But Pesutto’s campaign team expects him to receive a significant number of pre-poll votes. A tally of 3,000 mail votes on Saturday night, on a two-party basis, went almost two to one to Pesutto.
Incumbent Labor MP John Kennedy won 21 percent of the primaries, and the Greens won 10 percent – well below the 18 percent they got at the last poll. The bulk of both of their preferences seemed to go to Lowe.
Pesutto has spent the past 12 months campaigning to win the seat, estimating Friday that he and his team had knocked 80 percent of the houses for the seat of 50,000 voters. His campaign team conceded no defeat late Saturday night, saying the chair was still too close to call.
Labour, the Liberals and Lowe’s campaign manager agreed that, with more than half of the votes cast in pre-poll booths and by mail before Saturday, early voting in the seat was likely to lean towards the Liberal party .
In 2018, Labour’s Kennedy even shocked himself when he won Hawthorn – not held by Labor since the 1950s – by just 330 votes.
Kennedy handed out cards to vote at Hawthorn City Hall until the last minute and watched the initial results at home before heading to his function at a function center in a Hawthorn park.
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