Government’s Victory Assured But Still No Definite Results In Key Seats

10.00pm – The Turnbull government’s position improved in counting of House of Representatives seats today but an absolute majority of 76 seats is still not confirmed.

There is no change to the standing of the various parties tonight. The Coalition has 74 seats, the ALP 66, and Others 5.

The ALP remains ahead in all of the 5 remaining doubtful seats – Capricornia, Flynn, Herbert, Hindmarsh and Cowan. If these leads are maintained, the Coalition will finish with 74 seats, the ALP 71, and Others 5.

However, the ALP’s lead narrowed in 4 seats. In Capricornia, the ALP’s lead fell from 476 to 174. A total of 9,868 declaration votes remain to be counted, including 4,711 postals and 3,268 absentee votes. The LNP has been receiving 57.54% of postal votes, but no absentees have yet been counted. The ALP received 50.67% of absentees in the last election.

In Flynn, the ALP’s lead has shrunk from 646 to just 7. There are 7,734 declaration votes still to count, including 4,640 postals and 1,728 absentees. The LNP has been receiving 63.93% of postals. In 2013, the LNP also garnered 57.19% of absentees. At some point, Flynn is expected to move into the Coalition’s column. [Read more…]


Conroy Says Senate Voting Reform Would Give Coalition A Blocking Majority

The ALP’s Senate deputy leader, Senator Stephen Conroy, says that the proposed reforms to the Senate voting system would give the coalition a blocking majority in the event of a double dissolution election.

Conroy spoke after today’s public hearings by the Senate committee examining the legislation.

Quoting the ABC’s election expert, Antony Green, Conroy said the coalition could win six seats in each state at a double dissolution election, or three seats in a regular half-Senate election. With one senator in each of the territories, this would give the coalition 38 seats at a double dissolution. [Read more…]


When Will The 2013 Federal Election Be Held?

What do we definitely know about this year’s election?

  • A House of Representatives election can be called at any time. Provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act require a minimum of 33 days notice. A January election is now impossible. No federal election has ever been held in January or February. Given the holiday period underway now, an early March election is probably the earliest possible date.
  • A double dissolution is now constitutionally impossible. No legislation has been twice rejected by the Senate with the requisite three-month interval. The option formally expires on March 27.
  • A half-Senate election cannot be called until after July 1. See Section 13 of the Constitution. A House-only election held between February-June 2013 would require a separate half-Senate election sometime before June 30, 2014. A Gillard or Abbott government would be forced back to the polls within a year of any House election held before June 2013.
  • The earliest possible date for a joint House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 3.
  • A House election can be held as late as November 30, if every requirement of the Constitution and Electoral Act is stretched to the maximum allowable time.
  • The House of Representatives will expire on September 27 if it hasn’t already been dissolved. This is because the three year term of the House dates from the first day the parliament met – September 28, 2010. If the House expired on September 27, the writs for the election would have to be issued within 10 days.
  • Antony Green has written a couple of informative pieces about the historical timing of elections and the constitutional and legislative requirements. See here and here.

Is an election in March, April, May or June entirely out of the question?

  • No. An upturn in the government’s fortunes could encourage Gillard to go early to capitalise on favourable conditions. In this event, the half-Senate problem would probably be lost in the general melee of an election. Besides, the Opposition has been demanding an early poll for most of the past two years.
  • There have been suggestions the government might go early to avoid bringing down a May budget. This seems less likely since Wayne Swan announced that the government has all but abandoned its budget surplus promise. It is just as likely that the government will aim to use the Budget to establish its priorities for the election campaign and to engage in some electorally strategic spending initiatives.

Is a March-June election likely?

  • No. As is well known, the government is not travelling well in the polls. In these circumstances governments do not go early. They hang in until the last possible moment in the hope that the Opposition will stumble or that something else turns up to rescue them. John Howard did this in 2007. Members facing defeat don’t want to go any earlier than they absolutely have to for political and possibly financial reasons.

[Read more…]


2007 Federal Election: Brave Predictions

This is a collection of media commentary during 2007 in which the writers make predictions about the federal election.

Judge for yourself how well they did…

Recycled, Rejected And Right Off The Rails

Yesterday, in the nation’s Parliament, with hardly a politician to be seen anywhere, we got some election realism. Three rows of recycling bins, whacking big green ones with yellow lids. More than 300 of them. Where? In the basement corridor of the ministerial wing. The bins seemed a more apt commentary than all the desperate, last-minute Coalition windbaggery going on around the nation on what is about to descend on the Prime Minister after 33 years in public life and almost 12 years remaking Australia in his own miserable, disfigured image. They arrived two days ago and whoever they’re for, 48 hours before a single vote is cast today, you felt [Read more…]


2001 Election Predictions

Check back here after November 10 to see how accurate the “experts” were.


A Sure Bet, So Long As It’s None Of My Money – Matt Price> – (The Australian, Nov 10)

This is the harsh simplicity of politics. All are subject to the whims of those pencils … except, of course, the pundits. They – we – sail on, dispensing wisdom and rolling with the punches. [Read more…]