Liberals vow a ‘complete reset’ after bruising Victorian election defeat

Key Points
  • Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan said the results for the Liberals were disappointing.
  • Labor is on track to win at least 52 seats in the 88-seat lower house.
  • Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said the third election victory in a row for Premier Daniel Andrews was an extraordinary achievement.
Federal Liberal MPs have pledged the party will learn lessons from the defeat at the Victorian state election.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews won a third term following Saturday’s poll, with Labor on track to win at least 52 seats in the 88-seat lower house, six more than the number required to govern in majority.
The coalition is projected to win at least 25 seats after starting the count with 27, while the Greens are expected to gain a minimum of four.
Seven seats remained too close to call as of Sunday afternoon, although Labor was predicted to win or was ahead in five of those.
If it takes all five, Labor will finish one seat ahead of its “Danslide” 2018 election victory result despite a plunge in its primary vote and double-digit swings against it in Melbourne’s north and west.
The result marks the second time Matthew Guy has led the coalition to an election drubbing, spelling an end to his time in the top job.

Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan said the results for the Liberals were disappointing.

“What we need to do is to make sure that we learn the lessons of this defeat; they’re happening far too often in Victoria,” he told Sky News on Sunday.
“We’ve got to be able to broaden the electoral map, we’ve got to win seats right across Victoria, and we’ve got to make sure that we focus on what we need to do to win elections.”

While the Liberals managed to win back some seats, they could not make enough inroads to form a government.

‘We need a complete reset’

Mr Tehan said it was critical the party take heed of the message the electorate sent on Saturday.
“We need a complete reset in what we’re doing, because if we keep reviewing and keep doing the same thing over and over again, in four years time, we’re going to be in exactly the same situation.”
Opposition finance spokeswoman Jane Hume said there were some green shoots for the party in candidates who had picked up seats.
She said the party needed to focus on selecting more female candidates.

“It’s really important that we have more women in our ranks because we want to better reflect the communities we represent,” she told ABC Radio.

Anthony Albanese lashes ‘scare campaign’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Sunday hailed Daniel Andrews’ third election victory and lashed out at a “scare campaign run not just by the Liberal Party”.
“Voters can see through this and voters made their decision … Daniel Andrews’ result is quite extraordinary,” he told reporters in Canberra.
He also dismissed suggestions the state poll pointed to a further shift towards minor parties in a fiery rebuke of claims there had been a “Greenslide”.
“I know that some will declare that the major party process is somehow not ever going to be successful again. Well, I lead a majority Labor government, Daniel Andrews has just been elected for a third term with a majority Labor government,” he told reporters on Sunday.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said the election win was “a vindication of Daniel Andrews’ approach to government and his extraordinary personal qualities”.

“The election has to be seen as a repudiation of a Victorian Liberal brand that has become ugly and cynical, and that has obvious wider implications,” he told ABC Radio on Sunday.

Labor did suffer swings against it in Melbourne’s western suburbs, but the party managed to pick up additional seats.
Mr Giles said there were lessons from the Victorian election for federal counterparts.
“We’ve got to govern for all Australians and leave no one behind, which is exactly how the prime minister has conducted himself from day one.”
However, federal Nationals leader David Littleproud said the Victorian branch of the party bucked the trend experienced by the coalition at the election.
The junior coalition party picked up seats from independents and Labor.

“It is the result of the common sense approach the Nationals took to the election,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The result is also due to the fact our candidates are heavily involved in their local communities and worked incredibly hard, with grassroots campaigns.”
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said the election win for Labor was a stamp of approval for positive plans.

“Certainly, I think the implications federally is that there is a good partnership between the federal government and the Dan Andrews Labor government,” she said on Sky News.

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