The Labor Party celebrated big swings in Victoria at Saturday’s election, taking two seats off the Coalition in a haul of 21 seats.
By the close of counting on Saturday night, it appeared Surf Coast Shire councillor Libby Coker would unseat Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson in the southwest of the state, with a projected two-candidate-preferred margin of 51.33 per cent.
And Labor candidate and former trade union heavyweight Ged Kearney retained the metropolitan seat of Cooper (formerly Batman) in the face of mounting pressure from Greens candidate David Risstrom who fared better than expected.
Poignancy at prepoll today in Torquay in Corangamite – yet also a sense of hope and change, and lots of good wishes for @LibbyCokerLabor ❤️
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) May 17, 2019
But that’s where the good news for Labor ended.
The party suffered the loss of key seats in both Tasmania and Queensland, losing four seats to the Coalition and experiencing heavy swings in several other safe seats in the states.
Queensland voters handed the Liberal Party a whopping 23 seats out of 30.
Labor desperately fought to keep its grip on the seats of Blair, Griffith, Moreton, Oxley and Rankin, but those victories were not enough to challenge the overwhelming tide of Coalition support.
Dickson candidate Ali France’s hopes of beating the incumbent Peter Dutton were quickly crushed, with the Home Affairs minister holding onto his seat with a 1.3 per cent swing.
Labor blamed Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and One Nation preferences for hurting their chances in the Sunshine State, but their efforts fell short in other states around the nation, too.
What we don’t know is postals. But..
As @AntonyGreenABC points out – spectacular fail on opinion polls with Labor’s primary as low as 33 per cent (was 37 in past Newspoll ?) and Libs on 41 (was 38 I think on Newspoll)
This is on around third of vote counted pic.twitter.com/YHgeKS4VBx
— 𝕤𝕒𝕞𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕙𝕒 𝕞𝕒𝕚𝕕𝕖𝕟 (@samanthamaiden) May 18, 2019
In Tasmania, the results for Labor were grim, with the Liberals wresting two key seats from Labor – Bass and Braddon – and Labor managing to hold Lyons.
The hotly contested seat of Bass was previously held by Labor with a margin of 5.4 per cent, while Braddon was held with a tight margin of just 1.7 per cent.
In New South Wales, the Coalition snagged 21 seats out of 47 on Saturday night, managing to snatch the marginal seats of Lindsay and Macquarie from Labor.
Similar results were reflected in Western Australia, with the Liberals sweeping through to take 11 seats, eclipsing Labor’s seven.
Aside from Victoria, the only other regions that weren’t dismal reading for the ALP were the Northern Territory and South Australia.
Labor held onto its five seats in South Australia as well as taking Boothby off the Coalition, while retaining its two in the NT.
Greens MP Adam Bandt retained the seat of Melbourne for the fourth time in a row, where he continued to push a strong message on climate change.
— Victorian Greens (@VictorianGreens) May 18, 2019
The incumbent secured 55.7 per cent of the vote, outstripping Liberal Party candidate Lauren Sherson and disendorsed Labor candidate Luke Creasey.