There’s been an assumption that the next federal redistribution for Victoria will be delayed until after the 2010 federal election. Victoria last had a redistribution in 2002, and every seven years a state must have a redistribution. However, redistributions cannot begin in the last year of a House of Representatives term.
I was examining the relevant dates for a possible Victorian redistribution tonight, and it appears that there will likely be a redistribution, although it probably won’t take effect for the 2010 election.
No redistribution can commence in the last year before the expiry of the House of Representative, which will take place on February 11 2011. So a new redistribution would need to commence by February 11 2010. Otherwise the redistribution would be postponed until after the federal election and would take effect at the next federal election in 2012 or 2013.
The last Victorian redistribution concluded in December 2002. So seven years later would be December 2009. Thus a redistribution could commence in December 2009 or January 2010.
However, while this would mean a redistribution would take place next year, it would be extremely unlikely that the changes would be implemented in time for the federal election. The Queensland and New South Wales redistributions are currently scheduled to take a full ten months from the beginning of the process to the conclusion. Earlier redistributions took a full twelve-month period to redraw boundaries. Even if you were able to compress a Victorian redistribution down to ten months, it would not conclude before November 2010. The process would need to conclude before an election would be called, which would mean the election would need to be held in December 2010 or in 2011. This isn’t going to happen.
You would also think that no political party, including the ALP, would want to be put in a position where a redistribution would only conclude weeks before an election is called, so you would assume Rudd would call the election at a time which would avoid using redistributed electoral boundaries in Victoria.
So what do you think? Is my logic right?