The Wentworth byelection isn’t just a loss for the Liberals. It’s a disaster | Katharine Murphy

Voters repudiate the party’s lurch to the right, and hollowing out of the sensible centre

Let’s not sugar coat this, the outcome in the Wentworth byelection is a disaster for the Liberals. Counting isn’t over yet, but the anti-government swing in this contest will be north of 20%, which is the biggest swing ever recorded against a government at a byelection.

It is a repudiation. A repudiation of a chaotic period in government characterised by self-obsession and self-harm. A repudiation of the party’s lurch to the right, and the hollowing out of the sensible centre.

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Kerryn Phelps and her purple army shake up politics-as-usual in Wentworth stunner

Phelps’ supporters and their fierce sentiments about the state of Australian politics should worry major parties

Once the cheering died down and people stopped hugging and crying, Kerryn Phelps got to the stage at North Bondi Surf Lifesaving club to thank her “purple people,” her supporters in distinctive T-shirts who have spent the past three weeks manning her campaign.

“What we have done is tapped into a sentiment in the Australian people, to talk about the issues that are important to them, not the issues about survival for a particular political party,” the newly minted independent member for Wentworth said.

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Wentworth byelection: Kerryn Phelps forces Morrison into minority government

Voters punish Liberals across blue-ribbon seat, even in rusted-on areas like Vaucluse and Double Bay

The high profile independent Kerryn Phelps has pulled off a stunning victory in the Sydney seat of Wentworth, crashing through the seat’s 17.7% buffer, and forcing Scott Morrison and the Liberals into minority government.

Phelps claimed victory on Saturday night eight weeks after conservatives rolled the popular former local member, Malcolm Turnbull, triggering a byelection contest that allowed Sydney voters to vent their anger, and strip Morrison of a working majority on the floor of the lower house.

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Wentworth byelection: Kerryn Phelps forces Morrison into minority government

Voters punish Liberals across blue-ribbon seat, even in rusted-on areas like Vaucluse and Double Bay

The high profile independent Kerryn Phelps has pulled off a stunning victory in the Sydney seat of Wentworth, crashing through the seat’s 17.7% buffer, and forcing Scott Morrison and the Liberals into minority government.

Phelps claimed victory on Saturday night eight weeks after conservatives rolled the popular former local member, Malcolm Turnbull, triggering a byelection contest that allowed Sydney voters to vent their anger, and strip Morrison of a working majority on the floor of the lower house.

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Wentworth byelection: polls set to close, live vote results as Liberals fear loss – latest updates

As voting draws to close, the people of Wentworth will decide whether Scott Morrison’s Coalition government will retain its majority. Follow it live…

7.39am BST

Apropos the Liberal nerves, newly liberated backbencher Craig Laundy has been handing out how-to-vote cards in Wentworth.

Have been amazed at how many people not taking “how to vote” sheets. Well above 50% I reckon #wentworthvotes #auspol

7.36am BST

From Anne Davies, who has been kicking around the electorate of Wentworth, in Sydney’s leafy eastern suburbs.

A few facts about Wentworth, aka God’s own electorate.

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