A 2019 Australian Federal Election Policy Guide

SECTION 27

 

 

GENERALISED ELECTION OUTCOME INFLUENCES

(1 OF 2)  

 

 

 

THE INFLUENCE OF STATE GOVERNMENT'S ON FEDERAL ELECTIONS 

 

 

Rarely discussed in any depth in media reporting, the influence of which party is currently in Government in each State when a Federal election is called could and should be given more attention.

 

What is happening in Canberra does matter when a State election or Territory election is called.

 

Witness the recent Victorian election where the Liberal brand was hammered by Liberal voters handing Labor nine seats, primarily to punish the Liberal brand for the ‘muppet show’ going on in Canberra.

THE INFLUENCE OF STATE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS

 

At the 2016 Federal election

 

- In Queensland (2) and South Australia (1), the ALP won seats in the presence of ALP State Government’s.

 

- In Victoria, the ALP lost 1 seat in the presence of an ALP State Government.

 

- In NSW (7), Western Australia (2) and Tasmania (3), the ALP won seats in the presence of Liberal State Governments.

 

- The two states that recorded the smallest swings to federal ALP had state ALP governments during the previous federal term.

 

These were Victoria and Queensland. - On the other hand, South Australia had an ALP State Government and might have won more than 1 seat if not for the highest anti- Federal Government PV swing going mostly to the Nick Xenephon Team.

 

2016 ELECTION

 

                          COALITION      COALITION           COALITION         COALITION

 

STATE           PRIMARY VOTE       SWING               2PP VOTE            SWING

 

VICTORIA                  41.7                    -1.0                       48.1                   -1.6

 

QLD                            43.1                    -2.4                       54.1                    -2.8

 

WA                              48.7                     -2.5                       54.6                   -3.6

 

NSW                            42.3                     -5.0                       50.5                  -3.8

 

SA                                35.0                     -9.4                       47.7                   -4.6

 

TASMANIA                  35.4                    -4.8                        42.6                  -6.1

 

NATIONAL                   41.8                    -3.3                        50.3                  -3.3

 

 

Since that election

 

- A new ALP State Government was elected in Western Australia (2017).

 

 

The ALP were re-elected to State Government in Queensland (2017).

 

A new Liberal State Government was elected in South Australia (2018).

 

The Liberal Party was re-elected to State Government in Tasmania (2018).

 

A ‘Danslide’ saw the Labor State Government in Victoria re-elected in November 2018.

 

 

A State election will be held in New South Wales (before March 23, 2019) with a Liberal incumbent.

 

New South Wales.

 

In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of a Liberal State Government, the ALP won seven NSW seats from the Coalition, giving the ALP a 24-23 seat advantage in New South Wales.

 

Electors will have a State election before the upcoming Federal Election. Premier Gladys Berajyklian has been struggling with ‘open war’ factional infighting and demands between centre right and Right power brokers over pre - selections and other matters.

 

A repeat of the Liberal Party vote collapse in heartland seats that occurred in the Victorian State election would see this Coalition State Government wiped out.

 

On the other hand, having vented their rage at the Liberal brand at the State election, Liberal voters may be more forgiving when the Federal election comes around.

 

Further comments on the influence of the NSW State Government on Federal seats will follow the NSW election. 

 

2    Victoria Labor State Government In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of an ALP State Government, the ALP won no seats from the Coalition, and lost the seat of Chisolm. This result improved the Coalitions position from ALP 19 – Liberal 16 to ALP 18 – Liberal 17 with the Independent in Indi and the Green in Melbourne retaining their seats.

 

The Andrews Labor government won a ‘Danslide’ in Victoria in November 2018- with several Liberal heart belt seats abandoning the Coalition.

 

The palatable rage at the Liberal brand is likely to return in a level of swing towards Labor in the 2019 Federal election in seven Coalition seats. Enough to cost the Liberals seats? 2 or 3 perhaps. 4 if you include Dunkley which redistribution handed to the Labor Party.

 

3      Queensland ALP State Government In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of a Labor State Government, the ALP won 2 seats from the Coalition, reducing the Coalition advantage from 23-6 to 21-8 with the other seat remaining with the Katter Party.

 

The survival of the Palaszczuk Labor government in Queensland in their State election would normally be expected to boost the federal Coalition’s chances of saving seats from Labor at the next federal contest.

 

However, the Labor State Government has shown strong for support for the Adani mining project, demonstrated a willingness to be perceived as ‘pro mining’ and forgiven some environmental degradation episodes already committed by Adani in the mine structural development process.

 

Moreover, federal Labor leader Bill Shorten ruled out stopping the Adani mine development if elected and was cited as claiming the Adani mine would “not impact on Australia’s Co2 emission reduction target for 2030”.

 

If Bill Shorten is to clinch government he will need to achieve a big swing in Queensland.

 

Newspoll pre-election state-by-state results since 1998 shows a clear pattern. On every occasion Queensland has seriously underperformed for Labor at the ballot box, compared with earlier surveys, and relative to other states.

 

One reason for this distinction is the unpredictable influence of third parties. Queensland’s Coalition or Labor votes were about 70 per cent in the recent State election, not far below current national polling figures (73.9 % in Queensland’s 2016 Federal election).

 

If this trend continues, we can expect to see the multiple three- or four-way contests that Queensland exhibited become a feature of national elections.

 

What can be said with some certainty is there appears to be no issue at a State government level for which Queensland voters will be looking to punish federal Labor in 2019.

 

4 Western Australia ALP State Government. In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of a Liberal State Government, the ALP won 1 seat (Cowan) from the Coalition and the nominally Liberal seat of Burt.

 

The Liberals however retained a State advantage; from Liberal 12 – ALP 3 to Liberal 11 -ALP 5. Since then, a State election in Western Austraila saw the Liberals evicted with a significant primary vote collapse (31.2%).

 

As at Christmas 2018, the new Labor Government in WA had failed to do anything objectionable enough to move Coalition or Labor voters to ‘punish’ the State Government in the 2019 federal election.

 

5 South Australia Liberal State Government. In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of a Labor State Government, the ALP won one seat (Hindmarsh) from the Coalition.

 

The Coalition also lost the seat of Mayo to NXT. This changed the South Australian Federal election status from Liberal 6 - ALP 5 to Liberal 4– ALP 6 and Independents.

 

As at Christmas 2018, the new Labor Government in SA had failed to do anything objectionable enough to move Coalition or Labor voters to ‘punish’ the State Government in the 2019 federal election.

 

6 Tasmania Liberal State Government In the 2016 federal election, in the presence of a Liberal State Government, the ALP won 3 seats from the Coalition.

 

This gave the ALP a gain from ALP 1 Liberal 3 to ALP 4- Liberal 0 with 1 seat retained by the Independent, Andrew Wilkie.

 

As at Christmas 2018, the re-elected Liberal government in Tasmania had failed to do anything objectionable enough to move Coalition voters to ‘punish’ a State Government in the 2019 federal election.

 

However, Labor and alternative party voters remained steadfastly enraged at the Liberal State Government over myriad issues and extremely unlikely to vote Liberal in 2019. Effectively, Labor would be expected to retain all four Labor federal seats in 2019, leaving the Coalition with no House of Representative seat in Tasmania in consecutive elections.