Ged Kearney (ALP-Batman) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Ged Kearney to the House of Representatives.

Kearney

The new ALP member for Batman was elected at a by-election on March 17, 2018. The by-election was caused by the resignation of David Feeney, due to his inability to provide evidence that he had renounced his dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.

Kearney, 54, was the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) between 2010 and February 2018. She is a former nurse and a former official of the Australian Nursing Federation. [Read more…]


2016 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 16 seats in the 2016 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

The ALP benefited in 15 seats and the Nick Xenophon Team in one. In 14 seats, (7 held by the ALP and 7 by the Coalition), the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In one seat, the Liberal lead was overtaken by the Xenophon candidate. In another, the ALP overcame a Greens lead.

The 16 seats were spread across the states: Queensland (4), Victoria (3), South Australia (3), New South Wales (2), Western Australia (2) and Tasmania (2).

Overall, 48 (32%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 102 (68%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 86 of the 102 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. [Read more…]


Informal Vote Declines In Federal Election; Sydney Again Records Highest Rates

The percentage of informal votes in the 2016 House of Representatives elections dropped by 0.86% to 5.05%.

The informal vote is the lowest since 2004, when it was 5.2%. Informals declined in every State and Territory, apart from the Northern Territory, which has recorded the highest rate of 7.35%, an increase of 1.05%.

Other than NSW and the NT, all States and Territories recorded an informal vote of less than 5%. In NSW, the informal percentage was 6.17%.

Whilst the highest informal vote in an individual seat outside NSW is 8.84% in Murray (Vic), NSW has 9 seats with an informal vote above 8%. As in previous elections, these are all Labor-held electorates in Sydney with high proportions of non-English speaking residents.

The highest informal vote in an individual electorate was recorded in Lindsay, where it reached 11.77%. The seat of Blaxland, once held by former Labor prime minister Paul Keating, had 11.55%, the second highest.

The Victorian seat of Kooyong recorded the lowest informal vote of any of the country’s 150 electorates – just 1.99%. Kooyong was once held by former Liberal prime minister Sir Robert Menzies. [Read more…]


Update On Undecided Seats – Hung Parliament Looks Most Likely

11.39pm – Today I have removed 4 seats from the list of undecideds.

The 4 seats no longer considered undecided are: Robertson, Batman, La Trobe and Petrie.

Their removal means that the Coalition now has 68 seats, the ALP 66, and Others 5.

Of the 11 remaining seats in doubt, the Coalition is ahead in 5 and the ALP is ahead in 6. If these seats were to stay that way, the Coalition would finish with 73 seats, the ALP 72, and Others 5. The government would be three seats short of an absolute majority and we would have a hung Parliament.

Many media reports say there are only 8 or 9 doubtful seats. I have included Barker and Grey because the Australian Electoral Commission has not finished the reordering of two-party-preferred votes (Labor v. Liberal) to two-candidate-preferred (Liberal v. Xenophon). Both seats are likely to remain with the Liberals.

I have also included Melbourne Ports in the list of doubtful seats. There is a possibility that the full distribution of preferences could see the Greens overtake the ALP and move into second place. ALP preferences could then elect either the Green or Liberal candidate. The incumbent Labor MP, Michael Danby, issued a how-to-vote card that placed the Liberal candidate ahead of the Green. This adds an extra complication to predictions for this seat.

Ten seats in the table all have a margin of close-to or less than 1000 votes. Most have a margin of less than 1%. Experience shows that a margin of 1000 votes is unlikely to be reversed by postal, absent and declaration votes, although this varies widely between electorates.

There is a case to be made that Forde is the only doubtful seat left, but such a judgment is somewhat premature. The picture should be clearer by the end of Wednesday, July 6, after the counting of more postal votes.
[Read more…]


House Of Representatives Undecided Seats: Latest Figures

These are the latest figures for seats that remain undecided in the House of Representatives.

The 15 seats in the table all have a margin of close-to or less than 1000 votes. Most have a margin of less than 1%. Experience shows that a margin of 1000 votes is unlikely to be reversed by postal, absent and declaration votes.

Of the 15 seats, the Coalition is ahead in 7, the ALP is ahead in 7 and the Nick Xenophon Team leads in 1.

On current counting, the Coalition and ALP each have a definite 65 seats, although estimates vary. If the Coalition were to maintain its lead in the 7 seats it is ahead in, it would have 72 seats, four short of an absolute majority of 76. If the ALP were to maintain its lead in the other 7 seats, it would have 72 seats, four short of an absolute majority. A government victory with 76 seats is possible, but the coalition will need to capture 11 seats from the list below. It cannot win Batman.

The seats of Batman, La Trobe and Melbourne Ports, in Victoria, and Robertson, in NSW, are not seriously in doubt. In Queensland, it is unlikely that Capricornia, Herbert and Petrie will change. In South Australia, it is not expected that NXT will win Barker, but very few votes have been posted as yet. Given the large number of pre-poll and postal votes, I have adopted an ultra-cautious approach to the list but I expect to be able to remove seats from this list in the next couple of days.

Significant new figures will not be available until Tuesday, July 5, when the counting of postal votes begins.

The table will be updated each day until all seats are decided. [Read more…]


Martin Ferguson Resigns From Gillard Ministry; Second Departure Today

Martin Ferguson, the Minister for Resources and Energy, has resigned from the Gillard government.

Following yesterday’s leadership spill debacle, Ferguson said his resignation was “the only honourable thing to do”. He voted for Kevin Rudd in last year’s leadership ballot and would have voted for Rudd yesterday if the former prime minister had contested the ballot.

Ferguson is the second minister to resign today. The Minister for Tertiary Education, Chris Bowen, announced his resignation this morning. [Read more…]