Senate count update – week four


We’re now halfway through the fourth week of counting for the Senate, and the count has got close to the finish line, although we only have a final result in the Northern Territory, where Labor and the Country Liberal Party each retained their one Senate seat without any need for preferences.

A few weeks ago I ran through each state and identified only one race, in Queensland, where seats were still in play. Since then the ALP has lost ground. While we will still need to wait for the distribution of preferences to know for sure, it seems likely that the last three seats will go to the LNP, the Greens and One Nation.

The current quotas for these groups are:

  • LNP – 2.74 quotas
  • ALP – 1.59
  • ON – 0.71
  • GRN – 0.70

One other point of interest from the Senate count is the informal rate. It’s not clear to me if there’s any formal votes still sitting in the informal pile – there certainly were a lot of formal votes incorrectly classified in the first counts after election day. The informal rate has dropped dramatically since those early counts, now sitting at 3.86%, down slightly from 3.94% in 2016.

State2016 informal rate2019 informal rateChange in informal rate

Informal voting has slightly increased in most jurisdictions, although that was cancelled out by small declines in NSW and Queensland.

I should again emphasise that this informal rate is likely to drop a little bit more as the count continues, potentially getting below the 3.75% informal rate at the 2010 election.

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  1. So much for predictions: I thought Molan would gain fewer than 50,000 votes; and that his campaign (combined with a recent Optional Preferential state election) would see a rise in the NSW informality rate at the expense of the coalition vote. Trends aren’t proof that his campaign didn’t have some effect – we don’t have a control – but it seems both were a way off. Gladdened only by the fact that I know of others more involved in the game of politics than me who thought along similar lines.

  2. The AEC website currently has the swing to the Greens in the QLD Senate contest at over +3%. That’s a huge increase for a progressive/lefty party in what’s almost universally accepted as Australia’s most conservative/right wing state.

  3. Queensland is not a right wing state. It is conservative but is pro government service. Queensland was the last state. With a Government Store a Government Printer with Government owned electricity and water. It was last State with Centralised Marketing of Fruit and Vegetables, with government owned abattoirs and the only state with Government owned Butchers Shops.
    We view government as a solution to excessive Capitalism. Joh was anything but right wing and Newman was a raving left winger on social
    Unfortunately the ALP SenTor who has lost his position is the last remnant of the pre 1955 Split. Ketter’s Grandfather being a long term Grouper like me although I had a much less successful industrial career.

  4. I don’t think Campbell Newman, someone whose administration repealed civil unions for same-sex couples, is someone who can be described as a “raving left winger on social issues”.

  5. Good point Andrew. I think people forget that left/right are economic axes, not social ones. Queensland is typically economically left wing/protectionist, while socially a little more conservative than other states, depending on the issue of course.

  6. Probably not socialism but rather Distributist. Difference is that government competes on a level playing field. Socialism requires government to take over production distribution and exchange not just compete with private industry. Govt abattoirs were beneficial to farmers, master butchers and consumers. They were detrimental to Big 4 multi national meat companies ( Angliss, Fields, Borthwicks and ?????) Public Abattoirs allowed farmers to sell directly to Master Butchers who bought live cattle on basis of carcass wight. It was not socialism but just efficient business practice that kept small business competitive and prevented Big 4 Meat companies and the Duopoly of retailers from screwing the public as they do now. I think it was Premier Theodore who bought Cannon Hill Meatworks from Borthwicks during the depression when he was also building Story Bridge. We need Labor leaders like this not ones who are more concerned about inner city issues.

  7. Zac
    Newman promisedto repeal civil unions legislation and did not do it. When in opposition LNP put up a Bill to repealCivil Unions legislation. This Bill was defeated on Party lines. When Katter MPs put up an identically worded Bill during Newmn’s Premiership every single Liberal voted against the same Bill they had voted for two years earlier. In Fifty years I have only been lied to by political candidates and it was over this very issue. 3 Liberal candidates at Caboolture South all promised to repeal Civil Unions Legislation and all three voted against the KAP Bill. Newman was a raving supporter of a left liberal social agenda . He was hostile to economic growth and trade unionism and completely opposed to Government funded infrastructure. Jackie Trad for all her faults ( which are many) is far referable to the economic irrationalityof Newman.

  8. Andrew, overall, Qld is Australia’s most conservative state. It is a very big state though and the strong Greens result does show that there are plenty of progressives there, and increasingly so it would seem. Some areas of Brisbane in particular are more like what you’d expect to find in Canberra or Melbourne (Australia’s most progressive cities).

    You make an interesting point though. Look at the nutter Bob Katter. He’s got a very unusual mix of being economically left leaning but being deeply socially conservative at the same time. He’s a good example of why a distinction needs to be made between economic policies and social policies. Often we (myself included) lazily use the terms “left” and “right” to label progressives and conservatives. Often people are both left wing and progressive, or right wing and conservative, but that’s not always the case.

  9. Firefox
    Bob Katter is not a “nutter” I have known him for ten years.
    I have been a member of his party but in my heart although not on party membership lists I am DLP.
    Bob Katter has been consistent in supporting his electorate and his core values and principles. These principles are not far from traditional DLP. Katter’s father was after all a DLP candidate before becoming a Country Party member.
    Yes we are all a bit lazy with Left /Right Labelling. ABC Vote Compass put me parallel to Greens economically and more conservative socially than Liberals. One US Vote Compass put me more left economically than any US Candidate and more Conservative than any candidate. My political heroes are Alfred Deakin and Bob Santamaria. However the issue that really separates me from PHON is race. I believe all men are created equal including followers of Islam.
    Back to Qld Senate I think Senator Ketter has lost his seat.
    If one compares him to Senators Watters and Malcolm Roberts Queensland voters certainly vote in wisely.

  10. Last sentence of my post 2.55 yesterday should be un-wisely not
    inwisely. Spell checker on I phone seems to dislike “un” .
    Probably thinks I am a cockney and am being racist.

  11. Pyrmonter:
    Thanks to saving provisions any vote that would have been formal in the NSW Legislative Council would also be formal in the Senate (perhaps getting “practice” at the State election even contributed to the slight decline in informality!), even if it didn’t conform to the AEC’s official directions precisely. Unless you’re suggesting that voters would have confused Legislative Assembly formality rules with Senate rules?

  12. Some of the print media are saying the Greens Sen Hansen-Young and Greens Sen Waters may not be re-elected loosing to parties like One Nation and United Australia. If they are defeated this is a further indication that the anti Adani protests and Greens platform on Adani have been counter productive with the Greens loosing not only two women Senators but two of their better performers in parliament.

  13. Andrew, we obviously have a different idea of what constitutes a nutter. When Katter makes comments such as saying that homosexuality is a “fashion trend” there’s no other conclusion that I can come to. The guy is totally nuts. I feel incredibly sorry for Carl Katter, Bob’s own brother, who is openly gay and had to grow up in what must have been an incredibly homophobic environment.

    My economic and social views are most closely represented by the Greens, which is why I’m a member of the NSW branch.

    Katter’s mix of left wing economics and conservative/authoritarian social views is very interesting though. The opposite is of course the “small l liberals” who are socially progressive/libertarians but are also economically right wing.

    The Political Compass website goes into great detail about why a distinction needs to be made between economic and social views. It’s a UK run site but they cover Australian politics too.

  14. You can assume that my failure to respond to Firefox is because of a lack of freedom of speech in Australia. My response would be illegal if written rather than just thought.

  15. The two Greens from SA and Qld I mentioned above on 15 Jun 19 got elected after all with Sen Hansen-Young in 5th place and Sen Waters in 6th place. The AEC have all final Senate results now.

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