Final numbers for Queensland Senate

As mentioned on the previous post, the Queensland Senate count is now final and has been formally declared.  Following are a few comments on the some aspects of the final result.

The final quota required for a Senate seat was 345 559 votes. The Greens candidate was the one left short when the final seat was won by Labor. The Greens fell 33 645 votes short (or about 1.4%).

The most obvious part of the result was 5 of the 6 seats being won by incumbents, with the final seat being lost by the Democrats and won by the Labor Party. The last two elections have seen two Democrat Senate seats lost in Queensland – one going to Labor and the other to the Liberals. This leaves Queensland’s overall Senate representation at 7 Coalition and 5 Labor.

If this result is repeated at the next election, it would see the Coalition lose a seat to Labor, as they hold 4 of the 6 Queensland Senate seats that were not up for election this team. (Labor hold the other 2). Whether this would be a Liberal or a National seat is hard to tell, as there will not be a joint Liberal-National Senate ticket in Queensland at the next election, for reasons explained in this post.

Despite the commentary about Queensland being a disaster area for the Coalition, they still outpolled the Labor Party statewide in the Senate – 40.4% to 39.2%. That left a little over 20% of the vote for minor party and independent candidates. However, that minor party vote split fairly equally between left-leaning and right-leaning parties, who then preferenced back to one or other major party, rather than (in all but a few cases) ‘across the divide’. The ‘centre-ground’ minor party vote which existed a few elections back has now all but disappeared, something which will be accentuated by the disintegration of the Democrat vote.

There was still a drop in the Senate vote for both major parties compared to their House of Representatives vote. In Queensland, the combined Liberal-National vote across all the House of Reps seats was 44.5%, and the Labor House of Reps vote was 42.9% – both roughly 4% higher than their Senate vote. 

The Greens Senate vote was 1.7% higher than their Reps’ vote, and the Democrats was around 1% higher, which suggests that more than 3% of progressive people voted for Labor in the Reps but voted Greens/Democrats/Climate Change Coalition, etc in the Senate.  By contrast, the combined Reps vote of Family First was almost identical to their Senate vote at around 2.2% (a drop of more than 1% on their 2004 result). No other parties contested all House of Reps seats in Queensland, making any further comparisons difficult.

Pauline Hanson was the final candidate excluded from the count, and her 91 990 above the line votes flowed to the Labor Party, which was sufficient to ensure them victory for the final seat. These votes were number 50 on Hanson’s Group Voting Ticket, but they all flowed to Labor as the only candidate left in the count from the Greens had been numbered at 63.  The decision of Pauline Hanson to put Labor ahead of Greens on her effectively determined which of those two parties won the final Senate seat. Hanson’s final result of 4.19% was very similar to her 2004 vote of 4.35%.

Preferences were required to determine the winners of the 5th seat (Ron Boswell – Nationals) and the 6th seat (Mark Furner – Labor). Ron Boswell was pushed over the line by Family First preferences (as well as earlier preferences from various other right wing parties). The component of Ron Boswell’s surplus which consisted of Family First preferences then flowed on to Pauline Hanson, who was still in the count at that stage, which affirmed my pre-election statements that voting for Family First could end up meaning preferences following to Pauline Hanson (although in this case, not at full strength).

About 95% of Ron Boswell’s surplus upon his election flowed to the Greens, in line with the Coalition’s decision to preference the Greens ahead of Labor. The Coalition have always done this, but it is worth keeping in mind next time you hear a Coalition MP ranting about extremist Greens. If the Green vote had been 1.4% higher, they would have got elected on Liberal-National preferences.

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  1. It has been sad for you Andrew,but,it makes me laugh a bit how these matters worked out,and both Labor and Greens have very little to brag about,and , somehow I think some basic honesty has been lost to numbers and people wanting something as candidates which,doesnt really work for the voter.I am sure many voters of the many persuasions that took an interest in what you had to say,maybe if they were really interested in the result,disappointed your not there.More your personality than perhaps,all the problems of getting a set of policies that cover the diversity of Queensland opinion.The essential thing now for Queensland Democrats, if they want to continue,and I see no real reason why they shouldnt…is to poke your noses into matters the major parties find a difficulty with,and maybe a less friendly rivalry with the Greens,for more personal reasons than perhaps,the outwardly convergent sets of policies.Either way,I think the Democrats are winners…on a personal level..and Bob Brown pinching an old line from the Democrats,like before with others means the easy pickings for them are now well and truly over,and they bloody well better work harder.And I dont think they can,whilst many Democrats were willing supporters of Climate change matters it could still be pie in the sky,a careerists adventure,and, if that becomes a acceptance,a deep punch to the political gut of the Greens and the other travellers gambling against the obviously staid big monies.The jury is still out,apparently,on wether all this science,by the scientists isnt a personal failure of honesty in a dog eat dog world.The Democrats have done the right thing all along.

  2. Andrew do you think the absence of Democrat absence in the senate will damage the animal welfare cause? In your view, are conditions for farmed animals more likely to demise, improve or keep as they are?

  3. Andrew Bartlett:
    This doesn’t do you any good at all say this now and I am really sorry you didn’t get in [please stand again!] …. but the manner of your exclusion, and the exclusion of other worthy candidates, from the Senate shows the need to get rid of this very dodgy “election” process.

    Worse yet, the “election” of so many drop-kicks and other assorted Liberal-Labor-Nationals rubber-stamps to the Senate makes a mockery of this whole “election” process.

    There are obvious differences in style and formalities, of course, but I myself cannot see any essential difference between the new Senate here and what was in the USSR under Brezhnev or Spain under Franco. Naturally, there’ll be a lot of fine talk and pretend action – as there was under Brezhnev or Franco – but I don’t expect anything resembling vigorous democracy out of this new Senate; the quality just isn’t there …. but the yes-men are.

    So …. if we want a Senate that serves interests of the citizenry instead of those of the party and its backers, we must get a reformed Senate.

    The new Senate won’t reform itself so it is up to us, the ordinary citizens, to force reform on it. That won’t be easy and it will take a very very long time.

    We can make a start by demanding that the ballot paper be changed:

    [1] By having a draw of the names of all candidates, regardless of their party, for position on the ballot paper – such as is done for the House of Reps. ballot paper. By all means have the party affiliation next to each name but randomize the order in which the names appear on the ballot paper.

    [2] Have the voter make only ONE mark on the ballot paper …. a mark right next to their own favorite Senate candidate, regardless of how many candidates a particular party may field. If this means a major party fields several hundred dummy candidates confuse the voters then so be it [there are some bothersome ways of defeating that dirty little trick].

    Senate Reform. Now!

  4. Alistair:

    Labor and the Greens will wipe out our livestock industries to the detriment of our nation – because they are both greener than grass.

  5. Hi Coral

    Great. That’s the best news I’ve heard since I was born. I hope it’s true. Except for the detriment part, but I seriously doubt it, health wise, and environment wise.


  6. Labor and the Greens will wipe out our livestock industries to the detriment of our nation – because they are both greener than grass. (Coral #4)

    What makes you say that, Coral? I’ve never heard either party say anything about livestock. What sort, where and why? All livestock? I think that’s a broad statement to make without back up information. Tell me who, where and when?

    Personally, that wouldn’t make much difference to me, as I only eat white meat and fish. I’m intrigued though – what’s their policies, what’s the rationale? Climate change, methane gas or what? Cost, transport – use of energy and water? How come I haven’t heard about any of this? I listen to the ABC radio all day every day – weekdays anyway!

  7. … Those comments are even more intriguing considering Andrew is the only vegetarian politician amongst all political parties at present (I believe, and not good enough).

    Even Bob Brown is not a vegetarian.

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