Thursday, 15 November, 2018

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

Scott Morrison admits Liberals are heading for defeat in Wentworth Australian Government Loses Majority With Election Defeat
Kenny Thornton | 21 October, 2018, 07:08

"I would like to say [to] any young people, any women, any aspiring independents out there, if you are thinking of running for Parliament or running for public office, yes, it can be tough, yes, the road can be hard, but it is so worthwhile that we have the right people stepping up to represent Australia".

While Phelps did take home the win on Saturday, Morrison said it's not over for the Liberal Party, which will come back fighting.

Results indicate a swing of 22.6 per cent against the government, after former member and Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull held the seat with a 17 per cent margin.

On Saturday night, Phelps reflected on what she called a David and Goliath struggle, and thanked supporters, her wife Jackie and their children.

The result snuffs out the Liberal-National coalition's one-seat majority and sends the country into yet another period of political instability ahead of national elections that have to be called by mid-May next year.

Phelps, a former leader of the nation's peak medical professional body, has also said she won't support a vote of no-confidence in the government.

If Dr Phelps is confirmed the victor, there will be a crossbench of six members in the House of Representatives with Labor holding 69 seats and the coalition one short of a majority with 75. "I would reject bad legislation".

Mr Turnbull, an investment manager who lives in Singapore, said the Liberal party has been hijacked by "extremists" and "crazies" who were forcing it to adopt extreme positions on climate change and refugees.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison is holding out hope Dave Sharma could still snatch a win for the government in the Wentworth by-election.

"Liberals are angry and they've expressed that", Morrison said.

However he appeared unfazed about having to negotiate a minority parliament, as Julia Gillard was forced to after the 2010 election.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Liberal Party would continue to "seek assurances" from crossbenchers to hold off the threat of an early election.

Mr Morrison said he understood voters could be angered by Mr Turnbull's axing as Prime Minister in August but warned there would be "unnecessary uncertainty" if Mr Sharma loses to Dr Phelps.

Independent Andrew Wilkie said he would not guarantee support, while Cathy McGowan, the Greens' Adam Bandt and Centre Alliance's Rebekha Sharkie are yet to comment following Dr Phelps' victory.

"I've done over 20 elections and this is the first time at [8 a.m.] we've had a queue", Liberal Party volunteer Kevin Berry told national broadcaster ABC.

Dr Hewson, who held Wentworth from 1987 to 1995, said yesterday's results marked the biggest by-election loss in Australian history.

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