With the next state election looming over our heads, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed by the slew of promises and insults that politicians have plastered all over billboards, in persistent and grating YouTube ads, across pamphlets, during door knocks - man, it’s relentless.
We’ve put together a simple election guide here at Beat aimed specifically at young Melburnians, to hopefully drown out some of the noise and answer some commonly-held election questions as you consider your vote to elect the next Victorian parliament.
This isn’t an exhaustive guide, rather a targeted one – we have done our best to present an unbiased overview of some of the parties’ policies but still encourage you to continue to research widely before voting in order to make an informed choice.
The election will take place this month, on Saturday, November 26 and voting in it is mandatory.
What are the key policies?
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Australian Labor Party (ALP)
Leader: Daniel Andrews
Led by Daniel Andrews, the current Labor government are seeking a third successive four-year term. A member of the Socialist Left faction of the Labor Party, his re-election will see him become one of the longest-serving premiers in Victoria’s history, with only five leaders in history having served more than 3,000 days in office.
In the state sphere, the Andrews government recently announced a pledge of around $246 million for creative industries, to assist in rebuilding after the impacts of COVID, and recently introduced an Always Live campaign to increase live shows happening in and around Melbourne.
In terms of climate action, Labor are promising to increase the state’s renewable energy by 65% 2030 and 95% per cent by 2035. They had aim to cut Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 to 80% by 2035, for a goal of net zero by 2045.
Labor also promises to cap V/Line fares at $9.20 a day ($4.60 for concession card holders) to make regional travel more accessible. The current V/Line tickets are not capped, with each ticket fluctuating in price depending on where you’re heading and whether or not you’re travelling at a peak time.
They have also proposed a $35 billion Cheltenham to Box Hill rail tunnel, as part of the proposed Suburban Rail Loop that will loop around Melbourne from Werribee to Cheltenham, stopping off at the airport. The Cheltenham to Box Hill rail tunnel, as the first part of this proposed loop, will create an expected 2,000 jobs during construction as well as improve connections across Melbourne and to regional Victoria.
Criticism against Daniel Andrews during his term as Premier over the years includes accusations of being too authoritarian and anti-democratic with his lockdown mandates and pandemic bills. He has also been accused of being implicit in corruption and has received criticism from The Greens for his lack of environmental concern in policy-making, namely approving an onshore/offshore gas extraction site near the 12 Apostles.
According to a snap SMS poll conducted by Roy Morgan – as of October 18, the ALP has a lead over the Liberals with 60.5% of those surveyed stating that they would vote in his favour come the state election.
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Liberal / National Coalition
Leader: Matthew Guy
The current opposition leader is Matthew Guy, representing the Liberal/National Coalition Party. He is also the current member for Bulleen.
Matthew Guy has promised to cap public transport fares at $2 a day for full fare holders and $1 for concession, dramatically reducing the current cost of public transport from $9.20 a day and $4.60 for concession.
The Liberal Party have also proposed an end to stamp tax for first home buyers if elected. The proposed plan will span a period of 12 months and – as reported by the ABC – will save up to 7,000 families up to $55,000 over the year.
With promises to offer “real solutions for all Victorians”, the central priority of the Liberal Party in the state election is economic. Positing a ‘Long Term Economic Plan’, they aim to fix the healthcare crisis without raising taxes, by scrapping the current proposed $35 billion Cheltenham to Box Hill rail tunnel and instead using the funds to build 20 new hospitals over the next four years. The costings for both this policy and the transport fare cap have been challenged extensively by Labor.
They plan to reduce climate emissions by 50% by 2030, investing $22 billion in low emissions technologies for a net zero target by 2050.
As petrol prices reach record heights, the Liberal Party have also announced a proposed $1 million commitment to developing an app that compares fuel prices, modelled after the NSW FuelCheck app. Additionally, with their Victorian Gas for Victorians pledge, they aim to reserve local gas for Victorian use with their local gas guarantee
Guy has held his position since a leadership spill in September of 2021. This is his second time in the lead role, having held the position from 2014 until 2018. He resigned from his first term as opposition leader after he led the Liberal party to a stark loss at the 2018 state election, securing only 27 seats. He stayed in office from 2018, until his reinstatement as the Leader of the Liberal Party in Victoria in 2021.
According to the same Roy Morgan Poll referenced above, the Liberal Party is down in the polls and is sitting at 39.5% (as of October 18).
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Leader: Samantha Ratnam
Campaigning for a “fairer, greener and more progressive Victoria”, the focus of the Green Party in this state election is tackling the current climate crisis as well as the Victorian housing affordability crisis.
The Greens are bidding to replace coal and gas with renewable energy by 2030, citing coal and gas as a leading cause of the current climate crisis. Referencing the Andrews government approving an onshore/offshore gas extraction five kilometres from the Twelve Apostles in 2021, The Greens plan promises an immediate ban on any new coal, oil and gas projects, as well as a stated aim to get one million homes off gas and onto renewable energy sources.
With rent across the state rising three to four times faster than wages, The Greens are also pushing to end tax breaks for property developers.
The Greens plan to legalise and regulate the sale and consumption of cannabis across the state by 2024, with an aim to reduce the harms associated with criminalising drug use. “We need a smarter approach to drugs, and decriminalisation of drug use is the first step,” says Victorian Greens health and justice spokesperson, Dr Tim Read. Introducing a tax on the sale of cannabis, similar to the tax that exists on alcohol, could raise over $1.21 billion dollars in revenue over the next 10 years, with the decriminalisation of possession saving $250 million in police and court expenditures.
One of The Green’s proposed aims is the abolition of the cruel or inhumane use of animals for sport, recreation or entertainment, including the banning of greyhound racing, an end to commercial horse racing, the ban on the sale of any shark fin product and a regulation on cruel management within the meat, egg and dairy industries.
The Greens have attracted the most support out of the minor parties, with their voters sitting at 14.5%, according to the snap SMS Roy Morgan Poll of October 18.
Minor and independent parties/candidates
As we saw in this year’s Federal Election, with a record independent party vote, support for minor parties is on the rise. Nearly a third of Victorians (30%) have stated that they would vote for a minor party or independent in this upcoming State Election.
There are currently 21 parties registered with the Victorian Electoral Commission as of October 26. Find the full list of currently registered parties by heading here.
With the 2022 federal election being swept up in a so-called ‘teal wave’, the statewide focus has turned to the Teal Independents as potential candidates for several seats in this state election. The ‘teals’ are not a unified party, but rather a loose group of independent candidates who tend to balance economically conservative and socially liberal agendas, with climate change being a shared focus of their plans.
The federal election saw seven teal independents taking seven seats that were held in normally safe Liberal electorates. With teal independents running for seats in Liberal safe and marginal zones this election, such as Mornington and Kew, as well as the Labor safe and marginal zones of Caulfield and Hawthorn, the teal independents might be ones to keep an eye on in this election.
Teal candidates running in this election, as of October 27
- Melissa Lowe for Hawthorn
- Sophie Torney for Kew
- Nomi Kaltmann for Caulfield
- Dr Kate Lardner for Mornington
Lead candidate: Jerome Small
Fierce door knockers and grassroots campaigners, the Victorian Socialists are running for state seats, with candidates across Northern Metro, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Essendon, Greenvale, Kalkallo, Melbourne, Northcote, Pascoe Vale, Preston, Richmond and Thomastown.
Some of the other independent parties running in this election include the Animal Justice Party, Fiona Patten’s Reason Party, the National Party of Australia, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party Victoria and United Australia Party (UAP). Check out the full list of parties in the running by heading here.
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Victorian electoral districts
Victoria is divided up into electoral districts. In the election, you vote for the representative of your district. All 88 seats in the lower house correspond to the 88 electoral districts and whoever holds the majority of seats across the designated districts will form the state government for that term.
Here’s a relatively brief overview of just a couple of the districts that make up metropolitan Melbourne, each located in a different region, but you can find the complete list by heading here.
Spanning just over 14 square kilometres in the Northern Metropolitan Region, the Brunswick District includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East, Brunswick West, Carlton North, Fitzroy North and Princes Hill.
Labor: Mike Williams
Liberal: Minh Quan Nguyen
Greens: Tim Read (currently representing the seat of Brunswick)
Victorian Socialists: Nahui Jimenez Ludekens
Historically, the Brunswick District has been held by the ALP and Anti-Communist Labor, but it’s currently an Australian Greens seat.
The Footscray District spans an area of 23 kilometres in Melbourne’s west and makes up a part of the Western Metropolitan Region. It encompasses the suburbs of Yarraville, Seddon, Footscray, West Footscray, Maidstone and Maribyrnong.
Labor: Katie Hall (currently representing the seat of Footscray)
Liberal: Emete Joesika
Greens: Elena Pereyra
Animal Justice Party: Shohre Mansouri Jajaee
Historically, the seat has been held by Labor since 1927.
Situated in the North-Eastern Metropolitan Region, the Ivanhoe District takes up 31.2 square kilometres and includes Ivanhoe, Eaglemont, Heidelberg and Rosanna.
Labor: Anthony Carbines (currently representing the seat of Ivanhoe)
Liberal: Bernadette Khoury
Greens: Emily Bieber
Family First: Sarah Hayward
The Ivanhoe District was a relatively safe Liberal Seat from 1985 until 1996 but has been an ALP seat since the 1996 election until the present.
Located in the Southern Metropolitan Region, the Malvern District is a long, thin district bordered in the south by Dandenong Road and is made up of the suburbs of Toorak, Kooyong, Malvern, Armadale, Glen Iris and Malvern East.
Labor: Darren Natale
Liberal: Michael O’Brien (currently representing the seat of Malvern)
Greens: Mitchell Fuller
Animal Justice Party: Amelia Natoli
Malvern has historically been exclusively a Liberal Party seat since its formation as a district in 1945.
Albert Park District
Containing the suburbs of St Kilda, St Kilda West, Middle Park, Albert Park, South Melbourne, Southbank, Port Melbourne and South Wharf, the Albert Park District borders the beach to the south and the estuary of the Birrarung/Yarra to the east.
Labor: Nina Taylor (current Parliamentary Secretary for Health)*
Liberal: Lauren Sherson
Greens: Kim Samiotis
Independent: Georgie Dragwidge
*The current representative for the Albert Park District, Martin Foley, is retiring at this election, having held the seat since 2007
The Albert Park District has been held by the ALP since 1950.
Encompassing almost 25 kilometres, the Melbourne District encompasses the CBD, Parkville, Kensington, West Melbourne, Carlton, North Melbourne and East Melbourne.
Labor: Rebecca Thistleton
Liberal: George Palackalody
Greens: Ellen Sandell (currently representing the seat of Melbourne)
Reason Party: Nicola Foxworthy
Melbourne District was held by the ALP from 1955 until 2014 and has been held by The Greens since 2014.
The Northcote District is made up of the suburbs of Preston (up until Bell Street), Thornbury, Northcote, Fairfield and Alphington.
Labor: Kat Theophanous (currently representing the seat of Northcote)
Liberal: Stewart Todhunter
Greens: Campbell Gome
Freedom Party of Victoria: Anastacia Ntouni
The Northcote District was represented by The Greens for a year from 2017 until 2018, otherwise it has been held continuously by the ALP.
The Preston District encompasses the suburbs of Preston (from Bell Street) and Reservoir.
Labor: Nathan Lambert
Liberal: Amanda Paliouras
Greens: Patchouli Paterson
Independent: Gaetano Greco
The Preston District has been held by the ALP since its formation as a district in 1945.
Located in the Southern Metropolitan Region, the Prahran District contains Windsor, Prahran, South Yarra and St Kilda East.
Labor: Wesa Chau
Liberal: Matthew Lucas
Greens: Sam Hibbins (currently representing the seat of Prahran)
Animal Justice Party: Alice Le Huray
The Prahran District has been contested throughout the years, with the seat being held by the Liberals from 1985 until 2002, ALP from 2002 until 2010, Liberal again from 2010 until 2014 and The Greens from 2014 until the present.
A part of the Northern Metropolitan Region, the electoral district of Richmond contains Fitzroy, Collingwood, Abbotsford, Clifton Hill, Richmond, Cremorne and Burnley.
Labor: Lauren O’Dwyer
Liberal: Lucas Moon
Greens: Gabrielle de Vietri
Victorian Socialists: Roz Ward
Historically, the seat has been held by the ALP from 1958 until the present.
Find the full list of districts and their maps by heading here.
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How and where do I vote?
To be eligible to vote in the Victorian State Election, you must be an Australian citizen, be 18 or older and have lived in Victoria for longer than a month. Enrol, or check your current Victorian enrolment details by heading here.
Voting takes place in person at any voting centre on election day, Saturday, November 26. You can vote at any time during their opening hours – 8 am to 6 pm. Every centre will be wheelchair accessible and have translation services, head here for more information on accessibility across voting centres.
Or you can do what I did during the federal election season and jump the queues by heading down early and avoid all the campaigners and screaming children on election day – with early voting centres available in every district across Victoria, you can vote between Monday, November 14 and Friday, November 25. The early voting centre locations and hours can be found here. No democracy sausages if you do this though, sadly.
If you’re actually away from the state for the election, you can vote from interstate in person at any State or Territory electoral commission across Australia. The locations and hours can be found here.
You can also vote by post – you must apply between Wednesday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 23, with the ballot packs sent out from Monday, November 14. Apply to vote by post by heading here and then enjoy the rest of your beach holiday.
If all of these elections, referendums, ballots, polls and stuff seem a bit overwhelming: the Victorian Electoral Commission has a service called VoterAlert, which is a free election reminder service that will let you know where and how to vote in any elections that you’re eligible to vote in. Sign up, and check your Victorian enrolment details, by heading here.
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So – what are the polls currently saying?
A Roy Morgan Snap SMS poll conducted in September of this year recorded a strong lead for the ALP, with 60.5% in their favour while the LNP sits at 39.5%.
This information comes from a cross-section of 1,379 Victorian electors aged over 18. Of those surveyed, 8% stated they couldn’t say which party they would support at this time.
This represents a raise in the primary vote for the ALP, seeing them rising 5.5% points since August 2022 and the L-NP down 1% point. Support for minor and independent parties is on the rise in this election; with a whopping 30% of Victorians stating that they would vote for an independent party.
Although, as anyone who was watching the polls in the 2019 federal election would know, there’s always room for things to completely change at the eleventh hour.
“Although all the signs point to a clear victory for the ALP at next month’s Victorian State Election there is a strong possibility we will see a larger cross-bench after the election with new Greens and Independent members set to increase their standing in the Parliament,” says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine on the findings of the September 2022 Roy Morgan poll.
For the latest and most accurate information, head to the Victorian Electoral Commission website here.