Research Report 5 - Analysis of Electoral Divisions Classifications: Introduction

Updated: 30 May 2013


The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has been classifying electoral divisions since 1975. The current classification system categorises electorates on the basis of party safeness and socio-demographic criteria and forms an integral part of the AEC's mandate to inform the public by making election results more meaningful.

The definition and application of these criteria over the period have not been consistent and this has led to anomalies in the classification process. To address this situation the AEC has reviewed the classification system. A new system will be in place following the 2004 federal election.

Classification of electoral divisions will be based on three categories:

  • Party safeness;
  • Geographic criteria; and
  • Socio-economic classification.

The proposed system will build on and enhance the existing categories to provide a more consistent and accurate classification system. The enhanced system will allow for better targeting of like areas by the AEC and enhance the quality of election result analysis.