WA Senate election day


Polls have just opened in Western Australia for the unprecedented special election for all six WA senate seats that were meant to be filled at least year’s Senate election.

In the last few days of the campaign, we have seen Newspoll release their quarterly breakdowns, which include figures for each state, and is the only recent federal poll showing figures for Western Australia. This poll had Labor down to 29%, the Liberal Party up to 46%, and the Greens up substantially to 15%.

Reports of internal polling suggest the Greens performing strongly, with Labor polling poorly and in serious danger of not polling two quotas, with Louise Pratt’s seat certainly in danger.

Some journalists are reporting Liberal sources as being confident of retaining their three seats, while others suggest the Liberal Party will struggle to win a third seat.

The Palmer United Party has dominated advertising spending in WA, with the Greens also outspending the major parties, according to a report from advertising monitoring company Ebiquity. This led the Prime Minister to accuse Clive Palmer of attempting to ‘buy’ the election.

Today’s news was dominated by reports of a speech given by Labor’s lead candidate, Joe Bullock, late in 2013, in which he criticised his party, its members and made comments about his fellow Labor candidate Louise Pratt.

Please use this thread as an opportunity to post your own predictions for tonight’s election results, and as an open thread to post news from the polling places of Western Australia.

William Bowe at Poll Bludger yesterday predicted a strong result for the Greens’ Scott Ludlam, with both Labor and Liberal struggling to reach their second and third quotas respectively.

I think that makes a lot of sense. The Greens have run a strong campaign and are polling strongly, while Labor has not recovered much or any ground since the 2013 election, and could go back further.

I predict that the Liberal Party will win two seats, the ALP and Greens one. For the final two seats, it’s likely they will fall to Labor and Palmer, with an outside chance for the third Liberal.

What do you think?

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  1. I agree it’s looking very good for Ludlam, much better than I expected at the outset. I logically assumed going into this that Labor would pick up several points on their September performance, in line with their stronger showing in national polls and a reaction from people wanting to rein in Abbott, but instead the momentum seems to have shifted clearly towards Ludlam instead. A note of caution that polling has tended to exaggerate the Greens vote in recent election cycles, but I can’t imagine Labor getting over 30%, which I originaly expected them to do. It’s a tribute to Scott Ludlam, but also a pretty bad reflection on Labor.

    My prediction 3 Liberal, 2 ALP, 1 Green. I think the ad blitz won’t work for Palmer. There’s a certain point at which advertising stops being effective and people just get sick of it.

    Surprised there’s been no specific public polling on this election.

  2. Just voted, below the line. My prediction is 3 Liberal, 2 Labor and 1 Green, although the third Liberal seat is a tossup between them and Palmer United in my book.

  3. Hi John,

    I’m not ignoring anyone. Most micro parties just aren’t that interesting, aren’t going to win many votes and can’t win a seat.

    It seems there’s a scenario where HEMP could win, and I think Wikileaks also have a reasonably strong position if they get a strong donkey vote.

    All parties running are listed on the guide.

  4. I’m curious how the preferences will pan out for labor where Pratt has been preferenced before Bullock by other parties. Will that be an advantage for Pratt or a disadvantage for the labor party or both or niether.

  5. I’m also going with 3 Liberal, 2 ALP, 1 Green.

    PUP are the obvious chance to crash the party, most likely at the expense of the Greens.

    PUP’s chances depend significantly on the Liberal vote as well as their own – I have scenarios with them polling 10.2% and missing out, and others with them getting a seat with just 6.4%.

    The chances of HEMP are almost nil if PUP polls 6.5% or better and are also greatly reduced if Labor’s primary is less than two quotas, as now also seems very likely.

  6. Given that the Greens are polling strongly, does anyone think that they could possibly win a second seat at the expense of the ALP? Or would that be out of the question?

  7. Hi Ben

    Thank you for the reply. In this by-election the micro parties have generally split their preferences along right wing – left wing ideologies.
    However the micro parties are still very important in determining how many Liberal, Labor, Greens and PUP candidate(s) that are ultimately successful. For example, the Greens candidate will probably not receive a full quota of primary votes. Therefore the number of primary votes that the Wikileaks, Socialist Alliance and Pirate Parties receive could well determine if the Greens candidate is elected after the distribution of preferences.
    John Flanagan.

  8. John,

    Sorry I think you are expecting these parties to poll much higher than they actually will.

    Wikileaks certainly has a good ballot paper position which *may* play an important role.

  9. There are so many scenarios being painted for this poll.

    I predict 3 Liberal, 2 Labor, 1 Green.

    Ben, I’m a newbie to this site and am enjoying it.

    Good luck.

  10. I too think a 3 Liberal / 2 Labor / 1 Green outcome is most likely, with an outside chance of 2 Liberal / 2 Labor / 1 Green / 1 Palmer.

  11. Janet: I think that tells you more about what a self-selecting online poll is worth than it does about what the Greens actual vote will be.

  12. 8 votes in and the we are on track for the libs with 3 seats, nationals 2 and PUP 1 😉

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