Nominations closed today for the Victorian state election. In this post I’ll run through the numbers on how many people are running, and from what parties, and where.
Thanks to Nick Casmirri for doing a lot of research in pulling together information about these candidates.
507 candidates are running for the Legislative Assembly, and 380 candidates are running for the Legislative Council. This is a slight decline in lower house numbers (from 545 in 2014) and a record number of candidates for the Legislative Council. There was a 68% increase in upper house candidates to 351 in 2014, and we’ve broken that record by 29 this time. Antony Green has posted some more historical information on candidate numbers.
Labor and the Greens are each running a full ticket of 88 candidates in the lower house. The Liberal Party is running eighty candidates, alongside ten Nationals. The Liberals and Nationals are running against each other in three seats: Bendigo East, Morwell and Shepparton. These three seats are respectively held by Labor, an ex-Nationals independent, and another independent. After the Liberal Party originally threatened to sit out the contest in four inner-city seats, they ended up only sitting out the race in Richmond, apparently in protest at the local Labor MP and minister Richard Wynne.
The Animal Justice Party, who ran nine candidates in the lower house in 2014, is running 43 candidates this time. Other notable parties are the Democratic Labour Party (23), the Victorian Socialists (18), Sustainable Australia (11), Reason (10) and Transport Matters (10). There are also 102 independents. There are sixteen parties running lower house candidates, which is the same number as in 2014.
There are an average of 5.76 candidates per seat. There are nine seats with only three candidates (Labor, Coalition and Greens), while there are twelve candidates in Melton.
Before we move on to the upper house, I’ve also analysed the gender of candidates (we’ve identified all but six) to produce the following graph:
The Greens performed surprisingly poorly on gender balance, with only 35% of their candidates being women (although all but one of their MPs are women, and a majority of their winnable seat candidates are women, so this likely reflects a difference in unwinnable low-profile contests. Labor did better with 47%, with the Liberal Party on 32.5%. The Animal Justice Party are the only party running a sizeable number of candidates who are running more women than men.
Now let’s take a look at the upper house.
Every region has at least 45 candidates, with South-East Metro peaking at 53. The number of groups running in each region is very consistent, with eighteen groups running in all but two regions. The other two regions have nineteen groups.
There is remarkable consistency in who is running in each region. The same eighteen parties (including Nationals on joint tickets with the Liberal Party in non-metro regions) are running in all eight regions, with only one other party running at all.
Bizarrely, Vote 1 Local Jobs, who elected James Purcell in the Western Victoria region in 2014, is only running in the North Metro region. They are running two family members of their sitting MP, while he is running as an independent for the Liberal seat of South-West Coast. I can only assume this is to allow for some kind of preference swap.
I will return in the next few days when we find out the upper house preference tickets, but it’s worth noting that Victoria is one of only two jurisdictions still using the discredited Group Voting Tickets system last used for the Senate in 2013, and this has undoubtedly contributed to the surge in upper house nominations. I expect we will see another preference lottery for the upper house, and the ballot draw could well influence the outcome. Antony has listed more examples of important ballot draw outcomes, but it’s particularly worth noting that the Liberal Democratic Party have drawn column A in the Eastern Metro region, which could help them win on the back of confused Liberal voters.
I will be updating the candidate lists on each seat guide over the next 24 hours – please be patient.