It’s time to vote, and as always, voting ‘below the line’ is tricky.
This year a nice website made things easier… https://www.belowtheline.org.au/qld/
So, armed with these links, I decided to mine some data and work out what I call reverse preferences…
“Reverse preferences?” you say – “What’s what?”
…well, I’m glad you asked…
Australia uses a single transferable vote preferential system for the senate, and we’re bombarded with tales of who preferences will go to. What I was interested was where the preferences will come from. Same data, just in reverse. So I want to see who puts The Greens as second group, third group… down to 24th group (wow, those people probably hate all vegetables, not just their greens
The value I expected to find in this was to see who valued The Greens highly (though the data can be worked for anyone equally well) – as an indicator of compatibility with Greens policies.
The basic results are here: QLD-Senate2010 (also my original Open Office file: QLD-Senate2010). Note that whilst there are 60 preferences to give, in almost all cases they’re sorted into groups – and it’s only the sorting of these groups I’ve analysed. The rank of preference for the group is for the first time someone from that group shows up on the ballot.
So, what did I discover?
* Alot of parties dislike the Greens enough to put them last (more than any other party I think) – but it gets some good high preferences too (Labor)
* Australia First gets alot of low preferences (none higher than 5th, but no lasts at all!)
* Australia First can’t decide who they hate most (see: https://www.belowtheline.org.au/qld/group_k.html) Greens, Libs or Labor!
* Over the years I’ve heard a lot of people talk about their method of voting below the line: number the parties last they want to be last, and number parties first they want to be first. Then pretty much random in between. Going through these I saw evidence of similar in several parties! (Labor, for example, had some middle preferences in order of groups C-F-G-I (D, E and H were out of the order because they were dropped very low). There are other examples (usually just three groups in a row (sometimes in reverse order), and often involving the independents… still, shows the method is used even at the highest levels!
But I think my favourite observation – is that the common saying/taunt that “A vote for The Greens is a vote for Labor” is in fact untrue. The Greens’ preference for Labor is 12th down, whilst Labor give The Greens preference 2. So, it’s better to say “A vote for Labor is a vote for The Greens“!