By-election loss the price for leadership change - Aus PM

Australian Government Loses Majority With Election Defeat

Australia government loses crucial vote, leaving Israel embassy move in doubt

It's the first time the sway has changed in 100 years. Its representatives in Parliament have gone on to become attorneys general, opposition leaders and, most recently, prime minister.

Liberal Party candidate Dave Sharma conceded to Kerryn.

The by-election in the wealthy seat was triggered after Turnbull, the local MP, resigned after being toppled in a party coup in August.

The margin between the rivals is now just 1.2%, at Phelps 50.61%, Sharma 49.39%, putting Malcolm Turnbull's successor within striking distance of retaining the seat for the Liberals and maintaining the government's one-seat majority in the lower house.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the Morrison government demonstrated that it was seeking to shift official politics even further to the right.

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Likely Wentworth by-election victor Kerryn Phelps wants to see children in detention on Nauru immediately removed from the Pacific island. She added: "This is a great moment for Australian democracy".

She promised "a return to integrity, humanity and common sense on climate action", some of the issues that voters felt the government lacked.

Mr Turnbull's son Alex alluded to Liberals' internal struggle when he urged voters to use the by-election as "an intervention".

"I've just run a very intense campaign to run for Wentworth". "It's silly. Can we have some real leadership, please?"

There have been reports that they are suffering from serious health problems and Dr Phelps believes they should be moved over to Australia.

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Wentworth resident Roslyn Taylor said she was frustrated with politicians and the chaos that has plagued the main parties in recent years. "That's what we want to see", he said.

He paid tribute to Dr Phelps, as well as the Labor candidate Tim Murray, and Mr Turnbull and his wife Lucy.

Turnbull supporters within the Liberal Party and the media have responded by declaring that the by-election result demonstrates that the installation of Morrison was a mistake. "You have to wonder what their instincts are, if they're in denial about the socioeconomic makeup of the society".

The contest had gathered global attention after Morrison's late attempt to garner support from Jewish voters, who account for 13 percent of Wentworth's electorate, by suggesting Australia could recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. That would have broken with decades of policy, and the proposal drew scorn as a transparent bid for votes from Wentworth's sizable Jewish community. "They just want to pursue a insane agenda".

Still claiming victory, but sounding less sure, the independent candidate Kerryn Phelps described the wait for the result as a "white knuckle ride" in a post on her Twitter account. Both Sharma and Morrison were quick to denounce it.

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"I don't think it's worse though than losing a seat for the first time in 117 years", Labor's Shadow Minister for Human Services Linda Burney retorted. "We in the Centre Alliance go through all these motions, make notes on the notice paper and the senators keep up with what they are voting on". "Probably the biggest barrier to it being successful is whether the Liberal Party can hold itself together". "Many people are angry and they expressed that today", Morrison said. "What's he going to change to bring it back into the contest?"

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