But the Victorian seats of Wills and Cooper, which have also previously been touted as ripe for the picking, were disappointments for the party.
According to the most recent figures available on Sunday night, Labor’s Wills MP Peter Khalil recorded a 7.1 per cent swing to the party, with the Greens’ Adam Pulford recording a negative swing of 4.4 per cent.
In Cooper, formerly Batman, Labor’s Ged Kearney recorded a whopping 12.8 per cent swing, while the Greens’ David Risstrom had a negative swing of 15.8 per cent.
In Higgins, Liberal candidate Katie Allen looked set to claim success against Labor’s Fiona McLeod and the Greens’ Jason Ball, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg emerged victorious from a three-cornered contest in Kooyong, beating Labor’s Jana Stewart and the Greens’ Julian Burnside.
Labor’s Josh Burns fended off both the Greens’ Steph Hodgins-May and Liberal candidate Kate Ashmor to hold Macnamara (formerly Melbourne Ports).
Senator Di Natale insisted the party could be proud of its results, pointing out the Greens were on track to have all nine senators returned, and was poised to be a balance of power force in the Senate.
He said the party would use its position to “stand strong against the excesses of the Morrison government” in the next parliament.
“I’m incredibly proud of the race we’ve run and I think this shows what is possible when you run a strong, clear campaign based on what you truly believe, not what you think people want to hear,” he said.
“In terms of the outcome, our goal has always been to return our team in the Senate and Adam in the House, and it looks like we’re on track to meet that goal with the strongest outcome for the Greens since the 2010 election.”
In early counting, the Greens had recorded a national swing of 2.61 per cent in the Senate – the largest swing of any party this election.
Senator Di Natale was confident this was enough to return the party’s six senators up for re-election. Another three senators’ terms are ongoing.
“I’m incredibly proud of the race we’ve run and I think this shows what is possible when you run a strong, clear campaign based on what you truly believe, not what you think people want to hear,” Senator Di Natale said.
The Greens outpolled One Nation in the Senate in Queensland, recording an almost five per cent swing to the party.
In South Australia, the party recorded an 11.8 per cent swing, which was more than enough to return Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
The Coalition, which is on track to win 33 Senate spots, will need the support of the Senate crossbench to pass legislation opposed by Labor.
The Australian Electoral Commission says the final makeup of the Senate will not be known for several weeks.
Bianca Hall is a senior reporter for The Age. She has previously worked in the Canberra bureau as immigration correspondent, Sunday political correspondent and deputy editor.