Writs returned as 2022 State election concludes

Friday 16 December 2022

For immediate release

The writs for the 2022 State election were returned to the Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, today, marking the conclusion of the 2022 State election.

A record number of votes were cast in this year’s State election, but the overall proportion of Victorians casting a vote continues to decline.

3,828,791 Lower House votes and 3,877,213 Upper House votes were cast [1], representing a turnout of 88.14% [2] and 88.23% respectively. This is compared to a 90.16% turnout at the 2018 State election.

More than half of these were early and postal votes, as voters took advantage of extended hours at 155 early voting centres across the state.

Acting Electoral Commissioner Dana Fleming noted that further research was needed to better understand the reason for the decline in participation.

'This is not a new trend in Australia but there are likely to be a number of factors that contributed to the lower voter turnout, including COVID-19 and limited options for overseas voters, which we will explore further,' Ms Fleming said.

However, levels of informal voting decreased, with an average 5.53% rate of informality for the Lower House, compared to 5.83% in 2018 and 3.22% for the Upper House compared to 3.96% in 2018.

'This is a pleasing outcome, and it's great to see that our extensive efforts to help the community understand how to cast a vote correctly may have been having an impact,' Ms Fleming said.

'We will be conducting an in-depth study on informal voting in 2023, analysing ballot papers from this election, to help us better understand why and how people are voting informally. For example, it will look at the proportion of apparently intentional versus apparently accidental informal votes.

A further update on electoral participation trends and informality will be provided in 2023, once additional research projects are complete.

In another record, the VEC conducted more preference distributions for Lower House districts this election than ever before – 77 compared to 48 in 2018.

For statistical purposes, full preference distributions will be conducted for the 10 districts won by absolute majority, from February 2023.

For a breakdown of turnout and informality rates by district and region, go to:

[1] More Upper House votes were cast than Lower House votes due to the failed election in Narracan District

[2] The total reported enrolment for the 2022 State election was 4,394,465 electors, however as Narracan District’s election failed due to the passing of a candidate, the 50,506 electors enrolled in Narracan have been removed from the Lower House turnout calculation to ensure accuracy.