Saturday, October 21, 2023

Will The Spirit Of Hare-Clark Be Killed By Farce?

Update: As of 9 November the Legislative Council has fixed the issue reporting in this article by changing per-candidate funding to per-party/group funding.  


Watch out which candidate you vote for next Tasmanian state election.  Your vote could cost the party you voted for $17,000.  That's if the Liberal Government's current electoral public funding model is passed through Parliament with the help of the Labor Opposition.

Of all the bizarre things that have happened in the current Tasmanian Parliament this is among the strangest. We are here not by design but by accident, largely because former Attorney-General Elise Archer was given (and relied upon instead of checking) incorrect advice on a technical point about elections in the ACT.  It may be that the Rockliff Government has no real intention of progressing electoral reforms inherited from Archer, or that an election intervenes before they can come into place.  But if the Government does go ahead and  the Electoral Disclosure and Funding Bill 2022 (No. 25) comes into force with Labor support, then that will create a public funding model that will distort the competition between candidates within the same party.  It will also unfairly advantage some parties over others, and expose voters to tactical dilemmas best left to defective voting systems like first-past-the-post.  This will be the worst reform in the 126 year history of Hare-Clark, the first change that is completely contrary to the spirit of the system.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Voice Referendum: Twilight Of The Poll Deniers

The Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum this weekend became the 37th out of 45 referendums to be defeated at the polls, the 12th to lose in every State and probably the 10th to finish below 40%.  This was a very richly and diversely polled event.  A full assessment of poll accuracy will be posted when all the votes are counted (ignore all gloating from pollsters claiming they were the best until that time) but one thing is very clear.  The online polling denial movement which was so abundant that I had to write an article about its tropes has been discredited.  Despite all its spurious claims as to why polls would favour No, they have on average slightly overestimated Yes.  

Polling accuracy and polling denial are not the most important things about this referendum, but they are key subjects of this website so I'll of course keep commenting about them.  I will also comment about many of the other things below and perhaps in a later article.  My overall view is that this should never have been a mid-term referendum, and even if held with an election needed to be far better executed.  I only hope that from the seemingly pointless grief and trauma caused, the unnecessary divisions created and the uncomfortable facts exposed, there will be an unexpected positive response and good will somehow come.  Meanwhile while we are used to Trumpy behaviour from sectors of the Australian right and saw as much of it here as we expected, this referendum has exposed far too much likewise in parts of "the left" (I broadly include parts of Labor's Twitter support base.)

(I was intending to use new "chilli warnings" to alert readers about especially ranty sections of this article but in the end this part hasn't come out much rantier than normal.  Maybe next time.)

Saturday, October 14, 2023

2023 Voice Referendum Live

No has won the Voice referendum and will win every state and NT

Yes will win ACT (does not count for double majority)

Yes tracking for vote just below 40% but exact vote still to settle.


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Things We Won't Know Tonight

I am putting this paragraph at the top because every election some people jump the gun with comments about two issues before the count is finished.  We will not know the final turnout tonight or tomorrow - it will rise over the next two weeks as postal and absent votes are added.  Always there are articles and tweets complaining about how bad the turnout is at elections without waiting to see what the turnout ends as. 

Unless the result is very high or very low for Yes we won't know tonight which polls were the most accurate.    The referendum vote will shift in coming weeks, probably more so than a normal election.  Also, assessing polling accuracy at a referendum is complicated because many pollsters release final results with an undecided figure included.  We should have a rough idea of how good the polls were overall.

Also a note that nearly all informal votes will be deliberate (and not crosses).


Live Comments

1:15 Signing off here after a result that after months of watching polling ended up extremely unsurprising.  It is also unsurprising by historic standards, a typical thrashing for a mid-term Labor referendum without bipartisan support.  There will be more to look at in coming days but for the moment, goodnight all!

Monday, October 9, 2023

Voice Referendum Polling: Rolling Final Week Roundup

Two-answer aggregated estimate (FINAL) Yes trails 41.3-58.7
No projected ahead in every state, but significant doubt about Tasmania
Unweighted two-answer average of all final polls Yes trails 41.8-58.2

Introduction (9 October)

Welcome to my final week's thread for rolling coverage of Voice referendum polling.  There may be a further polling post on Friday, or not, depending on time and the volume of material.  There may also be side posts on any matters of special polling interest and perhaps even at some point a big rant about why we are here.  The previous edition was here and click on the "voice referendum" tab to view all previous instalments.  

This thread will be updated in the sections below.  The two main graphs will appear at the top and be updated from time to time.  Significant polls will appear in the Major Polls section, scrolling to the top. 

As an overall summary of the state of play, the Yes vote for the Voice referendum may have been declining as early as August 2022 (based on two polls at that time) and was certainly declining by December 2022.  Since then Yes has lost just over 20 points of polled support, falling from the low 60s to the low 40s.  This may seem extreme, but in fact some other referendums have lost more support faster, including the 1988 referendums and the 1951 Communist Party ban referendum.  

People are already voting in significant numbers.  Any late swing back to Yes in polling (as has appeared to a statistically non-significant degree in the most recent Resolve and Essential) is not remotely likely to carry it to victory and the only way Yes now wins is if there is a catastrophic polling failure, several times the size of what happened in 2019  As the polls are quite widely spread in their estimates, that seems even less likely.