ALP preference deals: The Greens vs Family First.
Posted by Possum Comitatus on January 28, 2008
In the last post we had a quick look at the interesting relationship between the two party preferred swing to the ALP and the Greens primary vote. The most interesting feature of that relationship was how, on average, a higher Greens primary vote correlated with a smaller ALP swing.
But what is also interesting is that the higher the level of the Greens primary vote, on average, the higher is the size of ALP two party preferred vote. This combination of realities might sound somewhat paradoxical, but they finally put some numerical reality to the seemingly endless question of which of the two minor parties the ALP should make preference deals with, especially if they seek to maximise their TPP swings.
Firstly let’s recap the relationship between the Greens primary vote and both the ALP two party preferred vote and the ALP two party preferred swing.
What we’ve got here is a scatter plot where the Greens primary vote at the election is plotted against either the ALP two party preferred vote or the swing to the ALP in two party preferred terms for all 150 electorates.
As we can see, on average, as the Greens vote gets higher, so too does the ALP TPP. However, as we can also see, the seats which had a large TPP movement to the ALP at the election also tended, on average, to have a lower Greens vote – similarly the seats which had the smallest ALP swings tended to have a high Greens vote.
Now let’s compare this to the relationship between the Family First primary vote and the ALP swing by electorate.
Here we find the opposite occurred – the bigger the ALP swing, on average, the bigger the Family First vote.
There’s lots of complicated demographics behind these relationships, but one of the key pre-election arguments this data helps to resolve is whether the ALP were justified in trying to make preference deals with Family First at the expense of making similar deals with the Greens- especially from a purely hardball perspective of maximising the ALP TPP vote in the seats that mattered.
Another question of course remains; “Is that political hardball perspective always the right prism to view preference deals through “?
I’d be interested in your thoughts on these.
To add a further bit of raw data to assist the impending debate, if we make a scatter plot that combines both the Greens and the FFP primary votes against the ALP swing to put the whole lot in perspective we get:
Which is probably the most important diagram of the lot.
And finally, to add some fuel to the argument of whether the ALP should make a preference deal with the Greens or the FFP at the next election, we can plot the Greens and FFP primary votes against the current ALP TPP results:
Another piece of food for thought is the extent to which either minor party’s voters would actually follow the HTV cards should such a deal be made. How many Greens voters would not preference the ALP above the Coalition if the ALP were to do a preference deal with FFP, and similarly, how many FFP voters would actually preference the ALP when they ordinarily would not – simply on the basis of the FFP HTV card saying they should?
On another note, Simon Jackman had a squiz at the informal vote as well. Simon wrote for the Bulletin over the election – and now the Bulletin is dead. Personally, I’m blaming Simon for it!