AFTER 13 days of counting, scrutineering, recounting and rechecking, Labor's Jordan Crugnale has retained the seat of Bass, just 202 votes ahead of Liberal Aaron Brown.
Her election meant Labor actually increased its 2018 'Danslide' win.
On Saturday morning, the Victorian Electoral Commission was yet to declare the result but Ms Crugnale expressed her relief and gratitude in a Facebook post at about 6pm on Friday after the final distribution of preferences.
“Always more to do - let’s get cracking!”
After the distribution of preferences, she finished with 20,803 votes (50.24%) to Mr Brown’s 20,601 (49.76%)
Labor won the seat in 2018 with a 2.39% majority but following a distribution of the Bass electorate this year it was regarded as nominally Liberal with a 0.7% majority.
Brett Tessari attracted 5506 primary votes (13.30%) and these seem to have come equally from Labor and Liberal. The primary vote for both candidates was well down on the 2018 vote.
The distribution of preferences shows a large proportion of voters did not follow the party How to Vote cards but made up their own minds.
The two crucial distributions are the final ones, from the Greens’ Callum Bugbird and National’s Brett Tessari.
The Greens preferenced Labor ahead of the Liberals and National Party but of their 5049 ballot papers, 35 per cent went to the Nationals (1122) and Liberals (626).
Mr Tessari was the final candidate to be excluded. The Nationals preferenced their Coalition partner first but of his 8661 votes 31 per cent (2700) went to Labor and got Ms Crugnale over the line.
Non vote increase
In 2018, 58,325 voters were enrolled in the Bass electorate and the non-vote was 5214 (8.94%)
In 2022, 49,984 voters were enrolled and the non-vote was 5445 (10.89 %), a 21 per cent increase in the proportion of non-voters, or around 1143 voters.
At least a proportion of this is due to election day problems, with up to eight voting centres in the Bass electorate running out of ballot papers. Some voters filled in hand-written papers, while others signed a waiver giving up their right to vote.
Dec 12, 2022 Despite the election day chaos at local voting centres, the VEC isn’t saying how it got it so wrong.