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Discussion paper

Comprising only 3.3% of the Australian population, Indigenous people are often assumed to have limited electoral power outside of the remote Northern Territory. This short paper reveals the geography of the Indigenous population, focusing on federal electoral divisions where the Indigenous population is significant, not in absolute terms, but in relation to the vote margins in the 2019 federal election.

It describes a geography of electoral divisions where the Indigenous population is large in comparison to electoral margins, including in divisions beyond remote Australia. It suggests that Indigenous communities could wield significant electoral power if they mobilised the large cohort of non-participating eligible Indigenous vote. This currently latent electoral power may assist Indigenous communities to lobby for policy changes.

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CAEPR Topical Issue 2/2022