Labor has won the Victorian election, according to ABC election data.
The ABC election computer projects Labor on 46 seats, past the target of 45 seats to form government. Our election analyst Antony Green says Labor is on track for 48 seats.
Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks has said on the ABC election coverage the result is “a clear win to Labor, with a reasonable majority”. Coalition MP Mary Wooldridge has acknowledged “it is looking dire”.
Daniel Andrews leads the ALP to electoral triumph over Denis Napthine’s Coalition in poll that is likely to be seen as sending a strong message to Canberra
Labor has won a historic victory in Victoria, defeating a government after a single term for the first time in almost 60 years.
The result will be interpreted as sending a strong message to Canberra that many of its budget policies are angering voters.
The unpopularity of the federal government has played a significant and unusual role in a state election campaign.
The Greens look set to win their first lower house seat in Melbourne, and possibly a second in Richmond with former government environment adviser Ellen Sandell defeating the Labor incumbent. They also have a chance in the inner city seats of Richmond and Brunswick.
The National party may also lose the seat of Shepparton in the state’s north-east, to independent Suzanna Sheed. This was the area where the federal government refused to provide funds to help local fruit processor SPC Ardmona to survive.
With 36% of the vote counted, Labor achieved a swing of more than 2%, and looks likely to win three key so-called sand belt seats of Mordialloc, Carrum and Bentleigh, and is ahead in Frankston. The ABC was predicting it would win between 46 and 48 seats in the 88 seat Legislative Assembly.
The Coalition just after 8pm had not won any seats from Labor. It was in trouble in the inner city seat of Prahran, and Wendouree around Ballarat.
Labor also won the rural seat of Ripon and the outer suburban electorate of Yan Yean.
Labor was cautiously hopeful even in the seat of Morwell, held by the National party by a margin of more than 13%. Morwell suffered a devastating coalmine fire earlier this year and residents were critical of the state government’s response.
Former Premier Steve Bracks told the ABC said: “I believe Daniel Andrews is going to be the next premier of Victoria.”
The deputy Labor leader, James Merlino, said the “bread and butter issues” were most critical, including jobs, health and education, as well as cuts to Tafe. He said the controversial East West Link was not a crucial factor.
Liberal state minister Mary Wooldridge told ABC television earlier in the night that federal issues had been “very important” including the indexation of fuel excise and ABC cuts. She said it had make it difficult for premier Denis Napthine to get a clear run with the coalition’s issues.
Victorian federal minister Kevin Andrews rejected the suggestion that the federal government had hampered the state government.
“This election was fought largely on state issues,” he told the ABC.
The future of Denis Napthine, 62, is unclear. He took over as premier in March last year, replacing Ted Baillieu, who led the Coalition to an unexpected victory in the 2010 election.