Tasmanian Liberals take the lead in polls

Tasmania’s election is coming up this Saturday (check out my guide here!), and two recent polls suggest the campaign has shifted in favour of the Liberal Party.

Saturday’s Reachtel put the Liberal Party in the lead on 48%, followed by Labor on 32% and the Greens on 12.5%.

Today’s EMRS poll put the Liberal Party on 46%, followed by Labor on 34% and the Greens on 12%.

This is a clear trend of the Liberal Party picking up ground while Labor plateaus and the Greens drop.

The Greens have polled at least 15% at every poll until the end of last year, but the last three polls have had them between 12% and 13%. This chart does a good job of showing the recent trend.

The campaign has featured a big-spending effort to defeat Labor over their promise to roll back poker machines, and it seems plausible that this has had a strong effect. It’s also possible that voters who would prefer a majority government have judged that the Liberal Party has a better chance of reaching a majority. It’s likely both reasons are contributing to this shift.

If you haven’t had a look at my seat guide, I’d encourage you to take a look. There’s a page for each electorate, with local history, geography, results maps and results tables that can help you better understand each contest.


SA election – nominations close

The official list of nominations for lower house seats in the South Australian election was published late yesterday afternoon, and I have now updated all 47 seat profiles.

264 candidates nominated, an increase from 204 in 2014. This is due to an increasing number of minor parties running large numbers of candidates.

You can view the dataset here.

Six parties are running candidates in 30 seats or more. Labor, Liberal and the Greens are running full statewide tickets, while Nick Xenophon’s SA Best is running in 36 seats, Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives are running in 33, and Kelly Vincent’s Dignity Party is running in 30. Three smaller parties are running nine candidates, along with fifteen independents.

There are only three candidates in Kaurna and Stuart, while there are nine candidates in Croydon.

There’ll be more about the SA nominations below the fold, but I also wanted to mention that nominations also closed last week for the federal Batman by-election and the state Cottesloe by-election, both due on the same day as South Australia. Ten candidates are running in Batman, and seven are running in Cottesloe.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tasmanian election – nominations close

Nominations were announced today for the Tasmanian election. 109 candidates have nominated, with six parties running candidates.

This is a drop from 126 candidates running 2014, but it is still more candidates than ran in 2010 or 2006.

Labor, Liberal and the Greens are running full tickets across all five seats. Labor is actually running a sixth candidate in Lyons.

The Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) is running 12 candidates across three electorates, while the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (SFF) party is running 11 across four electorates, and Tasmanians 4 Tasmania are running 4 candidates across Braddon and Denison. The Shooters are running multi-candidate tickets in Braddon and Lyons, but only running a single candidate in Denison and Franklin.

There are also six ungrouped independents running in three electorates.

The Palmer United Party and the Nationals ran candidates in 2014, but are not running this time (although you could argue that the JLN is the successor-party to PUP in Tasmania).

Denison and Franklin are shaping up as simple Labor-Liberal-Greens contests, with only four other candidates between the two electorates. They are joined by substantial JLN and SFF teams in Braddon and Lyons. JLN is running a ticket of four in Bass, but there’s no Shooters candidates.

I’ve collated the full list of candidates, which you can download here.

As usual, I’ve coded the gender of candidates. Of the parties running large numbers of candidates, Labor and the Greens are running more women than men: 15 out of 26 Labor candidates and 13 out of 25 Greens candidates are women. Just nine out of 25 Liberal candidates are women (36%), and the balance is even more skewed for the Jacqui Lambie Network (3 out of 12) and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers (2 out of 9).

All candidate names have now been updated on the seat guides, which you can read here.

Antony Green has also blogged about the candidate announcement, with additional historical information.


Cottesloe by-election coming up on March 17

There will be a state election for the seat of Cottesloe in Western Australia on March 17, to elect a successor to former Liberal premier Colin Barnett. He had announced his retirement in December, with the election date announced yesterday.

This election will coincide with the South Australian election, and is the third election scheduled for March, with a possibility that the Batman federal by-election will also be held in March.

The by-election will likely be a contest between the Liberal Party and the Greens, but the Liberals will likely retain the seat with ease.

Read the guide to the Cottesloe by-election.


Batman by-election – read the guide

Federal Labor MP David Feeney has just announced that he will be resigning from his seat of Batman after failing to prove that he had renounced his British citizenship, and won’t be contesting the subsequent by-election.

It is expected that the race will be between five-time Greens candidate Alex Bhathal and ACTU president Ged Kearney.

You can read the Tally Room guide to this by-election here.


QLD, TAS & NT federal redistributions – estimates of margins

In recent months, federal redistributions have been completed for Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland, with Queensland’s being finalised on January 5.

As far as I can tell, no-one else has published margin estimates for the five Tasmanian seats and the two NT seats. Antony Green has published his estimates of the Queensland margins here. You’ll see that my estimates don’t diverge by much – by 0.1% per seat on average.

I have recently been calculating my own redistribution margins as part of the process of transferring booths so that I can produce maps for the new boundaries as part of my guides. This time I decided to use a new methodology which should be more reliable and quicker.

The AEC publishes data on how many votes were cast at each polling place (and each method of special vote) from each SA1 – the smallest area used for Census data. The AEC also publishes a list of every SA1 and which electorate it has been moved into (and out of) for each redistribution.

Using these datasets, it’s possible to quickly take the results of each booth, split them up in proportion to how much of that booth’s voters have been redistributed, and calculate new totals.

This is superior to my old methodology, where I would move booths according to which seat they lie in. Unfortunately this did not take account of small shifts where no booth moved, or where a booth was right on the border. I would have to guess how much of the booth’s voters would’ve shifted. The new method uses the actual AEC data. It is also a better solution to moving special votes. I’ve traditionally taken an even proportion of all special votes, even though this includes a bunch of pre-poll booths which are distributed across a seat. In practice these pre-poll booths would likely take more voters from one area than another, so distributing their votes according to the actual homes of the voters is far superior.

As to the results of these redistributions, 12 Queensland electorates experienced no change at all. Not one of the 37 seats has changed party. The biggest change has taken place in Lyons, with the Labor margin strengthened from 2.3% to 3.8%. The second biggest effect was in Blair, where the Labor margin was cut from 8.9% to 8.1%.

The five most marginal seats in these three jurisdictions did not experience any change. There was no boundary change in Flynn, Longman, Forde or Herbert, and the minor change to Capricornia had no impact on the seat’s margin.

The full list of margins are below the fold. I look forward to using this new method to quickly calculate margins for the three remaining redistributions (Victoria, SA and ACT) when the draft boundaries are released in coming months.

Read the rest of this entry »


New year, new data

Over the break I’ve been working to expand the size of this website’s data repository. If you’re new to this, the repository publishes state and local election results that may not otherwise be available in an easy-to-access format.

I’ve added five more datasets over the new year:

This is in addition to other datasets added in late 2017, including the results of the 2014 state elections in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

This data is all available on the internet but in a bunch of different places. Each dataset includes a list of all polling places with addresses and coordinates, which is often not otherwise available on the internet. It also includes full lists of candidates, and results at the polling place level.

In the case of the NSW 2015 dataset, the NSWEC publishes a single spreadsheet with the primary vote totals for each candidate at the booth level, but doesn’t do the same for two-party-preferred and two-candidate-preferred (the NSWEC does publish very impressive datasets of two-candidate-preferred distributions at the booth level between every possible combination of candidates, but it’s a hassle to, say, pull out the data for Coalition vs Labor in all 93 seats). The NSWEC doesn’t easily publish a spreadsheet of Legislative Council totals by seat, and the Legislative Council booth totals spreadsheet doesn’t break down below-the-line votes between groups.

All of that is now available in my repository.

The repository now includes the datasets for the last election in every Australian state and territory (and the one before that in Queensland, WA, ACT and NT), as well as council election results from New South Wales and Brisbane City Council (although I haven’t yet added the last election from each of these jurisdictions), and by-election results from the last term in New South Wales and Victoria.

I plan to keep adding the latest data and slowly progress backwards in time. I also would like to at some point look at adding old booth data at the federal level (the most recent elections are published in a very useful format anyway).

If you’d like to support this work, and find it useful, please sign up as a patron. Patrons who give $5 or more get a heads-up about this kind of stuff before I publish it on the website, and other updates about my work.

Become a Patron!

Hopefully this data is useful – please let me know if you do something cool with it!


Tasmania goes to the polls – March 3

It appears that the Tasmanian premier, Will Hodgman, will today call the state election for March 3. For the first time since 2002, the Tasmanian election won’t coincide with the South Australian election, set for March 17.

Current polling suggests the Liberal majority government (holding 15 out of 25 seats) will struggle to maintain its majority (although they do still have a chance). The balance of power in a hung parliament would likely be held by the Greens, although we can’t rule out the possibility of the Jacqui Lambie Network winning a seat. As has become common in Tasmanian elections, both major parties have ruled out governing with the Greens, which could lead to a messy outcome if neither side holds a majority. Kevin Bonham discussed this prospect in a blog post yesterday.

I have published a complete guide to the Tasmanian election. Here are the links to the five seat guides:

Each guide contains a list of candidates (to be updated when nominations close), along with an electorate history, past results, breakdowns of results into sub-areas, and maps showing those results.

Tasmania’s state electorates normally follow the same boundaries as federal electorates, but it’s worth noting that the recent Tasmanian federal redistribution has not yet been implemented for state elections. So this will be the last election using an electorate named “Denison”, and the new boundaries will first be used for the next federal election and then for the Tasmanian state election in 2022. These boundaries will likely be replaced by the time of the 2026 election.

This guide has been put together thanks to the donations of the 38 patrons who have signed up via Patreon. If you appreciate this website and would like to support my upcoming coverage of these two state elections, please consider signing up and chipping in a few dollars a month.


Queensland federal redistribution finalised

Six Australian states and territories have been due for federal electorate redistributions during the current federal parliamentary term – we’ve already completed the process in Tasmania and the Northern Territory, and the process was well under way in Queensland.

It turns out that the final decision for the Queensland federal redistribution was announced on January 5. The decision appears to be exactly the same as the draft map, which I blogged about in October.

You can download the boundaries file from the maps page, and you can see how the boundaries have changed in the below map.

This redistribution was one of the most subtle in recent years. Twelve out of 30 seats experienced no change, while the other 18 mostly experienced minor changes.


New dataset – Victorian 2014 election

I’ve got a new addition to the data repository – my collection of complete and clean election datasets. I’ve now posted the results of the 2014 Victorian state election. This dataset includes:

  • Candidate lists for both houses
  • Polling place list with latitude/longitude and full address
  • Legislative Assembly primary votes by polling place and electorate
  • Legislative Assembly two-candidate-preferred votes by polling place and electorate
  • Two-party-preferred votes by electorate
  • Legislative Council primary votes by polling place, electorate and region
  • List of electorates and regions including enrolment, and formal and informal votes for both houses.

I’ve put together this dataset to help build my guide to next November’s election, but hopefully others will also find this data useful to do your own analysis. If you find it useful, please consider signing up as a patron.