Aus govt loses one-seat majority in by-election

Australian government at risk of losing majority in crucial by-election

Polling booths have closed in the crucial by-election and candidates have begun the anxious wait for results.

A ReachTel poll published on Wednesday showed that Sharma's primary vote was falling with three days to go before polling on Saturday and that the Liberals were in danger of losing the traditionally ultra-safe seat in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs.

Mr Morrison, who urged Wentworth voters to stick with the Liberal Party to avoid instability in the Parliament, now no longer commands a majority of seats in the House.

"It is obviously a devastating night for the Liberal Party", Mr Zimmerman said.

"That's just pathetic scaremongering", she said.

It is understood that Mr Sharma is not interested in a Senate seat, and the only one available to him would be the spot promised to Andrew Bragg, who pulled out of the preselection race because he felt a female candidate was the Liberal's best hope in Wentworth.

"The reason this has happened is because ScottMorrison doesn't represent the values of the voters of Wentworth and I think he's out of step with mainstream Australia", she told ABC24.

"A loss wouldn't mean the fall of the Morrison Government", she wrote on The Conversation website.

She said Labor, whose candidate Tim Murray was sitting on 11.3 per cent of the primary vote, had "realistic expectations" about his chances in the blue-ribbon Liberal seat.

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Attending Dr Phelps' function, her daughter Jaime Chambers said she was excited but nervous.

However, she added: "I don't think anyone can afford to be overly confident because we don't know what the outcome will be".

Mr Morrison said the result was not unexpected and the Government would learn from it. "I want to make something really clear - the result today is on us, the Liberals, not Dave Sharma", he said.

Mr Turnbull resigned as the member for Wentworth following the August leadership coup.

"When I made a decision to step up when the party called on me to lead this great party, I knew there would be tough days and there would be great days". Residents in the federal electorate of Wentworth are today voting in a by-election after Malcolm Turnbull quit the seat when deposed as prime minister. Take a lump of coal into parliament.

"I am sorry Malcolm couldn't be here tonight", Mr Sharma said.

"I'm hearing from the people in Wentworth that they are ready for change", Ms Phelps told ABC on Saturday.

Mr Turnbull's son Alex tweeted that it was a "great day for Australian democracy".

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