Senate – New South Wales – Australia 2022

Incumbent Senators

Term due to expire 2022Term due to expire 2025
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Liberal) Tim Ayres (Labor)
Kristina Keneally (Labor) Andrew Bragg (Liberal)
Jenny McAllister (Labor) Perin Davey (Nationals)
Jim Molan (Liberal)1 Mehreen Faruqi (Greens)
Deborah O’Neill (Labor) Hollie Hughes (Liberal)
Marise Payne (Liberal) Tony Sheldon (Labor)

1Jim Molan replaced Arthur Sinodinos on 14 November 2019 following Sinodinos’ resignation.

History
Dating back to 1951, when the Senate for the first time was entirely made up of Senators elected by proportional representation, Senate representation from New South Wales has been relatively stable. Up until 1958 the numbers remained steady with 5 ALP senators, 4 Liberal senators and 1 Country Party senator. 1958 saw the Country Party win a seat off the ALP, giving the Coalition a 6-4 majority amongst NSW senators. The ALP gained two seats in 1961, giving them a 6-4 majority. The Country Party recovered a second seat in 1964, restoring an even balance of ALP and Coalition senators. In 1970, the sitting Country Party senator was defeated, as was the Country Party senator who had filled a casual vacancy, meaning that the party lost both its seats, while the Democratic Labor Party won a NSW senate seat for the only time. The result produced a 6-4 majority for the ALP over the right-wing parties.

The 1974 double dissolution restored the 5-4-1 balance between the Labor, Liberal and Country Party, which was maintained in 1975. 1977 saw the ALP lose one of its five senate seats to the Australian Democrats. This 4-4-1-1 balance was maintained in 1980. The 1983 double dissolution saw the Liberal Party lose a seat to the ALP, seeing five ALP senators, three Liberals, and one senator each for the Democrats and National Country Party. This result produced a 6-4 majority for parties of the left for the first time 1970. The ALP and Democrats collectively maintained a majority in the NSW senate delegation for the entirety of the Labor government.

The 1984 election saw the Senate’s size increased, with New South Wales gaining an eleventh and twelfth senator. The Democrats and the National Country Party each maintained a single senator whilst the ALP gained a sixth and the Liberals a fourth. The 1987 double dissolution saw the ALP lose its sixth senator to the Nuclear Disarmament Party. The 1990 election saw the ALP and Democrats each gain a senator, at the expense of the Liberals and NDP, producing a result of 6 ALP, 3 Liberals, 2 Democrats, 1 National. This gave the ALP and Democrats an 8-4 majority. In 1993 the Democrats lost a seat, with the Nationals gaining a second senator in NSW for the first time since 1970.

In 1996, the ALP lost a senate seat to the Liberals, producing an even split between the ALP and Democrats and the Coalition. The left gained a majority again, however, in 1998, when the Nationals lost a senator to the Democrats. In 2001, Democrat Vickie Bourne was defeated by Greens candidate Kerry Nettle, maintaining a 7-5 left-right split.

The last Democrat, Aden Ridgeway, was defeated in 2004, replaced by Nationals candidate Fiona Nash, restoring a 6-6 split between the ALP and Greens and the Coalition. The 2007 election saw the ALP win a sixth senate seat at the expense of the Greens. This was the first election since 1975 to result with NSW having no minor party senators, with a 6-6 split between the ALP and the Coalition.

In 2010, the Greens won back a single Greens seat, with former state MP Lee Rhiannon moving to the Senate. The ALP lost one of their three seats to the Greens, while the Liberal Party maintained their three seats.

In 2013, the Coalition maintained their three seats, while Labor lost their third seat to the Liberal Democrats’ David Leyonhjelm. The LDP benefited from a massive donkey vote thanks to a good ballot position on an extremely large ballot, polling 9.5%. Labor was reduced to four NSW senators for the first time since the Senate was expanded.

The 2016 double dissolution only produced one change in the party balance. Labor maintained four seats, while the Greens and the Liberal Democrats held on to their single seats. The Coalition lost one of their six seats, which went to One Nation.

The right-wing minor parties were pushed out in 2019. The Liberal Democrats lost their single seat, while Brian Burston, who had left One Nation and joined the United Australia Party, also lost. Both Labor and the Coalition gained a seat.

2019 result

GroupVotes%SwingQuota
Liberal/Nationals 1,810,12138.6+2.72.6986
Labor 1,400,29529.8-1.52.0876
Greens 409,7908.7+1.30.6109
One Nation232,8655.0+0.90.3472
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers119,4082.5+0.60.1780
Help End Marijuana Prohibition99,6442.1+1.50.1486
Liberal Democrats89,8331.9-1.20.1339
Christian Democratic Party75,5101.6-1.10.1126
United Australia Party69,9111.5+1.50.1042
Animal Justice48,9891.0+0.20.0730
Rise Up Australia33,2690.7+0.50.0496
Democratic Labour26,4390.6-0.60.0394
Independents For Climate Action Now26,7340.6+0.60.0399
Others252,5185.4

Preference flows
Four seats were won on primary votes: two for the Coalition and two for Labor.

There are ten candidates left in the race for the final two seats. This included three incumbent minor party senators from the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and United Australia. It also included the third Labor and Coalition candidates. Sitting Liberal senator Jim Molan, who was placed in the fourth spot on the Coalition ticket, remained in the race with a strong below-the-line vote:

  • Mehreen Faruqi (GRN) – 0.7380 quotas
  • Perin Davey (NAT) – 0.5397
  • Kate McCulloch (ON) – 0.4033
  • Brett Cooke (SFF) – 0.2159
  • Andrew Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2146
  • Jim Molan (LIB) – 0.2142
  • Jason Yat-Sen Li (ALP) – 0.1588
  • Duncan Spender (LDP) – 0.1568
  • Silvana Nile (CDP) – 0.1417
  • Brian Burston (UAP) – 0.1332

Burston was eliminated. About a third of his preferences went to his former party, followed by the Coalition and Labor:

  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.7452
  • Davey (NAT) – 0.5655
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.4461
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.2250
  • Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2204
  • Molan (LIB) – 0.2145
  • Li (ALP) – 0.1701
  • Spender (LDP) – 0.1629
  • Nile (CDP) – 0.1474

44% of CDP preferences flowed straight to the Nationals. One Nation, the Liberal Democrats and Labor also received over 0.01 quota:

  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.7514
  • Davey (NAT) – 0.6309
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.4638
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.2322
  • Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2231
  • Molan (LIB) – 0.2171
  • Li (ALP) – 0.1830
  • Spender (LDP) – 0.1803

Liberal Democrat preferences favoured the Nationals and One Nation:

  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.7691
  • Davey (NAT) – 0.6813
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.4961
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.2426
  • Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2299
  • Molan (LIB) – 0.2177
  • Li (ALP) – 0.2067

Labor preferences primarily favoured the Greens, with some going to the Nationals:

  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.8547
  • Davey (NAT) – 0.7134
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.5090
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.2543
  • Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2413
  • Molan (LIB) – 0.2185

Molan had been largely stranded on slightly more than one fifth of a quota, unable to gain preferences from above-the-line votes as long as Davey remained in the race. His preferences mostly flowed to Davey, pushing her into the lead:

  • Davey (NAT) – 0.8697
  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.8571
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.5527
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.2610
  • Katelaris (HEMP) – 0.2431

HEMP preferences scattered across the four remaining candidates. The Greens received the most preferences, but it was barely a quarter of the HEMP total:

  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.9269
  • Davey (NAT) – 0.9124
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.5751
  • Cooke (SFF) – 0.3040

At this point it was numerically impossible for McCulloch to catch up to Faruqi and Davey, even if she received every Shooters preference, which she did not:

  • Davey (NAT) – 0.9743
  • Faruqi (GRN) – 0.9576
  • McCulloch (ON) – 0.6771

Davey and Faruqi won the last two seats.

Candidates

Assessment
Labor and the Coalition will each retain two seats. This will see the Nationals regain the second New South Wales Senate seat which was lost when Fiona Nash was disqualified from her Senate seat in 2017.

It is likely that the last two seats will split between the left and the right. The Coalition would be favourites for the third right-wing seat, but sitting senator Fierravanti-Wells will need to see off challengers from parties like One Nation.

The third left seat may go to Labor or the Greens depending on how well the two parties perform. Labor would need a substantial swing to them to overtake the Greens. If the two parties have similar votes to 2019 but with a small swing to Labor, those preferences will just make the Greens position more secure.

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43 COMMENTS

  1. The only way I see this going is 3-2-1 or 2-3-1 (LNP, ALP, GRN). If the current COVID scenario plays out, the Libs won’t get three seats, but if it does get better, they probably will. The factional preselection (Right) between Keneally and O’Neill will be interesting, because the winner gets top spot and the loser gets the risky third spot. Only resolution excluding the ALP winning three seats is O’Neill going back to Robertson again.

  2. Ryan, Jenny McAllister isn’t guaranteed to get 2nd spot. She could get 3rd spot. There is no rules in the ALP saying a left-faction senator has to be pre-selected in between. Unless you can show me evidence. I can give examples of times a state has had 2 right-faction senators from the ALP.

  3. If NSW has a 2-3-1 result I will be very surprised. For context, I calculated 2019 3PPs of 3.2 quotas for the Coalition, 2.4 for Labor and .89 for the Greens.
    So to get that 3-2-1 to a 2-3-1, we’re talking a half-quota swing from the Coalition to Labor.
    Seven percent. That’s… rather a lot.

  4. Well O’Neill’s got the top spot, and Keneally is running for preselection in Fowler, so we’ll have another preselection contest which is between a great candidate who is representative of the area (Tu Le) and a helicopter candidate from the eastern suburbs. It would be hilarious if Keneally lost that too.

    theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/08/labor-senator-kristina-keneally-to-run-in-lower-house-seat-at-next-election?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

  5. my understanding is right gets spots 1 & 3 and the left 2…….I have no idea how the rights internal processes work……. but spot 3 is dicey….. as greens may win here

  6. Mick, I don’t think Labor are favourite to win a 3rd seat in any state.

    In order to win a 3rd seat Labor in a state the easiest way is to have the state elect 4 “lefties”, defeating the Green is very hard. The mathematics of how votes for a senate group are counted means that it is disadvantageous to be electing multiple candidates from the same group, at least when compared to parties that are in the running to elect the candidate at the top of their group.

    Most states will have 2 Coalition and 2 Labor senators elected instantly on 1st preferences and surpluses. NSW will be one of those states. Remaining in the count will be 3/7ths of ballots (with each full seventh +1 vote being the quota to elect a senator). In the last election the Coalition ticket remainder at this point was 0.70 of a quota, the Greens 0.61, One Nation 0.35, Labor had a tiny 0.09, the remaining micro parties had 1.25 combined but with Group Voting Ticket those votes slosh around and all those tiny parties will not win. The Greens do not need to gain in preferences to get their 0.61 up to a full 1.00, preferences from excluding candidates would delight them, but as long as they remain ahead of other candidates until their are only 7 remaining non-excluded candidates their candidate will be elected no matter how low their vote tally is, Labor in the meantime “wasted” a fair few votes stacking up 2 piles of ballots 1.00 quotas high that they wish they could get back for these shoot outs to come 6th out of the final 7 candidates.

    The Labor party would have needed to take a massive chunk out of the Green vote, maybe 3% of voters in the state (4 in 10 Green voters), to have any chance of having their 3rd candidate get in en lieu of the green. Alternatively Labor could have gained ~6% of votes in the state from other sources, but at that stage you’re almost talking about 4 left wing senators from the state.

  7. Re the senate In NSW: if I wanted to see the Greens take the “final” seat (assuming the Coalition was set to take 3 and Labor 2), would it make any difference to Labor if I voted, say above the line, for Greens and 5 minor parties, then stopped? If I did not preference Labor because I have already put the Greens number 1, does that favour the Coalition in anything but a theoretical way?

  8. If you vote 1 for the Greens, no further preference will harm the Greens chance of winning – your vote will only get passed on if the Greens can’t use it anymore.

    If you don’t give a preference to Labor, then your vote may end up exhausting at a point when the 3rd Labor candidate is competing with someone for the final seat, possibly someone you like less.

    Your vote probably won’t flow because the Greens are unlikely to poll a full quota, so the Greens will either get elected to one of the last seats without any preferences to pass on, but are also strong enough that they’re unlikely to get knocked out until right at the end of the count if they lose. If the Greens lose it will probably be to the 3rd Labor candidate.

    But it is theoretically possible the final race could end up with Labor vs Coalition and your vote, if it hasn’t been fully used up, could end up exhausting, when it could otherwise flow to Labor. Probably that’s most likely if the Greens have a big swing towards them and poll over a quota, or if their vote collapses.

  9. @Ben how’s the current breakdown looking for this:
    – 2 LNP
    – 2 Labor
    And last 2 up for grabs?
    Jason Yatsen-Li who is the former Labor candidate for Bennelong, and is 3rd on the Labor ticket in NSW, has been doing a lot of joint fundraisers with the Labor Candidates for Reid and Banks, tapping into community ties. However, I’m doubtful he can get enough below the line votes to get across the line.
    I do think though he will pick up the 3rd spot, as the Greens vote Federally has not been gaining traction, with it either going back to Labor or going to Independents like Stegall.
    David Shoebridge is quite a qualified candidate for the Greens but I think NSW voting tendencies would want a decisive vote for Labor if the wing is on
    I’m thinking the final spot goes to either One Nation or UAP. Especially, how well Latham did at the NSW election (picking up 2 spots)- is this feasible? Especially if preferences are horded between the minor right wing parties.
    The above comments seem to neglect the fact that when there is a swing to a Centre-Left government, the right normally splits and this creates a vacuum for minor right wing parties like One Nation, Shooters, CDP, Family First, etc. to then spring up.
    So that would mean:
    – 3 x ALP
    – 2 x LNP
    – 1 x PHON

  10. UAP/ON will get up for sure imo. Whether the Greens do is harder to say, but I’m optimistic. Labor really would have to do fantastically well, and the Greens would need to bomb pretty hard- they collect a lot more micro-party preferences in NSW than they do in Queensland. It’d be quite a turnaround after the gains they just made in the locals.

  11. The big question is whether the UAP and ON do a preference swap – if they do, then they have a damn good chance of one of them getting a seat – especially if you add the LDP to the mix. Does the Clive / Campbell love in extend beyond Queensland? 2 Lib, 2 ALP, 1 Green and 1 from the populist right seems a definite possibility. And this could happen across the country.

  12. Has Labor shown its hand already conceding it will only be able to win a maximum of 2 Senate seats in NSW?
    Given that its initial 3rd listed candidate, Kristina Keneally, is now running for the seat of Fowler, and her replacement on the ticket, Jason Yat-Sen Li, has now vacated this spot to run for the state seat of Strathfield.
    Not a very good look.
    Apparently polling in NSW for Labor is still pretty low (not that LNP vote is that much higher), and Albanese has not had too much progress in improving name recognition and repairing Labor brand. I think for a start, he can probably get rid of that oversized akubra he insists on wearing in press conferences (even when he is in metropolitan Sydney)

  13. I think the reason Labor is likely to only get 2 seats is because of the Greens rather than the Coalition. It’s a tall order for Labor to get three quotas before the Greens get one (or for Labor + Greens to get four of six seats).

  14. It’s very difficult for Labor to get 3 seats in most states due to how strong the Greens vote is. However, the Coalition getting 3 seats is pretty normal as there aren’t any minor right-wing parties that have a vote as strong as the Greens (except for One Nation in Queensland).

  15. If we suppose that the Roy Morgan proportions from 20th of January, for NSW specifically, hold as a proportion of left vs right, then Left is at 58%, while Right is at 42%. Let’s suppose that the proportion of the lower house 2pp (representing “left” and “right”) that is reflected in the senate remains the same (I know, it’s imperfect).

    Coalition got 51.78% of 2pp in NSW, and 38.55% of senate vote. That’s about 75% of total. So at 42%, they’d get 31.5%, or 2.2 quotas. Labor got 48.22% in NSW, and 29.82% of senate vote, or 62% of total – at 58%, that would be 35.8%, or 2.5 quotas. The Greens, by the same reasoning, would get about 0.74 quotas. That leaves about 0.74 quotas for the Right and 0.82 quotas for the Left remaining to be distributed.

    Even on raw numbers, this would be enough to push Labor+Greens over the line, as the Right only has 2.94 quotas in total. For the Right to get a third seat on these numbers, they would need to get enough leakage from the Left (compared with leakage the other way), and exhaustion makes this a shaky proposition, as a lot of voters aren’t likely to list more than a few parties.

    The strongest-performing Right party in 2019 was ONP, with about 0.35 quotas. Either the Coalition would need to convert their 0.2 quota into enough to get ahead of ONP, or ONP would need to gain enough from preference flows to get to close to a full quota. I can’t see either one happening.

    So I do think ALP 3, LNP 2, Greens 1 is very plausible.

  16. Interesting analysis, Glen, however wouldn’t it make more sense to compare primary votes with Senate votes for the majors rather than 2PP? As it stands, you’re double-counting the Greens somewhat by measuring the Greens Senate vote against what I assume was their lower house primary, but measuring the Labor Senate vote against their 2PP figure which would already include a good proportion of first-preference votes for the Greens.

    Going off primaries I get the Coalition Senate vote at about 90.6% of their lower house primary and Labor’s at 86.3%. I’m not sure exactly which poll you’re referring to so I can’t do a like for like comparison but applying these to PollBludger’s NSW figures I get 33.98% for the coalition and 35.12% for Labor. So a bit better for the Coalition vs One Nation (which makes intuitive sense, compared to using 2PP) and a bit worse for Labor wrt reaching the third quota. Still, though, the Labor surplus being greater than the Coalition’s makes a fourth seat for the broad left that much more likely.

  17. Likely 3/3 so 2 alp 2 liberals.. one for right so if libs win onp doesn’t and visa versa. Last seat between alp and gr . Again an either or

  18. Dryhad – I wasn’t double-counting Greens, I just assumed that, on the statewide 2pp measure, Greens votes would roughly flow to Labor. It’s an imperfect estimate, but a sufficient one for the purposes of discussion.

    The problem with using lower-house primary votes is that it’s strongly affected by number of other candidates in each seat, creating a substantial skew in the data. Since we’re trying to estimate senate patterns, the simplest estimate is to simply go “roughly how much of the vote is going to left-leaning parties”, and extrapolate where possible.

    It is, of course, very rough. It assumes that side of politics is the only influence, and thus if Labor sees a 10% increase in vote count, so will the Greens, and that’s clearly inaccurate. It also ignores that some people often split votes, voting one way in the House, and another in the Senate. And primary quotas in the Senate will naturally also depend on how many candidates, the order of the candidates on the sheet, and a number of other factors that can’t be accounted for at this moment.

    The poll information can be found here: https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/8913-federal-voting-intention-february-2022-202202211048 – specifically under the “Voting Intention by State shows the ALP again leading in all six States” section. It also appears in Poll Bludger’s poll data for NSW federal.

  19. Thanks for the clarification, Glen!

    You’re certainly right that any method is going to have its drawbacks and imprecisions, although I feel like you’re overstating the significance of the number of lower house candidates on such an inherently rough estimate. Such a thing may cause discrepancies between individual seats, but for state-wide figures it ought to produce a good enough starting point for measuring probable Senate support – especially considering as you note that a good number of minor party candidates also run in the Senate.

    Nevertheless, your logic makes sense and it seems like the different methods only result in a few percentage points of difference – a good sign that they are at least as bad as each other!

  20. Liberal Party have confirmed their line-up.
    No surprise that Marise Payne took position 1 but Jim Molan has beaten out Connie Fierravanti-Wells for the 3rd position on the joint ticket, meaning that Fierravanti-Wells is done in parliament.
    TBH, good riddance to bad rubbish. Connie played a leading role alongside Marie Ficarra in the HR becoming more and more toxic and then got burned after her protege, Christopher Rath, jumped ship to the left.

  21. Fierravanti-Wells leaving parliament is a good thing for Australia. She didn’t add anything positive to the state of politics.

  22. High Court rejected Morrison’s pleas to escalate the NSW Lib’s preselection stoush past the Court of Appeals, and rejected Kitching’s/Shorten’s Labor faction’s appeal outright. Big win for Albo while NSW Libs remain in disarray.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/high-court-rejects-pm-s-attempt-to-resolve-liberal-preselection-feud-20220331-p5a9so.html

    I’m really surprised the bureaucracy has been allowed to get involved in the Libs case. I don’t see how they have any standing whatsoever.

  23. @ FL that’s what happens when you have no long term structural corporate governance or no visible external financial or procedural audit performed.
    Both parties are run by people who are only there for a short time and want to get in and out to either further their political and/or business careers.
    NSW Head Office would’ve had nearly 10 General Secretaries in the last decade.
    It’s good in a way as I think both Labor and Liberal need to reform their internal practices or will die natural deaths via the gradual erosion of their primary vote.
    Ultimately brings up another issue of branch stacking vs central committee override. The latter seems better on paper but it also causes a mass bleeding of members and subsequently votes.
    Even a 2 party state like the US has a more open preselection process.

  24. The two open plebiscites – in Bennelong and Willoughby – have thrown up the unexpected – and reports suggest both performed well enough to persuade the preselectors on the day. This would suggest that the same person could also persuade the average voter. The downside is that the candidate might reflect the local members more – either unrepresentative or a branch stack – and then be out of touch on election day. Losing candidates have fewer causes for complaint on their being dudded after a stitch up.

  25. If the parties did have a more open process and did it on the same day then there might be more public engagement as the frisson of activity would generate coverage and excitement.

  26. Unpopular view here but I don’t think branch stacking is as bad as central appointments by party apparatchiks.
    Open primaries would be optimum, especially for a state wide spot like the Senate but short of that if you can raise money off your own bat, and organise effectively that is demonstrate capacity to recruit members, volunteers and notoriety you should be given preference as a candidate.
    The Senate spots are now becoming such diminished guarantees for the majors.
    I think Molan misses out, CFW would’ve too.
    1 Lib, 1 Nat, 2 ALP, 1 GRN, 1 UAP/PHON

  27. Yes a broad base primary type preselection is a good thing but the US has shown that those who vote in Democrat primaries are to left of the psrty spectrum and Republicans to the right so the the extreme tail wags the donkey or elephant. Not sure how that type of issue can resolved in the Oz situation.

  28. Redistributed, the situation in the US has evolved because there are no strong minor parties to break the duopoly. At least in Australia, like the UK and Canada we have some significant minor parties who can gather at least 20% of the vote. This should help to reduce the echo chamber effect somewhat.

    Also the US became polarised from the 90s because federal members and senators started spending more time in their electorates and less time in Washington, often flying in and out on the same day. This meant they couldn’t interact as much with opposition colleagues which isn’t a problem in Australia where members and senators will spend a week or two in Canberra for each sitting.

  29. Might be true of Republicans but recent history suggests Democratic primary voters have been, if anything, really obsessive about centrist theories on electability. It dominates most downballot primary debates and it was obviously dispositive in the presidential primaries.

  30. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/aus2022/nswsen2022/comment-page-1#comment-765671

    Primaries for the Australian Senate would presumably be somewhat proportional for the Liberals and ALP, given they both win multiple Senate seats each in almost every a half-Senate election, meaning a more ideologically diverse range of Senators. Also as in the USA, the primary voters` political opinions in single member seats would vary from seat to seat, in a manner generally connected to local opinion.

    https://www.tallyroom.com.au/aus2022/nswsen2022/comment-page-1#comment-765672

    Having more than 2 parties does reduce negative partisanship, which makes US politics so divisive as there is no serious party competing for the votes of voters strongly opposed to 1 of the parties and almost triangulation of parties is possible. However, primaries reduce the pressure that creates minor parties because they focus a lot of the tensions that otherwise could create minor parties onto primary competition.

    Polarisation in the USA is due to various factors, such as partisan news silos that started with cable news and have continued with the internet, the realignment of Southern conservatives from the Democratic party to the republican party and less conservative republicans to the Democrats meaning that both political parties represent more ideologically cohesive blocks than had been the case for decades, etc.

    I doubt that shorter times in Washington had much to do with it and politicians being closer to their voters hardly seems like a problem.

  31. @Marko

    Its constitutional law expert Shireen Morris. Morris was Labor’s canidate for Deakin at the 2019 federal election.

  32. 23 Groups! Hope you enjoy the size of this ballot paper! A variety of professions, was curious to see a couple of Councillors leading their minor party tickets. Georgia Lamb [North Sydney] for Sustainable (SAP) and Shane Djuric [Hawkesbury] for Shooters (SFF). Side note, I thought I recognised one of the names in the Ungrouped, Guitang Lu who ran as an independent in the council elections for The Hills District.

  33. AJP drawing Group A could mean a decreased Greens vote. They’ll be getting at least 1 vote (from me) as the Senate has just become an utter farce.
    The size of this ballot borders on ridiculous- would it be so difficult to split states up into:
    – 6 regions with 2 senators each; or
    – 4 regions with 3 senators each; or
    – 3 regions with 4 senators each

    Better front-facing representation and allows for candidates to campaign more effectively. Current situation of 10 nobodies plus a couple known names representing nothing is not really democratic

  34. Further gerrymandering an already horrifically unrepresentative body because you don’t like looking at a big piece of paper for a few minutes every three years 🧐

  35. You sort of answered your own question though didn’t you dude. The reason why there is such apathy and the body itself is unrepresentative is because it is an overly contrived process topped off with an oversized ballot that in no way differentiates candidates from one other.
    If you have 12 homogenous spots up for grabs, with no segmentation as to who or where they represent, other than a generic “state” this essentially becomes a perverted process.
    The average voter tunes out when they see this, which is why the voter apathy and informal vote is so high when it comes to the Senate.
    Why the number 12, why not 10 or 8? I understand the whole divisibility of the Reps but I don’t think citizens are any better served by 2 or 4 extra Senators.
    At this stage we’re just wasting paper because a couple of twits who rustled up a few grand, want their name on a ballot paper with zero chance of winning. Half the ballot is “parties” with similar names to established parties and the other half are generic parties that are indistinguishable from each other.
    Democracy maybe at work but this system does need reform

  36. It’s unrepresentative because states and territories have such massive discrepancies in the relative worth of their votes, if you start breaking those states down into regions they will be even bigger discrepancies and, especially if they’re multi candidate electorates, almost certainly uncompetitive in the majority of regions anyway. And you likely wouldn’t achieve much of a reduction in ballot size, after all there are HoR seats with twelve candidates this year.

    I struggled to come up with six groups to vote above the line for in Qld, I couldn’t imagine how I’d have made it with even less choice

  37. Politics_Obsessed, if you think that’s bad, Queensland has 25 groups!

    As to the point about Senate regions, it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem with the Senate: it’s unrepresentative because it treats Tasmanian votes as being worth 15 times as much as NSW votes.

    Really I think minor reforms aren’t going to fix anything. We should rip up the constitution and start again. One house of government would be sufficient if it were elected by a system covering both geographic interests and national proportional representation. New Zealand-style Mixed Member Proportional Representation and the Tasmania and ACT-style multi-member geographic electorates would both be fine systems.

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