Australian Election Database - Victorian House of Assembly



Summary details for each election year for the Victorian House of Assembly general elections since 1856. This data includes electoral system characteristics, seats in chamber, number of enrolled voters, ballots cast, rate of voter turnout and rate of informal voting.

Nesstar Publisher, Version: 3.54

Unit of Analysis
House of Assembly, Victorian Parliament

Seats in the Victorian House of Assembly (Lower House) and voters in Victoria.

Time Method
Time series

Collection Mode

Cleaning Operations
The data were checked by the archive for missing variable and value labels, out of range values and wild codes, logical inconsistencies, and confidentiality.

Definitions of variables : Uncontested seats: the number of seats in which only one candidate ran for office, and won the seat without any votes having to be cast. The database shows the number of voters enrolled in uncontested seats. Although there have been very few uncontested seats at general elections in Australia since 1980, they were a regular feature of elections in some states until the 1960s. The frequency of uncontested seats and the number of enrolled voters they contain can be a useful indicator of the competitiveness of the party system at a general election. For more information and analysis, see Campbell Sharman, 'Uncontested Seats and the Evolution of Party Competition: The Australian Case', Party Politics, 9(6) November 2003: 679-702. ballots Ballots are the papers on which votes are recorded. A vote can be a single mark, or one or more marks or numbers to elect one or more candidates. At some elections, voters could mark ballots with more than one vote, giving the result that there were more votes cast than voters. This was the case for elections for the South Australian House of Assembly until 1927. Turnout - The turnout at at election is the proportion of voters on the electoral roll (registered voters) who cast a vote. In this database, turnout is measured as the rate of voting in contested seats, shown as a percentage of registered voters; see also compulsory voting. Electoral district - Electoral districts are also called electorates but, as the term electorate also refers to the whole body of voters across a political system, the term electoral district has been used in this database to keep the distinction clear; Electoral roll - The electoral roll is the list of voters who are registered to vote at an election. compulsory preferences - a requirement that a voter must rank all candidates on the ballot paper under a system of preferential voting. Electoral system - The electoral system is the set of rules which specifies how elections are organized and how votes are cast and counted at an election. The broad category of electoral system used to elect members at an election is shown in the database, and the entries are indexed in this database under the name of each electoral system. Australia has been adventurous in its experimentation with electoral rules and electoral law. It is planned to add more information on Australian electoral rules to the database. first past the post - A first past the post electoral system is one in which a voter is required to mark the ballot paper, usually with a cross or tick, indicating the voter's preferred candidate. The winning candidate is the one with the most votes. In electoral contests where there are only two candidates, the candidate with the most votes will have a majority (that is, more than 50 percent of the votes cast). If there are more than two candidates, the candidate with the most votes may only have a plurality (that is, more than any other candidate, but less that 50 percent of the votes cast). For this reason, first past the post voting is sometimes called plurality voting and is indicated in this database as 'first past the post (plurality) voting'. First past the post electoral systems were widely used in Australia until the rise of the Australian Labor Party prompted anti-Labor parties after 1910 to adopt preferential voting for most lower house elections in Australia. First past the post electoral systems are usually associated with single member districts, but they can also be used in multimember districts. The use of plurality voting with multimember districts is often called 'block voting'; the voter is given as many votes as there are candidates to be elected from the district. Such a system favours well organized party tickets and a successful party can win all the seats in a multimember district with a plurality of votes. This system was used for the Commonwealth Senate until 1919. Plurality voting can also be used in multimember districts by giving the voters as many ballots as there are candidates to be elected from the district. This enables voters to vote for several candidates or to cast more than one ballot for their favoured candidate (see also ballots). first preference vote - Preferential voting requires a voter to rank candidates on the ballot paper in the order of the voter's choice. A voter's most preferred candidate is the one against whose name the voter has written '1' on the ballot paper. This candidate represents the voter's first preference vote. This definition also applies to voting under systems of proportional representation. Where a first past the post (plurality) electoral system is used, the first preference vote refers to the number of ticks or crosses gained by each candidate. Change from previous election (Swing) The change in first preference vote won by a party at a given election when compared with the previous election, expressed as the difference between the percentage first preference vote shares. Note that the party must be listed in the database for both elections (see listed party) for a figure to appear in the column. If the party was a listed party in the previous election but ran candidates under a difference name, no figure for changed vote share will appear (see party name). Turnout - The turnout at at election is the proportion of voters on the electoral roll (registered voters) who cast a vote. In this database, turnout is measured as the rate of voting in contested seats, shown as a percentage of registered voters. Registration of voters - Registration (enrolment) as a voter is now compulsory for all Australian parliamentary elections (note the partial exception of South Australia, below). With minor qualifications for length of residence and variations for some state and territory elections, all eligible Australian citizens are required to be registered as voters. Comprehensive voter registration can be achieved by surveying households, and by requiring state agencies which compile lists of names and addresses to provided these lists to electoral authorities. For commentary on the context of compulsory registration, see David M Farrell and Ian McAllister, The Australian Electoral System: Origins, Variations and Consequences, pp 121-124 (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2006, ISBN 0868408581). History Compulsory enrolment was introduced for Victorian lower house elections in 1930. Election dates for the Tasmanian elections are: 20 April 1892, 20 September 1894, 14 October 1897, 1 November 1900, 1 October 1902, 1 June 1904, 14 April 1907, 29 December 1908, 16 November 1911, 26 November 1914, 15 November 1917, 21 October 1920, 30 August 1921, 26 June 1924, 9 April 1927, 30 November 1929, 14 May 1932, 2 March 1935, 2 October 1937, 15 March 1940, 12 June 1943, 10 November 1945, 8 November 1947, 13 May 1950, 5 December 1952, 28 May 1955, 31 May 1958, 15 July 1961, 27 June 1964, 29 April 1967, 30 May 1970, 19 May 1973, 20 March 1976, 5 May 1979, 3 April 1982, 2 March 1985, 1 October 1988, 3 October 1992, 30 March 1996, 18 September 1999, 30 November 2002, 25 November 2006. November 1982, 7 December 1985, 25 November 1989, 11 December 1993, 11 October 1997, 9 February 2002, 18 March 2006.
Date made available29 Nov 2018
PublisherDataverse (Australian Data Archive, ADA)
Temporal coverage1892 - 2006
Date of data production4 May 2010
Geographical coverageAustralia Victoria

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