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 (k_bonham@iinet.net.au).  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.  

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Not-A-Poll Reset: Dropping Like Flies (Gunner Resigns)

Just over a month after Peter Gutwein resigned and under two months since Steven Marshall was defeated, we've lost our third Australian leader for the year with NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner checking out after just under six years in the role.  Gunner has thrown in the towel for family reasons without being the subject of any significant controversy (at least, nothing significant by NT standards).  He goes out with a fine electoral record, having led his party to a huge win against the chaos of the Giles regime in 2016 then retained government easily with a modest swing against in 2020.

These were the previous round's results.  Even less surprisingly than last time, hardly anyone expected that a state or territory leader would go before the federal election, though the percentage tipping a federal leader to be next to go did fall slightly from 93.3% to 90.4%.  

Just two voters managed to successfully pick that Gunner would be the next to depart, the same number as but an even lower percentage than picked Gutwein in the previous edition.  The winning votes were lodged on April 26 and May 5.

Surely this time one of the federal leaders will be next?  Well, maybe not surely, but the only ways this doesn't happen is if (i) someone else goes before the outcome of the election is clear or (ii) Morrison wins the election and Albanese stays on as opposition leader.  Note that in the event of Albanese winning and becoming PM, he is not deemed to have gone for poll purposes, while Morrison is deemed to have gone as PM even in the event of him losing but remaining for any meaningful length of time as Opposition Leader.  I expect the turnover will set some kind of record with the impending likely loss of a fourth leader in little over two months, and perhaps more later this year, but I'll cover that after the federal election.

Natasha Fyles' elevation to the position of Chief Minister means the NT is the only current jurisdiction with female government and opposition leaders.  The NT is also the first jurisdiction to have had two separate spells of this being the case (Clare Martin/Jodeen Carney being the other).  The ACT had Follett/Carnell followed by Carnell/Follett, NSW had Berejiklian/McKay and Queensland had Palaszczuk/Frecklington.  

The current round of voting closes at 5 pm on election day, and will be reopened after the election if it dislodges neither leader.   

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Ask Me Anything (Relevant) On Reddit: 8 pm AEST Sat 14 May

Just an announcement that this Saturday from 8 pm to 9 pm (perhaps later) I will be doing an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on the r/AustralianPolitics subreddit on Reddit.  This is a chance for people to bombard me with questions that I will then attempt to answer at warp speed (I believe you need to sign up to participate, but anyone can read it without being signed in).  The AMA is in relation to the 2022 federal election and polling.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Poll Roundup: Ghosts of 1996 and 2007 Edition

2PP Aggregate: 54.1 to Labor (+0.9 since last week)
(Weighted for time only, no house effects or quality weightings)
If the normal range of polling to result relationships applies, Labor is very likely to win

I've been very time-challenged this election (expending much of last night refuting an American know-all and sundry reply-guys about our preferencing system on Twitter probably didn't help) but finally, maybe, I can get something out in time for an article about the state of national polling. 

As an overall summary, Labor suffered alarmingly rapid losses in support during the first week and a half of the campaign as documented in the previous edition, but the Coalition's position did not improve over the next two weeks, and now in the latest round of polling there has been a bit of a blowout.  Labor's lead is so large now that the Coalition is extremely unlikely to win by normal means.  What hope remains for the current government is that the polls are even more wrong than last time (despite everything some of them have done to repair it) or that they are about or nearly as wrong as last time and the government makes some improvements over the final week and a half then gets lucky with the seat distribution and scrambles back, perhaps with a sub-50 2PP.  It's not all over yet, but on the other hand the prospect of a decisive Labor win is much stronger now than it looked even three weeks ago.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Vote For A Party Is Not A Vote For Any Other Party

I am hoping to put out a much-belated Poll Roundup later today or overnight (in short, Labor is currently ahead to such an extent that a polling failure at least as large as 2019 if not larger is probably now the Coalition's best remaining chance of winning, and a lopsided result is a growing chance.)  But I have been distracted yet again, this time by the need to comment on a form of electoral misinformation that I've found especially annoying at this election.  

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Legislative Council 2022: Elwick, Huon and McIntyre Live

Elwick: CALLED (7:12 pm) Willie (ALP) retains

Huon: Harris (IND) has comfortably defeated Thorpe (ALP).

McIntyre: CALLED (6:40 pm) Rattray (IND) retains

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

Tuesday night Well, Labor has indeed lost the seat they had such a great win in in 2020 after enough left-wing voters preferred a somewhat conservative independent to Labor to get Dean Harriss into his father's old seat.  If Harriss avoids sticking too close to the electorate and works hard he could be there for a long time.

The new numbers

Labor 4 (-1)
Liberal 4
Left IND 4
Right-ish IND 3 (+1) (pending Harriss's actual voting behaviour)

This is the first gain by an independent from a major party since Rumney 2011.

Labor holds the Presidency so this may generate tied votes on which Craig Farrell's statement that he would not necessarily follow chairing conventions may be tested.  

Beautiful Losers: Australia's Leading Anti-Bellwether Seats

After the 2018 FIDE (chess) elections, a member of the English delegation told me that his nation had kept alive their proud tradition of always supporting the losing side.  Having voted for various opponents of the long-term FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, England had switched to Ilyumzhinov's replacement Georgios Makropoulos just in time for the incumbent regime to be booted.  Perhaps this comment was distantly in my mind a couple of weeks ago when someone tweeted a comment referring to Bass as a bellwether seat.  Bass, I thought, is not a bellwether seat at all; it's more like a seat that hits the incumbent over the head with a bell no matter what is going on nationwide.  Then I thought, how about anti-bellwether seats?  Seats that have a history of nearly always voting for the party that loses?  I hope to have the time and energy for more central things in the coming week but for now I present some findings on this little amusement.

Bellwether or litmus seats (where there is a long history of whoever wins always or nearly always forming government) are much discussed, the idea being that since they have a history of being predictive they might contain some special insight into where a campaign is going.  Past champions have included Macarthur (voted for the winning party 23 times in a row 1949-2004) and Eden-Monaro (15 in a row 1972-2013).  The current leader is Robertson (14 in a row, 1983-present).   In theory, a bellwether is a perennial marginal seat that is a good microcosm of the nation, though in practice bellwether streaks involve a great amount of luck.   It might be possible to find a better predictive measure of 'as goes seat X, so goes the nation' than winning streak - some combination of average 2PP lean and correlation with the national swing, for example.