Map of the day – swings in opposite directions for Greens in Victoria

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As I’ve been putting together these maps I was particularly interested in seeing what the booth map looked like for the Victorian Greens. There wasn’t a consistent story to come out of the election when it comes to swings for the Greens. The Greens had a tough ask in retaining all six of their Senate seats up for election. At the moment they should win five and possibly six, which is a pretty good outcome.

The Greens have gained a small +0.15% swing in the House of Representatives nationally, and a bigger +1.5% swing in the Senate. Yet Victoria bucked those trends, suffering a large -1.3% swing in the House and a small -0.3% swing in the Senate.

This partly reflects the Greens going backwards in some of their inner city heartland electorates, but again there is not one consistent picture here.

So that’s what I wanted to map out. The map is below the fold.

Swinging maps in Canberra

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The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) never receives much attention in federal elections, but I found some interesting trends when I mapped out the results of the recent election, both in terms of the House and the Senate.

The ACT received a third seat in the House of Representatives as part of the most recent round of redistributions, leading to the creation of a new inner-city seat of Canberra. This naturally forced the centre of the other two electorates further out into the suburbs. The boundary between the two old seats ran close to Lake Burley Griffin, ensuring each electorate had a mix of outer suburbia and inner city. There is now a big demographic difference between Canberra and its neighbours.

Meanwhile there was another concerted effort to unseat Liberal senator Zed Seselja from his traditionally safe ACT Senate seat, without much success.

I’ve produced three interesting maps which show a widening gap between the Canberra inner city and the outer suburbs (particularly in the south), as well as who is in the lead in the Senate in each booth.

Federal 2019 – Swan’s booths move to the centre

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Once you notice the trend of Liberal areas (particularly those with higher education and income levels) swinging towards Labor while Labor areas swing to the Coalition, you start to see the trend all over the place.

One particularly good example is in the marginal Liberal seat of Swan in the inner suburbs of Perth. Swan covers trendy inner-city areas like South Perth and Victoria Park, but also includes more suburban areas at the eastern end of the seat, such as Belmont, Cloverdale and Cannington.

I’m not particularly familiar with this area, but it appears that the eastern end of the seat has lower education and income levels compared to the west, and traditionally has voted more strongly for Labor. The western end of the seat includes the South Perth council area, which voted solidly for the Liberal Party in 2016 (66% 2PP), but also the Victoria Park council area, which narrowly voted for Labor (51% 2PP) while also having the highest Greens vote.

The informal rate is rising, but more votes have been counted

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After my post on Friday evening about turnout levels I’ve also done some further analysis into the rate of informal voting at the recent election.

While it is true that the informal rate has increased compared to the 2016 election, it is still lower than it was in either 2010 or 2013. And the increasing rate of enrolment means a larger proportion of the Voting Eligible Population (VEP) have cast a vote in 2019 than in any election in the last decade.

In the post below I’ve run through the key stats for formal voting and turnout over the last few elections, and look at a map showing the informal rate by seat.

The turnout is pretty good actually

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The Sydney Morning Herald published an article this afternoon claiming that the recent federal election had “one of the lowest voter turnouts” in the last century. Further down the authors claim that the turnout is “on track to be lower than the 2016 election”, despite acknowledging that this is partly due to the record high enrolment rate bringing in a larger proportion of the eligible population than ever before.

I was planning to write a post explaining why this is misleading, that while it may be true that the proportion of the roll to have cast a vote may have gone down, you can’t spin a story about voters becoming disengaged while the proportion of the eligible population who have voted has been steadily increasing.

Yet it turns out that no such nuance is needed, because even the basic fact at the core of the article is false. Updated statistics tonight reveal that the turnout at this election is about to surpass the 2016 election, with more votes yet to be counted.

Yes there are reasons to be concerned about voters’ “disengagement”, but it is false to claim that the number of Australians who are voting is dropping.

Swings without Turnbull – cumulative swings since 2013

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With all of the conversation about large swings in particular parts of the country at the recent election, a few people have been discussing how much this election’s trends are simply a reaction to the 2016 election, with Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison appealing to very different demographics at the head of the same party.

It is possible that some areas swung in one direction in 2016 because of the popularity (or unpopularity) of Turnbull, which caused the swing in the opposite direction in 2019 to be larger, and by comparing the swings over two election cycles you could isolate which areas have moved the furthest since the Coalition first won power in 2013.

To do this I have added up the 2016 and 2019 two-party-preferred (2PP) swings in the 134 seats which are comparable (two others are completely new seats, while fifteen others are not Labor vs Coalition contests, so we will need to wait some time for the two-party-preferred figures in these seats). I’ll explain some issues with this method further down in the post, but I think the data is easily comparable.

Unsurprisingly, a string of Queensland seats have shifted towards the Liberal National Party against the national trend, while other seats (particularly those in Victoria) have swung most strongly to Labor.

I have then taken these figures and mapped them out, below the fold.

The great divide in Macquarie and the big swing in Lindsay

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I’m writing this post on Tuesday evening. Earlier today Labor MP Susan Templeman narrowly pulled ahead in the seat of Macquarie by just 27 votes. Who knows who will be leading when this post goes up on Thursday morning.

I’ve always found Macquarie to be a fascinating electorate, because it has long been marginal despite the constituent parts of the electorate not being particularly marginal in themselves.

The electorate covers the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury council areas on the western and north-western fringe of Sydney. About 55% of election-day votes cast in this electorate in 2016 were cast in the mountains.

I divided this electorate into three areas in my pre-election guide, with the Blue Mountains split between lower mountains and upper mountains. I had the Labor two-party-preferred vote at 68.8% in the upper mountains, 57.4% in the lower mountains and just 41.1% in the Hawkesbury area.

I have produced a map showing the two-party-preferred vote in this electorate, as well as neighbouring Lindsay, below the fold.

The electorate of Lindsay recorded a 6.5% swing to the Liberal Party following the removal of local member Emma Husar, and is an interesting comparison to Labor’s results in the Blue Mountains.

Mallee moves apart

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It looks like the Nationals have retained the seat of Mallee in north-western Victoria, but the race was remarkably wide open, with no candidate polling over 30% and six different candidates topping the poll in at least one booth.

Nationals candidate Anne Webster polled 28.7%, with the Liberal Party’s Serge Petrovich second on 18.4%. Labor’s Carole Hart is on 15.5%, with two independents (Jason Modica and Ray Kingston) polling just over 9%.

The two-candidate-preferred count is between the Nationals and Labor candidates, and shows a clear win for Webster, with 66.4%.

There appears to be a small chance that either of the independents could overtake Labor and then make it to the final count. I won’t go into detail about this possibility but Kevin Bonham has considered this prospect.

After the fold I have some maps showing aspects of the Mallee result, and I’ve analysed the geographic shape of this election result.

Mapping Warringah

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The federal election generally went well for the government, but they suffered a big defeat in the northern Sydney seat of Warringah, where former prime minister Tony Abbott lost his seat after 25 years.

Abbott held his seat by an 11.6% margin against the Greens or 11.1% against Labor as of the 2016 election. Once most of the dust had settled, independent candidate Zali Steggall ended up with 57% of the two-candidate-preferred vote.

Abbott’s primary vote plummeted by more than 12% from 52% to less than 40%.

Today’s map shows the two-candidate-preferred (2CP) vote at each booth in Warringah, and can be toggled to show the primary vote swing against Abbott.

One Nation’s big vote in the Hunter

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One of the big surprises in the recent federal election was the performance of One Nation in the NSW electorate of Hunter. This seat covers the more rural parts of the Hunter Valley, stretching from the western shore of Lake Macquarie up to Cessnock, Muswellbrook and Scone. It’s held by Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon, who held it by a 12.5% margin prior to the election. He suffered the third-worst swing for a Labor candidate behind the north Queensland seats of Capricornia and Dawson, with his margin cut by 9.7%.

But the seat stood out for the remarkably high One Nation vote in the lower house. One Nation’s Stuart Bonds polled over 21%. One Nation didn’t poll over 20% in any other seat. The next best seat outside of Queensland for One Nation was the neighbouring seat of Paterson, where they polled 14%. Paterson is another urban-rural fringe electorate in the Hunter, covering Maitland and Port Stephens.

I’ve put together an interactive map showing how One Nation did in the Hunter region, which is below the fold. I’m not planning to assess why the swing was so large in this area, but hopefully the map is useful to others interested in the area.