Group Voting Tickets Published for the Victorian Legislative Council Election

Group voting tickets for the Legislative Council have been published this evening on the Victorian Electoral Commission’s (VEC’s) website.

The double deck ballot papers being used for the 2022 election are bad enough, but their use has thrown out the ticket layout of the VEC’s published tickets. You can find them at this link but they are very difficult to read or understand.

Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of the work for you. I have managed to reformat the GVT data to produce much more readable versions of the tickets for each region.

Processing the tickets to prepare my Legislative Council Calculators has taken all afternoon. As a by-product I’ve produced these easier to use versions of the tickets.

The work setting up the calculators, and preparing the data set-up for the ABC election computer, means I haven’t had time to analyse the tickets and won’t have time tomorrow either.

But I have decided to make the tickets available for others to use. Feel free to make use of the linked documents below. All I request is a credit if you make use of the documents. It’s taken quite an effort to prepare them.

Calculators will hopefully be published by mid-week and there will be html versions of the tickets on the Victorian Election site on Monday morning.

Links for each region are contained inside the post.

Eastern Victoria Region

North-Eastern Metropolitan Region

Northern Metropolitan Region

Northern Victoria Region

South-Eastern Metropolitan Region

Southern Metropolitan Region

Western Metropolitan Region

Western Victoria Region

22 thoughts on “Group Voting Tickets Published for the Victorian Legislative Council Election”

  1. Thanks so much Antony, great work! This is very useful. Made me much more empassioned about voting below the line. As a Labor voter in Eastern Victoria there’s no way I would want my preferences allocated to SFF over the Greens.

  2. Surely at some stage Victoria needs to get rid of the group voting tickets allocating preferences when a voter votes above the line to reduce the influence of the preference whisperers. Maybe the senate system of having the option of voting for more than one party of choice above the line with the preference allocation going to only those parties to give the voter the power to allocate their preference is a much better & more democratic option. Is it right to assume that if a person does this in the Victorian upper house election ie 1 ALP 2 Reason Party above the line for instance that this vote will be informal?

    COMMENT: GVTs have already been abolished in NSW, SA, WA and for the Senate. Victoria is the only hold out. In the reformed systems, only voters can direct between party preferences, not parties. Voters can give preferences to other parties by numbering preferences above the line. The three states are fully optional where preferences beyond ‘1’ are optional. The Senate system instructs that 6 preferences be shown but a savings provision allows any vote with at least a first preference to be counted.

    If a voter fills in preferences above the line at the Victorian election, it will not be informal but all preferences other than the first will be ignored. This is at odds with the new Senate rules and I explained how it will work in the following post.

    Voter Preferences set be Ignored at the 2022 Victorian Legislative Council Election

    1. I’d honestly prefer it be kept. The GVT system allows small parties to not act as a spoiler, and perhaps even win, through voters of like-minded parties. It does need reform however, and it could be reformed as follows …
      1. A two-round system. First we have an election to determine which 10 candidates can be on the senate ballot, then we have a second one to elect 5 candidates out of those 10. That’d relegate the GVT’s to the lower stakes first round. It’d be a little bit more work, but for a more diverse legislative council it’s well worth it.
      2. Immediately eliminate any party that gets 1% of the first preference vote.
      3. Allow people to list multiple candidates above the line (obviously).

      COMMENTL What you are saying is you want to keep ticket voting by limiting who can get on the ballot paper and putting a threshold lower limit on access to preferences. As we have seen elsewhere, if you abolish GVTs you get fewer nominations, and the weaker flows of preferences without GVTs means you no longer need a lower threshold quota.

      GVTs elects parties with low votes but cleaver deals over parties with equally low votes but less clever preference deals, and over parties that campaign, get more votes, and then get run down by parties that don’t campaign but have clever preference deals.

      We have seen from the Senate and from other states that the answer is to abolish GVTs and put elections on the same basis as the lower house, that is preferences are controlled by voters, not parties.

  3. I as an election analyst myself. Despise the group voting ticket system. A bit like how I also despise Tasmania’s Hare-Clark system. But alas I accept them. Hopefully Victoria will change this at some stage

    COMMENT: How can you despise a system like hare-Clark that allows voters a choice of candidates in a system of proportional representation? Do you despise proportional representation or choice of candidate or both?

    Hare-Clark is a fine system for small elections like the ACT and Tasmania where it is used for the House of government at stand alone elections. In both jurisdictions the quota is around 10,000. I don’t agree with trying to impose it on larger second chambers on the mainland.

  4. Thanks for this Antony. I’m looking forward to playing around on the calculator soon! I’ve only had a close look at Northern Metro and it is very interesting.

    1. Overall, tickets appear to be much more in line with what voters probably expect based on the ideological position of parties, particularly the left and right blocs. I understand this has been replicated over most of the state.

    2. Ballot order in NM is interesting: all the left-wing parties drew down the bottom, Liberal drew high and before Liberal Democrats, Labor after Labour DLP. Not sure if this could have an impact on the 5th seat.

    3. Major party vote share will be interesting. Liberal party was already low at 16% in 2018 but now has competition from Family First, ONP, UAP as well as a bunch of freedom/anti-Dan micro-parties. The environment for the Greens and Labor is roughly the same, with strong competition from incumbent Fiona Patten (Reason, 3.3% in 2018) and Victorian Socialists (4% in 2018), and the addition of Legalise Cannabis who polled so well at the federal election. You would have to think Labor will come down from the 41%+ they received in 2018.

    4. Labour DLP Adem Somyurek should form a decent snowball from the micro-parties, but may fall just short to Liberal #1 and whoever comes out ahead in the left bloc (possibly Reason’s Fiona Patten or Victorian Socialists, more below) for the 4th and 5th seats.

    5. The Liberals got preferences from nobody last time around but this time they’ll receive preferences from UAP, Companions and Pets and ONP (assuming Family First, Group A, don’t poll ridiculously well) so I’d say they’re likely to retain a seat but it’s probably not a certainty.

    6. Labor get some preferences this time around with #3 being preferenced by DHJP and Health Australia. This would have got them around 11% in 2018 and in position to top the left-bloc but possibly they’ll be a few points down on that this time around. Who will come out on top of the left-bloc is anyone’s guess. AJP might go down first, giving their preferences to Vic Socialists (VS). VS were one of the victims of group tickets last time around: they were one of the only parties to preference ideologically but received preferences from virtually nobody, but it looks like they have a chance this time aroun. Legalise Cannabis get preferences from Angry Victorians (maybe 0.5%?) but suspect they would have to surprise once again to outlast Fiona Patten. The order of exclusion here may determine whether Fiona Patten or Victorian Socialists end up on top. Patten also has an outlet if there is a Greens surplus. Unless Labor’s primary vote crumbles you’d expect Labor #3 to be ahead of both Reason and VS but probably not ahead of both of them: whoever gets excluded first should help the other leapfrog Labor #3.

    I predict whoever comes out on top of the left-bloc will win the 5th seat but it’ll probably be close. They may be going head-to-head with Labour DLP. Vic Socialists fare the worst against Labour DLP (losing Angry Victorians, probably not a huge deal) and Labor fare best, losing Angry Victorians but gaining DHJP and Health Australia. The disaster scenario for the left-bloc is Liberal #1 and Adem Somyurek securing the 4th and 5th seats. It’s probably not impossible and the ballot order doesn’t look to have helped.

  5. Hey Antony, thanks for all your work.

    I am wondering if you are able to provide a bit of information regarding the cases where 1 party has 2 tickets registered, such as the SDARD party in Eastern Vic … or if it is easier, to point me to where this information exists.

    Not understanding the process fully obviously, my understanding would be that when a ballot has 1 above the line for Party A, all preferences after that party is excluded are allocated according to the “ticket” that Party A registered before the election. But if this is the case, I can’t see how the voter/system chooses between the 2 tickets such as in the case of the SDARD party in Eastern Vic.

    Perhaps the answer is obvious and I’m looking straight past it, or perhaps it is explained on page 456 of the VEC handbook and I should just search there, but perhaps also an answer here might easily help others in my situation.

    Thanks in any case.

    COMMENT: All ballot papers for a party cast using the ATL square are exactly the same. They are entered into the counting software as a group total. So if a party with two tickets has 4,001 ATL votes, then when distributed half the votes (2,000) are allocated by the first ticket, and 2,000 by the second. The extra vote is randomly allocated to either ticket 1 or ticket 2.

  6. Hi Antony,

    I have always admired your sharp and forthright analyses…but can you help me out here, please?

    This is my first visit to your website so I might not understand how it works… or the acronyms.

    I have just opened the GVT document for my region, Western Metropolitan Region.

    Under each group, can you explain what the codes mean under the 2nd and 3rd columns.
    Could you explain by way of a legend for these columns?

    Thanks for your assistance,

    COMMENT: I designed the report for my own use, not publication, hence not great headings. The second column is the letter of the column on in the ballot. The columns are headed “A”, “B”, etc. The number in the third column is the order of the candidate within the column.

  7. Good work Antony, are the calculators up yet? I find it strange the ALP have abandoned the Greens and are prefrencing real communists in the western metro.

    COMMENT: The calculators were ready on Monday evening. Unfortunately, some strange internet issue displayed the calculators in a scrolling box only 2cm tall. We managed to fix that on Tuesday and I was going to publish them Tuesday evening when we discovered only one 2022 region displayed, and all links from that page brought up 2018 calculators. By then the programmer had left for the day so it waits fixing tomorrow, after which the calculators can be published.

  8. Whole ballot shows the continuing benefit from running ridiculous micro-parties, just to spoil and preference harvest. I think small parties should be able to run, that’s the advantage of a preference system, but I don’t believe these parties are a genuine expression of an up-swelling of feeling that was impossible to express in an existing party.

    And the Companions and Pets party is a clear Liberal front and a student-politics level grab at the Animal Justice Party vote.

  9. Hi Antony. Thanks for all your work, and all the best for a busy next couple of weeks.

    I’ve noticed that, a couple of times, a party has included 2 tickets in some regions (e.g. the Liberals in South-East Metro). How exactly does this work? Do half of the above-the-line votes go with one ticket, and half with the other?

    Also, it’s nice to see Ben Schultz of the Animal Justice Party sting Druery too (the Guardian has an article on this).

    COMMENT: All ATL votes are the same and entered into the counting software as a group total. A split ticket decides the total into two totals. I think the flip a coin for the last vote if the total is an odd number.

  10. I can understand the issue/frustration etc. you have with GVTs but why is this issue different to the How to Vote papers given out when you vote. The party handing them out tell you how to vote and where to direct your preferences based on ‘deals’ done between parties before the election on what bests suits them to get elected. Is this the same type of practice as the ‘preference whisperers’ you talk about.
    Like has been suggested, and it is a long process but I number all boxes below the line based on what information I can find out about the party or individual’s policies. Yes, I am an anomaly to how most people vote as I see that the various parties rely on the apathy of the Australian voter to not due their due diligence on who they are really voting for.
    What is wrong with the system that if there is one position in the lower house you only need to mark 1 for the candidate you want and for the upper house, if there are 5 positions for example, you number 1 to 5 of your preferred candidate(s). For the lower house I am annoyed that for my vote to count I am required to mark boxes for people I do not want to vote for.

    COMMENT: Because in the House voters can ignore the how-to-votes, and less than half of all voters actually follow how-to-votes, though that is diluted by the number of people who never see a how-to-vote. For minor parties you almost never see a how-to-vote so their preferences are random. GVTs allow those same parties to deliver more than 90% of preferences.

    GVTs elect candidates who would never, repeat never, be elected under systems where voters must complete their own preferences. We have a century of experience with preferential voting, and the only instances of candidates being elected from very very low votes is at elections with GVTs.

  11. Hi Antony, thankyou for all that work – something the VEC should already provide. Would you by any chance have a spreadsheet of these GVTs?

    COMMENT: If you check my newer post you’ll find a link to an LC guide which includes a HTML version of the tickets. You might find them useful.

  12. You ever think about getting a Patreon account? You do a lot of thankless work for us.

    COMMENT: I’m happy to subsidise the site costs from other sources of income.

  13. Thank you! I was going to write a script to scrape the data.

    Were these PDFs created through manual data entry or using a script to parse / OCR the PDFs?

    COMMENT: The tickets were published as XMLs by the VEC. I processed these into a database to create the ABC’s on-line calculators. I can also generate a Word document from the database and converted them the pdf, and also produced html versions that are available on the ABC website.

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