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.

NSW state draft redistribution published

Draft boundaries add a new seat in south-western Sydney at the expense of the Labor stronghold of Lakemba.

A draft state redistribution has been published for New South Wales, for which you can see the maps on the New South Wales Electoral Commission site. Keep an eye on Ben Raue’s post at The Tally Room, which should also have a user-friendly interactive map of the old and new boundaries. His existing post also goes into greater detail on describing the changes than I’m about to.

The biggest changes involves the abolition of Lakemba, most of which is now in a radically redrawn Bankstown, whose existing territories are mostly absorbed by surrounding electorates. This allows for the creation of the new seat of Leppington in Sydney’s sprawling south-west, drawing most of its voters from Mulgoa, Liverpool, Holsworthy and Macquarie Fields. As shown below, I reckon this seat to be marginal Labor. The local rearrangement arising from the creation of Leppington causes Mulgoa to resume its earlier name of Badgerys Creek. Other cases of seats essentially being renamed are Kellyville, formerly Baulkham Hills; St Ives, formerly Davidson; Wahroonga, formerly Ku-ring-gai; and Winston Hills, formerly Seven Hills.

Now for my quick and dirty effort to estimate the margins, using a somewhat experimental method, though the results look plausible enough to my untrained eye. This uses two-party preferred data, and thus acts as if Greens and independent members don’t exist (I am indebted to Ben Raue for providing this in easily accessible form on his site). By this reckoning, a big loser would appear to be Lee Evans, the Liberal member for Heathcote, whose seat is set to become notionally Labor by moving into the northern end of the Illawarra. Rising Labor hopeful Chris Minns has his delicate margin in Kogarah reduced to essentially nothing; conversely, a small Nationals margin almost disappears in Upper Hunter. Sydney would go from Liberal to just slightly notionally Labor if it wasn’t held by an independent.

Western Australia redistributed (state)

A draft new set of state boundaries in Western Australia produces little to frighten the horses.

Update

Over the fold is a table showing an almost-complete set of Labor-versus-Liberal/Nationals two-party margins, excluding a few seats where the 2017 result was Liberal-versus-Nationals (Moore and Roe) or Labor-versus-independent (Baldivis). This treats Kingsway as the successor to Girrawheen, and Girrawheen as the successor to Mirrabooka. I am now calculating the Labor margin in Kingsway at 9.1%, which is modest enough that Labor would lose the seat at a bad election, like 2013. This amounts to a 7.6% cut in the old margin from Girrawheen – so if, as I suggested, Labor runs Margaret Quirk in Kingsway and gives Girrawheen to Janine Freeman, who is technically homeless with the abolition of Mirrabooka, Quirk would consider that regrettable.

As noted in the original version of this post (also over the fold), Labor has been short-changed by the redistribution’s determination to preserve the existing number of country seats, but finds ample consolation in a number of helpful revisions to marginal seats:

• Labor’s margin in Balcatta, which the party lost for the one and only time in 2013, goes from 5.8% to 8.0%, as it loses marginal territory (at least on 2017 results) in the north to Kingsley and gains Labor territory in the east from Mirrabooka.

• The change just noted to Kingsley also nudges the dial there very slightly in Labor’s favour, from 0.7% to 1.2%.

• In Burns Beach, the loss of territory in the south to Joondalup and gain in the north from Butler boosts Labor from 2.5% to 4.9%.

• No doubt the 2017 election is as bad as it will ever get for the Liberals in Hillarys, but I am calculating that Labor would have won it in 2017 by the barest of margins, after falling 4.1% short at the election. Marginal territory has been gained in the north from Joondalup, and Liberal territory in the south has gone to Carine.

• The transfer of part of Liberal-voting Leeming to Riverton in the north boosts Labor from 1.0% to 2.0% in Jandakot.

• Tweaking of the boundary with Fremantle improves Labor’s margin in Bicton from 2.9% to 3.6%.

• A territory swap with West Swan boosts Labor from 7.3% to 9.2% in Wanneroo.

• An exchange of rural territory in the south for Mandurah’s fringes in the north boosts Labor from 1.4% to 2.3% in Murray-Wellington.

Conversely:

• In Joondalup, which gains in the north from Burns Beach and loses in the south to Hillarys, Labor’s margin is reduced from 0.6% to 0.1%.

• In Swan Hills, a Labor margin of 14.5%, which belies its history as a tight marginal seat, reduces to 12.0%, as Ellenbrook suburbia is exchanged for parts of the Swan Valley.

Continue reading “Western Australia redistributed (state)”

Queensland redistributed (state)

A thread for discussion of Queensland’s momentous state electoral redistribution.

A sweeping draft redistribution of Queensland’s state electoral boundaries has been published today, giving effect to an increase in parliamentary numbers from 89 to 93. Annastacia Palaszczuk has appeared to suggest the finalisation of the redistribution, which is scheduled for May 2017, may herald an early election. The Electoral Commission of Queensland published the boundaries at the close of business today (apparently in response to a “leak”, ahead of a planned release in the morning) without providing spatial data files, so I can’t offer much insight into what it all means exactly. However, the Courier-Mail offers a well-informed account of how it is perceived by party insiders. Hopefully Antony Green will have estimated margins in reasonably short order. Those with further insights to offer are very welcome to do so in the thread below.

BludgerTrack: 52.1-47.9 to Labor

Little change this week to a poll aggregate that now comes with the added bonus of One Nation. Also featured: South Australian and Northern Territory redistribution news.

Results from Newspoll and Essential Research have elicited next to no change on BludgerTrack, at least so far as the results are concerned – negligible movement all round on voting intention, although what’s there is enough for the Coalition to claw back a seat in Queensland on the projection. Newspoll provides a set of leadership numbers as always, and here too their effect is negligible.

bt2019-2016-12-07

What is new on BludgerTrack is that it’s now tracking One Nation, although the only hard data here is that Essential Research has been providing since the start of September. Polls that don’t report One Nation still have some influence on them through their “others” results, and the estimated results for them show up as data points on the chart. I’ve implemented a bit of a cheat to get the One Nation trendline started from the beginning by using their national Senate vote of 4.3% as a post-election starting point. However, the “since election” reading on the tables goes off the national House of Representatives result of 1.3%, which is unflattering to them as they only fielded 15 candidates.

Two bits of electoral boundaries news to relate:

• The redistribution of the two federal seats in the Northern Territory has been finalised, with no changes made to September’s draft proposal. Three thousand voters have been transferred from growing Solomon (covering Darwin and Palmerston) to stagnant Lingiari (covering the remainder of the territory), in an area encompassing Yarrawonga, Farrar, Johnston and Zuccoli at the eastern edge of Palmerston, together with the Litchfield Shire areas around Knuckey Lagoon east of Darwin. To the very limited extent that this will have an electoral effect, it will be to strengthen Labor in Solomon and weaken them in Lingiari, the area transferred being conservative-leaning.

• The South Australian state redistribution has been finalised, with a large number of changes made to the draft published in August. These are largely to the benefit of the Liberals, who stand aggrieved by their failure to win government in 2014 despite winning the two-party vote by 53-47. The draft redrew the Labor marginals of Elder and Mawson to make them notionally Liberal. However, they did the opposite in Fisher, a normally conservative-leaning seat that Labor managed to win at a by-election in December 2014 after the death of independent member Bob Such. This seat has been renamed Hurtle Vale, and pushed southwards into the Labor-voting Morphett Vale area.

The new set of changes adds a further two seats to the Liberal column, most notably Colton, where Labor cops a transfer of 8000 voters from Glenelg North and West Beach (currently in Morphett), turning the Labor margin of 2% into a Liberal margin of 3.7%. The other seat is Newland, where there was so little in it that a further 200 voters in Humbug Scrub have been enough to nudge it to the Liberal side of the pendulum. There has also been a further boost to the Liberal margin in Elder, where gains around Lower Mitcham in the east (currently in Waite) push the margin out from 1.1% to 4.3%.

The Liberals has also benefited in Adelaide, where the reversal of a proposal to move Walkerville out of the electorate leaves the margin at 2.0%, compared with 2.5% at the election and 0.6% in the draft; and in the Labor-held seat of Lee, where an extra 4000 voters from Colton reduce the Labor margin from 4.6% to 2.6%.

Galaxy: 53-47 to Liberal in South Australia

Labor’s primary vote crashes in South Australia, amid an electoral landscape transformed by the Nick Xenophon Team and a recently published draft redistribution.

The Advertiser today carries a poll of South Australian state voting intention from Galaxy, which records the Liberals with a two-party preferred lead of 53-47, essentially unchanged on the result that failed to deliver them victory at the election in March 2014. However, the two-party vote is becoming difficult to parse in what now looks like a three-party system, with primary votes showing the Liberals on 35%, Labor on 27% and the Nick Xenophon Team on 22%, with the Greens on 7% and Family First on 5%. Personal ratings indicate Premier Jay Weatherill’s gloss has entirely worn off, with 14% rating his performance good, 41% fair and 37% poor, but Opposition Leader Steven Marshall does little better, respectively at 11%, 40% and 36%. The two leaders are tied at 31% on the question of preferred premier, compared with Weatherill’s lead of 37% to 27% at the last such poll in February. The poll was conducted last Monday to Wednesday from a sample of 869.

This is an opportune time for me to finally mention the recently published draft redistribution proposal. The Liberals have once again been disappointed in their hope for a set of boundaries that fully compensates for the mismatch between votes and seats that has now cost them two elections in a row, although the redistribution is broadly favourable for them overall. The Labor-held seats of Elder and Mawson have been made notionally Liberal, but the reverse has happened in Fisher, which Labor spectacularly won at a by-election in December 2014 after the death of long-serving Liberal-turned-independent member Bob Such. The seat has been transformed by the absorption of the Labor stronghold of Morphett Vale, and its name is to be changed to Hurtle Vale. Other name changes are Ashford to Badcoe, Napier to King, Mitchell to Black, Bright to Gibson and Goyder to Narungga. Submissions in response to the draft, of which there were a great many, closed on Friday, and can be perused here.