Western Australian state redistribution finalised

Analysis of the boundaries that will apply at the next Western Australian state election in March 2025.

The Western Australian state redistribution has been finalised, leaving undisturbed the basic scheme from the draft proposal in which the regional seats of Moore and North West Central are merged into Mid-West and a new seat of Oakford is created on Perth’s south-eastern fringe. A geospatial file has not yet been provided, so the analysis below is based on eyeballing the published maps and reports, leaving open the possibility I may have missed a few things.

The main change from the draft is that the commissioners have thought better of their plan to turn the coastal northern suburbs seats of Carine and Hillarys into elongated north-south electorates of Hillarys and Padbury, the former covering the coast and the latter the area further inland. I calculated that the proposed Padbury had a Labor margin of 12.9% while the revised Hillarys had 9.6%, whereas now I get 18.9% for Hillarys (19.0% at the election) and 4.0% for Carine (2.5%).

The West Australian recently reported that Caitlin Collins, Labor’s member for Hillarys, was being tipped for Padbury – presumably she will now be more than happy to stay put. It was also reported in The West that Padbury was of interest to Liam Staltari, who was “viewed as a rising star within the Liberal Party” and had recently moved to Duncraig – now at the heart of the highly tempting prospect of Carine.

Two Liberals were said to be eyeing Hillarys as proposed by the draft boundaries: Tony Krsticevic, who held Carine before 2021 and will surely now wish to do so again, and Scott Edwardes, son of party powerbrokers Colin and Cheryl Edwardes and candidate in 2021 for Kingsley, the seat formerly held by his mother. Krsticevic has been linked with the “Clan” faction, while Edwardes is part of a northern suburbs bloc that includes his parents and upper house aspirant Simon Ehrenfeld.

Other changes from the draft include the reversal of alterations to Balcatta, a marginal seat in normal circumstances, that would have reduced the margin from 25.8% to 24.5%. Balcatta was to gain part of Gwelup from Scarborough and lose part of Westminster to Morley. To balance this revision, Scarborough no longer stands to gain a part of Scarborough and Doubleview from Churchlands – I now have the Labor margin there at 9.3%, hardly changed from 9.4% in the draft, but down from the actual Labor margin of 10.4%. Churchlands will in turn no longer gain part of City Beach from Cottesloe, boosting the Labor margin to 1.6% from 0.8% at the election and 0.1% in the draft. Cottesloe, one of two seats won by the Liberals, will in turn not gain part of Floreat from Nedlands, and thus emerge unchanged.

Further afield, Albany will gain all of the Shire of Plantagenet, which is currently in Warren-Blackwood but stood to be divided between Albany and Roe. Warren-Blackwood will surely return to the conservative fold at the next election come what may, but a further addition of rural territory to Albany is unhelpful for Labor in a seat they have held against the odds since 2001. Labor won the seat by 13.7% at the election, which I had coming down to 11.3% on the draft boundaries, and now to 10.8%.

Similarly, Geraldton will now gain Kalbarri and the rest of the northern end of the Shire of Northampton, which the draft had in Mid-West. Labor won the seat by 11.7% at the election, which I had down to 10.0% on the draft boundaries and 9.2% on the final ones. The Shire of Victoria Plains will be entirely within Central Wheatbelt and not split between it and Mid-West as proposed in the draft, which is unlikely to factor into anyone’s calculations. Last and probably least, the commissioners have thought better of renaming Swan Hills as Walyunga.

My two-party preferred estimates of the final boundaries are as follows:

UPDATE: My full final accounting of the new party votes shares and margins can be found here. I land within 0.3% of Antony Green’s two-party preferred estimates in 53 of 59 seats, the biggest imbalance being Kalgoorlie with 0.8%. Ben Raue has two-party and primary vote estimates at The Tally Room.

Weekend miscellany: NSW Liberal preselections, Voice polling and more (open thread)

Four federal Liberals face preselection challenges as factional tensions in the NSW branch reignite.

It was noted here last week that the Liberals had opened nominations in eight of the nine federal seats they hold in New South Wales, making an exception for Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook so as not to put him in an awkward spot as the party gently persuades him to bring forward his retirement. The Guardian reports that challengers to incumbents have come forward in four of these seats, three of which have been gestating since before the last election. They were largely thwarted on that occasion by the designs of one of their targets, Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, who was able to clog up the process long enough to compel the party hierarchy to resolve the matter in favour of the incumbents just weeks before the onset of the campaign.

Hawke is a close ally of Scott Morrison and a leading figure in the centre right faction, which had been left marginalised by deals between moderates and conservatives, and was weakened still further by the election defeat. Relatedly, Hawke faces a conservative-driven motion before the party’s state council to expel him over his tactics before the election. A recurring theme of the current round of challenges is that conservatives who were thwarted last time are now hopeful that Hawke and his faction will be too weak to fend them off. The aspirant in Hawke’s own seat of Mitchell in Sydney’s north-west, then and now, is Michael Abrahams, a lieutenant-colonel in the Army Reserve.

Also under pressure are two senior front-benchers, including no less a figure than the deputy party leader, Sussan Ley. Ley had variously been associated with the moderate and centre right factions, and appeared to be under pressure in her rural seat of Farrer before the last election following a conservative recruitment drive in local party branches. On that occasion her prospective challenger was Christian Ellis, a public relations specialist noted locally as a campaigner for water rights, who like Abrahams was thwarted by the national executive intervention. This time she will reportedly be opposed by Jean Haynes, a Deniliquin school teacher who appeared to have a seat in the state upper house lined up in December after the party hierarchy intervened to dump three male incumbents and replace them with women. However, a revision to the plan saw her make way for Rachel Merton, in part due to moderate objections over her role in Ellis’s challenge to Ley.

The other senior figure who faces a rival nominee is Paul Fletcher, former Communications Minister and member for the northern Sydney seat of Bradfield, where he was run uncomfortably close at the election by unheralded teal independent Nicolette Boele. However, the challenge from Paul Nettelbeck, described by The Guardian as a “communications expert who previously worked for the Menzies Research Institute”, is understood to be “primarily a defensive manoeuvre to prevent Fletcher retiring and passing his seat uncontested to a NSW moderate”. In the wake of the Aston by-election defeat in April, Niki Savva of the Age/Herald related that both Ley and Fletcher, together with Dan Tehan and Angus Taylor, had been “openly displaying their wares” in anticipation of a possible move against Peter Dutton’s leadership.

Also facing a challenge is the centre right-aligned Melissa McIntosh, whose success in increasing her margin in the difficult seat of Lindsay last year has seemingly failed to mollify local conservatives. McIntosh is again opposed by Mark Davies, Penrith councillor and husband of state Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies, who called off his challenge before the last election under the terms of a factional deal.

Other news:

• The Age/Herald has published results on the Indigenous Voice from this week’s Resolve Strategic poll, which found no leading 52-48 on a forced response question, compared with 51-49 a month ago. When an uncommitted option was included, 36% opted for yes (down six) and 42% no (up two). State breakdowns had no leading 51-49 in New South Wales, Western Australia and South Australia and 58-42 in Queensland, with yes leading 52-48 in Victoria and 54-46 in Tasmania (with caution due for small samples sizes particularly in the smaller states). The poll was conducted Wednesday to Saturday from a sample of 1610.

• Roy Morgan conducted one of its “snap SMS” polls this week in the wake of the Victorian government’s cancellation of the Commonwealth Games, which credited the state Labor government with a 53-47 lead on two-party preferred, compared with an implausible 61.5-38.5 at the last such poll in May. The primary votes were Labor 33% (down nine), Coalition 35.5% (up seven) and Greens 12.5% (steady). Forced response questions found Daniel Andrews with 45% approval and 55% disapproval, but leading John Pesutto as preferred premier by 52.5-47.5; and a 58-42 majority in favour of cancelling the games, leaving unanswered the question of whether it was a good idea to take them on in the first place. The poll was conducted Wednesday and Thursday from a sample of 1046.

• As for the weekly federal voting intention numbers from Roy Morgan, which I don’t focus on much due to the haphazard manner in which they are published, Labor holds an unusually narrow two-party lead of 53-47, in from 54.5-45.5 last time. However, the primary votes suggest the movement is largely down to preference flows, with Labor on 35.5%, the Coalition on 35% and the Greens on 12.5%, suggesting a 54-46 lead to Labor based on previous election preferences.

Niki Savva’s column this week in the Age/Herald related that data collated from 2500 households during door-knocking of the Kooyong electorate by teal independent MP Monique Ryan and her supporters found 58.5% in favour of the Indigenous Voice, 45.1% strongly; 30.6% neutral or unsure; and only 11.3% opposed. Recent poll results hawked by Liberal Senator James Patterson showing no with its nose in front in Kooyong were credulously reported by Sky News.

Simon Benson of The Australian reports JWS Research polling conducted for the Minerals Council of Australia initially found 46% in favour of the government’s “same job, same pay” industrial relations reforms, with 19% opposed — but many were said to have had misapprehensions that the reforms related to the gender pay gap. After being shown business lobby advertising attacking the reforms, the results were 26% supportive and 47% opposed. When further shown union advertising supporting the reforms, the result came out at 31% for and 34% against.

• As related in the previous post, draft new state boundaries for Western Australia proposing abolishing a Nationals-held regional seat, one of only six out of 59 not held by Labor, and the creation of a safe Labor seat in southern Perth. This has naturally infuriated the Nationals and supportive interests, coming as it does on the heels of upper house reforms that abolish a scheme that divides seats evenly between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, despite the former accounting for three-quarters of the state’s population. In other redistribution news, I am indebted to Ben Raue at the Tally Room for paying attention to the redistribution for the Northern Territory parliament, which has been passing beneath my radar. An initial set of draft boundaries that was published in May has been scrapped altogether due to a surge of enrolment in remote communities ahead of the Indigenous Voice referendum, driven by a push in the Australian Electoral Commission’s direct enrolment campaign.

Western Australian draft state redistribution

Proposed new state boundaries for Western Australia abolish a Nationals-held regional seat to accommodate a new way in Perth’s southern growth corridor.

Draft boundaries have been published for a state redistribution in Western Australia, which happens roughly at the mid-point of every four-year parliamentary term. In a nutshell: the electorates of North West Central and Moore, both held by the Nationals, are to be merged into Mid West, and a new seat called Oakford is to be created in the outer southern suburbs, which would be fairly safe for Labor at a normal election. A substantially redrawn Carine becomes Padbury; Swan Hills is to be renamed Walyunga; Burns Beach becomes Mindarie; Mirrabooka becomes Girrawheen; Willagee becomes Bibra Lake; Warnbro becomes Secret Harbour. My preliminary estimates of the margins are posted below. I’ll be expanding on this post in detail over the coming hours.

UPDATE: Some general observations. By the distorted arithmetic of the 2021 result, this increases Labor from 53 seats to a notional 54, reducing the Nationals from four to three and leaving the Liberals on two. But to crudely balance things by deducting 20% from Labor in every seat, thereby approximating a 50-50 result, Jandakot would go from marginal Labor to marginal Liberal and Pilbara would go from marginal Labor to marginal Nationals.

The new seat of Oakford looks safe for Labor, taking a chunk out of their stronghold of Armadale together with the new suburbia of Piara Waters and Harrisdale from naturally marginal Jandakot and Aubin Grove and Wandi from Kwinana, plus semi-rural areas further south including Oakford proper. The changes cut 2.7% from the Labor margin in Jandakot and cause Kwinana to overtake Rockingham as Labor’s safest seat, since it loses the area east of the freeway that constituted its one weak spot.

The new northern suburbs seat of Padbury is created by redrawing Hillarys and Carine in such a way as to turn two roughly square-shaped coastal seats into elongated north-to-south ones, with Hillarys taking the entirety of the coast. This makes Hillarys a lot weaker for Labor and Padbury a lot stronger than Carine had been, which might make life interesting for the two Labor members for these normally Liberal seats.

Elsewhere in suburbia, the probable bellwether seat of Forrestfield becomes stronger for the Liberals by being pushed northwards, losing Kenwick and gaining Helena Valley; Riverton, which would be fairly comfortable for the Liberals at a normal election, becomes 2.0% stronger for Labor by trading Leeming for Parkwood; a number of minor changes make Scarborough, which will presumably be difficult for Labor to hold, 1.0% weaker for them; Balcatta awkwardly gains southern Gwelup on the western side of the Mitchell Freeway, slightly weakening Labor in a natural marginal; and Kalamunda, which had been marginal or perhaps Liberal-leaning, is pushed further to the east, adding a handy 3.3% to the Labor margin.

With the abolition of North West Central, Pilbara gains its northernmost territories including Exmouth, Onslow and the mining towns of Pannawonica, Tom Price and Paraburdoo, which cut 3.4% from the Labor margin in a seat that could go either way at a tight election. The regional city seats of Albany and Geraldton both become weaker for Labor by absorbing rural territory, the former gaining Mount Barker and the latter a large area that includes Northampton and Mullewa.

Miscellany: Fadden by-election, royal family opinion poll and more (open thread)

Stuart Robert calls time on his 16 year parliamentary career, initiating a by-election in a seat the Coalition should find a little harder to lose than Aston.

Recent developments of note, none more so than a new federal by-election hot on the heels of the boilover result in Aston on April 1:

• The second federal by-election of the parliamentary term looms, not as anticipated in Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook (at least, not yet), but in the Gold Coast seat of Fadden, where Liberal-aligned Liberal National Party member Stuart Robert is calling it a day. Robert held the seat with a 10.6% margin at last year’s election after a 3.5% swing to Labor, making the seat a good deal safer than Aston with its 2.8% margin post-election and raising the question as to whether Labor will find making a contest of it worth its bother. Robert has held the seat since 2007 and became embroiled in the robodebt affair through his carriage of the human services portfolio, a distinction he coincidentally shared with the former member for Aston, Alan Tudge.

• On a related note, James Massola of the Age/Herald reported prior to Robert’s announcement that a “major British company in the defence sector” had sounded out Scott Morrison for a job opportunity, potentially resulting in a by-election in Cook as soon as July.

The Australian reports John Howard has backed James Brown, chief executive of the Space Industry Association, former RSL president and veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq, to fill the New South Wales Liberal Senate vacancy arising from the death of Jim Molan in January. The report also relates that Brown is factionally unaligned, former husband of Malcolm Turnbull’s daughter Daisy Turnbull, and an opponent of the Indigenous Voice. The other confirmed starters are former state government minister and unsuccessful Gilmore candidate Andrew Constance and former state party president Maria Kovacic, but a number of other names have been mentioned as possibilities.

The Australian had results of a YouGov poll on perceptions of the royal family, which found William and Catherine well ahead of the field with positive ratings in the mid-seventies, Charles up nine points since March 2021 on 52%, Harry down over the same period from 61% to 38% and Meghan down from 46% to 27%, with Andrew down seven from an already low base to 15%. Forty-three per cent of respondents professed themselves not at all interested in the coronation, with 24% a little bit interested, 19% fairly interested and 14% very interested.

Two matters at state level of note:

• As covered in the previous post, Tasmania held its annual Legislative Council elections yesterday in three of the chamber’s 15 seats, which gave Labor a rare spot of good news in the state with a resounding win for incumbent Sarah Lovell in the outer Hobart seat of Rumney. Lovell’s primary vote increased from 33.8% to 50.5% despite the fact that she faced a Liberal candidate this time and not last time (although more favourable boundaries may have helped). There were even more resounding wins for independent incumbents in the seats of Launceston and Murchison.

• Public suggestions have been published for the Western Australian state redistribution. Labor’s submission calls for the abolition of the regional seat of North West Central and the creation of a new seat in the metropolitan area, in line with ongoing population trends, proposing a rearrangement of the outer metropolitan area that would provide for new seats centred on the fast-growing urban centres of Ellenbrook and Byford. The Liberals would prefer that the commissioners stretch the elastic to maintain the status quo.

Liberals by any other name

Electoral law changes rammed through parliament, New South Wales state boundaries finalised, and some by-election news.

Significant electoral developments of the past few days:

• The federal government’s package of four electoral bills, which were explained in this earlier post, whizzed through parliament this week with the support of Labor (UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that one of the four, dealing with the threshold for registering as a political campaigner, was in fact not considered). Most contentiously, this will give the Liberal Party exclusive rights to the word “liberal” in their registered party name, with the effect that the Liberal Democrats and the New Liberals will have to change names before the next election. It is unclear what the former plans to do, but Victor Kline, leader and registered officer of the New Liberals, says the party will simply identify itself as TNL.

• The new laws also mean that parties will need to have 1500 members to maintain their registration unless they have a sitting member of parliament, which by the reckoning of Kevin Bonham could affect as many of 24 out of the 45 currently registered parties. Those privy to the sitting member exemption include Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, thanks to former Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s decision join, along with the Centre Alliance, Jacqui Lambie Network, Katter’s Australian Party and Rex Patrick Team.

• The state redistribution for New South Wales has been finalised, without much change to the draft boundaries that were published last November. Antony Green has a pendulum with estimated margins for the final boundaries.

Two minor by-elections coming up:

• For the Northern Territory parliament: a by-election will be held on September 11 for the Darwin hinterland seat of Daly, where Country Liberal Party member Ian Sloan has retired due to ill health a year after an election at which Labor was returned to power. Sloan held out against Labor by 1.2% at the election, at which he succeeded retiring CLP member Gary Higgins. The CLP’s candidate is Kris Civitarese, a Barkly councillor; Labor’s is Dheran Young, a former advisor to Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

• For the Tasmanian Legislative Council: a by-election will be required for a yet-to-be determined date early next year for the seat of Huon, encompassing the southern edge of Hobart and its hinterland, after Labor member Bastian Seidel announced he would quit parliament at the final sitting for the year in December. Seidel has complained of a “toxic environment” and “obvious problems” in the party, which would appear to refer to the sexual harassment allegations against David O’Byrne, who was compelled to resign as party leader in July after just three weeks in the job and is now facing calls from within the party, including leader Rebecca White, to quit parliament.

A preselection, two redistributions and a by-election

An assemblage of random stuff to kick off the new week.

It being the mid-point of the year, we’re about due for Newspoll’s state and demographic aggregates and Essential Research’s dump of voting intention numbers, both of which come along quarterly. In the meantime, there’s the following:

• The Queensland Liberal National Party’s preselection for a successor to Andrew Laming in Bowman has been won by Henry Pike, media and communications director for the Property Council. Pike was the only male candidate in a field of five, and prevailed despite earlier urgings from the Prime Minister for a woman to be preselected. Madura McCormack of the Courier-Mail reports he won in the final round of the ballot of local preselectors with 107 votes against 88 for Maggie Forrest, a barrister. Pike said last week that comments he made on the subject of “f***ing a fat chick” in a group chat twelve years ago, when he was about 21, do not “reflect the person I’ve grown to be”.

• Antony Green has published a report calculating party vote shares for the draft state redistribution in Victoria. Finalised state boundaries for New South Wales will be along at some unspecified point in the probably not too distant future.

• I have published a guide to the by-election for the Queensland state seat of Stretton, to be held on July 24 to choose a successor to Labor member Duncan Pegg, who resigned in April due to ill health and died on June 10.

Victorian state draft redistribution

Following on promptly from finalised federal boundaries, the draft of a significantly revised state electoral map for Victoria.

In addition to yesterday’s finalisation of the state’s federal boundaries, covered in the post below, today saw the publication of a new draft state boundaries for Victoria. The current boundaries have been in effect for two terms, in which time Melbourne in particular has experienced very substantial growth, resulting in extensive changes in the proposed boundaries. The changes have occurred mostly within Melbourne, with three new seats appearing in the western suburbs and the northern and south-eastern fringes, and another three disappearing in the relatively stagnant suburbs of middle eastern and south-eastern Melbourne.

Over the fold at the bottom of this post is a display of my effort to calculate new party vote shares for the new boundaries, an endeavour complicated on this occasion by the fact that fewer than half the votes in 2018 were cast in election day polling booths, those being the only ones for which the data offers any sense of where in the electorate they were cast. The primary votes display should be straightforward enough, but two-candidate preferred is complicated by the fact that many of the results mash together counts from different electorates that involved candidates of different parties. UPDATE: Antony Green has two-party preferred estimates here.

There are six seats that I’m designating as new and a corresponding number as abolished. The former include three that are safe for Labor (Greenvale, Kalkallo and Laverton), one that is marginal Labor (Pakenham) and two that are marginal Liberal (Berwick and Glen Waverley). Three of the abolished seats are Labor (safe Keysborough and Yuroke and marginal Mount Waverley) and the other three Liberal (Ferntree Gully, Forest Hill and Gembrook, all highly marginal). Four seats change party designation, with Bass and Bayswater going from Labor to notional Liberal and Hastings and Ripon vice-versa. As explained below, Greens-held Prahran should probably be considered Labor-held on the new boundaries. All told, the results in 2018 on these boundaries would have been Labor 57 (up two), Coalition 26 (down one), Greens two (down one) and independents three.

Major changes:

• Growth on Melbourne’s northern fringe results in a new safe seat for Labor, with Yuroke divided into the new seats of Greenvale (margin 22.1%) and Kalkallo (20.0%).

• Similarly, growth in Melbourne’s south-eastern fringe is accommodated with the effective replacement of Gembrook, which had a Liberal margin of 0.8% at the election, by two new seats: Berwick, with a Liberal margin of 1.6%, and Pakenham, with a Labor margin of 3.3%. The suburb of Berwick formerly provided the seat of Narre Warren South with a Liberal-leaning eastern end, the loss of which boosts Labor’s margin in the seat from 6.9% to 11.1%.

• In addition to the area gained from abolished Gembrook, which includes the northern end of the town of Pakenham, the Pakenham electorate takes the southern part of the town of Pakenham from Bass. The removal of this territory from Bass weakens Labor in a seat they gained with a 2.4% margin in 2018, resulting in a notional Liberal margin of 1.9%.

• The new seat in western Melbourne, Laverton, is inevitably safe for Labor, with a notional margin of 23.6%. Its eastern end was formerly in Footscray, its west in Tarneit.

• Labor loses a safe seat in Melbourne’s south-east with the abolition of Keysborough, which is absorbed by its Labor-held neighbours.

• Eastern Melbourne loses two seats, one through the abolition of Ferntree Gully and its absorption by neighbouring Bayswater and Rowville. Ferntree Gully was held by the Liberals by 1.6% in 2018, but the changes convert Labor’s 0.4% margin in Bayswater to a notional Liberal margin of 1.2%, while Rowville remains secure for the Liberals.

• Eastern Melbourne’s other loss comes through the replacement of Mount Waverley and Forest Hill by a single new seat of Glen Waverley. I give Glen Waverley a Liberal margin of 0.8%, whereas Labor won Mount Waverley by 1.8% and Liberal won Forest Hill by 1.2%, so this technically amounts to another loss for Labor. The western parts of Mount Waverley and Forest Hill are absorbed by Box Hill and Ashwood, the latter being essentially a renamed Burwood in which I calculate a Labor margin of 2.5%, down from 3.3%.

• Prahran and Albert Park are to undergo very significant change through a territory swap that will shift St Kilda to Prahran and part of South Yarra to Albert Park. This makes the Liberals a lot less competitive in Prahran (down 5.2% on the primary vote for mine) and widens the gap between Labor and the Greens from 0.9%, which the Greens were just barely able to close on minor party preferences, to 5.3%. However, the next election will be a different ball game in St Kilda, with Labor losing the advantage of a sitting member. The exchange of South Yarra for St Kilda boosts the Liberals by around 3% in Albert Park, where Labor’s margin in 2019 was 13.1%.

• Brunswick is drawn deeper into the inner city environs of Carlton North and Fitzroy North, boosting the Greens margin over Labor from 0.6% to 2.1%.

• Ripon, which the Liberals won by 15 votes in 2018, has a notional Labor margin of 2.6% after gaining Ballarat suburbia around Alfredton from the electorate previously known as Wendouree, which now gains the colourful new name of Eureka. Eureka in turn absorbs the parts of Ballarat that were formerly in Buninyong, which in turn gains rural territory from Polwarth. This boosts Labor’s margin in Wendouree/Eureka from 10.3% to 13.2% and cuts it in Buninyong from 12.2% to 7.0%.

• Other electorates with new names are Point Cook, which is essentially a renamed Altona with a Labor margin of 12.5% rather than 14.6%; and Morang, which is very much the old electorate of Mill Park and remains extremely safe for Labor.

• Smaller changes to significant seats include Hastings’ gain of coastal townships around Balnarring from Nepean, which turns the 1.1% Liberal margin into a notional Labor margin of 0.3%; Eildon’s gain of the Melbourne fringe suburb of Hurstbridge from Yuroke, which cuts the Liberal margin from 2.4% to 0.2%; Croydon’s gain of territory from northern Bayswater, which cuts the Liberal margin there from 2.1% to 0.5%; and changes to Ringwood that boost Labor’s margin from 2.8% to 3.5%.
Continue reading “Victorian state draft redistribution”

South Australian state redistribution finalised

As South Australia locks down, its boundaries for the next state election are unveiled.

Among other things, South Australia has this week finalised its boundaries for the next state election in March 2022. The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission does not publish the boundaries in a form that makes them easy to analyse, but it does calculate its own two-party preferred margins as a hangover from the days when it was required to observe an “electoral fairness” clause (as well as publishing a file that helpfully breaks down its two-party vote estimates by SA1, for those on top of ABS geography). These establish that the impact of the redistribution has been fairly minor, no doubt reflecting the fact that the redistribution before the previous election did its job in delivering a majority to the Liberals after two elections at which it was locked out despite winning the two-party vote.

Accordingly, none of the electorates has been moved to the other party’s column. However, the significant changes in the most marginal seats to be in Labor’s favour, with the Liberal margins pared back in two seats where they had redistribution-assisted wins in 2018: the inner southern Adelaide seat of Elder, where Carolyn Habib’s margin has been cut from 4.4% to 2.0%; and the north-eastern Adelaide seat of Newland, where Richard Harvey’s margin has been cut from 2.0% to 0.2%.

Of greater narrative interest are the cancellation of some fairly substantial changes that have been made from the draft boundaries, which proposed to transfer Mount Barker from Kavel to Hammond, a chunk of rural territory from Schubert to Kavel, and Gawler from Light to Schubert. This inspired Labor’s member for Light, Tony Piccolo, to secure preselection in Schubert, whose Liberal member Stephan Knoll has been on the back foot since losing his job as Transport Minister to an expenses scandal – a bold move, since it involved abandoning his 9.9% margin (boosted to 12.8% in the draft redistribution) to pursue a seat that still had a 5.4% Liberal margin on the draft boundaries, reduced though it was from 14.3%. The unwinding of this pulls the rug from under Piccolo’s endeavour to continue representing Gawler, leaving him pursuing a seat with a clearly insurmountable Liberal margin of 14.7% on the finalised boundaries.

In other South Australian news, Labor leader Peter Malinauskas has offered a response to the state’s six-day lockdown that suggests he’s been paying attention to the Queensland election result and Michael O’Brien’s approval rating. A poll would naturally be interesting to see, but until then, readers are encouraged to use this thread for general discussion relevant to South Australia.

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