The Victorian Greens have claimed victory in the inner-Melbourne seat of Brunswick after last weekend’s state election, stealing the electorate from Labor for the first time in history.
- The Greens lost Northcote but retained Melbourne and are battling to hold Prahran
- Two Liberal frontbenchers are in a tight battle to retain their formerly-safe seats
- Updated vote count results expected tonight will give a clearer picture of close seats
By Friday night, Greens candidate Tim Read had gained a 493-vote lead over his Labor opponent Cindy O’Connor, and this morning he took to Facebook to declare victory.
“For the first time Brunswick has gone Green,” Dr Read said.
“Since 1904 this seat was held by Labor, so this is historic. A few more postal votes were counted this morning, but too few to alter the result, and now it’s on Wikipedia.”
Dr Read thanked his campaign supporters and congratulated Labor on its “decisive election victory”, before finishing with a declaration that he will argue for “social justice rather than profit”.
A number of seats remained on a knife’s edge on Friday night according to the ABC’s election computer, including the formerly safe blue-ribbon seats of Liberal frontbenchers John Pesutto in Hawthorn and David Southwick in Caulfield.
If Mr Pesutto retains his seat, he is likely to contest the Victorian Liberal Party’s leadership, which Opposition Leader Matthew Guy quit this week.
The Greens — who lost the seat of Northcote, which was won by Lidia Thorpe in a by-election — are still in a tight three-candidate race with Labor and the Liberals to hold onto Prahran.
Vote count updates expected about 6:00pm from the Victorian Electoral Commission will present a clearer picture on vote counts in those seats, but results will only be finalised early next week.