Eden Foster leads with more than 40 percent of the primary vote.
Victorian Labor is set to retain Daniel Andrews’ seat of Mulgrave despite a significant swing against the government in the former premier’s seat.
With more than 75 percent of the vote counted, Dandenong mayor Eden Foster leads with more than 40 percent of the primary vote in Saturday’s by-election, which is down more than 10 percentage points from Mr. Andrews’ showing at last year’s state poll.
Among the nine candidates facing Ms. Foster, Liberal candidate Courtney Mann has 22 percent first-preference votes and high-profile independent Ian Cook has 19 percent.
At 11 p.m. AEDT, Ms. Foster led Mr. Cook 56 percent to 44 percent on a two-candidate preferred basis.
Ms. Foster suffered a swing into the 10.2 percent margin left by Mr. Andrews, who was the local member for more than 20 years.
Premier Jacinta Allan joined Ms. Foster and the Labor faithful to celebrate the result, but conceded “we knew it was going to a big fight” to retain the seat.
Among the challenges were issues such as cost of living pressures, but voters stuck with Labor because “they know that Labor delivers.”
The Liberals conceded defeat on…
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