Federal redistributions: Victoria and Western Australia

Analysis of newly published draft federal boundaries for Western Australia and Victoria.

Proposed new federal boundaries have been published today for both Western Australia and Victoria.


The Victorian proposal is here. The proposed seat for abolition is Higgins, reflecting under-enrolment in the inner eastern areas of Melbourne. Below are my estimates of the new vote shares (you’ll have to click on the image for it to be legible), which can be compared with Ben Raue’s similar exercise. Note that there are three seats where the two-candidate preferred has to be split three ways: Melbourne is to take a chunk of Higgins, for which there are no ALP vs GRN numbers; Goldstein gets parts of Hotham and Isaacs, where there is no TEAL vs LIB; and Kooyong gets a big piece of Higgins, ditto.

The best news for Labor is that Menzies now has a notional Labor margin of 0.7% (0.3% by Ben Raue’s reckoning) compared with an actual Liberal margin of 0.7%. Beyond having lost Higgins, the news is bad for them in Chisholm, where their margin is down from 6.4% to 3.3% by Ben Raue’s reckoning and 2.8% by mine, and Wills, where the Greens have been handed the gift of Carlton North and Fitzroy North from Melbourne, cutting the Labor margin over them from 8.6% to 4.2%. However, their 0.7% improvement in Dunkley might prove handy one day.

At first glance, I would imagine that Monique Ryan would be pleased not merely to have had her electorate maintained, but to have had it supplemented with the inner urban end of Higgins and to have lost territory in the east to Menzies and Chisholm. Goldstein teal MP Zoe Daniel’s gains from Hotham and Isaacs are perhaps less helpful, though that is harder to read.

Western Australia

The proposed sixteenth seat for the state is called Bullwinkel and encompasses eastern suburbs of Perth and the Avon Valley further afield, taking much of the territory of Hasluck along with parts of Swan, Burt, Canning, Durack and O’Connor. The new seat has a notional Labor margin of 2.9%, but in the absence of a defending sitting member and given the unusual nature of the 2022 result, the Liberals would be favoured to win. However, its creation has given Labor a helpful 4.7% boost in Hasluck, which loses its most conservative territory to the new seat. Andrew Hastie is a loser out of the redistribution in Canning, but is presumably not in too much danger. Labor has been favoured slightly in Tangney and Swan, Liberal in Cowan. The changes are unlikely to make much difference to teal independent Kate Chaney in Curtin.

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.

56 comments on “Federal redistributions: Victoria and Western Australia”

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  1. Although Labor is losing Higgins, Menzies is now theoretically a Labor marginal and Deakin is going to be close to line ball. This will effect how the Liberals expend resources too. If they go crazy in Kooyong again trying to win back from the Teal territory which is their birth right, then means less resources further east.

    Additionally Melbourne is now more competitive for Labor; they haven’t tried hard to regain it since 2013. Since then it has been candidates that have not set the world on fire. I don’t think Labor will be able to win it back but every resource that Greens are forced to expended in Melbourne is less they can expend in Wills.

  2. Note: The figures for Aston ^ ignores the 2023 by election which moved the seat to Labor on 3.7% 2PP before this redistribution.

  3. Robbosays:
    Saturday, June 1, 2024 at 8:10 pm
    With respect to the polling across all the federal electorates the published report here on the Poll Bludger, mention was made that the inner city Brisbane electorate currently held by the Greens was at risk of being lost to the ALP at the next federal election.

    Your observations Robbo suggest Labor would be smart to tip their QLD resources into going after gettable Coalition seats rather than the fantasy of trying to grab Brisbane from the Greens. Im marking down the Greens to retain all their QLD gains at this stage in the circus.

  4. Thanks for the speedy analysis! Would be great to see an updated national pendulum factoring in the post-redistribution margins for WA and Vic (noting that NSW is still to come).

  5. I notice the media are still misquoting Antony Green’s original estimate for Kooyong from Friday despite him posting a correction/explainer yesterday.

    There are a number of articles entirely predicated upon Antony Green’s analysis that the transfer of voters from Higgins shrinks Ryan’s margin, even though his blog now clearly states that’s not his opinion, and the area being transferred from Higgins actually has a lower LIB v ALP 2PP than Kooyong, meaning it’s likely that would also translate into a small boost to Ryan’s margin.

    On another topic, it’s funny how The Age on Friday, in their usual form lately, portrayed the two redistributions as being bad for Labor. In some ways it is (eg. Chisholm now more winnable etc), but they even spun the net gains/losses as bad for Labor. Let’s look at the actual net outcomes from this:
    * WA is +1 for Labor;
    * VIC is neutral for Labor and -1 for Libs (due to Menzies notionally changing hands)

    Basically, Labor +1, Liberal -1.

    But The Age reported this as “Bad news for Labor as the redistribution abolishes a Labor seat in VIC and creates a “winnable” one for the Libs in WA”. Pretty creative, spinning the creation of a Labor seat into the AEC creating a “winnable” Liberal seat!

    Finally, one more thing. I did a really detailed calculation of the notional Macnamara primary votes and 3CP, applying appropriate adjustments (variation between Windsor & rest of Higgins) and also applying the different ‘Other’ preference flows from both Higgins & Macnamara to the areas transferring in & out to get as accurate a 3CP as possible.

    I came up with primary votes of:
    ALP – 31.71% (-0.05%)
    GRN – 30.14% (+0.49%)
    LIB – 28.53% (-0.47%)
    Other – 9.62% (+0.04%)

    After allocating ‘Other’ preferences as per the method outlined above, applying the specific Higgins flows to what’s transferring in and the Macnamara flows to what’s transferring out, I get the following remarkable result:

    ALP – 33.45%
    GRN – 33.34%
    LIB – 33.22%

    In 2022 there was only 0.83% between first and third, which this redistribution appears to have shrunk to 0.23%!

    It would mean this notionally becomes an ALP v GRN contest (just) which the ALP would most likely retain comfortably (but not as safe as the ALP v LIB margin). But, any slight swing away from the ALP would turn this into a GRN v LIB contest which the Greens would obviously win very comfortably.

    Which really is absolutely no different to pre-redistribution anyway as we’re talking about such small numbers, but still interesting to quantify.

    How many seats are there where a tiny swing of even 0.3% in any direction could result in 3 completely different 2CP scenarios that would all have relatively safe margins? It’s really unique.

  6. The story that Labor was in trouble disappeared as the Liberals went through a classic episode of “Come back Josh”. Frydenberg is clearly loved by sections of the Victorian Liberal party and they are very keen on getting him back. But all that happened was the story went from Bad News for Labor to Bad News for Liberals.

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