Update: We now have widespread reports that the Greens have won the distribution of preferences by a 128-vote margin over sitting Liberal MP Clem Newton-Brown.
I think it’s reasonable to assume there will need to be a recount, in particular to confirm that the Greens outpolled the ALP’s Neil Pharaoh, since the 38-vote margin is very slim.
Pending that recount, it’s a historic result. Prior to this election, the Greens had only ever won two single-member seats at a general election – federal Melbourne in 2010 and 2013, and Balmain at the 2011 NSW state election. The Victorian Greens have now won two seats in their breakthrough, including one seat being won off a Liberal, and from third place.
Original post: The Victorian Electoral Commission has been distributed preferences in Prahran today to determine which of the two progressive parties will be pitted against the Liberal Party for the final seat.
The VEC has just completed distributing preferences from the fourth-placed Animal Justice Party producing the following result:
- 17,097 – Clem Newton Brown (LIB)
- 9,991 – Sam Hibbins (GRN)
- 9,953 – Neil Pharaoh (ALP)
On these numbers, there will surely need to be some kind of recount, but we will also now be waiting for some kind of distribution of preferences between Hibbins and Newton-Brown to work out if the Greens can gain enough preferences to win.
Hibbins will need to gain 85.7% of Labor preferences (including votes from minor candidates that flowed to Labor) to win the seat. That’s a very high proportion, but it is possible.
Either way, it seems likely that the final Liberal-vs-Green count will be tight, and may trigger some kind of recount, as will the narrowness of the count between Hibbins and Pharoah. This race will drag on for a number of days.