Informal House of Representatives Ballot Paper Survey - Election 2001

Updated: 22 December 2010

Following the 2001 federal election, the AEC undertook a survey of the 580 561 informal votes recorded. The informal ballots were aggregated from polling places into divisional and state summaries.

The data has been analysed by the AEC and forms the basis of a report containing, among other things, strategies to reduce the informal vote.

The divisional table

Each divisional table contains the demographic rating used by the AEC:

  • Inner Metropolitan comprised of well established suburbs
  • Outer Metropolitan containing areas of more recent suburban expansion
  • Provincial divisions with a majority of enrolment in major provincial cities
  • Rural divisions without a majority of enrolment in major provincial towns

The enrolled figure is the number of electors enrolled to vote at the 2001 election, compared to the turnout figure which represents the total number of people voting at that division. The figure is expressed both numerically and as a percentage of the enrolled figure.

The Two-Candidate Preferred (TCP) refers to the total number of votes gained by the final two candidates remaining after a full distribution of preferences has occurred.

Informal votes

The informal vote is the total number of informal votes received for the Division and is represented both numerically and as percentage of the total turnout figure. The informal votes are categorised according to the following groupings:

  • Blanks: where a ballot paper is completely blank
  • Number '1' only: where the figure '1' occurs but no other preferences
  • Ticks and crosses: where a tick or a cross has been used. This may be used by itself or with numbers
  • Langer style: where a ballot paper contains repeating numbers such as 1,2,3,3,3
  • Non sequential: where a ballot papers contains non-sequential numbers such as 1,2,3,6,7
  • Voter identified: where markings such as signatures can identify the voter
  • Marks: where a ballot paper is blank but contains marks, graffiti, slogans etc.
  • Slogans making numbering illegible where a ballot paper contains numbering but other marks on the paper overwrite the numbering making it illegible
  • Other: this category contains ballot papers that do not fulfil the above criterion. A large majority of these are where more than one preference on the ballot paper has been left blank. Other ballot papers in the group include ballot papers not authenticated and ballot papers issued for the wrong division.

Each divisional table contains the names of the polling places that recorded the highest and lowest percentage of informal papers.

The state summaries are an amalgamation of all the divisional summaries and contain the highest and lowest ranking Divisions in terms of the percentage of informal votes. In addition each state summary contains a graph of the national informal vote and state informal vote since 1901.