The former Victorian Liberal leader, Denis Napthine, has been re-elected tonight and will become Premier following the resignation of Ted Baillieu.
Liberal MPs were given ten minutes notice of a party-room meeting to be held at 7pm tonight. Baillieu offered his resignation to the partyroom and Denis Napthine was elected in his place.
Baillieu spoke to the media just before 8pm. He offered no reason for his resignation other than the need for new leadership. He said he would remain in parliament.
Napthine’s media conference ended abruptly with the ringing of the division bells in the Legislative Assembly. He spoke emotionally of his regard for Baillieu but seemed otherwise unprepared for his elevation to the premiership.
The political drama follows several days of upheaval over the publication of tape recorded conversations involving Baillieu’s Chief of Staff, Tony Nutt, a former Liberal candidate, Tristan Weston, and the Liberal Party State Director, Damien Mantach.
Earlier today, the Liberal member for Frankston, Geoff Shaw, resigned from the Liberal Party to sit as an independent. He cited lack of confidence in the government’s leadership as his reason. His resignation reduced the government’s two-seat majority to one. Some reports suggest Shaw may have delivered an ultimatum to the Liberal Party.
Napthine was leader of the Liberal Party following its surprise defeat in the 1999 election. He was replaced by Robert Doyle just months before the 2002 election. Doyle was replaced by Ted Baillieu in 2006. Baillieu led the Liberals to defeat in the 2006 election before narrowly winning the 2010 election.
Ted Baillieu saw the Governor, Alex Chernov, at approximately 9.50pm tonight and tendered his resignation. Denis Napthine was sworn in at 10.20pm. He is Victoria’s 47th Premier since 1855.
Baillieu has held a press conference confirming his resignation.
- Listen to Baillieu’s press conference (6m)
- Watch Baillieu:
- Listen to Napthine’s press conference
- Listen to Napthine sworn in and first remarks as Premier (1m)
Statement from Geoff Shaw, Liberal MP for Frankston.
Released from his electorate office at 6.23pm.
This morning I advised the Premier of Victoria of my resignation from the Parliamentary Liberal Party, effective immediately. [Read more…]