South Australia Archive

1

SA federal redistribution – here is the map

I’ve now finished the draft boundary map for the SA federal redistribution, following on from the draft boundaries released the previous week for Victoria and the ACT.

Download the Google Earth map for the draft SA federal boundaries.

Remember there is a wide range of electoral maps – federal, state and local, dating back at least a decade – on the maps page.

And here is an interactive map. You can toggle on and off the 2016 and 2019 boundaries.

13

New federal pendulum after recent redistributions

Following the release of the draft South Australian redistribution boundaries yesterday, we can now put together a pendulum of all seat margins for the next election. This pendulum uses the actual election margins for New South Wales and Western Australia, and the final post-redistribution margins for Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, as well as the post-redistribution margins for the draft boundaries for Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.

I’ve included this pendulum below the fold, but you can also find it at this link. I’ve now posted the pendulum, along with a list of seats in alphabetical order and a list of seats by state, on the federal election guide. There are now twenty seat guides posted there, and I will keep posting at least one per day for the foreseeable future. The pendulum below won’t keep getting updated with fresh links but does include the twenty so far.

The only update since yesterday’s post is that I calculated two-candidate-preferred margins between the Liberal Party and the Nick Xenophon Team in Barker, Grey and Mayo. In these three seats, I calculated what proportion of primary votes for all other parties flowed to either of these two parties in the final count in those parts of the seat where NXT made the top two. Some areas were swapped back and forth between Grey and Barker, so they were included as if they had always been in the seat. This proportion was then applied to the remaining primary votes.

The figures are:

  • Barker – LIB vs NXT 4.2% (down from 4.7%)
  • Grey – LIB vs NXT 1.9% (down from 2.0%)
  • Mayo – NXT vs LIB 5.3% (up from 5.0%)

These are all shifts towards the NXT, but they should come with a grain of salt. They fit with the overall trend of the Liberal Party not losing any seats but having all of their seats become more marginal.

Read the rest of this entry »

5

SA redistribution live

12:30pm – That’s all I’ll be posting today. I’ll be back on the weekend with an updated pendulum, and will be putting together the map in coming days.

12:26pm – On a primary vote basis in Mayo, the Liberal Party has dropped 1.1%, NXT has dropped 1.9%, and Labor has jumped by 3.1%, thanks to inclusion of Boothby and Kingston, which were seats where Labor competed much more strongly.

It’s also worth noting that the Liberal-Labor 2PP figure in all three seats where NXT broke into the top two have seen Labor’s position strengthen. I will have to make my own estimates of the LIB vs NXT margin in these three seats, but won’t happen until tomorrow.

12:20pm – So here are the toplines:

  • Labor has lost its sixth seat, thanks to the merger of Port Adelaide and Wakefield into Spence, which is a very safe seat.
  • The extremely marginal Labor seat of Hindmarsh has become reasonably safe, while Adelaide has also got a lot safer, and Makin is a bit safer.
  • It’s hard to predict the margins in Barker, Grey or Mayo because there were parts of these seats where the two-candidate-preferred count didn’t involve NXT. So that’s why these margins haven’t changed much. About 86% of Grey and Mayo were already in the seat before the redistribution, while the figure is just over 90% for Barker.
  • The Liberal Party’s position has got weaker in Boothby and Sturt.

12:15pm – Here are my margin estimates.

SeatOld marginNew margin
Adelaide ALP 4.7% ALP 8.3%
Barker LIB vs NXT 4.7% LIB vs NXT 4.2%
Boothby LIB 3.5% LIB 2.7%
Grey LIB vs NXT 2% LIB vs NXT 1.9%
Hindmarsh ALP 0.6% ALP 8.4%
Kingston ALP 17% ALP 13.5%
Makin ALP 9.7% ALP 10.8%
Mayo NXT vs LIB 5% NXT vs LIB 5.3%
Port Adelaide ALP vs NXT 14.9% Abolished
Spence (Wakefield) ALP 11% ALP 17.1%
Sturt LIB 5.9% LIB 5.4%

12:08pm – Here are my estimates of the 2PP and primary vote.

Vote estimates

SeatALP 2PPLNP 2PPALP primLNP primGRN primNXT prim
Adelaide58.341.739.0732.5510.013.7
Barker36.163.916.3245.563.628.6
Boothby47.352.726.9241.678.218.5
Grey42.257.822.542.222.726.7
Hindmarsh58.441.639.9831.36.617.0
Kingston63.536.545.326.165.818.1
Makin60.839.242.727.474.716.7
Mayo46.753.316.6236.628.233.0
Spence67.132.945.0820.784.620.1
Sturt44.655.423.344.387.619.9

11:56am – It turns out the redistribution was released at 11:30am east coast time, not Adelaide time (as predicted by the AEC) so I’m just catching up now. Will have estimates in a few minutes. It appears Wakefield and Port Adelaide have been merged as the seat of Spence.

0

Data repository update – WA, SA and Tasmania

I’ve made a number of updates to the data repository in preparation for the next round of state elections.

I’ve added to the data from the 2017 WA state election. Originally I had a limited dataset for the Legislative Council election, without below-the-line vote breakdowns by polling place, and without a seat-by-seat breakdown of the special vote for the upper house. This gap has now been filled.

I’ve also posted datasets for the 2010 and 2014 Tasmanian state elections and the 2014 South Australian state election. The only thing missing is booth-level results for the SA upper house, which will be a project for another time.

As usual, these datasets can be accessed from the data page. Each dataset includes a polling place list, a candidate list, and a list of vote breakdowns by polling place and candidate. Unique IDs can be used to match between each table.

6

SA Labor banning above-the-line preferences in upper house

The South Australian Labor government has released legislation to reform the voting system used for the South Australian upper house. Like the federal and NSW upper houses before it, the legislation aims to eliminate the flawed and opaque group voting ticket system, but it comes up with a strange model which would have some odd outcomes.

I won’t spend a lot of time analysing the proposal in detail, for that check out the work by Kevin Bonham and Henry Schlechta.

In this piece I want to explore the theoretical problems with the SA Labor government’s proposed bill, and some alternatives, as well as raising some frustrating hypocrisy left over from this year’s Senate reform debate.

Read the rest of this entry »

5

SA state redistribution – draft boundary analysis

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-22-18-pmWhile we were all recovering from the federal election, South Australia was undergoing a redrawing of its state electoral map for the 2018 state election. The draft electoral map was released in mid-August, and I blogged about the underlying statistics driving the redistribution at the time.

It’s taken me some time to get back to this redistribution, what with the many territory elections, council elections and by-elections taking place following the federal election, but it’s now complete.

You can download the 2018 draft map here.

The last election produced a result of 23 Labor seats, 22 Liberal seats and two independents. One of those independents, Geoff Brock, sided with Labor to give them a governing majority, while the other independent, Bob Such, went on sick leave soon after the election and later died of cancer. During Such’s absence, former Liberal leader Martin Hamilton-Smith resigned from the party to join Labor’s cabinet. Labor subsequently won the Fisher by-election, giving them a majority in the House of Assembly.

The Electoral Districts Boundaries Commission is required by law to consider the party-political impact of the redistribution, with the aim of producing a result which will give a majority of seats to the party that wins a majority of the two-party-preferred vote. Despite this requirement, Labor won a majority in 2010 despite a Liberal vote majority after preferences, and achieved government again despite losing the vote in 2014.

In line with their mandate, the EDBC has redrawn the boundaries to boost the Liberal position. Assuming no change from the 2014 election vote which gave the Liberal Party 53% after preferences, the new electorates would give the Liberal Party 24 seats and Labor 22. The last seat, Frome, is drawn as notionally Liberal but is held by an independent. Theoretically this should mean that the Liberal Party should be able to win a majority with no change in their vote (assuming they can win back Hamilton-Smith’s seat), although this theory did not work at the last two elections.

45 electorates remain notionally held by the party that won them in 2014 (either at the general election or, in the case of Labor and the seat of Fisher, at the by-election). The other two seats are Elder, in southern Adelaide, and Mawson, which has moved from being a southern Adelaide seat into a regional electorate by stretching out to take in Kangaroo Island and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Both seats are held by Labor MPs but are now notional Liberal seats.

The following map shows the new electoral map. Click on each seat to see the post-redistribution margin, and who held the seat before the redistribution.

This map is only a draft – we should be expecting a final version of the map to be released in November.

1

What’s going on at the Tally Room

This blog has been pretty quiet since the conclusion of the NSW council elections. I’m working on a few different projects in the background and I just wanted to give a quick update.

Firstly, I’ve been working on a project to collect together all of the results of the NSW council elections to publish in an easy-to-use format for data analysis. This is part of a broader project to publish local and state election results in an easy-to-use format, since so many electoral commissions do not publish results (as well as candidate and booth lists) in accessible formats, unlike the AEC. Unfortunately I’ve hit a wall in scraping the data for the 2016 council elections, although the data for the 2011 and 2012 elections is ready. If you’re an expert on web scraping who can help me with this, drop me a line. Once this is done, I might do some high-level comparisons of the 2012 and 2016 election results.

The ACT election is due this Saturday, and I’ve got guides published for all five electorates which you can read here. I’ve got an article going up at the Guardian today about the election which is also worth a read. Unfortunately I won’t be around to do a liveblog on Saturday night, but I will return to do some overall analysis on the weekend.

Three by-elections are due in New South Wales in November and I’ve published guides for all three seats. This includes a guide to the Wollongong by-election, which was only recently written.

Beyond that, I’ve been making maps for a couple of recent redistributions. The Northern Territory is in the midst of a redistribution, whereby the urban seat of Solomon will lose some areas on the outskirts of Darwin and Palmerston to the seat of Lingiari. This is the first time since the territory was split into two electorates in 2001 that the boundaries will be changed. I’ve completed a map of the new boundaries which you can download from the maps page.

I am currently working on the new draft map for the South Australian state redistribution, and I’ll be publishing that probably next week, and once the draft boundaries are released for the Queensland state redistribution I will also make a map of those boundaries.

Then once all that’s done I plan to get into preparing the guide to the Western Australian state election, for early next year.

So I will pop up from time to time, but mostly I’ll be away in the background for the remainder of this year.

6

South Australian state redistribution update

This is a quick blog post about a story that I’ve missed up until now.

As they do every four years, the South Australian electoral boundaries are currently in the process of being redistributed. The draft boundaries are due to be released at 11am Adelaide time this morning. This follows a round of submissions earlier this year, which largely went under the radar due to the federal election.

South Australia conducts redistributions after every election. Unlike other jurisdictions around Australia, the boundaries commission is required to ensure that the result is “fair” – ie. that a majority of the two-party-preferred vote gives a majority of seats. I’m on the record as thinking that this is an impossible task. By definition a system of single-member electorates are not fair, it can’t handle multiparty politics, and is always undone by different swings across the state.

The 2010 election saw Labor hold on to its majority despite losing a majority of the two-party-preferred vote, despite the best efforts to draw boundaries which wouldn’t produce this result. After this election, the boundaries commission decided that the boundaries were not unfair and didn’t attempt to undertake major redrawing of the boundaries to undo Labor’s new advantage.

The following map shows how much each seat diverges from the average quota as of 2016. Seats marked in red are above average, those in blue below average. Those in pale yellow are within a range of 1% either above or below. Those in a darker colour are 5% above or below average.

Seats must fall within 10% of the average. Technically only two seats fall outside this band: Port Adelaide is over 10% above average, and the remote north-western seat of Giles is over 10% below average.

In practice a lot more seats will be redrawn. On a regional basis, seats in the northern suburbs of Adelaide are above average. There are four seats north of the Adelaide city centre which are more than 5% above quota. The nine seats at the northern end of Adelaide are collectively 17.6% above quota, while the fifteen seats in central Adelaide are 7.4% above quota, and the southern Adelaide seats are mostly sitting around the quota.

The five seats in northern South Australia are collectively 22.7% below their fifth quota. This suggests that we should expect one of these rural seats to be pulled further into the northern fringe of Adelaide, to absorb the surplus population in Adelaide. We’ll find out soon enough.

I should note that I’m not planning to immediately drop everything to construct a map of the new draft SA boundaries, as I am hoping to produce a guide to some of the biggest councils up for election in New South Wales in September. I’ll return to produce this map later in the year once other elections no longer monopolise my time.

31

NSW redistribution, council amalgamations and SA reform

There’s been a lot of electoral news this morning! I’ll try to run through it all really quickly. I’ll be putting together the new NSW electoral map over the next week and I’ll try to find some time to cover the other issues.

NSW redistribution

The Australian Electoral Commission has released the draft map of the new New South Wales federal electoral boundaries.

The federal seats of Hunter and Charlton in the Hunter region have effectively been merged. The seat takes in more voters from Charlton, but has maintained the federation seat name of Hunter.

The seat of Throsby (covering the Southern Highlands and southern Illawarra) has been renamed Whitlam after the former prime minister. The seat of Parkes has taken in Broken Hill, while Farrer and Riverina have consolidated into southern NSW.

In inner Sydney, Grayndler has shifted north, losing Labor areas in southern Marrickville and Ashfield and gaining Balmain, Annandale and Drummoyne. The seat of Barton (currently held by the Liberal Party on a slim margin) has shifted into that gap, and presumably will become a notional Labor seat. The seat of Cook, which covers Cronulla, has jumped the Georges River to take in parts of the St George region.

I’ll be working on my map of the boundaries, which is likely to take most of the next week.

We would normally expect Antony Green to calculate the seat margins for the redistribution, but he’s currently in Canada for Monday’s Canadian federal election. I’m not currently equipped to do the calculations for such a large state but will look into it if we haven’t heard from Antony by the end of next week.

NSW local government amalgamations

We’re still waiting to hear from the NSW government about it’s plans for council amalgamations across Sydney but we’ve gotten a seemingly well-placed report in today’s Daily Telegraph with some details about the proposal, although they are in part contradictory.

In one part, it suggests that Sydney’s councils will be cut from the current 42 to about 20, and that about one third of the state’s 152 councils will be cut. But in the article and on the map there are seven council mergers proposed, which would cut the number of councils by eight – a long way short of cutting 22 councils from Sydney.

It also talks about “as many as 30 rural and regional councils” being abolished, but also suggests a reluctance to touch rural councils – 30 rural councils being abolished is a lot.

The mergers proposed are:

  • Manly and Warringah
  • Canada Bay, Burwood and Strathfield
  • North Sydney and Mosman
  • Hornsby and Ku-ring-gai
  • Bankstown and Canterbury
  • Randwick and Waverley
  • Auburn, Holroyd and southern parts of Parramatta (Granville mostly)

There’s an interesting mix here. Some very small councils such as Mosman, Burwood and Strathfield are on the chopping block, but other small councils such as Hunters Hill and Woollahra appear to be saved. Large councils like Warringah, Randwick, Bankstown and Hornsby are also set to merge, sometimes with reasonably large neighbours.

Considering these discrepancies, it appears these might only be some of the mergers planned.

The report also suggests a delay in council elections until March 2017, although it’s unclear if this would only be for affected councils, or the whole state.

Watch this space.

South Australian electoral reform

The South Australian government has announced plans for a raft of electoral changes, including introducing the possibility of double dissolution elections to resolve deadlocks.

Interestingly, it also involves the abolition of preference voting for the Legislative Council, moving instead to a party list system using the Saint-Lague counting method. This is very similar to how most proportional systems work in Europe.

There won’t be any preferences, with only primary votes used to distribute seats, according to a method which involves dividing the number of votes by a party by the number of seats they have won.

It’s quite a good system to use for list elections, as it is much much simpler than the way we elect our proportional houses in Australia, but it is problematic if it’s used in elections where not that many candidates are to be elected. It would work much better in SA if they also moved to four-year terms for the upper house, and thus elected 22 candidates instead of 11, but I can’t work out if that’s part of the package.

The reforms will be put to a referendum in 2018.

3

Fisher update – could there be another win from third?

All votes have now been counted for last weekend’s Fisher by-election for the state seat in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.

Earlier this week I wrote about how, after Labor won a solid lead on election night, a strong Liberal lead in the declaration votes brought the race close to a tie. As of yesterday afternoon, all two-party-preferred votes have been counted and Labor leads the Liberal candidate by 24 votes.

As long as Labor remains in the top two when the official preference distribution concludes today, you would expect Labor to win by roughly 24 votes.

However, there is a scenario where independent candidate Dan Woodyatt could overtake Labor and win the seat on Labor preferences, in a similar way to how the Greens won Prahran earlier this week.

On primary votes, Labor’s Nat Cook is leading independent Dan Woodyatt by 711 votes, and there are an additional 2864 votes cast for five other minor candidates.

For Woodyatt to win, he needs to gain a lead over Labor of 25% of those minor candidates’ votes. That could be a scenario where 50% goes to Woodyatt and 25% each goes to Labor and Liberal.

This is definitely a possible outcome, but there is not as much information about how those candidates’ preferences are flowing, as there was in Prahran earlier this week.

The preference distribution is taking place today, so we should find out this afternoon.