Senate Predictions: Western Australia
Russell Degnan

Western Australia is the most Liberal leaning of the states, with an astonishing 61% Liberal proportion, and having been somewhere over 53% since 1990. The decline of the Democrat vote has been matched somewhat by the Greens, and those two parties have shared the final seat over the past 6 elections. In 2004, the minor party proportion was substantially lower thnan the recent past, indicating the potential for a reverse next week.

Like Tasmania, the Liberal Senate primary overshot its HoR equivalent by 2.1%, though this is consistent with the past decade, indicating strong independents in the lower house. Polling in WA has been generally favourable to the Liberals, with a predicted swing of between 2 and 5 percent in the HoR. Morgan polling predicted a better result for the ALP in the Senate, at 39 ALP, 42 Liberal, or a 48.1% ALP proportion (major party 81%). However, this would seem to be at the outer limits of the ALP result.

Taking the HoR as a starting point, a 4% swing gives 39% ALP to 44% Liberal. Take 2.5% off the proportion, consistent with 2001 and 2004 (and a high Greens vote) leaves a predicted ALP proportion of 44.5%. A commensurate rise in minor party support, as discussed yesterday, would put the major party vote at 78.5%. The graph of this looks as follows:

The Liberals are not as safe as they might first appear for a third seat. One scenario point to their preferences being cut off and them losing out to the Christian Democratic Party who scoop up a long list of right-leaning preferences (including, crucially, the Nationals) once Eric Wynne (Group M) drops out.

Very few scenarios point to anything other than a Greens victory for the final seat however. It is possible for Labor to come second if the vote is in the far right edge of possible outcomes, but even then, Democrats and the Liberal surplus should be sufficient to get the Greens over the line.

Conversely, when the ALP comes anything but second, their vote (worth from a quarter to half a quota) propels the Greens to the final spot.

Ultimately, the final two seats will go to one right-leaning party (most likely the Liberals, but also the CDP or Family First), and to one left-leaning party (ALP or Greens). There doesn't appear to be any way for the Democrats or other micro parties to garner enough preferences to contest either.


44.5% ALP Proportion of Major Party Vote
78.5% Major Party Primary Vote
3 Liberal, 2 ALP, 1 Green

Sterner Matters 22nd November, 2007 02:08:48   [#]