La­bor win turns heat on Can­berra

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - AN­NIKA SMETHURST

MONTHS out from the fed­eral elec­tion the Mor­ri­son Gov­ern­ment has been rocked by the Lib­eral Party’s dec­i­ma­tion at the Vic­to­rian state elec­tion, where an­gry MPs are blam­ing the chaos in Can­berra.

La­bor could win as many as 60 seats in the 88-seat par­lia­ment, 15 more seats than it had be­fore yes­ter­day’s elec­tion.

Vic­to­rian Premier Daniel An­drews claimed the win about 10pm last night, say­ing he was proud vot­ers had re­jected the “low road” to give La­bor a re­sound­ing vic­tory.

Strong swings to­wards La­bor in Mel­bourne’s east are ex­pected to be dev­as­tat­ing for the Lib­eral Party with a num­ber of long-serv­ing shadow min­is­ters likely to lose their seats.

Shortly af­ter 9pm, Lib­eral leader Matthew Guy ad­dressed sup­port­ers in Mel­bourne, where he took a thinly veiled swipe at his fed­eral col­leagues for their dis­unity.

“As a party, we need to stick to­gether. We need to stay united and we need to stay fo­cused on our op­po­nents and the game ahead, not on our­selves,” Mr Guy said.

Fu­ri­ous Vic­to­rian MPs have slammed their fed­eral col­leagues for knif­ing Mal­colm Turn­bull in the lead-up to the state poll, ac­cus­ing them of “de­stroy­ing” the Lib­eral Party brand.

“There is no doubt the fed­eral stuff has se­verely im­pacted on the state elec­tion re­sult for the Lib­er­als,” one senior state MP said last night.

“It was a crit­i­cal fac­tor. The Lib­eral brand was se­verely dam­aged.” An­other Lib­eral source de­scribed it as a bloodbath say­ing it was a “shot across the bow” for the fed­eral Lib­er­als. “If the feds con­tinue me­an­der­ing, they will suf­fer the same fate.”

Shadow At­tor­ney-Gen­eral John Pes­suto warned his Can­berra col­leagues that in­ter­nal is­sues were a com­plete waste of time.

“You want to look at Vic- to­ria and learn a great les­son,” he said.

As the blame game con­tin­ued, fin­gers were be­ing pointed at for­mer Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Michael Sukkar, a Vic­to­rian MP, for play­ing a key role in Mal­colm Turn­bull’s demise.

With fed­eral MPs re­turn­ing to Can­berra to­mor­row for the fi­nal two sit­ting weeks of the year, the re­sult is ex­pected to send shock­waves through the Lib­eral party room.

Keen to avoid the elec­tion loss, Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son spent the day in Syd­ney.

Ear­lier in the day fed­eral La­bor leader Bill Shorten cast his vote in his home sub­urb of Moonee Ponds, claim­ing vot­ers were an­gry, with the “chaos and di­vi­sion in Can­berra” on their minds.

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