Electoral regions of Victoria

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Not to be confused with Electoral districts 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.[1] The Electoral Boundaries Commission is currently reviewing electoral boundaries.[2]

Reform of 2003[edit]

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 Electoral Boundaries Commission drew the boundaries of the new regions in 2005.[1] The new system came into effect for the 2006 Victorian election.

Current Regions[edit]

The state is divided into the following eight electoral regions:

Provinces 1856 to 2006[edit]

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:

The following provinces also existed but were abolished prior to 2002:

# = Original Province of inaugural (upper-house chamber) Legislative Council 1856[3]

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[citation needed]. 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[edit]

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:[4][5]

  1. ^ a b c d e added in the expansion of the council in 1855.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Electoral Boundaries Commission 2000–2001 Redivision Report
  2. ^ Electoral Boundaries Commission website
  3. ^ Edward Sweetman (1920). Constitutional Development of Victoria, 1851-6. Whitcombe & Tombs Limited. p. 182. Retrieved 22 October 2012. 
  4. ^ "Victorian Electoral Act". New South Wales Government. 1851. Retrieved 21 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "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.