Skip to comments.LIVE THREAD: Australian Federal Election Count as it happens
Posted on 09/07/2013 12:49:49 AM PDT by naturalman1975
We have had Live Threads here at Freerepublic for the count for the last three Australian Federal elections - in 2004 which ended in conservative victory, then again in 2007 which ended in defeat for the conservatives and a Labor government, and then again in 2010 which gave us a hung Parliament, where Labor continued governing with the support of the Greens and independents. This is the live thread for 2013 - polls close and the count begins in about 10 minutes.
Polls and exit polls indicate a victory for the conservative coalition under Tony Abbott is highly likely.
A primer for those trying to understand the Australian election.
First of all, the parties. There are two 'sides' that are really important.
We have Labor - the Australian Labor Party. These are the socialists who have held government since 2007 first of all under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, then under Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and now once again under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. These are the people that most Freepers would not want to see re-elected. They will typically be referred to as the ALP or as Labor.
On the other side we have a coalition (commonly referred to as 'The Coalition' as it has existed for a very long time now - since 1922) of conservative parties - primarily the Liberals (Liberal Party of Australia) and the Nationals (National Party of Australia), but also including the Liberal National Party of Queensland (where the two have merged) and the Country Liberal Party of the Northern Territory (result of an earlier merger back when the Nationals were the Country Party). The Liberal Party is the largest and its leader, Tony Abbott is the Leader of the Opposition. He was a Minister in the last coalition government (1996-2007) under Prime Minister John Howard. If the election goes the way we hope, he will become the next Prime Minister of Australia following this election. You may see this group referred to as the Coalition, or by any of the party names or initials - LP, NP, LNP, etc. From the perspective of most conservatives, a vote for the Liberals is as good as a vote for the Nationals and vice versa - they only rarely run against each other.
Australia's political system is largely based on that of the United Kingdom, with some elements adopted from the system of the United States. We have a Parliament with two Houses - a House of Representatives and a Senate - that are roughly similar to the US Congress, with the House of Representatives consisting of Members elected to represent local constituencies roughly based on equal population, while the Senate has an equal number of Senators representing each state (two 'Territories' of Australia also have a smaller number of Senators). What matters today is the election of the House of Representatives - the Senate is important, but it doesn't determine who holds government and the complicated voting system used there means we won't know its make up for some time.
So let's look at the House of Representatives.
There are 150 seats in the House of Representatives. To win government in your own right, a party (or coalition) needs 76 seats. So as the count progresses, that's the number we are looking for - 76 confirmed seats out of 150. Americans may find it helpful to consider this as somewhat equivalent to getting 270 Electoral College votes in your system - the magic number where you have won. Getting more is nice, but that's the bottom line.
So when people post counts, look for a 76 minimum in the Coalition grouping or a combined total of 76 in the Liberal/National/Liberal National/Country Liberal columns (more often you will see the former).
There are a host of minor parties - some of which are potentially relevant. First of all, there are the Greens. The Greens currently have one Member of Parliament, and they could well retain that - they will support Labor if it comes down to it, their support is part of the reason we've had a Labor government for the last three years (nobody got a majority last time, and the Greens helped Labor across the line). There are also a number of minor parties which currently do not have any seats (except on a technicality - I will get to that in a moment) but where it is possible (though not necessarily at all likely) they could win some today and become relevant. These are:
The tecnhicality I just mentioned, Katter's Australian Party - lead by Bob Katter. Katter was elected to Parliament in 1993 as a National, but turned independent in 2001, and has now started his own party. He is quite likely to be returned, and it's not impossible some of his other people might be elected. If necessary, KAP members would almost certainly support the Coalition - so if the election is close (much closer than is expected), KAP can provisionally be counted in our numbers as well - but they would certainly want commitments to some policies.
Palmer United Party - a brand new party, started by Clive Palmer, an extremely wealthy Australian miner who is currently planning on building both a replica of the Titanic and his own version of Jurassic Park (full of animatronic dinosaurs). He used to be a member of the Nationals and then the Liberal Nationals, but had enough disagreements with them to start his own party. Again, it's not impossible (though it is unlikely) they could become relevant today - but again, if it came down to it, the PUP would almost certainly support the coalition.
Family First - a generally conservative party (except on a few welfare and 'humanitarian' issues) with a strong Christian base. They've held representation in our Senate before, but never in the lower house (which is what I've been talking about here). It isn't impossible they could, but again is unlikely - but again, in a close election, they would probably support the coalition.
There are lots of really minor parties, none of which are likely to have any hope of being relevant at all. In the unlikely event they become relevant during the count, I'll explain them then. There could also be some relevant independents.
Short version - we want 76+ votes for the Liberal/National coalition. If we come in just under than number things get a bit more complicated, but may be salvageable.
ABC is giving a count - 76 seats wins the election.
Labor - 38
Coalition - 69
Greens - 0
Others - 1
Anthony Green (generally regarded as Australia’s best electoral statistician) is basically saying he’s ready to call the election for the coalition.
On ‘likely votes’, he already has the coalition at 75, only one short of a majority with Labor only on 42.
May help a little!
The ALP got what they deserved when drafted Beattie in, it looks like to me. I’m watching an interview with him on 7 now and he’s trashing his own party leadership. Amazing.
Thanks! I didn’t realise that both the House and the Senate used preferences. That being said, the senatorial method of letting the parties set the preferences still seems odd.
We borrowed the American idea of each state having an equal number of Senators - in our case it's twelve. Normally, half the senators go up for election at a time - so six in each state (there is a rare constitutional circumstance in which the entire Senate is reelected at once).
The Senate tends to have a lot of candidates - we had 97 in my state today, representing, I think 43 different parties, as well as a few independents.
We have preferential voting where you have to number the candidates in order of preference. Obviously with so many candidates this is difficult, so you actually have a choice - each party produces a voting pattern which they give to the Australian Electoral Commission, and if you choose to vote for that party (by simply marking one box 'above the line') on the ballot paper, your votes are allocated according to that pattern. So if you vote Liberal above the line, you accept your vote will be counted the Liberal party wants it to be. You also have the option of voting below the line - in which case you do have to number every box.
Now, six senators are elected at a time - so what they do is they assign a 'quota' of 1/7th of the votes cast to determine who is elected. After the votes are counted, any candidate who gets more than 1/7th of the vote is elected. Once that is done, if all six seats haven't been filled, then remaining seats are given to whoever has the most votes out of anybody who hasn't already been elected.
It's a matter of practicality - the number of candidates (my state was 97, and I know NSW was more than that) means requiring people to vote all their preferences means a lot of people would never finish.
Well they can but a lot of people this year have taken the option of distributing their own preferences by filling out all the boxes below the line in the Senate. I personally gave my preferences to people I think will stand up against the importation of the Islamic culture - it was my first ‘redneck’ vote and I feel damn good about it!
Anthony Green making his first actual total prediction.
Coalition - 93
ALP - 56
Others - 1
Evenin’ mite ... any thoughts ?
It’s a conservative landslide. Pure and simple.
The official AEC count has the coalition on 33, Labor on 11, 106 still in doubt.
What is the Palmer Party?
New party established by one of Australia’s richest men, Clive Palmer. He used to be part of the Nationals and Liberal Nationals, but had differences with them, so he started his own party. Doesn’t look like it’s worked out for him at this point.
May need to correct that - Palmer still has a chance of winning one seat (the one he is running in) and entering Parliament himself, although it’s highly unlikely any other Palmer United Party people will be elected.
With 13.9% counted, the Coalition is ahead 55-45.
Labor looks like it has lost 10 so far, and Coalition gained 12.
Labor’s primary vote is at its lowest level since the Great Depression, by the looks of it.
Palmer might just pick up a Senate seat in QLD.
It seems it is effecting some other elections as well.
Yes, Palmer United preferences may deliver some seats to the Coalition that might have otherwise gone Labor. We’ll see.
Care to recommend which news network is best for us to watch? I have found Sky, Seven and Nine online so far.