Federal Election 2013 – Statistics Paper

The Parliamentary Library has published a research paper containing a comprehensive set of statistics on the 2013 federal election.

The paper, by Stephen Barber, from the Statistics and Mapping Section, is published here under the terms of its Creative Commons licence. [Read more…]


High Court Voids Western Australian Senate Election; New Poll Looms

The High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, has declared void last year’s Senate election in Western Australia, necessitating a new election by May.

Justice Hayne ruled that 1,370 electors were denied a vote as a consequence of the Australian Electoral Commission losing their ballot papers.

The Court ruled that it was precluded by the Commonwealth Electoral Act from considering the results of earlier scrutinies of the lost ballot papers. It found that it was inevitable that the loss probably affected the result of the election since the number of ballot papers lost far exceeded the margin between the candidates at the crucial stages in the count.

“The only relief appropriate is for the election to be declared void,” the Court said.

It is now up to the federal government to decide when the new election will be held. Whilst the writs for Senate elections are issued by state Governors, this is usually done on the advice of the Governor-General.

There must be 33 days between the issue of the writ and polling day which means an election will be held between late-March and mid-May. The government may not desire a Senate election around the time of the May Budget so April seems most likely.

Statement from the High Court.

THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION v JOHNSTON & ORS

WANG v JOHNSTON & ORS

MEAD v JOHNSTON & ORS

[2014] HCA 5

Today the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, answered questions of law arising in three petitions which dispute the election of six senators for the State of Western Australia to serve in the Senate of the Parliament of the Commonwealth. [Read more…]


Rudd Redux: Victory And Defeat

The Parliamentary Library has issued a research paper on Kevin Rudd’s return to the prime ministership and the 2013 federal election.

Written by Brenton Holmes of the Politics and Public Administration section of the library, the 28-page paper examines the circumstances of Rudd’s return to the Labor leadership on June 26, 2013. It traces Rudd’s actions until he called the election on August 4.

APH

The paper deals selectively with events during the election campaign. A more detailed account will be published in a forthcoming research paper, Federal election 2013: issues, dynamics, outcomes. [Read more…]


Final Two-Party Figures: Coalition Won 2013 Election With 3.61% Swing

Final figures published by the Australian Electoral Commission show that the Coalition won the 2013 federal election with a 3.61% swing.

The Liberal-Nationals coalition polled 53.49% of the national two-party-preferred vote. The ALP received 46.51%.

Every state and territory recorded a swing against the ALP. The largest swing was 9.39% in Tasmania. The smallest was 1.09% in the Northern Territory.

The Coalition did best in Western Australia, where it polled 58.28%, Queensland, where it polled 56.98% and New South Wales, where it polled 54.35%.

The Coalition had a net gain of 17 seats. It picked up 10 seats in NSW and 3 in Tasmania. It had a net gain of 2 in Victoria and 1 each in Queensland and South Australia. It lost one seat to the Palmer United Party’s Clive Palmer and one to Cathy McGowan, an independent.

The ALP received a majority of the two-party-preferred vote in just two states: Tasmania, where it polled 51.23% and Victoria, where it polled 50.20%. Its highest vote was 59.91% in the ACT. [Read more…]


Full Text Of A.E.C. Election Petition Regarding W.A. Senate Election

This is the full text of the election petition lodged by the Australian Electoral Commission with the Court of Disputed Returns.

The petition chronicles the conduct of the Western Australian Senate election count and the subsequent recount. It provides details of the 1,370 lost votes that could not be included in the recount.

The petition argues that “the result of the election was likely to be affected” by the missing ballot papers. It says: “In all the circumstances – including the number of missing ballot papers, the narrowness of the margin at the 50th exclusion point and the differences which, in the usual case, emerge between the fresh scrutiny and a re-count…it is not possible to conclude either with certainty, or on the balance of probabilities, either that that the fifth and sixth respondents (Dropulich and Ludlam) have been correctly returned, or an alternative return of the seventh and eighth respondents (Wang and Pratt) accurately, or more accurately, reflects the true intentions of the voters.”

The petition says “it is just that the Election should be declared void” for the purposes of Section 362(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

Text of election petition lodged by the Australian Electoral Commission with the Court of Disputed Returns.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA
CANBERRA REGISTRY NO C 17 OF 2013 [Read more…]


Mick Keelty Discusses Investigation Into Missing WA Senate Ballot Papers

Mick Keelty, the former Commissioner of the Federal Police, has held a media conference to discuss his investigation into the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers.

Keelty [Read more…]


Missing W.A. Senate Votes Would Have Produced A One-Vote Turnaround

The Australian Electoral Commission has released preference information about the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers which shows a probable reversal of the official result by just one vote.

After the first count of votes, the final two positions went to the Palmer United Party and the ALP. The result hinged on a 14-vote difference between preferences flowing to the Australian Christians and the Shooters and Fishers party.

The result was overturned by the recount and saw the Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, elected. This time, the outcome was decided by a difference of 12 votes between the Christians and the Shooters.

The recount did not include 1,375 votes which had mysteriously disappeared since the first count. However, since all the missing ballots were above-the-line votes, the first count result is available and regarded as accurate.

The ABC’s Antony Green says the preference flow shows that the original result from the first count would have prevailed if the missing votes were included in the recount, but the difference at the significant point of allocation would have been just one vote.

The data released by the AEC does nothing to cast doubt on the widespread belief that the Court of Disputed Returns will void the election and order a re-run.

The media release from the AEC with details of the count is shown below:

13-11-08_preference-information-for-wa-missing-votes_aec