WA Senate (92.89% counted)
The most critical count in the WA Senate race is the Shooters vs Christians, as I'm sure you will recall. If the Shooters lead at the critical point, ALP & PUP are elected. If the Christians lead, GRN & SPORT are likely elected. In essence, this represents a case of who will be the lowest out of these two parties when a mammoth 10-party preferred contest is considered. So it's not really who's winning, it's who's not losing. (Ten parties are ALP, GRN, LIB, PUP, NAT, LDP, HEMP, SPORT, SFP, Christians)
The way to consider this is as follows: For each ballot paper, count the highest preference of the 10 parties. Eliminate candidate with lowest vote.
Accordingly, this critical count position can now be estimated with different methods.
Method 1: All votes are ticket votes
Historically, this is the way that online calculators have estimated Senate outcomes. It tends to give false hope to parties that have successfully negotiated a preference snowball to attempt to get elected.
Applying this method, the Shooters currently lead by 413 votes. This can be seen on Antony Green's Senate Calculator.
Method 2: Only count locked in votes
This method has been used extensively by myself, and intermittently by others including the ABC, Kevin Bonham and others. This count deducts BTL votes from ticket votes received, so hence only includes:
- Ticket votes for the party
- Ticket votes for parties preferencing the party in question
- All BTL votes for the #1 candidate (or other critical candidate, if required)
- Most BTL votes for the #2 candidate, I have assumed 90%
- Unassigned votes, since almost all of them will become ticket votes once assigned.
Applying Method 2, the Christians currently lead by 48 votes.
Method 3: Include Locked in votes, but apply a modifier for estimated BTL flows
By my calculations, 94,457 votes for other candidates need to be reassigned. Of these, 85,419 are ticket votes with known preferences and 9038 votes are BTL votes with unknown, but estimable, preferences. We can further categorise the BTL votes by party ideology:
- Left: 5207 votes (58% of eliminated party BTLs)
- Central: 717 votes (8%)
- Right: 2260 votes (25%)
- Religious: 854 votes (9%)
After undertaking analysis of the 2013 Tasmanian Senate distribution of preferences, I have estimated the percentage likelihood of each of the 10 remaining parties getting the BTL preferences of each eliminated party. This analysis was crazily tricky, owing to different parties and different orders of eliminations. But making just a few assumptions at a couple of points I was able to estimate the vote transfer from each party or ideology, to each of the 10 remaining parties.
For the wonkish types, the full table is as follows:
Socialist Equality Party
Australian Voice Party
Secular Party of Australia
The Wikileaks Party
Katter's Australian Party
Family First Party
No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics
Stable Population Party
Stop The Greens
Animal Justice Party
Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
Rise Up Australia Party
To understand this, Smokers Rights has registered 599 BTL votes. Of these, an estimated 15% will flow to the Shooters, 5% to the Christians and 80% to all other parties combined. Given we are just after the Shooters v Christians gap, we can ignore the 80% that will scatter and focus on the votes that matter.
This means that for the current BTL vote, the Shooters will receive a net advantage of approx 184 votes, when compared to ticket votes.As far as I know, I think this numerical application of this method is unique. It takes the method 2 output (ticket only votes) and adds estimated net BTL flows between the two parties. This way, all votes are accommodated in a reasonable manner.
Calculation of the Method 3 modifier is as above, and this adds a net +184 vote lead to the Shooters, reversing the Method 2 lead of the Christians.
This is my first assessment involving a numerical and quantitative estimate of BTL votes. Currently, the Shooters hold a lead of 148 votes, now making it likely that ALP & PUP will capture the final two spots.
(I have previously analysed two other critical points: LDP vs PUP and AJP vs HEMP. These have been trending away from a "flip" such that the margins are respectively 1774 votes and 947 votes. I won't spend time discussing these tonight).