The Victorian Labor government is on track to hold as many lower house seats as it won at the 2018 “Danslide” state election, with the party retaining Northcote by less than 200 votes after the distribution of preferences.
Labor MP Kat Theophanous retained the seat in Melbourne’s inner-north with a 0.22% margin – or 184 votes – on a two-party preferred basis, despite a strong challenge from Greens candidate Campbell Gome.
The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) confirmed the result after the formal distribution of preferences on Tuesday afternoon.
Counting for the seat has been a rollercoaster – Gome looked likely to win the seat on election night, before early and postal votes were added to the tally that favoured Theophanous.
Gome conceded the seat last Thursday, when Theophanous was ahead by about 880 votes.
However, the Greens initially walked back from the concession – with a party spokesperson saying it had not ruled out requesting a recount – after the addition of absentee votes to the tally on Monday evening saw the vote tighten.
Gome on Tuesday confirmed his concession “still stands”.
“This seat came incredibly close, but we don’t believe a recount will change the result and I won’t be making that request,” he said.
“Labor have scraped over the line in Northcote by 184 votes, and the Greens will be back with a positive campaign in this seat in 2026.”
He congratulated Theophanous on her re-election.
The campaign was also heated, with the Greens accusing Labor of “desperate and dirty” tactics.
Labor also took the Darebin council to the supreme court for allegedly removing Theophanous’s billboards in what it called a politically motivated attack.
Along with Northcote, a result for Preston was also expected to be finalised on Tuesday. But the VEC will now distribute preferences on Wednesday, along with the remaining two seats of Bass and Pakenham.
Labor’s candidate Nathan Lambert is expected to retain the seat of Preston for the party, despite a 19% swing towards independent candidate Gaetano Greco, who campaigned heavily against a redevelopment of the local market.
Labor MP Jordan Crugnale is also ahead in Bass by 211 votes, although the party is behind by 90 votes in the newly created seat of Pakenham.
If Labor manages to pick up Preston and Bass, the Andrews government would hold 55 out of 88 lower house seats – the same result it recorded in 2018.
The makeup of the upper house is less clear, with several seats yet to be decided, including that of Reason Party MP Fiona Patten, who is in a tight race against former Labor power broker Adem Somyurek.
Labor is currently projected to win about 15 seats in the Legislative Council, so will need the support of the crossbench to pass legislation.
The early numbers suggest a bloc of left-wing candidates and parties could hold the balance of power, including four Greens MPs, at least one Legalise Cannabis MP and an Animal Justice Party MP.