The seat of Aston has never been held by a woman. Labor’s Mary Doyle is about to change that

Key Points
  • The ABC has called the seat of Aston for Labor.
  • Mary Doyle would be the first woman to hold the seat.
  • The by-election loss has been described as a ‘disaster’ for the Liberal party.
Labor is on track to seize the federal seat of Aston in a historic by-election win that’s dealt a blow to the Liberal Party and leader Peter Dutton.
The ABC’s Antony Green called the election for candidate Mary Doyle after 8pm on Saturday.
Ms Doyle would be the first woman to hold the seat since its creation in 1984.
As of about 9pm, Labor was predicted to take out Aston with a swing of more than six per cent, holding 53 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote to the Liberals’ 47 per cent.

Labor secured 42 per cent of the primary vote to the Liberals’ 36 per cent and the Greens’ 12 per cent about 9pm.

The result in the Melbourne seat is a welcome surprise to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and derails historical trends, with a governing party not winning a seat off the opposition at a by-election in more than 100 years.
An early swing towards Labor foreshadowed the Liberals’ demise in the mortgage-belt electorate, where Liberal candidate Roshena Campbell focused her campaign on the increasing cost of living and local infrastructure.
The election is a disastrous result for the Liberals in a vote that was widely viewed as a test of Mr Dutton’s leadership.
Federal Liberal MP Keith Wolahan said he would wait to see the postal and pre-poll results, but issued a plea to his party to come together.
“I think when we fight and it spills over into the media, to think that Victorians don’t notice that is just ridiculous,” he told the ABC.

Mr Wolahan stood by Mr Dutton’s leadership, adding: “I saw good and bad leaders in the most trying of circumstances and he has all the qualities of a good leader.”

His comments were backed by fellow Victorian and senator Jane Hume, who said she “cannot imagine there would be any mood in the party room for (a change of leader)”.
“There is no doubt this is a blow but he is a leader with a solid team behind him,” she told the ABC.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles stopped short of declaring Labor’s win, but said the result was a vindication of Mr Albanese’s “serious and sincere” leadership and of Ms Doyle’s candidacy.
“It has been a night which is an endorsement of the direction that the government has been taking,” Mr Marles told the ABC.
“What we will continue to do is work day in, day out for the Australian people, making sure that … we focus on the bread-and-butter issues which are concerns to them.”

Mr Wolahan criticised Labor for its negative campaigning in the lead-up to the by-election, telling the ABC it was clear the party was better at leaning negative, although he believed the Liberals should “rise above it”.

Senator Hume said there were a number of issues that came into play during by-elections, and pointed to Ms Doyle having the benefit of name recognition in the Aston community.
Labor’s Ms Doyle is a breast cancer survivor and former unionist who failed to take the seat at the last election.
She told AAP the Albanese government was making a difference for households doing it tough due to the rising cost of living through measures such as cheaper child care and cutting the cost of prescription medication.
Aston was held by the Liberals on a 2.8 per cent margin after former minister and outgoing member Alan Tudge suffered a large swing against him at the 2022 election.

Other candidates for the seat were project manager Angelica Di Camillo (Greens), software engineer Owen Miller (Fusion) and libertarian Maya Tesa (independent).

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