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…]


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…]


Bob Baldwin, Liberal Member For Paterson, Announces Retirement

Bob Baldwin, the Liberal member for Paterson, has announced that he will retire at this year’s election.

BaldwinBaldwin, 60, won Paterson in 2013 with 59.78% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 53.86% of the primary vote. However, under the recent NSW redistribution, Paterson is now notionally a Labor seat, with a margin of 0.4%. Baldwin’s announcement is not altogether unexpected.

The abolition of neighbouring Charlton, held by the ALP’s Pat Conroy, led to Jill Hall retiring from Shortland, allowing Conroy to transfer there and thereby allowing Joel Fitzgibbon to remain in Hunter, which now absorbs much of the old Charlton.

The ALP has preselected Meryl Swanson to contest Paterson.

Baldwin first won the NSW electorate in 1996 but lost it at the 1998 federal election, before regaining it in 2001. The seat takes in Neath, Kurri Kurri and Williamtown in the south, and along the Hunter River and Port Stephens in the north. It includes Maitland, Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace. [Read more…]


Jill Hall, Labor Member For Shortland, Announces Retirement; Clears Log-Jam For Seats

Jill Hall, the Labor member for Shortland, has announced she will not contest this year’s election. Her departure eases the way for her factional colleague Pat Conroy, whose seat of Charlton has been abolished, to take over Shortland.

HallHall, 66, has been the member for Shortland, a coastal seat south of Newcastle, since 1998 and has served six terms. She is one of just three Labor members for Shortland, since it was created in 1949.

In opting to retire, Hall has solved a problem for the ALP in the wake of the NSW redistribution, which abolished one seat. The neighbouring seat of Hunter, held by Joel Fitzgibbon, effectively supplants the abolished Charlton, held by Pat Conroy. Fitzgibbon made it clear he intended to run again. There was speculation that Conroy might challenge Hall for preselection, or that one of the MPs might have to run against the Liberal MP Bob Baldwin whose seat of Paterson has become a notional Labor seat.

Conroy and Hall are both members of the Left faction, so Conroy can now move into Shortland without upsetting the factional balance. [Read more…]


2001 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 6 seats in the 2001 federal election where the primary vote leader was defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

Primary Leads Overturned After Preference Distribution
House of Representatives – 2001
No. State Division Incumbent Leader Primary % Successful Candidate Primary % Two-Party %
1
NSW Cowper Gary Nehl (NP) Jenny Bonfield (ALP)
32.31
Luke Hartsuyker (NP)
29.89
54.73
2
NSW Paterson Bob Horne (ALP) Bob Horne (ALP)
40.75
Bob Baldwin (LP)
39.91
51.42
3
VIC Chisholm Anna Burke (ALP) Ros Clowes (LP)
43.58
Anna Burke (ALP)
42.44
52.77
4
VIC Melbourne Ports Michael Danby (ALP) Andrew McLorinan (LP)
39.71
Michael Danby (ALP)
39.36
55.69
5
QLD Brisbane Arch Bevis (ALP) Seb Monsour (LP)
39.32
Arch Bevis (ALP)
38.23
53.13
6
WA Hasluck new seat Bethwyn Chan (LP)
39.33
Sharryn Jackson (ALP)
38.23
51.78

These statistics show the full force of the preferential voting system. Luke Hartsuyker won Cowper, despite polling only 29.89% of the primary vote, because he gained the majority of second preferences from the Liberal candidate. The Liberal candidate polled 15.95%.

Overall, there were 87 electorates (58%) where preference distribution was required to obtain a winner in 2001.

These 6 electorates where the primary vote lead was overturned after preferences indicates that a primary vote lead is the best position to be in to be sure of success. It is apparent that whilst a party or parties can win seats and elections on preferences, there is no substitute for being ahead in the primary vote.

Some people argue that these statistics demonstrate that we may as well introduce first-past-the-post voting, since most candidates who lead on the primary vote ultimately triumph. This argument fails to take account of the possibility that electors may cast different votes if they knew that their preferences did not matter.