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Brumby Government Brought To Brink Of Defeat In Victoria

6.2% Primary Swing Against Labor; Coalition Has 44 Seats; All Roads Lead To Bentleigh

1.00am – The Brumby Labor government has failed to secure re-election to a fourth term in Victoria.

After a 6.2% swing against Labor on primary votes, the government has lost 11 seats to the Liberal Party. These are: Forest Hill, Gembrook, Mount Waverley, Seymour, Burwood, Frankston, South Barwon, Mitcham, Prahran, Mordialloc and Carrum.

John Brumby speaks to supporters last night

John Brumby speaks to supporters last night

The Coalition has also won Gippsland East from the independent Craig Ingram, bringing their total to 44 seats, equal with the ALP.

As counting ended for the night, only the Labor seat of Bentleigh remained in serious doubt. The Victorian Electoral Commission website has the Liberal candidate ahead by 213 votes, whereas the ABC website says the lead is 624 votes.

If the Labor Party holds Bentleigh, the Parliament will be evenly divided. If the Liberals win it, the Coalition will win the election 45-43. After providing a Speaker, the Coalition would be able to govern with a one-seat majority.

Earlier, three other seats appeared in doubt but according to the VEC website the ALP leads in Narre Warren North by 1022 votes, in Monbulk by 1024 and in Macedon by 719 (although an ALP campaign worker in Macedon told AustralianPolitics.com that they put their lead higher than that).

The ALP retained the inner Melbourne electorates of Melbourne, Brunswick, Richmond and Northcote, following the Liberal Party’s decision not to direct preferences to the Greens.

A lower than normal turnout and a much higher number of pre-poll and postal votes means that the results in some seats could change as further votes are counted.

Neither Brumby or Baillieu claimed victory when they spoke to their supporters last night. Brumby claimed the most likely result was a hung Parliament, whilst Baillieu claimed the government had lost its authority and legitimacy. Both men gave speeches stressing their readiness for government.

The regional seats around Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo which delivered government to Labor in 1999 held firm despite swings to the coalition. Only Seymour and South Barwon were lost by the government.

The big swings occurred in Melbourne’s eastern and south-eastern suburbs where swings of 10% were recorded.

Two ministers, Tony Robinson (Mitcham) and Maxine Morand (Mount Waverley) were defeated, as was the Speaker, Jenny Lindell (Carrum).

  • Listen to Deputy Premier Rob Hulls speech at Broadmeadows Town Hall (5m)
  • Listen to Premer John Brumby’s speech at Broadmeadows Town Hall (14m)
  • Listen to Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu’s speech the Sofitel Hotel in Melbourne (12m)
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