Picturing the shifts in Victoria’s electoral history 

30 November 2022 Read the research paper

The history of Victoria’s party and parliamentary systems has been marked by both remarkable stability and sudden shifts. 

Just two premiers led governments between 1932 and 1943, while eight different premiers came and went from 1943 to 1955, with terms ranging from three to 950 days. 

A new paper from the Victorian Parliamentary Library, Visualising Victoria’s electoral history, captures some of the main electoral and political changes in Victoria since the 1850s through both historical sources and data visualisations that illustrate patterns in Victoria’s electoral and party systems.  

The paper visualises a number of the key shifts of Victoria’s political history from the post-war dominance of conservative parties to the post 1980s electoral success of the Australian Labor Party. 

This data visualisation for example, shows the Legislative Assembly seats by party from 1982 through to 2018. 

As well as showing the changing levels of support for various parties and groups, the visualisations also highlight the ways that the electoral system has tended to favour the representation of a comparatively small number of stable political parties. 

The visualisations show that recent reforms to the Legislative Council have resulted in increased minor party representation.