2013 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 15 seats in the 2013 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

In 12 seats, all held by the ALP, the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In 3 seats, coalition leads were overtaken by independent or third-party candidates.

The 15 seats were concentrated in Victoria (7), Queensland (5) and New South Wales (3).

Overall, 53 (35.3%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 97 (64.7%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 82 of the 97 electorates were won after preferences by the candidates who led the primary vote count. Even with preferences, a primary vote lead is difficult to overcome.

The full force of the preferential voting system can be seen in the 15 seats where preferences overturned a primary vote lead.

Three seats were won by independent and third-party candidates:

  • Clive Palmer won Fairfax, despite polling only 26.49% of the primary vote, well behind the LNP candidate on 41.32%. Preferences from the Greens and the ALP ensured Palmer’s narrow victory on 50.03%.
  • In Indi, preferences lifted Cathy McGowan’s 31.18% primary vote to 50.25% two-party, defeating the incumbent Liberal MP, Sophie Mirabella, who began with a primary lead of 44.68%.
  • In Kennedy, independent MP Bob Katter polled just 29.36% of the primary vote (a drop of 17.35%) but won after preferences with 52.19%.

In the other 12 seats where distribution of preferences overturned a primary vote lead, the ALP was the beneficiary. Twelve incumbent ALP MPs survived because preferences from the Greens pushed them ahead of their Liberal rival. The proportion of Greens preferences flowing to the ALP were:

  • Victoria (6 seats): Bendigo (81.83%), Bruce (75.12%), Chisholm (85.21%), Jaga Jaga (82.41%), McEwen (72.31%) and Melbourne Ports (84.53%)
  • New South Wales (3 seats): Kingsford Smith (81.69%), Parramatta (77.53%) and Richmond (84.16%)
  • Queensland (3 seats): Griffith (81.66%), Lilley (70.86%) and Moreton (79.31%)
Primary Leads Overturned After Preference Distribution
House of Representatives – 2013
No. State Division Incumbent Primary Vote Leader Primary % Successful Candidate Primary % Two-Party %
1
VIC Bendigo Steve Gibbons
(ALP) retired
Greg Bickley
(LP)
39.67
Lisa Chesters
(ALP)
36.56
51.26
2
VIC Bruce Alan Griffin
(ALP)
Emanuele Cicchiello
(LP)
42.96
Alan Griffin
(ALP)
41.90
51.80
3
VIC Chisholm Anna Burke
(ALP)
John Nguyen
(LP)
44.12
Anna Burke
(ALP)
39.50
51.60
4
VIC Indi Sophie Mirabella
(LP)
Sophie Mirabella
(LP)
44.68
Cathy McGowan
(IND)
31.18
50.25
5
VIC Jaga Jaga Jenny Macklin
(ALP)
Nick McGowan
(LP)
41.94
Jenny Macklin
(ALP)
38.00
53.13
6
VIC McEwen Rob Mitchell
(ALP)
Donna Petrovich
(LP)
40.34
Rob Mitchell
(ALP)
37.62
50.15
7
VIC Melbourne Ports Michael Danby
(ALP)
Kevin Ekendahl
(LP)
41.05
Michael Danby
(ALP)
31.67
53.56
8
NSW Kingsford Smith Peter Garrett
(ALP) retired
Michael Feneley
(LP)
43.50
Matt Thistlethwaite
(ALP)
42.02
52.74
9
NSW Parramatta Julie Owens
(ALP)
Martin Zaiter
(LP)
44.31
Julie Owens
(ALP)
41.26
50.57
10
NSW Richmond Justine Elliot
(ALP)
Matthew Fraser
(NAT)
37.60
Justine Elliot
(ALP)
33.51
52.98
11
QLD Fairfax Alex Somlyay
(LNP) retired
Ted O’Brien
(LNP)
41.32
Clive Palmer
(PUP)
26.49
50.03
12
QLD Griffith Kevin Rudd
(ALP)
Bill Glasson
(LNP)
42.22
Kevin Rudd
(ALP)
40.36
53.01
13
QLD Kennedy Bob Katter
(IND)
Noeline Ikin
(LNP)
40.84
Bob Katter
(IND)
29.36
52.19
14
QLD Lilley Wayne Swan
(ALP)
Rod McGarvie
(LNP)
41.32
Wayne Swan
(ALP)
40.21
51.32
15
QLD Moreton Graham Perrett
(ALP)
Malcolm Cole
(LNP)
42.24
Graham Perrett
(ALP)
38.73
51.55

 

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