Brownlow Medal 2018: Tom Mitchell wins, photos from the red carpet at Crown Casino in Melbourne

​Tom Mitchell has been awarded the 2018 Brownlow Medal. 

The Hawthorn midfielder finished third last year, polling 25 votes, and has turned in a better season this year.

He had in excess of 100 disposals more than the next-best in the home-and-away season, averaging 36 a game.

Also fifth in the competition for frees for. Mitchell was a clear favourite with the bookies and pundits.

Hawthorn ball magnet Mitchell finished on 28 votes, bursting clear of Collingwood vice-captain Sidebottom with a nine-vote flurry between rounds 18 and 21.

Sidebottom finished runner-up on 24, while Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw made a late run to finish third on 21.

Who was in the running this year?

* DUSTIN MARTIN: The Richmond ace won last year's medal with a record 36 votes. Hasn't entirely recaptured that form but still produced at least four standout games and a number when if not best-afield, close to it. Averaged about 25 disposals a game and topped the league for inside 50s.

* MAX GAWN: A specialist ruckman hasn't won the Brownlow since Scott Wynd in 1992 but if anyone can end that streak it's the Melbourne star. Dominated the rucks with almost 150 more hit-outs than the next best in the home-and-away season. Second in the competition for contested marks, averaged 16 disposals a game. 

* PATRICK CRIPPS: The Carlton gun was fifth in the competition for disposals, averaging 30 a game, and led the league average for contested possessions while also in the top-10 for tackles laid. Was simply outstanding in a number of games but how much will playing in a side that won just two games hurt his chances?

* CLAYTON OLIVER: The Melbourne midfielder has been sensational, averaging 30 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s a game. Is also top-10 for clearances. Rated a near-certainty to poll maximum votes in at least three games but will his teammate Gawn's excellence deny him full votes, or visa versa?

* BRODIE GRUNDY: The Collingwood ruck averaged 39 hit-outs a game, behind only Gawn, who averaged 45. But the Magpies star has arguably been the most influential big man around the ground, averaging 21 disposals a game including 12 contested possessions. Also top-20 for tackles laid in the league.

* ELLIOT YEO: The West Coast on-baller averaged 25 touches a game and plays with a flair that should catch the eye of umpires. Was behind only Martin for inside 50s and part of a winning side more often than not. But his suspended teammate Andrew Gaff could pinch votes.

* DAYNE BEAMS: The Brisbane star averaged 29 disposals a game and is rated a solid chance of at least four best-on-grounds. Polled 17 votes last season when the Lions won five games, the same as this season. A slowish start but will power home towards the end of the season.