Podcast #39: Introducing the NT election


Ben is joined by Robyn Smith, historian of the Northern Territory, to discuss the upcoming NT election – recent political events, the party system, some seats to watch, and the peculiar nature of NT elections.

Robyn mentioned Weekends with Walshy, which features in the podcast feed for Territory Story.

Check out Ben’s guide to the NT election.

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.

NT 2020 – nominations close


Nominations closed yesterday for the upcoming Northern Territory election. 111 candidates have nominated, with three parties running in most seats. I’ve put together a dataset with all the candidates, and some analysis on who is running, and where.

The incumbent Labor Party is running candidates in all 25 seats, and they are the only party to run in every seat. The opposition Country Liberal Party is running 24 seats, but is sitting out the race in Mulka in the remote north-east of the territory.

Mulka is a new name for Nhulunbuy, and is being defended by incumbent independent MP Yingiya Mark Guyula. He is being challenged by his predecessor, Labor’s Lynne Walker, and no-one else. It’s the only seat where only two candidates are running.

The new Territory Alliance is running 21 candidates, while the Greens are running ten. There are another six candidates running for small parties, and twenty-five independents.

This is a slightly smaller field of candidates than in 2016, when 115 people ran. This is still the second-largest number of candidates to run in an NT election, with the next highest number being 88 who ran in 2001.

My dataset also includes the gender of the candidates. Labor came close to gender parity, with 14 men and 11 women, as did Territory Alliance, with eleven men and ten women. The CLP are running 18 men and six women. The Greens are running six men and four women. Overall there are 70 men and 41 women running – that’s 63% men.

You can view the dataset here.

You can also check out my guide to the NT election, which now includes the final candidate lists for each seat.

Elsewhere: Antony Green also covers the nominations closing, with some historic data on past nominations.

Tasmanian LC results live


11:21pm – So this is where I’ll leave tonight’s brief and sporadic liveblog. I’ve put together booth maps showing the ordinary election day votes for the three top candidates in Huon and the two top candidates in Rosevears. Although we should emphasise that these ordinary votes make up a much smaller share of the total vote than we’d normally expect. The maps default to the likely winners but can be toggled.

9:51pm – At the moment the most likely outcome would see Labor take a seat from a conservative independent, and the Liberal Party replacing a progressive independent. This result would mean that the upper house would only include seven independents, alongside five Labor and three Liberals. This is the weakest representation for independents in the history of the chamber. Independents held thirteen seats as recently as 2012-13. Independents were replaced by party members in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018. So the likely outcome this year would result in six seats flipping from independents to parties over seven years.

9:37pm – Postal votes have reported from Huon. Labor has polled 33%, Armstrong polled 24%, and Caruana (Greens) polled 12.4%. This has pushed Armstrong into second place overall on 19%, but a long way behind Seidel on 31%. We’ve still got the other half of the postal votes to come tomorrow which will likely strengthen Armstrong’s position, but Labor is currently in a strong position to win the seat. Preferences from the Greens should strongly favour Seidel, although Armstrong will likely benefit from other candidates’ preferences.

9:18pm – And the postal votes for tonight have come in for Rosevears. 42% for Palmer (Lib) and 31% for Finlay. It’s a good position for Palmer, although we would need to know more about preference flows before calling the result.

9:14pm – We now have some pre-poll votes from Huon. Labor polled 34%, the Greens and Harris both polled 16%, Armstrong polled 19%. This has pushed Armstrong into third place overall.

8:50pm – The first batch of pre-poll votes in Rosevears largely follow the pattern of the rest of the seat – 41% for Palmer and 32% for Finlay.

7:42pm – We now have all of the ordinary booths reporting. In Huon, Labor’s Bastian Seidel leads with 30% of the primary vote, followed by the Greens’ Pat Caruana just under 20%, with conservative independent Dean Harriss on 16.6% and sitting independent MP Robert Armstrong just behind on 16.4%. It doesn’t look good for Armstrong, although a lot of pre-poll and postal votes are yet to be counted. Labor looks like the favourites here but preferences will be crucial.

In Rosevears, Liberal candidate Jo Palmer is leading on 41.8%, with independent Janie Finlay on 30.7%. No-one else has cracked 10%. It will clearly be a race between these two. I suspect Finlay will do better on preferences, but there’s also a lot of pre-poll and postal primary votes to be counted.

6:30pm – Polls closed thirty minutes ago in the Legislative Council elections in Huon and Rosevears in Tasmania. I won’t be doing a lot of early coverage but will be back later tonight with some more analysis once most of the election-day votes are in.

In the meantime, check out my guides to Huon and Rosevears. You can also listen to my podcast about these elections.

One major factor in these elections is the tremendous number of postal votes received. According to Kevin Bonham on Twitter, we should expect about half of these votes to be counted tonight.

Podcast #38: Tasmanian upper house preview


Ben is joined by Kevin Bonham to talk about next weekend’s elections for the Tasmanian Legislative Council.

Apologies for lower quality audio on Ben’s part – but it should still be perfectly clear.

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.

SA government proposes optional preferential voting


The South Australian government announced earlier this week that they plan to introduce legislation that will change the voting system from compulsory preferential voting (CPV) to optional preferential voting (OPV).

There are principled arguments for such a change, as it would likely ensure more votes are counted and the informal rate drops, but it is also something which would likely help the Liberal Party in the short term against Labor – although OPV has sometimes benefited Labor over the Coalition in the past.

NSW redistribution – parsing the major party submissions


The NSW redistribution has passed through its first stage, with the publication of suggestions about how the new electoral map should be drawn. Suggestions closed on July 1, but it’s taken me some time to be able to properly process them.

The major parties (Labor, Liberal and Nationals) all submitted full suggestions for the entire state, featuring maps of those proposed electorates. The Greens also made suggestions for the whole state, although their proposals did not involve exact numbers of voters being moved, or maps of proposed boundaries.

There is a hell of a lot of information in these proposals and there’s a lot of stories to tell from how they’ve drawn the boundaries. Each party has made some significant changes, but also a lot of subtle changes. I can’t necessarily tell you how the whole map would perform without making a digital version of each map and calculating the margins myself, but it’s worth examining the boundaries in each area to get a sense of possible alternative maps. Nevertheless we can assume that Labor and Liberal have both drawn maps that would advantage their side, and we can see hints of this trend in some areas.

Overall the Liberal Party has been generally more willing to radically redraw electoral boundaries, while Labor has been more conservative, although Labor has drawn boundaries that might raise eyebrows in a few places where there has been significant population pressures. The Nationals and Greens have both been relatively conservative in leaving seats alone.

I’m going to run through a number of regions to compare the different proposed boundaries.

Coming up next: Tasmanian upper house elections


The next election in Australia will be taking place two weeks from tomorrow. It is the most peculiar of Australia’s regular elections: the Tasmanian upper house election.

Tasmania’s upper house consists of fifteen members, each representing a separate electorate. It’s the only upper house elected by single-member electorates. But it is peculiar because of its election timing. Two or three seats are put up for election every year, with the whole chamber refreshing over a six-year cycle.

This year the two seats are Huon and Rosevears. Both are seats which contain a small part of an urban area and a larger rural heartland. Huon covers the south-western corner of the state, including the Huon Valley, Bruny Island and the southern edge of Hobart. Rosevears covers a small part of Launceston and moves up the West Tamar area to the north-west of Launceston.

These elections were originally scheduled for May 2 but were delayed to August 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Northern Territory election guide complete


The Northern Territory general election is due next month, on August 22nd.

The first-term Gunner Labor government will be seeking a second term, while their opposition is split between the Country Liberal Party and the new Territory Alliance.

The guide features profiles of all 25 electorates. Each profile covers each seat’s history, geography, political situation and the results of the 2016 election. There’s also a comment section where you can discuss the the contest in that electorate.

You can view the guide here.

You can click through to individual seat guides from this alphabetical seat list, or this pendulum, or by clicking on a seat on this map:

I’ll be back with more coverage of this election as election day approaches, and I’m hoping to cover the topic on the podcast in August.

Podcast #37 – Eden-Monaro results and state seat entitlements


Ben is joined by William Bowe, the Poll Bludger, to discuss the results of the Eden-Monaro by-election. We then digressed into a discussion of the determination of entitlements of House of Representatives seats for each state, including the abolition of the Northern Territory’s second seat and long-term trends for Victoria and Western Australia.

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.

Eden-Monaro – where the south-east was won


It took all night, but early this morning it became clear that Labor had won the Eden-Monaro by-election, when the last of the pre-poll booths reported their results, and a first batch of postal votes were far better for Labor than postal votes usually are.

In this post I’ll show you a map of the results and swings, and break down how each part of Eden-Monaro swung, and how turnout shifted away from election day and towards pre-poll voting.