The Liberal Party will continue to reign in the Victorian seat of Deakin after Michael Sukkar was elected for the third time on Saturday.
As of Wednesday, Sukkar was comfortably ahead by 7323 votes.
The Liberals retain a strong two-party preferred margin, despite a 1.7 per cent swing away from Sukkar. Polls in Deakin had predicted a much closer result.
It seems Sukkar enjoyed the benefit of incumbency and that Deakin’s voters had forgiven him for his role in last year’s leadership spill and for his decision to abstain from the same-sex marriage vote.
He has a high profile as a local MP. He is well known for attending local sports games and supporting societies and charities within the outer easter meltropolitan seat.
A day after the election, Labor candidate Shireen Morris conceded defeat on Facebook.
“We ran a positive, truthful and dignified campaign in Deakin and I’m so proud of this” she said.
The post gave little indication of her future intentions, and whether she would contemplate standing again in 2022.
In the days before the election, candidate posters of Morris were defaced in Deakin. Morris accused the perpetrators of of “Using Islamophobia to try a [sic] secure votes” and described their actions as “disgraceful.”
— James Campbell (@J_C_Campbell) May 17, 2019
Labor leader Bill Shorten kicked off his election campaign in Deakin. But, according to United Australia Party candidate Milton Wilde, the electorate didn’t get to see him – at least not the real Bill Shorten.
“We didn’t get the chance to see the real Bill – I think he was masquerading. I don’t think he was genuine with the voters – I really do believe he is a nicer person than that.”
Greens candidate Sophia Sun was disappointed with Saturday’s result. The primary vote for the Greens came in below the prediction of 10 percent at 8.53 percent.
Wilde said the election “went fantastically”. When asked if he was pleased the Liberal party won, he said the success was that the result “kept Labor and the Greens out”.
The comments on Sukkar’s facebook page after his win have been entirely positive, suggesting the page is closely moderated to eliminate conflicting opinions.
The first issue Sukkar raised after winning the election was the contentious East West Link with a post on Facebook under the hashtag #JustBuildIt! The MP has been a long-time supporter of the project despite a deadlock between the Federal and State governments.
Anthea van den Bergh was supported by the Deakin team (Lucy Lovegrove, Linsey Hart, Andreas Nicola, Emily Johnson, Sophie Berrill, Jessica Greenan, Ruby Kraner-Tucci, Olivia Hart and Else Kennedy).