Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Site Review

 This post presents site data for 2022.  The activity graph tells the story of the year (the units are unique pageviews per week). Click on the site review tab for previous years.

The four noticeable spikes here are the South Australian election, the federal election, the Tasmanian council elections and the Victorian state election.  2022 has seen the most traffic to this site in its history, beating the previous busiest year, 2018, by 35%.  The week after federal election night had nearly 80,000 unique pageviews, which was 2.41 times the previous highest!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

2022 Federal Polling Year In Review

2PP average for year 54.9 to Labor.
Labor led on 2PP in all 87 polls released this year.

At the end of each year I release an annual review of federal polling. See the 2021 edition here and/or click the annual poll review tab for articles back to 2014.

I'll start by saying this was a great year for polling generally with a good industry result in the federal election (after a famous failure in 2019), a very good result for final polls in the Victorian state election, and YouGov/Newspoll performing very well in South Australia.

How many polls?

Once again the business of counting how many polls there have been is complicated by Morgan's habit of often releasing only the 2PP from a poll sample.  In all I count 87 readings, the most since 2017, from what I consider to be mainline pollsters: 

* 12 Newspolls before the election and four after.  The dramatic slowing in release of Newspoll post-election makes me suspect YouGov had a contract for sixteen (the same number as 2021).

* Six Resolves before the election and five after, however only two of the pre-election polls and none since had a pollster-derived 2PP (I've calculated last-election preferences for those that didn't)

* 14 Morgans before the election and 30 Morgan readings post-election, however nearly all the Morgans since the election have been 2PP only.

* Nine Essential readings before the election and two afterwards.

* Four Ipsos polls before the election

* One Freshwater Strategy poll this month

There may be more pre-election Morgan readings that I missed. I have not included Dynata (lobby group poll) or anything from KORE (panel survey with numerous red flags) or ANUPoll (wildly inaccurate with incomplete data).

Sunday, December 25, 2022

NSW 2023 Lower House Preview: Is Dom Doomed?

It's an almost annual tradition on this site to release something every Christmas Day. Click the Xmas tag for previous examples. As there is considerable interest in the NSW election I've decided, as in 2019, to go with the NSW leadup.  It helps that there has been a larger volume of lead-up polling in the last few months of 2022 than in 2018. Hopefully this continues during February and the early to mid campaign.

State and territory conservative governments haven't had a great run of it in elections in the last several years.  Of those that were either in power when Tony Abbott's Coalition won the 2013 federal election or came to power not long after, four (Queensland, Victoria, NT and South Australia) were kicked out after a single term and one (Western Australia) lasted two terms before being drubbed (with the remains of it obliterated four years later).  We are left with the almost twelve year old Perrottet-led Coalition in NSW, on to its fourth Premier, and the almost nine year old Rockliff Liberal Government in Tasmania, on to its third.  Both benefited at their most recent re-elections from weak Labor opposition, but the current NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns seems to be a sharper customer so far than his predecessors.  

Friday, December 16, 2022

Victorian Upper House 2022: It's Still Not Real Democracy But It Is Funny

Legislative Council 2022: ALP 15 L-NP 14 GRN 4 LCV 2 AJP 1 SFF 1 PHON 1 LDP 1 LDLP 1

The buttons have been pressed on the Victorian Legislative Council election for 2022.  This election yet again employed the long-discredited Group Ticket Voting system even though the same system wrecked the 2018 election . Nearly all members of the 2018-22 parliament, and most of the parties contesting the 2022 election, did nothing about the fact that at least eight of the 40 MLCs in the parliament were not there on electoral merit.  

And so, this garbage system in which parties beat other parties with several times their vote and win regional seats they would not have won in any other system on the earth continued.  That said, the 2022 results aren't nearly so bad as last time.  Yet again, there have been many individually incorrect results (including one which focuses attention on yet another undemocratic junk feature of Australia's worst electoral system) but all the same,  the overall balance of this parliament is remarkably representative.  There have also been hilarious doses of karma.  Parties that supported preference harvesting or did nothing about it have in many cases been hoist on their own petard while several parties that opposed Group Ticket Voting have had success.  Glenn Druery's "alliance" has not been nearly as successful this election after a campaign in which Druery got stung not just once but twice. While its members did get three seats between them, they may well have won one of those anyway.  Nearly all the randoms who got in at the last election lost, and both major parties lost a seat they should have won as a price of their inaction on the problem.

Victoria 2022: Lower House Results, Poll Performance And Pendulum Tilt

 LABOR 56 (+1) COALITION 28* (+1*) GREENS 4 (+1) IND 0 (-3)

(Changes are compared to last election)
(* Assuming Narracan is retained)
Current 2PP excluding Narracan 55.00 to ALP 
Projected 2PP treating Narracan as uniform swing 54.83 to ALP
Current 2PP swing accounting for 2PP-uncontested seats 2.70% to Coalition

Following the fast release of 2PP results for every seat it's time to do my usual wrapup of the Victorian lower house election.  The election isn't actually over yet, because of the supplementary election in Narracan to be held early in the new year (and in case there are any further minor changes to the figures), but I think it's best to put it out now with the obligatory cautions.  Throughout this article any use of an asterisk (*) means "subject to Narracan".

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Mid-Term Queensland Polling, And The Misreporting Thereof

Just a reminder before I start this one that tomorrow is Button Press Day in Victoria and the action can be followed on the thread below this one.  It's not really democracy but it can still be fun!  I am working on some wrap-up material for the Victorian lower house too, but am being held up by some unclarities regarding 2PP issues (mainly an apparent error in the seat of Pascoe Vale.)

Yesterday Queensland was treated to not one but two state voting intention polls, but also, alas, to some of the worst poll reporting I have seen.  In the recent Victorian state election the Herald-Sun engaged in absurd poll-spinning and stairs-fall-truthing only to embarrass itself completely as the eight-year old Andrews government returned with a slightly increased majority (the oldest state government to do so since 1986).  The Courier-Mail, which has kept playing the same silly game although the side it barracks for has won just one and a half of the last twelve elections, also seems determined not to learn. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Victoria Legislative Council 2022: Button Press Day

Update (Wednesday night) All regions have been declared.  Bernie Finn unsuccessfully sought a recount, apparently solely on account of the margin of 210 votes, which was rejected.  He claims there is precedent for granting a recount but the 2006 cases involved provisional margins of 76 and 114 votes at key points (though the latter did see a 205 vote shift which changed the winner!)  There is no automatic recount margin and I would expect the VEC to be wanting to see some evidence of actual error (from scrutineering or results issues) before granting a recount.  Finn can petition the matter to the Court of Disputed Returns but they would want to see evidence of actual errors too.


Outcome ALP 15 L-NP 14 GRN 4 LCV 2 AJP 1 SFF 1 PHON 1 LDP 1 LDLP 1

This thread will follow and, where interesting dissect, the final results from the Victorian Legislative Council count as the proverbial buttons are pressed to finalise results on Wednesday.  If vote totals change before then, analysis will continue to be posted on the existing live thread (which includes projections of seat outcomes and totals).  Any fresh detailed analysis of the impending button presses that I find time to do will also be posted there and the outlook summaries on this page will be edited.   For a guide to what to expect see my 2018 Button Press Day thread.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Poll-Shaped Object Fails To Prove Opposition To Proposed Hobart Stadium

There is quite a deal of noise currently about a poll supposed to show opposition to a proposed new AFL stadium in Hobart.  Anecdotally, the concept is opposed by many northerners on the usual parochial grounds and by lefties (I'm suspecting it is not just lefties) who think the money should be spent on social priorities. It might be no surprise to find nobody much liked it then, but does the poll provide any actual evidence of this? I was one of those who was surveyed in this poll and I was not impressed.  

The poll has been hyped as a "leaked poll", which means that the source commissioning it gave it to journalists for free.  It was a robopoll of mobile and landline phones commissioned by Tasmanian Labor and conducted by Community Engagement, who are not at this stage an Australian Polling Council member and are hence not subject to public disclosure requirements.  

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Victorian 2022 Postcount: Northcote and Preston

 As I roll out postcount threads I'm finding that there are not that many seats in serious doubt this election but I'm keeping an eye on a few seats that are also interesting in that they underlie general trends.

The Greens seemed set for a very good election after the Liberal Party preferenced them but at the moment it looks like they have only one gain to show for it in Richmond.  At one stage in early counting the Greens were projecting to win or go close in Footscray, Pascoe Vale and Preston and to win Albert Park if they could finish second, but all of those fell over.  (They are 8.2% off second in Albert Park with no prospect of bridging that off 13.1% of minor candidate shrapnel that is also splitting to Labor.)  Many of these seats were not that competitive to begin with but there are some underlying themes in this performance: a rather soft Green primary vote that is easily gouged by the Victorian Socialists especially for one thing.  

Victorian 2022 Postcount: Teal Seats (Hawthorn, Mornington)

This post follows post-counting in seats being contested between the Liberal Party and teal independents.

The Victorian election has been a shocker for independents.  Firstly they've failed to replicate the 2.6% swing to them at the federal election and remained on 6% of the primary vote (as correctly picked by Resolve in their final poll which was the only final poll to offer a clear demarcation of "independents").  Secondly they've been unlucky with the distribution of that vote, and look like they could come away with about five second places but no wins.  The rural seats of Benambra and Mildura closed up in late counting last night, but Benambra is 78.5% counted so I greatly doubt it's going to move into my frame.  There are two seats where teals are currently trailing by not very much that I will cover here.  In Kew, the Liberals' smart preselection of a female candidate likely to appeal to teal voters in Jess Wilson has succeeded in warding off the teal challenge.  Teals have also failed to register any vote of consequence in a few seats where they were touted as contenders, especially Brighton and Caulfield.  

One might say the poor result of teals at this election is because they were a federal protest movement with no relevance to a state Labor government, or because they were unable to be as well-funded as the federal teals.  I think there's more though, and I was especially intrigued by the teals picking a prominent fight with the VEC over how-to-vote cards.  The teals won that fight and rightly so, but the fact that they were spending time and energy on that suggested that either they couldn't find more important issues to prioritise or else they weren't prioritising them.  I did wonder about the tactical wisdom of it at the time.

Victoria 2022 Lower House Postcount: Summary Page And Classic Seats


SEATS WON ALP 56 L-NP 28* Green 4 IND 0 


* includes Narracan subject to being retained at supplementary election

Seats covered previously:

(Bass won by Labor)
(Hawthorn and Mornington  won by Liberals)
(Hastings won by Labor)
(Pakenham won by Labor)
Northcote (Labor has won)
Preston (Labor has won) 

Victoria 2022 Legislative Council Live

The primary vote count is more or less complete - analysis continues on this thread until the button press but go to Button Press Day thread for summaries of results and analysis as they arrive.


SEATS WON OR LIKELY: Labor 15 Coalition 13 Greens 3 Legalise Cannabis 2 Shooters 1 One Nation 1 Animal Justice 1 Labour DLP 1 


SE Metro: Liberals vs Lib Dems - very close and very difficult to model

W Vic: Legalise Cannabis vs Greens - Greens slightly favoured

W Metro: Liberals favoured vs Labour DLP

Overall outlook: ALP/left majority (22 seats expected)

Relatively few "Druery candidates" currently in line to win.  

Most crossbench incumbents will not be returned.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Victoria 2022 Live

The starting line: Labor 57 Coalition 26* Green 3 IND 2

Labor has retained majority government with little if any net seat loss

SEATS APPARENTLY WON (some not confirmed) ALP 52 L-NP 24* Green 4 IND 0 (In doubt 8)

* includes Narracan subject to being retained at supplementary election

SEATS APPARENTLY CHANGING (some not absolutely confirmed)

ALP to Lib: Nepean

ALP to Nat: Morwell

ALP to Green: Richmond

ALP to IND or Lib: Hawthorn

IND to Nat:  Shepparton, Mildura

LIB to ALP: Glen Waverley, Ripon

IN SIGNIFICANT DOUBT (others may be added):

ALP vs GRN:  Northcote (ALP leads)

ALP vs IND: Preston (Exclusion order issue)

ALP vs Lib: Hastings (ALP ahead), Bass (ALP ahead)

Lib vs ALP: Croydon (bouncing around lots), Caulfield (Lib ahead)

Lib vs IND for gain from ALP: Hawthorn

Lib vs IND: Mornington

(NB Party-occupied seats that are notionally for the other side are counted for the party holding them.  Morwell treated as ALP)

*Narracan is treated as a Coalition retain pending supplementary election.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

How To Make Best Use Of Your Vote In The Victorian Upper House

This is just a quick piece to give my voting advice for the benefit of those who have seen the recent publicity about voting below the line in Victoria but would like advice on how to do it. This is what I advise as being the best way to make effective use of your vote.  

1. On the large ballot paper (Legislative Council), vote below the line for candidates.  Do not number any boxes above the line for parties.

The Victorian system is different to the federal Senate system.  In the federal Senate system, you can put the parties in an order of your choice above the line, but in Victoria you cannot do that: if you rank parties above the line as nearly all voters did in the Senate in May, your preferences beyond 1 will be ignored.  If you do vote 1 above the line then your preference is allocated according to a ticket lodged by the party you have voted for.  This system is called Group Ticket Voting.  It is long-discredited and has been abolished everywhere in Australia except for the Victorian upper house.  It results in parties using networked preference deals to elect MPs who have no real voter support (in cases less than 1% of the vote) at the expense of deserving candidates.  (For more see my recent article about the history of party policies around this disaster.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Victoria Lower House 2022: Final Days Rolling Poll Roundup

2PP Polling Aggregate (not necessarily accurate) 55.0 to ALP (last-election preferences).
Aggregate of pollster-released 2PPs (ditto) 54.1 to ALP.
Labor appears overwhelmingly likely to win.
Labor majority more likely than not if past polling/results history holds up

This post will track polling for the Victorian election released in the final week of the campaign.  A section dealing with each new poll that I see will be added to the top of the post, however polls will not be added during the day on Thursday because of a field trip.  As I start there is only one poll two polls to discuss, following the common second-last-week drought in state elections, but I am sure more will be added in coming days minutes and that one poll is interesting enough to be worth putting out an article based on it alone.  

Until the release of this week's Resolve poll there had been nothing significant since my previous roundup.  There had been an odd Lonergan poll for the Victorian National Parks Association (incidentally the sponsors of the most accurate poll in 2018, a ReachTEL) but that poll with a Green vote of 19% cannot be taken seriously as a voting intention poll.  Firstly the poll did not ask voting intention questions first up but asked them "Immediately after main body questions", the main body questions covering a series of environmental issues and hence being very likely to skew the voting intention questions in favour of the Greens.  Secondly it is not clear whether the voting intention results reported are those weighted by "Age x Gender, Location" or were reported simply as sample size information.  

I have added a #pollshapedobjects section at the bottom to cover any even more useless offerings.

EMRS: First Expanded House Poll Not Bad For Government

EMRS: Liberal 42 (+1) Labor 29 (-2) Greens 14 (+1) IND 15 (+1) (likely to be inflated) Others 1

Largest Liberal lead since lifting of state borders.

Estimated seat result: Liberal 16-17 Labor 11-12 Green 4-5 IND 1-3

The usual very quick post following the release of an EMRS poll for Tasmania.  The new poll taken November 8-15 shows the Liberals on 42%, Labor 29%, Greens 14%, Independents 15% and others 1.  The poll is not statistically different from the August poll but nonetheless the Liberals have their largest lead of the year at 13%.  There might be some recovery from the crash in support following the reopening of state borders last summer, but it is still too soon to be sure.  In any case, there are two familiar themes (i) the Liberal Party is substantially ahead (ii) Labor is, at this stage, not lifting off to anything much above what it got at the 2021 state election.  The swing is going more or less all to "independent".  The next election is two and a half years away if the parliament goes full term so there is still a lot of time for things to change.

Legislation to restore the House to 35 seats with five divisions of seven members has passed the Parliament so from now on I will be projecting these polls first and foremost for a 35 seat House (in which the magic majority target is 18 seats).  As noted in the August article the suspiciously high "Independent" vote remains an interpretation problem; this would be expected to crash once voting options were known but where those votes would go is another question. 

As only Clark and Braddon recently had significant independents I have assumed they would again attract significant independent votes, and that the independent votes likely to appear in the other seats would scatter and/or be peeled off by other parties.  On this basis I estimate this poll as pointing to 16-17 Liberals, 11-13 Labor, 4-5 Greens and 1-3 Independents if an election were "held now".  The Liberals would probably only win two seats in Clark (which might elect a second independent, or give Labor and the Greens four between them) and would be touch-and-go when it came to a fourth in Lyons.  Unless the Liberal vote is huge then the orthodox pathway to 18 seats would be four in the three northern seats and three in Clark and Franklin, however two in Clark and four in all the others is another in-theory possibility.  As the election gets closer it could be that high-profile independents emerge in other seats to try their luck under the restored system.  

The story would be fairly similar under the 25-seat system, where the Liberals would probably only get twelve on these numbers, with only one returned in Clark, although retaining the second Clark seat might be possible with a more focused campaign in that seat.  So on these numbers the recent switch back to 35 has probably made retaining a majority slightly harder.  

The only thing to see on the leadership front is that there isn't anything to see; Jeremy Rockliff has a rather modest lead over Rebecca White (46-34) on an indicator that generally favours incumbent leaders.  

Following the spate of resignations earlier this year and controversy over the tactical wisdom (or otherwise) of the proposed AFL stadium there has been speculation that the government is approaching the end of its shelf-life and is highly likely to at least lose its majority at the end of the term.  This poll however doesn't find the rot setting in in the minds of voters and for now it has the government competitive for a majority while Labor has work to do.  It will be interesting to see if anything changes in this regard during 2023.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Modelling The Seat Of Pascoe Vale

PASCOE VALE (LABOR VS LIB 22.7, EST LABOR VS GREEN 12.5 based on 2018 preferences)

Why is this even here? Vacancy, change in Liberal preferencing

Does this market know something that I don't?

One of the interesting ALP-Green seat contests in this year's Victorian election is Pascoe Vale, which seems to be between experienced political advisor Anthony Cianflone (Labor) and Merri-bek Councillor, campaigning director and volunteer Angelica Panopoulos (Green).   This seat has seen a lot of debate with some people saying the Greens are seriously in the mix and others saying Labor will win it easily.  I've been looking at this seat a lot and I kept taking into account all the fancy stuff then making basic errors, so I thought I'd try to do it justice, post a full projection and see where that ended up.  In 2018 this seat saw a contest between Labor and independent Oscar Yildiz, which ended up not terribly close with Labor winning 58.58-41.42.  On a two-party basis it was uncompetitive with Labor winning 68.32-31.68, while the Greens finished third on primaries on a mere 12.94%, not far above the Liberals.  With Yildiz having gone to the Victorians Party (which was then a non-starter) and the 2PP margin now above 20% this sounds utterly boring.  However, the Liberals' decision to preference the Greens, plus a very Greens-friendly redistribution, appears to make it interesting.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Firing Blanks: The Victorian Teal Open How-To-Vote Cards Dispute

 Update Nov 17: Teals Win (for now)!  It is being reported that teals have won their VCAT appeal against the VEC's refusal to register various cards.  This follows events yesterday where the VEC ordered various candidates to desist from distributing these forms of cards, an order it may now turn out the VEC had no business making.  A link to the judgement will be posted when available.  The VEC can appeal to the Supreme Court if it wishes.

Disallowed proposed Frederico how-to-vote card

Yesterday there was significant publicity about the status of some proposed open how to vote cards for various Victorian election teal independents including Felicity Frederico (Brighton), Mellissa Lowe (Hawthorn), Sophie Torney (Kew), Nomi Kaltmann (Caulfield) and Kate Lardner (Mornington).  The Victorian Electoral Commission has disallowed the proposed card above on the grounds that it shows blank boxes.  Despite the card twice saying the voter needs to number all the boxes, the VEC is concerned that the imagery may result in a voter voting 1 for Frederico and then stopping (which is informal in Victoria).  The VEC points to the 2018 VCAT decision in Sheed v Victorian Electoral Commission while the teals and their supporters point to the lack of any problems (in either law or formality) with similar cards for Monique Ryan at the federal election.  Legal challenges are being mooted.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Victorian Lower House: Not All That Much Narrowing Here

POLLING AGGREGATE 55.8 TO ALP (not necessarily accurate)
Labor currently appears overwhelmingly likely to win, most likely in majority with low but realistic chance of hung parliament

A roundup of Victorian lower house polling themes is about a week overdue, but before I start this one, a big shout out especially to Ben Raue at The Tally Room for his coverage of this election.  While I've been appallingly busy (not to mention busily appalled) Ben has issued a remarkable total of twelve articles about the Victorian election since October 29, a rate of just about an article per day!

As of my last article on Victorian lower house voting intention back in late August, Daniel Andrews' Labor government was polling far better than a government of its age should be doing, now that it no longer has the Morrison Coalition government to rail against.  I expected that things would get a little closer and that by this time we'd probably no longer be seeing 56-44s, but thus far only Newspoll has been consistent with that expectation.  And even then, Newspoll was still pretty lopsided.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

How Not To Do Hare-Clark Public Funding Threshholds In Tasmania

Updates added during debate in November (at bottom)


In late 2021 the Tasmanian Government released draft Bills concerning electoral funding and disclosure and miscellaneous electoral matters, and called for submissions.  I sent in a submission, which was duly published, but my advice concerning a major flaw in the electoral funding model was then completely ignored in the version of the Bill introduced in parliament and the accompanying second reading speech.  (The Bills were actually introduced in May - unnoticed by me at the time - but the Electoral Disclosure and Funding Bill has just reached the second reading debate stage).

Not to put too fine a point on it, I am getting really jaded with writing submissions.  I keep having to spend my spare time (which does not exist) writing submissions for nothing to try to ensure that governments do not make serious errors, only to find that in this case it does not even stop the mistake being made.

If the submission process does not result in the correction of howlers that are pointed out in submissions then what is the point of calling for submissions and what is the point of writing them?  The Tasmanian Government, for some reason that has never been explained, even sets the deadlines for public submissions at 5 pm, which makes meeting submission deadlines just a little bit harder for people who have to juggle countless other things while trying to write them.  Is someone seriously going to start working on them at 5 pm?  Would it really matter one iota if the submission was received at 10 pm or even 7 am the next day instead?  (Federal JSCEM submissions have a midnight deadline.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

2022 Hobart Council Count

All figures on this page are unofficial - see TEC for official results when available.

MAYOR (Incumbent: Reynolds):  CALLED (Friday 10:30) Anna Reynolds defeats John Kelly with reduced margin compared to 2018 win.

DEPUTY (Incumbent: Burnet):  Burnet leads Behrakis and will win by very large margin (Called Saturday before final exclusion)

COUNCILLORS (11 recontesting incumbents, 12 vacancies): 

Called: Reynolds, John Kelly (off initial sampling), Zucco, Burnet (off 20% count), Elliot, Behrakis, Bloomfield, Dutta, Harvey (off 50% count)

In The Mix (for three seats): Posselt, Lohberger, Sherlock (these three leading substantially), Fox, Kate Kelly, Briscoe.

Coats, Thomas, Fox, Briscoe currently projected to lose seats.


2022 Tasmanian Council Counts: General And Councils Other Than Hobart

Numbers noted here based in scrutuneering are unofficial. For official results see the TEC website.


This is my general page for commentary on the 2022 Tasmanian council counts.  Specific comments on individual councils will be added where time permits below (my main focus being on the Hobart count) and there will also be some comments on general themes.  Don't expect to see much on this page on Tuesday; comments will be added on Wednesday.  I will not necessarily cover all councils but expect to have brief comments at least on several.  

On Tuesday ballot papers will be removed from envelopes and there may be some computer data entry for some large councils but don't expect official figures.  I may have some indications from scrutineers depending on the pace of counting but the main counting activity for Mayors and Deputies together with the start of data entry is on Wednesday. The TEC expects to have provisional 20% or 50% distributions for all councils at some stage on Wednesday.  These provisional results are what would happen if only the votes entered to that point were used to decide the election.  Usually most of the candidates who are provisionally elected at the 20% stage end up winning, but often some of those elected to the last few positions change.  It is common to see media misreporting that candidates "elected" in these 20% and 50% interim counts have "won" but it is only when the final, 100%, count is done that the winners are official. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Tenth anniversary!

Just very quickly noting that today is the tenth anniversary of me starting this site!  As noted in the fifth anniversary article I originally set up shop on Blogger to make sure I had somewhere to start posting right away, expecting that it would probably be temporary, but still here I am.  

After ten years this site has published 843 articles including this one and about 4550 comments (about a third of them mine).  It's had about 4.2 million pageviews including over 1.8 million unique pageviews.  Analytics claims there to have been about 400,000 users though a lot of those would be duplicates from different IP addresses. This is what the pageview pattern looks like for most of the last ten years (the first several months are missing but there wasn't that much happening then anyway):

A lot of the spikes correspond to the obvious elections (federal, Tasmanian state, Tasmanian councils and some other state elections especially Victoria 2018) but the 2022 federal election spike was something else entirely (more on that in the end of year stats review).  

At this stage I have no firm plans to do anything differently but I may at some stage set up a separate professional website and I've also had some money donated with a request that it be used to set up an easier portal for people to donate to thank me for my work.  The problem is that all these things take time to arrange. I've had a catastrophic shortage of spare time in this unusually election-packed year (especially after losing two months of work time to moving house and another to a non-serious but somewhat prolonged encounter with COVID). I have just today I've learned that within the next three and a half months I'll have to move house again, so things don't look like getting better there in a hurry.  

On that matter I hope to find time to send thankyous to everyone who has donated money to my site since 20 April (the last time I was up to date with the thankyou emails run), but it may yet take a while! I'm very committed to continuing to supply a public open resource provided I can manage to keep avoiding any employment constraints that would require me to stop doing it.  Thanks greatly to all of you whose support helps me to keep doing so, and to everyone reading this site for your interest.

Coverage of Tasmanian council counts will start from tomorrow with one article for Hobart and one less detailed article for various other councils.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Have Tasmanian Local Council Attrition Rates Increased?

While looking at a few of the larger Tasmanian councils in preparation for an interview I was surprised by how few incumbents were recontesting in some of the councils.  Launceston, with only seven out of 12 recontesting, and Glenorchy with only five out of ten, especially caught my eye.  Hobart with 11 out of 12 recontesting started to look unusual.  I couldn't help wondering if the proportion of councillors throwing in the towel in Tasmanian local government elections was rising, and as if I didn't have enough to do, I couldn't resist investigating it.

This is what I found.  The following numbers may have some slight errors (eg if I have been tripped up by a councillor's name changing without my knowledge) but any errors won't greatly affect the overall picture.

The 2014-8 term was the first four-year term for councils that was formed by all-in-all-out elections.  The 2018-22 term has also featured all-in-all-out elections but a noticeable difference is that in the 2022 election, voting is compulsory.  One council (Glenorchy) had its 2014-8 term shortened by several months and its 2018-22 term lengthened after an election was called early to fix a council that had become dysfunctional.  

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Victorian Party Policies On Fixing Group Ticket Voting

The Scoreboard - Victorian Election 2022

The following parties have a publicly documented commitment to, or position of support for, scrapping Group Ticket Voting:

* Victorian Socialists (longstanding)
* Australian Greens (longstanding)
* Animal Justice Party (added 16/11 - conditional on single statewide electorate)
* Pauline Hanson's One Nation (added 17/11)
* Legalise Cannabis (added 22/11)

See comments below for what these parties have said about the issue.  

Other parties will be listed here when I become aware that they qualify.  Parties that have publicly documented commitments to policies that would clearly significantly reduce the Group Ticket Voting problem may also be noted in this section.  

Don't take too much notice of how short this list is in the early stages of the campaigbn - but if a party has not been listed in this Scoreboard section by voting time and electoral reform is important to you, please don't vote 1 for it. 

Some voters may wish to specifically avoid parties that are part of Glenn Druery's preferencing network.  All such parties are marked with a (D) after their name for the benefit of voters who may want to put them last.

Monday, October 3, 2022

How To Make Best Use Of Your Vote In The Tasmanian Council Elections

I had a request for information about this, so here is a quick primer on how I think voters should make best use of their votes in the current Tasmanian council elections.

Note that I have a very detailed guide to Hobart City Council and a slightly less detailed one for Clarence.  Kingborough voters may find this guide to party affiliations prepared by Lara van Raay (recent Local Party candidate) and based on responses from an impressive 15/16 candidates useful.

How many boxes to number?

For the Councillor elections, you are required to number the boxes from 1 to 5 (exception: King Island) each once and once only for a valid vote.  If that's all you feel you can do, fine.  But if you want your vote to be more powerful then the more boxes you can number the better.  If two candidates are competing for a position and your vote numbers neither, then your vote can't help decide between them and the decision will be made by other voters.  If you have numbered one ahead of the other, or one and not the other, then your vote may help if it happens to be still active in the preference process at that time.

Clarence City Council Candidate Guide And Preview 2022

All candidates are directed to the note for candidates at the bottom of this page. 

Introductory Waffle

To see how it goes this year I've decided to expand my detailed coverage of Tasmanian council elections from just one to two, adding Clarence to Hobart.  If it is successful and I have far more time on my hands in 2026 than in this mess of a year I may do even more councils next time.  This guide is similar to my Hobart guide but, partly for time reasons and partly because I don't live there, will be a lot less detailed.  My core aim here is to ensure voters who want to be aware of the past party involvements of candidates have that awareness.  

During the campaign period voters will get official statements by the candidates, with photos supplied by them.  The online version includes web links for those candidates who have submitted them, but surprisingly that's only 17 out of 27.  At the start of this guide I will be including an official web link where a candidate has given one in their TEC statement, and failing that a social media or other web link if I can find one.  Unlike my Hobart guide, I will start with only one link for each candidate, but may add others.

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Clarence City Council Voting Patterns 2018-22

(Note: Clarence council guide will be available from about 2 pm  Monday)

Advance Summary

1. This article presents some statistics and comments concerning voting patterns in the Clarence City Council 2018-22.

2. Voting on contested matters on Clarence council has been significantly less factionalised than on Hobart City Council in the same period.

3. While all councillors vote independently and only tend to vote more or less with other councillors, there has been a recognisable "right" grouping of Brendan Blomeley, Dean Ewington and Mayor Doug Chipman. 

4. The most frequent opponent of the "right" grouping is Richard James, followed at some distance by Beth Warren.  James also has a very high proportion of lone-dissent votes.

5. Many of the Clarence councillors do not side especially strongly with one side or the other and some are more or less centrists.

6. The relationship of Clarence council voting patterns with known party memberships or associations is quite weak.

7. A possible "left-to-right" ordering of the 2018-22 Clarence council was James, Warren, Kennedy, Mulder, Edmunds*, Peers (centre), Walker, von Bertouch, Chong, Chipman*, Ewington*, Blomeley.

(* = not recontesting.)

Monday, September 19, 2022

Hobart City Council Elections Candidate Guide And Preview 2022

All candidates are directed to the note for candidates at the bottom of this page. 

Introductory Waffle

As perhaps the biggest (in terms of advance action) campaign ever ramps up, here is my resource page for the 2022 Hobart City Council elections.  This guide (like my 2014 guide and 2018 guide) includes a list of candidates who are running for the Council for the 2022-26 term.    The guide includes brief bio details and links, descriptions of candidates' past electoral form (where any) and some vague speculation about prospects.  It also covers the campaign generally, polling and the related elector poll.  All sections will be updated regularly as time permits and more information comes to hand.

During the campaign period voters will get official statements by the candidates, with photos supplied by them.  The online version will include web links.  This piece is published first for the interest of those who don't want to wait for the candidate statements, but will stay up to present a less filtered view of candidate backgrounds. 

Donations to cover my time in writing this guide are very welcome - but not from HCC candidates or their direct connections during the campaign period.  There's a PayPal button on the sidebar or you can email me for bank account details. Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to.  

Friday, September 16, 2022

Hobart City Council Voting Patterns 2018-22

Advance Summary

1. Traditionally, on contested votes the Hobart City Council is loosely divided between "pro-development" councillors and councillors who stress environmental issues and/or the interests of impacted residents. 

2. This term of Council initially continued the pattern of the previous term in which councillors voted fairly distinctively and voting patterns were hard to firmly classify.

3. From around early 2020, however, the Council's voting on contested motions became far more factionalised, at the same time as such motions becoming less common.

4. As a result, while all councillors vote independently on particular motions, all councillors in this term can be classified as at least overall leaning towards the "pro-development" ("blue") mindset or its opponent ("green").  

5. Indeed, this term has seen some of the most polarised patterns in voting on contested motions in the last several terms of Council.

6. A possible ordering of councillors from "greenest" to "bluest" in this term is: Burnet, Harvey, Dutta, Reynolds, Fox, Sherlock, Sexton, Briscoe, Thomas, Denison (no longer on council), Coats, Behrakis, Zucco. 

7. Each of the "green" and "blue" clusters includes both more diehard members who are usually party-associated and also a more moderate sub-group.  

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Legislative Council 2022: Pembroke By-Election Live

Pembroke: CALLED (7:23 pm) Edmunds wins (Labor retain) 

Approx 4.6% 2PP swing to Labor after preferences


Donations welcome!

If you find my coverage useful please consider donating to support the large amount of time I spend working on this site.  Donations can be made by the Paypal button in the sidebar or email me via the address in my profile for my account details.  Please only donate if you are sure you can afford to do so.


Live Comments (Scrolls to top)

All updates are unofficial; check the TEC site for official figures


Tuesday: The provisional preference distribution is underway and Edmunds has 43.84% to Brown's 33.29% with Brewer 22.87% to throw; Edmunds will be declared the winner after Brewer's preferences sometime later today.  Brown gained 50 off preferences from di Falco but lost 25 back off Willink so as expected the preferences of those two candidates had little impact.  

Friday, September 9, 2022

I Threw It All Away: The United Australia Party Self-Deregisters!

I keep an almost daily watch on the AEC's party registration page, but it's been a pretty boring vigil lately.  So imagine my surprise when a newly minted Twitter account alerted me today to the news that the United Australia Party had up and jumped into the billabong of voluntary deregistration for the second time.  As a result, the UAP is not now a registered party for the purpose of contesting federal elections.

This has a precedent.  The original Palmer United Party was registered in the leadup to the 2013 election and voluntarily deregistered on  5 May 2017.  The United Australia Party was then registered in December 2018.  However, the PUP had flopped miserably in the 2016 Senate election (polling below 1% in every state in the absence of a big-spending campaign), unlike the 2022 election at which it polled much better and won a Senate seat.

The deregistration came as a surprise to the UAP's Senator Ralph Babet.  When contacted by the SMH's Lisa Visentin today, he initially didn't remember what it was about, then said he had forgotten because of the death of the Queen, and produced such lines as:

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Legislative Council Voting Patterns 2018-22

 Advance summary:

1. This article presents a revised analysis of voting patterns in the Legislative Council (the upper house of Tasmanian Parliament) based on contested divisions involving the current (and one recently retired) MLC in the last four years.

2. Although there is a degree of independence in all Legislative Council voting (outside of party blocks), the Council continues to have a fairly clearly defined "left" side consisting of independents Rob Valentine, Meg Webb and Mike Gaffney

3. However, Labor (which currently has three MLCs pending a by-election) and independent Ruth Forrest no longer tend strongly to vote with the left grouping and in the last four years are on average best considered as only slightly left of centre.

4. During his brief period as a no-longer-caucusing Labor MLC, Bastian Seidel voted similarly to the left grouping.

5. The four Liberal MLCs and independents Rosemary Armitage and Tania Rattray form the "right" side of the cluster, though Armitage and Rattray only vote with the Liberals moderately often.  Data so far is consistent with Dean Harriss being part of this group but with nowhere near enough evidence to be confident of that yet.

6. A possible left-to-right sort of the council is Valentine, Webb, Gaffney, (Seidel pre-retirement), Forrest, the three Labor MLCs in no particular order, Armitage, Rattray, and the four Liberal MLCs in no particular order.  Harriss is not placed in this list yet pending further data.

7. The increased tendency of Labor to vote with the Liberal government in recent years has meant that the Government has suffered relatively few (and generally minor) defeats on the floor of the Council in the last year and a half.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Victorian Lower House 2022: Labor Well On Track Despite Federal Drag

Yesterday saw the release of the first Newspoll for Victorian state voting intention this year.  This is the first new public polling voting intention data for the state for over four months with the exception of a couple of Morgan SMS offerings, on which I can't place a lot of weight.  The release of a Newspoll with about three months til the election is a good time to launch my coverage of the Victorian lower house election, having not covered the Victorian lower house contest since the last Newspoll late last year.

The new Newspoll estimates Labor leading 56-44 (an effective 1.6% swing from the last election after accounting for the Liberals not contesting Richmond in 2018) off primary votes of Labor 41 Coalition 36 Greens 13 others 10.  These results are not wildly different to the 2018 election, with Labor down 1.9%, the Greens up 2.3% and the Coalition up negligibly.  For all the hype from some on the right about how hated he supposedly is, Daniel Andrews polls a rather strong +13 net rating (54-41) with the artist now known as Matt Guy on a not so flashy -17 (32-49).  A modest Better Premier lead for Andrews given the other scores and the way preferred leader scores skew to incumbents (51-34) does provide some support for the idea that Andrews is a polarising figure and the minority who dislike him tend to do so strongly.

Seat Model

What might this poll look like if realised on election day?  By uniform swing Labor would drop four of its 58 notional seats to the Liberals and Northcote (just) to the Greens, coming out just two down on its 2018 election result, but the uniform swing model is if anything potentially unkind to Labor's chances vs the Liberals in the 2PP seats.  There are two major reasons for this: firstly, personal vote effects from the 2018 massacre will make it hard for the Liberals to pick off Labor marginals, and secondly the Liberals have a lot of ultramarginals that are at risk from random variation unless they can get a more substantial swing.  They have nine seats on 1.5% or less (including occupied notional Labor seats) to Labor's four.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

EMRS: No Real Change In Second Rockliff Era Poll (plus comments re 35 seats)

EMRS (Tasmania): Liberal 41 (+2) Labor 31 (+1) Greens 13 (=) IND 14 (-1) others 1 (-2)

Poll suggests Liberals largest party with Greens and/or Independents holding balance of power if election "held now"

Independent vote is probably being overestimated

It seems like the last one wasn't long ago (and indeed the interval was shorter than normal) but an EMRS poll of Tasmanian voting intention taken from the 8th to the 11th of August has just been released.  After an uptick in the previous poll that could have been caused by federal election contamination, the collective "others" are down three points to 15% in this poll, the voting intentions for which are almost identical to the March poll, the last under Peter Gutwein's leadership.  

The news seems moderately good for the now Rockliff government.  They hold a 10% lead, Labor has still to break out of the very low 30s, and nobody except the government is within cooee of forming a majority.  The government's lead would almost certainly not result in a majority if the votes recorded in the poll were cast as such at an election, but history suggests that doesn't matter.  Governments with slender leads or even no lead at all at points through the term perked up as the election approached (or well before it with a big hand from pandemic management) and won majorities in 2006, 2018 and 2021.  It's necessary to go back to the pre-EMRS 1996 election for the last case where a government with any sort of real polling lead did not win a majority.  The bandwagons seen in 2006 and 2018 may reflect the tactics of voters who want to avoid minority government, but it can also be argued that they were caused by campaign factors in those two elections.   

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Poll Roundup: Albanese Honeymoon Phase Polling

Enough polls have now appeared for the new Albanese Labor government that I think it is worthwhile summarising where things are at.  The limited polling data available is all over the place but on average points to a substantial honeymoon boost in favour of the new Albanese Labor government.  

While we haven't seen this kind of honeymoon polling for a while, it has been historically normal for governments elected from opposition.  A phase with a new government averaging above 54-46 occurred for six of the previous seven new governments, the exception being the Abbott government which never got above about 53% on aggregation in its early months and hence never matched the 53.5% 2PP it had been elected with.  (This indicates the extent to which the election of the Abbott government was a repudiation of Labor's Rudd/Gillard/Rudd shambles rather than a positive endorsement of the alternative.)  

Lopsided honeymoon polls get a lot of attention but whether we are still seeing them in twelve months, six months or even three months remains to be seen.  The longest runs of mostly 54+ 2PP polling were for the Rudd government elected in 2007 (just over two years), the Howard government elected in 1996 (14 months) and the Hawke government elected in 1983 (most of the next two years though with a brief spell below after about five months).  The Menzies government's post-1949 phase lasted about eight months while the Whitlam 1972 and Fraser 1975 victories were good for about four months of basking on laurels.  (The difference is that Fraser's government then mostly kept the polling lead until a year and a half in, while Whitlam's soon lost the lead altogether.)  

Friday, August 12, 2022

Legislative Council 2022: Pembroke By-Election

PEMBROKE (ALP vs Lib 8.65%)
Retiring Incumbent: Jo Siejka (ALP)

This is my guide page for the 2022 Legislative Council by-election in Pembroke.  I will be covering the by-election count live on the night of Saturday 10 September.  If time permits I may also update my analysis of Legislative Council voting patterns before the day.

Earlier this year Huon, which Labor had won in 2020, had its own by-election and was won by independent Dean Harriss.  This shifted the numbers in the Council to four Labor, four Liberal and seven independents.  Of the seven independents, three are left-wing and one is lately (like Labor) slightly left of centre, while three are either known, or in Harriss's case expected, to be somewhat right of centre.  

Both the Council's left-plus-centre majority, which has existed since Siejka won Pembroke in the 2017 by-election, and the combined major party majority, which has existed since 2020, are at risk in this by-election.  While the current left-plus-centre majority is not realised on anywhere near every issue, and indeed the government has had a fairly easy time of things upstairs lately, it would be a great result for the government if its own candidate won the seat.   For more detail see my latest assessment of Legislative Council voting patterns, which finds Labor and independent Ruth Forrest to have moved into the centre of council voting after previously being placed on the left.

The winner will serve until May 2025.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

2022 World Chess Federation Elections


Updates will follow here through Sunday (note for Australian audiences: Chennai time is four and a half hours behind Australia).  Times in Chennai time.

10am: The General Assembly is underway with at last count 155 voters present (98 needed) but no electoral business has happened yet as there are several reports to get through.  Unsurprisingly the wifi is overloaded which may limit updates, though I also have another connection which is not great either.

10:33 The election process is now starting.

10:40 The nominated scrutineers have been appointed. The three tickets are present and are about to start their 15 minute presentations.

The order of the presentations is Baryshpolets, Kouatly, Dvorkovich.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Jacquie Petrusma Resignation And Recount

Updates Aug 15: Today's the day - nominations close at noon; I expect we'll know the result today (parliament resumes tomorrow).  Updates will be posted in this section.

Update: Candidates contesting the recount are Enders and Young (Lib), Brumby (ALP), Cordover (Green) and Flannery (ungrouped).  The latter three have no chance whatsoever.  Having only two Liberals contesting should mean the count is much faster with a majority on first preferences for either Enders or Young likely (unless it's very close).  Even if it is very close it will not then take long to distribute the other candidates.

Update: That was quick, and a slightly surprising result too: Dean Young wins.  Young defeated Enders 51.1% to 46.5% with negligible numbers for the others.  That is a bullet dodged for the government which would not have been wanting Enders on board.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Federal Election 2022: Pollster Performance Review

In 2019 the Australian polling industry had a disaster after decades of reliability - every final poll had the wrong two-party winner, the final polls were bizarrely clustered around the same wrong result, many final polls were individually wrong by more than their claimed margins and the lack of transparency in the industry was such that it was difficult to understand just why it had happened.

Fortunately 2022 has not been a repeat.  The fallout from 2019 saw a great increase in polling transparency, especially via the formation of the Australian Polling Council (though unfortunately not all pollsters have been on board with that) and also more diversity in polling approaches.  No one poll has ended up nailing the remarkable results of this year's election, but collectively, federal polling has bounced back and done well.   This is especially so on two-party-preferred results, where a simple average of the 2PP figures released in the final polls is pretty much a bullseye. The primary vote results were a little less impressive.

Here I discuss polling in several categories.  Overall YouGov (which does Newspoll) made the most useful contributions to forecasting the result, Redbridge's performance in publicly known niche polling during the campaign was very good, and Resolve Strategic's final poll was a useful counterpoint to Newspoll.  The other major polls were so-so on the whole, and many minor pollsters were wildly inaccurate.

Friday, July 22, 2022

2022 House Of Reps Figures Finalised

Yesterday the 2022 House of Representatives figures were added to the archive of election results, making lots of the usual preference flow goodies available. Although all the preference throws had been completed and uploaded in rough form some time ago, the final figures importantly include the two-party preference flows by party and two-candidate preference flows by party per seat.  As well as this piece I will also be putting out a full analysis of polling accuracy, I expect within the next few days.

Some of the ground that I normally cover in this article was already covered in Two Party Swing Decided This Election (Plus Pendulum).  That article showed that Labor won the election on normal two-party swing in classic Labor vs Coalition seat contests, with changes in the seat share for the major parties pretty much exactly matching historic patterns, and that the groundbreaking defeats for the Coalition at the hands of six new teal independents and two Greens were nonetheless a sideshow in terms of explaining how the election was won.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Spurious Linking Of "One Vote, One Value" With Territory Senator Numbers

After each election comes a new season in which the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters receives submissions and considers proposals for changes to electoral law.  This JSCEM season has special significance because as well as a change of government in the lower house, there has been a serious shift to the left in the Senate.  Any ALP legislation that is supported by the Greens and ACT Senator David Pocock will have the numbers to pass.

There have been several media articles commenting about this, though it is not always clear to what extent the articles are reporting on what Labor wants, and to what extent they are reporting on what other actors would like Labor to do.  A common theme in these articles (here's the latest) is that a proposal for more ACT and NT Senators appears in the context of a discussion of "one vote, one value" (a principle to which Labor's policy platform included a general commitment without any specifics.)  The linkage of the issue to "one vote, one value" is spurious.  From a pure one vote, one value perspective, the proposal looks like an attempt to rig the Senate to favour the left.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Two-Party Swing Decided This Election (Plus Pendulum)

We're now just over a month out from a remarkable House of Representatives election.  There's been a lot of attention on the seat gains by six teal independents and three Greens, and a lot of claims that the old two-party preferred model for elections is broken.  Not the case.  Labor won this election on classic two-party swing, largely because the Coalition's primary vote crashed and Labor's (modest as it was) didn't.  The teal gains were a major story of the election and are a big headache for the Coalition going forward, but they are not where the election was won and lost.  

There is a fair amount of nonsense from some fringe supporters of the losing side about Labor's low primary vote, with claims that it is wrong that a party not voted for by two-thirds of the country should govern.  The problem is that both sides had very low primary votes (the Coalition's being lower than, for instance, Labor's primary when it lost heavily under Mark Latham in 2004) and somebody has to win.  Labor was the clearly preferred choice between the two major parties, and would have won this election easily under any single-seat system, including optional preferential voting and first past the post, though in the latter case tactical voting would have given it a much higher (but much less sincere) primary vote.  Those complaining about Labor winning a majority off such a low primary vote should embrace proportional representation or shut up.  (I may write a detailed article about this sometime.)  

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Senate Reform Performance Review And Senate Notes 2022

The results of this year's half-Senate election are all in so it's time to observe how our still relatively new Senate system performed at its second half-Senate test.  For previous assessments see 2016 part one, 2016 part two and 2019 (single article).  I have changed the title mainly so I am at liberty to add pointless fluff about candidates who finished last.  On the agenda for this issue are: proportionality, blocked Senates, how dreadful this election would have been under Group Ticket Voting, winning vote shares (with a focus on Babet and Pocock), preferencing impacts, just-voting-1, exhaust, informals, below the lines, How to Vote cards, blank above the line boxes, and a special schadenfreude section at the bottom.

Senate voting was reformed in 2016 to remove the problems caused by preference harvesting under the old Group Ticket Voting system, under which Senators were being elected off very low vote shares as a result of networked preference deals and a system that coerced voters into sending their preferences to parties they did not support.  This was not only discriminatory and wrong, but also a threat to the integrity of the electoral system because of the ease with which minor issues could cause a count to collapse.  A great many alarmist predictions were made by defenders of the (no longer defensible) GTV system, and most of those have been debunked already.  However in 2022 there are two new opportunities to test predictions about the new system.  Firstly it is the first time we have had a Senate composed entirely of half-Senate election results.  Secondly, it is the first time Labor has come to power in the House of Representatives under the new system.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

2022 Senate Button Press Thread

This thread will follow the Senate button presses as they occur, with details of the results and timing etc.  As I start this thread the button has been pressed in ACT with Katy Gallagher and David Pocock winning as expected.  The distribution of preferences is expected shortly. 

States will be added to this thread as they reach zero unapportioned votes, which is a sign that the button press is imminent.  Until then any further assessments for states will continue to be posted on the Senate postcount thread.  Based on 2019 I was expecting the button presses to occur around June 21 but some races have been significantly faster this time.


The button has been pressed and the winners as widely called are 1. Katy Gallagher (ALP) 2. David Pocock (David Pocock), with Zed Seselja (Liberal) defeated.  Detail on the distribution later today.

The distribution is here.  Pocock as expected won very easily, defeating Seselja by 7.76% (22133 votes) having caught up to within 1235 before the final Green exclusion (from around 10000 behind after accounting for support candidate votes).  The exhaust rate was higher than usual for the ACT because of the structure of the count, reaching 1.75%. (4986 votes).

Friday, June 10, 2022

EMRS: Another New Premier Gets No Polling Bounce

EMRS (Tasmania): Liberal 39 (-2) Labor 30 (-1) Greens 13 (+1) Others 18 (+2) including IND 15

Independent vote is likely to be inflated at this stage
Poll suggests Liberals largest party with Greens and/or Independents holding balance of power if election "held now"

A new EMRS poll has been released, the first since Jeremy Rockliff replaced Peter Gutwein as Premier after Gutwein resigned in April.

I want to go straight to the interpretation in EMRS's media release, which states that this is a strong response to the change of Premier.  That is not an interpretation I entirely agree with.  Yes, former Premier Gutwein enjoyed stratospheric popularity and his government generally polled very well during his tenure, but that was not the case in the March poll that forms the baseline for this assessment.  The March poll was the government's weakest in raw primary vote terms since EMRS changed its polling methods in late 2019.  While it did not directly poll Gutwein's approval, the shrinking of his Better Premier lead also suggested the pandemic gloss had come off after the reopening of the state over summer.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Tasmanian Local Government (Elections) Amendment Bill 2022

Some quick comments, which will be updated with comments on the debate (if any) surrounding the Local Government (Elections) Amendment Bill 2022, which is on the notice paper for introduction into the House of Assembly very soon.

Council elections are due to be held in October this year.  This Bill would make the following changes:

(i) making voting compulsory

(ii) reducing the number of boxes a voter must number correctly for a valid vote from up to 12 (varying by council) to 5 (votes with errors in numbers beyond 5 will be formal under savings provisions.)

Of these, (ii) is a critical and necessary change to the voting system, whether or not (i) is passed.  If (i) were to be passed in the absence of (ii), it is likely (ii) would become even worse.  I've always been ambivalent at best about compulsory voting in council elections but I would greatly prefer to see this Bill as it is passed than to not see (ii) passed; I also think the case for compulsory voting is better now than it has been in the past.  

Monday, May 30, 2022

Not-A-Poll Reset 4 For 2022: Morrison Defeated

With the announcement that Peter Dutton has been elected unopposed as Opposition Leader, it's time to reset this site's Not-A-Poll for the next leader to depart.  Scott Morrison resigned as Prime Minister after his government was defeated.  The defeat was probably a fairly narrow one in 2PP terms, but in seat share terms it was a disaster, with the Coalition crashing to its worst seat share in the history of the Liberal Party (very slightly worse than 1946 and 1983).  

Morrison's "miracle" win in 2019 gave him a reputation as a great marketer but the 2022 election showed both that this wasn't the case and that he had made himself and his party far less marketable.  Such was the extent of this that even a relatively gaffe-riddled campaign by Anthony Albanese and Labor's difficulties in inspiring primary voting enthusiasm from the left couldn't save him (in part because the gaffes were not about anything that voters cared about).  Morrison joins Andrew Fisher, Joseph Cook, Robert Menzies, Ben Chifley, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd as leaders who won their first elections as leaders but lost their second. Keating is the most similar since he also took office as PM mid-term through a leadership contest (albeit a more straightforward one) and won an apparently unlikely victory, before being dumped in round two.  Recent PMs who have lost have tended to leave politics soon into their terms; at this stage Morrison intends to stick around but that may not be so welcome in his party.

Anthony Albanese joins Fisher, Cook, Joseph Lyons, Malcolm Fraser sort-of but technically not, Bob Hawke and Rudd as winners from Opposition at their first election as party leader.  But Albanese is the first of these to have served a whole term as Opposition Leader before winning - all the rest took over the job at some stage during the term.

These are the results of the recent (very brief) voting round.

Unsurprisingly Morrison was the crowd tip as the next leader to go, after four cases in which he was heavily backed but not the first to go.  Given that Peter Dutton is likely to last a while in the absence of an obvious rival (unless things go badly enough for Labor for even Morrison to be viable again), it will be interesting to see who voters in this round tip and whether they will be correct.  Only Daniel Andrews (this November) and Dominic Perrottet (next March) have elections coming up anytime soon.  Andrews no longer has the tailwind of a Liberal federal government, which could make the Victorian election more interesting, while Perrottet is no longer disadvantaged by Canberra factors but is the fourth leader of a government that will be 12 years old.  No one else currently looks at risk of being ousted, so the most likely scenario for other leaders would be retirement. 

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tasmanian Government Agrees To Increase Size Of Parliament

This Wednesday there was a surprise in Tasmanian parliament with the Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, announcing that his Government would introduce a Bill later this year to restore the House of Assembly to 35 seats.  

Unlike most states and the federal parliament, Tasmania has an "upside down" system with the House of Assembly (lower house) elected by the Hare-Clark system of (more or less) proportional representation, while the Legislative Council (upper house) has single-member seats, elected on a rotating basis.  Tasmania has used Hare-Clark statewide since 1909, always with five electorates that match the state's five federal seats.  

The state elected six members per division from 1909 to 1956, but the death knell of that system was sounded in 1955 when the election that year produced a 15-15 Liberal-Labor tie.  An unsatisfactory system in which the loser of the primary vote (in this case the Liberals) provided the Speaker in order to enable the winner to govern was tested to its limits when Labor's Carrol Bramich defected to the Liberals, giving the Liberals a floor majority.  The Cosgrove Labor government secured a dissolution (aided by the Liberals having let the House adjourn rather than using their numbers to take control of it as they might in theory have) but the result again was 15-15.  From this point on, the state used 35 seats.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Senate Postcounts: Main Thread

RESULT:  Labor 15, Coalition 15, Green 6, One Nation 1, JLN 1, Pocock 1, UAP 1 

2019 SENATE CONTINUING: Labor 11, Coalition 17, Green 6, One Nation 1, JLN 1 

NEW SENATE: Labor 26, Coalition 32, Green 12, One Nation 2, JLN 2, Pocock 1

Once unapportioned in a state gets to zero, coverage moves to the button press thread. Totals above are updated as confirmed.


Welcome to my main thread for postcounts for the Senate.  This page will include a summary and updates for each state/territory but over time depending on how the races go and how much time I have I may break out the more complex and unclear races (which currently appears to be Victoria and South Australia) into their own threads.  Some states will receive much higher detail level than others on account of the competitiveness of races.  Where races appear uncompetitive I won't be posting frequent updates.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 House of Reps Summary Page And Vanilla Postcounts



Seats apparently changing (not all completely confirmed):

COALTION TO LABOR: Reid, Robertson, Chisholm, Higgins, Boothby, Pearce, Swan, Hasluck, Tangney, Bennelong
COALITION TO INDEPENDENTS: Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney, Curtin, Goldstein, Kooyong

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Macnamara

Macnamara (Vic, ALP vs Lib 6.3)
(2019 3CP Lib 39.5 ALP 33.2 Green 27.3)

Exclusion order issue: final two undecided with Liberal, Labor and Greens all very close at 3-candidate point.

Labor needs to remain in top three to win

Labor will win the seat - just!

This post will follow the postcount in Macnamara, which under its old name of Melbourne Ports delivered the most exciting postcount of the 2016 election, with a two-way contest between Labor and the Greens to make the final two and the Liberals also a chance to unseat Michael Danby.  Six years later the Liberals have totally cooked their chances in the seat after picking two dud candidates in a row, and Josh Burns has replaced the more controversial Danby and appears popular and to be set for life.  Or is he?

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Brisbane

Brisbane (LNP 4.9% vs ALP)

LNP has lost, Stephen Bates (Greens) vs Madonna Jarrett (Labor) for seat

Bates and Jarrett very close for second on primaries. Whichever of Bates and Jarrett makes the final two after preferences wins.

Greens will win seat.

This post will follow the postcount in the division of Brisbane, where Trevor Evans has been defeated and we are waiting to find out which of Stephen Bates (Greens) and Madonna Jarrett (Labor) takes the seat.  

Current primaries are:

Evans (LNP) 36.5
Bates (Greens) 28.6
Jarrett (Labor) 27.8
One Nation 2.0
UAP 1.9
Animal Justice 1.7
Liberal Democrats 1.5

2022 House of Reps Postcount: Richmond


Justine Elliot (ALP) vs Mandy Nolan (GRN) based on candidate exclusion order

(2019 3CP NAT 41.7 ALP 34.7 GRN 23.6)

Labor is second on primaries and needs to stay ahead of Nationals or overtake Greens (after preferences) to make top three.

Large Liberal Democrat primary may cause Nationals to make final two.

Elliot expected to move into lead on prepolls and retain.

(Elliot has claimed victory - awaiting confirmation of result.)

2022 Federal Election Late Night Live



Seats apparently changing (not all completely confirmed):

COALTION TO LABOR: Reid, Robertson, Chisholm, Higgins, Boothby, Pearce, Swan, Hasluck, Tangney



COALITION TO INDEPENDENTS: Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney, Curtin (in minor doubt), Goldstein, Kooyong



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Election Night Arrangements and Election Watching Tips (2022)


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My coverage tonight and to come

I will be doing live blogging for the Mercury from c. 6:30 pm.  The link to the live coverage is here, together with a link to the tweet linking to it.  I am not sure yet how long the coverage will go or whether I will need to take any breaks to write articles.  I may also pop up on Twitter during quiet moments (@kevinbonham) but this is not guaranteed.  The format of the blogging is not known to me yet and may be 

I will probably not be checking emails, tweets or for comments on this site regularly during this time, and I ask journalists not from the Mercury not to call me until the live blog has finished.  However if you have interesting scrutineering samples from Tasmania - especially of the rate of below-the-line voting for Eric Abetz in a Senate booth (please say which booth!) - you're extremely welcome to SMS them to me (0421428775) or email them to me (  I probably won't be able to reply immediately.

2022 Election Day: Newspoll Says Labor Really Ought To Win This Time

2PP Aggregate: 53.2 to Labor (-0.3 since Wednesday) (not a prediction)
(Weighted for time only, no house effects or quality weightings)
Cross-poll average of polls released in last week: 52.8 to Labor 
If polls are right (they may not be), Labor should win outright, with a median 82-83 seats
Historically, Labor has underperformed slightly on average when it leads in final week polling

We've finally reached the end, and after seeing yet another nonsense article from Nine claiming that "If current polling is replicated at the federal election, a hung parliament is the most likely outcome" the end cannot come soon enough.  If there is a hung parliament, then it will be because the polls weren't replicated (at least not on primary votes for those at 51-49.)  But the end is only the start of weeks of post-counting and projection fun ahead.

The final Newspoll has arrived and it has Labor with a 53-47 lead from primaries of Coalition 35 Labor 36 Greens 12 One Nation 5 UAP 3 IND/others 9.  In the past Newspoll has sometimes rounded final poll 2PPs unusually (to halves of a point in 2013 and 2019 and even to tenths in 2010) and I don't know whether the 2PP was rounded to the nearest point or the nearest half-point.  However it matters little.  Scott Morrison is on a poor but not terrible -13 net satisfaction (41-54) and Anthony Albanese picks up six points to -5 (41-46).  For the first time ever in a final Newspoll, the two leaders are tied on the skewed Better Prime Minister indicator, 42-42.  This puts Albanese above John Howard, who trailed 45-40 when he won heavily in 1996.  

Friday, May 20, 2022

Poll Roundup: 2022 Seat Poll Sludgefest

This is the second part of what was at first intended as a single roundup, and deals with seat polls and seat betting.  Any new seat polls will continue to be updated on this page until election day while a seat betting update will probably be added to a final roundup tomorrow night.

As a general comment, 2022 has seen a major change in the election seat polling landscape.  At previous recent elections, published seat polls were dominated (in public attention if not always in numbers) by major national players - YouGov, ReachTEL, the old Newspoll and so on, or at least by specialised pollsters who were distant from campaigns (JWS).  Often the seat polls still sucked.  In 2013 they skewed to Coalition on average (some firms more than others), in 2016 they were under-dispersed and in 2019 they did well at picking winners but badly when they sat on the fence (and they also skewed to Labor).  But at least they were neutral attempts by pollsters with skin in the national game.  

At this election YouGov has so far given seat polling the flick and instead switched to its MRP model (discussed too briefly in a previous edition).  The seat poll landscape has been dominated by uComms (a union-connected pollster with simplistic weightings and an ordinary recent track record), Redbridge (another campaign-focused pollster with often weird methods decisions and a remarkable ability to detect UAP voters), and to a lesser extent Utting Research and KJC/Telereach, neither of whom have had much public testing and the first of which is not an APC member, with publication of details rarely exceeding a single media article.  The overwhelming method of seat polling has been robopolling of often already saturated seats (one voter in Swan this week told me they'd been polled seven times).  Moreover, the two most commonly seen pollsters have been mostly conducting internal and campaign-adjacent polls rather than media-commissioned polls.   The seat polling landscape has been dominated by strategic or incidental releases of polling for campaigning purposes - mostly fed to journalists to get publicity and (in the case of teal independents in some seats) try to exploit strategic voting arguments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Rolling National Poll Roundup: 2022 Final Days

2PP Aggregate: 53.5 to Labor (-0.6 since last week) (not a prediction)
Cross-poll average of polls released in last week: 53.0 to Labor 
(Weighted for time only, no house effects or quality weightings)
If the normal range of polling to result relationships applies, Labor remains very likely to win, probably outright
Historically, Labor has underperformed when it has leads in final week polling

This article covers national polling since the update from mid last week and House of Reps federal polls will continue to be added until a final roundup which I intend to post overnight on Friday following the final Newspoll.  The aggregates and averages in the heading will be updated as new national polls come out. (Ipsos is expected, I am not sure if there will be another Morgan, while the Resolve was described as "final" by Latika Bourke.)  I aim to issue a seat polling and seat betting roundup tomorrow, and Senate polling will soon be updated on my Senate prospects page. 

In the last two days three polls have pointed to some narrowing in Labor's lead, but all this has done so far is put Labor back in about the same position as it was in after the gaffe-ridden opening week and a half, reversing minor gains since.  All four polls out this week have shown smaller leads for Labor than their previous offerings, but only in the case of Resolve is the change substantial, and Resolve is hard to take completely seriously on account of its forced-choice methods and overly high Green vote.  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Greens, One Nation and UAP Reps How-to-vote Cards

This article is mainly a resource page for studying the preference flows of the Greens, One Nation and United Australia after the election.  It is often difficult to find how-to-vote card material online after elections, but where a party's recommendations vary between seats, it can be useful for getting a handle on how many of that party's voters copied the card.  It's not always that simple, because (for instance) an independent who the Greens choose to recommend preferences to is usually one their supporters would have liked anyway.  But there are some interesting cases with One Nation and UAP at this election.  

I should add the usual disclaimer that most voters don't actually copy how-to-vote cards.  For minor parties it appears to be around 10-15% of their voters in the Reps and even fewer in the Senate.  Not only do minor party voters think for themselves, but they're less likely to be handed a card in the first place.

And I should add the strong disclaimer that how to vote cards are only recommendations.  No matter where a party puts another party on the card, the voters for that party decide where to send their preferences.  

Additions and corrections welcome.  In the case of UAP I'm especially interested in sightings of cards that put significant independents or Labor above the Liberals.