Skip to Content

Council elections

Council elections are held every four years on the fourth Saturday in October.

MAV councillor census 2013

The census profiles the elected membership of Victorian local government.

A variety of data about councillors was accumulated throughout the census including gender, political preference, annual earnings, education, employment status and marital status.

The report shows changes in data from 2006 onwards:

2012 elections analysis


  • 52 per cent of 631 vacancies were filled by incumbent councillors, while 29 per cent of contesting councillors were defeated
  • 48 per cent are new councillors, and voters elected 34 per cent women councillors.


  • 2 000 candidates nominated across 78 municipalities (Brimbank did not hold an election)
  • 464 sitting councillors contested the election (75 per cent), while 154 councillors retired
  • All incumbents contested the election in seven municipalities.

Returned (incumbent) councillors

  • 331 of contesting incumbent councillors were returned (71 per cent)
  • 46 incumbent mayors were returned, and another 16 retired
  • 12 councils retained all incumbents who contested the elections, while a further 24 councils lost only one contesting councillor
  • 15 municipalities had six or more sitting councillors returned
  • 26 councillors were re-elected unopposed, including four mayors.

New councillors

  • 300 new councillors were elected, 48 per cent of the total vacancies
  • 16 new councillors were elected unopposed across 10 municipalities
  • More than 50 per cent of councillors are new in 27 municipalities
  • Nine councils have large numbers of new councillors as a majority of incumbents retired.

Defeated councillors

  • 133 contesting councillors were defeated (29 per cent)
  • A majority of incumbents who contested the election were defeated in five councils
  • Sixteen contesting mayors were defeated

Female representation

  • 214 or 34 per cent of all councillors elected are women, up from 29 per cent in 2008
  • All councils have women councillors, while five had no female representation in 2008
  • Ten councils have a majority female council: Hobsons Bay (4 of 7), Manningham (5 of 9), Maroondah (5 of 9), Melton (5 of 7), Moonee Valley (5 of 9), Moreland (6 of 11), Nillumbik (4 of 7), Port Phillip (5 of 7), Queenscliffe (3 of 5), and Surf Coast (5 of 9).

For further trends analysis view our trends fact sheet (Word - 215KB).

For more information about the 2012 elections – including candidates and detailed results – visit the Victorian Electoral Commission website.