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Historic defeat for Liberals

Astons’ by-election provides Labor a first-in-a-century seat flip in Victoria

Labor has claimed victory in the election with over 80 per cent of the vote counted, with Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles coming to Aston to congratulate Mary Doyle (Photo: Julian Smith/AAP)

Labour has snatched another seat from the Liberals in the east Melbourne suburb electorate Aston, after the by-election on April 1st.

In a historic change of seats, Labour candidate Mary Doyle leads over Liberal candidate Roshena Campbell by 6.4 per cent and 6,510 votes in the two-candidate preferred count.

The last time a government seat was won in a by-election, was 1920.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that no government has flipped a seat from the opposition in a by-election in the last century despite the numerous amounts that have taken place.

“In uncertain times, the people of Aston have put their faith in our government and I thank them so sincerely. I’m very humbled by the result that was achieved,” he said.

“Mary Doyle will concentrate on delivering for her local community, on being a strong advocate and representative for the people of the outer-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

The suburbs within the Aston electorate include Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Knoxfield, Rowville, Scoresby, The Basin, Wantirna and Wantirna South; and parts of Lysterfield, Sassafras and Upper Ferntree Gully.

In thanking the voters of Aston, Doyle said, “I will always do the best I can for this area and I will always put locals first”.

The change comes amid traded blows between opposition leader Peter Dutton and Albanese which follows the controversy stirred by Victorian state MP Moira Deeming.

Deeming was suspended for appearing at an anti-transgender rights protest in Melbourne which was hijacked by neo-nazis.

Previously, the Aston seat was held by a 2.8 per cent liberal margin by former liberal Minister Alan Tudge who held the electorate since 2010.

During the campaign Dutton said the vote would be a test.

“[A] verdict on the leaders, no doubt about that," Dutton said.

After the majority of votes had been counted, Dutton acknowledged his failure on ABC’s Insiders.

“I accept responsibility and I'm the leader of the party,” he said.

“By not winning the election, we've failed that test ... That's the reality."

Despite the concession, he maintained he should remain the Liberal leader.

The opposition now only holds three out of 26 seats across Melbourne.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton (right) claimed the defeat as his own (Photo: ABCNews via Twitter)

Roshena Campbell said on SkyNews that she had called Doyle to congratulate her success in the election.

“We must respect the voters' decision,” Doyle told SkyNews.

“We are incredibly lucky to live in this country, where we have a strong democracy and we can always rely on fair and free elections which is not the reality in much of the world today.”

Newly-appointed NSW Premier Chris Minns has said it was an amazing result for both Doyle and Albanese on SkyNews the other day.

“It’s probably more of a reflection of the federal government doing well and getting a mid-term report card from the people of Australia, that they like the direction of the Albanese government and they want to see more of it,” Minns said.


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