SOPHIE Mirabella’s political career has seemingly ended after contacting Indi MP Cathy McGowan on Sunday to congratulate her on victory.
The Liberal Party candidate was clinging to hope she could reclaim the seat she held from 2001 to 2013 on election night.
But with almost 80 per cent of votes counted and a swing against her of 4.47 per cent, Mrs Mirabella wished Ms McGowan all the best and hoped she wouldn’t back Labor forming a minority government.
In a statement released late on Sunday, Mrs Mirabella said: “After many years representing this electorate I know that communities in Indi do not want a Labor-Greens government.
“I trust that you will not make the same mistakes as Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott by supporting a Labor Prime Minister.”
Mrs Mirabella was the leading Coalition vote-getter in Indi, but will fall short to Ms McGowan after less Nationals preferences than expected flowed to the Liberal candidate.
“I also offer a heartfelt thanks to National Party supporters who gave me their preferences on the ballot,” she said.
“It seems a matter of fact that there were just not enough of you to help return a Coalition MP in a Coalition government.
“This will obviously be a matter for the Liberal Party to examine for the future.”
Mrs Mirabella wouldn’t be drawn on the “Ken Jasper factor” with the former state MP urging Nationals’ voters to preference Ms McGowan ahead of the Liberal candidate a second time.
Ms McGowan’s victory has left the door open for the Coalition rivals to field candidates at the next election in 2019 or if not sooner.
Mrs Mirabella was unable to make significant inroads in the key battleground of Wodonga where Ms McGowan is poised to complete another clean sweep of booths.
Mrs Mirabella and Coalition counterpart Marty Corboy performed well in Wangaratta, but the Nationals’ preferences didn’t flow sufficiently enough.
“I conclude my remarks by thanking the great Liberal Party grassroots membership for their enthusiastic and tangible support. me through thick and thin,” she said.
Mrs Mirabella was first elected the member for Indi in 2001.
Her achievements included funding for Albury-Wodonga internal freeway and Wodonga railway relocation.