Thursday Feb 02, 2023

Teals set claim two big scalps in Goldstein and Kooyong

Two marginal Liberal-held Victorian seats are on track to change hands, taking Labor a step closer to forming government.

With more than 35 per cent of the vote counted, Chisholm and Higgins MPs Gladys Liu and Katie Allen have recorded strong early swings to Labor challengers Carina Garland and Michelle Ananda-Rajah.

There has been a 6.2 per cent swing to Ms Garland in Chisholm, slightly more than Dr Ananda-Rajah in Higgins at 5.9 per cent.

The swings are projected to flip the seats from red to blue once preferences are distributed, according to the ABC.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is another near-certain teal casualty in the former blue ribbon seat of Kooyong in Melbourne’s inner east to “teal” Independent Monique Ryan.

He has his nose just in front on primary votes, 42.3 per cent to 41.1 per cent, but has recorded a 10 per cent swing away to Dr Ryan.

“Active hope,” Dr Ryan tweeted on Saturday night.

Frydenberg reeling

The mood at Mr Frydenberg’s election party in Hawthorn turned sombre as the night progressed with no sight of the Kooyong MP.

When he finally appeared shortly before 10pm, while not directly conceding defeat, Mr Frydenberg appeared to accept his likely fate by saying he would have more time to devote to his wife and children.

If ousted, he would become the first sitting treasurer to lose his seat since Labor’s Ted Theodore in 1931.

Former President of the Victorian Liberal Party Michael Kroger said it would be a disaster if Mr Frydenberg is booted.

Wilson humbled

“He’s a future prime minister,” Mr Kroger told Sky News.

“I have him in rarefied air of the great Liberals I’ve ever known. If there’s no place for Josh Frydenberg, the country is poorer for that.”

The situation is also dire for fellow Liberal Tim Wilson in Goldstein, in Melbourne’s southeast.

Former ABC journalist turned “teal” independent Zoe Daniel has claimed victory but Mr Wilson is yet to concede although a projected swing of 14 per cent to Ms Daniel makes his exit from Canberra a certainty, according to the ABC’s Antony Green.

The seat has never fallen out of Liberal hands since its inception in 1984.

“What we have achieved here is extraordinary. Safe Liberal seat, two-term incumbent, independent,” Ms Daniel told supporters.

Former Victorian Liberal Deputy State Director Tony Barry said the voter backlash in heartland Liberal seats showed the party has lost its base.

“It is a teal bath. I’ve got a feeling it is going to get worse before it gets worse,” he told ABC TV.


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