Victorian federal redistribution – official numbers published

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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.

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426 COMMENTS

  1. @Lachlan, the WA ones dropped 11am AEST. There was only 21 though. Maybe Victoria had a lot of suggestions submitted last minute on Friday and the AEC don’t have the resources to go through them before uploading them to the public as planned.

  2. 6:30pm and they are still not up. I have not seen them miss a given date before.

    On Patreon’s comment – is anybody aware if there have been any ‘campaigns’ on prospective boundaries that may have driven a lot of suggestions. Usually they come out at the ‘comments on suggestions’ stage.

  3. Still not there at 8.05pm AEDT. Not heard anything re suggestions…odd that there is no comment. I will call trow if nothing loaded.

  4. Hi Angas,

    Funny I was thinking the same question.

    I was looking through the proposals as well…..I don’t see one either.

  5. I can’t see the Liberal submission? Either the AEC are slow to publish or they may have missed the deadline?

    ALP submission proposes abolishing Casey. Greens abolish McEwen

  6. Labor and the Greens both suggested no changes to Macnamara. I get why Labor would want no change but find it interesting the Greens didn’t make any suggestion to do the swap with Higgins.

  7. Perhaps there’s another batch to be uploaded tomorrow. Or have the Liberal Party just given up on Victoria now?

    Overall, the major party submissions seem pretty low-effort in comparison to their New South Wales ones. No maps provided.

  8. I just had a look through the submissions and was also really surprised to see the Greens not suggest the Macnamara / Higgins swap this time.

    The final ‘Anonymous’ S63 suggestion is really excellent. It’s very, very similar to what I proposed (which is good because 2 similar suggestions reinforces it well), but I much prefer what S63 does with the eastern suburbs (Menzies & Deakin especially) than mine, as I admit I’m no expert there. Their version of Menzies works well. I will probably comment in support of that. The boundaries around Lalor and Gorton look better than mine too.

    Otherwise though it’s so similar, even the descriptions and commentary talks about achieving the same goals.

    Nimalan’s submission reinforces some of the same themes from mine & S63 too.

    I’m very surprised to not see a Liberal submission. Maybe they just couldn’t find a combination that would be of any material help to them.

    Also surprised to see Labor’s submission so brief and lacking detail.

  9. I wouldn’t think S27 is the Liberals.

    Their proposed electorate of Mora replacing Higgins & Hotham would almost certainly be harder for the Libs to win than Higgins, and similarly their proposed changes to Goldstein would only increase Zoe Daniels’ margin, while making very little difference to making Macnamara more winnable despite adding Toorak & Armadale.That would be completely offset by it losing Caulfield and gaining Prahran.

    I’d think the Libs would propose something they thought will help their chances of winning back Higgins & Goldstein in that region, and also probably abolish a safe Labor seat in the north.

  10. Greens don’t want South Yarra/Prahran/Windsor in Macnamara as it doesn’t help them win Macnamara. Arguably makes it worse for them as it runs the risk of pushing Libs to 3rd. It also completely prevents them from being able to win Higgins.

  11. I agree Submission 63 is excellent in its first half. It really sums up the problems of these figures and is a stronger version than mine in Submission 58.

    I wasn’t going to but a submission in and in the last day changed my mind as I thought this issue was too important not to be commented on.

  12. VIC Libs released a draft boundary to Channel 6 NEWS but for some reason they forgot to send to the AEC. They proposed abolishing Maribyrnong, having Macnamara move into the Melbourne CBD and having Higgins gain Caulfield and lose Murrumbeena and Carnegie

  13. Drake, that Liberal submission makes more sense for them, as by now they would already have written off competing in Macnamara (I think their choice of candidate in 2022 proved that) but replacing Murrumbeena/Carnegie with Caulfield would benefit them in Higgins, while I assume Murrumbeena/Carnegie go to Hotham probably in place of the Noble Park area, making that seat more competitive too.

    And abolishing a northern Labor seat would allow them to try to carve out a more outer suburban one they think they can target.

    Pretty odd that they’d forget to submit it!

  14. Vic Libs abolishing a western seat and then only transferring about .2 quotas to the east. So all the eastern seats are way under a quota and all the western seats are way over a quota. So according to them the slow growing eastern seats should have less voters than the fast growing western seats.

    There McEwen, Hotham and Corangamite are especially bad

  15. Also yes, I agree it’s weird that the major parties all seemed to make minimal effort for this one:

    * The Liberals apparently forgot to submit or submitted late enough to miss the cut-off.

    * Labor’s submission is fairly basic and brief.

    * The Greens seemed to have submitted an internal draft instead of their actual submission. There’s comments like “This transfer will benefit us electorally – what do you guys think?” or “Can we sell this change to a neutral committee?” scattered throughout it. Oops!

    It’s pleasing to see so many independent submissions, though. And for the most part, these ones are the ‘best’ in terms of narrative outline and detail.

  16. Agree Mark as that suggestion does look like it came from him, given that a large portion of material is focussed on arguments as to why Macnamara and Higgins should be reconfigured to provide a better community of interest around the Jewish majority suburbs.

  17. Mark
    The Greens submission looks poorly researched when they recommend taking Yea surrounds and Benalla surrounds out of Nicholls when Yea and Benalla are in Indi.

  18. Yep S53 is indeed mine. The main parts I’m not too happy with are Deakin (proposed and current area) and of course McEwan. But I think S63 deals with that better than my suggestion. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the rest of it.

    I hope I argued a compelling case for the Macnamara/Higgins swap too, I do think that by mentioning how the most Jewish portion of St Kilda East (the Glen Eira corner at 56%) follows Caulfield into Higgins, it really takes away any real argument that the community will be split. At that point, any objection can really only be around not wanting to change local MP / Branch that the community has built a relationship with, which shouldn’t really be a consideration.

    I do wonder if, given Macnamara is already on a knife-edge of becoming a Greens seat even on current boundaries, the Jewish community will be less opposed to the change this time anyway and might prefer being transferred into a seat the Greens will no longer be competitive in.

    I was very surprised at how much S63 had in common with my submission. I think possibly if you start at the same place – in both cases the abolition of Hotham combined with those Macnamara/Higgins boundaries – the numbers will lead you to a similar, logical outcome.

    Reviewing the Liberal Party non-submission, I don’t actually hate some of their suggestions. Including their Melbourne/Macnamara suggestion. But the knock-on effect on some of the surrounding seats just doesn’t work for me, and when you look at the maps, some of the really strange electorate shapes do look like gerrymandering.

    I also disagreed with their argument that the north-western seats are currently problematic and need an overhaul but the south-eastern suburbs have the best current boundaries and should have minimal change. I think it’s the complete opposite.

    Seats like Maribyrnong, Wills, Cooper & Fraser make perfect sense to me and only require very small changes around the edges to get within range of quota, and it was very easy to find suitable ones – eg. Yarraville into Fraser, Keilor into Maribyrnong, Brunswick East into Wills, Hillside into Gorton, etc.

    Whereas I find it difficult to believe anybody could argue that the current boundaries of seats like Hotham & Isaacs are some of the “best” boundaries the commission has drawn!

  19. Drake, good point about the numbers the Vic Libs came up with too.

    It made the most sense to abolish a south-eastern seat because that meant that you can avoid sending many electors across the Yarra by putting most south-eastern seats above quota (in the 128-131k range) and most north-western seats below quota (in the 123-126k range).

    That works well because we know the ABS projections are rubbish, so that allows for more growth in the north/west to minimise changes required in another 4-5 years.

    Whereas the Liberal proposal achieved the exact opposite.

  20. @ Trent,
    Yes i found the Liberal submission bizarre especially abolishing Maribyrnong. I feel Moonee Valley LGA is a community of interest it much wealthier, less industrial and less ethnically diverse than neighboring LGAs. I also like your idea and Mark Mulcair mentioned it as well to transfer Keilor SLA 2 into it. I feel Keilor is more like Moonee Valley LGA than many of the economically deprived suburbs in the same LGA. In the next stage, will make a comment that this is a community of interest. Interestingly, the first comment on the Gorton thread last time was that Keilor looked strange in Gorton (link below)

    https://www.tallyroom.com.au/archive/aus2022/gorton2022

  21. With Maribyrnong abolished, I’d have thought the Liberals would construct a ‘Gorton’ or ‘Fraser’ that would be electorally competitive, joining up all of the more affluent middle class parts of the north-west (Taylors Lakes, Keilor, Moonee Ponds, Essendon, Strathmore, Greenvale, etc).

    Instead they split these areas up and combined them with safe Labor areas in different seats. If we assume all party submissions are electorally self-serving, then I can’t see what their end goal was in the north-west.

  22. Regarding “campaigns”, I noticed that the following submissions – S14, 15, 18, 19, 33 and 34 – were all worded almost identically around the following 3 points:
    – Taking Mulgrave Primary School out of Bruce
    – Putting Dandenong South Primary School in Bruce
    – Leaving Chisholm untouched to keep Box Hill & Glen Waverley united

    There was clearly an email or something that went around to be people to copy & paste.

  23. #63 is Angas who posts here. Glad you and other people mentioned the numbers. I forgot too but wanted to mention. They really are robbing west of the Yarra and ALP seats .5 a quota worth at the expense of slow growing eastern Libs seats. I think you’re idea to try and work around that is very good. If Victoria doesn’t get a new seat at the next election, we’re going to get seats like McEwen/Calwell/Lalor 10-20% over quota.

  24. @John

    You telling me that the Liberal Party is scared of Bill Shorten, and so much so that they’re willing to forgo electoral advantage to potentially get rid of him?

  25. @nicolas no but i can its retaliation against the stuff hes done to them in this term. its perfectly obvious
    @trent the same thing happened at the wa state redistribution there was dozens of sugestions saying dont abolish a regional district and then objetions opposing the abolition of one

  26. i agree with Nicholas, Maribyrnong can be redrawn to potentially become Liberal friendly unlike other Northern Western seats. The only other seat is Jagajaga which could also be winnable in a good year with friendlier boundaries.

  27. As others have said, the Liberals missed a few opportunities to try to improve their position.

    Peacock seat could have been used to join Hawthorn and Richmond, which would take Hawthorn out of Kooyong, which would make it easier for them to beat Ryan. Instead, the proposed Peacock will probably be rejected despite the proposed boundaries for Melbourne being okay.

    The treatment of Maribyrong makes no sense when the Liberals keep saying they are a chance in suburbia, so why add inner city Footscray to a seat with middle class suburban Essendon. I understand they wanted to get Bill Shorten, however if Bill is such a liability then the Liberals only had to draw the seat with all the best middle class suburban areas then preselect a good candidate.

  28. Said campaign also references a Middle Eastern community spanning Glen Waverley to Box Hill, which is news to me?

  29. @ Chris W
    It is news to me as well. The middle eastern community in the Eastern suburbs does not really exist. The only exception is the large Iranian community but that is based in Manningham

  30. Perhaps the Greens think with the right swings they can win both Higgins and Macnamara?

    They may also want Macnamara to get stronger for Liberals so Labor have a better chance of coming 3rd (making a Greens win easier) which may not happen in a seat with Caufield swapped for Chapel St.

  31. Richmond and hawthorn, I believe, was the old federal seat of Yarra from 1949. It was a Labor seat during its time, but the results would be different today

  32. @ John
    Macnamara depends on which party is knocked out of the TPP. If the Libs are knocked out then Labor wins. If Labor is knocked out the Greens win. Higgins is winnable for Greens if they outpoll Labor in the affluent core but the middle class parts are stronger for Labor
    If Richmond and Hawthorn are in the same seat i think it will be a Greens seat with Labor coming a distant 3rd.

  33. @ChrisW I can only assume that by Middle Eastern community they mean ‘the community of the ‘middle-ring eastern’ suburbs’. There is no Middle Eastern community out there.

  34. @Adam Ah, that would make more sense!

    Having properly had time to study the party proposals;

    1) The Liberals’ (non-)submission caught my eye for their attempt at shoring-up Aston. A narrow extension along a single road to avoid the logical, ALP-friendly, extension into Upwey or at the very worst, Bayswater, is pretty bare-faced, and would probably get it thrown in the bin as the first map alphabetically to look at.

    Also I think their second attempt at conceding an east-west Greens seat in the inner suburbs to help their efforts elsewhere.

    2) Labor’s has given their best bits of Casey to McEwen, given their worst bits to Menzies/Deakin and strengthen Chisholm in the process. Very minimalist beyond that.

    3) The Greens’ seems fairly safe, and doesn’t really weaken Bandt’s position. Moving Kensington into something more winnable is a logical move. I’m curious how much trading of the inner-North for the inner-South could occur per other submissions before their margin gets frittered away.

  35. @Drake, it’s a risky strategy by the Greens if we presume you’re correct about the Greens underlying strategy here. One of the reasons they have failed to win seats in Victoria is because their strong areas are often divided into different seats – see Wills and Cooper as examples. In Macnamara, the Greens have generally been heavily weighed down by poor results in Caulfield, and I think it’s likely they’ll go backwards there given their recent stances on Israel/Palestine, so from a purely political view I don’t see much sense in wanting to keep it in your strongest seat.

    Keeping the boundaries as they are means they get wedged in Caulfield, and Higgins is a tough ask given they need to sell a message to South Yarra / Prahran as well as old money areas in Malvern and Toorak, all while competing with the incumbent Labor member and having mediocre results in 2019 and 2022. They are risking spreading all their good areas too thin to the extent they can’t win anything. Moreover, there are a lot of non-partisan submissions suggesting the Macnamara/Higgins boundary swap which would have made it easier for the Greens to make the suggestion and not be accused of gerrymandering.

  36. @ GPPS
    I mentioned this in the Macnamara thread, i dont believe the Greens stance on Israel/Palestine will have an impact in Macnamara as Jewish voters (who identify with Israel) are not Greens voters in the first place. Michael Danby has been hostile to the Greens for a very long time. For the Greens to win Macnamara on the current boundaries they simply need to knock Labor out of the 2CP they could do that even if their vote is stagnant and the Libs gain from Labor. Alternatively, the Greens could gain votes from Labor in the Parks, Port Melbourne, South Melbourne etc where the Jewish community is small.

  37. @Greens Political Party Supporter

    The worry the Greens have, is if Macnamara loses Caulfield than it’d turn into a Labor vs GRN contest, which would be way harder to win than a Lib vs GRN contest. Macnamara would be extremely hard to win for them if Libs fall to 3rd place. Greens kind of need some good Liberal booths in Macnamara to keep it winnable for them. The Greens vote isn’t even horrible in Caulfield anymore, they got >20% in most of the booths there.

  38. @ Drake,
    Agree with you. Only one point to note about the Caulfield Booths is that due to Jewish voters often not voting on the Sabbath. Booth results tend to inflate the Greens support. Nevertherless about 50% of Caulfield is not Jewish and it is is a very affluent area so it does make sense that there is some Greens vote in Caulfield as well.

  39. Surprised the Greens didn’t try and put the Elsternwick part of Goldstein into Macnamara. They actually outpolled the Labor party in the Reps and in the Senate here. Decent argument can be made because it used to be in the seat. Would help bump up the Lib vote too.

    The ideal boundaries for the Greens imo would be

    – Ascot Vale, Kensington, Flemington into Melbourne (same as when they won in 2013), so they can then send Clifton Hill to Cooper and Fitzroy North and Carlton North to Wills. Wills than gaining the remainder of Coburg and has to lose bits of its northern borders.
    – All of Yarraville into Fraser, and then losing some of the Western parts.
    – Macnamara gaining Elsternwick from Goldstein and Higgins gaining Hughesdale from Hotham.

  40. That the ALP have included Mill Park and Belgrave in the same seat of McEwen is totally preposterous. The Liberals Aston taking the Lib friendly Narre Warren East and Belgrave South while leaving Upwey, Tecoma, Belgrave is also silly.

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