Research Report 11 - Analysis of Informal Voting (House of Representatives 2007 Election)

Updated: 24 April 2014
Download Research Report 11

Analysis of Informal Voting (House of Representatives 2007 Election)

Author: Australian Electoral Commission

Date: June 2008

Key Findings

  • In 2007 there was an average national informality rate of 3.95 per cent, down from 5.18 per cent in 2004, and 4.82 per cent in 2001.
  • Divisions with the highest percentage of informal votes in 2004 continued to have the highest levels in 2007.
  • The ten divisions with the highest percentage of informal votes were all located in western Sydney. They were: Blaxland, Watson, Chifley, Prospect, Fowler, Reid, Parramatta, Werriwa, Banks, and Bennelong.
  • In 2007 five of the top six divisions with the highest rates of informality were also the top five electorates with the highest proportion of NESB electors.
  • The decrease in informal voting at the last federal election coincided with a decrease in the average number of candidates (7.27 in 2004 to 7.03 in 2007).
  • NSW and QLD state electoral legislation provides for optional preferential voting at state elections. Both states continue to record the highest proportion of informal votes in federal elections due to electors casting number '1 only' and 'incomplete' ballots.
  • A summary of certain characteristics from the 30 divisions with the highest and lowest proportion of informality is included in Appendix E.

Enquiries

Enquiries can be made by e-mail to the Research Section of the AEC: info@aec.gov.au. Phone (02) 6271 4411.