Victorian federal redistribution finalised


The Australian Electoral Commission yesterday announced the final boundaries for Victoria for the next federal election.

I don’t have any detailed or complete analysis because they have not published any maps or data, just descriptions of the changes.

They have made changes to 13 seats compared to the draft boundaries, most of which are seats in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, along with some changes in western Victoria.

The AEC also decided to abandon plans to rename Corangamite to Tucker. The existing name will be retained. This is the second time that the AEC has attempted to retire this name and have seen a backlash lead to Corangamite’s name being restored in the final map.

The other change I wanted to note was that most of the population changes between Higgins and Macnamara have been reversed. In particular, the suburbs that have the most concentrated Jewish population in the state have been put back in Macnamara after being moved to Higgins in the draft proposal.

This should be distinguished from the Victorian state redistribution, which is due to release the draft proposal later today.

I will return to the Victorian federal redistribution when the maps are released in late July.

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  1. Awful decision to reverse the proposed changes to Macnamara and Higgins. I just don’t understand how Caulfield is better suited to Port Melbourne, South Melbourne & Albert Park than it is with Malvern, Carnegie and Murrumbeena. Especially since the vast majority of East St Kilda’s Jewish community was being moved with it, and not even split.

    Interestingly, the VEC have already released their proposed state boundaries and have gone in the complete opposite direction of the AEC in the area. I think their proposal is excellent.

    They have united all of St Kilda with Prahran, Windsor & South Yarra. To offset gaining St Kilda, along with sending the St Kilda Road corridor into Albert Park, guess what they have done? That’s right, sent the part of East St Kilda east of Hotham St into Caulfield, effectively splitting East St Kilda by Hotham St!

    Their proposal even states that it “most importantly” unites all of St Kilda with Prahran.

    Having grown up in Carnegie & Murrumbeena, then lived my entire adult life in St Kilda & Prahran, I can tell you now that Carnegie, Murrumbeena & Caulfield are all VERY united and Caulfield Station is actually the main transport hub between Murrumbeena/Carnegie and Malvern/Armadale, all in Higgins. Meanwhile, no matter whether I lived in St Kilda or Prahran, the Chapel St corridor was my commercial area. The Sandringham Line was my train line. The 78 tram was my most used tram route. Most hospitality workers in Windsor & Prahran live down in St Kilda. The whole area is a singular community.

  2. I think they should have given consideration to Chisholm/Menzies boundary. Canterbury Road is a better divide of Communities of Interest rather than splitting Box Hill Precient in two.

  3. Trent
    Agree with you on the backdown on the proposed changes to Higgins and McNamara because I thought the purposed boundaries made sense demographically.

    I understand the Jewish community’s desire to be in the one electorate and that can be achieved by creating an electorate on the City of Glen Eira which would enable the AEC to unite most of the Jewish areas into one electorate.

  4. It’s a strange outcome, that’s for sure.

    They reverse the Macnamara/Higgins changes, but kept the messy Chisholm/Menzies boundary? They also seemed to go for a ‘minimalist’ change to some of the other boundaries where (IMHO) a more significant adjustment might have been better.

    Also, given the significant support for the originally proposed changes, I thought they could have allowed another round of consultation on the Macnamara/Higgins reversal.

  5. The whole issue of the Chisholm / Menzies / Deakin boundary was left totally unaddressed despite there being quite a few submissions on the topic. The retention of the Macnamara tail in Caulfield is really quite beyond belief.

  6. It’s a shame really. Both of these would have resulted in a better result overall

    I tuned into part of the hearings and heard some of the tenuous arguments for retaining both the MacNamara – Higgins boundaries and the name Corangamite. I don’t hear one argument that I thought had benefit except “don’t touch my stuff”.

    It seems the committee have buckled to the pressure from local interest groups and political opportunists.

    I guess we’ll all try to get some sensible outcomes again in another 7 years.

  7. Darren
    We may not need to wait 7 years. The latest ABS population figures show that with interstate outflows and no migration, Victoria will go back to 38 seats. So we may be back here again three years.

  8. Pencil, Mark & redistributed – I totally agree.

    On the topic of the Jewish community, the Greens’ submission made some excellent points about the demographics of each suburb, pointing out that Malvern, Carnegie and Toorak all have larger Jewish populations than St Kilda, and that the proposed redistribution actually results in MORE Jewish constituents together in Higgins than are currently in Macnamara.

    Given how much smaller the Jewish population is west of Hotham Street (only 11% even in tiny Ripponlea), so the community was not really being “split” at all but simply placed into a different seat, I think makes it blatantly clear that the objection was about losing the political influence some of the organisations have; not actually about splitting the community.

    Macnamara and previously Melbourne Ports has been a seat where for some time, party pre-selection has been very much focused on “winning the Jewish vote”. That has been to the seat’s detriment, as 88% of the electorate are not Jewish and those who are are so geographically disconnected from the rest of the seat (Albert Park, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne, etc). I truly believe it’s that influence over the pre-selection process and having MPs such as Burns and previously Danby entrenched in their community to represent their interests, that was at the heart of the objections. And frankly, losing political influence is not a valid consideration.

    The current boundaries make representation of Macnamara very difficult, because the interests and needs of the Caulfield community are not only different to those in the inner city and bayside suburbs, but are actually in a lot of ways totally contrary. It makes it very difficult for an MP to effectively represent that entire seat because the interests are just TOO diverse and contrary. That would be less of a factor in Higgins where, while the Jewish community still have a set of unique interests, they are at least more compatible with those of the similar affluent, suburban, family-oriented suburbs to its north and east.

    More Caulfield voters also voted early in Malvern than they did in St Kilda. That says a lot about which of those two communities they feel they belong to more.

    I also think the AEC’s comments about transport links were baffling. The 3 & 16 trams, as well as the 623 bus, already run from Higgins to Macnamara so the links are just as strong between Caulfield & St Kilda as they are between Caulfield & Higgins. But the biggest difference is the train lines.

    The proposed boundaries would have had the Dandenong lines entirely within Higgins from Toorak to Murrumbeena; while the Sandringham Line was entirely within Macnamara from South Yarra to Ripponlea. Instead, Caulfield – which is THE major transport hub for the entire area between Malvern & Murrumbeena, all in Higgins – is the only station outside the electorate. It really makes no sense.

    I agree with Mark that I’m surprised they did not have another round of consultation, given how contentious this particular redistribution was.

  9. Trent
    The only time tram 16 could be used as the bases for an electorate would be if it was bringing together all of Stonnington and Hawthorn (Kooyong). If anything tram 16 could be the southern boundary of a federal seat, then the area south of tram 16 covering the rest of Glen Eira would bring together a group of similar suburbs.

    Another possible but more radical solution would be to send Higgins west to the Bay and shift St Kilda into Goldstein then that would free up the whole of Caulfield to be added with Malvern.

  10. the federal seat of hawke and gorton, do we know if brendan o’connor is going to stay with gorton or contest hawke? as the seat of hawke holds most of his base compared to the eastern side where it is a little more contested. but with all the new estates in rockbank region i think gorton may become a hot seat for all parties to contest

  11. The continuing existence of the Caulfield tail is all an ALP power play – a quite successful one over many years. The Greens would have been in with a chance if the proposed Macnamara boundaries had got up – the big Jewish vote in Caulfield acts as a bulwark against the Greens getting into 2nd place. The Greens Palestine policies being the driver there. Conversely, the Libs would have been stronger in Higgins if it had gone down into Caulfield. You could barely gerrymander a seat any better.

  12. Raymond – Sam Rae has already been preselected in Hawke, so I’d assume O’Connor will be staying put for now. Having said that, the way one of the specific factions managed to get Hawke is that O’Connor will be retiring by the 2025 election…

  13. @Trent

    Your point about “losing political influence” being the fundamental basis for the Macnamara/Higgins changes is even more bizarre when you consider the Jewish community of Higgins would be even larger than the current one in Macnamara! That community would have an increased ability to influence party politics in their electorate (Higgins) than they do in their current electorate (Macnamara), but the internal structures of the Labor party can’t abide being shifted into a seat less favourable to electing an MP.

  14. Dunkley Liberal preselection results from today – Sharn-Adelle Coombs 111, Chris Crewther 87 in final count. Coombs about to relocate into the electorate, no history in politics or policy, and has a big job to do getting to know a new community. Not a strong field of candidates but at least the Liberal Party can finally say they’ve preselected a woman, even if this particular seat is hard for them to get back off a very popular incumbent.

  15. Apparently an interesting day-after in Dunkley. Crewther bizarrely announces that the Liberal Government will soon be announcing two new car parks that were promised at the last election, which he has apparently been negotiating. Not very helpful at all for the new candidate given these are the heart of the car park rorts story. As for the new candidate, she has removed public access to her social media accounts. No hint that she has anything to hide, so a strange move that will only prompt more questions.

  16. Barry,
    It is standard practice for the political parties to take over candidates social media accounts. The ALP do it as well. Nothing sinister there, it is just what they do so they can maintain control.

  17. @redistributed, I’m sure that is right. Apparently the candidate is already on the ground in the electorate, and is looking to relocate with her family from NSW soon. Will be interesting to see the local response.

  18. Hi Ben I’ve only recently found you website and are very impressed with it. Sorry for not finding it earlier. Considering the federal redistribution of Chisholm and recent polling that shows the Liberal Party might be getting a bit of a belting at the next federal election. Other than Chisholm I believe there could be up to four or five Liberal held seats up for grabs at the next federal election? This is based on the polling for Victoria and Melbourne.
    I believe the following seats will be in play based on the current polling figures; Chisholm (Gladys Liu is a bloody good campaigner) Higgins, Deakin and Latrobe, and Casey (Yes, a big call, but it is under 5% and has been held twice by the ALP. Tony Smith the speaker of the House is resigning at the next federal election). The Federal Seat of Macnamara could slip from the grasp of the ALP and swing to the Greens, giving them their second federal seat. Josh Frydenberg is also on the nose and if The Greens put up an exceptionally good candidate, they might be able to snatch it from him. But that’s a lot of ifs and perhaps, maybe it’s wild pipe dreams on my behalf.
    Anyway I would greatly appreciate your feedback and whether I’m using to much of my own gear and not enough of reality. Remember reality is for people who can’t handle their drugs!
    I look forward towards your correspondence. The Welsh Swagman.

  19. The outcome of the redistribution in Melbourne’s east is quite strange with the messy boundaries in Chisholm, Hotham, Bruce, Menzies, Kooyong and Deakin. Something like Nicholas Weston’s solution of making Menzies and Deakin north-south orientated instead of east-west would avoid the splitting of the major precincts along Whitehorse Road and allow Chisholm to avoid crossing the Monash Freeway, improving the communities of interest in all the aforementioned divisions.


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