Dunkley elects its first female MP

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Dunkley elects its first female MP

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The Victorian seat of Dunkley has elected its first female MP.

Peta Murphy is expected to be the first Labor MP for the Victorian bayside seat since 1996, following Saturday’s federal election.

Dunkley and Corangamite are the only Victorian seats to fall to Labor in an unexpected win to the Coalition. The two seats were Victoria’s most marginal before the election.

As of 11am on 22 May, Labor was well in front with 53 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.

Neither two party candidates have confirmed the seat.

Over 75 per cent of the votes have been counted. If current results hold this will be Labor’s largest margin since Dunkley was first contested in 1984.

Labor is projected to win Dunkley for the first time since 1993. The previous largest Labor margin in Dunkley’s history was 1.7 per cent in 1987.

Outgoing member for Dunkley, Chris Crewther, posted a message on Facebook on Tuesday to congratulate Scott Morrison for his win, but opted not to concede his seat.

“We’ll see what happens with postals and remaining votes still to be counted.”

“To have any chance, they’d have to fall heavily in my favour though,” he said.

Crewther will bow out after just one term in office. He replaced long-standing MP Bruce Bilson who had held the seat since 1996.

Saturday’s election is the reverse of the 2016 result, when Crewther beat Murphy by just 1.43 per cent.

A re-distribution of the seat in 2018 turned the seat into a marginal Labor seat with a two-party margin of one per cent.

Party preferences also played a part in Labor’s win. Crewther has led in primary votes (40 per cent to 39.4 per cent), but Labor has received preferences from the Greens, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, and the Animal Justice Party.

Murphy’s campaign manager Susanne Heath told The Junction that Murphy has lofty ambitions in the party. “She is a future leader with incredible capacity,” she said.

This view is endorsed by Open Labor’s James Button, who told The Junction that “Murphy’s achievement is remarkable. She worked incredibly hard. I don’t know how many doors she knocked on … her campaign was an effective mix of national and local issues.”

She is interested in “protecting the conditions of people who don’t get paid a lot,” Button said.  “Peta is a very likeable person, she’s real…she doesn’t speak in cliches and sound bites.”

 

by Brodie Everist, supported by the Dunkley team (Grace Aicken, James Thomas Astley, Arjun Bhogal, Anna Chisolm, Laura Hooper, Wing Kuang, Michelle La, Brendan Matsuyama, Peter Quattrocelli, Agnes Remay, Bree Symonds-Manne, Stephanie Zhang)