VIC22 – the Impact of the Liberal Party’s Change of Preference Recommendation

For the 2022 Victorian election, the Liberal Party has changed its position on whether Labor or the Greens should be listed first on the party’s how-to-vote (HTV) material.

Until the August 2010 Federal election, the traditional Liberal decision was to list the Greens ahead of Labor. At the 2010 Federal election, it was the Liberal preference recommendation that elected Greens’ candidate Adam Bandt as the new member Melbourne.

Some in the Liberal Party were unhappy that Liberal preferences were electing members of a party that Liberals labelled as more radical left than Labor.

The position was changed shortly afterwards and it was announced late in the 2010 Victorian state election campaign that Labor would be listed before the Greens on Liberals HTVs. That has been the party’s position in Victoria at state and Federal elections since.

In most seats the choice is entirely symbolic as Liberal preferences will not be distributed. But there are several inner-Melbourne seats where the Liberal candidate is traditionally excluded during the distribution of preferences. The Liberal decision could have an impact on several Labor-Green contests.

In this post I look at the record of preference flows before and after the Liberal switch on preferences. The question for 2022 is whether the new Liberal position will flip the flow of preference as dramatically as the 2010 decision. Will the decision change the result in any seats?

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