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Liberal Party Wins Aston By-Election

July 19, 2001

Chris Pearce, Liberal Member for Aston The Liberal Party's Chris Pearce has won the Aston by-election. Latest counting gives Pearce a lead of 50.57%, or 890 votes, over his Labor rival, Kieran Boland.

The Liberal Party has received 55% of postal and pre-poll votes, giving it a clear lead. On election night last Saturday, the difference between the two candidates was only 48 votes on a two-party-preferred basis.

There has been a primary vote swing of 7.76% away from the Liberal Party and a 1.56% swing against the ALP. The Democrats are up 0.55%. Eleven of the 15 candidates contesting the election lost their $350 nomination deposits because they each polled less than 4%.

On a two-party-preferred basis, there has been a 3.67% swing to the ALP.

In a statement released today, the Prime Minister, John Howard, said:

"On the basis of advice from the Australian Electoral Commission that with fewer than 600 votes left to be counted the Liberal candidate, Chris Pearce, is some 950 votes ahead it is reasonable that he claim victory in the Aston by election.

"In congratulating Chris Pearce on his excellent campaign I thank the people of Aston for the continued support they have given to the government. Chris Pearce will be a strong and effective local member. He will represent the people of Aston with enormous commitment and dedication.

"My thanks and congratulations are also due to the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party for such a good campaign in difficult circumstances. I particularly compliment the division’s new Director, Brian Loughnane, and those around him for the professional competence they displayed during the campaign.

"Whilst I do not for a moment underestimate the challenge faced by the government when the federal election is held, victory in the Aston by-election gives Liberals all around Australia both heart and hope.

"It is a better outcome for the Liberal Party than most predicted. The swing against the government is a little below the average for all by-elections and the result gives the lie to those who claim that there is an unstoppable momentum for a Labor victory in the general election. If he is honest with himself, Mr Beazley will know that he should have done better.

"I thank all those who helped in Aston. I exhort Liberal and National Party supporters all around Australia to redouble their efforts over the remaining months of this year. The battle will be very tough – but with maximum effort we can win."

The latest figures in Aston are as follows:

Aston By-Election - July 14, 2001
CandidateParty Votes % Swing
Peter O'LOUGHLIN Ind 1,154 1.49 +1.49
Chris PEARCE Liberal 31,562 40.73 -7.76
Mark WARD Ind 125 0.16 +0.16
Mark SLOAN Ind 614 0.79 +0.79
Mick KIR Greens 1,875 2.42 +2.42
Steve RASKOVY Ind 224 0.29 +0.29
Doug MITCHELL CEC 334 0.43 +0.43
Luke James Chamberlain Liberals For Forests 679 0.88 +0.88
Pierre Harcourt Australian Democrats 6,257 8.07 +0.55
June Scott One Nation 1,367 1.76 -1.13
Garry SCATES Ind 3,399 4.39 +4.39
Josephine COX Socialist Alliance 329 0.42 +0.42
Tim PETHERBRIDGE Hope 231 0.30 +0.30
Graeme DUNSTAN HEMP 712 0.92 +0.92
Kieran BOLAND ALP 28,628 36.94 -1.56
Two Candidate Preferred
Kieran Boland ALP 49.43% 3.67%
Chris Pearce Liberal 50.57% -3.67%

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