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.