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Victorian state election, 2014

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Victorian state election, 2014

Victorian state election, 2014

29 November 2014

All 88 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly
45 seats are needed for a majority
All 40 seats in the Victorian Legislative Council
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Daniel Andrews Denis Napthine Greg Barber
Party Labor Liberal/National coalition Greens
Leader since 3 December 2010 6 March 2013 25 November 2006
Leader's seat Mulgrave South-West Coast MLC for Northern Metropolitan Region
Last election 36.25%, 43 seats 44.78%, 45 seats 11.21%, 0 seats
Seats before 43 seats 44 seats 0 seats
Seats won 47 seats 38 seats 2 seats
Seat change Increase4 Decrease7 Increase2
Popular vote 1,278,322 1,409,093 385,190
Percentage 38.10% 41.99% 11.48%
Swing Increase1.84% Decrease2.78% Increase0.27%
TPP 51.99% 48.01%

Premier before election

Denis Napthine
Liberal/National coalition

Premier after election

Daniel Andrews
Labor

The 2014 Victorian state election was held on 29 November 2014. The incumbent centre-right Coalition minority government, led by Liberal Party leader and Premier Denis Napthine and National Party leader and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, was defeated by the centre-left Australian Labor Party opposition, led by Daniel Andrews. The Greens won two lower house seats, their first Legislative Assembly seats in a Victorian state election, whilst increasing their share of upper house seats. Victoria has compulsory voting and uses preferential ballot in single-member electorates for the Legislative Assembly, and single transferable vote in multi-member electorates for the proportionally represented Legislative Council. The election was conducted by the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC).

The election marked the first time in 60 years that a Victorian state government had been defeated after only one term. Furthermore, the Nationals were reduced to a total of ten seats in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, one short of official status in the legislature.[1] Following the election, both Napthine and Ryan resigned as leaders of the Liberal and National parties, respectively.

Contents

  • Results 1
    • Legislative Assembly 1.1
    • Legislative Council 1.2
    • Seats changing hands 1.3
  • Key dates 2
  • Background 3
  • Registered parties 4
  • Redistribution 5
  • Issues 6
  • Candidates and retiring MPs 7
    • Retiring MPs 7.1
      • Labor 7.1.1
      • Liberal 7.1.2
      • National 7.1.3
  • Polling 8
  • Newspaper endorsements 9
  • Election validity court challenge 10
  • References 11

Results

Legislative Assembly

Government
     Labor (47)
Opposition
     Liberal (30)
     National (8)
Crossbench
     Greens (2)
     Independent (1)
Lower house seat outcome of the 2014 Victorian state election

Victorian state election, 29 November 2014[2][3]
Legislative Assembly
<< 20102018 >>

Enrolled voters 3,806,301
Votes cast 3,540,140 Turnout 93.01 +0.05
Informal votes 184,815 Informal 5.22 +0.26
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Labor 1,278,322 38.10 +1.84 47 +4*
  Liberal 1,223,474 36.46 −1.57 30 −5
  Greens 385,190 11.48 +0.27 2 +2
  National 185,619 5.53 −1.21 8 −2
  Country Alliance 43,038 1.28 −0.07 0 ±0
  Family First 37,194 1.11 −1.18 0 ±0
  Christians 26,545 0.79 +0.79 0 ±0
  Rise Up Australia 20,795 0.62 +0.62 0 ±0
  Voice for the West 16,584 0.49 +0.49 0 ±0
  Sex Party 8,930 0.27 −0.28 0 ±0
  Animal Justice 7,778 0.23 +0.23 0 ±0
  Democratic Labor 2,799 0.08 −0.81 0 ±0
  Shooters and Fishers 2,622 0.08 +0.08 0 ±0
  Socialist Alliance 1,728 0.05 −0.00 0 ±0
  People Power Victoria 1,375 0.04 +0.04 0 ±0
  The Basics Rock 'n' Roll 1,043 0.03 +0.03 0 ±0
  Independent 112,289 3.35 +0.74 1 +1
Total 3,355,325     88  
Two-party-preferred
  Labor 1,745,020 51.99 +3.57
  Liberal/National 1,611,507 48.01 −3.57
* Labor also retained four of the five Labor seats which were made notionally Liberal by the 2013 redistribution.

Legislative Council

Upper house seat outcome of the 2014 Victorian state election

Victorian state election, 29 November 2014[2]
Legislative Council
<< 20102018 >>

Enrolled voters 3,806,301
Votes cast 3,539,730 Turnout 93.00 +0.07
Informal votes 120,880 Informal 3.41 +0.04
Summary of votes by party
Party Primary votes % Swing Seats Change
  Liberal/National 1,235,114 36.13 −7.03    
    Liberal 14 −4
    National 2 −1
  Labor 1,143,834 33.46 −1.91 14 −2
  Greens 367,728 10.76 −1.25 5 +2
  Liberal Democrats 104,545 3.06 +3.06 0 ±0
  Sex Party 89,774 2.63 +0.71 1 +1
  Democratic Labour 79,291 2.32 −0.02 1 +1
  Palmer United 66,728 1.95 +1.95 0 ±0
  Family First 62,427 1.83 −1.03 0 ±0
  Animal Justice 58,158 1.70 +1.70 0 ±0
  Shooters and Fishers 56,555 1.65 +1.65 2 +2
  Christians 35,166 1.03 +1.03 0 ±0
  Country Alliance 23,175 0.68 −0.97 0 ±0
  Australian Cyclists 20,690 0.61 +0.61 0 ±0
  Rise Up Australia 17,684 0.52 +0.52 0 ±0
  Voluntary Euthanasia 16,787 0.49 +0.49 0 ±0
  People Power Victoria 12,080 0.35 +0.35 0 ±0
  Voice for the West 11,068 0.32 +0.32 0 ±0
  Vote 1 Local Jobs 7,111 0.21 +0.21 1 +1
  The Basics Rock 'n' Roll 6,346 0.19 +0.19 0 ±0
  Independent 4,589 0.13 −0.20 0 ±0
Total 3,418,850     40  

Seats changing hands

Following the election, the seats of Frankston and Prahran were initially too close to call, with around a hundred votes separating candidates.[4] Prahran was a three-way contest between Labor, Liberal, and the Greens, and this seat proved to be the tightest contest among all the lower house seats.[4][5] The VEC declared Prahran had been won by the Greens on 9 December, whereby the Greens overtook the ALP from third place, to defeat the Liberal incumbent in the final distribution of preferences. The Greens' win was confirmed in the recount held the following day.[6]

Seats changing hands[7]
Seat Pre-2014 Swing Post-2014
Party Member Margin* Margin Member Party
Bentleigh Liberal Elizabeth Miller 0.9 1.7 0.8 Nick Staikos Labor
Carrum Liberal Donna Bauer 0.3 1.0 0.7 Sonya Kilkenny Labor
Frankston Independent Geoff Shaw 0.4 0.9 0.5 Paul Edbrooke Labor
Melbourne   Labor Jennifer Kanis 4.7 7.1 2.4 Ellen Sandell Greens  
Mordialloc Liberal Lorraine Wreford 1.5 3.6 2.1 Tim Richardson Labor
Prahran Liberal Clem Newton-Brown 4.7 5.1 0.4 Sam Hibbins Greens
Shepparton National Jeanette Powell 25.9 28.5 2.6 Suzanna Sheed Independent
* This margin is notional, being calculated by Antony Green to take account of the 2013 redistribution. As such, it may vary from 2010 election results.

The seats of Bellarine, Monbulk, Ripon, and Yan Yean were won by Labor at the 2010 election, but redistributions in 2013 made them notionally Liberal seats.[8][9][10][11] Similarly, the redistribution largely replaced Ballarat West with Wendouree; Ballarat West was also won by Labor at the 2010 election, but notionally Liberal post-redistribution.[12]

Seat 2010 Election 2013 Redistribution Swing 2014 Election
Party Member Margin Party Member Margin Margin Member Party
Bellarine   Labor Lisa Neville 1.4   Liberal Notional 2.5 8.0 5.5 Lisa Neville Labor  
Monbulk Labor James Merlino 1.9 Liberal Notional 1.1 6.0 4.9 James Merlino Labor
Ripon Labor Joe Helper 2.7 Liberal Notional 1.6 −0.6 1.0 Louise Staley Liberal
Wendouree Labor Sharon Knight* 1.1 Liberal New Seat 0.1 6.0 5.9 Sharon Knight Labor
Yan Yean Labor Danielle Green 4.1 Liberal Notional 0.1 3.4 3.3 Danielle Green Labor
* Sharon Knight held the abolished seat of Ballarat West, which was largely replaced with Wendouree by the redistribution.

Key dates

Terms are fixed at four years unless dissolved earlier by the Governor. The election occurred in line with the fixed-term provisions laid out in the Electoral Act 2002.[13]

Key dates for the election were:[14]

  • 4 November: Writs issued by the Governor of Victoria
  • 5 November: Opening of nominations for all candidates
  • 13 November: Close of nominations for party candidates
  • 14 November: Close of nominations for independents
  • 29 November: Election day (polls open 8am to 6pm)

Background

The Coalition won the 2010 Victorian state election with 45 seats to 43 in the 88-member lower house, a swing of 12 seats, defeating the 11-year Labor government.

With a Coalition MP as Speaker, the government operated with a one-seat margin of 44 seats to 43, until the resignation of Geoff Shaw, the member for Frankston, from the Liberal Party on 6 March 2013.[15] This meant the government had only 43 votes on the floor of the parliament, equal to Labor's total. Partly due to Shaw's defection, Premier Ted Baillieu resigned later on 6 March and was succeeded as Liberal leader and Premier by Ports Minister Denis Napthine. Shaw initially guaranteed the Napthine Government support on matters of supply and confidence, allowing it to stay in office as a minority government, although later statements indicated that he had rescinded that earlier statement and was considering assisting an ALP Opposition vote of no confidence in the Napthine administration. If this had happened, his actions could have precipitated an early state election.[16][17]

The government operated with a two-seat margin in the 40-member upper house where all members are up for re-election every term, with 21 Coalition, 16 Labor and 3 Greens members.[18][19]

Labor retained seats at the Broadmeadows, Niddrie, Melbourne and Lyndhurst by-elections.

Casual vacancies were created in various Legislative Council seats by the departures of Labor MPs Martin Pakula (Western Metropolitan—who moved to the Legislative Assembly seat of Lyndhurst)[20] and Candy Broad (Northern Victoria), and Liberal MPs Donna Petrovich[21] (Northern Victoria) and Philip Davis[22] (Eastern Victoria). Their seats were filled by Cesar Melhem,[23] Marg Lewis, Amanda Millar,[24]and Andrew Ronalds[25] respectively, each being appointed by a joint sitting of Parliament.

Registered parties

Twenty-one parties were registered with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC), and all fielded candidates at the 2014 state election:[26]

Additionally, two other parties applied for registration prior to the election,[28][29] but failed to achieve registration by the deadline: No East West Link and Save the Planet.

Redistribution

A redistribution of Victoria's state electoral boundaries took place from 2012 to 2013. The final boundaries were gazetted on 17 October 2013 and were used for the 2014 state election.[30]

Fifteen electorates were abolished, namely Ballarat East (Labor), Ballarat West (Labor), Benalla (Nationals), Clayton (Labor), Derrimut (Labor), Doncaster (Liberal), Keilor (Labor), Kilsyth (Liberal), Lyndhurst (Labor), Mitcham (Liberal), Murray Valley (Nationals), Rodney (Nationals), Scoresby (Liberal), Seymour (Liberal) and Swan Hill (Nationals).[30]

The fifteen new seats are Buninyong (Labor, largely replacing Ballarat East), Clarinda (Labor, largely replacing Clayton), Croydon (Liberal, largely replacing Kilsyth), Eildon (Liberal, combining sections of abolished Seymour with areas of existing Gembrook), Euroa (Nationals, largely replacing Benalla), Keysborough (Labor, largely replacing Lyndhurst), Murray Plains (Nationals, largely replacing Swan Hill and parts of Rodney), Ovens Valley (Nationals, largely replacing Murray Valley), Ringwood (Liberal, largely replacing Mitcham), Rowville (Liberal, largely replacing Scoresby), St Albans (Labor, largely replacing Derrimut), Sunbury (Labor, created from parts of Macedon and Yuroke), Sydenham (Labor, largely replacing Keilor), Wendouree (Liberal, largely replacing Ballarat West), and Werribee (Labor, formed from parts of Lara and Tarneit).[30]

Five electorates changed boundaries notionally, including Wendouree, a notional Liberal seat created from the Labor seat of Ballarat West. According to ABC psephologist Antony Green, the Labor-held seats of Bellarine, Monbulk, Ripon and Yan Yean became notionally Liberal.[30] This meant that Labor needed a notional five-seat swing to win government.

Issues

Much of the Labor campaign was focused on the Napthine Government's A$18 billion East West Link toll road project, which Labor opposed, and threatened to halt if it won power. In early November Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in one of his few Victorian appearances for the Liberals during the campaign, described the election as "a referendum on the East West Link".[31] Public transport also featured strongly during the campaign, with the parties presenting rival inner-city rail tunnel projects and competing plans to remove railway level crossings to ease road congestion.[32]

With unemployment at its highest level since 2001, jobs and the economy became a key issue and both sides promised major job creation schemes: the Coalition said it would create 200,000 jobs over five years and Labor said it would create 100,000 jobs within two years.[32] Other major issues raised during the election were the long-running Ambulance Victoria industrial dispute and slow ambulance response times, urban planning laws, education and law and order. Both major parties promised to build new and bigger hospitals.

Labor election advertising aimed to capitalise on the unpopularity of Australia's Liberal Prime Minister and unpopular federal Liberal policies, while much of the Coalition advertising depicted Andrews as a leader with close ties to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.[33][34]

On environmental issues neither the Coalition nor Labor presented comprehensive policies, although Labor promised to repeal some of the Coalition's legislation, such as on cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park and leases in national parks. A key topic was the proposal for a new Great Forest National Park, that was opposed by the Coalition and wasn't supported by Labor. The Greens supported the new park, as well as stronger action on climate change and phase-out of coal fired power stations.[35]

Candidates and retiring MPs

As the close of nominations on 14 November 2014, there were a total of 896 candidates in the election (a 26 per cent increase to the 711 candidates in the 2010 election). There were 545 candidates contesting the 88 seats of the Victorian Legislative Assembly (up from 501, an 8.6 per cent increase); and 351 candidates contesting the 40 seats in the Legislative Council (up from 206, a 68 per cent increase). Labor and the Greens contested every electorate. There were 92 candidates from the Liberal–National Coalition for the lower house, with four "three-cornered contests" where both Liberal and National candidates contested the same seat (Buninyong, Eildon, Euroa and Ripon).[36]

Retiring MPs

Members who chose not to renominate are as follows:

Labor

Liberal

National

Polling

Graph of Victoria state election polling from 2010 election to 2014 election.
Graph of Victorian better premier polling - 2010 to 2014.
Graph of Victorian Liberal leader satisfaction polling, 2010-2014.
Graph of Victorian Labor leader satisfaction polling, 2010-2014.

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 around 1100–1200 electors. The declared margin of error is ±3 percentage points.

Newspaper endorsements

Dailies   Sundays
Newspaper Endorsement Newspaper Endorsement
The Age Liberal[80] The Sunday Age Labor[81]
The Australian Liberal[82]
The Australian Financial Review Liberal[83]
Herald Sun Liberal[84] Sunday Herald Sun Liberal[85]

Election validity court challenge

In January 2015, unsuccessful Palmer United Party candidate Maria Rigoni petitioned the Supreme Court of Victoria to declare the 2014 election invalid, alleging that the Victorian Electoral Commission had breached the Electoral Act whilst conducting the election. Rigoni argued that the unprecedented high level of early voting demonstrated that the VEC had not applied or enforced the rule requiring applicants for an early or postal votes to declare a valid reason to an electoral officer that they were unable to vote on polling day.[86]

Lawyers acting for the VEC asked the court to dismiss the case as an abuse of process, however Justice Jack Forrest disagreed, and set the case to proceed to trial on 25 February 2015.[87] On 24 March, Justice Gregory Garde of the Supreme Court of Victoria dismissed Rigoni's case, ruling that there was no evidence presented to the court that the VEC's early voting procedures had any effect on the result.[88]

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  35. ^ Wescott, Geoffrey: "Victorians short-changed on environmental policy" in The Conversation, 25 November 2014
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