Friday, June 17, 2016

List of Senate How-To-Vote Card Preferences


This is a resource piece that will be updated as information comes to hand.  It is simply a list of the Senate preference recommendations on party how-to-vote cards by state, with some comments as I feel inclined to add them.  I will not be writing a similar piece for the House of Representatives.  Note that the ABC Senate Guides also show HTV card scans for many parties (indeed a lot more than listed here) though at the time of writing they are missing some that I have.

Senate how-to-votes are of interest because in the new Senate system, voters decide their own preferences, but many will follow how-to-vote cards in so doing.  Typically something like half of major party voters are likely to follow cards (more accurate assessments are probably available elsewhere in the psephosphere) but the card-follow rate among Greens voters is very low.  Under the new Senate system it is possible voters will be more reliant on these cards than normal.  Knowing who these cards preference may be important in projecting the outcome early in the post-count, as will high-quality scrutineering (but I doubt that there will be too much of that.)

Following a how-to-vote card and then stopping after six boxes weakens the power of your vote and I strongly recommend voting beyond six boxes if voting above the line.  See How To Best Use Your Vote In The New Senate System.

The cards could prove quite significant in some states.  Preference snowballing by micro-parties is unlikely to work well because it will be impossible to co-ordinate, but some of the larger micro-parties might be able to outpoll the leftover quota fraction for a major party and thereby gain a boost on their preferences.  So for instance a micro-party polls 3% and a major party has 2% left over after several of its candidates have been elected.  The major party preferences the micro-party, which gains another 1% because half its voters followed the card - this could be a massive help in a tight race.

However in most cases where a major party preferences a micro-party, the micro-party will be out the door in the cut-up before the major party's preferences are thrown, if indeed they are thrown at all.  Or in other cases a major party may cross during the preference cut-up (with their preferences then worth very little) or may be elected to their last seat without making quota.  So we shouldn't assume that these preferences will always flow.  Yes Hinch has a nice setup in Victoria with preferences from both majors ahead of anyone else of much consequence, but whether those preferences actually get passed on remains to be seen.

Here I will be including only those parties whose cards I think may be significant in determining outcomes, except for Tasmania for which I will include any party.  Obscure micro-parties have little success in directing preferences, partly because their ability to staff polling booths is poor and partly because their voters are independently and sometimes even tactically minded.  Therefore I will tend not to include them, but you are very welcome to add them in comments.  (Note as always that comments here are moderated to prevent vandalism by chess trolls and other lunatics, and hence may take some time to clear.)

As of the early hours of 17 June the Liberals, Nationals, Greens and NXT all had Senate preference cards online (generally searchable by postcode), as did many micro-parties, while Labor only had them on some state websites. Labor's tardiness in getting this information online when people are already voting is surprising.

As a general comment there was a fair amount of concern that parties might try to issue just-vote-1 how to vote cards, even though by doing so they surrendered bargaining power.  It hasn't, so far, happened.  On the other hand parties are often not encouraging their supporters to fill more than six ATL boxes, or even letting them know that they can do so.  (A few cards, such as Family First and Australian Christians in Queensland, are radically recommending a seventh preference!)  Also, the design of how-to-vote cards varies and it may be that some lend themselves more to the voter deciding to just vote 1 than others.

What follows is a work in progress and will be expanded as I have the time.  Please help if you can fill in any blank marked (To be added).  Parties may later decide to hand out how-to-votes different from those they are advertising.  If you see one that doesn't match please photograph it and upload it and send me the link, or email it to me (


Australian Capital Territory

Coalition (Liberal): 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Liberal Democrats, 4 Animal Justice, 5 Sustainable Australia, 6 Labor
Labor:  (To be added)
Green: 2 Secular Party, 3 Sex Party, 4 Animal Justice, 5 Labor, 6 Sustainable Australia

New South Wales

Coalition: 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Shooters Fishers and Farmers, 4 Family First, 5 Liberal Democrats, 6 Motoring Enthusiasts
Labor: 2 Greens, 3 Renewable Energy, 4 Animal Justice, 5 Sex Party, 6 Liberal Democrats (!!)
Green: 2 Pirate Party, 3 Science Party, 4 Socialist Alliance, 5 Animal Justice, 6 Labor
Liberal Democrats: 2 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 3 HEMP, 4 Family First, 5 Australian Liberty Alliance, 6 Katters Australian Party
NXT: Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares

Northern Territory

Note: the small list of parties in the NT Senate race makes for some seemingly odd preference decisions.

Coalition (CLP): 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Labor, 4 HEMP/Sex, 5 Greens, 6 Rise Up Australia
Labor: (To be added)
Green: 2 Labor, 3 HEMP, 4 CLP, 5 Citizens Electoral Council, 6 Christian Democrats


Coalition (LNP): 2 Family First, 3 Christian Democrats, 4 Shooters Fishers and Farmers, 5 Katter's Australian Party, 6 Australian Christians
Labor: 2 Greens 3 Sex/HEMP 4 JLN 5 Glenn Lazarus Team, 6 Katters Australian Party (This has been re-ordered and a card with Renewable Energy at 3 has also been reported in comments)
Green: 2 Renewable Energy, 3 Marriage Equality, 4 Arts Party, 5 Labor, 6 Australian Cyclists (GLT were fourth but have been dropped)
One Nation: 2 Australian Liberty Alliance, 3 Rise Up Australia, 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 5 Family First, 6 Katters Australian Party
Glenn Lazarus Team: 2 Katters Australian Party 3 Family First 4 Greens 5 Labor 6 Liberal
Katters Australian Party: 2 Lazarus 3 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 4 Australian Liberty Alliance, 5 Family First, 6 One Nation (Aus Christians initially at 3 but dropped)
NXT: Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares

Note that many parties in Queensland (including the LDP who are not listed above) have changed their preference order during the campaign - see comment by Brisbanelattesipper below this article.

South Australia

Curiously, after Bob Day railed against the potential of the new Senate system to cause votes to exhaust, he has issued a how-to-vote card that preferences only parties that will be excluded before him, so in the event that he loses, his HTV card preferences will exhaust.

Coalition: 2 Family First, 3 Liberal Democrats, 4 Christian Democrats, 5 Motoring Enthusiasts, 6 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers
NXT: Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares
Labor: 2 Greens, 3 Animal Justice, 4 Marriage Equality, 5 NXT, 6 Motoring Enthusiasts
Green: 2 Animal Justice, 3 Australian Cyclists, 4 Marriage Equality, 5 Arts Party, 6 Labor
Family First: 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Australian Liberty Alliance, 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 5 One Nation, 6 Liberal Democrats


NOTE: I suggest that Tasmanian Liberal voters decide their own preferences rather than following the card, since the Family First candidates are very strange anti-gay extremists. For more see my Tasmanian Senate piece.

Coalition (Liberal): 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 4 Liberal Democrats, 5 Family First, 6 Labor (!)
Labor: 2 Greens 3 Jacqui Lambie Network 4 Recreational Fishers 5 Sex/HEMP 6 Renewable Energy
Green: 2 Renewable Energy, 3 Recreational Fishers, 4 Labor, 5 Science Party, 6 Arts Party
Lambie Network:  No HTV card seen but website recommends "2-6 as you please and due to the Liberals' betrayal put them last". (There is no mention that you need to number more than 6 squares to do this.)
Family First: 2 Shooters Fishers and Farmers, 3 Liberal Democrats, 4 Aus Liberty Alliance, 5 Rec Fishers, 6 Liberal
Christian Democrats: 2 Liberal 3 Shooters Fishers and Farmers 4 One Nation 5 Aus Liberty 6 Family First
NXT: 2 Lambie Network, rest open, asks voters to number at least 6 squares
Sex/HEMP: 2 Arts Party 3 Rec Fishers 4 Science 5 Animal Justice 6 Renewable Energy
One Nation: 2 Christian Democrats 3 Shooters Fishers and Farmers 4 Family First 5 Rec Fishers 6 Aus Liberty Alliance
Hinch Justice Party: Open ticket, says "vote 2-6 for your own preferences"
Renewable Energy: 2 Rec Fishers, 3 Greens 4 Sex Party 5 Animal Justice 6 Labor 7 Hinch Justice Party 8 Science Party 9 FLUX
Aust Liberty Alliance: 2 Christian Democrats, 3 Liberal Democrats 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 5 Family First 6 Lambie Network
Shooters Fishers and Farmers: 2 Christian Democrats, 3 One Nation, 4 Family First, 5 Aus Liberty Alliance, 6 Liberal Democrats 7 Rec Fishers
Animal Justice: 2 Renewable Energy, 3 Science Party, 4 Greens, 5 Labor, 6 "Voter to choose"
Science Party: 2 Animal Justice (bad choice), 3 Greens, 4 Sex/HEMP, 5 Arts Party, 6 Labor
Rec Fishers: 2 Renewable Energy 3 Green 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 5 Sex Party 6 Lambie Network
Liberal Democrats: 2 Rec Fishers, 3 Shooters Fishers and Farmers 4 Aus Liberty Alliance "plus a further two parties of your choice"
Arts Party: Open haiku


Coalition: 2 Family First, 3 Australian Christians, 4 Democratic Labour, 5 Australian Country Party, 6 Derryn Hinch Justice Party
NXT: Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares
Labor: 2 Sex Party, 3 Derryn Hinch, 4 Renewable Energy, 5 Greens, 6 Cyclists/Science
Green: 2 Marriage Equality, 3 Science/Cyclists, 4 Animal Justice, 5 Arts Party, 6 Labor
Derryn Hinch Justice Party: Open ticket, says "vote 2-6 for your own preferences"
AMEP: Recommends "in your preferred order": John Madigan, Shooters Fishers and Farmers, Country Party, Liberal Democrats, Renewable Energy, NXT, Lambie, Drug Law Reform, and "number as many other boxes as you can to make your vote last longer.  Major parties are optional but if you do, major parties last".

Western Australia

Liberal: 2 Nationals, 3 Aus Christians, 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 5 Liberal Democrats, 6 Family First
Nationals: 2 Liberal, 3 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 4 NXT, 5 Labor, 6 Australian Christians
Labor: 2 Greens, 3 HEMP/Sex, 4 Derryn Hinch Justice Party, 5 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers 6 Nationals
Green: 2 Renewable Energy, 3 Aus Cyclists, 4 Animal Justice, 5 HEMP, 6 Labor
NXT:  Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares
Palmer United: (To be added)


  1. Labor in Queensland:
    2. Greens
    3. Glenn Lazarus Team
    4. Katter's Australian Party
    5. Australian Sex Party
    6. Jacqui Lambie Network

    Labor in Tasmania:
    2. Greens
    3. Jacqui Lambie Network
    4. Australian Recreational Fishers Party
    5. Australian Sex Party/HEMP
    6. Renewable Energy Party

  2. Labor's ticket in Queensland according to a flyer from Graham Perrett in Moreton has
    2 Greens, 3 Renewable Energy, 4 KAP, 5 Sex Party, 6 Lambie

  3. NSW Science Party:
    2 Arts Party, 3 Greens, 4 Sex Party, 5 Animal Justice, 6 Labor

    VIC Marriage Equality:
    2 Greens, 3 Sex Party, 4 Cyclists, 5 Animal Justice, 6 Arts Party

    I've got a couple of VIC Labor HTVs (Janelle Saffin, Damian Wood) which are:
    1 Labor, 2 Greens, 3 Renewable Energy, 4 Animal Justice, 5 Sex Party, 6 Liberal Democrats

  4. Thanks very much all. Saffin and Wood are NSW.

  5. Since my flyer had Renewable Energy at no. 3, is it more likely that they are running different HTVs around the State, or that they printed a few that went one way before deciding to go with Lazarus instead?

    1. They printed of different cards. The HTV card I saw in NSW had the sex party second in the Senate but on the website it said put the Greens second in NSW Senate.

  6. Although due to the FF candidates homophobic tendencies, it is hardly surprising the Libs have put them 6 on their HTV, after all Abetz, Duniam and crew aren't the most progressive bunch of Libs, well in comparison to Vic or NSW per say.

    1. Indeed. I don't know much of Duniam's views beyond his opposition to same-sex marriage, but Abetz has a terrible record on gay rights issues, and only ever seems to evolve his views on them to the barest minimum extent necessary.

  7. I suspect the latter, especially if Lazarus has not released his own as yet.

  8. So they are, sorry, I had them mis-filed. I also thought they had a Vic auth address but I just checked and it's Sussex Street.

  9. I'm gob smacked that NSW Labor put David Leyonhjelm's LDP as their 6th Senate pref recommendation. Ahead of progressive alternatives like Pirate Party, Drug Law Reform, Arts Pty, (never mind the ACTUAL socialist ptys) etc.
    This is a guy remember who famously wants to shrink government so small that it could drown in a bath.

    Gough Whitlam must be turning in his grave.

    I'm equally gob smacked that the GREENS haven't made reference to it considering the barrage they copped from Labor over the (fortunately reversed) preferencing storm in a tea cup in seat of Sydney.

    1. That LDP decision is fascinating and it's still a mystery to me what it is all about. It could be some kind of strategy (based on the idea that there is no point preferencing unelectable minor progressive parties that will be excluded, and maybe they figure LDP is the least worst of the realistic chances). It could be that they genuinely figure LDP's socially progressive side makes them a fair preference destination. Or it could be a deal. If it was a deal then it looks like the deal was "we'll preference you if you don't preference the Liberals".

      LDP how-to-vote cards are useless, as seen in Canning, but I included theirs anyway for interest.

    2. I think the 'we will preference you in exchange for not preferencing Liberal' is a good theory.

      Also the LDP could be competing with Liberals for the last spot and in that case a boost of Labor preferences might be seen as useful in taking a seat off the Liberals.

    3. Brisbanelattesipper here: Qld LDP seem to have rebelled on preference deals. As of this morning, the ABC site scan still reads 1.LibDems(E), 2.SexHEMP(V), 3.FamFirst(T), 4.SF&F(Q), 5.DLReform(AG), 6.ALA(N) but their site now (23 June) shows MarEquality second and DLReform third, "plus a further three or more of your choice."

  10. Lib Dems are running House of Reps candidates in a few marginal NSW seats (Macquarie, Robertson, Page, Greenway). Maybe the deal was Labor preferences Lib Dems in the Senate, and Lib Dems preferences Labor over Lib or goes open ticket in those lower house seats. Hard to see the Lib Dems winning many votes or handing out many HTVs, but maybe Labor know something we don't.

    1. An article in today's Australian says there was a deal. The LDP will recommend preferences for Labor ahead of Liberal in some Reps seats, including Macquarie, La Trobe, Dunkley, Petrie, Brisbane, Herbert, Dickson, Braddon, Cowan, Greenway and Adelaide.

      It sounds like the LDP were talking to Labor and Liberal, but the Liberals decided to recommend preferences for other conservative minor parties. Key Leyonhjelm quote: "If [the Liberal Party] want a crossbench that is going to be constructive, you would have thought they would want to support us rather than parties that are not going to wind back middle-class welfare. So it is a bit of a sore point with us."

  11. Kevin,
    I have only seen the Labor Victoria ticket, but its layout is shocking. In big print is the advice to vote the Labor team 1. There is no attempt to reproduce the full list of candidates, just barely legible numbers 2-6 in non-specific boxes. The instruction amounts to a separate verbal advice to place 2, 3...6 against parties with Group letter and name.
    Given that verbal instructions are likely to be ineffective, my expectation is that significant numbers of intending Labor voters will just vote 1, some (unspecified proportion) will vote for 6 groups (but no guarantees as to how precisely they follow the recommended 6). I would guess that the number of electors who go beyond the minimum 6 will be roughly equivalent to those who in the past voted below the line - those strongly engaged or holding decidedly idiosyncratic opinions.
    I don't know what other parties are doing (nor if as I suspect this is the Australia-wide Labor ticket at least at pre-poll) but I think that the minimum 6 will become an effective maximum for 80% or more voters.

    1. Labor's layout is shocking. It looks like a 'Just vote 1' ticket. But surely this can't be deliberate?

  12. The WA HTVs can be seen online at The 2 is clearly shown in the box for the Greens but otherwise it is similar to the Victorian ones ( The NSW card appears to also show 2 in the box for the Greens based on a photo posted on Twitter.

  13. Are they all listing only six preferences (and not more) because it is perceived that listing more preferences makes it "too hard" for people to follow?

    1. I think the perception is that if the voter sees they have to fill in 15 squares to follow one party's how-to-vote they will just go vote for somebody else.

  14. Seems both Labor and the Coalition are determined to elect Derryn Hinch. Why on earth would Labor put him in front of the Greens?

    1. My best guess would be that both parties preferenced him to make sure that he would not preference the other one, in which case well played Derryn Hinch. It's also possible that despite Hinch's very right-wing reputation on crime issues, Labor perceived him as socially respected enough to be a safe choice and perhaps even hoped that preferencing him would encourage a few of his fans to support them.

  15. Why are Labor putting The Nationals 6 in WA? A strategy in case Greens and Labor are both knocked out and the last seat is between Liberals and Nationals?

    1. Quite possible. Could also be a swap given the Nationals are preferencing them in the top 6, which the Liberals are not.

      This strategy aspect of picking a useful but not necessarily friendly party in the top 6 is interesting.

  16. Glenn Lazarus Team still has this on the ABC site today:
    2 Katters Australian Party 3 Family First 4 Greens 5 Labor 6 Liberal, but it is not on his web site and as of 14 June was advocating 1 above the line as a valid vote, "Vote GLT and get our Senators in. I don't mind who you vote for the remaining 4 - 12. Cheers, Glenn"
    Qld preferences have moved about a lot:
    Coalition (LNP): 2 Family First(^one place), 3 CDP(v one place), others holding steady at 4 Shooters Fishers and Farmers, 5 Katter's Australian Party, 6 Australian Christians
    Labor: 2 Greens 3 SexHEMP (^two places) 4. JLNetwork (^two places) 5. GLTeam (v two places) 6. KAP (v two places)
    Green: 2 Renewable Energy, 3 Marriage Equality, 4 Arts Party (replacing GLT), 5 Labor, 6 Australian Cyclists
    One Nation, steady at: 2 Australian Liberty Alliance, 3 Rise Up Australia, 4 Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, 5 Family First, 6 Katters Australian Party
    Katters Australian Party: 2 Lazarus 3 Shooters Fishers and Farmers (replacing Aus Christians) , 4 Australian Liberty Alliance, 5 Family First, 6 One Nation
    NXT, still: Open ticket, asks voters to number at least 6 squares

    I spent a lot of time collecting all the Qld HTVs. I wonder if my spreadsheet will be out of date next week or tomorrow? :)

  17. Thanks hugely for these. I expect similar shuffling may be going on in other states too as fresh deals are done.

  18. ACT Labor is: Labor 1, Greens 2, Sex Party 3, Animal Justice 4, Secular Party 5, and LDP 6. Curious, that latter one, but the practical effect is that any Labor surplus will flow to the Greens as usual. However Greens will not have the automatic support of the smaller parties as they did under the discarded ticket system, and last time Labor only won 34.4 per cent, so their surplus was only 1 per cent. The Liberals' Zed Seselja looks safe.

  19. The Labor (and I guess Liberal) decision in NSW to put the LDP six might turn out to be useful in at least putting a least bad party closer to winning the last senate spot.


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