Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps has won in the Wentworth by-election on Saturday with an estimated 20% swing away from the Liberals. This historic win also resulted in the Morrison Government losing its majority in Canberra.
Dr Phelps celebrated with her supporters at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club before making a speech about her historic win. She thanked her supporters and her wife, Jackie, who was present on stage during her speech.
In her speech, she commented on her “David and Goliath struggle” electoral campaign saying that her win “should signal a return of decency, integrity, and humanity to the Australian parliament.”
In addition, Dr Phelps said that her win is for “the people of Australia who need a voice.”
Devastating night for the Liberal Party
Liberal candidate Dave Sharma described his first electoral campaign a “bruising” yet “humbling and enlightening experience”. He commented on how Kerryn Phelps was a formidable opponent and respected the strong views of the people of Wentworth adding “they make a great contribution to Australia.” On his speech after his defeat, he jokingly added, “I’m certainly glad I kept my day job.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the result was not surprising. He said it reflected anger in the electorate due to the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister last August.
Mr Morrison said, “The result today is on us, the Liberals, not on Dave Sharma.” He adds, “The Liberal Party has paid a big price tonight for the events of several months ago. But as a party, we will continue to rise again.”
He previously appealed to voters not to choose an independent as it would jeopardise the Government’s one-seat majority in the lower house which would potentially make it difficult to pass legislation.
The son of Mr Turnbull, Alex, who had been a vocal critic of the Liberal Party during the campaign said after hearing the result that he was “proud of the people of Wentworth.” He also added that it was a “great day for Australian democracy.”
Image Source: abc.net.au
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