Melbourne state by-election, 2012

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A by-election was held for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Melbourne on Saturday 21 July 2012. This was triggered by the resignation of former minister and state Labor MLA Bronwyn Pike which she announced on 7 May 2012.[1][2][3]

Sixteen candidates contested the by-election, the Liberals declined to nominate a candidate. Jennifer Kanis retained the seat for Labor with a 51.5 per cent (–4.7) two-candidate-preferred vote against Greens candidate Cathy Oke.

Dates[edit]

Date Event[4]
28 May 2012 Writ of election issued by the Governor
4 June 2012 Close of electoral rolls
21 June 2012 Close of party nominations
22 June 2012 Close of independent nominations, ballot paper order draw conducted
25 June 2012 Early voting began
21 July 2012 Polling day, between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm

Background[edit]

The federal seat of Melbourne held by Labor was won by the Greens at the August 2010 federal election, where the Liberals preferenced the Greens ahead of Labor. At the November 2010 Victorian state election where the Liberals preferenced Labor ahead of the Greens, the Liberal/National Coalition won 45 seats and Labor won 43 seats in the 88-seat Legislative Assembly, resulting in a one-seat majority for the incoming Coalition government. Labor retained the state seat of Melbourne on a 56.2 per cent two-candidate-preferred vote against the Greens and a 64.4 per cent two-party-preferred vote vote against the Liberals. On the primary vote, Labor won 35.7 per cent, the Greens won 31.9 per cent, the Liberals won 28.0 per cent, and four other candidates won a combined 4.4 per cent.[5] With the Liberals declining to field a candidate, there was an increased chance of the seat changing hands due to changed preference flows, such as at the 2002 Cunningham by-election (Federal) and the 2009 Fremantle by-election (WA State).[6][7][8][9]

Candidates[edit]

The 16 candidates in ballot paper order were as follows:

Candidate nominations[10]
  Independent Berhan Ahmed Former Labor and Green member, Eritrean-born chairman of the African Think Tank, 2009 Victorian Australian of the Year.[11][12]
  Family First Party Ashley Fenn Victorian Director of Family First, and chairman of not-for-profit housing company Ethan Affordable Housing.[13][14]
  Independent Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka Self-described constitutionalist and serial candidate.[15]
  Independent David Nolte Liberal Party member and former Melbourne City Councillor (1988–93), ran on a "small-l liberal" platform.[16][17][18]
  Independent John Perkins Candidate for the unregistered Secular Party of Australia, and party president.[19]
  Australian Labor Party Jennifer Kanis Melbourne City Councillor and anti-discrimination lawyer.[20]
  Independent David Collyer Candidate for the unregistered Australian Democrats. Campaign manager for Prosper Australia and Democrats candidate for the federal seat of Melbourne in 2010.[21]
  Independent Patrick O'Connor Candidate for the unregistered Socialist Equality Party. Member of the party's National Committee and contributor to the World Socialist Web Site.[22]
  Democratic Labor Party Michael Murphy Graphic arts designer and businessman,[23] and Victorian party secretary.[24]
  Independent Joseph Toscano Anarchist campaigner and serial candidate.[25]
  Independent Stephen Mayne Former Liberal Party staffer, founder of independent news website Crikey, and Manningham City Councillor. Ran on an anti-pokies platform, endorsed by independent Senator Nick Xenophon.[26][27]
  Independent Kate Borland Public housing advocate.[28]
  Independent Adrian Whitehead Climate change activist, former Greens member and election candidate.[28]
  Australian Sex Party Fiona Patten Party president and Eros Association CEO.[29]
  Australian Greens Cathy Oke Melbourne City Councillor and scientist.[30]
  Australian Christians Maria Bengtsson No information available.

Polling[edit]

  • From 7 to 10 June 2012, 365 voters (5% MoE) in the seat were telephone polled by Roy Morgan Research. The Greens' two-candidate-preferred vote was at 54 per cent to 46 per cent for Labor. The Greens' primary vote was at 48.5 per cent, Labor on 37.5 per cent, and Mayne on 7 per cent, with "others including Gary Morgan and Kevin Chamberlain" on a collective 7 per cent. Morgan and Chamberlain did not nominate.[31]
  • On 16 July 2012, 403 voters (5% MoE) in the seat were robocall polled by ReachTel with results published in The Australian. The Greens' primary vote was at 38.1 per cent, Labor on 36.5 per cent, the Sex Party on 6.1 per cent, Mayne on 4.3 per cent, Family First on 3.8 per cent, with the remaining 11 candidates on a collective 11.2 per cent. While no two-candidate vote was produced, preference flows were said to be evenly divided between Labor and the Greens.[32]

Preferences[edit]

How-to-vote cards (HTVs) had six candidates recommending voters to preference Labor over the Greens: Ahmed, Family First, Nolte, the DLP, the Sex Party, and the Christians. Six candidates recommended voters preference the Greens over Labor: Perkins, Collyer, Toscano, Mayne, Borland, and Whitehead. Not recommending preferences were Schorel-Hlavka and O'Connor.[33]

Results[edit]

Melbourne state by-election, 21 July 2012[34][35][36][37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Greens Cathy Oke 10,197 36.52 +4.60
Labor Jennifer Kanis 9,321 33.38 –2.29
Sex Party Fiona Patten 1,832 6.56 +3.67
Independent Stephen Mayne 1,325 4.74 +4.74
Independent David Nolte 1,302 4.66 +4.66
Independent Berhan Ahmed 1,127 4.04 +4.04
Family First Ashley Fenn 841 3.01 +3.01
Democratic Labor Michael Murphy 521 1.87 +1.87
Christians Maria Bengtsson 342 1.22 +1.22
Independent Joseph Toscano 208 0.74 +0.74
Independent Kate Borland 207 0.74 +0.74
Independent Adrian Whitehead 169 0.61 +0.61
Independent Patrick O'Connor 162 0.58 +0.58
Independent David Collyer 160 0.57 +0.57
Independent John Perkins 145 0.52 –0.03
Independent Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka 66 0.24 +0.24
Total formal votes 27,925 90.66 –5.65
Informal votes 2,878 9.34 +5.65
Turnout 30,803 68.62 –18.31
Two-candidate-preferred result
Labor Jennifer Kanis 14,384 51.51 –4.66
Greens Cathy Oke 13,541 48.49 +4.66
Labor hold Swing –4.66

Almost two-thirds of preferences went to Labor over the Greens. The two-candidate vote remained level during the polling booth count, however the postal vote count favoured Labor and put the result beyond doubt. The Greens conceded defeat on 24 July. The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) officially declared that Labor had retained the seat on 25 July. Results were final as of 31 July.[34][38][39]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne by-election set for July 21". abc.net.au. 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  2. ^ "Pike quits, triggering Vic by-election". News.smh.com.au. 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  3. ^ "Byelection looms as veteran Labor MP quits". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. 2012-05-07. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  4. ^ "2012 Melbourne by-election dates". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  5. ^ "Melbourne District State Election 2010". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  6. ^ "Pike resignation 'leaves path open for Greens'". Sl.farmonline.com.au. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  7. ^ "Candidates step up to replace Pike". News.ninemsn.com.au. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  8. ^ "The battle for Melbourne". Theage.com.au. 2012-05-13. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  9. ^ "Greens tipped to win Melbourne by-election: ABC News 21 July 2012". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Melbourne District By-election 2012 Nominations". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  11. ^ "Boats leave fellow Africans stranded". The Australian. 2012-07-19. 
  12. ^ "Dr. Berhan Ahmed Victorian Australian of the Year 2009". Att.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  13. ^ "Family First states contrast in stance from Australian Christians towards Muslim communities". Au.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  14. ^ "Family First : Victoria". Vic-familyfirst.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  15. ^ "Melbourne byelection: Veteran campaigner Gerrit Hendrik Schorel-Hlavka has another crack - Local News - News - General". Melbourne Times Weekly. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  16. ^ Hingston, Chris (2012-07-10). "Melbourne byelection: Tunnel would 'increase traffic' - Local News - News - General". Melbourne Times Weekly. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  17. ^ "Policies". Nolte.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  18. ^ "Home". Nolte.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  19. ^ "Secular Party of Australia". Secular.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  20. ^ "Councillor Jennifer Kanis - City of Melbourne". Melbourne.vic.gov.au. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  21. ^ "David Collyer Contests Melbourne Byelection for Democrats |". David-collyer.vic-democrats.org.au. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  22. ^ "Socialist Equality Party (Australia) launches Melbourne by-election campaign". Wsws.org. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  23. ^ "Melbourne District by-election | Democratic Labor Party". Dlp.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  24. ^ "Victoria". Retrieved 2012-08-09. 
  25. ^ "Greens on fertile ground". The Australian. 2012-07-20. 
  26. ^ Benson, Eugene (2012-06-04). "Melbourne byelection: Stephen Mayne to stand - Local News - News - General". Moonee Valley Weekly. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  27. ^ "Stephen Mayne running for Senate on anti-pokies and pro-immigration platform: The Mayne Report 18 August 2010". Maynereport.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  28. ^ a b Josh Gordon (2012-07-12). "ALP accuses Greens of 'grubby deals'". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  29. ^ "Melbourne byelection: Sex Party won't door-knock - Local News - News - General". Moonee Valley Weekly. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  30. ^ "Cathy Oke for Melbourne". Cathyoke.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  31. ^ "2012 Melbourne state by-election poll". Roymorgan.com. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  32. ^ "Preferences the key for The Greens in the Melbourne by-election: ReachTel 18 July 2012". Reachtel.com.au. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  33. ^ "2012 Melbourne by-election HTVs: VEC website". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22. 
  34. ^ a b Melbourne 2012 by-election results: VEC
  35. ^ "Melbourne District By-election 2012 Results Distribution of preference votes". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  36. ^ "Melbourne 2010 election results". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25. 
  37. ^ 2012 Melbourne by-election results: Antony Green ABC
  38. ^ Victorian Electoral Commission on Twitter (@electionsvic)
  39. ^ Tom Arup (2012-07-16). "Greens concede byelection despite 'best-ever' campaign". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25.