'Hope always defeats hate': Andrews wins third term as premier

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Premier Daniel Andrews has won his third term as premier, with Labor set to form a majority government.

Andrews is now on track to become Labor's longest serving Victorian premier by April.

9News called the election as a Labor victory less than two-and-a-half hours into vote counting, while Andrews waited until after 11pm to give his victory speech at Labor's Victorian headquarters. 

READ MORE: How the teals fared in the Victorian election

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews delivering his victory speech.


"Friends, hope always defeats hate," he declared.

"That is why it is so important that we put to the Victorian community a positive and optimistic plan."

Andrews began his speech by telling an anecdote.

"Reforming giant and Labor icon Paul Keating once said to me 'Son, leadership isn't about doing what's popular. Leadership is about doing what's right'.

"Essentially he was telling me that leadership is about doing what matters. And that is exactly what the people of this great state have endorsed today in resoundingly re-electing our strong, stable majority Labor Government," Andrews said.

Andrews acknowledged Victorians have had an "incredibly challenging" few years, but said they had united with "a sense of connection".

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Labor's win was not as emphatic as the landslide win in 2018, with the party losing a number of seats to the coalition and the Greens.

Andrews easily won his seat of Mulgrave as one of the only seats set to be won on primary votes.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy fronted the media before Andrews, announcing he had rung the premier to offer his congratulations, and speaking of his pride in the Liberals' efforts.

"It is a disappointing night for all of us," Guy said.

"What we can say, is with a swing of around four per cent to us, and with many pre-poll votes to come, we will finish with more seats in its Parliament, in both the Lower House and the Upper House.

"There have been some truly tremendous swings to our side of politics in Melbourne's north and west. Swings above 15 per cent and approaching 20 per cent.

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Opposition Leader Matthew Guy has conceded.

"That, alone, I just say, is a message, that in this term of Government I hope that the Labor Party who will form the Government will heed that message. And will have a change in style. A change in attitude."

Speaking live on 9News' election panel before vote counting begun, former Labor Premier John Brumby said he thought it was "impossible for the Liberal Party to win", saying he couldn't see them winning a number of seats higher than in the low 30s.

"They'll win some seats, there's no doubt about that, but they're going to lose to seats to some independents or teal candidates," he predicted.

"I can't get them past the low to mid 30s at absolute tops."

Brumby accurately said the contest tonight would be a question of whether Labor forms a majority or minority government.

"But you are going to see a lot of seats change hands."

Record number of early voters this election

A smaller proportion of voters turned out on election day than ever this year, with more than 56 per cent of eligible Victorians having already cast their vote before today.

A massive 1,908,400 voters – 43.4 per cent of the total 4,394,465 registered voters – hit up early voting booths in the past 12 days.

A further 586,208 Victorians applied for postal votes.

LIVE UPDATES: Follow all the key seats and calls in our blog here

This unprecedented amount of early voters was thought that it may delay a result tonight, particularly if it will be a close contest.

Early votes were only counted tonight along with all votes submitted today.

Large numbers of early votes have been known to delay results at previous elections, with resources being stretched between on-the-day polling booths and early vote counting.

Source: 9News