Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [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…]


Seats Changing Hands At The 2016 Federal Election

A total of 19 seats changed hands at the 2016 House of Representatives elections.

The Coalition went into the election holding 90 seats and finished up with 76. It lost 17 (16 to the ALP and one to the Nick Xenophon Team). One seat moved from the Liberal Party to The Nationals. The Liberals won one seat from the ALP.

The ALP went into the election holding 55 seats and ended up with 69. It won 16 from the Coalition, lost one to the Liberals, and lost one to the redistribution in NSW.

As in 2013, there are 5 crossbenchers. The Greens and Katter’s Australian Party retained their seats, whilst the two independents (Wilkie and McGowan) increased their majorities. Clive Palmer did not contest Fairfax and it returned to the LNP. The Nick Xenophon Team took Mayo from the Liberal Party.

The 19 seats that changed hands represent 12.66% of the House. 131 seats (87.33%) did not change hands, demonstrating once again the stability and predictability of Australian voting habits and the narrow range of seats that change governments. In the 2013 election, 22 seats (14.66%) changed hands. [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…]


Which Seats Have Changed Hands So Far In The Federal Election?

This table shows the House of Representatives seats that have changed hands at the 2016 federal election.

Note: Counting has not concluded. Other seats may be added to this list in coming days. The swing percentages shown below may alter slightly. Details of the latest counting is here.

So far, 16 seats have changed hands. The Liberal/LNP/CLP have lost 13 seats, 11 to the ALP, one to the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) and one to The Nationals. The ALP has lost one seat to the Liberals.

The Coalition parties went into the election holding 90 seats, the ALP 55, with 5 crossbenchers.

In NSW, the seat of Barton, whilst held by the Liberal Party, was notionally Labor (4.4%), following a redistribution. The seat of Dobell, whilst held by the Liberal Party, was nationally Labor (0.2%). The seat of Paterson, whilst held by the Liberal Party, was notionally Labor (0.4%). [Read more…]


Wyatt Roy (LNP-Longman) – Maiden Speech

This is Wyatt Roy’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives as the Liberal National member for Longman.

Longman, a provincial electorate in the Moreton Bay area, was created in 1996 and held by Mal Brough until he was defeated by the ALP’s Jon Sullivan in 2007. Roy defeated Sullivan with a swing of 3.79%, securing 51.92% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Roy, 20, is the youngest person ever elected to an Australian Parliament. He broke the record set by Edwin Corboy in 1918. Corboy was 22 when he won the 1918 by-election for Swan. It was the last federal election to be held using first-past-the-post voting and Corboy was defeated on preferences at the 1919 federal election.

Prior to winning Longman, Roy worked as an electorate officer to a state member of parliament. [Read more…]