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New South Wales (Australia) will be holding a state election today, the 28th of March, to decide the make-up of its parliament for the next 4 years. Currently New South Wales is governed by the centre-right Liberal party and the rural National Party. The opposition is the centre-left Labor party.

The government currently commands a 61-23 majority in the 93 seat Legislative Assembly. At the previous state election in 2011 the Liberals and Nationals had returned 69 representatives but a lengthy series of corruption scandals caused 8 MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) to resign from the Liberal party. Six of these have remained in parliament as independent MLAs but most are not standing at the election and none are regarded any chance to win reelection. Two, in Newcastle and Charlestown, resigned altogether and their seats are now held by Labor after by-election (special election) wins. In Miranda a Liberal MLA resigned for non scandalous reasons and Miranda was also won by Labor in a by-election. Finally the Nationals won a by-election in Northern Tablelands after the incumbent Independent resigned over... corruption.  

NESWEM (NEw South Wales Electoral Model) is largely based off of and builds on Venom (Victorian Electoral NOminative Model) and my Federal model. Changes are mostly small tweaks to adjust for variance in variance between rural and urban divisions (districts). Like previous models NEWSEM takes into consideration the prior voting history of each electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling.

Voting in New South Wales is compulsory and uses a optional preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the Legislative Assembly.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal predictions, Nationals predictions are dark green, Greens predictions are light green, Independent predictions are grey. The percentages indicate the overall percentage of simulated outcomes where either the Liberal or National party wins the seat. The second column is the median two-party preferred result with the Liberal/National percentage first, that is Liberal/National-Labor.  

While there are currently no rural Independents in the New South Wales parliament, despite a long tradition, there is a strong possibility of the Nationals losing rural seats due to perceived National support of coal seam gas extraction particularly in the northern parts of the state. The seat in particular danger from an Independent is Tamworth. Lismore, Ballina, and Tweed are in more danger than the model suggests from Labor and/or the Greens. The Independents in the seats of Sydney and Lake Macquarie are both likely to win reelection and could support either a Liberal or Labor government.

The Greens could quite possibly, polling is non-existent, win Balmain, which they currently hold, and Newtown, which they nominally hold (that is to say if every voter in the division of Newtown votes the same way as they did in 2011 the Greens would win Newtown), Summer Hill is an outside chance if everything had gone right. The Greens are also very strong in Lismore and Ballina and have a chance of winning their first state seat outside of a capital city. The Greens would almost certainly support a Labor government if the later didn't reach 45 seats themselves.

NESWEM currently projects the Liberals and Nationals to combine to win 57 seats. However it is more likely than not that at least one of Tamworth, Lismore, and Ballina will be lost and 55 is more realistic target for the Government. With only 47 needed to form government this should be sufficient to see the current Government returned for a second term.

Discuss

Victoria (Australia) is currently governed by the Coalition, a permanent coalition of the centre-right Liberal party and the rural National Party. The opposition is the centre-left Labor party. The Coalition currently command just a 44-43 majority. There is also a single scandal-slicked independent, Geoff Shaw, who resigned from the Liberal party ahead of a vote to expel him earlier in the year.

The next Victorian state election will be held today, the 29th of November, and public polling has become very frequent, ReachTel, Galaxy, Essential, Morgan, Ipsos, and Newspoll have all released polling in the last few days, so it's time to make one last pre-election modelling post.

Venom (Victorian Electoral NOminative Model) is largely based off of my Federal model but has a few additional features to account for a recent redistribution (redistricting) and for systemic polling errors across the entire industry, this refers to an additional variable for accidental systemic bias not an attempt to unskew. Like the Federal model Venom takes into consideration the prior voting history of each electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. Venom calculates a predicted two-party preferred vote for each seat 30,000 times. Venom predicts a Labor majority government 90.4%, a hung parliament 3.8%, and a Coalition victory 5.8% of the time based on final polling.

Voting in Victoria is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the Legislative Assembly.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal predictions and Nationals predictions are dark green. The percentages indicate the overall percentage of simulated outcomes where one of the Coalition parties wins the seat. The final column is the median two-party preferred result with the Labor percentage first, that is Labor-Coalition.  

The column graph shows the number of simulations in which the governing Coalition wins a certain number of seats in the 88 member Victorian Legislative Assembly. Red columns represent a Labor government and blue columns a Coalition government. As Victoria, inconveniently, has chosen to have 88 seats in their Legislative Assembly it is possible for the voters to elect a deadlocked parliament with 44 members from each major party. As Victoria has fixed term elections this could prove to be rather problematic. This column representing this hung parliament situation is grey.

It is possible that not all seats will be won by either Labor or one of the Coalition parties. Current the Coalition are predicted to hold (both mean and median) 40 seats after the election, by implication this would give Labor 48 seats and a 8 seat majority. However...

The Greens have come very close to winning a number of seats in the past and on current polling would be considered non-zero chances of winning one or more of Brunswick, Melbourne, Northcote, Prahran, and Richmond. The Greens would almost certainly support a Labor government if the later didn't reach 45 seats themselves.

Whilst there are no rural independents at present in the Victorian parliament, despite a long tradition, there is always the possibility of unexpected victories. National held Morwell is perhaps the most likely seat to elect an independent as there is significant local resentment at the government response to a mine fire that burned for 45 days and dumped large amounts of toxic smoke on the town of Morwell.  

Finally I'll note that there is a chance that Ivanhoe will underperform for Labor as former Labor member Craig Langdon is running as an independent and directing his preferences to the Liberals.

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The next Victorian state election will be held on the 29th of November and public polling has begun to become more frequent, ReachTel, Galaxy, Essential, Morgan, Ipsos, and Newspoll have all released polling in the last few weeks, so it's time to update my latest model. Venom (Victorian Electoral NOminative Model) is largely based off of my Federal model but has a few additional features to account for a recent redistribution (redistricting) and for polling errors. Like the Federal model Venom takes into consideration the prior voting history of each electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. Venom calculates a predicted two-party preferred vote for each seat 10,000 times. Currently Venom predicts a Labor majority government more than 99.9% of the time based on current polling.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal predictions and Nationals predictions are dark green. The percentages indicate the overall percentage of simulated outcomes where one of the Coalition parties wins the seat. The final column is the median two-party preferred result with the Labor percentage first, that is Labor-Coalition.  

The column graph shows the number of simulations in which the governing Coalition wins a certain number of seats in the 88 member Victorian Legislative Assembly. Red columns represent a Labor government and blue columns a Coalition government. As Victoria, inconveniently, has chosen to have 88 seats in their Legislative Assembly it is possible for the voters to elect a deadlocked parliament with 44 members from each major party. As Victoria has fixed term elections this could prove to be rather problematic. This column representing this hung parliament situation is grey.
It is possible that not all seats will be won by either Labor or one of the Coalition parties.

The Greens have come very close to winning a number of seats in the past and on current polling would be considered non-zero chances of winning one or more of Brunswick, Melbourne, Northcote, Prahran, and Richmond. The Greens would almost certainly support a Labor government if the later didn't reach 45 seats themselves.

Whilst there are no rural independents at present in the Victorian parliament there is always the possibility of unexpected victories. National held Morwell is perhaps the most likely seat to elect an independent as there is significant local resentment at the government response to a mine fire that burned for 45 days and dumped large amounts of toxic smoke on the town of Morwell.  

I'll run a fresh simulation on Venom whenever fresh polling data is available.

Discuss

Victoria is currently governed by the Coalition, a permanent coalition of the centre-right Liberal party and the rural National Party. The opposition is the centre-left Labor party. The Coalition currently command just a 44-43 majority. There is also a single scandal-ridden independent, Geoff Shaw, who resigned from the Liberal party ahead of a vote to expel him six months ago.

The next Victorian state election will be held on the 29th of November and public polling has begun to become more frequent so it's time to unveil my latest model. Venom (Victorian Electoral NOminative Model) is largely based off of my Federal model but has a few additional features to account for a recent redistribution (redistricting) and for polling errors. Like the Federal model Venom takes into consideration the prior voting history of each electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. Venom calculates a predicted two-party preferred vote for each seat 10,000 times.  

Voting in Victoria is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the Legislative Assembly.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions and Nationals are dark green. I've elected to colour Geoff Shaw's seat of Frankston Liberal blue despite his current independence as there is a zero chance of his re-election.

The column graph show the number of simulations in which the governing Coalition wins a certain number of seats in the 88 member Victorian Legislative Assembly. Red columns represent and Labor government and blue columns a Coalition government. As Victoria, inconveniently, has chosen to have 88 seats in their Legislative Assembly it is possible for the voters to elect a deadlocked parliament with 44 members from each major party. As Victoria has fixed term elections this could prove to be rather problematic. This column representing this hung parliament situation is grey.

It is possible that not all seats will be won by either Labor or one of the Coalition parties.

The Greens have come very close to winning a number of seats in the past and on current polling would be considered non-zero chances of winning one or more of Brunswick, Melbourne, Northcote, Prahran, and Richmond. The Greens would almost certainly support a Labor government if the later didn't reach 45 seats themselves.

Whilst there are no rural independents at present in the Victorian parliament there is always the possibility of unexpected victories. National held Morwell is perhaps the most likely seat to elect an independent as there is significant local resentment at the government response to a mine fire that burned for 45 days and dumped large amounts of toxic smoke on the town of Morwell.  

I'll run a fresh simulation on Venom in the week immediate prior to the election in late November using the final polling data.

Discuss

It is now almost a year since the last Australian Federal election, which saw the centre-right Liberal/National Coalition defeat the governing centre-left Labor party and take a 90-55 seat advantage into the 44th Parliament of Australia.

Since then things have not gone especially well for the Coalition. By the start of December they had slipped behind in the opinion polls and haven't been back in front since. Polling looked particularly dire in the months following the handing down of a budget that was widely seen as deeply unfair for retirees, students, and low-income earners. Whilst they were successful in repealing the Carbon Tax successive Senates have proven hostile to most other reforms.  

In recent weeks a number of overseas incidents have dominated the news and the Government has narrowed Labor's persistent lead in the polls. Nevertheless my modelling gives Labor a 24 seat gain and a 79-66 majority in the next parliament. The model assumes that all five independents/minor party Representatives will hold their seats. The timing of Federal elections in Australia is not fixed so the Government is able to call an early election if they so chose, however a late 2016 election is most probable.

Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.

Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green. The percentage is the odds of the Coalition winning the seat. I've dropped the predicted two-party preferred vote for now, it's just a bit cluttery this far out from an election.

New South Wales will be undergoing a redistribution before 2016 where it will lose a seat. This is on balance better news for Labor than the Coalition as currently the Liberals hold most of the state's marginal seats and incumbents are stronger if they don't have to represent new areas.

In non-federal news my home city of Newcastle has had both its State MP and its Lord Mayor resign over corruption issues (envelopes full of $100 bills) in the last couple of weeks. So that's something.  

If Labor are to regain government at the next election they will need to make gains in Queensland. Eccentric billionaire Clive Palmer and his eponymous Party poll by far the highest in Queensland which presents a modelling problem because it's somewhat hard to say whether Palmer's United Party (PUP) is drawing votes from the Coalition or Labor and how these voters will direct their preferences. PUP's policies are broadly populist but also profoundly unpredictable. The party seems to draw mainly those voters who feel alienated from the traditional parties.    
Labor are unlikely to make significant gains in Victoria but polling doesn't give the Coalition much hope of winning back anything to counter-balance probably losses elsewhere. Freshman independent MP Cathy McGowan seems popular enough and I'd consider her likely to hold Indi.
Western Australia is the other state that will be redistributed before 2016, this time gaining a seat. This is probably good for Labor as the new seat is likely to be competitive. But you never can tell with redistributions.
South Australia is not a state of marginal seats. Labor will hope to regain Hindmarsh and maybe win Boothby but South Australia is not likely to be where a Government will be won or lost.
Labor won the two party preferred vote in Tasmania in 2013 and came home with one seat for their troubles. Gains are probable in 2016 but it isn't a big state and Andrew Wilkie has Denison locked down.  
I'm, as always, completely lacking in confidence that the model has the Northern territory seats correct but right now it seems plausible enough that Labor would win both Solomon and Lingiari. Labor is perpetually safe in the ACT seats of Fraser and Canberra.  
Discuss

This diary is an analysis of the model I developed to predict the seat-by-seat outcome of the Australian federal election held in September.

Unfortunately late polling released the morning of the election was somewhat worse for Labor than the consensus prior to that. My last full update used only the data available the day before the election. I mentioned in a last minute update that the model's final prediction was 91 seats to the Coalition and 56 to Labor but wasn't able to provide final seat by seat predictions due to time constraints (I work at Australian elections and the election day polling was released literally minutes before I was legally obliged to abjure posting on the internet). So this analysis post refers to the model's final prediction rather than my final posted prediction.

In reality the Coalition has won 90 seats and Labor won 55. However the Coalition also lost Indi to a conservative local independent and Fairfax to the conservative eccentric billionaire Clive Palmer (of Titanic II and world's-largest-dinosaur-park fame) so as far is the model is concerned the Coalition won 92 seats (the model can only actually predict if a seat will be won by the left or the right sides of politics). Therefore the model was, overall, off by only a single seat with Labor losing one more seat to the right then was predicted.

However the model purported to be able to predict the results and final two-party preferred percentages in each individual seat rather than merely an overall seat prediction. Therefore here are tables detailing the predicted Coalition winning percentage in each seat, the actual Coalition vote, and the model's predicted Coalition vote.  

You might notice that eleven seats are missing from the tables. These seats had a "non-classic" two party preferred vote so Labor/Greens or Liberal/National or Coalition/Right-wing minor party were the top two vote-getters. Therefore I don't know the actual left-right two-party preferred breakdown it these seats, yet.

Labor had a tough time in New South Wales and lost eight seats including three of the four tossups and one lean Labor seat. Labor did manage to hold onto Greenway easily even though the model didn't care much for their chances. This one was down to local factors, the Liberal candidate was incredibly terrible. It was embarrassing for them.  
Labor lost three seats in Victoria (including La Trobe against the prediction of the model) and had a very narrow escape in McEwen, which the model had rated as safe. Adam Bandt held Melbourne very easily for the Greens, in the end, to widespread surprise. The unpopular fire-breathing Liberal incumbent in Indi was edged out by a local independent in a display of the merits of preferential voting.
The media was talking about a wipeout for Labor in Queensland but the model always maintained they'd lose no more than one or two seats. In the end they lost two. Clive Palmer won in Fairfax and Bob Katter clung on in a shockingly close race in his personal fiefdom of Kennedy.
Not much happened in WA with no seats changing hands. The model did very badly in the Coalition seat of Canning with by far it's worst miss of the election (9.5 point miss, no other non NT misses by over 6).
Labor lost Hindmarsh but held the rest contrary to media speculation. It was the only seat the model believed to be in major danger.
Things did not go well for with Labor or the model here. I blame poor polling data. Garbage In Garbage Out. I mentioned frequently my lack of faith in polling for the territories (mostly because there basically is none) and doubt over the model's prediction there.

Labor had some bad luck in Tasmania. They won a majority of the two-party preferred vote but hold just one seat.

Overall the model was pretty accurate. Every seat ranked at least "likely" to be won by either party was (except Lingiari in the Northern Territory but I said not to trust that one) even though only 18 of 150 seats were regarded as a "lean" or "tossup". 30% of all seats were predicted within 1 percent of the actual result and a further 32% were within 2 percent (16% 2-3 percent miss, 14% 3-4 percent miss, 6.5% 4-6 percent miss, only Canning and Lingiari outside that).

Over the next six months or so I'll update the model for the next election cycle. There are data availability problems at present due to the probable fresh election for the Western Australian Senate.

Discuss

With polls opening in just a few hours there is universal consensus that the Coalition will defeat the Labor government and wield a sizable majority in the new house. My model is predicting a final result of 85 seat to the Coalition and 62 for Labor.

This prediction assumes Labor will not reclaim Melbourne from the Greens, the independents Wilkie and Katter will both hold their seats, and that the Coalition will hold O'Conner, Durack, and Indi from non-coalition conservative challengers.  

The next few paragraphs are basic Australian background and housekeeping related information. If you've read my previous Australian Election modelling diaries you might like to skip straight to the state breakdowns where you'll find the usual tables now include percentage chances for the Coalition to win each seat.

Currently Australia is governed by the Labor party (centre-left, loves unions) with the support of a number of independents (3 conservative, 1 Laborish, 1 idiosyncratic but left-leaning) and the Greens (progressives). The opposition is known as the Coalition, with an uppercase C as their coalition is permanent, and is composed of the Liberals (centre-right, hates unions, loves free markets) and Nationals (conservative agrarian socialists, loves protectionism). The Labor party need the independent and Green support as they do not have enough seats to govern in their own right (and in fact have less seats (71) than the Coalition (72)).

Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.

Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. It doesn't account for potential asymmetric swings within states (not enough polling data available). I'm interested to see how much that ends up mattering.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green. The numbers either side of the dash are the two party preferred percentages (Labor-Coalition). The percentage is the odds of the Coalition winning the seat.

New South Wales


New South Wales is the state where Labor is in the biggest trouble and will almost certainly lose the most seats. Seat based polling suggests that the Western Sydney seats are more likely to elect a Coalition representative than the model predicts. Dobell is also widely considered to be certain to switch to the Coalition for seat specific reasons, I'm ok with the model's numbers there though.

Victoria


The model currently predicts only modest gains for the Coalition in Victoria.

Things are going horribly wrong for the Coalition in Indi where the controversial Liberal incumbent is receiving a strong challenge from a local independent. I suspect the Liberals are going to lose Indi at this point, fortunately for them it is unlikely to effect their chances of forming government.

Both Labor and the Greens are claiming they will win Melbourne. It's a tossup.

The Liberals may win Mallee from the Nationals. A Coalition seat either way.  

Queensland


Queensland has big question marks over it given recent polling showing significant strength for Palmer's United Party (mining billionaire Clive Palmer has founded his own party and is running as a anti-politician, proudly ignorant of economics). The rise of Katter's Australian Party (an eccentric representative from the outback formed his own socially conservative/protectionist party) also makes things hard to predict.

Given Australia's compulsory preferential voting system it's going to matter a lot how these conservative party voters allocate their preferences. I'm going to guess everything is going to cancel itself out and the model will be pretty close but it is possible Labor's chances in Northern Queensland are understated and in Brisbane are overstated.

Bob Katter will retain his seat.

South Australia


The model predicts a status quo result in South Australia as the most likely result.  

Western Australia


I suspect the model is overstating Labor's chances in Canning and understating them in Perth. The Western Australian Nationals are not technically part of the Coalition and might win either or both of Durack and O'Connor.

Tasmania


Labor seem unexpectedly strong in this iteration of the model. Andrew Wilkie is likely to retain his seat.

Territories


I've little faith in the model's ability to call the Northern Territory seats of Solomon and Lingiari accurately, the polling is too weak.

Summary

Thanks for following my modeling of Australia's Federal election! I'm working for the Electoral Commission again at the election and won't be around tomorrow. I'll post a full review of the model's accuracy in a few weeks when the election results are finalized.

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Just one more week until election day in Australia and it appears clear that Tony Abbott and the Coalition will be winning government and it probably won't be particularly close. In the interests of not burying the results the model currently predicts the Coalition a 100% chance of winning government with a median seat result of 87-60 (3 independents). Coincidentally half of the Senate is also up for election and the Coalition will be hoping to, if not win control in their own right, at least help ensure the election of sufficient Senators that are at least somewhat friendly to their overall objectives.

The method of electing Senators is ridiculously complicated. There isn't, in my opinion, any way to realistically model likely outcomes. The subjectiveness of inputs, given there is no polling, combined with the byzantine nature of party assigned preferences, makes anything more than vague predictions unrealistic. So I'm going to suggest a potential range of outcomes in each state without assigning exact probabilities.

Each state is represented by 12 Senators. Every three years six of these Senate positions are up for election. All six Senators are elected out of the same pool of votes. Any parties or candidates receiving more than 14.3% of the total formal votes cast is elected to one of the available seats. In the event that all six vacancies are not filled at this point then we get into preferences (like the house, but way more complicated).

Preference allocation occurs in rounds. First the party with the lowest vote total is eliminated from contention. Then the votes gathered by this party are allocated to another party according to a list lodged by all parties with the Australian Electoral Commission a few weeks ago (or according to the voters wishes, if they are prepared to fill out as many as 110 boxes (NSW) in sequential order, not many people do that). If this process means a party has cleared the 14.3% threshold they are elected. If not then another round of preference allocation occurs.

There are a lot of parties running for Senate. It varies by state but often dozens run, most parties get almost no votes but due to the preference allocation system works it is quite possible to be elected to a Senate seat on way less than 14.3% of the primary vote. In New South Wales this year senate papers are printed in 7 point font and voters are provided with magnifying glasses so they can read them. It's not the best system.

The territories also elect two Senators each (at the same time as the House, don't wonder why) giving a total of 76 Senators. 39 Senators, one more than half, are required to pass legislation.

Currently the Left-leaning parties control the Senate (Labor, 31 seats; Greens, 9 seats). The Coalition have 34 Seats and there are two other Senators. The independent Nick Xenophon in South Australia and John Madigan of the DLP in Victoria. The Coalition would like to get as close to 39 seats as they can, but at the very least they would prefer Labor and the Greens are reduced to 37 seats or less so that they are unable to block legislation.

I'll talk about each State's Senate possibilities in each State's own section.    

As previously the model assumes that the Independent Andrew Wilkie in Denison, Adam Bandt of the Greens in Melbourne, and Bob Katter of an Australian Party of the same ilk in Kennedy will all win reelection. This is not an entirely safe assumption.

The next few paragraphs are basic Australian background and housekeeping related information. If you've read my previous Australian Election modelling diaries you might like to skip straight to the state breakdowns where you'll find the usual tables now include percentage chances for the Coalition to win each seat.

Currently Australia is governed by the Labor party (centre-left, loves unions) with the support of a number of independents (3 conservative, 1 Laborish, 1 idiosyncratic but left-leaning) and the Greens (progressives). The opposition is known as the Coalition, with an uppercase C as their coalition is permanent, and is composed of the Liberals (centre-right, hates unions, loves free markets) and Nationals (conservative agrarian socialists, loves protectionism). The Labor party need the independent and Green support as they do not have enough seats to govern in their own right (and in fact have less seats (71) than the Coalition (72)).

Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.

Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. It doesn't account for potential asymmetric swings within states (not enough polling data available). I'm interested to see how much that ends up mattering.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green.  

New South Wales


Things are deteriorating badly for Labor in New South Wales. There is evidence that swings against Labor in Western Sydney are going to be stronger then elsewhere in the state. The model isn't accounting for that (assuming it is true) and I wouldn't be surprised if Labor lose more seats in Western Sydney than is predicted.

In 2007 New South Wales elected three Coalition and three Labor Senators. Labor won't elect three senators again. The third Labor seat could be won by the Greens, or Family First, or the Shooters and Fishers, or even the legendary Pauline Hanson.

Victoria


The Liberal member for the seat of Indi (they are rather personally unpopular) is receiving a strong challenge from an independent. I've changed the rating of Indi to Likely Lib, though this is to reflect the chance of the independent winning not any chance for Labor.

In 2007 Victoria elected three Senators from both the Coalition and Labor. Labor will not poll well enough to repeat the feat and will almost certainly lose a seat to the Greens. The Coalition may struggle to hold their third seat against a flood of minor parties (they failed to win a third seat in 2010, losing out to the DLP (socially conservative, economically left-wing)).

Queensland


Labor are struggling in Queensland. Like everywhere. Seat based polling has even Prime Minister Rudd behind in Griffith.

Labor have negotiated Katter's Australian Party (KAP) preferences across northern Queensland. This will presumably give Labor a better chance in these seats (Leichhardt, Herbert, Capricornia, Flynn, Dawson) than the model predicts. I've got neither past election data, or polling, to help me model this.  

In 2007 Queensland boringly elected three LNP Senators and three Labor Senators. That won't be repeated. Labor have chosen to preference KAP ahead of the Greens in Queensland. They might not have many votes to give out though. Even so the most likely outcome will be three LNP, two Labor, one KAP. It remains possible the Greens could win a seat (Palmer's Australian Party is preferencing them). The Fishing and Lifestyle (they like fishing and outdoorsy stuff) and Family First (socially conservative Christian) parties also have very good preference flows.

South Australia


Labor are in danger of losing a seat or two in South Australia in the House. Also importantly Labor are in danger of losing a Senate seat.

In 2007 South Australia elected two Labor, two Liberal, one Green and the independent Nick Xenophon to the Senate. Xenophon is a moderate centrist who will work with both major parties and draws significant votes from them both as well. The general perception is Xenophon will again win a Senate seat in his own right but it's anyone guess exactly how he will poll.

I'm confident that two Liberals and one Labor senator will be elected from South Australia. I strongly suspect Nick Xenophon will be reelected. I've absolutely no idea who will win the final two seats. They may be both from the left (one Green, one Labor if they are). They might be both from the right (One extra Liberal, one minor random party (Family First and the No Carbon Tax Climate Skeptics (guess their policies) both have great preference flows)).

Western Australia


Previously the model had rather liked Labor's chances in Western Australia. This is no longer the case. I personally suspect the model may be a little too pessimistic about Labor's chances in Perth for candidate specific reasons.

In 2007 Western Australia elected three Liberals, two Labor, and one Green Senator.

Labor struggled in Western Australia in 2010. Even a fairly small swing against them could lead to Labor being reduce to a single seat. The Greens could also potentially lose their seat despite their traditional strength in this state. However both parties will under no circumstances lose a seat each.

The Liberals should be considered very likely to retain their three seats. If Labor or the Greens were to lose a seat that seat would be most likely won by the WA Nationals (who technically aren't part of the Coalition but would be nearly as good for the Coalition). It is also possible, though markedly less likely, a minor party from the right or even the Liberals could win the last Senate seat.  

Tasmania


Polling has Labor looking like receiving a huge swing against them. Labor may very well lose all of their House seats though there is still hope of saving Franklin and Lyons.

In 2007 Tasmania voted strongly for the left in the Senate sending three Labor, two Liberal, and one Green to represent them. Polling is very clear that the Liberals will be electing three senators this year. It is most likely that the Greens will receive enough of a primary vote to reelect their Senator, leaving Labor the remaining two seats. It is possible the Labor may be able to beat the Greens and send three senators again, but in my view less likely.  

Territories


Labor is probably in trouble in Lingiari and isn't very likely to reclaim Solomon. Though polling in the Northern Territory is of poor quality and anything could happen.

Both Territories always elect one Coalition senator and one Labor Senator. This could change this year.

In the Northern Territory Julia Gillard (when she was Prime Minister) declared that the long-time Labor Senator from the Northern Territory was to be replaced at the election by an Aboriginal candidate. This met with a mixed response. Even a small swing against Labor could lead to the election of a AFNPP (First Nations) Senator. It's also theoretically possible a Sex party candidate could win election.

In the Australian Capital Territory the Liberals have been living dangerously close to losing their senate seat for years. This might not be the election they finally lose their seat to the Greens (though their candidate cut down the sitting senator in a "primary" challenge and is way less moderate so maybe it is).

Summary

The most likely Senatorial outcomes in my view follow;

The Coalition would appear to be a long way short of winning the five extra seats they would need to win control of the Senate in their own right. However the Left (Labor + Greens) look quite likely, though not certain, to lose at least three (net) seats and control of the Senate. The putative Coalition government will likely be able to pass legislation with the assistance of a selection of Right-aligned Senators. It wouldn't be particularly smooth sailing but it would be much easier than if the Left were to retain control.  
 
Discuss

Last Sunday Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visited the Governor General and offered advice that an election be held for the Federal House of Representatives on Saturday the 7th of September.

In the first polls released following the Governor General's acceptance of this advice the Coalition have jumped out to an early lead, though most of the polling was actually performed prior to the election date being known.

My modelling now gives the Coalition a 77% chance of winning government in their own right (at least 76 seats in the 150 seat House). Labor have just a 0.4% chance of winning majority government (1.5% if you assume, as the model does not, that Labor will win Melbourne from the Greens). The remaining 22% of the time no party will have enough seats to form government without the support of one or more independent or minor party Representatives.

The median outcome is 78 seats to the Coalition and 69 to Labor.

This graph describes the chances of either party winning any specific number of seats.
Labor is in red and the Coalition in blue.

While in an election held tomorrow the Coalition would expect to win quite comfortably there are still four weeks to go until election day and Labor could, in theory, easily overcome the Coalition's lead in that time.

As previously the model assumes that the Independent Andrew Wilkie in Denison, Adam Bandt of the Greens in Melbourne, and Bob Katter of an Australian Party of the same ilk in Kennedy will all win reelection. This is not an entirely safe assumption and I'll talk about them again later under their respective state profiles.  

The next few paragraphs are basic Australian background and housekeeping related information. If you've read my previous Australian Election modelling diaries you might like to skip straight to the state breakdowns where you'll find the usual tables now include percentage chances for the Coalition to win each seat (rather than just general ratings) and maps showing which parts of each state are predicted to vote for each party. The state-by-state breakdown text is also updated rather than rewritten from scratch, there is only so many times you can say the same thing.

Currently Australia is governed by the Labor party (centre-left, loves unions) with the support of a number of independents (3 conservative, 1 Laborish, 1 idiosyncratic but left-leaning) and the Greens (progressives). The opposition is known as the Coalition, with an uppercase C as their coalition is permanent, and is composed of the Liberals (centre-right, hates unions, loves free markets) and Nationals (conservative agrarian socialists, loves protectionism). The Labor party need the independent and Green support as they do not have enough seats to govern in their own right (and in fact have less seats (71) than the Coalition (72)).

Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.

Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. It doesn't account for potential asymmetric swings within states (not enough polling data available). I'm interested to see how much that ends up mattering.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green.  

New South Wales


Labor holds a lot of seats in New South Wales by narrow margins (10 by less than 6%). Indeed it was Labor's ability to hang on in seat after seat in New South Wales that gave them the chance to form government in 2010. However now that it is 2013 even a minor swing against the government in NSW could lead to a massive loss of seats. Conversely whilst there is somewhat less upside for Labor should they receive a swing toward them there is a non-trivial chance Labor could end up winning seats in New South Wales.

Independents Rob Oakeshott in Lyne and Tony Windsor in New England have both announced they will not be running for reelection this year and the model now rates both these seats as safe for the Nationals. Both Independents supported Labor in the current hung parliament and the Coalition gain of these two seats is a first step toward the Coalition retaking government.

Scandal soaked Laborish MP Craig Thomson (union money, hookers) is technically running for reelection as an independent, for pension related reasons, though he will be receiving, within the margin of error, zero votes. Nevertheless Labor hopes to retain Thomson's central coast seat of Dobell with a less awful candidate and have suggested that internal polling has them ahead.

The model is bullish on Labor's chances of finally taking Gilmore from the Liberal party now that ultra-popular incumbent Joanna Gash is retiring. However it also considers Labor to be in considerable trouble in a good number of seats.

Victoria


Victoria voted rather strongly for Labor at the 2010 election, more strongly than at any other time since World War II, so Labor don't hope to pick up many more seats here. Indeed Victoria is a state where the Coalition will hope to make gains.

Polling still suggests a swing away from Labor and the model considers the Liberals to have a solid edge in Corangamite and Deakin but Labor looking good to hold on everywhere else.

Melbourne is the sole house seat held by the Greens and predictions will depend on which party the Liberals choose to preference. I currently regard Melbourne as lean Greens but if the Liberals preference the Greens it will move to safe Greens. Conversely if the Liberals decide to preference Labor Melbourne will become a tossup. The Greens released internal polling during the week showing them leading Labor 66-34. There were some issues with this polling (didn't use party names, only candidate names, and assumed previous election preferencing) and it's safe to say the the Greens will not win Melbourne by anything like that margin.

Queensland


Queensland is an interesting state at this election. Two new minor parties have been established on the right that seek to shake up the established order.
Katter's Australian Party currently holds the seat of Kennedy (which they will retain) and may be a threat throughout rural Queensland with their locally popular brand of agrarian socialism.

Palmer's United Party (or whatever it is called this week) has been established by mining billionaire Clive Palmer to... do something. I'm not inclined to think that it will matter much.

We really need to wait and see how Katter's Australian Party plans on allocating it's preferences to know what effect it might have in seats where it gets a significant vote but doesn't win. For now I've assumed it will preference the LNP (Coalition local name) in every seat and win nowhere except Kennedy, pending press releases or public polling (there is tell that this may be an assumption subject to change in future).

Labor appear to be struggling in Queensland after having earlier looked likely to win quite a few seats from the Coalition. If Labor can't do well in Queensland then they will not win the election.

This week Labor announced that outstandingly popular former Queensland Premier (the equivalent of the Prime Minister of a state) Peter Beattie will be standing for the seat of Forde. The model very likely underestimates his chances in this seat. It's a very unusual situation perhaps a bit as if a popular US governor from a decade ago decided four weeks before the election to run for a swing seat in the House.

South Australia


South Australia was a very strong state for Labor at the 2010 election but is still polling as if it will swing against the government this year.

The model considers that Labor is still ahead, though under threat, in Hindmarsh and Adelaide. The Liberals will still have to keep an eye on extremely marginal Boothby which could reasonably fall to Labor even in a statewide swing against them.

Western Australia


Western Australia voted strongly for the Coalition at the 2010 election and currently holds 12 of the states 15 seats. Both sides of politics hope to win seats in Western Australia this year. Currently the model is hugely optimistic for Labor in Western Australia. I'm not sure if this is just variation in the polls and will wash back out or the start of a real move toward Labor in the west.

Tasmania


With a population of only around half a million Tasmania should be entitled to only 3 seats based on population. However constitutional stipulations guarantee Tasmania five seats. All five seats voted heavily to the left in 2010 and Labor now hold four of the five seats with margins of at least 13.4%. The remaining seat of Denison is actually the most left leaning of all the Tasmanian seats and in 2010 elected independent (and former Green) Andrew Wilkie, with 21% of the primary vote.

The model can't really handle the unique situation in Denison but I have Wilkie listed as likely to win Denison once again based on the assumption that both the Greens and the Liberals will preference him once again and that he will beat the Greens on primary vote. Should either party announce that they will be preferencing Labor instead then Denison's rating will move to safe Labor.    

Territories


The Australian Capital Territory consists of two completely safe Labor seats (Canberra and Fraser), whilst the Northern Territory has two very marginal seats.

Solomon makes up the city of Darwin and will probably be retained by the Country Liberal Party (The local Liberal branch) but patchy and poor quality polling makes this a seat one that I don't feel as comfortable with as my model does.  
The rest of the territory lies within the Labor held division of Lingiari. The model considers it to be a slight lean to Labor and that seems about right to me.

Discuss

Everything has changed in the Australian electoral landscape. Kevin Rudd has been returned to the Prime Minister-ship by the same Labor party that deposed him three years ago. In doing so Rudd becomes only the 4th Australian Prime Minister to become Prime Minster for the second time. The most recent returning Prime Minister before Rudd was Robert Menzies who, having also been forced out of his first Prime Minister-ship by his own party, returned in 1949 and held the post for a further 16 years.

Since the last election in 2010 Labor have trailed constantly and by large margins in the polls. And until a couple of weeks ago it seemed certain that Prime Minster Julia Gillard would lead Labor to a defeat ranging somewhere between heavy and catastrophic. However...

Polling now indicates the race is neck-and-neck. The model's prediction in the moments before Rudd became Prime Minister saw Labor retaining only 38 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives. Now, two and a half weeks later, the model predicts a second consecutive hung parliament (no party has a majority in their own right).

Currently Australia is governed by the Labor party (centre-left, loves unions) with the support of a number of independents (3 conservative, 1 Laborish, 1 idiosyncratic but left-leaning) and the Greens (progressives). The opposition is known as the Coalition, with an uppercase C as their coalition is permanent, and is composed of the Liberals (centre-right, hates unions, loves free markets) and Nationals (conservative agrarian socialists, loves protectionism). The Labor party need the independent and Green support as they do not have enough seats to govern in their own right (and in fact have less seats (71) than the Coalition (72)).

Kevin Rudd has not announced when the election will be held, but the constitution dictates that it must be a Saturday some time between the 28th of August and the 30th of November.

A fair number of Labor members announced they would be retiring at the election in the days after Rudd was reappointed as Labor leader and I'll be discussing the effects of these retirements, and all other retirements, in this diary.

Voting in Australia is compulsory and uses a preferential ballot (this means that in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial) in single-member seats for the House of Representatives.

Finally before we get to the numbers I'll just mention a few details in regards to the model I am using. The model takes into consideration the prior voting history of the electorate, incumbent strength (where applicable), and public polling. It doesn't account for potential asymmetric swings within states (not enough polling data available). I'm interested to see how much that ends up mattering.

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green.  

New South Wales

Labor holds a lot of seats in New South Wales by narrow margins (10 by less than 6%). Indeed it was Labor's ability to hang on in seat after seat in New South Wales that gave them the chance to form government in 2010. However now that it is 2013 even a minor swing against the government in NSW could lead to a massive loss of seats. Conversely whilst there is somewhat less upside for Labor should they receive a swing toward them there is a non-trivial chance Labor could end up winning seats in New South Wales.

Independents Rob Oakeshott in Lyne and Tony Windsor in New England have both announced they will not be running for reelection this year and the model now rates both these seats as safe for the Nationals. Both Independents supported Labor in the current hung parliament and the Coalition gain of these two seats is a first step toward the Coalition retaking government.

Scandal soaked Laborish MP Craig Thomson (union money, hookers) is technically running for reelection as an independent, for pension related reasons, though he will be receiving, within the margin of error, zero votes. Nevertheless Labor hopes to retain Thomson's central coast seat of Dobell with a less awful candidate.

The retirement of literal rock star Peter Garrett in the wake of Labor's leadership change has had almost no effect on the model's rating of his seat of Kingsford Smith. The model considered Garrett a weak incumbent and if Labor nominate Senator Matt Thistlethwaite as their candidate, as is expected, their chances of holding Kingsford
Smith have in all likelihood increased (though the model considers Thistlewaite no stronger than a generic candidate).

Retirements of Sharon Grierson  (Newcastle), Greg Combet (Charlton) and Robert McClelland (Barton) are not rated by the model as presenting a particular risk to Labor's hold on these seats at this stage.

The model actually sees a little danger for the Liberals in Hume with the retirement of popular MP Alby Schultz.  

The model is very bullish on Labor's chances of finally taking Gilmore from the Liberal party now that ultra-popular incumbent Joanna Gash is retiring. However currently no other New South Welsh seats are considered particularly likely to change parties at this point.

Victoria


Victoria voted rather strongly for Labor at the 2010 election, more strongly than at any other time since World War II, so Labor don't hope to pick up many more seats here. Indeed Victoria is a state where the Coalition will hope to make gains.
Polling still suggests a swing away from Labor and the model considers the Liberals to have the edge in Corangamite and Deakin but Labor holding on everywhere else.

Melbourne is the sole house seat held by the Greens and predictions will depend on which party the Liberals choose to preference. I currently regard Melbourne as lean Greens but if the Liberals preference the Greens it will move to safe Greens. Conversely if the Liberals decide to preference Labor Melbourne will become a tossup.

Whilst Martin Ferguson's retirement in Batman offers no chance to the Liberals the Greens are talking about their prospects in this seat. The model isn't calibrated to deal with Labor-Greens contests but based on current polling I wouldn't expect the Greens to have any chance in Batman this year.

Nationals MP John Forrest is retiring in Mallee and the Liberals are running a candidate in the seat as well. It's unclear as to which of the Coalition partners will be winning Mallee, but it certainly won't be Labor.

Retirements of Simon Crean (Hotham), Harry Jenkins (Scullin), Nicola Roxon (Gellibrand), and deposed Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Lalor) shouldn't effect Labor's ability to hold their seats however the model considers Steve Gibbons' retirement in Bendigo to put that seat in a bit of danger.

Queensland


Queensland is an interesting state at this election. Two new minor parties have been established on the right that seek to shake up the established order.

Katter's Australian Party currently holds the seat of Kennedy (which they will retain) and may be a threat throughout rural Queensland with their locally popular brand of agrarian socialism.

Palmer's United Party (or whatever it is called this week) has been established by mining billionaire Clive Palmer to... do something. I'm not inclined to think that it will matter much.

We really need to wait and see how Katter's Australian Party plans on allocating it's preferences to know what effect it might have in seats where it gets a significant vote but doesn't win. For now I've assumed it will preference the LNP (Coalition local name) in every seat and win nowhere except Kennedy, pending press releases or public polling (there is tell that this may be an assumption subject to change in future).

Queensland is the state where Rudd's return has boosted Labor stocks the most. The night of the leadership spill Labor were in serious danger of losing every seat in the state. Now Labor looks more likely to win seats, and indeed will have to win seats if they are going to retain government. Nevertheless the model doesn't currently have Labor favoured to win any specific Queensland seat, though they are very close in a large number of seats and it wouldn't take much extra movement in the polls for the model to favour Labor in as many as 8 or 9 LNP held seats.

The seat of Fisher is listed as currently held by the LNP as Peter Slipper, its turncoat MP, was elected as a member of that party. Slipper is not recontesting his seat. The Liberals are running former Howard government minister Mal Brough who is under a bit of an ethics cloud for allegedly conspiring to ruin Peter Slipper's career by helping to bring false charges of sexual harassment against him.

Craig Emerson's sudden retirement in Rankin isn't considered by the model to be a problem for Labor given the statewide swing toward them but the retirement of Kirsten Livermore in Capricornia could be more of a concern given her very strong local popularity.

The model doesn't consider Alex Somlyay (Fairfax) to be a particularly strong representative and his retirement shouldn't make the situation worse for the Liberals in his seat.

Paul Neville's retirement pulls Hinkler just onto the edge of competitive.

South Australia


South Australia was a very strong state for Labor at the 2010 election but is still polling as if it will swing against the government this year.
The model considers that Labor is still ahead, though under threat, in Hindmarsh and Adelaide. The Liberals will still have to keep an eye on extremely marginal Boothby.

Western Australia

Western Australia voted strongly for the Coalition at the 2010 election and currently hold 12 of the states 15 seats. Both sides of politics hope to win seats in Western Australia this year.

Liberal Barry Haase in Durack and National Tony Crook in O'Connor are both retiring from their vast rural electorates (Durack is about the size of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado put together, O'Connor is larger than Texas and Oklahoma combined) and as the Western Australian Nationals and Liberals don't get on very well
at all (though they do govern the state of Western Australia in a coalition) both parties will be running candidates in both seats. The results should be close but as the model doesn't do Liberal/National match-ups both seats are labeled as safe for their incumbent parties to reflect that Labor will not be winning either.

Long-time Perth MP Stephen Smith is retiring and this will make the seat tough for Labor to hold. Fortunately for Labor they have popular former state minister Alannah MacTiernan running in Smith's stead.

Moderate and popular Liberals Judi Moylan (Pearce) and Mal Washer (Moore) are retiring and the Liberal party are running considerably more conservative candidates in their place. Probably this won't matter except to the margins but particularly Pearce could start to look very close if Labor can get a statewide swing in Western Australia.

Tasmania

With a population of only around half a million Tasmania should be entitled to only 3 seats based on population. However constitutional stipulations guarantee Tasmania five seats. All five seats voted heavily to the left in 2010 and Labor now hold four of the five seats with margins of at least 13.4%. The remaining seat of Denison is actually the most left leaning of all the Tasmanian seats and in 2010 elected independent (and former Green) Andrew Wilkie, with 21% of the primary vote.

However whilst polling in Tasmania looks grim for state Labor (which together with the Greens governs Tasmania at the state level) polling now suggests the federal swing against Labor may not be particularly bad.

The model currently has Labor favoured in each of the four seats it currently holds (more so in the southern seats of Lyons and Franklin than in the northern seats of Bass and Braddon).

The model can't really handle the unique situation in Denison but I have Wilkie listed as likely to win Denison once again based on the assumption that both the Greens and the Liberals will preference him once again and that he will beat the Greens on primary vote. Should either party announce that they will be preferencing Labor instead then Denison's rating will move to safe Labor.    

Territories


The Australian Capital Territory consists of two completely safe Labor seats (Canberra and Fraser), whilst the Northern Territory has two very marginal seats.
Solomon makes up the city of Darwin and will probably be retained by the Country Liberal Party (The local Liberal branch) but patchy and poor quality polling makes this a seat one that I don't feel as comfortable with as my model does.  

The rest of the territory lies within the Labor held division of Lingiari. The model considers it to be a slight lean to Labor and that seems about right to me.

Summary


This pie chart graphically represents the model's current prediction of the composition of the Australian House of Representatives after the election. Numerically, assuming all leaning seats fall their predicted directions and tossups split down the middle there would be a second consecutive hung parliament in Australia with Labor winning 73 seats and the Coalition 74 seats. The three other winners would have to determine which side of politics would govern for the next three years, or force a fresh election to be held.

Of course there is still plenty of time for either major party to convince the electorate and secure a vote that will allow them to govern in their own right.

Discuss

In just 15 weeks Australia will hold a federal election. Polling has universally condemned the incumbent Labor minority government (left leaning major party) to a landslide defeat at the hands of the Coalition (permanent coalition of right leaning Liberal and National parties).

Despite Australia having one of the strongest economies in the developed world the Labor government has developed an aura of fiscal mismanagement and much of the electorate feels betrayed by the implementation a carbon tax that they feel wasn't explicitly campaigned for at the last federal election in 2010.

I have developed a model that aims to establish the base partisan lean of each electorate and attempt to accurately predict which electoral division will send a member of each party to parliament.

Australia's House of Representatives (based on the American model) currently (thought not constitutionally) has 150 seats apportioned to each state and territory based, more or less, on population.

Australia uses mandatory preferential voting, which means voters must rank all candidates by the order of their preference. This means the in certain seats the way parties direct their supporters to allocate their preferences will be crucial.  

Tables in this diary are colour coded. Shades of red reflect Labor held seats and predictions, shades of blue represent Liberal held seats and predictions (the occasionally different party names and abbreviations are courtesy of local party branches having inconsistent names), independents are grey, Greens are light green (shocker), and Nationals are dark green.  


New South Wales


Labor holds a lot of seats in New South Wales by narrow margins (10 by less than 6%). Indeed it was Labor's ability to hang on in seat after seat in New South Wales that gave them the chance to form government in 2010. However now that it is 2013 even a minor swing against the government in NSW could lead to a massive loss of seats.

I've listed independent MP Craig Thomson's seat of Dobell as Labor held as that was the party he was elected as a member of and he only resigned for technical (parliamentary pension related) reasons. Thomson is a 0% chance of reelection.

The model currently gives five seats to the Liberals and sees another four as tossups. If Labor are going to keep this election close they absolutely have to close the gap in NSW.

Two rural seats in Northern NSW are held by independents who controversially chose to install the Labor government instead of a potential Liberal-National government despite the conservative lean of their electorates. Popular opinion says they will both be swept out of parliament but polling has been inconclusive and I'm leaving them as tossups until closer to the election.    


Victoria


Victoria voted rather strongly for Labor at the 2010 election, more strongly than at any other time since World War II, so Labor wouldn't have hoped to pick up many more seats here.
However polling suggests a swing away from Labor and the model considers Corangamite and Deakin to probably be lost but somewhat surprisingly Labor could hold on everywhere else.

Melbourne is the sole house seat held by the Greens and predictions will depend on which party the Liberals choose to preference. I currently regard Melbourne as lean Greens but if the Liberals preference the Greens it will move to safe Greens. Conversely if the Liberals decide to preference Labor Melbourne will become a tossup.



Queensland


Queensland is an interesting state at this election. Two new minor parties have been established on the right that seek to shake up the established order.
Katter's Australian Party currently holds the seat of Kennedy (which they will retain) and may be a threat throughout rural Queensland with their locally popular brand of Agrarian Socialism.
Palmer's United Party (or whatever it is called this week) has been established by mining billionaire Clive Palmer to... do something. I'm not inclined to think that it will matter much.
We really need to wait and see how Katter's Australian Party plans on allocating it's preferences to know what effect it might have in seats where it gets a significant vote but doesn't win. For now I've assumed it will preference the LNP (Coalition local name) in every seat and win nowhere except Kennedy, pending press releases or public polling.
Currently the model predicts Labor to hold four of their seats, be a tossup in two more, and lose two seats to the LNP. But things could go very wrong for Labor in Queensland and a small extra swing could cost them every seat, apart from Griffith which is only safe because of the unbelievable popularity of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.  

The seat of Fisher is listed as currently held by the LNP as Peter Slipper, its turncoat MP, was elected as a member of that party.  


South Australia


South Australia was a very strong state for Labor at the 2010 election but is polling as if it will swing very hard against the government this year.
The model considers that Labor are now behind in Hindmarsh and in considerable trouble in Adelaide.


Western Australia


Western Australia voted strongly for the Coalition at the 2010 election and currently hold 12 of the states 15 seats so you might think that this would be one state the the coalition would be mainly playing defence. However the Labor government's tax on unusually large mining profits continues to be received less than well by Western Australian voters and it is Labor's three remaining seats (all urban seats near inner city Perth) that are under threat.
Labor are still fairly well situated to hold onto their few remaining WA seats but have no real opportunities to pick up extra seats in a state that they should have had some real chances.

The seat of O'Connor is listed at safe for the Western Australian Nationals but it absolutely is not. The incumbent member, Tony Crook, is retiring and the Liberals will make a strong push to recover the seat. For local reasons the Western Australian Nationals and the Liberals are not in a coalition at the federal level (though they are at the state level). However, Labor are absolutely no chance at winning the seat so it is most accurately listed as safe.


Tasmania


With a population of only around half a million Tasmania should be entitled to only 3 seats based on population. However constitutional stipulations guarantee Tasmania five seats. All five seats voted heavily to the left in 2010 and Labor now hold four of the five seats with margins of at least 13.4%. The remaining seat of Denison is actually the most left leaning of all the Tasmanian seats and in 2010 elected independent (and former Green) Andrew Wilkie, with 21% of the primary vote.
However a recession stricken Tasmania has moved against Labor and the Greens (who jointly govern Tasmania at the state level, albeit hampered by a frequently hostile state senate) and what polling exists uniformly suggests that there will be a strong swing toward the Liberals at the election.
The model currently has Labor somewhat favoured in the southern seats of Lyons and Franklin but in a tossup in the northern seats of Bass and Braddon. There is talk that movement away from Labor is concentrated in the north but no reliable polling exists to confirm this.

I have Wilkie as likely to win Denison once again based on the assumption that both the Greens and the Liberals will preference him once again and that he will beat the Greens on primary vote. Should either party announce that they will be preferencing Labor instead then Denison's rating will move to safe Labor.    


Territories


The Australian Capital Territory consists of two completely safe Labor seats, whilst the Northern Territory has two very marginal seats.

Solomon makes up the city of Darwin and will probably be retained by the Country Liberal Party (The local Liberal branch) but patchy and poor quality polling makes this a seat one that I don't feel as comfortable with as my model does.  
The rest of the territory lies within the Labor held division of Lingiari. The model considers it a tossup and that seems about right to me.  



Summary

This pie chart graphically represents the models current prediction of the composition of the Australian House of Representatives after the election. Numerically, assuming all leaning seats fall their predicted directions and tossups split down the middle the Coalition will form a new government with 89 seats. Labor will form the opposition with 57 seats and there will be 4 other seats (2 independents, 1 Katter's Australian Party, 1 Green).

Clearly Labor have a long way to go to even keep it close.

Discuss

With the new map for the 24 member New Hampshire state senate effectively finalised Republicans appear to have given themselves a decent chance of holding the chamber in a state that is trending Democratic.

Map > R+6 > R+3 > R+1 Even > D+1 > D+3 > D+6
2010 Map 6 0 3 3 2 4 6
New Map 3 2 6 3 2 3 5
Prior to the last election Democrats had a 14-10 edge in the senate, however the Republican tsunami hit hard in New Hampshire and nine seats changed parties leading to the current 19-5 Republican senate.

It is possible that Republicans haven't done enough to keep a grip on the senate over the next decade. However 16 Republican state senators look set to run for reelection and there are limits to what can be done when you need to keep 2/3 of the entire chamber happy.

The Nashua (D+6) district will almost certainly revert to Democratic control but Republicans will be hoping to retain their other 18 seats provided 2012 is at least a neutral year.

Republicans could have attempted a more ambitious gerrymander and drawn something like this;

Map > R+6 > R+3 > R+1 Even > D+1 > D+3 > D+6
2010 Map 6 0 3 3 2 4 6
Republican Map 3 6 4 1 2 2 6

Only one set of Republican incumbents are forced together though most others would see large changes in their constituents making this politically unpalatable.

There do exist potential maps that would bring still more seats into play for Republicans but I'd worry that by the end of the decade a general blue shift could lead these maps to look shortsighted.

Had Democrats retained their majorities in both the state house and senate they could have had the opportunity to draw their own gerrymander. It may have looked something like this;

Map > R+6 > R+3 > R+1 Even > D+1 > D+3 > D+6
2010 Map 6 0 3 3 2 4 6
Democratic Map 5 2 0 1 3 5 8

Democrats would be confident of holding the senate in all but the absolute worst of years. All incumbents retain either at least a D+6 district, or in the case of Lou D'Allesandro shored up from an EVEN district to a D+2.

In three districts two Republicans are forced to run against each other (or step down). Most interestingly, the blue district in the north of the state (1st) continually elects the "insufficiently conservative" John Gallus despite the districts democratic lean. Under this map two-time congressional rep from the New Hampshire 1st (also two-time loser) Jeb Bradley, now the current state senate majority leader, has his hometown (Wolfeboro) moved into Gallus's district. Worst case scenario one of them is gone, best case scenario Bradley wins a primary and goes on to lose the general to a Democrat.


Map > R+6 > R+3 > R+1 Even > D+1 > D+3 > D+6
2010 Map 6 0 3 3 2 4 6
New Map 3 2 6 3 2 3 5
Democratic Map 5 2 0 1 3 5 8
Republican Map 3 6 4 1 2 2 6
Discuss
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