Welcome to KortJackson.org's coverage of the Australia 2022 election, with predictions by yours truly.
The composition of the 47th Parliament of Australia shall be decided by election on May 21, 2022.
So how do elections work in the Australian Senate?
In Australia, Senators from each state are elected for six year terms starting July 1 following the election, with the terms staggered so that six senators are elected at each election. The Territories (Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory) have two senators each, and are elected at every election (three year terms). However, in 2016 a double dissolution election was held, in which the entirety of the Senate was also renewed as opposed to just half. In order to "re-stagger" the Senate, the Parliament of Australia determined that the first six senators elected in each state shall be entitled to their full six years, whereas the last six senators in each state would face re-election with the 2019 Federal election alongside the Territorial Senators. The 2022 Senate election completes this cycle, returning the Senate to a "more normal" cycle of elections.
Normally (and even with double dissolution elections), the method to determine which parties or independents (and then whom specifically) shall have been duly elected is Single Transferrable Vote using a quota system. Voters may vote above the line (thus distributing their votes to individuals based on the party's ticket) or below the line (set up their own pattern on where their vote goes). While voting is compulsory, the voter need not fill in every box, and may determine when their vote exhausts). The quota needed for election is as follows:
Number of Votes Cast in the state / (divided) by the number of seats up plus 1
In a standard half-senate elction held in conjunction with a House of Representatives election or seperately on its own, the number to divide is seven (six seats plus one = seven). Territorial Senators is always total votes cast in territory divided by three. In a double dissolution, all twelve seats in each state is up, so the dividing number is 13. The resulting number is the quota, which is what a party or independent must obtain to be elected to a seat. After the number of first preference votes is determined and the quota is fixed, any parties that have obtained a quota shall have earned that seat. Once every party/independent group has exhausted their first quota, the process repeats until there is no parties/groups left holding a quota (in addition, any excess votes not used to elect a Senator (in excess of quota) transfers, but at a reduced rate each time that is determinate on several factors too complex to explain here). If the excess transfers create a new quota, the quota is filled and another Senator is elected. If not, the candidate with the lowest votes are eliminated and their votes are transfered. This process repeats until a quota is established, another Senator is elected until all seats are filled.
What if a Senator was disqualified (citizenship, bankruptcy issues, etc)?
If a Senator is elected but later is proven to have been ineligible to nominate for the Senate, their election is ruled void and the ballot paper results are used in a countback to find who should have been elected if that person didn't exist on the ballot paper. The excluded candidate's votes are not voided, but instead transferred to either the next person in their party or to the voter's next intention. Usually, this results in the next person on the party list earning the seat (unless that list is exhausted, in which the countback will elect someone else).
What if a Senator resigns for other than electoral reasons?
Depending on the circumstances, either a countback is still used or the state parliament must nominate someone to take the vacancy. Unless impossible, the state must select someone from the same party as the departing Senator.
With all of this said, due to the closeness of the election, I will not be able to publish predictions for the Senate. Furthermore, the increasing complexity of Senate tickets have made predicting Senate elections close to impossible. Perhaps if I had more time, I'd gander a guess, but not this time.
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