SHARMAN Stone has had a clear victory in the seat of Murray.
The Liberal member has held the seat since 1996 and received 61.72 per cent of the primary vote and more than 70 per cent of the two-party preferred vote.
While there are still six booths to count, Dr Stone increased her two-candidate preferred vote and polled about three times her closest competitor in ALP candidate Rod Higgins.
She took aim at the apparent failures of the Labor government and said she wanted to “give hope back to future Australians”.
“We were particularly hard hit by the Labor Party which drove us out of business in terms of manufacturing competitiveness,” she said.
“We lost so many jobs from the dairy industry through to the fruit industry. The biggest export from rural Australia was jobs to other countries without a carbon tax.
“We’ve got to get stuck into taking all those costs out of doing business.”
Dr Stone said she would address concern in her electorate over the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and the closure of shops. She said she also wanted to make aged care more affordable.
In other results, Nationals member Andrew Broad is highly likely to win Mallee.
La Trobe political expert Ian Tulloch said a Liberal challenge to Mr Broad had failed to eventuate.
“Andrew Broad won convincingly, despite a very strong challenge from Liberals,” he said. “It really did backfire.
“Some of the Nationals that I had talked to up there were very worried they were facing a serious challenge.
“In the end it didn’t eventuate. The Liberal attempt to win Mallee was a total fizzer. I think that reflects the high profile of Mr Broad.”
The seat of McEwen was too close to call.
McEwen Labor candidate Rob Mitchell had a swing against him of nine per cent, with Liberal candidate Donna Petrovich 73 votes behind Mr Mitchell.
Results from eight booths were still to be counted.