News Store
Important notice to all NewStore users. The NewsStore service is now free! Please click here for more information. Help

The Age

Preferences trip up all but the DLP

Author: TIM COLEBATCH, CANBERRA
Date: 13/12/2006
Words: 586
Source: AGE
          Publication: The Age
Section: News
Page: 5
IT HAS happened again. In 2004, Family First's Steve Fielding was elected to the Senate after winning 1.9 per cent of the vote and 400,000 preferences. Now it's the DLP's turn.

In Northern Metropolitan, its leader John Mulholland won a seat with 5.1 per cent of the vote. And in Western Victoria, candidate Peter Kavanagh took the last seat with just 2.6 per cent.

How could it happen? Just as it happened for Senator Fielding. The DLP did a great job of trading preferences with parties that underestimated it as a threat.

This was the first election for the Legislative Council under Victoria's new system of proportional representation. This divides the state into eight regions, each choosing five members under a Senate-style voting system.

To win a seat you need a quota. Since there are five quotas per region, you need just over a sixth of the vote: 16.67 per cent. But that is after preferences. The first four seats usually go two to Labor, two to the Liberals and Nationals. Then the last seat comes down to preferences.

Take Western Victoria, which covers Geelong, Ballarat and the Western District. Labor won 42.1 per cent and the Liberals 35.2 per cent.

They shared the first four seats, but both lacked a quota for the fifth. Labor had just over half a quota (0.53), the Liberals just 0.11.

It looked like the threat to Labor was the Greens (0.51), or possibly the Nationals (0.33) or Family First (0.24). But no. The real threat was way back in the field: the DLP, with just 2.6 per cent of votes. The votes looked roughly like this:

Labor 34,000

Greens 33,700

Nationals 21,800

FamFirst 15,500

DLP 10,500

Liberals 7500

Others 8000

When no candidates have a quota, they are eliminated from the bottom. People Power and the Country Alliance went out. Both had preference deals with the DLP, so they helped it, the Liberals helped the Nationals, and the numbers became:

Greens 34,500

Labor 34,200

Nationals 29,500

DLP 16,800

FamFirst 16,000

So Family First went out. It too had done a preference swap with the DLP. Even with some preferences leaking, the scorecard became (roughly):

Greens 34,500

Labor 34,200

DLP 32,300

Nationals 30,000

So the Nationals dropped out. And their preferences, and those of the Liberals, also flowed on to the DLP.

Suddenly the scoreboard read:

DLP 62,000

Greens 34,600

Labor 34,400

OK, you might think, the Greens take the seat on Labor preferences. But no - Labor too had done a preference deal with the DLP, thinking it would go out early and help Labor over the line. Instead the final score was (more or less):

DLP 95,000

Greens 36,000.

And the part-time party we thought gone forever was back in Victoria after a 48-year absence.

STATE OF THE PARTIES - THE UPPER HOUSE

NEW

LABOR 19

LIBERAL 15

NATIONALS 2

INDEPENDENT 0

GREENS 2

DLP 2

OLD

LABOR 25

LIBERAL 15

NATIONALS 4

INDEPENDENT 0

GREENS 0

DLP 0

RESULTS

NORTHERN VICTORIA

Candy Broad (ALP)

Wendy Lovell (Lib)

Damian Drum (Nats)

Donna Petrovich (Lib)

Kaye Darveniza (ALP)

EASTERN VICTORIA

Philip Davis (Lib)

Matt Viney (ALP)

Edward O'Donohue (Lib)

Johan Scheffer (ALP)

Peter Hall (Nats)

WESTERN VICTORIA

Jaala Pulford (ALP)

John Vogels (Lib)

Gayle Tierney (ALP)

David Koch (Lib)

Peter Kavanagh (DLP)

NORTHERN METROPOLITAN

Theo Theophanous (ALP)

Matthew Guy (Lib)

Jenny Mikakos (ALP)

Greg Barber (Greens)

John Mulholland (DLP)

EASTERN METROPOLITAN

Richard Dalla-Riva (Lib)

Shaun Leane (ALP)

Bruce Atkinson (Lib)

Brian Tee (ALP)

Jan Kronberg (Lib)

SOUTHERN METROPOLITAN

David Davis (Lib)

John Lenders (ALP)

Andrea Coote (Lib)

Sue Pennicuik (Greens)

Evan Thornley (ALP)

WESTERN METROPOLITAN

Justin Madden (ALP)

Bernie Finn (Lib)

Khalil Eideh (ALP)

Martin Pakula (ALP)

Henry Barlow (ALP)

SOUTH EASTERN METROPOLITAN

Gavin Jennings (ALP)

Gordon Rich-Phillips (Lib)

Adem Somyurek (ALP)

Inga Peulich (Lib)

Bob Smith (ALP)

 
Back  Back to Search Results
 

Advertise with Us | Fairfax Digital Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Member Agreement
© 2014 Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand Ltd.