Victoria: Results And Pendulum From State Election

WITH RESULTS NOW AVAILABLE in the 88 Lower house electorates from the state election held in Victoria a fortnight ago, an updated election pendulum is available — with the inferences and conclusions that will form the “sifting of the probabilities” for the next four years now able to be drawn. The Labor win is deceptively narrow. Liberals will need a solid swing to win the seven extra seats to form government.

This morning’s post really is a quick one; the ABC’s rightly renowned election guru Antony Green has posted an updated election pendulum for Victoria in the wake of the recent state election that saw Labor swept to power, and knowing this is a resource readers often come looking for following an election, I simply want to share it today.

At first glance, the Labor win looks quite modest, and in terms of seats it is; the ALP resumes office in Victoria with 47 seats in the lower house — a majority of 6 over all other parties — with 38 Coalition MPs (30 Liberals, 8 Nationals), two Communists Greens, and an Independent in Shepparton.

Yet using the notion of uniform swing, this “narrow” win shows the Coalition really needs quite a solid swing if it is to unseat new Premier Daniel Andrews in four years’ time: the eighth extra seat needed to fall, on a uniform swing, is Albert Park in Melbourne’s inner south, on a 3.0% margin; should the Liberals and Nationals not renew their Coalition agreement (which at time of writing is an obvious “unknowable unknown”), then the Liberals need an extra 15 seats to win in their own right — and looking up the table, that means everything up to and including Bellarine in the Geelong basin, and a 4.8% uniform movement to boot.

The Liberal Party last won outright majorities in 1992 and 1996 (in Coalition) and of course formed government in its own right after elections between (and including) 1955 and 1979, so the latter scenario — whilst improbable — certainly isn’t out of the question.

In both of those scenarios I have, of course, discounted Richmond, which despite is slender margin, is a Labor-Greens contest that is unlikely to ever be won by the Liberal Party.

Interestingly enough, the seats in the “sandbelt” in Melbourne’s south-east, along the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay, which so much comment has focused on — Bentleigh, Carrum, Frankston and Mordialloc — would be the first to fall to the Liberals, and all would be retrieved on a swing of roughly 2%: enough to send the ALP into minority, all other things being equal, and suggestive of the fact Labor has its work cut out to hold them.

The politics of the Frankston train line are a double-edged sword: yes, the ALP has harnessed discontent over the slow pace of improvements along Melbourne’s busiest rail corridor, and the failure of the beaten government to deliver the promised station at Southland shopping centre didn’t help its efforts to hold them.

But the ALP is about to find out what it already should know: the kind of capital works needed to bring the line up to scratch are a slow boat indeed, and voters in these seats will punish it heavily if it is seen to have under-delivered by 2018.

I think the rest of this is self-explanatory and, as ever, we will likely feature the details of Antony’s pendulum quite a bit in our ongoing discussions over the state of play in Victoria.

As I said at the outset, this morning’s post is really about getting a resource to readers that I know is eagerly sought after, and shows up in search results throughout parliamentary terms at various points — so here it is.

I will probably have something a bit more topical to post late this evening: there is, after all, an awful lot going on at the moment…


Detailed Breakdown Of The NSW State Redistribution

FOR THOSE who are interested in things psephological, this short post is purely to share some information from the ABC’s election genius, Antony Green, who has published quite a detailed analysis of the draft boundaries published by the NSW Electoral Districts Commission for the 2015 election.

You can access a link to Antony’s page here.

Just as few observations on key points, as I see them:

The number of lower house seats is unchanged at 93, although seven seats on the old boundaries have been abolished and replaced.

Rural NSW loses a seat overall, which reappears in suburban Sydney.

Former Premier Nathan Rees’ seat of Toongabbie has been abolished, and replaced with a safe-ish Liberal electorate (on paper) of Seven Hills.

A new inner-city seat of Newtown appears to give the Greens an excellent prospect to pick up a second seat at the next election.

The effect of these draft boundary changes is to notionally alter the state of the parties, thus: Liberal Party 53 seats (+2); National Party 18* (unch); ALP 18 (-2); Greens 2 (+1); “Others” 2 (-1).

The result of this redraw of the boundaries is that the Coalition now controls, on paper, a notional 71 of the 93 lower house seats; my comment is that such a tally would seem more in line with the 65% two-party preferred result it scored at the 2011 election than the 69 seats it won on the night.

And interestingly, this redistribution sees the National Party draw level with the ALP in terms of numbers of seats; if this is replicated at the 2015 election — and assuming the Liberals and Nationals remain in coalition, which would seem a foregone conclusion — Labor would face the absurd situation of being outnumbered by the junior Coalition partner on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.

Anyhow, for those who like to crunch the numbers and pore over the minutiae — enjoy!

The Commission will gazette finalised boundaries toward the end of 2013.

*Includes the National Party’s by-election win in Northern Tablelands, which it won back following the disgraced resignation of Independent MP Richard Torbay.