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: