Notional pendulum 

Click a seat for details - but read this first


To return to this section at any time, click "blurb" at left.

There are today 150 members of the House of Representatives. It now appears certain the Northern Territory will retain both seats, so that will be the number in the next parliament too.


Since last election Victoria, Queensland and South Australia have had redistributions. (See AEC explanation of redistributions.)

The Labor Party needs a net eleven more seats at the next election to take government.

The pendulum is unique to preferential voting in single member electorates in a two party system, which pretty well means it is unique to Australia. It, and the term "two party preferred", were invented by psephologist Malcolm Mackerras. Read more about preferential voting.

Coalition-held seats are on left, Labor held at right. They are in order of margin, so the most marginal are at the bottom.

Three Independents and one Green are situated as per their Labor-Coalition two party preferred votes. National seats brown. Key to AEC geo-demographics in middle-top of pendulum.

After the redistribution ....

Eleven Coalition seats have margins less than or equal to 1.7 percent. Assuming Labor either wins back Cunningham or has the support of the Green Michael Organ, getting those 11 would give Labor 75 seats out of 150. (Forget Howard's "eight seats stand between us and oblivion". The number is eleven.)

Possibly - depending, perhaps, on the two party preferred vote in his seat of Calare, or the national one - Independent Peter Andren would support a Labor government. Labor could, after all, claim to have more seats than the Coalition. (The other two Independents would certainly back a Coalition government.)

So 1.7 percent is probably the uniform swing required to change government.

Having said that, swings are never uniform. But a swing of that size would put the ALP on 50.7 to the Coalition's 49.3. That's a realistic amount needed for them to take government.

If you click a seat a blurb will appear in this spot with MP's photo (from their parliament house web page), various statistics and in the case of some, commentary. You'll also find links to the Electoral Commission's page for that electorate, which gives description, map, history and past members. Also find aforementioned Parliament House Page.

So click away and enjoy!

Here's an interesting first exercise: visit the safest Coalition seats - at the top left of the pendulum. Notice that the rural ones (with an R) have very low medium incomes and the urban ones very high ones. That's the Liberal-National divide that lets the ALP peel away the more marginal rural seats from time to time (although some rural seats are Liberal-held).

Now visit Labor's safest ones - top right of pendulum. Apart from Grayndler, they too have low incomes.

In fact, if you compare the two safest in the country - Murray and Melbourne - you'll find their vital statistics very similar, except in one respect: born in non English speaking country.

Now click any seat to find out more. Includes Census data, link to AEC page for that seat and to member's page.

L is for Lemming

(Note: Census data applies to seat boundaries at 2001 election. The NES in "Born in NES country" stands for country where English isn't the first language)