Finalised redistributions and federal election pendulum

A full accounting of the electoral landscape as the boundaries for the next election are finalised.

Federal redistributions for Victoria, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have been finalised over the past fortnight, a development that removes procedural obstacles for the staging of a normal election for the House of Representatives and half the Senate. At the bottom of this post is a new electoral pendulum based on post-redistribution margins. This illustrates that the goverment has, notionally speaking, lost its majority, being reduced from 76 seats to 74 in a chamber that increases in size from 150 to 151. The Liberal-held Victorian seats of Corangamite and Dunkley move into the Labor column (just barely in the former case – others who calculate the margins might very easily fall the other way), while Labor also gains new seats in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, but loses a seat through the abolition of Port Adelaide in South Australia. That gives Labor 72 seats, assuming the cross-bench remains unchanged with its existing five members. All margins shown in the pendulum are Labor-versus-Coalition, except in the five seats held by minor parties and independents.

The main changes made from the draft to the finalised boundaries are cosmetic, in that Corangamite will retain that name and not be renamed Cox, and Batman will be renamed Cooper. Beyond that, minor changes were made to eleven seats in Victoria. The most significant change was to Deakin, costing it around a third of the 19,000 voters it was originally to gain from Casey in the east, and compensating it at the other end with more than 3000 extra voters in Vermont South from Chisholm. The electoral impacts are very slightly advantageous to the Liberals, boosting their margin in Dunkley relative to the draft proposal by 0.4% to 6.6%. There are no changes to the draft as far as I can see in South Australia, and only a minor and inconsequential one in the Australian Capital Territory.

The links below provide my full accounting of the new margins, both for the three redistributions just finalised, and the other three concluded since the last election.

Federal Redistribution of Victoria 2018
Federal Redistribution of Australian Capital Territory 2018
Federal Redistribution of South Australia 2018

Federal Redistribution of Queensland 2018
Federal Redistribution of Tasmania 2017
Federal Redistribution of Northern Territory 2017

The two-party results featured above are strictly Labor-versus-Coalition, which leaves some explaining required where this doesn’t apply. None of the three Melbourne inner-city seats where the Greens threaten Labor has been significantly changed. There is no difficulty counting a new Labor-versus-Greens result in Wills and the seat now known as Cooper, since neither gains territory from a seat in which no Labor-versus-Greens count was conducted. David Feeney held the Greens off in Batman by 1.0% in 2016, but I now make it at 0.5%, while Ben Raue at The Tally Room has it at 0.7%. However, given Ged Kearney’s succession to the seat in the March by-election, comparisons based on the 2016 election are rather academic. Labor’s margin over the Greens in Wills is unchanged at 4.9%. Cathy McGowan’s seat undergoes only minor changes, although territory gained from Murray (now Nicholls) now provides about 4% of its voters, which obviously cannot be used to measure support there for McGowan. This is not enough to significantly alter the position of McGowan, who held off Sophie Mirrabella in 2016 by 4.8%.

In South Australia, the Nick Xenophon Team reached the final count in four seats, winning Mayo from the Liberals by a margin of 5.0%, and finishing 2.0% and 4.7% short of Liberal incumbents in Grey and Barker, and 14.9% short of Labor in Port Adelaide. In no case can new margins be determined: Port Adelaide is abolished; Grey and Barker have both gained territory from Wakefield, respectively accounting for around 15% and 8.5% of their voters, where no Liberal-versus-NXT count was conducted; and Mayo gains territory from Kingston and Boothby, collectively accounting for over 17% of the voters, neither of which had useable counts.

Pendulum over the fold below. Seats whose notional party has changed are indicated with an asterisk. The “redist.” column records the effect on the margin of redistributions, where they have been conducted (i.e. everywhere but New South Wales and Western Australia). Margins shown for the five seats held by minor parties and independents are their winning margins at the 2016 election, with no change made for the redistribution.

Coalition seats
Non-Coalition seats State Margin Redist.
0.0 0.6 QLD Capricornia Corangamite* VIC 0.0 +3.1
0.0 0.6 QLD Forde Herbert QLD 0.0 0.0
0.7 NSW Gilmore Cowan WA 0.7
0.0 1.0 QLD Flynn Longman QLD 0.8 0.0
1.1 NSW Robertson Lindsay NSW 1.1
1.4 NSW Banks Dunkley* VIC 1.3 +2.7
+0.1 1.7 QLD Petrie Griffith QLD 1.3 -0.3
+0.4 2.0 QLD Dickson Macnamara VIC 1.4 0.0
2.1 WA Hasluck Braddon TAS 1.6 -0.6
2.3 NSW Page Isaacs VIC 2.2 -3.5
+0.9 2.4 VIC La Trobe Macquarie NSW 2.2
-0.6 2.9 SA Boothby Eden-Monaro NSW 2.9
0.0 3.4 QLD Bonner Lyons TAS 3.1
+2.2 3.4 VIC Chisholm Perth WA 3.3
+0.1 3.4 QLD Dawson Bendigo VIC 3.9 +0.2
3.6 WA Pearce Richmond NSW 4.0
3.6 WA Swan Moreton QLD 4.1 +0.1
-0.1 3.9 QLD Leichhardt Hotham VIC 4.2 -3.3
-1.8 4.3 VIC Casey Indi VIC IND 4.8 vs LIB
4.7 NSW Reid Dobell NSW 4.8
-0.2 5.7 SA Sturt Mayo SA NXT 5.0 vs LIB
+0.2 6.1 QLD Brisbane Jagajaga VIC 5 +0.3
6.1 WA Stirling McEwen VIC 5.4 -2.4
+0.9 6.6 VIC Deakin Bass TAS 5.5 -0.6
6.8 WA Canning Lilley QLD 5.8 +0.5
0.0 7.1 QLD Bowman Solomon ACT 6.1 +0.1
-0.7 7.1 VIC Flinders Greenway NSW 6.3
-1.2 7.4 VIC Aston Burt WA 7.1
+1.8 7.8 VIC Monash Ballarat VIC 7.4 +0.1
-2.7 7.9 VIC Menzies Fremantle WA 7.5
-0.5 8.1 SA Grey Parramatta NSW 7.7
+0.1 8.2 QLD Wide Bay Blair QLD 8.2 -0.7
0.0 8.4 QLD Hinkler Hindmarsh SA 8.2 +7.6
0.0 9.1 QLD Ryan Lingiari ACT 8.2
+0.2 9.3 QLD Fisher Werriwa NSW 8.2
9.3 NSW Hughes Barton NSW 8.3 0.0
+0.3 9.3 VIC Wannon Macarthur NSW 8.3
0.0 9.6 QLD Wright Corio VIC 8.5 -1.5
9.7 NSW Bennelong Kingsford Smith NSW 8.6
10.2 NSW Hume Adelaide SA 8.9 +4.2
-0.4 10.3 VIC Higgins Bean ACT 8.9 New
-0.1 10.8 QLD Fairfax Oxley QLD 9.1 0.0
11.0 WA Moore Maribyrnong VIC 9.4 -2.9
11.1 WA Durack Holt VIC 9.8 -4.4
11.1 WA Tangney Shortland NSW 9.9 0.0
11.1 NSW Warringah Franklin TAS 10.7
+0.3 11.3 QLD Fadden Paterson NSW 10.7
11.6 NSW Lyne Makin SA 10.8 +1.1
0.0 11.6 QLD McPherson Kennedy QLD KAP 11.1 vs LNP
11.8 NSW Calare Rankin QLD 11.3 0.0
12.6 NSW Cowper Brand WA 11.4
12.6 WA Forrest Fenner ACT 11.8 -2.1
0.0 12.7 VIC Goldstein McMahon NSW 12.1
-0.4 12.9 VIC Kooyong Hunter NSW 12.5
13.6 NSW North Sydney Canberra ACT 13.2 +4.7
-1.1 14.1 SA Barker Cunningham NSW 13.3
-0.2 14.7 QLD Moncrieff Kingston SA 13.6 -3.4
15.0 WA O’Connor Whitlam NSW 13.7
15.1 NSW Parkes Newcastle NSW 13.8
0.0 15.3 QLD Groom Lalor VIC 14.4 +1.0
15.4 NSW Cook Gellibrand VIC 14.7 -3.5
15.7 NSW Mackellar Sydney NSW 15.3
16.4 NSW New England Bruce VIC 15.5 +11.4
16.4 NSW Riverina Fowler NSW 17.5
+0.1 16.5 NSW Berowra Watson NSW 17.6
0.0 17.5 QLD Maranoa Clark TAS IND 17.8 vs ALP
17.8 NSW Mitchell Spence SA 17.8 +6.8
17.8 NSW Wentworth Gorton VIC 18.3 -1.2
-0.3 18.1 VIC Gippsland Melbourne VIC GRN 18.5 vs LIB
-1.7 19.6 VIC Mallee Chifley NSW 19.2
20.5 NSW Farrer Blaxland NSW 19.5
20.7 WA Curtin Calwell VIC 20.3 +2.4
21.0 NSW Bradfield Scullin VIC 20.3 +3.0
-2.5 22.4 VIC Nicholls Fraser VIC 20.5 New
Wills VIC 21.7 +0.5
Cooper VIC 22.1 +0.4
Grayndler NSW 22.4

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.

14 comments on “Finalised redistributions and federal election pendulum”

  1. Regarding Victoria.

    Dunkley is currently held by a first term Liberal MP, so any personal vote he has developed could make it down to the wire. Especially if there is negiable swing to Labor down in Victoria.

    Isaacs and Hotham on the new boundaries are now seats they could be won by the Liberals in a good election.

    The new seat of Nichols has an orientation along the Goulburn valley highway now and extending to Seymour and Broadford. Once Daiman Drum retires it will become a seat the Liberals instead of the Nationals would win. The Drum only defeated McGauchie who was the Liberal candidate in by 55.13-44.87 at the 2016 election on the old boundaries of Murray.

  2. The AEC does a 2PP for seats such as Indi and Mayo. Is it possible to work out what the changes mean for those? Or is it taking the number crunching a step too far?

  3. Zoomster, the problem in (say) Indi is that a bunch of Murray has been added to the electorate, and we have no idea how many of those are Cathy McGowan voters, before or after preferences. If none of them were, McGowan would still have a margin of 2.6%.

  4. I think the Greens will have a better chance in Cooper and Wills when the ALP are in power as that will drive some voters unhappy with ALP decisions in power away from the ALP, like happened in 2010.

  5. William, just to clarify: These are official now? i.e. if the election were called tomorrow, they would be the boundaries (No other formal action needs to happen in the process)?

  6. I am glad Corangamite retained its name. Such a musical-sounding name deserves its place.

    Cor-rang-gah-mite. I can hear Antony Green’s voice elucidating it now.

  7. Tristo,

    I agree with most of your comments. Isaacs is basically a genuine marginal now by contracting along the coast, and will be a good long-term contest. Hotham might depend on future redistributions (I can see it losing Wheelers Hill and pushing back down into Springvale in the short term).

    I wonder if Labor would look at shifting Mark Dreyfuss into a safer seat if they see him as a long term prospect? Plus I still find it very odd that Shorten didn’t take the chance to move to Fraser.

    The Nationals did beat the Liberals at state level in the seat of Euroa, even outpolling the Liberals in most of the Seymour area booths. So I’d think Nicholls would still be a keen contest between the two Coalition parties on these boundaries.

  8. @Mark Mulcair

    You raise a good point about state seat of Euroa and the last state election results in it. I stand corrected about the National competitiveness in that seat. About Hotham, I agree with a possible future change to it which would make it safer for Labor.

    Dunkley, the changes were pretty sound removing Mornington and adding Carrum Downs. Eventually Dunkley could lose Mt Eliza and become a fairly safe Labor electorate based on Frankston City Council.

    Maribyrnong – I believe it is a little bit more safer for Labor than the redistributed margin is. Because it added Flemington and Ascot Vale from Melbourne which is held by Adam Brandt.

  9. Mr Bowes – You have labelled the two NT seats as ACT seats. You can probably delete this after correction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *