Victorians 'Rejected Politics Of Fear And Division': Andrews
It was a "bloodbath" of an election.
Labor is on track to win as many as 61 seats in the state of Victoria, with Premier Daniel Andrews roaring into a stunning victory.
The Victorian Liberals had campaigned hard on a platform of tough on crime and punishment, but Andrews -- with all the confidence of a man who has left his opponents in the dust -- said Victorians firmly rejected the Liberal party ideals on Saturday.
"They know that the politics of fear and division is not a plan for the future. That is not leadership," he told Sky News' David Spears.
"Trying to scare people into voting for you is not leadership. That has been rejected. That has been rejected comprehensively. That doesn't mean we don't have challenges in our state, of course we do, but you've got to stay the course on these things.
"You've got to make sure you treat the community with respect. I think Victorians are a good deal smarter and a good deal more generous than our opponents thought they were."
It was a similar story a little while later on ABC's Insiders.
"The other thing that has to be endorsed is that the low road, the politics of fear and the politics of division, which is not leadership -- that has been rejected. And I'm very proud of that," Andrews told Barrie Cassidy.
A triumphant Andrews proudly told the Labor party HQ on Saturday night that his government was the most progressive government in Australia, and that Victoria is the most progressive state.
He ran a campaign on infrastructure spending, but didn't shy away from staying strong on issues like the Safe Schools program or safe injecting rooms.
"The safe injecting room saves lives. Safe Schools saves lives."
It's proof that when you have a system of compulsory voting, you can't win on the 'culture wars', said Annika Smethurst on Insiders.
"When we have compulsory voting, you have to lead from the centre and people want things done and things built. That's what Daniel Andrews did and that's the agenda he ran."
Victorian Liberal party leader Matthew Guy graciously conceded to Andrews on Saturday night, congratulating the premier on the "stunning night for him and his party".
He offered his sympathies to those in his party who had lost their jobs. That included Shadow Attorney-General John Pesutto, who found out live on air that he had lost the blue-chip seat of Hawthorn to Labor.
"You get a short time on the stage in politics," Pesutto told the ABC TV Panel, accepting the loss with grace.
But the fallout continues. There are calls on Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger to resign. Former Liberal premier Jeff Kennett calling told Seven on Saturday night that if Kennett was listening, he expected his resignation "on the floor by midnight".
When asked by Cassidy if Kroger should resign, Andrews didn't shy away from letting his feelings be known.
"I don't often commentate on our political opponents, but you know, swanning around the suburbs that you've never been to in your Burberry trench coat, lecturing people about the cost of living -- people pick fakes and they pick nasty fakes from a long way off."
He added a cheeky coda: "I hope he's the Liberal Party president for life."
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