Labor win turns heat on Canberra
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.