It's a long time since political parties used to deliberately preselect people whose surnames came near the front of the alphabet, so they would appear at the top of the ballot paper. Since 1984, ballot paper positions have been determined by lot, and last Friday the AEC conducted the draw for this year's election (complete list here).

There's general agreement that the advantage of the "donkey vote" - votes that just flow straight down the ballot paper, regardless of who the candidates are - is small but not insignificant. In a paper published earlier this year, Andrew Leigh and Amy King found that being at the top of the ballot paper increased a candidate's vote by an average of one percentage point.