1999 Victorian state election

Last updated

1999 Victorian state election
Flag of Victoria (Australia).svg
  1996 18 September 1999 (1999-09-18) 2002  

All 88 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly
and 22 (of the 44) seats in the Victorian Legislative Council
 First partySecond party
  Jeff Kennett.jpg Steve Bracks at a Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony, August 2006.jpg
Leader Jeff Kennett Steve Bracks
Party Liberal/National coalition Labor
Leader since23 April 199122 March 1999
Leader's seat Burwood Williamstown
Last election58 seats29 seats
Seats won43 seats42 seats
Seat changeDecrease2.svg15Increase2.svg13

Premier before election

Jeff Kennett
Liberal/National coalition

Resulting Premier

Steve Bracks

The 1999 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 18 September 1999, was for the 54th Parliament of Victoria. It was held in the Australian state of Victoria to elect the 88 members of the state's Legislative Assembly and 22 members of the 44-member Legislative Council. The LiberalNational Coalition led by Jeff Kennett and Pat McNamara, which had held majority government since the 1996 election, lost 15 seats and its majority due mainly to a swing against it in rural and regional Victoria.


The Labor Party, led by Steve Bracks, although also not having majority of the seats, took government due to support from three rural independents. They decided to back the Labor Party, which gave a working majority in the chamber to a Labour minority government. Bracks was sworn in as Premier of Victoria on 20 October 1999. [1]


Legislative Assembly

Victorian state election, 18 September 1999 [2] [3]
Legislative Assembly
<< 19962002 >>

Enrolled voters3,130,338
Votes cast2,826,467 Turnout 94.21+0.13
Informal votes72,800Informal2.58+0.28
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes %SwingSeatsChange
  Labor 1,289,69645.57+2.4442+13
  Liberal 1,194,99842.22–1.7736–13
  National 135,9304.80–1.697– 2
  Greens 32,5701.15+1.150± 0
  Hope 10,8940.39+0.390± 0
  One Nation 8,1810.29+0.290± 0
  Democrats 7,9720.28+0.280± 0
  Democratic Labour 6,1830.22+0.220± 0
  Natural Law 6,0440.21–1.650± 0
  Shooters 2,0110.07+0.030± 0
  Reform 1,4830.05+0.050± 0
  Christian Democrats 4140.02–0.210± 0
  Independent 133,8954.73+1.123+ 2
Total2,830,271  88 
  Labor 1,420,77550.20+3.66
  Liberal/National 1,409,56749.80–3.66

Legislative Council

The following voting statistics exclude the three mid-term by-elections held on the same day, at which two seats were retained by Labor and a third was gained by Labor from the Liberals.

Victorian state election, 18 September 1999 [4]
Legislative Council

Enrolled voters3,130,338
Votes cast2,909,727 Turnout 92.95–1.13
Informal votes97,949Informal3.37+0.79
Summary of votes by party
PartyPrimary votes %SwingSeats
  Labor 1,187,48442.23+1.74814
  Liberal 1,116,34739.70–4.171124
  National 204,5877.28+0.6536
  Democrats 190,9406.79+1.0600
  Greens 62,7962.23+2.2300
  Reform 6,6170.24+0.2400
  Christian Democrats 6,6080.24+0.0400
  Independent 36,3991.29+0.3500
Total2,811,778  2244
  Labor 1,408,84350.12+4.08
  Liberal/National 1,402,33849.88–4.08


Vic99electionresults r.png

Vic99electionresults m.png

Seats changing hands

Ballarat East  Liberal Barry Traynor 0.1-3.73.7 Geoff Howard Labor 
Ballarat West  Liberal Paul Jenkins 1.4-2.41.0 Karen Overington Labor 
Bendigo East  Liberal Michael John 5.0-8.13.1 Jacinta Allan Labor 
Carrum  Liberal David Lean 0.8-1.00.2 Jenny Lindell Labor 
Frankston East  Independent Peter McLellan *3.1-7.74.6 Matt Viney Labor 
Geelong  Liberal Ann Henderson 3.5-3.50.03 Ian Trezise Labor 
Gippsland East  National David Treasure 15.2-22.97.7 Craig Ingram Independent 
Gisborne  Liberal Tom Reynolds 7.8-9.41.6 Jo Duncan Labor 
Narracan  Liberal Florian Andrighetto 1.6-4.12.5 Ian Maxfield Labor 
Oakleigh  Liberal Denise McGill 0.8-4.13.3 Ann Barker Labor 
Ripon  Liberal Steve Elder 4.6-7.22.6 Joe Helper Labor 
Seymour  Liberal Marie Tehan 4.2-4.90.7 Ben Hardman Labor 
Tullamarine  Liberal Bernie Finn 3.0-6.83.8 Liz Beattie Labor 
Warrnambool  National John McGrath 13.8-22.78.9 John Vogels Liberal 


The Kennett government entered the campaign with a substantial lead in the polls and was widely expected to win, some commentators even tipped the government to increase their already large majority. [5]

The Liberals ran a campaign centred on Jeff Kennett and the unusual jeff.com.au website. The presidential nature of the campaign was emphasised when the Herald Sun ran a damaging front-page story revealing that most Liberal candidates were gagged from speaking to the media. [6] The Coalition stuck to a message of focusing on its economic record, and promising modest increases in spending in schools, hospitals and police. [5]

In contrast Labor sought to tap into perceptions in rural Victoria that the Kennett government had neglected them. Both John Brumby who led Labor until early 1999 and Steve Bracks campaigned extensively in rural and regional Victoria, attacking Coalition policies of privatisation highlighting poor service delivery. Labor also took the unusual step of launching their campaign in the regional centre of Ballarat where it announced it would spend $170 million to improve rural infrastructure. In addition Labor campaigned on issues of government transparency and service administration. [7] By election day few people believed that there would be a change of government. When The Australian published a poll which suggested the result would be a cliffhanger, Steve Bracks is said to have stated 'I hope it's right, but I think The Australian is on drugs.' [8] Kennett during the campaign was at the centre of controversy over a heated interview with ABC Radio presenter Jon Faine.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-11/jeff-kennetts-tense-interview-on-abc/11417696

Election day

On the afternoon of the election, while polling was being conducted, it was learned that Liberal-turned-Independent member for the marginal seat of Frankston East, Peter McLellan, had died of a heart attack. Polling was therefore aborted, with a supplementary election to be scheduled.

When the results started to come through, it appeared that there was only a modest swing in metropolitan Melbourne, even in the electorally volatile eastern suburbs, but there was a substantial swing to Labor in provincial and rural Victoria, traditionally a Liberal stronghold. Political analyst and ABC commentator Antony Green later wrote that "in the more than 35 elections I've been involved in, the 1999 Victorian election was the only one where I thought there was something wrong with the computer." [9]

When the Victorian Electoral Commission finished counting for the night, the result was still too close to call: Labor had made huge gains in the rural hinterland, but had failed to make much headway in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne where elections had historically been won or lost.

Frankston East and rural independents

Initial counting had the Coalition on 43 seats in the 88-seat chamber, Labor on 41 (including winning the seat of Geelong by just 16 votes), and the independents on three. Frankston East remained vacant pending the results of the 16 October supplementary election. As McLellan died on the day of the general election, voters in Frankston East had already cast votes before learning of McLellan's death. As McLellan died while the campaign was underway, the Victorian constitution required a supplementary election in the seat.

Regardless of who won in Frankston East, neither the Coalition nor Labor could form a government without the support of the independents, leaving them in a position to effectively choose the next premier.

The independents, Russell Savage, Craig Ingram and Susan Davies, adopted a united stand and released a charter of their demands which the parties would need to accept to further negotiate. Labor accepted all of them while the Coalition accepted all but two, saying that the Upper House should only be reformed after a referendum and rejecting outright an enquiry into the effects of privatisation. The independents announced that they would announce their decision after the supplementary election in Frankston East, which was to be held on 16 October and now assumed a crucial role. [5]

On 16 October, the Frankston East supplementary by-election resulted in a 7.71% swing to Labor, with its candidate Matt Viney winning 54.60% of the two-party preferred vote, putting Labor on 42 seats. The votes that were cast in Frankston East on the day of the election and McLellan's death had been destroyed without being counted. It is therefore unknown whether Frankston East voters had voted differently in the supplementary election than the way they voted at the general election.

The next morning, Labor and the Independents signed an agreement which became public the following day. Although this allowed Labor to form government by one seat, Kennett's supporters urged the Coalition to force a last-ditch confidence vote on the floor of the Assembly. They believed that Savage, Davies and Ingram would be forced to publicly support Kennett. In truth, Savage and Davies felt that Kennett had given them short shrift during the previous term, and would not have even considered supporting any government led by Kennett. However, with the Liberals divided on Kennett's future role, Kennett resigned as premier and retired from politics.


Kennett's resignation became official on 20 October. Soon afterward, Bracks advised the Governor, Sir James Gobbo, that he could form a government, which was duly sworn in later that day. With Kennett retiring from politics, Dr Denis Napthine, a rural MP who was believed to bring a more consensus-style approach to leadership, succeeded him as Liberal leader. [1] [5] [10] Nationals leader Pat McNamara retired from politics as well. His successor, Peter Ryan, tore up the Coalition agreement; the Liberals and Nationals would not resume their Coalition until 2008.

Labor won Kennett's old seat of Burwood in a by-election that December after he decided to retire from parliament. The following year they also won McNamara's hitherto safe seat of Benalla in another by-election, which brought them to 44 of the Assembly's 88 seats.

See also

Related Research Articles

Steve Bracks 44th Premier of Victoria, Australia

Stephen Phillip Bracks AC is a former Australian politician and was the 44th Premier of Victoria. He first won the electoral district of Williamstown in 1994 for the Labor Party and was party leader and premier from 1999 to 2007.

Jeff Kennett Australian politician

Jeffrey Gibb Kennett AC is a former Australian politician who was the 43rd Premier of Victoria between 1992 and 1999, and currently a media commentator. He is currently the president of the Hawthorn Football Club. He was previously president of the club from 2005 to 2011. He is the founding Chairman of beyondblue, a national organisation "working to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community".

John Brumby Australian politician

John Mansfield Brumby is the current Chancellor of La Trobe University and former Victorian Labor Party politician who was Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010. He became leader of the Victorian Labor Party and premier after the resignation of Steve Bracks. He also served as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. He contested his first election as premier at the November 2010 Victorian state election. His government was defeated by the Liberal/National Coalition led by Ted Baillieu. Brumby resigned as Labor leader after the election, on 30 November, to be replaced by Daniel Andrews. Within weeks of this leadership change, Brumby left parliament, with a Broadmeadows by-election taking place on 19 February 2011.

This is a list of members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2002, as elected at the 1999 state election:

2002 Victorian state election

The 2002 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 30 November 2002, was for the 55th Parliament of Victoria. It was held to elect the 88 members of Victorian Legislative Assembly and 22 members of the 44-member Legislative Council.

Ted Baillieu Australian politician

Edward Norman Baillieu is a former Australian politician who was Premier of Victoria from 2010 to 2013. He was a Liberal Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2014, representing the electorate of Hawthorn. He was elected leader of the Liberal Party in opposition in 2006, and served as Premier from 2010 until 2013 after winning the 2010 state election. He resigned as Premier on 6 March 2013, and was succeeded by Denis Napthine.

1996 Victorian state election

The 1996 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 30 March 1996, was for the 53rd Parliament of Victoria. It was held in the Australian state of Victoria to elect all 88 members of the state's Legislative Assembly and 22 members of the 44-member Legislative Council. The election took place four weeks after the 1996 federal election which swept the Labor Party from power nationally.

Peter Ryan (politician) Australian politician

Peter Julian Ryan is a former Australian politician who was leader of The Nationals in Victoria from 1999 to 2014. He represented the electoral district of Gippsland South from 1992 to 2015, and from 2010 to 2014 was the Deputy Premier of Victoria as well as the Minister for Rural and Regional Development. In addition, Ryan was the Minister for Police from 2010 to 2013.

1992 Victorian state election

The 1992 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 3 October 1992, was for the 52nd Parliament of Victoria. It was held in the Australian state of Victoria to elect all 88 members of the state's Legislative Assembly and 22 members of the 44-member Legislative Council.

1988 Victorian state election

The 1988 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 1 October 1988, was for the 51st Parliament of Victoria. It was held in the Australian state of Victoria to elect all 88 members of the state's Legislative Assembly and 22 members of the 44-member Legislative Council.

2006 Victorian state election Election in Victoria, Australia, in 2006

The 2006 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 25 November 2006, was for the 56th Parliament of Victoria. Just over 3 million Victorians registered to vote elected 88 members to the Legislative Assembly and, for the first time, 40 members to the Legislative Council under a proportional representation system. The election was conducted by the independent Victorian Electoral Commission.

Russell Irwin Savage is an Australian politician, who was the independent member for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Mildura from 1996 until 2006. Prior to entering politics, he was a long-serving police officer in Victoria and England.

Craig Ingram Australian politician

Craig Ingram is a former Australian politician, and was the Independent Member of Parliament for Gippsland East in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2010. In 2012 he was appointed as executive officer for the Amateur Fisherman's Association of the NT (AFANT).

2010 Victorian state election

The 2010 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 27 November 2010, was for the 57th Parliament of Victoria. The election was to elect all 88 members of the Legislative Assembly and all 40 members of the Legislative Council. The incumbent centre-left Labor Party government, led by John Brumby, was defeated by the centre-right Liberal/National Coalition opposition, led by Ted Baillieu. The election gave the Coalition a one-seat majority in both houses of parliament.

Electoral district of Frankston East was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Victoria. It was created in 1992, mostly out of the old Frankston North.

Susan Margaret Davies is a former Australian politician.

2014 Victorian state election

The 2014 Victorian state election, held on Saturday, 29 November 2014, was for the 58th Parliament of Victoria. All 88 seats in the Victorian Legislative Assembly and 40 seats in the Victorian Legislative Council were up for election. The incumbent centre-right Coalition minority government, led by Liberal Party leader and Premier Denis Napthine and National Party leader and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan, was defeated by the centre-left Labor Party opposition, led by Daniel Andrews. The Greens won two lower house seats, their first Legislative Assembly seats in a Victorian state election, whilst increasing their share of upper house seats. The new Andrews Ministry was sworn in on 4 December 2014.

National Party of Australia – Victoria Political party in Australia

The National Party of Australia – Victoria is a political party in Victoria, which forms the state branch of the federal Nationals. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers and rural voters generally. The Victorian Farmer's Union formed in 1914 was the precursor to the Victorian Country Party, later the Nationals.

The Australian Labor Party , commonly known as Victorian Labor, is the semi-autonomous Victorian branch of the Australian Labor Party (ALP). The Victorian branch comprises two major wings: the parliamentary wing and the organisational wing. The parliamentary wing comprising all elected party members in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, which when they meet collectively constitute the party caucus. The parliamentary leader is elected from and by the caucus, and party factions have a strong influence in the election of the leader. The leader's position is dependent on the continuing support of the caucus and the leader may be deposed by failing to win a vote of confidence of parliamentary members. By convention, the premier sits in the Legislative Assembly, and is the leader of the party controlling a majority in that house. The party leader also typically is a member of the Assembly, though this is not a strict party constitutional requirement.

Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) Political party in Australia

The Liberal Party of Australia , branded as Liberal Victoria, and commonly known as the Victorian Liberals, is the state division of the Liberal Party of Australia in Victoria. It was formed in 1949 as the Liberal and Country Party (LCP), and simplified its name to the Liberal Party in 1965.


  1. 1 2 Economou, Nick (June 2000). "Australian Political Chronicle: July–December 1999". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 46 (2): 226–237. ISSN   0004-9522.
  2. Hughes, Colin A. (2002). A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics 1985-1999. Sydney: Federation Press. p. 320.
  3. Antony Green (June 2001). "1999 Victorian State Election - Summary of Results" (PDF). Retrieved 5 July 2013.
  4. Hughes (2002) p.321.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Woodward, Dennis; Costar, Brian (2000). "The Victorian Election of 18 September 1999". Australian Journal of Political Science. 35 (1): 125–133. doi:10.1080/10361140050002881.
  6. Bennett S. & Newman G., 'Victorian Election 1999', Australian Parliamentary Library Research Paper Archived 2007-06-13 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Bennett S. & Newman G., 'Victorian Election 1999', Australian Parliamentary Library Research Paper
  8. Megalogenis, George (2006). The Longest Decade. Melbourne: Scribe. p. 54.
  9. Comment by Antony Green at pollbludger (, 8 May 2006, accessed 2 February 2010.
  10. "Ministers of the Crown" (PDF). Victorian Government Gazette. 20 October 1999. p. 1999:S155 (Special).