Senate – Victoria – Australia 2019

Incumbent Senators

Term due to expire 2019Term due to expire 2022
Jacinta Collins (Labor) Kim Carr (Labor)
Derryn Hinch (Justice) Richard Di Natale (Greens)
Jane Hume (Liberal) Mitch Fifield (Liberal)
Gavin Marshall (Labor) Kimberley Kitching (Labor)1
James Paterson (Liberal) Bridget McKenzie (Nationals)
Janet Rice (Greens) Scott Ryan (Liberal)

1Kimberley Kitching replaced Stephen Conroy on 25 October 2016 following Stephen Conroy’s resignation.

History
The 1951 election, which was the first to result in a Senate entirely elected by proportional representation, gave an overall result of 5 ALP senators, 4 Liberal senators and one Country Party senator. The 1953 election saw the ALP gain a seat off the Liberals, giving them a 6-4 majority. This was the only time the ALP, or any party, won a majority of Victoria’s Senate delegation under PR.

The 1955 election saw the party that became the Democratic Labor Party win a seat off the ALP. At the 1961 election, both the DLP and the ALP lost a Senate seat, with the Liberals winning two, giving them five seats, with three ALP and one each for the DLP and Country Party. In 1964, the DLP regained their single Senate seat from the Liberal Party. In 1967, the DLP gained a second seat off the Country Party, who were left with no Victorian senators.

The 1970 election saw the Country Party regain their seat, off the ALP. The ALP was reduced to three seats, with four Liberals and two DLP senators. The 1974 double dissolution saw the ALP regain ground, with both DLP senators being defeated, and the ALP gaining two seats, bringing their contingent to five out of ten senators.

The 1975 double dissolution reduced the ALP to four seats, with the National Country Party gaining a second seat. The 1977 election saw former Liberal minister Don Chipp elected to the Senate for the newly-formed Australian Democrats. The National Country Party lost one of its senators to the Democrats. The 1980 election saw the NCP lose its other seat to the Democrats.

In the 1983 double dissolution, the ALP gained a fifth seat at the expense of the second Democrats senator. At the 1984 election, an increase in Senators saw the Liberals and Democrats each gain an extra seat. The Democrats again lost their second Victorian senator at the 1987 double dissolution to Nationals candidate Julian McGauran.

The 1990 election saw McGauran defeated, and the Democrats again regain their second seat. The 1993 election saw the Democrats lose a seat yet again to the Nationals. This produced a result of five each for the ALP and Liberals, and one each for the Nationals and Democrats. This status quo was maintained until the 2004 election, when the ALP lost one of its five senate seats to Family First’s Steven Fielding.

The 2007 election saw the ALP regain a fifth seat at the expense of the Democrats, who lost their last Victorian senator. In 2010, the Coalition lost one of their three seats, and Family First’s Steve Fielding also lost his seat. These two seats went to the Greens’ Richard Di Natale and the Democratic Labor Party’s John Madigan, shifting the split from 4-2 to the right to 3-3.

In 2013, both Labor and Liberal lost their third seat, to the Greens and Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party.

The 2016 double dissolution produced two changes. Labor and Greens maintained four and two seats respectively. The Coalition regained a fifth seat, while Derryn Hinch won a seat as an independent. Ricky Muir and John Madigan both lost their seats.

2016 result

GroupVotes%SwingQuota
Liberal/Nationals 1,158,80033.1-7.04.3038
Labor 1,075,65830.7-1.73.9950
Greens 380,49910.90.01.4132
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party211,7336.0+6.10.7864
One Nation63,5281.8+1.80.2359
Animal Justice60,7801.7+1.70.2257
Liberal Democrats55,5011.6+1.60.2061
Nick Xenophon Team55,1181.6+1.60.2047
Sex Party54,1281.5+1.60.2010
Family First39,7471.1+1.10.1476
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers36,6691.0+1.10.1362
Australian Christians34,7631.0+0.50.1291
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party31,7850.9+0.40.1181
Drug Law Reform23,3840.7+0.60.0868
Liberty Alliance23,0800.7+0.70.0857
Democratic Labour Party18,1520.5-0.20.0674
Others176,9125.1

Preference flows
Eight seats were won on primary votes – the Coalition won four seats, Labor won three and the Greens one.

Labor’s fourth candidate, Gavin Marshall came very close to a quota on primary votes, and was elected in ninth place soon after.

Let’s fast forward to the final ten candidates running for the last three seats:

  • Derryn Hinch (DHJ) – 0.8816
  • Janet Rice (GRN) – 0.5472
  • Jane Hume (LIB) – 0.4058
  • Peter Bain (FF) – 0.3582
  • Bruce Poon (AJP) – 0.3364
  • Simon Roylance (ON) – 0.3209
  • Meredith Doig (SXP) – 0.3098
  • Naomi Halpern (NXT) – 0.2922
  • Duncan Spender (LDP) – 0.2422
  • Jake Wilson (SFF) – 0.1920

Shooters preferences scattered, with the Sex Party doing best:

  • Derryn Hinch (DHJ) – 0.8983
  • Janet Rice (GRN) – 0.5556
  • Jane Hume (LIB) – 0.4318
  • Peter Bain (FF) – 0.3771
  • Bruce Poon (AJP) – 0.3446
  • Simon Roylance (ON) – 0.3513
  • Meredith Doig (SXP) – 0.3511
  • Naomi Halpern (NXT) – 0.2981
  • Duncan Spender (LDP) – 0.2597

The Liberal Party did best from LDP preferences, while One Nation and the Sex Party overtook Animal Justice:

  • Derryn Hinch (DHJ) – 0.9197
  • Janet Rice (GRN) – 0.5924
  • Jane Hume (LIB) – 0.5181
  • Peter Bain (FF) – 0.4099
  • Simon Roylance (ON) – 0.3696
  • Meredith Doig (SXP) – 0.3691
  • Bruce Poon (AJP) – 0.3557
  • Naomi Halpern (NXT) – 0.3062

NXT preferences particularly favoured the Greens:

  • Hinch (DHJ) – 0.9746
  • Rice (GRN) – 0.6832
  • Hume (LIB) – 0.5632
  • Bain (FF) – 0.4278
  • Roylance (ON) – 0.3950
  • Doig (SXP) – 0.3918
  • Poon (AJP) – 0.3678

Animal Justice preferences particularly favoured the Greens, but also pushed Derryn Hinch over quota. After his preferences were distributed, the count looked as follows:

  • Rice (GRN) – 0.7710
  • Hume (LIB) – 0.5855
  • Bain (FF) – 0.4789
  • Doig (SXP) – 0.4306
  • Roylance (ON) – 0.4105

One Nation preferences favoured all of those candidates other than the Greens, but they did not change the ranking:

  • Rice (GRN) – 0.8081
  • Hume (LIB) – 0.6759
  • Bain (FF) – 0.5683
  • Doig (SXP) – 0.5015

Sex Party preferences favoured the Greens, bringing Rice close to a quota. They also favoured Family First over the Liberal, but they couldn’t close the gap on the Liberal Party. Bain’s exclusion resulted in the election of Rice and Hume.

  • Rice (GRN) – 0.9721
  • Hume (LIB) – 0.7263
  • Bain (FF) – 0.6268

 

Candidates
No information.

Assessment
Labor and Coalition should each retain two seats at the next election. The remaining two seats will likely be a contest between Derryn Hinch, the Greens, and the third Labor and Coalition candidates.

The Greens are likely to poll strongly enough to hold on to their seat. It’s difficult to see Labor winning a third seat in addition to the Greens, so the last seat is likely to be a contest between the Coalition and Hinch.
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15 COMMENTS

  1. As far as this race is concerned, there seem to be two things to watch for:

    1) How well the Coalition polls;

    2) What sort of support Derryn Hinch has.

    If the poll is as it was in 2016, it’s a toss-up, albeit one with Hinch slightly ahead. If Hinch’s vote plunges, the Coalition gains a third seat. If the Coalition’s vote plunges, Hinch, assuming he polls about the same as in 2016, will survive.

    Otherwise, I doubt there will be much of excitement- it would take a rather massive swing towards the ALP and a similar one against the Greens for that seat to be at risk, and it seems unlikely that any other minor party will poll well enough to be a major factor (note that ON has traditionally been weakest in Victoria, and I doubt that will change under current conditions).

  2. In that final count “exhausted” would have out polled Family First had exhausted been a candidate.

    In the AEC’s 6 candidate recount (https://results.aec.gov.au/20499/website/External/SenateStateDOP-s282-20499-VIC.pdf) exhausted on 0.3 quotas “lost” the last count to Hinch and Ryan (3rd Liberal) with 0.91 and 0.79 each.

    I reckon 10% primary is the new 14% primary. It is looking hard to not win the 6th seat of a half senate election if you start with a massive lead on people trying to beat you on preferences, between “leakage” and exhaustion the chase got way harder.

    Janet Rice and Derryn Hinch will be easily returned.

  3. Hinch probably wont be first on the ballot again, I doubt he will maintain 6% and preferences are unlikely to flow super strongly to him. My feeling is Coalition will gain a third seat on One Nation/Conservative/Palmer preferences. The requirements to get a quota with the optional preference will be a bar too high for minor parties and independents like Hinch.

  4. What was the exhaust rate of minor parties? I have a feeling not particularly many of the conservative minor party votes will flow to the LNP.

    Would that make 3 Labor, 2 LNP, 1 Green possible?

  5. John, if the ALP start a primary in the low 30%s they won’t win a 3rd senator ahead of the Lib/Nats 3rd or Hinch, especially with “left wing” minor party preferences probably splitting between Labor and Greens which at least washes out any additional exhaustion rate of right wing ballots you would predict.

    Labor and Greens combined to 41.6% primary (2.91 half senate quotas), they would really be needing to combine to something like 50% (3.5 quotas) to be favourites to win 4 imo, preferable with ALP getting ~39% and the Greens ~11% for the juicy “Ginninderra effect.”

    I don’t know to tease out exhaustion rates party by party, but the difference between the starting points of the 12 vacancy count and the 6 vacancy count are this:

    Lib/Nats 33.1% -> 37.0%
    ALP 30.7% -> 34.3%
    Greens 10.9% -> 14.8%
    Hinch 6.0% -> 9.5%
    Other 19.3% -> 0%
    Exhaust 0% -> 4.3%

    [Note: in the actually 6 vacancy count those Exhaust ballots were basically treated the same as informal ballots, which is kinda like reducing the required quota to 13.67% rather than the usual 14.29% it actually would have been had it been a half senate election]

    So 19.3% Other went basically 1/5th to each of the 4 remaining parties and to the exhausted pile (20.2% to the Coalition, 18.7% to Labor, 20.2% to the Greens, 18.1% to Hinch, and 22.3% Exhaust to be exact). That’s a way stronger preference result for “the left” than I would have assumed, I would have thought Coalition would be higher than Labor + Greens given so many of the micro party vote was “right wing.”

  6. What I want to know is where those Hinch votes would have ended up if Hinch got eliminated. Is that data available?

    I’m think there’ll be a statistically significant contingent of voters who vote for 6 minor parties and leave LNP and Labor off, but I also think there’ll be surprisingly poor flow between micros (do those two contradict each other?)

    It may be more relevant in other states. Hinch seems like by far the most competitive right wing minor and will see a decent level of support. QLD and NSW on the other hand seem to have quite a few prominent micro parties.

    But my overall hypothesis is if Labor can overtake Liberals on primary vote, they can defy the apparent Left/Right split of the electorate.

    I’ve never seen the Ginninderra effect used to apply to systems without Robson Rotation. Are you referring to a situation where Labor and Greens both outpoll the last remaining right wing candidate AND their combined vote minus a quota would have put them behind?

  7. My prediction is

    Labor 2
    Coalition 2
    Green 1
    Hinch 1

    Although a third Coalition senator being elected instead of Hinch is a possibility.

  8. That’s some overlap though, what if someone put Hinch 1, Labor 2, Liberal 3 or Hinch 1, Liberal 2, Labor 3. They’d be in that 27% and 21%. If I’m interpreting the “Step Forward” function correctly just over ~1% of both those numbers did so. Hinch ballots would end up with Labor 26% and Lib 20% (with 54% gone walkabout to other parties, coming to Labor or Liberal somewhere after preference 4 or never).

    That data confirms that Hinch preferences go absolutely everywhere. Everyone’s preferences seem to go absolutely everywhere actually lol.

  9. I don’t like the general assumption that in order for the ALP to gain a 3rd seat, the Greens MUST lose theirs.

    Unless I have missed something, the Greens appeal to the Left, the ALP to the Centre and Right.

    That means they are not playing in the same arena. The ALP says they are Left wing, and sure, they have Left wing members, but the policies are not, so why not compete directly against the Coalition and leave your potential allies alone?

  10. It’s not an accurate assumption that Greens would win their seat at the expense of Labor. The Greens can win seats at the expense of conservatives in close counts (the one that comes to mind is the final seat in Tasmania being a handful of votes between One Nation and the Greens).

    However Labor do not want the Greens to grow into a serious political force, as they have a lot to lose by not being the only party of “the left”. They also have a lot to lose by relying on them to pass legislation, as you rightly point out that many Labor voters aren’t motivated by progressive values and would second guess the party if it was closely associated with the Greens.

    It’s this, and the psychological phenomenon of “loss aversion”, that sees Labor campaign extremely hard against the Greens in their marginal seats. The spend in Northcote was 5x what Vic Labor typically spends in a marginal Liberal vs Labor seat.

  11. David Cutherbertson I reckon that assumption is based on memories from the old senate preference system where when either the 3rd Labor candidate or 1st Greens candidate excludes their preferences extremely strongly went to the one that survived, while other candidates in the mix at those late counts tended to be on the right and flowing extremely strongly NOT to Labor or the Greens.

    Perhaps in the new system with preferences flows nowhere near as strong the 3rd Labor and 1st Green candidate have pathways to getting over the line without relying on each-others preferences. I certainly hope so!

    In Victoria’s case the Labor party would have to increase their primary vote by a decent amount

  12. Polling since the 2016 Federal Election indicates that the Greens vote has not moved in any meaningful way and according to The Poll Bludger, the Greens vote may even be down in Victoria. If that holds true come election, Janet Rice is in real danger.

    Derryn Hinch, on 6% of the vote, is also by no means guaranteed to retain his seat in a normal half-senate election. However, he seems attract the populist right vote that One Nation usually attracts in NSW and Qld, which could help him.

    The Coalition and Labor will retain two seats each.

  13. The shambles in the Senate last week concerning the Liberal vote error on Sen Hansen’s “white is OK” bill was a disgrace. Senators for Victoria should think for themselves and most importantly represent the interests of Victoria before their party or vested interest groups like business, unions or religion. They certainly should not Cow Tow to the whims of idiot Queensland Parliamentarians. The worst thing the Liberals in Queensland did was join up with the red neck Qld Nationals.

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