A substantial amount of analysis was produced yesterday about the draft boundaries for the NSW redistribution.
Antony Green has posted his estimated margins for each electorate.
He estimates that the ALP has lost two seats net to the Liberal Party. A Nationals seat was abolished in Western Sydney, while the new seat of Newtown was created, and is considered to be notionally Green.
As expected, there was a significant knock-on effect through southwestern Sydney and southwestern NSW.
This knock-on effect sees the seat of Goulburn changed dramatically. The town that gives the seat its name is now at the eastern edge of the seat, while Goulburn has gained large parts of Burrinjuck, including Yass.
The remainder of Burrinjuck has been merged with eastern parts of Murrumbidgee as the new seat of Cootamundra.
The three seats of Goulburn, Burrinjuck and Murrumbidgee are all held by ministers: Pru Goward, Katrina Hodgkinson and Adrian Piccoli. These three seats have been reduced to two, and this could see a clash between ministers, or force one of them to grab a seat off a neighbouring MP.
The seat of Murray-Darling has been renamed to Murray with the loss of Broken Hill, while Barwon has grown even larger to cover the sparsely populated north-west of the state.
Bathurst has been largely left alone, while Dubbo and Orange have swapped quite a bit of territory, shifting from a north-south axis to an east-west axis.
Changes were relatively mild in other parts of regional New South Wales.
In Sydney, the north shore has been left alone with only minor changes. The biggest changes start with the creation of the seat of Newtown, which has absorbed most of the excess quota from Heffron and Sydney and allowed those two seats to largely remain intact.
Antony Green estimates that Newtown is a notional Greens seat. I haven’t had a chance to crunch numbers myself, but this makes sense. The Greens seat of Balmain has largely been left intact, except for the loss of the suburb of Haberfield, which is considerably more conservative than the rest of the seat.
The ALP should have less trouble holding the new seat of Summer Hill than its predecessor of Marrickville, although the seat is still likely to be strong for the Greens.
Quite a few more seats are reshuffled throughout south-western and north-western Sydney. The seats of Menai and Smithfield have been renamed as Holsworthy and Prospect respectively. The ALP seat of Macquarie Fields has shifted south, gaining areas in the seat of Campbelltown which swung much more strongly to the Liberal Party. This is enough to switch the seat from notional Labor to Liberal.
Former Premier Nathan Rees’ seat of Toongabbie has shifted significantly and has been renamed Seven Hills, and his margin of 0.3% has become a Liberal margin of 8.5%.
2011 was a terrible result for Labor, and it’s probably not worth focusing too much on seats right at the bottom of the pendulum. Labor will presumably gain at least some swing back to them, and if there was to be a competitive election, the seats on current margins from 10% to 20% that would prove decisive.
So far, the boundaries seem very sensible, and a good attempt at dealing with all of the contradictions and demands that come with electoral redistributions.
I have started work on my Google Earth map of the new boundaries, but won’t have it finished until later this week. I will come back with those when they have been completed.