Buttons have now been pressed to electronically distribute preferences for the May 21 federal election in the Senate for South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland. I discussed the ACT and NT results that David Pocock elected to the Senate on Tuesday.
Read more: ACT Senate result: Pocock defeats Liberals for the first time Liberals have not won a single ACT Senate seat
All states have 12 senators, with six for election in semi-senate elections. A quota is one-seventh of the votes, or 14.3%. State senators are elected for six-year terms from July 1, with the exception of a double dissolution.
Final primary votes in Queensland were 2.47 quotas for the LNP, 1.73 Labor, 0.87 Greens, 0.52 One Nation, 0.38 Legalize Cannabis and 0.29 UAP. The result was two LNPs, two Laborers, one Green and one One Nation. The change from the previous parliament was that the Greens won a seat of the LNP.
Preferences were distributed Friday. ABC election analyst Antony Green said after the exclusion of Clive Palmer (UAP), 57% of his preferences flowed to One Nation’s Pauline Hanson, which put Hanson ahead of Labor’s second candidate, Anthony Chisholm.
Final results were 0.996 quotas for Hanson, 0.974 Labor and 0.720 for the LNP’s third candidate, Amanda Stoker. Hanson was elected fifth, Chisholm sixth and Stoker was defeated.
Final primary votes in South Australia were 2.37 quotas for the Liberals, 2.26 Labor, 0.84 Greens, 0.28 One Nation, 0.21 UAP and 0.21 Nick Xenophon. Rex Patrick, who defected from Xenophon’s Center Alliance, won just 0.15 quotas.
Preferences were distributed Wednesday. The Poll Bludger said the third liberal won the final seat over One Nation by 0.87 quotas to 0.67. At the previous count, Labor was excluded behind One Nation, with 0.56 quotas to 0.61 for One Nation and 0.67 for the Liberals. The Liberals would have won even if Labor had caught the last two.
In the 2016 double dissolution election, Xenophon won three seats with two gaining long terms expiring on June 30th. Labor and the Liberals each defended two seats. So the Greens and Liberals each got a seat with Center Alliance losing their two seats (one a defector).
Final primary votes in Tasmania gave the Liberals 2.24 quotas, Labor 1.89, the Greens 1.08, the Jacqui Lambie Network (JLN) 0.61 and One Nation 0.27.
Preferences were distributed Thursday. The second Labor candidate and the JLN’s Tammy Tyrrell reached quota, with Tyrrell joining Lambie and increasing the JLN’s Senate representation from one to two. It was a win for the JLN of the Liberals. In the final count, Tyrrell had 1.05 quotas and One Nation 0.63, with the third liberal excluded before One Nation.
The third liberal was Eric Abetz, who has been a senator since 1994. In this election, he was demoted to third on the Liberal Tasmanian ticket. Analyst Kevin Bonham said Abetz easily won the majority of 39s (last preference) out of everyone below the line of voters who numbered each box.
Twenty-two of the 40 Senate seats up for election have now been formally decided, and proceeded as expected. I expect the remaining states early next week. Primary votes in NSW are 2.57 quotas for the coalition, 2.13 Labor, 0.80 Greens, 0.29 One Nation and 0.24 UAP. This will lead to three coalitions, two Labor and one Green.
The coalition has 2.26 quotas in Victoria, Labor 2.20, the Greens 0.97, UAP 0.28, Legalize Cannabis 0.21 and One Nation 0.20. Full data files on each vote cast in Senate competitions are available shortly after the distributions. From these data, the Poll Bludger said that One Nation preferences flowed much better to the UAP in SA than in 2019.
If this pattern is repeated in Victoria, he said UAP has a much better chance of winning the final seat than 2019 preference flows would suggest. Victoria will therefore be two coalitions, two Labor, one Green, with the final seat leaning towards the UAP instead of the coalition.
Labor has 2.42 quotas in WA, the Liberals 2.22, the Greens 1.00, One Nation 0.24, Legalize Cannabis 0.24 and the Christians 0.15. Labor is likely to win three senators in WA, the Liberals two and the Greens one, but it is still possible that Labor will lose the last WA seat to either the Liberals or One Nation.
If the results in the remaining states are as expected, the result of this semi-Senate election will be 15 coalitions out of 40, 15 Labor, six Greens and one each for One Nation, UAP, JLN and David Pocock.
The coalition will hold 32 of the 76 total senators, Labor 26, the Greens 12, One Nation two, the JLN two and Pocock and UAP one each. To pass coalition-backed legislation, Labor would need support from the Greens and any one of the six others.
If Labor loses the final WA seat, their path to legislation will be more difficult. They will then need the Greens and two of the six others, and will likely depend on the JLN.
House: independent in Groom wins last two with only 8.3% primary votes
In the House of Representatives, primary votes in Groom were 43.7% LNP, 18.7% Labor, 9.6% One Nation, 8.3% for independent Suzie Holt, 7.1% for another independent, 5, 9% Greens and 5.1% UAP. After a split of preferences, Holt jumped over both One Nation and Labor to catch the last two, but she still lost decisively against the LNP.
Analyst Peter Brent said Holt had the third lowest primary turnout, and the lowest when both major parties competed, to make it to the last two in a federal election or by-election, and is the first to get the last two of fourth or lower to pick up on primary votes.
In Australia, the two top candidates on primary votes are not guaranteed to be the last two. The distribution of preferences begins by excluding the lowest voting candidate, and their votes are distributed to all remaining candidates. This is followed until there are two candidates left.
In previous elections, the Australian Electoral Commission only released the full distribution of preferences for all seats months after the election.
Necessary poll: Albanian rises to 59% approval
Essential is the first Australian poll to poll Anthony Albanese’s ratings since the election. In this week’s poll, he had a 59% approval for his performance as prime minister, and only an 18% disapproval (net +41). In Essential’s last poll before the election, Albanian was at +1 net approval for his performance as opposition leader (42-41 approval).
With 44-34, voters supported Australia becoming a republic, down from a margin of 49-28 in March 2021.