Melbourne state by-election, 2012
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.
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.
|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|
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. 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).
Due to the voting patterns to the Greens across jurisdictions, this state by-election, unusually received national attention.
The 16 candidates in ballot paper order were as follows:
|Independent||Berhan Ahmed||Former Labor and Green member, Eritrean-born chairman of the African Think Tank, 2009 Victorian Australian of the Year.|
|Family First Party||Ashley Fenn||Victorian Director of Family First, and chairman of not-for-profit housing company Ethan Affordable Housing.|
|Independent||Gerrit Schorel-Hlavka||Self-described constitutionalist and serial candidate.|
|Independent||David Nolte||Liberal Party member and former Melbourne City Councillor (1988–93), ran on a "small-l liberal" platform.|
|Independent||John Perkins||Candidate for the unregistered Secular Party of Australia, and party president.|
|Australian Labor Party||Jennifer Kanis||Melbourne City Councillor and anti-discrimination lawyer.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Democratic Labor Party||Michael Murphy||Graphic arts designer and businessman, and Victorian party secretary.|
|Independent||Joseph Toscano||Anarchist campaigner and serial candidate.|
|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.|
|Independent||Kate Borland||Public housing advocate.|
|Independent||Adrian Whitehead||Climate change activist, former Greens member and election candidate.|
|Australian Sex Party||Fiona Patten||Party president and Eros Association CEO.|
|Australian Greens||Cathy Oke||Melbourne City Councillor and scientist.|
|Australian Christians||Maria Bengtsson||No information available.|
- 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.
- 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.
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.
|Sex Party||Fiona Patten||1,832||6.56||+3.67|
|Family First||Ashley Fenn||841||3.01||+3.01|
|Democratic Labor||Michael Murphy||521||1.87||+1.87|
|Total formal votes||27,925||90.66||–5.65|
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.
- 2012 Melbourne by-election distribution of preference votes: VEC
- 2012 Melbourne by-election HTV cards, 35 registered HTVs: VEC
- 2012 Melbourne by-election website: VEC
- @electionsvic VEC account: Twitter
- 2012 Melbourne by-election: Antony Green ABC
- Poll Bludger pre-election - post-election
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- "Boats leave fellow Africans stranded". The Australian. 2012-07-19.
- "Dr. Berhan Ahmed Victorian Australian of the Year 2009". Att.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Family First states contrast in stance from Australian Christians towards Muslim communities". Au.christiantoday.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
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- "Home". Nolte.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Secular Party of Australia". Secular.org.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
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- "David Collyer Contests Melbourne Byelection for Democrats |". David-collyer.vic-democrats.org.au. 2012-06-25. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
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- "Victoria". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
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- "Stephen Mayne running for Senate on anti-pokies and pro-immigration platform: The Mayne Report 18 August 2010". Maynereport.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Josh Gordon (2012-07-12). "ALP accuses Greens of 'grubby deals'". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Melbourne byelection: Sex Party won't door-knock - Local News - News - General". Moonee Valley Weekly. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Cathy Oke for Melbourne". Cathyoke.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "2012 Melbourne state by-election poll". Roymorgan.com. Retrieved 2012-06-14.
- "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.
- "2012 Melbourne by-election HTVs: VEC website". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Melbourne 2012 by-election results: VEC
- "Melbourne District By-election 2012 Results Distribution of preference votes". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- "Melbourne 2010 election results". Vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25.
- 2012 Melbourne by-election results: Antony Green ABC
- Victorian Electoral Commission on Twitter (@electionsvic)
- Tom Arup (2012-07-16). "Greens concede byelection despite 'best-ever' campaign". Melbourne: Theage.com.au. Retrieved 2012-07-25.