Fed election rout a 'warning' for Vic Libs
Victorian Liberals have been sent a pre-election "warning" after losing at least four heartland federal seats to Labor and teal independent candidates.
The Liberals traditional base in Melbourne's east and southeast has been decimated following Saturday's federal election.
Kooyong, Chisholm, Higgins and Goldstein all fell, while the fate of Menzies and Deakin hang in the balance.
In Victoria, there has been a more than five per cent swing against the Liberals and Nationals compared to nearly four per cent for Labor. One in three people voted for neither of the major parties.
With the Victorian election six months away, political scientist Katrina Lee-Koo said the swing away from the Liberals would force it to reassess.
"The question is are we going to see that replicated in the state election," the Monash University associate professor of politics and international relations told AAP on Monday.
"As a party, at the state and federal level, they need to have a good look at themselves."
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy admitted the result showed there was a level of frustration within the electorate.
"Every election where you don't win you have to learn lessons, federal or state," he told reporters.
"I understand that and I certainly accept that. But what I would say is it won't deter us."
A Victorian Liberal MP, who spoke to AAP on the condition of anonymity, said the rout was a "warning" the state party wouldn't get to govern if it doesn't "listen with two ears and speak with one mouth".
"I think we can still win. We're very different to our federal colleagues," they said.
"We're much more aware of the community's sentiments and I think that you'll see that in our policies now that there is clear air."
Reflecting on the coalition's drubbing after retaining his regional seat of Gippsland, federal Nationals MP Darren Chester branded the Victorian Liberals an "election losing machine".
"Anyone who thinks the result in November will be any different if they don't change direction now, is simply kidding themselves. The voters are never wrong," he wrote on social media.
The Andrews Labor government has an overwhelming majority in the lower house, after the coalition shed 10 of its 37 seats in 2018.
The Victorian Liberals are hopeful of regaining the seat of Hawthorn through the political second-coming of former state deputy leader John Pesutto, while also holding on to Brighton after narrowly retaining it.
With Kooyong and Goldstein overlapping those seats, Professor Lee-Koo said that might prove a tough task and be more about damage limitation rather than winning on November 26.
"While we may not see the same level of trouncing that we've seen at the federal level, I think they're going to struggle," she said.
"It's about holding what they've already got."
The Morrison government made a play to capitalise on voters' angst over the state's six COVID-19 lockdowns, running "send Daniel Andrews a message" election material in outer Melbourne suburbs.
Despite swings away from Labor in McEwan and Hawke, Health Minister Martin Foley said the criticism of Victoria's pandemic response contributed to the coalition's election downfall in the state.
"Victorians are not mugs. They know when they're being treated foolishly by the Commonwealth government," he said.
Prof Lee-Koo said Victorians understood COVID-19 restrictions were state decisions and any lingering "resentment" was more likely to filter through in November.