Ripon elec­torate re­mains in limbo

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Ripon con­stituents might need to wait sev­eral more days to know the out­come of the state elec­tion in their elec­torate.

The Vic­to­rian Elec­toral Com­mis­sion – VEC – is con­tin­u­ing to count votes from the elec­tion at the week­end, with a ra­zor-thin mar­gin sep­a­rat­ing in­cum­bent Lib­eral Louise Sta­ley and La­bor can­di­date Sarah De San­tis.

As of yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, Ms De San­tis had a 60-vote lead over Ms Sta­ley af­ter pref­er­ences, with about 70 per­cent of the vote counted.

VEC spokes­woman Marie Guerin said vote coun­ters had been recheck­ing votes for all lower house dis­tricts and had pri­ori­tised close seats.

Ms Guerin said the VEC would be­gin count­ing ab­sen­tee, postal and pro­vi­sional votes to­day.

She said the VEC web­site would up­date vot­ers on the progress of the count, but said the out­come might be un­clear un­til Fri­day at the ear­li­est.

“Tech­ni­cally our for­mal dec­la­ra­tions don’t com­mence un­til Fri­day,” she said.

“For seats that re­quire a pref­er­ence distri­bu­tion, where no­body has won an ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of votes, those pref­er­ence dis­tri­bu­tions are be­ing done Tues­day, De­cem­ber 4.”

La­bor won Satur­day’s state elec­tion in a land­slide, but the Ripon elec­torate – which en­com­passes east­ern Wim­mera cities Stawell and Ararat – was al­ways ex­pected to go down to the wire.

It was one of the most mar­ginal seats at the 2014 state elec­tion, with Ms Sta­ley claim­ing of­fice by just 0.8 per­cent.

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