The 2013 Australian election

September 6th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

goes to the polls tomorrow and it is all but certain that Labor will lose office. They will be the first Government not to get three terms since Labor under Whitlam from 1972 to 1975. Most Governments are long-lasting:

  1. Coalition 1949 – 1972, 23 years
  2. Labor 1972 – 75, 3 years
  3. Coalition 1975 – 1983, 8 years
  4. Labor 1983 – 1996, 13 years
  5. Coalition 1996 – 2007, 11 years
  6. Labor 2007 – 2013, 6 years

The latest polls average the Coalition on 53% and Labor 47% on the two party preferred.  This would see the Coalition win 86 out of 150 seats according to an electoral calculator. It may end up more than that though. On primary vote Labor is averaging just 35% and it depends if minor party voters preference them as strongly as they say they will. The Coalition is more likely to win more than 86 seats, than less, in my opinion. But a complicating factor is how Katter and Palmer parties go in Queensland especially. Bob Katter is merely eccentric wile Clive Palmer appears to be actually stark raving mad, with his claims Wendi Deng spies on Rupert Murdoch for Chinese intelligence..

Also of interest is that Tony Abbott is now Preferred PM, narrowly, in the most recent polls. Rare for an opposition leader to achieve this. He even has a 2% lead amongst women in the latest poll. This is less a vote of confidence in Abbott than fading confidence in Rudd. Abbott’s performance has been generally disciplined but also erratic and how he will perform as PM is far from known.

The key states to watch are NSW, Victoria, Queensland and even Tasmania. Labor looks likely to lose seven seats in NSW, a couple in Victoria and three in Tasmania. Queensland may see Labor lose no seats, but if they do start losing seats in Queensland also then it is a massacre.

To some degree the real race is in the Senate. We are unlikely to know for a week or so how that has gone, as the priority on election night is the House count that determines the Government. But indications are that preference deals between very small parties will probably be effective and the Coalition may in fact lose seats in the Senate. Winning a majority there looks very difficult. That means that a Labor opposition will have to decide whether to block some of the Coalition’s policies such as repealing the carbon tax, or risk a double dissolution election in the future.

The Age has commented:

  • One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has a serious chance of defeating the Liberals’ intended finance minister, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, for one of the two final seats in NSW.
  • Family First, which won a Senate seat in Victoria in 2004 with 1.9 per cent of the vote, could do it again, with their lead candidate Ashley Fenn rated a 50/50 chance of unseating Liberal senator Helen Kroger.
  • The Coalition is odds on to lose a further seat in Queensland, probably to country singer James Blundell of Way Out West fame, running for Bob Katter’s Australia Party, but possibly to the Australian Fishing and Lifestyle Party, One Nation or the Australian Christians.
  • In South Australia, the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics are given a strong chance of unseating prominent Green Sarah Hanson-Young, even if they get as little as 0.15 per cent of the vote.

It looks unlikely but not impossible the Wikileaks party could even win a seat.

Here’s how the Senate may go, by state:

  • NSW – Coalition 3 (nc), Labor 2 (-1), third party 1 (+1)
  • Victoria – Coalition 2 (-1), Labor 2 (-1), Greens 1 (+1), third party 1 (+1)
  • Queensland – Coalition 3 (nc), Labor 2 (-1), Katter 1 (+1)
  • South Australia – Coalition 2 (nc), Labor 1 (-1), third parties 3 (+2)
  • Western Australia – Coalition 4 (+1), Labor 1 (-1), Greens 1 (nc)
  • Tasmania – Coalition 3 (nc), Labor 2 (nc), Greens 1 (nc)

Overall the Coalition need to win 5 seats to get a majority in the Senate, and this looks unlikely.

I’ll tweet ad eventually blog the election results on Saturday night, and also am on Q+A on Sunday morning discussing the Australian election, the Labour leadership race and Syria.

22 Responses to “The 2013 Australian election”

  1. Andrew M (69 comments) says:

    “I’ll tweet and eventually blog the election results on Saturday night”

    Thanks for this – given the expected dearth of online coverage the tweeting will be a godsend.

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  2. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Palmer has been hammered by the establishment. He deserves a fairer go. Here are his actual policies.

    Palmer United Party stands for and is committed in its efforts and vision to carry out the following functions:

    Party Officials should not be Lobbyists, thereby taking a strong position on Paid Political Lobbyists, saving tax payers dollars and introducing Fair Policies

    Abolish the Carbon Tax

    Revising the current Australian Government’s Refugee Policy to ensure Australia is protected and refugees are given opportunities for a better future and lifestyle

    Creating Mineral Wealth to continuously contribute to the welfare of the Australian community. This will be achieved by utilising mineral resources from Queensland and Western Australia, and incentives from the Commonwealth of Australia to establish downstream processing in the States of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia; and exporting products at a higher dollar value, thereby creating more revenue, jobs, tax and more facilities.

    Establishing a System where people create wealth in various parts of the country and for that wealth to flow back to the Community that generates the wealth. For example, if a particular region creates wealth, a significant percentage of that wealth should go back to the region.

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  3. tvb (5,514 comments) says:

    The liberal national party is on track to pick up maybe 4 seats in Queensland. Abbott is a highly calculating and disciplined politician. His so called gaffs which may offend the latte sipping set are part of a carefully calculated dog whistle. It may suit Abbott to have the Labor Party think he is a bit stupid but in reality he is highly disciplined and very smart man. It is Rudd who is stupid.

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  4. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Take my advice and watch this Clive palmer interview on the Today Show. Its probably the best bit of TV you’ll see today.

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  5. Griff (13,845 comments) says:

    Just what I would expect from a conservative.
    Ignore the fact that all these proposed value added industry’s are energy intensive.

    Australia runs on coal.

    Palmer wants to increase Australia’s use of coal when the rest of the developed world is moving away from co2 intensive energy. Trying to compete with the developing world is absurd. Unless they drive down labor costs to match. depressing the standard of living.
    Exponential growth is not sustainable it is a pozi scam. All the inputs are finite expect technology.

    Palmer seeks to disable the encouragement of. Distributed energy generation using solar wind and hydro transmitted to a smart grid.

    We should be pushing these technology now encouraging a expansion in our renewable energy resources.

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  6. tvb (5,514 comments) says:

    Further on Rudd. If the Labor Party were disciplined they would have got a third term probably. It was Rudd who sabotaged the 2010 election. It was Rudd who sabotaged the Gillard Government from the inside. Rudd is a disaster mainly caused by personality defects. Gordon Brown comes to mind and maybe David Cunliffe as well.

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  7. Ed Snack (2,795 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, Palmer’s economic policies are farcical, and sadly the man’s a buffoon. Not sure what it is about Queensland that throws up these oddballs…who get votes.

    His latest spray about Wendy Deng being a Chinese espionage plant on Murdoch, priceless !

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  8. tvb (5,514 comments) says:

    Murdoch has sacked Wendy deng so maybe Palmer is on to something maybe not.

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  9. straya (207 comments) says:

    Your senate numbers are crazy. I can’t be bothered explaining the numerous improbablities.

    Try this for potential outcomes:-

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  10. lolitasbrother (1,331 comments) says:

    Someone help me. They have a preference system. Ypu vote 1,2 ,3 4, interms of preferences .
    Lets say purley hypothetical
    Coalition 48%
    Labour 41%
    Green 8%

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  11. Harriet (7,531 comments) says:

    Our Labour candidate here in QLD appeared in court on Wednesday morning charged with driving while suspended – 3 days out from the election! She’s a bloody idiot. 😎

    Labour had stopped seriously campaigning in QLD a while back as they new from their own polling that they would get just 3 seats at best. Instead it’s just been photoshoots for the paper and tv with the line ‘Kevi is in Brisbane campaigning’.

    Rudd has had a shocking 2 weeks and a poll two weeks back had him at about a 50/50 chance of losing his seat.

    I’m going to go on record and say that he will loose it!

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  12. flipper (5,298 comments) says:

    There is a luddite or cave dweller above, and it is not Ed Snack. ” Bait” credits Palmer with more (of pretty much everything) than he has. An experienced and perceptive Australian observer emailed me yesterday after Palmer’s dipshit comments on R. Murdoch’s latest matrimonial bust up:

    “Don’t start your correspondent on Palmer. He is a gross, fantasy addicted phoney and yes, there is some prospect (just some) that one of his ‘people’ will be elected to the Senate for Queensland in Saturday’s poll. As a Queenslander myself I ask: what the fuck is it about us? We have this clown, we have Katter (the showman in the hat who holds a seat in FNQ), we have Rudd ( no commentary needed) and we had Bjelke-Petersen, a simpleton farmer (from Dannevirke!) who was also a crook. ” ***

    Says it all, really.

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  13. lolitasbrother (1,331 comments) says:

    sorry above would not let me editSomeone help me. They have a preference system. Yo vote 1,2 ,3 4, in terms of preferred candidate, party
    Lets say purley hypothetical
    Coalition 48%
    Labour 41%
    Green 8%
    tHE yOYO i WOULD LIKE TO FUCK Paula Hansen party 2%. [ rednecks ]

    Well from what I can gather the lowest number of votes gets struck off the list and the preferences redistributed.
    In this case lets say the Yo Yo people prefer secondly Coalition.
    Thats it deal done Coalition are over 50% . This means the second and third strongest parties do not have their preferences in.
    Surely the preferences of the top two contenders should come before the yOYO party.
    That is in fact of course you will get back to a similar situation as in NZ where Labour and Green support each other.
    This is how it all started apparently. The Country party split the Conservative vote so they made a preference system, where similar parties could back each other.

    Their system leaves green massively over represented in Senate, and who needs a Gree in the Senate

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  14. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Speaking generally (for a change) I think that QLDers have more independence of thought than those who live in the South eastern States. They don’t like to be told what to think by snot nose prog reporters and so called journalists, and they therefore go a bit rogue. That said, I don’t get Katter. He sounds like a complete clown. At least Palmer has some commercial accomplishments to back his judgment. A 15% reduction in income tax should attract some votes.

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  15. Griff (13,845 comments) says:

    Redbaiter 😆

    A 15% reduction in income tax should attract some votes.

    =vote buying.
    The budget has to be meet the tax will just come from somewhere else.

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  16. Keeping Stock (12,387 comments) says:

    Nice to see the unbiased talking heads on TV One’s Breakfast this morning going on about Tony Abbott being Australia’s version of George W Bush

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  17. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    =vote buying.
    The budget has to be meet the tax will just come from somewhere else.

    What a blind leftist moron. Thankful I choose to ignore this economically illiterate idiot on most occasions.

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  18. Griff (13,845 comments) says:

    As always the great El Guava has no rational input.
    Does the money to replace tax cuts suddenly materialise in the black column if you pray oh greatly deluded one.
    Or are you trying to suggest promising tax cut is not vote buying
    Unless there is an equal explanation of the saving or extra tax its facile nonsense.
    As is promising unspecified cuts in expenditure to make up the short fall.

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  19. edhunter (578 comments) says:

    Swings & Roundabouts the idea is you cut income tax by 15% = more money in pocket = more to spend = more GST to govt coffers.
    I’ll be handing out LNP propaganda tomorrow at a booth in the electorate that Rudd has dropped Beattie into, by all accounts Beattie was a popular premier in QLD but he doesn’t appear to have gained much traction this time around, & with the annihilation the LNP accomplished at the last State election I think the people want to see Federal & State working together not against each other.
    Also I dont think too many people will be preferencing below the line for senate, basically you have 2 options pick 1 person above the line, or preference everybody below the line you cant stop at say 4 you have to list all 87! in the order you’d want them.

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  20. SHG (429 comments) says:

    The Liberal-National Coalition is trying to maintain a strategy of “announce nothing, make no statements, make no media appearances unless absolutely necessary”. They know that people hate Labor and hate Kevin Rudd; all they’ve got to do is keep their mouths shut and Labor will get voted out. Polling day is less than twelve hours away and the Coalition has announced almost nothing about what it will do if elected.

    Of course, they’ve managed to fuck that up too.

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  21. PaulL (6,059 comments) says:

    @SHG: the Coalition have been amazingly disciplined, and have held it together well. The media have been looking for anything to pounce on, both because many of them are closet lefties, and because the campaign is boring and doesn’t sell newpapers unless they have something newsworthy. Maintaining discipline must have been incredibly hard.

    Remember that both Andrew Robb and Tony Abbott were part of the Hewson fightback campaign, when they wrote the “longest suicide not in Australia’s history”, which consisted of a detailed policy manifesto that was released 2 years ahead of the election. They all learned that early policy release and providing lots of detail just allows people to pick holes – holes that you don’t have to deal with when you release policy from government. They’ve quite logically learned that Australian voters actually don’t like detail, and that a low target is a good strategy.

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  22. SHG (429 comments) says:

    @PaulL – oh don’t get me wrong, I think what they’ve done is incredibly hard and they have on the whole been very disciplined. Tony Abbott was Hewson’s press secretary wasn’t he? Betcha he learned a lesson in message control with the “suicide note” episode.

    But this net filtering thing seems like a total fuckup, and Turnbull stepped right in it.

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