The age of entitlement

Prospects for the states’ seat entitlements in the medium term, and the Coalition’s chances of having any left to their name in Victoria after the coming election.

Essential Research should be breaking the New Year polling drought this week. Until then, three things:

• I have taken a look at state population growth trends to ascertain what the states’ House of Representatives seat entitlements are likely to be when the matter is determined a year after the next election. The table below shows how the numbers looked at the determinations following the 2013 and 2016 elections, how they are right now, and where they are headed according to current trends. Note the exact size of the House of Representatives depends on the vagaries of how these numbers are rounded: it will increase to 151 at the next election, because the last round decreed extra seats for Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory while penalising only the ever-declining South Australia. Note also that Tasmania is constitutionally entitled to five seats come what may.

2013 2016 2018 2019
NSW 47.39 47.32 47.29 47.24
Victoria 36.78 37.89 38.25 38.57
Queensland 29.75 29.64 29.68 29.73
WA 16.21 15.58 15.37 15.21
SA 10.63 10.42 10.28 10.15
Tasmania 3.25 3.15 3.13 3.10
ACT 2.44 2.54 2.51 2.51
NT 1.56 1.50 1.47 1.44

It appears quite certain Western Australia will lose the sixteenth seat it gained in 2016; that Victoria could potentially gain a seat for the second electoral cycle in a row; that the Northern Territory is in big danger of reverting to one seat after eighteen years with two; and that it’s touch-and-go for the third seat the Australian Capital Territory will gain at the coming election. Western Australia was lucky not to lose a seat last time, and has since fallen well below threshold, while Victoria’s growth rate of 0.3 seats a year leaves it projected to just make it over the line. Northern Territory’s entitlement fell below two after the 2001 election, but parliament came up with a legislative fiddle to preserve its second seat. Its population then went through a period of growth on the back of the resources boom, which has lately been in reverse. The ACT’s numbers tend to wax with Labor governments and wane with Coalition ones, owing to the parties’ respective attitudes to the public service, so the result of the coming election may have a bearing here.

The Australian reports that Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, “will make an announcement about her political future on Monday morning”. One senses the announcement will be that she is not seeking re-election, as the Voices for Indi group that was behind her successful campaigns in 2013 and 2016 has seen fit to anoint her successor: Helen Haines, a Wangaratta-based midwife and rural health researcher. However, McGowan’s position was that she would wait to see who the group chose before deciding, and Haines says she will happily leave the field clear for McGowan if she wants to continue. The unsuccessful candidates included McGowan’s sister, local lawyer Helen McGowan. It is anticipated that Senator Bridget McKenzie, who recently relocated her electorate office to Wodonga, will run for the Nationals if McGowan retires.

• The Nine Network reports Liberal internal polling shows it headed for a near total wipeout in Melbourne, with only Tim Wilson in Goldstein looking good to hang on. However, this was reportedly conducted at the time of the state election, which raises two issues: whether its proximity confused respondents, and why it whoever leaked it should be doing so now in particular.

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.

1,220 comments on “The age of entitlement”

Comments Page 25 of 25
1 24 25
  1. 60 MinutesVerified account@60Minutes
    12h12 hours ago
    During the first two years of the Trump Administration, the House Oversight Committee made 64 requests for subpoenas but Republican chairmen blocked all of them.

    What goes around, comes around. Now the Democrats are the ones in charge.

  2. A Chinese court issued the death penalty on Monday in the retrial of a convicted Canadian drug trafficker, a sentence that is expected to sharply escalate China’s diplomatic row with Canada and the United States.

    Robert Lloyd Schellenberg’s new sentence comes after an appeals court this month sided with prosecutors who argued that his original sentence of 15 years was too light given new evidence implicating the 36-year old’s role in an organized drug trafficking operation.

  3. How incompetent are the federal Police.

    There is a reported confession, yet they say there is not enough evidence of a crime!

    No criminal charges for anyone implicated in leaking information in AWU raids case

    Commonwealth prosecutors will not pursue criminal charges against anyone implicated in leaks to the media about raids on the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

    Lawyers for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) told the Federal Court on Monday there was little chance of a successful prosecution.

  4. Itza, tonight I have had the chance to listen to the ACO’s performance of Beethoven’s fifth, the performance you marked a few nights ago. It is absolutely remarkable; really so fresh and inspiring. Beethoven’s originality, dexterity, courage and humanity are immortal and in this performance are brought completely to life. I was very moved, and more than once. The vitality, the majesty, the delicacy and the clarity are all there to be felt. Thank you so much for listing it.

  5. Well, it’s after midnight on the east coast and still no update from The Grauniad on Essential polling. So I’m closing off the sweep as of now and we’ll all have to wait and see what Tuesday morning brings us. The final card is:


    It’s Time;

    BK; Mavis; Al Pal; max;


    poroti; Steve777; sonar; Upnorth; Onebobsworth; ag0044; Peter Stanton; Bennelong Lurker; Sohar; C@tmomma;

    Dan; Late Riser; John R; Dave; Goll; Confessions; Toby Esterhase; Rex Douglas; DareToTread; davidwh; Andrew_Earlwood; Socrates; pica;

    grimace; Player One; don; jeffemu; imacca;

    PuffyTMD; Chinda63; SilentMajority;


  6. This should have zero impact on Hewitt’s position as captain.

    88th in the World rankings and just been knocked out in the 1st round of your Home Grand Slam and you unload on the Davis Cup captain.

    What a tosser!

    Bernard Tomic has launched an extraordinary attack on Lleyton Hewitt, claiming Australian players dislike the Davis Cup captain while suggesting there is a “conflict of interest” with his team selections.

    Tomic, who has not played Davis Cup for Australia since 2016, unleashed on Hewitt during a media conference following his Australian Open first-round defeat to sixth seed Marin Cilic.

  7. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂

    Just thought I’d drop in to see what Essential was before heading out. I was going to say 53-47 but I didn’t think people could be so beguiled by Morrison’s bs. Still, it’s understandable that there would be a tightening .

    However, as all the psephologists say, this is just margin of error stuff. 🙂

  8. From Essential, sense:

    An overwhelming majority of voters in the latest Guardian Essential poll say they support pill testing.

    The survey of 1,089 respondents, taken between 9 and 13 January found 63% of voters support pill testing where trained counsellors provide risk-reduction advice informed by on-site laboratory analysis of people’s drugs.

    The strong level of support crosses party-political lines. The poll found 57% of Liberal/National voters support pill testing, though support is strongest among Labor (73%) and Greens (74%) voters.

    Just 24% of voters oppose the idea, and roughly 12% say they “don’t know” if they support it or not.

  9. From the ABC news site: ‘Almost six months later, and after being ordered by Justice Jayne Jagot to update the court about any pending prosecutions by early January, lawyers for the AFP said charges would not be pursued.’

    Today is the 15th of January, so the they waited to the last minute to report.

    I get the impression there is a reluctance to prosecute anyone over the raids on the AWU offices.

Comments Page 25 of 25
1 24 25

Leave a Reply

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