NatCon by the Numbers

10 December 2017

NUS NatCon starts tomorrow, so we made some data visualisations! If you’re not a stupol hack, the information below may be a little confusing—check out our NatCon explainer first.

Votes breakdown: by university

This graph ranks each university by the number of votes they’ll have at NatCon. Hover your mouse over (or tap) the bars for more information.

Each university’s share of votes correlates with the number of students at the university. Voting power, however, does not necessarily correlate with the amount each university pays in subscription fees.

This scatterplot shows the loose relationship between the amount each university paid the NUS this year and how many votes it will receive at NatCon. Monash University (Clayton) paid the most this year, at $70,000.

According to the NUS Constitution, the subscription fees should, like votes, depend on the number of students at each university. In practice, however, universities can reduce the amount they pay in subscription fees to the NUS without suffering a reduction in their number of votes.

At the University of Melbourne, for instance, one of the few genuine differences between the two major tickets running in student elections (More! and Stand Up!) is the question of how much to pay the NUS each year. More! is more reserved in their support for the NUS than Stand Up! and, because they dominated Students’ Council this year, they managed to cut UMSU’s subscription in half. But UniMelb still has more votes than any other university.

Votes breakdown: by faction

The donut chart below shows the votes held by the factions at NatCon.

Click a state on the map to filter by that state. Click on the state again to return to the whole-of-Australia filter. You can compare this year’s votes to last year’s by clicking on “2016” and “2017” at the bottom.

For the purposes of this visualisation, the Nat Indies, grassroots left and small-i independents are combined into one group—“Independents/other”. We put them together both for simplicity and because we lacked specific data about the affiliation of last year’s delegates. But it shouldn’t make a big difference, because the grassroots left and small-i independents only have about 140 votes between them this year.


  • The most obvious thing to point out is that Student Unity will dominate the floor, with 892 votes—almost half.
  • We’ve received reports that the NLS, Nat Indies and SAlt tried to enter a deal to exclude Unity from certain policy negotiations. But it turned out to be impossible because Unity ended up with way too many votes. In return, Unity entered a deal with the Liberals, which means they will have about 50 per cent of the votes between them. The latter deal will probably be a source of tension for Unity and the NLS, especially because the NLS has moved a motion calling out the Greens for being willing to work with the Liberals in federal politics.
  • In WA, the two major factions—Unity and the NLS—have failed to gain a presence at all, with the Liberals, SAlt and the Nat Indies controlling the universities there.

Movers and shakers

Biggest movers of policy:

  1. Natrydð Sigurthur, University of South Australia, NLS (22 motions)
  2. Liam O’Neill, Curtin University, NI (19)
  3. Valerie Song, University of Western Sydney, Unity (14)
  4. Kate Crossin, La Trobe University, NLS (13)
  5. Jordon O’Reilly, Flinders University, Unity (13)

Biggest seconders:

  1. Sarah Tynan, UniSA, NLS (33 motions)
  2. Kate Gallagher, Flinders, NLS (17)
  3. Megan Lee, University of Western Australia, NI (14)
  4. Kate Crossin, La Trobe, NLS (14)
  5. Melinda Suter, University of Melbourne, SAlt (13)

Second fiddle: those who frequently second but rarely move

  1. Sarah Tynan, UniSA, NLS (difference of 22 motions)
  2. Ella Shi, UniMelb, NI (difference of 11)

MVP: those who most frequently move but rarely second

  1. Natrydð Sigurthur, UniSA, NLS (moved 22, seconded six)
  2. Liam O’Neill, Curtin University, NI (moved 18, seconded three—also proposed the first 11 policies)
  3. Daniel Beratis, UniMelb, NI (moved 12, seconded zero)

And that’s it for now! Have a good pre-NatCon sleep, and stick around for our liveblog tomorrow!

If you believe any of the information in this article is factually incorrect or you have information you want to share with the Farrago NatCon team, contact us at

One response to “NatCon by the Numbers”

  1. Morty Dunkmann says:

    This is Very Good Content

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