In this, the second Federal election since 2016, voters were required to number all squares on the House of Representatives ballot sheet thus allowing everyone to select their own preferences. Previously, and still in the NSW State elections, a ‘1’ was sufficient in which case the party receiving that vote could direct their preferences as they saw fit. Counting the votes was simpler and faster and the final result was easier to predict and so was born indicative two candidate preferred figures.
Even though the result is more difficult and possibly much more difficult to forecast the new system bypasses this difficulty and presumes that the winner will be one of the two highest first preference candidates. This figure can be supplied on the night and is TV friendly because of the drama of the winning and losing speeches.
I presume that most predictions on the night are correct and close contests are cleared up on Sunday. Sometimes however we will see candidates with a small number of first preference votes be elected because the main candidates do not have enough preferences to push them over 50% and someone lower ranked who is preferenced highly is able to leapfrog them. This may be the case in my electorate of Lyne.
The incumbent Dr David Gillespie of the Nationals is almost certain to win but not certain as the highly preferenced Liberal Democrats candidate could pull off a miracle. Time will tell but only after June 6th when the preferences are counted.
So with no electorate result actually called the swearing-in of a new PM, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Treasurer and Minister of Finance amongst possibly others appears to be premature and possibly illegal and unconstitutional. How does this happen? The Governor-General must have agreed to this procedure and therefore, by proxy, the Queen. Talking about it to people uninterested in politics gets a blank look and it’s difficult to know what would engage them after all the constant ‘end-of-the-world’ events that we daily endure.
There is greater overall participation in the electoral process so enough action may make this pop-up onto the MSM stage at which point it will need to stick around for a few weeks to gain some proper voter traction.
Will there be a scandal? Who knows? Certainly not me.