Each group running in the WA Senate by-election submitted their group voting tickets on Saturday, which will direct preferences for above-the-line votes cast for each group. With the state elections in South Australia and Tasmania, I’ve only now had time to analyse the preferences lodged. You can download the Group Voting Tickets here (PDF).
Each Group Voting Ticket covers all 77 candidates running in the election, but for the purposes of my analysis I have looked at only 33 candidates – the third Liberal candidate, the second Labor candidate and the first candidate for every other group running. I have also excluded the two ungrouped independents.
All of my analysis focused on where each party preferenced a group of ten parties that all polled over 1% at the 2013 election in Western Australia. There’s no guarantee that these ten parties are the only parties to stand a chance of winning election, but their chance is greatest.
After speculation about the ALP not preferencing the Greens, the outcome is a tad anticlimactic and is unlikely to hurt the Greens. The ALP preferences, in order, the Secular Party, the Animal Justice Party, the Sex Party, the independent Save the ABC group, the Voluntary Euthanasia Party, HEMP, and then the Greens. It is very unlikely that any of those parties will remain in the count long enough to challenge the Greens and benefit from Labor preferences.
There is a wide variety in how parties have preferenced.
On the left, the Greens received preferences directly from Wikileaks, the Socialist Alliance and the Pirate Party. The Save Our ABC group and the Sex Party preferenced the ALP before the Greens, while the Voluntary Euthanasia Party, Sustainable Population Party and Animal Justice Party all split their preferences evenly between Labor and the Greens. Surprisingly, Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) placed the Greens very low, behind the Shooters, the ALP and the Palmer United Party, amongst many others. The Secular Party preferenced the Sex Party and then the Greens, amongst parties with a significant chance.
The Republican Party and the Mutual Party, both with names that suggest a progressive agenda, both preferenced the ALP and Greens poorly and placed the Liberal Democratic Party high.
A block of parties preferenced tightly, including the LDP, the Republican Party, the Mutual Party, the Outdoor Recreation Party and Smokers Rights, all placed the LDP highly and otherwise mostly placed microparties in the top half of their preference order.
The Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party, Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, Freedom and Prosperity Party (formerly the Carbon Sceptics), Australian Voice, Building Australia Party, PUP, HEMP and the Australian Sports Party all placed the Shooters most highly amongst the top ten parties.
We’ll have to wait for others to do a deeper level of analysis to know what tiny parties have accrued enough preferences to stand a chance of winning, in the way that the Australian Sports Party did. However one measure of this can be seen by averaging the rank that each party achieved on each other party’s preference list.
As a score from 1 to 33, the parties with the best average preferences are the Australian Democrats (10.6), the Mutual Party (10.9), and the Australian Sports Party (11.7). The parties with the worst average preference ranking are the Smokers Rights Party (23.3), the Socialist Alliance (23) and Rise Up Australia (22.1).
Over the fold, I’ve summarised the key preferences for all 33 groups. You can also download all of the Group Voting Tickets in spreadsheet form here.
Update: Edited to reflect that the Voluntary Euthanasia Party split their preferences evenly between the Greens and Labor, not going to Labor entirely as previously written.