About Author: Ben Raue

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Posts by Ben Raue

2

NSW by-elections in Blacktown and Cootamundra

We’re due for two state by-elections in New South Wales later this year, and I’ve just finished guides for both electorates, which you can read now.

Blacktown

Former NSW opposition leader John Robertson has announced plans to resign. Labor should easily retain this seat.

Cootamundra

Former Nationals minister Katrina Hodgkinson announced plans to resign in late July. The Nationals will likely retain this seat, but they will be challenged by the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party.

4

Key seats in the Queensland election

The 2015 Queensland election was very close, with neither party winning a majority of seats. Labor is estimated to hold 48 seats, while the LNP holds 42 seats. There are two Katter’s Australian Party seat, and one independent seat. 47 seats are needed for a majority.

Recent polling has been very close, with both Labor and LNP winning polls. This suggests that either side has the potential to gain seats, and lose other seats. In addition there are numerous seats where other parties could be a factor: independents, the Greens, One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party.

Labor-LNP marginals

There are nineteen Labor seats with a margin against the LNP under 6%.

There are four Labor seats on the north side of Brisbane with margins of less than 6%: from the city centre northward these are McConnel, Cooper, Ferny Grove and Pine Rivers.

There are also seven marginal Labor seats in southern Brisbane and Logan: Mount Ommaney, Miller, Greenslopes, Mansfield, Stretton, Springwood and Logan.

In central Queensland, heading north, the Labor marginal seats are Maryborough, Bundaberg, Keppel and Mirani.

Labor has five marginal seats in north Queensland: three around Townsville (Burdekin, Townsville and Mundingburra) and the Cairns-area seat of Barron River.

LNP-Labor marginals

There are eighteen LNP seats with a margin against Labor under 6%.

There are four LNP marginal seats in the City of Brisbane: Aspley, Chatsworth, Everton and Maiwar.

There are six marginal LNP seats on the Gold Coast: Bonney, Burleigh, Coomera, Currumbin, Gaven and Theodore.

The LNP is defending two seats in the Redland council area: (Oodgeroo and Redlands) and three on the Sunshine Coast (Caloundra, Glass House and Pumicestone).

There are three LNP marginal seats vulnerable to Labor further afield: Hinchinbrook, Whitsunday and Toowoomba North.

Katter’s Australian Party seats

Katter’s Australian Party holds two seats. Traeger is very safe, but the seat of Hill will be in play against the LNP.

Independent seats

Sitting independent MP Peter Wellington is retiring in Nicklin, and that seat is not likely to be in play. There are two sitting independent MPs who won seats in 2015 as Labor candidates, and they will be facing an uphill battle to win, against either Labor or the LNP. These two seats are Cairns and Cook, both in far north Queensland.

One Nation seats

Since One Nation were not a major player in the 2015 state election, it is not simple to determine where One Nation might stand a chance. I’ve considered their chances in a previous post.

One Nation state leader Steve Dickson holds the Sunshine Coast seat of Buderim, which he won in 2015 as an LNP candidate. One Nation also came close to winning the seat of Lockyer in 2015, and did well in that area at the 2016 federal election.

Some other prospects for the party include the Labor seats of Mirani, Maryborough and Burdekin, and the LNP seats of Hinchinbrook, Callide, Gregory, Burnett and Nanango.

Greens seats

The Greens do not hold any seats in Queensland but there are a small number of seats which have strong Greens votes and could potentially be vulnerable to the party.

There are three seats in inner Brisbane where the party has polled well. The party has previously targetted or held the two seats merged to make up Maiwar, and currently holds the Brisbane City ward which overlaps with South Brisbane, and has also done well in McConnel.

The Greens came second in Noosa in 2015, and generally do well in this area at state elections.

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Queensland election guide – redistribution summary

Queensland has recently undergone a redistribution of state electoral boundaries, the first in almost a decade. The existing boundaries were used at three elections: 2009, 2012 and 2015.

The number of seats was increased from 89 to 93. This resulted in the creation of five new electorates, with two seats merged.

The inner-city electorates of Indooroopilly and Mount Coot-tha were merged into the new seat of Maiwar. Maiwar is a marginal LNP seat, with a margin of 3%.

Five new seats were created:

  • Bancroft – Labor seat on the northern fringe of Brisbane, with an 8.3% margin.
  • Bonney – marginal LNP seat on the Gold Coast, with a 2.2% margin.
  • Jordan – safe Labor seat at the eastern edge of Ipswich, with a 13.5% margin.
  • MacAlister – Labor seat in the north-east of Logan, with a 6.4% margin.
  • Ninderry – LNP seat on the Sunshine Coast, with a 6.9% margin.

Eleven other electorates have changed their name.

Former name New name
Ashgrove Cooper
Dalrymple Hill
Kallangur Kurwongbah
Indooroopilly Maiwar
Brisbane Central McConnel
Yeerongpilly Miller
Cleveland Oodgeroo
Beaudesert Scenic Rim
Albert Theodore
Sunnybank Toohey
Mount Isa Traeger

The last Queensland state election produced a result of 44 Labor, 42 Liberal National, 2 Katter’s Australian Party and 1 independent.

Antony Green’s redistribution estimate (which I will discuss further below) produces a result of 48 Labor seats, 42 Liberal National seats, 2 Katter’s Australian Party and 1 independent. Two of those Labor seats are now held by independent MPs elected in 2015 as Labor candidates, and one of those LNP seats is now held by a One Nation MP, elected representing the LNP.

Notes on redistribution calculations

I have produced my own estimates of the impact of the redistribution on each electorate. I have produced my own estimates as part of the process of breaking each electorate into sub-areas.

Read the rest of this entry »

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QLD election guide posted

There is speculation that the next Queensland state election could take place in the next few months, and in preparation for this election I’ve now completed my guide to the 93 electorates which will be contested.

Each guide, as is usual, contains a history of the electorate, maps and tables showing the results of the previous election, and a list of candidates running in the seat. The candidate lists will be regularly updated over the coming months.

I’ve also drafted a few posts summing up the impact of the redistribution and the key seats in the election, and they’ll pop up over the next few days.

You can click through to each seat guide via either of these two pages:

You can also use this map to click through to a seat guide:

I’ll return with more writing on the Queensland election as the election gets closer.

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Nominations close for NSW council elections

This is just a quick post to note that nominations closed last Wednesday in the NSW council elections. I’ve posted the full candidate lists for the fifteen largest councils on my council guides.

Read the guides via these links:

I’ve also just gone through and added an extra feature to the eight amalgamated councils. In addition to posting the ward breakdown of the 2013 federal election, I’ve also included the 2016 results.

I’ll definitely be following these elections and may return with some more writing, but will definitely return to cover the results on September 9 and will follow that up with some post-election analysis. In the meantime, you can join the conversation in the comments thread for each council.

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Projecting One Nation’s vote in the QLD election

In the process of putting together my guide to the Queensland election, I had to consider how to handle the potential vote for One Nation, who have polled as highly as 23% earlier this year and were sitting on 15% in the most recent poll. Normally I assess a seat’s vulnerability based on its margin, but a new party polling 15% is likely to upset the apple-cart, threatening seats which look very safe on paper.

One Nation haven’t been a significant statewide player in Queensland state elections since 2001, so the best source of information comes from the 2016 federal election – specifically the Senate, as One Nation only ran in a handful of House of Representatives seats.

Thankfully Alex Jago has done the work taking those results and converting them into the new Queensland state electorates using AEC data about where people from a particular SA1 vote. He’s then taken those votes and distributed preferences amongst Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation.

After distributing those preferences, One Nation is left with about 15% of the statewide vote – about the same as their latest polling.

For now I won’t bother trying to project how these votes would shift based on differing polling (for a start, the LNP vote was higher and Labor’s vote lower in 2016 compared to the latest polling), but I’ll just list those seats which have the highest One Nation vote according to Jago’s model. I will be referencing this analysis in my profiles of seats with a high One Nation vote.

The following table lists the twenty seats with the highest One Nation vote, and the rank that One Nation came out of Labor, the LNP, the Greens and One Nation. In nine of these seats, One Nation outpolled one of the major parties last year.

Kevin Bonham has also written about this same dataset, and put some more thought into how these votes might play out in an election. In short, a lot will depend on how close One Nation is to the leading candidate, and whether they are competing with Labor or the LNP (and thus which parties’ preferences will decide the result).

The introduction of compulsory preferences will also complicate things. Preference flows will definitely change, but it’s hard to say how exactly. The new One Nation only made it into the top two in one seat at last year’s federal election, so we don’t know how to predict how strongly Labor or LNP preferences would flow to One Nation. If they receive a poor preference flow, it’s possible they could make it to the top two in many seats and only win a few. One Nation did reasonably well with preferences at last year’s Senate election, so it’s not safe to assume that they would receive poor preference flows.

Seat Margin ON Senate vote ON rank
Lockyer LNP vs ON 1.6% 32.0% 2
Traeger KAP vs LNP 16.1% 28.4% 3
Mirani ALP 3.8% 27.1% 3
Hinchinbrook LNP 3.4% 26.7% 3
Callide LNP 9.8% 26.3% 2
Gregory LNP 10.9% 25.8% 2
Burnett LNP 6.6% 25.7% 3
Hill KAP vs LNP 4.9% 25.5% 2
Maryborough ALP 1.1% 25.4% 3
Nanango LNP 13.3% 25.3% 2
Gympie LNP 7.6% 25.3% 2
Warrego LNP 14.5% 24.3% 2
Condamine LNP 17.1% 24.2% 2
Hervey Bay LNP 6.5% 24.2% 3
Burdekin ALP 1.4% 24.1% 3
Gladstone ALP 25.3% 24.0% 3
Bundaberg ALP 0.5% 23.9% 3
Thuringowa ALP 6.6% 23.4% 3
Southern Downs LNP 19.2% 22.9% 2
Scenic Rim LNP 9.2% 22.6% 3
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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.

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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.

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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.