The Australian Electoral Commission has published draft boundaries for the federal redistribution of Western Australia, whereby the state will gain a sixteenth House of Representatives seat. The full report is available here; stay tuned to this post, because I will add further analysis to it over the next few hours. For those of you in the TL;DR camp, the new seat of Burt in Perth’s southern suburbs has a Liberal margin of around 5% this makes it winnable for Labor, which both sides would have had that factored in. I imagine the Liberals would be slightly happier than Labor all round since their position has been improved in Hasluck and Swan, while deteriorating in Cowan.
Here are estimates of the Liberal 2PP based on the new boundaries, based on 2013 polling booth results (without having taken the effort to split booths located near boundaries) and further calculations based on how non-booth votes differed from booth-votes:
I’ll be progressively adding seats to the following summaries in rough order of interest:
New seat: Liberal 4.8%
Both parties’ submissions recommended that the new electorate be located in the south-east of Perth, and Burt essentially delivers to order, extending from Langford and Thornlie in the north through Canning Vale and Kelmscott to Armadale. Hasluck (Thornlie, Gosnells, Southern River) and Canning (Kelmscott, Armadale, Forrestdale) provide a bit under 40% each, with most of the rest coming from Tangney (Canning Vale). The latter provided the Liberals’ strongest booths in 2013, while Labor had slight majorities around Huntingdale. The Armadale booths slightly favoured the Liberals, which presumably tells you something about the strength of Don Randall’s personal vote, because Armadale is Labor’s safest seat at state level.
Old margin: Liberal 4.9%
New margin: Liberal 6.0%
The Liberal submission proposed that Hasluck be compensated for territories lost to the new seat extending far to the east, and the proposal goes half way to accommodating this by adding a swathe of the Darling Range including Mundaring even if it doesn’t go all the way to Northam and the Avon Valley, as the Liberals optimistically proposed. This adds a handy boost to the Liberal member Ken Wyatt in a seat that would, at a median election, be a marginal Labor seat.
Old margin: Liberal 6.5%
New margin: Liberal 7.6%
All the residential areas near the boundary of this electorate are relatively strong for Labor, so it was always likely that the garnishing of the electorate was going to hurt their cause. So it has proved, with the Labor-voting Ferndale, Lynwood, Langford and Beckenham area in the electorate’s south-east, which accounted for 8.5% of its enrolment, being divided between Burt, Hasluck and Tangney.
Old margin: Liberal 7.5%
New margin: Liberal 4.0%
Much better news for Labor in the seat held by Luke Simpkins, who was a prime mover in the February spill motion. The tendency of the electorate is to be stronger for the Liberals in the west and for Labor in the east; the redistribution has carved out Woodvale and Kingsley at the western end, which are now wasted areas of Liberal strength in the already safe seat of Moore, while in the east, Beechboro and Lockridge are gained from Perth.
Old margin: Liberal 10.3%
New margin: Liberal 9.2%
The inner northern suburbs seat of Stirling used to be fiercely contested, but the Liberal margin has progressively blown out since Michael Keenan gained it in 2013. In a somewhat similar story to Cowan, the electorate has weakened Keenan a little by sending Doubleview and Innaloo in the west to Curtin, and adding eastern Dianella at the eastern end from Perth.
Old margin: Liberal 11.8%
New margin: Liberal 12.9%
About a third of the old electorate, namely the part around Armadale, is transferred to Burt, and it’s the strongest area for Labor. However, the redistribution has also sensibly ceded to Canning the part of Mandurah that was formerly in Brand, and this too is a pretty good area for Labor. Gains from Hasluck, Pearce and O’Connor look substantial on the map, but account for few voters.
Old margin: Labor 2.9%
New margin: Labor 3.6%
As just noted, the electorate has sensibly been cut down to size by transferring its Mandurah territory at the southern end to Canning, which is slightly to the advantage of Labor member Gary Gray.