Day fourteen: candidates and preferences


The final list of candidates was released on Friday. A record number of candidates are running in both houses of Parliament – in line with the record number of parties registering at the election.

A total of 1188 candidates are running for the House of Representatives, and 529 are running in the Senate.

Three parties nominated candidates in all 150 seats: the ALP, the Greens and the Palmer United Party. The four Coalition parties collectively nominated 160 candidates, which amounts to ten seats where the Liberal and National parties are competing.

The next biggest party is Family First, who are running 93 candidates. Rise Up Australia are running 77, and Katter’s Australian Party are running 63. The Christian Democratic Party are running in all 48 NSW seats, and their allies the Australian Christians are running in 31 more, bringing them to a total of 79.

Other parties running more than thirty are the Sex Party (36) and the Democratic Labour Party (33).

Antony Green has blogged about the changes in number of candidates since 2010.

I have also updated my spreadsheet, reflecting the list provided by the AEC as well as gender data that I have gathered. Please let me know if you see any errors. You can download the spreadsheet here.

The other news over the weekend was the release of the Group Voting Tickets in the Senate. These releases are always dominated by what parties have made decisions that clash with their political agenda, due to political wheeling and dealing.

Over Sunday the biggest story was the decisions of Wikileaks to put conservative parties ahead of the Greens in the Senate. Wikileaks have claimed an administrative error was responsible for putting the Greens behind Australia First and the Shooters and Fishers in NSW, but have defended a decision putting Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, an outspoken supporter of Wikileaks in the Senate, behind his main rival from the Nationals in Western Australia.

There are a whole bunch of other examples of these sorts of decisions by many parties. The most interesting other result was the failure of a series of right-wing parties to lodge a group voting ticket in Victoria, which will result in those candidates only being able to receive below-the-line votes.

Poll Bludger has gone further in outlining how parties are directing their preferences.

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  1. Pre-poll votes often favour the Coalition anyway. In 2010, the regular Liberal Party (not counting Nationals, Country Liberals or LNP, that is) got 30% of the primary vote from ordinary votes, but 33% from pre-poll votes. LNP was about steady, ALP had 38.5% from ordinary votes but only 34% from pre-poll votes. A similar pattern happened in 2007, although a little less marked.

  2. Glen, again you need to look at the actual polls, rather than just comparing one poll to the tracker. Newspoll was the only poll to show an increase in Labor’s vote, therefore Newspoll has to explain most of the increase, if not all of it. Movement for Coalition was a 0.3 decrease. Newspoll was level, Essential had them down a point, and the others showed smaller changes in both directions. You don’t have the same dynamic, so of course Newspoll won’t itself explain the Coalition’s numbers the way it does Labor’s. My point was never that Newspoll provides the bulk of movement in the BT methodolgy, my point was that Newspoll’s reading for Labor provided the bulk (if not all) of the explanation for BT’s movement in the Labor primary over the past week.

    As for Essential, it is clear you are again missing the point. We are discussing Labor’s primary vote, not its TPP. Essential’s primary for Labor went down, so it worked against the Newspoll increase.

    If you want to talk TPP and say a 0.7 point change validates your theory, you are again off base. To start with, as I have tried to suggest, you can’t look at the difference between two points (BT a week ago and BT this week) and claim there is a trend. What’s more, we can again look at the actual polls. Newspoll showed a one-point move to Labor, and Morgan showed a 0.5 point move to the Coalition. The polls may well get similar weightings because that averages out to 0.75 to Labor. But what is the basis of the move to Labor in Newspoll? To believe Newspoll shows a swing back to Labor over the course of last week, you have to believe the 54/46 poll was accurate. It is more likely that it wasn’t and that this week’s should be seen as a correction. If you ignore that poll, you get Morgan, Newspoll and Nielsen all moving one point to the Coalition over roughly the same two week period.

    If your theory is correct, we are likely not going to see it until the election eve polls, or even until the results come in. The thing about late deciders is that they decide late.

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