Bull returned for another term

Bull returned for another term

Tim Bull has maintained his popularity in Gippsland East, the sitting local Nationals member earning a third term advocating for his region with a comfortable State Election victory on Saturday.

With Labor claiming a one-sided victory across the state, the Nationals held firm in regional seats with Mr Bull earning 57.48 per cent of the first preference vote in the Gippsland East electorate after 76.17 per cent of votes had been counted early Sunday morning.

The Gippsland East result somewhat mirrors Mr Bull’s victory four years ago when Labor ousted the Coalition to take power. It was a slight drop from the 60.36 per cent of first preference votes Mr Bull earned in 2014, however showed the National Party’ s strength within the region.

Mr Bull’s third term will be his toughest yet such is Labor’s stranglehold with a majority of around 60 seats. The Coalition will likely have less than 25 seats after the final votes are counted with many tight results not expected to be known until later this week.

Mr Bull’ s stiffest opposition came from Labor candidate, Mark Reeves, who had gathered 21.55 per cent of the vote, followed by Liberal Democratic candidate, Sonia Buckley, who was supported with 6.03 per cent after drawing the first place on the ballot paper.

The next best performed was Greens candidate, Deb Foskey (5.82 per cent) followed by Independents Matt Stephenson (4.10 per cent), George Neophytou (3.28 per cent) and Ben Garrett (1.75 per cent).

Mr Reeves helped the Labor party improve its percentage in the region fractionally, however for Dr Foskey the Greens slipped more than two per cent.

Speaking on Sunday morning with three quarters of the total votes counted, Mr Bull said he was “very humbled” to have increased his two-party preferred standing.

“With over 76 per cent of the vote counted in Gippsland East, it is humbling to have increased my two-party preferred vote at yesterday’ s state election, against a state-wide swing,” Mr Bull said.

“It is very much a bittersweet situation with the state-wide result and there are a number of seats still in the balance where some good friends and colleagues appear to have lost their positions.

“I wish to congratulate all the candidates who stood in Gippsland East for the friendly way the campaign unfolded, which showed politics and elections can be conducted in good spirit by those participating, outside the keyboard warriors of social media.

“This is a great region and I look forward to being its representative in the Legislative Assembly of the State Parliament for a further four years.”

Of the 45 voting centres taking votes on Saturday across the Gippsland East electorate, Genoa was the only one to see Mr Bull gain fewer votes than Mr Reeves, with 21 of the 57 votes heading Mr Reeves’ way. (Mr Bull took 15).

In Orbost Mr Bull drew 556 of the 1047 votes (Reeves 233) and in Marlo 187 of the 348 votes went to Mr Bull, 86 to Mr Reeves.

The tightest result came from Mallacoota, with 244 of the 636 votes going to Mr Bull,

170 to Mr Reeves and 126 to Australian Greens candidate, Dr Deb Foskey. This was Dr Foskey’ s most successful voting centre with just under 20 per cent of the votes there.

Labor candidate, Mark Reeves, congratulated Mr Bull on his victory and said he hopes the sitting member will continue to deliver on the high expectations of the local community.

“A great outcome for Labor in Victoria. Not the swing many hoped for in Gippsland East,” Mr Reeves said.

“I wish everyone well and thank the many, many friends and supporters who voted for me and the cause, handed out ‘how to vote’ cards on booths, managed rosters, mentored and supported me, erected corflutes and gave good wishes and thumbs up.

“He (Mr Bull) has a tough road to hoe and us in East Gippsland will be holding him to account and as the local representative for our region we’ll continue to have high expectations.

“I also thank all those who supported not only myself over the campaign, but those who put in many hours supporting other candidates and lastly, but most importantly, my wife, children and extended family for their ongoing love and support.”

LABOR LANDSLIDE

Across the state Labor strengthened its grip on the Victorian political landscape with a landslide win for the Daniel Andrews-led party.

The victory wasn’t unexpected, however the magnitude in which Labor romped to victory may have surprised.

Labor went into the election with the bare majority of 45 seats, however once late counting is complete it is predicted to hold 61 seats heading into its second term a favourable swing of around six per cent.

In celebrating his party’s dominant victory, Labor leader, Mr Andrews, said Victorians had “overwhelmingly endorsed a positive and optimistic plan for our state”.


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