SYDNEY—The left-leaning Labor government in the Australian state of Victoria won a large majority in an election that analysts say is a warning to the country’s ruling center-right government ahead of national polls due in six months.
Victoria is Australia’s second most populous state.
The governing coalition has been a minority government since October when they lost their one-seat majority after former progressive Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, ousted by more conservative voices in a party-room coup, resigned.
In Victoria, the incumbent Labor government campaigned on big infrastructure projects including rail, roads, and schools without getting into how it would pay for it, while the opposition Liberal Party focused on crime, and law and order.
Labor, which went into the election with a one-seat majority in the 88-seat Victorian legislative assembly, is expected to take up to 55 seats once counting is finished, based on figures from the Victorian Electoral Commission.
With just over half the votes counted in the early hours of Nov. 25, the Victorian Electoral Commission website showed Labor leading their Liberal rivals by 42.8 percent to 30.4 percent.
By late Nov. 24 the tally was decisive enough for Labor Premier Daniel Andrews to declare victory, although official results will not be announced until all votes are counted.
Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales holds an election on March 23 next year, and a Federal election is due by mid-May.
By Alison Bevege