Ripon electorate remains in limbo
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.