Senate – Victoria – Australia 2016

Incumbent Senators

Term due to expire 2017 Term due to expire 2020
Kim Carr (ALP) Jacinta Collins (ALP)
Stephen Conroy (ALP) Mitch Fifield (LIB)
Richard Di Natale (GRN) Gavin Marshall (ALP)
John Madigan (IND)Ricky Muir (AMEP)
Bridget McKenzie(NAT) Janet Rice (GRN)
James Paterson (LIB)1 Scott Ryan (LIB)

1James Paterson replaced Michael Ronaldson on 9 March 2016 after Michael Ronaldson’s resignation.

The 1951 election, which was the first to result in a Senate entirely elected by proportional representation, gave an overall result of 5 ALP senators, 4 Liberal senators and one Country Party senator. The 1953 election saw the ALP gain a seat off the Liberals, giving them a 6-4 majority. This was the only time the ALP, or any party, won a majority of Victoria’s Senate delegation under PR.

The 1955 election saw the party that became the Democratic Labor Party win a seat off the ALP. At the 1961 election, both the DLP and the ALP lost a Senate seat, with the Liberals winning two, giving them five seats, with three ALP and one each for the DLP and Country Party. In 1964, the DLP regained their single Senate seat from the Liberal Party. In 1967, the DLP gained a second seat off the Country Party, who were left with no Victorian senators.

The 1970 election saw the Country Party regain their seat, off the ALP. The ALP was reduced to three seats, with four Liberals and two DLP senators. The 1974 double dissolution saw the ALP regain ground, with both DLP senators being defeated, and the ALP gaining two seats, bringing their contingent to five out of ten senators.

The 1975 double dissolution reduced the ALP to four seats, with the National Country Party gaining a second seat. The 1977 election saw former Liberal minister Don Chipp elected to the Senate for the newly-formed Australian Democrats. The National Country Party lost one of its senators to the Democrats. The 1980 election saw the NCP lose its other seat to the Democrats.

In the 1983 double dissolution, the ALP gained a fifth seat at the expense of the second Democrats senator. At the 1984 election, an increase in Senators saw the Liberals and Democrats each gain an extra seat. The Democrats again lost their second Victorian senator at the 1987 double dissolution to Nationals candidate Julian McGauran.

The 1990 election saw McGauran defeated, and the Democrats again regain their second seat. The 1993 election saw the Democrats lose a seat yet again to the Nationals. This produced a result of five each for the ALP and Liberals, and one each for the Nationals and Democrats. This status quo was maintained until the 2004 election, when the ALP lost one of its five senate seats to Family First’s Steven Fielding.

The 2007 election saw the ALP regain a fifth seat at the expense of the Democrats, who lost their last Victorian senator. In 2010, the Coalition lost one of their three seats, and Family First’s Steve Fielding also lost his seat. These two seats went to the Greens’ Richard Di Natale and the Democratic Labor Party’s John Madigan, shifting the split from 4-2 to the right to 3-3.

In 2013, both Labor and Liberal lost their third seat, to the Greens and Ricky Muir of the Motoring Enthusiasts Party.

2013 result

Liberal/Nationals 1,357,15340.1+5.72.8091
Labor 1,097,25532.5-5.32.2715
Greens 366,72010.8-3.80.7588
Palmer United Party123,8893.7+3.70.2562
Sex Party63,8831.9-0.80.1323
Family First51,6581.5+1.00.1071
Wikileaks Party41,9261.2+1.20.0868
Rise Up Australia31,0000.9+0.90.0644
Shooters and Fishers28,2200.8-1.50.0581
Animal Justice Party25,4700.8+0.80.0525
Democratic Labour Party23,8830.7-0.70.0497
Help End Marijuana Prohibition20,0840.6+0.60.0413
Motoring Enthusiast17,1220.5+0.50.0357

The ALP and the Liberal Party each won two seats on primary votes. The third Liberal (Helen Kroger) and the Greens candidate (Janet Rice) were the leading contenders for the last two seats, with 75-81% of a quota each.

Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (AMEP) gained a very favourable flow of preferences, first gaining most of the votes from the Fishing and Lifestyle Party (AFLP), at a point where Muir was only two slots away from being knocked out. He then gained further preferences from HEMP, the Shooters and Fishers, and small parts of the preferences from Animal Justice and Rise Up Australia. These flows increased Muir’s position from 3.57% of a quota to 19.4% of a quota.

At this point, nine candidates were left standing:

  • Helen Kroger (LIB) – 0.8153 quotas
  • Janet Rice (GRN) – 0.7773
  • Mehmet Tillem (ALP) – 0.2766
  • Barry Michael (PUP) – 0.2601
  • Fiona Patten (SXP) – 0.2268
  • Ricky Muir (AMEP) – 0.1946
  • Mark Farrell (DLP) – 0.1548
  • David Collyer (DEM) – 0.1476
  • Ashley Fenn (FF) – 0.1457

Family First preferences mainly favoured Muir:

  • Kroger (LIB) – 0.8183
  • Rice (GRN) – 0.7781
  • Muir (AMEP) – 0.2985
  • Tillem (ALP) – 0.2772
  • Michael (PUP) – 0.2611
  • Patten (SXP) – 0.2270
  • Farrell (DLP) – 0.1905
  • Collyer (DEM) – 0.1479

Democrats preferences favoured the Sex Party:

  • Kroger (LIB) – 0.8187
  • Rice (GRN) – 0.8031
  • Patten (SXP) – 0.3156
  • Muir (AMEP) – 0.3077
  • Tillem (ALP) – 0.2780
  • Michael (PUP) – 0.2613
  • Farrell (DLP) – 0.2141

DLP preferences split between Palmer United, Muir and Kroger:

  • Kroger (LIB) – 0.8527
  • Rice (GRN) – 0.8048
  • Muir (AMEP) – 0.3825
  • Michael (PUP) – 0.3401
  • Patten (SXP) – 0.3391
  • Tillem (ALP) – 0.2791

Labor preferences elected Greens candidate Janet Rice:

  • Rice (GRN) – 1.0760
  • Kroger (LIB) – 0.8559
  • Muir (AMEP) – 0.3833
  • Patten (SXP) – 0.3415
  • Michael (PUP) – 0.3415

Most of the Greens’ surplus flowed to the Sex Party, who were on the verge of being knocked out. Palmer United preferences gave a big boost to Muir:

  • Kroger (LIB) – 0.8605
  • Muir (AMEP) – 0.7173
  • Patten (SXP) – 0.4197

Patten’s preferences overwhelmingly flowed to Muir, and elected him over Liberal senator Helen Kroger.


  • A – Derryn Hinch (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party)
  • B – David Collyer (Unaffiliated)
  • C – Bruce Poon (Animal Justice)
  • D – Labor
  • E – Luke James (Science Party)
  • F – Catriona Thoolen (Palmer United Party)
  • G – Hugh Dolan (Jacqui Lambie Network)
  • H – Vickie Janson (Australian Christians)
  • I – Georgia Nicholls (Sustainable Australia)
  • J – Lachlan Simpson (Pirate)
  • K – Chris Sinnema (Socialist Equality Party)
  • L – Isaac Golden (Health Australia Party)
  • M – Graham Askey (Renewable Energy Party)
  • N – Danielle Lehrer (VOTEFLUX)
  • O – Peter Bain (Family First)
  • P – May Hanna (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Q – Rose Godde (The Arts Party)
  • R – Stephen Vereker (Democratic Labour)
  • S – Craig Isherwood (Citizens Electoral Council)
  • T – John Perkins (Secular Party)
  • U – Daniel Jones (Liberty Alliance)
  • V – Naomi Halpern (Nick Xenophon Team)
  • W – Ricky Muir (Motoring Enthusiast)
  • X – Jason Tuazon-McCheyne (Australian Equality Party)
  • Y – Simon Roylance (One Nation)
  • Z – Lalitha Chelliah (Socialist Alliance)
  • AA – Garry Kerr (Country Party)
  • AB – John Madigan (Manufacturing and Farming)
  • AC – Greg Chipp (Drug Law Reform)
  • AD – David Scanlon (Voluntary Euthanasia Party)
  • AE – Graham McCarthy (Mature Australia)
  • AF – Liberal/Nationals
  • AG – Jake Wilson (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • AH – Duncan Spender (Liberal Democrats)
  • AI – Daniel Nalliah (Rise Up Australia)
  • AJ – David Knight (Australian Progressives)
  • AK – Greens
  • AL – Meredith Doig (Sex Party)
  • Ungrouped
    • Stephen Juhasz
    • Karthik Arasu
    • Dennis Hall
    • Dana Spasojevic
    • John Karagiannidis
    • Geoff Lutz
    • Allan Mull
    • Chris Ryan
    • Eric Vadarlis
    • Mark Dickenson
    • Immanuel Shmuel
    • Glenn Floyd
    • Meredith Urie
    • Trevor Nye
    • Peter Hawks
    • Christopher Beslis

The Coalition should win at least five seats, Labor should win at least four, and the Greens should win at least seat. The left (either Labor or Greens) should win at least one of the last two seats, with the last seat a contest between the other left party, the Liberal Party, and one of a number of small parties.

Incumbent senators Ricky Muir and John Madigan will be running for re-election, and we have very little information about how much support they have, or what sort of campaign they will run. Madigan is now separated from the Democratic Labour Party, which has some kind of support base.

If Muir wins a similar vote as in 2013, he won’t come close to winning a second term, but he now has a much higher national profile, which could lead to a stronger vote.

The Nick Xenophon Team should also be considered as a possible contender, if they are polling a healthy figure across the country.

The Sex Party has also polled a substantial vote in Victoria at some past elections. We don’t have any information about whether Derryn Hinch could poll enough of a vote to be a contender.


  1. Victoria doesn’t have the established minor parties like most other states, (e.g. Family First in SA and the CDP & SFF in NSW)

    From here on in I’d expect 5 Lib/Nat, 5 Labor and 2 Greens, although the 12th seat could come down to Labor, Sex and maybe even Hinch, also its hard to gage his support.

  2. Ricky Muir and John Madigan will likely be gone. Also predictions that Derryn Hinch has a great chance are overblown with some politcal commentators very skeptical about his chances. And thank goodness for that,

  3. I’d give the Sex Party a chance here, along with Janet Rice. Di Natale is very popular in Vic and I’ll predict the Greens vote will go much higher. If Muir or Hinch draw the first column theyd be in with a shot. Madigan is gone.

  4. Wouldn’t surprise me if the Greens poll two quotas in their own right in Victoria, or at least come very close to it. Janet Rice should be a shoe in for re-election. I agree Madigan is gone, Muir is in with a shot but he’ll be up against the Sex Party, and even the Shooters and Fishers, assuming they stand candidates, who have upper house representation in the Victorian parliament.

  5. Agree with some of the above. If Hinch, SXP or Muir pull Column A, they’ll be a strong chance.

    Also, if Col A is DLP or LibDems and if the correspondingly confusing major party is buried in column AG, then DLP/LibDems could win a seat too.

    Pity that our democracy comes down to random chance.

  6. Epsom Resident – it would be nice if we had a system that varied the order depending on, say, the polling booth, or the electorate, with a requirement that all groups get equal representation in each position on the ballot, to ensure that the “random chance” factor is minimised.

    That said, I think the “include the logo” change to the senate ballot should reduce the DLP/LDP vs Liberal issue – far fewer will confuse them when they’ve been seeing the Liberal party logo everywhere.

  7. Glen, the only thing is that they haven’t been seeing the Liberal logo everywhere, because they’ve been using Turnbull’s presidential seal instead!

  8. Greens won’t get 2 quotas. Being a double dissoloution greens preferences might get distributed before liberals. Sex and HEMP have combined so they’ll likely end up with the preferences of people avoiding the big four. Most wikileaks votes will go to pirates but I imagine sex will end up with some of them. One nation will probably take some votes from Rise up Australia, shooters and PUP but unlikely to be enough for a seat.

    Xenophon is a bit of wild card with a vague outside chance. Hinch is a joke, like the socialists or cec.

    I’d say most probable outcome is 5 lib/nats 4 labor, 1 greens, 1 sex with the last seat between labor, greens and xenophon, but with new voting rules everything could change. Frankly given how similar the main parties are whoever wins will make negligable change in the country, so I don’t think its worth analysing too much..

    Expect lib/nats + labor/greens to get 80% of primary, minor parties to get 20%. Given that a quota is 7.7% 2 minor party senators is highly likely. Lambie, One nation and Pirates might have a shot. Where hardcore liberal/labor supporters put their preferences will be the big unknown and a very telling factor.

    My prediction: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  9. The Greens are a shoe in for two, beside Tasmania it’s the only state where it will be a certainty.

  10. d – The Greens saw a swing against them in 2013 because of the “instability” thing, that isn’t a factor this time around. If they get, say, 12% primary vote, then that puts them on 1.56 quotas. That will keep them ahead of Sex Party, and much of the Sex Party vote will flow to the Greens.

    The Greens will also benefit from high flow from Animal Justice, Science Party, Sustainable Australia, Socialist Equality, and Pirate, and may see some flow from NXT if NXT doesn’t get up. In truth, NXT is probably the biggest threat to Greens getting a second seat, but I suspect that Greens will remain ahead of them thanks to the flow from the other parties I just mentioned.

    The problem for the Liberals is that they’re unlikely to see much preferential flow, given the new “optional” system. So even with, say, 38% of the vote, giving them 4.94 quotas, they may not be able to grab that fifth seat. And I suspect that they’ll end up closer to 35% (similar to their 2010 vote), giving them just 4.55 quotas.

    Muir and Madigan are the wildcards, in my view – we have no sense of how they’ll perform under the new system. I think Madigan is gone, Muir is harder to call – he may benefit from the “just an average guy, doing a decent job” image, or he may be too forgettable.

    So I see Coalition getting 4 seats, Labor getting 4 seats, Greens getting 2, and then the remaining two going to either Muir, NXT, Labor, or Liberals, with Sex Party and Family First being outside chances. If I had to make a prediction, I’d go with NXT and Liberals.

  11. Derryn Hinch drew Column A and the Sex Party drew the right-hand column (AL), so that should help out both of those parties.

    The other notable minor parties are stuck in the middle of the ballot – column V for AMEP (Muir), column W for NXT and column AB for Madigan.

  12. It wont make a difference to the Greens chances of retaining there two seats, but its a bit of a snub.
    The Reason Labor and the Coalition are preferencing Hinch is the hope that it could take a seat off one of them, Labor would hope the Coalition would win 4 if Hinch won and the same hopes for the Coalition.

  13. Hinch must think he’s a chance. They’re campaigning pretty hard at the Corangamite prepoll with their HTVC’s.

  14. Hoping Hinch gets in, at least the man is honest & stands by what he says. This country could do with someone like that at the top!

  15. I saw Barrie Cassidy on some Skytorynews panel discussion where he stated that Hinch is ineligible due to prior conviction and if he wins there would be a complete re-vote in Victorian Senate.

    Is this the case? If so, how and why was he allowed to contest the election?


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