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Twenty-three groups (with a total of 65 candidates) have registered themselves for the 2007 Senate Election in the State of Victoria.

Their Group Voting Tickets have been lodged with the Australian Electoral Commission.

The mysterious interaction of these voting tickets often leads to mysterious minor party elections: notably Steve Fielding for Family First in the Senate (after getting 56,000 first preferences) whilst the Greens didn't elect anybody, even though they got 263,000 first preferences. This happened because other parties favoured Family First over the Greens. When the ALP didn't have quite enough votes to get three senators elected, their excess votes flowed to Family First ahead of the Greens. Hence, the direction of preferences is important.

This year, the ALP sends its preferences to the Greens, then Family First and then the Liberal/Nationals. That's a pretty natural way for them to do it.

The Liberals go to Family First, then Greens, then the ALP. So it's line ball which minor party (Family First or the Greens) will benefit from the two major parties (ALP or Liberal/Nationals).

I've put together a table that gives a broad indication of where every party is directing their preferences if you vote for them above the line.

The idea is to look at two things: first, which of the "Big Four" parties is picking up preferences. I've selected the ALP, Family First, the Greens and the Lib/Nats, as the parties likely to pick up seats.

If you rank the four by who picks up preferences from others, you get the following numbers:
  • ALP gets preferences from 4.8 other tickets (the decimal is due to some parties having split tickets)
  • Family First gets preferences from 6 other tickets
  • Greens get preferemces from 9.3 other tickets
  • Liberal/Nationals get preferences from 2.3 other tickets

This provides a very rough measure: but when the count is being conducted, it looks like the Greens will probably be inching towards getting the last senator elected more quickly than the Liberal/Nationals (who don't seem to have many friends these days).

In addition, the table lets us see if there are any micro parties that are getting a lot of preferences from others: and who might thus, unexpectedly, get somebody elected. Small parties who pick up a lot of first or second preferences from other parties include:
  • Australian Greens (5.3 first or second prefs)
  • Carers Alliance (4)
  • DLP (4)
  • Australian Democrats (3)
  • Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile) (3)
  • Climate Change Coalition (3)
  • Family First (3)
  • What Women Want (3)

Those numbers are very unscientific. But if the Carers Alliance surprises everybody by getting a seat (or any of the small parties on that list - DLP, AD, CDP, CCC. FF. WWW), please remember that you read it here first.

My table lets you get a quick sense of the leanings of any smaller party. For example, "The Australian Shooters Party" would naturally be extremely conservative, right? Umm, no, not really: their preferences go straight to the ALP.
Senate Group Voting Preferences: Victoria 2007
Party Second Third Final Major Party Priority (ALP vs Lib/Nat vs Greens vs Family First)
Australian Democrats (Ticket 1) Carers Alliance Climate Change Coalition Greens (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Australian Democrats (Ticket 2) Carers Alliance Climate Change Coalition Greens (then Lib/Nats then ALP then Family First)
Australian Greens (Ticket 1) Australian Democrats Carers Alliance ALP (then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Australian Greens (Ticket 2) Australian Democrats Carers Alliance ALP (then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Australian Labor Party Australian Greens Climate Change Coalition (then Family First then Lib/Nats)
Australian Shooters Party ALP Christ. Dem. (Fred Nile) (then Family First then Lib/Nats then Greens)
Carers Alliance What Women Want Socialist Alliance (then Greens then Family First then Lib/Nats then ALP)
Christian Democratic Party (Fred Nile Group) DLP Family First (then Lib/Nats then ALP then Greens)
Climate Change Coalition Australian Democrats ALP (very mixed pref flow) (then Greens then Family First then Lib/Nats )
Conservatives for Climate & Environment Senator On-Line Climate Change Coalition (then Family First then Lib/Nats then Greens then ALP)
DLP Group T Christ. Dem. (Fred Nile) (then Family First then ALP and Lib/Nats interleaved, then Greens)
Family First Christ. Dem. (Fred Nile) LDP (then Lib/Nats then ALP then Greens)
Group I Australian Greens Senator On-Line (then ALP then Family First then Lib/Nats)
Group P (Ticket 1) LDP What Women Want (then Greens then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Group P (Ticket 2) LDP What Women Want (then Greens then ALP and Lib/Nat interleaved and jumbled then Family First)
Group T DLP Lib/Nats (then Family First then ALP then Greens)
Group V Australian Greens Australian Democrats (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)
LDP Group P Conserv. for Climate & Env (then Family First then Lib/Nats then ALP then Greens)
Liberals/Nationals Family First DLP (then Greens then ALP)
Non Custodial Parents Party (Equal Parenting) Carers Alliance One Nation (then Family First then Lib/Nats then ALP then Greens)
One Nation Family First DLP (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Greens)
Senator On-Line Carers Alliance Conserv. for Climate & Env (then ALP then Greens then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Socialist Alliance Australian Greens What Women Want (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Socialist Equality Party (Ticket 1) Australian Greens Group V (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)
Socialist Equality Party (Ticket 2) ALP Australian Shooters Party (then Lib/Nats then Family First then Greens)
Socialist Equality Party (Ticket 3) Liberals/Nationals Group I (then Family First then Greens then ALP)
What Women Want (Australia) Australian Greens Australian Democrats (then ALP then Lib/Nats then Family First)





PS: Compiling this table was a fairly manual affair. I might have made small mistakes. Please check the official voting tickets here before voting for any party.

Comments (2)
Anthony Holmes November 5th, 2007 04:37:09 PM

 Comments
1) Victorian Senate Preferences
Frank 6/11/2007 9:54:01 AM

Hi Anthony. Thanks for doing all this work - I checked out the AEC site yesterday and realised I'm going to have to have my strategy for filling in the Senate card all prepared (I prefer to vote below the line) and your little analysis will be very handy. Who to put last?: Fred Nile? DLP? Shooters? Libs?

Hope you're both well. Cheers F

2) Ahh, the choices....
Anthony Holmes 6/11/2007 12:44:59 PM

Selecting Last position in a Senate vote is always fun. The only problem is, only one person can come truly last.

I think I might dig around the policies of the minor parties a little.

In a daily email that I get from Crikey, there was a (paid) advertisement from the "Liberty & Democracy Party".: http://ldp.org.au

It said:

"Gay Marriage - Your choice, not the government's"

Which sounded interesting.

"Assisted Suicide - Your choice, not the government's'

Fair enough. That's a view that many would support.

"Land Clearing - Your choice, not the government's"

Hmm. That's a little ambiguous. Are they for clearing or against it?

"You pay too much tax"

I'm beginning to get an idea where these guys sit on the political spectrum.

"A gun for self defence? - Your choice, not the government's"

OK: that's sealed it. I've now got a VERY clear idea where this party sits.

PS: Crikey represents a very wide range of views, but I don't think LDP is really their political zone. They're just taking advertising - right?

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