family first to win 3 senate seats...

  1. 18,561 Posts.
    ....with less than 2% of the vote in any State the Family First party looks like winning three Senate seats.

    Bob Brown is screaming that Christine Milne, with 13% of the initial vote, looks like not getting a quota. Poor old Bob loves the system that puts him and 8 other Tasmanians into the Senate but doesn't like it when it works against him. Christine Milne will not be missed by me.

    Here is an article courtesy

    3. Antony Green's Senate details

    By ABC election analyst Antony Green

    Never in the course of political reporting have so many column inches been
    filled on the basis of so little information as has been the case over the
    last week in the conduct of the Senate count.

    Speculation has run rife on all sorts of mad theories about who will get
    up in each state. Let's cut through some of the rubbish published this
    week to set out the facts of what is going on.

    New South Wales

    The funny deals Labor did to try and save its third Senator have worked a
    treat. Most of the preferences directed towards the Greens were first
    sieved through Liberals for Forests. The result is that at the end of the
    count, the flow of preferences to the Greens has been choked off. The vote
    for Liberals for Forests has risen from 0.04 of a quota to 0.81 quota,
    Labor from 0.59 to 0.65 and the Greens from 0.50 to 0.54. With many Green
    preferences locked up by Liberals for Forests, the Greens are excluded at
    the final count, electing the third Labor Senator. The result in NSW, 3
    Coalition, 3 Labor, a gain of one National Senator at the expense of the

    Even if Liberals for Forests fall behind the Christian Democrats at a key
    count, Labor still wins the final vacancy.


    The Lead of Family First has been increasing throughout the week. On
    Saturday night, Labor trailed the Greens by 30,000 and Family First by
    40,000 at the crucial final exclusion. By Thursday night, those gaps had
    increased to 36,000 and 50,000. There are not enough below the line votes
    for this result to be reversed. The result is 3 Coalition, 2 Labor and 1
    Family First, a Family First Gain from Labor.


    There has been virtually no change in the count since Sunday. Despite talk
    of the Nationals firming in their position, there has been no change. It
    is just the National Party rang me to figure out what was going on and
    started to crunch a few numbers themselves.

    At a key point in the count, the National Party are 3,500 ahead of Family
    First, excluding Family First. This then puts the National Party 3,700
    votes ahead of One Nation, excluding One Nation. This results in the 3rd
    Liberal Russell Trood and the National Party's Barnaby Joyce being elected
    to the two final vacancies at the same count.

    There are an estimated 100,000 below the line votes in Queensland, so that
    means these narrow gaps could be overturned. However, on past evidence,
    only 2% of the National Party vote will be below the line, and about 10%
    of the minor party vote. That means the National Party lead at both key
    counts is probably greater than it currently appears.

    If the National party falls below Family First at the first key count,
    then the final two vacancies go to the Liberals and Family First. If the
    Nationals stay ahead of Family First but fall behind One Nation, the least
    likely scenario, then the final two spots go to the Liberals and the

    The most likely result is 3 Liberal, 1 National, 2 Labor, a gain by both
    the Liberals and Nationals at the expense of the Democrats and One

    Western Australia

    The most straightforward count. Liberal 3, Labor 2 and Green 1. A Green
    gain at the expense of the Democrats.

    South Australia

    There is still some fevered hope amongst the Democrats that they can sneak
    over the line. At a key point in the count, the Democrats trail Family
    First by just 2,600 votes. However, the Democrats have only got this close
    by ticket votes, which suggests the actual gap is larger. If the Democrats
    go out, the Liberal surplus puts Family First ahead of both the Greens and
    Labor, and then the Greens are excluded, electing the third Labor
    candidate. The state splits 3:3, Labor winning the seat previously held by
    Meg Lees.


    The weirdest outcome. The Greens start the count with 0.89 of a quota and
    only 4,200 votes short of a quota in their own right. However, if you
    assume all votes are ticket votes, by the end of the count, Family First
    win the final vacancy by 5,700 votes from the Greens.

    If it was not their original intention, someone in the Liberal Party will
    be claiming great foresight in standing only three candidates. The result
    is that a full 0.29 of a quota goes straight to Family First rather than
    lingering with a fourth Liberal candidate.

    You would estimate that in Tasmania there will be about 60,000 below the
    line votes. One evidence of past counts, you would expect their to be some
    leakage of votes out of all other tickets. It would be extremely unlikely
    that Democrat and Labor voters who choose to vote below the line would
    direct preferences to Family First ahead of the Greens. So expect the
    Greens to be picking up votes at all points in the count.

    However, assuming about 80% of the votes are ticket votes, the final
    vacancy is very tight. The Greens do receive two small ticket votes. I
    would estimate the Greens need to garner about 3,000 below the line votes,
    possible but tight. We will be waiting some time for the final result.

    Overall Outcome

    The most likely outcome is the Coalition 39, Labor 28, Democrats 4, Greens
    3, Family First 2. If the Coalition miss out in Queensland, the next most
    likely outcome has the Coalition on 38 and Family First on 3. The Greens
    then also have a chance of winning one of those Family First seats in

    So what chance Senate reform? There has been past talk by the Coalition of
    introducing minimum quotas for election. Well, that would be an
    interesting proposal, as Family First would have won zero seats under that
    scenario, and the Greens would probably have won the final seat in
    Queensland at the expense of the Nationals. It would be interesting to see
    the Coalition introduce a new system having used the old system to get a

    Senate reform should come. The most obvious idea is to get rid of the
    appalling Senate ticket voting system. Voters should be able to fill in
    their own above the line preferences, maybe in conjunction with optional
    preferential voting.

    I appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on electoral matters after
    the last election and warned that we could see results such as the
    victories by Family First. The same occurred at NSW Legislative Council
    elections in 1995 and 1999, resulting in the abolition of ticket voting
    for the 2003 election. The Commonwealth should look towards the NSW
    reforms as a guide for change.

    The current Senate system advantages parties that deal on preferences
    rather than campaign for votes. It is a system wide open to the final
    result being determined by backroom deals and errors in preferences. The
    sooner the system of ticket preferences is abolished, the sooner the
    Senate election will more accurately reflect the intent of voters.


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