WA council elections – new ward map posted

Western Australia is currently undergoing regular council elections. It’s taken a while to pull together, but I’ve now completed an updated ward map for these elections.

You can download the 2013 and 2015 ward maps from the maps page. It’s quite a difficult task as there’s no central repository of information on wards, or how they’ve changed. If you notice any errors, please let me know.

Most WA councils conduct their elections via postal voting, apart from a few small rural councils which run their own elections. The election day is in less than two weeks, on October 17, although in practice most postal votes will be cast well in advance.


NT redistribution – boundaries finalised


The Northern Territory has been undergoing a redistribution for the 25 seats in the Legislative Assembly, and the final boundaries were released last week.

Quite substantial changes were made compared to the draft boundaries – it was basically an entirely new map. A number of seats that were renamed in the draft were restored to their original name.

Antony Green has calculated the margins for the seats here.

The overall trends were similar, with the creation of the new seat of Spillett straddling Darwin and Palmerston, and the abolition of one of the three seats in Alice Springs.

And you can download the Google Earth map here.


Canning 2015 – results summary

Saturday’s by-election in the federal seat of Canning in Western Australia resulted in the Liberal Party’s Andrew Hastie to win despite a sizeable swing to the ALP. At time of writing, the swing to the ALP was sitting on 6.65%, with a bunch of special votes yet to be counted.

While the Liberal margin has been halved, the swing was below what was expected prior to Tony Abbott’s downfall as Prime Minister last Monday.

The swing varied quite a lot between different parts of the seat. A large majority of Canning’s population lives in the two urban centres of Armadale and Mandurah. In Armadale, the Liberal two-party-preferred vote dropped by 9%, but it only dropped by 3% in Mandurah.

This is encouraging for Labor’s chances in the new seat of Burt at the next election, which covers parts of Armadale. About 40% of the population of Canning will be moved into the marginal seat of Burt according to the draft boundaries. The ALP gained 53% of the two-party-preferred vote in the Burt part of the seat, but only 41.4% in the rest of the seat. The Labor swing was much larger in the proposed seat of Burt – 9.1% against 5.4% in the remainder of the seat.

Below the fold, I’ve broken the results up based on the same boundaries I used in the pre-election guide, and included maps of the by-election results.

Read the rest of this entry »


Canning by-election live

Primary vote results as of 9:33pm – 45/45 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Vimal Kumar Sharma Palmer United 2,272 3.06 -3.82 2.35
Connor Whittle Liberal Democratic Party 410 0.55 +0.55 0.55
Michelle Allen Pirate Party 671 0.90 +0.9 0.90
Greg Smith Ausralian Defence Veterans Party 570 0.77 +0.77 0.77
Katrina Love Animal Justice 1,007 1.36 +1.36 1.36
Andrew Hastie Liberal 34,437 46.42 -4.65 47.52
Teresa Van Lieshout Independent 428 0.58 +0.58 0.58
Matt Keogh Labor 26,635 35.90 +9.26 35.87
Vanessa Rauland Greens 4,501 6.07 -1.33 5.81
Jim McCourt Family First 536 0.72 -0.63 0.82
Jamie Van Burgel Australian Christians 2,281 3.07 -0.02 2.62
Angela Smith Stable Population Party 444 0.60 +0.6 0.60
Total formal votes 74,192

Two-party-preferred results as of 9:33pm – 45/45 booths reporting

Candidate Party Votes % Swing Projected
Andrew Hastie Liberal 38,492 55.30 -6.51 55.65
Matt Keogh Labor 31,112 44.70 +6.51 44.35
Total formal votes 69,604

9:45pm – This is it for tonight – all ordinary votes have been counted, with a bunch of special votes yet to be counted. I’ll return tomorrow with a summary post.

8:31pm – The previous figures are starting to converge on each other – the swing is 9% in Armadale and 4% in Mandurah. There’s a few big booths yet to report so there’s a possible sampling issue.

8:14pm – We now have 2PP results for over two-thirds of booths, and there’s some clear trends. The ALP are on track for an 11% swing in Armadale, but in the other main urban area in Mandurah the swing is only about 2%.

7:35pm – I now have results posted for 19 booths – just running a bit behind the official results. We’re looking at a swing of about 5.5%, and Andrew Hastie is on track to win.

6:44pm – We now have five small booths reporting, with Hastie leading. Unfortunately I’m having some trouble finding the booth-level results so don’t currently have a projection.

6:00pm – Polls have just closed in Canning. We should start to see some results in the next 45 minutes, and would expect to see some rural conservative booths coming in first. Join us as we follow the results.


Turnbull replacing Abbott – why is this happening?

With Malcolm Turnbull replacing Tony Abbott as Liberal leader and Prime Minister, we have now had three parliamentary terms in a row where the sitting Prime Minister has been rolled by their own party. We’ve also seen numerous cases of state Premiers being turfed, and of course large numbers of Opposition Leaders losing their job in ‘midnight coups’. It’s started to look like a pattern, and has been described as a “coup culture“.

There are obviously a bunch of reasons why this has happened, but at least one of those reasons is: because they can.

In other developed western democracies, it is normal that ordinary party members have some say over who the party leader is. In addition to changing the balance of who decides who wins the leadership ballot (which you may or may not like) it also makes a leadership election more like any other type of election – you need a timetable, opening of nominations, a period of voting and a result. You can’t just do it all in the halls of Parliament on one Monday night.

I previously wrote about this for New Matilda in 2012, and numerous times here on the blog.

The Australian Labor Party introduced a new direct election model following the 2013 election, and we haven’t seen any serious discussion about a challenge to Bill Shorten since he was elected. If Shorten was doing particularly badly you would expect to see a challenge, but it isn’t in anyone’s interests to undermine Shorten to trigger a spill, since the bar is set so high.

Of course, involving members in decisions can result in uncertainty and unexpected results, as recently seen in the UK Labour leadership contest. Having said that, Jeremy Corbyn’s overwhelming margin of victory suggests that the specific election model is not responsible for his victory.

Meanwhile, Australia now has a new Prime Minister, and we’ll wait to see how he performs. You would expect Turnbull to benefit from a short-term jump in polling, but recent history has taught us that popular alternative leaders can struggle to maintain their popularity once they take over the leadership.


Turnbull challenges for Liberal leadership

Malcolm Turnbull this afternoon resigned as Communications Minister and challenged for the leadership of the Liberal Party.

This is an open thread to discuss these events as they unfold over the coming hours and days.


ACT redistribution – ‘Fraser’ renamed ‘Fenner’, loses southern edge

fennerdraftThe Australian Electoral Commission yesterday released draft electoral boundaries for the ACT’s two federal electorates.

At the moment, the ACT is covered by two seats: Canberra and Fraser. The boundary between these two seats follows the Molonglo River and Lake Burley Griffin which divide Canberra in half – all of the northern suburbs in Fraser, and all of the southern suburbs in Canberra.

Canberra’s northern suburbs has been growing faster than its southern suburbs, and this has pushed Fraser to be larger than the seat of Canberra, forcing the Committee to move some suburbs from Fraser to Canberra.

Download the map of the new ACT federal boundaries from this page.

The Committee has decided to move Civic and a number of neighbouring suburbs including Acton, Braddon, Campbell and Reid. In addition, the new estate of Molonglo Valley, which is only being developed now, was moved from Fraser to Canberra.

In addition, the Committee has renamed the seat of Fraser.

Fraser is currently named after Jim Fraser, who was previously the sole member representing the ACT in the House of Representatives. It is normal practice that seats are named after deceased former Prime Ministers, and with the recent death of Malcolm Fraser, the Committee decided to free up the name ‘Fraser’ to be used in the future as the name for a Victorian seat named after the former Prime Minister.

We are expecting a seat to be named after Gough Whitlam in the impending New South Wales redistribution, but the next Victorian redistribution is not due for at least three years, so in the meantime the seat name ‘Fraser’ is likely to be rested.

The former ‘Fraser’ has been renamed ‘Fenner’, after virologist Frank Fenner. Fenner died in 2010, and was a key figure in the global elimination of smallpox.

Interestingly, the Commission was split on whether there were strong reasons to rename the seat of Canberra, with two members supporting a change and two opposing, with the casting vote deciding against making a change. Those who supported change had preferred naming the seat ‘Churcher’ after Betty Churcher, former director of the National Gallery of Australia.


By-elections triggered in Victoria

Following dual resignations of senior Liberals on August 31, we’ll be seeing two Victorian state by-elections in neighbouring rural seats in south-western Victoria later this month.

Former Premier Denis Napthine and former minister Terry Mulder both resigned from their seats on August 31, after losing power in November 2014.

Napthine’s seat of South-West Coast covers Warrnambool and Glenelg in the south-west corner of Victoria, and Mulder’s seat of Polwarth lies immediately to the east of South-West Coast, covering Anglesea, Lorne, Lismore, Colac, Camperdown, Terang and Mortlake.

Both seats are held by the Liberal Party by margins of around 11%. The Labor Party has announced that they won’t contest either seat, while the Nationals have announced they will run in both seats.

The date for the by-elections has not yet been set.

Read the guide to the Polwarth by-election.

Read the guide to the South-West Coast by-election.


Redistribution updates – ACT and Brisbane

While I’ve been focusing on other projects, two of the ongoing redistributions have been finalised.

I covered the release of draft boundaries for redistributions for the ACT Legislative Assembly and the Brisbane City Council. In both cases, the final boundaries have now been released.

The ACT boundaries were first published as a draft at the end of March 2015, and were finalised in May. No changes were made between the draft boundaries and the final boundaries. You can read my analysis of the boundaries here.

The Brisbane City Council draft boundaries were released in July, with the final boundaries release in late August. There were a series of small changes to wards, while a majority of wards underwent no changes. The newly-renamed ward of Garden City reverted to its former name of Macgregor in the final version. Read my analysis of the draft boundaries here. I haven’t made any changes to my estimates of margins on the draft boundaries, as no polling places were moved on the final version.

You can download the maps from the maps page.

Brisbane ward boundaries are included in the Queensland wards map, which is currently incomplete as a number of other councils are still undergoing changes.

In other redistribution news, we’re expecting the draft boundaries for federal redistributions in NSW and the ACT to be released this month, and then we’ll be looking to see the final versions of the NT Legislative Assembly redistribution, the WA state redistribution and the WA federal redistribution.

I’m currently collecting information on WA ward changes, and in October and November will post updates of Victorian and Queensland wards in time for their 2016 elections.


WA federal redistribution – download the map

The draft proposed boundaries for the Western Australian federal redistribution were released last Friday.

Western Australia gained a sixteenth electorate, and this new electorate has been drawn in the south of Perth. The seat has been tentatively named ‘Burt’ and takes in parts of Canning, Hasluck and Tangney. Interestingly, the WA Electoral Commission also renamed the state seat of Alfred Cove as Burt in the ongoing state redistribution, and it’s unclear whether either redistribution process will see either of the newly-named seats given a new name, considering that the seats do not overlap at all.

The new electorate is notionally a marginal Liberal seat, and otherwise the number of seats remains at twelve Liberal and three Labor, although the margins have changed.

Both Antony Green and William Bowe have produced estimates of the margins in these new seats.

The biggest changes took place in eastern and southern Perth. The seat of Canning has been pushed further out of Perth by the creation of Burt, taking in areas from Brand and O’Connor. O’Connor loses areas to Durack, and gains Collie from Forrest.

In the eastern suburbs, the seat of Hasluck has been pushed out of the south-east by the creation of Burt, and has taken in the eastern hinterland of Perth from Pearce, making the seat semi-rural.

As always, I’ve produced a Google Earth map of the new boundaries. Download the map here.

And below is an interactive version of the map. Click on each seat to see the incumbent MP, and the old and new margins.