Wentworth by-election: Independent Kerryn Phelps likely to win Liberal-held seat

Australia government loses crucial vote, leaving Israel embassy move in doubt

Due to preferences, Independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps has declared victory of the electorate, which takes in the rather affluent suburbs of Clovelly, Bondi, Bronte, Paddington and Watsons Bay.

ABC election analyst Antony Green has called it for independent Kerryn Phelps.

A final count for Wentworth might be declared only after the Nov 2 deadline for postal votes has passed.

"I don't think the Australian people can tolerate that position any longer".

Kerryn Phelps caused the biggest by-election defeat Australia has ever seen.

"It was said if we won the seat of Wentworth, it would make history, and, my friends, we have made history today".

"You have been absolutely phenomenal". "Either Scott Morrison was lying the whole way through the election campaign and he is now going to simply cling to power because, you know, he is the advertising guy and he really just uses whatever argument he wants each day - or we have an election".

The member for Wentworth-elect later told the national broadcaster voters recognised this was a grassroots campaign that was speaking to them.

"What I will continue to do is be working closely with the crossbenchers, as I have been doing", he said, noting the government had not had a majority during the byelection period, and hadn't lost one vote in that time.

She said the crossbench - which includes Bob Katter, Rebekha Sharkie, Andrew Wilkie and Adam Bandt - would also raise climate change and the situation on Nauru.

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She might also lend support for a national integrity commission that has been promoted by Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers for some time.

Invictus means "unconquered", and Australia is playing host Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle as the games get underway on Saturday night. "The Liberal Party has paid a big price tonight for the events of several months ago". "We have absolutely no intention of those kind of Labor Party parlour games".

The Australian Electoral Commission said with nearly 40 percent of the vote in Wentworth counted, high-profile independent candidate Kerryn Phelps was leading 54.34% compared to 45.66% for the Liberals' Dave Sharma under Australia's system of preferential voting.

Two usually-strong Liberal voting booths in the Sydney seat have returned strong swings against Sharma, the Liberal candidate.

Former member Malcolm Turnbull held the seat with a 17.75 percent margin.

Former Liberal leader John Hewson says the defeated party needs to rethink and completely reset.

There was no comment from Turnbull on the election result as of late Saturday night.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media on the grounds of Kirribilli House, Sydney, Australia, October 21, 2018.

Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce - whom Mr Turnbull publicly shamed over his affair with staffer Vikki Campion - condemned the former PM for his silence, arguing he only needed to tweet five words: "Please vote for Dave Sharma".

"The blame for this lies squarely at the feet of anybody who felt it was a good idea to get rid of Malcolm Turnbull", Laundy said.

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