Western Australia is the last place in Australia where the voting system strongly pushes voters into casting a vote which hands total control of preferences over to the party who receives that vote, by imposing voting rules that make it difficult to break out.
Articles from The Tally Room
Australia has a long history of electoral systems that slant the playing field in favour of particular ideological positions, favouring certain voters over others. Limiting the vote to people with property was common in the mid-19th century, and survived in some upper houses well into the 20th century.
It was also very common for rural electorates to be drawn with smaller populations than urban electorates, or for boundaries to be left unchanged as urban populations boomed.
We return to the WA election today, with Ben joined by the ABC’s Jacob Kagi and the University of Sydney’s Stewart Jackson, who discuss the campaign and what to look out for on election night.
By now we all know to expect a landslide victory for WA Labor in this month’s state election. The polls predict it, and even the Liberal leader has acknowledged it.
But I want to put what might happen in context by looking at what happened in 2017, which seats flipped, and how that compared to previous elections.
There hasn’t been a single election since 1980 which has seen a swing anywhere near as big as we saw in Western Australia in 2017.
Western Australia conducts redistributions of the state electoral boundaries every four years, so each election sees a new set of electoral boundaries.
Early voting opens today in the Western Australian state election, with pre-poll voting open for three weeks.
Over the last year we have seen radical changes in the way people choose to cast their ballots amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. I have chronicled this story at the Covid-19 tag on this website.
We’re back for 2021, and on this week’s podcast Ben is joined by Christine Cunningham and Martin Drum to get us up to speed on Western Australian state politics and the early stages of the campaign for March’s state election.
I spent some time over the summer compiling new datasets for some of the elections held in 2020. At the moment I have published the data for the Queensland and ACT elections as well as a dataset containing results from Queensland state by-elections from 1996 to 2020 and I’ve also updated my Tasmanian Legislative Council dataset to include 2019 and 2020. I am still planning to add datasets for the Northern Territory, Brisbane City Council and New Zealand, but they will have to wait.
Western Australia’s upper house still uses the discredited group voting ticket system to distribute preferences, the same system last used for the Senate in 2013. This system has encouraged a proliferation of candidates and parties running in the upper house election, breaking the record set in 2017.
Nominations closed in Western Australia on Friday, with a record number of candidates nominating in both houses.
463 candidates have nominated for the Legislative Assembly, up from 415 in 2017, which was itself a substantial record. 325 candidates have nominated for the Legislative Council, up from 302 in 2017. That was the first time more than 200 candidates had nominated for an election, but the trend has continued this year.