Labor government retains power in Victorian election

Monday, November 27, 2006

Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks

The Victorian Government has declared victory for a third term, with Steve Bracks now the state's longest-serving Labor Premier. Following last weekend's state election, despite a primary vote swing of 4.4 per cent against the State Government, the Liberal Party were unable to get the substantial shift neeeded to unseat Bracks' government.

Premier Steve Bracks told the ABC that the win is a historic result. "Only the second time in 150 years that a Labor Party has won three consecutive elections," he said. Labor's Victorian president Bill Shorten said the party expected to lose some seats after achieving a record win in 2002.

Opposition leader Liberal Ted Baillieu conceded defeat but said the election result showed a renewed confidence in his team. "I look forward to working with them to keep this Government accountable," he said. He urged the Liberal Party to work towards the 2010 campaign.

Votes are still to be fully counted but the National Party have achieved eight Lower House seats, while the Greens and Labor are still battling to see which party obtains the inner-city seat of Melbourne. The Age reports that Mr Bracks could have a majority of 22 seats in the new parliament — down from 36.

The Bracks government was elected in 1999. Bracks is now Labor's longest serving Victorian premier, exceeding John Cain Jr's 3,047 day reign.