INDEPENDENT Ali Cupper has won the seat of Mildura, after today's preference distribution gave her a lead over Nationals incumbent Peter Crisp of 254 votes.
Ms Cupper polled 18,729 votes to Mr Crisp's 18,475.
Mildura had been held by Mr Crisp and The Nationals for the past 12 years.
Ms Cupper, in her third tilt for state office, argued in her campaign that the major parties were failing the region, highlighting issues such as Mildura Base Hospital's private management and the lack of passenger rail services to Mildura.
She this afternoon posted a message on Facebook accepting victory, saying voters "after years of safe-seat stagnation" had chosen to "change the game".
"As your newly elected MP, I will methodically work through all our priority projects: roads, rail, rate reform, sports and tourism infrastructure to name a few," she wrote.
"But my first order of business will be healthcare – GPs for our small towns, a residential drug rehab centre, better in-patient psychiatric services for our children and a real public hospital for Mildura."