On the Senate race

admin —  August 24, 2013 — 7 Comments

Western Australian WikiLeaks Party lead Senate candidate, Gerry Georgatos, who is also a statistical researcher along with being an investigative journalist, forecasts the Senate race.

Gerry Georgatos

Gerry Georgatos

In this year’s Federal Senate election, Australians have the opportunity to write a little bit of our national history.

In Victoria, Julian Assange is fighting for the sixth Senate spot. The first five seats will be shared by Labor and the Liberals. But the sixth seat is between Julian Assange and the Greens candidate, Janet Rice. The Greens and the Wikileaks have preferenced each other above the major parties, so it will ultimately come done to who between them gets a greater share of the primary vote.

Julian Assange is a world-famous dissident who has achieved more for the public record, and in the public interest, than all of the news media combined. On the basis of this achievement, we hoped the Greens would give full backing for Julian’s bid for the sixth spot. WikiLeaks exposures over the past six years have given considerable ammunition to environmental campaigns across the globe, and have forced greater accountability and transparency onto polluting industries in a host of cases from India to Africa and elsewhere. This is in addition to Assange’s achievements in bringing the US-led military-industrial complex to account on a range of issues that it is desperately trying to hide from the public.

I personally am working as hard as I can to have Julian elected in Victoria. In fact I’ve been working harder for Julian’s Victorian campaign than I have for our own Western Australian campaign where I am the WikiLeaks Party’s lead candidate.

Early polls suggested that Julian could potentially get as much as 27 per cent of the vote, but such polls are only as good as the sample they are based on. If people do vote for him on September 7 in such numbers then he will be elected to the Senate, and Australian public opinion will have written itself into the history books. But it is unlikely that anything like 27 per cent will be achieved as a primary vote. More likely Julian and the Victorian Greens candidate will be in a  head to head competition for primary votes and whoever comes out best of the two in the primary vote will secure the sixth spot. The Greens have the advantage of being preferenced with the Labor overflow, but WikiLeaks also has some chance by getting the preference flow-on of smaller parties who will be eliminated because of inadequate primary vote counts and their votes passed on to the next available preference. But Wikileaks will only be an available preference in the flow-on if it secures enough of the primary vote to stay in the race.

That’s why I continue to give my energy to the Victorian campaign, because the WikiLeaks Party’s main chance of success in this Senate election will come from Julian Assange securing as many of the primary votes as possible.

In NSW, once again the sixth Senate spot is between WikiLeaks Kellie Tranter and former NSW Greens parliamentarian Cate Faehrmann. It appears to me Cate may just tip out Kellie, but Kellie and Dr Alison Broinowski are giving it everything they’ve got to make WikiLeaks heard and to make Australian history.

In WA, the Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is popular and his Senate seat has always been secure, despite the sad strategic statements put out by the Greens that they are on a “knife-edge” in WA. The knife-edge rhetoric and claims that my preferencing of David Wirrpanda above them will see “balance of power handed to Abbott” is simply a fallacy.

In the last two Senate elections, the WA Greens received nearly 11 per cent and 14 per cent respectively, just on primary votes. None of the small parties even come close. Any candidate that receives those sort of primary counts is secure. The Greens’ WA base is solid and at no less than 10 per cent, and that’s a fact, and the Senate draws a higher vote for the Greens than it does overall in the House of Representatives.

The Greens’ rhetoric on this is strategic and is intended to garner more votes nationally. In the Greens best-case scenario they could gain as many as three or four new Senators, from Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland.

For the Greens to increase their presence in the Senate nationally (from the 9 Greens currently sitting), would of course be a good thing in my book, but lashing out at the WikiLeaks Party, a new party of  conscientious and hard-working independents  who are campaigning without AEC funds, and who are promising to be a bona fide check and balance in the Senate without compromising their values, is a sad reflection of the realities of politicking.

Based on the numbers at the last election, there are only two vulnerable WA Federal Senate seats. One is the Liberal number 3 spot. To secure it again they will need 3 x 14.3 per cent, ie 43.2 per cent, but it is likely they will get this. As for Labor, in order  to secure their second seat, held by Senator Louise Pratt, will require 28.6 per cent, and this one is the big variable. If there is a backlash vote against Labor, Louise may indeed just miss out. This is the only way that WikiLeaks can get in.

Scott, secure with the primary vote, will move to 5th position, and the battle for the last vacant spot, in the event that Louise drops out, will be between WikiLeaks and the Nationals. Neither are a threat to Scott, and it is disingenuous to claim otherwise. It is not the Greens battling the Nationals for the last spot, the battle is between WikiLeaks and the Nationals. There is mutual respect between David Wirripanda and myself for the work we do in the community, and we need more of this work.  In the event that Labor holds its number 2 candidate, then David and I will finish up in either 7th or 8th spots and miss out.

The WikiLeaks Party needs primary votes so we can stand alongside Scott in the Senate.

History beckons. We are on the precipice of changing the Australian political landscape. Let us grab this chance while it is there. What WikiLeaks stands for – truth and accountability – is what I’ve put myself on the line for throughout my life, working for people in communities far and wide who have brought me to tears. We have the chance in this election to let the voices of the unheard be heard. Let’s not pass it up.

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7 responses to On the Senate race

  1. Well.

    It seems Scott Ludlam had a more accurate view of how precarious his position was, and he was right – the balance of power has most definitely been tipped in Abbot’s favour. It wasn’t about numbers, it was about preferences.

    125,668 first preference votes to the Greens vs. just over 65,000 for PUP. And yet, the Liberals preferences listed Palmer United up next to the Christians, the Shooters and Fishers and Family First while preferencing the Greens below yourself, the ALP and the Bob Katter Party for God’s sake!

    The loss of Scott Ludlam is without a doubt due to snaky preferencing by the Liberals.

    But your overestimation of the safety of his seat, together with an underestimation of the underhanded tactics of the Liberals and your own admitted preoccupation with the Victorian race definitely did not help the situation. Scott Ludlam was a defender of Julian Assange, he is an excellent example of integrity and it is sad to see the cynical way to describe his now prophetic comments as strategy.

    To preference away from Scott most definitely affected opinion towards the WA Wikileaks Party, people who may have voted for you were turned away by what they saw as a snub or betrayal of our main champion against the duopoly in WA. Your fight was always against the big two, and as a WA Senate candidate, your fight was here.

    I applaud and understand your work towards Julian’s campaign in Victoria, but maybe you should have focused on that at let someone who seemed more interested in WA work to create a rapport with the people here.

  2. Surely though, the problem with the math is there’s no inclusion in the numbers of support base distribution, the WikiLeaks party support base is also (in majority) a Ludlam support base. That applies in so far as sentiment go’s, pretty much Nationwide to a large degree, even where the votes don’t count. If even half that base is divided, that primary has become a much less confident prospect, both for Ludlam and potentially for Assange by way of alienation spill over. Would it not have been more effective to not run in WA at all and to concentrate on Victoria rather than jeopardise the WA senate position for the most effective (and proven) voice in the senate, one who’s ideals coincide on the most part with the ideals of WikiLeaks? I sincerely hope Assange wins Victoria in a landslide, he should, but in WA, although I admit to feeling divided, I have to go with someone I respect with a proven track record. That’s my personal Math.

  3. If the Greens are sure to get in, why not give them 2nd preference anyway – they won’t need it, being elected by the time Wikileaks is knocked out, so the Wikileaks preferences would flow to your mate anyway.

    And who gets to decide preferences anyway? Nobody asked me. In fact nobody asked me anything. No candidate in Queensland.

    Queensland member.

  4. One time supporter August 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    I still don’t understand how preferencing ultra right wing parties such as Australia First, over the Greens shouldn’t be considered unethical or misleading. The Greens were the only party to actively stand up for Julian Assange and have done more for his cause in Parliament/Australian politics than the Wikileaks Party – but that doesn’t mean squat it seems. Even if you’re given the benefit of the doubt in that it was an ‘administrative mistake’ then that is probably even more damning. If you can’t fill in a few forms correctly so that preferences don’t flow to the far right, then what monumental stuff ups would you make in the Senate when things get real.

  5. I agree The Greens are unlikely to have a quota. The Greens are expected to secure around 9-10% Analysis if the above-the-line group tickets shows it is possible for Wikileaks to climb the pack and beat the Greens from a base of 3-4%.

    The Greens see Wikileaks as a threat which explains why they are on the attack and spuiking lies and misconceptions about preference negotiations. A parties preference will only be distributed if the party is excluded from the count.

    To assist in assessing the likely outcome you need to reflect on the States past voting statistics as a base and them make adjustment to allow for new parties support and the overall shift in support

    A copy of the group voting preference flow can be found here
    http://democracy-at-work.blogspot.com/2013/08/wa-senate-preference-flow.html

    You can access the likely outcome by accessing the ABC Senate calculator
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/federal-election-2013/senate-calculator/

    If you have a realistic “what if” scenario please post in the comments page your percentage break down for each group. Happy to analysis the outcome.

    BTL votes tend to remain with the main party chosen as first preference. In many cases they are not redistributed.

  6. George, you are the ONLY person in the whole of Australia who thinks that Scott Ludlam will fill a quota in his own right. Your view that he’ll get the 5th seat purely on first preferences is shared by precisely NO ONE. I’m not sure what parallel universe you get your polling from, but it would be nice if you could get your head out of the sand and take responsibility for your epic stuff up.
    If this is really some kind of tactical maneuver by the Greens, then literally every single political expert and journalist in the entire country must be in on the act because they’re all saying the same thing.
    This whole preferencing affair is incredibly shady and now you’re being deliberately misleading and dishonest. These are not the actions of a party of “transparency” and that’s probably why your own candidates and core members are resigning in disgust.

    • Jayden, I don’t cast aspersions like others do, it’s not my way. If I were to start and treat politics as an art of war then I compromise my integrity, and my integrity is my check and balance to who I am and want to be in the Senate if elected. The means and the end are effectively identical despite what one wants to project perceptually… You aren’t correct that every pundit in Australia views it the way you have described. I have read most established pundits’ commentary and most have worked off fair comment, degrees of subjectivity and assumptions but most have not actually compiled the math, or worked with the full suite of variables… The only seats at stake are Labor number 2, Liberal number 3 but unlikely but not out of the question. Scott will not get less than 10 per cent primary. If your argument is that he will, then please explain how this will be so and on what evidence you rely on for this. He only needs 14.3 per cent total, that is with primary votes, preferences (full value and fractional value). The only way the Nationals can get up is if the LIberals lose a seat. But Scott is safe. WikiLeaks is in the fight for a spot but not with the Greens. That’s the math my friend. WikiLeaks in the Senate will bring on the first ever bona fide independents. That’s in everyone’s interest.

      Gerry Georgatos, WikiLeaks Party Senate candidate, WA

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