Re-designing Australia's Electoral Maps

These visualisations explore a new way of representing election and referendum results in Australia. It draws on inspiration from the work of the ABC and Steve Pemberton who have done a brilliant job at creating a 'hexmap' - similar to what is seen and used in the UK and US. 

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, R (packages: ggplot2, tmap, sf, cartogram)

Visualisations by Sarah C Gall.
Created 13 October 2023.
Australia is the 6th largest country in the world and ranks 55th for its population size (26.8 million). This puts it at a population of 3 people per km2. The majority of registered voters, however, are populated in capital cities and primarily on the east coast. This means that viewing election and referendum results on an ordinary map can be misleading.
At the State-Level
The continuous cartogram reveals a proportional view for the number of registered voters in Australia. This accurately depicts the three largest states; New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
While the continuous cartogram improves on representing voters more accurately, a rectangular cartogram is cleaner and easier to understand.
Example: 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey Results
At the Electorate-Level
The dorling cartogram shows the density (number of registered voters by km2) of each electorate. It effectively reverses the issue of the ordinary map.
Based on the cartograms above, I have created a hexmap for the electorates. I have tried to be as close to the geography as possible, although in some areas this was not possible. Each electorate should touch at least one side of a neighbouring electorate.
Reviewing the placement of the electorates: The regional classification and location of the electorates appears to be correctly places and what you would expect in a city-centred country.
Reviewing the placement of the electorates: The hexmap improves on the ordinary/traditional map which can be misleading, particularly when showing election results.
Example: 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey Results by Electorate

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