Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Polls are out of the starting gate

Heraldsun publishes a poll today as Victoria's election enters the arena

The Heraldsun has published a poll today showing that the Liberal Party can expect a 6% swing. Wishful thinking or a flawed sample. A swing of this magnitude is only recorded at by-elections or when a government is seriously on the nose. I do not think we the Bracks government is resented to that extent. Overall they have provided responsible, if not lack lustre, performance. But never the less a swing of around 2-3% could be expected. The 2002 election result was extraordinarily good for Labor.

Newspoll paints a different picture

Newspoll Sep - Oct 2006
ALP (43%)
OTHERS (11%)

Seats to watch include Prahran, Eltham and Melbourne (See below)


Earlier this year we did an analysis of the new upper house boundaries based on the 2004 senate vote.

Our analysis shows that the Liberal Party would most likely hold the balance of power in the upper house. The greens getting at best 2-3 seats.

If a credible vox pop poll was undertaken bade on the new upper house boundaries it would be possible to determine the outcome and the various thresholds following the publication of the registered above-the-line HTV cards.

When I first undertook analysis of reform of the Victorian Legislative Council we proposed dividing ten state into five electorates. (Two rural and three urban) Each electorate would return either 7 members (12.% quota) or 9 members (10% quota). This model was and is preferable to the current model that has been put in place.


The Greens will run in every seat. Public funding means that they need to maximise the dollars as much as the vote. They have an outside chance of winning the lower-house seat of Melbourne.

It is easier to win a so called safe seat then one that is within 5%. The greens will need over 12.5% of the vote with the Liberal Party pegged back to below 25% and all preferences favouring the Greens. of course the ALP would also need to poll below 50%.

The same goes for Liberal held seats as we saw with the
election of Phil Cleary in Wills and the independents in Victoria.

Additional issues surrounding the upper house election system

The method of calculating the surplus value is based on the number of ballot papers and not the value of the vote seriously distorts the one-vote-one-value principle as major party votes increase in value at the expense of minor parties.

Further the system of segmentation which was first introduced to assist in a manual counting process also effects the outcome and needs to be reviewed.

With computer based technology the surplus vote should be transferred based on its value of the ballot paper being transferred and not the number of ballot papers.

There should only be one transaction per candidate. (Elimination of surplus distribution.)

As a result of my efforts to take the City of Melbourne to VCAT following the 1999 Council election and appeals to the Victorian State Parliament, the Victorian Electoral Commission has indicated that it will publish the detailed preference electronic data-file following the declaration of the poll.

Unfortunately the VEC will not be publishing the detailed preference data-file it via their web site. Why?

In the absence of the VEC acting responsibly I will endeavour to publish tis data and provide a the link on this site as soon as I can.

There is no reason why this information should not be publicly available during the count. With the counting process now being undertaken in cyberspace we need to look at new ways of scrutinising the ballot. This only way this can be done is via on-line publication of the preference data during the count. The availability of this data would facilitate open and transparent conduct of the ballot and provide a means for further independent analysis and scrutiny without it is virtually impossible to independently verify the validity of the election. More needs to be done to ensure that the process is fair and correct.

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