Seats Won: 4 Labor 4 Liberal 1 Green 1 Lambie
Seats In Doubt: 2 (Labor vs Green vs Liberal vs various micro-parties)
It appears likely Labor will win five seats
Lisa Singh has very good chance of re-election.
Richard Colbeck's position is not yet clear.
It appears difficult for micro-parties to win (One Nation has a remote chance, it is hard to find a realistic chance for others)
Expected to be returned easily: Urquhart (ALP), Polley (ALP), Brown (ALP), Abetz (Lib), Parry (Lib), Duniam (Lib), Whish-Wilson (Green), Lambie (JLN)
Bilyk (ALP), Singh (ALP), McKim (Green), Bushby (Lib), Colbeck (Lib) are contesting final four seats, together with various micro-party lead candidates.
Current assessment 5-4-2-1 to Labor or 5-5-1-1 are most likely
Note: I have decided to put some new modelling of this contest in a new post. Go to Tasmania Senate: A Model Of What Might Occur for my latest comments, though those below are also often still relevant.
This post follows the post-count for the Tasmanian Senate race. I warn that it is complex and around Wonk Factor 4/5 at this stage. The Tasmanian Senate race is complicated by the state's high below-the-line voting rates and especially by the below-the-line voter rebellions against the preselection demotions of Lisa Singh to sixth on the Labor ticket and Richard Colbeck to fifth on the Coalition ticket.
For this reason we cannot read the Tasmanian Senate race solely off the party totals - the race is about candidates and is again complex (though not as complex as last time). Although the Liberals seem well behind the Greens for a seat, chances arise for them to win five if their remaining vote is evenly enough split between Senators Bushby and Colbeck.
I expect to do more scrutineering in the next week to try to get a clearer read on a possible race between McKim, a Liberal (probably Colbeck at this stage) and micro-parties for the final seat.
Below the line voting rates in the Tasmanian Senate are very high (I currently expect the rate to finish at about 28%) because of the combination of the new system and the Singh/Colbeck situations. Most ATL voters are stopping at six and many BTL voters are stopping at 12. Some voters are voting both above and below the line (the BTL vote only counts then) but making their above and below the line votes completely different.
The following figures were current as of Saturday 9 July and will be updated from time to time:
79.4% of enrolled voters have had their votes counted. In 2013 final turnout was 95.1%, so about 83% of votes have been counted.
The current party quota totals are (a quota is about 7.69%):
Labor 4.435 quotas
One Nation 0.325
Family First 0.252
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 0.169
Christian Democrats 0.111
Rec Fishers 0.091
Animal Justice 0.089
Lib Dems 0.061
Derryn Hinch Justice Party 0.054
Science Party 0.049
Renewable Energy 0.049
Aus Liberty 0.041
Arts Party 0.028
Citizens Electoral Council 0.007
In the post-counting the votes will move around a bit, especially based on which votes are being counted, but not normally by more than a tenth of a quota. A wild card is that some votes that are being counted as informal will probably be found to be formal, and it isn't clear yet who this will advantage.
If all voters voted above the line it would be fairly likely that Labor and the Greens would take the last two seats and perhaps this is what will happen. However the situation is greatly complicated by below-the-line voting for Lisa Singh and Richard Colbeck (and possibly others). Especially, should votes between Colbeck and the remaining Liberals split in the right way, this could create a situation in which the Liberals win five at the expense of the fifth Labor candidate or Nick McKim, despite having a poorer quota total.
Thus as well as the seat balance there is a question of which major party candidates will win seats, and at present Catryna Bilyk is under threat from Singh in the event that Labor only win four, while David Bushby is under threat from Colbeck if the Liberals only win four.
Votes for each party are counted as "unapportioned" on the night then gradually sorted into above and below the line and counted to parties or candidates during data entry. It will take a while for the breakdown of each party's vote into above and below the line votes, and who the BTL votes are for, to become apparent. In the early stages of this process the BTL vote often appears to be very small compared to the ATL vote or totals, but this is misleading. A further complication is that, for whatever reason, many booths are sometimes having their ATL but not BTL votes included in the totals, and this means that making sense of what percentages candidates are actually receiving below the line has become extremely time-consuming. Often it seems that there are a lower proportion of BTLs than there are.
The number of ballot papers that have been processed already is large, but a booth is not uploaded until all votes from that booth are processed. Because the batches in which booths are processed don't necessarily correspond to exact booths (a booth may be spread across multiple batches) it isn't predictable when a given booth will be completed and upload - even the staff don't know.
The Singh below-the-line vote is significant for Labor's chances, as well as her own. There appears little doubt that Lisa Singh has more than 3.5% of the vote in her own right, which means that the fifth Labor candidate John Short will not receive any ALP ticket votes, and will be knocked out of the preference cutup quickly, making Singh the effective number five. The current lineup of votes for different parties is actually about the best thing Singh could have possibly wished for, because it is so easy for her to knock out Short, and yet she can also have enough votes to be competitive.
If Singh has between 3.5% and about 7.5% Labor's chances are improved because it means that Catryna Bilyk and Singh both stay in the count as candidates short of a quota. The ideal situation for Labor would be Singh to have about 6%, and then Bilyk and Singh could sit in the count with most of a quota each and not be caught. A less ideal situation for Labor is that Singh herself is elected quickly, leaving Bilyk on about half a quota and at risk of losing.
If Singh gets much more than a quota in her own right this will be a problem for her party as her preferences leak with substantial numbers going to the Greens, Liberals (especially Colbeck), Lambie etc. This is because some of the vote for Singh and Colbeck was a cross-party protest vote against perceived major-party preselection injustice and hackery. However it does not appear that Singh will be much, if at all, over a quota.
In early counting of actual votes by my estimates Singh is on 11.8% of 13714 votes in Denison, 9.4% of 9682 in Franklin, 2.75% of 4079 in Braddon, 2.9% of 3982 votes in Lyons and 2.9% of 13982 in Bass, which would give her 5.9% statewide (0.77 quotas, leaving 3.67 quotas for the rest of the Labor ticket). However tracking the figures has been exceptionally difficult because of issues with the AEC website displays of information so please treat these as estimates only.
The above figures are consistent with on-the-night scrutineering of three Denison and three Franklin booths that found the Singh BTL rate between 8% and 17%.
On the above projected votes Bilyk may get ahead of Singh, since although some below-the-line votes for other Labor candidates will go to Singh first, aside from that Singh can only receive below-the-lines, and all the above-the-line preferences that flow to Labor will go to Bilyk. However there is a high chance both would be elected since for either to lose it would be necessary for three other candidates (eg both Liberals and McKim, or replace one of these with a micro-party candidate) to pass one of the Labor candidate. I expect Singh's projected vote to improve as more BTLs from Lyons are added. The chances for five Labor seats currently appear good.
Singh also gets quite good flows of preferences from minor party BTL votes.
As an aside, Catryna Bilyk apparently received zero of the first 1171 below-the-line votes counted in Braddon. The only other party candidates to receive zero in this batch were the two Citizens Electoral Council candidates and ten micro-party support candidates.
Richard Colbeck is the fifth Liberal candidate and will be elected should the party win five seats, but they are actually only about 1% over their fourth quota. This means the only way the Liberals can win five is if both Colbeck and David Bushby stay high enough in the count to beat either Nick McKim or one of the Labor Senators, as well as all micro-parties. If this doesn't happen, Colbeck and Bushby are competing for a seat. Colbeck will benefit from leakage within the ticket against the ticket order (for instance there are a fair few 1 Abetz 2 Colbeck votes) and after that will rely on below-the-line preferences while Bushby continues to collect ticket votes.
In early counting of actual votes by my estimates Colbeck has 3.5% of 13714 votes in Denison, 4.0% of 9682 in Franklin, 9.1% of 4079 in Braddon, 3.9% of 3982 in Lyons, 3.9% of 13982 in Bass, which would give him 4.88% statewide (0.63 quotas, leaving 3.56 for the rest of the Liberal ticket). However this estimate of Colbeck's vote may not be completely reliable depending on the range of booths included in the count. Tracking the figures has been exceptionally difficult because of issues with the AEC website displays of information so please treat these as estimates only.
The above figures are consistent with on-the-night scrutineering that found Colbeck's vote in six Denison and Franklin booths to be mostly between 0 and 3% with one booth at 12%.
If Colbeck's below the line vote does not improve on the projected estimate then he will probably trail Bushby based on above-the-line votes flowing to the Liberal ticket, and it also appears difficult for him to catch Singh. In that case he will need to stay ahead of McKim and the micro-parties, which may be difficult.
On raw quota totals Nick McKim appears to be travelling OK. The Greens are on 1.45 quotas and this will probably improve. However there are two dangers to his position. The first is that a favourable split in Liberal preferences could put both Colbeck and Bushby ahead of him as candidates, and if the same split happens in the Labor ticket with Singh and Bilyk, he might not catch up. On current primaries this scenario is very much on the cards. The second is that he might be caught by a right-wing micro-party or the Nick Xenophon Team on preferences.
Early signs are that McKim's below the line vote is not high enough to make any difference to his position other than reducing the loss of votes by leakage when Whish-Wilson is elected.
The changes to Senate voting have removed the problem of more-or-less-100% preference flows between micro-parties and ensured that the preferences of micro-parties are determined by the voter. Also, micro-parties tended to lack presence at booths to hand out cards (at my booth only Sex Party and Renewable Energy were there). The question is the level of anti-major-party sentiment and the extent to which micro-party voters at this election have chosen to put numerous other micro-parties ahead of the "big three". A bit of a pointer here is that the Recreational Fishers Party polled 6% in the three Tas Reps seats it contested but less than one percent in the Senate (but perhaps their voters mainly voted for Lambie and not other micros). So Reps votes for some parties were basically just "none of the above" votes to the Greens and majors.
Voters could often find how-to-vote cards for their parties online (list for Tasmania here), but micro-party voters tend to buck the cards anyway, and it's not clear how many voters would have looked. If micro-party voters all ignore their party cards then their preferences will splatter with many going to big parties ahead of other micros. This would stop any micro from making really massive gains.
Right-wing micros (ON, FF, SFF, CDP, LDP, ALA) have 0.986 quotas between them. Left micros (Sex/HEMP, AJP, REP, Science, Arts) have 0.39. Remaining micros (NXT, PUP, RECF, Hinch, Flux, CEC) have 0.47.
It seems more or less impossible for any of the left-micros to catch Labor or the Greens, and on that basis I expect that all will be excluded, releasing some preferences to the Greens and to a lesser degree Labor. However the Sex/HEMP how-to-vote card preferences apparently exhaust (unless they changed their card), which I must say wasn't very bright of them. Long-term Sex Party voters (if any) would be well aware their party has contentious form on preferencing, and hence likely to make their own decisions. (Indeed in my scrutineering so far Sex Party preferences go to Labor and the Greens.)
On the right side, the Christian Democrat card preferences go to the Liberals and then to One Nation, and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers card preferences go to One Nation. If Family First can get over One Nation, then all the right micro HTV card preferences except the Liberal Democrats will pool with them, and they also get the Liberal preferences if Colbeck is excluded at the right time. However it is difficult for Family First to pass One Nation whether HTV preference card flows are assumed to be weak or strong. The evidence so far is that they are weak.
Assuming One Nation is the leading micro then they get neither Family First nor Liberal HTVs, and the donkey votes included in the Family First tally will flow to Labor. So it seems One Nation will struggle to get up to where Labor and the Greens are, unless the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers voters follow the card (or decide to preference them anyway) extremely strongly. It being a new system, this is quite possible, though I suspect S,F+F votes will also go to the majors.
There is some thought that preferences might pool with the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers in sufficient quantities to get them over many other micro-parties. I think it is hard for them to get enough to overtake One Nation.
NXT would be likely to pull preferences from everywhere if not for the fact that few Liberal and no Labor or Green preferences will be released til very late in the count. They appear to be getting some benefit from Lambie Network preferences but I think they're just too low down.
In scrutineering I've found that micro-party preferences go all over the place, with few following how to vote cards and many preferencing the big parties. This also applies to Liberal ticket votes. Less than 20% of those I watched were following the ticket recommendation to preference the Christian Democrats; more even preferenced Labor. (These were from Denison and Franklin however).
My feeling overall is that it is difficult for any micro-party to win because of the preference spraying and candidate issues with the others, but that One Nation or SF+F are the best placed micro-parties if one does. I should note that simulations at the geekLections site are repeatedly suggesting the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers will win the final seat, albeit without considering the complexity of the below the line count.
More comments will be added through the count.