UPDATE 7:18pm: ABC’s election analyst Antony Green has called the Wentworth by-election for Independent Kerryn Phelps.
UPDATE 7:13pm: With six of 41 booths in, Independent Kerry Helps appears to be headed for a stunning destruction of the Liberal Party, leading Dave Sharma on first preference, 1648 votes to 1531.
Commentators had tipped Phelps may win the seat, but no=one predicted she would actually outpoll the Liberals, with expectations she would pass Sharma on preferences.
Two of the booths that came in early – Vaucluse and East Double Day – showed swings of above 25 per cent against the Liberals, and they’re traditionally strong booths for the government.
UPDATE 7:04pm: ABC election analyst Antony Green is potentially only minutes away from calling the Wentworth by-election for Independent Dr Kerry Phelps.
Four booths have so far been counted – all of them show a massive swing against the Liberals, in the vicinity of almost 30 percent.
UPDATE 6:55pm: A second booth is in. The Liberal vote is down 23.4 percent at the Vaucluse, one of the best booths for the Government. It puts Sharma at around 40 per cent across two booths, which would make it almost impossible for the Liberals to retain the seat.
6:44pm: Less than 400 votes have been counted in today’s Wentworth by-election, but already, a huge swing appears to be on against the Liberals.
A few minutes ago, the Australian Electoral Commission posted the results for the first booth – East Double Bay. It showed a 27.31 per cent swing against the Liberals.
Those votes went to independent Kerry Phelps, who picked up 29.48 per cent of the booth. In terms of raw votes, Dave Sharma won 165; Phelps picked up 102. Labor’s Tim Murray picked up 30 votes.
If that sort of swing translates across the electorate -Turnbull won the seat in 2016 with as 17 per cent margin – Dave Sharma will lose the seat for the Liberals.
Wentworth has been in Liberal hands almost exclusively since 1944. It was held briefly in the early 2000s by Peter King, a Liberal dis-endorsed to make way for future Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Turnbull held the seat since 2004, only to leave politics entirely two months ago after the Liberal spill led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Wentworth came closest to falling to Labor in 2007, when former Waverley Mayor George Newhouse -a prominent human rights lawyer – took on Turnbull.
A result in the Wentworth By-election is expected within a few hours.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.