Fact check: Did Labor win the popular vote?

Fact check: Did Labor win the popular vote?

I’ve seen a few tweets circulating on Twitter implying that Labor won more votes than the Liberals.

Before this fake news becomes embedded as fact, it should be called out as untrue.

In every state but Queensland, the Liberals are known as the Liberal Party. But in Queensland, they are known as the Liberal National Party (because the Liberals and Nationals merged into one party in that state).

The LNP is actually the Queensland Division of the Liberal Party – this is spelled out in the LNP constitution. Some LNP MPs choose to sit with the Nationals in Canberra, but they are elected as LNP not Nationals.

This means you must combine the Liberal and LNP vote to get the actual number of Liberal votes.

According to the latest numbers (at the time of writing, see table below), this is around 4.76 million first preference votes, compared with 4.34 million for Labor.

I’m not sure what this Labor versus Liberal contrast is meant to signify, given the Liberals are in coalition with the Nationals and CLP. In total, at this point in time, the Coalition has 5.41 million primary votes.

The most interesting point about this is that the Coalition managed to win more votes (and yes, more preferences) where it needed them – in marginal seats – giving it 78 seats.

Labor was less successful in doing so, even though it could rely on getting about 80% of the second preferences from the Greens’ 1.3 million votes.

So next time you see someone tweeting that Labor got more votes, send them here for a fact check.