2018 Victorian state election
The 2018 Victorian state election was held on Saturday, 24 November 2018 to elect the 59th Parliament of Victoria. All 88 seats in the Legislative Assembly (lower house) and all 40 seats in the Legislative Council (upper house) were up for election. The first-term incumbent Labor government, led by Premier Daniel Andrews, won a second four-year term, defeating the Liberal/National Coalition opposition, led by Opposition Leader Matthew Guy. Minor party the Greens led by Samantha Ratnam also contested the election.
All 88 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly
All 40 seats in the Victorian Legislative Council
45 Assembly seats were needed for a majority
The map on the left shows the first party preference by electorate. The map on the right shows the final two-party preferred vote result by electorate.
Labor won 55 seats in the 88-seat Legislative Assembly, an increase of eight seats from the previous election in 2014, a 10 seat majority. This was the fifth time that a Labor government was re-elected in Victoria and it tied Victorian Labor's second-best showing at the state level. The Coalition suffered a significant swing against it and won 27 seats, a decrease of 11 seats. The Greens won 3 seats, a net increase of 1 seat since the last election though equal to the share of seats they held when the election was called. The remaining three seats on the crossbench were won by independents. In the Legislative Council, Labor won 18 seats which was three short of a majority. The Coalition won 11 seats and the remaining 11 seats were won by a range of minor parties from across the political spectrum.
Several days after Labor's victory, the Second Andrews Ministry was sworn in by the Governor and was notable for featuring an equal number of men and women. The following week the Liberal Party elected Michael O'Brien leader of the party and Opposition Leader in the new parliament, after Matthew Guy had announced earlier he would stand down from the position.
Victoria has compulsory voting and uses preferential voting in single-member seats for the Legislative Assembly, and single transferable vote in multi-member seats for the proportionally represented Legislative Council. The Legislative Council presently has 40 members serving four-year terms, elected from eight electoral regions each with five members. With each region electing 5 members, the quota in each region for election, after distribution of preferences, is 16.7% (one-sixth). The election was conducted by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).
|Shooters, Fishers and Farmers||24,257||0.69||+0.61||0|
* Compared with results at 2014 election. The Greens went into the 2018 election with 3 seats following the Northcote by-election, 2017
** Compared with results at 2014 election. There were 3 independent members at the dissolution of parliament following resignations by Russell Northe and Don Nardella.
*** Based on the 87 districts for which the Liberal/National Coalition fielded a candidate. The Liberal Party did not field a candidate in Richmond. Labor received 73.07% of the two-party-preferred vote in that district at the 2014 election.
|Seat||2014 election||Swing||2018 election|
|Bass||Liberal||Brian Paynter||4.6||+6.9||2.4||Jordan Crugnale||Labor|
|Bayswater||Liberal||Heidi Victoria||4.6||+5.0||0.4||Jackson Taylor||Labor|
|Box Hill||Liberal||Robert Clark||5.7||+7.8||2.1||Paul Hamer||Labor|
|Brunswick||Labor||Jane Garrett||2.2||+2.8||0.6||Tim Read||Greens|
|Burwood||Liberal||Graham Watt||3.2||+6.5||3.3||Will Fowles||Labor|
|Hawthorn||Liberal||John Pesutto||8.6||+9.0||0.4||John Kennedy||Labor|
|Mildura||National||Peter Crisp||8.0||+8.4||0.3||Ali Cupper||Independent|
|Morwell||National||Russell Northe*||1.8||+3.6||1.8||Russell Northe||Independent|
|Mount Waverley||Liberal||Michael Gidley||4.6||+6.4||1.8||Matt Fregon||Labor|
|Nepean||Liberal||Martin Dixon||7.6||+8.5||0.9||Chris Brayne||Labor|
|Northcote||Greens||Lidia Thorpe**||−6.0||−4.3||1.7||Kat Theophanous||Labor|
|Ringwood||Liberal||Dee Ryall||5.1||+7.9||2.8||Dustin Halse||Labor|
|South Barwon||Liberal||Andrew Katos||2.9||+7.5||4.6||Darren Cheeseman||Labor|
|* Russell Northe was elected as a Nationals MP but resigned from the party in 2017. The margin given is his margin as a Nationals candidate in 2014.|
** Lidia Thorpe won Northcote from Labor for the Greens at a by-election in November 2017. The margin here is the Greens margin at the 2014 election.
Labor's victory came primarily on the strength of a larger-than-expected swing in eastern Melbourne, which has traditionally decided elections in Victoria. According to the ABC's election analyst Antony Green, the eastern suburbs were swept up in a "band of red". They also took a number of seats in areas considered Liberal heartland. Hawthorn, for instance, fell to Labor for only the second time ever and for the first time in 63 years. Bass elected a Labor member for the first time ever; the seat and its predecessors, Gippsland West and Westernport, had been in conservative hands for all but two terms since 1909.
|Liberal/National joint ticket||439,930||12.27||−3.04|
|Shooters, Fishers and Farmers||108,280||3.02||+1.37||1|
|Hudson for Northern Victoria||6,363||0.18||+0.18||0|
|Vote 1 Local Jobs||5,338||0.15||−0.06||0|
|Independents and ungrouped||2,556||0.07||−0.06||0|
* - Compared with results at 2014 election. The DLP went into the 2018 election with no Legislative Council seats after Rachel Carling-Jenkins initially defected to the Conservatives and eventually sat as an independent.
** - Compared with results at 2014 election. There was one independent at the dissolution of parliament after Rachel Carling-Jenkin's defections from the DLP and then the Conservatives.
Legislative Council seats table
Shooters, Fishers, Farmers
Labor benefited from an enormous swing toward it and consequently picked up at least one seat in most regions, winning 18 seats. The Coalition's swing against it in the lower house was replicated in the Council and they lost five seats to finish with only 11. Most of the minor parties were the beneficiaries of above-the-line voting, though Reason Party MP Fiona Patten was re-elected on the back of a strong below-the-line vote in Northern Metropolitan. The Greens were the biggest losers of the system, losing four of their five upper house members and only re-electing party leader Samantha Ratnam. Derryn Hinch's Justice Party was the biggest winner on the crossbench, picking up three seats, however the party's member for Western Metropolitan (Catherine Cumming) defected to sit as an independent prior to being sworn in. The Liberal Democrats won two seats. ABC News state political correspondent Richard Willingham described the result as proof of Labor's continued "dominance" of state politics, saying "enough progressive parties [won] spots on the crossbench to potentially provide an avenue for any controversial legislation."
Pursuant to the Electoral Act 2002, Victoria has had fixed terms, with all elections since the 2006 election held every four years on the last Saturday of November. The incumbent government entered into caretaker mode at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, 30 October 2018, when writs were officially issued.
- 30 October: Writs issued by the Governor of Victoria
- 31 October: Opening of nominations for all candidates
- 6 November: Close of electoral roll
- 8 November: Close of nominations for party candidates
- 9 November: Close of nominations for independent candidates
- 12 November: Early voting begins
- 24 November: Election day (polls open 8am to 6pm)
- 30 November: Last day for receipt of postal votes
- 15 December: Last day for return of writs.
Following the 2014 election, Labor formed majority government with 47 seats. The Coalition held 38 seats, with the Liberal Party holding 30 and the National Party holding 8. On the crossbench, the Greens held 2 seats and Independent Suzanna Sheed held the seat of Shepparton.
Following the 2014 election, Labor held 14 seats; the Coalition held 16 seats (14 Liberal, 2 National); the Greens held 5 seats; the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party held 2 seats; and the Sex Party (now the Reason Party), Democratic Labour Party, and Vote 1 Local Jobs party held 1 seat each.
Former Nationals leader Peter Ryan announced his resignation from parliament on 2 February 2015, triggering a by-election in the seat of Gippsland South for 14 March. The election was won by Danny O'Brien of the National Party.
Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson died on 23 August 2017. A by-election was held in the seat of Northcote on 18 November, in which the Victorian Greens won the seat from the Labor Party.
Changes in parliament
Don Nardella, the former Deputy Speaker of the Assembly and member for the seat of Melton, resigned from the Labor Party on 7 March 2017 to sit as an independent. Nardella's resignation was demanded by Premier Andrews after Nardella refused to pay back approximately $100,000 of taxpayer funded entitlements in the midst an expenses scandal. The resignation reduced the number of Labor members in the Assembly from 47 to 46, still above the 45 seats needed for majority government to be formed. Nardella had previously announced his intention to quit politics at the 2018 election and following his resignation from the Labor Party stated he intended to serve out his full term as the member for Melton.
State of electorates
The following Mackerras Pendulum lists seats in the Legislative Assembly according to the percentage point margin on a two candidate preferred basis based on the 2014 election results. The Australian Electoral Commission considers a seat "safe" if it requires a swing of over 10% to change, "fairly safe" seats require a swing of between 6 and 10%, while "marginal" seats require a swing of less than 6%.
At the close of nominations, there were 23 parties registered with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), of which 21 contested the election:
Candidates and retiring MPs
Nominations of candidates opened on 31 October 2018. Nominations for party candidates closed on 8 November, and for independent candidates on 9 November.
A total of 887 candidates nominated for the election, down from 896 at the 2014 election. There were 507 candidates for the Legislative Assembly, the second-highest number on record, down from 545 in 2014. The 380 candidates for the Legislative Council was the highest number of upper house candidates in a Victorian election, up from 351 in 2014.
Members who chose not to renominate are as follows:
- Judith Graley MLA (Narre Warren South) – announced 19 August 2017
- Geoff Howard MLA (Buninyong) – announced 15 September 2017
- Sharon Knight MLA (Wendouree) – announced 31 July 2017
- Telmo Languiller MLA (Tarneit) – announced 26 August 2017
- Hong Lim MLA (Clarinda) – announced 5 September 2017
- Wade Noonan MLA (Williamstown) – announced 4 October 2017
- Jude Perera MLA (Cranbourne) – announced 15 September 2017
- Marsha Thomson MLA (Footscray) – announced 21 September 2017
- Khalil Eideh MLC (Western Metropolitan Region) – announced 21 September 2017
- Daniel Mulino MLC (Eastern Victoria Region) – retiring to run for federal House of Representatives
- Louise Asher MLA (Brighton) – announced 11 August 2016
- Martin Dixon MLA (Nepean) – announced 10 August 2016
- Christine Fyffe MLA (Evelyn) – announced 21 October 2016
- Murray Thompson MLA (Sandringham) – announced 24 November 2016
- Richard Dalla-Riva MLC (Eastern Metropolitan Region) – announced 10 February 2017
- Simon Ramsay MLC (Western Victoria Region) – announced 24 July 2018
On 13 November, Neelam Rai, a Liberal candidate for Northern Metropolitan Region, withdrew her candidacy after the Herald Sun revealed that she was the director of an unregistered charity, No Hunger Australia. The Liberal Party also released a statement saying that Rai's nomination form for preselection had "failed to disclose a number of issues of relevance".
On 15 November, the Liberal Party withdrew its endorsement of Meralyn Klein, their candidate for the marginal seat of Yan Yean, after footage emerged of her speaking in an anti-Muslim video produced by the Australian Liberty Alliance. Klein denied any association with the ALA, saying she had been interviewed about an incident where she had been assaulted several years earlier, and the footage had been provided to the ALA and edited into an anti-Muslim video.
As ballot papers had already been printed, both Rai and Klein appeared as Liberal candidates. The Labor Party petitioned the Supreme Court to order the VEC to reprint the ballot papers with Klein's affiliation removed, but the case was dismissed.
On 22 November, two days before Election Day, the Greens ordered a then-unnamed candidate to withdraw from the campaign after an allegation of "serious sexual misconduct" was made. The following day the party revealed the candidate in question was Dominic Phillips, candidate for the seat of Sandringham; he was stood down by the party. As the ballot papers had already been printed, Phillips stood as the Greens candidate and won over 8% of the vote.
On 28 October both Labor and the Coalition launched their campaigns, with Labor making health, paramedics and improved ambulance response times a priority, while the Coalition focussed on cutting taxes, better managing population growth and cracking down on crime. Labor and the Coalition pledged $23.3 billion and $24.8 billion respectively, more than double pledged during the 2010 and 2014 elections, excluding the proposed Suburban Rail Loop and high speed rail for regional services which would require future governments to fund. Labor pledged to invest substantially more money than the Coalition in health, with $1.3bn in promises to boost nursing numbers and $395.8m to provide every state school student with free dental check-ups and procedures and $232m to build seven new early parenting centres; in contrast to the Coalition whose signature health policy was constructing a new hospital in Warragul, the biggest city in the rapidly expanding West Gippsland region.
The Coalition's leading message of the campaign was to "get back in control" of the state's allegedly burgeoning crime problem. The party promised tougher bail conditions than Labor, saying that anyone who breaches bail will be jailed. In addition mandatory sentencing would become more commonplace, with minimum sentences for repeat violent offenders and people deemed possible terror threats could be forced to wear electronic monitoring devices, a proposal made after the stabbing attack in the city which occurred during the campaign. The divisions between the parties over social issues were pronounced, as the Coalition promised to axe the safe injecting room in Richmond, the Safe Schools program for LGBTI children in state secondary schools and the process for a formalised treaty for Indigenous Victorians; programs all initiated by the Labor Government. The Coalition also promised to reinstate religious instruction classes in state schools, something removed from classes and made an opt-in process by Labor.
Arguably the most pressing issue of the campaign was public transport and infrastructure. Melbourne's record population growth of more than 125,000 people a year made both party leaders focus on big transport initiatives. Labor unveiled a $50 billion underground rail loop of the suburbs surrounding the city, though admitted the project would not be completed before 2050 and actually pledged $300 million for a business study. The Coalition instead proposed a $19 billion "European-style" regional rail network that would rebuild the entire network and include high-speed rail on four lines, travelling up to 200 km an hour. Both parties agreed on the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link and Metro Rail projects, though the Coalition pledged to bring back the defunct East West Link project which was scrapped at a cost of $1 billion by the Labor Government.
Minor party the Greens sought to expand their numbers in parliament and make further gains in inner-city/suburban seats held by Labor such as Albert Park, Brunswick and Richmond. The party proposed a dedicated bike "superlane" stretching 17 kilometres from Elsternwick railway station to Coburg, as well as further cycling routes connecting Box Hill and Richmond, Ringwood and Croydon and a connection from the Burwood Highway through to Knox and Deakin University. Overall, most Greens policies were more closely aligned with Labor policies than the Coalition, a fact acknowledged by Greens leader Samantha Ratnam who said she would seek to negotiate with Labor to form government in the event of a hung parliament. Labor leader Daniel Andrews reacted negatively to this possibility saying "no deal will be offered" and criticising the Greens for allegedly "refusing to call out denigration of women", in reference to past sexist comments made by the Greens candidate for the seat of Footscray, Angus McAlpine.
The total number of people who voted early in the last two weeks of the campaign was 1,639,202, which made up 40% of the eligible voting population.
Polling that is conducted by Newspoll and published in The Australian is conducted via random telephone number selection in city and country areas. Sampling sizes usually consist of over 1200 electors. The declared margin of error is ±2.8 percentage points.
|Date||Firm||Primary vote||TPP vote|
|24 November 2018 Election||42.9%||30.4%||4.8%||10.7%||11.2%||57.3%||42.7%|
|24 Nov 2018||YouGov||41%||38%||12%||9%||55%||45%|
|23 November 2018||Roy Morgan||39%||33%||13%||15%||54%||46%|
|23 November 2018||Newspoll||41%||40%||11%||8%||53.5%||46.5%|
|21 November 2018||uComms/ReachTEL||38.7%||35.9%||10.4%||9.9%||54%||46%|
|21 November 2018||YouGov||40%||40%||11%||9%||53%||47%|
|14 November 2018||ReachTEL||40.4%||36.8%||10.3%||12.5%||56%||44%|
|24–28 Oct 2018||Newspoll||41%||39%||11%||9%||54%||46%|
|22–24 Oct 2018||YouGov||40%||39%||12%||9%||53%||47%|
|3 October 2018||ReachTEL||35.9%||38.8%||10.9%||14.4%||52%||48%|
|11–13 Sep 2018||YouGov||42%||40%||–||–||53%||47%|
|9 August 2018||YouGov||38%||42%||10%||10%||51%||49%|
|5 July 2018||ReachTEL||35.4%||39.4%||10.5%||14.7%||51%||49%|
|13–16 Apr 2018||Newspoll||38%||41%||11%||10%||51%||49%|
|6 December 2017||Galaxy||36%||41%||10%||12%||50%||50%|
|17–18 Jun 2017||Galaxy||33%||44%||8%||14%||47%||53%|
|7 March 2017||ReachTEL||30.3%||39.8%||8%||15.7%||46%||54%|
|15–16 Feb 2017||Galaxy||37%||41%||10%||12%||51%||49%|
|Oct 2016||Roy Morgan||39%||36%||13%||12%||56.5%||43.5%|
|1 September 2016||ReachTEL||34.6%||40.1%||10.7%||–||51%||49%|
|Aug 2016||Roy Morgan||37.5%||36%||13.5%||13.5%||55.5%||44.5%|
|Aug 2016||Roy Morgan||40.5%||38%||13%||8.5%||56%||44%|
|Mar 2016||Roy Morgan||40.5%||39%||12%||8.5%||55%||45%|
|Nov–Dec 2015||Roy Morgan||40.5%||38%||13%||8.5%||56%||44%|
|16 October 2015||Roy Morgan||40%||39%||14.5%||6.5%||55.5%||44.5%|
|28–31 Aug 2015||Roy Morgan||39%||35.5%||16.5%||9%||57%||43%|
|31 Jul-3 Aug 2015||Roy Morgan||41%||38%||14%||7%||56.5%||43.5%|
|27 May 2015||Roy Morgan||43.5%||38.5%||12.5%||5.5%||56.5%||43.5%|
|10–13 Apr 2015||Roy Morgan||41%||40%||11.5%||7.5%||54%||46%|
|13–15 Mar 2015||Roy Morgan||43%||38%||11.5%||7.5%||56%||44%|
|14–16 Feb 2015||Roy Morgan||41.5%||39.5%||11.5%||7.5%||54.5%||45.5%|
|16–18 Jan 2015||Roy Morgan||45%||35%*||11.5%||8.5%||59%||41%|
|4 December 2014 Matthew Guy becomes Liberal leader and leader of the opposition|
|29 November 2014 Election||38.1%||36.5%||5.5%||11.5%||8.4%||52.0%||48.0%|
|25–28 Nov 2014||Ipsos||35%||42%*||15%||8%||52%||48%|
|24–27 Nov 2014||Newspoll||39%||36%||4%||12%||9%||52%||48%|
|27 November 2014||ReachTEL||38.3%||34.5%||5.2%||13.5%||8.5%||52%||48%|
|26–27 Nov 2014||Roy Morgan||36%||44%*||13.5%||6.5%||50%||50%|
|25–26 Nov 2014||Galaxy||39%||40%*||13%||8%||52%||48%|
|7–24 Nov 2014||Essential||39%||40%*||13%||8%||52%||48%|
|* Indicates a combined Liberal/National primary vote.|
|Newspoll polling is published in The Australian and sourced from here|
Preferred Premier and satisfaction
|24–28 Oct 2018||Newspoll||45%||29%||45%||40%||31%||46%|
|22–24 Oct 2018||YouGov||not asked||44%||35%||24%||42%|
|7 October 2018||ReachTEL||51.3%||48.7%||not asked|
|11–13 Sep 2018||YouGov||not asked||40%||42%||25%||44%|
|9 August 2018||YouGov||40%||33%||not asked|
|5 July 2018||ReachTEL||50.6%||49.4%||not asked|
|13–16 Apr 2018||Newspoll||41%||34%||43%||47%||32%||45%|
|6 December 2017||Galaxy||41%||25%||not asked|
|17–18 Jun 2017||Galaxy||41%||29%||not asked|
|7 March 2017||ReachTEL||29.6%||34.7%||not asked|
|Oct 2016||Roy Morgan||59%||41%||not asked|
|1 September 2016||ReachTEL||49%||51%||not asked|
|May 2016||Roy Morgan||63.5%||36.5%||not asked|
|16 October 2015||Roy Morgan||63.5%||36.5%||not asked|
|31 Jul-3 Aug 2015||Roy Morgan||64%||36%||not asked|
|25–28 Nov 2014||Newspoll||48%||24%||51%||32%||35%||29%|
|10–13 Apr 2015||Roy Morgan||63%||37%||not asked|
|10–13 Apr 2015||Roy Morgan||59.5%||40.5%||not asked|
|13–15 Mar 2015||Roy Morgan||62.5%||37.5%||not asked|
|14–16 Feb 2015||Roy Morgan||62.5%||37.5%||not asked|
|16–18 Jan 2015||Roy Morgan||66.5%||33.5%||not asked|
|4 December 2014 Guy replaces Napthine||Andrews||Napthine||Andrews||Napthine|
|29 November 2014 Election||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|25–28 Nov 2014||Ipsos||42%||44%||42%||43%||49%||40%|
|24–27 Nov 2014||Newspoll||37%||41%||38%||43%||41%||45%|
|26–27 Nov 2014||Roy Morgan||49.5%||50.5%||not asked|
|25–26 Nov 2014||Galaxy||38%||41%||not asked|
|* Remainder were "uncommitted" or "other/neither".|
† Participants were forced to choose.
|Newspoll polling is published in The Australian and sourced from here|
|Daily newspapers||Sunday newspapers||Alternative newspapers|
|The Age||Labor||The Sunday Age||Labor||Green Left Weekly||Socialists|
|The Australian Financial Review||Labor|
|Herald Sun||Liberal||Sunday Herald Sun||Liberal|
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