I'm going to examine this paragraph from hypen hyphen's article in the Age:
Despite a decisive swing to the conservative side of politics, the Greens still managed to increase their vote in both Houses, even if it is unlikely to result in extra seats. If preferences had flowed similarly to 2006, the Greens would have won the Lower House seats of Melbourne, Richmond and Brunswick.
Here is an amalgam of two comments that I left on that thread:
The Greens polled 297,931 votes in 2006 in the lower house.As of now, they have polled 278,859 – with 95.25% of the vote counted. Extrapolate that to 100%, and they end up with 292,765 lower house votes – fewer actual votes than they got in 2006. Their share of votes went up slightly because turnout crashed between 2006 and 2010. But fewer actual people voted Green at this election.Similarly, in the Upper House, the Greens got 314,847 votes in 2006.In 2010, with 96.11% of the vote counted, they are up to 293,222. Extrapolating that to 100% gives you 305,090.Hmm.2006 – 314,8472010 – 305,090.Somewhere along the way, 5000-10,000 Green voters have dropped off the face of the earth. Percentage-wise, they have gone up. People-wise, they have gone backwards. They shed just over 3% of their voters between elections.I wouldn’t say that their support is “on the rise” based on those figures.
Let's look at that again:
2006 - 297,931
2010 - 278,859
Loss of voters = 19,072
Percentage drop in raw votes = 6.4%
2006 - 314,847
2010 - 305,090
Loss of voters = 9757
Percentage drop in raw votes = 3.1%
In 2006, there were 3,353,845 enrolled voters. Turnout was 92.73% - 3,109,907 turned up and cast a vote.
In 2010, the number of enrolled had risen to 3,582,232 - an increase of 228,387 - or 6.8%.
However, only 2,804,304 bothered to vote - a drop of nearly 10%, which is made worse by the 6.8% increase in enrolments. if enrolments had not increased one bit, that would mean 305,603 people stayed in bed compared to 2006.
However, because enrolments went up by 228,387, it means that 533,990 stayed in bed.
What happened to those votes?
Informal - lower house
2006 - 141,914
2010 - 139,438 (scaled to 100% of the count)
Decrease in informal = 2,476
Libs - lower house
2006 - 1,022,110
2010 - 1,080,645 (based on scaling up 95% of the counted votes to 100%)
Increase in votes = 58,535, or 5.7%
Labor - lower house
2006 - 1,278,046
2010 - 1,020,818 (based on scaling it up again)
Loss of votes = 257,228, or -20%
Nationals - lower house
2006 - 153,299
2010 - 195,075
Increase in votes = 41,776, or 27%.
Family first shed about 80,000 voters and "People Power" and the CEC vanished between elections, taking 20,000 votes with them.
I'd characterise this election as one where the Libs barely held their ground, but won because Labor went badly backwards and the Greens went backwards as well. The Libs got out and voted - perhaps out of duty, perhaps because of the stance against the Greens - whilst many Labor voters could not bring themselves to vote for any party, so they stayed in bed. They failed to drift to the Greens, which is why they went off like a damp squib.
The Nats are the big surprise - 27% more people voted for them this year.