With 16 candidates on the poll papers, some observers suspect among the preliminary counting may have made errors with allocating preferences and that this will solely be resolved in a recount within the weeks forward.
Dr Phelps stays the favorite however her lead could possibly be narrowed given the traits within the postal votes being counted on Sunday morning.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged the dramatic swing in opposition to the Liberal Get together on Saturday night time and phoned Dr Phelps on Sunday morning to congratulate her on her marketing campaign, however he mentioned the counting was but to conclude.
“If it will get as shut as 100 then an computerized recount is triggered underneath the traditional guidelines,” Mr Morrison mentioned.
The tally at 10.30am on Sunday confirmed Mr Sharma had 36,067 votes on a two-party foundation whereas Dr Phelps had 36,951, a distinction of 884.
The Liberals had been gaining about 64 per cent of the postal votes already counted on a two-party foundation, with one other 1266 postal vote envelopes obtained and nonetheless to be processed.
Assuming the Liberals acquire 810 of these remaining postal votes and Dr Phelps secures 456 of them, the hole would cut however the impartial candidate would nonetheless win.
On this situation, Mr Sharma would have 36,877 votes and Dr Phelps would have 37,407 votes and would win the seat.
The hole between them can be 530 votes and the Liberals might contemplate calling for a recount, though they must bear the price of doing so.
One other query mark hangs over the end result as a result of an unknown variety of postal votes are but to be returned to the Australian Electoral Fee. The AEC issued 12,788 postal vote envelopes. As at 10.30am on Sunday, it had obtained 6,890 and had processed 5,624.
This implies there are 5602 postal vote envelopes that had been issued however haven’t been returned and will but be counted by the deadline of November 2. Given the expertise at earlier elections, a conservative assumption is that solely 70 per cent can be returned.
If one other 4000 postal votes are returned and the identical choice flows apply, with 64 per cent going to Mr Sharma on a two-party foundation, the Liberal candidate may edge forward. Mr Sharma would acquire one other 2560 votes and Dr Phelps would acquire one other 1440.
On this situation, Mr Sharma would have 39,437 votes and Dr Phelps would have 38,847 votes.
Assuming these developments, Mr Sharma would win the seat by 590 votes.
ABC election analyst Antony Inexperienced mentioned on Sunday morning the Wentworth depend confirmed the largest “turnaround” he had seen in postal votes.
Mr Inexperienced referred to as the byelection consequence for Dr Phelps at round 7:15pm on Saturday night time.
“She’s within the lead, extra prone to win, however the hole is prone to slender additional,” Mr Inexperienced mentioned on ABC TV on Sunday morning.
Mr Morrison mentioned on Sunday morning that the decision was a message to federal Liberal MPs in regards to the elimination of Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister on August 24.
“Yesterday, Liberal voters expressed their anger on the parliamentary Liberal Get together – there isn’t any doubt about that,” he mentioned.
“And we cop that pretty on the chin. The occasions of two months angered and outraged many Liberals, and significantly these within the seat of Wentworth.
“That’s on us, the parliamentary Liberal Get together, those that serve within the parliamentary ranks.
“That is not on Dave Sharma. Dave Sharma must be one of the vital high quality candidates I’ve ever seen stand for the Liberal Get together in any election, anyplace, anytime.”
David Crowe is the chief political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.