Electoral Redistribution in Australia: Accommodating 150 Years of Demographic Change

John Juriansz, University of Western Sydney
Brian Opeskin, Macquarie University

Electoral redistribution (redistricting) is a process that seeks to advance the principle of ‘one vote, one value’ in the face of dynamic human populations. Using the Australian federal electoral system as a case study, this article examines the impact of changes in the size, composition and spatial distribution of the population on electoral boundary delimitation over the past 110 years, and analyses the likely impact of future population change over the next forty years. The article concludes that the Australian electoral system has moved progressively towards greater equality of voting power encapsulated by the ‘one vote, one value’ principle. However, the capacity to achieve even greater equality through electoral redistribution is constrained by constitutional and pragmatic considerations.

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Presented in Session 36: Demographic Issues in Redistricting