The Queensland State election took place in January this year. The result was a change of government in which the new Labor government requires the support of at least one of the Katter’s Australian Party members or the sole Independent.
An STV simulation of the voting figures of the election is set out below.
You will note that the closest result to the ideal is the count that includes rotating candidates within the party groups and counts the ballot using the Meek method of counting.
In the simulation, the independents and micro parties can be ignored and their votes redistributed, either by the preferences of their own voters or the workings of the Meek method of counting. Meek recalculates the quota each time a candidate is excluded and votes exhaust. The Katter’s Australian Party is included because the party contested so few seats and the high vote in a few regional seats ensures its representation in the Far North Queensland multi-member electorate.
Most Green voters are also represented and about half the Palmer United Party voters are also represented.
Provided gerrymandering is not rife and the two party preferred vote is close then single member electorates will give reasonably accurate two party results but, unlike single member electorates, this simulation ensures that every Labor and LNP voter is represented by a member of the party they voted for.
Of course, in elections where the two party vote is not close, such as the last Queensland election and earlier Beattie elections, then single member electorates give wildly distorted results.
In Queensland it is not possible to construct STV electorates which include both city and regional voters. Brisbane is too big and too far south. These electorates are just randomly picked contiguous electorates. Community of interest requirements are a misunderstanding of STV; to work well, STV needs diversity not uniformity.
Electoral Commissioners should use local government areas when drawing up electorate boundaries.
Queensland uses optional preferential voting and readers will note the low informal vote of 2.11%. An STV election with fully optional preferential voting will give, as it does in ACT elections, a similarly low informal vote.
STV simulation of the Queensland election
|Party||Total Vote||%||Seats Won||Strict Entitlement (Qld as one electorate)||Without Micro Parties and Others||11/12 Member electorates fixed order||11/12 Member electorates with Meek and rotation|
|Liberal National Party||1,084,060||41.32||42||36.7||38.9||37||39|
|Australian Labor Party||983,054||37.47||44||33.3||35.3||34||37|
|Palmer United Party||133,929||5.11||–||4.5||4.7||5||5|
|Katter’s Australian Party||50,588||1.93||2||1.7||1.8||2||1|
|Family First Party||31,231||1.19||–||1||–||–||–|