Tasmania redistributed

The Australian Electoral Commission has unveiled the proposed new boundaries for Tasmania. More to follow.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

35 comments on “Tasmania redistributed”

  1. At first glance:

    The whole of West Coast council seems to have been transferred from Lyons to Braddon. This makes the map look really different but I don’t know whether there really is that many people being shifted in that area. Braddon has also gained Kentish LGA and lost Latrobe LGA.

    Bass is almost identical, apart from minor changes around Launceston.

    Lyons, as well as losing Kentish and West Coast and picking up Latrobe, has picked up the Bridgewater area and the area around Lake Pedder up from Franklin.

    Denison has gained what’s left of Kinsgborough from Franklin.

  2. I agree there isnt a major shift in people despite the large area change into braddon. Does this marginally favour the libs in braddon, could make it very interesting in 2010?

  3. DIVISION Proposed Old Change

    1. BASS 51.0 51.0 –
    2. BRADDON 52.7 51.5 +1.2
    3. Denison 65.3 65.6 -0.3
    4. Franklin 54.1 54.5 -0.4
    5. Lyons 57.9 58.8 -0.9

  4. I just saw antony green’s blog .He said Braddon is 51.6% >having now rechecked my numbers he’s right. Its 51.6 not 51.7 as i wrote above.
    Antony, it’s time for you to recheck your Stirling. Best to start out with 51.3% which was the lib 2PP in 2007.

  5. I’ve re-checked Braddon and I’ve now got it at 2.7%.

    I’ll check Stirling after I’ve done the WA Election, the NSW Local Government elections and the two Federal by-elections.

  6. I think Labor should be quite chuffed with this redistribution. It puts a buffer on Braddon whilst making minimal impact on the other, safer seats. Then again, no
    redistribution was really ever going to make a seat easier to clinch for the Liberals.

    As for State impact, Greens might be the only ones worried as it shaves off their margin in Bass only to give the excess to death zone Braddon.

  7. “If no one’s noticed, I’ve also re-calculated all the state figures on my blog page,”

    Yes, but have you done Stirling.

  8. Erm, re Stirling I wrote on Antony Green’s blog re WA redistribution that with Stirling he’d made a simple mistake. In 2007 the LIb 2pp was 51.3% in that seat. The Commissioners proposed boundary changes did have the effect of weakening the seat for the Liberals. But in his blog Antony describes Stirling as original margin of 0.9% and new Lib margin of 1.1%. That’s clearly a simple mistake.
    Antony chose not to print my comment on his blog.

    Back to Tassie. In Lyons (at the State election in 2006) level, the ALP primary vote was 51.9% and not 47.2% as stated by Antony in his blog.

    I’m sure he’ll check that ….in due course.

  9. Sorry Shane

    I had to post it after seeing Antony’s comment.

    “I’ll check Stirling after I’ve done the WA Election, the NSW Local Government elections and the two Federal by-elections.”

  10. Shane, I’ve already changed the Lyons figure. That’s a number of transcription errors I’ve made using the blogging software provided to me. It unfortunately won’t let me cut and paste out of Word or Excel.

  11. There are more changes than I expected here.

    With all the old electorates except Franklin within tolerance, my expectation was that a southward expansion of Denison might be the only change.

    They have made precisely that change, so a big tick there. The modest expansion of Bass also makes plenty of sense.

    The other changes I find less convincing. Moving Bridgewater from Lyons into Franklin may make sense in numbers terms, in that it gets both divisions closer to parity. But it’s not strictly necessary according to the figures, and it can’t be a good thing to have more of suburban Hobart in Lyons.

    Even more odd is the chopping and changing of the Lyons-Braddon boundary. Antony’s point about the Mersey hospital is amusing, until you realise all those Devonport residents who use the hospital are still in Braddon. (Community of interest anyone?)

    These are two changes that could see being reversed. Below I’ve calculated how the numbers fall. I’m using the projected figures, because the requirements are tighter (+/- 3.5% tolerance). Hopefully I haven’t goofed.

    As proposed:

    Braddon 74,041 (+1.4%)
    Franklin 71,877 (-1.5%)
    Lyons 73,272 (+0.4%)

    a) Reversing the Braddon/Lyons changes

    * moves 7768 from the proposed Braddon back into to Lyons
    * moves 7257 from the proposed Lyons back into Braddon, thus restoring the old Braddon

    Braddon 73,530 (+0.7%)
    Lyons 73,783 (+1.1%)

    b) Moving Bridgewater back into Franklin

    * moves 2631 from the proposed Lyons back into Franklin

    Franklin 74,508 (+2.1%)
    Lyons 70,641 (-3.2%)

    c) A combination of a) and c)

    Braddon – per a)
    Franklin – per b)
    Lyons 71,152 (-2.5%)

  12. I hate when I spot errors only after I have posted.


    ‘Moving Bridgewater from Lyons into Franklin…’

    should read

    ‘Moving Bridgewater from Franklin into Lyons…’

  13. Braddon has now resumed its historic boundaries – the old seat of Darwin/Braddon always included the West Coast (which used to be called “the Gibraltar of Labour”), which was how King O’Malley used to win it.

    I agree that a seat named for Inglis Clark would be good, but Denison has existed since 1903 and the commissioners are supposed to preserve federation seat names if possible. (Although you wouldn’t know it they way they quite unnecessarily abolished Gwydir.) The only Tas seat names which don’t date from 1903 are Braddon and Lyons. Tasmanians will just have to breed faster until they qualify for a sixth seat.

  14. David, I think your extrapolation from my joke about LaTrobe hospital to a community interest argument about the boundary between Lyons and Braddon is funnier than the original joke. I note West Coast Council is thoroughly happy to have been transferred back into Braddon, but something has to come out if that happens.

    LaTrobe Council has only been in Braddon since 2001 and is the obvious candidate to come out. I presume the residents of Braddon will just go back to having the community of interest with LaTrobe hospital that they used to have before 2001. I’m not aware they used to be turned back at the electoral boundary, though perhaps there is a local Tasmanian version of the League of Gentleman roaming the northern plans of Tasmania intoning “This is a local hospital for local people”.

  15. I guess my point was that the Mersey hospital is still a potential pork-barrel target for the voters of Braddon. Albeit a slightly reduced one.

    But I take your point about the north-west having a larger community of interest than can fit in one electorate.

  16. Regarding the Federation Seat Names

    A good example of this would be the merger of Wakefield and Bonython in SA in 2004

    There were more electors from Bonython in the new seat but the Committee went with Wakefield – a Federation seat (or 1903 seat in SA’s case)

  17. I’ve noticed some amount of jumping the gun in the media about what are at this stage still only draft changes. It is worth bearing in mind, for example, that the Tasmanian boundary changes to Legislative Council divisions ended up being quite significantly different in some cases following the public comment period on the proposal. I don’t know how often changes in response to public comment on the draft occur at federal level however.

    Thanks to Antony for the nice work on the state swings (saved me some effort!). Kim Booth’s current margin over Labor in Bass is 0.224% of the valid vote so one would have to go to a second decimal place to see whether the proposed redistribution (which transfers 0.1% from Green to Labor on Antony’s figures, ie a loss of 0.2%) might make his seat notionally Labor or not. Either way there is virtually nothing in it.

    Lanor currently holds three in Franklin by 1.6%. The proposed redistribution removes 0.9% from that buffer although it also adds 0.4% to the Greens, some of which returns to Labor. So the third seat would remain notionally Labor’s – however with the loss of Paul Lennon and the uncertain future of Paula Wriedt (who only just held her seat last time) Labor is facing a profile crisis in this seat and I will be extremely surprised if it holds three in Franklin at the next election.

  18. What’s the point in guidelines if they’re to be ignored? I agree the Commissioners are not *required* to preserve federation seat names, or they wouldn’t have been able to abolish Gwydir. But the point of guidlelines is to guide people. The Commissioners are supposed to be guided not to abolish federation seat names.

  19. Adam, are you asking what the point of the guidelines is in theory, or what the point of them is in practice? If you mean ‘in theory’, then I don’t know the answer. The practical answer, though, is empirically clear. The guidelines are used to provide justification for dismissing public suggestions which the commissioners don’t want to accept and which also conflict with the guidelines. When the commissioners themselves want to do something which conflicts with the guidelines, they simply don’t refer to them.

  20. I’m quite surprised that Frankling still remains a fragmented seat… no requirement for contiguity, which is interesting. Not sure what the community of interest is between the Huon Valley and Eastern suburbs of Hobart either… anyway, that’s my two cents.

  21. J-D – Give it a rest. This is beyond tedious.

    Pseph – Franklin is contiguous through the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

  22. Pseph, the arrangement with Franklin has been in existence since 1903. I suspect that if the locals had a concern about Franklin’s fragmented state, we would have heard about it by now.

  23. Franklin is pretty bizarre; there is really no community of interest between the Huon/Channel area and the eastern shore; perhaps the South Arm area has characters intermediate between them to make some kind of continuum out of it but that’s about it.

    However, it’s really hard to find a better solution. If you put the Huon/Channel in Lyons you end up with the Huon/Channel area as an effectively disjunct arm of Lyons – even if it isn’t spatially disjunct, it may as well be since it is only connected to the rest of the electorate by obscure dirt roads.

    If you put the Huon/Channel in Denison then you end up having to give some of the Greater Hobart area to Lyons for population balance reasons which makes Lyons a semi-urban semi-rural mess.

    At least given the small size of Denison the disconnection between the bits of Franklin isn’t very large in spatial and travel time terms.

  24. Well as a local of the eastern shore in Franklin i can say i don’t know many who have strong concerns about the shape of franklins borders. Maybe the odd jealous swipe at Kingston for a perceived unfair treatment. Though i will concede that we may have more in common with the area around Sorell than The Huon valley. This divide may become problematic in future if these areas continue to grow as quickly as they have.

    On the same note i would worry if the status quo was changed then it might give CFMEU Labor even more influence within Tasmania which i personally think is strong enough already.

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