Victorian Socialists

The Victorian Socialists (VS) are a democratic socialist political party based in the Australian state of Victoria. It was founded in February 2018 as an electoral alliance of various socialist organisations and individuals from trade unions, community groups, and progressive movements, aiming to elect socialists at the federal, state, and local council level.

Victorian Socialists
LeaderCollective leadership
PresidentAndrew Charles
SecretaryCorey Oakley
Founded5 February 2018; 3 years ago (2018-02-05)
Registered6 June 2018; 3 years ago (2018-06-06)
HeadquartersVictorian Trades Hall, Carlton, Melbourne
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[1]
Political positionLeft-wing[3][4][5]
Colours    Black and white
Slogan"People before profit"
Local government
1 / 635

The party contested the 2018 state election and the 2019 federal election but did not secure a seat in either parliament. As of November 2020, the party is represented in local government on the Maribyrnong City Council by Socialist Alternative member Jorge Jorquera.


The Victorian Socialists began as a collaboration between Socialist Alternative, the Socialist Alliance, and individuals not aligned with either group.[6] Socialist Alliance withdrew from the grouping in May 2020.[7]

The party's formation was announced publicly on 5 February 2018.[8] It was officially registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission on 6 June 2018.[9]

In August 2018, the party announced that it would field candidates for the 2018 Victorian state election in every Legislative Council seat and several Legislative Assembly electorates. Candidates included the former Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Tim Gooden for the Western Victoria Region and local councillors Stephen Jolly and Sue Bolton for the Northern Metropolitan Region.[10][11]

The 2018 election campaign gained support from several trade unions including the ETU, VAHPA, UFU, CFMMEU (MUA division), AMIEU and NUW.[12][13][14] It also won the support of several local immigrant diasporas and community organisations.[15][16] Endorsements were received from several prominent left-wing personalities, such as Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Gary Foley, Tom Ballard, Corrine Grant, and Helen Razer. The party achieved a vote of 4.2% in the Northern Metropolitan Region while achieving 7.2% of the vote for the lower house seat of Broadmeadows, in a field of four candidates.[17][18]

In the 2019 federal election, VS ran candidates for the electorates of Calwell, Wills, and Cooper.[19] The party was registered at a federal level with the Australian Electoral Commission on 7 April 2019.[20] The party won votes of 4.6% in Calwell, 4.5% in Wills, and 4.2% in Cooper.

In September 2019, following allegations of family violence, Jolly was suspended from VS pending an investigation, leading him to resign from the party.[21][22]

In the 2020 Victorian local government elections, the party fielded candidates for Darebin, Hume, Maribyrnong, Melbourne and Moreland, and a ticket for the Lord and Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne.[23][24] Socialist Alternative member Jorge Jorquera became the first Victorian Socialists candidate to be elected to office, winning a seat on the Maribyrnong City Council.[25][26]



The party's policies include:[27]


Victorian Socialists launched its 2018 election manifesto on 24 August at the Brunswick Town Hall, outlining a broadly left-wing and socialist vision. It is based on broad principles of public ownership, workers' rights and equality.[28][29] The party's policies include:

  • Support for ongoing Victorian Government reforms, including limiting rent rises per year, limiting bond to 4 weeks' rent and the abolition of no reason vacancy notices
  • Five-year freeze on rent increases and subsequent rent increases to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index
  • 50,000 new public housing units over the next five years
  • Public ownership of energy, public transport, aged care, childcare, hospitals, vocational training and disability services
  • Large-scale public investment and cessation of subsidies to private companies
  • Stopping public funding of private schools and greater funding of public schools
  • Restore full funding for free and public TAFE
  • Increase in sector-wide bargaining powers of trade unions and protection of the right to strike
  • Addressing crime through addressing root causes such as housing, education and employment
  • Large-scale public investment in renewable energy


In 2020, the party announced its positions responding to key COVID-19 challenges faced by society.[30][31]

  • Access to high-quality healthcare, education (schools and higher education), childcare, utilities (energy, water, NBN, gas), roads, public transport, are all basic human rights and should be free
  • Nationalise all essential industries
  • Government takeovers not corporate bailouts for all big companies that require government money to survive
  • Jobs in the significantly expanded public sector must be secure, permanent, well-paid jobs, with conditions protected by fighting unions
  • Tax the rich. Massively increase corporate taxes and income tax on the very high-income earners. 50 per cent wealth tax on anyone with assets over $10 million
  • The travel ban has led to a massive crisis in the higher education sector. The Federal government must step in to fully fund higher education
  • Ban evictions & suspend rent payments for all those without a steady income
  • Free childcare should be maintained after the pandemic and the childcare system overhauled by ending privatisation and providing 24-hour childcare to meet the needs of shift workers
  • Oppose all industrial relations reforms that reduce workers’ rights. Restore and expand workers rights to collective bargaining and to strike
  • Defend the right to protest safely and take industrial action
  • Take over private hospitals and integrate them into the public health system

Electoral resultsEdit


Election Votes Victoria Australia +/–
% Seats % Seats
2019 12,454 0.34
0 / 38
0 / 150


Victorian Legislative Assembly
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
seats won
2018 15,442 0.44 (#9)
0 / 88
Victorian Legislative Council
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
seats won
2018 32,603 0.91 (#12)
0 / 40

Notable membersEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Victorian Socialists Constitution" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 April 2019. We work to foster solidarity through authentic collective struggle and to demonstrate the need for, and legitimacy of, democratic socialism.
  2. ^ "Victorian Socialists Constitution" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 April 2019. To contribute to the construction of a mass socialist party that can educate, organise and mobilise the Australian working class and other oppressed groups to replace the power of the capitalists with popular power;
  3. ^ "Victorian Election 2018 - Political Parties". Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Reason v socialism in Victorian election: Fiona Patten gears up for a fight". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Electrical Trades Union backs fledgling Victorian Socialists with $50k donation". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. ^ ""Victorain Socialists analyze their 2018 State election campaign" BOX4". Facebook. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Socialist Alliance withdraws from Victorian Socialists". Socialist Alliance. 14 May 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  8. ^ " - Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". Herald Sun.
  9. ^ "Registration of the Victorian Socialists". Victorian Electoral Commission. 6 June 2018.
  10. ^ Thomson, Andrew (2 November 2018). "Socialists to stand across western Victoria". The Standard. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  11. ^ Pearce, Gary. "The Victorian Socialists' fight for an alternative". Overland literary journal. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  12. ^ Hutchinson, Samantha (15 October 2018). "Unions back Victorian Socialists' campaign". The Australian.
  13. ^ "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. 7 February 2018.
  14. ^ Carey, Adam (3 May 2018). "Socialists hope union donation will secure jolly good election result". The Age.
  15. ^ Troaditis, Dimitris (14 November 2018). "Victorian Socialists: Θα είναι το νέο πρόσωπο στη νέα Γερουσία; | Neos Kosmos". Neos Kosmos. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Stephen Jolly on Twitter". Twitter.
  17. ^ "State Election 2018: Northern Metropolitan Region results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  18. ^ "State Election 2018: Broadmeadows District results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  19. ^ Walsh, Liz. "Victorian Socialists to stand in federal election | Red Flag". Red Flag. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Registration of a political party Victorian Socialists" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission.
  21. ^ Towell, Noel; Millar, Benjamin (23 September 2019). "Stephen Jolly splits from Victorian Socialists amid serious allegations". The Age. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Having Socialist Elected Officials Makes a Difference for Working-Class People". Jacobin. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  24. ^ "Council Election Candidates". Victorian Socialists. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  25. ^ Dmytryshchak, Goya (4 November 2020). "Maribyrnong council's new look". Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Maribyrnong City Council election results 2020". Victorian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Federal Election Policies". Victorian Socialists. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Manifesto - Victorian Socialists". Victorian Socialists.
  29. ^ Pearce, Gary (19 October 2018). "The Victorian Socialists' fight for an alternative". Overland. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Having Socialist Elected Officials Makes a Difference for Working-Class People". Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  31. ^ "COVID-19". Victorian Socialists. Retrieved 7 August 2020.

Further readingEdit