The Victorian Labor government holds as many lower house seats as it won in the 2018 “Danslide” election after claiming victory in Pakenham, ahead of a final declaration in Bass.
Labor candidate Emma Vulin claimed victory for the newly created seat in Melbourne’s south-east on Thursday, after a tight race with Liberal David Farrelly.
This means Labor holds 55 seats in Victoria’s lower house and could surpass its 2018 result if it wins Bass, where Labor’s incumbent MP Jordan Crugnale was leading Liberal candidate Aaron Brown by 211 votes on Thursday night.
The Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) said the formal distribution of preferences would be finalised on Friday.
It also leaves the Liberals with a net loss of one seat since 2018 – the Coalition’s total boosted thanks only to gains by the Nationals in contests against regional independents.
In a Facebook post, Vulin vowed to advocate for the “diverse community” and to ensure infrastructure met the area’s needs.
“I would like to thank the people of the Pakenham district for putting their faith in me,” Vulin said.
“I will advocate for our community in Spring Street with the same fight that saw me rehabilitate after my stroke.
“I am eager to meet everyone and listen to the needs of our wonderful, fast-growing and diverse community and ensure we have the services and infrastructure that we need as we grow.”
Vulin, who won the seat by 307 votes on a two-party preferred basis, also thanked Farrelly and the other candidates.
The VEC confirmed the result after the formal distribution of preferences on Thursday afternoon.
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 has been losing ground to former Labor power broker Adem Somyurek as counting has progressed.
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.