Slow vote count tipped for Victoria election

Victorians could face a wait to see how wins government at Saturday's state election.

Victorians could face a wait to see how wins government at Saturday's state election. Photo: AAP

Victorians face a potentially lengthy wait to learn the results of Saturday’s election, with the Victorian Electoral Commission bracing for a slower than usual vote count.

VEC director of communications Sue Lang said four million Victorians were enrolled to vote.

By Friday, about half had already cast their ballots, which could pose problems for counting.

“The issue that that creates for us a little bit is that, because we’ve taken so many votes in the early voting centres, where they need to be counted, we will have 1700 voting centres tomorrow that will be staffed to count 2 million votes,” Ms Lang told ABC radio on Friday morning.

“But we have 155 early voting centres who need to count 2 million votes. So that might actually slow the count for us on Saturday night.”

Major parties pledge no new major taxes

The VEC is aiming to count 75 per cent of votes over the weekend, absentee votes will then be sorted to their correct districts and then counted next week.

About 600,000 postal votes have been sent out. However, only 270,000 had been returned by Friday.

Postal votes must be mailed in before 6pm on Saturday night to be eligible.

Ms Lang said the VEC was not permitted to begin counting votes until 6pm on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Victoria’s major parties left voters with little more than 48 hours to crunch the numbers on their policy costings before polls close.

Labor’s financial statement, released on Thursday, revealed the party forecasts a budget surplus of $1 billion for the 2025/26 financial year – $135 million more than foreshadowed in the pre-election budget update.

However, the Coalition’s budget impact statement projects under its plan the state will return to a modest surplus of $2.1 billion by 2024/25, a full financial year ahead of Labor.

In total, Labor’s election initiatives tally $8.24 billion, including $1.6 billion on jobs, $4 billion on health, $2 billion on transport, $934 million on education and $275 million on fairness.

The Coalition, likewise, committed to funding its 94 promises with financial implications by dipping into contingency cash instead of new taxes.

The Coalition’s election commitments would cost about $2 billion.

Its budget document outlines the Liberal-Nationals would take $10.2 billioin from Victoria’s Future Fund to help pay down the state’s mounting debt quicker, saving $775 million in interest payments over the forward estimates.

Shadow treasurer David Davis did not initially have a total estimate for new commitments when releasing the Coalition’s election policy costings. Despite the blunder, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said he was standing by his would-be treasurer.

“I can only say this … our commitments that David presented yesterday add up,” Mr Guy said on Friday.

“Victorians should have full confidence now that they’ve been costed by the independent parliamentary budget office. It’s $27.996 billion in costings and the $38 billion that we can have in saving measures are sensible and responsible.”

Premier Daniel Andrews broke with tradition to cast his ballot early on Thursday, posting a picture of himself voting alongside wife Catherine and two of his children.

“Like so many other Victorians, we’ve got a few things happening on Saturday so we voted early and on the way to somewhere else,” he tweeted.

The rare step earned Mr Andrews a rebuke from a former Victorian premier, Jeff Kennett, who accused him of insulting his electorate.

“Getting everyone into the one place in the one time is challenging,” Mr Andrews said on Friday.

“Particularly if dad is doing 10 events all across the state [on Saturday]. Cath works. Having all of us in the one place is quite challenging. Do I really need to go any further? I think voters just want to vote.”

He also said he wanted to cast his ballot with his two adult children, Noah and Grace, because it was their first time voting in a state election. Mr Andrews finished with a snap back at the former Liberal premier.

“I am not going to be taking advice from Mr Kennett on anything,” he said.

Mr Guy will vote in Templestowe, in Melbourne’s east, on Saturday.

-with AAP

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.