Liberal John Pesutto concedes defeat in seat of Hawthorn in Victorian election
Mr Pesutto first learned he was in trouble in the seat during the ABC’s election broadcast. (ABC News)
Liberal leadership aspirant John Pesutto has conceded defeat in the seat of Hawthorn, with Labor claiming victory in the previously safe blue-ribbon seat.
Mr Pesutto had been in a tight contest against Labor opponent John Kennedy since vote counting began on the night of the Victorian election.
Appearing as a panellist on ABC TV’s election night broadcast, Mr Pesutto acknowledged he was at risk of losing his seat in Melbourne’s inner east.
Mr Kennedy was 173 votes in front of Mr Pesutto when counting finished on Tuesday and he claimed victory in a post on Twitter.
It’s the first time the seat has been held by Labor since 1955.
Mr Pesutto held the portfolio of shadow attorney-general in former opposition leader Matthew Guy’s cabinet, and went into the campaign with a margin of 8.6 per cent.
He was widely tipped as a potential candidate to take over the party leadership after Mr Guy stepped down.
Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien is expected to be a candidate when the party elects its new leader on Thursday.