Electoral Commission begins redistributions for next Federal election – September 2017
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has formally begun the process of redistributing federal electoral boundaries in Victoria, South Australia and the ACT based on population changes.
The redistribution processes were triggered following a determination of the number of members of the House of Representatives to which each state and territory will be entitled at the next federal election.
Australian Electoral Commissioner, Tom Rogers said it was determined that Victoria and the ACT would each gain one seat and South Australia would lose one seat at the next federal election.
The changed entitlements are an increase in Victoria from 37 to 38 seats, an increase in the ACT from two seats to three, and in South Australia a decrease from 11 seats to 10.
Independent Redistribution Committees will be appointed to each redistribution and the committees will be supported by small secretariats of staff from the AEC.
The AEC says the redistribution process provides opportunities for individuals and organisations to propose where the electoral division boundaries could be located, or the name of an electoral division.
Members of the public will be invited to submit their suggestions about the redistribution.
In Victoria, population growth has been strongest in the north-west of Melbourne, and it is expected that the new seat will be sited in this area.
A new seat in this largely Labor-voting area would be expected to favour Labor, but boundary changes elsewhere induced by such a change would make further implications less clear.
In the ACT, the new seat is likely to be sited in the south of the Territory, an area relatively favourable for the Liberal Party, but past voting patterns suggest that the net effect is likely to favour the Labor Party.
In South Australia, it is unclear which seat will be eliminated (there are numerous options available), and the AEC says any subsequent boundary changes in other seats make predicting the implications highly speculative.
However, commentators have suggested that one of the most likely options could spell trouble for the Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
As a result of the AEC determination, the total number of members to be elected to the House of Representatives at the next federal election will increase from 150 to 151 members.