18 October 2004

Not quite yet, prime minister

2004 Federal Election. Senate - TAS Results. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
If all votes are assumed to be ticket votes, then the final vacancy in Tasmania goes to Jacquie Petrusma of Family First ahead of Christine Milne from the Greens. However, the final margin of victory is only 4,300 votes. In 2001, one in five Tasmanian votes, or around 60,000 ballot papers, were cast below the line. Christine Milne is a well known political figure in the state, and it is quite likely that many below the line votes from the Labor, Liberal and Australian Democrat tickets will leak to Milne. The final result in Tasmania will now be known until all below the line votes are entered into the computer counting system, and the button is hit to distribute preferences.

4300 is a lot less than 60 000. Until the below-the-line votes are counted in Tasmania and Victoria we don't know what will happen to the sixth seat. It's a fair assumption that below-the-line voters are likely to be some form of protest against the ticket votes registered by the parties. Truly, it's fairly weird to allegedly report anything else until the AEC counts these votes.

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