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…]


Final Two-Party Figures: Coalition Won 2016 Election With 50.37%; Swing To Labor Of 3.12%

Final figures published by the Australian Electoral Commission show that the Coalition won the 2016 federal election with 50.37% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The Liberal-Nationals coalition polled 50.37% of the national two-party-preferred vote. The ALP received 49.63%. There was a 3.12% swing to the ALP nationally, a near reversal of the 3.61% swing to the Coalition in the 2013 election.

Every state and territory recorded a swing against the Coalition. The largest swing was 7.41% in the Northern Territory. The smallest was 1.22% in the Australian Capital Territory.

As in 2013, the Coalition did best in Western Australia, where it polled 54.66%, Queensland, where it polled 54.10%, and New South Wales, where it polled 50.53%.

The Coalition had a net loss of 14 seats, to finish with 76. It lost 7 seats in NSW, 3 in Tasmania, 2 each in Queensland and South Australia, and 1 each in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It gained one seat in Victoria and retook Fairfax in Queensland.

The ALP received a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in three states and both territories: Tasmania (57.36%), South Australia (52.27%) and Victoria (51.79%). As in 2013, its highest vote was in the ACT (61.13%), whilst it polled 57.06% in the NT. [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…]


Senator Derryn Hinch Addresses The Melbourne Press Club

Derryn Hinch, who was declared elected as a Victorian senator this week, has addressed the Melbourne Press Club.

The former broadcaster spoke about his approach to the Senate, laughingly saying he had committed himself to “listening”.

Hinch

Hinch took questions on a wide range of issues. He reiterated his concerns about paedophiles and sex abuse, and said he would work towards a national register of sex abusers.

Hinch defended the cartoonist Bill Leak over the criticism of one of his cartoons about indigenous children this week. He said he would work towards the repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and said he had already had discussions with Senator Cory Bernardi about this.

  • Listen to Hinch’s Melbourne Press Club appearance (46m)

Ricky Muir: I Can Leave Parliament Proud

Former Senator Ricky Muir says he can leave parliament proud “knowing that I gave it my best shot against the odds and did not fall victim to the two party political games”.

MuirMuir’s defeat in the Victorian Senate election was confirmed today when the Australian Electoral Commission finalised the results.

Muir’s Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (AMEP) polled 0.91% of the primary vote – 31,785 votes. This was an increase of 0.40% over his 2013 performance when 17,122 voters (0.51%) gave AMEP their first preference. Muir was elected through a complex series of preference deals permitted at the time the system of group voting tickets.

The six-year term Muir won in 2013 began on July 1, 2014. It was cut short by 4 years by the double dissolution election of July 2.

Muir says that “there is a large portion of society who are sick of the mainstream political establishment and class”.

Statement posted on Facebook by Ricky Muir.

When I was elected to the Senate in 2013 I was set to take my place in Australia’s political history for six years. As of this afternoon it is finally clear and official that my six year term was reduced to two. [Read more…]


Victorian Senate Results Finalised; Liberals Gain 1, Greens Keep 2, Hinch Elected

The Senate results for Victoria were finalised and announced today.

The Coalition picked up one seat to hold 5 (Liberal 4, Nationals 1), whilst the ALP retained its 4 seats. The Greens held their 2 senators and the remaining seat was taken by Derryn Hinch.

The Coalition polled 33.11% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of its 4 sitting senators – Mitch Fifield, Bridget McKenzie (Nats), Scott Ryan and James Paterson – plus a new member, Jane Hume.

The ALP polled 30.73%, enough to re-elect its 4 senators: Kim Carr, Stephen Conroy, Jacinta Collins and Gavin Marshall.

The Greens polled 10.87%, re-electing the party’s leader, Richard Di Natale and Janet Rice. Rice’s election means that the Greens have lost just one senator in the election, Robert Simms, in South Australia. With its 9 seats, the party will hold a vital balance of power position in the Senate, with the Coalition expected to finish with 30 seats.

Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party polled 6.05% and has secured the election of Derryn Hinch. The former broadcaster was elected on largely state issues related to sex offences and sentencing.

Two previous senators were defeated. Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party managed just 0.91% of the vote. Muir was elected in 2013 off a primary vote of 0.51% and a complex series of preference deals permitted at the time through the system of group voting tickets. John Madigan, who was elected as a Democratic Labour Party candidate but subsequently sat as in independent before forming his own party, was also defeated. Madigan won just 0.15% of the primary vote. [Read more…]