Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Christian vote contributes powerfully to election result

Regardless of arguments for and against faith playing a role in the political process, one respected electoral analyst reports that the beliefs of both Christians and atheists strongly influenced voting patterns and results in the 2010 Federal Election.

Former Labor Senator John Black now runs Australian Development Strategies which includes a service called Elaborate, used to analyse the latest election results.

Elaborate is the name given to both the database and the analytical techniques developed by Australian Development Strategies principals during 35 years of experience in using demographic analysis, profiling and mapping.

Even in the the first paragraphs of he 45 page report, it becomes clear that the votes of Christians played a significant role in the election.

In describing the methodology for the 2010 election analysis, John Black's report says:

'Where we found more activist Christians, we found more voters swinging against Labor... The regression analysis weeds out the purely descriptive variables and uses only those variables which contribute real explaining power to the model. For example in the current election, the ALP copped an absolute caning in the regression analysis from activist Christian demographics in terms of both the vote and the swing. So the presence of an activist Christian vote in any electorate both described and explained behaviour.'

Australian Christian Voter's own research indicates that in the days after Julia Gillard became Prime Minister, thousands of people, presumably Christians, searched the internet for information about Ms Gillard's religious beliefs.

ACV to bring election comment to an end shortly

Australian Christian Voter will shortly go into recess after a three month journey covering the 2010 federal election. With more than 130 posts in that time, and more than 6,000 page impressions, it has proved a useful resource for Christian voters, and voters in general.

If as a Christian voter, you have been visiting various party and organisational sites to see how the voting of Christians affected the 2010 result, you probably have found very little information. This partly because there is not a clear result yet, and because of the general wear and tear on organisations after a gruelling campaign.

ACV will tomorrow bring you some insightful comment on the election result, including how the Christian and atheist vote affected the outcome. Stay tuned.

DLP claims Vic Senate seat as count continues

Possible DLP Senator John Madigan
The sixth and final Senate seat in Victoria is still up in the air with the Democratic Labor Party claiming the seat just ahead of Family First's Steve Fielding and Liberal Julian McGauran.

While the DLP only finished fifth on first preferences, behind Liberal, ALP, Greens and Family First, they do well with preferences from other minor parties, including, crucially, the Christian Democratic Party, who preferenced the DLP ahead of Family First.

However the ABC's Senate calculator is now showing the DLP being eliminated before Family First, with Family First not having enough votes to hold out Senator McGauran.

Despite this the DLP is virtually claiming victory on their website:

'After an extremely successful senate campaign and despite the fact that no one in the electronic or print media gave the DLP so much as a footnote, the people of Victoria have put John Madigan in the position of becoming the first DLP Senator in 35 years. Although the final figures will not be known for up to two weeks John is well placed to take the final Victorian Senate Seat.

'It is a shame that this possible DLP victory will come at the cost of Senators Julian McGauran and Steve Fielding who have given such strong and determined service on behalf of the people of Victoria.'

Mr Madigan is a blacksmith, skills that may well benefit him in the Senate.

Thousands of votes 'quarantined' by AEC in two electorates

In a federal election where the two major parties have virtually tied, the Australian Electoral Commission has announced that hundreds, and even thousands, of votes in two electorates will not be counted because they had 'not been handled in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Electoral Act'.

The AEC website reports that 'legal advice has been received which means that 2,977 early votes cast for the Division of Boothby will not be included in the count' and separately, that '452 early votes cast for the Division of Flynn will not be included in the count'.

Boothby in SA was held by Liberal Andrew Southcott and his lead in the count was reduced by 339 votes because of the quarantining of votes from the Oaklands Park Early Voting Centre.

Although the AEC says this has not changed the position of candidates in terms of the two party preferred position, it has made it nail-bitingly close 50.81 to Liberal, 49.19 to Labor.

The Flynn result is not as close and less votes were involved.

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn said that this is a serious matter that has resulted in affected voters not having their votes counted.

Read the AEC's statements and see the electorate results.