Senate election guide

Introducing the Poll Bludger’s Senate election guide, rounding off a facility that further offers lower house seat guides and the BludgerTrack poll aggregate.

The Poll Bludger’s comprehensive guide to the federal election has now attained something resembling completeness (though naturally it will require frequent updating) now that it comes with a guide to the Senate election, featuring an overview and a complete exposition of everything worth knowing about each of the state and territory contests, bringing together analysis, historic background, charts and tables aplenty and full detail on the candidates and how they got there. This is despite the fact that a number of the preselections are yet to be concluded, although it’s clear in most cases which way the wind is blowing.

In the hope of getting a thread of substantive electoral discussion happening, I offer over this post to discussion specifically of the Senate contest. A new thread for general discussion can be found here.

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.

13 comments on “Senate election guide”

  1. Thanks very much for this, William, it’s a mighty fine resource.

    I believe there’s a small error in the Qld text – you have the Greens down as having been given one 6-year and one 3-year term in 2016, but they only had one candidate elected. She was given a 3-year term, as I’m sure you’re aware, while One Nation had two Senators elected and were given one of each of the terms.

    The Qld Senate race looks like a mighty confusing one at this stage. I’d suggest that the Greens are better than even money to pick up a seat, especially with so many right-wing candidates diluting each others’ chances. Hanson being a candidate should greatly boost One Nation’s chances, but the anti-vax sentiments might see substantial gains for Campbell Newman and for the Clive Palmer candidate. I can see a number of possible scenarios, all vastly different from each other.

  2. I suspect the Greens are terrified of losing votes to the anti-vaxer parties as it seems a lot of their voters are swelling the numbers of the demonstrators. The wellness types in particular are the ones I’m thinking of. Greens politicians in Brisbane have been silent about the right wing demonstrations and have said very little about the pandemic except for some early vaccine promotion. They are obviously hoping that joining the loud anti-Labor chorus will have some benefits for them as this has been their only electoral strategy here. It may make for some very strange bedfellows. I don’t know how this will translate into numbers but I am very curious to see what happens to their volunteer base.

  3. Thanks for the Senate guide William, especially breaking down those allocations for 3 and 6 year terms post DD. For the NSW Senate Election, the one I find interesting is Barry Du Bois running under his ‘Team Baz’ if his party gets registered in time, and whether, like Pete Evans, that celebrity status transfers to votes.

  4. I have been moaning about how lacking in ambition the Labor platform appears but the Senate numbers really drive home how unlikely it is that an ambitious agenda could be implemented.

    Labor’s hopeless result in Queensland last time should surely be reversed, but will that be at the expense of an LNP senator or a Green?

    Labor will need to convert their popularity in WA into a third senator, again at the expense of the LNP, or more likely the Greens if at all.

    I think the most likely result is that Labor will only be able to pass legislation with the Liberals, or by agreement with the Greens and Jackie Lambie. I’m not confident I’m going to love the tiny windows in that Venn diagram.

  5. Thanks for your as usual great work on preparing such a detailed guide to the 2022 federal election.
    With respect to the seat of Deakin, I am the Greens candidate for that seat. You have included my “mug shot” under the listing of known 2022 candidates. However you have not included my name as the actual candidate opposite the photo. If you care to include the following small bit of bio…..I would appreciate that… “The Greens candidate is a retired Uniting Church minister.”

    All the best for the New Year.

  6. @brett. It’s hard to see in what universe WA Labor doesn’t get a third Senate seat in WA on current polling (circa. 40% primary).

    This number has held up remarkably firmly over the last 12 months and if it continues, as seems likely, the ALP will end up with around 2.8 quotas and potentially a full 3.0 in its own right.

    The most likely scenario seems to be 3 ALP/3 Liberal, with the mess of right wing parties making up the remainder of the Liberal 3rd quota and then spilling over what’s left to get the ALP over the line.

    There’s really not enough consistency in preference distribution within the minor party vote to change that equation.

    It’s hard to see any scenario where The Greens get a senator up without some ALP preferences in the mix, and there is Buckley’s chance of that happening this year.

  7. Xenophon has floated running again, but he’s blown some goodwill in SA over the last few years; how much is hard to say, but for right now it’s not at all clear that he would be elected even if he did run.

    My guess is that he’s waiting to see an opinion poll or two before comitting.

    Even if he is elected again he’ll be sharing balance of power with the usual randoms. Further, no third party can beat the major parties voting as a block, which is very much the norm rather than the exception.

    As a result, any influence he does end up with will be limited to a few highly politicised edge cases.

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