The ABC's election calculator is a neat tool. It simulates the distribution of preferences based on each party's tickets, assuming only above-the-line voting. The results produce an intriguing insight into the influence that microparties can have under the present system.
The dynamics of the interaction between preferences can be displayed by interpreting and animating the data in the tables published on the ABC's pages. These are presented below, in SVG format.
Please note: you will need a modern, standards-compliant browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Safari. Firefox windows should be closed after viewing.
The animations are non-interactive, except (as of 14 September) for a Pause button. They are available in normal speed (90 seconds or so) and quicker versions. They are updated daily. From 18 September two kinds of preference flows are distinguished in the normal view, they are merged in the simplified view.
At each stage the parties are ordered by the total votes they control, shown by the length of the adjacent bar. First preference votes are in the party's colour (using the ABC's palette, minor parties are grey), while preference votes from parties that have been eliminated (the AEC term is "excluded") are yellow.
For the normal view, original preferences are dark red arrows, secondary preferences are orange
and surplus preferences are blue.
Secondary preferences are votes from excluded parties that preferenced the party excluded at this stage.
Surplus preferences divide up what's left over when a candidate is elected: they may go to the same party if more candidates remain, or otherwise be distributed to other parties and the party is excluded.
For the simplified view, the preference types are not distinguished, so the arrows are drawn from the excluded party to each benefiting party, and only primary surplus preference flows are shown.
Geoff Whale, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Last updated: 2013-10-03 06:34
These SVG documents are released under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia
The underlying calculator results remain copyright © 2013 ABC. I have no affiliation with the ABC.