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Federal election guide – now available to Patreon donors

June 28, 2021 - 09:59 -- Admin

I have just completed the first stage of the guide to the next federal election, and I’m now making it available as a reward for people who support this website, with the guide to be publicly released down the track.

The guide so far features profiles of the 97 federal electorates in the four states and two territories which have been unaffected by redistributions. The redistributions in Victoria and Western Australia will be finalised by early August, so I will write up profiles of those 54 electorates at a later time. I also haven’t added any information about candidates yet, and I am yet to write up the guides to the Senate.

This is a big project, one of the biggest I do for this website. For this reason, I’m going to hold back on releasing the whole thing for now. Today I’m publishing profiles of three marginal electorates. I wasn’t planning on publishing more, but as long as the current wave of lockdowns go on I’ll release a couple each week. I know people are looking for things to occupy their time, so I hope you’ll find these interesting.

These three guides are:

If you want to access the other 94, you can sign up as a Patreon supporter paying at least $5 per month and you will immediately gain access to the full guide.

I will eventually publish the whole guide to the public. If I haven’t already done so, I will do so on the day that the federal election is called.

You can use this map to navigate to any seat and click through to the guide:

Or you can use these links to view seats ordered in various logical ways.

Below the fold I will use these three guides as examples to showcase some of the improvements I’ve made to the guides since last time around.

Firstly, the booth maps showing the vote figures per booth have been improved. I now make them in R using the leaflet package, and this means it no longer takes longer to make extra layers for each seat.

I used to just publish a 2PP or 2CP map and a map for any candidates who polled over 10% and who didn’t make the 2PP/2CP. This meant I rarely posted primary vote maps for the major parties, even though those maps can show things you can’t see in the two-party map.

Now I publish both 2PP and 2CP where they diverge, as well as primary vote maps for all candidates polling 9% or higher. I decided to lower the threshold after the Greens candidate for Dickson missed out on a map off a vote of 9.98%!

Secondly, I have added new charts showing the historic trends in each seat’s two-party-preferred vote. For now I’m just using that metric since it has been recorded at every election since 1984 and can be boiled down to a single number.

There are three lines on each chart. The blue line shows the two-party-preferred vote for the whole state. The red line shows the actual results in that seat. The green dotted line shows my estimate of the 2PP for that electorate based on the 2021/22 electoral boundaries. I am planning a blog post explaining this statistic more thoroughly and showing the data in other ways, but in short I have been able to estimate the two-party-preferred vote at the SA1 level for the last six elections, which allows me to group results by electorate. Where a seat hasn’t changed boundaries the red and green lines should merge (although the green line gets slightly less accurate as it gets older so may diverge slightly).

You will see gaps in the red line where a redistribution has changed a seat’s notional margin. The Macquarie chart above is a great example. The Coalition polled 58.7% 2PP in this seat in 2004, but the next redistribution radically redrew the electorate, leaving it as a seat with a notional 50.5% 2PP for Labor. The redrawn Macquarie then swung even harder to Labor in 2007, and was then redrawn back to its previous boundaries, leaving Labor with a notional margin of 0.1%.

You can see that the current boundaries are similar to the pre-2007 boundaries as the dotted green line meets up neatly with the pre-2007 red line. And you can see that the 2007 iteration of Macquarie diverged from its recent history by how significantly that red line diverges from the trend.

That’s about it for now. I’m moving house now so I won’t be doing any more beyond posting a few more free guides next week, and then will return later in July to tackle the Victorian state redistribution, which is due to drop its draft boundaries any day now.