It’s Official: Kerryn Phelps Will Steal Wentworth From The Liberal Party
BREAKING: ABC election analyst Antony Green has called it for independent Kerryn Phelps.
Independent Kerryn Phelps will beat the Liberal Party’s Dave Sharma in today’s Wentworth by-election, with ABC election analyst Antony Green declaring that Phelps could clock a swing as high as 30 points.
#wentworthvotes 17 of 41 counting centres reported
PartyCode, First pref %, (matched PP change in %)
LIB 35.4 (-23.9)
IND 34.6 (+34.6)
ALP 11.8 (-7.4)
GRN 9.7 (-6.4)
OTH 8.5 (+3.2)
Full results at https://t.co/ngXDINz7j5 #auspol
— Antony Green (@AntonyGreenABC) October 20, 2018
Phelps is a doctor, author, media commentator former Australian Medical Association president and former deputy lord mayor of the City of Sydney. Her campaign pushed for stronger climate change policy, a social justice program and sensible economic management.
Despite weathering early campaign criticism for deciding to send her preferences to the Liberal Party, early polling numbers suggest that she could finish with a primary vote that is higher even than that of her main competitor, Sharma. Preferences from Labor, the Greens and independent Licia Heath are likely to flow overwhelmingly to Phelps.
Labor did not capitalise on the Liberal Party vote collapse: one hour after polls closed, the Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak was besting the opposition party’s Tim Murray on the primary vote.
“To actually see the Labor Party going backwards I think is reflective of the public’s mood towards Bill Shorten,” Sydney Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman said on ABC.
“I don’t think it’s worse though than losing a seat for the first time in 117 years,” Labor’s Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney retorted.
Liberals had a hard time defending Wentworth throughout the by-election campaign: Turnbull was a wildly popular local figure who built his 17.7 percent vote margin over a decade, and voters have said that they would take the by-election as an opportunity to lodge a protest vote.
The narrative was boosted by Turnbull’s son Alex, who shared videos and tweets in the build up to the election calling for voters to turn from the Liberals.
Incredible result and proud of the people of Wentworth. A hearty congratulations to @drkerrynphelps who fought a great campaign. A great day for Australian democracy.
— Alex Turnbull (@alexbhturnbull) October 20, 2018
Coupled with recent reports which suggest an imminent National Party leadership challenge, and the flatly-received announcement that Australia was open to moving their Israel embassy to Jerusalem, Sharma struggled to stave off Phelps.