Jennifer Kanis’ election night party. Photo by former NZ Young Labour President, Ella Hardy

Congratulations to Jennifer Kanis and Victorian Labor for the outstanding victory at the Melbourne by-election this past weekend. This afternoon the Greens conceded defeat.

It was a terrible set of circumstances for Labor – their federal poll ratings are rock bottom, the Liberals didn’t stand a candidate – instead giving implicit support to the Greens, and it being a seat with a significant Green shift (the ALP lost the federal seat of Melbourne to Green deputy leader Adam Bandt at the 2010 election).

My one word of warning is that this win does not change the situation that put Labor in this position in the first place. They are still in the same place they were at the disastrous Queensland and New South Wales state elections. This win cannot be seen as an opportunity to rest on their laurels it must be part of a catalyst for the radical change that the ALP desperately needs to have any chance of regaining the confidence of the electorate.

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