Draft federal redistributions: Victoria and WA

A deep dive into proposed new federal electoral boundaries for Victoria, which gains a seat, and WA, which loses one.

This post will be extensively updated throughout the day to analyse the new draft federal boundaries for Victoria and Western Australia. My quick and dirty first go at estimating the margins and party shares are featured below; here are Antony Green’s; here are Ben Raue’s.

Western Australia

The northern suburbs seat of Stirling, which was created in 1955, is set to go. East of the freeway, the bulk of the old electorate goes to Cowan, while the area around Yokine at the southern end goes to Perth; west of the freeway, the northern parts around North Beach and Carine go to Moore, the southern parts around Karrinyup go to Curtin.

Changes of note:

Cowan. The gains from Stirling, which include Balcatta, Balga, Mirrabooka and northern Dianella, are balanced by extensive losses in the north, most of them to Pearce. This adds a useful 0.5% to Anne Aly’s narrow margin.

Pearce. Becomes a lot more urban, losing Lancelin and the Avon Valley to Durack and gaining Wanneroo, Wangara and Landsdale from Cowan (although it also loses Ellenbrook to Hasluck). All of which reduces Christian Porter’s margin from 6.7% to 5.5%.

Hasluck. Gains the new urban development around Ellenbrook and nearby Swan Valley territory from Pearce, which boosts the Liberal margin from 4.6% to 5.9%.

Swan. Gains Forrestfield from Hasluck; loses Kenwick to Burt; the Liberal margin is up from 1.7% to 3.3%.


The new seat of Hawke is on Melbourne’s north-western fringes, and is pretty safe for Labor with a margin of 9.8%. Corangamite, which has existed with that name since federation, is now called Tucker, the lake from which it takes its name having gone from the electorate as the urbanisation of Geelong has pulled it eastward.

Changes of note:

Hawke. The new seat encompasses Sunbury, formerly in McEwen; extends westwards from there into Melton, formerly in Gorton; and further west still into Bacchus Marsh and Ballan, formerly in Ballarat.

Bruce. Labor’s Julian Hill has his margin cut from 14.2% to 6.9% as Noble Park gets transferred to Hotham in the west, and it gains northern Berwick in the east from La Trobe.

Hotham. Correspondingly, the gain of Noble Park boosts Clare O’Neil in Hotham from 5.9% to 11.1%, further aided by the loss of the southern end of Mount Waverley and Glen Waverley to Chisholm.

Chisholm. And Chisholm in turn loses territory at its northern end, around Box Hill North and western Forest Hill, to balance the loss to Hotham — the changes affecting around a third of its voters. I’m a little perturbed by the fact that Antony Green and Ben Raue are in agreement that this cuts the Liberal margin from 0.6% to 0.2% whereas I have it up to 0.8%.

La Trobe. The loss of northern Berwick to Bruce is balanced by semi-rural territory in the south-east, including Westernport Bay around Koo Wee Rup, which boosts the Liberals from 4.5% to 5.3% in an historically important marginal seat.

Tucker. This seat has earned its name change, being now very much centred on the Bellarine Peninsula, the Surf Coast and outer southern Geelong. The Great Ocean Road from Anglesea on goes to Wannon; rural areas around Meredith go to Ballarat, compensating it for its losses to Hawke. All of which gives Labor what may prove a handy boost of 0.8%.

Deakin. Only a few tweaks to this important marginal seat, reducing the Liberal margin from 54.8% to 54.6%.

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.

Continue reading “Finalised redistributions and federal election pendulum”

Victorian federal redistribution finalised

A few nips and tucks and changes of name, but the final federal boundaries for Victoria are much the same as those in the draft published in April.

The Australian Electoral Commission has published the finalised boundaries for the redistribution of Victoria, occasioned by the state’s gain of a thirty-eighth seat. The main changes from the draft published in April are of nomenclature: Batman will now be called Cooper, in honour of William Cooper, an Aboriginal leader of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century; and Corangamite will not be renamed Cox, as earlier proposed. It was surprising they didn’t get Batman right the first time, given their enthusiasm for changing names elsewhere (the changes of McMillan and Murray to Monash and Nicholls respectively have been confirmed) and the political sensibilities of the electorate in question. Minor adjustments have been made to 25 of the 38 seats compared with the draft, none of which is electorally consequential. Ben Raue at The Tally Room has published a set of estimated margins, and my own will follow in due course. Finalisation of the other two redistributions, in South Australia and Australian Capital Territory, will presumbly follow in very short order. Their completion will remove an obstacle to the calling of an early election, which it is increasingly being suggested might be on the cards for later in the year.

South Australian draft federal redistribution

Port Adelaide nominated for the chop in draft federal boundaries for South Australia, which bring the state down from 11 seats to 10.

The Australian Electoral Commission has published draft boundaries for the South Australian redistribution, which brings the state’s representation down from 11 seats to 10. The seat mooted for abolition is Port Adelaide; Wakefield is to be renamed Spence. At the bottom is a table featuring my estimates of party vote shares and two-party margins (Labor versus Liberal only).

Adelaide. Drifts westwards into the void created by the abolition of Port Adelaide, turning a tight Labor seat into a reasonably safe one.

Barker. Gains Barossa Valley territory around Kapunda.

Boothby. Drawn northwards into Glenelg through knock-on effects from Port Adelaide abolition, without much change to the margin.

Grey. Expends to the northern edge of Adelaide, gaining Clare Valley, with next to no impact on the margin.

Hindmarsh. Takes the bulk of Port Adelaide, turning the seat from marginal to safe Labor.

Kingston. Loses coast at southern end around Aldinga Beach, gains suburbia at northern end around Aberfoyle Park. Slightly advantageous to Liberal, but not enough to make them competitive on recent form.

Makin. Expands west to take over some Port Adelaide territory, notably Parafield Gardens.

Mayo. Not abolished, as some expected; gains the Aldinga Beach coastal area lost by Kingston.

Spence (Wakefield). Greatly strengthened for Labor through loss of Clare Valley and Barossa Valley to Grey and Barker respectively, and gain of suburbs around Paralowie from Port Adelaide.

Sturt. Gains Norwood at western end from Adelaide, with little impact on margin.

LIB change ALP change XEN change LIB 2pp vs ALP change
Adelaide 34.4% -2.1% 42.8% 6.9% 12.5% -0.3% 41.1% -4.3%
Barker 47.3% 0.8% 15.9% 0.7% 29.0% -0.1% 64.4% -0.8%
Boothby 44.4% 3.2% 27.7% 3.2% 18.3% -2.4% 52.8% -0.7%
Grey 44.7% 1.9% 22.4% 0.8% 27.2% -0.6% 58.6% -0.1%
Hindmarsh 33.5% -6.8% 43.4% 9.4% 16.4% 1.4% 41.8% -7.6%
Kingston 27.2% 3.9% 50.0% 0.6% 17.7% 0.5% 36.5% 3.5%
Makin 28.6% 0.0% 46.3% 4.5% 16.2% -0.4% 39.2% -1.2%
Mayo 37.7% -0.1% 16.4% 2.9% 33.8% -1.1% 53.3% -2.1%
Port Adelaide Abolished
Spence/Wakefield 20.4% -6.0% 49.4% 9.6% 20.1% -0.4% 32.1% -6.9%
Sturt 47.4% 3.0% 23.5% 1.3% 19.7% -1.4% 55.7% -0.1%

Victorian and ACT draft federal redistributions

New federal boundaries (and seats) in Victoria and the ACT bring Labor good news on multiple fronts.

The Australian Electoral Commission has published draft boundaries for redistributions of Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, both of which gain new seats. At the bottom of the post are my estimates for the new margins, which I’m pleased to say are almost bang on those produced independently by Ben Raue at The Tally Room. The redistribution picture will not be complete (even in draft form) until next month, when we get a draft for South Australia, which is to be knocked back from eleven seats to ten.

As expected, the draft redistributions for Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory are full of good news for Labor, who gain a new seat on Melbourne’s booming western fringe and have two Liberal-held seats made notionally Labor, without suffering too much damage through the knock-on effects. The creation of a third seat in the Australian Capital Territory could hardly fail to be of benefit to Labor, and so it has proved. There are a number of name changes: Corangamite is now Cox, in recognition of the fact that its titular lake has been transferred to neighbouring Wannon to the west; Melbourne Ports is Macnamara; Murray is Nicholls; McNamara is Monash. Corangamite and Cox I get, but I could do without the name changes to Melbourne Ports and Murray, which denote in-my-view-excessive zeal not to have electorates named after geographic features.

First, a quick guide to the most interesting of the proposed changes in Victoria. All of this relates to Coalition versus Labor: nothing of very great interest is to happen in the seats where the Greens are strong, with Adam Bandt’s position marginally improved in Melbourne, and their chances of gaining Higgins from the Liberals very slightly reduced.

Continue reading “Victorian and ACT draft federal redistributions”

Queensland federal draft redistribution

A draft federal redistribution in Queensland proposes very little change – including to Peter Dutton’s precarious electorate of Dickson.

The draft boundaries for the Queensland federal redistribution have been published, and the big story is that there is no big story. The redistribution is being held because the existing boundaries have reached their maximum permissible life span of seven years, and not because a change in the state’s seat entitlements or a serious imbalance of elector numbers, such as would necessitate more dramatic change. What we have instead is a total of 10 minor adjustments to existing boundaries, none affecting more than around 5500 voters.

The big question was how Peter Dutton’s electorate of Dickson might fare: it gains around 4000 voters in a small area of Bridgman Downs and McDowall from Lilley, a conservative voting area that by my reckoning lifts Dutton’s margin from 1.6% to 2.0% (and adds 0.5% to the 5.3% Labor margin in Lilley). The largest transfers are of roughly 5000 voters from Griffith to Moreton (parts of Annerley and Tarragindi), Leichhardt to Kennedy (parts of Bentley Park and Edmonton in southern Cairns) and Ryan to Blair (an area around Karana Downs), none of which is of any great consequence electorally.

Here’s a summary guide showing the impact on LNP two-party preferred margins: