Denis Napthine sworn in as Victorian Premier

Denis Napthine has taken over as the new Victorian Premier following the resignation of Ted Baillieu.

Melbourne: Denis Napthine has taken over as the new Victorian Premier on Thursday following the resignation of Ted Baillieu.

According to media reports here, the state Government was facing pressure after controversial Frankston Member of Parliament Geoff Shaw announced his exit from the Liberal Party stating `a general loss of confidence` Victorians were feeling towards the government`s leadership.

Baillieu quit last evening and former leader Denis Napthine took over leadership.

Baillieu, whose exit was effective immediately, in his address said his decision was made, "in the best interests of the Government", but that he would remain in Parliament.

He assured his full support to the new leader Napthine, who was sworn in as Premier at Government House last night.

Baillieu`s announcement came after a day of fast-moving developments sparked by Shaw`s resignation, which leaves the Coalition with 44 seats, ABC report said.

After the Lyndhurst by-election in late April, Shaw`s vote may be decisive. If he sides with Labor, Parliament will be deadlocked and that could trigger an election.

Napthine, who celebrated his 61st birthday yesterday, is a member of the Legislative Assembly and represents the South-West Coast.

A former vet, he was first elected in 1988 for the country seat of Portland and served as leader of the opposition after the resignation of Jeff Kennett in 1999.

He lost the leadership by a narrow margin to Robert Doyle in 2002.