Sitting Liberal member Gary Blackwood has been returned in the state seat of Narracan and has vowed he will continue to make a new West Gippsland Hospital a top priority over the next four years.
While suffering the impact of a statewide swing to the Labor Party, Narracan could be the safest Liberal held seat following a major shake-up that saw Saturday’s election described as a blood bath.
Mr Blackwood said there was no doubt the electorate’s changing demographic and backlash against the federal Liberal Party brand contributed to a three per cent swing against him.
And, without the Liberal Party’s commitment to a new West Gippsland Hospital, he admitted the swing would have probably been greater.
“We may have suffered a bigger swing if we hadn’t committed to the new hospital but we clearly understood the needs of the electorate. I know a lot of people supported us on that basis.”