Friday, 19 April, 2019

Australia set for more political chaos: Scott Morrison prepares for minority government

Australian govt braces for voter anger in by-election What happens if the Liberals lose Wentworth in Saturday's by-election
Jeannette Daniel | 20 October, 2018, 04:21

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison could face a backlash in a by-election this weekend as voters in a once-safe seat weigh whether to strip the conservative government of its one-seat parliamentary majority. Opinion polls indicate that only 2% of the electorate is still undecided, borne out by the behaviour of the voters I saw on Thursday.

The government's one-seat majority is under threat and the prospect of a hung parliament looms, with Liberal candidate Dave Sharma facing fierce competition from independent Kerryn Phelps.

Adding to the Liberal's challenges, Alex Turnbull, the son of the former prime minister, has actively campaigned for voters to abandon his father's party.

Mr Morrison on Tuesday moved to win favour with the Jewish community by announcing he was considering moving Australia's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Also in the running for the Wentworth seat are Greens candidate Dominic Kanak, Robert Callanan of Katter's Australian Party, Shayne Higson of the Voluntary Euthanasia Party and Ben Forsyth who belongs to Derryn Hinch's Justice Party, along with a number of smaller party and independent candidates. This is the appeal we are making. I know people are angry about what happened (the leadership spill), I get it.

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"We can't put that at risk".

The desperate plea came after the Prime Minister admitted he was dubious the Liberals would hold onto the historically dominant seat. "They just want to pursue a insane agenda".

Mr Turnbull won Wentworth at the last election in 2016 with a 17.7 per cent margin.

Labor candidate Tim Murray is the third major contender, with polls suggesting he could attract a similar primary vote to Dr Phelps.

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