Electoral regions of Victoria
Members of the Victorian Legislative Council, the upper house of the Parliament of the Australian State of Victoria, are elected from 8 multi-member electorates called regions. The Legislative Council has 40 members, 5 from each of the 8 regions. The last time electoral boundaries were drawn was in 2005. The Electoral Boundaries Commission is currently reviewing electoral boundaries.
Reform of 2003
A major reform of the Parliament was made by the Labor government, led by Steve Bracks, with the passage of the Constitution (Parliamentary Reform) Act 2003. Under the new system, members of the Legislative Council serve fixed four-year terms linked to elections for the Legislative Assembly, unless if the Legislative Assembly is dissolved sooner.
Each electoral region consists of 11 contiguous Legislative Assembly electoral districts with about 420,000 electors each, who elect five members to the Legislative Council by a single transferable vote. There are now 40 members of the Legislative Council, four fewer than before. The changes also introduced proportional representation. The opportunity was also taken to remove the Council's ability to block supply. The reforms have made it easier for minor parties to gain election to the Council and possibly gain the balance of power.
The state is divided into the following eight electoral regions:
Provinces 1856 to 2006
The Legislative Council was formerly elected from 22 single-member electorates called "provinces". The members of the council sat for two assembly terms so two members sat for each province. This is a list of the provinces as of 2005:
- Ballarat Province
- Central Highlands Province
- Chelsea Province
- Doutta Galla Province
- East Yarra Province
- Eumemmerring Province
- Geelong Province
- Gippsland Province
- Higinbotham Province
- Jika Jika Province
- Koonung Province
- Melbourne Province
- Melbourne North Province
- Melbourne West Province
- Monash Province
- North Eastern Province
- North Western Province#
- Silvan Province
- South Eastern Province
- Templestowe Province
- Waverley Province
- Western Province#
- Western Port Province
The following provinces also existed but were abolished prior to 2002:
- Bendigo Province (1904–1988)
- Boronia Province (1967–1996)
- Central Province# (1856–1882)
- Eastern Province# (1856–1882)
- Melbourne East Province (1904–1940)
- Melbourne South Province (1904–1937)
- North Central Province (1882–1908)
- North Yarra Province (1882–1908)
- Northern Province (1882–c.1979)
- Nunawading Province (1976–1992)
- South Western Province# (1856–c.1979)
- South Yarra Province (1882–1904)
- Southern Province# (1856–c.1970)
- Wellington Province (1882–1940)
# = Original Province of inaugural (upper-house chamber) Legislative Council 1856
The old system tended to favour the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia (often in coalition) over the Australian Labor Party and other parties. This caused many instances where a Labor-controlled Assembly faced an opposition-controlled Council — a rare occurrence elsewhere in Australia.
Electoral districts 1851 to 1856
The Victorian Legislative Council was initially a single chamber (unicameral) when first created and consisted of members some of whom were nominated and some elected. The electoral districts were:
- Belfast and Warrnambool
- Gipps' Land
- Kilmore, Kyneton and Seymour
- City of Melbourne
- Normanby, Dundas and Follett
- North Bourke
- Ripon, Hampden, Grenville and Polwarth
- South Bourke, Evelyn and Mornington
- Talbot, Dalhousie and Angelsey
- Villiers and Heytesbury
- added in the expansion of the council in 1855.
- Electoral Boundaries Commission 2000–2001 Redivision Report
- Electoral Boundaries Commission website
- Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851-6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p. 182. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Victorian Electoral Act". New South Wales Government. 1851. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "An Act to further alter "The Victoria Electoral Act of 1851" and to increase the Number of Members of the Legislative Council of Victoria. (Assented to 22nd May, 1855.)". Australasian Legal Information Institute. 1855. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Re-Member (Former Members)". State Government of Victoria. Retrieved 19 October 2012.