Liberal MP re-elected despite state’s swing

Richard Riordan, right, has retained his seat as Member for Polwarth, ahead of Labor candidate Doug Johnston and the Greens’ candidate Courtney Gardner.

Polwarth MP Richard Riordan has held on to his seat with a comfortable lead in the state election, despite a major statewide swing against his Liberal Party.

Mr Riordan, who first joined parliament in a 2015 by-election, looked to have the highest primary vote of any Liberal MP, based on initial counts from Saturday’s election.

The election saw Premier Daniel Andrews’ Labor Party returned to power, with an increased majority in parliament’s lower house following big swings against the Liberal-National opposition and against the Greens.

Mr Riordan said yesterday that he was shocked by the statewide result, but the Polwarth result showed people recognised his work as a local MP.

Mr Riordan had received 52.81 per cent of the primary vote early yesterday, up from his result of 50.26 per cent at the 2015 by-election.

“It was a significant increase in my by-election primary,” he said.

“I take some comfort that we’ve been representing the area well.”

Initial voting closed at 2.29am yesterday, with 75 per cent of votes counted.

Labor’s Doug Johnston had received 32.42 per cent of first preferences, the Greens’ Courtney Gardner had 9.17 per cent, the Animal Justice Party’s Damien Pitts was on 3.75 per cent, and the Victorian Socialists’ Brendan Murphy was on 1.86 per cent.

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