Victorian election guide

As promised, the Poll Bludger’s Victorian election guide is now open for business. Candidate photos and further embellishments will be added in due course, but this no-frills edition should keep you going for now. Politely worded emails calling attention to errors and omissions will be very gratefully received; death threats and defamation actions, somewhat less so.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

40 comments on “Victorian election guide”

  1. Is it me or has anyone noticed that there are a high number of retiring members at this Victorian Election? That’s according to Antony Green’s Vic Election Guide. I counted 22 members to be exact. That’s around a quarter of the house which is a fair chunk. Is this some new record or have there been greater examples in the past in Australia in both numbers and proportion to total members in the house.

    If you want to see the list… here’s the address…

    Ah I love election seasons… I can’t wait for the full pollbludger guide and comments and live blogging on election nights. 🙂 More compliments to you Will! Oh and I did like those poll graphs – v. good.

  2. to correct- that’s 22 including the council as well… but still it’s a high number- perhaps the changing council size and rules has increased the tide? nevertheless it would be an interesting topic to look into

  3. The Council is probably one cause. I’d point out that the number of MPs retiring has been very high in NSW since the introduction of fixed terms and the number of by-elections has fallen. I suspect that given the fixed term, members have a bit more time to consider their options, and no one get’s convinved to re-nominate by an early election call.

  4. There are a few reasons behind the high rate of retirements. The Council is obviously one reason – Hilton, McQuilten and Bishop were left directly without a seat, and I suspect it’s behind the retirements of a couple of others. It’s not the only one, though.

    The Liberals, as far as I understand, have been making a fairly concerted attempt to introduce renewal, which I suspect is behind the retirements of Bowden, Brideson, Forwood and Plowman (also note the fact that a couple more, such as Honeywood and Perton, look to have gotten fed up with the party’s poor performance and retired before their time).

    From the Labor side of things, there’s been quite a few casualties of factional bloodletting – Mary Gillett, Peter Loney and Dale Wilson lost preselection, and Mary Delahunty could arguably be thrown into the same boat.

  5. This guide has the Labor vs Liberal margins in Melbourne, Richmond Northcote, and Brunswick when the Labor vs Green Margin is more relevant the VEC website has those margins (if you look below the swig diagram). It would be interesting to see a Margin list for each party of significance (e.g. Labor, Liberal, Green, National, and Independent).

    How did the VEC come up with a 6.7% Ind vs ALP when the ALP got 9% of the vote and no significant prefrences.?

  6. Whilst we’re on typo watch, I presume it was Greeks, not Greens, who were allegedly being used as Liberal stackees in Bulleen in 1999.

  7. Your out big time on your assessment and history of Melbourne and Richmond.

    First Neil Cole was on the way out when Pike was elected. Dick Wynne wanted the seat and should have got it but the left would not let him. Brian Boyd tried to slim up the middle but his preferences were every way but ..

    Dick Wynne is a skilled politician.

    Te other fact that your should have outlined is the extent of the Liberal Party vote and the full fall of preferences that helped the Greens top the Liberal Party. This time round the Liberal vote will not be so low and I doubt if the greens will outpoll them, every other small group will be bidding for the same chance. You can bet Family First will be active as with every other group in Melbourne and in Richmond. Then there is the Kevin Chamberlain factor. If is misleading to present a Green/ALP 2PP.

    The liberal Party will poll much better this time around. They will not be holding back their vote. Their preselected candidate was Clem Newton-Browns running mate for Lord Mayor 2004. The Liberal party needs to campaign hard in order to secure its 2 seats in the upper-house and every vote contributes to their public funding. Add to that the fact that the ALP has and will pump in more resources I am confident that the Greens will not top the Liberal party (Although Melbourne is the seat were it will happen if at all) You should go back and publish the Liberal vote and preference fold up. In every preference ballot there is a conjunction point and you should be showing what the variance is. Factor in the swing of the pendulum and the Greens run out of steam. There is a slight chance that some believe the Greens can climb the hill but its a case of I think I can .. I think I can but can they… Answer highly unlikely. No doubts the Greens will put a lot of money in the seat trying to secure an upset. At best it will secure then the upper-house seat.

    You need to look closer at Prahran, Eltham and Ivanhoe. Albert Park could also fall closer then you think.

  8. Prahran is the litmus test of the inner city. It is the seat that determines who is in government. It is volatile and has been in perpetual motion. It is one of the most diverse and cultural electorates in Victoria with the richest and the poorest living within its boundaries. Clem-Newton brown will be a strong challenger but in teh end it will be decided on preference flows. You can bet you bottom dollar that the Liberal party will be running dirty-tricks (remember the Save Prince Henry’s and the Mountain Cattle Men campaign). There will be a host of contenders and pretenders. The Greens will not be a serious contender but they will play a role in directing preferences but they can only go one way and that is towards labor. Green voters in Prahran will not follow a HTV ticket so to that extent the Greens can not direct preferences away from Labor. BUT it is the seat to watch and if there is any real challenge to the Labor Government this is teh seat that will produce early results. I know I have door knock most houses in the electorate. If the Greater Melbourne option was on the agenda and voters in Prahran given a chance they would opt for Melbourne ahead of Stonington after all they have more in common with Melbourne then they do with Malvern. Prahran use to form part of the old Melbourne Province electorate at a time when the Yarra was not seen a boundary of division. Evan Walker and Rob Millar held it for a number of years and it was only lost following the redistribution late 1980’s when Prahran’s boundaries shifted east and it came under Monash province. Monash Province was one the most marginal upper-house seats and if it was not for the deceitful “Save Prince Henry”‘s campaign it would have been won by Robert Millar for the ALP giving the ALP absolute control in the upper-house.

  9. The gay vote in Prahran is high but they are not inclined to vote on block one way or the other and cross the political divide. All the main players are courting the gay vote but as I have stated it has no reason to swing one way or the other. This could change if family First try running a strong moral campaign in this electorate. All efforts will be made by the Liberal Party to persuade Family First to lie low in Prahran or to at least not run a strong anti-gay campaign for fear of creating a reason for the gay community to align with the ALP/green camp.

  10. William. Is it possible to create an interactive pendulum that can resort the list. Also it would be worth while showing the 1999 results and maybe even a cross reference to 2004 Federal senate votes. Are you planning on a Legislative Council (broken down to assembly electorates pendulum) I acknowledge the difficulty in comparing the 2002 results with the new province districts but a comparison of the upper-house primary to lower house primary is interesting and worth noting.

  11. Here’s the figures melbcity:


    3-candidate count
    Labor 46.9%
    Greens 29.9%
    Liberal 23.2%

    2-candidate count
    Labor 51.9%
    Greens 48.1%


    3-candidate count
    Labor 48.4%
    Greens 31.1%
    Liberal 20.5%

    2-candidate count
    Labor 53.1%
    Greens 46.9%

    Unfortunately the distribution of preferences for Northcote and Brunswick have not been published because Labor topped 50% of the primary vote.

    On these figures, I don’t see the Liberal Party bridging the gap in either Melbourne or Richmond. Look at it this way, if we exclude the Labor vote at the 3-candidate stage we get the rest of the vote splitting Greens 56.3% Liberal 43.7% in Melbourne and Greens 60.3% Liberal 39.7% in Richmond. So to make the run-off, the Liberals need swings of 6.3% and 10.3% respectively.

  12. Re Melbourne 2002 results how is it that your percentages are different from that reported by the VEC.


    % 1st Pref Votes
    BECK, Jeremy 0.85%
    FENSOM, Maxine 0.89%
    BOURKE, Sue (LIB) 21.01%
    PIKE, Bronwyn (ALP) 45.32%
    CHAMBERLIN, Kevin Francis (IND-ALP) 5.95%
    Di NATALE, Richard (GRN) 24.21%
    PRADHAN, Arun 1.02%
    CEBON, Michael 0.75%

    If you look at the fold up most of Kevin Chamberlain’s vote went straight to the ALP as you would expect. Kevin was a well known ALP member and former Local Councillor/Lord Mayor. I would expect the Liberal Party’s vote to increase. If Kevin does not stand then the ALP will win on primaries. His support base is not Green.

  13. Another factor which is still being played out is an indication that the Liberal; party may join the national Party and preference the Greens last. I expect of course that both the greens and the liberal party will try and reach some understanding of exchange preference support elsewhere. There is no advantage for the Liberal Party or any potential backlash from their support base if they place the Greens last. BUT if the Greens placed the Liberal party ahead of Labor there will most certainly be a backlash amongst the Greens. Problem facing the Greens is that they can not direct their vote or preferences in the lower house, so it will be difficult for them to offer the Liberal Party any real support other then laying low in certain seats. This is a fact that the ALP will also take into consideration.

  14. I do not see the liberal party getting such a low vote nor do I see the Greens retaining their vote. The data you have presented on Melbourne is misleading. If you think all minor parties will transfer preference to the Greens this time your are wrong. Already you have Family First and the Nationals placing the Greens last. You ca expect that the National party might run candidates in inner city seats. and you can also expect that there will be some other local community candidates running it will not be a full house or a straight. and what will the Greens deliver to the Liberal Party to secure their preferences?

  15. The Family First vote – what little of it there’ll be in the inner-city – will mostly come at the expense of the Liberals. So they’re unlikely to bolster the chances of the Libs making the runoff. Although it could bolster Labor in a Labor/Greens runoff.

    And I doubt the National Party will be contesting any of the Northern Metro seats. (Although if they did the principle would be similar.)

  16. Running National Party candidates in the city would be pointless, as virtually no one in the city votes National, especially in the working-class Labor suburbs of Northern Metropolitan.

    This also applies for Family First in the case of the inner city seats like Melbourne and Richmond – as someone pointed out in the case of Prahran, them choosing to run strongly in those seats risks sparking a backlash.

  17. David You underestimate Family First. To say their vote will come solely from the liberal camp is wrong. Family first polled around 500 votes in Melbourne during the 2004 senate count. You can bet they will work the electorate much more this time. Thats 500 votes no matter where they come from that will not go to the Greens and for the Greens to win Melbourne or any lower house seat they will need every vote possible. Whilst it ois difficult to ascertain the National vote in the inner city thats another camp that wont preference the Greens.. Remember for the Greens to win they are competing against the ALP and not the conservatives. It will most certainly be harder for the Greens this time round. The method of family fists campaign is more suttle and targeted then you realise. As one of the previous comments mentioned FF family values also appeal to ALP voters.

  18. OK, a few points:

    1. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I said that the Family First vote will mostly, not “soley”, come at the expense of the Liberals. That should be a pretty uncontroversial point. Just as Family First preferences will mostly but not solely be delivered to the Liberals.

    2. Why would Family First work the inner city hard when there’s no upper house seat realistically on offer in Northern Metro? Their best prospects lie elsewhere.

    3. Previously you insisted that the Liberal vote would overshadow the Greens. Now you want to bang on about FF’s presence helping Labor at the expense of the Greens. A different point entirely, and something I already noted in my previous post.

  19. If FF stands in Melbourne and they do a preference deal with Labor then they may cause the Greens to win by lowering the Liberal vote enough for the greens to pass the Libs.

    The Green vote is as or more likely to go up as down because Labor and Liberal have similar policies and Labor is seen as a bit of a do nothing much government and is significantly to the right of traditional Labor so more of the left wing vote could go to the Greens and the new upper house will probably bring out a few more Green voters as will the coming second last time (in the inner 4) and since the Greens have TV and Radio on there website they will probably run them on those mediums.

    The Nationals would never run in the five metro regions so they will run in up to 33 seats (they need every last vote to try and get the 10 seats they need so stay a parliamentary party (unless this is changed after the election).

  20. Family First would preference the liberal party at id say around 65-70%, and I think around 65-70% would be votes that if they didn’t run would vote for the liberal party anyway. Its hard to argue that it would farm many votes.

    I am of the opinion that the HTV cards of the left and right minor parties have little impact on the vote. Other than the people that dont really care or are a bit clueless, I doubt that many people follow a HTV card when it throws up an ideological clash. The only party i think that can effectivly transfer votes in lower house races are single issue parties (ie in SA we had dignity for disabled) and the democrats.

  21. I have seen a Proportional Representation Society of Australia add in The Age some time in the last few days for voting below the line advertising the minimum of five preferences needed.

  22. Yes thats true some right wing ALP supporters might not be happy with the party and vote FF instead, however a large majority of them will preference the ALP over the liberal party. In calculating the 60% following HTV cards (have u got a link to a paper or something – would like to read) you have to take into account those that would of voted the same way as the ticket regardless. This would be quite common as the tickets are usually ideologically decided.

    Can anyone show any results of a significant amount of voters blindly following how to vote cards where a minor party has done an irregular preference deal, ie Greens preferencing liberal, FF preferencing Labor?

  23. 60% of most monor parties follow HTV cards. Its hard to asertain the Greens ability to direct preferences as they tend to flow to the ALP. In the upper-house 95-98% will vote above the line. Disagree about FF flow to the Liberal Party. Ther are many ALP members that will support Family First. not all ALP supports are from the left.


    The Greens push for a lower-house seat comes to an end with reports that the ALP and Liberal party have reached a deal that would see the Liberal Party preference Labor ahead of the Australian Greens. The Age November 6, 2006

    In a move that will also see the National Party become part of Victoria’s political history Labor has secured its place in Richmond and Melbourne leaving the Greens with the hope of only winning a upper-house seat.

    The Liberal Party can only gain from this policy/deal. This deal will lead teh National party with the possible of winning only one seat and even then it is not a gaurantee. The Nationals have no where to go. They can not punish the Liberal party and back the ALP

    There could be some backlash in the upper-house but it is unlikely that it will cost the ALP any seats. Likewise the Greens can not back the Liberal Party. At worst the ALP may be restricted to three seats in the Western Metroplotian As opposed to winning four.

    Game over for the Greens in Melbourne.

    With the challenge out of reach the question that remains is will it effect their appeal and support in the upper-house? It could go both ways it could help the Greens secure votes or it could dampen it. Three weeks to go and already the Greens are on a losing on-way street.

    The Greens will spend most of the rest of the campiagn with a deflated balloon.

  25. Melbcity yes I know the Greens hate the Libs, but it would upset the ALP just to have the Greens put the Libs ahead of the ALP, the Greens can justifly it by saying they like Ballieu’s attitude on social issues.

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