I haven't had the time I would have liked to analyse these races in detail, and really you have to sample preferences in scrutineering to have a really confident handle on what's going on in a given state under the new Senate system. You also can't do it on the night, as you have to know what the main races are to know what you need to look for. I used scrutineering-based modelling to successfully predict the result in Tasmania (though there was very nearly an upset for the final seat) and it surprises me that I have not seen any detailed public attempt at a scrutineering-based model for any other state.
Some Findings From Tasmania
Tasmania is a little bit different, because it has a massive below-the-line voting rate (29% in this case, including 10% for two major party Senators who were demoted in preselection). Also Tasmanian voters have a lot of experience with proportional representation, and they don't have much experience with following how-to-vote cards (which are banned on state election days).
Nonetheless there are a few patterns from Tasmania that are worth watching to see if they crop up in the states that are concluded this week.
1. Low how-to-vote card follow rates
Above-the-line voters in Tasmania just barely followed how-to-vote cards at all (see here for rates). Only the Liberal Party card managed a double-figures follow rate among that party's voters (barely) with only 2.8% of ATL Labor voters following the Labor card and some micro-parties down as low as 0.1%. Rates in the Northern Territory were somewhat higher, but still below 20% in all cases (hat tip: Dean Ashley). Rates in other states don't seem to have been exceptionally high either (at least, it seems most voters haven't followed the cards).
See also the results for WA below.
2. Preferences splatter
Further to 1, preferences go all over the place and strong preference flows are a great rarity. There was no case in Tasmania of any party getting over 40% of another party's #2 votes, and only four cases of over 30% (one of which included the donkey vote).
See also the results for WA below.
3. Popular parties get more preferences
There is a very strong relationship in Tasmania between a party's primary vote and its average preference flow from all other parties.
(The biggest outlier there is the Renewable Energy Party, which has a would-you-like-a-pony sounding party name that probably sucks in a lot of preferences without people realising it is actually a wannabe preference-harvester. Also note the dire performance of the Christian Democrats, whose lead candidate was an interstate ring-in, but far from the only one in Tasmania.)
All else being equal, bigger parties will beat small parties on preferences, but things like a right- or left-wing bias in preference sources can even that up. Often the right-wing micro-parties have higher vote shares than the left-wing ones.
Because of this feature, we need to keep an eye on any popular party that has even a small fraction of a quota left over, in case its higher preference share allows it to pass all the micros.
4. Ticket position affects preferencing
... but not that much. There's a slight tendency for voters to preference parties that are close to the party that is the preference source, so that being very close to an excluded candidate might be worth about a 10% better preference flow than otherwise (eg 20% might become 22%) and being far away from an excluded candidate might be worth about 15% worse (eg 20% might become 17%).
Through the count a party will get its chance at being close to some parties and far from others, so this might tend to cancel out. Nonetheless a party could be moderately advantaged by being just downwind (to the right) of several juicy preference sources.
As the buttons are pushed and results come out I'll be posting comments for each race on this thread.
Based on the leads on primary vote quotas, if there were no preferences the outcome of the election would be 30 Coalition 27 Labor 9 Green 3 One Nation 3 NXT 2 Liberal Democrat, Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch.
However Bob Day (Family First) has beaten Labor in South Australia and been returned, so Labor are now only on for 26. Also One Nation has won two seats at the expense of the LDP in Queensland. If NSW goes according to the primary leads then the Coalition have these two pathways to pass legislation opposed by Labor:
* The Greens.
* Nine of eleven crossbenchers: all of One Nation, all of NXT and any two of Leyonhjelm, Lambie, Hinch and Day
It's also possible - perhaps even probable - One Nation will fragment (again) or not vote as a block, bringing new pathways into play.
However there is some chance more of the leads could be overturned on preferences. The most intriguing one now (edit: and yes, it's happened) is Queensland where One Nation's second candidate is way behind (0.1876 quotas - maybe more like .186 after leakage - plays the Liberal Democrats' .3709) but One Nation are likely to get strong preference flows because they are the more popular party and were high-profile in the Queensland campaign. I am not sure how much detailed scrutineering has been done on this one. I have seen some sampling which is at least consistent with the idea that One Nation are competitive for a surprise fourth seat, but I don't think more can be said than that at this stage (at least not by me). Any insights welcome in comments (noting that, for various reasons, comments may take a few hours to clear over the next few days).
In Victoria I don't expect anyone to catch the Greens (they have the advantage there that Labor will be out of the count quickly, meaning a lot more preferences for them from the left-wing micros). I initially didn't expect anyone to catch the Coalition, but after Bob Day's performance on preferences in SA it could be that micros, especially One Nation, are a threat to them. In South Australia it seems possible Bob Day will catch Labor, as he has been reported to be getting 54% of the Liberal preferences (though that's not enough by itself) but he is a long way back and would have to overturn the trend in other states of small parties doing poorly on preferences (edit: he's done just that). In New South Wales we have one micro party against another (LDP vs CDP) with the LDP starting with a handy lead. In Tasmania the Christian Democrats performed remarkably badly on preferences and it remains to be seen if that is also so elsewhere.
5 Liberal 4 Labor 2 Green 1 One Nation
The button has already been pressed and an expected close race between the Greens and Nationals failed to materialise with the Greens winning by over 25,000 votes, consistent with the idea that parties that do well on primary votes do well on preferences too. The exhaust rate at the point where the contest was determined was 3.6%, increasing to 6.3% only following the irrelevant throw of the Nationals candidate to determine order of election for Rod Culleton and Rachel Siewert. This throw also caused both these candidates to finish over quota, but that is again a meaningless figure; they were both below quota at the time their election was assured.
As widely noted the elected One Nation candidate appears to be ineligible so we can expect a dispute of return at some stage and if it succeeds then based on past precedent, the seat will go to the second One Nation candidate, assuming it is found that Culleton was ineligible at the time of his election.
WA How-To-Vote Card Follow rates: These are the percentages of voters following the how-to-vote card from 1-6 as shown by the ABC, with thanks to David Barry's preference explorer again: Liberal 32.2%, Aus Christians 15.9, Labor 15, Green 10.3, Aus Liberty Alliance 9.9, Rise Up Australia 6.0, Socialist Alliance 3.4, One Nation 2.1, Shooters Fishers and Farmers 1.6 (gave two choices for sixth), Animal Justice Party 1.6, Cyclists 0.7, Family First 0.6, Liberal Democrats 0.4, Hemp/Sex 0.2, Renewable Energy 0.02. Apparently just one voter out of 4114 REP voters followed the card all the way through (damn that person!) though the figure is so low I wonder if they might have changed their card.
WA Preference Flows: The strongest preference flows seen in WA (#1 to #2 ATL, whether the votes were actually transferred or not) were National to Liberal 54.4%, Liberal to National 50.7, Labor to Green 48.4, Aus Christians to Family First 36.4, Liberal to Liberal Democrat 35.2, Socialist Alliance to Green 34.8, Green to Labor 30.8. These are the only 30+% 1-2 preference flows.
Quite a few WA micros preferenced One Nation above any other party; these were Australian Liberty Alliance, Hinch Justice Party, Rise Up Australia, Australia First and Mature Australia.
WA Preference Share graph:
Here's the same graph of top-6 preferences as I posted above for Tasmania (data again from Poll Bludger):
Again a strong relationship between vote share and preference-attracting ability from other parties. The Greens had an extremely high average share (hence their runaway victory), though even a share typical for their vote size would have been easily enough. Again we have the Christian Democrats performing extremely poorly for their vote share and the Renewable Energy Party very well, but one notable difference is Family First doing very well relative to their vote size in WA. This seems to have also been the case in South Australia and Victoria, but not in Tasmania, and I'll take as much credit for the latter as anyone out there would like to give me. (Actually more major causes are probably the low HTV card follow rates in Tasmania and the FF primary being inflated by the donkey vote.)
1 Labor 1 Liberal
As expected of course.
4 Liberal 3 NXT 3 Labor 1 Green 1 Family First
After opposing the system claiming it would disenfranchise his voters, Bob Day has been re-elected under it, overtaking the third Labor candidate by genuine voter choice! I'm very busy today but sometime tonight will unravel how he did it. (Actually, see the comments by Alaric).
The exhaust rate in South Australia was a mere 2.0%, the lowest in a state so far!
SA How-To-Vote Card Follow Rates: Following card follow rates in SA is slightly tricky because it appears that the major parties each had at least two cards. There are other orders that look like cards but appear to actually be mistaken attempts to follow cards where a certain mistake is often made, like confusing columns O and Q. (Queensland will be much, much harder - there was a lot of chopping and changing there.) Anyway I get the follow rates as: Liberal at least 29% (at least two cards combined), Family First 12.4% Labor 12 (two cards combined), Aus Liberty Alliance 7.6, Green 5.3, Shooters and Fishers 3.9, One Nation 2, Animal Justice 1.8, Lib Dems 1.4% (per card on website, nobody followed card on ABC site), Cyclists 0.4, Sex/HEMP 0.3.
SA Preference Flows: The strongest preference flows seen in SA (#1 to #2, whether distributed or not) were: Christian Democrats to Family First 57.5, Mature Australia to Labor 43.6 (mostly donkey-votes), Liberal to Family First 43.04, Labor to Green 39.5, Green to Labor 34.8, ALA to One Nation 34.4, Arts to Green 32.8, Family First to Christian Democrats 31.3. There were no others above 30%.
It seems there is a lot of consistency between states with the rate of ATL voters stopping before six preferences; this has run between 5% and 6% in each state so far.
Antony Green has a thorough summary of the SA Senate cutup.
No surprises here, it's 5 Coalition 4 Labor 2 Green and the one and only Derryn Hinch. Grahame Bowland has reported that Hinch gets a six-year term in his S282 recount, which is certain to spice up that little debate (since Hinch doesn't do so by the order-of-election method!)
There is a mild surprise in the exclusion order: Family First was the last party excluded, rather than the more fancied Sex Party (second last) and One Nation (third last). The margin between Hume (Coalition) and Bain (Family First) was 26,812 votes, or .0996 quotas. This one had one of the higher exhaust rates so far (5.2% at the point the result was determined at, rising to 8.6% after the throwing of preferences that determined only the election order.)
Victoria How-To-Vote Card Follow Rates: Victoria had the highest follow rates so far for the big parties, but that's not saying much. Coalition 39.7, Labor 17.8, Green 16.2, Rise Up Australia 8.3, Aus Christians 5.6, Socialist Alliance 3.8, Animal Justice 3.4, One Nation 2.9, Sustainable Australia 2.5 (card went to three only, so this is pitiful), Sex/HEMP 2.1 (much higher than in some states), Shooters Fishers and Farmers 2.0, DLP 2.0, Aus Liberty Alliance 1.3, Family First 1.0, Liberal Democrat 0.9 (two cards), Marriage Equality 0.8, Pirate Party 0.3, Science/Cyclists 0.2. And beating their own WA record were the Renewable Energy Party with 0.01% (1/7981). Double damn that one person! (The reason REP do so poorly is that their HTV was not easy to find on their website.)
Trumping all these is an apparent 51.6% follow from PUP to AJP, Group B, Labor, Science/Cyclists and Derryn Hinch in that order. These are the first six parties on the ballot. It seems this was a card but the strength of its flow for a small party is mysterious.
Victoria Preference Flows: There were only three flows of over 30% from 1 to 2 in Victoria: Palmer United to Animal Justice 54.5% (card assumed), Liberal to Family First 47.8 and Liberal Democrat to Coalition 30.3. Some parties did not have even a 10% flow to anyone and Group B distinguished itself by having its leading preference flow as exhaust (ie just-vote-1).
The donkey vote across the page starting with Hinch was 0.18%.
One Nation's second candidate has chased down and passed all the other micros on preferences so it's 5 Coalition 4 Labor 2 One Nation 1 Green. Both One Nation and the Greens will be slightly over-represented compared to their vote share because of the preferences they pick up from minor right- and left-wing micros that do not have enough votes to win seats anywhere in their own right. In the end the Liberal Democrats' performance on preferences in Queensland was so poor they were overtaken not only by Malcolm Roberts (PHON) but also by Family First, with Roberts winning pretty easily. A higher exhaust rate in this count: 4.2% at the point where the result was determined, rising to 7.7% after irrelevant distributions.
Queensland How-To-Vote Card Follow Rates: I hope I'm on top of all the chopping and changing with the Queensland HTVs, but it's probably impossible. I have LNP 20.0% following 1-6, Australian Liberty Alliance 18.0, Labor 11.9, Rise Up Australia 8.9, Family First 7.6, Katter and Hanson both 5.2, Lazarus 4.9, Green 4.3 (for card shown on ABC website but there were at least three others used so this is an underestimate - see comments), Sustainable Australia 1.5 (only 3 preferences), Australian Christians 1.4, Animal Justice 1.0, Shooters Fishers and Farmers 0.6, Pirate Party 0.4, Sex/HEMP 0.3, Veterans 0.2, Liberal Democrats 0.2 (only 3 preferences!), Democratic Labour Party 0.09, Cyclists 0.07, and of course Renewable Energy Party 0.02. (1 of 5531).
Queensland Preference Flows: The strongest 1-2 flows in Queensland were ALA-One Nation 48.9%, LNP to Family First 42.5, LDP to LNP 38.5, Christian Democrats to Aus Christians 35.5, the same in reverse 35.3, Cyclists to Arts 33.3, Labor to Green 31.8 and Rise Up Australia to Family First 30.3. The donkey vote rate (1-6 ATL across page) was 0.16%.
A peculiarity of the count is that Malcolm Roberts received only 77 below the line votes (I assume this is the lowest ever for a Senate winner), compared to 20,927 for Pauline Hanson.
New South Wales
No overtakes on preferences here - it's 5 Coalition 4 Labor 1 One Nation 1 LDP 1 Green and David Leyonhjelm is returned. Leyonhjelm beat the Christian Democrats easily by over 38,000 votes (.11 of a quota). NSW had the highest exhaust rates so far (7.3% at the point where the CDP were excluded, and 9.2% after irrelevant throws). It also has the highest rate of voters stopping before 6 above the line (9.3%).
NSW How-To-Vote Card Follow Rates: Stand around and gaze in awe, behold this wondrous artefact:
|All this useless beauty|
This was almost matched by the Veterans Party, whose card was followed to 4 by a single voter, who then discovered that you couldn't follow it to 5, as it had preferenced the Science and Cyclist parties separately, and they were on a joint ticket.
Rates for parties were Liberal/National 30.4%, Labor 13.7, Green 10.7, Aus Liberty 9.1, Shooters Fishers and Farmers 2.8, Animal Justice 2.6, Sustainable Australia 2.5 (card only went to 3), Socialist Alliance 2.4, One Nation 1.4, Rise Up Australia 0.6, Pirates 0.5, Science/Cyclists 0.4, Sex Party 0.4, Family First, Liberal Democrats and DLP all 0.2, Veterans 0.02 to four (see above), and Renewable Energy 0.
NSW Preference Flows: The following were the strongest flows in NSW: Liberal Democrats to Liberal/National 45, Christian Democrats to Liberal/National 44.2, Voteflux to Christian Democrats 38.9 (these were Liberal/National HTV card followers who put the 1 in column E not column F), Liberal/National to Christian Democrats 38.1, Labor to Green 35.9, Drug Law Reform to HEMP 35.8, Green to Labor 32.9.
The Sex and HEMP parties ran on separate tickets in NSW, but together in other states. Preference flows between them were Sex to HEMP 12.9 and HEMP to Sex 14.7%
The donkey vote (1-6 across the page) was 0.16%.
David Leyonhjelm's re-election means that four of the previous non-Green crossbenchers have been returned and four have lost. They've been joined by two new NXT, four One Nation and Hinch so the non-Green crossbench increases from eight to eleven. My simulations of the 2013 result as a DD had 12 non-Green crossbenchers, so the paranoia that a DD was going to wipe the crossbench (bar NXT) out was always silly. I didn't actually expect there to be so many crossbenchers this time around, but the way in which other micros (primarily One Nation) filled the void left by the implosion of PUP made that possible.
So the Senate is done and dusted (barring any challenges) at Coalition 30 Labor 26 Greens 9 One Nation 4, NXT 3, LDP 1, FF 1, Lambie and Hinch.
The next fun will be the Section 282 proposed allocation for 6 and 3 year terms, and whether or not the Senate agrees to it.