NATIONALS candidate Emma Kealy will be the next Member for Lowan, after winning the seat with a thumping majority.
Ms Kealy managed to defy a statewide swing towards Labor to marginally increase the Nationals' stranglehold on the seat by 0.1 per cent to 22 per cent.
With 57.4 per cent of the vote counted, Ms Kealy had claimed 72 per cent of the two-party preferred vote from Labor's Bob Scates on 28 per cent.
Independent Katrina Rainsford picked up 13.1 per cent of the first preference count.
The Greens' Nkandu Beltz won 8.6 per cent of the primary and Australian Country Alliance candidate Steve Price got 4.3 per cent.
Ms Kealy is now set to resign from her position as chief executive of the Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital.
"I'm very proud that all of the hard work the whole of the National Party has been putting in over the past nine months has paid off," she said.
"I'm proud that I was able to capture the ideas of the local communities, of the people, the businesses, right across the Lowan electorate and was able to consolidate those and really put forward a strong vision for the future of Lowan, which is incredibly bright."
Ms Kealy will serve her first parliamentary term in opposition after a Labor victory ensured the Napthine-Baillieu Government was the first single-term government in Victoria since 1955.
"I'll certainly be standing up for the people of Lowan," she said.
"We've made a number of election commitments over the time. Labor only made one commitment, which was $19 million for the Grampians Peaks Trail.
"They did not make one funding announcement west of the Grampians.
"I think that really lets this region down in terms of investment in healthcare, education and our agricultural future.
"I'll be working very hard negotiating with the government to make sure we can ensure we get our fair share of funding and that funding is directed in a way that best benefits our local communities."
Ms Kealy paid tribute to retiring Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty who leaves after 15 years in parliament.
She was surprised to retain Mr Delahunty's margin, but said the result was testament to the hard work she had put in since securing pre-selection in April.
"I didn't have any real firm expectations of what the result would be, but I did know that if I worked hard it would pay off," she said.
Ms Kealy, 37, will be the first woman to represent the region in state or federal parliament.
"I'm very proud to be the first female state or federal representative for this region, but I don't believe that was the reason why I was elected,'' she said.
"I don't believe that was a reason anyone who didn't vote for me chose to go in another direction."
In her victory speech at Horsham's Exchange Hotel, Ms Kealy said education, health, training and agriculture would be her initial policy focuses.
She refused to be drawn on the actions of other candidates during the campaign.
"I'm very proud in the way that I've carried myself throughout the campaign, but I'll let the other candidates work out where they failed and where they succeeded," she said.