Redistribution Archive

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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.

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WA federal redistribution – draft boundaries announced

The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday announced their draft boundaries for the federal redistribution of Western Australia.

WA had gained a sixteenth electorate, and the proposal recommends the seat be named ‘Burt’ after a number of members of a WA family who were senior judges or Attorney-General.

I’m currently working on my map of the new boundaries, which should be done around the middle of the week.

Meanwhile, William Bowe at Poll Bludger has estimated the new seat margins. In short, most seat margins change by relatively small amounts, while Burt is considered to be a marginal Liberal seat.

Read the full report here.

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WA state redistribution – draft map posted

In July, the draft electoral boundaries for the next WA state election were released.

I’ve now posted the draft boundaries for both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, and they can be downloaded from the maps page.

The below map shows the new boundaries, and Antony Green has calculated the new seats’ margins.

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WA redistribution and Canning – open thread

There are two major electoral events in Western Australia which kicked off last week. I’m still working on maps for these projects, so this is an open thread for discussion on these topics until later this week.

The draft electoral boundaries for the 2017 WA state election were released on Friday. I’ll be publishing an interactive map later this week. In the meantime, Antony Green has described the changes, and calculated estimated margins, at ABC Elections.

A federal by-election is also due for the WA seat of Canning following the death last week of Liberal MP Don Randall. I’m also working on a guide for the by-election, which should be up later this week.

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Map update – WA ward maps

Western Australia will be holding council elections on 17 October 2015 – over the course of the subsequent year, there will be local government elections across Australia’s four largest states.

Since the 2008 elections, I’ve produced ward maps for councils in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, but until now I’ve never done maps for Western Australia.

Over the last month or so, I’ve been working on a map of Western Australia’s local council wards, as of the last council election in 2013.

You can download the map here.

I’m now working on updated ward maps for Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. Conveniently, the electoral commissions provide a neat summary of which councils are changing their wards, along with the timelines and all relevant information. I’m not so lucky in the case of New South Wales and Western Australia.

In both cases, I am going to assume that councils without wards are undergoing no changes, and then go through the painstaking process of identifying which warded councils require changes, and identifying the new boundaries for those councils which are undergoing changes. If you have information about a warded council in NSW or WA, I’d appreciate it if you posted the information as a comment.

In the meantime, you’ll likely hear from me next when the next round of draft boundaries from the various federal, state and territory redistributions are released.

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Brisbane – draft ward boundaries released

BCCredistThe Electoral Commission of Queensland on Friday released its draft boundaries for the 26 wards covering the City of Brisbane – Australia’s biggest local council.

The process is similar to processes followed for state, territory and federal electoral redistributions, a number of which are currently taking place. In December, I posted about the prospects for the redistribution.

Despite the twelve northern wards being substantially larger than the fourteen wards south of the Brisbane river, the ECQ has chosen to not draw a ward crossing the river, thus leaving the north with twelve wards, all slightly larger than the fourteen on the south side.

In this blog post, I will describe what changes have taken place, and what they mean for the electoral landscape of Brisbane. I’ve also included an interactive map of the new boundaries.

You can now download the draft boundary map here. In the next few months I will also prepare updated maps for all the other councils in Queensland undergoing ward redistributions, as well as those in three other states.

Read the rest of this entry »

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NT redistribution – draft boundary map finished

Following up on Wednesday’s post about the Northern Territory redistribution, I’ve now completed my Google Earth map of the electoral boundaries.

You can download the map here, and it’s embedded below (sorry no stats, just the boundaries).

As explained last week, the Alice Springs area effectively lost a seat to the Darwin area.

Overall, this redistribution has been more dramatic than the last one, with big shifts in the Darwin, Palmerston and Alice Springs areas.

Prior to the redistribution, the Alice Springs area included three seats entirely contained in the town, but the seat of Araluen has been abolished, and the seat of Stuart has shifted south to take in parts of Alice Springs and taking on a new name of Battarbee.

In the top end, Nhulunbuy (renamed Milirrpum) has expanded to take in Groote Eylandt from Arnhem, which then shifts east to take in territory from Arafura. The seats of Goyder and Daly both shifted south, following the trend caused by the abolition of Araluen.

A majority of seats in the Northern Territory are included in the two northern urban areas of Darwin and Palmerston, and traditionally there has always been one seat straddling Darwin and Palmerston. That seat is currently Fong Lim, but Fong Lim has retracted into the Darwin area, with the creation of a new seat called Spillett covering parts of Palmerston, and the fringe areas between Palmerston and Darwin.

Antony Green has done his usual estimates of the partisan impact of the changes.

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Draft boundaries released for NT redistribution

Amongst many other redistributions, the Northern Territory is redrawing the boundaries of the 25 electorates for the territory’s Legislative Assembly.

The redistribution map was released yesterday. I’m working on my map of the new electorates, and should have it finished by Monday.

In short, the town of Alice Springs has lost one of its three seats to the Darwin area, with a new seat created in the Palmerston area on the fringe of Darwin.

Antony Green has produced a good summary of the boundary change proposal.

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Federal redistribution update

The Australian Electoral Commission is currently undertaking federal redistributions in New South Wales (which is losing one seat), Western Australia (which is gaining one seat) and the ACT (which should see minor changes on the border between the two seats.

Since I last wrote about these redistributions, we have seen two rounds of submissions in New South Wales and Western Australia, with a variety of individuals and groups, including political parties, putting in ‘suggestions’ and then a second opportunity for individuals and groups to make ‘comments on suggestions’.

I’ll only briefly cover the ACT, where the process is at a slightly earlier stage. With only two divisions, and with the southern division of Canberra under quota and the northern division of Fraser over quota, you would expect a few suburbs at the southern edge of northern Canberra to be transferred, but the process is relatively simple. In fact, no political party bothered to put in any suggestions.

In the case of Western Australia, I’ll keep my summary simple, and refer to WA resident William Bowe’s summary at Poll Bludger.

In short, both major parties agree on creating a new division out of parts of Hasluck in south-eastern Perth. Labor recommends calling the division ‘Tonkin’, and the Liberal Party recommends ‘Court’, both using the names of deceased former WA premiers who belonged to those respective parties. The WA Greens  proposes naming the sixteenth division ‘Vallentine’ after former senator Jo Vallentine, who was elected for the Nuclear Disarmament Party, became an independent then helped form the WA Greens. Vallentine would be a strong candidate for a seat name, except for the fact that AEC guidelines recommend that divisions be named after deceased persons, and Vallentine is very much alive. These guidelines can be ignored, so the option is still a possibility.

I wanted to focus most of my writing on New South Wales, the largest state with the most complex electoral boundaries. I’ve waited until after the second round of submissions were released last week. In this post, I’ll run through some interesting points in the map where the parties have disagreed on their approach.

This blog post is quite lengthy, and runs through five key parts of the state, and what each of the parties has proposed. I will return to these three redistributions (along with the state redistribution in Western Australia and the Brisbane City Council ward redistribution) when the draft boundaries are released.

Read the rest of this entry »

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NSW Nationals want smaller seats – how?

Last month, Nationals MLC Ben Franklin announced that he would seek a parliamentary inquiry into the size of the western NSW electorates of Barwon and Murray, which cover a majority of the New South Wales land mass. Today, according to a tweet from the party’s account, the NSW Nationals passed a motion calling for smaller electorates in regional NSW.

It’s true that these electorates are huge, and are a challenge to represent, but this simply reflects the low populations living in these areas. While there are some variations in electoral boundaries which could make Barwon at the least slightly smaller, any legislative changes would likely require increasing the population contained within seats in Sydney and along the coast, unless the Nationals are considering a proposal to increase the size of the Legislative Assembly.

The proposal also ignores the fact that the Nationals actually benefit from our electoral system. In 2015, the Nationals polled about the same as the Greens, but won 17 seats to the Greens’ 3, due to their vote being concentrated in particular parts of the state.

Franklin ignores all the other conditions that can make it harder to represent an electorate, such as having a large number of residents who don’t speak English, many residents with problems needing support from their local MP, such as public housing issues. It’s a lot easier to measure the landmass a seat covers, but it doesn’t mean it is the only problem faced by MPs in representing their electorate. Yet we don’t discuss weighting electoral power based on any other type of disadvantage – it’s one person, one vote.

There is a long and ugly history in Australia of electoral laws being used to increase the voting power of rural voters at the expense of urban voters – in effect MPs represented land, not just people. In New South Wales at a state level, and in most other jurisdictions, different quotas were set in rural and urban areas, meaning that there were much smaller numbers of voters in a rural seat than in an urban seat. Read the rest of this entry »