Labor says it has pipped the Greens at the post and claimed victory in the crucial by-election for the state seat of Melbourne.
With 66 per cent of the vote counted, Labor’s Jennifer Kanis is leading the Greens’ Cathy Oke 51 per cent to 49 on a two-party preferred basis.
Victorian Labor Leader Daniel Andrews claimed victory at a press conference this morning.
The Greens had been confident of making history by taking the seat which has been held by Labor for more than a century.
They will hold a press conference at midday.
Mr Andrews earlier said the result had sent a clear message to the Baillieu Government, and to the Greens.
“I think Melbourne voters have endorsed a local member in Jennifer Kanis, who won’t just be a commentator, but someone who can deliver real things for vulnerable Victorians in the seat of Melbourne and well beyond the seat of Melbourne,” he said.
“Melbourne voters are pretty savvy, they’re pretty edgy.
“They take their politics pretty easily and they understand how the system works and lets wait and see what the wash-up is.
“I hardly think bagging voters for marking their ballot papers as they see fit is necessarily something the party of ‘values’, the Greens, ought be doing.”
But the Greens’ Member for Melbourne in the Federal Parliament, Adam Bandt, that the result is still a victory for his party.
“The Greens have got the highest vote we’ve ever received in a Victorian election,” he said.
“We have won the primary vote with a primary somewhere in the order of 38 per cent on current figures and we have seen a huge swing of somewhere between 5 and 6 per cent to the Greens, while Labor’s vote has collapsed.”
In a surprise twist, the Sex Party’s Fiona Patten has claimed just under 7 per cent of the primary vote, edging out Crikey founder and media commentator Stephen Mayne, who currently sits on 4 per cent.