Daniel Andrews Claims Victory In 'Bloodbath' Victoria Election
Labor leader Daniel Andrews has claimed a landslide victory in the Victorian state election.
To the chanting of "Daniel! Daniel! Daniel!", Andrews entered his victory party as his party claimed a second term in office.
Addressing his supporters, Andrews said the result showed the Victorian people had endorsed "a positive and optimistic plan for our state".
"They have, in record numbers, at the same time, rejected the low road of fear and division," he said.
"We are the most progressive state in the nation.
"We live our values, we keep our promises, and we get things done!"
It was a result even party insiders did not see coming. As counting continues on Sunday, Labor is on track to win as many as 61 seats in the 88-seat parliament -- 16 more than it had before the election.
Earlier in the evening, Victorian Liberal party leader Matthew Guy said he called premier Daniel Andrews and offered his "sincere and gracious congratulations" on what has been a "stunning night for him and his party".
Addressing the Liberal party faithful, Guy said he held faith that not all seats currently being "written off" were lost, even as he offered his commiserations to those who had lost their seats.
"In the Liberal Party in the last, not just few weeks, but indeed the last few years, we have campaigned on issues that we believe are important and of the most importance to Victorians," he said.
"Keeping Victorians safe, lowering their cost of living, easing the congestion in places like particularly the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and also decentralising our state's population.
At 7am on Sunday, roughly 70 percent of the votes had been counted, showing a 4.8 percent swing to Labor as it sits on 52 seats.
"This is looking like a bloodbath," senior Victorian Labor MP Jill Hennessy earlier told the ABC.
"Something has gone very, very wrong here with the Liberal brand and reflecting upon what that is, I also think that due credit needs to be given to Daniel Andrews for running a very strong government for four years, that people are voting for and supporting in droves, in places that we've never seen."
The ABC's election analyst Antony Green said that Labor is "screaming along", looking at securing at least 50 seats and maybe even 60 -- well above the 45 they need to form majority government.
There are jubilant scenes at the Victorian Labor HQ, where volunteers in red t-shirts have been chanting "four more years".
Federal Labor leader Bill Shortern has offered his congratulations to Andrews over his "fantastic victory".
Meanwhile, over at the Liberal party HQ, volunteers are shocked, gutted, and disappointed over this "unimaginable" loss, reports Ten News First's Nicole Strahan.
Volunteers believe the shenanigans in Canberra played a part in this election, with one person telling Ten News First that it seemed Victorian voters were "out for themselves", finding Labor's offering around infrastructure more appealing. The Liberal party campaign on crime and punishment simply didn't cut through.
There are calls for state president Michael Kroger to resign, with former premiere Jeff Kennett telling Seven: "Michael, if you're listening, it's 8.20pm. By midnight, I hope your resignation is on the floor."
The Victorian Electoral Commission said a total of 1,641,687 votes had been cast by end of early voting on Friday -- 1,391,284 were pre-poll votes and 250,403 postal votes.
Nearly 2.5 million Victorians were expected to vote between 8am and 6pm on Saturday, if all 4.1 million registered electors have a say.
The Victorian Electoral Commission even tweeted a photo of Victorians enjoying a democracy sausage at Casey Station in Antarctica.
Not every Victorian took their vote seriously, however, with at least one person drawing a penis on their ballot, and another voting for Kanye 2020.
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