Victorian Socialists gains state party registration

A contingent of Victorian Socialist members at a union rally
The Victorian Socialists contingent at Melbourne’s Change the Rules rally on May 9. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Clearing its first major hurdle in emphatic fashion, the Victorian Socialists gained registration as a political party in Victoria for the November 28 state election.

For a party to be registered in Victoria, a minimum of 500 people must confirm with the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) that they are members of that party.

In an email sent out to party supporters, Victorian Socialists secretary Corey Oakley thanked the members who returned their letters to the VEC confirming their membership. The VEC confirmed the party’s successful registration on June 6.

“We just received notice from the Victorian Electoral Commission that our party registration application was successful”, Oakley wrote.

“Now we have got registering as a party out of the way, we can get on with the much more important job of building support for a socialist alternative to the status quo in Victorian politics.”

He also confirmed the Victorian Socialists would stand candidates in all upper house regions in Victoria, to “give everyone in Victoria the chance to vote” for the party.

However, most of the party’s campaign resources would still go towards the election of Stephen Jolly in the Northern Metropolitan region.

The party has been actively in campaign mode for several weeks and has been highly visible at rallies and other community events within the Northern Metropolitan region. It is set to conduct its first major doorknock on June 17 in the Richmond electoral district, where Stephen Jolly gained 8.5% of the vote in the 2014 state election.

An alliance between the Socialist Alliance, Socialist Alternative, trade unionists and various community groups, the Victorian Socialists was formed to get a socialist elected to the Victorian parliament.

Since its public announcement, the party has generated considerable excitement among the left in Victoria and has also attracted some serious backing from sections of the trade union movement. Of particular note, the Electrical Trades Union pledged to donate $50,000 to the party.