Becoming a State election candidate Read this page in Easy English

Nominations for this year’s State election open Wednesday 31 October.

Nominations close:

  • 12 noon, Thursday 8 November for Registered Political Parties
  • 12 noon, Friday 9 November for independent candidates.

This page contains general information about becoming a candidate.

Detailed information is available in our Candidate forms and handbooks

Independent candidates can also access our Candidate Helper for help filling out their nomination form.

Key dates for candidates at the 2018 Victorian State election

Wednesday 31 OctoberNominations open
Thursday 8 November (12 noon)

Registered Political Party nominations close

Final date for lodgement of candidate groupings

Friday 9 November (12 noon)Independent candidate nominations close
Sunday 11 November (12 noon)Final date for lodgement of group voting tickets
Monday 12 NovemberRegistration of how-to-vote cards opens
Friday 16 November (12 noon )Registration of how-to-vote cards closes

Can I be a candidate at the State election?

You can nominate as a candidate if you are correctly enrolled to vote in Victoria.

You cannot nominate if you:

  • are not correctly enrolled
  • are a judge of a court of Victoria
  • have been convicted or found guilty of an offence punishable by prison for a term of five years or more, under the law of Victoria or any Commonwealth nation
  • are an undischarged bankrupt or
  • are a member of either House of the Commonwealth Parliament.

If you are a municipal councillor, or work for the Victorian or Australian Public Service, you can stand for election. If you are elected, you cannot take office without first resigning from your position.

For more information read the Constitution Act 1975 (external link).

How do I nominate?

Registered Political parties must nominate directly with the VEC.

Independent candidates

You can pre-fill a nomination form online using our Candidate Helper.

The Candidate Helper is an online portal that will guide independent candidates through the process of nominating at the State Election.

Please note that pre-filling an application form does not finalise your nomination. You must print the nomination form – part one requires six electors (District) or 50 electors (Region) to complete and sign the nominations section – prior to lodging it with the Election Manager at the election office in the District or Region for which you are nominating.

Region candidates can nominate at any District election office within the Region for which they are nominating.

The locations of election offices will be available from Wednesday 31 October.

You can also download a form in Candidate forms and handbooks.

Candidate forms and handbooks

Detailed information on the nomination process is available in our Candidate forms and handbooks

It is important that you read the handbook as legislation has recently changed.

Can I register a group?

Two or more candidates for a Region can register as a group or a composite group. Group registrations for the 2018 State election open Wednesday 31 October and close at 12 noon on Thursday 8 November.

Candidates can register their group using the Request for Group Registration form available in the Candidate Kit, available from the Election Manager or the VEC. Party representatives manage this process for registered political party candidates.

When registering as a group, a representative can specify the order in which their candidates are to appear on the ballot paper.

Candidates wishing to be included in a group must have nominated before being included. Candidates cannot be included in more than one group.

More information on group registration can be found in the Legislative Council (Region) Candidate Handbook.

How much does it cost?

Each candidate nomination must be accompanied by a deposit of $350. The deposit must be paid in cash or by banker's cheque, credit union or building society cheque. A personal cheque is not acceptable.

The deposit will be returned if the candidate:

  • is elected
  • receives at least four percent of the first preference votes in the electorate
  • retires before the close of nominations
  • dies before 6:00 pm on election day or is successful but dies before being declared elected or
  • if the election fails.

All other candidates will forfeit their deposits.

Do I need to live in the electorate?

Candidates do not need to live in the district for which they are standing. However, for independent candidates, the people who nominate the candidate must be enrolled in that district. Six nominators are required for the Legislative Assembly (district).

It is recommended that additional nominator names are provided in case some are not on the electoral roll.

Can I have a copy of the electoral roll?

Candidates, on request, will be provided with an electronic copy of the roll for the election they are contesting, free of charge. This file can be printed if required and will be in a format suitable for looking up names and mail-merging letters.

Each candidate must personally sign an electoral roll confidentiality agreement to ensure that the data is used solely for campaign purposes in relation to the election.

All copies of the roll that are provided to candidates must be destroyed or returned after the declaration of the result for that election.

Can I distribute how-to-vote cards?

There are strict rules about the distribution of electoral matter (including how-to-vote cards) at a State election.

Please see how-to-vote cards for information on registering and distributing this material.

Am I entitled to public funding?

Eligible candidates at State elections receive a dollar amount per first preference vote.

The entitlement amount is indexed every six months. As at November 2017, the amount was $1.73 for each first preference vote.

To be eligible for funding, a candidate must receive at least 4% of the total number of first-preference votes for their election, or become elected. Registered political parties receive funding for their endorsed candidates. Candidates not endorsed by a registered political party receive funding directly or via a nominated agent.

Parties and candidates must provide the VEC with an audited statement about their election expenditure prior to receiving payment.

Disclosure of political donations

From Sunday 25 November 2018, State election candidates will have to disclose donations they receive of $1,000 or more.

For more information visit Funding and disclosure