WA Senate election finalised

The Western Australian Senate election result confirmed: three Liberals, one Labor, one Greens, one Palmer United.

The button has been pressed on the Western Australian Senate special election, confirming what has been clearly apparent since the first batch of postals were added to the count: the Liberals have won three seats, electing David Johnston, Michaelia Cash and newcomer Linda Reynolds; Labor has been reduce to one, electing newcomer Joe Bullock but with incumbent Louise Pratt defeated; Scott Ludlam has been re-elected for the Greens; and Zhenya “Dio” Wang will be a third Senator for the Palmer United Party. I await a scrutiny sheet of the preference distribution to fully probe the innards of the result, but here are a few things to chew on from the party vote totals.

• The table below divides the result into votes that were cast on polling day, namely ordinary and absent votes (also provisional votes, which are few in number and mostly from polling day), and those cast beforehand, namely pre-poll and postal votes. This is of unusual interest given the damage Labor was said to have suffered when Joe Bullock’s critical comments regarding his own party received widespread media coverage the day before the poll. Presumably this had something to do with the fact that the Greens picked up a 6.5% swing on polling day votes compared with a far more modest swing of 3.2% on votes cast earlier in the piece, and with Labor’s 5.2% swing on polling day comparing with 4.0% beforehand. However, the micro-party vote was also down on polling day and steady beforehand, which is consistent with them having done well in the September election out of voters reluctantly doing their bit to avoid the fine on election day, and sitting out the Senate election due to ignorance or apathy.

• That said, turnout was nothing like as bad as predicted, at 88.54% of enrolled voters compared with 92.77% in September. By contrast, the most recent House of Representatives by-election, in Kevin Rudd’s old seat of Griffith, had a turnout of 82.08% compared with 93.14% at the election. As Antony Green observes, this is likely to do with the considerable number of voters who don’t know what electorate they live in and are thus unaware of their obligation to vote, a situation that does not apply if the election is statewide.

• As has been widely noted, more Labor voters who went below the line gave their first preference to the number two candidate, Louise Pratt (5,390 votes), than to the number one candidate, Joe Bullock (3,982 votes). To my mind, a fairer electoral system would declare Pratt rather than Bullock the winner of the Labor seat. The only precedent for such a result that I’ve heard mentioned is the 2010 Senate election in Queensland, when Nationals loyalists saw that the number two candidate on the ticket of the newly merged Liberal National Party, Barnaby Joyce, polled 9136 votes against 8138 for his ticket-leading Liberal colleague, George Brandis.

UPDATE: The scrutiny sheet can be viewed here. The score at the final count was 188,169 to Linda Reynolds versus 176,042 for Louise Pratt, a margin of 12,127. Lest anyone was thinking below-the-line votes might have saved the day for Pratt, the projected margin on Antony Green’s calculator, which treats all votes as above-the-line, was in fact a slightly narrower 8109.

WA Senate election live

Live coverage of results as they come in for Western Australia’s Senate election.

Sunday, April 13

This is probably my final update, since the result is well and truly beyond doubt. On the raw votes, the ABC calculator produces a result at the final count of 194,282 (14.86%) to Linda Reynolds and 179,150 (13.71%) to Louise Pratt, and my own projection is hardly different (14.91% to 13.66%). As Antony Green points out on Twitter, Labor below-the-line votes are producing the very unusual result of the second candidate, Pratt, outpolling the first, Joe Bullock, the current numbers being 1285 to 1039 with a great many more still to be apportioned, although it seems unlikely Pratt’s lead will be overturned. A precedent for this noted by GhostWhoVotes is that Barnaby Joyce outpolled George Brandis as the respective second and first candidates of the Liberal National Party Senate ticket in Queensland in 2010, the circumstance here being that Nationals loyalists who opposed to the LNP merger expressed their displeasure below the line.

Friday morning

Antony Green and Kevin Bonham are both calling it for Linda Reynolds, and I’m not going to argue. Yesterday saw the addition of another 13,530 postals and 2034 absent votes from Brand (on top of the 1653 that had been counted there already, these being the only absent, pre-polls or provisional votes entered into the count so far), together with more rechecking. My projection now has Reynolds’ lead over Louise Pratt at the final count at 190,430 (14.57%) to 183,002 (14.00%), or 7428 votes, which is lower than yesterday because of some tinkering I’ve done with the model. Putting the raw vote into the ABC calculator, Reynolds now leads 189,988 (14.54%) to Pratt’s 183,443 (14.04%), increasing the margin to 6545 from 3407 yesterday. The postal results have been consistent with the contention that the Joe Bullock story breaking the day before the election caused a shift in support from Labor to the Greens, Labor’s postal vote (24.64%) being higher than its ordinary vote (21.83%), while the Greens are much, much lower (6.98% compared with 15.78%).

Thursday morning

The addition of 11,138 out of what should be at least 90,000 postal votes has blown a hole in Labor’s hope that votes cast earlier in the piece will be relatively favourable for them, making a Louise Pratt victory look increasingly unlikely. With numbers reported from Brand, Curtin, Durack, Hasluck and Perth, the results respectively show the Liberal vote 11.1%, 11.1%, 10.3%, 13.4% and 9.6% higher than the ordinary vote, equalling or exceeding the similarly large differentials in September. Putting the raw votes into the ABC calculator previously showed Pratt in the lead, but now Linda Reynolds holds a lead of 3407 votes (0.26), or 188,421 (14.42%) to 185,014 (14.16%).

On the model I’m using to fill the gaps in the count, Reynolds finishes 8499 (0.65%) clear with a lead of 190,963 (14.61%) to 182,474 (13.96%). For pre-polls, postals and provisionals, the model assumes parties’ vote shares will differ from ordinary votes to the same extent that they did in September, producing percentage figures which are applied to estimated totals based on declaration vote data published by the AEC (1653 absent votes were added today from Brand, but as absent votes tends to bounce around depending on where they were cast, I will continue using the aforesaid method until a large number of votes are in). For postals, the party vote shares recorded so far for each of the five electorates for which votes have been counted are extrapolated to an estimated total, likewise based on the AEC data. For electorates where results have not yet been reported, the method is the same as for pre-polls, postals and provisionals.

The Liberal margin will come down by perhaps around 3000 if Palmer United’s position improves to the extent that it doesn’t need HEMP preferences to get elected, in which case HEMP votes will be passed on to Labor at their full value rather than a much-reduced transfer value. However, the improvement in PUP’s position needed for that to happen is a not insubstantial 0.3% going on the modelled figures.

Wednesday morning

I’m not going to do serious number crunching until we start seeing pre-polls, absents and postals, but the Liberals gained at least 1500 votes on yesterday’s re-checking and the addition of special hospital results as such, Kevin Bonham putting their lead at 2504 based on the current numbers. Kevin also observes that Labor’s position might improve by “thousands of votes” depending on the arbitrary fact of whether Palmer United reaches a quota after Liberal Democrats preferences are distributed, or whether the job still needs to be finished with the subsequent exclusion of Help End Marijuana Prohibition. In the latter case, HEMP will go into the mix of votes to be distributed as the Palmer United surplus at a fraction of their value. Otherwise, their preferences will transfer at full value to their next party of preference, namely Labor. However, the odds are in favour of the Liberals on either scenario.

Tuesday morning

Rechecking and perhaps a few delayed booth results yesterday added 2161 votes in Durack, 1076 in Forrest and 152 in Hasluck, to the extremely slight advantage of Labor. The West Australian reports counting of postal votes “may get under way today”.

Monday morning

Nothing new on the counting front yesterday, which the AEC presumably devoted to very carefully transporting votes to the divisional offices where the primary vote totals will be rechecked over the coming days. Ben Raue at The Tally Room observes that “the numbers of absent, provisional and pre-poll votes have dropped to 20-33% of the 2013 levels, while the number of postal votes has increased” – which would seem to bode ill for Labor, given how heavily postal votes traditionally favour the Liberals (47.6% in September compared with 38.8% on ordinary votes).

Sunday morning

For those of you who have just joined us, the WA Senate election result looks to be two seats for the Liberals, one each for Labor, the Greens and Palmer United, and with the last seat a tussle between the third Liberal, Linda Reynolds, and number two on the Labor ticket, Senator Louise Pratt. Both major parties were well down on the primary vote to make way for a surge to the Greens and Palmer United. Scott Ludlam was handsomely re-elected off a quota in his own right, while Palmer United’s Zhenya Wang will get there with preferences from a range of sources, the most handy of which are HEMP, Shooters & Fishers and Family First. The following quick summary of the results shows the raw percentages, and how I’m projecting them to look after pre-polls, absents and postals are added. There follows projections of the race for last place as derived by plugging both raw and projected results into Antony Green’s Senate election calculator.

As I write, 38 booths out of 814 are still to report results. The only electorate where all booths have reported is Moore, where 69,323 ordinary vote have been cast compared with 72,507. This makes turnout difficult to calculate, but it seems to me to have not been as bad as some were suggesting. The number of ordinary vote cast in Moore amounts to 70.14% of enrolled voters, compared with 74.59% at the election last September. In Brand and Fremantle, which in each case have had all booths report but one, the totals are 70.6% and 69.8%, compared with 77.7% and 75.1% at the election.


11.39pm. Back from my ice cream break to find the count at 937,396 (63.3%), with 62 out of 814 booths still to report. The latest projection puts the Liberals on 33.8% and the Nationals on 3.2%, Labor on 21.3%, the Greens on 16.0% and PUP on 12.2%. On the ABC computer, third Liberal Linda Reynolds’ lead over second Labor Louse Pratt at the final count has narrowed to 14.84% to 13.73%.

10.05pm. Count up to 661,954 (44.7%). My statewide projections are the same as Antony Green’s, so I’ll drop the metropolitan model and work off those instead from now on. I’m projecting 39.2% for Liberal, 3.4% for the Nationals, 21.1% for Labor, 16.1% for the Greens and 12.2% for Palmer United. Plugging that into the ABC calculator has third Liberal Linda Reynolds beating second Labor Louise Pratt at the last exclusion 15.1% (1.0553 quotas) to 13.49% (0.9446 quotas). Kevin Bonham and Truth Seeker think Labor are doing a little better than that: I’ve no idea about their methods, but I suspect it’s because they’re going off the raw vote totals, whereas I’m going off swings.

9.36pm. Count up to 526,235 (35.6%), Liberal projection down a shade to 2.93, Labor up to 1.57. But Labor’s position in the race for the final seat hasn’t improved since my 9.00pm update, because the Greens vote has come down slightly and reduced the size of the surplus available to Labor.

9.24pm. To explain all that in vote terms, the Greens vote is variously projected at 17% or 18%; Labor’s at a bit below 21%; Liberal at 34.5% plus Nationals at 3-4%; PUP at around 12%.

9.15pm. I have two models on the go here: the one I’ve been quoting, which extrapolates metropolitan swings across the rest of the state, and one which looks at the swings of all electorates, the problem with which is that non-metropolitan electorates should improve for Labor later in the night as bigger booths from regional cities report. But with the count now up to 367,945 (24.9%), the difference between the two seats of figures is diminishing – apart from the Greens, who are on 1.24 quota in the statewide model and 1.34 in the metropolitan-only model, and PUP are a bit higher in the former (1.18) than the latter (1.12). But both pretty much have the Coalition about 0.03 short of a third quota, and Labor on about 1.55.

9.00pm. With the same caveats applied in my 8.43pm comment, I’m now having Labor narrow the gap a little: Liberal 2.94 quotas, Labor 1.55, Greens 1.36, PUP 1.13. With the Greens surplus pretty much all going to Labor and PUP pretty much all going to Labor, the score at the final count would have Liberal winning 1.07 to 0.91, but with the numbers still certain to keep shifting around as the count progresses, and perhaps still the outside chance of both losing out to a micro-party boilover.

8.55pm. Antony observes current numbers in fact find that final vote going to Voluntary Euthanasia, but the statistical chance of that sticking would be low. Nonetheless, it should be emphasised that the final seat which I’ve been representing as a race between third Liberal and second Labor could be less predictable than that.

8.43pm. The picture isn’t getting any better for Labor as the count moves up to 121,082 (8.2%). My present projection based on metropolitan area swings has the Liberals on 2.96 quotas, Labor on 1.51, Greens on 1.36 and PUP on 1.14. That would easily get the Liberals to a third seat when the PUP surplus was distributed. Still plenty of room for caution though: the swing may be quite different outside Perth, and the swings I am calculating are derived not from booth-matching, but by extrapolating from the current electorate totals from metropolitan seats with their results from last September.

8.33pm. “Most of my modelling is based on the Perth vote”, suggets Antony, indicating my belated idea to run off the metropolitan swings gels with what he’s doing. With over 5% counted, very big transfer from Labor to Greens looking sticky.

8.23pm. Count up to 47,611, or 3.2%. Metropolitan swing projections: Coalition down 7.1%, Labor down 5.7%, Greens up 8.6%, Palmer United up 6.3%. Applying metropolitan swings to 2013 statewide results is the best rough guide I can come up with, because metropolitan booths do not have the issue with regional ones that a relationship exists between their size and their partisan tendency (i.e. these booths that are reporting early from O’Connor, Durack and Forrest and very conservative rural booths). Doing so confirms the picture noted previously, with a very close race between third Liberal and second Labor for the last seat.

8.11pm. Sam Dastyari concurring with my assessment that it’s likely Liberal 2, Labor 1, Greens 1, PUP 1, with the last seat a battle between a third Liberal and a second Labor.

8.08pm. Antony Green projecting a perilously low Labor vote, but the data available to him isn’t as good as usual and there’s still on 2.2% counted. My crude early projections for the metropolitan area are a 5.4% swing against Labor, 7.0% swing against Liberal, 6.2% towards Palmer, 9.3% towards Greens.

7.57pm. My early indications are of a 7.0% Palmer United swing in the metropolitan area, and all on the ABC News 24 are talking of a Scott Ludlam win as an accomplished fact. So you might start punting on a 2-2-1-1 result, unless Labor ends up doing badly enough that it comes in at Liberal 3, Labor 1, Greens 1, PUP 1.

7.34pm. With the count up to 5718, my PUP swing projection is now at 6.7%, which is a winning score for them. I’ll be interested to see what Antony’s next projection for them says. The lower micro-party vote is making a HEMP win look unlikely.

7.26pm. Antony Green’s data-matching off the earliest fraction of the vote – which is still a lot cruder than what he’s usually able to do – concurs with a drop in the micro-party vote.

7.18pm. Count now up to 2459. We’re at least getting evidence of a lower micro-party vote: I’m crudely projecting solid drops for parties such as the Liberal Democrats, Australian Christians and Fishing & Lifestyle.

7.11pm. To illustrate that point, an increase in the vote count to 1586 has been enough to push my PUP swing projection up to 4.0%.

7.07pm. Vote count up to 1216. The least useless of my projection figures based on the available data is the Palmer United swing, which I have at a less-than-expected 2.9%. Still pretty useless though.

7.03pm. Keep in mind that big unwieldy Senate ballot papers are slower to count than than lower house papers, so it’s to be expected progress will be slower than we’re used to.

6.56pm. Five small booths in from O’Connor, which would not even be representative of that electorate never mind the rest of the state, since they offer no insight on the larger towns. Also a booth from Pearce, for a grand total of 355 votes counted. Much talk from political operatives about a drop in turnout of about 15%, putting it in the high seventies.

6pm. Polls have closed in Western Australia’s Senate election. Absent any media commitments, I’ll be closely following the results as they come in on this post. I’m still unclear as to whether the AEC will be publishing booth results, but at the very least will be able to analyse the figures based on crude matching of reported results at the division level to the 2013 figures. Antony Green will be covering the results on ABC News 24, but I’m not exactly clear what format that will take.

WA Senate election minus one day

A brief wade through the murk of tomorrow’s Western Australian Senate election.

A dedicated thread for WA Senate election discussion appears in order. First, some random chatter.

Troy Bramston on Twitter a few minutes ago:

I’m told @LiberalsWA polling has given Coalition confidence it will win 3 seats #wavotes ALP in danger of not winning 2. Greens likely 1.

Samantha Maiden on Twitter a few minutes before that:

Liberals in WA pessimistic of chances of snaring three out of six Senate spots with likely outcome 2 Lib, 2Lab, 1Green, 1 Clive Plamer PUP

Me in comments a bit earlier:

Informed speculation:

Big win for Scott Ludlam, maybe with a full quota in his own right.

Labor in the low 20s – maybe the very low 20s – but still more likely than not to scrape home for a second seat, thanks to left preferences staying left this time around. Very low turnout could thwart them though.

Palmer United to poll very strongly, but the danger to them is that they finish stranded in seventh place as both Liberal and Labor-Greens do just enough to make it to three quotas each.

The Liberals, nonetheless, in big danger of losing a third seat to Palmer.

A path to victory remains open for HEMP if the Labor vote falls low enough that they can’t cobble together a second quota. One possible scenario is Liberal 2, Labor 1, Greens 1, Palmer United 1, HEMP 1.

Lenore Taylor at The Guardian:

Labor’s lead candidate says voters can’t trust his party, the Palmer United party (PUP) candidates have gone missing, the Greens candidate is DJing, 75 people get to vote twice and the whole thing is an unprecedented rerun because the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) messed up last time. Oh, and it could have a critical impact on how the government gets its legislation through the upper house. The West Australian Senate poll would have jumped the shark, if the state wasn’t culling them.

All right, punters – let’s get punting.

WA Senate election minus five days

Some updates on the campaign trail for Saturday’s Western Australian Senate election, to go with the publication of the Poll Bludger’s election guide.

A Poll Bludger guide to Western Australia’s Senate election is open for business and accessible from the sidebar, providing a review of electoral history, the candidates and preference tickets. To mark the occasion, here’s an assembly of news nuggets as the campaign enters the home stretch:

• According to today’s West Australian, advertising monitoring firm Ebiquity estimates the Palmer United Party has spent “10 times more than Labor and 20 times more than the Liberals on television advertisements”. The substance of the advertising is that Palmer United will reduce the flow of Western Australian money to the eastern states, which may have proved counter-productive to its endeavours in the recent Tasmanian election, at which a similarly intensive advertising blitz failed to yield any dividends. Former Fremantle Dockers player Des Headland, who holds the unwinnable number two position on the party’s ticket, features prominently in the advertising; the number one candidate, Zhenya “Dio” Wang, does not.

• Labor appears to have picked up the tempo of its television advertising, matching Palmer United for air time during last night’s news bulletins, or exceeding it if additional anti-government advertising from the MUA and CFMEU is taken into account. Featuring prominently are Alannah MacTiernan, who not coincidentally was promoted to the position of Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for regional development, infrastructure and Western Australia as the campaign began, and Colin Barnett, whose example in delivering “too many cuts” is allegedly set to be followed by Tony Abbott with respect to “Medicare, education, even penalty rates”.

• The Liberal campaign has so far been far more low key so far as television advertising is concerned. Its one advertisement seeks to take advantage of the confusion of the September result, warning of the “crazy deals” which sent votes “all over the place”, and throwing in for good measure the loss of the ballot papers (leaving unstated any argument as to why this might cause one to vote Liberal in particular). The party has also taken advantage of suggestions Help End Marijuana Prohibition might preference-harvest its way to victory, with a radio advertisement castigating the Palmer United Party in particular for directing preferences its way. The West Australian joined in the counter-offensive against Palmer United on Saturday, its front page headline reading “SOLD A PUP” atop a report that rounded on his promise to deliver Western Australia more GST revenue.

• The focus on Help End Marijuana Prohibition drew more publicity than one might have anticipated to the HEMP campaign launch, fuelled by media concern about the local credentials of its candidates, James Moylan and his daughter, Tayla Moylan. Both live in Lismore, and when pressed by journalists the former offered that the Premier of Western Australia might be called “Barrett”.

• The Monte Carlo simulations of Original Truth Seeker suggests Palmer United will be unlikely to win a seat if it only retains its 5.0% vote share from September, and will need to approach 7% to be a better-than-even chance. None of the scenarios played out suggests HEMP is as much of a chance as some of the commentary suggests.

• If you’re a voter in Western Australia, please take the short amount of time required to fill out the University of Western Australia’s Senate election survey, so that you may do your bit for electoral behaviour research and perhaps win “a voucher for $500 on iTunes, Apple Store or Google Play”.

Western Australian Senate election: April 5

Follow the action of Western Australia’s historic Senate by-election campaign at this post, which will be updated semi-regularly with new information between now and polling day.

Sunday, March 23

I’ve finally found time to take a close look at the preferences situation and its likely effect on the result, on which Truth Seeker’s Monte Carlo simulations offer considerable insight. Here goes:

The result at last year’s election bucked the normal pattern in producing a result of four right, two left, rather than three-all. Within the right and left seat groupings were two separate battles, the results of which were never resolved. Clearly the Liberals won three seats on the right, the third elected candidate being Linda Reynolds, but the last one had the potential to go to either the Palmer United Party or the Sports Party. On the left, it was not clear whether both seats were won by Labor, or if Scott Ludlam held his seat for the Greens at the expense of Labor’s Louise Pratt. The major determinant of the left’s weak showing was a low vote for both Labor, down 3.11% on an already poor result in 2010 to 26.59%, and the Greens, down 4.47% on a strong 2010 result to 9.49%. Even when supplemented by the vote for smaller parties commonly reckoned to be part of the left, mainly the Sex Party (1.49%), Help End Marijuana Prohibition (1.06%), Wikileaks (0.75%), Animal Justice (0.74%), the total left vote was only 40.3%, or 40.6% if the Democrats are deemed to count. Either sum is a fair distance short of the 42.86% required for a third quota.

However, the situation was more complicated than usual due to both the high micro-party vote, and the extent to which micro-parties of left and right directed preferences to each other rather than larger parties of closer ideological proximity, a phenomenon largely attributed to the deal-making prowess of Glenn Druery. This was generally to the detriment of the left, particularly on the scenario in which preference-harvesting success story the Sports Party emerged triumphant at the final count. Among the parties contributing to the Sports Party snowball were the Sex Party, HEMP, Wikileaks and Animal Justice, whose preferences were accordingly denied to the Greens and Labor. Between the four of them, votes for “left” parties which ended up on the “right” accounted for about 4% of the total.

This time around, it appears the Sex Party, Wikileaks and Animal Justice have been stung by the controversies that attended their earlier pragmatic and/or perverse preference judgements, as each is running more conventionally left-wing tickets. Had they done so in September, the Sports Party would have been unable to make it to a quota on any scenario. Only HEMP (1.06%) looks to be on board the Glenn Druery train, with the main left parties buried deep down its ticket. With the potential for leakage thus reduced, it will only take a swing from right to left of 3.5% to convert last year’s four right, two left result into three-all.

On the right side of the ledger, it should be noted that the potential existed for the preference axe to have swung the other way last September, given the high placing granted to the Greens by Palmer United. Had the aforementioned left-wing minor parties directed preferences to the Greens, the scenario that saw the Sports Party elected would instead have delivered seats to both Louise Pratt and Scott Ludlam, with both Sports and Palmer excluded and the 5.0% Palmer vote shifting from right to left in the shape of a preference transfer to Ludlam. That would no doubt have caused considerable umbrage towards Palmer United in conservative circles. However, in keeping with the generally more straightforward picture this time around, the Palmer United ticket is generally anti-left, putting right-of-centre minor parties ahead of the Coalition, with Labor and then the Greens further down amidst mostly left-of-centre concerns.

Should a three-all result transpire, it seems very likely the result will be three Liberal, two Labor, one Greens, as it was in 2004, 2007 and 2010, barring a surprisingly large transfer of votes from Liberal to Palmer United. Otherwise, the fourth right seat will again be a tussle between Palmer United and an indeterminate preference-harvester. There are a number of reasons to favour the former, namely the extended Palmer publicity drive, the likelihood that lower turnout will harm the micro-party vote, and the aforementioned absence of the Sex Party and Wikileaks from preference harvesting arrangements. Conversely, the Sports and Motoring Enthusiasts parties may get a boost from the Russell Woolf/Verity James ticket, consisting of erstwhile ABC personalities running to plead the cause for the public broadcaster. As Paul Murray complained in Saturday’s West Australian, their ticket places Louise Pratt considerably higher than Linda Reynolds, and thus promises to deliver a free kick of indeterminate size to Labor. However, it also places the Sports Party and the Motoring Enthusiasts ahead of Labor, thus increasing the apparently diminished chances of one of those parties pulling off another boilover.

On the left, Labor has done the better out of the preference realignment in that the Sex Party has favoured it over the Greens, which amounted to twice as many votes last year as were cast for the Greens-preferencing Wikileaks. Ludlam would thus have to hope that Labor state secretary Simon Mead speaks truly when he argues lower turnout will hurt Labor, as any improvement in their vote would give him a higher hurdle to clear.

Friday, March 21

Antony Green’s preference calculator is open for business. Occasional pseph blogger Truth Seeker, who became a household name (in certain types of household at least) in tracking the Senate count in the weeks following the federal election, has also swung back into action, finding the most likely result to be three Liberal, two Labor and one Greens, based on a series of assumptions that may or may not prove accurate.

Tuesday, March 18

Group voting tickets have been published by the AEC site. Below are simplified versions thereof, which ignore placement of all candidates who are either certain to be elected, or certain not to be. In the former camp are the two two Liberal candidates and the top Labor candidate. In the latter are all candidates on non-major party tickets other than the lead candidate, and all below number three on the Liberal ticket and number two on the Labor ticket. For example, the DLP superficially appears to have Labor in the middle somewhere, but an exception has been made for Louise Pratt who is given last place, which means that DLP preferences will end up with anyone other than Labor at the decisive point in the count.

The Wikileaks Party: Greens; HEMP; Sex Party; Animal Justice; Voluntary Euthanasia; Labor; Socialist Alliance; Pirate; Sports; Sustainable Population; Democrats; DLP; Secular; Katter’s Australian; Republican; PUP; Nationals; Mutual; Liberal Democrats; Woolf/James; Liberal; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Family First; Freedom and Prosperity; Motoring Enthusiast; Smokers Rights; Fishing & Lifestyle; Australian Christians; Van Lieshout; Outdoor Recreation; Shooters & Fishers; Rise Up Australia.

The Nationals: Liberal; DLP; Fishing & Lifestyle; Australian Christians; Family First; Liberal Democrats; Building Australia; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Outdoor Recreation; Shooters & Fishers; Katter’s Australian; Republican; Mutual; Democrats; Woolf/James; PUP; Secular; Wikileaks; Labor; Greens; Sustainable Population; Rise Up Australia; Sex Party; Animal Justice; Pirate; Voluntary Euthanasia; Smokers Rights; Australian Voice; Freedom and Prosperity; Socialist Alliance; HEMP; Van Lieshout.

Russell Woolf/Verity James: Voluntary Euthanasia; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Labor; Greens; HEMP; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; Mutual; Sustainable Population; PUP; Wikileaks; Nationals; Democrats; Pirate; Katter’s Australian; Sex Party; Animal Justice; Secular; Socialist Alliance; Van Lieshout; Building Australia; Liberal; Republican; Smokers Rights; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Outdoor Recreation; Freedom and Prosperity; Liberal Democrats; Australian Voice; Family First.

Australian Democrats: Sustainable Population; Animal Justice; HEMP; Wikileaks; Mutual; Sex Party; Voluntary Euthanasia; Secular; Pirate; Socialist Alliance; Woolf/James; Freedom and Prosperity; Building Australia; Australian Voice; Katter’s Australian; PUP; Van Lieshout; Greens; Shooters & Fishers; Fishing & Lifestyle; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; half Labor, Nationals, Liberal; half Nationals, Liberal, Labor; Family First; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Republican; Smokers Rights; Outdoor Recreation; Liberal Democrats.

Pirate Party: Greens; Secular; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wikileaks; Sports; Sex Party; Liberal Democrats; Democrats; HEMP; Animal Justice; Sustainable Population; Mutual; Building Australia; Socialist Alliance; Australian Voice; Woolf/James; Labor; Republican; DLP; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Nationals; Shooters & Fishers; Katter’s Australian; PUP; Liberal; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Christians; Family First; Rise Up Australia; Van Lieshout.

Australian Labor Party: Secular; Animal Justice; Sex Party; Woolf/James; Voluntary Euthanasia; HEMP; Greens; Democrats; Pirate; Wikileaks; Socialist Alliance; Liberal Democrats; PUP; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Shooters & Fishers; Australian Christians; Family First; Freedom and Prosperity; Mutual; Sustainable Population; Motoring Enthusiast; Sports; Building Australia; Australian Voice; Fishing & Lifestyle; Republican; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Van Lieshout; Nationals; Liberal; Rise Up Australia.

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party: Shooters & Fishers; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Sustainable Population; Sports; PUP; HEMP; Fishing & Lifestyle; Mutual; Building Australia; Outdoor Recreation; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wikileaks; Pirate; Democrats; Woolf/James; Van Lieshout; Republican; Sex Party; Family First; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Katter’s Australian; Animal Justice; Liberal Democrats; Smokers Rights; Australian Christians; Nationals; half Liberal, half Labor; Greens; Secular; Socialist Alliance.

Freedom and Prosperity Party: Australian Voice; Mutual; Building Australia; Sports; Rise Up Australia; Katter’s Australian; Shooters & Fishers; DLP; Family First; Fishing & Lifestyle; Motoring Enthusiast; Australian Christians; Democrats; HEMP; Liberal Democrats; Republican; PUP; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Woolf/James; Van Lieshout; Pirate; Nationals; Liberal; Labor; Sex Party; Sustainable Population; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; Voluntary Euthanasia; Socialist Alliance; Secular; Greens.

Voluntary Euthanasia Party (Ticket 1): Woolf/James; HEMP; Secular; Sex Party; Pirate; Greens; Labor; Liberal Democrats; Sports; Sustainable Population; Democrats; Wikileaks; Socialist Alliance; PUP; Motoring Enthusiast; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; Mutual; Nationals; Republican; Liberal; Smokers Rights; Australian Christians; Family First; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Katter’s Australian; Animal Justice; Outdoor Recreation; Van Lieshout.
Voluntary Euthanasia Party (Ticket 2): Woolf/James; HEMP; Secular; Sex Party; Pirate; Labor; Greens; Liberal Democrats; Sports; Sustainable Population; Democrats; Wikileaks; Motoring Enthusiast; Building Australia; Outdoor Recreation; Socialist Alliance; Smokers Rights; Republican; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; Mutual; PUP; Australian Voice; Freedom and Prosperity; Nationals; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Animal Justice; Liberal; Rise Up Australia; Family First; Australian Christians; Van Lieshout.

Liberal Democrats: Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Democrats; Wikileaks; Mutual; Republican; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Woolf/James; HEMP; Building Australia; Sports; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Sustainable Population; Family First; Voluntary Euthanasia; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Pirate; Secular; Sex Party; Liberal; Shooters & Fishers; Nationals; Labor; PUP; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; Greens; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance; Van Lieshout.

Australian Voice Party: Freedom and Prosperity; Sustainable Population; Building Australia; Motoring Enthusiast; Shooters & Fishers; Fishing & Lifestyle; PUP; Australian Christians; HEMP; Sports; Mutual; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Wikileaks; Democrats; Rise Up Australia; Animal Justice; Woolf/James; Sex Party; Nationals; Family First; Republican; Secular; Socialist Alliance; Pirate; Voluntary Euthanasia; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Liberal Democrats; Liberal; Labor; Greens; Van Lieshout.

Building Australia Party: Australian Voice; Mutual; Sustainable Population; Freedom and Prosperity; Sports; Democrats; Shooters & Fishers; Fishing & Lifestyle; Motoring Enthusiast; HEMP; DLP; Family First; Australian Christians; Katter’s Australian; Rise Up Australia; Animal Justice; PUP; Liberal Democrats; Republican; Smokers Rights; Nationals; Woolf/James; Wikileaks; Liberal; Sex Party; Labor; Pirate; Secular; Socialist Alliance; Outdoor Recreation; Voluntary Euthanasia; Greens; Van Lieshout.

Mutual Party: Van Lieshout; Sustainable Population; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Democrats; Katter’s Australian; Sports; Rise Up Australia; Republican; Liberal Democrats; Shooters & Fishers; DLP; HEMP; Woolf/James; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wikileaks; Fishing & Lifestyle; PUP; Motoring Enthusiast; Smokers Rights; Australian Christians; Sex Party; Family First; Outdoor Recreation; Animal Justice; Secular; Pirate; Liberal; Nationals; Socialist Alliance; Labor; Greens.

Family First Party: PUP; DLP; Rise Up Australia; Australian Christians; Fishing & Lifestyle; Building Australia; Sports; Freedom and Prosperity; Liberal Democrats; Nationals; Liberal; Motoring Enthusiast; Shooters & Fishers; Katter’s Australian; Outdoor Recreation; Van Lieshout; Mutual; Animal Justice; Australian Voice; Democrats; Woolf/James; Sustainable Population; Republican; Smokers Rights; Greens; Labor; Voluntary Euthanasia; Pirate; Wikileaks; HEMP; Secular; Socialist Alliance; Sex Party.

Sustainable Population Party: Mutual; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Motoring Enthusiast; Democrats; Sports; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; HEMP; Voluntary Euthanasia; Woolf/James; Nationals; Sex Party; Liberal Democrats; Fishing & Lifestyle; one-third Greens, Labor, Liberal; one-third Labor, Greens, Liberal; one-third Liberal, Greens, Labor; Republican; Secular; PUP; Pirate; Family First; Australian Christians; Katter’s Australian; Freedom and Prosperity; DLP; Shooters & Fishers; Rise Up Australia; Socialist Alliance; Smokers Rights; Outdoor Recreation; Van Lieshout.

Palmer United Party: Sports; Family First; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; HEMP; Democrats; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Katter’s Australian; Freedom and Prosperity; Mutual; Nationals; Liberal; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; Labor; Pirate; Woolf/James; Outdoor Recreation; Secular; Van Lieshout; DLP; Animal Justice; Greens; Sustainable Population; Republican; Wikileaks; Smokers Rights; Socialist Alliance; Sex Party; Liberal Democrats; Voluntary Euthanasia.

Australian Sports Party: Freedom and Prosperity; Sustainable Population; Australian Voice; Fishing & Lifestyle; Mutual; Motoring Enthusiast; Building Australia; Voluntary Euthanasia; Republican; Wikileaks; Shooters & Fishers; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Australian Christians; Family First; Democrats; Sex Party; Liberal Democrats; PUP; Secular; Liberal; HEMP; Katter’s Australian; Socialist Alliance; Pirate; Animal Justice; Greens; Labor; Nationals; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Woolf/James; Van Lieshout.

Liberal: Nationals; Australian Christians; DLP; Liberal Democrats; Shooters & Fishers; Family First; Katter’s Australian; PUP; Woolf/James; Fishing & Lifestyle; Democrats; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Mutual; Sustainable Population; Sports; Outdoor Recreation; Motoring Enthusiast; Republican; Smokers Rights; Voluntary Euthanasia; Secular; Pirate; Sex Party; Animal Justice; Labor; Wikileaks; HEMP; Socialist Alliance; Rise Up Australia; Greens; Van Lieshout.

Shooters and Fishers: Australian Voice; Freedom and Prosperity; Sports; Building Australia; Mutual; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Democrats; HEMP; Sustainable Population; Republican; Katter’s Australian; Rise Up Australia; PUP; Family First; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Liberal Democrats; Liberal; Nationals; Labor; Australian Christians; DLP; Sex Party; Woolf/James; Voluntary Euthanasia; Secular; Pirate; Wikileaks; Socialist Alliance; Van Lieshout; Animal Justice; Greens.

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party: Wikileaks; Democrats; Voluntary Euthanasia; Animal Justice; Katter’s Australian; Australian Voice; Sustainable Population; Mutual; Freedom and Prosperity; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Building Australia; Shooters & Fishers; Woolf/James; Sex Party; Republican; Secular; Pirate; Labor; PUP; Liberal Democrats; Socialist Alliance; Greens; Smokers Rights; Outdoor Recreation; DLP; Rise Up Australia; Nationals; Family First; Van Lieshout; Australian Christians; Liberal.

Republican Party of Australia: Liberal Democrats; Sustainable Population; Secular; Sex Party; Freedom and Prosperity; HEMP; Voluntary Euthanasia; Outdoor Recreation; Shooters & Fishers; Democrats; Animal Justice; Mutual; Smokers Rights; Building Australia; Australian Voice; Fishing & Lifestyle; Liberal; Nationals; Greens; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Labor; Katter’s Australian; Socialist Alliance; Pirate; Rise Up Australia; Wikileaks; Woolf/James; Australian Christians; Family First; DLP; PUP; Van Lieshout.

Smokers Rights: Liberal Democrats; Outdoor Recreation; Van Lieshout; Democrats; Wikileaks; Mutual; Republican; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Woolf/James; HEMP; Building Australia; Sports; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Sustainable Population; Family First; Voluntary Euthanasia; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Pirate; Secular; Sex Party; Liberal; Shooters & Fishers; Nationals; Labor; PUP; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; Greens; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance.

Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party: Freedom and Prosperity; Shooters & Fishers; DLP; Building Australia; Sustainable Population; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Australian Christians; Democrats; Mutual; Republican; Family First; Rise Up Australia; Liberal; Nationals; PUP; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance; Katter’s Australian; HEMP; Labor; Greens; Secular; Australian Voice; Pirate; Woolf/James; Van Lieshout; Wikileaks; Liberal Democrats; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Sex Party; Voluntary Euthanasia.

Australian Christians: DLP; Rise Up Australia; Family First; Liberal; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Nationals; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; Katter’s Australian; Mutual; Building Australia; Sports; PUP; Motoring Enthusiast; Van Lieshout; Republican; Woolf/James; Outdoor Recreation; Labor; Pirate; Animal Justice; Democrats; Smokers Rights; Wikileaks; Secular; Liberal Democrats; Socialist Alliance; HEMP; Sustainable Population; Greens; Voluntary Euthanasia; Sex Party.

Secular Party of Australia: Democrats; Voluntary Euthanasia; Sex Party; Wikileaks; Pirate; Republican; Greens; Liberal Democrats; HEMP; Animal Justice; Labor; Socialist Alliance; Van Lieshout; Sustainable Population; Nationals; Liberal; Building Australia; PUP; Mutual; Outdoor Recreation; Katter’s Australian; Sports; Fishing & Lifestyle; Australian Voice; Motoring Enthusiast; Smokers Rights; Shooters & Fishers; Freedom and Prosperity; Rise Up Australia; DLP; Family First; Woolf/James; Australian Christians.

Rise Up Australia Party: DLP; Australian Christians; Family First; Mutual; Katter’s Australian; Freedom and Prosperity; Building Australia; Australian Voice; Fishing & Lifestyle; Sports; Liberal; Nationals; Outdoor Recreation; Shooters & Fishers; Motoring Enthusiast; PUP; Smokers Rights; Woolf/James; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; Liberal Democrats; Democrats; Pirate; Republican; Sustainable Population; Van Lieshout; Secular; Socialist Alliance; HEMP; Voluntary Euthanasia; Sex Party; Greens; Labor.

The Greens (WA): Wikileaks; Pirate; Socialist Alliance; Woolf/James; Labor; Sex Party; Animal Justice; Voluntary Euthanasia; Secular; Democrats; HEMP; Sustainable Population; Sports; Republican; Australian Voice; Building Australia; DLP; Motoring Enthusiast; Family First; Katter’s Australian; PUP; Mutual; Freedom and Prosperity; Nationals; Liberal; Australian Christians; Shooters & Fishers; Smokers Rights; Fishing & Lifestyle; Outdoor Recreation; Liberal Democrats; Van Lieshout; Rise Up Australia.

DLP Democratic Labour Rise Up Australia; Australian Christians; Family First; Katter’s Australian; Mutual; Van Lieshout; Fishing & Lifestyle; Building Australia; Australian Voice; Freedom and Prosperity; Motoring Enthusiast; Sports; Woolf/James; Republican; Smokers Rights; Outdoor Recreation; Liberal Democrats; Nationals; Liberal; Shooters & Fishers; PUP; Democrats; Secular; Sustainable Population; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance; Pirate; HEMP; Wikileaks; Voluntary Euthanasia; Sex Party; Greens; Labor.

Katter’s Australian Party: Mutual; Australian Voice; DLP; Liberal Democrats; Democrats; Australian Christians; HEMP; Shooters & Fishers; Building Australia; Outdoor Recreation; PUP; Rise Up Australia; Fishing & Lifestyle; Family First; Van Lieshout; Woolf/James; Nationals; half Labor, half Liberal; Republican; Pirate; Sustainable Population; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance; Secular; Freedom and Prosperity; Greens; Sex Party; Smokers Rights.

Animal Justice Party: Sustainable Population; Democrats; Voluntary Euthanasia; HEMP; Pirate; Wikileaks; Sex Party; Mutual; Secular; half Labor, half Greens; PUP; Woolf/James; Katter’s Australian; Liberal; Republican; Socialist Alliance; Building Australia; Family First; Australian Voice; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Christians; DLP; Nationals; Liberal Democrats; Outdoor Recreation; Smokers Rights; Rise Up Australia; Sports; Motoring Enthusiast; Van Lieshout; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers.

Sex Party: Secular; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; Labor; HEMP; Democrats; Voluntary Euthanasia; Pirate; Greens; Socialist Alliance; Sports; Mutual; Woolf/James; Freedom and Prosperity; Sustainable Population; Australian Voice; Building Australia; Shooters & Fishers; Fishing & Lifestyle; Motoring Enthusiast; PUP; Liberal; Nationals; Katter’s Australian; Smokers Rights; Republican; Van Lieshout; Liberal Democrats; Outdoor Recreation; DLP; Family First; Rise Up Australia; Australian Christians.

Socialist Alliance: Greens; Pirate; Woolf/James; HEMP; Voluntary Euthanasia; Wikileaks; Animal Justice; Sex Party; Labor; Democrats; Sustainable Population; Sports; Secular; Mutual; DLP; Nationals; Liberal; Republican; Katter’s Australian; PUP; Motoring Enthusiast; Australian Voice; Liberal Democrats; Building Australia; Smokers Rights; Fishing & Lifestyle; Shooters & Fishers; Australian Christians; Family First; Rise Up Australia; Freedom and Prosperity; Van Lieshout; Outdoor Recreation.

Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop The Greens): Liberal Democrats; Smokers Rights; Van Lieshout; Democrats; Wikileaks; Mutual; Republican; Katter’s Australian; DLP; Woolf/James; HEMP; Building Australia; Sports; Freedom and Prosperity; Australian Voice; Sustainable Population; Family First; Voluntary Euthanasia; Motoring Enthusiast; Fishing & Lifestyle; Pirate; Secular; Sex Party; Liberal; Shooters & Fishers; Nationals; Labor; PUP; Australian Christians; Rise Up Australia; Animal Justice; Socialist Alliance; Greens.

Friday, March 14

The ballot paper draw was conducted today, and thanks to a
photo tweeted by the Greens from the AEC office, we can see that there are 33 groups listed – not as bad as the 44 from New South Wales last year, but bad enough that the font size on the ballot paper will have to be smaller this time. In order:

A: Wikileaks Party
B: Nationals
C: Unendorsed (Russell Woolf)
D: Democrats
E: Pirate Party
F: Labor
G: Motoring Enthusiast
H: Freedom and Prosperity
I: Voluntary Euthanasia
J: Liberal Democrats
K: Australian Voice
L: Building Australia
M: Mutual Party
N: Family First
O: Sustainable Population
P: Palmer United Party
Q: Australian Sports Party
R: Liberal
S: Shooters and Fishers
T: Help End Marijuana Prohibition
U: Republican Party of Australia
V: Smokers Rights
W: Australian Fishing and Lifestyle
X: Australian Christians
Y: Secular Party
Z: Rise Up Australia
AA: Greens
AB: Democratic Labor Party
AC: Katter’s Australian Party
AD: Animal Justice
AE: Sex Party
AF: Socialist Alliance
AG: Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens)

Monday, March 10

State election diversions have left me with regrettably little to say about the momentous re-run of Western Australia’s Senate election on April 5, but here finally is a post that will be regularly updated with noteworthy developments as the campaign proceeds. The electoral roll closed on Friday, and the remainder of the timetable runs as follows:

Thursday, March 13. Close of nominations.
Friday, March 14. Ballot paper draw.
Saturday, March 15. Lodgement of group voting tickets.
Tuesday, March 18. Early voting commences.
Saturday, April 5. Polling day.

So it is on Friday that we will find out exactly how many candidates the ballot paper will have to accommodate, and the precise scale of the related logistical issues facing the beleagured Australian Electoral Commission, and on Saturday that we will have a clear sense of the preference terrain. Most of the news generated by the campaign so far has accordingly related to the preference negotiations, which has provided a succession of bad news for the Greens. Labor has indicated it will break a practice of 10 years in not giving the Greens their second preference, essentially because their incentive to do so is weakened by the fact that the Greens do not have lower house preferences to barter with. Help End Marijuana Prohibition says it will drop the Greens down its order because, as Heath Aston of Fairfax reports, it has not delivered on its promise to call a drug summit in Canberra. The Sex Party says it will do the same because, as Andrew Tillett of The West Australian reports, it is “furious the Greens ran a national social media campaign in the lead-up to the September 7 poll, claiming that a vote for the Sex Party would help elect Pauline Hanson to a NSW Senate seat” (albeit that the claim was by no means unfair).

The implications of left-wing minor parties, which can be said to include the Democrats and Wikileaks as well as the aforementioned HEMP and Sex Party, crossing the ideological divide to participate in micro-party preference coalitions is considered by Charles Richardson in Crikey. If left and right parties directed preferences to each other, it is likely that both Louise Pratt and Scott Ludlam would get up for a result of two Labor and one Greens, while a tussle would emerge on the right between the third Liberal and the leading right-wing preference harvester. However, if preferences from the aforementioned left-wing micro parties end up with said preference-harvester ahead of Labor and the Greens, the chance increases of the left again having only two seats, and Pratt and Ludlam again fighting it out for the second. If Labor puts the preference-harvester ahead of the Greens, the chances of a four right, two left result increases still further in the event that Pratt falls out of the count at an earlier stage than Ludlam.