to stave off recession

    Busting out the cash and running a budget deficit may cushion a flagging Australian economy from a damaging global slowdown. But for the Government it would be an admission the outlook is not as strong as forecast, writes Ian Verrender.

    Its a great shame the ALP didn’t push these stories before the election.
    Fixed it.

  10. Murdoch’s grubby chickens coming home to roost..

    “Heather Mills has been awarded the highest media libel settlement in British legal history following her phone-hacking damages claim. The former wife of Sir Paul McCartney’s, 51, and 90 others will receive the record payout after claims against News Group Newspapers (NGN). She also received a ‘complete and unmitigated’ public apology from the group at the High Court in London. Heather said in a statement today: ‘We have been awarded the highest media libel settlement in British legal history. ‘And with it, a complete and unmitigated apology for the criminal, targeted smear campaign waged against us by News Group Newspapers – including hacking, invasion of privacy, and the publication of countless falsehoods and lies between 1999 and 2010.’ The ‘substantial’ amount is not yet known.

    Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/07/08/heather-mills-awarded-highest-libel-settlement-uk-history-phone-hacking-10131015/?ito=cbshare
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

  11. Possum also making the hard point that Bill Shorten simply did not connect in Queensland.

    With the poor campaign and election strategy, for the politically disconnected voters, huge in Qld, it came down to blokey Morrison versus ‘untrustworthy’ Bill.

  12. Shellbell
    Wasn’t it the witness and especially the DPP who were at fault? It seems the paper egged her on but it should never have gone to court given the jury couldn’t deliver a not guilty verdict quickly enough.

  13. Historyintime @ #1566 Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 7:57 pm

    The facts on Adani are that it will no impact at all on greenhouse emissions given a global thermal coal market. However, pretend it does. Using its coal for electricity generation would produce about 12 million tonnes of emissions per year or 0.03% of global emissions. Scale the current up 3 times and it is still about 0.1% of global emissions.

    It will no impact on the Reef, it will not destroy the planet and so forth. It is purely a symbolic issue and I can understand why anyone who thinks rationally, or lives in mining region, would be highly offended by the hysteria and hyperbole.

    Personally I have Labor for 30 years but with all this nonsense moralism that has infected modern Labor it really gets harder each election.

    With that kind of logic, I’ll bet you’re a smoker as well.

  14. GG
    Yes that’s two champion players who changed clubs with gambling problems that have possibly terminated their careers. The sums of money people mention are astronomical. It seems gambling is a huge problem in the AFL.
    Was it Malthouse who got rid of Eddie?

  15. Bill Kelty pops up with…

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6262428/call-to-slash-top-tax-rate-goes-unheeded/?cs=14231

    “Former union boss Bill Kelty wants tax relief for big earners to go even further, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is sticking with cuts that just passed parliament.

    Mr Kelty, who ran the ACTU during the Hawke-Keating years, believes the top marginal tax rate of nearly 50 per cent is “absurdly high” and should be well below 40 per cent.

    “There is nothing wrong in saying we are one of the highest taxing countries, we are at the highest taxing point in our history and we want to actually tell people where we are going over the next five-or-10 years, ” Mr Kelty told The Australian Financial Review.”

  16. There’s an interesting article in The Guardian by Colin Jacobs, the Greens’ director of policy and strategy in the Commonwealth Parliament.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/03/three-reasons-why-a-labor-and-greens-coalition-wouldnt-work?CMP=soc_567&fbclid=IwAR2k7_j3U1-jQ0MM7UxcS1bWCk3pOdmP6j3u3wcxWADbi-9MMAqr-Yd7P4A

    He points to intractable ideological and tactical differences between the ALP and the Greens. I think there may be scope to transcend or at least sidestep some of these differences because both parties face a bleak outlook after the re-election of the Morrison Government. Consequently, there may be more flexibility and prospect of finding common ground than there would be if one or both parties felt that their current approaches were succeeding.

    What I like about the Green New Deal framework emerging from the United States is its explicit synthesis of economic justice and ecological survival issues. The thinking behind it seems to be this: Dealing with the climate crisis requires all hands on deck. We can’t have people living in poverty. We can’t have people mired in involuntary unemployment. We need to guarantee good quality employment to anyone who wants it. We can’t have people missing out on education or training because of cost. We can’t have people failing to get health care because of cost. To have any hope of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions we need to take care of our own. We need to lift everybody up. Our public services need to be first class. Our public infrastructure needs to meet the scale of our needs. We need social cohesion and cooperation, which requires that we keep inequality of income and wealth to a minimum. The minimum wage needs to be raised to reflect average labour productivity growth since 1970.

    That sort of agenda is very popular because it benefits everybody. We’ve got so much spare capacity in the economy at present that we can make a very big start on all of this without raising any taxes or finding ways to cut some items in the budget. More job security, abundant jobs, higher wages, better infrastructure and services – all of that is integrally related to drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Investing massively in renewable energy, legislating strict standards for emissions, improving our energy usage, improving the way we produce, changing our consumption patterns – all of that makes more sense and is more palatable to people if at the same time everybody is experiencing the large and obvious benefits of the economic justice agenda.

    If parties present disconnected proposals – some about emissions reduction, and some very modest proposals to improve economic security, then I think it will be impossible to secure public support for big changes to production processes and consumption patterns. A key requirement is to GO BIG on the economic justice reforms. Present a sweeping vision. A highly ambitious suite of changes. Job Guarantee. No user fees for health care. No user fees for education and training. $25 an hour minimum wage. Free public transport.

    Not just technocratic tweaks that don’t make much difference and that inspire no-one.

    We take care of our own.

  17. Diogenes @ #1582 Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 8:25 pm

    GG
    Yes that’s two champion players who changed clubs with gambling problems that have possibly terminated their careers. The sums of money people mention are astronomical. It seems gambling is a huge problem in the AFL.
    Was it Malthouse who got rid of Eddie?

    It was about the money. Carlton would not match the Adelaide 4 year deal of $2mill. Betts was also close mentor to Yarran, Garlett and Mitch Robinson who were all aboriginal and traded out at around the same time.

  18. sprocket

    Since you’re so into Possum’s tweets:

    On Adani:

    “No – it was a culture war thing – a values thing – not a specific mining thing. No one really gives a shit if it fell over tomorrow. Most are expecting it to – but that’s not what it’s about.”

    and

    “It was important as vector for *other things*. Values things. Not Adani itself, but what Labor allowed and even encouraged Adani to come to stand for”

    On Shorten”

    “Few knew what Labor was offering or stood for, and because of that ambiguity looked at Bill Shorten and didn’t trust him “

  19. [‘There are two sharp lessons for Labor here. The first is that the Scott Morrison we see now is not going anywhere. He is not daffy. His instincts are sharp. He can call black white and get away with it. He is a more formidable prospect than either Abbott or Turnbull.’]

    Of this, there can be little doubt. How Labor deals this modern day shaman will dictate politics for some time to come, even if the economy tanks. Morrison, like him or loathe him, kept on message throughout the election campaign; and that message was simplistic, whereas Labor’s was a mixed, at times complicated bag, the nature of which was foreign to the average punter.

    Like most on the site, I observe the political debate fairly closely but was nevertheless confused with the Labor’s approach to the three rounds of tax cuts. Only early days but not an auspicious start. With Morrison, Labor’s dealing with a slick operator, who knows a thing or two about appealing to the masses. I mean to say, who other than Morrison would risk a pic of him reaching to the sky seemingly seeking divine intervention?

    He won’t, I think, risk this again. What he’ll do is govern by stealth, in much the same fashion as when he was the Immigration Minister. He’ll incrementally attempt to change this country in the manner associated with his Pentecostal beliefs. For secularists at least, we’re in dangerous territory.

  20. GG
    Did anyone comment on four indigenous players leaving one club at the time? I have to admit I didn’t know Mitch has aboriginal heritage. That’s an awful lot of talent to go out the door.

  21. I’m not sure if GG is trying to allege that Malthouse was biased against aboriginal footballers but it kinda looks like that. Not sure of that as his teams at West Coast and Collingwood had many indigenous footballers.

    In Yarran’s case anyway, Malthouse wrote a reference in the former’s recent court case and their relationship was described as:

    coach Mick Malthouse, who Yarran regarded as something of a grandfather figure, had provided references to the judge on his behalf.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-30/ex-afl-player-chris-yarran-jailed-over-meth-fuelled-crime-spree/11163470

  22. Diogenes @ #1588 Monday, July 8th, 2019 – 8:49 pm

    GG
    Did anyone comment on four indigenous players leaving one club at the time? I have to admit I didn’t know Mitch has aboriginal heritage. That’s an awful lot of talent to go out the door.

    They were cleaned out over a year or so. Robinson may not be aboriginal. But he is married to an Aboriginal woman.

    http://www.aflplayers.com.au/article/celebrating-a-brother-boys-300th/

    http://www.aflplayers.com.au/article/celebrating-a-brother-boys-300th/

  23. Of course the demonization of Mick Malthouse by Carlton losers is a real and palpable thing. He has and will continue to be blamed for all manner of things despite them being in no better position years after sacking him.

  24. “…[Morrison will] incrementally attempt to change this country in the manner associated with his Pentecostal beliefs. For secularists at least, we’re in dangerous territory.”

    I agree. He worries me a lot more than did that buffoon Abbott or the waffler Turnbull.

  25. Good to see I managed to get GG to break the silence of a lifetime and post.

    GG, I probably don’t agree with you on “matters religious”, but will defend your right to hold and express your opinions.

  26. As soon as I tune in, Ash Barty loses. Within 10 minutes.

    The Curse Of Bushfire strikes again.

    Those Yank screamers annoy me.

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