Victoria’s Labor government has been returned in what can reasonably be called a landslide. The final published opinion polls of the campaign ranged from 53 to 55 per cent for the ALP after preferences. On current counting the party is on around 57 per cent, but after postal votes and preferences are distributed in all seats (except Richmond, where the Liberals didn’t run), it’ll probably round to 56 per cent. That’s roughly a 4 per cent swing.
Out of eighty-eight lower house seats, Labor looks like it will end up in the mid fifties and the Coalition in the high twenties, perhaps nudging thirty. There will be two or three independents.
The Greens had an awful night, going from three to one or perhaps two Legislative Assembly seats. This was despite the Liberals abandoning their 2010 and 2014 strategy of preferencing Labor ahead of the minor party. Much of this result surely flows from well-publicised problems with candidates during the campaign, which Daniel Andrews energetically exploited.
Last night and today, like clockwork, federal Coalition MPs are insisting this election was fought on local issues and that there’s little for them to take away from the result. They actually have half a point.
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