Proportional Representation Society of Australia
 
Victoria-Tasmania Branch
 
Hare-Clark Proportional Representation Analysis of Victorian Legislative Council Periodic Polls 2002
 
Click on underlined subject below to view it:
 
Details of Votes & Seats in each of 2 Hare-Clark Multi-member Provinces versus the Existing 22 Single-vacancy Provinces
 
Graph of Seats versus Votes Overall, for Existing 'Winner-take-all' Single-vacancy Provinces & for Hare-Clark PR Provinces
 
Graph of Seats for the Full Legislative Council (1999 & 2002 Components), for Existing "Winner-take-all" Single-vacancy Provinces & for Hare-Clark PR Provinces
 
The 1999 and 2002 polls for the Legislative Council, which have now become the last Legislative Council polls to have been held under the "Winner-take-all" single-vacancy system that had persisted, in various forms, since the Legislative Council was established in 1855, resulted in the ALP holding an absolute majority of seats on the floor of the Legislative Council as well as an ALP MLC being assured of election as the President of the Legislative Council. That majority, together with an absolute majority in the Legislative Assembly, allowed the ALP Government to alter Victoria's Constitution Act 1975, to implement the Government's announced intention that Legislative Council polls will henceforth be held as general, rather than periodic elections, under a quota-preferential system of proportional representation in 8 multi-member electoral regions each electing 5 MLCs.
 
Had the 1999 and 2002 polls been held by Hare-Clark proportional representation instead, initiatives by the ALP, under an ALP President, could also have received an absolute majority of votes of all MLCs, and thus allow an amendment to Victoria's Constitution Act 1975, provided that at least three other MLCs voted with the ALP. The non-ALP MLCs could not have achieved any amendment to that Act, without the support of at least one ALP MLC. Also it is notable that there would have been fewer ALP and more Liberal MLCs if proportional representation, which the Liberal MLCs in the preceding parliaments had always rejected, had applied. 
 
The Liberals received almost a million first preference votes, but won only 3 of the 22 vacant seats (333,319 votes per seat won). The ALP polled less than 38% above the Liberal vote, yet it won 17 seats (80,913 votes per seat won), which is 467% more seats than the Liberals gained. The Nationals, as is often the case, needed the fewest votes per seat, as their vote, which was only 12.6% of that of the Liberals, gave them 2 seats (63,210 votes per seat won), which was 67% of the 3 seats the Liberals won. 
 
It should be noted that the National Party's first preference vote could be expected to be larger under a Hare-Clark system where it would have its candidates able to attract votes over a wider area. It presently gets zero votes in many partly rural areas because it does not stand candidates there, owing to its not having a strong enough presence to gain a majority of votes. With the target in those areas being changed to the more voter-empowering quota concept, they should start increasing their total vote once PR is introduced.