Victorian federal redistribution – official numbers published

426

The Australian Electoral Commission has now officially published the population projections to be used when redrawing Victoria’s federal electoral map prior to the next federal election. This follows on similar moments in the NSW and Western Australia federal redistributions in recent weeks.

Electorates must be drawn within 10% of the average enrolment as of the start of the process (August 2023, in this case) and within 3.5% of the average projected enrolment as of April 2028.

The second set of numbers is the more crucial restriction on mapmakers, so that will be my focus today.

Victoria is losing its 39th seat, so understandably most seats are now under the average quota. Just six seats are projected to be above the quota as of April 2028. Mallee is by far and away the largest, projected to be 3.2% above average as of 2028. The other 33 seats are all under the average, with Hawke and Higgins standing out, falling about 6% short of the average.

I’ve divided the state up in a few ways. I’ve split it between Melbourne and regional Victoria, and in Melbourne I’ve split seats between those north and south of the Yarra. I’ve also divided seats into six sub-regions.

While Melbourne is growing faster than regional Victoria, more than three quarters of the population deficit is in Melbourne, so it seems pretty certain that a Melbourne seat, will need to be abolished.

About half of the deficit is south of the Yarra, with just one quarter north of the Yarra.

There are deficits in all of the southside sub-regions – east, south-east and south-central.

Up next, this map shows the relative quota position of each seat. It looks like the deficit is biggest in a strip of seats stretching from Goldstein to Aston, via Higgins and Chisholm. These four seats between them make up about a quarter of the statewide deficit.

Overall I expect the map will need to be significantly redrawn statewide. The northern and western suburbs also feature quite a few seats significantly under quota. Ultimately a seat somewhere in the south-east of Melbourne will be abolished, but the knock-on effects will spread throughout the state.

Liked it? Take a second to support the Tally Room on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

426 COMMENTS

  1. Very interesting, I just received an email from the AEC stating that the ABS identified an error with the Victorian projected enrolment data, and have supplied new data which will be published no later than Monday 29 January!

  2. Does that mean they have to scrap the previous submissions and start again seeing the projection data has been recast?

  3. Same here

    These are the relevant points for me

    The AEC has analysed the corrected projection data provided by the ABS and identified that:
    · for Victoria – the number of existing electoral divisions that do not meet the projected enrolment quota has increased.

    And

    The revised data will be published on the AEC’s website no later than Monday 29 January 2024. The purpose of this notice is to ensure that all submitters to the redistributions through the suggestions and comments on suggestions phases are informed of this matter and are able to consider the revised projection data for the purpose of considering, and making objections to, the proposed redistribution when considered by the augmented Electoral Commission.

  4. It notes that the amended projection data will not impact the ability of the committee to draft their redistribution proposal based on the current submissions, but will be published so it can be taken into account when submitting objections & comments on objections.

  5. @redistributed no. The revised data will be published on the AEC’s website no later than Monday 29 January 2024. The purpose of this notice is to ensure that all submitters to the redistributions through the suggestions and comments on suggestions phases are informed of this matter and are able to consider the revised projection data for the purpose of considering, and making objections to, the proposed redistribution when considered by the augmented Electoral Commission.

  6. the full email for anyone interested

    Electoral redistributions – change to projected enrolment data

    As you are aware, redistributions of New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are in progress following publication in the Gazette of the Electoral Commission’s directions for commencement.

    Section 66(3) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 (Electoral Act) requires a Redistribution Committee to ensure proposed boundaries meet certain numerical constraints related to the projected enrolment at the projection time. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) purchases projected enrolment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the purpose of informing the Redistribution Committee’s deliberations and proposals.

    The Electoral Act does not require the AEC to publish the ABS data, however it does so in order that interested individuals and groups may consider this data in making suggestions and comments on suggestions on the redistribution under s 64 of the Electoral Act.

    The ABS has recently notified the AEC that it has identified an error in relation to the projected enrolment data that it supplied for the Victorian and Western Australian redistributions. It has, in consequence, supplied the AEC with amended data. Please note the error does not impact the determination of the entitlement to the number of members for any state or territory, or the projection time determined by the Redistribution Committee under s 63A for Victoria and Western Australia.

    The AEC has analysed the corrected projection data provided by the ABS and identified that:

    · for Victoria – the number of existing electoral divisions that do not meet the projected enrolment quota has increased.

    · for Western Australia – the number of existing electoral divisions that do not meet the projected enrolment quota has decreased.

    The Chief Statistician has assured me that the projected enrolment data provided by the ABS relating to New South Wales is not affected by the error.

    Receipt of the new data will not affect the ability of the respective Redistribution Committees to develop their proposed electoral division boundaries and release their proposed redistributions in accordance with the current indicative timeframe (the second quarter of this year).

    Under the Electoral Act, there will be further opportunities for individuals and groups to provide their input in the form of objections and comments on objections on each proposed redistribution before the augmented Electoral Commission for each State and before any final determination of electoral divisions is made.

    The revised data will be published on the AEC’s website no later than Monday 29 January 2024. The purpose of this notice is to ensure that all submitters to the redistributions through the suggestions and comments on suggestions phases are informed of this matter and are able to consider the revised projection data for the purpose of considering, and making objections to, the proposed redistribution when considered by the augmented Electoral Commission.

    Yours sincerely

    Tom Rogers

    Electoral Commissioner and Chair of the Redistribution Committee for Victoria

    23 January 2024

  7. “Identified an error” is a funny way to put it! “Conceded that they are blatantly implausible” may be more accurate.

  8. though at least il be able to submit my maps during the objections phase as they was a few unforseen circumstances when submitting my maps.

  9. Well that’s an unexpected update, but definitely a positive one. I had low expectations that they would take the feedback on board, so credit to the AEC for getting that sorted.

    We’ll have to see how much the new figures shift the balance towards a neat 21:17 seat split, but this will likely paint more of a target on Hotham or one of its neighbours to be abolished.

    I suspect that thhis update will render most of the submissions moot, but I think there’s been enough good discussion around areas that need improvement that the committee won’t come up with something too ridiculous. If this means a Yarra crossing can be avoided, then it’ll make things far easier. That said, it should be a lively objections period now that we all need to redraw our boundaries!

  10. I think that this is a disgrace and the AEC should give consideration for a round 2 of suggestions with updated data. Incorrect data will have stopped suggestions and also will possibly mean some suggestions are not viable.

  11. What are we left with is that the AEC Commissioners will have access to the updated data and their draft redistribution will be made on that basis. It will then be up to everybody else to cobble together a response (as an objection) without the benefit of a clean sheet of paper to start with. Frankly, they should probably scrap the process and start again with the risk that they will not be able to complete before the 2025 election

  12. @redistributed not really since the law has been followed they just simply need to adjust the data I for one will be adjusting my suggestions asap. Hopefully the new numbers will help me fix a few things I wanted to do prior

  13. Submission #60 actually tried to work out what the projected enrolment should have been, and did redistributions based off of those numbers. So that might give a bit of a rough guide of how the numbers could turn out.

    Curious how much of Geelong + Surf Coast can fit into 2 seats. Wannon is getting close to reaching as far east as it can go.

    If North/West of the Yarra needs to gain a little from the east, I think the AEC will use the suggestions and do the Southbank into Melbourne idea. Maybe can revert back to it’s old boundaries with Wills and Cooper both shifting south.

  14. Is it plausible that VIC and WA were affected by the ABS error but NSW wasn’t?

    Multiple submissions in NSW raised concerns with the accuracy of the data projections supplied. How can some places appear to be rapidly growing – and that have current planning strategies for further development enacted – be projected to be holding steady or even decreasing in enrolment population? The seat of Sydney (e.g. in Zetland) comes to mind as an example. Rapid, high density development and yet a -0.72% enrolment fall by 2028… how is that right?

    The AEC’s proposed remedy doesn’t sound sufficient. For transparency reasons, we need to know:
    1. What exactly was the error?
    2. Why did it occur?
    3. How was it found and verified?
    4. Why was its impact limited to only 2 of 3 states being redistributed?

    Depending on how different the revised data is, restarting the submissions stage could be warranted in affected states.

  15. NSW had a much wider variety of population projections. Some places were growing, some were losing people, there was actual variety in the numbers which Victoria did not have.

    The Sydney numbers would be based on stuff like how the monthly enrolment in:

    December 2022 was 124,433 (6.24)
    December 2023 is 121,382 (2.01)

    So the numbers they used for Sydney make sense.

  16. Peter
    High population growth doesn’t equate with high enrolment growth – areas may be growing and attracting large numbers of new immigrants, foreign students, etc. who can’t vote

  17. Well, yeah, census data isn’t very reliable any more since they started demanding names, asking nosy questions about health conditions and detailed disability information, data matching with other datasets like your medical records, and trying to keep the data forever. It’s about to get even worse if they ask for sexual orientation & gender identity as a compulsory question, or go ahead with their plans to use administrative data.

    If they want reliable results, they need to go back to the census just being the census that we used to trust, but don’t any more. Basic questions, reduce the intrusiveness, remove names, and respect the social licence they operate under to only collect the data they need, not match it up with other data, and delete individual responses as soon as possible. This is why.

  18. The updated data has now been released and it’s looking much more sane with 20.72:17.28 quota split between the NW and the SE.

    Corangamite/La Trobe/Holt/Calwell/McEwen/Lalor are all now over quota which what we would have expected.

    Looks like there will still need to be a relatively significant crossing of the Yarra River however.

  19. On the AEC if you go to the Vic redistribution there is a section called ‘enrolment projections’ click it and it should take you to where it is

  20. I’ve just uploaded the new enrolment data. The old data is still there, for completeness.

    Unfortunately, the program doesn’t allow you to load the new data without clearing the allocations you have already made, as I didn’t anticipate that this kind of error would happen. I can do it manually, so please let me know if you have an existing allocation file that you want to use.
    I now plan to fix this in a future version.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here