New South Wales election

Today the state of new South Wales has a general election.

All of the legislative assembly and half the legislative council face election. The assembly is SMDs, the council is elected by STV with the whole state as a single electorate. The LNP government is very likely to be re-elected, but a hung parliament or a an LNP defeat would almost certainly have repercussions.

As the opposition leader expressed it, if Premier Baird goes on Saturday night then Prime Minister Abbot goes on Monday morning.

The text above was written by Alan at a comment on an earlier Australia thread. But we might as well give the election its own space.

8 thoughts on “New South Wales election

  1. And here is a comment by Alan about the results…

    The results look like Coalition 52, Labor 32, Greens 3 and perhaps 4. The seat of Lismore remains in doubt with a slight edge to the Greens. The legislative council is still being counted. The Greens will hold 2 inner Sydney seats, which is not entirely unexpected, and the North Coast seat of Ballina where the Coalition Suffered a swing of 32% largely attributed to the importance of fracking as a local issue. Lismore is also a North Coasts eat where fracking matters.

    That is unhappy news for the Nationals who once owned the North Coast and have struggled since the early 90s against independent candidates. The election of 1 and possibly 2 Greens, in these traditional National areas is somewhat of a bombshell. While the Nationals have previously lost seats in these areas to independents they tended be former National candidates much closer to the profile of a traditional Nalional MP.

    Kevin Boneham notes:

    What is striking is the extreme variation in swings by seat, ranging from Oatley where the Coalition received a nearly 4% swing, to Ballina where the swing against is currently running at 32. I have the standard deviation of the seat swings at an enormous 6.7%.

    I suspect, but haven’t had time to check the figures, that the swings in country NSW tended to be larger than in Sydney which would be a reversal of the historical pattern. The 2PP looks to be around 54% to the Coalition.

    In other news the Labor government in Queensland has lost its majority after expelling a Labor MLA for his undisclosed criminal record.It is unclear if the expelled member will remain in the assembly.

    The federal implications are complicated. While Abbot gains in the short term, in the long term people wild raw comparisons between Queensland where the defeated premier had a leadership style very like Abbot’s, and NSW where the re-elected premier is much less abrasive and significantly more personally popular.

    Strange footnote, predictive spellchecking tried to force ‘feral’ instead of ‘federal’, which is odd because ‘feral’ is what Abbot recently called the senate.

  2. The legislative council results are probably the most interesting. With 21 MLCs elected by STV at each general election, the state as a single electorate, and an electorate of 4 907 575, it is far and away the largest STV election in the world.

    • I see “above the line” is allowed, so I suppose most voters use that option. If I understand the instructions for voters, it is possible to rank-order the choices above the line, and if a voter chooses to rank candidates (instead of parties or “groups”), it is necessary to rank at least 15 candidates.

      This seems much better than the federal Senate rules, but if most voters vote above the line, it operates more like a closed list than like STV. Do we know the percentage of voters who actually rank individual candidates? Do we know how often ranked preferences come into play in deciding outcomes–either for groups or for candidates?

      • The percentage of below the line votes from major party voters is usually about 1%, but 5-10% for minor party voters. Around 20% of all above the line voters exercise their right to a second or later preference. That has not been counted for this election yet. If there is a ‘Queensland effect’ you’d expect the number of additional preferences for above the line voters to be higher.

        Certainly one reason Labor’s loss was so devastating in 2011 was the number of minor party, chiefly Green, voters who only expressed a single preference in the assembly. The assembly vote suggests that has swung back, as it did in Queensland in January, so that would be likely to happen in the council as well.

  3. The lower house is all sorted, but the upper house is looking like a closer race. The results so far are 9 Coalition, 7 Labour, 2 Greens, and 1 each for Shooters and Fishers and Christian Democrats. This means that the Coalition and the Christian Democrats will have enough votes to pass electricity asset leasing.

    The final seat is a close race between the Coalition’s 10th candidate and the first candidates of No Land Tax and Animal Justice, with No Land Tax favoured at the moment. This is complicated by the fact that a computer glitch with the iVote online absent voting system meant that for the first few days, there was no above-the-line box for Animal Justice. This means that if the final result is close, and Animal Justice miss out, a court challenge could take place.

    Whether this will mean a new election is unclear. Antony Green points out that the Court of Disputed Returns in NSW can alter the names of the elected members instead of ordering a new election. This may mean that if a Liberal is elected to that seat, the Liberals might want to give up the seat to Animal Justice, rather than go through another election for all the seats, which would be an effective referendum on electricity asset leasing.

    • The final results in the legislative assembly were Coalition 54 (-16), Labor 34 (+14), Greens 3 (+2) and Independents 2. The 2PP was 54.32% to the Coalition. The Green gains were Newtown, an inner Sydney seat and Ballina, a North Coast seat where fracking is a major issue. The North Coast seat of Lismore, where the Greens appeared to be leading at first, now becomes the Coalition’s most marginal seat.

    • Animal Justice won the last seat, with a margin of 3177 votes over No Land Tax. Animal Justice was behind No Land Tax for much of the count, but a favourable distribution of preferences from Voluntary Euthanasia (1799 votes for Animal Justice, 711 for No Land Tax), the Greens (5631 to Animal Justice, 744 for No Land Tax), and the Liberals (1700 to Animal Justice, 1406 to No Land Tax). This makes the Animal Justice victory the second change in results under the new upper house electoral system caused by preferences; the first was the defeat of Pauline Hanson in 2011.

  4. Severely off topic.

    The ABC is broadcasting The Killing Season, a series on the Rudd/Gillard episode with the participation of most of those involved. Apparently it is not geoblocked. The URL should be

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