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).

Northern Territory

The button will be pressed at midday electing 1. Malandirri McCarthy (Labor) and 2. Jacinta Nampijinpa  Price (CLP), both on minor candidate preferences, giving the NT two Aboriginal Senators.  Detail on the distribution later today (it will not be wildly exciting).

Distribution is up.  Both candidates crossed without needing Liberal Democrat preferences, with McCarthy crossing just ahead.  The exhaust rate was 0.5% (493 votes).

South Australia

The count has reached zero unapportioned votes with the following leading quotas:

Liberal 2.375
Labor 2.259
Greens 0.837
One Nation 0.281
UAP 0.212
Group O (Xenophon) 0.209
Legalise Cannabis 0.163
Liberal Democrats 0.154
Rex Patrick 0.145

The expected result is 3 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Green as the Liberal lead is substantial and the pool of preferences in South Australia is unlikely to favour either Labor or One Nation enough to threaten that.  Nick Xenophon will be disadvantaged by having a blank above the line box and therefore shouldn't be able to get enough preferences to be a threat.  The button will be pressed 3:30 pm Wed 15 June.

Result: 3 Liberal 2 Labor 1 Green as expected.   Distribution is up with Labor excluded before One Nation and a strong flow from Labor to Liberals over One Nation, causing Liddle to win by 2.87% (0.201 quotas.)  Another seventh place for One Nation. Exhaust was 6.6%.

A notable aspect of this count is the far greater preference flows between One Nation and UAP than seen in the past, although ballot proximity has probably contributed modestly to that. For instance on a 2CP off One Nation preferences, UAP beat Liberals c. 62-21 compared to 40-36 in 2019, the difference the other way around being even starker.  


The count has reached zero unapportioned votes with the following leading quotas ahead of the button press at 3 pm Thursday 16th: 

Liberal 2.241
Labor 1.893
Greens 1.084
JLN 0.605
One Nation 0.272
Legalise Cannabis 0.212
Liberal Democrats 0.134
Shooters Fishers and Farmers 0.133

The result has been in no doubt at any stage at party level and will be 2-2-1-1 with Tammy Tyrell elected for JLN.  Eric Abetz has polled 4.27% below the line but that is nowhere near the 10% or so he needed and is not even the highest Tasmanian BTL (Peter Whish-Wilson has 4.86%).  

Result was as expected - a small surprise being Helen Polley overtaking Wendy Askew to be elected 4th from what I had as well behind after surpluses.  However I'd forgotten to add in the minor Labor candidates who accounted for most of the difference - Labor also did better on preferences.  Eric Abetz was 8th with Steve Mav (One Nation) 7th.  Tyrell's margin was 6%, up from just below 5% on preferences.  38.6% gave Eric Abetz 39th (last), five times the next highest (in 2016 it was eight times) and slightly lower than in 2019, however not all of these were formal.  In all 6221 voters gave Abetz a 39.  Distribution here.  Exhaust was 3.4% (12438).

The count has reached zero unapportioned as of late on 16 June and button press details will be announced on 17 June.  Quota leaders are:

LNP 2.466
Labor 1.729
Greens 0.867
One Nation 0.518
Legalise Cannabis 0.376
UAP 0.293
Liberal Democrats 0.175

At some points this was very close between One Nation and LNP on primaries but Pauline Hanson's lead has blown out to 0.052 Q at the end.  Preferences are also expected to favour Hanson based on 2019 flows and if SA is any guide could do so by more, the only contrary indication being One Nation's poor primary vote performance in the state.  It therefore seems likely Hanson will defeat Amanda Stoker (LNP) but close enough we'll have to see.

Update: Hanson has not merely won (see distribution) but has been elected 5th, overtaking Labor.  This was on an extra-strong flow from United Australia Party with One Nation's 3CP share off UAP rising from 47.6% to 64.2% while the LNP's fell from 33.1% to 17.3%.  As a result the final margin was between Chisholm (Labor) and Stoker (LNP) and was a massive 3.6%.   Exhaust was just 4.4% (133,369 votes).

New South Wales

The count reached zero unapportioned late on 17 June with the button press at 9:30 am 20 June.  Quota leaders are:

Coalition 2.571
Labor 2.131
Greens 0.802
One Nation 0.289
UAP 0.237
Legalise Cannabis 0.162
Animal Justice 0.151
Liberal Democrats 0.148
Shooters Fishers Farmers 0.133

The result will be 3 Coalition 2 Labor 1 Green.

Update: and is.  The distribution shows that Molan (Lib) defeated McCulloch (One Nation) by a reasonably narrow 2.39% (down from 4.03% primary vote gap).  Exhaust was 304790 (6.3%).


The count reached zero unapportioned late on 17 June with the button press at 10 am 20 June.  Quota leaders are:

Coalition 2.260
Labor 2.201
Greens 0.970
UAP 0.281
Legalise Cannabis 0.210
One Nation 0.204
Liberal Democrats 0.169
Animal Justice 0.106
Hinch Justice 0.0996 

New life has been injected into this contest with the very strong flows between ON and UAP in the mainland states completed so far, and the late move towards UAP in primary counting.  William Bowe's projections suggest there are serious chances for the UAP's Ralph Babet if this pattern follows through to Victoria (and why shouldn't it, of all places).  In this model, Greg Mirabella must tred a perilous path in which One Nation and Labor are knocked out before Legalise Cannabis, allowing Labor preferences to flow to him before he slips to last, and then he is able to just be ahead of Babet at the end.  Note that there's no real evidence of stronger flows to either One Nation or UAP compared to the other, so most likely One Nation closes some of the gap to UAP but doesn't actually pass them.  (Let's give the One Nation candidate a name call too just in case: Warren Pickering.)  Fascinating!

Update: Babet has indeed won.  The distribution followed William's Scenario 1 with Legalise Cannabis exiting before One Nation by just 4212 votes (0.11%).  However as Labor were 0.66% ahead of LC at this point I am doubtful that the order of exclusion here mattered.  Babet was 0.48% clear of One Nation at the point they were cut out, gaining just over 50% of their preferences, and his win was sealed by Mirabella exiting the race 25289 (0.66%) shy of a possible Labor lifeline.  Babet did not need the Coalition preferences to break in his favour but they did anyway, seeing him home over Labor by 2.13%.  Exhaust was 261868 votes (6.9%).

Western Australia

The count reached zero unapportioned late on 17 June but button press details (possibly Monday) are not yet released.  Quota leaders are:

Labor 2.419
Liberal 2.217
Green 0.998
One Nation 0.244
Legalise Cannabis 0.237
Aus Christians 0.152
UAP 0.149
LDP 0.135
Western Australia Party 0.122

...and there's quite a tail below those.

Most of the speculation has concerned whether the Liberals could possibly overtake Labor here, with all models finding that based on 2019 preferences the gap would come down a lot but would probably not close completely.  However following the strong UAP/ON flows in other states the question emerges whether One Nation might stay in second and if they do manage to do that might they win.

After taking into account the preference flow shifts seen in Queensland and SA it does seem far less clear to me that the Liberals will overtake One Nation.  If the Australian Christians flow holds up they still may.  The Australian Christians flow however is perhaps the biggest problem for ON - Christians voters are very pro-Liberal but not so keen on the "redneck right", and this makes it considerably harder for ON to catch Labor if in second, the same also applying to Liberal Democrats flows.  So my feeling is still that Labor would actually prefer One Nation as a final opponent compared to the Liberals, but will probably win in either case.  Enough uncertainty that we will have to wait and see.  

Sunday: See Poll Bludger for more detailed projections.

Monday: Button press midday WA time (2pm AEST).  Update: I forgot to update this page for the result, but as we all know by now the Liberals failed to get over One Nation, with Labor winning despite the gap closing.  Exhaust was 87384 (5.7%).


  1. With reference to the ACT's button push and that the distribution of preferences will be available 'shortly', are we talking hours later today or talking days? Cheers.

  2. Who made lucky 7th in the Tassie vote?

  3. When I scanned the list of parties my eyes read 'Legalise Cannibals', and even though a micro second later, it took me longer than it should to realise that not even in Queensland...

    1. I saw some media article which actually printed "Legalise Cannibals" by mistake.

  4. Gee Babet has demolished them. Doesn't look like there were any close exclusion points? ONP closed the gap to UAP to 19k from about 41k. I wonder how Mirabella would have gone if Labor were excluded first. UAP probably had too much of a lead by that point.

  5. A question or two about the countback method of filling vacancies in the Senate arising from the ineligibility of the candidate to be elected (eg Culleton, Hughes). Is it theoretically possible for a countback of the votes to result in changes to the set of elected candidates beyond the simple replacement of the disqualified candidate? If it is possible and if it were to happen, does the law give any guidance about how that situation would be handled?

    1. Yes if there were extremely close margins in the original count. In 2016 Tas there was a very close margin between Nick McKim (Green) and Kate McCulloch (One Nation) for the final Tasmanian Senate seat. When Stephen Parry was found to be ineligible there was briefly going to be a recount that would have "unelected" McKim and replaced him with McCulloch, as well as replacing Parry with another Liberal. This failed to happen only because Jacqui Lambie was disqualified as well and the recount with both Lambie and Parry removed now meant that McKim won again. My article about this is here: https://kevinbonham.blogspot.com/2017/10/section-44-could-parry-peril-unelect.html

      It is not clear how it would be resolved by the High Court. There was a case on Melbourne City Council where a councillor, Michael Caiafa, was unelected on a full recount, as discussed in the article.

    2. Thanks, Kevin - fascinating. On the other part of the casual vacancy path - appointment by the party under whose banner the candidate was elected - do I understand rightly that the replacement has to be confirmed be the relevant State/Territory Parliament? What happens if the Parliament declines to approves the Party's chosen replacement?

    3. In theory it's possible to get a standoff where the party keeps nominating the same replacement and the state parliament declines to approve that person leading to the seat remaining vacant indefinitely. The potential for this was highlighted when a tied vote of a joint sitting of the Tasmanian parliament rejected Labor nominee John Devereux in 1987 but it soon became moot because an election was called. In practice I suspect there would be a lot of pressure on the state to approve the nominee given that if the state approves anyone else from the same party, the party can render that moot by expelling the person nominated.

  6. In case you haven't inferred it from context, my friends and I are gaming "Ralph Babet resigns to parachute Clive Palmer into the Senate" scenarios. Just for laughs. As far as I can tell there's nothing that requires the Party's chosen replacement to be a resident of the State? (Not that it would be difficult for Clive Palmer to arrange to become a Victorian resident if that were required.)