As a further taste of the seat guides being posted now on the Tally Room (53 and counting), I thought I’d run through another three interesting seats. Today these three seats are all seats with above-average Greens votes, but also with a wide variation in the Greens vote across the seat.
These seats are: Batman in the inner north of Melbourne, Macquarie on the north-western fringe of Sydney, and Richmond in the north-eastern corner of New South Wales.
I’d like to remind readers that comments are open on all fifty-three seat guides posted so far – comments have been posted on every guide, with almost 800 comments posted so far this month. Please join in and let us know your thoughts about your local seat or another seat that you are familiar with.
Batman covers the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne, including Northcote, Preston and Reservoir.
The southern end of the seat covers suburbs in the City of Yarra which were included in the neighbouring seat of Melbourne when it was first won by Adam Bandt in 2010, and the southern half of the seat is quite marginal in a Labor-Greens contest.
When you cross Bell Street in Preston as you head north, the Labor vote shoots up and the Greens vote collapses. Only one booth south of Bell Street has a Greens vote under 25% – only one booth north of Bell Street has a Greens vote over 25%. This can be seen very clearly in the Greens primary vote map (right).
In 2013, the Greens polled 26.4% of the primary vote, easily outpolling the Liberal Party. After preferences, the ALP beat the Greens by a 10.6% margin.
While this looks sizeable, the Labor margin would be entirely wiped out if the Liberal Party reversed its current policy of preference Labor over the Greens. The Greens received 80% of Liberal preferences in Melbourne and Batman in 2010 when the Liberal Party favoured the Greens on their how-to-vote cards. If you adjust the 2013 figures to reflect this preference flow, the Greens would win by a 0.2% margin.
You would expect Batman to be a very close race if the Liberal Party reverses their decision. The Greens poll very poorly at the northern end of the seat, but if they can find a way to increase their support there, it will make life difficult for Labor.
Macquarie covers most of the Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, along with the Hawkesbury region on the north-western fringe of Sydney. These are two very distinct areas, and to drive between them you would normally have to leave the electorate for quite a while.
This is easy to see when you look at the two-party-preferred map of Macquarie (right).
The Liberal Party wins large majorities right across the Hawkesbury region. In the Blue Mountains, Labor wins large majorities in the upper Blue Mountains, while the lower Blue Mountains are very marginal.
Labor’s strong vote in the Blue Mountains is partly due to a high Greens primary vote flowing to Labor as preferences. The Greens poll over 20% in most booths in the upper mountains, while they poll 3%, 4% and 5% in most Hawkesbury booths.
Liberal MP Louise Markus currently holds Macquarie by a 4.5% margin.
Richmond covers the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, including Tweed Heads, Byron Bay and Ballina.
Labor MP Justine Elliot holds the seat by a 1.6% margin.
The largest centre in the electorate is Tweed Heads, and it’s the only part of the seat which is won by the Nationals. The ALP wins majorities in Byron and Ballina shires, along with rural parts of Tweed Shire.
Like in Macquarie, Labor’s two-party-preferred majority is propped up by a high Greens vote (bottom left map).
The Greens typically poll well over 30% across Byron Shire, while they poll 5-7% in most booths around Ballina, and poll 4-5% in a number of Tweed Heads booths.