Launching the ACT 2020 election guide


Voting starts on Monday in the Australian Capital Territory election, with election day to be held on October 17.

Voters will be electing twenty-five members of the Legislative Assembly across five electorates using the Hare-Clark proportional voting system.

You can now read the guide to this election.

The current government is led by Labor’s Andrew Barr, with one Greens minister. The current Assembly includes twelve Labor MLAs, eleven Liberals and two Greens.

The Liberal Party is very close to winning a twelfth seat in Murrumbidgee. Indeed you can argue that the increase in the Liberal vote in this electorate has turned the second Greens seat into a notional Liberal seat. But it will be a lot harder for the Liberals to win a thirteenth seat to win a majority and form government (likely in Yerrabi in the north).

You can click through to read each electorate’s guide here:

You can also use the following map to click on any electorate, and then click through to the relevant guide.

I will be back in a week or so with an ACT election preview episode of the podcast, and I will be live-blogging on election night, so stay tuned.

This work is made possible by the support of the generous people who support this website via Patreon. If you find this useful, please consider signing up as a donor via Patreon.

Victorian council elections – mapping federal results to wards


I haven’t seriously attempted to wrap my head around who is running in the Victorian council elections, which councils are dominated by one faction or the other, and which seats are in play.This is primarily because the VEC does not publish party affiliations for candidates, and until this year Labor has been sitting out of contesting the elections.

I don’t believe the Liberal Party has ever formally contested Victorian council elections, which mostly just leaves the Greens running formally. The use of postal voting also reduces my ability to use mapping to tell the result of the elections.

Still that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done to map out the political balance of each council.

In this post, I have matched the election results at the 2016 and 2019 federal elections to the new 2020 ward boundaries. I’ll focus in on one council (Darebin) which I think is interesting, and I’ll post a statewide map and a spreadsheet so you can do your own analysis.

Victorian councils 2020 – how did the wards changed?


In yesterday’s post I looked at which Victorian councils were effected by the changes to the ward redistribution process earlier this year. In this post I’m going to look at how the wards changed in the fourteen councils which experienced a change.

Victorian councils 2020 – the impact of the Somyurek changes


Nominations closed yesterday for Victoria’s local government elections. Ballot papers will be sent out by mail in early October, with the votes being counted from October 24.

I’m not across the complexity of who is running so I won’t try and be across the candidates, but what I do now are the ward boundaries.

I posted a number of times earlier this year about the Victorian Labor government’s plans to change the rules around ward redistributions to push councils back towards single-member wards. The plans were pushed through parliament by the soon-to-be-disgraced local government minister, Adem Somyurek. He then used his newfound ministerial powers to switch a number of Victorian councils from multi-member wards to single-member wards, and prevented a number of others from switching in the other direction.

In particular I posted an analysis showing how the structure of Victorian local government elections has shifted away from single-member wards since 2004.

I have now finished my ward boundaries file for the 2020 Victorian council elections, which you can now download from my maps page. I’ve now posted full ward boundaries for the last four local government election cycles in the three biggest states, dating back to 2008.

In this post I’ll show some maps showing how many councillors each ward elects across the state, how the ratio of councillors to wards varies from place to place, and which councils were impacted by Somyurek’s changes. I’ve also updated the charts I posted in March to show the change in trajectory from the recent “reforms”.

Podcast #43: Queensland election preview


Ben is joined by the University of Queensland’s Chris Salisbury and Glenn Kefford to preview next month’s Queensland election.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

QLD 2020 – candidate update


I launched my guide for the Queensland state election on Tuesday, and as part of that guide I have been compiling a list of candidates running in the election.

Over three hundred candidates have been identified so far, although the list shrunk slightly this week when three Palaszczuk government ministers announced their retirement.

Coralee O’Rourke, who holds the Townsville-area seat of Mundingburra, announced her retirement earlier in the week, and then yesterday Anthony Lynham and Kate Jones announced their retirements from their seats of Stafford and Cooper.

My list currently includes 309 candidates.

View the list here.

This includes 81 LNP candidates, 74 Labor candidates, 43 Greens and 38 One Nation candidates. Other parties running include Informed Medical Options (18), Legalise Cannabis (13), United Australia (13), Katter’s Australian Party (12), Animal Justice (6) and North Queensland First (5).

A total of 453 candidates nominated in 2017, so this is roughly on track when you consider the number of candidates likely to announce over the next month. I’d expect another hundred or so candidates from the four big parties.

I have recorded the gender of each candidate and will return to that topic in the future. At the moment 188 men and 121 women have been identified as candidates. 43% of Labor candidates are women, compared to 28% of LNP candidates. This is a slight improvement for Labor and about the same for the LNP, compared to the final candidate list in 2017.

At the moment there are on average 3.3 candidates running per seat. Seven candidates are running in Townsville and Whitsunday.

There are also four seats with just one candidate. The incumbent MP is the only candidate so far in Callide, Logan and Woodridge, while in Stafford there is only an LNP candidate following Dr Lynham’s retirement yesterday. Of course, all of these races should end up being healthy contests between at least three candidates.

I will continue to update this candidate list up until the close of nominations. I will regularly update candidate lists on individual electorate profiles as new candidates emerge but it won’t be the highest priority for me as I work on some other projects. If you find a candidate that hasn’t been listed you can contact me or post as a comment on their seat. Rest assured I will take note of the candidate announcements in the comments and add them to the public list and the seat guides as time allows.

Podcast #42: all about redistributions


Ben is joined by William Bowe from the Poll Bludger and new guest Michael Maley, formerly of the Australian Electoral Commission, to talk all about redistributions: how they work now, how they used to work and how they have changed over time.

This podcast is supported by the Tally Room’s supporters on Patreon. If you find this podcast worthwhile please consider giving your support.

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for “the Tally Room”. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.

Victorian councils update – some campaigning allowed


The Victorian government today announced some rule changes from the end of this weekend which will allow some local government election campaigning which doesn’t pose a risk of spreading disease.

These changes do make it easier for campaigns to get a message out, but I still don’t think it justifies the decision to proceed with the local government elections on the original schedule.

I blogged about this issue yesterday morning, but since then the government has announced that from the end of Sunday night it will become legal to letterbox leaflets, and to deliver posters to be put up by supporters.

Unveiling the Queensland 2020 election guide


The Queensland state election will be held on October 31, and I have now completed my guide to this election.

This guide features profiles of all 93 electorates. Each profile includes the history of that seat, a description of its geography, and maps and tables showing the results of the 2017 election.

View the guide here.

Each guide also includes a candidate list, which will be an ongoing task to keep updated until the close of nominations.

Each guide includes a comment section, where you can discuss the progress of the contest in that electorate. Some seats already have numerous comments since the soft launch of the guide last week.

This has been a big project. I have been working on this guide on and off in between other projects since February. I hope you’ll find it useful.

If you do find this to be a useful tool in understanding this election, please consider signing up as a regular donor via Patreon. Patreon donors ensure that I can dedicate time to working on projects like this. I’m already working on my guide to the ACT election and thinking ahead to the Western Australian state election in March and the NSW local government elections next year.

That’s it for now, although I will be posting regularly about this state election, and have plans for a number of podcasts focused on this election.

How do you run for election under stage 4 lockdown?


Victorians will soon be voting in local council elections amidst an extended lockdown. While the number of new Covid-19 cases has been dropping, Melburnians will still face a stage 4 lockdown for six more weeks.

Victorian council elections are conducted entirely by post, which will make it easier for people to cast their votes, but the lockdown will make it much harder for candidates to campaign, and give an advantage to those candidates with more money.

In these circumstances it’s hard to see these elections being free and fair, and really makes me wonder why the Victorian government did not postpone the elections.