By Casey Neill
The status quo stands in the Yarra Ranges following the Saturday 18 May Federal Election.
Liberal Casey MP Tony Smith was returned with just over 54 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote, ahead of Labor hopeful Bill Brindle, with counting continuing.
This was 0.4 per cent down on his win last year.
“I am humbled to be returned as the Federal Member for Casey,” Mr Smith told the Mail.
“I would like to thank our local community for their support at this election and the confidence they have shown in me over many years.
“During the campaign I outlined a comprehensive plan to make our community safer and stronger.
“I look forward to working with our local community to deliver on the commitments I have made.”
Bill Brindle said on his Facebook page on Friday 17 May that he’d knocked on 9000 doors and made 10,000 calls since he started his campaign for Casey.
“To locals in our area, thank you for opening up your homes to our campaign, for the stories you’ve told us about your lives, for listening to our visions for Casey and our future,” he said.
“Regardless of the outcome tomorrow, I am so humbled and proud to have been your Labor candidate for your community.”
Greens candidate Jenny Game-Lopata received the third highest number of votes, with 10.82 per cent of first preferences, but this was down 2.02 per cent from the last election.
Over in La Trobe, Labor candidate Simon Curtis conceded defeat to Liberal incumbent Jason Wood early on Sunday morning.
“This morning, I contacted Jason Wood to congratulate him on his positive result in the election,” Mr Curtis said on his Facebook page.
“Whilst there are still more than a quarter of votes to count, it has become increasingly unlikely that those votes could bridge this gap.
“Regardless of the outcome, I will always be an active and reliable contributor to our local community.”
Mr Wood wished Mr Curtis and his family all the best for the future.
“On behalf of my wife Judy and daughter Jasmine, it is with great pride and honour to continue to be your voice in Parliament, and to deliver all of my election commitments from scout hall upgrades (one of my favourites) to sporting clubs and major road projects as we have successfully formed government,” wrote on his Facebook page.
Mr Wood received a 54.09 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote, with some votes still to be counted.
This was up 0.87 per cent from the previous election.
Greens candidate Amy Gregorovich received the third highest votes, with 7.52 per cent of the primary vote, followed closely by Pauline Hanson’s One Nation hopeful Esther Baker, with 4.68 per cent.
In Aston, Liberal incumbent Alan Tudge said he was very honoured to be re-elected.
“Thank you for putting your trust in me again,” he wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“We have an incredible community in Knox and I’m proud to be your representative.
“Tomorrow, it’s back to work to deliver on our plans.”
Mr Tudge received 57.41 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote ahead of ALP candidate Kadira Pethiyagoda, with some votes still to be counted.
This was a 2.71 per cent swing in his favour from the last election.