Electoral Newsfile 71: Notional Seat Status: Redistributed boundaries in WA, QLD and ACT Divisions

Updated: 7 December 2007

Redistributions of electoral boundaries

Since the 1996 Federal Election, there have been changes, or redistributions, of electoral boundaries in Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

The redistribution of electoral boundaries in Western Australia was triggered in April 1996 under the seven year rule and was covered in Electoral Newsfile numbers 59 and 61.

In February 1997, the Electoral Commissioner, Mr Bill Gray, determined that the representation entitlements of Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory would change due to shifts in the population. This was the first stage of the redistribution of electoral boundaries in Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. More details on these redistributions are available in Electoral Newsfile numbers 62, 63, 64, 68 and 69. Divisional and State maps of the new boundaries are available for purchase from the AEC. In addition, a national boundaries map is in preparation and will be distributed with the next issue of Electoral Newsfile.

Notional seat status

Following the conclusion of the redistribution process, the AEC has calculated the seat status of the new electoral Divisions, ie which party would have won the seats on the new boundaries had the 1996 voting patterns been repeated. These calculations will be used within the AECs computer network at the next election, and in particular on election night, in order to determine swings. For example, votes received by candidates contesting the next federal election in Queensland will be compared against estimated votes following the redistribution and not those votes obtained at the 1996 election (or any subsequent by-election).

How is status defined?

Seat status is based on the two-party preferred vote (TPP). The two-party preferred vote refers to the number of votes received by the leading Labor and Liberal/National Party candidates after a full distribution of preferences.

By convention, when a party receives less than 56% of the vote the seat is classified as marginal (M); between 56–59% it is classified as fairly safe (FS) and more than 60% is considered safe (S).

Note that the seats of Kalgoorlie (WA), Moore (WA), Curtin (WA) and Oxley (QLD) are currently held by independents. In these cases, the seat status is shown on a TPP basis as either LP or ALP so that State totals showing the balance between the coalition and the ALP (ie who would form Government) can be calculated. Naturally, these tables which show a notional TPP do not preclude an independent candidate winning a seat at the next election.

How is the TPP calculated after a redistribution?

The estimated voting pattern of a redistributed electoral Division is calculated by adjusting the percentage of votes cast at each polling place to take account of the position of the new boundaries.

Estimated two-party preferred (%) – Queensland divisions
  1996 Election 1997 Post-redistribution
QLD ALP LP/NP Status ALP LP/NP Status
Blair - - - 31.36 68.64 S/LP
Bowman 49.11 50.89 M/LP 49.11 50.89 M/LP
Brisbane 50.36 49.64 M/ALP 50.66 49.34 M/ALP
Capricornia 46.38 53.62 M/NP 46.55 53.45 M/NP
Dawson 40.08 59.92 FS/NP 39.15 60.85 S/NP
Dickson 46.83 53.17 M/LP 46.10 53.90 M/LP
Fadden 32.16 67.84 S/LP 32.46 67.54 S/LP
Fairfax 31.91 68.09 S/LP 32.39 67.61 S/LP
Fisher 29.66 70.34 S/LP 29.36 70.64 S/LP
Forde 40.30 59.70 FS/LP 38.00 62.00 S/LP
Griffith 48.53 51.47 M/LP 48.53 51.47 M/LP
Groom 28.72 71.28 S/LP 28.71 71.29 S/LP
Herbert 43.41 56.59 FS/LP 43.38 56.62 FS/LP
Hinkler 39.64 60.36 S/NP 42.06 57.94 FS/NP
Kennedy 35.51 64.49 S/NP 35.85 64.15 S/NP
Leichhardt 45.82 54.18 M/LP 45.43 54.57 M/LP
Lilley 49.27 50.73 M/LP 49.62 50.38 M/LP
Longman 38.41 61.59 S/LP 40.09 59.91 FS/LP
McPherson 33.00 67.00 S/LP 33.00 67.00 S/LP
Maranoa 24.27 75.73 S/NP 28.51 71.49 S/NP
Moncrieff 29.75 70.25 S/LP 29.55 70.45 S/LP
Moreton 44.91 55.09 M/LP 44.02 55.98 M/LP
Oxley 45.34 54.66 M/LP* 50.35 49.65 M/ALP
Petrie 42.30 57.70 FS/LP 41.72 58.28 FS/LP
Rankin 51.35 48.65 M/ALP 49.62 50.38 M/LP
Ryan 33.13 66.87 S/LP 33.02 66.98 S/LP
Wide Bay 31.47 68.53 S/NP 31.82 68.18 S/NP
QLD Total 39.78 60.22   39.78 60.22  
Estimated two-party preferred (%) – Western Australian divisions
  1996 Election 1997 Post-redistribution
WA ALP LP/NP Status ALP LP/NP Status
Brand 50.23 49.77 M/ALP 51.12 48.88 M/ALP
Canning 49.31 50.69 M/LP 48.68 51.32 M/LP
Cowan 47.61 52.39 M/LP 45.70 54.30 M/LP
Curtin 35.95 64.05 S/LP* 36.80 63.20 S/LP
Forrest 36.36 63.64 S/LP 35.91 64.09 S/LP
Fremantle 54.25 45.75 M/ALP 54.23 45.77 M/ALP
Kalgoorlie 53.36 46.64 M/ALP* 50.72 49.28 M/ALP
Moore 41.82 58.18 FS/LP* 41.49 58.51 FS/LP
O'Connor 24.07 75.93 S/LP 28.89 71.11 S/LP
Pearce 37.82 62.18 S/LP 36.13 63.87 S/LP
Perth 56.46 43.54 FS/ALP 56.66 43.34 FS/ALP
Stirling 44.83 55.17 M/LP 46.67 53.33 M/LP
Swan 46.29 53.71 M/LP 46.32 53.68 M/LP
Tangney 37.87 62.13 S/LP 38.10 61.90 S/LP
WA Total 44.00 56.00   44.00 56.00  
Estimated two-party preferred (%) – ACT divisions
  1996 Election 1997 Post-redistribution
ACT ALP LP/NP Status ALP LP/NP Status
Canberra 57.52 42.48 FS/ALP 52.32 47.68 M/ALP
Fraser 57.32 42.68 FS/ALP 58.85 41.15 FS/ALP
Namadgi 51.51 48.49 M/ALP - - -
ACT Total 55.46 44.54   55.46 44.54  
Estimated first preference votes (%) – Queensland divisions
QLD ALP LP NP DEM OTH
Blair 25.47 45.88 17.16 5.76 5.73
Bowman 42.13 46.53 0.00 8.37 2.97
Brisbane 38.63 44.07 0.48 8.83 7.98
Capricornia 40.28 22.87 28.66 5.29 2.91
Dawson 34.71 24.27 36.15 3.88 0.99
Dickson 39.34 41.78 6.70 6.04 6.14
Fadden 26.26 60.42 0.05 9.81 3.47
Fairfax 24.55 43.86 17.07 8.15 6.37
Fisher 23.25 57.08 8.40 5.69 5.58
Forde 31.78 42.45 14.42 7.97 3.37
Griffith 41.34 43.78 3.71 6.21 4.97
Groom 22.12 58.06 7.20 5.67 6.95
Herbert 36.55 38.63 15.31 5.94 3.56
Hinkler 38.25 0.61 52.66 5.15 3.33
Kennedy 29.47 3.25 56.68 6.57 4.02
Leichhardt 38.45 32.09 19.59 4.78 5.09
Lilley 43.14 46.10 0.00 6.62 4.13
Longman 32.15 40.20 14.20 7.52 5.94
McPherson 26.17 61.57 0.00 6.44 5.82
Maranoa 23.97 0.92 66.67 5.96 2.48
Moncrieff 22.68 64.97 0.00 5.18 7.16
Moreton 35.94 50.88 0.00 6.89 6.29
Oxley 43.95 43.45 0.00 6.62 5.98
Petrie 36.06 51.56 0.21 6.51 5.66
Rankin 42.57 42.58 0.96 8.59 5.29
Ryan 25.34 59.57 0.00 9.98 5.11
Wide Bay 27.38 0.49 59.25 6.92 5.97
QLD Total 33.17 39.29 15.92 6.70 4.92
Estimated first preference votes (%) – Western Australian divisions
WA ALP LP NP DEM OTH
Brand 44.38 41.72 0.65 3.77 9.48
Canning 40.57 44.66 0.12 5.88 8.77
Cowan 39.65 45.27 0.00 7.33 7.75
Curtin 20.49 42.01 0.00 4.42 33.08
Forrest 28.70 57.13 0.00 5.12 9.05
Fremantle 46.73 40.53 0.00 5.87 6.87
Kalgoorlie 33.73 26.61 1.19 2.18 36.29
Moore 29.62 26.33 0.00 4.63 39.42
O'Connor 23.10 53.40 15.31 3.29 4.89
Pearce 27.61 55.01 0.77 9.65 6.96
Perth 47.26 38.31 0.00 6.31 8.11
Stirling 38.17 45.10 0.00 5.22 11.52
Swan 37.01 42.78 0.00 5.79 14.43
Tangney 30.86 54.92 0.00 8.58 5.63
WA Total 34.73 44.02 1.33 5.58 14.34
Estimated first preference votes (%) – ACT divisions
ACT ALP LP NP DEM OTH
Canberra 45.51 43.82 0.00 0.00 10.68
Fraser 50.52 37.79 0.00 0.00 11.69
ACT Total 47.91 40.92 0.00 0.00 11.16
Seats by State*
Queensland 1996 Election 1997 Redistribution
ALP 2 2
LP/NP 23 25
IND 1 -
Western Australia 1996 Election 1997 Redistribution
ALP 3 4
LP/NP 8 10
IND 3 -
Australian Capital Territory 1996 Election 1997 Redistribution
ALP 3 2
LP/NP 0 0

* Note that the column for the 1996 election shows who actually won seats and includes independents in Queensland and Western Australia. The post-redistribution column shows notional seat status on a two-party preferred basis and therefore does not identify any independent seats.

AEC contacts

Central Office

Electoral Commissioner:
Bill Gray (02) 6271 4400
Deputy Electoral Commissioner:
Andy Becker (02) 6271 4410
Director, Information:
Brien Hallett (02) 6271 4415
Assistant Directors, Information:
Bernadette O'Meara (02) 6271 4548
Ian Stringall (Acting) (02) 6271 4431
Editor, Newsfile:
Margaret Meneghel (02) 6271 4505

State/Territory Head Offices

Australian Electoral Officers may be contacted on the following numbers:
New South Wales
Frances Howat Ph. (02) 9375 6333 Fx. (02) 9281 9384
Victoria
David Muffet Ph. (03) 9285 7171 Fx. (03) 9285 7178
Queensland
Bob Longland Ph. (07) 3834 3400 Fx. (07) 3831 7223
Western Australia
Bill Elkins (Acting) Ph. (08) 9470 7299 Fx. (08) 9472 3551
South Australia
Geoff Halsey Ph. (08) 8237 6555 Fx. (08) 8231 2664
Tasmania
Nick Tall Ph. (03) 6235 0500 Fx. (03) 6234 4268
Northern Territory
Kerry Heisner Ph. (08) 8981 1477 Fx. (08) 8981 7964