The donkey vote and a high profile last night gave former Victorian Liberal Party leader Robert Doyle the keys to the liquor cabinet at the Melbourne Town Hall for the next four years.

After distribution of preferences, Doyle beat former councillor Catherine Ng by 31,348 votes to 26,614. Only 62 per cent of the City of Melbourne’s 100,000 voters bothered to take part in this compulsory postal election – and nearly 5 per cent of those votes were informal.