Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps has officially ended 117 years of Liberal domination in the Sydney electorate of Wentworth, winning former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s seat with a swing of more than 19%.
The Australian Electoral Commission declared the result today having waited two weeks since the October 20 ballot for any outstanding postal votes.
The GP, university lecturer and City of Sydney councillor ended up 1,851 votes ahead of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma, with a winning margin of 51.22% on a two-party preferred basis.
Her victory also ends majority government for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government ahead of parliament returning for the final fortnight of sittings for 2018 in late November.
While Dr Phelps received a massive swing of more than 20% during the Saturday poll, subsequent postal and pre-poll votes reduced her lead, although the swing remains an embarrassing and politically damaging result for the Coalition after the Liberal leadership spill that lead to Turnbull’s departure from politics.
With another general election due in around six months, her time in Canberra may be short-lived, and Phelps plans to remain on the the City of Sydney Council alongside her Canberra job.
Her arrival in the national capital means the government will now need the support of at least one of the three crossbench MPs to pass legislation. The trio, including Phelps, have already indicated they will continue to support the Coalition on motions of confidence in the government.
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