Federal election preference flows

New figures from the AEC confirm the Coalition’s share of Hanson and Palmer preferences was approaching two-thirds, a dramatic increase on past form.

We now have as much in the way of results out of the federal election as we’re ever going to, with the Australian Electoral Commission finally publishing preference flow by party data. The table below offers a summary and how it compares with the last two election. They confirm that YouGov Galaxy/Newspoll was actually too conservative in giving the Coalition 60% of preferences from One Nation and the United Australia Party, with the actual flow for both parties being nearly identical at just over 65%.

The United Australia Party preference flow to the Coalition was very substantially stronger than the 53.7% recorded by the Palmer United Party in 2013, despite its how-to-vote cards directing preferences to the Coalition on both occasions. A result is also listed for Palmer United in 2016, but it is important to read these numbers in conjunction with the column recording the relevant party’s vote share at the election, which in this case was next to zero (it only contested one lower house seat, and barely registered there). Greens preferences did nothing out of the ordinary, being slightly stronger to Labor than in 2016 and slightly weaker than in 2013.

The combined “others” flow to the Coalition rose from 50.8% to 53.6%, largely reflecting the much smaller footprint of the Nick Xenophon Team/Centre Alliance, whose preferences in 2016 split 60-40 to Labor. This also contributes to the smaller share for “others”, with both figures being closer to where they were in 2013. “Inter-Coalition” refers to where there were both Liberal and Nationals candidates in a seat, some of whose preferences will have flowed to Labor rather than each other. The “share” result in this case records the combined Coalition vote in such seats as a share of the national formal vote.

While we’re here, note the blog’s other two recent posts: Adrian Beaumont’s account of Brecon & Radnorshire by-election, and my own in-depth review of the legal challenges against the election of Josh Frydenberg in Kooyong and Gladys Liu in Chisholm.

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.

1,440 comments on “Federal election preference flows”

  1. KayJay says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 9:15 am


    Enforce the job seeking rules so that all job seekers fail and then remove those people from the payment system.

    To maintain eligibility for benefits, a recipient must apply for at least one job per month and be successful in obtaining said job.

    That should do¿

  2. Lizzie

    The govt like the idea of raising the pensionable age. Saves a lot of money in the budget.
    In reality the pensionable age should be reduced to 60
    once you hit your fifties getting work in most sectors, is almost impossible.
    And most in that age group, still have kids living at home who are studying or the like

  3. The Greens would need to shift their ideology more towards what the Democratic Socialists of America, who Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a part of, in order to get more than say 13-14% of the vote.

    The Greens should advocate policies that directly and obviously provide large improvements to the lives of people in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution. At the moment the Greens are mostly a party that appeals to middle to high income professionals whose votes are not motivated primarily by livelihood and economic security. Getting the unemployment rate down to 1 or 2 percent, creating such a tight labour market that employers have to compete vigorously for workers, and drastically improving public services and infrastructure should be at the forefront of the Greens’ pitch to voters.

  4. BiM, ItzaDream

    I realise you know this, but US gun ownership is of course never about needs, it’s about rights. A gun symbolises freedom, and freedom is a right. You don’t need rights, you have rights. End of discussion. The stupidity is breathtaking. Everything flows from there. Until that conflation is broken there will be no change to US gun laws.

    Some year or two ago I read an interesting approach to changing US gun laws that took the view that racism is another powerful force in the US, so why not conflate those two things (guns and racism) and demand that all blacks own a gun or two for their personal protection. I didn’t catch any follow up so I don’t think it worked, but it did generate some debate and feelings against gun ownership.

  5. lizzie says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Raising the pensionable age might seem logical to economists, but that simply means that unemployed older workers simply have to stay on the criminally low Newstart for longer.

    Why would this appeal to economists?

    There are economists who are concerned about social justice, an egalitarian distribution of wealth and income, the protection of the environment, repealing the repression of labour and emancipating the disadvantaged from poverty. These are intellectually valuable goals in economics.

    The RW-ers who advocate raising the pension age are not necessarily economists at all. They are usually just journalists, foghorns and ratbags.

  6. Nicholas says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 9:36 am

    At the moment the Greens are mostly a party that appeals to middle to high income professionals whose votes are not motivated primarily by livelihood and economic security.

    Greens…in the US and here, are Lib-kin. They could not care less about labour repression. They could not care less about effective action to protect the economy or the environment. They are the spoiled children of the bourgeoisie.

  7. Quanda and Newstart

    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/ricci-had-a-powerful-story-and-a-question-no-one-could-answer-20190806-p52e60.html

    One assumes the major party panellists – the Liberal MP Jason Falinski and Labor’s Katy Gallagher … Heroically, they struggled on their heels with how to respond in the least dishonest way while still appearing empathetic.

    It’s a tough job.

    Falinski waffled….
    :::
    Labor’s Katy Gallagher didn’t have much of an easier time of it.

    She offered the inspiring promise that if Labor had won the election, a Newstart review “would be well under way. And we didn’t. So our position is … this is firmly and squarely in the government’s court”.

    One wonders why voters like Ricci Bartels are cynical about politicians and slogans.

  8. Raising the pensionable age might seem logical to economists, but that simply means that unemployed older workers simply have to stay on the criminally low Newstart for longer.

    When governments maintained full employment and invested heavily in public services, public infrastructure, and research and development, productivity growth was consistently around 3 percent per year.

    Since the 1980s, when governments implemented productivity-sapping neoliberal policies, productivity growth has consistently been 1 or 2 percent.

    So productivity has still been going up consistently – just not as much as it would if we had sensible government policy.

    Bottom line: we can lower the pension age. Talking about raising it is ridiculous. We would only need to raise the pension age if productivity growth was static or negative and our population was growing at the same time.

    Often the very same jokers who advocate raising the pension age also tell us that the robots are coming for our jobs. If the robots are coming for our jobs, the logical response is to lower the pension age, not to raise it.

    Financing the Age pension is not an issue. The Australian Government can’t run out of its own currency. The staff at the central bank who keystroke numbers into reserve accounts are not going to suddenly lose their fingers. The issue is whether we have enough real goods and services to meet the needs of all our people.

  9. Labor lost the election. They have since called on the Lib-Libs to increase NewStart. The Government have declared they won’t do it. Who has the numbers in the Parliament? Not Labor, who are in a minority in both chambers, opposed by conservative/reactionary parties of various colours.

  10. KayJay says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 9:52 am
    Must be about time for another poll.
    I’m thinking
    51 Labor — 49 Ratbags, Foghorns and Joutnalists.

    🙂

  11. Labor don’t want to raise Newstart. They want to look like they might raise Newstart. Same thing with Single Parenting Pensioners whom Howard and Gillard forced into dire poverty.

  12. Nicholas (AnonBlock)
    Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 – 9:50 am
    Comment #1108

    The staff at the central bank who keystroke numbers into reserve accounts are not going to suddenly lose their fingers.

    Although, to be fair, these same staff are under strict instructions to use those same fingers to indicate support for we, the hoiest of poloi.

    🖕🖕🖕🖕🖕

  13. Pegasus @ #1107 Tuesday, August 6th, 2019 – 9:50 am

    Quanda and Newstart

    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/ricci-had-a-powerful-story-and-a-question-no-one-could-answer-20190806-p52e60.html

    One assumes the major party panellists – the Liberal MP Jason Falinski and Labor’s Katy Gallagher … Heroically, they struggled on their heels with how to respond in the least dishonest way while still appearing empathetic.

    It’s a tough job.

    Falinski waffled….
    :::
    Labor’s Katy Gallagher didn’t have much of an easier time of it.

    She offered the inspiring promise that if Labor had won the election, a Newstart review “would be well under way. And we didn’t. So our position is … this is firmly and squarely in the government’s court”.

    One wonders why voters like Ricci Bartels are cynical about politicians and slogans.

    No need to wonder why an impotent and powerless Green selectively edited, cut and pasted this. 😐

  14. Soft hearted ALP opposition parliamentarians will suddenly morph into hard-headed Cabinet ministers in government:

    THE Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, has angered welfare groups by claiming she could live on the $35-a-day Newstart allowance.
    Ms Macklin made the comments on the day that more than 80,000 single parents were shifted from the parenting payment to the lower Newstart allowance, leaving some up to $110 a week worse off.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-could-live-on-newstart-macklin-20130101-2c485.html

  15. I was disappointed (but not surprised) when Zali Steggall defended the gov’s robodebt by saying the minister had apologised. That’s all he did, besides repeating ad nauseam that complaints should be directed to the department. Some apology, and no sense that he’ll take any action.

  16. As Ricci Bartels on quanda said wtte why didn’t Labor advocate for something like a $20 increase to begin with and then have an inquiry?

    Labor did not because it was trying to woo back those aspirationals who have deserted Labor for Hanson, UAP and the Coalition.

    These aspirationals are the same voters who desire to cling to their hard-earned and do not want to give a cent to support those demonised ‘dole bludgers’.

    Albanese ‘s current trajectory is to try harder with satisfying the unsatisified who will never be satisfied, voters who believe they are always hard done by.

  17. nath says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:06 am
    Soft hearted ALP opposition parliamentarians will suddenly morph into hard-headed Cabinet ministers in government:

    THE Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, has angered welfare groups by claiming she could live on the $35-a-day Newstart allowance.
    Ms Macklin made the comments on the day that more than 80,000 single parents were shifted from the parenting payment to the lower Newstart allowance, leaving some up to $110 a week worse off.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-could-live-on-newstart-macklin-20130101-2c485.html

    _______________________________________________

    Yep. Therefore we should stick with the fuckwits we know.

    Which, I guess, is why William allows you to keep posting here with your shit.

  18. nath

    Have a Kimbo snr. quote to keep up your spirits.
    .

    When I joined the Labor Party, it contained the cream of the working class. But as I look about me now, all I see are the dregs of the middle class. When will you middle class perverts stop using the Labor Party as a cultural spittoon? – Kim Beazley Snr to an ALP State Conference

  19. Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:12 am
    As Ricci Bartels on quanda said wtte why didn’t Labor advocate for something like a $20 increase to begin with and then have an inquiry?

    Labor did not because it was trying to woo back those aspirationals who have deserted Labor for Hanson, UAP and the Coalition.

    These aspirationals are the same voters who desire to cling to their hard-earned and do not want to give a cent to support those demonised ‘dole bludgers’.

    Albanese ‘s current trajectory is to try harder with satisfying the unsatisified who will never be satisfied, voters who believe they are always hard done by.

    ___________________________________

    I suppose if a Green had been on the program (complete with stop Adani earrings – and that worked well) he or she would have been commended for proposing an increase (even though they would never be in a position to deliver it).

    Because arguing for something you will not be able to deliver is far more constructive than actually putting pressure on those who are in a position to deliver.

  20. Then when they are turfed out they will go back to acting like concerned politicians so that they can get into government again:

    FORMER senior Labor minister Jenny Macklin has told a gathering of single mothers the Gillard government “got it wrong” on cuts to single parent payments,

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/gillard-government-got-it-wrong-on-single-parent-payments-says-jenny-macklin/news-story/216615d31b6b50a85ab77b7e917950ad

  21. But it’s all so that they can get things like this:

    RETIRING Labor MP Jenny Macklin has been handed an all-expenses-paid taxpayer-funded junket to New York as a farewell gift for her two decades in federal parliament

  22. nath, it’s pointless linking to the SmearStralian – it’s paywalled, and most right thinking people wouldn’t dream of giving a penny to that peddler of hate, divisiveness and outright lies.

  23. nath says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:20 am

    But it’s all so that they can get things like this:

    RETIRING Labor MP Jenny Macklin has been handed an all-expenses-paid taxpayer-funded junket to New York as a farewell gift for her two decades in federal parliament

    You’re just pissed it wasn’t you.

  24. “Getting the unemployment rate down to 1 or 2 percent, creating such a tight labour market that employers have to compete vigorously for workers, and drastically improving public services and infrastructure should be at the forefront of the Greens’ pitch to voters.”

    Nicholas – forget about the Greens. They are, for the reasons you describe, a middle class vanity project.

    What you have written should be Labor’s main policy platform.

    What Albo should be doing over the course of the next 3 years is setting up Labor to take one big transformative policy of hope to the election:

    A promise to end long term unemployment within 5 years, via:

    The re-establishment of Working Nation,

    A massive national infrastructure programs, and

    A revitalised public vocational training sector to tie it all together.

    Employers should be compelled to make genuine attempts to employ people via the working nation programs before they can simply import labour via 357 visas (or whatever they are called atm).

    After the long term unemployed queues of prospective job seekers are eliminated Working Nation could then be used to fast track newly made redundant workers back into the workforce as a practical measure to combat the negative impacts of disruptive technologies.

    While this all falls short of a job guarantee, it’s all on the right track, even from your perspective surely. So, shall we make common cause?

  25. sprocket_ says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:22 am

    nath, it’s pointless linking to the SmearStralian – it’s paywalled, and most right thinking people wouldn’t dream of giving a penny to that peddler of hate, divisiveness and outright lies.

    So nath is either a subscriber or he’s linking articles he hasn’t read.

  26. Dire poverty? You’re talking out your arse, Nat.

    I went from Parenting to Newstart and my payment stayed exactly the same. I am no different to anyone else.

    The fact is Newstart isn’t one set amount: if you are single with no children then the amount you get is less than a single person with one child, which is less again than a single person with two children … etc.

    So yes, while the base rate of Newstart is lower than the Parenting Payment, the reality is that parents don’t get the base rate of Newstart; they get the same amount as Parenting as per the number of children they have. The only difference is they now have to look for work and have the potential to lose the payment altogether if they don’t abide by the Newstart rules, just like any other Newstart recipient.

    For me the real argument is around the apparently arbitrary selection of “8” as the age at which children mysteriously stop needing a parent to be around a school drop off and pick up times, or a parent with time to do housework, cook food, shop etc without totally exhausting themselves.

    Until children are of an age when they can “do” for themselves and/or stay home alone without parental supervision, they will continue to need at least one parent available to them during working hours, especially at those crucial times of the day for parental interaction, or when a child is unwell. Grandparents, babysitters and out of school hours services are great, but are almost never an adequate substitute (in a child’s mind) for their mum or dad.

  27. When Labor was in government it did not increase Newstart. Instead it shifted single parents to the lower Newstart payment. Back then there were PB Laborites who staunchly defended such a move and abused posters like me who dared to criticise Macklin for her actions.

    Facts do matter.

    Now times have changed and pressure from a wide cross-section of society, including the Greens, over many years, is so persistent and growing in strength these calls can not be so easily dismissed.

    A rise in Newstart will happen. Until it does a vulnerable and demonised subset of our community will continue to suffer in poverty unable to live their lives with dignity.

  28. Andrew_Earlwood

    I like the sound of that outline of a plan you are describing. Given the fate of so many aged 50+ who find themselves out of work there would be a v.large market for the hope it would provide.

  29. sprocket

    Perhaps, when you consistently criticise your fellow travellers who also link to The Australian, your credibility might improve.

  30. Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:26 am

    When Labor was in government it did not increase Newstart. Instead it shifted single parents to the lower Newstart payment. Back then there were PB Laborites who staunchly defended such a move and abused posters like me who dared to criticise Macklin for her actions.

    Facts do matter.

    They certainly do.

    I think chinda beat you to the punch with a real life example. 🙂

  31. When someone as manifestly inept as Jenny Mackling can retire from politics with a NYC junket and become a multi millionaire you know why politicians will fight tooth and nail for seats. #featherthenest

    RETIRING veteran Labor frontbencher Jenny Macklinhas sold the Ivanhoe East home she bought the year she was first elected.
    It took just nine days for the Member for Jagajaga’s family home since 1996 to be snapped up for an undisclosed sum within its $3-$3.25 million quoted range.

    https://www.realestate.com.au/news/labor-veteran-jenny-macklin-sells-family-home-of-22-years/

  32. On her son Octavier’s eighth birthday, Meredith Dreha cried all day.

    His turning eight meant that she would lose $200 a fortnight at a time when she already could not afford to buy her son a new school bag or shoes.
    Last year, Dreha, 35, became one of more than 80,000 women in 2013 who were moved from the single parent pension to Newstart under a policy introduced by the former Gillard government.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/01/newstart-drives-single-mother-to-tears-on-sons-eighth-birthday

  33. ACOSS and poverty in Australia:

    https://www.acoss.org.au/poverty/

    Poverty in Australia 2018 found that there are just over 3 million people (13.2%) living below the poverty line of 50% of median income – including 739,000 children (17.3%). In dollar figures, this poverty line works out to $433 a week for a single adult living alone; or $909 a week for a couple with 2 children.

    The report further found that:

    One in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty.
    Many of those affected are living in deep poverty – on average, this is a staggering $135 per week below the poverty line.

    The group of people experiencing poverty the most are, unsurprisingly, those relying on Government allowance payments such as Youth Allowance and Newstart.

  34. nath

    I guess it’s Jenny macklins fault that after 22 years, the house she bought for not so much increased its value exponentially.
    I wish I was able to buy a house in that area at the time. Apart from it having excellent growth outcomes, it’s a really nice part of the world and close to the CBD

  35. Pegasus says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:26 am

    A rise in Newstart will happen. Until it does a vulnerable and demonised subset of our community will continue to suffer in poverty unable to live their lives with dignity.

    A rise in NewStart will not occur until another Labor Government is elected. This will not happen as long as dysfunction on the centre-left persists, which is to say for as long as the Greens campaign for the election of Liberal governments and against Labor.

    The Greens should be held accountable for frustrating an increase in NewStart, among other things.

    The unemployed will starve in Lib-kin Garden.

  36. Chinda63

    I believe that there are many single unemployed and the government is using the extra payments that you quote to excuse the low income of those.

  37. Victoria
    says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:37 am
    nath
    I guess it’s Jenny macklins fault that after 22 years, the house she bought for not so much increased its value exponentially.
    I wish I was able to buy a house in that area at the time. Apart from it having excellent growth outcomes, it’s a really nice part of the world and close to the CBD
    _____________________________
    Yep, It just jars a little when she says that Newstart is plenty and shifts single parents further into poverty. Meanwhile she accepts a junket to round off her unfortunate career while making plenty and land banking in East Ivanhoe.

  38. Andrew_Earlwood

    What Albo should be doing over the course of the next 3 years is setting up Labor to take one big transformative policy of hope to the election

    Yes, we definitely need hope.

  39. Victoria
    says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 10:40 am
    I’m confused. Is it a prerequisite for parents of children in primary school not to be working and expecting welfare?
    ______________________
    All parents get welfare through the Family Tax Benefits. Some get extra support through the SPP and Newstart.

  40. “I like the sound of that outline of a plan you are describing. Given the fate of so many aged 50+ who find themselves out of work there would be a v.large market for the hope it would provide.”

    Exactly paroti.

    What I’ve outlined is the first in a trifecta of policies I’d take to the next election. The other two are:

    A big fat working middle class tax bribe that is better than whatever the government is offering. As an aside, at the time of this year’s budget I was surprised, and frankly I still am, that in its budget reply Labor simply didn’t junk much of its planned to be announced big social spending policies that – as it turned out – gained zero traction in the community in the campaign that followed, and simply promised to bring forward the government’s own stage 2 cuts to take effect from 1 July this year. I reckon that would have killed the government’s tax scare campaign stone cold dead before the liberals were able to build their ‘wall of sound’ on social and msm media. I reckon shorten lost the election then and there – no agility to move with the political shift that had actually occurred with the ascension of ScoMo (praise be his name). I digress.

    The third big policy platform would relate to incomes – both for wages and also for those hi-vis independent contractors out there who ain’t voting labor but really should be in their own self interest.

  41. Nath

    I see Newstart for people at least under 50 as a stop gap measure.
    There is no requirement for people to be unemployed indefinitely in the prime age of working life.
    I see it more problematic for the likes of people such as the woman on qanda last night.
    Age discrimination in the workplace is very real.
    Those who have hit that age and due to changes in the previous workplace are without work. Have applied for countless roles and no luck.
    All have eaten into their savings to make ends meet. When that runs out, it is going to be problematic,

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