Thursday, December 4, 2008

Population change and allocation of seats.

The ABS issued it's latest statistics on the population of Australia. These figures will be used by the Electoral Commissioner to determine the allocation of seats to each state for the next Federal election. To determine the amount of seats each state is entitled to they divide the total population of the 6 states by twice the number of senators. At the moment the 6 state population is 20,807,400. To get the quote we divide 20,807,400 by 144 (twice the number of senators)giving us a quota of 144,496. Only the 6 states are used in this calculation, the quota for the territories is set in the Electoral Act, not the constitution. This gives us this the following entitlements.

New South Wales - 48.2 - 48 seats, down from 49
Victoria - 36.6 - 37 seats unchanged
Queensland - 29.6 - 30 seats, up one from 29
Western Australia - 14.9 - 15 seats unchanged
South Australia - 11.0 - 11 seats unchanged
Tasmania - 3.4 - 5 seats unchanged.

The original states are guaranteed a minimum representation of five seats, so Tasmania retains five seats despite only having a quota for 3 seats.
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