Dave Sharma faces upset loss to Kerryn Phelps in crucial seat


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The previous prime minister Malcolm Turnbull secured 56,971 votes on a two-party foundation on the final federal election, amounting to 67.75 per cent of the 84,092 formal votes solid.

Dr Phelps should slash that quantity by about 15,000 as a way to prevail, assuming the same variety of formal votes are solid on the byelection.

However it’s understood that Mr Sharma has not made any commitments and has not had any conversations with social gathering officers about his political future.

All sides are anxious concerning the prospect of a steep improve within the variety of casual votes from the four,549 solid on the final election, given there are 16 candidates within the race.


This might result in a rise within the variety of voters who make a mistake or select to vent their frustration at Canberra by writing a message on their poll papers reasonably than filling within the containers.

Liberal insiders say the leak of the Ruddock report into non secular freedom in addition to the emergence of an e mail claiming Dr Phelps has HIV and was pulling out of the race has cruelled their possibilities.

In his closing pitch to voters yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned Mr Sharma “was the underdog” and “expectations are clearly set” that the Liberals will lose the byelection.

“As John Howard mentioned yesterday, the occasions of a few months in the past would have triggered quite a lot of anger and outrage right here in Wentworth,” Mr Morrison mentioned.

“I do know, I used to be within the Parliament.”

Dr Phelps mentioned the byelection was going to be “very tight given the large majority” and reiterated her place that she wished to see the federal government run its time period till Might subsequent yr.

“I’ve been constant in my message that I’m not interested by tearing down the federal government, I’m a constructive particular person and I intend to carry the federal government to account,” Dr Phelps mentioned.

Independent Kerryn Phelps is expected to win on Saturday.

Impartial Kerryn Phelps is predicted to win on Saturday.Credit score:Louie Douvis

Dr Phelps launched her superannuation coverage yesterday, through which she requires “no onerous or detrimental substantive adjustments” to superannuation for 5 years.


“Folks deserve extra certainty round their investments,” Dr Phelps mentioned.

However she mentioned the important thing insurance policies for Wentworth remained local weather change and “getting children off Nauru”.

Mr Turnbull has not returned to Australia since leaving the nation after being deposed as chief in late August. However Mr Sharma mentioned he has been in common contact with him.

“I’ve been grateful for his recommendation and he has been available to me,” Mr Sharma mentioned.

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit score:

Leaked inside social gathering polling and different polls present the Liberal main vote has collapsed to beneath 40 per cent and Dr Phelps has surged to about 25 per cent help, whereas Labor is at 21 per cent.

If the Liberals lose Wentworth, the federal government will give up its one-seat majority within the Home of Representatives and also will create political historical past.

Till now, the most important backlash was a 16.1 per cent swing in opposition to the Keating authorities in 1995 and the most important shift in opposition to a Coalition authorities was a 12.four per cent swing in opposition to the administration of Robert Menzies in 1952, when Gough Whitlam received the western Sydney seat of Werriwa.

The Liberals maintain Wentworth with a major margin of 17.7 per cent.

PM Scott Morrison and Wentworth Liberal candidate Dave Sharma at Bronte on Friday.

PM Scott Morrison and Wentworth Liberal candidate Dave Sharma at Bronte on Friday. Credit score:Nick Moir

The previous Greens chief Bob Brown weighed into the marketing campaign yesterday and mentioned the byelection was a “litmus take a look at” on whether or not politicians accepted the “public sentiment in opposition to the Adani coal mine”.

“The take a look at is obvious. Vote Greens and choice Dr Phelps, or for different events opposing the mine – and solely then for Labor and the Liberals.”

The Australian Electoral Fee says voters should quantity all of the containers from 1 to 16 to make sure a legitimate vote.

The AEC mentioned virtually 15,000 individuals had solid an early vote within the byelection by shut of enterprise on Thursday evening, a big share of the 103, 810 eligible electors.

There have been 102,782 eligible voters in Wentworth on the final election and the turnout was 86.24 per cent.

Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor and a former Schooling Editor on the Sydney Morning Herald

David Crowe is the chief political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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