Making sense of the polls

Making sense of the polls

Family First’s Bob Day wins last SA Senate seat in shock result

In SA, final Senate primary votes gave the Liberals 4.24 quotas, Labor 3.55, the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) 2.83, the Greens 0.76, One Nation 0.39 and Family First 0.37. 4 Liberals, 3 Labor, 3 NXT and 1 Green were very likely to win, with the last seat seen as likely to go to Labor, but with some chance for either Family First or One Nation, especially with Liberal How to Vote cards favouring Family First.

In the event, Family First’s Bob Day has defeated Labor’s No. 4, Anne McEwen, for the final seat. This means SA will return 4 Liberals, 3 Labor, 3 NXT, 1 Green and 1 Bob Day.

Day gained about 10,100 votes to McEwen’s 3,100 on the exclusion of the fifth Liberal, and then 13,100 votes to 6,800 on One Nation’s exclusion. He led by 7,800 votes at this point. Although McEwen gained on the NXT and Green surpluses, Day still won by over 3,500 votes, or 0.04 of a quota. SA is the first Senate contest where a candidate trailing on primary votes has won.

Day’s re-election is partly because he was able to win a large majority of right wing preferences, being the only viable right wing candidate. On the other hand, the more progressive or centrist vote was split between McEwen, the Greens and the third NXT candidate, all of whom were short of quota for the vast majority of the preference distribution.

The overall Senate is now likely to have 35 of 76 seats for Labor and the Greens, 30 for the Coalition and 11 crossbenchers. The Coalition will need 9 of 11 crossbenchers to pass legislation that Labor and the Greens oppose. However, Bob Day was the Coalition’s most reliable crossbench vote in the last Senate. If he is counted with the Coalition, they need 8 of 10 others.

NT poll gives Labor a crushing 64-36 lead

The Northern Territory election will be held on the 27 August. The NT has a unicameral legislature with 25 seats. All members are elected using single-member electorates, with optional preferential voting. At previous NT elections, compulsory preferential voting was used, but the Country Liberal Party (CLP) government changed to optional preferential prior to this election.

A MediaReach poll, conducted for the NT News 27-29 July with a sample of 887, has Labor leading 64-36, representing a 20-point gain for Labor since the 2012 election. Despite this, Labor’s primary vote is down 0.5 points to 36%, but the CLP’s vote has crashed 25 points to 26%. Independents have 21%, and both the Greens and Territory Party have 6%.

MediaReach has not been tested, but a private poll by this company had Labor getting a 12% swing in the Darwin-based Federal seat of Solomon; they won with a 7% swing. If this NT poll is anywhere near accurate, Labor should win the NT election in a landslide.

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