Monday, November 29, 2010

Brumby concedes election defeat - 29th November 2010

Victorian Labor leader John Brumby has fronted the media and conceded defeat following Saturday's state election that gave a narrow win to the Coalition led by Ted Baillieu.

His family and many of his former cabinet colleagues were present for the announcement.

Mr Brumby's office had earlier said he would make no statement on his future until all the votes were counted in the south-east Melbourne seat of Bentleigh.

But he now says it will be almost impossible for Labor to take the seat on current count trends.

Mr Brumby says he called Mr Baillieu before the media conference to pass on his congratulations.

"The electorate has spoken and we must accept their verdict no matter how close the result," he said.

Mr Brumby blamed the baggage of 11 years in office as the main reason for his downfall.

"The people of Victoria felt it was time to give another team a chance," he said.

"Not glossing over issues raised in the campaign... governments seeking to serve a mandate in excess of a decade face a seriously difficult time.

"Often it has been a bridge too far.

"Victors have the right to write history, but I believe Victoria is a stronger, better, fairer place than we found it 11 years ago."

Mr Brumby became premier in 2007 after Steve Bracks retired.

He leaves without having received the people's endorsement.

He also did not say whether he will stay on as Labor leader.

Victory in Bentleigh gives the Liberal/National Coalition the 45 seats it needs to form government.

Mr Baillieu will visit Government House this evening.

This morning Mr Baillieu presided over what was his party's last shadow cabinet meeting before forming government.

He walked through Parliament House flanked by his frontbench team and briefly posed for the TV cameras before shutting the door to begin the meeting.

Cheering and applause could be heard soon after.