Victorian state redistribution – summary of changes


The draft electoral boundaries for Victoria’s next state election were released on Wednesday. Significant population growth on the outer fringe of Melbourne has seen significant changes over the last eight years. This has resulted in three seats being abolished and three others split in half. Meanwhile one of the eight upper house regions has significantly changes character, and name, as it moves further north of the Yarra.

I haven’t made any estimates of vote margin. I will be doing this next, but I’m currently in the middle of moving house so it may be some time before I get that done. In the meantime, check out Antony Green’s estimates.

You can also check out the following maps. You can toggle on and off the 2014-2018 electoral boundaries (red) and the draft 2022 boundaries (blue). You can also toggle on and off the names of each seat, using the same colour scheme.

The Electoral Boundaries Commission report claimed that ten seats had been abolished and ten others created, but I beg to differ. Five of these ten seats were actually just renaming:

  • Altona -> Point Cook
  • Burwood -> Ashwood
  • Forest Hill -> Glen Waverley
  • Mill Park -> Morang
  • Wendouree -> Eureka

Then there are three seats where the seat was split into two halves:

  • Gembrook – Berwick and Pakenham
  • Footscray – Footscray and Laverton
  • Yuroke – Greenvale and Kalkallo

If I’m really pushed, I would designate Pakenham, Footscray and Kalkallo as the successor seats, but in all three cases the other seat has a large part of the old seat. In the case of Yuroke, Kalkallo contains 50.5% of the old seat, and Greenvale has 49.5%, so it really is a technicality to consider one seat to be “new” and the other to be continuing.

Then three other seats were abolished: Keysborough, Mount Waverley and Ferntree Gully. All three are in the south-east of Melbourne.

The EBC report estimated that 22.8% of electors have moved seats. Once I take into account these continuations I actually think it’s more like 17.4%.

The net effect of these changes is to reduce the number of seats in Melbourne to the south and east of the Yarra by two, and increase the number to the north and west of the Yarra by two.

This then has knock-on effects on the Legislative Council regions. The Northern Metropolitan and Western Metropolitan regions each gain one extra seat, which must be balanced out. Essendon is moved from the West to the North to balance out the Western region, and then two seats must be moved from Northern Metropolitan to balance out the changes.

Bundoora and Mill Park/Morang are moved into the Eastern Metropolitan region, necessitating a change in name to North-Eastern Metropolitan region. There are now four out of eleven seats in this region to the north of the river, up from just one in the original region drawn before the 2006 election. I’m sure this will have an impact on the vote balance in that region once I calculate those numbers.

The seat of Berwick, which is created as an offshoot of Gembrook, is then placed in the South-Eastern Metropolitan region to compensate for the abolition of Keysborough.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back when I’ve finished my estimates.

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  1. “Then three other seats were abolished: Kingsborough, […]”

    I think you mean “Keysborough”. 😉

  2. What’s interesting to me is the geographic concentration of the three abolished seats. Whilst the new seats are spread out in three different parts of Melbourne’s outer suburbs (north, west, south east), the three seats disappearing are all quite close to one another: Ferntree Gully and Mount Waverley were neighbouring electorates, and Keysborough and Mount Waverley were only separated by one electorate in between (Mulgrave).

  3. Footscray is not on the fringe of Melbourne. It is an inner-to-middle suburban seat. The redivision makes it less middle-suburban and more inner-suburban.

    The proposed Laverton is an odds and ends seat of bits of suburbia that don`t fit into growing seats. Arguably it is not a fringe seat, it just makes fringe seats fringier.

  4. Yuroke’s the one that’s most clearly been split into two seats – it must’ve been well on its way to two quotas. It ends up as three-quarters of Kalkallo and two-thirds of Greenvale, so I guess you could call Kalkallo the successor? It’s splitting hairs though. Yuroke’s current MP has her office in Craigieburn (now in Kalkallo). It’ll be something for Labor’s factions to argue over.

    Pakenham comes almost as much from Bass as it does from Gembrook, while Berwick takes big chunks of those two seats and Narre Warren South (which needed to take Cranbourne’s surplus). Pakenham will probably be contested by the current Labor MP for Bass, since that seat’s moved out of the metro area and become notionally Liberal.

    Laverton comes almost as much from Tarneit as from Foostcray, plus some leftovers from other seats. Footscray wasn’t particularly over quota, so it’s swapped its western end for the Yarraville end of Williamstown (which shifted down the bay along with Altona, to take the surplus in Werribee). That puts the Greens into second in Footscray, while killing any dreams they might’ve had in Williamstown.

    You can tell how underpopulated the eastern suburbs were by the way three adjacent seats (Ferntree Gully, Forest Hill, Mount Waverley) became one (Glen Waverley), while barely touching any seat that didn’t border the original three. Similar with Keysborough, which just evaporated (main effect there was making Mordialloc a less weird shape).

    Prahran is… interesting. Antony Green reckons ALP 12.8% vs Lib, assuming the Greens can’t get out of third, but it’s so close to a three-way tie it’s impossible to say.

    I’m surprised how little the country seats changed. Murray Plains, both Bendigo seats, Macedon, Lara, Shepparton, Gippsland East and Morwell are completely unchanged, with a few more just swapping one or two towns. The main change was around Ballarat: Eureka is now a compact seat with most of the city, while Bunninyong starts looking a bit like Ripon (it’s probably the most rural seat Labor hold).

    In the city, Essendon (except for a tiny tweak around Flemington Racecourse), Mornington, Northcote and Preston weren’t touched.

  5. Tom and Nicholas, thanks for catching those errors. Yep I know Footscray is not on the fringe of Melbourne.

    Re Prahran, the Greens have a sitting MP who will have held the seat for eight years. I suspect that will help them boost their vote in the areas added to the seat.

  6. > You can tell how underpopulated the eastern suburbs were by the way three adjacent seats (Ferntree Gully, Forest Hill, Mount Waverley) became one (Glen Waverley), while barely touching any seat that didn’t border the original three.

    That’s not right. No part of Ferntree Gully went into Glen Waverley. Dandenong creek remains the boundary.

    Ferntree Gully was split between Bayswater and Rowville plus a small part to Monbulk.

  7. There is a couple of boundaries issues which splits communities of interest. Arguably, Williams Landing could be put with Point Cook as it is similar demographically more middle class which a large South Asian community. Altona Meadows which is more working class would fit better with the proposed Laverton electorate,. Numbers may not make work though. Also the Rowville/Bayswater boundary could be improved. With the portion of Wantirna South between High Street Road and Burwood Highway to be placed in Rowville with more of the suburb of Ferntree Gully in the Bayswater electorate as the Belgrave line forms a community of interest and Wantirna South is more simmilar to Lysterfield and Rowville than it is to Boronia and Bayswater.

  8. Do you think the seats of Glen Waverley and Bayswater will see two sitting members running i.e. Glen Waverley will be Matt Fregon vs Neil Angus and Bayswater will be Jackson Taylor vs Nick Wakeling.

  9. @David

    Bird’s point is that three contiguous districts disappeared, and there was only one new district in the vicinity.

  10. The proposed boundaries in South West Victoria seem to be particularly messy and there would be scope for appeals. There didn’t seem to be a reason to increase the seat of South West Coast as it was already slightly over quota and will be quite over quota by 2026. The new Buninyong especially could be cleaned up. There is little community of interest as it links Bacchus Marsh, outer Geelong, Ballarat and the Western District. It would make a lot more sense from a community interest point of view to have areas such as Lismore, Linton and Skipton in Ripon and have it more a western district rural seat and compensate with voters inside Ballarat.
    On naming, I did need to check that there is actually a locality named Eureka. Why can’t they just call a seat in Ballarat – Ballarat?

  11. @redistributed Agreed regarding “Eureka”. We’ll all be saying “Eureka, the Ballarat district”.

  12. @Nicholas Weston they named it Eureka because Wendouree (the suburb) is now in Buninyong. I assume they named it Eureka because of Ballarat the federal electorate, the fact the whole Eureka Stockade thing plus theres a booth in it literally called “The Stockade”. Also (following further googling) there is a locality in the new seat called Eureka and it does appear to be the geographical centre of the new electorate (relatively).

  13. Yeah, Eureka’s kinda clunky. Everyone in Australia knows what the Eureka Stockade was, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good name for a geographical area.

    If they’re worried about people confusing a state Ballarat with the federal division, there’s most mainland capital cities, plus Fremantle, Moore, Parramatta, Newcastle and probably a few others. (WA used to have two Moores and two Stirlings, none of which overlapped.) If it’s because it doesn’t cover the entire Ballarat urban area… there’s Geelong, plus Lara, South Barwon and Bellarine.

    As for sitting MP musical chairs: the Libs just need to get Kim Wells to retire. He’s been there long enough (since 1992!), and the new version of Rowville is pretty close to being the pre-2014 seats of Scoresby and Ferntree Gully put together. Nick Wakeling would’ve represented most of the seat at one point or another, it might as well be his.

  14. @Ryan Spencer
    Most people would reasonably think that the district is named after Lake Wendouree, which is still in the district. There really is no reason to change the name of the district.

  15. @Ben: “Re Prahran, the Greens have a sitting MP who will have held the seat for eight years. I suspect that will help them boost their vote in the areas added to the seat.”

    I agree. Those new St Kilda booths now having a Greens incumbent instead of a Labor incumbent, combined with Labor over-performing in 2018 compared to what you’d usually expect, should be enough alone for a natural 2-3% swing from ALP to Greens.

    That basically puts all 3 parties about even on the primary vote, so the 2CP count could be any combination of the 3, which would probably result in:
    ALP v LIB = Safe ALP win (~10%)
    GRN v LIB = Safe GRN win (~10%)
    ALP v GRN = Likely ALP win due to Lib preferences.

    The Liberals will be unlikely to throw as many resources into Prahran on these boundaries which would also increase the chance of them dropping to third, making the seat more similar to Richmond. Albert Park is probably a better long term prospect for them because even though the current margin is wide, they would have notionally won it in 2010 and 2014 on the proposed boundaries.

    While at the same time, the Greens can probably write off Albert Park without St Kilda which allows them to dedicate more resources to holding Prahran and gaining Richmond instead.

  16. …and just looking at some more historical results, I don’t believe the Liberals would have notionally won Prahran since 1992 on current boundaries. So it’s a write-off really. Albert Park definitely becomes more of a target.

  17. If you assume 2018 was Labor’s high water mark in the eastern suburbs (or close to it), then I think the Liberals would back themselves to retain the redrawn Bayswater and Glen Waverley.

    So there might not be too many ‘musical chairs’ needed in that area.

  18. Exactly Mark
    There will be two redistricting races in that area as the Liberal incumbents for Ferntree Gully and Forest Hill will run against the labor incumbents. Do you think Martin Pakula will move to LegCo?

  19. Buninyong is proposed to be a bit of an odds and ends seat. There is some sense to the idea of a southward movement of Ripon, rather than going into Ballarat, keeping a more rural character and indeed the Liberals and or Nationals may suggest this (it would make Ripon safe Coalition). The south-eastern part of the south-eastern part of Golden Plains Shire going from Polwarth into Buninyong, just as Polwarth gets Geelong exurb Torquay, is a bit counter-intuitive, given that has fellow Geelong exurb Bannockburn.

    Eureka may well be one of the more objected to names in the draft.

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