2016 Senate Votes: A Higher But Fragmented Vote For Minor And Micro Parties

Aside from the Coalition, ALP and Greens, 47 parties contested the Senate at July’s double dissolution election.

Just 8 of the 47 parties polled above 1% nationally. Five of these 8 parties elected senators: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (4 senators), Nick Xenophon Team (3), Liberal Democrats (1), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (1) and Family First (1). The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party did not elect any of their candidates.

There were 39 parties that nominated candidates in at least one state or territory but failed to poll above 0.74%. Fourteen failed to even reach 0.1% nationally and did only marginally better in individual states. Another 25 polled between 0.14%-0.74%.

The Jacqui Lambie Network was the only party in the latter group that managed to elect a senator. Lambie polled just 0.50% nationally, but she only ran candidates in three states and polled a full quota in her own right in Tasmania. With 8.30% of the vote, Lambie won a place in the first group of senators who will receive six-year terms.

The election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is somewhat comparable to Lambie. His party only polled 1.93% nationally, and less than 1% in all states except Victoria, where Hinch secured election off a primary base of 6.05%.

The combined Coalition-ALP-Greens vote was 73.62%, down 2.85% from the 2013 result. This delivered 65 of the 76 Senate positions (85.5%) to these three groups.

The remaining 26.38% of the vote was split between 47 parties. These parties won the remaining 11 seats (14.4%).

Independent and ungrouped candidates below-the-line received just 0.18% of the vote.

The figures in the table below are consistent with the previous election. In 2013, there were 46 parties that polled less than 1% each.

The overall proportion of the vote flowing to the Coalition, ALP and Greens fell once again at the 2016 election. It fuels the argument that voters are disillusioned with the major parties and looking for alternatives. However, the figures indicate that this is a simplistic analysis.

Voters have failed to coalesce around more than a handful of minor and micro parties. Outside the top 11 groups, the votes for other parties are derisory. The so-called fragmentation of support for the major political groups is more than matched by a fragmented voter rebellion.

Group voting tickets were abolished for this election. Without them, all but a handful of parties were incapable of winning seats. Those elected more closely represent the parties with the highest primary votes. The Family First party in South Australia elected Bob Day from the lowest primary vote of 2.87%. [Read more…]

The New Senate: The Defeated, The Retired, The New And The Returning

There will be 14 new faces in the new Senate when it meets for the first time on August 30.

This represents 18.42% of the Senate’s 76 members. Each state has 12 senators, whilst the territories have 2 each, who serve terms concurrent with the House of Representatives. The double dissolution meant that all 76 positions were up for election on July 2.

The fourteen new senators include two (Louise Pratt and Don Farrell) who were Labor senators defeated in 2013.

Ten of the fourteen departed senators were defeated in the election, whilst four retired. [Read more…]

MPs Who Won Their Seats On First Preferences In The 2016 Federal Election

Just under a third of the seats in the House of Representatives were decided on first preference (primary) votes, at the 2016 Federal Election.

By definition, these seats are the most secure for the various parties, since preference distribution cannot change the result. The winner has already secured an absolute majority of at least 50%+1 over every other candidate.

Of the 150 electorates, 48 (32%) were won on the primary vote. There were 53 such seats (35%) at the 2013 election. In 2004, 89 seats (59%) were decided on first preferences.

The Liberal Party was most successful, winning 27 of the 48 seats (56%), including 12 in NSW. The Liberal wins covered 4 states.

The Nationals won 5 seats (10%), including 3 in NSW, giving the coalition 32, or 67% of the total.

The ALP won 16 (33%) of the seats, including 10 in NSW. It won 6 seats in Victoria, but failed to win any more in other states or territories.

Seats Won On Primary Votes – 2016 Federal Election
Party NSW Vic Qld WA Total
Liberal Party
The Nationals
Australian Labor Party

NSW was the only state to have a majority of seats (25 of 47, or 53%) won on primary votes. In Victoria, 16 seats out of 37 (43%) were won on first preferences. Western Australia recorded 19% and Queensland 13%.

The two smallest states, South Australia and Tasmania, had no seats decided on primaries. The four seats in the two territories all went to preferences. [Read more…]

Election Funding Payments: 2016 Federal Election

This table shows the election funding payments made to political parties and candidates following the 2016 federal election.

Funding was made in two payments. The first payment was made on July 27. The table below shows the final figure following a second payment made this week.

A candidate or Senate group needs four per cent of the primary vote to be eligible for election funding. The amount is calculated by multiplying the number of votes obtained by the current funding rate.

The funding rate for the 2016 election was 262.784 cents per House of Representatives and Senate vote.

Funding was provided to 24 parties and groups, compared to 12 at the 2013 election. There were 24 independent candidates who received funding, compared to 9 in 2013.

Just over $62.7 million was distributed to parties and candidates. [Read more…]

Government And ALP Agree On Senate Terms; First Elected To Get 6 Years

It was reported today that the government and the ALP have agreed on the allocation of terms for the new Senate.

The reports say the Coalition and the ALP have agreed that the first six elected in each state will get 6-year terms, whilst the last six will get three-year terms. This is the procedure that has been adopted following previous double dissolutions.

The ALP and the Coalition easily have the numbers to impose this decision on the Senate. Its effect is to give six-year terms to a majority of senators from the Coalition (16 of 28), ALP (13 of 24) and Nick Xenophon Team (2 of 3).

Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will also get six-year terms. Both polled a Senate quota in their own right.

Only three of the Greens’ nine senators will receive six-year terms. Each of them – Richard Di Natale (Vic), Scott Ludlam (WA) and Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas) – represents a state where the Greens won two places. The other six senators, one in each state, will all face the electorate before June 2019. This means it is all but impossible for the Greens to increase their overall numbers at the next election. Instead, they will face the danger of losing incumbents. [Read more…]

Andrew Leigh: “If They Can’t Manage The Census, How Can They Manage The Other Arms Of Government?”

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh has attacked the government over its handling of the census, following last night’s closure of the website used for online submission of census forms.


“Millions of hours of Australians’ time has been wasted,” Leigh told a media conference. “I’m not sure Australians can have faith in anything the government says about the census… If they can’t manage the census, how can they manage the other arms of government?” [Read more…]

Greens Leadership Team Re-Elected Unopposed

The Australian Greens have re-elected their leadership team, following the federal election.

Di NataleAt a partyroom meeting today, all positions were spilled and then filled without contest.

Senator Richard Di Natale remains leader, with two co-deputy leaders, Senator Larissa Waters and Senator Scott Ludlam.

Senator Rachel Siewert remains as Whip, whilst the party’s sole lower house MP, Adam Bandt, continues as Party Room Chair.

The Greens partyroom has 10 members, comprising 9 senators and Bandt.

One previous senator, Robert Simms, failed to be returned in South Australia at the July 2 election. [Read more…]