After today’s announcement of the draft boundaries for New South Wales’ federal redistribution, I thought I would summarise the consequences of the election.
It appears that this result has clearly benefited the ALP in its attempts to increase the size of the majority, although, as Antony Green points, the uniform swings needed for the ALP to lose its majority or for the Coalition to gain a majority remains steady.
Assuming no significant changes in the final reports in New South Wales and Queensland, Labor will have gained five seats without increasing its vote: Swan in WA, Dickson and Herbert in Queensland and Macarthur and Gilmore in New South Wales. They also have notionally gained Greenway, but since Labor seat Reid was abolished, and Greenway was radically redrawn, I’m going to count Greenway as simply balancing out the loss of Reid. This gives Labor 88 notional seats. Counting the loss of Lyne to an independent, the Coalition’s seats fall from 65 to 59.
There are a lot more ultra-marginals on the new boundaries. At the last election, Labor held Robertson by 0.1% and the Liberals held Macarthur by 0.7%. On the new boundaries, Labor holds four seats on margins of 0.2% or less (Robertson, Macarthur, Gilmore and Macquarie, which was previously a relatively safe Labor seat, but lost all of it’s Central West NSW territory to be replaced by Hawkesbury territory). Paterson is now held by the Liberals by 0.4%.
Indeed, Labor would gain four more Coalition seats (for a total gain of 6) with a 1.3%. Ominously for the Nationals, those four seats include Cowper and Calare, half of the Nationals’ dwindling NSW delegation.