Population statistics and the number of house of representatives seats for the Northern Territory

The number of seats in the Australian House of Representatives allocated to each state and territory is determined largely by population size, with periodic recalculations made to allow for the changing geographical distribution of the nation’s population. This paper describes how the calculations are made and presents the results of the Australian Electoral Commissioner’s November 2005 seat determination. It focuses mostly on the case of the Northern Territory (NT). In the 2000 determination, for the first time, the NT was allocated a second seat, which would have been lost in the 2003 determination had there not been an inquiry and subsequent legislation changes. In the most recent determination the second seat was retained by a small margin. The paper explains the calculations which decided this matter and goes on to discuss the prospects for future representation of the Territory Copyright. Monash University and the author/s