The Labor MP Catherine King has labelled her victory in the central Victorian seat of Ballarat a 'wake up call' for Federal Labor.

Before the election, Ms King held Ballarat by a margin of more than 11 per cent.

At last count, that margin was narrowed by a swing to the Liberal party of 7.2 per cent, attributable in part to the lengthy campaign by the Liberal challenger John Fitzgibbon.

Ms King, who held the position of Regional Australia Minister under the Rudd Government, says the swing away from her is largely about voters' disapproval of the leadership tensions between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, rather than her local campaign.

"I think what we've had over the course over the last few years is a Government that has implemented very good progressive policies," she said.

"But there is no doubt that the stage show that has been happening in Canberra, people are not happy with that," she said.

"[Voters in Ballarat] are continuing to show faith in me, but people have been wanting to say to Labor to get its act together.

"I think it's pretty clear that a divided Labor loses".

Ms King has been in Opposition before, having been first elected to the House of Representatives during what she calls "the Tampa election" in 2001.

"It's not a place I'm looking forward to going back to, but that's the reality of politics," she said.

"But I think there are some good things that you can do, and you have to do as a local member".

One of the promises Ms King is determined to deliver on is funding for regional community infrastructure projects that she signed off on under the Regional Development Australia Fund before the campaign began.

"I will be absolutely hounding about the incoming Government about every one of those projects and making sure they are delivered because they are important projects for regional Australia," she said.

"I have fought hard campaigns in Opposition before, and I am very determined to continue to represent not just my seat but all regional communities," she said.

At one of the few upbeat Labor party functions on election night, Ms King would not be drawn on a Shadow cabinet promotion.

"Tonight's a night for celebrating here locally, reflection on the national result, and I'll have a think about what the next steps are for me," she said.

"But you can absolutely be assured that I will be doing everything I possibly can to make sure we have a good strong Labor team.

"I think the people who voted for us deserve that," she said

"They deserve a strong united Labor team and one that makes sure the interests of regional Australia are well and truly served".

 

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