Thursday, August 27, 2020

Preference Flows And The Eden-Monaro Result

 The much-awaited Eden-Monaro preference flows are finally out, following some time after the distribution of preferences, and it's useful to make some comments about these.  (Also see Antony Green's comments.) 

Labor won the by-election by 735 votes (50.39% 2PP).  This means that had 368 voters who preferenced Kristy McBain instead preferenced Fiona Kotvojs, Kotvojs would have won.  This is relevant for checking various claims about preferences of particular parties deciding the result.  In my Eden-Monaro live thread I set some markers at the time for particular preference shifts causing or not causing the result.  

Did Nationals preference flows weakening cause Labor to win?

Answer: Yes - but this isn't necessarily what it looks like.  In Eden-Monaro in 2019 an unusually strong 87.16% of Nationals preferences flowed to Fiona Kotvojs.  At the 2020 by-election the flow was only 77.73%, making a difference of 571 votes to each side's total, and a difference of double that to the margin.  While it was unrealistic for the very high flow from 2019 to have been maintained, any flow above 81.08% would have resulted in the Liberals winning the seat.  That figure is almost exactly the 2019 national average in contests where the Nationals were excluded, so the switch from an above-average to a below-average Nationals to Liberals preference flow can be said to have cost the Liberals the seat.  

Saturday, August 22, 2020

2020 Northern Territory Election Live And Post-Count

Election over - ALP 14 CLP 8 TAP 1 IND 2 
ALP returned with reduced majority 

2PP Estimate 54.1 to ALP (Mulka excluded; effective 3.1% swing to CLP)
Final 2PP 53.3 to ALP (Mulka excluded; effective 3.9% swing to CLP)

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Live comments will appear below the line once counting starts.  Comments scroll to the top - refresh every 10 minutes or so once the count is well underway for latest comments.  Scroll down to intro section at the bottom for links, important disclaimers etc.


Here's Your "Weaponised Narrative": The Tasmanian Greens MPs And China

Note re NT election: I have a final roundup post about the NT election below this post and there will be live coverage here from 6:00 NT time (6:30 AEST)


This week there was an incident in the Tasmanian Parliament in which Greens Leader Cassy O'Connor became involved in a very sharp exchange with Speaker Sue Hickey after Hickey intervened while O'Connor was replying to claims by Labor MP Ella Haddad.

O'Connor had made a serious mistake, confusing a Hobart Buddhist monk with a Victorian property developer because they both had "Wang" in their names, and Haddad alleged the mistake was xenophobic.  The monk, Master Xin De Wang, is from time to time a subject of CCP influence claims and discussion of pro-Beijing positions, but denies any links to the CCP, and has been in the news regarding recent proposals to build a massive Buddhist temple near Campania, a proposal supported by both Hickey and Haddad and opposed by an adjacent landowner who wishes to build a quarry.

Friday, August 21, 2020

NT Election Final Roundup

Counting night approaches for the 2020 Northern Territory election, which I will be covering with live comments here in a separate post and follow-up comments on that thread through the post-count as required.   Normally here for an election I have paid a lot of attention to I would be posting a final polling roundup, but for the NT there's usually precious little to report in that department.  However there are a number of other things that can be commented on in setting the picture.  You can also check out the Tally Room podcast I appeared in today with Ben Raue and Duncan McDonnell.


Almost everything I had to say about polling and this election was said in my earlier piece Divergent Polling In The Northern Territory.  I contrasted a very detailed Territory Alliance internal poll by Mediareach with a lobby group commissioned poll by uComms and found that whereas the former predicted a chaotic parliament with no party likely to be near a majority, the latter was most consistent with a Country Liberal resurgence, Labor retaining a majority, and little joy for the Territory Alliance.  I did not asset that either poll was accurate (though uComms have a mostly good track record) - the truth could be much closer to one than the other, or somewhere in between, or more extreme in some direction than both polls.  Since the article was written, expectations and betting seem to have converged towards the uComms result, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's what's going to happen.

It would, however, be very consistent with my finding in the previous piece that "federal drag" theory (the idea that being of a different party to the one in Canberra helps) is a thing in the NT just as it is in the states.  As bad as the NT economy has been during the present term, a majority government thrown out after one term while the same party is in opposition federally would be a very unusual result from that perspective.  

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Down The Rabbit Hole: The Glamorgan-Spring Bay By-Election

An odd Tasmanian council by-election is currently going on that has caused the Tasmanian Electoral Commission to issue not just one but two explanations of the counting process and the consequences of the election.  This seems weird enough for a suitably niche look at what this fuss is about, which I will update with the results when they are known.

Glamorgan-Spring Bay municipality covers much of the east coast of Tasmania, from Bicheno in the north to Maria Island and a random looking line through the Weilangta forest in the south.  The council has a recent history of turbulence.  In 2014, high-profile former supermarket boss Michael Kent defeated flamboyant incumbent Bertrand Cadart for the top job.  Kent hence became the first and in 2014 only candidate to successfully take advantage of a rule change allowing candidates to run directly for mayor without prior council experience.  However, Kent's term as mayor saw frequent infighting and controversy and he finished last in the 2018 mayoral election.  Both Kent and Cadart have since passed away, in 2018 and 2020 respectively.

Debbie Wisby was elected the new Mayor in 2018 but has since faced allegations of bullying, harassment and misuse of funds (which she denies) and has been criticised over the renting out of a short-stay property to council staff.  The council was issued with a performance improvement direction in recent months, and now Wisby has resigned the mayoralty and from the council.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Legislative Council 2020: Huon and Rosevears Live And Post-Count

Huon: CALLED (1 am Sunday) Seidel (ALP) gain from Robert Armstrong (IND)
Rosevears: Palmer (LIB) defeated Finlay (IND) by 260 votes.

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Live comments (scrolls to top)
All updates are unofficial, check the TEC site for official figures

Wrap: Well that was a rollercoaster with some rather weird preference flows, the independence of the Upper House dying hard in the strong flows to Finlay off Gale and (given his conservatism) Fry, but then not so much as enough Labor preferences went to Palmer to save her just when that was looking unlikely.  Another very near miss for Janie Finlay who would have beaten any other candidate.  In Huon, Bastian Seidel has enjoyed a massive victory that will boost Labor's stocks greatly.