Day 17: Group voting tickets released

19

The AEC yesterday released the preference orders determined by political parties running in the Senate, which will be used to distribute above-the-line preferences, and determine Senate results in a difficult-to-understand process.

William Bowe at the Poll Bludger has posted simplified versions of the tickets, and Antony Green will soon be posting Senate calculators, which will allow you to predict the results in the Senate based on different primary vote levels.

The Democrats in the ACT and South Australia have pushed the Greens below major party candidates, making it harder for the Greens to win those seats, despite the Greens putting the Democrats ahead of all other significant parties in every state.

In the ACT, the Democrats have put the Greens below the Liberal Party. With only five groups running, the Democrats should still poll a decent number of votes, and it will be extremely difficult for the Greens to outpoll the Liberals with the Democrats flowing the other way. The Greens have argued that they had a deal with the Democrats to swap preferences, while the Democrats have argued that ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is a “small-l liberal” who would be a “hand of restraint” on a possible Prime Minister Abbott, which seems pretty unlikely.

In South Australia, where the Greens are competing with the ALP, the Democrats also preferenced against the Greens. Former Democrats leader and current Greens candidate Andrew Bartlett attacked Democrats preference decisions as “ludicrous & intellectually dishonest”.

In NSW, the Liberal Democrats received a strong preference flow from many microparties, but failed to get the preferences they needed from the Christian Democrats and Shooters which would allow them to compete with Labor and the Greens. Antony Green has analysed the preference flows, and argues that the Climate Sceptics and Family First have a chance of winning in South Australia.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Amazingly poor reporting. Looking at Queensland its almost liabilist.

    Huh? Are you upset at the DLP being lumped into the micro-party category?

  2. I think the decision of the ACT Democrats is both wrong and tactically stupid. I blogged in more detail about it here: http://www.pollymorgan.com/archives/68
    however, in summary, I think the decision goes against Democrats principles and objectives, particularly since Lin Hatfield Dodds is an outstanding social justice advocate, and it’s tactically stupid, as the Liberals would have preferenced them in the ACT anyway, and the Liberals have preferenced the Democrats after Family First in other states (which is exactly what they did in 2007).

  3. Keep in mind that the Australian Democrats have gone to the Greens in five senate races, and only Labor in one and Liberal in one.

    The Australian Democrats in this regrowth phase have been increasingly state orientated. At least in NSW, we’re trying to go further, by getting the dozen regional branches up and running again.

    As a candidate for the Australian Democrats (Macarthur), I still need to work full time, whilst paying my own deposit and my campaign expenses. I’ve paid for all the calls I’ve made over the last few weeks.

    We don’t receive the over $1,000,000 of electoral funding the Greens received in electoral funding in NSW last election, nor the $4,370,000 they received nationally. Nor do we have access to the $40,000,000 loot the majors split between them last election.

    Based on the Australian Democrats vote share, they should have seen at least half a million dollars worth of electoral funding last election. Because of the 4% threshold, we received none.

    For us to become relevant again, we have to get back over 4%. That’s the reality of the situation. Unless you’re willing to go out there and convince half a million Green voters to vote Democrats, we need to look elsewhere.

    We need to reach out to the disaffected voters in the major parties. This includes the Labor voters who are sick of Labor’s rejection of same sex marriage and backflips on climate change, and Liberal voters who are sick of the spending and want to see some decency offered to asylum seekers.

    Personally, I want to see the majors reduced to two senate seats each per state each election. To do that, all minor parties, the Greens and Australian Democrats included, have to reach out to major party voters.

    The reality is that the Australian Democrats are still a strong ally of the Greens. With a minority of exceptions, they preference the Greens above the major parties, which, with few exceptions, is what actually matters.

    But to become relevant again, we need to reach out across the political spectrum. If you know another way to do this with only self funded and part-time candidates, little media attention (they don’t even bother to ask me to the local candidate debates) whilst still being seen as a preference feeder to the Greens, I’d love to hear it.

  4. All I know, Clinton, is that in the only state where you will get a decent vote (the ACT), you’ve preferenced straight to a right-wing major party and have made it almost impossible for a minor party to break through.

    The Democrats are finished as a force with the capacity to elect anyone. It’s kind of sad to see people who don’t appreciate that.

  5. “All I know, Clinton, is that in the only state where you will get a decent vote (the ACT), you’ve preferenced straight to a right-wing major party and have made it almost impossible for a minor party to break through.”

    Well, you mustn’t know much.

    In every other state aside from South Australia, the Democrats have preferenced the Greens, which will significantly increase their chance of beating Labor for that last spot.

    In addition, with Labor preferences going straight to the Greens, the Greens-Labor deal has made it almost impossible for any minor party (other than the greens) to “break through”.

    Labor going straight to the Greens makes it close to impossible for the Democrats to get a seat in any state, unless the Greens do particularly badly. The Dems going to the Liberals only hurts the Greens in one state, whilst we’re preferencing you in all but one of the others.

    There needs to be a bit of perspective on this. What to you expect the Democrats to do? Do you expect their candidates to put their own time, and own money into blindly feeding towards the Greens and further electoral oblivion?

    The ACT Democrats have tried something different. They’ve attempted to reach out to progressive liberals. The same progressive Liberals that founded our party, and the same progressive Liberals that are still at least a minority of members.

    It’s possible that this move may actually weaken the Liberal primary vote in the ACT further. If Liberals move to the Democrats, that only increases the chance of a minor party taking that final seat from the Liberals in the future.

    All I’ve seen here on this issue is criticism, but no practical alternatives.

  6. What to you expect the Democrats to do? Do you expect their candidates to put their own time, and own money into blindly feeding towards the Greens and further electoral oblivion?

    Maybe you think it’s better that they put their time and money into electing a Liberal. I can understand that you feel like you have put a lot of effort into your own campaign, but your anger is misdirected. Your party made a bad decision. An obviously bad decision.

    It’s possible that this move may actually weaken the Liberal primary vote in the ACT further. If Liberals move to the Democrats, that only increases the chance of a minor party taking that final seat from the Liberals in the future.

    Not if you give them the votes straight back via preferences.

    All I’ve seen here on this issue is criticism, but no practical alternatives.

    Alternatives to do what? Advance your agenda or get your people elected? Getting people elected is a stretch and will take about 5 elections at least. Advancing your agenda (or at least not doing the opposite) is still possible. To achieve that goal, my practical suggestion is that you withdraw from the ACT Senate race.

    Another practical suggestion, if you want to influence the Liberal Party to be more moderate, join the Liberal Party.

  7. Keep in mind, the Democrats are a party that was formed out of the Liberal Party. I don’t think the idea that we preference the Liberals in one out of seven senate races is all that surprising.

    The Australia Democrats have a policy to increase the tax free threshold to $25,000. Hence, we are proposing a policy of dramatic cuts to income tax for all Australians, above and beyond both the majors and the Greens.

    The Greens, on the contrary, want to move towards more reliance on the income tax.

    Not all Democrat policies are similar to the Greens. Indeed, on some issues of taxation, we’re closer to progressive Liberals.

    Our agenda isn’t the same as the Australian Greens. There are many similarities, but also significant differences. The preferencing of the Liberals in just one of the seven senate races reflects that.

  8. Clinton – and there are a lot of “progressive Liberals” in the Liberal Party aren’t there? That’s why they elected Abbott their leader! Of course I’m being not a little sarcastic. For a party that’s supposedly committed to social justice and “keeping the bastards honest” this and the base politically motivated opposition to the mining tax has been particularly harrowing for me. I was once a staunch Democrat supporter even after the GST fiasco but there comes a time when one must ask what the point is of being loyal to a party that no longer represents your views.

    Labor directing preferences to the Greens is not what makes it almost impossible to elect a Democrat – that would be it’s lack of electoral support. And if indeed there are still “progressive Liberals” voting for the Liberal Party who are considering voting differently, then I doubt who the Democrats preference plays a significant role in their decision-making – after all they can just vote below the line if they really want.

  9. “what the point is of being loyal to a party that no longer represents your views”

    Are you saying the Australian Democrats shouldn’t preference the Greens in the majority of states?

    The view of the Democrats regarding preferences is a strong tendency to preference the Greens, as evidenced by the group voting tickets for the 2010 election.

  10. The view of the Democrats regarding preferences is a strong tendency to preference the Greens, as evidenced by the group voting tickets for the 2010 election.

    Except in the one place where it might actually matter. Which is kind of the point of the complaints being presented.

  11. Clive Palmer is supposed to be bankrolling the WA Nationals Senate ticket. They seem to have some TV exposure and should be able to get about 5% primary – are they any chance to get sufficient preferences, particularly since the Liberals should get 3 quotas outright?

  12. Well said Clinton !

    The Democrats are actually not a branch of The Greens, although we’re effectively assisting the election of Greens Senators in Victoria (the excellent Richard di Natale), NSW, Tasmania (perhaps two), WA and Queensland. Personally, İ think a number of these candidates aren’t up to it, but… As expressed by the astute Richo, ‘the Greens want it all or nothing !’ İt’s good for Australian democracy (and the environment for that matter) if reasonable, progressive people occupy the benches on both sides.

    İ had thought that this website was fair but your attack, after ignoring the Democrats for years and your removal of the Democrats website link (and for not posting my earlier considered and much laboured-upon contribution) give cause for a re-think.

  13. [Clive Palmer is supposed to be bankrolling the WA Nationals Senate ticket. They seem to have some TV exposure and should be able to get about 5% primary – are they any chance to get sufficient preferences, particularly since the Liberals should get 3 quotas outright?]

    You can’t rule them out, especially after the Nats good state result, but I’d be surprised. Labor is certain to get 2 quotas, the Libs should get 3. It seems likely that the Green vote + Labor surplus would be higher than the Nat vote + Libs surplus + Christian Dems – and more importantly the Green vote + Labor surplus should be a quota in its own right.

    The most likely result is 3 Libs, 2 Lab and 1 Green, but having said that, if the conservative side is going to win four senate seats in a state, you’d think WA is their only chance.

  14. In previous years the Australian Democrats developed a reputation as RATS among the minor/micro parties, this was perhaps one of the main reasons the Dems lost the ability to attract serious preference support at elections. From what I can see and what I’m being told the Dems seem to be making a quantum leap into honesty and integrity when dealing with other parties and groups, if the Dems keep playing it straight we may see a Democrat in the Senate in an election or 2…or 3!

    Good luck to you and your mates in the (new) Democrats Clinton!

    Glenn

  15. The Australian Elections definitely is causing a major buzz, not only here in Australia but worldwide. It sure is a battle of platform for social reform, strategies, action plans, good governance and even charisma. Australians have mixed feelings about Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. While some thinks Julia is endearing and composed during the debate on Sunday, some think she didn’t get to the specifics. Same distribution of sentiments also go out to Tony Abbott.

    What is it that Australians are looking for in their new Prime Minister? What should be focused on to determine the worthiness of the next PM? Is it their plans for climate change? Plan for controlled immigration? Focus on mental health? I’d say all of the above and much more.

    I, with my team at PeopleBrowsr conducted a study on this very momentous event. It shows how people think of each candidate and their sentiments are recorded real time. Visit http://www.election.ly for this very interesting study.

  16. Let me change the subject and note for anyone reading this from the AEC that I am unimpressed that you’ve again stuffed up on the co-ordinates for polling places. Why bother publishing the lat-long data if you can’t get it even close to right. The booth in my seat which was 50kms out last time still is. I hope you guys are better at counting votes than at locating booths.

  17. Not sure if my post went into moderation for too many links, but there is a representative of Carers Alliance posting around the Tally Room.

    Terry, why have you put parties like Change Politics, the Greens, and centrist progressive candidates like Meg Sampson in NSW behind the major parties on your group voting ticket? Most notably, the Greens have come out in strong support of the central policy of your platform.

  18. Here’s an interesting feature of the CDP’s WA ticket, as pointed out by William Bowe over at Poll Bludger:

    The CDP have the third Labor candidate (Wendy Perdon) where I say they have, and she’s the only one that matters as far as preferences are concerned. A more suspicious soul than myself might suggest the CDP have numbered their ticket to make it appear they have put Liberal ahead of Labor, when they have in fact done the opposite.

    The context: the CDP ticket has the Libs, Nats and Labor candidates in a strange order (all behind 28 candidates worth of microparties). The order, including the candidate number on their own party’s ticket, goes like so:

    Liberal – 1,2
    National – 1
    Labor – 3
    Liberal – 3,4,5
    National – 2,3
    LDP (yep, they were jammed in here for some reason)
    Labor – 1,2,4

    The thing is: Labor and Liberals’ first two candidates will be elected on the first count (possibly Lib #3 as well), so they don’t get any preferences. Strip them out, along with the candidates with no chance in hell, and it looks like this:

    National – 1
    Labor – 3
    Liberal – 3,4

    So, should the CDP get knocked out of the count, their ticket favours the Nats and then Labor over the Liberals, even though it appears to have the Liberals higher at first glance. (Greens are obviously way down the bottom.) Very weird.

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