2023 Northern Territory Redistribution – Draft Boundaries Released

(UPDATE: The second version of the draft boundaries have been released. You can find my analysis of them in this post.)

The Northern Territory Redistribution Committee has this afternoon released its draft boundaries for the NT’s 25 Legislative Assembly divisions.

You can find the details on the NT Electoral Commission website.

The redistribution has been undertaken to bring enrolments in divisions back within the permitted 10% variation from quota.

As of 17 April, there were a total of 147,798 voters enrolled to vote with the average enrolment per division at 5,911 per division. Given the small electorate sizes, the Committee will update the enrolment data through the process. All enrolments at the end of the process must be within 10% of the quota.

On current enrolments, only Splillett was outside of the permitted variation, 17.8% over quota.

Five divisions were more than 5% under quota, Barkly, Gwoja, Fannie Bay, Fong Lim and Sanderson. Another three were 5-10% over quota, Drysdale, Mulka and Wanguri.

I was going to write a long post on the redistribution, but the boundaries have been released a day earlier than I expected, plus the draft boundaries involve only minor changes and no seats change political allegiance on my estimated new margins. More inside the post.

The table below shows the enrolment and variation from quota for all divisions on both the old and new boundaries. Divisions have been listed in geographic position running outwards from Inner Darwin to the Outback. Electorates listed with (n.c) have seen no enrolment change.

On this first draft the Redistribution Committee has only dealt with the surplus votes for Wanguri in Northern Darwin and Spillett in Palmerston. Ten of the 25 districts have unchanged enrolment, with most Alice Springs, Outback and Top End seats seeing no change.

There are two more stages in the redistribution so further changes may be considered. Estimated new margins are listed below the table.

2023 NT Redistribution – Old District Variation from Quota
Old Boundaries New Boundaries
Area District Enrolment % Variation Enrolment % Variation
Inner Darwin Fannie Bay 5,509 -6.8 6,114 +3.4
Inner Darwin Fong Lim 5,542 -6.2 5,751 -2.7
Inner Darwin Port Darwin (n.c.) 5,882 -0.5 5,882 -0.5
Northern Darwin Casuarina 5,813 -1.7 5,673 -4.0
Northern Darwin Johnston 5,791 -2.0 5,759 -2.6
Northern Darwin Karama 5,752 -2.7 5,785 -2.1
Northern Darwin Nightcliff 5,746 -2.8 5,953 +0.7
Northern Darwin Sanderson 5,556 -6.0 5,810 -1.7
Northern Darwin Wanguri 6,494 +9.9 5,854 -1.0
Palmerston Blain 5,922 +0.2 6,188 +4.7
Palmerston Brennan 5,983 +1.2 5,994 +1.4
Palmerston Drysdale 6,208 +5 6,125 +3.6
Palmerston Spillett 6,943 +17.5 6,043 +2.2
Darwin Rural Goyder (n.c.) 5,904 -0.1 5,904 -0.1
Darwin Rural Nelson 5,830 -1.4 6,040 +2.2
Top End Arafura (n.c.) 5,838 -1.2 5,838 -1.2
Top End Arnhem (n.c.) 5,822 -1.5 5,822 -1.5
Top End Daly 6,086 +3 5,829 -1.4
Top End Katherine (n.c.) 6,012 +1.7 6,012 +1.7
Top End Mulka (n.c.) 6,452 +9.2 6,452 +9.2
Outback Araluen (n.c.) 5,906 -0.1 5,906 -0.1
Outback Barkly (n.c.) 5,626 -4.8 5,626 -4.8
Outback Braitling (n.c.) 5,941 +0.5 5,941 +0.5
Outback Gwoja 5,410 -8.5 5,667 -4.1
Outback Namatjira (n.c.) 5,830 -1.4 5,830 -1.4

Estimated New Margins

As already noted, calculating margins for the electorates is made very difficult by the low rate of election day voting in 2020. So the estimates listed below must be treated as approximate. There were so few polling place votes in 2020 that estimating the political impact of moving one suburb or a couple of streets from one division to another is impossible to measure. I suspect this is particularly so with the changes around Palmerston.

Noting the difficulty of calculating redistributions with so few votes cast at polling places, my estimated new margins for seats that have seen change are –

  • Blain – Labor 0.2% to Labor 1.3%. Note the sitting MLA is no longer a member of the Labor caucus.
  • Brennan – CLP 1.2% to CLP 2.8%
  • Casuarina – ALP 15.9% to ALP 16.0%
  • Daly – CLP 1.2% to CLP 1.0%. Note that Labor gained Daily at a 2021 by-election
  • Drysdale – ALP 8.0% to ALP 5.4%
  • Fannie Bay – ALP 9.6% to ALP 10.9%. Does not take into account by-election.
  • Fong Lim – ALP 2.6% to ALP 2.2%
  • Gwoja – ALP 15.0% to ALP 14.6%
  • Johnston – ALP 16.5% to ALP 16.0%
  • Karama – ALP 9.8% to ALP 8.2%
  • Nelson – CLP 24.3% to CLP 24.1%. (Was not a two-party contest in 2020)
  • Nightcliff – ALP 24.3% to ALP 24.1%
  • Sanderson – ALP 19.2% to ALP 18.9%
  • Spillett – CLP 15.0% to CLP 13.5%
  • Wanguri – remains at ALP 17.3%

Leave a Reply