Monday, October 11, 2004

Senate silliness

Whilst the numbers are looking increasingly clear in the house, in the Senate the result is still far from clear. Traditionally the process for calculating the Senate result is painfully slow. The AEC wait until every last ballot paper is inputted into its computer - twice, to ensure accuracy - and then pushes the button which calculates quota, preference flows, eliminations, and then the lucky six who will spend the next six years on the red leather. To get a clear idea of who will win what before the button is pushed requires a hard slog with a calculator, a mathematical mind, a pencil (with an eraser, of course) and far too much spare time available.

Fortunately, for much of Sunday I had these very things at my disposal (the ample product of all this is below), and here now is the way I read the Senate results:

Coalition 39 (21 elected this time)
ALP 28 (16)
Greens 4 (2)
Democrats 4 (0)
Family First 1 (1)

And here's how I got there, based on this information here at the AEC website...

VICTORIA
First preferences give 3 seats to the Lib/Nats and 2 seats to the ALP.

The 6th seat is a three way contest between the first Green, the third ALP and the first Family First candidate.

Because of the flow of preferences:
1. If the ALP are third, they will be eliminated and their preferences will elect Family First.
2. If the Greens are third, they will be eliminated and their preferences will elect the ALP.
3. If Family First are third, they will be eliminated and their preferences will elect the ALP.

At present, after the distribution of preferences and the removal of filled quota this is the way it stands:

Family First 0.70 quota
Greens 0.67 quota
ALP 0.59 quota

If these figures stay as they are, (1) will take place, and Family First will be elected.

NEW SOUTH WALES
First preferences give 3 seats to the Lib/Nats and 2 seats to the ALP.

The 6th seat is a two way contest between the third ALP and the first Green candidate.

At present, after the distribution of preferences and the removal of filled quota this is the way it stands:

Greens 0.75 quota
ALP 1.13 quota

If these figures stay as they are, the ALP will be elected.

QUEENSLAND

First preferences give 2 seats to the Liberals and 2 seats to the ALP.

The 5th and 6th seats are a four way contest between the third Liberal, the first National, the first Green and Pauline Hanson.

At present, after the distribution of preferences and the removal of filled quota this is the way it stands:

Liberal 0.69 quota
National 0.79 quota
Greens 0.53 quota
Hanson 0.51 quota

After Hanson is eliminated (gee that's fun to say), the results are:

Liberal 0.99 quota
National 1.00 quota
Greens 0.53 quota

The Nationals will therefore be elected in the fifth seat, and the small National Party overflow (you need to go beyond two decimal places, but it's there) will push the Liberals over the line for the sixth seat.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

First preferences give 3 seats to the Liberals and 2 seats to the ALP.

The 6th seat is a four way contest between the fourth Liberal, the third ALP, the first Green and the first Family First candidate.

At present, after the distribution of preferences and the removal of filled quota this is the way it stands:

Liberal 0.37 quota
ALP 0.58 quota
Greens 0.46 quota
Family First 0.53 quota

After the Liberal candidate is eliminted, the results are:

ALP 0.61 quota
Greens 0.46 quota
Family First 0.92 quota

After the Green candidate is elimated, the results are:

ALP 1.07 quota
Family First 0.92 quota

If these figures stay as they are, the ALP will be elected.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

First preferences give 3 seats to the Liberals and 2 seats to the ALP.

The 6th seat is a three way contest between the fourth Liberal, the third ALP and the first Green candidate.

At present, after the distribution of preferences and the removal of filled quota this is the way it stands:

Liberal 0.88 quota
Greens 0.74 quota
ALP 0.31 quota

After the ALP are eliminated, the results are:

Liberal 0.88 quota
Greens 1.05 quota

If these figures stay as they are, the Greens will be elected.

TASMANIA
First preferences give 3 seats to the Liberals and 2 seats to the ALP, and a small flow of preferences will give the Greens the final seat.

ACT
First preferences give 1 seat to the ALP and 1 to the Liberals.

NT
First preferences give 1 seat to the ALP and 1 to the CLP.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

hey ari,

type in:

www.ariontheweb.blogpsot.com

very funny

urban creature said...

I did the same thing with my friend Russ on Saturday night - and we pretty much got the same results as you - although we used a spreadsheet.

The Senate is one of those institutions Australians didn't take much notice of, and mostly didn't care about - blissfully unaware of its importance and with minor parties and independents protecting Australians from their government's absolute control for over 24 years.

I hope people will remember Jul 1 2005 when we go to the polls again in 2007-8. Providing we still have democracy then.