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. Bill Shorten failed to understand the middle class, Paul Keating says


    Labor lost the election because it was proposing higher taxes and not because the public rejected bold policy reform, former prime minister Paul Keating said.

    Speaking on the ABC’s 7.30, Mr Keating said the lesson of Labor’s shock loss was not that oppositions could not be brave with their policy agendas, but that the public supported lower taxes.
    In stark contrast to failed leader Bill Shorten’s class-warfare strategy targetted at the “big end of town”, Mr Keating said the top marginal tax rate should be cut further, to no more than 39 per cent.

    “I cut the top marginal rate from 60 per cent under John Howard, to 47 per cent. It is still at 45 per cent 35 years later, how pathetic is that? The top marginal rate in Australia shouldn’t be a jot over 39 per cent,” he said.

  2. I see the Greens night shift have clocked on to pump the tires of that Essential Poll as proof … PROOF … of just how popular the idea pumping up the Newstart allowance to at least a million in sit down money each year truly is!

    Perfidious Labor for not doing this before now … even when in opposition, no less.


    I think that poll is shit. Just like all those other polls and surveys that consistently say that what people want is more services even if they have to pay higher taxes to find them.

    Voter survey respondents love to sound virtuous when answering questions in some opinion poll survey. Pity this doesn’t correlate to how punters in voter land actually cast their ballots.

    The only quality poll that would be worth taking notice off would be that of low interest low information voters in the outer rim suburbs and regional centres. They are the ones that determine elections in this country.

    I reckon Dan and Quoll should take their Tesla for a drive out to the Blue Cattle Dog pub at St Clair next Saturday around noon and ask the locals what they think of these top button topics. If they actually make it out alive by 4pm, they may finally be woke to the true zeitgeist.

    How good is ScoMo!

  3. Peg
    Keating also created the middle class with a little help from Bob.
    “If you’re talking about the Labor Party and why it lost the election, it failed to understand the middle-class economy that Bob Hawke and I created for Australia,” he said.

  4. On PJK: hear him. Hear him!

    Cutting the Howard era tax concessions and tax expenditure boondoggles would fund tax cuts across the board (if the top tax rate is set at 39%, then the next top rate should net be a cent over 33%, the second lowest should be 27%) many time over.

    Of course, the last election proved the difficulties in promising to wind back the Howard era rorts from opposition. That’s the tricky bit.

  5. I note The Empty Suit is still yet to declare a position on the Robbins Island windfarm. If the Greens back Bob Brown and think the project is environmentally unviable they should come straight out and say so. Conversely if they believe the project will contribute towards Australia’s energy efficiency they should also be upfront about this.

    This silence from the Greens is simply an absence of leadership.

  6. Morning/evening all.

    News programs on the TV in my hotel breakfast room are talking two topics.
    – Guns
    – wall street and currency manipulation

    There is a lot of confusion about the latter, and a lot of anger around the former.

    FWIW, Robbins Island has around about the best wind resource of any place on the planet.

  7. Far right ideologues have apparently been responsible for as many US deaths as al queda mob and IS combined. They should be on a federal watch list and should be accountable under anti terror laws.

    The United States continues to employ a staggering arsenal of armed forces, unmanned drones, intelligence agencies and sweeping domestic authorities to contain a threat — Islamist terrorism — that has claimed about 100 lives on American soil since the nation mobilized after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    No remotely comparable array of national power has been directed against the threat now emerging from the far right, a loose but lethal collection of ideologies whose adherents have killed roughly the same number of people in the United States, post-9/11, as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State combined.

    The disparity is a source of growing alarm for officials and experts, some of whom now say the United States is overdue for a realignment of national security priorities as violence on the far right escalates.


  8. Witness K pleading guilty and Collaery going on.

    Interesting twist.

    Things were nice before the nazis took over. It is a little odd that one of the countries so extraordinarily proud of the role they played in defeating the nazis in WWII has so throughly determined to be the new ones. Yasmin was well ahead of the curve in her observation about just how far we’ve come from the ANZAC ideal, to be now, the bad guys.

  9. The “nuclear activist loons” who were/are whipped up by the nuclear bombings weren’t/aren’t so much fretting about how many or how fast or slowly people were killed in which city, but rather, I would speculate, by the sheer horror of the first clearly public demonstration of just how easy it would be to obliterate anything and everything alive on the whole fucking planet.

    That Hiroshima and Nagasaki were something completely over and above ‘just a way of ending a war’ seems worthy of at least some acknowledgement.

    Madame Butterfly, the opera about American imperialism, is set in Nagasaki. I saw it once in Tokyo. The final chord is a loud and very unsettling discordant altered C minor chord with an abrasive chilling to the bone edge to it. In the Tokyo production, at that final moment, the whole darkened auditorium was suddenly thrown into a glaring overly bright white light, coming from everywhere, in one single nuclear flash. Butterfly was dead alright.

  10. – wall street and currency manipulation

    I haven’t paid close attention but isn’t the currency manipulation problem that the Chinese took their fingers off the scale for bit and everyone lost their shit?

  11. Bushfire Bill, save your lame straw man arguments. Where did I ever promote killing Japanese people by starvation or anything else for that matter? On this matter, you are well to the right of that well known humanitarian MacArthur Methinks you are the one with the extreme attitudes more pertaining to psychopathy.

  12. Bob Brown…

    “However … this Robbins Island wind farm is an aileron too far.
    “Mariners will see this hairbrush of tall towers from 50km out to sea and elevated landlubbers will see it, like it or not, from greater distances on land.

    “Its eye-catchiness will divert from every coastal scene on the western Bass Strait coastline.

  13. sprocket:

    Bob Brown obviously still rules the federal Greens party with an iron fist. Same with the Tas party.

    The current crop of federally elected Greens MPs not being able to agree on a unified position on Robbins Island windfarm is a sight to behold.

  14. Ah who knows what bets are laid in the OTC markets, WWP.

    All I can deduce is that the big players are so leveraged up the wazoo that anything unexpected causes them to move quickly, which hits the stock market.

    Other than that, it’s opaque.

  15. shellbell:

    [‘Witness K pleading guilty and Collaery going on.’ Interesting twist.]

    Perhaps due to Witness K being subject to s. 70 of the Crimes Act which provides that:

    (1) A person who, being a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, except to some person to whom he or she is authorized to publish or communicate it, any fact or document which comes to his or her knowledge, or into his or her possession, by virtue of being a Commonwealth officer, and which it is his or her duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.

    (2) A person who, having been a Commonwealth officer, publishes or communicates, without lawful authority or excuse (proof whereof shall lie upon him or her), any fact or document which came to his or her knowledge, or into his or her possession, by virtue of having been a Commonwealth officer, and which, at the time when he or she ceased to be a Commonwealth officer, it was his or her duty not to disclose, shall be guilty of an offence.

    Whereas Collaery isn’t liable under the Crimes Act but is ‘ bound by the provisions of the Intelligence Services Act (2001) due to his arrangement with ASIS that was made in order for him to represent “Witness K”.’ It appears that there has been a plea deal with Witness K, and Collaery will be seeking the same right up to the day of his trial. My guess is that the matter will be gently disposed of.

  16. Greens yet to declare position on Robbins Island wind farm due to lack of detail


    A $1.6 billion wind farm proposal for Robbins Island off Tasmania’s North-West coast is yet to draw support from Tasmanian Greens senators Peter Whish-Wilson and Nick McKim.

    Both Senator Whish-Wilson and Senator McKim have backed the position of the Tasmanian Greens in saying they are yet to take a formal position on the proposal because they have not seen enough detail of the project.

    “A detailed formal development proposal has not yet been lodged,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

    “We will judge each project proposal on its merits and impacts, same as any other project.”


    Is this a reasonable position? Yes.

    Is this a unified position? Yes.

  17. Peg

    Are you saying McKim and Whish Wilson are for or against the quiet enjoyment of the coastline by mariners and landlubbers?

    From that cut n’ paste it would appear they are letting Bob Brown swing in the breeze..

  18. Itza:

    Bergonzi’s great too. My favourite, though, is Björling. Such as shame he died so young from what appears to be the effects of alcoholism.

  19. sprocket

    Are you incapable of clicking on the link provided?

    Are you incapable of reading the entire article?

    Do you have reading comprehension difficulties?

  20. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum: following my “Witness K” post, my computer froze.
    Are you out there ASD; I well know what you spooks are capable of. And by the way, when I left the ADF (35 years ago) I failed to sign an undertaking under the Official Secrets Act, as it then was. No – I’m just being neurotic(?).

  21. Itza @ 10.10, spot on.

    The day in which the world was introduced to an age where entire cities can be obliterated with the push of a button deserves some sober commemoration.

  22. My two cents worth….my take on warfare, etc., has moved beyond who is more brutal than who and try to understand the forest rather than blame particular trees.
    Just as a beheading is more dramatically effective than slowly starving someone to death- same end, different means- the discussions re Hiroshima’s destruction will probably never be resolved.
    There are a cultural aspects to way wars are fought. The USA has always been the showy ‘bigger than yours’ ( their blockbuster movies vs French a good example) , the Vietnamese used covert guerrilla tactics, and both the Germans and the Japanese excelled at ( trying to choose my words carefully) their craft of ‘war’ , brutal and devastating as it was.
    My views echoed those of Boer until I found myself living in various countries including Japan and there I was surprised by how they value peace and harmony but also their obsession with skill , reverence to authority and their TV shows demonstrated some amazing physical endurance feats .
    To me, Japan had been isolated from the rest of the world for too long and had to learn their limits and place in the world, as have so many others over time.
    They have learnt their lessons and while there are still some of the old guard, the younger generations show no sign of violence or militancy.
    It also reminded me that we are not responsible for the atrocities our forefathers committed generations ago, though we need to know our history and implement reparation , including those in our own back yard ( Treaty anyone?)
    I realise how powerless the Germans/Japanese people would have been when I see our government keeping us in the dark while making decisions we despise.
    But this discussion has led me to questioning our current situation….
    could China be using a different method again…incremental, stealth , with dollars as a weapons ? Just a thought.

  23. Caf
    That’s a good summary. The Americans actually didn’t have enough radioactive material for a third bomb which is why they didn’t do a demonstration bomb. Of course, they weren’t sure bombs would all go off. Trinity and Little Boy were quite different bombs. And why the second followed so quickly because they wanted to give the impression they could keep bombing forever. From memory, it was going to be about three months after Nagasaki before another bomb became available.

  24. Diogenes:

    They were producing them faster than that – as noted in the article:

    Though the US only had two atomic bombs in early August 1945, they had set up a pipeline to produce many more, and by the end of the month would have at least one more bomb ready to use, and three or four more in September.

    The bomb tested at Trinity was the Fat Man design used on Nagasaki so they were pretty sure it would go bang (and the scientists were so confident in the Little Boy design that they felt a test was a waste of time and material). It is noteworthy that the production pipeline mentioned above was for plutonium Fat Man cores – the Little Boy design was considered obsolete after Trinity.

  25. Which is more psychopathic and/or homicidal?

    (a) Killing 200,000 people in 10 days in order to (successfully) shock the enemy into unconditional surrender,


    (b) killing millions more – including most likely a sizeable proportion of those killed in option (a), as well as many of your own people (soldiers and POWs) – by starvation and/or violent death?

    If preferring option (a) puts me in disagreement with the saintly General Macarthur, then tough tits to General Macarthur.

    I have never heard a stupider argument than the one which states that preferring vastly FEWER deaths, by an order of magnitide, is somehow a barbaric course of action, especially because General Macarthur didn’t agree with it, while promoting the mass starvation of an entire nation is somehow more humane.

    The Japanese started the War, killed millions in prosecuting it, and then the Yanks finished it… in about the most efficient manner possible. Yet some would STILL argue for the megadeath option, on a matter of airey-fairey principle. Idiotic, psychopathic, and murderous, like most ideologically driven fanatics.

  26. Mavis Davis says:
    Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Twelve great tenors of the past. Shame it only goes for some five hours, but some great archival footage – Björling, and Gigli being standouts:


    Great video.

    While I am a great admirer of tenors (Gigli and Bjorling dead heat), I consider the greatest voice of the 20th century was the lyric baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Here is a brief excerpt from his Wikipedia entry:

    Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (28 May 1925 – 18 May 2012[1]) was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder (art song) performers of the post-war period, best known as a singer of Franz Schubert’s Lieder, particularly “Winterreise”[2] of which his recordings with accompanist Gerald Moore and Jörg Demus are still critically acclaimed half a century after their release.[3]

    Recording an array of repertoire (spanning centuries) as musicologist Alan Blyth asserted, “No singer in our time, or probably any other has managed the range and versatility of repertory achieved by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Opera, Lieder and oratorio in German, Italian or English came alike to him, yet he brought to each a precision and individuality that bespoke his perceptive insights into the idiom at hand.” In addition, he recorded in French, Russian, Hebrew, Latin and Hungarian. He was described as “one of the supreme vocal artists of the 20th century”[4] and “the most influential singer of the 20th Century”.[5]

    Fischer-Dieskau was ranked the second greatest singer of the century (after Jussi Björling) by Classic CD (United Kingdom) “Top Singers of the Century” Critics’ Poll (June 1999). The French dubbed him “Le miracle Fischer-Dieskau” and Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf called him “a born god who has it all.”[6] At his peak, he was greatly admired for his interpretive insights and exceptional control of his soft, beautiful instrument. Despite the small size of his lyric/chamber baritone voice, Fischer-Dieskau also performed and recorded a great many operatic roles. He dominated both the opera and concert platform for over thirty years.[7]

  27. an interesting discussion overnight on the atomic bombs dropped on japan and their part in the end of the pacific war. During the island hopping campaign the american estimates for casualties were under guesstimated by a factor of up 10 and the estimate for american casualties for the invasion of japan were over a million. Given that the Japanese had reinforced the proposed invasion areas with between 3 and 5 divisions and had armed the civilian population the chance of another under estimate were high. While some in the Japanese leadership made an approach to the soviet union to act as a “honest broker” in possable peace talks the military still wanted to fight on. in fact the three most important factors in the surrender of the Japanese were the atomic bombs, the soviet invasion of Manchuria and the dropping of possable war crimes charges against the emperor and not having him abdicate the throne. The Japenese casualties would have been in the 10’s of millions.

  28. A Conservative looks at the evolving of justification used for dropping the a bombs. Seems that originally they were not so shy about it being ‘vengeance’ .

    Don’t Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing
    It reveals a dangerous strain of vengeance in U.S. foreign policy.

    The myth, the one kneaded into public consciousness, is that the bombs were dropped out of grudging military necessity, to hasten the end of the war, to avoid a land invasion of Japan, maybe to give the Soviets a good pre-Cold War scare. Nasty work, but such is war. As a result, the attacks need not provoke anything akin to introspection or national reflection. The possibility, however remote, that the bombs were tools of revenge or malice, immoral acts, was defined away. They were merely necessary.

    That is the evolved myth, but it was not the way the atomic bombings were first presented to the American people.

    Harry Truman, in his 1945 announcement of the bomb, focused on vengeance, and on the new power to destroy at a button push—“We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city,” said Mr. Truman. The plan put into play on August 6—to force the Japanese government to surrender by making it watch mass casualties of innocents—speaks to a scale of cruelty previously unseen. It was fair; they’d started it after all, and they deserved the pain.

    The need to replace the justification to one of grudging military necessity, a tool for saving lives, grew out of John Hersey’s account of the human suffering in Hiroshima, first published in 1946 in the New Yorker. Owing to wartime censorship, Americans knew little of the ground truth of atomic war, and Hersey’s piece was shocking enough to the public that it required a formal response. Americans’ imagined belief that they’re a decent people needed to be reconciled with what had been done. With the Cold War getting underway, and with American leadership fully expecting to obliterate a few Russian cities in the near future, some nuclear philosophical groundwork needed to be laid.

    And so the idea that the bombing of Hiroshima was a “necessity” appeared in a 1947 article, signed by former Secretary of War Henry Stimson, though actually drafted by McGeorge Bundy (later an architect of the Vietnam War) and James Conant (a scientist who helped build the original bomb). Dr. Conant described the article’s purpose as countering Hersey’s account at the beginning of the Cold War as, “You have to get the past straight before you do much to prepare people for the future.”


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