Australia

‘Hope always defeats hate’: Daniel Andrews celebrates election win as Matthew Guy steps down

Key Points
  • Labor has won at least 49 seats – enough to govern in its own right.
  • Premier Daniel Andrews says the results show “hope always defeats hate”.
  • He vowed to deliver a “positive plan” of free kinder, more hospitals and expanded free TAFE courses.
Premier Daniel Andrews has hailed Labor’s convincing Victorian election win as a triumph of hope over hate as he eyes a place in the history books.

He was greeted with hugs from his mother and sister — as well as chants of “four more years” from the adoring party faithful — after Labor secured a majority in the state’s lower house.

Labor was on track to win at least 49 seats, above the required 45-seat majority, with the coalition securing 24 seats and the Greens at least four.

Eleven seats remained too close to call on Sunday morning, although Labor was predicted to win or was ahead in seven of the electorates.

A government for every Victorian

Mr Andrews promised to govern for every Victorian, including those who didn’t vote for his party, attributing his victory to a triumph of hope over hate.
“We will deliver each and every element of our positive plan to benefit each and every Victorian, no matter how you voted,” Mr Andrews told cheering supporters.

Earlier, he told supporters the Victorian election was a resounding vote for a strong, stable majority Labor government.

“Reforming giant and Labor icon Paul Keating once said to me, ‘son, leadership is not about doing what is popular, leadership is about doing what is right,'” he said at a party in his Melbourne electorate of Mulgrave.
“Essentially, he was telling me that leadership is about doing what matters, and that’s exactly what the people of this great state have endorsed today.”

Mr Andrews reflected on an incredibly challenging few years for his state, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor party supporters cheer after the ABC projected a Labour party win on 26 November 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Source: Getty / Asanka Ratnayake

He commended Victorians for sticking together through the one-in-100-year event and getting vaccinated.

“We were not, as some would say, divided, we were instead united in our faith in science and in our faith and care for and in each other,” the premier said.

“That sense of kindness, that sense of connection, that sense of that we are all in this together has been confirmed today as well. Friends, hope always defeats hate.”

VIC ELECTION POLLING COLOUR

Voters at St Anthony’s Catholic Church voting centre in Melbourne are among two million who cast their ballots on election day. Source: AAP / James Ross

Matthew Guy is standing down as leader of the Victorian Liberals after leading the coalition to a second election defeat in a row.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s loss, Mr Guy issued a statement confirming he would not continue as party leader.
“As soon as it is clearer which Liberal Party candidates will form the next parliamentary party room, I will call them together to elect their new leadership team,” he said on Sunday morning.
“I will not be a candidate for the position of leader.”

Mr Guy resigned as opposition leader after the coalition suffered an election thumping in 2018 before returning to the post in September 2021.

VIC ELECTION22 LIBERAL RECEPTION

Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy at the Liberal Party reception in Melbourne on Saturday, 26 November 2022. Source: AAP / JOEL CARRETT

Labor will govern Victoria for the next four years, with Mr Andrews vowing to deliver a “positive plan” for free kinder, more free TAFE courses and the reinstatement of the State Electricity Commission.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese voiced his congratulations in a message on Twitter.

“What a great win,” he wrote, accompanying a photo of himself and Mr Andrews at a barbecue.

Labor was on track to claim at least 49 seats when counting was suspended for the night.
It is projected to claim the seat of Glen Waverley in Melbourne’s east, partially offsetting losses in Nepean to the Liberals and Richmond to the Greens.
Although trailing earlier in the night, Northcote’s Labor MP Kat Theophanous leads Greens candidate Campbell Gome by 865 votes with more than 70 per cent of the ballots counted.
Despite losing some skin to the Greens, Labor campaign chair and former deputy premier James Merlino said it was a magnificent victory.
“There’s tight contests in those seats in Footscray and Albert Park and Pascoe Vale. I’m hopeful we’ll get over the line in those contests,” he told reporters.
“Overall this is quite an extraordinary victory for the Labor Party, for Dan as the premier of our state delivering a third term.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also tweeted her congratulations on the “great win”.

Earlier in the evening, former Strictly Ballroom star Paul Mercurio clinched the seat of Hastings for Labor from the Liberals.
But it was not the only seat to change hands, as former professional tennis player Sam Groth declared victory in the seat of Nepean on the Mornington Peninsula, prying it from Labor early in the count.

“I certainly wasn’t expecting them to call it this early in the night; I’m very happy,” Mr Groth said.

“I haven’t had the chance to have a beer yet.”
Labor’s Chris Brayne won the seat in 2018 with a one per cent margin.
Senior Liberal Georgie Crozier told Seven she was disappointed in early voting.
“We’ve worked hard, we had what I felt was a very strong message, which clearly the Victorian public haven’t taken,” the coalition health spokeswoman said.
Earlier on Saturday, some Victorians had to hand-write votes on blank ballot papers as a number of centres ran out on election day.

Greens leader Adam Bandt says the party in Victoria is “on track for our best-ever result at a state election”.

The Victorian Electoral Commission confirmed the ballot paper shortage on Twitter on Saturday night.
“In the interim, voters were provided with blank ballots, with candidates’ names handwritten on the ballot. This is an acceptable approach in this situation,” the commission said.
Polls closed at 6 pm on Saturday, after weeks of early voting in which nearly two million Victorians pre-polled.
Almost half of the 4.4 million enrolled Victorians had already cast their ballots at early voting centres or by post, leading to a warning from the electoral commission it could delay results on election night.
The premier broke with tradition to cast his ballot early on Thursday, voting outside his electorate of Mulgrave with his wife Catherine and two of his children.
Mr Andrews is poised to become the state’s fifth leader in history to serve 3,000 days in office, making him eligible to be immortalised in bronze outside 1 Treasury Place in Melbourne.

If he remains leader until Easter, he’ll become the longest-serving Labor premier in Victoria’s history, taking the mantle from John Cain Jr.

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