Australian Capital Territory Archive

3

NSW and WA redistributions – updated maps

We are now nearing the end of the federal redistribution process which precedes the next federal election.

We had redistributions in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

The AEC has a curious process where they announce the final boundaries but do not provide the maps and data which allow people to see the precise boundaries. This extra information is usually provided about a month later.

In the ACT, the final boundaries were identical to the draft boundaries, so no further maps are necessary (although the final data is expected next week). In Western Australia, the final maps were released yesterday, and I’ll post them further down in this post.

In New South Wales, the final boundaries were announced last Friday, without any maps. In most places it’s reasonably clear what boundaries they were using (although a few were confusing). I’ve done my best to put together a new map – I think it’s likely to be accurate but there may be a few errors (in particular the Hume/Whitlam boundary and the Parkes/New England boundary) and I will update it when the official data is released in late February.

Download the NSW final-ish electoral map.

Download the WA final electoral map.

Download the ACT final electoral map.

Below the fold you can see interactive maps for NSW and WA, although I haven’t added any other data to the maps, just the boundaries.

Read the rest of this entry »

4

ACT redistribution finalised

The Australian Electoral Commission today announced the final boundaries for the ACT at the next federal election. They haven’t made any changes to the draft boundaries announced in September.

This means that the northern seat of Fraser will be renamed ‘Fenner’ after virologist Frank Fenner, freeing up the former name for a Victorian seat to be renamed after former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser.

Antony Green estimates that the ALP’s margin in Canberra will increase from 7% to 7.4%, and will stay the same in Fraser/Fenner, at 12.6%.

In other news, the AEC recently announced its final boundaries for Western Australia. Frustratingly, the AEC is delaying releasing the final detailed maps for both WA and the ACT until January. It’s not a big deal in the ACT where there are no changes, but the final announcement for WA refers to a number of “minor boundary changes” which aren’t explained, making it impossible to be sure of the new boundaries, although the substantive changes have been announced. For this reason, I’ll wait until January before completing the WA federal map.

You can download the ACT map here.

19

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.

0

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.

7

ACT redistribution – 17 to 25

While I was away in the US, the ACT Legislative Assembly officially voted to increase the number of seats in the Assembly from 17 to 25.

The Assembly is currently elected from three electorates: one electing seven MLAs, and the other two electing five MLAs each.

The new Assembly will be elected from five equal-sized electorates, each electing five MLAs.

This will require the three existing electorates to effectively be redrawn out of existence, with the two five-member electorates shrinking to cover a smaller area, and the middle electorate of Molonglo being broken apart.

In March, I analysed the possible electoral boundaries that could be drawn with the ACT’s current population, and you can read that here.

Not a great amount has changed since then.

The ACT’s population is contained within seven ‘districts’:

  • Belconnen
  • Gungahlin
  • North Canberra (the ‘inner north’)
  • South Canberra (the ‘inner south’)
  • Tuggeranong
  • Weston Creek
  • Woden Valley

The ACT is currently developing an eighth district named ‘Molonglo’ but it does not yet contain a substantial population.

Using the population estimates for each suburb from the last redistribution in 2008, you can get a good sense of the options. Bear in mind that each electorate will need to have approximately 20% of the ACT population within it. The current legislation allows electorates to diverge from the average by up to 10% at the time of the redistribution, and by up to 5% of the estimated population at the time of the next election.

District Enrolment as of Jan 2011 Projected enrolment as of Oct 2012
Belconnen 26.10 25.65
Gungahlin 10.74 12.00
North Canberra 13.00 13.11
South Canberra 7.55 7.58
Tuggeranong 25.59 25.25
Weston Creek 6.96 6.52
Woden Valley 9.74 9.62
Other 0.31 0.28

Belconnen is well over 20% of the population, so there will be an electorate based mostly if not entirely within Belconnen. The combined population of Belconnen and Gungahlin is close to, but not quite, 40% of ACT enrolment. It is possible this population will continue growing, and will allow for two complete electorates in the Gungahlin-Belconnen area, or the Gungahlin-based electorate may need to take in a small part of North Canberra.

North Canberra and South Canberra together make up between 20% and 21% of the total ACT enrolment. There will definitely be an electorate that covers most of this area – if it fits within the quota, and the northern electorates don’t need to extend into the inner north, it would make sense to have a single electorate covering all of the inner north and inner south.

Tuggeranong in the south, like Belconnen, makes up more than 20% of the population, so it seems likely that there will be a Tuggeranong electorate.

The combined Tuggeranong-Weston-Woden area make up just over 40% of the population, so there will almost certainly be an electorate covering the remainder of Tuggeranong, as well as most of Weston Creek and Woden Valley. The precise population figures will determine if it will be possible to contain this entire region into two electorates, or if the inner north-inner south seat will have to spill over into the area.

There will be some room for negotiation and discussion over the detailed boundaries – the population thresholds will allow those making submissions to choose different ways to divide the population, and there will be disagreement about which electorates should be drawn over-population and under-population.

In addition, there will be flexibility in terms of which suburbs of Belconnen and Tuggeranong are contained in the electorates contained entirely within those districts, and which suburbs are combined with the neighbouring districts.

This redistribution is scheduled to commence in October 2014, according to Elections ACT.

9

ACT Assembly going to 25

In the lead-up to the state elections in South Australia and Tasmania, I didn’t have time to cover another electoral story in the Australian Capital Territory. After many years of debate, and competing proposals, the ACT Legislative Assembly appears set to increase in size, from 17 to 25 seats.

The ACT’s legislative body currently has 17 members elected from three multi-member electorates. The electorate of Molonglo, centred on Lake Burley Griffin, elects seven members, while the Belconnen-based Ginninderra and the Tuggeranong-based Brindabella each elect five members.

The Labor Party and the Greens have supported some expansion in size of the ACT for a while, but it has faced opposition from the Liberal Party.

An expert panel (read the report) recommended the creation of five electorates – which would initially elect five members each before eventually electing seven members each for a total Assembly size of 35.

The Liberal Party’s ACT division decided to support the increase to 25 at their meeting on March 5. It’s unclear if either party is pushing for an eventual increase to 35 seats.

The next ACT election is due in just over two and a half years, giving plenty of time for the Assembly to pass the change and for new boundaries to be drawn.

We don’t know exactly how the boundaries will be drawn, but there aren’t that many options when you are drawing electoral boundaries in Canberra.

One possible way to divide ACT's polling places into five electorates. Belconnen in orange, Central in purple, North in blue, Tuggeranong in green, West in yellow.

One possible way to divide ACT’s polling places into five electorates. Belconnen in orange, Central in purple, North in blue, Tuggeranong in green, West in yellow.

In 2010, I conducted some analysis at the likely impact of a 5×5 electoral system that didn’t make it to this blog. This included assigning all polling places to one of five electorates.

The ACT is divided into seven districts. The central suburbs are split into North Canberra and South Canberra by the Lake. These areas are usually referred to as the ‘inner north’ and ‘inner south’.

In the north you find Gungahlin, and Belconnen in the north-west.

In the south you have Tuggeranong, and just north of Tuggeranong to the west of the city is Weston Creek and Woden Valley.

When drawing these boundaries I found that both Tuggeranong and Belconnen were too large to be contained within a single electorate. Both areas formed the basis for an electorate. I then created an electorate called ‘West’ covering Weston Creek and the remainder of Tuggeranong. In the north I created an electorate covering all of Gungahlin and northern parts of Belconnen, as well as the northern fringe of the inner north.

I then created a fifth electorate in the centre, surrounding the Lake and mostly covering the inner south and inner north.

Population will continue to shift, and I didn’t take into account absentee and other special votes which may vary in numbers. It’s quite possible that the Central electorate will lose parts of Woden. Having said that, I think they provide a useful guide as to how a 5×5 system would change the balance in the ACT.

I’ve taken the results by polling place of the 2012 results to produce my estimate of how many quotas each party would have polled in each of these five hypothetical electorates in 2012.

Seat Labor Liberal Greens Others
Belconnen 2.5227 1.8653 0.6105 1.0004
Central 2.4636 2.1197 0.9045 0.5118
North 2.4001 2.1628 0.7039 0.7324
Tuggeranong 2.1273 2.8835 0.3939 0.5950
West 2.4007 2.4501 0.5984 0.5494

The Liberal vote is more concentrated in Tuggeranong so the highest result for a particular party is for the Liberal Party in Tuggeranong. Tuggeranong is the best area for the Liberal Party, and the worst for both the ALP and the Greens. Belconnen is best for the ALP and worst for the Liberal Party. The Greens vote peaks in the central electorate.

On these numbers, I estimate that we would see 11-12 Liberals, 10-12 Labor and 2-4 Greens MLAs. The fifth seat in Belconnen could either go to the ALP or the Greens. The fifth seat in the West could go to Labor, Liberal or Greens. In this scenario, all parties would increase their numbers.

In most circumstances, this result would ensure that both major parties won two seats in each electorate. The Greens vote is quite strong in Central – probably enough to offset the fact that they previously benefited from a lower quota in Molonglo that has been lost. In this scenario, 0.7 quota in the North is probably enough to elect a Green, but may not be enough to guarantee a win if the balance between the major parties shifts.

The Greens polling 0.6 quotas in Belconnen and the West would provide enough of a base to give the party a chance, particularly in a good election. The Greens would have to perform exceptionally to win a seat in Tuggeranong.

Overall, these new electorates would see no change in the balance of power: on 2012 votes, the Greens would have held the balance of power, with the likely result seeing Labor and the Greens sharing government as they have done. The biggest impact would have been a deeper bench: resulting in more talent available to serve as ministers, and a larger backbench.

8

More redistribution news

Following on from my post earlier in the week after I posted new electoral maps for Victoria and South Australia, there was more news yesterday on redistributions.

The final boundaries for next year’s ACT Legislative Assembly election have been announced. The committee reverted to the first draft, which was a minor change bringing Ginninderra and Molonglo into quota. The second draft had proposed radical changes to the boundaries, reducing Molonglo to a 5-member district and making Ginninderra a 7-member district, but these were rejected after vocal opposition. I have now posted the final version on the maps page.

In other news, the latest report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on population for each state and territory makes it clear that there will be no changes in the number of seats for each state and territory at the next federal election. In the next month the AEC will make a determination about seat numbers, and this data makes it clear they will remain the same. This will mean that no more federal redistributions will be held in time for the next federal election once the current South Australian redistribution is completed.

An ACT redistribution is due in 2013, but won’t be finished before the election. Antony Green has also blogged about the new update.

So with the NT and ACT territorial boundaries now completed, the only redistribution map I need to work on now is the draft boundaries for next year’s WA state election. Later this year we will be getting final boundaries for the WA state election and for SA federal boundaries. I’ll keep you posted.

Apart from those, I am also looking to update my ward maps for New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as all three big states have council elections next year. Sorry Western Australia and South Australia, I just haven’t had time to cover those states.

Anyway, Victoria and Queensland’s state electoral commissions are doing a good job of covering the redistributions being held for council wards on their websites, but not in New South Wales, where it seems to be a job for the individual council.

So I’m calling on my readers to help me out by posting here any news about New South Wales council ward boundaries:

  • A decision by a council to get rid of or implement ward boundaries.
  • A clear decision to redistribute the boundaries, preferably with a link to the maps
  • A clear indication that ward boundaries are not changing.

This will make it a lot easier to produce a state ward map well before the September council elections.