Mayo Archive


Podcast #3 – Mayo, Longman and Senate party-hopping

In this episode I’m joined by Peter Brent and Amanda McCormack. We preview the by-elections in Mayo and Longman, and discuss the phenomenon of party-hopping in the Senate.

The next episode is due the week before the by-elections but I’ve pushed it back to be recorded and released on the day after the by-elections, so keep an eye out for that.

You can subscribe 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.


Five (5!) federal by-elections on their way with latest s44 blow

The High Court this morning ruled that Senator Katy Gallagher was ineligible to sit in the Senate, making her the 13th federal politician to be undone by section 44 of the constitution in this current parliamentary term. The Court clarified that, while there is room for a person with dual citizenship to be eligible to sit in the parliament if they have taken ‘reasonable steps’, that is only excusable if it is not possible for them to renounce their citizenship. And delays are not enough to invoke that exception.

So Gallagher is out, because her British citizenship was not renounced in time. It also meant that it was no longer tenable for four lower house MPs to stay in parliament.

Labor MPs Justine Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson, along with Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, all resigned from parliament this afternoon, triggering by-elections in four different states. This is in addition to the Perth by-election, called following Labor MP Tim Hammond’s retirement last week. Presumably all five will be held on the same date.

Four of these five seats are held by Labor. It will be up to the government as to which seats they contest. Presumably they will contest some and avoid others. The Greens may also have ambitions in Perth or Fremantle, but both are probably out of reach.

I’ve now posted the seat guides for all five races. In Braddon, Longman and Perth, where I had already posted guides for the general election, those pages have now become by-election guides, including all of the pre-existing comments. The comments are now open:

This will be a busy period, just when we were expecting some quiet time before three big elections coming up at the end of this year and early next year, so if you’d like to support this website’s work please consider signing up as a patron.


Seat of the day #17: Mayo

mayo1Mayo is a Liberal seat in South Australia, covering the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Mayo is held by Liberal MP Jamie Briggs by a 12.5% margin. In normal circumstances the seat would be considered safe for the Liberal Party, but there is a history of minor parties challenging for the seat. The Democrats came close in 1990, and the Greens came close at the 2008 by-election.

In 2016, the Nick Xenophon Team, who polled very strongly in the area in the 2013 Senate election, are challenging for Mayo, and will be hoping to drive down the Liberal vote and win on Labor and Greens preferences.

Read more


Introducing new interactive booth maps

As we head into the election I’ve been busily posting election guides – about 63 have now been posted, with the remainder due over the course of the next month. This has meant I haven’t done as much blogging although I have had a number of articles in the Guardian Australia summarising the election in Queensland and South Australia.

I wanted to draw readers’ attention to a new innovation in my guides. I’ve just started making booth maps in CartoDB instead of Google Earth, which should allow me to post them as interactive maps, allowing readers to scroll around, zoom in, look at the vote at individual booths and see what towns are in particular parts of the seat.

Here’s an example of a map I produced for the seat of Mayo. This map shows the Xenophon team’s Senate vote in Mayo booths at the 2013 federal election.

So far I’ve only done this for one seat: Mayo. It’s the only reasonably interesting seat which I hadn’t already done the map for. I’m planning to use this method for the last twenty maps I’m yet to make for this election, and then roll out the technique for future elections.

Unfortunately most of those seats on that list are pretty boring – they’re mostly safe Liberal seats in Victoria, WA and South Australia, along with a couple of almost-marginal Labor seats in Melbourne. I may update my maps to the new method for a few key marginals once the guide is finished, or if they’re useful for a Guardian story, but unfortunately this is a work in progress.

In the meantime if you have feedback on how to make these easier to use please let me know in the comments of this post – please leave the Mayo guide for talking about Mayo.

Tags: ,