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. I just tried to work out a notional Macnamara result if the Caulfield/Prahran swap (as per my proposal) were to go ahead.

    My method as always when it comes to dealing with the non-ordinary vote is that I never use the electorate-wide figures, as the postal votes from Windsor are probably very different to the postal votes from Toorak.

    So what I do is I apply the difference between the non-ordinary results and the booth results for the area being transferred.

    As one example, and I’ll just use a Labor 2PP in Higgins for this because it’s simple to explain:
    – Higgins’ overall ordinary vote Labor 2PP was 55.5%
    – The non-ordinary (excluding Pre-Poll) Labor 2PP was 48.6%, a -6.9% difference
    – The ordinary vote in the area being transferred was 63.95%
    – Therefore, I apply a 57.05% Labor 2PP to the non-ordinary vote

    Which I think is a lot more accurate than applying 48.6% to it.

    Anyway, the results are very interesting!

    The primary votes are as follows, with the Greens moving into first place as expected:
    GRN – 31.62% (+1.97% on 2022)
    ALP – 30.09% (-0.87% on 2022)
    LIB – 27.97% (-1.03% on 2022)

    Looks like a clear GRN v ALP contest, BUT remember the Libs got the lion’s share of minor party preferences.

    Applying the same distribution of minor preferences as 2022 (which was 48.8% to LIB, 33.3% to GRN and 17.9% to ALP) to the ‘Other’ vote, I get the following 3PP:

    GRN – 34.79%
    LIB – 32.61%
    ALP – 32.60%

    Literally 0.01% in it between ALP & LIB!

    So I think that particular redistribution would clearly put the Greens in first place, but whether they face off against the Liberals or ALP, which would ultimately determine whether they win or not, really is 50/50.

  2. The point being that the redistribution probably makes very little tangible difference to increasing or decreasing any party’s chances of winning the seat anyway.

    While the Greens notionally making the 2CP looks bad for Labor, the reality is that both scenarios – current boundaries and these proposed ones – only require 1% swings in any direction for the 2CP match-up to change anyway. The 3PP margins will be razor thin with or without the redistribution.

  3. I got similar numbers to Trent when I did it

    primary vote
    GRN: 31.5
    ALP: 30.9
    LIB: 28.2

    3cp
    GRN: 34.6
    ALP: 32.6
    LIB: 32.8

    My method was a bit different. I just added together all the regular booth results and then applied a skew based off the difference between the final results and the booth results. So for example, Greens got 34.1% on booth results and their final result was 4.4% less, so whatever the booth result was I took -4.4% off. Since the seat was 80% Macnamara, 20% Higgins I applied a 4:1 split based off difference in Higgins and Macnamara results.

    Considering the postal votes would not be so pro-Liberal if the large Jewish vote was mostly removed, I think ALP would have ended up 2nd. But it’s pretty close either way.

    My Higgins (with all of Caulfield + Hughesdale) ended up

    Primary Vote
    LIBS: 41.6
    ALP: 29.3
    GREENS: 20.9

    3CP
    LIBS: 45.7
    ALP: 30.8
    GREENS: 23.5

    Macnamara 2CP: 63.1%
    Higgins 2CP: 51.1%

  4. Yep that is very similar which is reassuring!

    I tried to do Higgins as well, I have added the Caulfield (from Macnamara) and Hughesdale parts in but I also transferred a significant part of Goldstein to Higgins too, and that’s a bit trickier because of the IND factor.

    Although I suppose if I ignore primary votes in Higgins (given we know it’s ALP v LIB anyway) and only look at 2PP, then I can just apply the difference between Goldstein’s 2CP and 2PP to what what I transfer from there.

    Eg. The Liberal 2CP v IND was only 47.1% but their 2PP v ALP was 54.8%. So all the parts of Elsternwick & Caulfield I transfer from Goldstein to Higgins, would be LIB 2CP +7.7% and ALP would be the IND 2CP -7.7%.

    Not perfect, but considering how high Daniels’ 2CP was in some of those areas, such as 69% in Elsternwick and even 65% in Caulfield South Central, reducing them to around 61% and 57% in an ALP v LIB contest seems about right.

  5. @Trent

    The results in the Caulfield/Elsternwick/Carnegie booths in Goldstein. You can see them on the AEC page under the download section, ‘Two party preferred by polling place’

    ALP: 3478 (51.77)
    LIBS: 3240 (48.23)

  6. @Am Now, I don’t think the data for other states exists. As far as I know, the AEC only compiles it when they need to (i.e. for a redistribution). I could use the data from past redistributions, but it would be out of date, so I don’t think it would be helpful.
    However, if anyone can find current enrolment data down to SA1s, I’m happy to upload it to the Drive folder.

  7. it has been confirmed that the liberal party did indeed miss the deadline but they will be submitting their proposal as a comment on suggestions

  8. *tin foil hat on*

    Was this maybe some intentional plan to miss the suggestion deadline, submit their suggestion as a comment, and thereby any comments being made about their submission?

    *tin foil hat off*

    Or did they just not get it in on time?

  9. Darren, I think the latter reason (missed deadline) is more plausible. Especially as the party would have to work on the two other submissions (NSW and WA), with WA due just one week earlier.

    Even if it is just the state branch of the party working on the submission without involvement from the national branch, they also had the Mulgrave by-election which may have sucked up some of their resources.

  10. That’s an interesting theory! Their proposal certainly invites a lot of scepticism. Especially when it starts out by saying the northern suburban electorates need a complete overhaul and the south-eastern seats should be left intact as much as possible because they have the best boundaries in the state. Really? Hotham? Isaacs? Their boundaries are more logical than Maribyrnong and Wills?

    Reading their descriptions without looking at maps almost sounds convincing until you look at the jaggedy shaped electorates with zig-zagging boundaries and they look like textbook gerrymandering.

    I honestly didn’t even consider or think about the political implications of my submission when I did it. I knew the Macnamara/Higgins swap would obviously increase the Greens primary vote in Macnamara and reduce it in Higgins, that’s obvious, but other than that it never crossed my mind. I was just trying to make the number work, unite LGAs better, have strong boundaries and logical shapes, and importantly make sure similar suburbs were together.

    Reviewing what I proposed now, and noting I have since only actually looked at numbers for Macnamara, I think I probably helped the Liberal Party without realising it (evidence I clearly wasn’t gerrymandering because I’m not a Liberal voter).

    Labor would probably benefit most in Bruce (more of Greater Dandenong), Chisholm (replacing Whitehorse with more of Oakleigh & Clayton) and La Trobe (losing all the regional/rural parts). But Bruce is already safe Labor, Chisholm is already Labor, and I assume La Trobe will remain LIB but just become more marginal, as even Pakenham which is Labor at state level voted strongly for Jason Wood.

    Can’t see much difference in Isaacs, it loses Dandenong South but gains Labor areas like Clarinda & Clayton South. Similarly, Goldstein loses Elsternwick (69% IND 2CP) but gains Labor-friendly areas like Moorabbin & Highett, won’t make much difference to the IND margin. I don’t think Labor’s margin in Higgins will change too much, yeah it loses left-wing Chapel St but also loses Booroondara, and gains mostly Labor-friendly areas in return.

    I may have turned McEwan into a notional Liberal seat by shedding Mernda and its western area and replacing it with the Yarra Valley.

    No idea what the impact on Casey would be but it probably remains Liberal. I assume the Menzies I drew would be safer for the Liberals (losing the areas like Box Hill that are swinging hardest to Labor) but the Menzies that Angas drew in S63 – which I actually prefer to mine – probably becomes notional Labor. On the other hand, my Deakin probably becomes notionally Labor, while Angas’ Deakin probably gives the Liberal margin a slight boost.

    I can’t see any seats changing hands elsewhere, or any other margins really changing too much at all.

    So overall, my proposal would probably inadvertently cost Labor 3 seats (Hotham abolished, McEwan to Libs, Macnamara to Greens), but possibly help them gain another eastern suburbs seat because the different versions of Deakin & Menzies in both my proposal and S63 probably make one of these two ultra-marginal Liberal seats more Liberal (boosting the margin) and the other more Labor (notionally flipping it).

    That would notionally go from 24 Labor, 11 Coalition, 3 IND, 1 GRN to 22 Labor, 11 Coalition, 3 IND, 2 GRN. That’s all just a guess. So I suppose it doesn’t actually gain anything for the Liberals, but is a net -2 for Labor (and net -1 for the ‘left’). Definitely not something I would intentionally aim for as a left-of-centre voter if I was drawing partisan boundaries instead of logical ones.

  11. Agree, Trent
    I think either Menzies or Deakin will flip to notionally Labor and the other one will become stronger for the Libs. McEwen could become much better for the Libs going into the Yarra Valley. I do think La Trobe will become more marginal if yours or S63 is accepted and a longer term prospect for Labor as it become urbanized and more ethnically diverse but Jason Wood seems to be perfoming quite strongly.

  12. La Trobe would cover parts of the following 4 state seats:
    Narre Warren North – 9% Labor
    Narre Warren South – 8.5% Labor
    Pakenham – 0.4% Labor
    Berwick – 4% Liberal

    It’d probably be around 4% Labor overall on state results; but at a federal level, Jason Wood seemed to outperform the state Liberal by well over 5% in most polling places that overlap on current boundaries. So I think the notional result would probably still be around 3% Liberal. That’s still a significant chunk sliced off his 8.7% margin.

  13. @mike the rest should be up tomorrow. thursday at latest. i left my tablet somewhere so have to wait until i get it back to upload the rest

  14. All maps are up. You’ll noticed a small area around lexton coloured orange still as I transferred Beaufort to Ballarat not realising it would be disconnect until the last minute. And transferring all of Avoca sa2 would push wannon under I’ve advised them in my submission that this area should be sent to Ballarat and it shouldn’t push wannon under. If it happens to then I’ve advised them to transfer the Avoca sa2 from mallee to wannon to reconnect it. But given it only pushes it under by 25 electors if all Avoca went to Ballarat from wannon there should be enough remaining to keep it within tolerance.

    I’ve done this in an impartial way without looking at Primary, 2cp or 2pp votes and how the new boundaries would affect this.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1slywm6j2GD2Gej5D_rOFyxvBOYzRl3SX

  15. Had a busy couple of weeks and wasn’t able to properly review all of the submissions (especially the ones without maps), but managed to submit some general comments about how the committee should deal with crossing the Yarra. Even though were strong arguments for Melbourne to cross into Macnamara, or to abolish Casey, I’ve opted to argue for a crossing between Jagajaga and Menzies. I think this ends up being the least disruptive and most reversible solution, and would help to shake-up the poor boundaries around Box Hill.

    @Captain Moonlight @Drake @Trent
    Thank you all for the positive feedback on my submission. I think my suggestion to avoid a major crossing of the Yarra might be too radical for the committee, but I hope that my analysis of the projection figures invites some further comments.

    Good to see everyone’s submissions in the mix. Lots of different approaches, but also a fair bit of consensus around certain divisions. @Trent, your discussion of the Macnamara boundaries is excellent, and is well supported by many other submissions. I hope the committee takes up this proposal once more. We all know it makes perfect sense.

    Overall, if we do the Prahran/Caulfield swap and align Kooyong with Boroondara, a lot of the divisions in the Southeast fall naturally into place. Isaacs is still a bit of a mess, but I don’t think anyone found a way to solve that.

  16. Thanks @Angas. Yeah I did notice if you largely leave Macnamara/Melbourne border alone, and do the Prahran/Caulfield swap than Higgins/Macnamara/Goldstein and Kooyong all fall nicely into place. What you then do with Bruce/Isaacs and Hotham (particularly with Dandenong council) is the big issue.

    I hope the AEC does our version of Menzies (north-south) which will then allow Deakin to be north-south as well.

    I was going to write a comment on suggestions and say they should try to do what you need with just leaving the West under-quota, east over quota but got covid and didn’t have the energy to write a reply.

  17. @angas sry about that with doing 3 submissions i didnt have time to do during the initial period but i submitted them as comments. ive done exactly that crossing the yarra near menzies/jagajaga. if you noticed it already does that with north warrandyte being in menzies btw

  18. I submitted comments on the suggestions on Friday, and that included reiterating some of what you guys have just written above:

    – I mentioned that my suggestion proposed a Whitehorse based Deakin with Menzies north of the freeway but that it even said I had little knowledge of the area, and said that I support & prefer S63 (Angas’ suggestion) which has the north-south Deakin & Menzies instead.

    – I talked about the numbers, and said that a Yarra River crossing can be minimised by having most of the north-western seats average the 123-126k range and the south-eastern seats average the 128-131k range, all of which are within tolerance of quota, and are what both my suggestion and S63 mostly achieve, but most importantly allow for more growth in the NW of Melbourne compared to the flawed projections. So it’s like two birds, one stone. Avoid a major Yarra Crossing while still keeping all seats within range of quota, AND minimise future changes by allowing for more growth where it’s expected, and less growth where it’s not.

    In my proposal I was only 311 projected electors short north of the river so the very small & logical crossing of adding ONLY the Docklands (1846 electors) to Melbourne is all that was needed.

  19. Comments are published. Have you seen Comment 3?

    WOW. Crazy rant (and from someone who clearly doesn’t understand that Victoria is LOSING an MP because he rants about “corrupt Labor & Greens” wanting to increase the number of MPs), all in capital letters. Goes on about immigration, trans issues, Brittany Higgins, indigenous funding, you name it.

    Someone was having a bad day. I’m surprised they published such nonsense that had anything to do with commenting on the suggestions, it’s basically a rant from someone upset that Labor are in government, lots of name-calling and colourful language in it too.

    Just read your comment too, Nimalan, and I appreciate the endorsement for my proposal! Great comments overall.

    A couple of comments I’ve read so far oppose my Macnamara proposal by acknowledging that the population numbers support it, but that some of their institutions and shopping centre (Carlisle St, Balaclava) would be split. But this ignores my comment that having your shopping centre, or even your Synagogue, in a different seat is largely irrelevant. It doesn’t in any way diminish your ability to frequent those establishments. But an MP represents people, and therefore where the voters live is most important. A building doesn’t vote or require representation, people do.

  20. I seem to recall seeing somewhere that if a submission to the AEC criticises someone too heavily, the targeted individual may be entitled to respond.

    Comment 3 has no relevance to the redistribution and in many ways could quite reasonably be considered offensive. I too am surprised that the AEC published it.

  21. Totally. This guy was just angry at the entire political system – and specific politicians for badically just existing – no mention at all about the actual redistribution or any of the proposals.

    I think the AEC could very reasonably have declined to publish it on those grounds. Maybe they published it to let him make a fool of himself, since his full name was published. I imagine if it was Anonymous it wouldn’t have got through.

  22. All the childish mis-spellings and stuff make me wonder if Comment 3 is really just some sort of troll….

  23. A quick google search shows Teodora Mustac is a serial complainer/extreme climate change denier who seems very active with the Knox City Council for at least the past decade and must have a broken CAPS LOCK BUTTON.

  24. Yes, Mrs. Mustac is definitely unhinged – I’m very conservative myself, but draw the line in the sand at crazies.

  25. It’s something they should be sending to their local MP’s office if they’re disgruntled, not the AEC. It’s astonishing that they are so convinced the AEC are increasing the number of politicians, which seems to be the basis of the rant (before obviously getting onto all his racist, misogynistic and tin-foil hat topics) when it is literally a redistribution caused by Victoria losing an MP, and federal parliament overall reducing by 1 MP.

    On the Macnamara/Higgins topic, I read through all the comments and only found 3 which specifically comment in opposition of it, which is a lot less than previous years. Even Labor didn’t actually mention or oppose it in their comments this time. And 1 of those 3 objections was a pretty soft opposition to it, it actually agreed that Caulfield fits best with Malvern and not with St Kilda or Elwood, but just wanted to move the boundary a block or two west to keep Balaclava & Ripponlea connected to it.

    I wonder if more objections will come through if it ends up being incorporated into the AEC’s draft, or if the changed political landscape in that part of Melbourne means more of the Jewish community + Labor are aware now that staying in Macnamara on current boundaries has the highest likelihood of their community being represented by a Greens MP, and are therefore more open to moving into Higgins.

    On current boundaries, either a 298 vote swing from ALP to GRN, or a 595 vote swing from ALP to LIB, or various combinations of those numbers in between, would result in a Greens gain. Basically, Labor can’t lose more than 595 votes in any direction for the Jewish community to not be represented by the Greens after the next election. Given we’ll be talking about an incumbent government, in an area where the Greens are on the rise, and the ‘remove Morrison’ factor is no longer in the equation, there’s a very high probability of that occurring.

    Whereas my proposal would move most of the Jewish community into a traditional ALP v LIB seat with no threat of Greens representation, while potentially helping Josh Burns’ chances of staying in parliament by increasing the chance of an ALP v GRN 2CP like Wills & Cooper.

    This makes me think the majority of the Jewish community who live in Glen Eira and would be moved into Higgins under my proposal, may have accepted that moving into a traditional ALP v LIB seat is a better alternative than risking Greens representation in Macnamara, so the only objections may come from those Jewish electors in Port Phillip who would be left behind in Macnamara. That could potentially explain comments/objections like the one which supports uniting Caulfield with Malvern instead of St Kilda but just wants the boundary moved a block or two west, so they’d actually be included in the move too.

  26. @Trent

    Doesn’t your suggestion lead to high likelihood that both Higgins and Macnamara will be lost to the Liberals and the Greens respectively? If so, it is surprising that Labor has not mentioned it this time.

    Maybe the map you produced of the Jewish population was too compelling!

  27. @ Trent
    I am glad that i have endorsed your suggestion. There seems to be a lot of opposition to abolish Casey and Maribiyong. There is really no opposition to abolish Hotham and there is broad support to retire the name as well. I think Casey will be retained and renamed Barak. Thanks for cross-referencing my suggestions in your comments hopefully that strengthens the case to abolish Hotham

  28. @Nicholas, yeah I was surprised too. They do reiterate their proposal to keep Macnamara the same, but they don’t actually mention it as a comment or objection to any suggestion (including my own), their comments document just repeats their own proposal at the end which includes Macnamara in the list of seats with no changes.

    In fact, their comment positively mentioned my suggestion in their discussion of the projected numbers. They have asked the AEC to redo the projections as they don’t agree with them, and mentioned that suggestions like S53 (me) found a solution by putting NW seats under quota and SE seats over quota, but that their preference would just be for the AEC to fix the projections altogether.

    I honestly don’t think my proposal would have a significant impact on any party’s electoral chances in either seat. A couple of us have run the numbers and it might move the needle about +1% LIB in Higgins, and not really make Macnamara any more or less likely to be GRN v LIB than it is under the current boundaries where only a -595 vote swing from Labor in any direction would already result in that. So maybe they’ve run the numbers too, and are just much less motivated to oppose it this time knowing both seats would be ultra-marginal under both sets of boundaries anyway.

    @Nimalan, I agree. Nobody seemed to oppose abolishing Hotham and a few people endorsed the suggestions that proposed it. There seemed to be a bit of support for renaming (but keeping) Casey too.

    I think the AEC will have to seriously consider abolishing Hotham, the only other seat that had as many suggestions to abolish was McEwan so I imagine they will be the two seats they decide between.

    It was interesting that a few comments objected to the Liberal Party proposal which wasn’t even submitted! Including both yours and mine, and another comment which said it should not even be considered as it missed the deadline.

    The good thing is that if Hotham is abolished, that effectively becomes the starting point, so the seats around it will be determined first which should result in the much better boundaries for seats like Bruce, Isaacs and Higgins (forcing the commission to look at the Higgins, Kooyong, Goldstein & Macnamara boundaries early).

    I noticed a few people endorsed Zoe Daniels’ proposal for Goldstein but it looked like a coordinated campaign and a couple of the comments were from people who disclosed that they campaigned for her, so I don’t know how seriously they will be taken. Those boundaries make some sense in isolation but don’t factor in the flow on effect of the surrounding seats at all. I think as long as Bayside LGA remains united in Goldstein, any number of combinations of the Glen Eira & Kingston parts surrounding it would work, but splitting Elwood from the rest of Port Phillip isn’t the best solution and does come across as more about padding the margin.

  29. @ trent,
    I agree it is probably a choice on whether to abolish McEwen or Hotham. Both seats are leftover seats that cover 4 LGAs. However, McEwen covers a growth area and the urban-rural fringe. Unfortunately, there will always be such seats in these areas other examples include, Canning, Wright, Hume and even Mayo to an extent. Whereas Hotham covers middle ring suburbs with a stable population to it is easier to fix. Abolishing McEwen will also have major impacts to Yarra Ranges where there is opposition to changes, Also Labor party has proposed some silly changes as a result of abolishing Hotham for example having CALD suburbs such as Mill Park with the Yarra Valley or Caroline Springs with the Macedon Ranges. Labor party also wants to divide Box Hill North along station road something i strongly oppose.

  30. I think it’s possible to minimise the metro/regional hybrid seats like McEwan, La Trobe & Hawke without abolishing one anyway.

    For example I proposed to take all the suburban areas (except Diamond Creek) out of McEwan making it almost entirely regional; took Hillside of Hawke making it focus more on the areas like Melton & Sunbury that are still somewhat disconnected from the suburban sprawl; and as you know & supported yourself, making La Trobe entirely a Pakenham Line seat removing all the regional areas like Koo Wee Rup and Bunyip-Garfield.

    Starting with abolishing Hotham actually helped with that because it forced both Bruce & La Trobe to move west towards the city, and that had a flow-on effect to Casey & McEwan and subsequently Hawke which had to take the western parts of McEwan, losing Hillside to accommodate that.

  31. Agree Trent, in this case abolishing Hotham has actually improved McEwen, La Trobe & Hawke. Whereas abolishing a Hybrid seat (like Casey or McEwen) has made things worse. Sunbury will always be separated from the Urban Sprawl despite being being a growth area due to Melbourne Airport and the associated flight path. It has also improved Holt something i very much support as well.

  32. Yeah I find that Clyde North fits a lot better with Cranbourne than it does with Pakenham.

    Holt is better focused around Cranbourne, Lynbrook & Clyde North, rather than being a narrow north-south seat stretching from Narre Warren to the coast.

  33. It will all depend where they want to cross the Yarra. I can’t see them abolishong Maribyrnong. And it will be either McEwen or Hotham. However they’ll need to preservecewens name somehow. In regards to the ranter he published it there because it’s then public and people talk about it….

  34. @ John i agree it will be either McEwen or Hotham. However, if McEwen is abolished then Casey will be very much impacted as it seems there will be a lot of opposition. The Liberals oppose McEwen being abolished.

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