Victorian state redistribution kicks off

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Just as the South Australian redistribution finishes, and alongside a state redistribution in New South Wales and two federal redistributions, the starters pistol has been fired in the Victorian state redistribution.

The redistribution will be conducted based on the enrolment figures as of November 30, and each electorate must be drawn to be within 10% of the average based on that data. That average is 48,625 voters.

28 of the 88 electorates currently sit outside of that quota, which reflects that the boundaries were last drawn in 2013 and thus have had plenty of time to be pushed out of balance while Victoria has boomed in population. Some seats are way over quota, with Cranbourne and Bass more than 40% over the quota, while a bunch of other seats have experienced very little population growth and have fallen behind. Rowville, Forest Hill and Mount Waverley are all at least 18% below quota.

There is a clear geographic trend that can be clearly seen on the following map:

The seats in the eastern and southern suburbs of Melbourne are all well below quota, while the south-eastern fringe and most seats in the north and west of the city are above quota. Meanwhile there are a bunch of seats in regional Victoria which are relatively close to the quota, while others have fallen behind.

Another way to look at the trends is to look at the 8 Legislative Council regions, each of which includes 11 electorates.

RegionElectorsQuotas
Eastern Metropolitan476,0259.79
Eastern Victoria558,92211.49
Northern Metropolitan558,99211.50
Northern Victoria541,81211.14
South Eastern Metropolitan522,04310.74
Southern Metropolitan501,30010.31
Western Metropolitan571,70311.76
Western Victoria548,21711.27

The three metropolitan regions in the south and east of Melbourne are the only regions under quota. Eastern metro is well under quota, but the 33 seats in this area have less than 31 seats worth of voters within them.

This suggests that two seats in the south-east of Melbourne will likely be abolished. And the map tells us that those seats won’t be right out on the fringe.

The northern and western metropolitan regions have 1.26 quotas of surplus electors, so at least one new seat should be created in the western suburbs.

The northern and western Victoria regions are both slightly over quota, but Eastern Victoria is well over quota. Shrinking the electorates in the east of the state will leave half a seat of leftover voters who can help top up the under quota seats in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

If you simplify even further, there are four regions to the south-east of the Yarra River and the great dividing range, and four regions to the north-west, although the Eastern Metro region does include two seats on the north bank of the Yarra. The 44 seats in the south-east of the state include 42.3 seat quotas, while the 44 seats in the north-west have 45.6 seat quotas. This suggests that two seats will likely be abolished in the south-east and replaced by new seats in the north-west. It seems likely that these changes will push the Eastern Metro region deeper into the north-eastern suburbs on the north bank of the Yarra.

The first drawing of the modern Legislative Council regions for the 2006 election included Eltham along with ten seats on the opposite bank of the river. Ivanhoe joined Eltham in the 2013 redistribution, but further growth in the north-west will drag the western and northern regions further away from the river.

That’s it for now – I will be back next year with maps and margin estimates for the draft and final redistribution boundaries, which will come into effect in November 2022.

If you want to know more, check out Antony Green’s blog post from December 7.

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Withdrawing the eastern suburbs.

    I would start by merging Hawthorn and Kew with Burke Rd as the eastern boundary, this would enable Burke Rd to be used as the boundary for a new Box Hill and a new seat centered on Camberwell out to Surrey Hills and maybe further depending on how the numbers add up, then a new seat covering Glen Waverly and Mount Waverly. This would enable Burwood and Forest Hill to be abolished.

    To complete the eastern suburbs, I would based other seats on Ringwood, Croydon, Lilydale, Bayswater and Knox.

    By merging Hawthorn and Kew may require the seat to stretch the full length of Burke Rd into Malvern, this would being Malvern back under quota, and depending on numbers it is possible that such a seat which I will call East Yarra could take all or some of current Malvern north of Toorak Rd.

    I put it this way because Prahran and Albert Park could be left largely unchanged, with a question mark about how to treat Brighton but then again maybe its time to redrew Albert Park and Prahran with a seat taking in St Kilda and areas of Prahran south of Commercial Rd.

    This would enable the use of the tram 72 route which runs up Burke Rd so it becomes the boundary separating the inner southern and inner eastern suburbs from the next group of seats.

    This kind of boundary change would enable the reconstruction of seats in the inner southern suburbs which are over quota.

  2. Just a side note, This election isn’t guaranteed to be held in November 2022.
    Fixed terms doesn’t stop the parliament from changing that law I believe if they have like 2/3 of members voting for it. Or if the government deliberately losses a vote of no confidence to trigger an early election and take personal gain from the way they handled the virus. Or if the Lt.Gov of the state simply dissolved parliament early for whatever reason, I would place my bet on an early 2022 election IF the federal election is late 2021.

    As for the current boundaries, Why does Bass have so many people? This should have been corrected before the last election because it is unfair that Labour has a seat with almost 70k. But the Liberal leader (who I think will lose a catastrophic defeat for his party and only have 1-2 Liberal seats left) has around 40k?? Quite underrepresented, As for my prediction on how many seats the Liberals will hold after the next election. Maybe Narracan and Hastings and if lucky he holds his own seat. So the Nats would lead the coalition in the hereafter.

  3. Daniel
    Think the Bass situation came about when the old seats of Pakenham and West Gippsland were merged with I think the intention being that the seat would slowly drift into Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs.

    My assumption is that there will be a new seat centered on Pakenham with a new seat between it and Cranbourne but the problem will then be how to arrange Gippsland.

  4. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/40708#comment-750022

    The Bracks reforms of 2003 included referendum entrenching the exact size of both houses of the Victorian Parliament. For such a referendum to succeed there would likely have to be some compelling reason for the voters to back expansion. There was nearly enough reason after the 2010 election when Victoria was within 300 votes of a tied Parliament creating a constitutional crisis by making who was the government dependent on either defection or one side agreeing to be the opposition by providing a speaker or a deadlock where nothing could happen as electing the speaker takes precedence over all other business but an early election cannot be called without a vote of no confidence.

  5. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/40708/comment-page-1#comment-750023

    Hawthorn and Kew are some of the less under quota seats in eastern Melbourne and they have natural boundaries for much of their border. They will not be abolished, instead they will expand east, as they have done in previous redistributions.

    Albert Park and Prahran will shrink slightly (too many useful natural boundaries would be crossed to scrap them), giving area/voters to Malvern, Caulfield and Brighton.

  6. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/40708/comment-page-1#comment-750029

    All constitutional previsions fixing the term of the Victorian Parliament are referendum entrenched.

    Bass is so large because of strong population growth and the previous redistribution not removing enough voters (they only got it down to -3.16% of quota and it was predicted to be 12.34% of quota on 1/7/2018), due to inaccurate population predictions. The Liberals not going to shrink bellow the Nationals in size.

    The Liberals are likely to increase the number of seats they hold at the next election, although not nearly enough to gain government, particularly if they get a better leader. 2018 was almost certainly a high water mark for the ALP in Victoria.

  7. Tom
    Hawthorn and Kew were from 1904 to 1927 in the one seat before being split, and if we take into account the question of common community of interest, then it could be argued that Hawthorn and Kew share more in common demographically with each other than they do with the areas they would otherwise expand into.

    Burke Rd like Dandenong Creek acts as a boundary between different areas and demographics and because Burke Rd runs quite some way it would enable a firm western boundary for electorates stretching into the middle Eastern suburbs.

    A.Green thinks three eastern suburb electorates could be abolished with others renamed so the question becomes which three seats get the chop?

  8. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/40708/comment-page-1#comment-750064

    In 1904 Hawthorn had 5,736 enrolled voters, while Warrnambool had 2,538 enrolled voters (men only at the time, which deflates the figure sizes but not comparative proportions) (average enrolment of geographic electorates 4,104). When these boundaries were drawn, Kew had a branch line from Hawthorn and no electric trams (only 1 horse tram) linking in with the city not via Hawthorn.

    http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/states/vic/historic/1904assembly.txt

    By 1924 (last election before the redistribution), Grenville had enrolled voters 4, 256 and Hawthorn had 32,143 enrolled voters (the average electorate enrolment was 13,853). So having them in the same electorate had long been inappropriate.

    http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/states/vic/historic/1924assembly.txt

    Given that a Kew-less Hawthorn had 4,272 voters at the 1902 election, it is arguable that Kew should not have been included in Hawthorn in the redistribution proceeding the 1904 election, without a reduction in the size of the Legislative Assembly that was much greater than that implemented at the 1904 election (It was reduced from 95 to 68, it would have needed to be reduced to ~48 for the creation of an electorate the size of the Hawthorn including Kew that was created to be justified in an equal vote system and would have been way above quote by the 1911 election (first general election when women had the vote, excluding the women ratepayer accident of 1863-5) anyway).

    http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/states/vic/historic/1902assembly.txt

  9. I had a quick play around with the interactive map, and I was looking at creating a new division I’m Cranbourne Berwick South Clyde, pulling Dandenong into Endeavour Hills and Narre Warren and Keysborough into Dandenong.
    Then I think I abolished Forest Hill or Mount Waverley, or both, and created a new division out west, with Kororoit Melton Sydenham supplementing the new division. Although I still needed to work out what to do with Tarneit and Altona.

  10. I am thinking one of the seats in the Knox Council area can be abolished to have two seats entirely in the council. Perhaps Bayswater could be abolished. Ringwood can pick up Heathmont, Croydon can pick up Bayswater North. All of the suburbs of the Bayswater electorate in Knox Council can go into Ferntree Gully. Ferntree Gully could then loose Wantirna South (South of Burwood Highway) to Rowville. This will likely turn Ferntree Gully into a notional Labor seat while Rowville will become even safer for the Liberals.

  11. Been having a play with the interactive map just for fun and I actually got 87 seats all in quota – funny when its better to have an odd number of seats in parliament…

  12. Tom
    Thanks for that info.

    Interestingly a seat based on Hawthorn and Kew would be virtually right bang on the VEC’s target.
    It also enabled the creation of a seat virtually entirely out of the eastern half of those two seats which would enable Box Hill to remain outside of Boroondara. However, if both seats were to be pushed east, then it looks easier to make Hawthorn work because you could simply add the areas in Burwood west of the Alamain trainline.

    Did anyone have issues with the map submission tool because it frozen me out both times before I could get out of the inner city. But, before doing so I was able to recreate a new St Kilda but with an odd shape and the other problem was how to bring Melbourne back under quota without sending areas traditionally in that seat off to neighboring electorates.

    Meanwhile in Albert Park I had a problem with St Kilda because at a minimum, some of it could be added to Brighton which I don’t think works demographically. This is why I thought about creating a new seat based on St Kilda.

  13. https://www.tallyroom.com.au/40708/comment-page-1#comment-750397

    Electoral boundaries tend to be more focused on infrastructure, geographical features and history than demographics.

    Hawthorn and Kew are extremely unlikely to be merged and split into north-south axis seats.

    All but a a few small pockets of Elwood, which is relatively similar to St Kilda, are in Brighton. Brighton is likely to move into St Kilda and possibly out of at least parts of Hampton.

  14. I think a logical arrangement (if it works numerically) would be to add St Kilda to the Prahran District. Then you’ve got St Kilda and the Chapel Street precinct in one seat, which is a pretty strong community of interest.

    Toorak can then go into Malvern….maybe some of the areas closer to the city can go back into Albert Park. And Brighton’s northern boundary can stay where it is.

    If several seats are abolished in the east and/or south-east, it probably makes more sense to edge Brighton south-east (e.g. taking in all of Hampton) than to move it north into St Kilda.

  15. Numerically, I don’t see a reason to change Albert Park at all – even by 2026, the seat is predicted to be within quota. The two seats that border it to the east, where changes are more likely to occur, both can easily be placed back into quota by expanding Brighton southward and eastward, and Toorak can be wholly added into Malvern without Prahran becoming under quota.

  16. Zac except shrinking Albert Park and/or Prahran helps account for the 3 electorates to their direct east that are all under quota and the electorates to the east of THEM are even more under quota so there’s not room to nibble at their edges.

  17. Bennee I solved this problem by adjusting the boundary of Prahran to Williams Road, pushing Malvern and Prahran both neatly within quota. As for Caulfield, while it only retains 0.94 of a quota, this will remain steady (only dropping to 0.92 by November 2026). As Caulfield currently has strong boundaries and neatly reflects its own community of interest, I see no reason to make the boundaries of Caulfield and Albert Park both less reflective of their own communities when other seats further to the east (for instance Oakleigh and Bentleigh) can be solved through the abolition of Clarinda, a seat which is a hodgepodge mixture of different communities of interest which can be neatly reassigned into the seats of Oakleigh, Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Sandringham, Keysborough, and Mulgrave (which now centres on Springvale). This results in all electorates listed being well within quota, and in turn frees up electors in Hampton and Hampton East to move into Brighton from Sandringham and Bentleigh, respectively, thus returning Brighton to quota also.

  18. I like Nimalam’s idea for the Knox City Council area it makes sense to have Boronia and Ferntree Gully in one seat from a community of interest perspective, and Wantirna South and Scoresby.
    Further east Emerald, Cockatoo and Gembrook should be added to Monbulk.

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