The Australian Electoral Commission has announced its determination of states’ House of Representatives seat entitlements, confirming that New South Wales is to lose one of its 48 seats and Western Australia will gain a sixteenth seat. This is the third time New South Wales has lost a seat since the 2007 election, and Western Australia’s third gain since the enlargement of parliament in 1984. Needless to say, redistributions will be required, which will complicate any notion of an early election before they are finalised. This is because mini-redistributions would be needed to ensure that WA was granted the seat to which it is entitled. To cop Antony Greens description of this ugly and so far never used procedure: The AEC would divide the two neighbouring seats with the highest combined enrolment into three seats. In a state set to lose a member, the two electorates with the lowest enrolment would be amalgamated into a single seat.
Ben Raue at The Tally Room earlier did posts on how the two redistributions might play out, which you can see here for New South Wales and here for Western Australia. In the former case, the simplest option would be to excise a seat from an under-quota stretch extending from the Central Coast to Ballina, the most likely candidate being one of the Hunter region seats. However, Antony Green offers that you “might see a more radical re-design which abolishes both Hunter and Riverina and creates a new upper hunter/mid-west seat”. For Western Australia, what seems to me the logical strategy would be to divide the ungainly eastern suburbs electorate of Hasluck to create one seat oriented around Midland and another around oriented around Gosnells (and I might further suggest naming the former seat Swan, and renaming the seat currently bearing that name).
No doubt though there is a lot I have failed to consider. So here is a thread for discussion of the matter.