- Victorian state election, 1992
Elections for the
Victorian Legislative Assemblyand for half the seats in the Victorian Legislative Councilwere held on Saturday 3 October 1992. The Labor governmentof Joan Kirnerwas comprehensively defeated by the Liberal National Coalition led by Jeff Kennettand Pat McNamara.
The Labor Party began the campaign in a poor position. Victoria had suffered several economic crises during the preceding four years, including the collapses of Tricontinental,
Pyramid Building Society, the State Bank of Victoria, the Victorian Economic Development Corporation (VEDC), the National Safety Council (NSC) and the parlous state of the government-backed WorkCare insurance scheme. Meanwhile the government had amassed a debt of fifty billon dollars. [http://www.crikey.com.au/articles/2006/06/05-1541-5846.html] The first signs of a Labor collapse occurred at the 1990 federal election when the Coalition gained nine seats from Labor in Victoria on what was termed the 'anti-Cain swing'. [http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2004/guide/ltro.htm]
John Cain then resigned and was replaced by
Joan Kirnerbut she was unsuccessful in restoring support for the government. During 1991, Labor was polling lower than 25%. [ Costar B.J & Economou N., 'Elections and Electoral Change 1982-92' in Considine M. & Costar B.J (eds) "Trials in Power: Cain, Kirner and Victoria 1982-1992", Melbourne University Press, 1992 p. 261 ]
During the campaign itself Labor focused all its attention on attempting to exploit voter unease over Jeff Kennett. While the Coalition have some policy problems, the Coalition gained considerable traction focusing on the economic crisis. [ ibid, p. 259 ]
The Liberals ran a highly effective television campaign with the slogan "Labor: the guilty party".
The Coalition was easily elected, with the Liberals winning 52 seats and the National Party 8, giving the Coalition 60 of the 88 seats in the Legislative Assembly and a majority of 32.
The Coalition also succeeded in increasing its improved its position in the Legislative Council, increasing its majority from six to sixteen seats. More importantly the Liberal Party had majorities in both houses even without the support of the Nationals, reducing their power within the Coalition.
The Labor recovered considerably on the 25% they were polling at during 1991, but their vote was down nearly nine percent on the 1988 result. In the Labor heartland western suburbs most of their vote went to Independents and was returned to them through preferences, although the Liberals won Tullamarine and Essendon. [ ibid ] However in the eastern suburbs the Liberals were the direct beneficiaries of the collapse of the Labor vote, winning seats such as Bayswater, Berwick, Knox, Mitcham, Monbulk, Mooroolbark and Wantirna with swings of over ten percent. [http://psephos.adam-carr.net/countries/a/australia/states/vic-92-assembly.txt]
The Liberals also made gains in provincial Victoria, winning all of the marginal seats based around Ballarat and Bendigo. Mostly because they were in Coalition together for the first time since
1948, no seats changed hands between the Liberals and the Nationals.
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