The road to the next Federal Election has heated up, with the Australian Electoral Commission releasing their proposed electoral redistributions for Western Australia and Victoria this past Friday.
The proposed redistributions have caught the interest of political observers, with the Morrison Government holding a one-seat majority leaving the House of Representatives sitting on a knife’s edge.
The Nexus Team have been analysing the proposed changes and how they may affect the upcoming election. Read our thoughts on the proposed redistributions and how it may affect the path to victory for both the Morrison Government and the Albanese Opposition.
Abolishment of Stirling (Liberal-held electorate)
The seat of Stirling, currently held by Liberal MP, Mr Vince Connelly (5.65% margin) has been proposed to be abolished by the AEC.
The proposed redistribution suggests that Stirling be divided between the electorates of:
- Moore (currently held by Mr Ian Goodenough MP with a margin of 11.7%) and
- Curtin (currently held by Ms Celia Hammond MP with a margin of 14.3%) – two relatively safe Liberal seats, together with two Labor held marginal seats,
- Cowan (currently held by Dr Anne Aly MP with a margin of 0.8%) and
- Perth (currently held by Mr Patrick Gorman MP with a margin of 4.9%)
The Attorney General and Member for Pearce, the Hon Christian Porter MP (7.52% margin), will also losing traditional Liberal parts of his seat. This includes the six ‘Wheatbelt Shires’ in the north of his electorate, to the seat of Durack, held by Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP (14.76% margin).
The figure below outlines the new boundaries for the remaining electorates:
The creation of the electorate of Hawke (notionally Labor electorate)
Victoria will see the creation of a new notionally safe Labor seat of Hawke (named after the former Prime Minister, the late Bob Hawke) in the region surrounding Bacchus Marsh, in the high growth area of Western Melbourne and east of Ballarat. This change is not expected to substantially shift voting demographics.
This electorate is expected to be notionally Labor heading into the next Federal Election, with the seat to be comprised of sections of Ballarat and Gorton. The new seat will also border the safe Labor seats of Corio, Lalor, Calwell, McEwen and Corangamite (considered safe now due to boundary changes; see next section).
Border changes to Tucker (known as Corangamite; now a safer Labor seat)
The marginal seat of Corangamite, held by Labor’s Ms Libby Coker MP (with a margin of 1.07%), is set to undergo substantial changes.
The first of these changes is a rename to Tucker – paying homage to the life and legacy of Aboriginal citizenship rights advocate and Yorta Yorta woman, Margaret (Lilardia) Elizabeth Tucker MBE (1904–1996).
This seat is also set to relinquish the Liberal leaning Surf Coast to the safe Liberal seat of Wannon, currently held by Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister, the Hon Dan Tehan MP (10.38% margin).
Overall, it appears that this redistribution will slightly favour the Australian Labor Party, particularly given the abolishment of the safe electorate of Stirling in Western Australia which has been held by the Liberal Party since 2004.
This will effectively bring the Liberal Party down from 76 to 75 seats held before a single vote is counted on election night.
In addition, the creation of the new notionally safe Labor division, Hawke, in Victoria and the removal of Liberal areas in the traditionally bellwether seat of Corangamite will add one new seat and safeguard a marginal seat for the Labor Party.
This will effectively bring the Labor Party to 69 seats held before a vote is counted on election night.
With these changes, the margins for victory have become ever slimmer for both parties, with key seats in Western Sydney, Hunter, Central Coast, South Coast, Northern Tasmania as well as Boothby in South Australia becoming ever more important for both parties in their paths to victory.
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