How members are chosen
Members of Parliament are chosen by Victorian voters at general elections. When a member cannot complete their term, a new member will be selected with a by-election or appointment.
General elections for the Parliament of Victoria are held every four years. At a general election, every seat of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly is contested.
The next general election will be on 28 November 2026.
By-elections and appointments
What happens if a sitting member resigns or dies, leaving a seat in the Parliament vacant?
Members who cannot complete their term are replaced either by-election or appointment.By-election (Assembly)
If there is a vacancy in the Legislative Assembly, a by-election will be held.
A by-election is run the same way as a general election, but only the voters in that electorate are required to vote.
When there is a vacancy in the Legislative Council, the two Houses meet to select a new member. This is known as a joint sitting.
- If the vacating member was elected as a member of a political party, the new member is nominated by that party. The choice is approved at that joint sitting.
- If the vacating member was an independent, the joint sitting selects the new member. The person cannot have been a member of a political party in the last five years, and must have lived in the region they will represent for at least 12 months. This is extremely rare and has not happened since this rule was introduced in 2006.
There is no joint sitting if the vacancy happens three months before a general election.
People in Parliament
Learn about the different roles people play at Parliament, including the Premier, the Speaker and the President.
How sitting days work
On a sitting day, members meet at Parliament House. The schedule is always busy, filled with debates, decision-making and question time.