An asymmetric house

Asymmetric houseThere doesn’t seem to be a general understanding of the current state of the House of Representatives, and how asymmetric it currently is. While the L-NP is the opposition it starts this 2013 election nearer a majority government position that the ALP. This, while certainly unusual, is not inexplicable, leaving me questioning the depth of media comprehension and professionalism.

In 2010 the ALP picked up 50.1% of the two party preferred vote – ALP 72, L-NP 72, and 6 “others” – Adam Bandt The Greens, Andrew Wilkie Independent, Tony Crook WA National Party, plus the 3 re-elected independents of Bob Katter, Tony Windsor, and Rob Oakshot.

If this voting pattern was simply applied to the 2013 (expected) candidature (i.e. a 0.0% swing) the result would be 72 ALP members, 75 L-NP members, and 3 “others” – Wilkie, Bandt, and Katter. (Rob Oakshot and Tony Windsor are not recontesting).

Recently with the L-NP declaring a nationwide “put The Greens last” Bandt would lose his seat to the ALP. So 2010 voting pattern applied to 2013 candidates and declared preferences gives 73 ALP, 75 L-NP and Wilkie and Katter. The details are the ALP pick up Bandt’s (The Greens) seat, and the L-NP pick up the vacated Independent seats of Windsor and Oakshot, and the faux independent of Crook (WA National Party) is quietly forgotten back into the coalition.

Now it is quite possible that neither Wilkie nor Katter would “give confidence” to the L-NP (formally or informally) but I think the highest odds are that one or both would. Katter is more aligned to the Coalition (ex-Nat) and Wilkie may well have a strong personal preference to NOT support the ALP given their treatment of him and their 2010 agreements with him.

However the L-NP need only a 0.4% 2PP swing to achieve an outright majority government. Hopefully the graph below shows this adequately. The green zone is a “hung parliament”, the black strip the current status (ALP 50.1% 2PP), and the blue and red lines show the L-NP and ALP majority margins respectively. (Dotted red is with the Bandt seat lost to the ALP without Liberal preferences).
Asymmetric house chart
Also, as of today, I am hearing reports from various media, that a hung parliament, while still NOT the most likely outcome, is looking more possible. What nonsense. The only basis you could make for that claim is now (post Gillard) that there is not an absolute ALP wipeout predicted we are, in strict terms, closer to a hung parliament. However the trend in Rudd 2.0 polling is now post honeymoon, and moving further and further towards larger L-NP majorities.
Of the 13 major national polls since Rudd2.0 just one suggests an ALP majority, three suggest 75 L-NP members, and 72 (or 73) ALP members with the balance independents. But nine of the 13 polls suggest outright majority L-NP government, and the trend is to larger L-NP majorities.

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One thought on “An asymmetric house

  1. Hey Dave,
    I like your chart. Any chance you can put seat names on the dots? It will make for a good election night ready reckoner.

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