Liberals lose blue ribbon seat as voters send message to Canberra

FOR THE FIRST time in more than 70 years, the Sydney seat of Wentworth has been stripped from the hands of the Liberal Party, placing the future of the Morrison Government in doubt.

Due to preferences, Independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps has declared victory of the electorate, which takes in the rather affluent suburbs of Clovelly, Bondi, Bronte, Paddington and Watsons Bay.

The ABC reports, with nearly 40 per cent of the votes counted, Liberal candidate Dave Sharma had won only 38 per cent of first preferences, while Dr Phelps won 33.


Labor’s candidate Tim Murray won 11 per cent.

The swing against the Liberal Party, of around 20 per cent, has been mostly put down to anger over the ousting of Malcolm Turnbull, who had held the seat since 2004.

When he was stripped of the leadership, and Prime Ministership, in August and retired from politics, Mr Turnbull sparked the by-election which could now see his successor Scott Morrison on shaky ground.

By losing the seat, the Liberal Party gives up its one-seat majority in Parliament.