The Census results dominate the front pages today, but the major political parties will be mining the data deeper as they seek to build profiles of the marginal seats where their election hopes will stand or fall.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library will not be releasing its electorate-by-electorate breakdown of the census results until October, and even then, Crikey understands, the information for NSW and Queensland will be based on old electoral boundaries.
If you need a time killer for this afternoon, you should be able to have a bit of fun playing with the Census maps that let you see the demographic differences across the country.
And you probably didn’t notice the details scrawled on the cover of your Census form last year; but one of them would have been of particular interest to political party strategists – your Census Collection District, or CCD.
There are some 38,000 CCDs across the country. They are administrative tools, but they also give us the most detailed easily available description of our demographics.
The size of CCDs varies with densities, but in urban areas they average between 400 and 600 households.
Information on all the different questions asked in the Census is now available by CCD.
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It’s this data from the marginals that will be of particular interest to the political parties.
CCD data lets the parties build up demographic profiles of marginal seats on an almost block-by-block basis.
Tie this information in with the electoral roll databases and direct mail software major party MPs and Senators have access to and the government and the ALP not only have an incredibly detailed breakdown of marginal electorates, but the ability to reach individual voters with messages targeted to fit the demographics of their immediate locality.