ID 0483

Parliament of Victoria, Legislative Assembly election

Election of 1 October 1988

Show only vote and seat summary details

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General election for the Legislative Assembly
Date of election (or first day of voting at elections held over more than one day)
1 October 1988

Government in office and parliamentary support before and after the election

Government in office at election

Premier in office at date of election. (check notes to see if change of Premier since previous election)
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government at election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Government in office after election

Premier in office after election.
Premier's party affiliation
Australian Labor Party
Legislative Assembly support for government after election
If coalition, coalition partner(s)

Enrolment and voting

Total number of voters on the roll
Number of Assembly seats
Number of uncontested seats
If uncontested seats, number of voters on the roll in uncontested seats
Number of voters on the roll in contested seats
Total ballots cast (may differ from number of votes in multiple voting systems)
Turnout (rate of voting in contested seats)
Total valid votes
Rate of informal (invalid) voting
Informal (invalid) ballots in multiple voting system
Not applicable
Electoral system
Adult franchise at 18 years, single member districts, preferential voting (AV), compulsory preferences, compulsory voting

Victoria, Legislative Assembly votes and seats won

Display Chart

Election held on 1 October 1988
Criteria for the inclusion of parties in this table are set out in the Glossary under 'listed party'

* to view table drag left or right.
Party Name First preference vote n First preference vote share % Change from previous election % Seats won n Uncontested seats held n Seat share %
Australian Labor Party  1,131,750  46.55  -3.46  46  52.27 
Liberal Party  986,311  40.56  -1.30  33  37.50 
National Party  188,776  7.76  +0.47  10.23 
Independents  66,663  2.74  +2.21     
Australian Democrats  25,611  1.05     
Call to Australia  25,543  1.05     
Democratic Labor Party  6,018  0.25     
Weekend Trading Party  830  0.03  -0.13     
Votes for other than listed parties 0 0.00 0.00       
Totals 2,431,502  100.00    88  100.00 

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* Party did not contest previous election or did not meet criteria for listing, or contested previous election under a different party name.


Parliament and electoral system: This was the first election at which all the changes made to the Parliament of Victoria by a series of Acts passed between 1983 and 1985 came into effect (see the notes to the 1985 Assembly election, and the summary provided in Hughes (1986), p.197, in 'Sources', below). In particular, this Assembly election in 1988 was the first at which members of the Assembly were elected for four year terms.

Government in office after election: Although the Australian Labor Party lost 3.5 percent of its first preference vote for the Assembly at this election, it lost only one seat; the Cain [jnr] Labor Party government was returned with a two seat majority.

Independents: The votes assigned to Independents in the table above includes the votes for all those candidates who registered as Independents or left their party affiliation blank. There was a fourfold increase in the number of Independent candidates contesting this Assembly election in 1988, and a matching increase in their first preference vote share. Forty-one candidates ran for office but none was elected.

Australian Democrats: The Australian Democrats did not field candidates for the previous Assembly election in 1985 but, in the lead up to the 1988 Assembly election, '[t]he Democrats had decided to stand [17] candidates in marginal Assembly seats and were prepared to direct preferences to the ALP if the anti-Labor parties opposed the introduction of proportional representation to the [Legislative] Council', Staley, p.250, (in 'References', below). At the election, this strategy helped the Labor Party to retain several marginal seats (see Staley, p.253).

Call to Australia: The Call to Australia party was associated with the New South Wales based Reverend Fred Nile, and was formed in 1980; 'Pro-family national political party based on Christian principles', Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague on Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, pp 64-65 (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217). Call to Australia had contested several federal and state elections around Australia and fielded 25 candidates at this Victorian Assembly election in 1988. For details of the party's origins, organization, ideology and electoral activity, see Rodney Smith, Against the Machines: Minor Parties and Independents in New South Wales 1910-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006).

Democratic Labor Party: The Democratic Labor Party (DLP) had ceased to be a significant player in Victorian Assembly elections by 1976. At this Assembly election in 1988, it fielded 4 candidates and gained less than 0.3 percent of the first preference vote. On the role of the DLP in Australian politics, note Michael Lyons, 'Defence, the Family and the Battler: The Democratic Labor Party and its Legacy', Australian Journal of Political Science, 43 (3) September 2008: 425-442.

Weekend Trading Party: This party fielded 1 candidate who was not elected.

References: For informative analysis of this election, see Clem Lloyd, 'Not Much Change? The 1988 Victorian Elections', Politics, 24 (1) May 1989: 108-115; and Ardel Shamsullah, 'Victoria', Political Chronicle, July-December 1988, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 35 (2) August 1989: 250-259. Note also Brian Costar and Nicholas Economou, 'Elections and Electoral Change 1982-1992', 247-264, in Mark Considine and Brian Costar (editors), Trials in Power: Cain, Kirner and Victoria 1982-1992, (Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 1992, ISBN 0522845371).

A study of Victorian parliamentary politics during the first eight years of the Australian Labor Party's period in office after 1982 can be found in Wright, ch. 11 (in 'Sources', below).


For this Assembly election (1988), there is agreement between the two sources below (Hughes 2002, and Carr) on the totals of first preference votes for the established parties. Hughes gives the vote shares of the Independents and Call to Australia (included in 'Others' in Carr). Hughes notes that his listing for Independents includes votes for the Weekend Trading Party. Votes for this minor party were taken from Dean Jaensch and David Mathieson, A Plague On Both Your Houses: Minor Parties in Australia, p.62, (St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 1998, ISBN 1864484217)

Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2002, ISBN 1862874344).

Colin A Hughes, A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1975-1984, (Rushcutters Bay, NSW: Australian National University Press, 1986, ISBN 0 08 033038 X).

Adam Carr, 'Fifty-first Parliament Elected 1 October 1988', in 'Legislative Assembly Elections', Victorian Elections Since 1843, Psephos: Adam Carr's Election Archive, online here [accessed 8 April 2018].

Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Victoria and AustLII, Victorian Historical Acts, online here. [accessed 4 April 2018]

Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593)