Nationals Concede Benalla To ALP

The National Party has conceded defeat in the Benalla by-election. Held by the conservative political parties since 1904, Benalla was snatched by the ALP yesterday with a swing of over 8%.

Denise AllenCounting of postal and pre-poll votes today has seen Labor’s Denise Allen (pictured) increase her lead over the National Party’s Bill Sykes.

Allen has been winning 50.5% of the postal votes, maintaining the trend of voters throughout the central Victorian electorate. She now has a two-party-preferred lead of 50.66%, or 390 votes. With about 1000 votes still to come in, she is in an unbeatable position.

The ALP’s primary vote has increased by 18.69% since the 1996 election when its candidate polled only 23.64%. Yesterday Allen polled 42.33% of the primary vote, down slightly from the 42.59% she secured in last year’s general election. Allen and former Deputy Premier Pat McNamara were the only candidates in that election. [Read more…]

Historic Victory As Labor Wins Benalla By-Election; Rural Voters Vent More Anger On Coalition

Whilst counting of postal, absentee and pre-poll votes is not yet complete, the ALP appears to have scored an historic victory by winning the National Party electorate of Benalla in today’s by-election.

Benalla By-Election 13-5-00
Candidate Party %
SMITH, Maurie Ind 0.72
HILL, Bill Ind 6.82
THORPE, Alf ARP 0.29
ALLEN, Denise ALP 41.98
MACKENZIE, Janet Greens 2.05
SYKES, Bill NPA 41.00
ROWE, Geoff Ind 7.14

With results from all 45 polling booths now in, the ALP’s Denise Allen has 41.98% of the primary vote, compared to 41% for the National Party’s Bill Sykes.

On the two-party-preferred count, Allen leads the Nationals by 50.43% to 49.57%, a swing of 7.84% over the September 1999 result when the seat was won by the National Party’s former leader, Pat McNamara.

The 1999 result was itself a 7.85% swing from the 1996 general election. Since 1996, the ALP has secured a total swing of 15.69% in Benalla, an electorate held continuously by the conservative parties since 1904.

The ALP’s victory in Benalla gives it 44 seats in the Legislative Assembly, compared to 41 for the coalition parties. There are 3 independents who have committed themselves to supporting the Bracks government. [Read more…]

Benalla By-Election A Test For National Party

Today’s by-election for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Benalla will be a test for the National Party which has held the seat since its creation in 1904.

Denise AllenA win for the Labor Party would reduce its reliance on the support of the 3 Independents in the lower house.

The Bracks government currently holds 43 seats and governs with the support of independents Susan Davies (Gippsland West), Russell Savage (Mildura) and Craig Ingram (Gippsland East).

Victory in Benalla would allow the ALP to pass its legislation to trial heroin injecting rooms with the support of Susan Davies, although the Opposition-controlled Legislative Council would most likely still block the measure. [Read more…]