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Electoral Pendulum 2016

This FlagPost shows the notional two-party preferred swings needed for electoral divisions to change hands at the next House of Representatives election. The two-party preferred margins are the 2013 election results adjusted, where necessary, by the Parliamentary Library for the effects of subsequent electoral redistributions. The results ignore any by-elections that may have occurred—there were recent by-elections in Canning (WA) and North Sydney (NSW).

Redistributions of federal electoral boundaries have occurred in the Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and New South Wales since the 2013 election.

The redistribution of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) was triggered by the passage of time provision—a redistribution must be held at least every seven years —there was no change to the number of divisions but the division of Fraser was renamed Fenner.

The Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) redistributions were triggered by a change in the two States’ entitlements to representation in the House of Representatives determined by the Australian Electoral Commissioner in 2014. The redistributions resulted in the creation of a new division, Burt, in WA and the abolition of a division, Hunter, in NSW (the division of Charlton was then renamed Hunter and the division of Throsby was renamed Whitlam).

The notional party status of the two divisions in the ACT has not been changed by the redistribution. Both the divisions remain Labor divisions. Canberra increases its two-party preferred margin by 0.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and Fenner’s margin remains steady at 12.5 per cent, a decrease of only 0.1 per cent.

The 2015­–16 redistribution of WA produced an additional division and does not change the notional status of any existing seat. The newly created south-east Perth division of Burt is fairly safe for the Liberals with a two-party preferred margin of 6.1 per cent. The three Labor seats of Brand, Fremantle and Perth remain marginal with Perth having its margin halved to 2.2 per cent. The only significant change is the Liberal seat of Cowan which has had its margin cut by 3.0 per cent and, at 4.5 per cent, is now marginal. The Liberal held divisions of Durack and O’Connor were contests with Nationals candidates at the 2013 election but the two-candidate preferred results have not been estimated for the new boundaries. Both these are very safe Liberal divisions on a two-party preferred basis.

As a result of the redistribution of WA the Liberals notionally gain one seat.

The 2015–16 redistribution of NSW sees the abolition of the Labor seat of Hunter, the renaming of Charlton (as Hunter), the renaming of Throsby (as Whitlam) and some major redrawing of boundaries. Some of the most affected seats reflected in changes in the two-party margins are Barton, Farrer, Macarthur, Paterson and Werriwa. The Liberal-held very marginal seat of Barton has 4.7 per cent lost from its margin and now is notionally a marginal Labor seat with 4.4 per cent. Farrer lost the far north-west of the state (to Parkes) and returns to a similar area it covered in the 1990s. This sees this very safe Liberal seat increase its margin (by 4.3 per cent) to 21.8 per cent. The repositioning of Macarthur produces an eight per cent flow to Labor and the safe Liberal seat is now marginal at 3.3 per cent. With an increase of 4.3 per cent, the marginal Labor seat of Werriwa is now fairly safe at 6.5 per cent. The largest change is seen in Paterson, in the Hunter Valley region, where a 10.1 per cent loss of the Liberal margin has transformed this seat into marginal Labor with 0.4 per cent.

Two other divisions of note are: the very marginal (0.7 per cent) Liberal seat of Dobell, on the central coast, which has notionally changed hands to Labor (0.2 per cent); and the bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, now totally surrounding the ACT, which increases its margin to 2.9 per cent (from 0.6 per cent) for the Liberals.

As a result of the redistribution of NSW, notionally, Labor loses one seat through the abolition of Hunter and gains three seats from the Liberals—a net gain of two seats—while the Liberals lose three seats.

Given the above, the notional composition of the House of Representatives before the next election will be Coalition 88 members, Labor 57, Greens 1, Independents 3 and Palmer United Party 1 for a total of 150 members. The Coalition will maintain its absolute majority even if it loses 12 seats at the next election. Conversely, Labor will need to win an additional 19 seats to govern in its own right.

Based on the pendulum the Labor Party requires a uniform two-party preferred swing of four per cent to gain the necessary 19 seats to win the next election; while the Coalition would lose its majority with a loss of 13 seats or a uniform swing of 3.3 per cent. (However, it is worth bearing in mind that the pendulum is not necessarily an accurate predictor of electoral outcomes as election swings are not usually uniform within or between States and Territories.)


House of Representatives: Electoral pendulum 2016
2013 election results adjusted for the redistributions of ACT, WA and NSW

Per cent
Division Margin   Division Margin
ALP held   LP/NP held
Batman (Vic) (a) 21.0   Mallee (Vic) (a) 23.7
Wills (Vic) (a) 20.8   Maranoa (Qld) 22.3
Grayndler (NSW) 18.8   Farrer (NSW) 21.8
Gellibrand (Vic) 16.5   Mitchell (NSW) 21.4
Gorton (Vic) 16.1   Bradfield (NSW) 20.9
Scullin (Vic) 14.3   Murray (Vic) 20.9
Port Adelaide (SA) 14.0   Parkes (NSW) 19.9
Calwell (Vic) 13.9   New England (NSW) (a) 19.6
Sydney (NSW) 12.9 Berowra (NSW) 19.0
Fowler (NSW) 12.9   Riverina (NSW) 19.0
Fenner (ACT) 12.5   Wentworth (NSW) 18.9
Lalor (Vic) 12.2 Mackellar (NSW) 18.8
Maribyrnong (Vic) 11.4   Curtin (WA) 18.2
Cunningham (NSW) 11.3   Moncrieff (Qld) 18.0
Blaxland (NSW) 11.2 Barker (SA) 16.5
Chifley (NSW) 10.9   Groom (Qld) 16.5
Kingston (SA) 9.7   Gippsland (Vic) 15.8
Newcastle (NSW) 9.4 Cook (NSW) 15.8
Holt (Vic) 9.1 North Sydney (NSW) 15.7
Watson (NSW) 8.9 Warringah (NSW) 15.3
Corio (Vic) 7.7 O'Connor (WA) (a) 15.3
Canberra (ACT) 7.5 Durack (WA) (a) 15.2
Shortland (NSW) 7.4 Calare (NSW) 15.0
Hotham (Vic) 7.3 Menzies (Vic) 14.4
Whitlam (NSW) 6.9 Fadden (Qld) 14.4
Werriwa (NSW) 6.5 Forrest (WA) 13.8
Hunter (NSW) 5.7 Hume (NSW) 13.6
Fremantle (WA) 5.4 Lyne (NSW) 13.6
Blair (Qld) 5.3 Grey (SA) 13.5
Franklin (Tas) 5.1 Cowper (NSW) 13.2
Makin (SA) 5.1 Wide Bay (Qld) 13.2
Ballarat (Vic) 4.9 Tangney (WA) 13.0
Rankin (Qld) 4.8 McPherson (Qld) 13.0
McMahon (NSW) 4.6 Mayo (SA) 12.5
Barton (NSW) 4.4 Moore (WA) 12.4
Adelaide (SA) 3.9   Wright (Qld) 11.8
Isaacs (Vic) 3.9   McMillan (Vic) 11.8
Oxley (Qld) 3.8   Hughes (NSW) 11.8
Brand (WA) 3.7 Flinders (Vic) 11.8
Melbourne Ports (Vic) 3.6   Canning (WA) 11.3
Wakefield (SA) 3.4   Kooyong (Vic) 11.1
Jagajaga (Vic) 3.1 Goldstein (Vic) 11.0
Griffith (Qld) 3.0   Sturt (SA) 10.1
Greenway (NSW) 3.0   Wannon (Vic) 10.1
Kingsford Smith (NSW) 2.7 Higgins (Vic) 9.9
Perth (WA) 2.2   Fisher (Qld) 9.8
Bruce (Vic) 1.8   Pearce (WA) 9.3
Chisholm (Vic) 1.6 Hinkler (Qld) 9.0
Richmond (NSW) 1.6 Stirling (WA) 9.0
Moreton (Qld) 1.6 Bowman (Qld) 8.9
Lilley (Qld) 1.3 Ryan (Qld) 8.5
Parramatta (NSW) 1.3 Aston (Vic) 8.2
Bendigo (Vic) 1.3 Bennelong (NSW) 7.8
Lingiari (NT) 0.9 Dawson (Qld) 7.6
Paterson (NSW) 0.4 Swan (WA) 7.3
Dobell (NSW) 0.2 Casey (Vic) 7.2
McEwen (Vic) 0.2 Boothby (SA) 7.1
    Longman (Qld) 6.9
IND held   Dickson (Qld) 6.7
Denison (Tas) 15.5 Flynn (Qld) 6.5
Indi (Vic) 0.3 Herbert (Qld) 6.2
Burt (WA) 6.1
GRN held   Hasluck (WA) 6.0
Melbourne (Vic) 5.3 Leichhardt (Qld) 5.7
Dunkley (Vic) 5.6
KAP held   Cowan (WA) 4.5
Kennedy (Qld) 2.2 Macquarie (NSW) 4.5
Forde (Qld) 4.4
PUP held   Brisbane (Qld) 4.3
Fairfax (Qld) 0.0 Bass (Tas) 4.0
    La Trobe (Vic) 4.0
    Corangamite (Vic) 3.9
    Gilmore (NSW) 3.8
    Bonner (Qld) 3.7
    Reid (NSW) 3.4
    Macarthur (NSW) 3.3
    Deakin (Vic) 3.2
    Robertson (NSW) 3.1
    Page (NSW) 3.1
    Lindsay (NSW) 3.0
    Eden-Monaro (NSW) 2.9
    Banks (NSW) 2.8
    Braddon (Tas) 2.6
    Hindmarsh (SA) 1.9
    Solomon (NT) 1.4
    Lyons (Tas) 1.2
    Capricornia (Qld) 0.8
    Petrie (Qld) 0.5


The estimated results for the redistributed divisions in ACT, WA and NSW are bolded.

Note 1: Pendulum shows two-party preferred swing required for division to change party at the next election, except for Independent, Greens, Katter's Australian Party and Palmer United Party held divisions. These divisions are shown with the two-candidate preferred swing required.

Note 2: In the "non-classic" contests where neither of the major parties were successful: Indi, Fairfax and Kennedy are notionally LP/NP divisions with two-party preferred margins of 9.10, 11.68 and 17.15 per cent respectively; Denison and Melbourne are notionally ALP divisions with two-party preferred margins of 8.91 and 19.25 per cent respectively.

(a) Other "non-classic" contests were held in (two-candidate preferred margins to the first named party in the brackets) Wills (15.20 per cent, ALP v GRN), New England (14.46 per cent, NP v Ind), Batman (10.61 per cent, ALP v GRN), Mallee (6.21 per cent, NP v LP), Durack (3.98 per cent, LP v NP) and O'Connor (0.95 per cent, LP v NP). Durack and O'Connor two-candidate preferred results have not been adjusted for the effects of the redistribution.