Proposed changes to federal electoral boundaries announced today mean the Labor party will effectively gain three seats.
The Australian Electoral Commission announced the Victorian redistribution today, adding an extra seat to recognise the state’s rapidly growing population.
The new electorate will be in Melbourne’s booming western suburbs and will be named Fraser after former prime minister Malcolm Fraser.
The ACT will also gain an extra seat because of its increase in voters, covering the southern Canberra region and named Bean after war historian Charles Bean.
ABC electoral analyst Antony Green said today’s redistribution means the ALP would notionally gain three seats.
He said the new electorate of Fraser in Melbourne and the new seat in Canberra would both be safe for the ALP.
Green said the electorate of Dunkley would also switch from being a marginal Liberal seat to a notionally Labor seat.
He said another Liberal-held seat, Corangamite which is being renamed to Cox, will be extremely close and “likely to come down to a handful of votes”.
Next week the AEC will announce which seat will be lost in South Australia due to a fall in voter numbers in that state.
The changes mean there will be 151 federal MPs after the next election, compared to 150 at the moment.
Once Fraser is added, Victoria will have 38 electorates.
Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers said Melbourne seat boundaries would be re-arranged to improve the balance between low-growth suburbs in the east and those growing rapidly in the south-east and north-west.
The seats of Mallee and Wannon in rural western Victoria were under the required number of voters and will have new regions transferred from nearby electorates including Ballarat and Bendigo.
The major shakeup of Victorian boundaries means nearly 20 per cent of voters will be in a different division.
There is still another step before today’s announcements on Victoria and the ACT’s electoral divisions are finalised.
Objections to any of the changes can be lodged and the final determination of new names and boundaries will be announced in mid-July.
Aboriginal rights advocates, swimming icon also recognised.
Mr Rogers also revealed some seats would have their names changed.
Murray in regional Victoria will be renamed after Sir Doug Nicholls and his wife Lady Gladys to recognise their work to advocate for Aboriginal rights and welfare.
Sir Doug Nicholls was an Australian Rules footballer, a pastor and went on to become governor of South Australia, the first Aboriginal person to hold vice-regal office.
Lady Gladys co-founded the Women’s Auxiliary of the Aborigines Advancement League and was involved with several national bodies for Indigenous people.
The electorate was previously known as Murray after the River, but it is being renamed because the neighbouring seat of Indi is an Aboriginal name for the Murray River.
The Victorian electorate of Corangamite is being renamed to recognise May Cox, who taught swimming and lifesaving, including launching a learn-to-swim program in 1929 that has continued and is now known as VicSwim.
The seat of Melbourne Ports is being renamed Macnamara to recognise scientist Jean Macnamara, who researched and treated polio and cerebral palsy.
World War I general Sir John Monash is being recognised by having the seat of McMillan named after him.
McMillan has been one of the most controversial electorate names because Angus McMillan reportedly massacred Aboriginal people in the Gippsland area in the 1840s.