News State Victoria News Victorian election: Labor’s Daniel Andrews chalks up a massive, thumping victory

Victorian election: Labor’s Daniel Andrews chalks up a massive, thumping victory

daniel andrews victorian election victory
Premier Daniel Andrews claims victory in the Victorian election. Photo: AAP
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Labor is celebrating and the Liberal Party is licking its wounds after Victorians sent an emphatic message about infighting in Canberra.

Premier Daniel Andrews enjoyed a thumping victory, forecast to pick up up to 59 of 88 seats, with ABC election analyst Antony Green calling it for Labor at just 7.17pm – around 90 minutes after polls closed.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy conceded defeat in a speech to supporters about 9pm on Saturday, congratulating Mr Andrews on his “stunning” victory and calling for unity within the party.

Mr Andrews claimed the win shortly after 9.30pm, and thanked Mr Guy for his “gracious concession”.

“Friends, we are the most progressive government in the nation,” he told supporters.

The blame game for the Liberals had already begun on Saturday night.

Shadow Education Minister Tim Smith reflected that toppling former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull “hasn’t helped” the state party.

“When you’ve got federal politicians constantly talking about themselves, that hasn’t helped our party like it didn’t help Labor during the Rudd-Gillard years, that’s brand damage,” Mr Smith told the ABC.

Labor looked set to flip even the Liberal seat of Hawthorn, held by Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto.

“I don’t feel great,” Mr Pesutto said.

He endured a swing against him of about 11 per cent, having won the seat in 2014 with a 58.59 per cent margin two-party preferred.

Mr Pesutto acknowledged the seat had changed massively over the last four years, and blamed the statewide loss on federal infighting.

“Internal issues are a complete waste of time. They will, as this result is appearing to demonstrate tonight, earn the great wrath of the public.

“So my advice to our federal colleagues is if you haven’t already had enough lessons, you ought to look at Victoria and learn the lessons that we’re seeing tonight,” he said.

Labor is also looking to take Nepean – with a swing of more than 11 per cent – as well as Brighton, Caulfield, Sandringham and Ringwood, where there was a 10 per cent swing against Liberal MP Dee Ryall.

matthew guy concedes defeat in Victorian election
Matthew Guy concedes defeat on Saturday night. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had kept clear of the campaign. His only appearance was to pay his respects following a deadly terror attack on Melbourne’s Bourke Street.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it was a “very difficult night for the Liberal family”, acknowledging Canberra “noise didn’t help”.

But he rejected suggestions Victorian voters were sending a message to the federal party.

Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy acknowledged Liberal disunity in Canberra would have affected the vote, but argued Labor’s track record was behind the swing to the party.

“I don’t think we want to underestimate just how important getting on with government early [is], and Daniel Andrews has heavily invested in infrastructure,” Ms Hennessy said on ABC.

She said it was “looking like a bloodbath” for Mr Guy.

victorian election labor party
Labor supporters react during the Labor Party reception at the Village Green in Mulgrave as the results started streaming in. Photo: AAP

Shadow Health Minister Mary Wooldridge said the Liberal Party needed an overhaul.

“If the party keeps moving to the right we will never be elected,” she said on ABC.

Victorian Liberal federal Senator Jane Hume said the party needed to put more women forward.

“One of the things we haven’t spoken about this evening is the number of women we have had running in this campaign,” she said.

liberal party victorian election
The Liberal Party reception on Saturday night. Photo: AAP

Labor enjoyed swings in the key sandbelt seats, to retain Frankston, Bentleigh, Carrum and Mordialloc, as well as the crucial seat of Cranbourne in Melbourne’s outer south-east.

Deputy Premier James Merlino called the premier “the bravest, most astute leader that I have ever worked with”.

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said it was a “remarkable victory”.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has survived the threat from Greens candidate Kathleen Maltzahn in Richmond, with a swing to Labor of 5 per cent.

The Greens could take Brunswick from Labor, but Labor could retake Northcote where Lidia Thorpe was elected in a by-election last year.

Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale congratulated Mr Andrews, saying the result was a rejection of Mr Guy’s campaign on crime.

“What we have seen is Victorians comprehensively reject a really awful campaign based on law and order, trying to divide the Australian community, really an attack on multiculturalism,” Senator Di Natale said.

“I thought the Victorian community said very loudly and clearly, ‘We reject a campaign based on fear and division’.”

The Greens campaign has been marred by what Victorian leader Samantha Ratnam described as toxic masculinity. Footscray candidate Angus McAlpine was revealed to have rapped about date rape, while Sandringham candidate Dominic Phillips was stood down on Thursday after a sex abuse allegation was made against him.

The Greens suffered a swing of more than 7 per cent in Sandringham, according to votes counted by 9.30pm Saturday.

The party may lose four of its five upper house seats.

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