8

Tasmanian federal redistribution – let’s try that again

Tasmania is currently undergoing a redistribution of its federal boundaries – the second of six federal redistributions due during this parliamentary term. The boundaries will also apply to Tasmanian state lower house elections, but probably not until the 2022 state election.

The draft boundaries were released earlier this year, and they saw a few significant changes. The seat of Bass, which covers most of the Launceston area, retracted in to just cover areas surrounding the Tamar river, losing the north-eastern corner of the state. Lyons underwent changes in a number of areas.

It is standard practice for federal redistributions to go through two rounds of suggestions and comment, followed by the release of a draft map, then two more rounds of objection and comment, followed by the release of the final boundaries. This time, however, the AEC has chosen to open up another round of objections and comment, as the boundaries released today were significantly different to the first draft.

No changes were made to the boundaries of three of the five seats, but there were significant changes to the Bass/Lyons border. Bass regained the Dorset and Flinders council areas in the north-eastern corner of Tasmania, and lost the small part of the Meander Valley council area contained within the Launceston urban area. This area was contained in Bass at least since 2001.

At the other end of the state, the Hobart-area seat of Denison has been renamed Clark, after Andrew Inglis Clark: state Supreme Court justice, Attorney-General and one of the inventors of the Hare-Clark voting system. This followed a campaign to change the seat name, including from sitting MP Andrew Wilkie and his predecessor Duncan Kerr.

You can download the new boundary map here, or view the three versions of the boundary on the below map:

I’ve seen some commentary expressing frustration about the removal of the urban parts of the Meander valley from Bass, sticking them in an electorate which stretches to the edge of Hobart.

Unfortunately it isn’t possible for Bass to contain both the Meander Valley area and the Dorset/Flinders corner without pushing Bass over quota.

Based on projected 2021 enrolment figures, Bass must lie within 3.5% of the average. In real numbers, they must have between 74,289 and 79,677 projected enrolment. Bass is projected (as drawn) to have 75,653 voters.

There are three areas which have been moved between Bass and Lyons – the Meander Valley area on the south side of Launceston, the Dorset/Flinders corner of the state, and the West Tamar area which was moved from Lyons to Bass in the original draft and remains there. Each has between 5867 and 7828 voters as of 2021, and if all three were included in Bass it would be more populous than is permitted.

So the original Redistribution Committee decided to make Bass more of a Launceston-based electorate, moving the rural north-east into Lyons, and the augmented Commission has instead decided to make Bass follow local government areas, leaving part of the Launceston urban area in Lyons.

So now there is time for interested parties to argue the case. Theoretically they could also decide to completely reverse the Lyons-Bass border back to its previous boundaries, putting the West Tamar back into Lyons, but this is unlikely.

Area Current Projected
Bass second draft 74,467 75,653
Lyons second draft 75,508 78,313
Meander Valley (Bass to Lyons) 6,840 7,233
Dorset/Flinders (Bass to Lyons to Bass) 5,849 5,867
West Tamar (Lyons to Bass) 7,675 7,828
Minimum enrolment 67,513 74,289
Maximum enrolment 82,515 79,677
0

Data repository update – WA, SA and Tasmania

I’ve made a number of updates to the data repository in preparation for the next round of state elections.

I’ve added to the data from the 2017 WA state election. Originally I had a limited dataset for the Legislative Council election, without below-the-line vote breakdowns by polling place, and without a seat-by-seat breakdown of the special vote for the upper house. This gap has now been filled.

I’ve also posted datasets for the 2010 and 2014 Tasmanian state elections and the 2014 South Australian state election. The only thing missing is booth-level results for the SA upper house, which will be a project for another time.

As usual, these datasets can be accessed from the data page. Each dataset includes a polling place list, a candidate list, and a list of vote breakdowns by polling place and candidate. Unique IDs can be used to match between each table.

0

NSW council election guides – four more guides

In addition to the eleven councils which have already been profiled, I’ve now added four more guides. These are the four remaining councils with populations of over 100,000. Each of them is facing the prospect of council amalgamation, but will still hold an election in September.

With these councils included, I’m now written profiles of every council with a population of over 100,000, and, with the exception of a few remaining small councils on the lower north shore, the eastern suburbs, outer parts of the inner west and the outer fringe of the city, I’ve profiled every council in Sydney over the last two years.

Here are links to these four councils, and a map with links to all fifteen guides:

I haven’t included many candidate names in these guides – I will gradually be updating the candidate lists over the next two months.

2

Various map updates

Following on from the recent publication of the final Queensland state electoral boundaries, I’ve updated Google Earth boundary maps for three other jurisdictions:

  • Tasmanian federal electorates – The draft boundaries were published on May 5. These boundaries will also cover Tasmanian state lower house elections, although it is unlikely to be finished in time for the 2018 state election.
  • Tasmanian upper house electorates – The final boundaries were published in May, and will first be used at the May 2018 election.
  • North Sydney ward boundaries – I had missed a change in North Sydney’s ward boundaries since the 2012 election. The council had cut its wards from four to three, which necessarily required a change in boundaries.

You can download a large number of past, current and future electoral boundaries as Google Earth maps from the maps page.

4

Queensland state redistribution – final boundaries released

The redistribution of Queensland’s state electoral boundaries concluded last Friday, and I’ve now finished my map of the electorates for download. You can download the map to use in Google Earth here.

I’ve also updated my calculations of the margins in each seat, which are at the end of this post. I estimate that there are 47 Labor seats, 44 LNP seats, as well as one KAP seat and one independent seat. On my first draft, I estimated 48 Labor seats and 43 LNP seats – unfortunately I appear to have made an error calculating the margin in Pumicestone, which resulted in me predicting it was a very marginal Labor seat – I now think it’s a marginal LNP seat, despite no change in boundaries. I feel confident this is the right result, although it doesn’t make much difference when the seat is as marginal as Pumicestone is.

As part of my calculations I’ve assigned every polling place to a new seat, and split up the special votes between the new seats, and this will be used as the basis for my guide to the Queensland election, due later this year.

Read the rest of this entry »


0

NSW council elections – read the Tally Room guides

Voters in 46 NSW local councils will be voting on September 9 to elect new councils.

The rest of the state voted last September, but elections were postponed in all of those councils which had either been amalgamated or had an amalgamation pending.

Amalgamations have been cancelled in a series of regional councils, so these existing councils will hold regular elections in September.

There are twenty newly-amalgamated councils which will hold their first elections: eleven in Sydney and nine in regional NSW.

The state government is planning to amalgamated fourteen Sydney councils into five new councils, but these plans have been delayed by various court cases. Unless these amalgamations take place in the next few months, the unamalgamated councils are due to hold elections this year.

I’ve prepared guides for eleven of the biggest councils holding elections. These are the eleven councils with populations over 100,000 which are not still facing amalgamations.

Eight of these councils are new creations. Newcastle and Wollongong survived amalgamation plans, while the Hills had its election delayed after losing its southern tip to the City of Parramatta, but has mostly survived intact.

There are four councils which are still under the threat of amalgamation which have a population of over 100,000: Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Randwick and Ryde. I would normally write profiles for these councils, but have held off due to amalgamation plans. I may add profiles of these four councils if I have time before September.

Each profile contains information on the history of each constituent council, the council wards, and recent election results. I will gradually be updating each profile with candidate information as we get closer to election day.

You can also use this map to see which councils are facing election, and to click through to the guide for the eleven councils listed above:

One last note: of the fourteen councils which are still facing potential amalgamation, thirteen will use the same wards as in 2012. The only exception is Hornsby, which was required to redraw its wards after it lost a large area to Parramatta. I have now added in the updated Hornsby wards and uploaded a complete version of the ward map for the 2016-2017 council elections. You can download it at the maps page.

0

WA state election data posted

Following on from last month’s Western Australian state election, I’ve finished compiling data from that election and added it to the data repository for your use. The dataset includes polling place-level and seat-level data for the lower house and something similar for the upper house. There’s also complete candidate lists for both houses and a full list of polling places with addresses and lat/long information. There are a few pieces of data which are missing and this information is listed in the folder.

Check out the data.

4

NSW by-elections live

10:23pm – I’m going to stop here. The Liberal vote in North Shore has climbed back from 40.3% to 41.4%, and they’re looking a bit more likely to hold on.

9:00pm – I think it’s very unlikely that independent candidate Kathryn Ridge will be able to win in Manly. She trails by 20.6% of the primary vote, with 33.8% of the vote left to be distributed as preferences. If 40% of preferences were to exhaust, it would be impossible for Ridge to win, even if no preferences flowed to the Liberal candidate.

8:55pm – We’re still waiting for one booth from North Shore and all of the special votes, some of which will come in tonight. As it currently stands, Corrigan trails Wilson by 15.3%, with 34.8% of the vote left to distribute. If 50% of these preferences exhaust, Corrigan will need 87.7% of the remaining votes.

8:46pm – My North Shore guide divided the seat into three parts: east, central and west. The east corresponds to the Mosman council area. Unsurprisingly, Carolyn Corrigan did best in that area, polling almost 30% compared to 24% in the centre and 19.5% in the west. The east was also the best area for the Liberal candidate, thanks to a lower vote for the Greens and other candidates.

8:41pm – In my pre-election guide, I divided the seat of Manly into three parts. The Liberal vote is at 48% in the south-west, compared to 41% in the north and 39.3% in the south-east. The south-west was already the best area for the Liberal Party, so the swings are similar in all three areas.

8:00pm – Apparently we won’t get a Liberal vs Independent preference count in either Manly or North Shore tonight – so while we will know more once more primary votes will be counted, we won’t have a definitive answer as to who will win.

7:40pm – In North Shore, Liberal candidate Felicity Wilson is polling only 40.4% of the vote. Independent candidate Carolyn Corrigan is on 25.8% and the Greens’ Justin Alick is on 16.8%. Corrigan is in a stronger position than Ridge in Manly since more of the anti-Liberal vote is concentrated with the independent, and thus she will need less preferences. Corrigan needs at least 14.6% of the vote out of 33.8% polling for the Greens and other minor candidates. Bear in mind that a lot of votes will exhaust, and some will flow to the Liberal Party, so this doesn’t look as easy as it first sounds.

7:37pm – In Manly, Liberal candidate James Griffin is polling 41.2% of the primary vote, ahead of independent candidate Kathryn Ridge on 22.5% and Greens candidate Clara Williams Roldan on 20.6%. If Ridge stays ahead of William Roldan, Ridge will need about 18% preferences from about 36% of the vote which has gone to the Greens and other candidates.

7:30pm – This won’t be a thorough election night coverage tonight, but I might post a few comments. Labor has comfortably retained the seat of Gosford. The Liberal Party in Manly and North Shore are competing with independents for the seat. The Liberal vote has dropped to around 41-42% in each seat, with a leading independent polling just over 20% as the main competitor. We don’t have any preference distributions between the Liberal and independent candidates yet, so we can only guess how preferences will flow.

0

Yet another by-election coming up on Saturday

In addition to three state by-elections which will be held on Saturday in New South Wales, there will also be two council by-elections: for Ward 2 of Blacktown council, and for Lithgow council.

I profiled Blacktown council for last September’s election so I figured it would be good to produce a guide to this by-election. I’m going to try and keep on top of council elections for the larger councils in metro NSW going into the future. Sorry Lithgow, but I’m limiting my focus to the bigger councils.

Click here to read the guides to Saturday’s by-elections.

The by-election was triggered by the death of longstanding Labor councillor Leo Kelly. Labor should easily win the by-election without Liberal opposition. Labor currently holds nine out of fifteen seats on the council, which will return to ten if they retain this seat, so there isn’t any risk of Labor losing control of the council.

There was actually a bigger and more consequential council by-election in my hometown of Campbelltown last month, but unfortunately I was busy moving house and didn’t get to cover it. Campbelltown has no wards, so the by-election took place across the entire council (an area roughly as populous as a federal electorate).

The result solidified Labor’s control over Campbelltown. Labor held seven seats on the council, along with one Green and two members of Fred Borg’s independent ticket, giving Labor-friendly councillors ten out of fifteen seats on the council. The by-election was triggered by Borg’s death, and the contest was primarily between a member of Borg’s independent party and Labor. Labor’s win gives them a majority in their own right, without relying on Greens or independents to command a majority.

Click here to read the guides to Saturday’s by-elections.

Anyway, I’ve now got guides to all three state by-elections due this Saturday, along with Blacktown Ward 2. I’m having wisdom teeth surgery on Thursday so I don’t know yet whether I’ll be in a position to conduct a liveblog on Saturday – I’ll let you know.

0

Tasmanian Legislative Council elections – guides posted

In addition to yesterday posting guides to the NSW by-elections, I’ve now also posted guides to the three seats in the Tasmanian upper house election which will hold elections on May 6.

These three seats are:

Each guide has maps showing the results of that seat, along with the history of the seat.