A Brief Foreward

If you find this page at all interesting and/or useful, it would be awesome if you could upvote it here on Reddit! Also, I greatly encourage feedback or alternative strategies. So please feel free to contact me!

Tactical Voting Description

In the senate to make a tactical vote, you need to preference below the line, all the way to the final candidate (110 for NSW). I would not recommend trying to game the system by exploiting the saving rules in the Australian Electoral legislation, just number the whole ballot. belowtheline.org.au has set up a generator which will generate the ballot you want to copy in the voting booth. You can print it out and take it with you to the ballot box, and fill out accordingly.

In the descriptions beside and below I have indicated your best tactical vote to help get the candidate of your choice elected, or help stop the candidates you don't like from being elected.

Pure anti-Vote vs. Best Vote

You have two options for tactical voting. One is to perform an attempted anti-vote. These votes may end up helping elect someone who is not your most preferred candidate. However, they will be the best you can do to stop the person you dislike most from getting elected. The second is the Best Vote, in which you keep your vote as highly effective (i.e. with as high value) as possible throughout the counting of the votes.

How does it work?

The rules of any election can be exploited by a good tactical vote if you have expectation that the tactical voters will be in the minority. Given the history of the senate and ticket voting, we can have a reasonable expectation that over 90% of the Australian population will vote above the line. A tactical voter can rely on this to make their vote more valuable.


An anti-vote is used to try and push other minor party candidates ahead of the candidate that you dislike, in an attempt to eliminate your disliked candidate at earlier stages in the counting. For example, in NSW, the Australian Sex Party has effectively preferenced One Nation highest of all parties that have a reasonable chance of having a candidate elected. This means if the Australian Sex Party is eliminated in the count before One Nation has been, One Nation will pick up those votes. By voting for these minor parties with your tactical vote, you give One Nation a greater chance of being eliminated before those minor parties get eliminated; thus pushing One Nation out of the race.

Best Vote

If you care more about electing your favoured party, rather than stopping someone else get elected, then you should be trying to use your vote in the best possible way. Because of the system of quota-overflow, and the distortion of votes that occur as a result, you should ideally remove your vote from these overflow calculations so that it can keep moving with full value to candidates that you prefer after your party has been excluded or elected. As a general rule, start at the bottom candidate of your favoured party, then vote up the ballot. Continue to do so for all of the groups you favour in order. An example (with LNP > ALP > GRN marked up the ballot) is available here.

Note: the minor parties are ordered by ticket letter.

A Disclaimer

If you execute an anti-vote, you are taking a risk. There is a chance that the people you vote for above the major parties (or above your preferred party) will get elected. I encourage you to think about your vote before you make it. If you are unhappy with any of the candidates, you can move them further down the ballot. If you dislike them all; just vote for your party. My intent is not to mislead or deceive people into voting for people they don't want to. Always make up your own mind when voting.

NSW Anti-Votes:

The most likely parties to get five senate seats are the Majors (ALP, LNP, GRN) with the final senate seat being up for grabs between One Nation, the Shooters and the third LNP candidate. Of them One Nation is the most likely, so I will explain how to vote against them. But a similar tactic can be employed to vote against other parties.

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: LNP > ALP > GRN)

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: LNP > GRN > ALP)

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: GRN > ALP > LNP)

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: GRN > LNP > ALP)

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: ALP > LNP > GRN)

NSW - Anti-One Nation/Shooters (Majors: ALP > GRN > LNP)

This is an example ballot order that will be most effective to vote for the major parties (LNP, ALP and GRN) in your chosen order while making the best attempt to stop the Shooters and One Nation getting candidates elected. If you have ideological differences with the: Democrats, Wikileaks, LDP or the Australian Sex Party, your vote can still be effective while preferencing them lower on your ballot. You can also reorder those four to support one of those parties, as long as they are in front of your major party vote. Just edit your ballot in the editor!

NSW Best Vote:

NSW - Majors: LNP > ALP > GRN

For your desired party order, click and drag the parties you like (keeping the candidates in the same order within their respective parties) in the order you want them in, and print out your vote!

VIC Anti-Votes:

The most likely parties to get a senate seats are The Majors (ALP, LNP, GRN), Family First, Katter or the DLP. Of them Family First is the most likely, so I will explain how to vote against Family First. This is by far the most technical of the senate elections, due to 3.49 quotas being on both sides. The only way to vote against family first is to vote for Katter. The only reasonable way for Family First to be excluded is for the final four candidates (vying for the last spot) to be Katter, ALP/GRN, LNP, FF. In this situation the only way for FF to be excluded is for the ALP to be in 4th place, and FF to be currently underpolling the LNP. In that situation, and only that situation Katter will be elected at the expense of Family First. There is just no way to stop Family First otherwise.

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: LNP > ALP > GRN)

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: LNP > GRN > ALP)

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: GRN > ALP > LNP)

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: GRN > LNP > ALP)

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: ALP > LNP > GRN)

VIC - Anti-Family First (Majors: ALP > GRN > LNP)

VIC Best Vote:

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.

QLD Anti-Voting

Queensland is a bit of a cluster of unknown candidates who can get up. Ranging from Family First, Katter to the Fishing and Livestyle Party. In this senate race a tactical vote may be just a vote for your favoured party because the risks of not getting elected stem from poor preference deals, rather than good preferences sitting on a bad candidate (as is the case with combined Family First flowing to LNP in Victoria, for example). The ALP effectively get no preferences from anyone, except the Greens. If the Greens are excluded, the ALP will get a second seat, if they are not excluded, the ALP will not get any preferences and will not get their second seat (this is due to the Green's inability to get a large enough flow to break quota that will push votes onto the ALP). There is no good tactical anti-vote in QLD for left-wing voters as a result. However, the following are decent tactical votes to stop FF or Fishing and Lifestyle or Katter (whichever you dislike most), while protecting your party of choice (ALP / GRN). Similarly, as a pro LNP supporter, you're restricted to keeping your vote on the LNP and hopefully knocking out FF to get their votes. The anti-FF vote is just a pro-LNP vote. For the example case of anti-Fishing and Lifestyle & anti Family-First, and being pro Katter: (note, you can just swap candidates around if you want to):

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: LNP > ALP > GRN)

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: LNP > GRN > ALP)

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: GRN > ALP > LNP)

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: GRN > LNP > ALP)

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: ALP > LNP > GRN)

QLD - Anti-Fishing & Lifestyle/Family First | Pro Katter (Majors: ALP > GRN > LNP)

QLD Best Vote:

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.

NT Anti-Voting

With only two senators being elected, and not many minor parties that can throw the balance out, the NT is a simple tactical vote. If you prefer either the Sex Party or the AFNPP to the Labor party, you have the capacity to make a tactical vote. Otherwise you should just make a Best Vote. Adjust the vote below, but make sure to keep AFNPP, Sex Party or both, above the ALP candidate.

NT - Pro-AFNPP/Sex Party | Anti-Labor

NT Best Vote:

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.

ACT Anti-Voting

There is only realistically an anti vote for the LNP (or perhaps in a wild swing, the ALP as well). In which case all you need to do is preference the greens candidate first. Most of the below the line preferences will flow to the greens, and if the LNP (or ALP) drop below a quota The Greens may get a senator. So if you're anti-ALP or anti-LNP, your best vote is a vote for The Greens.

ACT - Pro-Green | Anti-Labor/Liberal

ACT Best Vote:

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.

WA Anti-Voting

Western Australia has a few competitions running for the third "left-wing" seat (as the Liberals are all but guaranteed 3 seats). Wikileaks may be able to get up at the expense of the final Labor/Greens seat (giving 3 LNP, 2 ALP, 1 WIK or 3 LNP, 1 ALP, 1 WIK, 1 GRN), or the Nationals (if they poll high enough and get enough preferences (potentially from a big LNP swing) may take this same seat away from the ALP / GRN. Effectively, an LNP supporter should vote Nationals, then LNP, then the party of their choice. To Anti-Vote for the Nationals, primary votes should be Wikileaks-Greens-ALP, in order to maximise the National's chance of being excluded before Wikileaks. To Anti-Vote for Wikileaks, vote Nationals, then Greens, Then ALP. As a Greens / ALP supported, vote ALP & Greens then Nationals. There's not much effect of trying to knock any of these parties out early. They will garner enough votes to harvest from the bottom and get 0.7 of a quota (or thereabouts) by the time the big knockouts begin. Only at this point can you really make a tactical vote to make a difference.

WA - Anti-Nationals | Pro Wikileaks (Majors: ALP > GRN)

WA - Anti-Nationals | Pro Wikileaks (Majors: GRN > ALP)

WA - Anti-Nationals & Wikileaks | Pro Left Wing Majors: (ALP > GRN)

WA - Anti-Nationals & Wikileaks | Pro Left Wing Majors: (GRN > GRN)

WA - Anti-Left Wing Majors: (ALP > GRN) | Pro-Nationals/LNP & Wikileaks

WA - Anti-Left Wing Majors: (GRN > ALP) | Pro-Nationals/LNP & Wikileaks

WA - Anti-ALP/Greens/Wikileaks | Pro-Nationals/LNP

WA Best Vote:

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.

TAS Anti-Voting & Best Vote

There are no real good anti-votes in Tasmania. The major parties have 6 quotas amongst them in a ratio of 3 LNP / 2 ALP / 1 GRN unless something extreme happens and in that case it will be as a result of one of these three parties falling below their allocated quota (e.g. a swing between ALP / LNP). The best votes are:




SA Anti-Voting

South Australia has the most unpredictable primaries in the entire election. So it is very hard to perform an accurate anti-vote, as there's every likelihood the candidate you're voting against will not even be in contention at the time your vote will be valuable.

To my best guess, the last four spots will come down to four candidates (assuming Nick Xenophon polls around 8-9% of the vote). This analysis drastically changes if he polls anywhere near 20%. I will deal with that scenario later. Assuming Nick polls poorly the following groups call all get elected: No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics, National Party, Nick Xenophon, The Greens.

A weak Greens candidate in this situation leads to the Nationals & Xenophon.

A weak Xenophon in this situation leads to the Nationals & Greens.

A weak Nationals candidate in this situation leads to the Xenephon & the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics (riding the LIB overflow).

A weak No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics candidate leads to the Nationals & Nick Xenophon

Essentially you want to strengthen a weak candidate, who if weak, will lead to a bad senate outcome. Moreover, if the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics don't poll as well as they did last time in South Australia, they can equivalently be replaced by Family First. So one may be able to treat them as equivalent.

SA Best Vote

As before, write up each the ballot in each of your groups of choice.