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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.

Note: This post was amended on August 8, 2016. The figures shown below are correct as of that date. They appear on the Australian Electoral Commission website.

Informal Votes – 2016 Federal Election
State Number Informal % Change Highest Informal
N.S.W.
287,079
6.17
-1.42
Lindsay: 11.77
Vic
172,169
4.77
-0.42
Murray: 8.84
Qld
131,722
4.70
-0.43
Longman: 8.53
W.A.
55,669
3.99
-1.39
Forrest: 5.86
S.A.
45,435
4.18
-0.67
Port Adelaide: 5.81
Tas
13,926
3.98
-0.06
Braddon: 5.23
A.C.T.
7,185
2.76
-1.07
Fenner: 2.82
N.T.
7,730
7.35
+1.05
Lingiari: 7.85
AUSTRALIA
720,915
5.05
-0.86
Lindsay: 11.77

The table below shows the 9 NSW electorates that recorded informal votes above 8%. All 9 of these were also among the 14 NSW electorates that recorded the highest informal rates in 2013.

NSW Electorates – Informal Votes – 2016 Federal Election
No. Seat 2016 Informal % 2013 Informal %
1.
Lindsay
11.77
8.21
2.
Blaxland
11.55
13.67
3.
Watson
10.65
13.95
4.
Fowler
10.41
13.93
5.
McMahon
9.89
11.35
6.
Parramatta
9.26
10.52
7.
Werriwa
8.76
12.87
8.
Barton
8.35
12.04
9.
Chifley
8.34
13.36

The table below shows the informal votes recorded by the seats with the highest and lowest number of nominations in 2016.

All of these seats have recorded informal voting rates at the top end of the scale, confirming once again that an increased number of nominations correlates with an increased informal rate.

Interestingly, the Victorian electorate of Gorton, whilst having just 3 nominations, the lowest in the nation, recorded an informal vote above the State and national average.

Informal Votes in Seats With High and Low Numbers of Nominations -2016
No. Seat State No. of Nominations Informal Vote %
1.
Lindsay
NSW
11
11.77
2.
Murray
VIC
11
8.84
3.
Longman
QLD
11
8.53
4.
Batman
VIC
11
7.78
5.
Solomon
NT
11
6.95
6.
Grayndler
NSW
11
6.73
7.
Dunkley
VIC
11
6.44
8.
Gorton
VIC
3
5.08

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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