One Nation Archive


One Nation 2016 vote – how well did it predict 2017?

On Tuesday, I published estimates of the Senate vote at the 2016 federal election for the Nick Xenophon Team, broken down by South Australian state electorates.

While writing that article, I became curious about whether the similar dataset (built by Alex Jago) for One Nation in Queensland had done a good job of predicting the One Nation vote at the 2017 state election – we’d used the data regularly before the election, but after 6pm on election night we threw it out.

Well here is a chart comparing the 2016 Senate vote for One Nation (after distribution of minor preferences) to the party’s primary vote in the recent state election, in the 61 seats where One Nation stood candidates.

The trend is pretty strong – while the vote at the state election was slightly higher, it did not vary tremendously from the trend.

The correlation between these two datasets is 0.796 – in other words, the two datasets correlate by about 80%. It’s not a perfect correlation, but a very strong trend.

The biggest exception was in party leader Steve Dickson’s seat of Buderim. One Nation polled 12.7% at the 2016 election, but managed 28.85% at the recent state election. This makes sense – the party had an incumbent MP and put a lot more effort into that seat. Apart from that seat, the ratio was not more than 2:1 in any other seat.


Projecting One Nation’s vote in the QLD election

In the process of putting together my guide to the Queensland election, I had to consider how to handle the potential vote for One Nation, who have polled as highly as 23% earlier this year and were sitting on 15% in the most recent poll. Normally I assess a seat’s vulnerability based on its margin, but a new party polling 15% is likely to upset the apple-cart, threatening seats which look very safe on paper.

One Nation haven’t been a significant statewide player in Queensland state elections since 2001, so the best source of information comes from the 2016 federal election – specifically the Senate, as One Nation only ran in a handful of House of Representatives seats.

Thankfully Alex Jago has done the work taking those results and converting them into the new Queensland state electorates using AEC data about where people from a particular SA1 vote. He’s then taken those votes and distributed preferences amongst Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation.

After distributing those preferences, One Nation is left with about 15% of the statewide vote – about the same as their latest polling.

For now I won’t bother trying to project how these votes would shift based on differing polling (for a start, the LNP vote was higher and Labor’s vote lower in 2016 compared to the latest polling), but I’ll just list those seats which have the highest One Nation vote according to Jago’s model. I will be referencing this analysis in my profiles of seats with a high One Nation vote.

The following table lists the twenty seats with the highest One Nation vote, and the rank that One Nation came out of Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation. In nine of these seats, One Nation outpolled one of the major parties last year.

Kevin Bonham has also written about this same dataset, and put some more thought into how these votes might play out in an election. In short, a lot will depend on how close One Nation is to the leading candidate, and whether they are competing with Labor or the LNP (and thus which parties’ preferences will decide the result).

The introduction of compulsory preferences will also complicate things. Preference flows will definitely change, but it’s hard to say how exactly. The new One Nation only made it into the top two in one seat at last year’s federal election, so we don’t know how to predict how strongly Labor or LNP preferences would flow to One Nation. If they receive a poor preference flow, it’s possible they could make it to the top two in many seats and only win a few. One Nation did reasonably well with preferences at last year’s Senate election, so it’s not safe to assume that they would receive poor preference flows.

SeatMarginON Senate voteON rank
Lockyer LNP vs ON 1.6%32.0%2
Traeger KAP vs LNP 16.1%28.4%3
Mirani ALP 3.8%27.1%3
Hinchinbrook LNP 3.4%26.7%3
Callide LNP 9.8%26.3%2
Gregory LNP 10.9%25.8%2
Burnett LNP 6.6%25.7%3
Hill KAP vs LNP 4.9%25.5%2
Maryborough ALP 1.1%25.4%3
Nanango LNP 13.3%25.3%2
Gympie LNP 7.6%25.3%2
Warrego LNP 14.5%24.3%2
Condamine LNP 17.1%24.2%2
Hervey Bay LNP 6.5%24.2%3
Burdekin ALP 1.4%24.1%3
Gladstone ALP 25.3%24.0%3
Bundaberg ALP 0.5%23.9%3
Thuringowa ALP 6.6%23.4%3
Southern Downs LNP 19.2%22.9%2
Scenic Rim LNP 9.2%22.6%3

Where does One Nation get its votes in WA?

The Western Australian state election, to be held in March, will be the first electoral test of One Nation since they won four seats in the Senate in last year’s federal election.

Since the party hasn’t been a significant factor in recent state elections, we can’t use past results to judge where they are likely to win seats. The only data we have is the booth results from the Senate ballot from the last federal election.

I’ve taken those results and distributed them into the state electorates used in the upcoming election.

One Nation polled 4% in the Senate in Western Australia. In comparison, the most recent state Newspoll has One Nation on 13%, and other polls have put the party at over 10%.

This map shows the vote for each state electorate:

Unsurprisingly, One Nation does better in regional areas. The ten best seats are all outside of Perth, and every seat outside of the metropolitan region saw a One Nation vote of over 4%.

This gives One Nation a significant advantage in the Legislative Council race, since votes in regional areas are worth a lot more.

Approximately three quarters of the state’s population lives in the urban area, and this population is divided into three upper house regions, represented by 18 MLCs. The remaining quarter is also represented by 18 MLCs. If their vote holds at its current levels, One Nation’s concentrated regional vote could give them a swag of seats.

This table shows the One Nation vote in each upper house region at the 2016 election, and what that vote would be if it was scaled up from 4% to 13%.

Region2016 vote (4%)2016 vote adjusted 13%
East Metropolitan3.86%12.55%
Mining and Pastoral8.31%27.01%
North Metropolitan1.99%6.47%
South Metropolitan2.94%9.56%
South West6.51%21.16%

This is an imperfect way to project support – Senate votes have limited value – but if true this would suggest that One Nation would easily win three Legislative Council seats, with a good shot at winning a seat in East Metropolitan region too.

This reflects the results of the 2001 election, when One Nation won a seat in each of the three non-metropolitan upper house regions. In Perth, One Nation polled best in the east and worst in the north, and that pattern was still true in the 2016 Senate vote.

As for the lower house, One Nation never won any seats in Western Australia at its previous peak in 2001, but did come in the top two in multiple seats, most of which were regional seats held by the Nationals.

Here is the list of the ten seats with the highest One Nation vote at the 2016 federal election:

RegionMargin2016 vote (4%)2016 vote adjusted 13%
KalgoorlieNAT 4.1% vs ALP9.75%31.69%
PilbaraNAT 11.5% vs LIB9.39%30.52%
North West CentralNAT 9.6% vs LIB8.71%28.31%
Murray-WellingtonLIB 12.0%8.57%27.85%
Collie-PrestonLIB 3.0%7.97%25.90%
MooreNAT 5.9% vs LIB7.37%23.95%
GeraldtonLIB 10.9% vs NAT7.21%23.43%
BunburyLIB 11.8%7.01%22.78%
MandurahALP 7.7%6.87%22.33%
Central WheatbeltNAT 8.8% vs LIB6.77%22.00%

If the One Nation vote is as high as recent polling has suggested, the party could poll well over 20% in a few key seats and could be a contender, depending on how preferences flow.