Western Australian Redistribution, 2008

19 February 2009

Paul Nelson
Statistics and Mapping Section

Contents

Introduction    
Overview of the redistribution    
Voting patterns    
     
     

Introduction

On 14 December 2007 the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) commenced a redistribution of Commonwealth electoral boundaries in Western Australia and the redistribution was finalised on 18 December 2008 when the final report[1] was gazetted.   This redistribution is one of several redistributions that are occurring over the term of the 42nd Parliament. A recent Research Paper published by the Parliamentary Library discusses the current round of redistributions.  

This Background Note describes the main features of the Western Australian redistribution. Four tables are included. The first three tables quantify the number and proportion of enrolled voters in each new electoral division classified by the current electoral divisions. The fourth table describes the possible electoral impact by converting the two-party preferred (2PP) vote from the 2007 election onto the new boundaries. 

The new division boundaries will come into existence at the next federal election and replace the current boundaries that were finalised in 2000 and came into effect from the 2001 election.

Overview of the redistribution

Projected enrolment figures for June 2012 indicate the divisions that will be over quota in 2012 are contained primarily within the outer metropolitan areas of Perth and the south west of the state, whereas inner metropolitan areas of Perth and the rural divisions of Kalgoorlie and O’Connor are generally under quota and need to gain electors.[2] The redistribution reflects these population trends.

The Redistribution Committee for Western Australia decided that it was undesirable to continue expanding the size of rural divisions, particularly Kalgoorlie, and instead significantly reconfigured the two large rural divisions of Kalgoorlie and O’Connor, with one division having a northern focus and the other a southern focus. The name Kalgoorlie has been dropped. The new southern division is named O’Connor and the new northern division is named Durack in recognition of the Durack family who were pioneers and developers of the Kimberley region.     

The current division of Kalgoorlie is the largest division by area in Australia. At 2 299 246 square kilometres, it is 70 per cent larger than the second largest division, Lingiari, which is  1 354 034 sq km. Following the redistribution, Durack (1 587 758 sq km) will become the largest division in Australia. It will be 17 per cent larger than Lingiari. O’Connor will increase in area from 179 168 sq km to 908 954 sq km and it will be the third largest division.     

Table 1a shows the number of enrolled voters at 14 December 2007 (the date of commencement of the redistribution), cross-classified by current electoral divisions (labelled as 2000 boundaries) and the new electoral divisions (labelled as 2008 boundaries). This table shows that Kalgoorlie and O’Connor are the two divisions most affected by the redistribution, while Fremantle is the only division unaffected by the redistribution. Excluding the rural divisions of Kalgoorlie and O’Connor, the outer metropolitan division of Canning is most affected by the redistribution. Over 23 000 voters will move from Canning to Tangney and Hasluck, while 12 000 voters will move into Canning, mainly from Brand.   

Table 1b and Table 1c are based on the same number of enrolled voters as in Table 1a; however, figures are expressed as a percentage of voters. Tables 1b and 1c differ from each other in the way that the percentage figures are calculated and interpreted.

Table 1b shows the percentage of voters in each new division. Each row of this table shows the proportion of voters in each new division classified by the division in which they are currently enrolled. For example, the new division of Tangney will comprise 84.3 per cent of its voters from the current Tangney division and 15.7 per cent of its voters from the current division of Canning. Each row of this table sums to 100 per cent.  

Table 1c shows the percentage of voters in each current division. Each column of this table shows the proportion of voters in each current division classified by the division in which they will vote at the next election. For example, in the current division of Tangney, 90.1 per cent of voters will remain in the Tangney division following the redistribution while the other 9.9 per cent of voters will move to the new Swan division. Each column of this table sums to 100 per cent.

Voting patterns

Table 2 compares the 2PP vote from the 2007 election with the estimated 2PP vote based on the new division boundaries.

The only sizeable change in the notional 2PP vote is in O’Connor where there is a 3.8 per cent increase in the 2PP vote to the ALP. However, O’Connor is a safe Liberal Party seat and it remains a safe seat after the redistribution.

The seat of Swan is the only division that has a notional change in party status as a result of the redistribution. Swan is currently held by the Liberal Party with a 2PP vote of 50.1 per cent. There is a notional swing of 0.4 per cent to the ALP resulting in a notional 2PP vote of 50.3 per cent for the ALP.    

Table 2: Western Australia electoral division summary, two-party preferred vote in 2007

Electoral Division

   Current (2000) boundaries

 

   New (2008) boundaries

   

Change

 

Party Status

Per cent

 

Per cent

   

Per cent

Party Status

ALP

LP/NP

 

ALP

LP/NP

Notional Party Status

 

ALP

LP/NP

Brand

ALP

55.6

44.4

 

56.0

44.0

ALP

 

0.4

-0.4

No

Canning

LP

44.4

55.6

 

45.7

54.3

LP

 

1.2

-1.2

No

Cowan

LP

48.3

51.7

 

48.7

51.3

LP

 

0.4

-0.4

No

Curtin

LP

36.4

63.6

 

36.7

63.3

LP

 

0.3

-0.3

No

Durack

..

..

..

 

42.4

57.6

LP

 

..

..

..

Forrest

LP

44.2

55.8

 

44.5

55.5

LP

 

0.3

-0.3

No

Fremantle

ALP

59.1

40.9

 

59.1

40.9

ALP

 

0.0

0.0

No

Hasluck

ALP

51.3

48.7

 

50.9

49.1

ALP

 

-0.4

0.4

No

Kalgoorlie

LP

47.4

52.6

 

..

..

..

 

..

..

..

Moore

LP

40.8

59.2

 

41.1

58.9

LP

 

0.2

-0.2

No

O'Connor

LP

33.5

66.6

 

37.2

62.8

LP

 

3.8

-3.8

No

Pearce

LP

40.9

59.1

 

42.3

57.7

LP

 

1.4

-1.4

No

Perth

ALP

58.9

41.2

 

57.9

42.1

ALP

 

-0.9

0.9

No

Stirling

LP

48.7

51.3

 

48.7

51.3

LP

 

0.0

0.0

No

Swan

LP

49.9

50.1

 

50.3

49.7

ALP

 

0.4

-0.4

Yes

Tangney

LP

41.3

58.7

 

40.2

59.8

LP

 

-1.1

1.1

No

 


[1]      Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) augmented Electoral Commission for Western Australia, 2008 Redistribution of Western Australia into Electoral Divisions, [AEC, Canberra, 2008].     

[2]      Redistribution Committee for Western Australia, 2008 Proposed Redistribution of Western Australia into Electoral Divisions, Report of the Redistribution Committee, 1 August 2008, p. 15.

 

 

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