Senate Predictions: Tasmania
Russell Degnan

Starting then, with the most unpredictable of votes, and the most predictable of Senate races. Tasmania has spent most of the past 24 years defying the national trend, swinging Labor when elsewhere swung Liberal, and swinging to minor parties when elsewhere went for the majors. Until 1996 that is, when it fell nicely into line, voting in a roughly similar fashion to Victoria and NSW.

In the past two elections however, something very odd has been occurring with the major party Senate primary votes. Whereas Labor has 51.5% of the House of Reps. primary vote, they lose 11% of their primary in the Senate. Most of that is to the Greens (who poll almost a full quota), however not all. The Liberals actually recorded 4.1% more in the Senate than the House of Reps. in 2004 (an unprecedented difference). It is hard to see why this would be replicated again, but (along with the lack of any polling) is the major reason why predicting the major party primaries is so difficult. The graph below shows past movements, seat distributions and the prediction for next week.

Morgan polling predicted a massive 59.9%, but an 18% swing in major party primaries would take the result into totally new territory. A more reasonable (if large) 8% swing in HR primaries would give Labor 52.6% to 34%. Swiping off 11% (the same as in 2001 and 2004) for the Green vote makes this 41.6-34, or a 54% ALP primary proportion and 75.6% major party vote.

The Green vote in the last two elections was just short of a full quota, though polls put it as high as 20%. Given Bob Brown and Andrew Wilkie's personal votes, splitting the difference at 17% seems reasonable. Even should they fall short, preferences from WWW (1st on the ticket) and assorted independents will see them over the line. Above 19% the Greens are an outside chance of a second seat on Liberal preferences, but have Family First, LDP and DLP working against them.

The graph shows the likely range for the vote. Because the Greens have a full quota (or near enough to) already, there is only one seat remaining, and the dotted lines become crucial. There are few scenarios where Labor is not one of the last two candidates remaining, as they have close to 2/3 quota on the final seat.

Barring a huge Family First vote, in which case they may overtake them on DLP preferences, the Liberals are unlikely to pick up the last seat without 39% or more.

In the micro stakes, there is an outside chance that: What Women Want could use first place on the ticket (3%) and a Green (4%) surplus to get ahead of the Liberals/Family First and then Labor on Liberal preferences; or that Family First get a sufficiently high vote (5%) to take DLP (2%) and Liberal preferences (7%) and make quota.

Prediction

54% ALP Proportion of Major Party Vote
75.5% Major Party Primary Vote
3 ALP, 2 Liberal, 1 Green

Sterner Matters 21st November, 2007 22:16:24   [#] 

Comments

Senate Predictions: Tasmania
Hi Russell,

Have had a look at the GVTs for Tassy and the last three Senate elections as well.

Two dark horses emerge - Steve the Independant and the two guys from the LDP.

Steve (I) will flow to FFirst, yet the LDP has positioned themselves to catch most in the middle of the count. The What Wimen Want mobs is just a Green's feeder.

Interesting to note several GVTs have Wilkie above Brown for the Greens... mmmm...

People don't like political shoo ins such as two of the Libs are, who were never elected, but were appointed.

Be interesting to see which parties appear on page 3 of the major newspapers, either in editorial or advertisement on Friday.

People want something new and middle ground, not too left and not way right. The balance in NSW looks like LDP, even with less primaries than the FFirster's Steve Fielding 1.6% from last time round got him in on preferences.

Stranger things have happenned.
Stanley Steamer  22nd November, 2007 12:43:06  

Senate Predictions: Tasmania
Stanley, thanks for the comments.

The problem for both Steve (I) and the LDP is that they need to get to the middle of the count to get those preferences. And neither will have the primary vote or micro-party accumulation to survive that long.

With so many Tasmanian votes going Below the Line, any sort of preference accumulation is quite difficult as Family First found out last time.

The LDP is certainly better placed in NSW, but I'll leave comment on that until this evening. That race can throw up all sorts of anomalies.
Russ  23rd November, 2007 15:49:50