Getting a handle on the full voting
results from last week’s News Corporation AGM hasn’t been an easy
process. Unlike with previous years, we no longer get the full proxy
and final results lodged with the ASX. We couldn’t find anything lodged
with the New York Stock Exchange either, but it seems you can get a
hand written form of figures directly from News Corp if you ask. Check
out what they sent through here.

Rupert
Murdoch was only intending to read out the percentage of “for” votes at
the AGM, when compared with the “against” votes or the “withheld”
votes, in the case of the four director ballots. He volunteered the
actual “against” and “withheld” votes when asked by Crikey, but no
mention was ever made of the number of votes that “abstained” or were
“undirected”.

We still haven’t been told the size of the
undirected proxies, although a News Corp spinner now says that they
weren’t voted, which is to be commended.

Therefore, we now have a clear picture of the size of the protest. The
three billionaires speak for 548 million votes (Rupert Murdoch 308m,
John Malone 188m, Saudi Prince
57m) and they were certainly crucial in the director elections where
the “for” votes ranged between 672 million and 694 million and the
against votes ranged between 108 million and 122 million, a bare
majority of the independent vote.

Murdoch couldn’t vote on the
pay rise for directors, which was clearly saved by Malone and the Saudi
Prince as this resolution received just 333.1 million votes in favour
and 143.68 million votes against. Strip out the two billionaires to
gauge the independent vote and you’ll find that only 88 million shares
supported the pay rise, compared with 143.68 million which went the
other way.