At the 1985 state election, Liberal candidate Varty and Labor Party candidate Bob Ives finished in a tied result for the seat of Nunawading Province, which The Age described as "the most sensational electoral finish in memory". The returning officer drew Ives" name out of a box and declared him elected, which gave Labor control of the Legislative Council. She remained in the role until her retirement at the 1999 election She later contested the 2000 local government elections for the Shire of Yarra Ranges, but was unsuccessful.
She was a Liberal Party of Australia member of the Victorian Legislative Council from 1985 to 1999, representing Nunawading Province (1985-1992) and Silvan Province (1992-1999). She was a City of Box Hill councillor from 1981 to 1984, and was a member of the Australian Local Government Women"s Association from 1981 to 1993. A long-time member of the Liberal Party, she ran for Liberal preselection eight times before being ultimately successful in 1985.