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Victorian seats Menzies, Deakin and Macnamara still up for grabs


The Liberal Party is likely to be left with only two of Melbourne’s 22 urban seats after Saturday’s election. It is clinging onto the previously safe Victorian seat of Menzies but appears likely to lose neighbouring Deakin, while Labor is confident of winning Macnamara.

Labor’s support dropped in some working-class areas, while the Liberal Party lost votes across the state and, notably, in the eastern suburbs. The two seats in the city it is likely to retain are Aston and Menzies, both in the outer east of the city.

Former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg with Keith Wolahan after the latter won a preselection contest in January 2021.Credit:The Age

With about 71 per cent of votes counted, the Liberal Party lost more than 8 per cent of its primary vote in Menzies, which takes in suburbs including Bulleen and Doncaster. Candidate Keith Wolahan leads Labor by 0.5 per cent, but his supporters believe yet-to-be-counted postal votes skew Liberal and that he will retain the seat.

Michael Sukkar, a former minister in the Morrison government and a powerful Victorian factional figure, was trailing Labor candidate Matt Gregg by about 1200 votes in Deakin and a margin of 0.9 per cent on Sunday afternoon. Sukkar’s primary vote dropped by 7 per cent.

The tight contests in the eastern suburbs reflect the scale of the anti-Liberal swing in Victoria that surprised both parties. Labor did not target these seats and spent little money on them, but a resounding anti-government swing has turned a slew of once-safe Liberal seats into marginals.

Labor also ignored inner-city Macnamara, where the Greens experienced a 7 per cent primary vote boost and trailed Labor by only 3.5 per cent with about 60 per cent of votes counted.

Labor believes postal ballots are breaking its way and the party will win. However, there is frustration in Victorian Labor that the national campaign did not, as it had in previous years, focus some of its attention on countering the Greens in the inner city.

Macnamara was taken off the target seats list and had minimal resources allocated towards it. Funds and campaign expertise from Macnamara were diverted to Labor’s successful candidate for Higgins, Michelle Ananda-Rajah.

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