Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps has secured the seat of Wentworth after defeating Liberal candidate Dave Sharma in a nail-biting by-election.
Taking home the win on Saturday afternoon with a swing of over 20 per cent, the 60-year-old has forced the Morrison government out of it’s majority in Canberra.
While it was a sad day for the Liberal Party, which has held the seat in Sydney’s east for decades, it was a time of celebration for Phelps who danced with supporters at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club after claiming the historic win.
Taking to the stage at the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club, the independent thanked her supporters in Wentworth for placing their trust in her.
Meanwhile Sharma congratulated Phelps for her win, describing the people of Wentworth as “hard-working”.
“They certainly have some strong views and they’ve shown them tonight,” the ABC report she said. “But I respect them for doing so and they make a great contribution to Australia.”
The result of the much-anticipated by-election means the Morrison government no longer holds majority, meaning there is now a hung parliament.
While a momentous occasion for Phelps, this will become an issue for the government as they try to get bills through the house as they will not possess the number of votes on their own to pass their own legislation, meaning they will rely on support from other parties to do so.
Speaking out prior to the by-election, Morrison warned voters in the affluent Sydney suburb against the potential outcome, claiming that only a vote for his candidate Dave Sharma could “ensure the continued certainty that is needed in our Parliament”.
“Throwing the parliament into a hung parliament would only create instability and uncertainty which is not necessary. On the Sunday, waking up to a hung parliament is not something I think that the people in Wentworth would want to see. So I would encourage people to think about that carefully.
While Phelps did take home the win on Saturday, Morrison said it’s not over for the Liberal Party, which will come back fighting.
“We will stand up for what we believe until the bell rings, and the bell hasn’t rung, Liberals, the bell hasn’t rung,” The Guardian reports he said.
What are your thoughts on the by-election? Are you happy with the result?