The Victorian Greens have fended off Labor and Liberal challenges to retain the inner-Melbourne seat of Prahran and maintain at least three MPs in the state’s lower house.
More than a week after the state election, Greens candidate and incumbent MP Sam Hibbins on Tuesday claimed the seat following a tight-three-way contest between the parties.
In a statement, Mr Hibbins thanked Prahran voters for giving him a second term.
“As promised, my first priority will be to re-introduce the Greens’ bill to protect LGBTIQ students from discrimination,” he said.
“The Greens’ presence in state parliament is crucial to hold Labor to account and push for progressive change in Victoria.”
The Victorian Electoral Commission is yet to finalise counting for Prahran, but the Greens hold 57 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote against the Liberal’s 43 per cent.
Labor candidate Neil Pharaoh earlier tweeted a concession.
“The preferences didn’t flow our way. We gave it all we had, and I’m so proud of everyone who was part of our campaign,” he wrote.
Mr Hibbins will join two other Greens MPs – Melbourne’s Ellen Sandell and Brunswick’s Tim Read – in Victorian parliament’s lower house.
The party gained Brunswick for the first time but lost Northcote to Labor’s Kat Theophanous.
Preferences also favour independent candidate Ali Cupper in Mildura, who looks set to unseat Nationals’ incumbent Peter Crisp.
The distribution of preferences continues for the seats of Bayswater, Caulfield, Hawthorn and Ripon.
“I understand that candidates are anxious to receive a final result, particularly in close seats, however an accurate result that stands up to scrutiny must be the priority,” Electoral Commissioner Warwick Gately said.
He expected further declarations of seats on Thursday.
The November 24 Victorian election delivered a shocking swing against shadow treasurer John Pesutto in his Hawthorn electorate.
Mr Pesutto – who is a potential candidate to be opposition leader following Matthew Guy’s departure – has been tracking just behind Labor’s John Ormond Kennedy for days.
At the latest update, Labor led the Hawthorn race by 165 votes.