The Australian Electoral Commission has now released the numbers to be used when drawing new federal electoral boundaries for Western Australia. This follows up on the NSW numbers released last month, with Victoria due next week.
Western Australia will get a sixteenth seat, making up for the seat lost three years ago. This means that all fifteen seats in Western Australia are currently over quota.
The most important statistic is the projected enrolment as of March 2028. Electorates need to be drawn within 3.5% of the statewide average on that statistic, whereas seats can vary by more from the average as of current day enrolment.
Every existing electorate has more voters than needed with the new lower quota. Forrest is 2.54% over quota, while Cowan is 9.22% over quota.
To get a sense of the broad trends, I’ve grouped together WA electorates into northern Perth, southern Perth and regional WA.
The new seat will definitely be in the Perth area. The twelve existing seats are collectively almost 86% of a seat over quota. But that surplus is reasonably evenly spread between north and south.
It seems likely that a new seat will need to straddle the north and south sides of Perth. At least one Perth seat will need to expand further out into the country to absorb the sixth of a seat of surplus voters in the three regional seats: Pearce or Canning could play this role, or they could both expand by a smaller amount.
When you look at the map, the most over-quota seats are four inner-city seats: Perth, Cowan, Swan and Tangney are all collectively about 36% over quota.