“This was a tough campaign and whilst I am obviously disappointed, I know that the people of Corangamite will benefit for years to come from the commitments I secured which will be delivered by a re-elected Morrison Liberal government,” she said.
The former television journalist has held the ultra-marginal seat since 2013, but was facing an uphill battle to hold it this election, after its boundaries were redrawn in Labor’s favour.
With 54 of 55 polling places returned and 81.6 per cent of the vote counted, the AEC’s count had Labor’s Libby Coker ahead by 2206 votes, with a 1.23 per cent swing after preferences.
Despite Ms Henderson’s loss, however, the tight result in Victoria defied the pre-election expectations of easy Labor gains in the state.
“This was a seat that many people had written off just a few months ago and yet we have come so close,” Ms Henderson said.
“While the redistribution had an obvious impact on our prospects in Corangamite, we recorded a strong primary vote of more than 42 per cent and swings in a number of booths.
“We ran a strong campaign and one of which I am extremely proud. We didn’t play dirty, we focused on policy not personality and we never forgot that every community matters.”
Ms Henderson had been touted to join Scott Morrison’s frontbench having been promoted to the outer ministry after the leadership change last year.