BILL Tilley will become the Liberal Party’s longest-serving member for Benambra if he serves his full term.
The former Wodonga senior constable won a fourth period in office on Tuesday when the Victorian Electoral Commission distributed preferences following the November 24 state election.
Mr Tilley will surpass his predecessor Lou Lieberman (March 1976 to August 1992) as the most enduring Liberal Party MP for Benambra if he continues to the next poll due in November, 2022.
However, Mr Tilley would have to remain in office until the mid-2030s to claim the all-time record for Benambra which is held by the National Party’s Tom Mitchell (1947 to 1976).
His latest victory is the narrowest of his four with two-candidate preferred figures showing how his margin was slashed between last month’s election and the 2014 poll.
Mr Tilley finished with 52.45 per cent of the vote compared to independent Jacqui Hawkins on 47.55.
Four years ago the Liberal MP had 59.67 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote, with Labor contender Jennifer Podesta on 40.33 per cent.
Next Tuesday, Wodonga councillor Tim Quilty (Liberal Democrats) and Wangaratta’s Tania Maxwell (Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party) will learn whether they will be MPs in the Upper House seat of Northern Victoria.
We have a result & what a result it is!— Jacqui Hawkins (@JHawk4Benambra) December 4, 2018
The final count saw Tilley on 21,715 votes & Hawkins 2nd on 19,690 votes. I’m most proud of this final result, we set out to make #Benambra marginal & Ooo haven’t we done just that.💛🙌🏻cont reading.. https://t.co/84Tl8DaTkK#Vicvotes2018pic.twitter.com/u2NVP5TWsp
The pair is predicted by the ABC to finish third and fourth in the five member seat which extends from Mildura to Corryong and includes Bendigo.
The VEC will complete its count on Tuesday with an automated process that will see preferences distributed without needing a lengthy manual count as occurred in Benambra.
Benalla-raised Labor MP Jaclyn Symes, designated Agriculture Minister in the re-elected Andrews Government, will hold on to the final position, according to the ABC.
Monday night’s Wodonga Council meeting will be Mr Quilty’s last as an elected representative if he enters parliament.
Meanwhile, the result in the seat of Ovens Valley will be formally declared at the VEC’s Wangaratta prepolling office on Thursday afternoon.
It will confirm Nationals incumbent Tim McCurdy’s re-election in the seat ahead of Labor candidate Kate Doyle and independent Tammy Atkins.
The declaration of the district of Benambra is expected to be held on Friday afternoon or Monday morning.