Oz Blog News Commentary

Map of the day – swings in opposite directions for Greens in Victoria

June 6, 2019 - 10:30 -- Admin

As I’ve been putting together these maps I was particularly interested in seeing what the booth map looked like for the Victorian Greens. There wasn’t a consistent story to come out of the election when it comes to swings for the Greens. The Greens had a tough ask in retaining all six of their Senate seats up for election. At the moment they should win five and possibly six, which is a pretty good outcome.

The Greens have gained a small +0.15% swing in the House of Representatives nationally, and a bigger +1.5% swing in the Senate. Yet Victoria bucked those trends, suffering a large -1.3% swing in the House and a small -0.3% swing in the Senate.

This partly reflects the Greens going backwards in some of their inner city heartland electorates, but again there is not one consistent picture here.

So that’s what I wanted to map out. The map is below the fold.

The first map shows the primary vote swing for the Greens across Victoria. Positive swings are in green, negative swings in gold.

The Greens significantly improved their performance in Melbourne, helped along by the disendorsement of the Labor candidate, while they lost support in Wills and lost a lot of support in Cooper (formerly Batman). The Greens suffered modest negative primary vote swings in Higgins thanks to a resurgent Labor vote which pushed them into third place, while significantly boosting their vote in neighbouring Kooyong where new Greens candidate Julian Burnside came second.

The Greens vote was steady in the inner south seat of Macnamara (previously Melbourne Ports), with individual booths swinging in both directions.

The map is zoomed in to show these inner-city seats, but you can scroll around to see the rest of the state.

There’s also an alternate map showing the two-candidate-preferred result in the four seats where the Greens made the top two: Melbourne, Cooper, Wills and Kooyong.

You can see how badly the Greens have been routed in Cooper. When the seat was called Batman, the Greens came close to winning in 2016. Now Labor polls over 60% of the two-candidate-preferred vote across much of the Greens former heartland in the south of the seat, and Labor wins pretty much every booth.

The Greens heartland is still present in the south-east of Wills, but you can see a massive difference when you cross the border into the seat of Melbourne, where Adam Bandt managed majorities well over 70% in most booths, and sometimes over 80%.

The differences between Cooper, Wills and Melbourne may have something to do with campaign effects: the withdrawal of the Greens from Cooper after their defeat in the Batman by-election, and Labor’s withdrawal from Melbourne after their candidate’s disendorsement. But I think it also demonstrates that a strong sitting member from either Labor or the Greens can make a massive difference to the voting patterns in areas which are very similar demographically and culturally. There is no real dividing line between Melbourne and Batman which would explain a 40-point turnaround in the two-candidate-preferred vote.

This reminds me of the map showing the 2CP swings in the inner west of Sydney in 2019, showing a massive divide between similar suburbs on the border between Newtown and Summer Hill.

In addition to the story in the inner north, it’s also interesting to examine the voting patterns in Kooyong, immediately to the east. It is remarkable that the Greens managed a majority of the 2CP vote in nine booths, including over 60% in a booth in Hawthorn.