Impact of Redistributions in South Australia and Victoria

I’ve spent a bit of time calculating the impact of the redistributions in districts throughout South Australia and Victoria (which took place after the 2010 election) on each district. The table below shows the impact of the redistributions for Victoria state for Labor, the Liberal group, the Greens and Family First (click on the table for an easier read):

Victoria Redistribution Table

The biggest changes took place in the McEwen district, which saw a significant shift to Labor. The Greens will lose about 1.2 percentage points in the Melbourne district, the only seat in Parliment they currently hold. Unless there is a major reduction in Green support however, they should hold this seat in the upcoming election. The Casey district tightened up in favor of Labor but the Liberals are likely to hold this seat.

The next table shows the effect of the redistribution in South Australia state:

South Australia Redistribution

The redistribution’s effect was much less in South Australia than in Victoria with only the Hindmarsh district appearing to experience any significant potential impact.

The next stage in my work is to input the effect of these changes into my model and then calculate how the race in districts with no incumbent should change compared with 2010. With these figures in hand, I will then calibrate the 2010 polls with my model and with that calibration in hand, I will be able to make my first forecast for the upcoming election.

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The 2010 Australian Election – Victoria

Victoria is, size wise, a mere pup by Australian standards. With a land are of about 227,000 km2 Victoria is about the same size as the US state of Minnesota. With a population of about 5.6 million, Victoria lies between the very same Minnesota and Wisconsin in terms of inhabitants. In other words, Victoria is a properly settled place. However, while Minnesota is covered with snow from head to toe for much of the winter, snow is relatively rate in Victoria and can be most commonly found on Mount Bogong (1,986 meters or 6,516 feet) in the state’s north eastern corner. The state’s dominant city is Melbourne with a metropolitan population of 4.2 million or just smaller than Sydney. The similar size means that the two cities are, naturally, intense rivals. Melbourne’s climate is more temperate than Sydney’s but the city occasionally experiences intense summer heat when desert winds from the northwest descend on the continent’s southern fringe.[1]

 Map 1

Position of Victoria in Australia

667px-Victoria_in_Australia.svg

Map 2

Victoria Major Cities

 victoria

Source: GreenwichMeanTime.com

A political tsunami of historical proportions swept across the US in the 2010 mid-term elections, a wave that saw 63 House of Representative seats change from Democratic to Republican hands. The state of California was utterly unaffected by this wave with no seats changing hands and with Democrats winning Senate and gubernatorial races. Victoria was similarly unaffected by the Liberal wave that swept through Queensland and New South Wales with Labor increasing its margin in the state over the Liberal group from 21-16 to 22-14. The Greens made significant gains and won election (with tactical preferential support from Labor voters) in the inner city Melbourne district:

2010 House of Representatives Election

Victoria

First Preference Votes

Group or Party

Candidates

Votes

% Share

Seats

Liberal Group

37

1,260,720

39.6%

14

Labor Group

37

1,361,416

42.8%

22

Greens

37

402,482

12.7%

1

Midstream Liberal Group

43

108,218

3.4%

0

Upstream Group

39

46,832

1.5%

0

Downstream Independent

0

0

0%

0

Midstream Independent

1

516

0.0%

0

Totals

194

3,180,184

100%

37

Source: Australian Election Commission

As elsewhere in the country, the Labor group benefitted from the Greens generous allotment of preference votes to Labor group candidates. The Greens increased their share of first preference votes in the state compared with 2007 by about 4.5 percentage points with their gains coming at the expense of both Labor and the Liberal group. As a result, Labor actually gained support post preferential distribution compared with 2007:

Preference Vote Distribution 2010 Election

Victoria

From/To

Liberal Group

Labor Group

Net

Greens

84,831

303,618

-218,787

Midstream Liberal Group

53,921

31,568

22,353

2010 Vote Totals After Midstream Preferential Distribution

Victoria 

Group

Votes

% Share

Liberal Group

1,399,472

44.01%

Labor Group

1,696,602

53.35%

Source: Australian Election Commission

 

Note: An earlier version of this piece suggested that the Liberal group had made significant gains at the expense of Labor in much of the country when in fact these gains were made in Queensland and New South Wales. While these two states together have a majority of House seats (78) Liberal gains were minimal in much of the remainder of the country.


[1] All of information in the paragraph is from Wikipedia.