Australia

Labor claims blue-ribbon Melbourne seat

John Pesutto was considered a front-runner for the leadership of the Victoria Liberal Party. (AAP)

The Victorian Liberals have held on to Melbourne's blue-ribbon seat of Caulfield, following an unexpectedly tight result.

In another humiliating defeat for the Victorian Liberals, Labor has snatched the highly-coveted seat of Hawthorn, booting one of the conservatives' most senior MPs from parliament.

Labor's John Kennedy was thought to have little chance of winning the seat before the Andrews government's thumping election victory on November 24.

But on Tuesday he took to Twitter to claim the seat, which has only been held by Labor once in its 129 years.

"It's extremely humbling to be the new member for Hawthorn. I want to thank all my supporters who did so much to help achieve this historic result," he said.

"I wish John Pesutto all the very best for the future."

Mr Pesutto was widely considered a front-runner for the leadership of the state Liberal Party following Matthew Guy's resignation.

Provisional results from the Victorian Electoral Commission show Mr Kennedy leading by 173 votes.

Tuesday's preference distributions delivered more grim news for the Liberals, with incumbent MP Louise Staley losing the rural seat of Ripon by just 31 votes to Labor's Sarah De Santis.

In Melbourne's east Liberal frontbencher Heidi Victoria also bowed out of Bayswater where Labor's Jackson Taylor took the prize.

"There are a number of people who did not vote for Labor or myself. Be assured, I will be a member of parliament that works for all of you regardless," he posted on Facebook.

The opposition, however, survived a challenge in Caufield, with senior Liberal MP David Southwick holding the seat.

"The rollercoaster is over and I have been given the privilege of representing Caulfield for another four years," he tweeted.

Since creation in 1927 the seat of Caulfield has never been held by Labor.

The Victorian Greens have fended off the major parties to retain the inner-Melbourne seat of Prahran and maintain at least three MPs in the state's lower house.

"The Greens' presence in state parliament is crucial to hold Labor to account and push for progressive change in Victoria," Greens candidate and incumbent MP Sam Hibbins said in a statement, claiming victory.

The Victorian Electoral Commission is yet to finalise counting for Prahran, but the Greens hold 57 per cent of the two-candidate preferred vote against the Liberals' 43 per cent.

Labor candidate Neil Pharaoh earlier tweeted a concession.

"The preferences didn't flow our way. We gave it all we had, and I'm so proud of everyone who was part of our campaign," he wrote.

Mr Hibbins will join two other Greens MPs - Melbourne's Ellen Sandell and Brunswick's Tim Read - in Victorian parliament's lower house.

The party gained Brunswick for the first time but lost Northcote to Labor's Kat Theophanous.

Preferences also favour independent candidate Ali Cupper in Mildura, who looks set to unseat Nationals' incumbent Peter Crisp.

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