Research Report 5 - Analysis of Electoral Divisions Classifications: Current electoral division classifications

Updated: 30 May 2013

Current electoral division classifications

The AEC currently categorises electoral divisions according to two classifications:

  • Party safeness; and
  • Socio-demographic criteria.

Party safeness

The party safeness classification categorises divisions according to the party holding the division (or notionally holding the division after the effects of a redistribution are taken into account) and the margin in two party preferred terms. In the case of a division held by an Independent the margin is based on a two candidate preferred analysis.

There are currently five party categories:

  • Australian Labor Party (ALP);
  • Liberal Party (LP);
  • National Party (NP);
  • Northern Territory Country Liberal Party (CLP); and
  • Independent.

The margin categories are classified as:

  • Marginal: requiring a swing of 0<6% to change;
  • Fairly safe: requiring a swing of between 6<10% to change; and
  • Safe: requiring a swing of 10%+ to change.

Socio-demographic criteria

The socio-demographic classification categorises divisions according to geographic location. There are four categories:

  • Inner metropolitan: located in a capital city and comprising well-established, built-up suburbs;
  • Outer metropolitan: located in capital cities and containing areas of more recent urban expansion;
  • Provincial: divisions with a majority of enrolment in major provincial cities; and
  • Rural: divisions without a majority of enrolment in major provincial cities.

The current classifications have been used since at least the 1975 election.